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Letting go of resentment

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reallystruggling posted 3/3/2014 22:29 PM

Five years out. I'm indifferent to him (yay!) but sometimes I get all twisted in resentment over finances. I received No spousal support (not required where I live). Only the bare bones minimum child support (garnished). From a guy who makes more than half a million per year. I feel like I worked for twenty years (supporting our family and his medical career) and I never got paid. I postponed (likely sacrificed permanently) my own career advancement for his. Now he is wealthy (and also has a second income with his wife) while I struggle to support myself and my kids. I know life isn't fair. Shit, we all know that (we're here, aren't we?!). And I know in the grand scheme of things, I am more successful as a human being (and parent) than he ever will be. So, wise folks at do I let go of the resentment?

persevere posted 3/3/2014 22:48 PM

Have you ever pursued a CS modification? It's pretty simple in most states. Takes a little time, but totally worth it.

reallystruggling posted 3/3/2014 23:06 PM

Unfortunately, my state has a cap on CS. Doesn't that suck?

reallystruggling posted 3/3/2014 23:07 PM

I really just want to stop resenting this.

Sad in AZ posted 3/3/2014 23:29 PM

It might help you to realize that you are almost completely free of him now--no ties to bind you to him, especially once the kids are grown.

I didn't ask for spousal support for this reason; I didn't want to be tied to the X for the rest of my life. I didn't want to have to chase him down for payments.

InnerLight posted 3/3/2014 23:33 PM

That sucks and I can see why you would be resentful. As you know, it does you no good, it's like making poison for the other person and then drinking it yourself.

I find I have to practice the kind of forgiveness that is about transforming my inner landscape towards acceptance and inner peace (NOT the kind of forgiveness that absolves sins or crimes).

There is a Hawaiian practice called Ho'oponopono, there is a prayer you can say to yourself, or to the problem or to the resentment itself. 'I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.'

It's like the antidote to resentment. This article explains it better:

I have to do it frequently but it does help ease the resentment and get me to a better place.

absolut posted 3/4/2014 00:18 AM

Have you decided what you want to "be" yet? What you want for your career? That was the best for me, having a goal to focus on. Keeps me too busy to gaf.

reallystruggling posted 3/4/2014 00:58 AM

absolut, I do have a career in healthcare / a profession I love. It's really my calling and I'm great at what I do. However, having moved as many times as I did for his medical training, I have never been in one place long enough to move up in the hierarchy. Plus, I have custody more than 75% of the time and my third child is still in elementary school. I don't hustle as much as the younger folks can to move up as I want to be there for my kids (XH blows off visitation regularly). I have great job satisfaction and I can afford my home and to meet our basic needs so I shouldn't complain. I'm better off than some and so fortunate I was able to leave the marriage. I'm just pissed that he screwed me so badly financially (and emotionally) and I left the marriage with nothing while he's rolling in dough and barely supporting the kids. Yuck I hate feeling this way and hanging onto this is eating me up.

I.will.survive posted 3/4/2014 05:41 AM


I understand. I don't get a penny from my ex or receive any CS for our son.

We are 50/50 custody, but I pay for new shoes, haircuts, his medical insurance, etc.

Daddy pays for FUN. That's it. I have a lot of resentment over that. I have to beg for money to be put into his school account for after care and lunch. I shouldn't have to beg!!

BUT...I try to focus on all the blessings I have. A comfortable lifestyle and that someone else would envy. And by no means am I anywhere above lower middle class! Life isn't fair and we're here temporarily. So I try to focus on all that IS right with me and my kid.

It's hard not to covet what your ex has or wonder why he doesn't freely give more to child support. After all,it's not for us, the ex. Ugh.

I don't have any advice. Just understanding.

Merlin posted 3/4/2014 05:56 AM

The only thing crazier than Waywards are our divorce laws.

You don't resent your ex, you resent the legal system.

Those laws are as random as the state you found yourself in when the divorce started.

