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An Inspiring Chump Letter

Hey guys, I’m on the road for a few days. Will do my best to post, but as luck would have it, this appeared in my mailbox this evening, and I thought I’d give “Rebecca” the floor. (We have another NYC Rebecca here… this is a different Rebecca). She’s got an inspiring “leave a cheater” story and some great advice. Enjoy!

Chump Lady:

I have been reading and following your site since I discovered it last summer. I want to tell you that reading your posts and the comments of so many of the wonderful participants in your regular gang of chumps has helped be get through some very difficult days. I want to thank you for that. You are an especially insightful, intelligent and witty person. Some days I read you posts and laughed so hard I got tears in my eyes. There is so much pain that comes from being betrayed, lied to, and manipulated by someone that was supposed to be the one person you could always count on – the person that was supposed to love you, raise a family with you, grow old with you… In the time I have been reading your blog, I have realized that I was married to a Narcissist. Every single description of characteristics and symptoms matches him exactly.

I have been married to my DBH (Dirt Bag Husband) for 21 years and 7 months (according to the petition for divorce I just recently signed). He has been lying to me and cheating on me for 10 of those years (that I know of). His cheating had many flavors (affairs, random women, co-workers, strippers, prostitutes, and massages with a happy ending). Such a cornucopia of cheating – a virtual cheating buffet!

I went through a period of the delusional believing in unicorns phase about three years ago. That was when I first discovered his cheating. He expressed what I thought was genuine remorse, started acting more like the husband he should have been all along, and insisted that we renew our wedding vows, exchange new rings, and recommit to the marriage. (All a smoke screen – just spackle and glitter to make things seem nice) Things were good for about 6 months after that. We went to counseling for a while – until we started getting to the meat and potatoes (his cheating and lying). When it got to the part where he has to explain why he cheated (exited the marriage as the therapist would say), he had to stop. He said he couldn’t go to counseling anymore. He felt like he was just being punished all the time, and he couldn’t take it anymore. So, his solution was to preach to me about putting it all behind us, focusing on moving forward, and focusing on each day at a time. Oh, and he said many times – “You are just going to have to trust me if this is going to work out with us”. [Yea, sure! That didn’t happen!]

Everything finally became crystal clear last week when I discovered that he has been having an affair for the past two years with the same woman he cheated on me with 10 years ago when I was pregnant with our daughter who is almost 10 now. He had a secret e-mail account that he had been using to communicate with her only. They have spent three weeks together this year that I found out about. Most recently, she was in Boston for the past 2 weeks with him while he was on location. I got confirmation about that last week as well. I filed for divorce the next day, and two days later had him served in Boston at his hotel room at 6:15 am with the mistress in the room! It was classic! Really wish I could have seen the look on his face in that moment! I have to hand it to myself for orchestrating it so well. Of course, he called me right away and said “You couldn’t wait until I got back in town to do this?” I said – “No! You are with your mistress right now, do I need to say anything else?” All he could say was “Okay”.

I few days later, I went to Wal-mart and bought a bunch of clear plastic bins with the snap-on lids and started packing his shit. I packed everything from the bedroom, closet and bathroom and loaded it all in his car that was still in our garage. The next day, I went out and bought myself a brand new bed and all new bedding. My cleansing had begun and it felt good!

Today, he is returning after being on location for 3 months. We are going to talk to the kids tonight and he pleadedwith me to put it off for a few days. I told him no, and that we are going to tell them tonight. (He just wants time to think of something he can say to deflect, spackle, and make himself look like less of an asshole.) I have already told him that I will not lie to my kids for him and that he needs to think about what he is going to say. [My kids are 17 and almost 10.]

Right now I am dreading going home because I have to see him face to face. The sight of him is something I am not looking forward to at all. But, I know that I have the upper hand in this situation, and I plan to take charge of it.

I have put myself through torture by staying in this relationship for the past three years. I was trying so hard because I wanted to be able to walk away with my head held high – knowing that I had exhausted my efforts. I believed I owed that to my kids and to myself. I also allowed fear to keep me in a stagnate place. Fears about money, logistics, spliting holidays and birthdays, and the reality that I will have entire weekends without being with my kids (which the thought of makes me want to punch him in the face).

To all of those other chumps out there: Please do not waste as much of your time as I did. I can’t get those three years of my life back. He has stolen those years from me by lying and cheating. I have waited longer than I should have, to file for divorce, and I know that now. My gut instincts were right all along – and yours are right too! Trust yourselves and take care of yourselves and your kids. Do not allow the sickness of infidelity to take years of your life away from you too.

I am thankful that I reached this place where I can confidently say that I don’t love him and I don’t want to be his wife anymore. That is a good place to be. I am no longer under the spell of hopium and believing in unicorns! What a relief!

I know the future is going to be a challenge, and I know there are going to be hard times. But, I also know that my kids and I will be much better off in the long run!

Thank you again Chump Lady!

