Fairly consistent insight I received when I finally took control over my life and filed for divorce, the same insight I would offer others is that climbing out of grieving a relationship is incredibly tough. It would be great if it were a linear process, straight through the awfulness (Denial over. Check! Anger over. Check!), but it’s not. It’s a dizzy dance no one expects, back and forth, up and down, to and fro as they say.
Falling in love is like going up a beautifully lit stairway, with different landings in which to enjoy the view. For a few lucky ones, the climb seems worth it and they go all the way to the top.
Sometimes the climb is too much and for different reasons. One or both head back down thinking the climb upwards is just too hard; down seems easier. A relationship ending is navigating dark, difficult steps. Initially, you may not realize you’re going down; it’s confusing and there’s denial. Other times, you may jump over a step or two to get out faster. Eventually, you land at the bottom, take that final step, and find the nearest exit. Even when you’re out and take a deep breath, it’s incredibly hard.
While I have enormous regret about staying in the marriage past the point of self-protection, allowing him to hurt me time and time again, I do not have any regrets about how I’ve handled any of it since ending the marriage. (Well, there’s the smoking thing.) For those who caution that we spouses, especially those of us who find we have unsuspectingly joined that enormous club of the cheated and deceived, should be respectful and behave, I say hold the f&%@ on.
While I completely agree if there are child custody concerns or some complex asset distribution issues involved, save it for after all of that is signed and sealed. Otherwise, those advising we rise above it all, I caution you to try to be less sanctimonious and help us laugh at the dumb shits our ex’s are, and the emotionally vacant idiots they cheat with. Quit with the admonishments about not lowering ourselves to “their level.” (Since I don’t slither along the ground like a reptile, I doubt I could ever lower myself to that level.) I’m insulted at the idea I’m supposed to act like a lady, whatever the heck that means. I’ve always been a lady and have the good manners and stretch marks to prove it.
I am going to advise the following common sense, in an uncommon, often nonsensical situation.
Don’t hurt your children in any way. You are probably the only intelligent person between their two parents. They depend on you. Never forget that. They will not understand that you were a little crazy during the whole thing and forget that action that directly affected their emotional welfare. What you share with them should be age-appropriate, factual, and brief. They should never feel they were any part of the issues in the marriage.
The jerk is not worth additional legal bills of any kind. Remember that before you destroy property that’s not legally yours (instead, sell things that he gave you and get the cash!). Slashing his/her tires, keying his/her car, etc. is not worth it.
One person told me she hid a pound of shellfish all through her ex’s car while he was out of town with the woman he’d been cheating with while she was home raising their kids, taking care of his sick mother, and typing his dissertation. Happily separated and openly cavorting with the other woman in a week-long divorce celebration trip to Hawaii, he was greeted upon his return to his car in Georgia, in the middle of summer, with a smell that suggests a need for some lemon and garlic butter, or a vinegar douche.
I wish I was that creative. I think the movie, The Other Woman, is must-see entertainment for cheated-on wives. If I had seen that movie before I kicked my husband out, he would have been leaving with even more baldness than he already had. A big regret.
Don’t compromise his job; he needs to pay child support, and possibly spousal support. If his cheating partner works with him, the same rule applies because it reflects back on him. BUT, if the other woman has a spouse, they should know. It’s a lack of integrity. If they’re lying about one thing, I can assure you there’s more.
Confronting the other woman is a complete waste of time. They have been lied to just as you have. They have lied to themselves, just as you will find out you have. They probably believe they are who he really loved all along and that you have been the obstacle to their true happiness with each other. You have been characterized in every way but truthfully. The other woman is never innocent unless she didn’t know he was married and that’s pretty hard to believe unless she lived under a rock. You have never experienced someone’s total sense of entitlement until you’ve spoken to your husband’s cheating partner. Don’t give her the satisfaction of getting her two cents in.
My ex sent me angry emails after I filed for divorce about some Internet site I had never heard of where someone had posted information (by the way, accurate information) about the person he’d been having an affair with for years. He demanded I get it off the Internet immediately. It was obvious that someone had taken some emails I had sent out to so many friends and relatives over those first painful months post-breakup about why our 26-year marriage had imploded. They’d crafted an ode to a cheating, lying bitch with a long history of chasing married men (something I didn’t know until then) and posted it online. Although I didn’t do it, I didn’t regret that it was done.
There were dozens of people very angry at my ex and his other woman, including their past co-workers. So getting anyone to admit to the posting was impossible. When I looked into this cheater-outing site, there was plenty of press about how this was “girl-shaming,” but I don’t agree. What I do think is that a female cheating with a married man is against girl code. No matter how obsolete some may think marriage is, if a partner wants to seek sex, some fun, whatever kind of intimacy with another, man up and tell the other person in the committed relationship, allowing them options. (Otherwise, expect anything but kindness in return.) The emotional, physical, financial devastation, along with what happens to the children at any age is deeply damaging. That an ex and their cheating partner act like victims is unconscionable. Yet they will put that out in the universe at some point.
If you are just entering this netherworld of ending a marriage that you felt would last your lifetime and feel the overwhelming pain, then know this. It’s a progression and, like the seasons, it changes over time. Someone has already damaged the life you once had and you are healing and finding your way into a new life. You will make mistakes, have some regrets, and be incredibly angry. But, whatever you do, don’t damage yourself or your new life. The crazy won’t last forever. Neither of them are worth it.
- 10 Completely Legal Ways To Get Back At Your Cheating Husband
- Should I hire a private detective I think my spouse is cheating on me and I’d like to have evidence in case we do divorce?
- I Am a Cheater: Inside The Mindset Of A Female Adulterer
- After the Cheating