How Do I Help My Friend Move on After Infidelity?

how do I help my friend move on

She wants to know: How do I help my friend move on after her husband cheated on her? Make the anger and grief stop already.

***

Dear Chump Lady,

I looked at your website because my dear friend (the chump) posted on her Facebook a recent cartoon. It’s been over 3 years and all of us are trying to help her move on, especially for her 22, 19, and 14 year old children.

It’s awful. We knew them before they were married and my twin daughters are the same as their 22 year old. Their daughter claims to never want to marry and just be a cat lady in her old age.

So dad cheated, how do we help the children not have to live with an angry, chump mom?

Thank you in advance for your response.

Chris

***

Dear Chris,

You can begin by recognizing that your dear friend has a right to be angry.

She was chumped. You didn’t share the particulars of her situation, but given the age of her children and the timing of her divorce, she was left with three young adults at a time in life when you really need all the support you can get. You have twins — can you imagine dealing with angsty hormonal teens, boundary pushing, and the college admissions process all by yourself? Now throw in betrayal and divorce.

It’s a time of life when you are just waiting for the finish line. You love your kids, but you long for the days when you get to cash in your chips and be an empty nester. Now you’ll have time for your spouse! You’ll have disposable income! Now you get to bask in the glory of a job completed! You’ll send the kids off into the world with your blessing, and hope they launch.

Now think of the kids.

It’s a time in your life when you’re emancipating from your parents, but really need your parents. (Mostly, you need them to chauffeur you places until you get your license and ensure a steady supply of Hot Pockets…) You’re about to set off into the adult world. It’s exciting and terrifying.

Now imagine your world has suddenly fallen apart. Some cheating douchebag has commandeered all the drama. Forget you. Forget your dreams. And forget your needs. Dad has cheated, Dad Must Be Happy Now, all attention must be paid to the Almighty Narcissist. Everyone’s world crumbles for Him.

Now imagine being your friend.

Imagine being at this stage in life, when you’ve given your youth, you’ve built a whole life together for security — and imagine being replaced. Having your family stolen from you.

Imagine the humiliation. That the person you trusted most in the world is telling their fuck buddy intimate details about you. Or lies. How you suck in bed. How you don’t understand them. Or how controlling you are.

Imagine finding out how your spouse has betrayed you and lied about you, not once, but to many people over years. Imagine reading the intimate emails between them. Or seeing your spouse have sex with someone else, in text messages, and shared photos.

Imagine having your health risked. Imagine getting an STD test in middle age, after years of supposed monogamy.  Think about being naked with your feet in stirrups.

Would it piss you off?

No, Chris — it would shatter you.

Do people “move on” from infidelity? Yes, of course. (And that’s rather the point of my blog.) But they’ll always live with a knowledge that the smug and secure don’t live with — that everything can fall apart. That people are capable of casual betrayal. That you can unwittingly invest your life in a fraud.

That painful knowledge takes some time to wrap your mind around. Every day it’s a battle to rebuild and focus on something other than What You Thought Your Life Was Going to Be. Depending on the sunk costs, some move on faster than others.

I encourage people to move on, Chris. But the first stop on the road to Meh, is realizing that you have a right to be angryPeople minimize this shit. And the cheating ex most certainly has gaslighted their chump for years — hey, it’s not what you think! Quit making such a big deal out of this!

The chorus of everyone around you demands that you instantly forgive. There aren’t a lot of safe places that chumps can go with their pain and anger while they sort this crap out.

I’m going to trust that you are writing with the best of intentions — your friend’s pain hurts you. You want to make it stop, for her and for her kids. So, Chris, here are some pointers on how to be a friend:

1. Don’t tell her she has to deny her reality to be your friend.

If she’s sad, acknowledge her sadness. If she’s angry, respect her anger. Don’t demand she forgive her ex. Or “be friends” with him for the children.

Recognize the injustice of her situation.

Recognize that these conciliatory demands probably come from your discomfort at her pain. Which is about YOU, not your friend.

Recognize that she’s doing the best she can. Asking how do we help the children not have to live with an angry, chump mom? implies that her kids shouldn’t have to live with her. That she’s failing them. Chris — she is THERE. The cheater isn’t. She doesn’t need your judgment about her “anger.”

2. Recognize your limits.

Sometimes even the best of friends get compassion fatigue. It’s okay. Direct your friend to a place she can vent where other people GET it — here, a Divorce Care support group, a therapist. You don’t have to be everything to your friend and her kids. Just be the friend you always were, minus the cheating ex. If you enjoyed birding together, or Italian operas, or square dancing — go do those things. Go remind her that she’s still her best self. She’s more than just a chump.

3. Gift her with your presence.

Most of the time, Chris, it’s just enough to show up. So many people don’t even do that. You don’t have the words to take away her pain. But you can acknowledge that you care just by being there.

Good luck.

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Carol
Carol
9 years ago

Thank you for that, Tracy.

MamaMeh
MamaMeh
26 days ago
Reply to  Carol

Thank you thank you thank you thank you

minime1224
minime1224
9 years ago
Reply to  Carol

Yes Thank you Tracy, this is soo how we feel. I am lucky to have some friends that still let me rant even after a year. I dont rant as much but it still goes on in my mind. You hit it on the nail with things like HIM telling the other woman our deepest secrets etc. We thought we would be with them for life and now our life with them is an open book. I think that hurts the most.

Alex
Alex
9 years ago
Reply to  Carol

“Compassion Fatigue” good one Tracy. I don’t like to go on about it to my friends, Im always conscience of wasting their time, it’s my self esteem talking there. But obviously a good friend wouldn’t care how long you ranted and raved. We sure do have a right to be angry.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
9 years ago
Reply to  Alex

Chris – the reasons you’d very much like things to seem normal for your friend’s kids is because it would also then seem a bit more normal for you. Unfortunately, what that asswipe abandoner created for your friend is now the new normal – for everyone. Since it wasn’t your friend who selfishly blew up her home and her childrens’ immediate family, she deserves the best care, kindness, and understanding from those who can support her; whatever that might look like.

The best thing a real friend can do is to learn about the psychological hell spouses who’ve been abandonded are experiencing. That way, you’ll be less quick to have thoughts like, “Geez!! How L O N G is she gonna be like this?! What a drag!! Ugh!” She’s cycling through grief, and will for a good while, or possibly long-term because of that selfish asswipe of a “husband” she had. But this grief is different than a typical death. It’s ambiguous loss, because the fucker still walks around all self-rightous with his new whore after destroying a loyal spouse, and killing her dreams, family, and safety/security concerning the structure of her life. And he does not care. THAT’S what she is unable to mentally and emotionally process: the magnitude of his evil against her and the family they created.

Read as much as you can if you really want to help her. You can start with things like:
http://www.abandonment.net/swirl-the-five-stages-of-abandonment

Good luck, and just know the kindness, gentleness, love, investment, and effort you put toward your friend will pay off in huge dividends when the storms of life knock on your door. We never know what that storm will be, but they will come to each of us.

Chumped in KC
Chumped in KC
26 days ago

Well said, KibbleFree! And even including a link to where the friend can find info to help them be understanding and sympathetic! Kudos!

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
9 years ago

Well said, Kibble. Thank you. I would post this to my Facebook, but don’t need any more pity. What I need is a friend to hang around.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
9 years ago

C&L – I feel SO much the same! I guess that’s how we all found one another here at Chump Nation. You all have me laughing, crying, sending massive mental ((hugs)) to you, and truly feeling understood in this hell that we’ve all been forced to walk through. What I love about us is that yes, we’re rightously angry/bitter/resentful when those waves come over us, but we’re not like that ALL the time – in spite of this hell! We’re still the same mighty, loving, empathetic, kind and selfless women and men we always were, only now, we’re just a bit slower to give blind trust away, and we can often spot a narcissist 2 miles away.

We were ALL too good for the cheaters and abandoners we wasted parts of our lives on. They never deserved us, and likely, we created the “image” that others saw more than we’ll ever know. What I found is that the only friend who never lets me down, and who’s “on call” 24/7 is Jesus. I just pray it up – many times through huge tears still – and know that God will make all of this right in His own time. He is actually the driver of that Karma Bus.

I’m not sure any of us cry because we want that mediocrity and those assholes back in our lives, but more because of the absolute waste of time/youth/love/trust, etc. that we gave away. When we invest those things in others, we don’t get it back. We gave as an outward sign of real love. They only “feel” kibbles and bullshit. They don’t know how to love.

(((Hugs))) to you, C&L.

kar marie
kar marie
9 years ago

I agree. Two lines I detest. “Just get over it” and ” it is what it is”. I read this every day. Its so comforting to know we chumps are not alone. As for being the jackoffs friend… I don’t need friends like that. Rather be friends with a badger at least they are honest.

RKH
RKH
9 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

One that makes me positively violent is something our “shared” friends & family tend to say when they are trying to walk the middle of the road… “We just want you both to be happy.” Of course! As long as he’s happy! Doesn’t really matter what or whom he destroyed to get that way. He gets to keep your friendship & a big pat on the back for getting happy.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
9 years ago
Reply to  RKH

RKR says: One that makes me positively violent is something our “shared” friends & family tend to say when they are trying to walk the middle of the road… “We just want you both to be happy.”

Yes, yes, and yes! So much this! I have gotten that from his family (which I kind of expect from in-laws, anyway, so whatever), and from every mutual friend we had except one. Notice the past tense on friends we “had.” Because they spewed that shit from every corner and worked it into every conversation when the whole relationship was in question. I stood by them anyway, and forgave their ignorance. I figured they just couldn’t understand, and therefore couldn’t possibly know how to navigate such tricky waters.

Then, I decided to try reconciliation, and my husband and I are still together. At that point, the mutual friends disappeared altogether from BOTH of our lives, and we were ostracized overnight. The party line they all give out now is “We are giving you the space! Yay for us, right?” This AFTER we have both approached them all and asked them NOT to do that, because being socially ostracized isn’t helping anything.