Rebecca

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  • Great stuff! Such an inspiring letter! I am 1 mth divorced and feeling the same after 18 yrs of being tricked by a Narc, it’s very scary on your own having invested so much in a lying cheating f@ckwit but I am being kinder to myself for having being so stupid, luckily there were no kids, you sound very powerful Rebecca, I would have loved to have seen his face when he got his divorce papers, I had mine served a year to the week that he walked out on me right before Xmas , and he wanted the divorce!!!!!!! I got my sanity back …….
    Good luck !!!

    Ex Chump

    • I also had my turd of an ex served with his papers right before Christmas, on December 23, 2011. He wanted us to separate for a year and have an “amiable” disillusion a year from “our decision” to separate, which was the beginning of October, 2011. He decided to separate, but, not leave the house. I walked around wondering what the hell was going on, what did I do to cause him to want to leave his family, his marriage, his home? He wanted to stick around to “help” me pay the bills and have the holidays as a family. He would leave after January 1st. I found out about his MOW, his “best friend’s” wife, 6 days before our 20th anniversary, at the end of October, 2011. I chased him out of the house, literally. I threw his Dungeons and Dragons paraphernalia into garbage bags on the front porch and told him to get his shit off my property or buy it back from the Goodwill. (the benefit from living with “the smartest man ever” was the fact he wasn’t very smart and did not realize he could stay in the home if he chose. As it was he slept on his mom’s couch for 2 months before getting his bachelor pad. I guess that worked for him.) I paid an attorney, who was a itty bitty woman with a bad attitude toward my ex, and she orchestrated his service right before the holiday, to make a point. That point being — an angry, hurt, betrayed woman is nothing to fool with. She will mess you up! With paid help…

        • That’s exactly what I’m going to do, Stephanie. It’s gonna be sweet.

          Cindy, Rebecca, you both rock! Thank you for sharing your stories!

            • HAHAHA that’s badass! Yeah since he cheated on me with a co-worker and he just got a huge promotion, it’ll be great seeing the look on his face when all his colleagues are looking at him as he’s getting served.

              Can’t wait.

  • That is a great story and the confidence you have Rebecca in your decision is so great to read. I can feel your clarity, it’s a beautiful thing. You are definitely doing what is best for your children and yourself. Wishing you the strength you need in seeing your asshole in person. You will do it and well!! I remember that feeling when I went to end it with my asshole. It was terrifying and felt great all at the same time because I knew without doubt that it was what I had to do, but I was so happy once I did it and felt so great afterwards!

    He will not believe it’s really happening!

    Thanks CL for posting and have a great holiday with your husband!!! I look forward to your next post.

  • Rebecca – congrats! I hope last night went okay… I know he tried to pull shit, they always try to pull something. After all, you’re taking away their cake! They must have their cake! Just stay strong and stick to what you know you need – which is to get him out of your life.

    It might get a little harder before it gets easier (ie. the details of the divorce – particularly the money shit), but there is definitely a light at the end of your tunnel. And even some of the annoying stuff they start doing becomes more like background noise as you realize you care less and less about them they can’t affect you as much. And the best part also starts – you get to think about YOU and what YOU want for once. It will be so nice after what you’ve been dealing with for the past 3 years. That limbo stage is so draining. Now you get to move forward!!

    Good luck!

  • Rebecca = awesome
    Your letter touched me on so many levels. I have been kicking myself for wasting ten months on the same bullshit but clarity after three years is still clarity for you and as others have said: now you get to think about you and create the life you want, knowing that you didn’t deserve any of this shit sandwich.
    You are deserving of everything great. You will revel in your freedom. <3

  • Good girl Rebecca. Inspirational! Oh and the bedding thing, very very important especially in my case as my ex had screwed OW in our marital bed. I got home after a weekend away with my daughter (which he organised and paid for, to get me out of the way) and he had a wash on, bedlinen, the first time ever in twelve years he had put a wash on. I didn’t register then (slow chump me), but when I eventually did felt I sick to my stomach.

    • That is so nasty! My ex moved his OW in immediately after I moved out. She slept on my sheets in the marital bed… I bet they were still warm. LOL!
      Angela, good for you!! You have an entirely new life to life now.

    • I’m less worried by the whole violation of the marital bed, but I am annoyed. I bought that bed myself. We had had an old spring and mattress that was starting to get uncomfortable after 10+ years of use. I used my money–and I made about 1/3 of what he did–to buy the new spring and mattress. I am sure that he’s screwed her on it while I’ve been away, since last time I was out of town, he’d washed the mattress cover (he’s never, ever done that before!).

      I figure that he’ll get to keep the bed in the divorce. From my perspective, I was there first, which means that anything they do together, I did first. I think I’ll point that out once the divorce gets finalized. She’ll insist on a new bed. 😉

      • Oh, yeah–bought a new bed on line. Sold the “old” one which was practically new on Craigslist. Went from a Cal king to a queen–perfect for me plus one. xH wanted all the old linens (always thrifty, that one!), which I’d bought, and in which WE did everything together. I told him to enjoy our marital bedding with that gutter filth he was screwing.

        I bought all new linens and I love them. I love my new bed!

        Here’s a tip–get your mattress at o.co and they will deliver it for under $3 right to your front door, and the mattresses are a very good deal with no sleazy rip-off haggling. I got a memory foam mattress and it rocks. Check out the reviews and be impressed.