[This message edited by Merlin at 6:37 AM, March 4th (Tuesday)]

phmh posted 3/4/2014 06:55 AM

I had a lot of resentment -- I had put XWS through medical school/residency/fellowship and then he cheated right when I was losing my job and he was going to make a doctor's salary. Our agreement was I didn't have to have a soul-sucking corporate job after he was working as a doctor. I spent well over $100K on his education and got nothing in return (no spousal support.) We married before he even knew he wanted to go to medical school, and he wouldn't have even gone without my encouragement and support (emotional and monetary.) So unfair.

What helped me get past it was:

1. Realizing the many good things in my life. We have a thread here in NB where you post 3 good things that are going on in your life right now. My life doesn't look like what I thought it would, but there are many good things in it, and I'd miss those if I were stuck on what could have been.

2. In the same vein, realizing how lucky I am to have been born in this time period, in America (or another Western country.) I started reading more about the plight of women in many foreign countries, about people who are being bombed and don't feel secure, about people who spend over half their days searching for potable water. And then even here, there is so much tragedy. After those women were found in the house in Cleveland, I swore to myself that I'd never again say he'd stolen a decade of my life.

I think much of the resentment comes from comparison -- to the XWS, to what we thought our lives would be, etc. I try not to focus on that comparison, and instead focus on the comparison where I realize how incredibly lucky I am.

I really am sorry for the unfairness of it all, but in order to have a truly happy life, I hope you are able to figure out a way to get rid of the resentment!

cmego posted 3/4/2014 07:50 AM

I am in the same boat too, spent my marriage helping my ex move up the healthcare career ladder and earn his PhD. I stopped working, and we made the decision together for me to become a SAHM. I poured inheritance into his school, career and our houses.

And the entire time he was gay.

I did get "lucky" that I receive both spousal and child support. But I am "getting by" while he and his partner run to Hawaii every chance they can.

I am now in grad school so I can have a career, but I won't even start working until I'm 45. At the top of my earning potential, I will make 25% of what he does. I will barely have time to save for retirement.

I was very angry in the beginning, that somehow this man who broke all the rules still comes out "on top" and I feel like all I was doing was suffering. It was one of the hardest things to let go. The "unfairness" of it all.

Like phmh, I began to see it wasn't just going to happen, it had to take effort on my part. I began to notice the good things in my life. I had a roof over my head (yes, it was a 1/4 of the size of my old house…) and I could decorate the way I wanted. I didn't have to cook gourmet meals every night any longer, I made new friends, I did volunteer work that spoke to ME. I saw joy in my children. I got a dog. I took my life in a different direction and I made an effort to not think about him.

Really…money does not make someone happy. I think karma is…overrated? I am not God, it is not up to me to deem what my ex did as a horrible thing. My job in *MY* life is to do the best I can with what I have. I have SOOOOOOO much. I have a house, children, a dog, enough money that I can splurge on boots once a year, friends that love me, family, opportunities and a very bright future. I date, and right now I'm dating a good man. I would never have had these opportunities if ex HADN'T been an asshole. I wouldn't have found how very strong I am.

You just have to make an effort to change your thinking and focus on the joy your new life brings you…not on what you "lost". It is a conscious shift in your thought process.

wildbananas posted 3/4/2014 08:15 AM

I've resented ex-asshat, too... I receive no spousal support (I declined; it didn't seem right to me since I could support myself, even if I made half of what he did). CS was such a fight, I finally agreed to 1/3 of what the state said he should pay... and he still refuses to pay.

I'm in my sixth year of getting zip, plus he never sees the bunch anymore. I had a lot of anger over it for a long time but now? I'm annoyed, sure. And sad for the bunch. But at the end of the day, he's the one who is losing out. His choices brought us all to this point and he has to live with that. Sure, we struggle at times but I have the bunch (and their respect and love), our needs are covered and I can sleep at night because I know I've done right by them.

I don't know that he can say the same.

[This message edited by wildbananas at 8:16 AM, March 4th (Tuesday)]

k94ever posted 3/4/2014 09:19 AM

At some point you realize resentment keeps you living in the act and feeding the anger/hate/hurt. Resentment is keeping you from living your life.

At that point you should want to move out of that place in time and let time move you forward.