Now those are all ex-friends. Funny, but the one friend who didn’t try that shit, the one who simply told my husband he was a real piece of shit and encouraged him to forget his phone number until he could get his head out of his ass and be a “real man,” well….that friend is still around for both of us, and he and my husband are as close as they’ve ever been in a 20 year friendship.

I have nothing at all against actual Swiss people, but these “Switzerland” friends and family post-affair aren’t worth the time of day. I think TheClip would say “Fuck ’em.”

tryinghard
tryinghard
9 years ago

Little Might Me
Oh yes!!! “Just be happy” and yet when we reconciled they were GONE!!! It really is laughable. Swiss indeed! The eff them attitude is exactly what I’ve come to adopt. It’s as if we have cooties or leprosy, seriously! As I said I think our problems just hit a little too close to home for most of them. And well frankly there are some wives that just don’t want my husband’s bad influence rubbing off on them. I don’t care but I am actively looking for new friends. We belong to a golf “country club” and those are the folks that make me the sickest. And they are the folks with the most skeletons in their own closets!

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  RKH

RKH…. Say something like… Oh you want us both to be happy? So he fucked over our whole family to be happy… You know what will make me happy? Running him over with the fucking car… We all good with my happy? Fuckers.

Erbrown83@gmail.com
Erbrown83@gmail.com
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

“So he fucked over our whole family to be happy… You know what will make me happy? Running him over with the fucking car… We all good with my happy? Fuckers.” I’m printing so next time I get that line I remember this word for word!

RKH
RKH
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

Love it Clip! I’ll have to remember that 🙂

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

TheClip–you are a woman after my own heart! The crunch of cheater bones beneath my Firestones would be music to my ears. (yup, back in my angry phase)

OnTheMend
OnTheMend
9 years ago
Reply to  RKH

Yep. When MIL says that “happy” line in an email to me it makes me want to scream, but it’s no use. She will never see the mess she’s made in raising her narcissist son. She has been kind to me but can’t deal with the truth about her douche son and his part in all this just like she can’t realize her own.

RKH
RKH
9 years ago
Reply to  OnTheMend

My MIL had the nerve to tell family members that she’s “so glad to finally have her happy son back.” Of course he’s happy! He off loaded every responsibility he had. He only plays parent to his children for 48 hours every two weeks & pays a fraction of the expenses. Other than that he’s off re-living his single college years. Partying with his friends & living with his childless mistress! Makes me furious that his family supports his every move.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

Have each of you actually heard those comments from people!?!? My commendation for not stabbing them with a fork; not sure I’d have had the self-control.

bogieb
bogieb
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yep, I heard “everything happens for a reason”, “at least you didn’t have kids”, “you’ll find someone and have an even better life”, and my favoritist favorite “Love your life”.

I have had so many people say “Everything happens for a reason” to me. One acquaintance that said that to me at the grocery store got the response, “yeah, that reason is he is a selfish asshole who couldn’t tell me he was unhappy and wanted out before he found a replacement.” She quickly shut her mouth. Later I remembered she had cheated on her previous hubby – which at least gave me a chuckle that she probably thought I had directed it at her specifically.

Yeah, our not having kids means that the 33 years we had together didn’t mean nearly as much to me.

Love my life – 4 months after he dropped the bombshell on me, our families and all our friends. Yeah, I’m going to love my life in that short a time.

kar marie
kar marie
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I heard most of the lines from others. They haven’t got a clue. If I didn’t love my kids and dogs so much I’d be in jail for fork stabbing a bunch of people. Best revenge on them all including jack ass and the whore “living well” on some of their money. Jack ass used we grew apart line. Not me I don’t lie I tell all the truth!!

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

kar marie–mine told me to tell others “we grew apart.” But..he’s not the boss of me, so I tell the truth.

Chumpcat
Chumpcat
26 days ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yeah, we grew apart pretty quickly when they decided screwing other people was ok.

kar marie
kar marie
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

You go girl!!

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I’ve heard “You’ll meet someone else” from just about everyone.

Worthbound
Worthbound
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

The first time I saw my ex mother-in-law in person after my ex and I separated she said “You’ll meet someone who loves you”. I was in that shock, not eating, crying stage and she says that to me? Yuck. I have no contact with her now as she has always stood by her lying, cheating son.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Me too. What about my sons — will this someone new be their mother?

Trusting
Trusting
9 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

“It’s so sad that the two of you aren’t good for each other anymore”

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
26 days ago
Reply to  Trusting

“Well, the pity is that (FW) is good for nothing at all.”

JC
JC
9 years ago
Reply to  Trusting

Yeah…or that “you two just grew apart.”

GRRRRR!

Jode70
Jode70
9 years ago
Reply to  JC

JC… yes!!! the ex idiot used this line on me.. oh we just grew apart.. what while you were off fucking your howorker (one of many) we just magically “grew apart”. The other one that really annoys me is “you need to let go and move on”… wow I will just flick that switch and have no feelings whatsoever…

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  JC

“Well, if by ‘grew apart’ you mean my spouse added a third party to the relationship, you’d be right. That split us apart, indeed.”

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  JC

Ughhhh! I hate the “grew apart” line. I’d like to add “always take the high road” meaning don’t be upset. I think all of these lines come from pure ignorance. They just don’t know at all what it is like going through this and they don’t even attempt to put themselves in our shoes.

Chumpcat
Chumpcat
26 days ago
Reply to  Nicole S

The high road is to be truthful, not participating in some bs image saving lie for the unfaithful.

This Chump medicated for your protection
This Chump medicated for your protection
9 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

“The heart wants what the heart wants.”

Got to medicate for that one!

Mehitable
Mehitable
26 days ago

A favorite of incestuous child molesters like Woody Allen.

Stella
Stella
9 years ago

“The heart wants…”
Seriously?
How about the p3nis has no conscience, and neither does the assh0le attached to it? Feel free to sub out p3nis for va-jay-jay.

This Chump medicated for your protection
This Chump medicated for your protection
9 years ago
Reply to  Stella

Coochee has no face,
Coochee has no name!
Wish I had a dollar for every time I heard a man child say that at the water cooler. Asshats always learn Coochee’s name when they see it on a support order! Lmao

SeeTheLight
SeeTheLight
9 years ago
Reply to  Stella

The BEST line. Very succinct. Sez it ALL. Love it, Stella!

Sausalito
Sausalito
9 years ago

It’s more like, the dick wants what the dick wants…

mary
mary
9 years ago
Reply to  Sausalito

I really hate “you can’t help who you fall in love with” and my close second is “there is no point in being bitter”.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  mary

To “you can’t help who you fall in love with.” I say: you can not put that other person’s number in your phone. You can block the texts and the emails. You can tell your spouse that you are somewhat attracted to another person and work through that. You can decide not to have an opposite sex racquetball partner or running partner or “office spouse” or every day lunch buddy. You can treat your spouse as your best friend. Then you probably won’t have an issue with falling in love with someone else. Just sayin’.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

LAJ–Clap, clap, clap.

Having an affair takes an unbelievable number of decisions each and every day to connect with the person, lie to the spouse, make up excuses for absences, bone the person, take them to dinner or on trips.

Cheaters can “help” it. Infidelity is not a sneeze.

Moxie
Moxie
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

@LAJ
so freaking true…i can not stand the term office spouse….utter BS!

syringa
syringa
9 years ago
Reply to  Moxie

You can help who you flirt outrageously with all day long at work. You can help going into her building 15 times a day or the slunt could help herself finding 15 excuses to call him every day for stupid reasons. What a total bunch of horse shit. And I’m POSITIVE Mr. Cock Smooch could help taking off his nice wedding ring and dropping it in his ash tray every morning as he skipped into work. Didn’t want that pesky thing reminding him or the slut that he was MARRIED.

JC
JC
9 years ago

Yes. My ex’s friends said something similar. The old “she has to be true to herself” line.

This is, apparently, more important than being true to her spouse.

It’s just more salve to make people feel better about the fact that they’ve invested time and energy in someone who’s actually a POS. As the chump, you have to accept that the person is a POS. Everyone else–including your own friends–doesn’t have to make that conclusion.

Supreme Chump
Supreme Chump
9 years ago
Reply to  JC

“True to herself”……how is being deceitful associated with truth?
Cheaters are anything but truthful. The biggest lies are the lies they tell themselves.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago

Wow!!! I have NO words…..Yea, I may have to resort to medication for THAT one!

People who say that forget that the heart is treacherous, therefore a traitor. So, those who spew such a stupid comment are condoning choices made by a traitor! And that we should be all joyful for them ‘following their traitorous heart’! barf / barf and more barf!

ummm…Yea….thanks …..But, no thanks!

Tracy, sounds like we need a new topic to go along side “Stupid S___ Cheaters Say”.
“Stupid Poo Clueless ‘Friends’ Say” or similar title! Sounds like we already have a whole ‘mess’ of submissions for said topic.

Oh, and the ‘happy’ thing……Just like ‘rights & freedom’…..it is no longer considered a ‘right’ or a ‘freedom’ if it tramples on the rights and freedoms of others.

Clueless people totally miss that concept when it comes to ‘happiness’……

ForgeOn, Nation!

This Chump medicated for your protection
This Chump medicated for your protection
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

The list would be great, followed with a recommended come back to educate those “clueless others.”

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

Totally agree, Forge. I think a column on ‘Stupid Shit Clueless Friends/Relatives/Random Strangers Say’ would be amazing.

Kira
Kira
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

“Tracy, sounds like we need a new topic to go along side “Stupid S___ Cheaters Say”.
“Stupid Poo Clueless ‘Friends’ Say” or similar title! Sounds like we already have a whole ‘mess’ of submissions for said topic.”

I think this would be a great blog post! I know well-meaning but not getting it friends/family members said some completely unhelpful things to me.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
9 years ago
Reply to  Kira

Ditto! I cast my vote for this, as well!

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

I hate those two lines too and also “You’ll meet someone else”.