  • Good luck tonight telling the kids. That will be hard, no doubt. But this isn’t your shame to wear, and I think you’re clear on that. And good for you for telling NOW, before he gets to the “we grew apart” narrative, or worse, a blame shifting one.

    Love how you had him served! Chumps — I think Rebecca should start a trend here. That was pure awesomeness.

    • Pure awesomeness indeed! Way to go Rebecca – I wish you continued strength and good luck. It does get harder at times, stay strong. Keep us posted.

      CL – have a great vacation!

    • Tell the kids that you and they will be ok. Tell them how it’s going to work–where they will live, that you will not fight with their father in front of them. Their world has been rocked. Help them find their feet.

    • Yes, pure awesomeness! Especially because he protested- oh, couldn’t you wait, what? Hope slimy homewrecker enjoyed that, and she likes taking care of her cheatin ‘prize’!
      Rebecca, peace will be even sweeter because it took so long to get there! Love and blessings to you and the kids.

  • Rebecca, I wish that I had served my XWH in such an awesome fashion; instead, he had me served since he wanted to rush the divorce and push me off the health insurance (which I fought against and won) so that he could marry his OW. We’re still divorced, so it’s still the same end result that I wanted anyway, but I love how you served your cheater and wish I had done that.

    I’m glad that you’re telling the kids and that you’re not sugarcoating it for them. I’ve was doing that for my three (younger than ten), and it was a relief to finally tell them an age-appropriate version of the truth. Your kids are going to need you now more than ever, and to know that you are the one that they can rely on to tell the truth is so incredibly important.

    You’re a great role model for all chumps who haven’t yet had their wake-up call. I wish you every happiness in your new found freedom!

  • “To all of those other chumps out there: Please do not waste as much of your time as I did. I can’t get those three years of my life back.”.

    No Unicorns
    Too late; I already did it. But thanks for wishing me better. On the bright-side, my divorce was final in April, and life is good.

    • LOVE the unicorn sign, Timeheels! Wished I had it in those months after DDay when I wore myself out doing the “pick me” dance.

  • WTG Girl! Serving him with the AP there is awesome, he can’t pretend she has to remain secret because of you. My ex did that so he could keep the fun with the AP and cheat on her. So perfect, your STBX will have you divorcing him and his long time AP pushing him to marry her. Your level of awesome exchumpiness is amazing 🙂

    • Yeah, I think I really like this serving him with the mistress there! You’re absolutely right, Datdamwuf. The mistress will be pressuring him like crazy for marriage and all. He will be backpedaling like crazy now that he is about to be ‘single’. Kibbles are now scattered on the floor rolling away from him underneath the refrigerator- damn, how inconvenient!!

  • Rebecca – you go, girl! So organized! Packed all his stuff in containers and put it in his car. Had him served while he was spooning with OW. Have the kids lined up and ready to hear the story.

    Taking charge ROCKS!!! 🙂

  • Congratulations! You will continue to amaze yourself with your strength and business-like approach.
    I, too, hated the thought of being away from my daughter while she was with her father (& the OW, whom he moved right in after I left his ass). Consider staying with a relative or friend when your kids are away. I would physically tremble when my daughter & I were apart.
    It was very difficult to be in my new home unless she was with me. That subsided after several months. She & I began to fill our new home with love, laughter, peace and wonderful memories. You will do the same!

  • Rebecca, you are definitely a recovering chump. Love how you had him served. That is poetic justice! Enjoy your path to your awesome new life.

    • Wow… you folded his linens, clothing and put it all in plastic containers ?
      I would have crammed all his stuff in the car… let him try and find the steering wheel !
      That is indicative of what a kind , giving women you are . Attributes a new , wonderful man will will value & appreciate .
      Cheers to you !
      Heres to better days !
      Promise !

  • What a great story! Love the way you had his shit packed up and ready! And serving him the papers while he was with the OW, priceless!

  • Way to go Rebecca…glad to meet you! best of luck to you in all of this, to you & your kids. Who, doubtless, will be fine, A-OK, since they have such a kick-ass mother.

  • Truly inspirational.

    A friend of mine told me: If you are brave enough to say goodbye,life will reward you with a new hello.

    I am 1 year to this day out of that hell hole. The sky is looking so much bluer and the sun is shining so much brighter.

  • Rebecca,

    IRL, you must be outfitted in a leotard with an “S” on the chest and a cape. I want to be like you when I grow up and emerge from this 26-year (maybe 28 because it began not too long after we met) horror movie in which I’ve been co-starring. Maybe you can teach a class or hold seminars. You inspire me and give me something to which to aspire. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    CL, have a great vacation. I will be looking forward to your posts when you return.

  • FUKKING A Rebecca!!!!! No better feeling when dealing with this shit than a true sense of ‘meh’… Very well done, and welcome to your new, so much better life!

  • Haha, I bet that divorce delivery took the starch right out of his D**K at least for a day or two!! Now that she knows he is ALL HERS, she may go into buyers remorse…. You know this affair crap is all so much more fun when it is their cherished secret!!

