A Word About Being Angry

Fellow blogger, Reformed Cad, just gave me a shout out on his blog. It was a very nicely done post and I very much appreciated it. I always like it when people take the time to reblog something I’ve written, or take the time to tell others about my blog. I think he has a closed blog so I’m not going to try to link to it. If he comes over and says it’s open to the public I’ll link to it, or he can link to it in the comments.

I am, however, going to quibble with one thing he says. She is angry. And if you read her journal it becomes obvious why.

Let the record (or blog) show I am not angry. It always baffles me when people say things like that because I think I keep it pretty light hearted when it comes to my situation. I think if you asked my mother she would tell you I didn’t get angry enough. I did indeed get dealt a shitty hand.; however, it’s better than what some other people are dealt. He didn’t attempt to poison me (as far as I know). He didn’t try to pay someone to take me out. He didn’t get physically violent with me once the divorce began. He didn’t kidnap and kill my children. He didn’t threaten me with a weapon or set me up for a domestic violence charge. He didn’t leave me after I was diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease. He didn’t leave me with a nasty STD. And yes, I realize those are the extreme situations, but I’ve heard every one of those over on Chump Lady except the one about paying someone to kill me. I got that one off of ID TV, where it happens quite regularly.

He also didn’t fight me for custody of our children. Granted, that would have been a tough sell seeing as how he moved approximately 300 miles away from them and left them behind, but I know that others are having to fight for custody even when the only reason the ex is fighting is to reduce or eliminate child support.

And, while he did indeed cheat again I only lost two years of my life “wreck-onciling” with him, instead of five, or ten or twenty.

I know that I have written a lot about all that my kids and I have lost. That’s a fact. It has nothing to do with anger. He screwed us. We invested everything into this new life he said he so desperately wanted. He threw it away, and in the process the kids and I lost our home and were forced to move. Fact.

With my daughter graduating recently I was continually reminded of everything that we lost. Again, that’s a fact. It happened, and no matter how happy I pretend to be about everything that was lost, it doesn’t change that.

That’s not anger. If anything it’s sadness. Sadness that my kids had to go through that because of their dad and his crappy decisions.

I wrote the other day about the triggers that still come. It’s not anger. It’s continuing to mourn the life I had. Imagine spending twenty years with someone, living a certain kind of life, and then one day having that ripped away from you. I defy anyone to say it would be no big deal. It’s one thing to decide you are going to make big changes. It is a completely different animal when those changes are made for you.

Even when you’ve accepted that life is gone you still mourn at times. There are still things that smack you in the face and cause you to feel that loss. I’m not angry. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the life I lived for twenty years is gone, and that it was all a lie.

Do I continue to write about CF? Sure, I do. He keeps doing shitty things. I mostly shrug it all off. Nothing he says or does really angers me. Well, except for the fact that he has yet to acknowledge he has a son. That does piss me off. But the shit he says whenever he has to pay me? That’s comedy fodder for my blog. I give him about as much importance as I would a two year old throwing a tantrum.

I did ask my mom if I seemed angry because, as I said, it always perplexes me when people give me that label. She was pretty quick to answer. “No, you just call bullshit when you see it.”

That’s a pretty good explanation. I’m not angry or bitter about my situation. I continue to write because it does make me angry when I hear stories of others who are going through this same thing. It makes me angry when I hear about a spouse who is so desperate to keep a marriage together that they accept bullshit excuses and tolerate the so called “trickle truth” and evasion of questions. I know what I went through; I hate to see others go through that same thing. If I can be a sane voice out there asking, “Is this acceptable to you?” and leading someone through the dark I’ll keep writing.

As Chump Lady reminds her audience over and over, there are many avenues for those who want to reconcile. She is pretty much the only voice that tells people it’s not their fault their spouse cheated and there is a better life out there without a cheater. I don’t go so far as to encourage people to leave; I think that’s an individual choice and everyone has their reasons for staying or going. I will, however, point out when the cheater is blowing smoke up your ass. I’ll tear apart all the psycho-babble explanations for why people do the heinous things they do, and I’ll mock the “affair-y tale” love stories that mistresses share on a regular basis.

I will also never accept the idea that both parties had a part to play in an affair. Both of you were in the same marriage. Only one person cheated. I fully agree with Chump Lady when she says that you may have been the worst spouse on the planet; you may have truly, truly sucked. But you did not deserve to be cheated on and you did not cause your spouse to cheat.

Furthermore, I’m not one who believes you need to be a martyr for the sake of your children. You don’t need to celebrate birthdays with the cheating ex and the new spouse, or go on “family” outings, or look after your ex if they get sick. Your kids will survive even if you’re not pretending that the other parent is the best-est person in the whole wide world.

I’m willing to tell people you don’t have to, and in fact shouldn’t, gaslight your children. Tell them the truth in age appropriate terms. It’s not your job to be your cheating ex’s PR agent. If they didn’t want their kids to know they were lying cheaters maybe they shouldn’t have been lying and cheating. Nothing good ever comes from hiding the truth. It will always come back and bite you in the ass one way or another.