ChocLemonGelato
ChocLemonGelato
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Platitudes such as these are so universal, aren’t they? After reading comments here, i am truly realising how commonplace they are… “everything happens for a reason”, “you’ll be better off without him”, “it is what it is”, “credit to him, he must have been really unhappy”, “at least you have three beautiful kids”, “you’ll meet someone else”… I can’t think of any others right now. Now I’m getting angry at those friends who have used those lines on me… but that ain’t really productive. I think they were in almost as much shock as me when he told me he was leaving me (because he would not admit that there was another woman ). It’s 11 months since D-day for me.

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Two more lines that have been tossed my way by the uninitiated in an attempt to ‘soothe me’—

Everything happens for a reason

God has a plan

When I heard either of these utterances, my blood boils

Chris W.
Chris W.
9 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

I have a friend who lost his 6 year old in the Sandy Hook school shooting. Beyond horrific. 7 months after Sandy Hook is when my DDay happened. Anytime I would feel down or not want to get out of bed, I would think of my friend, who had to bury his bright, vibrant first grader and I’d say to myself, “Self, you can do this, if your friend can get up every day and get out of bed, so can you.” I don’t bring this up to minimize what any of us have gone through, there is no contest on pain or suffering. I bring it up because I’ve talked to my friend who lost his son in one of the most horrific ways imaginable and he’s said that people say these stupid things to him, too: “Everything happens for a reason”, “God has a plan ” , “You need to move on” and other bullshit phrases because people are idiots and they don’t know what to say.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Chris W.

They say this stuff because they can’t believe that bad things happen to good people. That life can deliver terrible blows out of the blue. That if good comes out of evil, it’s because people have the courage to build on the ashes of devastation. That it might happen to them.

syringa
syringa
9 years ago
Reply to  Chris W.

I’ve learned that if you don’t know what to say DON’T SAY ANYTHING ….Just BE there. My best friend recently buried her gorgeous, funny and smart 35 year old daughter who happened to be my God child. Another friend who lost a baby at birth said ‘I know just how she feels.’ It took ALL my might to tell her to STFU. I did tell her…NO, you DON’T know what she feels like. Your child was stillborn. Her’s was 35 years old. Some people just have to get in on the ‘Yeah….me too!’

HeHidBehindAMask
HeHidBehindAMask
9 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

Or “it’s for the best, if he wasn’t happy….” What the actual fuck is that supposed to mean…..

Yep, my kids are supposed to grow up in a broken home because my man child was apparently “unhappy”. Too bad he never shared that tidbit with me while we were building a life and making kids.

Erbrown83@gmail.com
Erbrown83@gmail.com
9 years ago

^^^^^^^ THIS^^^^^^^ Thanks for letting me know Jackass while I was shooting myself up for infertility drugs to give you ANOTHER child your 23 year old ho-bag was solving allll your unhappiness!

hurt1
hurt1
9 years ago

“People grow apart especially when they have been married (you fill in the #) years.”

I hate that. He choose to implode our marriage with the OWhore. The only growing was his Viagra pumped up dick with the OWhore.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

All of those ‘lines’ are cheap, spineless spew!

However, I especially hate: ‘God has a plan’! That is tantamount to saying God caused the cheating and the implosion of your life! (Thankfully, I never had that one tossed my way….my reaction would NOT have been pretty!)

ummmm, No, God does NOT cause or ‘plan’ such sordid things. That came from satan and his ‘buddies’!

Awesome post today, Tracy…..As always!

I am going to print it out to share!!

ForgeOn, all……

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

Forge On, your comments about God’s plan is exactly how I see it. Why would such pain be brought to me? I was working the plan I was living just fine until everything fell to shit.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

“That plan came from Satan and his ‘buddies’!” Yes indeed!

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

I detest that one: “Everything happens for a reason.” The implication is that this was fated for you somehow, which ends up feeling like they are saying “you deserved this.”

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

It’s all I can do not to tell some well-meaning person to piss off when they say, “Everything happens for a reason…” bullshit line. Would they say that to a mother who just lost her baby? Or a cancer patient?

Walk a mile in my shoes before you regale me with that ridiculous platitude.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

I tell people, “Yep, that ‘reason’ is 25 years old and a word that means the same thing as ‘kitty.’ THAT’S the reason.”

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

ha ha haaaa!

violet
violet
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

And the reason is that your X is a lying sack of shit! Sorry, this one hits close to home; my kids were 12, 16, 20 and 23 when we were publicly humiliated by X’s shenanigans. Because I have always been the one everyone leans on (and I am a so-called “public figure”), I got virtually no support during the toughest time of my life. The betrayal itself was bad enough. Even worse was the fact I received very little understanding from friends and family. Strong folks don’t need help do they? It sure taught me alot about life… that I did not necessarily want to know.

On the bright side, my now 24 year old daughter is dating a wonderful guy, after also swearing she would never be in a serious relationship. He is everything my X is not – kind, caring, considerate. She doesn’t know where the relationship will take her, but her picker is working just fine. My boys, however, are still following their father’s example, but they are young and foolish and nowhere near ready to settle down. i am hoping that time will mature them because I know I raised them right.

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  violet

Thanks for being on here Violet, that it even happens to ‘strong’ and ‘public’ people. x I am getting over it, but I was utterly shattered. The word I used was ‘annihilation’. Your family does get stolen from you: things are never the same.

Beth
Beth
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Another one is “Count your Blessings” and “At least you didn’t have kids”. So many others also I just cannot think of them right now.

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Beth…. You know what i say to that horse shit line…. ” I count on me”

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Yes. And if it had to happen, why after so many years? Why couldn’t he have called off the wedding? Painful yes, but less than this. I was pretty independent when we started dating. He came on strong with the first “I love you” etc. I’m rambling. Just wish I could forget it all.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

I get stuck on that too Lina. Why did he get married? To me it is obvious at this point he is a man that should have never married anyone. He likes variety too much and even though he says he cares about his kids, his actions say he’d be fine without his them. Mine came on strong too and talked about our future constantly. Our family was everything to me. I just have to remind myself, he doesn’t form attachments like normal people. So at our wedding he was attached at much as he could be but it was easy for him to become unattached at year 19. We just don’t get it because we don’t think like them and never will.

Kellyp
Kellyp
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

He married you because you were of use. His kids matter to him only to the extent they are of use.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Yup. Think I’ll just pop on down to the partner store and pick up someone compatible with me who is sensitive and empathic.

In the meantime I’ll just chill out and wait until that magical day when I’m rescued.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago

WWDSG,
EXACTLY! Let me head down to the partner store…. I will take that one… With a life time money back guarantee….. And add a toaster in there while your at it.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
9 years ago

And “someone I have years of shared history with.” That easy camaraderie is what I miss most.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Too right. Every time I walk my dog or take him to the dog park, when I come home in the evening, when I go through my nightly routine, I wonder how she could have so easily given all that up. And we all of course know the pain of inside jokes that we now can’t enjoy.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago

I wrote something like that in a letter to Jackass after the DDay confrontation. “I wonder why sitting on the porch with me watching the deer wasn’t enough. What you gained that was better than me waving goodbye to you every morning…”

Lina
Lina
9 years ago

If only, huh?

Not Juliet
Not Juliet
9 years ago

Great post. Cheaters are the slimiest, and three years isn’t that long a time for dealing with the shit storm they have unleashed. Anger is also a sign of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, so the friend may have developed that.

Dahlia
Dahlia
9 years ago
Reply to  Not Juliet

“Cheaters are the slimiest.” So true! I forgive instantly with all my heart. Yet, the pain is still there & the wounds & the WTF & the major life detour & the who can I trust? & the desire for a quicker path through grief.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago

I gave up on one of my few friends because she felt that after 6 months I should have been further along in my healing, that I shouldn’t focus on the negative. She said something along the lines of “if you’re unwilling to focus on the positive in your life, you don’t have a right to whine about what’s wrong.”

Yeah, not so much. I feel bad enough without being instructed to not be upset. I’ve had to avoid discussing this with another friend because he feels that anger is pointless and a barrier to healing. He doesn’t seem to grasp that anger is a necessary part of the process.

As far as just being there, there was a funny scene on Parks and Rec a few years ago. There was a scene where one character asked another one to stop trying to fix things, but rather to simply be there and acknowledge that the situation sucks. Easier said than done.

Jeepin4me
Jeepin4me
9 years ago

WhichWayDidSheGo…my lifelong BF said the same to me…I realize that, having never experienced the disordered hell one goes through with these assholes, she can’t get her head around how devastating it can be…and then I realized…a real friend would at try to understand and be supportive regardless…sigh…

CL is right…their reaction does say more about them than us. 🙂

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeepin4me

Speaking of life long friends – the lovely friend I’ve had since Grade 7…and stayed in touch the past 36 yrs..
She said, ‘I hope you aren’t one of those people who define their entire lives by this’.
I think she meant well, but I had just had DDay right then.
It still hurts me that she didn’t want to be bothered by anymore I had to say.
I truly think some people are afraid it will ‘catch’ onto their spouses.
I haven’t heard from her since, a year ago now… sort of sad.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago

I had that from my first therapist. “It’s your negative way of thinking that’s keeping you from healing.” When I said I was so depressed that I wished I’d just die I got “You make me so ANGRY when you talk like that. There’s so much beauty in the world.” True, but severe depression makes it difficult to see it.

I’m seeing someone else now that is not judgemental in this way and has more experience with trauma and what a difference it’s making.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina & WhichWay–I do hope you have both ditched those therapists by now. Do NOT let anyone invalidate you–run, don’t walk. We have a right to anger, depression, incredulity, and even hatred over what has happened to you. Own it, and don’t let anyone take it from you. You, and only you, can decide when your anger dissipates. Take steps, of course, to move on with your life, but realize that little black cloud is going to appear again and again (and that’s okay). A chump friend who is a therapist admits to extreme anger 15 years after his chumpdom (but he admitted the angry periods last less long, and are farther between as time goes on).

Be mighty in bits.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I have. I see another now who is not judgemental like that and has experience with victims of trauma. Big difference.

violet
violet
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

During my travels, I had a chance to speak with a wonderful woman, who was a complete stranger. I began pouring my heart out to her and told her my friends said it was time to “move on.” She replied, “Maybe it’s time to find new friends.” She was so right! While I maintained a surface friendship with my old acquaintances, I made new friends, who understood my anger and liked me for me – and not what I could do for them. What a difference that made! I still get angry, but I also am (mostly) content. And I would never, ever go back to the disaster that was my marriage!