  • It’s a great story. Just received word from my attorney that we have a settlement hearing of week from tomorrow. It will be a year and 3 days since we got engaged and I’m going to be sitting across from SW in a divorce settlement hearing. I haven’t seen her since February and I don’t really want to. It now makes sense why she was stalling. We have a hearing, get a number and Troll Man writes a check. My guess, SW remarries before the kids start school. I know Chump Nation. She sucks. I dodged a bullet. I didn’t want a life with an alcoholic borderline but this just too surreal at times to comprehend. I’m sad, angry and a little depressed.

    Can you guys help me find my bad ass self again?

    • C’mon Eddie. CHANNEL REBECCA. Ask yourself, WWRD (what would Rebecca do?). She’d kick ass and take names and tell him (her) to not let the door hit her on the way out. If Rebecca can know she’s going to have a great rest-of-her-life, than so can you Eddie. Go for it!!! Screw that stupid cheating bitch, you deserve much better.

      • Eddie honey, You are already your bad ass self, you will rock the house at that hearing. Be cool, be collected and be as awesome as I know you can be. Don’t be thinkin chump baby, listen to that old song “We are the Champions”, no time for losers cos we are the champions………..of the world. Rock on Eddie

          • Not sure how you know just how bad her waif “Cleopatra” haircut is so thank you for the huge belly laugh this line gave me!

            • Can’t take credit for that line…it’s from a previous CL post, but it’s so true! They are all alike, and we’ll be ok.

            • Wait…a Cleopatra haircut? I missed that one! Too funny and yes, take a long, slow look at it, really taking it in so that she knows it, then smile quietly to yourself. She’ll notice and she’ll feel stupid. Trust me. I’m a woman. 🙂

          • CL Nation-

            Her hair was ridiculous! This huge smile came across my face. It was a her Cleopatra bangs with her hair in a bun total victim look. My friend said to me “she must really hate herself to have her hair like that!”

            It was a good day in court. When you take the spackle off and see them for what they are it’s eye opening and life changing. Her energy was dark. She looked miserable. I got almost everything we asked for in the settlement. You could tell she was pissed off being held accountable for her actions. The reason I didn’t get it all was that she is broke and doesn’t have the means to pay it (I doubt she is paying any of it, this is Troll Mans price to pay for his “prize”).

            What a horrible and miserable life to live when everything you have is gained by adulterous means. She literally looked waif like. A complete victim in life waiting for the next hero to rescue her. Her life is enslavement. She has no identity and her toxic shame was oozing out of her. Her shell of a body couldn’t keep it inside of her anymore. She looked like the crazy person of December. There is no fog them to come out of. Where did the women go that I married? She’s right in front of you Eddie. And this is who she’s always been and always will be.

            SW is 33. She will be married, divorced and remarried in a year. For her oldest daughter (just turned 15) this is the FOURTH “dad” in her life! Her biological who didn’t want her (SW dropped a kid on him in HS) her “dad” (step) who raised her for 8 years, but didn’t want to pay for her lunches and dinners out with him on his weekends, just “his” kids (two youngest are his biological) Eddie and now Troll Man. What a selfish, horrible person SW is. She’s broke but used her tax refund for boobs last year instead of upgrades on the house or car (Eddie the Super Chump did this!)

            Thanks for letting me rant CL Nation. I’m 8 months past Dday now and it does get better. Trust that they suck. They can’t help but suck. And the tag line is so true:

            Leave a Cheater, Gain a life……..a much fucking better life I might add!

  • I am so happy that my story touched you all! I hope some you had a few laughs as well. This infidelity stuff can make you feel crazy sometimes, and I can’t tell you how happy I am that I am getting off of this crazy train!!
    The talk with the kids went exactly as I suspected it would go. He is not willing to be honest and tell them that he lied and betrayed their mother and that is the reason that we are getting a divorce. I warned him before he spoke that I am not going to lie to the kids for him, and I told him that if he doesn’t tell them the truth then I will. Last night he gave them the bullshit story – “We have news for you and it isn’t good news. I am sure you have noticed that your mom and I have not been getting along for a while now (Which isn’t true because he has been gone for 3 months on location. They haven’t even seen us together in a while). We have mutually decided to go our separate ways and I will not be living here at the house anymore. We will be getting a divorce.” Blah, Blah, Blah – You get the picture. Just a big ol’ deflection tactic as clear as day! What a dumb ass! I told him that he should be contrite and honest in order to give them the opportunity to possibly forgive him in the future. I told him that they are not stupid and that the honesty is very important in order to help them get through this. [He has been lying for so long and it is so easy for him, I don’t think he knows any other way!] I also told him that if he doesn’t tell them the truth now, they are going to be even more upset with him for lying again when they find out the truth. I am so glad that I already had my own private conversations with each of them a few days ago. I explained that I am here for them and that I will never lie to them for any reason. I told them that they can count on me to take care of them and that will never change. Everything is going to be okay. They can ask me questions about the situation anytime they want to.
    When I spoke to by DBH (Dirt Bag Husband) before “the talk” with the kids last night, I reminded him that he had been lying to and betraying me and the kids for years now. I reminded him that is the reason we are where we are right now. He said, “I did not betray the kids, I did not cheat on the kids – I cheated on you.” I told him, “NO – We are a family, and you betrayed the family. You jeopardised the security of our family for your own personal desires. You went out and cheated and then came home each night pretending that everything was happy and loving – that is lying and it is betrayal!” He still refused to acknowledge that he cheated on them too. I guess that is just how the mind of a narcissist works. They are never willing to accept responsibility for the things they do wrong. They just try to gloss over them and justify them with a big ol’ spackler! But, they are the first to place blame on others whenever possible.
    I told him that he stole the past three years of my life by pretending to repair the marriage while he was still lying, cheating and betraying. He said I stole years of his life too because he was unhappy. What a complete douche bag! I guess that’s why he groveled and begged me not to leave him after I found about the cheating three years ago (when I was still under the spell of hopium and believing in unicorns). I guess that’s why he insisted that we renew our vows!
    It’s funny how things change inside of you when you have really seen who the cheater is. They show us who they really are with their actions, but we just keep on hoping things will get better. We need to take off the rose colored glasses of hope and see what is really there in front of us, Chumps! If it looks like a duck, walks like duck and quacks like a duck – it is definitely a duck! If you sense they are a cheater, investigate and find out they are cheating, and then they try to blame you when you find out and confront them – they are scum sucking/dirt bag CHEATERS! And, there is nothing that will change that.
    Run – don’t walk away from the scum, fellow Chumps! We have a lot of living to do without dirt bag CHEATERS in our lives!!!
    Thank you all for the good wishes and words of support. I guess I will be sharing things with all of you for a while to come now. My D-I-V-O-R-C-E ride is starting, and I plan to hold on tight, but on my boots and march through the mud to a life of peace and sanity! Who’s with me?!