I let people know they don’t have to be friends with the ex. If that’s something you want I think you’re a little bit crazy, but okay. If it works for you more power to you. However, I refuse to perpetuate this idea that’s the way it should be. When you’re dealing with adultery you’re dealing with a person who lied to you and betrayed you. They were supposed to have your back and instead they stabbed you in it. Welcome home, Michael Myers! As Chump Lady always asks, “Would you be friends with the guy who mugged you?” No? OK, then why are you trying to maintain a friendship with someone who essentially mugged your life?

I advocate gaining a support system and leaning on them, instead of relying on someone who betrayed and abandoned you. Even in so-called “good” divorces I advocate for that because you never know how things are going to change once your ex partners up again.

I believe that no contact is a wonderful thing.

I believe that you can focus on gaining a better life without the person who cheated on you and hurt you while still remembering exactly who they are and what they did. Getting on with my life and living a much better life than the one I had with him does not equal forgiving him.

I don’t think that’s being angry. I think that’s using common sense and speaking the truth.

6 thoughts on “A Word About Being Angry

  1. I agree with you. I don’t see you as angry. Just calling him out, which you should!

    I’m actually still with my husband of over 30 years. I discovered just two years ago that he was hiding forty- thousand bucks. Yep! This was after he spent 10 months trying to convince me he didn’t have an affair with a B he worked with.

    I left him for two weeks. Our youngest had just graduated. I came back when he promised we would get back to counseling! We had two disastrous ones.

    That didn’t happen. He still had all the money. He gave me his explanation and I’m honestly still not sure.

    We have problems still at times because I don’t trust him and he knows it.

    I don’t have any reason to think anything is happening but honestly my marriage is just not the same.

    I recently found out this supposed OW…. which he says she wasn’t…. is divorcing her husband of 30 years. They live 5 min. down the road.

    I was going somewhere a few weeks ago and he was in his yard. I stopped. When you go thru this garbage what have you got to lose, right?

    I walked up to him and he asked if he knew me. All I said was…. my husband worked with your wife two years ago. I didn’t have to say a word. He started talking.

    He told me he and his wife were divorcing. He was just done and he shared some things. I could tell he was so hurt.

    He also told me he would have needed proof. I had never met him before but I’m sure he knew something because she had texted my husband for some work and I had texted her back and told her he could do no more work for her. I was nice but I asked her a few questions and she didn’t like it. I’m sure she twisted it.

    So, for about 1 1/2 years she also messed with me on fb. I will spare you details but my husband knows and literally sobbed over one. I have told him if I ever finds out its true, I will take his ass for everything and I mean it.

    So the husband talked for a while, I never shared my circumstantial proof with him or told him anything. Finally, he told me to get the hell off his property or he would call the cops. I was standing on his driveway next to the sidewalk I told him that wouldn’t be necessary and left. He also did tell me his wife was a big liar

    I didn’t shake until I pulled away. As far as I know, my husband has no idea I talked to him or that this B is getting a divorce.

    I almost feel like I’m waiting for the ball to drop. We still have some young adult kids who live here. I know it would get messy.

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  2. When I say angry I will be more specific. I feel you are angry about the infidelity and all the lies we tell ourselves to justify both the behavior and the idea. I didn’t intend to imply you were angry just to be angry.

    And my journal is open.

    Thanks Sam.

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  3. All I know about you is through your blog. I don’t know what you’re like in real life at all. And that’s a tricky one because anything that is just words on a page leaves a lot open to speculation by the reader. We are put in a position of needing to fill in the gaps – we add emotions, accents, personalities. It’s just what we do as people when we read words by a person, we build a person into it, often without any former knowledge.

    To me, your blog does come across as angry. And that’s purely based on the above. People who know you say you aren’t because they know you in real life. But others don’t so maybe we see you differently. There are key words you use, uses of language, names that you give to certain people. They are triggers. But that’s just my viewpoint and I know of course that it’s probably inaccurate but only because you tell me it’s inaccurate. And that’s the risk with blogs when people are reading who don’t know you.

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  4. Sam- I’m not going to say you are or aren’t angry – I don’t know you well enough to say either way. But here’s a different question for you, Why shouldn’t you be?Why do we denigrate, dismiss and stigmatize women’s righteous rage? Male anger in service of righting some wrong is a ok. (think sons of liberty here – those guys wrote fiery unapologetic rage at injustice, they freaken rioted in the streets and went to war) but a woman sounding angry over the destruction of her and her children’s lives some how needs to be tamped down? Expressed genteelly? I call bull shit. I was angry at my Ex. I don’t dwell in it or let it run my day to day live but if I spend time thinking about it and about all the narcissistic assholes (male and female) out there who are doing this crappy shit every damn day I am still angry. I’m angry that our society or culture or the patriarchy or where ever the hell we absorb this stupid notion from still holds sway. There is not one damn thing wrong with being angry. Its what you do with that anger that matters.

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    1. Tina, that is a very interesting take on it and I think you’ve nailed it. First of all, why I wouldn’t be with everything that’s happened? Secondly, even though the things that happened were incredibly shitty I don’t let it rule my life. And like you I continue to be amazed at the horrible things people do to those that they promised to love, honor and cherish forever. It is maddening, especially society’s reaction to it all.

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