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  violet

I find myself most open with other chumps these days.

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest – that’s who I look forward to meeting new friends. Other chumps.
I won’t say that, of course, and I am done talking (mostly) about my chumpy experience.
I just moved to a new neighborhood – know not a soul…but,, I am ready to meet, greet and see if I can relate to any of them…without dogs. If they don’t have dogs – sorry..may not work. lol.

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago
Reply to  Shechump

i.e. I just left an old neighborhood for a different one – I stayed in the same town. So, after 20 yrs, I can probably introduce my neighbors to most everybody in town. But, I want to stay far under the radar and keep them afraid of my dogs for now. Yeah…love my small town..and I think the gossip has gone away.

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  violet

Your second husband is an abuser, as well, Jen. He just hid it better.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

yes you are right Arnold. But the first one tried to control me physically and screamed at me in scary rants. I was sick of it two months in, I just couldn’t figure out how to back away slowly.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

What a horrible therapist. I’m happy to hear that your current therapist is more supportive.

This is going to sound horribly naive, but maybe it goes with the chump territory: I trusted my psychiatrist and my therapist. I thought, if my anti-depressant isn’t working as well as it should, my psychiatrist will suggest a change. And if my therapist clearly sees what is wrong with me, she’ll push me in the right direction.

To make a long story short, I’m frustrated because I think both of those people failed me. I understand now that I have to tell them what I need, not explain my situation and wait for them to figure it out. That seems backwards to me. They’re the professionals!

Lina
Lina
9 years ago

She also told me I was self involved. It seems to me that I’ve spent most of my life accommodating others. I really don’t think I’m self involved. It’s a contradiction too, since I’m supposed to be moving on to a life for myself and learning to love myself?

WWDSG, I was the same. I thought they are the professionals, but have realised they’re only human and not always right or the right one for us. Now I know that if it doesn’t feel right to me to trust my instincts and try someone else. Unfortunately, we do have to be our own advocates at our lowest time.

Off topic: Is that your dog in your avatar?

Mehitable
Mehitable
26 days ago
Reply to  Lina

It’s hard not to be self involved when someone is stabbing you with a knife in the heart.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina: I just heard a talk this past weekend by a researcher who looks at the words people use, and he said that depressed people tend to use “I” a lot because they are focused on their pain. Perhaps your therapist (or ex-therapist, I hope) should read the researcher’s book (Jamie Pennebaker) to educate him/herself about why depressed people are “self” oriented.

hurt1
hurt1
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

After 5 years I am still in disbelief but not denial. I recently had a friend say maybe I should see a female therapist because she’d be able to help me more than a male. I know she is probably tired of my narrative & offered a solution. On the other hand she divorced a physically abusive husband after 2 years of marriage 30 years ago. That’s a big difference from being blindsided by the best friend of your entire adult life.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  hurt1

Hurt1. It easier to leave behind someone who is physically/verbally abusive and not feel so betrayed. It is so much harder when you thought the man loved you.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

I say this because my first x was abusive and eventually I wanted to vommit when I looked at him. Leaving was actually a huge relief.

The second x just hurts.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Grr. The last time I saw my ex I expressed my frustration and she piped up with a cheery, smiling “you have to be your own advocate!” This after being around for 5 years and never going with me to an appointment or otherwise suggesting I push my psychiatrist in any certain direction. I guess she was thrilled to be free and clear of me and my mental issues.

And yes! That’s my dog. Ex and I adopted him from the county dog shelter 5 years ago when he was 6.5 years old. You know, I can almost understand leaving me, but how in the world could she have walked away from such a great dog? He came to us with the name Willy Wonka, though I usually call him either Willy or Willy Bear. We were never sure of his exact breed, but a google image search suggests he’s a Field Spaniel, though that breed is rather rare in the U.S.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago

I’m sorry I brought up that trigger with that phrase. Mine was the same. He didn’t “believe in” anxiety and would tell me to “just suck it up”.

Willy Bear is gorgeous! Mine left our pets too. The rabbit he got me for my birthday and the guinea pig he got me for Valentines Day. Thank goodness we have them though and they’re loved and appreciated by us.

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Very well said, SMoth. My very 1st counselor I ever had in my life, which was falling apart, almost devastated the entire counselor idea for me So glad I found another. Well, I was so low I was ready to do Hari Kari. She only helped for awhile but CN has helped me much more.

To WhichWay and Lina – Yes, Willy is cute and they live along time if they’re mixed breed. I know my Fieldies (yes, which are rare) and they come in both Liver and Black. Very sweet dogs.
Rabbits and G.Pigs would be fun too, and I can’t wait to get cats back in my house.

X left our 4 Great Danes with me w/o a look back. This probably shocked me the most of all. We didn’t have kids and our dogs were our life. He turned his back on them just as quick as he did me. I had to put “his” old dog down all by myself through this mess..

Please tell me, who does that kind of thing?

SphinxMoth
SphinxMoth
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina and Which Way–

The thing to remember about therapists–or ANY healthcare professional—well, heck—anybody who “works on, with, or around” other humans in a service capacity—there are good ones and then there are those that just want a paycheck.

There’s a sick joke in the medical field–“know what they call the guy who graduated last in his medical school class?” —-“Doctor”. It’s revolting, but it’s true. Just like judges, cops, or priests—they are human beings underneath all of that “professionalism”. It’s great if you can have a robot as a cop, programmed with the law and everything is black and white–but that simply isn’t how it is.

The most important thing is to be conscious of your own care–if this person is telling you things that don’t sound professional—i.e. their own personal opinion–or even say things that seem backhanded—DUMP THEM.

I do think this is a symptom of our “chumpiness”–handing over our trust to people because of what we want them to be. We, as Chumps, also make our own needs small and insignificant—it’s how we’ve gotten through marriages with the disordered Narcs in the first place.

It’s especially horrific when you are already in a position of weakness, seeking out someone to pull you out of a downward spiral—and they turn out to be snake oil salesmen, or worse yet—idealogues.

I know several people personally that would save the life of a complete stranger in a microsecond, putting their own lives in danger in the process—only to find out that they’ve been fucking around on their spouse with multiple partners, unprotected–or beating their spouse/kid–or stealing from their employers.

It’s abhorrent because people in these professions should be held to a higher standard. None of us would choose a babysitter for our kids without thoroughly checking their background and references, doing interviews—why do we do any different with something just as precious—our own mental and physical health?

There ARE good therapists–and cops, and priests and judges. Do not give up on therapy because of a bad experience. There are good people out there that can and will help.

Missed
Missed
9 years ago

Thank you, Chump Lady. Excellent response to those that feel a chump should “be over it” and ask,”why haven’t you moved on?”.

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago
Reply to  Missed

i usually dont talk about my divorce anymore or the pain it caused me. even my mom who was my greatest supporter was starting to get very angry with me when i would cry about something else i discovered or figured out about the exhole. although she never said “get over it” she would get mad at me for thinking that way and almost yelling at me how “He just doesnt care, Dont you get it”….*shrugs* same thing i guess to me so i dont really say anything. people “THINK” i have got over it or i have moved on. my loved ones ask me how are you doing, and i say i am doing fine because i can see it in their eyes that they are hoping i dont go into details about how sad i am. (or maybe that is just my impression because i dont like to be a burden on anyone either)

that is why this site is super Great!! i am a year out and everyone else has moved on. i am doing day by day but there are some days where something will trigger the hell out of me and i am back in my bed, crying and hyper ventilating and the pain in my heart has me curled up into a little ball. nobody else gets it, they did not love him the way i did, they did not live with him everyday the way i did, they have easily got over it because they did not know the all of it or had to handle being treated like that. the only place i complain, cry and vent is on this site. being able to share stories with other people who not only understand but have actually felt it is a blessing.

i had a wonderful weekend filled with 100+ relatives. i havent laughed so much in forever. only once did someone ask me where “my better half” was. and i was able to say that we divorced last year with zero tears. my explanation about “what happened” was “I dont know, he just changed in 2013, i was struggling with my daughters death and he wasnt coming home, wasnt giving me money, was drinking more and more. so 2014 i kicked him out again, he ran off with some hood rat and i divorced him. i dont know if i said or did something in 2013 and i dont know what happened to him. but i am not going to compete with someone else.” And that was that. i didnt say anymore nor did i elaborate on details. i probably wont even say that much to someone who isnt my blood relative. it felt like a fresh blade slicing into my tender barely healed heart when my uncle asked but i am proud of the way i handled it. and i thought “Fake it until you make it” just like i learned on this site. But in doing so, i was able to tuck the sharp razor pain into a corner and enjoyed the rest of my day.

one moment at a time. one laugh at a time. one heartbeat at a time.
i have not “gotten over it” but i hide it well. i couldnt do that if you all were not here to understand what the real pain of betrayal is.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

I’m trying to not talk to anyone anymore except my therapist. But sometimes the tears flow. “Are you crying again?” Then I say it’s about something else.

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

my littlest one will say that. he told me yesterday that he was so proud of me for not crying in church this year…. he is 9 years old. he just doesnt want to see his momma hurting. (i did cry a little, church and holidays are both triggers for me. not just for my husband but for my daughter that past too.)

i also tell him it is something else if he catches me with tears. yesterday everyone thought i was doing well, so happy but there were moments where i couldnt breathe and felt like running and hiding. But it was still one of the best times i have had in over a year.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

I think that is sweet and caring of your son. He doesn’t want to see you hurt.

From adults, with that note of exasperation in their voice, it ‘s not caring at all.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

My mother says, “don’t let (son) see you like that.”

I only saw her cry once my whole life when I was little. We had major things happen, but we were never allowed to act sad. It was hard and depressing.