    Take care, Everyone!

    Rebecca

    • Yeah, they come across so flat and clinical when they deliver that kind of news to kids. Like it’s just a weather report. It’s one of the things that really turned my kids off to their dad. ‘Just let me slip this knife in your heart while you’re not looking’ Heartless.

    • I’m a year and a half out from my final divorce, would have been sooner if I didn’t believe his bullshit about mediation. You Rebecca did it right, file first, negotiate the settlement second. You rock woman.

    • Sounds so similar to the kinds of circular conversations I had with my ex. Everything they do is your fault.

    • Great post, Rebecca! I too got the ‘I didn’t cheat on the kids/family, I only cheated on you!’. Erm, no. Every time you risked our family’s security and sense of safety you were doing that to not just me but also the kids.

      Fuck your STBX and fuck my EX. They did steal those years with their dishonesty – but now we’re free and hopefully they end up with one of their APs…who will eventually figure out that these idiots are weak-assed dimwits who don’t want love, they want worship. I finally figured that out – idiot Ex started cheating because when we had kids and were building a ‘real’ life I wasn’t blowing smoke up his ass 24/7 and that just wasn’t good enough. Tough shit, buddy, I need a mutual relationship with a grown man who understands it’s a two way street. I was not put on this earth to tell some guy, no matter how much I loved him, how great he is no matter what.

      Ugh…so sick of these people with their weak excuses and weak selves.

      • I fucking hate all of these weak pitiful men. I figure mine stole 17 years of our 25 year marriage having affairs with co-workers. At least that’s the ones I know about. How do you get over the rage of those stolen years, which I consider the “best” years of my life? Why didn’t he tell me when these affairs started (I was 34 then for god’s sake), and I could have moved on. I am now 52 and am happy the ex is out of my life, I even have a great new guy. But I still sometimes find the anger boiling over that the ex so blithely lied to and cheated on me all that time, stealing all those years from me in a farce of a marriage.

        • I know that feeling. Why wait until I had absolutely nothing on which to build? I think it’s because my Ex really does want to destroy me.

          • I agree Nord. I believe that our strength and competence made us attractive to them. But those same qualities are simultaneously repelling and frightening to a man-child and the kind of women who want to be their co-horts. My ex should have realized that he was not cut out for a “normal” life with wife and children and told me BEFORE he started his multiple affairs and group sex with co-workers. OR, I’d even suggest, it would’ve been a lot more decent for him to tell me within a “reasonable” period of time after he started these affairs (say a year or two into the affairs, when you imagine he should’ve thought “geez, I’m not gonna stop this, I better tell Kelly, put an end to this charade, and allow her to get out and have a life too”). But he never told me and admitted he never intended to do so. The question is why? Because he could, because he is fucked up in the head, because he hated me for what I was and it was not enough to have the affairs and leave me to be free.

            They want to destroy the very things that attracted them to us in the first place, the qualities that they lack– honesty, determination, strength of character, decency. They are truly monsters of the worst wort.

            • Yeah, I don’t get why he didn’t just ask for a divorce if he wanted to go date. It would have been difficult but certainly far easier than finding out about years of affairs and when I’m middle aged. I don’t think he wanted anyone else to have me but he wanted his own side life. And yeah, I get the distinct feeling he really despises me for being strong and competent. I base this on his endless emails suggesting that I’m weak, playing the victim, negative, etc. Pretty much the opposite of what I am. I like a good whinge but I’m a get up and go kind of lady and this seems to drive him nuts.

