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On second thought

Hi guys.

I just wrote a long post about an upsetting experience, which I decided upon reflection to take down, even after I changed some names and details. Maybe I’ll post it later. It’s not my story to tell really, I think I should have my friend’s permission.

I was just so rattled by it, I wanted to write about it. Vomit it out here.

If you didn’t catch it for the 5 minutes it was up — I was having dinner with old friends last night and learned that one of them just shot her husband over infidelity and wound up in jail. She’s out now, but it’s pretty much destroyed her life. (Miraculously, she got six years probation). But it’s very strict, and it was only because her cheater husband begged the prosector. He’s still a schmuck, but at least he threw her bail.

My long point of my (now draft folder) post was — WALK AWAY. Don’t let these people drag you down with them. Don’t punish. Don’t try to hurt them like they hurt you. It’s a tar baby.

My friend is a beautiful woman, and a chump. And now she’s a chump with a record.

Whatever hurtful, depraved, horrible shit they throw at you — don’t take it. Don’t dignify it with a response.

This is going to be it for today. Thanks.

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  • It’s a thought that goes through a lot of men’s minds when their wife has screwed them over, that some sort of retribution is due. The thing is it really is not worth it, “Living well is the best revenge”, rebuild your life and fix everything in it.

    I don’t put much faith in Karma happening to them though, I figure maybe them causing me the pain I went through could be the price I have to pay for some past transgression of my own, if they are going to get it it may not be in this lifetime.

  • Amen to that, CL. A relative of mine divorced her serial cheating husband years ago. When my mom told her about my situation, she told my mom to tell me: “Do it [divorce] with class.” That’s exactly what she did, and she moved on to have a much better life (and has outlived her cheater ex by many years to boot).

    I won’t deny that there are times when I’d love some sort of revenge (the non-violent, non-shooting variety!), but I know that, deep down, I’m much better off taking the high road and doing it with class. I’m able to live with myself and continue to abide by my morals, and I’m not doing anything that I’d be ashamed to admit to my children.

  • CL, well done for being there for your friend, and sorry you feel really rattled. I can feel the vibes from here down in Africa!

    Good advice, and a timely reminder that we must always keep our cool.

    All the best to you and your friend.

  • As you so often say, CL, the only person you get to control is you. A corollary to that might be: Failure to control you makes you not so very different from them. You go over the cliff together, like Sherlock Holmes grappling with Professor Moriarty at Reichenback falls.

  • PS – if I had had a gun in the house, I would have shot my cheating husband to. So I am not that different.

    • Same here. I hate to admit it but I was so beyond enraged that had any weapon been handy he would have bought the farm. I barely remember that night because I was literally out of my mind with what I found out.

    • Patsy, I hit mine. And there were guns in the house. I’m not that different either. That’s why the first post was “there but for the grace of God go I.”

      • I hit mine as well. I completely lost it and just flew at him and ended up punching him in the arm. It’s about the only thing I feel bad about…but I’m afraid I don’t feel as bad as I probably should.

        • I hit mine too…hard a couple of times, and kicked him in the balls. I’m still ashamed of it, makes me want to cry that I did that to someone. He took it, didn’t say a word about it, makes me feel like the worst person on earth that I physically assaulted someone and screamed at them. I’m actually getting treatment for the guilt I feel over it.

      • I threw a phone. I caught SW cheating again and with the woman she had been with before our marriage. So this is now a her second person in 4 weeks after Dday after the original AP and just a couple of weeks before her 3rd person ( Troll Man). SW said to me that she could “never trust me” and that she needed to be “released” from our marraige. I was so hurt, so angry all I wanted was to get even. I took her phone out of her hand and I threw it across the street. I’m a former college baseball player and a minor league umpire so I have a pretty good arm. It landed in some berry bushes never to be seen again. SW called the police. I went to jail and I gave her the opportunity to vilify the victim. This is pretty common with borderline women/men. They are crazy makers. SW first husband broke a window when he caught her cheating and he went to jail. Not her first rodeo. This is a great article and I lived all of it:

        Throwing the phone has allowed SW to create a whole different reality than what was actually going on behind closed doors (drinking,lying, cheating, stealing etc.) and the worst part of it, I believed in the BS that she spun until I got to this site. Us chumps want to take blame for the failure of our relationship. It must be something that we did. I was horrified that I might really be a monster. This is a result of all the blame shifting, minimizing, gaslighting etc. that narcissistic borderlines transfer and triangulate to their partners. They are pure evil but she had me believing that I was the evil one. I must be, I threw a phone.

        Anyway, I’ve never been in trouble my entire life so I’m in a diversion program and once I complete this it’s like it never happened (at least the throwing of the phone part.) The silver lining of this is that to be granted diversion, you have to be interviewed by a diversion counselor and take a 250 question behavior test to see if you have anger, violence issues etc. I passed with flying colors. In fact my counselor says I don’t belong in the program. That because of the way I’m wired and the situations that SW created (telling me about cheating in front of the kids, multiple affairs, the holidays etc.) that these are the situations that serious domestic violence occur. These are situation where people get killed. I got angry (which is a healthy response and perfectly normal when you catch your spouse cheating on you) threw a phone and walked away.

        Don’t make my mistake though. Walk away and do it quickly and never look back. The severely disordered will victimize the victim. SW has been doing this her entire life (did you read her BS letter in the other post? She knows she can always find someone to clean up her shit. A beautiful immoral person can always find the next mark.) I took the bait and gave her victim story to spin to her next victim and it won’t be long before she is in front of another man telling him how bad Troll Man is after he has fallen from grace.

        It is OK to be angry. But be angry here or go do some pushups. I think they feed on this as well. Emotional vampires that they are. They know how to push your buttons and have hurt you with the betrayal, cruelty and the abuse of infidelity that is a pain like no other. And you need to have a place to get this out of you. Share your emotions with Chump Nation. We are a community of people who get it and will love you and help guide you to the nirvanic state of meh.

        • She needed to be “released” from her marriage? I think her phone needed to be “released” into those bushes.

        • Wow, Eddie, that article actually describes the OW to a T. If I thought it would do any good, I’d send it to STBX, because he’s trying desperately to rescue her. And of course she preys plays on that. If he doesn’t pay her enough attention, she will tell him visions of her death, or she’ll report some kind of criminal activity targeted toward her, etc. More interesting, it suggested that men drawn to rescue these women had these women as mothers. I’d never seen this before, but this article helped me see that he “rescued” his mother from her husband’s long-term infidelity.

          I actually don’t want to be rescued. What I do want is someone I can depend on, through good and bad times, and someone who will help me, not rescue me. Oh, and I would also like someone who’ll want to laugh with me, too.