So I don’t go out of my way to weep in front of my kid, but when he does see, and he asks, I tell him with the simplest explanation possible. I don’t want to burden him, but he knows when he’s being bullshitted. I say, “it’s not a big deal. I miss Lee. It really is for the best that we aren’t together, but still sometimes I miss him”

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

i think the children know more then we think they do. i try not to lie to my children. in the beginning (or was it the end?) i cried a lot. every day and my kids knew it was because of their dad. when they ask questions i normally answer truthfully. that being said, i know it hurts my littlest that i STILL occasional cry. i also know he doesnt fully understand that even thou i am crying doesnt mean i want daddy back. so i tell him it is because of something else. even that sometimes gets the doubt look from him, if he pushes it, i end up telling him as the best i can what is making me cry.

i know he is also struggling with his own feelings every now and then. he will not say a word about his dad for months and then boom all he talks about is his dad for a week or so. mostly just things like “remember that time when dad _____” or if i try to educate him on something like why lying is bad, he will say “dad lied about ___”. sometimes he has some questions that i really dont have the answer to, like “how can dad leave this nice house for a crappy little house” so i just tell him i really dont know and he can ask his dad whenever he sees him. always they both tell me that they cant ask dad because dad would get “mad” so i tell him he is mad about everything, ask him anyway.

not that we have to worry about that because dad seems to have forgotten he has 2 little boys. my wish is that when they get older and he comes sniffing back for kibbles that both are strong enough to witness dads true nature and they can get all their questions, not that i think exhole will ever truthful answer but it would be good for my boys to get it off their chest and out of their system. i dont know how to prepare them for that thou, i am working on it.

i learned a long time ago that is better NOT to lie to your kids, they always seem to know or find out later and that is not a good thing for your children to think you lie to them. Better just to tell them in a honest, age appropriate answer. i also learned you really dont need to go into a whole lot of details. sometimes just a few sentences will work. with a declaimer that you will tell them more when they get older.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Oh, and then (son) suggested I color my hair, it’s getting a little grey. He is autistic, and trying to be helpful. He thinks I can get him back if I color my grey. I laughed and hugged him. We both felt better.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago

Chris, it’s hard for most people to understand what it feels like to be discarded by the one person in your life you thought you could trust. As a chump, I had to deal with filing for the divorce while he was vacationing with a woman he moved in with after knowing her for as few weeks. Yes, right from the get go they shed all responsibilities for the ‘used to be family’. Cheater X also discarded his adult children and rarely has contact unless HE needs something. Be there for your friend that is what she needs. Chumps appreciate the kindness of friends who give us a call to talk or just go shopping.

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Oh!!! very well said Donna. i also believe that not too many people understand how it feels to be betrayed and discarded by the one person we loved and trusted. i also filed for divorce while he had moved on with his new hood rat, taken her to his relatives before we were even divorced. it was me who had to deal with our childrens questions, confusion, anger and pain while he just “shed all responsibility of our family”. i couldnt even talk to him about what was in the best interest of the children because SHE replaced me as his advisor and SHE did not agree with what i was saying or doing. so not only did i have to fight my feelings, struggle to understand how he just stopped loving me, i had to fight the new b*tch who thinks she is “protecting him” and “helping him” even thou she only met him a couple of months ago. we have all been completely discarded as he makes his NEW life with this homewrecker chewbacca. it is like we just do not exist at all.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

MrsVain, I am fortunate to have one friend who understands. She used to be a social worker. She is the only one I can call when I’m hurting. And she reminds me that he has nothing to offer ANY woman. She is absolutely right. I also found an excellent therapist that tells it like it is and helps me focus on myself. I found him before CN and he cuts through the bullshit just like CL. However long it takes to reach Meh, I’m in it for the duration.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Yes, she was his new advisor also. A vagina helping a dick navigate a divorce. And I had NO anger. I had to learn how to be angry. If it wasn’t so fucked up it would be humerous. A ho calling me up with her abuse and threats. A serial cheater exposing me to std’s and they wanted my pension. Yup it takes a village of chumps to process, protect, and offer continued support.

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

They do not understand. You are right. And, unfortunately, I did not understand it either before it happened to me. I am sure I was way less empathetic, subscribing to the oft portrayed version of infidelity we see on TV and movies- a minor deal where everyone moves on , unscathed, shortly. Quite an education re infidelity, personality disorders etc.

chjrn
chjrn
9 years ago

Another GREAT article! I wish EVERY friend would read this.

I especially like #3, Gift her with your presence. Many times married friends shy away from the divorced or divorcing friend and they act like they are going to catch a disease.

Chris sounds like a great friend. The chump needs to keep them around.

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago
Reply to  chjrn

Some people just dont know what to say or do when a friend is hurting so bad. i dont think it is fear of catching the divorce bug as so much as fear of making it worse. i never know what to say to my friends who were going thru divorce (in my 20s i took my BFF to the bar and we drunk her divorce away but we were young, and it worked. i dont think it would work now) and i dont want to say something that will make it worse. before i was divorced, i also inconsiderately did not want to be made to feel badly, as much as that sucks i think most people are like that in a way. i knew my friend was hurting and i feel bad for her but hey, my life is awesome. i am happy. do i want to throw that in my sad friends face? no.

i was a shallow friend thou. i realize that now that i am divorced. personally i did not want any of my friends sympathy. i have my family to cry on, my mom, aunts cousins. i did not want my friends to feel sorry for me. but most people are not like that. most people lean on their friends and need their comfort. as a friend now, i would be there. if i did not know what to say i would just be there and say nothing. i think 3 years out, depending on the person, is still not that much time. she might need encouragement to get out of the house and do things. not dating things but just activities to get her out. like walking, movies, a knitting circle. whatever. i think it is easy to bury yourself in the protected shelter of your house and let the outside world pass you by.

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  chjrn

Nothing like catching divorce cooties….or ‘ The Cheese Touch’

Mighty Mite
Mighty Mite
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

…giggling…:the cheese touch” !!

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
9 years ago
Reply to  chjrn

I’ve been accused of this twice… being “nervous” when I don’t want to hang out with someone going through an ugly divorce, as if it was a threat to my own marriage. Um, no.

Once, it was because she eventually told me that she ended her marriage (“that old, boring schmuck,” she called him) because she had an EA at work and wanted to divorce before they went public (so she wouldn’t look bad.) She then began to HEAVILY play her “Poor, single mom ME!” status and was basking in all the free childcare she now received from friends and family (who didn’t know WHY she kicked out her husband of 9 years) and tried that crap on me constantly. Sorrynotsorry – you CHOSE this. And now you’re lying to and manipulating people who love you? BYE!

The second one was because she became hostile toward ALL men, including my own. She’d shit talk all of them. ALL men are bastards. ALL men cheat. ALL of our marriages shouldn’t exist. NO ONE should get married. This has gone on for 7 years… and she really wonders why all her friends are single women? (And, ironically, at least half of them have been OWs.) No thanks.

Supreme Chump
Supreme Chump
9 years ago

Since Chris is obviously incapable of even trying to imagine what betrayal of this magnitude means for her “angry chump friend” , your response to her will just have her shaking her head and impatiently sighing about it. Assholes like Chris just help make it more difficult and painful for the “angry chumps” to find any understanding, compassion, or support.
Chris, just get away from your “angry chump friend” and leave her alone because you very obviously aren’t supportive and you can’t recognize an act of great betrayal that guts a person to her soul.

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  Supreme Chump

Supreme, I didn’t get that impression at all from Chris’ letter. It’s true that people who haven’t experienced this kind of betrayal really don’t understand how hard it is, and how long it lasts. I think it’s the same w/many other major life experiences. And she’s not pushing the ‘get over it’ at the horrifyingly early stage so many hear have heard. Hopefully Chris really is trying to find a way to be helpful, in a situation she doesn’t fully understand.

Supreme Chump
Supreme Chump
9 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

KarenE, she wrote “so dad cheated”….to me that comes off as dismissive. After all, it’s been three years already.
Chris also wonders about “how to help the children because the “angry chump friend” is just so angry. That tells me that Chris thinks her friend is hurting her kids with all her anger. The “angry chump friend” can’t get past this and now it’s up to the superior Chris to help the children. I mean, it’s been three years. It’s the “angry chump friend’s” anger that is hurtful, not the cheating . The cheating ex’s behavior is not nearly as bad as the “angry chump friend’s” anger. And for pity’s sake—it been three whole years already!!! Get over it already. Sheeeesh.
Chris’s friend needs a real friend.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
9 years ago
Reply to  Supreme Chump

I got this impression from Chris, too. There is no clear indication anywhere that Chris wrote to CL seeking out ways to help her friend for her friend’s sake. Instead, it starts out about how the chumped friend did something Chris doesn’t appear to agree with.

“She posted a cartoon to Facebook.”

UBT says: “Really? After THREE YEARS, she is still talking about this?”

Then it says “Trying to help her to move on, especially for her children.”

UBT says: “She must move on for her children. They are being slighted/disadvantaged/ripped off because of Chump not moving on.” No mention of the responsibility their father might have for any lingering issues the children might have.

Chris says “It’s awful. We knew them before they were married, and my twin daughters are the same as their 22-year old.”

UBT says: “It’s awful. For….us. Me. Us. Our daughter. We. Us. Me. The kids.” Not one time does Chris refer to how awful it must be for the chumped wife.

Chris goes on to talk in particular about how one of the chumped daughters has decided she doesn’t even want to marry. The allusion is that the daughter is deeply, negatively affected. But Chris goes on in the NEXT SENTENCE to ask “How do we help the children not have to live with an angry, chump mom?”

UBT says: “He might have cheated, but Chump is at fault for the negative fallout to the kids, and Chump needs to shut up and stop being angry before her anger makes her daughter into a cat lady.

Again, no mention of the cheater’s culpability. Not an iota of consideration to how it might be Cheater Dad’s betrayal and NOT Chump Mom’s anger.

I think Chris is a douchebag.

Mehitable
Mehitable
26 days ago

When a parent leaves a spouse for someone else….they are ALSO LEAVING THE CHILDREN and that is a permanent wound.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago

Little Mighty Me–that is an impressive UBT translation!!! Perfect assessment of Chris’s letter (and now I realize why I felt so uncomfortable reading it).