        • I know it’s tough, Kelly. I was 28 when I first confronted exH about cheating. He denied, claimed infatuation, we went to therapy….. 13 yrs later he says the marriage is over (sorta, could never use words that clear, never said “I want a divorce”).
          Now I am in my early 40s, been officially divorced 4 months, and exH is marrying the OW, who is pregnant. She was 28 when they met, so more than a decade younger than me.
          Last summer I felt my 30s were wasted, all that time, my love given to someone who did not love me, nor could appreciate me.
          But I do not feel that way anymore. My exH is the loser here. He is on track to lose the love and respect of his children as he lies to them, and ignores them for the fiancé/OW. I never lied, cheated, was never too lazy to work on the marriage. He is the lazy, lying, selfish, coward. And he left the marriage with those traits.

          He is moving away soon, and as far as I can tell, has only one friend left here locally.
          He is the one that threw away a really good life. He is the one that wasted so those years, as he acts as if those 13 years did not exist. He is the insecure enough that he is marrying a woman who is my age when he first cheated, starting a new family with her. Basically, rolling back the clock. It will not do him any good. He is still a lying, lazy, selfish, coward.

          It truly gets better. If you are not seeing a therapist, maybe go see one to work through the anger, if it is persistent and interferes with your daily life…. Especially your life with your new guy! (No new guy for me yet… Maybe in the next year or so)

          Hugs.

          • Thanks zyx, that really helps. I need to hear how others get through the thought of all those years spent with a cheater, and where to put that in our minds. What did those years mean? Well, I know what they meant to me, even if they meant nothing to him. You really put that so well.

            My ex has already lost the love and respect of our children, they simply refuse to see him and do not respond to his (infrequent) texts. And I did start seeing the counselor again recently. It seems as I navigate a new life with the new “world order” that comes along with it, my resentment that my children and I have to go through this comes bubbling back to the surface when I least expect it.

            Thanks for the hugs! 🙂

            • Nord, Kelly and zyx,

              I know EXACTLY how you feel. I always had feelings throughout the life of the marriage that my STBX was cheating, but I had no solid evidence to base it on. Then, late in our marriage, I discovered the prostitutes, which he said only happened a “couple” of times (which in cheater-speak means I lost count). Then the came the I’m So Sorry Dance – I only did it because I didn’t think you would have “that kind of sex” with me. Did you offer to pay me whatever you paid them? I might have taken it under consideration. Fast forward to the financially well-off OW, the MC dance of sorrow and regret and me staying put because I love him and I don’t want to destroy our family. FW to the latest incarnation of the financially well-off new OW, no child support possibility and he’s outta the marriage to live the life to which he felt he should have been born into and to which he feels entitled. Did working for it ever occur to him? Then came my children telling me that he had been cheating with assorted co-workers as well the entire marriage. I initially felt (when the most intense pain had passed) that I had wasted the past 26 years of my life, but I realized I have my wonderful children and a lot of good times to look back on in spite of, and in some instances, even because of, him. As I navigate my way through this shit casserole which he continues to serve up as often as he can, and I still remain standing, I understand that I am finally learning who I really am or always was. I believe I had forgotten or never understood. I gain strength and encouragement from all of you and your stories of fighting and surviving the worst of the worst. It’s not like these people are wearing badges or signs warning us to stay away (although they should be followed by a robot saying “Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!” [or Nord or Kelly or zyx]). We gave our all to people who never deserved it. We are still the great people we always were and well rid of them. Hugs to all of you. You all rock!

              • Haha awesome, love the Lost in Space reference, Princess! Thanks for your words of wisdom and kindness. I too thought my ex might be cheating with co-workers 13 years ago when I was pregnant with our youngest but I had no proof. He snowed me into thinking I was crazy and that he was the most devoted man alive. Go figure… he had been cheating all that time and fooling everyone including me, my family, our friends, and our community. Your post brought tears to my eyes. We do remain standing, and we do learn our strength. I know so many people have lost so much worse (maybe I’ll go read a book on Mandela or something) 🙂

          • ZYX…Ex is with his final AP, who is 22 years younger than me. Yep, she’s the same age I was when we met. How’s taht for freaky? I say good luck to her when she realised she tossed away her 20s on a man child. I*m free. Her journey has only just begun. 🙂

            • You guys are awesome, and strong!
              Princess Chump, I love the Lost in Space reference…. I just ordered it on Netflix to introduce the kids to the program.

              Nord, I agree, good luck to the affair partner with our man-children (or women-children for the guys out there).
              In my case, I think it is also “you deserve what you got” as it sounds as if exH is being controlled by AP/fiance who just wanted a baby-daddy.
              Why else are his current children being excluded from next week’s wedding? It’s that, or he is a real SOB. Either way, extremely happy that he is out of my life.
              He’s her problem now.

      • It was really rough in the beginning to realize I was the only one rejected from the family I loved, that my kids and his family were still part of his life but I was no longer allowed to be part of the life he couldn’t have created without me. That was so hard to come to terms with. But now I feel better. I’m happy to have a person who would lie and throw me under the bus rather than face himself out of my life. My kids tell me all the time that I’ve amazed them with how well and quickly I’ve recovered. They say their dad is still floundering…yeah. Because he’s living in a fantasy land and he can’t truly connect to people he cares about.