        • Eddie,
          You and I have almost the exact same story, mine cheated on me I think within the first 30 days of our wedding…. I wish I had been smart like you ran… Nope my dumb chump ass stayed for years believing ….”if only I”… He too is a Narc… When I found out on affair number 4 , I threw a glass cup at him… And yet, I’m the evil one… Thank goodness he never called cops… But he still try’s to tell me I’m abusive… Hang in there

          • Shiley-

            Not trying to be a “one upper” or to win the title of “whose POS spouse cheated first in their marriage” BUT…..AP showed up at my bachelor party and STBXW SW asked me if I had anyone I “regretted” not being with before our marriage 30 days in so I declare us “co-winners” of this rather dubious title! lol.

            I didn’t run. I allowed her to manipulate me and take advantage of my love for her and the kids. It’s such a coincidence (not) that we “reconcile” from Dec. 21-26th (Eddie and his family loved the kids, especially my sister “Aunt” Bonnie who loved them deeply and is a great gift giver) and I catch SW cheating on the night of the 27th after I had called and told a realtor that I was bringing them a check on a house that we had looked at that day. But I’m such an uber-chump that I still feed her more cake, do the humiliating dance of pick me and try to stop her from her path of self destruction which only leads me to throwing a phone and becoming “Evil, Angry Eddie” which allowed her to keep her public persona of this wonderful single mom of three kids and who deserves to be living in a mansion and rolling around town in a new BMW. So not only am I abusive, SW used infidelity to upgrade her life style.

            Don’t resort to violence. Even something has innocuous as throwing a phone. Cheaters will use this to justify their behavior and they will make you out to be the crazy one. I so wish I hadn’t thrown that fucking phone. Her actions of the affair, and then hooking up with her second AP just days after I move my things out are now just her moving on with her life as quickly as possible (and SW is beautiful so she deserves a great life because you know, she’s beautiful) to get away from abusive Eddie. It fucking sucks.

        • So true re the borderline/npd’s trying to provoke one to get a response. Then, they spin the story to try to get folks to beleive you are an abuser. They are very good at this.
          Read up on “fundamental attribution error”. Thye rely on this.
          In essence, they provoke, get a response: third party observers are unaware of the outrageous provocation and see only the response. Third party observers assume this is who the betrayed is at heart and sympathize with the cheater. Justification for cheating is complete.
          I tell you, they do this instinctively and are practiced at playing to an audience. Best thins one can do is to go no contact and never play their game. They are too good at it, through years of practice.

      • On my ex’s first affair I was waiting for him at his gf’s work. He spotted me from across the parking lot as he went to walk into the building and shook his head disapprovingly. Went inside (probably to warn his girl) and came right back out to a face to face confrontation with a very distraught me. First thing he said to me was that I deserved whatever I was feeling right then. Deserved it. Wow. I slapped him hard, purely out of reflex. Surprised myself. There’s no way I could’ve stopped my hand from flying. Absolutely no way.

        • That’s pretty much how I felt. I found the texts and just flew at him. I barely remember it happening, to be honest-

      • I confess that I whacked mine a few times with whatever came to hand–broke a vase or two over his head. That’s when I realized both the depth of my rage, and just how much of a coward he really is.

        I’m not proud of having lashed out physically. I was hit a lot as a child, and have always been, well, proud, that I was able to parent without physical “discipline” as they call it, i.e., spanking. It’s very hard, as I’m sure many of us know, when you were hit as a child, not to repeat the behavior. (I consider it abuse under any circumstances, although in my childhood years it was common, even in schools). It resurfaces, and the rage and humiliation it engenders, when, as an adult you are once again placed in a position of such unbearable degradation.

        Being cheated on and lied to and betrayed in a long term relationship being pretty much a textbook example of that kind of degradation….

        • Degradation is a very good word for it.

          I don’t ever want to be in a situation again that brings me to those “depths of rage.”

        • I understand the urge to get physical. But, the large # of women who have reacted with violence here points toa real problem we have in our society. There is a huge double standard going on out there re the accepatability of violence against men.
          This weekend I watched three different shows where a women just hauled off and belted a man across the face for some percieved slight.
          My GF and I , recently , went to a movie where there were multiple instances of women slapping men in the face. Audience was not taken aback at all.
          I recnetly watched a “What Would You Do” clip with John Quinones. It showed the difference in the reaction of passerbys witnessing man on woman viloence vs the opposite. It was shocking to watch folks just walk by or even cheer a woman on when the man was being attcked.

      • After my cheater punched me in the nose and drew blood, I reached into his pajama pants (thank you, elastic waistband) and grabbed his junk. I pulled and twisted and dug in my nails with all the strength I could muster. Of course, this led to him throwing me down the stairs and cracking my tailbone while spewing blood all over the rug — so I don’t recommend it — but there is still a little part of me that smiles slyly knowing that he likely has a scar on his penis.

        A few weeks later, when I discovered yet more information about his infidelity, he’s just lucky my handgun was out being fixed. It actually did cross my mind for a minute. I thought, “What could be worse than the hell I am in right now? I’ve wasted my life with this man, I’m now most likely too old to have children and will be a burden on extended family in my old age, I’m unemployed, and I’m completely alone. If I killed him, at least the MOW couldn’t have him either.” I wasn’t planning to screw around with wounding him. I’m a decent shot.

        But then I decided that killing him would be too kind. His hell will be on earth, because every day he has to wake up and be him.

        • Suz: mine punched me in the mouth. It appears our ex’s will bear the same scars because i responded like you did. And you are right, the worst punishment for them is to be…them. Stay strong, nmc

        • Suz:
          I too thought as you, His hell will be on earth, because every day he has to wake up and be him.

          My reaction was just to run as far as I could and never look back. I didn’t want to touch him ever again or he to touch me every again. I was nauseated but what I found out he was doing behind my back. I didn’t want to look at him again let alone shoot him, I knew he wasn’t worth it when I discovered what I discovered.

          My anger set in later when I faced how he treated me and what he did and it finally entered into my head and became clear but I never wanted to kill him with a gun, only with my bear hands squeezing his neck until it snappped while awaiting my STD test results from my gyno. Thankfully they came back clean but I had film type scenarios in my head of going up to his office and beating the shit out of him and squeezing his fat neck until it collapsed if I found out that I caught an STD from him.

        • After I got chumped, every time I read a story about a woman or a man ending up getting arrested for assaulting their cheater I get a HUGE pang of sympathy. Crimes of Passion- Yes, I really do GET that!

          When my STBXH revealed to me that he had a 9 month affair with his office manager I was just SO devastated beyond anything I had ever felt. I WISHED that he and the OW were living in some Muslim country and wished I could watch them BOTH be stoned to death or have their heads chopped off!! Seriously, I felt that VERY deeply.

          BUT- there was a BIG revelation for me here. I wanted SO badly to expose the OW and do something to reveal HER terrible act. YET- I was the VICTIM and I thought there is no way I should EVER go to jail for being so hurt because of my cheating pants husband and his liar married OW girlfriend.