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yes, when I read Chris’ letter through the first time, I inwardly cringed. It just seemed very callous and dismissive of her “friend’s” pain.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago

“Do people “move on” from infidelity? Yes, of course. (And that’s rather the point of my blog.) But they’ll always live with a knowledge that the smug and secure don’t live with — that everything can fall apart. That people are capable of casual betrayal. That you can unwittingly invest your life in a fraud.”

My 22 year old daughter and I were talking about this just last night. No one who has not been through this type of betrayal fully understands. My daughter said to me, “we are survivors.” Meaning daughter and me and her brothers. We are survivors not only because of the fraud that was our life, the betrayal and abandonment, but also the isolation it brings when others don’t fully understand. It’s a bit like that line from A Few Good Men, “you can’t handle the truth.”

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Why aren’t friends and family members furious about the cheaters ‘casual betrayal’. My friend went to court with me in case the moron didn’t show or if he decided to bring his ho. She ignored him and didn’t talk to him. My children just thought he took the easy way out. Where is the outrage??? This is why I will never speak to him or have a conversation as long as I live. What exactly does suffering look like to a narcissist? I want whatever it is to happen to him.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Very well said.

Nord
Nord
9 years ago

I’ve found a number of friends reacting this way over the past few years. I’m pretty over it all at this point, but there are moments when I get pissed off all over again because ex does something stupid. I know now who I can turn to (usually fellow chumps) and who I can’t. And the thing is there are friends I really thought would be there for me who really weren’t. They did’t like this version of Nord, and preferred the fun,funny one who made the party buzz.

Well, it’s been almost as painful to realise that some of my friends weren’t all that great but I’ve moved away from them emotionally and made room for other people. I mourn the loss of some of those people and the closeness we had – until I realise that closeness was about as superficial as the closeness I thought I had with ex.

Chris, either be there or not, but don’t tell your friend what sort of healing schedule she needs to be on in order to make you feel good. It took me more than two years to just feel slightly normal. Now, almost four years later and I’m pretty ok, but like I said, I have my moments when ex can still set me off, mainly because he remains an asshole and I have to deal with him due to kids.

You cannot imagine, for even one second, what this is like if you haven’t been through it. So read every post on this blog and maybe you’ll start to get a clue and grow some empathy.

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

Some practical advise ( I think); Cheaters , often, portray their X’s as angry, messed up, whatever. So, when one expresses the normal pain, anger and trauma to the uninformed/uninitiated to infidelity, it plays into the portrayal being used to justify the affair. It is called ” fundamental attribution error” I think and I truly believe that many cheaters, either instinctively or intentionally try to use it.
It goes like this : Third party observer sees the betrayed’s reaction and not the stimulus ( the reality of cheating, not the watered down version seen on TV and in movies ( Bridges of Madison County) ). So, they conclude that there is some truth to your cheater’s portrayal of you as unstable, histrionic etc.
If you are aware of this , and able to control yourself, it may help dispel that portrayal. Tough to do, though, especially in the early stages.

syringa
syringa
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Yeah….the Other Woman in my case had an absolute blast telling everyone how Batshit crazy I was and I have to admit…..I looked pretty batshit. Hopefully her ugly ass will get dumped some day by Mr. Cock Smooch and she’ll know exactly how it feels. Why can’t people get EXACTLY what they deserve??
….well maybe she is. Did I mention how much he drinks? Or that he’s cheating on her? He still lives with her but he has secret accounts. She doesn’t care about any of this though. As long as she has a man in her bed every night she couldn’t care less what an asshole he is. She WON. She GOT a man!! The biggest prize of all. She truly is horrendously ugly and knows no other man would want her so puts up with A LOT. Gawd I wish that Karma Bus would show up on her head. My curses are like my ovaries…..all dried up. Haha!

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
9 years ago
Reply to  syringa

Mr. Cock smooch?!?! That is fucking hysterical, Syringa.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  syringa

It’s a selfish game to these whores syringa. I take comfort in something Miss Sunshine said, “They wake up every day to the worst mistake of their life”. What they lose they can never have back. That is what WE control. They will flutter through life desperate to have what they could never appreciate.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

In general, I think it’s a good idea to try to hold yourself together in public and find safe outlets for the emotions. Tough to do, indeed.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

“I mourn the loss of some of those people and the closeness we had – until I realise that closeness was about as superficial as the closeness I thought I had with ex.”

Amen to that, Nord.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Nord’s point about the superficial quality of many friendships is something that betrayal made shockingly apparent. In my case, it wasn’t even that people expected me to “get over it,” although one good friend tried that one on. It was that I was a huge mess for months and it takes a special bond for a person to walk beside you during those hard times. There were other people who were great supports, who saw I was in distress and helped in various ways, but not people I could talk to about how I was feeling. I think those are very rare, very special people. And perhaps that is one blessing about being chumped; we can learn to be more discerning about all of our relationships, to sort our “nice” vs. “kind.”

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Good point LAJ….. “nice” vs. “kind”. EVERYONE believes that X is such a “nice” guy, well…. he BEHAVES like a nice guy for the “kibbles of the masses”. “See… everyone ELSE thinks I’m a nice guy.”

ChumpedUpChik
ChumpedUpChik
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Gah! I hate that whole smug idiotic jabber about “see, everyone else thinks I’m a swell person. It’s just YOU.” I see the mask now too. I’m so sick of people telling me what a good guy he is and him trying to make my kids think I’m a mean, sad, mad, ____ (fill in the blank with any negative) person. Fortunately they are with me most of the time and don’t seem swayed by it – generally. But I noticed when I was emotional or they heard me maybe arguing on the phone in another room – they seemed distressed or cautious I guess. I’ve made monumental effort to make sure they don’t see anything but strong, forward moving, reliable, loving mama. Sometimes I bite the inside of my cheek bloody to accomplish it, but whatever it takes, they WILL have one stable, secure, normal parent.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

“If you weren’t a cheater and a liar, I’d think you were a nice guy, too.” There’s the narcissist problem right there–we see through the mask.

Papasadouche
Papasadouche
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

Great advice Nord. I have a friend I am helping and it’s taking her quite awhile. I have never said “get over it” as was said to me numerous times. Every time someone said it, I asked them “How? Like literally, tell me how. I want nothing more then to just get over it.” This entry hurt to read. It took me back. My children still struggle and since their father still lies and denies the affair ever happened (5 years later and living with secretary) they are confused. They see the lies but are told the lies are the truth from one of the people they are supposed to believe in. It sucks. How do you help your children reconcile the lies?

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  Papasadouche

I just tell them the truth and let them figure it out. They know I’m honest and that their dad lies a lot (he lies much more openly these days) so they’re getting it. These people tend to hang themselves as they can’t really hide who they are, deep down.

HeHidBehindAMask
HeHidBehindAMask
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

This is also my hope NORD, but my ex is a very good liar. He had me fooled for years that his sister was the evil crazy on end he was the golden child….

ChumpedUpChik
ChumpedUpChik
9 years ago

Wow, that gave me chills because I thought “good God are we talking about the same guy?” You said something earlier that I always say, and that I also thought I just made up when I was little! I tried to reply to that post, but for some reason it wouldn’t take. I now see it was so I’d keep reading and see THIS post.

Married 25 years to someone I thought was loving, gentle, kind and had been terribly abused by his psychotic sister. He actually WAS tormented by her growing up, and she IS a raving psychopath no doubt. But possibly one of the worst things for me was realizing that all the awful tactics we watched his sister use on her friends and family (and even used on US), all those despicable tactics are exactly what he’d been using on ME all along and I just never knew it. The omissions, minimizing, mindbending twisty talk, finding ways to pre-empt any possible questions or doubt that might come up and many more. So he set me up all the time, you know ahead of time, to start thinking a certain way such that it would never occur to me to doubt or cause me to ask a question.

And, the maddening amount of gaslighting, I can’t even deal with that shit anymore. It’s really astounding to watch him and scary because he is doing exactly what his sister does. It’s astounding to see him get so angry or annoyed (never saw that before, always super cool cucumber) because all these tactics that worked on me for nearly 25 years, don’t now. I just let him go on and on and then rip it all to shreds, bc now by God I can SEE it. I told him I completely understood why he’d be so annoyed NOW that I know what’s going on, and it must be incredibly frustrating to find that he can’t employ those tactics on ME anymore. He can TRY and he does TRY, but I ain’t buying into that cesspool again.

My friends and family don’t get it. They all saw him as I used to see him and have NO idea how big the cesspool is that he threw me and our kids into…. instead of owning up, telling all the truth and stopping all the bullshit, he just stands at the side watching us drown, with a rope in one hand and a life preserver in the other watching us suffer while shouting “well, you all just need to learn to swim better.” He’s not throwing us the rope or the life preserver. Ever.

My friends and family can’t see him as THAT guy and it sucks royally. It’s as if because he SEEMED like such a swell guy for SO long, they can’t fathom that he’s not. “People grow apart.” And, “well maybe you were too independent honey.” Wtfh? And my favorite “you still have your whole life ahead of you.” Whole life? My whole life? I want to scream about how he took MY WHOLE LIFE and our KIDS’ LIVES and tore it out of our hearts. Fuck him for stealing my life – the life I had been living happily until shady slim showed himself or got sloppy I should say.

So, what you said in an earlier post that gave me pause? Like I MUST have actually KNOWN you in this shattered lifetime of mine? I have said at least a hundred times, yeah all you smarter than me people, I’ll just get on over it all right NOW because it’s just
“EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY!”

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  ChumpedUpChik

I’m so sorry, I know where you are right now, my ex had everyone so fooled, wasn’t until he pulled a goun on me that my only two friends got it. One thing, I realized later that it was because he told them stories and they never thought to ask me what happened, I never knew had was telling stories for so long. So it might help to tel them your story. Jedi Hugs!