      • Nord,

        You said it PERFECTLY….they need to grow the F**K up and take responsibility. They wanted kids too!!

        Like Dr. Phil said, when you cheat on your spouse, you cheat on your kids. ENOUGH SAID.

    • Rebecca,
      I am so proud and happy for you! Rather than refer to your STBX, I want to applaud you and your future for you and your children. You are amazing and I wish you everything you wish for yourself and your children. You may have lost those years but girl you are making up for it in every way now. Doing it all right and all for yourself. There is really nothing better. Keep going and don’t let the STBX get away with anything. I can see you will not!!! When it gets tough, just remember, it’s not you it’s him and keep moving forward even when you don’t feel like it. Every step is worth it as it all leads to happiness and freedom from the chains of an N.

      Sending much love and support your way. Your story and action make me so happy!!!

      • Deborah: Thank you so much for the kind and supportive words. It means so much – you have no idea!

        All of you other wonderful fellow chumps who have suffered as much as I have (Nord, Kelly, zxy321, Lyn Sue B, Chump Princess, Getting A Clue, GladIt’sOver, Stephanie, Moving On, and so many others): Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your cheers and support. I have spent so much time over the past three years looking within, doubting myself and allowing fear to prevent me from doing what I have known all along I needed to do. I put myself through all of that in order to try to preserve a family for my kids. But, when I realized it was at my own expense and that the relationship and my husband were like a sickness in my life, I knew I had no other choice. It is better to be healthy and alone than to be sick with someone else.
        Each day that has gone by this week, I have felt better and stronger. I know that I shocked the shit out of him when I served him last week. And, when he saw that ALL of his things had been removed from the closet and every single drawer in the bedroom, that was a shock as well. I think he actually thought he was going to leave his mistress and come home just like he always did and continue the sharade. Unbelievable! Well, I guess I showed him that was not going to happen – right?
        Thank you again, Everyone. I will post again soon, because I am sure I am going to need more supportive words as things will probably get even more difficult before they get better.
        Best wishes and strength to all of you!

        Rebecca

  • Well done Rebecca,

    I could have written your letter almost word for word. It’s just such a common story, it’s sad. I’m sure all can relate.
    I’m over 2 months since I separated from my wife. It’s been difficult. She continues to try to hoover me back in ther most subtle ways.

    But I have no regrets. CL’s mantra “Leave a cheater, gain a life” is so perfectly accurate for most, if not all cases of infidelity.

    Well done!

  • Aw yeah! Great job – especially how he was served!

    You know, a lot of us chumps tried so hard to keep the marriage together/to reconcile/to keep things intact for ourselves and our kids, if we have them.

    It really is SOOOO much better after we’ve stepped out of the mess and freed ourselves from the cheaters. Life’s just easier not having to worry about the cheater’s mood or how much the cheater has spent or where the cheater has gone or who the cheater is chatting with online. It feels great not to have to make a priority out of someone who cares for us only to the point that we are useful to him or her.

    Once that weight is lifted, it’s definitely easier to be there for your kids and yourself. Even when finances are tight, or complications come up because of the divorce process, they can be gotten through, because you’re not ALSO worrying if the cheater’s going to throw a tantrum or thwart you from getting things done.

    You’ll have more energy to LIVE.

    • So true, your line about feeling great not having to make a priority out of someone who only cares for us to the point that we are useful to him or her.

      It took me a long time to face this. Ex ‘loved’ me when things were good and when I was all about him. But if I was down or needed him or was just not able to make him the center of my universe 24/7 then he looked elsewhere. I feel sorry for him sometimes – I can’t imagine needing to be propped up by others all the time. And I mean ALL THE TIME. He can’t go more than a few minutes without someone feeding him some kibbles. He’s weak. How did I marry such a weak man?

    • It is nice to not be constantly wondering what cheater is doing with other women, what I can do to reach him, etc. Much more energy for my own life.

      • I never wondered because I never had a clue he was cheating. I am a total chump and was blind to was was right in front of me.

        • Nord, do not se one guess your love and trust. I confronted ex about the possible affair, believed the lies, and spent the new 13 years believing ex would talk to me about any issues.. .we’d been through therapy after all. I thought we got through any issues, and I would be told of any big issues.
          So, yes, I was a chump.
          But better to see the good in others. I have no regrets.

  • I have this hanging up in my office at work…

    Remember: They cheated because they wanted
    to, they lied because they could, and now they’re
    sorry because they got caught. It’s always about
    them. You did NOTHING to cause or deserve this!

  • I like his whole “couldn’t you wait” BS. It’s like Chumps are violating some obvious standard of politeness when they act outside the Cheater’s plan and they’re disappointed the chump isn’t “living up to their potential.”

    I think of it as everyone sitting around the table after dinner:

    Chump: *starts picking his/her teeth*.

    Cheater: That’s gross. I can’t believe you would do that.

    Chump: You served shit sandwichs and candy coated truds for dinner even though you know I’m allergic by telling me it was love and commitment. Picking your teeth isn’t pleasant but it must come out.