          I got my revenge as an attorney because I ended up representing my husband when the bimbo OW filed a phony sexual harassment claim against my STBXH, phony telephone harassment charges, AND a complaint for sexual harassment with the civil rights commission. IT literally almost killed me with stress and tears prepping the cases BUT never was I so satisfied to WIN the bogus wrongful termination case she also brought against my STBXH. The case went to a hearing before a hearings examiner and a court reporter and the OW had to sit, listen to my evidence, hear from my witnesses, AND I got to cross-examine her and everything!!! Her extreme phony crap was revealed and I have it in writing from the hearings examiner in so many ways that he didn’t find her testimony ‘compelling’ or ‘truthful’.

          Now I spackled, spackled, spackled HUGELY to be able to do this and my husband did NOT deserve my efforts BUT I got justice in the case and I’ll bet the OW will think twice before she EVER screws a man who happens to be married to a female attorney. 😉 Oh yeah, 10 years later what did the married OW do? As soon as her husband finished paying the school loans for her kids from her FIRST Marriage and raised them both- she divorced him- her SECOND husband. Really hope she will ROT in HELL!!! Her second husband was a bigger chump than I. When I called him to reveal his wife’s affair with my husband when my husband told me, he told me: “She and I have HONESTY in our relationship and she would NEVER cheat on me.” I’ve always wanted to asked him if he ever changed his opinion about her honesty- BUT I know he probably feels like hell to this day realizing he was CHUMPED big time.

          • Awesome, Hope49. Love the story.

            My STBX may have chumped me, but he’s also being chumped. After reading Eddie’s link, I can see that OW is the Borderline Waif, the woman in need of rescue. She’s also quite predatory. Objectively speaking, she’s a woman who screws her way to financial stability, bleeds them dry, and finds someone else. It’s been a winning formula so far. I cannot for the life of me figure out why STBX didn’t spot this way before the affair blossomed.

            For what it’s worth, I’m fine with her chumping him.

            • Today is a good day for me. I’m a big baseball fan and the suspension of Ryan Braun today is not only good for the game, it’s good life lesson. Cheaters never prosper. The reason old adages such as this one stick around and stay in our collective conscious is because they ARE TRUE. And we all know this to be true, even the cheater. They may have moments of glory (Braun was the MVP in 2011) but their lies and their actions always catch up with them. Sure he get’s to lick his wounds in a huge house and he has a 113 million dollar guaranteed contract (we shall see about this, baseball insiders are predicting restructuring of contracts of those caught cheating with PED’s) but he is now and forevermore, regarded as a cheater and his morals and integrity will always be questioned.

              Our cheaters are just like this. Some of them continue to circle the drain and fall further into the pit and path of self destruction. It’s obvious to see if they have substance issues, are unemployed etc. Others are very shiny and move quickly to the the next kibble supply and seem to have it all with no regret or remorse. I think these two quotes put in all in context.

              Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

              Time will bring to light whatever is hidden; it will cover up and conceal what is now shining in splendor.

              Be it Ryan Braun, SW and the scores of cheaters that have betrayed us here at Chump Nation, believe that they suck and in the end, it’s us Chumps that have the greater victory in our lives being without them.

      • Here is a wise quote for all of us, “Revenge is a lazy form of grief.”

  • The original post made me feel like my journey through the pits of Despair– complete with its own crazy drama–was not so bad. Well, at least it could have been much worse than it was. It still sucked, and I would’t recommend it even to people I don’t like, but I defiitely got a ‘I did pretty good considering…” moment reading it.

    Which is not at all the same as saying I could not have done better or that I never responded in a way that doesn’t reflect well on me. I have my ow mea culpas, and I wish I had just known to walk away sooner, but it probably took “not liking what I was turning into” for me to wake up.

    I never thought I’d say it, but maybe I kinda of got lucky (you know, like getting into a really horrible car wreck and only spending a couple weeks in the hospital kind of lucky).

    • I think we all probably have a few moments we’d like to forget and I’m sure a lot of us wish we hadn’t wasted even one breath on these asshats. But live and learn. I have a few small regrets but they don’t begin to compare with what I was faced with. I give myself a pass on most stuff-

      • Nord, I would like to forget I ever met him but unfortunately I don’t think that will ever happen. It will fade for sure as it has now in these 6 months but it will never completely disappear. It will keep me on hyper alert should something start bothering me in new future relationship. Lord knows I will never be able to trust so freely again and that is my personality, I trust because I trust myself and don’t keep harmful secrets from those I love.

        I guess I too project! Ha.

        • I don’t regret meeting Ex because we had an interesting and good life together. What I regret is being so absolutely blind to what was apparently right in front of me. And for not leaving when things were weird and odd and he was being a shit.

          • Nord, thanks for writing that. I also don’t regret the 20 year marriage I had with my H (the one he doesn’t want to end).
            He is not all bad, loves his children and is a good provider, and I do see the frightened little boy inside so I have compassion for him.
            I will never regret my gorgeous children.
            We did love eachother hugely once, we started at the same level of woundedness – I wanted to grow together and he didn’t.
            I would like to get to a level of ‘compassionate meh’ where I can acknowledge that he showed me some pretty valuable lessons I have to learn: to not tolerate unlove, to set boundaries and to believe I am worth it.
            So. You nailed it when you talked about levels of rage and hurt beyond control. That is where I started, and my goal is ‘compassionate meh’. I have started going to Al-anon (yes he drinks as well as cheats – apparently addiction is very common amongst narcissists). Al-anon is a complete trip along the yellow brick road to ‘meh’, and I recommend it wholeheartedly, substance abuse or not.

            • “Compassionate meh.” Patsy, I like that a lot. 🙂

              Ditto “to not tolerate unlove.”

  • I have come to accept (though I don’t always like it) that for some hurts, for some pain that is inflicted on us by the totally shitty and selfish actions of others – for many things, there is no pay back that will even the score. There is no way to wipe the hurt away, no matter how much we in turn dish out. They might sure as hell deserve it, but it still wont change or erase what they have done to us. It just won’t.

    In watching Oprah (don’t judge me, lol) they were talking about toxic relationships and this lady asked how she could deal with the pain that this user asshole of an ex had inflicted on her. The answer was (Im para-phrasing here) that if the pain of a bad relationship is what it takes for you to learn and avoid users in the future, consider it tuition paid to learn how to pick better next time.

  • CL,

    I applaud you for your second thoughts. You are modeling now NOT to over-react.

    The danger here is that you get into the gutter with these characters and wind up hurting yourself in the process. I think there was old Greek saying: “The gods first make insane those they would destroy.” Narcs drive others crazy. Stop the crazy. Get away. Go with class. It’s probably the best revenge, but, in the end, who cares if it’s revenge? It’s your ticket out. Take it and walk away…. But don’t let rage cause you to do something rash, impulsive and self-destructive.

    • David,

      That is a great saying – I’d forgotten it! Those Greeks – they knew the human condition, that’s for sure!

  • I don’t want to kill my cheater. I never have. I would not mind it if he died in a fire (as long as no other human or animal was with him–save for OW, of course) or if he had a fatal car accident on the way home (as long as he didn’t take anyone else with him) or if he just dropped dead. All those would greatly simplify my life and eliminate the need for divorce proceedings.