ChumpedUpChik
ChumpedUpChik
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Dat – that’s exactly what I have realized. It was insidious the way he went about it too. Speaking to them “confidentially” about how emotional and depressed I was (I wasn’t) or picking at me in front of them in ways he knew would push my buttons, and then that of course just seemed to reinforce what he had said about me. It’s hard to for people to get it. I’m reeling and trying to make sense of it all, we tend to hang merciless least onto twigs of hope, so I know the friends and family who know very little of the ginormous story are feeling confused and torn. And that doesn’t feel good, so they just try to ignore it and say, suggest or insinuate “it can’t be THAT bad.” I just had to stop talking to them for the time being, until I sort myself out a bit more.

Thanks for the encouragement and sharing. I hadn’t thought about how he undermined me so much, as a way to pre-empt others from catching on or thinking HE was the nutter. I still shake my head in disbelief that I didn’t see what he was doing all those years. No wonder there are people who are angry at me and believe our problems were all my fault.

I don’t know what I’d do if he got violent like you experienced. That’s really horrible and I hope you’re safe from him now. The scariest thing is realizing these people we trusted with our lives are capable of just maybe about anything. Take care and stay safe!

HeHidBehindaMask
HeHidBehindaMask
9 years ago
Reply to  Papasadouche

Yes! I can’t wait for the day that my kids are old enough to understand that it is all lies coming from his mouth. My 6 year old is so confused because he gaslights her?!

6 YO: “Is ……. Your girlfriend daddy?”

EX: “No baby, I don’t have a girlfriend”

6 YO: “So why was she sleeping in your bed daddy?”

EX: “there weren’t any other beds dear, so she had to sleep in my bed with me”

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago

Tell the kids the truth!!! Don’t need to disclose details, but do not let them grow up thinking lying is normal. (Just my opinion)

HeHidBehindAMask
HeHidBehindAMask
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I don’t bad mouth their dad, but I want her to trust her own thoughts and perceptions. I don’t want him to be able to twist her thoughts like he did mine. I help her think it through.

Well dear, why didn’t you and sissy sleep with daddy and ……. Sleep in the bed you were in?” The next time she came back from a visit she says “dad said he was lying, he does have a girlfriend, they just hadn’t worked it all out yet”

My newest fear: a coworker told me today that her kids picked up gaslighting from her ex and now do it as well 🙁

Sausalito
Sausalito
9 years ago

That’s sickening. Hope he rots in hell (or somewhere).

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  Sausalito

Ex used to say things along those lines, as in ‘I have to be with final OW because your mother is so mad at me’. So, you know, my fault. Kind of funny when I look back.

Cindy
Cindy
9 years ago

Great post. I wish all my friends could read this. It takes time to wrap your head around the fact that your whole life has changed because of the choice your spouse made. I was married for 30 years so I understand when you feel like your whole life just imploded. I am so thankful that my three boys were out of their teenage years when this happened 18 months ago.
Yes, it takes time and yes you will move forward but not without much heartache and anger.
I might just forward this to my friends.

GoodbyeShoes
GoodbyeShoes
9 years ago

I found that the worst mistake I ever made was confiding in and trusting a so-called “close friend” during the worst of the early days of discovery of my ex-husband’s affair and abandonment of me and my three adult daughters. Having never been in that situation you can’t ever understand the magnitude of that kind of betrayal. I don’t see or talk to this “friend” anymore — because she made it clear that she doesn’t like the fact that my youngest daughter basically cut him out of her life because he chose to implode what she knew as a happy family life — “friend” said to me “well you need to get Daughter into counseling, it’s not like he killed somebody…” Ummm yes he did kill somebody… ME. Later “friend”, I don’t need your kind of advice. You don’t have to worry about rebuilding your life AT midlife.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  GoodbyeShoes

Sorry–just saw that you did say Adult daughters. NC with the cheater shows integrity; she doesn’t need therapy unless she wants it.

GoodbyeShoes
GoodbyeShoes
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest — my youngest daughter was 19 at the time of my ex’s exit, my older girls were 23. She’s now 26 and happy and a successful elementary school teacher with a master’s degree that she earned and financed all on her own. No room in that full life for CheaterDad. Wish I could say the same for the other two but we just don’t discuss him. Ever. Period.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  GoodbyeShoes

Goodbyeshoes–I’m not sure how old your daughter is, but I’m guessing early to mid teens? Do not send her to counseling unless she asks for it, for 2 reasons–that is the age at which children start to form stronger moral judgments, and going NC with a cheater illustrates good moral judgment (and is age-appropriate); she has already had her world ripped apart through no fault of her own, and forcing her into therapy will just make her feel helpless.

A therapist friend told me not to force my own daughter (13 at the time) unless she was showing other symptoms. The best ‘therapy’ is to have you as a support system.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

This is such good advice. And “friends” are not experts–they are imposing their own views that children must have contact or relationships with even abusive parents. Or they assume that the chump is alienating the kids from the other parent. I know in some non-cheating divorces parents do try to alienate or manipulate the kids. But when one parent cheats and leaves the family, that is right out there for the world to see, and kids get to be hurt and angry, too.

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

I struggled with this with one of my kids who didn’t want to see ex. Had a long talk with kid’s therapist and we came to the conclusion that if this were a spouse who had been abused by their partner we would never even begin to consider saying it was important they maintain a relationship with the abuser. My kid has slowly started to rebuild with ex but very slowly and on kid’s terms. Ex tows the line because he knows kid will cut him off in a heartbeat if ex does anything screwy.

GoodbyeShoes
GoodbyeShoes
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

It’s amazing to me how many times I had to hear “but that’s her FATHER”. Who gives a good shit who he is. When all this first started coming to light in 2008 my daughter asked her father point blank to stop talking to, texting, and seeing that bitch. His answer was a resounding NO. She said if you don’t I’ll never speak to you again. He didn’t. She held up her end of the bargain and he has spent the last 7 years trying to be included in her life. Only when he lost his daughter’s respect did it finally dawn on him just how much he had lost. What will it take for these cheaters to finally see what they’re doing to their kids????

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  GoodbyeShoes

I confided in one friend and it turned out she had fucked ex about six months earlier. That was fun.

GoodbyeShoes
GoodbyeShoes
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

Ewwwwww Nord — I don’t think that’s the case with this friend. Although 14 years into our marriage I DID catch him involved with my BEST friend at the time…needless to say I don’t see that “friend” anymore, but I was stupid enough to allow him another chance to do it to me again (at that time my kids were all really little and I was a stay at home mom so I didn’t think I could make it on my own). That’s why this time it really took no effort at all to tell him to GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE.

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  GoodbyeShoes

The best part is that the friend was furious when I told her to piss off. And ex acted like I was overreacting, but that’s because he insists that they didn’t actually fuck. It was an ‘indiscretion’. Hahahaha. What losers I had in my life.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

I hate the word ‘indiscretion’ with every fiber of my being.

GoodbyeShoes
GoodbyeShoes
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

Keyword: HAD 🙂

Mehphista
Mehphista
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Oh, when my gut started rumbling about Mr Fab sleeping around, who did I ask? The Downgrade. “Oh, he’d never do that to you.”

No to one-up Nord, just to share the preposterousness. No originality, these people.

Yep, a woman who’d fuck a married man WILL likely lie about it. DOH!

One step closer to Tuesday, and ever so much more selective in my friends, and honoured to count Chump Nation among them.

x-Meh

ANC
ANC
9 years ago

Too bad this message would be wasted if I sent it to my inlaws. 20+yr relationship with those guys. Their serial cheating son/brother imploding a family and NO comment from that gang. Instead, they are upset at me because Cheaterpants will have to GTFO in May.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  ANC

In-laws don’t have integrity? Then who wants them in your life anymore? Sunken costs, let them go.

HeHidBehindAMask
HeHidBehindAMask
9 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Yep, my EX is completely supported by all of his family and friends. He is a “amazing guy” who made one little mistake…. Barf!

hurt1
hurt1
9 years ago

I had always been close to my MIL. I had a nervous breakdown about 2 1/2 months after dday. No one in my ex’s family said anything to me. When I got home from the hospital, I called MIL & asked why no one came to see me. She said that she didn’t know there were visiting hours (WTF? She was a reference librarian for over 25 years & come to find out, she told no one). During that same phone call I told her that I had been served with the divorce papers earlier that day. Her response was, “Oh, he never told me.” My response was, “He is a defective person & it took me over 24 years to figure it out.” Never heard from that family ever again.

hurt1
hurt1
9 years ago
Reply to  hurt1

Correction, my response after my MIL said she didn’t know that ex had served the divorce papers was, “There are a lot of things your son never told you. He is a defective person & it took me over 24 years to figure it out.”

Marci
Marci
9 years ago

My 29+ years outlaws fully supported Cheater #1 (yes I’ve had two) and they went to their deaths never admitting the hurt he caused. I left him three days after the last parent expired, and have never looked back except to feel relieved and free of gaslighting relatives. If narcs could move in wolf packs, then this bunch were certainly that.

After the betrayal has had time to sink in, I heartily recommend the therapy of making long lists of the things one does not have to put up with any more. I found a list I’d complied at the worst time recently, and it contained things I had forgotten. Helps to stop the fullness of time from making one doubt decisions about divorce.

I have rarely told anyone the stories of my Cheaters, except here. I moved thousands of miles away and started a new life. The friends from The Cheater Years who “stick” are those who respected me for just packong up and leaving. That includes my grown kids. This way the kids can have whatever relationship they want with Cheater and I don’t have to get my nose rubbed in it. My free life, now, is more awesome than I imagined and I wish all chumps could do similar. It’s the wallowing in the old house and group of friemds that would be so hard to move on from.

Free2b1
Free2b1
9 years ago

same. Ignorance is bliss with my inlaws and his whole family.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago

When I met my X I remember him telling me that his ex-wife “THREW him away” and he was such an “amazing guy” that I just couldn’t figure that out…… NO sane woman ventures out of a 12 year marriage with 3 young kids for NO good reason. Fast forward 7 years…. she did NOT “threw him away” he SHIT all over their life just EXACTLY the way he has just shit all over mine and my son. After years of his reckless spending, working EVERY spare minute to stay away from home, hiding money….. she finally CAUGHT him in an “affair” and it was “the final straw”.