    Cheater: Oh sure, make this about what I did during our dinner. Your meal for me wasn’t perfect either. I wanted frosting not mashed potatoes. And my kibbles should come with parsley not basil.

    Chump: You were receiving oral sex under the table the same time you were talking to me.

    Cheater: You put your elbows on the table. Twice. I had to have oral sex with someone else while eating with you. You drove me to this.

    Chump: *continues picking teeth*

    Cheater: I thought better of you than this!

    I leave it to you dear readers to judge which is a more egregious breech of etiquette.

    As The Band Perry sang: Mama always told me I should play nice but she didn’t know you when she gave me that advice. Can’t play nice with cheaters.

    • I like your little play GreenGirl – yeah, cheaters are total scumbags.

      My ex gave me some advice. I was angry angry angry after I found out about the cheating. I had forgiven him after the first offence thinking it was a one off – he said it wasn’t the real him (so who was it!!). So I was angry and with his head slightly tilted to the side and a look of grave concern on his face he said ‘I really ought to tell you that it’s really important for your future that you get help with your anger issues’.

      Made my blood boil even more!

      • I need help with my anger issues?

        That’s a GREAT idea! I’ll divorce you and never speak to you again! That’s a HUGE first step! Thanks, man!

  • I would love to serve mine when he’s with his AP. I know they go out for breakfast on Saturdays, when he’s supposed to be getting his haircut and then his doctor-ordered exercise. He gives me his timeline, which never works out. I just don’t know if they’re going to a coffee shop or to a greasy spoon–the venue changes.

    But inspirational, indeed, Rebecca. Good luck with the kids. I think it’s important to be truthful in age-appropriate ways.

  • You are my hero! Can’t say much more than that. You have it all: class, an brutal sense of justice/timing, and resolve. You left a narc speachless. That in and of itself is an accomplishment.

  • The irony in my story is I didn’t even want a relationship. He begged me for it . SMDH as well as rolling my eyes. I was queen.chump so embarrassed. I thought I did my home work.asked about past relationships this all started in.2002 ex wife was livingout of state. We decided to.have one.child in common. when our son was 5 months old I.get a knock.on.the door its his wife yes people he wasn’t really divorced yet. Li ked his ass out we wind up.getting back.together a year later when he really had been divorced for real we start tho.gs Bart slow deside to.marry he gets in.legal trouble goes to.prison for 7 years I queen.chump.wait for him.faithfully.joldind every thing down . He gets out in January 2012 by July he is taking off every weekend by September he admits to the cheating and she is pregnant and to add with the bottom feeder he had an affair with on his ex wife and she is a bottom feeder in my book because she KNRW he was married both times. bit I was blind sided with before affair in his last marriage because he told me he never cheated in any relationship he had been cheated on…. BULLSHIT Come to find out he has always cheated in every relationship. So after he drops me off at work a week before thanksgiving he calls 15 mo.urea later and starts asking if I think we can make it hitting to leave pretty much I.justcte his ass off and told him get him and hos shit out before I got home from work. He dos left me for the bottom feeder bit texts and call begging me not to.divorce him let him fix it I messed up I’m not dealing with her any more yetsows up drunk off his ass in her car talking about atop doing him like this . It dis leave me with feeling like why wasn’t I good enough even tJohough he never puts the blame on me or ever put me down the coldness of how he sod the shit wasn’t heart braking it was soul stripping. 8 months later I have in places no contact inplace cuz the emotional roller coaster rise I just couldn’t get off of finalizing the paper work for divorce on the 22 my sobor e will be final 1/18/2014 The feeling creeps in though still often that he is gone hwy it together for her how do O shake that???

    • Sorry about the spelling errors. last sentence should say…. The feeling creeps in often that heis gonna get it together for the bottom feeder how do I shake that???

      • Autumn, we all know the feeling. My ex’s AP’s are so foul, my 20 year old daughter will only allow them to be referred to as “the worms.” And we chumps pretty much ALL go through that fear that he’ll be better for the next one(s), for a number of reasons:
        (1) First of all, with the bad press the narc/sociopath gets after his split from his ever-loving chumps (us), he feels pressure to spin a narrative for himself and the rest of the world to try to “normalize” the franky bizarre deception he (or she) engaged in–the spin is that he really only was trapped in a somewhat misguided but earnest desire to be with his “true love”, the AP… So now HE is spackling like crazy and tossing sparkles left and right to try to look “legit” with whatever AP he is left holding the bag with (I picture it like musical chairs). (2) We still remember the man (or woman) we thought we were married to (or committed to) for all those years—you know the hologram that never really existed but we thought was our spouse? Being chumps, of course, we somehow believe that that person with at least a speck of love and decency is “in there” and is going to come out now with the next AP. Riiiiiiiiight. (3) They still want to mind fuck us like they did during our marriage/relationship– so they want us to believe they are better with the next one, so we know that WE CHUMPS were the problem and not him.

        I have a mantra I repeat over and over and over when I feel this was, and it still happens sometimes, cause hey, these guys are SPARKLY–>

        Trust That He Sucks.

        CL has an article on that, make sure you read it Autumn, cause he really does (suck).

        (((Hugs))))

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