    I do think he deserves to live with the OW. She’s not some sweet young thing, stupid enough to fall for sparkle. Instead, she’s a predatory 40-year-old, twice-married, twice-divorced, with a history of dating (older) married men. Yeah, the meal ticket.

    I am not 100% sure that my cheater has a personality disorder, but I’m pretty sure that she does. And she likely has a drinking problem. STBX took a day off of work and helped out with a civic organization he recently joined, and an organization that I wished he’d joined a decade ago, since the men (it’s a fraternal group) are significantly better role models than his own father. OW, though, is hugely jealous of his time. Her correspondence with him was all “you took that day off so that you could be with them/, and you ignored me. Then she tells him that there’s some mystery guy bothering her and threatening her and “look at my police report!”

    He, of course, wants to be the Knight in Shining Armor rescuing his Princess, so he believes all this shit.

    So yeah, I think that the worst thing that could happen to him is for him to get saddled with her. I pray that they do not break up before I file.

    That said, I empathize with Lily. I am very, very angry with STBX. I want to swear at him, hit him, scream at him–but I know deep down that none of this will do any good. I understand the desire to hurt him physically, but I also know that I won’t, that the worst thing is to tell him it’s over, and that he’s free to go after OW.

    • kb, we may have married the same man. Definite rescue fantasy going on, and he just can’t see her lies and manipulation. I learned this weekend that his sisters won’t even see him anymore, and the MOW (yup, she’s still married to her H of 22 years, and her parents are supporting him instead of her…) calls and texts my SIL every single day, to the point where my SIL thinks she’ll have to change her phone number. He’s borrowed nearly $30,000 in the last three months and spent over half of it on bar tabs, movie tickets, and dinner bills. I guess that’s the only reason she’s with him…

      During our brief reconciliation in December, my H admitted that the MOW would get jealous and pout every time he joined me on my business trips, accompanied me to the opera, or raved about something I cooked. Talk about manipulation.

      • Really, I find this jealousy that the AP holds for the spouse to be strangely amusing. What? You’re getting angry because two married people are spending time with each other? Pffft!

        In fact, before Dday, when STBX told me that he wanted to join a fraternal organization, I was extremely happy. He had a very restricted social life, and distrusted most social situations. I thought that he needed to be with more men, and that he needed to do something other than work. I did not begrudge him that time at all, and I’m still not jealous of the time he spends there, though I do realize that it gives him more opportunities to sneak visits with OW.

        • Yes this AP ‘jealousy’ is completely ridiculous- just like they are. BTDT. The AP quickly puts themself in the primary relationship spot, and you, the legitimate partner, are stepping on thier toes! I think two things explain this:
          AP’s are really good at closing thier eyes, covering thier ears, and pretending we don’t exist. Cheaters probably encourage this, it’s convenient for them!
          AP personality types seem to be juvenile and bratty. Nuff said.

    • Yes. He took a job in another state. They’re separated. She is *beholden* to him, financially, legally. I think that upsets me more than anything.

      He calls to cry and apologize. Wants to visit (cake).

      Shooting him in the ass with a .44 just made it a shit load harder to leave him.

      • Damn. That’s a tough situation. She was wrong to shoot him of course, but I hope she can divorce him anyway.

  • Chump Lady –

    Well – this one brought me to tears. Tears of recognition. It might have been me. It might have been any of us. Even now I find moments here and there where the darkest aspects of my mind go to ground and I think about what I’d actually like to do.

    You said a mouthful with this: “I was in so much pain, I didn’t care. I gave over to nihilism. My world winnowed down to just HIM. Everything was only my love of him and his betrayal. Nothing else mattered.”

    Nihilism – driven by the kind of pain only someone who loved deeply and truly and faithfully and was betrayed in every way – is so damned seductive. It calls even months, years after the discovery. Meh holds no such allure – but it is the only way back to happiness.

    Cheating is an evil that has been treated like an entitlement by our society for decades or more – and it spreads more pain and death than probably any other social ill. Why no one has tried to figure out a way to quell it is beyond me.

  • In an effort to answer the “Why?” question, I took a long look at my own behavior throughout our marriage. The worst I could come up with was I used to kvetch about his coldness and laziness to my best friend; and I eventually gave up on trying to fix what I did so wrong that he would stop talking to me, touching me or treat me as though I mattered to him anymore.

    I jumped through hoops for 14 years, asking what was wrong, apologizing for something he perceived as a slight just to keep the peace, and holding my tongue when I had a legitimate complaint, lest I piss him off into another three-month silent treatment.

    It was 2007 when I went back to school and began to feel hopeful about my self worth again. He interpreted that as an act of defiance. When I discovered his cheating and called him out on it, he confessed that the last 18 years married to me were the worst years of his life, and he wished I would just die.

    My husband hates me.

    At this point in my life, I’m working hard every day to stop loathing myself for putting up with such blatant emotional neglect and abuse for almost 20 years, rationalizing that for us, that was our marriage — no better, just worse — and to just deal with it.

    His cheating was a deal breaker. His bimbo was married for 28 years, and jumped right into our marriage before hers and ours were over. She better be prepared to serve and shut up.

    I still hurt, but mostly because he continues to punish me for hiring an attorney to advocate for me and my children’s needs. He is unemployed again, and has gone from paying $1400 to $300 in child support. He really believes I am sticking it to him by asking for him to pay for his children’s needs. Meanwhile, while I’m working a full-time job and three part-time jobs AND raising three teens, he and his bimbo are living large off of his inheritance and her divorce settlement.

    It’s not fair, and I hate what he does to us on a regular basis. But mostly, my feelings for both of them are utter disgust. I have no faith anymore, and do not believe in karma. My only response is to get up every morning and get on with the business of working toward a more satisfying, genuine and (dare I dream) happy life. Some days are easier than others.

    • He’s a loser, Chutes, and you’re amazing. What sort of man complains about paying for his kids? And entitled asshole. Hell, my ex has just come back from a holiday with final OW and I’ve been taking care of the kids, paying all their expenses for time he should have been with him, working in between entertaining them and you know what? He won’t give me a penny extra, even though we’re struggling right now.

      Trust CL, your husband sucks. You’re great and doing amazing things to make sure your kids are ok. They’ll know it and so will every other person in your life. I want to smack him around for you. Figuratively, of course.

      • Thank you, Nord. Mostly, I wish for two days.

        One is the day when I’m financially stable enough to not need his pittance of child support to get by.

        The other is when our children are strong and wise enough to write him off without feeling guilty because they have realized that his lies and selfishness demonstrate a complete lack of love or respect for them as human beings with feelings and needs. They were his children, not a hobby.

        Then we will all be free from the asshole and his preferred freak show life once and for all.

        • Your wishes are my wishes. I’m working my ass off to get my career back on track so I can tell him to kiss my ass financially. Second, I really hope the kids can see him for who he really is. They’re starting to but they’re young, they love him (or who they think he is…and yes, they do love when he sparkles), and they don’t want a loser for a dad. But they kind of get it and I figure the fact that he promises things and doesn’t come through all the time will get to them. Simple things, like him offering to get them into cool camps this summer never came through. But he did make sure his holiday with OW was fully planned and paid for. So the kids know it’s me who will get this stuff done and have decided to let me deal with everything. He digs his own grave every time. They all do.

          • I should add that he’s always been this way. If he doesn’t want to do something he won’t just come out and say it or discuss it, he’ll simply say he’ll do it and then passively not do it in the end. The fucked up part of this is that the camps were his idea, he suggested them to the kids, got them excited and then never bothered to sort any of it out. And so the kids were really disappointed. That’s the last time that happens. I’ll make sure they get into the stuff they want to get into and I’ll get them there. Ex will be further out of their lives and then will moan about the whole situation. god, he’s an asshole.

            • Unbelievable how identical our stories are, all the way down to summer plans. Last year, while still living in our home but flaunting his bimbo, he spent a week vacation with her and her family at our kids’ (newly deceased) grandparent’s Cape Cod home. He never spent a week vacation with us, but had no problem opening up “our” family cape home to his scumbag new family. It broke my heart when our 11-year old had me bring him to the grocery store to buy a white cake mix that week so he could make his father a birthday cake, because “Dad always spends his birthday with me.” Then didn’t. Seems he threw himself and his bimbo a birthday/coming out party at the Cape with all his “friends” I knew for 20 years. Scum of the earth.

              This shit happens all the time now. And they still want to believe in him. I hate that our kids are the Charlie Brown falling for Lucy’s promise not to swipe the football away.

              Just looking forward to those two key days! 🙂

              • When our son was four, he signed up for soccer, his first organized sport ever. And I signed up to be his assistant coach. The games were on Saturday mornings. X never attended ONE game. Because he told me, “I don’t like soccer.” Douche.

              • Agreed. Kids are not clones, but the dysfunctional parent will not support the child’s activities if those activities aren’t what the dysfunctional parent wants the child to do.

            • For Easter, about 1 month after he moved out with no real explanation, the ex gave my son a “certificate” promising to take him to 10 baseball games that year. He passively never got around to actually doing it. It’s the thought that counts right?

              About Christmas time, when the STBX was vacationing with “her” in Mexico and leaving the kids and I to deal with the worst winter storm to come to our parts in a generation, I found the envelope with the certificate in his room. The certificate had been ripped to shreds.

              The kids get it.

              • Chutes, Ex has shown up at exactly one sporting even in more than a decade. That was a few months ago, with OW in tow. He needed to piss on his territory or something.

  • As I was driving to work today this song came on the radio ….
    Carrie Underwood, Two Black Cadillacs

  • I think going through the infidelity experience, especially after a long marriage, is enough to make anyone feel crazy. Some people act out and want to physically harm the other person. Some people harm or even kill themselves (Sylvia Plath). Many chumps I’ve talked to shared their stories of wanting to die after they found out. One man in his late 70’s recently told me about coming home to find a note that his wife had taken his 3 kids and left. He tried to get an explanation from her but couldn’t. He said he took his motorcycle out and drove it as fast as he could on a busy interstate, hoping to get hit by a truck. He finally came to his senses, ended up marrying someone else and has been married 30 years. I’ve heard versions of this story over and over. Living through this kind of betrayal can play havoc with your sanity. Personally I am proud to be a survivor. By the way, here’s a really interesting article on life after infidelity:

  • So I guess my plan to put battery acid in the anti-chafing cream he rubs on his balls before going for a long-distance bicycle ride is out of the question?

    Damn. And it was just a good idea.

  • I’m glad I had a chance to read the post before you took it down.
    This is what it left me with, what you were saying at the end of it:

    I was reminded of this saying, referring to all the spying, prying and GPSing
    “The jailer becomes the jailed.” And that’s the biggest way we can get trapped mentally.


  • All I can think of is “War of the Roses”. That’s enough to sober my thoughts up big time.

  • Very important topic and a very difficult one morally.

    Jack Nicholson recounted how he destroyed his 16-year relationship with actress Anjelica Huston. How? He impregnated a waitress/actress whose claim to fame at that point was working as an extra in the first “Die Hard” movie.

    When asked what the fall-out was, Nicholson replied that Huston flew all the way to England, where Nicholson was filming the first “Batman” movie, and BEAT his fucking ass!

    It’s IMPOSSIBLE not to read that story and think: “Oh, you GO GIRL!” Huston must’ve been a saint to put up with Nicholson for all of those years, only to have it all thrown away when he decided to knock up so no-name Hollywood wannabe. There’s certain triumph in reading that and I doubt anybody felt sorry for Nicholson.

    But it’s SO important to take the high road. We all want to yell, scream, throw things, punch walls, punch our cheaters, punch the OM/OW, slash tires, smash windshields or kick down doors. And if there’s a stabbing weapon or firearm in close proximity, we damn well have been tempted.

    At the end of the day, however, it’s JUST not worth it. I’m a year and a half removed from my “marriage” being destroyed and I’m SO thankful that I didn’t resort to any of those options. That would’ve only lowered me to my ex’s level and given him even MORE of an excuse to play the victim, something he was intent on doing from Day 1 of our breakup.

    Remember, chumps. No matter how upset or enraged you might be, there ARE still laws against those things. Even if you get slash your cheater’s tires and get hit with some chickenshit misdemeanor and a $200 fine, those charges are PERMANENT. I work in HR and EVERYTHING shows up on a background check report. Not just convictions. EVERYTHING.

    Obviously, most companies don’t care about the ticket you got for blowing that Stop sign when you were 21. But imagine the Universe blesses you with an amazing job opportunity and you’re stuck having to explain away to a hiring manager some stupid conviction because you decided to get even with your cheating ex whom you’ve LONG since moved on from.

    It’s not worth it. The best revenge truly IS living well.

    • Weird thing is old Jack still talks about Angelica and rues the day he fucked it all up.

      • And CL’s friend’s husband is crying to come back after being shot in the butt.

        What is it about men and physical pain that causes them to snap out of it? Do they actually respect you more when you dish it out instead of taking their crap day after day?

        Or is that the only way to reset their fogged up synapses?

        Not recommending violence, because I’m better off, but I know that things would be different if the cuckolded deputy sheriff had called my old man out.

        • True story!

          Thankfully, Huston broke away from the lecherous Nicholson and married a sculptor a few years later.

          Sadly, Huston is now widowed after nearly 20 years of marriage. 🙁 But at the very least she didn’t beg Nicholson to stay and moved on to a true, loving relationship.

  • In the late 60’s my Mother…

    Put sugar in Daddy’s cars gas tank

    Loaded the whole back of the new station wagon he had bought her with bricks, calmly unloading them in the middle of the street in front of our downtown business, and then threw each one through the french doors.

    Cut the lines on the 80 foot boat that was the other family business in the middle of the night where it narrowly escaped drifting into a bridge because someone happened to be driving by

    Grabbed one of his “girlfriends” by her long blond hair and smashed her face into a cage that we kept monkeys in.

    And would have probably shot him but my sister and I threw the gun into the deep water bight after she threatened to shoot me, my sister, or herself with it.

    Think she was pissed? Police wouldn’t touch her cause they said “He had it coming”

    Maybe that’s why I go into an emotional freeze. I’m afraid of what I’m capable of.

    • Ok, maybe your mom went a bit nuts but some of that is brilliant, particularly the brick part.

      • And those are only a few of the stories I know! She didn’t win but it seems back then retaliation for the right reasons was something you could “get away” with if you were a good woman/man that was publicly betrayed….
        CL’s post and everyone’s input makes me look back on those days with fond nostalgia. Don’t get me wrong I adored my Daddy (I was actually the “favorite” and closest one to him out of 13 kids) and he was so beloved by the time he turned 70 he was elected Mayor…but they still called a spade a spade back then..And of course he just called Mommy “CRAZY”

    • “Grabbed one of his “girlfriends” by her long blond hair and smashed her face into a cage that we kept monkeys in.”

      Wow! You had monkeys? Sounds awesome.

  • I can think of nothing I’d rather do more than smash the OW’s face into a cage where monkeys are kept. That must have felt GREAT.

    • It wouldn’t help X’s bimbo; she already looks like her face has been smashed into a cage where monkeys are kept!

    • yeah, I agree BUT. . . I do really feel sorry for the monkeys having to get scared by a bimbo blond OW with her face all in their cage!!! Poor oh poor lil’ monkeys. . .

  • I left last Sunday. After ten months of all the lying, evil shit that is sooo familliar here. Why? Because i finally lost it and got violent enough to break my wrist a couple weeks ago when he lied and cheated yet again. When I called my brother from the hospital to let him know what had happened I said:”He’s lucky I didn’t kill him.” And my brother said: “No. You’re lucky you didn’t kill him.”
    He is definitely not worth having lowered myself to violence. My heart goes out to your friend CL.

  • NTB,

    You have One Smart brother!

    It’s not worth it to ruin your own life over what narcs do. The LESS emotion you can show them and the world, the better.

    But I do understand the anger.

  • Could never do this myself but I have dreams. I can never get that angry mores the pity.

  • I have dark moments when I’d like to give my STBX and the OW something nasty, but then I remind myself they have each other. Both of them are so pathetic it kind of makes me smile. You could NOT make this shit up.

    There have been temptations to do this or say that, but at the end of the day I haven’t. I like to think that there’s a part of my STBX, his loser friends and the OW who are probably a bit surprised that I haven’t “over reacted” which was a favourite expression of his. I’m sure they are a bit disappointed that I haven’t thrown any drama. THIS is what keeps me going on the “good” path.

    I’m no saint, but I do believe that at the end of my life I’d like to look back on all this crap and believe that I handled it with some class and dignity. That’s not to say I judge anyone who has thrown down because I understand that completely. I just think that’s what he would LOVE to happen and that my fellow chumps, is what stops me.

    He is simply not worth it.

    • Nope, they’re not worth it and once I realised that I backed way off and ignored him. I contiue to do that and he pops up fairly often trying to start arguments but I ignore, ignore,ignore. Let him deal with his life and let me deal with mine. What I hate is that for my kids there’s this constant thing of their parents not getting along at all and it really hurts them, particularly because the split literally happened overnight. One day we were all laughing and happy and planning our lives and the next it was all over. I will never be able to get my head around that. I could understand if we were a miserable family and there were fights all teh time and they could understand why we split but it wasn’t like that – although he tries to convince them that we fought all the time. He really does do that and it pisses me off because it’s just another rewrite – and a total mindfuck on the kids.

  • CL: Please send our love and prayers to Lily. And, thank you for sharing her story with us. nmc

  • Just want to say to all of you that got physical – let it go if you can. I have a really REALLY bad temper and when I lose it my whole system goes into autodrive and my tongue turns into a ginsu knife. I felt guilt for a long time about how many times I lost my temper and verbally fileted him like a fish….and actually imagined it put me “at fault” too.

    But I’m not the one that fucked someone(s) else for God knows how long while raping me financially/emotionally/ mentally etc. etc. And then made me feel unstable because of what he did! It’s no wonder there are so many “Crimes of Passion”

    • I find myself that so many times my H wants to have a fight and tries to provoke me, waits (I mean literally waits) until he sees I’m most vunerable ( late at night sleepy) and makes snarky remarks. It is so hard not to go for the bait because I could get really nasty and sarcastic but fortunately I also have learned this is his strategy and frustrate him more by telling him to fight with himself. Better yet call the OW on your secret cell phone. See I could say that but I don’t. So lots of times it is also to make us chumps feel guilty ( we are good at that)

      • My wife thing in the morning when often starts up at me first thing in the morning when I’m at my worst

  • Toni

    I too have a “temper” but I’ve worked on it and tried. He didn’t. He made sure that I felt emotionally unstable. It’s bad enough that we feel awful but then to make us feel worse? Not helpful.

    I’ll be better – for the next person. And so will you. There’s a reason we lose our minds on these types.

  • To your friend, CL, and all those others that have “lost it” physically, or think you have a “temper”, or an “anger management” problem.. maybe you do, and maybe YOU DON’T.

    Perhaps, under any other given situation, your perfectly normal. But your fucked up, NPD spouse, when confronted with your anger due to being cheated on, shit upon, run over, and Chumped.. what do they do? Deny. Gaslight. Lie… and when they can’t do any more of that because you have the evidence, they shut down. Go into passive-aggressive mode. Withdrawal. I actually asked my wife, once, to simply “please, stop being passive-aggressive. If your pissed at me, just say so”. Her reply? With the straightest of faces, simply said “I’m not being aggressive. I’m just being passive”. Yeah!! And she meant it, as if, that makes it acceptable.

    So what do you do? Over-compensate for the lack of emotion in the situation. Fill in the gap, attempt humanize with real feelings, albeit anger and frustration… hoping that you will be heard, recognized and elicit the slightest amount of empathy… but you know where that’s going. Your Narc Just #SCORESKIBBLES.

    And that’s when you loose it. That’s when the physical manifestation of the shit you and your children are getting put through overcomes sensibilities. This is a real danger zone for doing something stupid. The difference, of course, is after the fact, you will be filled with regret. And, of course, your Narc has another narrative to spin.

    CL if your shooting-from-the-hip ,into-the-hip-of-her-jackass-husband friend’s marriage does not work out, I’d date her. I can deal with reality. I would rather be shot in the ass that cheated on ever again. When your shot in the ass, you know what happened. You got shot in the ass. There is a bullet that went into your ass. You probably know why you got shot in the ass. I’m not advocating ass-shooting here, but, in comparison to fucking over a person’s life and shared children, dreams, lives, years and decades down the shitter, bring on the .44 and a few hours of pain. My ass can handle *that*. Getting run over by a bus, and then having the bus shoved up my ass? Not so much.

    • Chump Man-

      Awesome post! I’d have rather got shot in the ass as well. It’s the shot to the heart, well instead of trying to make the line mine, all the credit goes to Bon Jovi:

      Shot through the heart,
      And you’re to blame
      Darling, you give love
      A bad name.

      An angel’s smile is what you sell
      You promise me heaven and put me through hell.
      Chains of love got a hold on me
      When passion’s a prison you can’t break free.

      Oh! You’re a loaded gun … yeah
      Oh! There’s nowhere to run
      No one can save me, the damage is done!

      Shot through the heart,
      And you’re to blame
      You give love a bad name
      I play my part, and you play your game
      You give love a bad name.
      You give love a bad name.

      Paint your smile on your lips
      Blood red nails on your fingertips.
      A school boy’s dream, you act so shy
      Your very first kiss was your first kiss goodbye.

      Whoa! You’re a loaded gun
      Whoa! There’s nowhere to run
      No one can save me the damage is done.

      Shot through the heart,
      And you’re to blame
      You give love a bad name
      I play my part, and you play your game
      You give love a bad name.
      You give love…

      • I have heard that song a million times, and never once pondered the lyrics.

    • ChumpMan I think anyone would be lucky to date you. What a fantastic post!

    • Chump Man, you seriously make me laugh. I would invite you over to my house to shoot me in the ass, then I could shoot you in the ass and then we would fall over laughing applying ice packs and bandages to each other’s ass.

      Then all this gun shooting would wake up my 14 year- old daughter and my 85 year- old mother who is visiting for a few weeks. They would just WONDER what the heck is with the Ass shooting?

    • Yeah, it’s not like you got shot in the ass years ago but didn’t find out about it until now.

    • You are right, chumpman. The concept of “picking up fleeas’ from a disordered spouse and acting out of character is well documented.

      BUT, you need to resist , if possible. The disordered know how to use your reaction to their advantage. Be smart, even if it is difficult or you will lose the PR game.

  • OK – Once upon a time – I had a cheating boyfriend and after I found out, I went over to his house, when I knew he was out with her…. and I had 4 gallons of black paint…. I planned to go into his backyard, enter the house thru his sliding glass door, which was always unlocked, give his dog a big ole dish of food and then trash the house by throwing black paint all over everything.

    It was the ONE FUCKING TIME the sliding glass door was locked. OMG I shudder to think of it. It would have changed my whole life. Saved by the lock. I was absolutely crazy out of my mind. God, I’m like a super chump. More than one shitheel in one life.

    • and after I did the pick me dance, as fast as I could, for well over a year – and feeling like I had really lost my mind…. I basically stopped dating for 8 years. I really felt like I had no idea who I was and it scared me that I was capable of that kind of crazy.

      Fast forward to October 2012 – actually, it was probably more like late July….. oddly enough, another Mike – and here I am. I thought I did my homework….

  • For years I had reoccurring dreams that I was punching him. I now know it’s because subconsciously, his passive aggression enraged me.

    I have guns in the home. Never ever occurred to me to shoot him, thank God.

    I said some really horrible things to him that I regret, but all of it was true.

    I almost typed a lot of it out here, but I erased it all. It was really mean. I do believe he has always been depressed, and it turns out, that even in my fear and rage and shocking pain, I was just kicking a man while he was down. As bad off as I was, I was way better off than he was. And I let him know it.

    I think that’s worse than physical violence, and I can’t be arrested for it, nor is there a fine to be paid. I’m sure he ran to the homewrecker to tell her what a horrible bitch I am. In fact, he told me, as I bled from my broken heart, and he lay there in the living room, that I was making it very hard for him to regret what he’d done.

    I regret my own actions because I am beginning to realize how pathetic he is, though there are times I still feel overwhelming rage toward him. On the other hand, my rage is the result of unfair expectations–he can’t be who he is not.

    If I had it to do over, there’s a lot I would have done the same, and some things differently, but mostly I’d have cut off contact much sooner and not told him the truth about what a piece of shit he is, and just let him come to that sickening self realization all on his own.

    • “I regret my own actions because I am beginning to realize how pathetic he is, though there are times I still feel overwhelming rage toward him. On the other hand, my rage is the result of unfair expectations–he can’t be who he is not. ”

      At there lays the Crux Of The Problem. I would venture to say that Ordered People have not only a sense of fairness, but genuine understanding. I struggle with this concept, this notion, that one can hold onto his or her Proper Ideals, but also, at the same time, know when to throw them away on a Per Person level. He told you right, “You” made it hard for “Him” to regret the result of “His” adultery? Bull Fucking Shit.

      As the case may be, I hope as well to move from Dislike to Disdain to Don’t Give a Shit Meh, but pity them? Don’t know. Not sure what to think about this.

  • I’ve felt like that. After I first found out. And again after I found out about all the other cheating he did.

    Lots of my friends asked if I wanted them to slash his tires, go to his work and kick him in the balls on the job, vandalize his car in various ways, cut his hair while he was sleeping, etc.

    All of it was fun to fantasize about…but I told all of them not to do any of it. No matter how much I wished I could. And believe me, I sometimes made plans on how I would do it. Especially when he tried to get me back months later after I started dating my fiancé (four days to go!!)

    But deep down, I knew that it wouldn’t make anything better. It would likely just land me with a criminal record, and more ammo for him to talk shit about me. It’s never worth it.

    • I thought about a lot of revenge fantasies that gave me pleasure, but I couldn’t actually act on them. My favorite fantasy was putting jalapeno juice in the lubricant jelly I found in his travel bag. The thought of them showing up at the ER with burning genitals made me laugh. Anyway, I wanted to throw something and break it the day after he left, but couldn’t bring myself to be so destructive. Instead I stripped all the family pictures off the wall, divided them up and marked the boxes “mine” and “yours.” It was hard for me to believe he really wanted to break up our family, but that act helped me face reality. Another thing that really helped me accept reality was when I told my mom “he never understood my emotional needs.” My mom replied, “he understood, he just didn’t CARE.”

  • The only way, I think, to dignify what’s been done to us is with dignity — FOR OUR OWN GOODNESS, SAFETY, SANITY, AND WELLBEING. I had to — it felt like a literal need — lay both palms over my heart — so many times — to hold it in, hold it intact, tell it to keep beating.

    I was very ill when I discovered my husband’s cheating … until that moment, I’d been starting to get my ‘mojo’ back … and for whatever reason(s), he was in a process of already bailing; I just discovered actual evidence during one particular moment (after suspecting for a year) … and my health plummeted to a dangerous point; there was a time or two when my functioning became so threatened by the catastrophe of it all that my life was endangered. I had loved him with my whole heart and being — first time I ever gave of myself so thoroughly; for most of our years were were deeply bonded and we did cherish one another … I guess he thought he was on a sinking ship and chose not to ride out what was a long recouping period, and the possibility that my illness would be lifelong … so he bailed. (So much for “for better, for worse; in sickness and in health…”)

    I’m still ill … and seriously so, but I turned my life completely away from his as fast as I could — cut him right out of my life immediately (except for the awful, practical matters that had to be dealt with before the break could be truly complete), and literally took my heart into my own hands.

    “The best revenge…is no revenge.” ~ I believe this utterly. Any harm I’d do to him would have fired right back at me … When we intend to harm another, we are also harming ourselves. No doubt about that. I simply am not interested in inflicting harm on another person … and I had to make very, very sure that I was not inflicting harm on myself — turning my agony against myself in the forms of blame or shame — refusing to take in the contempt that he shot at me. I had been viciously abused in childhood, and had worked for decades to unload the damage. If there’s one part of me that started to bounce back relatively quickly after the betrayal, it was my sense of genuine worth in my own goodness — NO MATTER WHAT. I (finally) knew that I was not what I’d long ago been told I was (a worthless, useless excuse for a human being), nor was I what he saw me as at the end (useless, a wastrel, a user who duped him, stupid, etc.) The paradox is — my ex was, for most of our years, a primary mirror of that sense of worth I’d been working so hard to instill. I know in my bones that he deeply cherished me — I’d never felt such cherishment before from any other person to that depth. The paradox was that the cherishment he offered during our loving years remained with me — I’d taken it in, received it, believed it — it was real. The betrayal, then, was a triple whammy — but over time, I realized that the cherishment he’d given in the past was still inside me … and I couldn’t negate that.

    So he is out, Out, OUT of my life, and the gift remains. Go figure.

    I wish him well, I really do … and he is OUT of my life. Like a friend of mine once joked (while my ex and I were still together) about another woman she knew — This woman placed a blessing on her ex; she’d say, often, “God bless you and keep you … far, far away!”

    It’s shattering to be betrayed by the one you thought was your beloved mate at any time … but to be already very ill and so vulnerable … betrayal can threaten your life. You are abandoned at your most vulnerable, when your ability to stand strong and tall is already compromised; when you are weakened; when all your energies are going into convalescence and regaining strength and viability. The first seven months after the break were like that for me. I barely made it through; nearly went mad with the grief and injury of betrayal and abandonment on top of serious illness. He simply bailed and gave me absolutely no support (including alimony — he was not a wealthy man; was barely keeping his own head above water.) I know that my illness, a few shattering losses [deaths] in his own life, his own increasing (and ignored) health concerns, and some kind of visceral fear that he would/could not admit to, were factors in his undoing. It seems that he simply turned all his own pain and fear against me. Simply: he broke under his own losses and injuries and would not reach out for help (except, it became clear, to his online fantasy figures…) ~ One of my wisest Aunties shouted at me over the phone one day — she was one of my lifesavers: “He wants to destroy you — AND DON’T YOU LET HIM!!” She got through to me. I really began to WALK AWAY in that moment, and I haven’t looked back.

    • Any way you look at it, he lacked deep, genuine empathy. You can wish him well (why not?), and all of that other stuff, but saying he “broke” due to this or that is probably an inaccurate narrative. I have no doubt that he told you about every thing that bothered him in his life, though.

      In the end, his chief concern was himself, and I doubt that people go from being a little neurotic but still very empathetic to “me first, and screw you”. I don’t think that happens if they genuinely care about you and don’t see you as some sort of extension of themselves or aren’t seething in resentment for some reason.

      For me, part of the healing process was also admitting that I sometimes read what I wanted to see into things and overlooked other things, and my ex also tried to carefully project an image, but that just wasn’t who she really was. In my case, at least, I was a willful co-conspirator in seeing her as she wanted to be seen, but I was terrible at seeing and admitting (even to myself) who she really was.

      I wish you well and hope you recover soon.

      Would it be impolite for me to ask what your illness is?

    • Illness played a part in my husband’s choice to leave me too. I was going through thyroid cancer treatments when he first started getting involved with his married coworker. In his journal that I discovered he listed all the things he adored about “his perfect partner,” and one was that she was healthy. My congrats to you for being about 1000 stronger than the person you were married to. To survive infidelity on top of severe illness is certainly something to be proud of. Many people wouldn’t have.

      • Same here. That’s when I discovered he didn’t really marry me because he loved me, he married me because I’d be the most competent mommy for his life. I was naive and didn’t understand “mommy issues”. When mommy fell down on the job, a new one had to be solicited, and boy did she think she was up to the job right down to wanting to be there for my poor, nearly orphaned waifs.

        Besides mommy issues, I think there’s a huge undercurrent of fear of death in a lot of men. Totally get freaked out about it.

          • As is my STBX. Really, it’s been a recurring fear throughout our entire marriage. It’s not the normal concern about death that people get when they reach the age where they understand that accident or ill health could claim even a young person’s life. It’s the gut-wrenching terror kind of fear that wakes them up in the middle of the night after a nightmare.

            I don’t have those kinds of dreams. Maybe that extreme fear is part of being disordered?

            • From Wikipedia:

              Lower ego integrity, more physical problems, and more psychological problems are predictive of higher levels of death anxiety in elderly people.


              So I guess that’s a “sort of”. People with low ego integrity are not comfortable with who they are and are not good at accepting responsiblity for the choices they have made and the fact that life didn’t turn out like they imagined in their fantasies.

            • Maybe it’s because they suspect they won’t go to heaven. Or that if Karma hasn’t gotten them in this life, it will get them in the next.

        • My ex used to talk about how his AP was just like his mother. Apparently he thought I wasn’t, although I felt I had a lot in common with her. Never did really figure out what he meant by that. Maybe his AP ironed his shirts and hung on his every word. After all, she was a former grad student. He probably groomed her.

  • I am such an idiot today-1 year after not speaking to the idiot I go and reply to his message.I say “to be honest with you I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t think of you everyday” to which he replyed I miss u all the time..but then I thought to myself wait a sec-you miss the person u think they were.not the bastard they really are.

    I am really angry at myself.
    Anway what do I do now..

    • Probably nothing or take it back and say “oops typo I miss the person I thought you were, not the bastard you really are”.

  • I saw the post yesterday and thought about your friend the rest of the day. Haunting. Should your friend decide to share her story, your message with it was powerful. Despite the crappy circumstances, this beautiful woman’s life is inspiring in how she’s lived with the aftermath. And all kind hearted people who have been pushed to the edge with pain need to live your words “WALK AWAY. Don’t let these people drag you down with them. Don’t punish. Don’t try to hurt them like they hurt you. It’s a tar baby.”

  • Wednesday morning after I came home early from a trip on Tuesday night and caught my husband in bed with another woman, I made the usual coffee. He (who hasn’t moved out yet, but will) asked if I put poison in the coffee. I told him that just because he fu…d up didn’t mean I was going to. I would love to make him feel as sick and horrible as he has made me feel, but I’m pretty sure that he can’t.

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