It takes introspection and an understanding and acceptance that you couldn't and can't control what happened but you will end up calmer and happier and not even bothering to look back in your past anymore.

It's a good place to be.



reallystruggling posted 3/4/2014 19:20 PM

Thanks, everyone. Nobody "gets it" like you do.
I do have a lot to be grateful for. I need to stop comparing what I have to what I should have had. I could have stayed in the M and been financially very well off, but he wasn't going to change (he's still a wayward). The cost for staying with the X would have been too high: my self respect and my sanity. I chose myself.
I'm not catholic but I have decided to give up resentment and whining about the x for lent. Maybe after 40 days I'll be free!
Thanks all.

phmh posted 3/4/2014 21:19 PM

Was thinking about this more when I was at work (and where I can't post.)

The other thing that helped me was that I grew to pity him. And to build a fabulous life for myself -- better than what I had with him. At first, it was total fake it till you make it, but it ultimately became real. You can't really resent someone you pity. And it's hard to resent someone when you are happy. Mix both of them together = BAM!

Happiness studies agree that only about 10% of happiness is determined by things that happen to you. About 50% is genetic, and about 40% is how you react to it -- so we have direct control over almost half of our happiness.

So, when I started to feel resentful about something (living in an apartment, my car not being in a garage in winter, having to have a soul-sucking corporate job), first I'd think of things that made me pity him (he gave up the only people that ever loved him, if he has a conscience (doubtful), he has to live with himself, he realized his AP was a clone of his mom, which has to fuck with your head...), and then I'd think of how good my life was (or in the beginning, how good I wanted it to be.) Now that I'm single, I can eat in restaurants with waitstaff, I can go to concerts, I can strengthen my friend/family relationships, etc.

You'll get there! It's not easy, but so worth it!

Phoenix1 posted 3/4/2014 21:40 PM

I had resentment. XPOS doesn't pay SS or CS (I have 100% physical/legal custody) because he is now unemployed. It is not worth the fight at this point since I can get by without his support. He also left me with empty 401ks (pulled it out to bail his ass out from financial problems) which means no retirement for me and a mountain of debt (the half that was my share of the marital debt - all of which he created). He left me in a financial black hole.

How did I get over it? I realized there was nothing I could to change what was, but I could change the focus of my energy and what will be, which will be a more positive future! I refuse to give him ANY of my energy and I am using it all on me and my kids! Period!

exhausted lady posted 3/4/2014 23:01 PM

At some point you realize resentment keeps you living in the act and feeding the anger/hate/hurt. Resentment is keeping you from living your life.

Good point. Plus....if you were married over 10 years you can hit HIS Social Security when the time comes. Small crumb, but at least you can give him the finger when that money lands in your account every month in your later years.

I *totally* plan on hitting #2's SS when the time comes. Money has always been the alter he's prayed to......and I put in enough years in hell to earn that (20+).

Bluebird26 posted 3/5/2014 03:04 AM

I understand this, I spent the first 2 years since we separated fighting for him to 'do the right thing' with regards to me, with our separation, with our divorce and most of all with out children.

Some time has passed now and I realise it's never going to be the way I want it to be. It never was.

Here SS is non existent, CS is a moral obligation not a legal one. I have fought the system, but the sadly the system is broken. I even went as far as contacting local politicians and was told until the law changes there is nothing they can do. They weren't going to be the ones who changed the law either though.

Some time has passed now, I have let go of this right fight and realised that it's him that is losing, if pays great, if he doesn't I will get the kids what they need even if I have to rely on family to help.

Try to focus on the good stuff.

GreatRoleModel posted 3/5/2014 08:30 AM

{{Reallystruggling}} Thanks for starting this thread and for all of the replies. This is has come at the right moment for me to reflect and remind myself that I am following the right path of not focusing on the past and feeling fortunate for what I have in my life and that my kids and I will be ok even as they struggle right now with their dad. I have been able to provide for them emotional safety and that is priceless. If I had let resentment take over I would not be there for my kids in meeting their emotional needs as well as my own. SI is an amazing place and so thankful for this life saving resource!

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