The point …. I could not imagine “not wanting” him…. that never happened…. I never stopped “wanting” him, but that is what HE claims. It is their PERCEIVED lack of “supply”…. we just don’t make them “FEEL” good enough anymore. The word DISORDERED is truly the key, I don’t believe that it is a choice…. FLIGHT is their response to perceived abandonment. To avoid their own pain they spiral out of control and BLOW up their lives and then behave as though it was orchestrated that way. I can almost hear the fucker in my head saying “I MEANT to do that!!” He MAINTAINS control.

It isn’t that we stop WANTING or LOVING them…. it just gets to the point that you just can’t “SPACKLE” over them FUCKING other people….. you just can’t sweep that under the rug….

And… finally…. do NOT expect ANY reinforcement or support from HIS family…. somewhere in THAT bunch of bananas is the asshole that CREATED the asshole…. they are a bunch of enablers of their precious son/brother/whatever and they either can’t or don’t WANT to see the truth.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

NCStevie, very good points about maintaining control! You described X perfectly.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago

“But they’ll always live with a knowledge that the smug and secure don’t live with — that everything can fall apart.”

^^^ THIS RIGHT HERE!! ^^^

Last year I caught a preview of what was “to come”, it was a brief disintegration and X snapped out of it and back into us. I actually subconsciously started to research narcissism and then dropped the ball when he did his “about face”, I never really dropped my guard completely which is probably why I caught the affair so early. People just don’t realize, and you can’t unless you have lived it, how abruptly and viciously they command their “EXIT” and the wake of destruction they leave behind and the psychological impact it has on their partner and children. Unless you have lived with these idiots and lived through their destructive departure you can’t FATHOM the pain they inflict.

As always, very well said CL. What WOULD we all do without you and your insight?? This site has been, and continues to be…. THE best therapy ever!!

Good Monday Morning Chumps XOXO

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

how abruptly and viciously they command their “EXIT””

Wow, NCStevie, you nailed that.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

I’m eight months out from DDay #2 and five months out from his “EXIT” and I still can’t sleep through the night. I have anxiety, got a LOW dose prescription of Xanax and I still refuse to take it….. trying to manage my way through this without it (I have an aversion to taking medicine unless I ABSOLUTELY have to). I have PTSD also Lina… and after everything he has put me and my son through I don’t really give a fuck what anyone else thinks, you need to do what is right for YOU right now.

Big hugs to you all!!

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Throw the Xanax away, that shit is more physically addictive than freakin heroin, just do not take it. Ask me how I know? I was a wild child and never touched any physically addictive drug even as a teen. My freaking doctor gave me Xanax and it is evil. There is a reason the warnings say it’s addictive, it is, from day ONE. All benzos are. It doesn’t give a craving, I am talking pure physical addiction with bad withdrawals. THROW XANAX AWAY.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

I have no intentions of taking it 🙂 My Mother AND my sister have been taking that shit for almost 5 years now. My only niece was killed tragically in an accident and they have been medicated ever since, sister says she will be medicated for the rest of her life. I didn’t have the luxury of insurance back then and had to tough it out sober.

Thanks for the heads up though Datdamwuf….. I’ll THROW XANAX AWAY. (or flush!!).

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

HEADS UP EVERYONE-!!!!!

Dat is soo right about the xanax…..I became physically addicted myself after having a very low dose prescribed for my anxiety, panic disorder and inability to sleep. I NEVER ABUSED IT, usually took less than prescribed and NEVER more than. The withdrawl was indeed HELL, it took months to wean myself off and I am still to this day suffering from the after effects of the shit. Lingering ‘brain fog’ is incredible due to the effect it had on my brain function and how my brain handles most seemingly benign medications now. I can now no longer even take a diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or it sets me off in to major xanax-like withdrawl afterward.

BTW–Never throw away medications or flush them! Unneeded meds should be turned into law enforcement or pharmacies when they have community ‘turn in your unneeded meds’ days. Otherwise, envelopes are available at pharmacies that you buy to safely send meds to a facility where they are destroyed. Flushing sends medications into our municipal water systems and/or groundwater, oceans, rivers, etc–exactly where they don’t belong!

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

Very true…. back to the pharmacy it is…………..

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

NC Stevie, I have been abusing alcohol and I think it at least 50% of the reason I don’t sleep well. It helps me fall asleep, then wears off as I am sleeping. I wake up with killer rebound anxiety. Truthfully that didn’t start after we blew apart, it started before. I was kind of using it to cope with both the pain I felt knowing he was playing me, and as a way to “decieve” him back to get even. I was drinking his alcohol and working for him at his business mildly drunk. Now I’m just drinking my own alcohol, which is expensive and stupid. I decided to quit last night, so far so good.

I have told some good friends about the alcohol and they were shocked at my behavior, but they did continue to support me and encourage me just to stop. I’m not going near Xanax because I’ve seen friends abuse it. I know I’m very capable of getting addicted, so I have to stay away. I think I’m going to go for an antidepressant. They don’t flood you with dopamine, so you don’t get that high/crash cycle. I think exercise will help too, just trying to feel motivated.

I have vented here to avoid exhausting my friends compassion. I know I’m being obsessive and that can be a bore to friends when they have already heard your story a few times. I am hoping the antidepressant will also help with the obsessing. It seems like it did last time I took it, a few years ago.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Jen: It’s 6.5 months from D-day for me, and up until about a week ago, I needed 1-2 drinks every night just to quell the anxiety. I could manage to get through the day by staying busy, but by 5 nerves were starting to fray.

As long as it’s not making you unhealthy or getting in the way of daily functioning, a drink or two a day is not going to kill you. Take what crutches you need.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest, I appreciate you understanding. I super appreciate you letting me know I’m not the only one. It’s just that it started out small, but grew, and it has to stop. Truthfully it started way before we separated and ended up being the reason we separated when I started screaming, “go home and fuck her some more!”

I have to stop because I am not any good at moderation right now. I don’t think for the most part I am a sloppy drunk, (it was just that one time) but I tend to drink until I’m sedated enough to sleep. Then I find myself wanting to be sedated all the time like a Romanies song.

My son will be twenty on Sunday, but he is still emotionally a child. We are working on finding him a job and then getting him supported at college. He needs me now almost as much as he needed me ten years ago. I indulged in alcohol for awhile thinking my responsibilities had lightened because he can stay by himself, cook, go shopping, and fix a computer on his own. But he really does need his mother to be strong and coherent.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Syringa,
If they need to make fun of you, they are super shallow, and perhaps don’t have anything real in common to talk about. They are also trying to justify their cruelty. Or they just suck really bad.
Don’t read the emails anymore if you can avoid it. You are way better than they are. The only good this is doing you is it is confirming God rescued you from spending your life with a horrible man. Then to punish the horrible man, he paired him with a horrible woman.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

and I admit that in the early days, they were big drinks. I make no apologies for it; alcohol got me through the worst months.

Jen–you don’t need to justify your drinking to your friends, especially if you’re only 3 months from D-day.

syringa
syringa
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I know I drank WAY too much at first. I’m much better now and drink rarely. I just wanted to die and didn’t care if I lived OR died. Best thing I got from my doctor was Ambien. The heaviest duty kind. I’m so glad I’m past that time. I couldn’t function and ended up losing my job over it. And the luvers? They were having the TIME of their lives!! Going on holiday, making fun of me!! I read their emails and they honest-to-god LAUGHED and MADE FUN of my pain. And they seem to have wonderful lives and get whatever they want. It made me quit believing in God.

hurt1
hurt1
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

In the early post dday days when ex was still in the house I would come home first & have a “Double Dutch” dinner: one Heineken to cut the edge & the other to steel myself against whatever the untrue spew of the day would come once ex arrived.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

I’ve kicked around the idea of self-medicating with alcohol…. but can’t afford to (literally) lol. When X was living here in the house and carrying on his EA right under my nose…. from the moment of discovery and relocating myself to our spare bedroom…. the sleepless nights began and I woke up EVERY single hour EVERY single night for those three months. I can’t remember when it changed…. but eventually it was waking every 3 or 4 hours and now I only wake up once or twice in the middle of the night….. so I guess that is improvement.

I have to say that I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for some of my fellow chumps that are 20 or 30+ years into their marriages when this happens…. it is hard enough for me at the 8 year mark and I have been single my whole life. I had long term relationships over the years, briefly lived with boyfriends twice, but X and I have been together every day for the last 8 years…. sleeping together every night…. we share a son….. I guess he is truly the first man I’ve really SHARED my life with and planned to grow old with. I’m a pretty tough old gal…. it’s probably made this transition manageable for me…. excruciatingly PAINFUL…. but I’ll survive.

XOXO

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

I can’t sleep without medication now. I don’t like it but feel like I’ll go crazy just lying there.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

LIna, I felt that in the discard months just before and for nearly a year after DDay. I still don’t sleep well and often end up on the couch. I think the rest of the time we can fill with activity but at bed time, the quiet opens up those thoughts.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina I was up all night last night feeling somewhat obsessed. I considered running to 7-11 and buying some Benadryl, but decided to stick it out. I think when the benadryl wears off, I feel super anxious. So I didn’t fall asleep until 6 or 7 in the morning, but was able to sleep a few good hours. Restful sleep, not the kind where you are still half awake and worried.

I have decided to try to be tougher and just wait till sleep comes. It’s been three months and so far, the anxiety hasn’t killed me. Maybe the pain will be finite.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Definitely.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Yes, I am afraid to tell people I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD because I know it will be laughed off. For my whole life I’ve been accused of being weak because of my anxiety.

Lania
Lania
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

I’d like to see those uncaring shitheads even go through half the pain you have, and come through it unscathed. Until then, they can shut the fuck up. No fucks shall be given for them.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina, I have a new phrase that just speaks to me in these situations, practice it over and over when facing these abusers: “I DON’T GIVE A SINGLE FUCK.”

19641003
19641003
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

I saw a magnet that read, “How can I give a fuck if I don’t give a shit?”

syringa
syringa
9 years ago
Reply to  19641003

lol I want that magnet!

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Thank you guys. 🙂

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago