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Dear Chump Lady, I Live in Limbo

Dear Chump Lady,

I have been pouring over your blog for months now. I need advice!

My husband of 18 years, had an affair in 2010 with an old friend from high school. They reconnected through Facebook and she lives in another state. Through divine intervention I immediately found out about them meeting (my husband was out of town for 36 hours for “work”). When a friend of a friend called and said my husband was with another woman! My husband and the OW both swore that they kissed but nothing more. Yes I did email her immediately! I kicked him out of the house. But it was 2 weeks before Christmas, so I let him come back home way too soon because of the holidays. Things were not good before the affair and never improved at all after it. We’ve spent about 4 years off and on in couples and individual counseling to try to resolve our issues and be happy with each other as we are.

I doubt that two adults who spent months planning a meeting “only kissed.” But let’s pretend they did kiss and it ended there.

Do you consider kissing and spending 36 hours together an affair? Would this be a no-brainer for you to hire the lawyer ASAP?

He knew it would be sudden death if he ever contacted her again. Earlier this year, I found an email from her to him and I found he had access to her Facebook login and password.

He said he had contacted her again because he “needed closure.” She is still married to her husband and they have four children.

I told him we needed to separate, told him to move out and he has been out of the house for two months. I have met with three attorneys and feel well-informed.

However, I can’t bring myself to file. I have told him I still would like to fix the marriage. To which I get no response. He is living in his sister’s basement (he is 42 years old) and he still lets his paychecks come to our joint account. So I pay all of the bills and then keep what I need to live on and tell him how much cash he can take out. And he goes along with it… He isn’t really a go-getter in life. So I think he could live this way for quite a while, or until the OW decides to leave her husband for him.

I have been a SAHM for 8 years. Our kids are 8, 5 and 4. I know they will be fine. I am a child of divorce and feel pretty well-adjusted.

I do not know what I am afraid of. I don’t know how to fix the marriage. I don’t love him. I do feel guilty about breaking up the family and I worry about the financial impact for myself and the kids. I am actually quite content to have him out of my day to day life. We spent years living like roommates. Right now I feel pretty hooked up, I am in our house, living on his money and I don’t have to deal with his day to day bullshit. However I am also in severe limbo. Do I file or wait for him to file?

I have new accounts at a different bank. I am stashing away money each time I shop and have a couple thousand dollars put away. My mom has loaned me the retainer for the attorney. I have been offered a part-time job that will be flexible for the kids school and preschool schedules.

So why am I so afraid to file for divorce first?


Limbo Land

Dear Limbo,

Last question first — why are you afraid to file? You don’t want to be perceived as the bad guy. The ender of marriages. The breaker up of family. As you write, your husband is passive, “not a go getter in life” — so in typical asshole fashion, he’d much rather YOU take the lead and do his dirty work for him. I’m sorry to tell you in my experience most cheaters are like this. They don’t file for divorce — the chump does. I liken this to those gruesome civil wars where soldiers force people to shoot their own family members. He created the war. He’s forcing you to hold the gun — and shoot something you love.

You told him you’d like to fix the marriage and got no response. That’s your answer. There is nothing here to save, so Limbo, you’re going to have to be the person to put a bullet in it. He’s not going to do it. He’s not going to fix the marriage. He’s not going to end the affair. What is torturous limbo for you is cake for him.

You could keep living in limbo — but why? Why would you want to put your life on hold for someone you do not love, and who treats you like a roommate? No hang on, people don’t generally betray and disrespect their roommates. He treats you like shit. Okay, he pays the bills. It’s the least he can do. He’s got three children for fuck’s sake.

Four years is enough time to waste. You have a great set up, better than most. Pull the trigger, already!

Do you not want to divorce him because you don’t want to give him the satisfaction of doing his dirty work? Step away from the power struggle. Stop taking responsibility for this. Divorce is the consequence of HIS actions and INactions. His affair. His failure to end the affair. (Bullshit on “closure.”) His nonresponse to your gift of reconciliation. This is on HIM! He has broken up your family, not you. Oh.. but maybe you should live with it, because it was “just a kiss.” You did live with it for four years — and he demonstrated with his continued contact that he’s not One Bit Sorry. And it was not just a kiss — it was abandonment and profound disrespect. Compounded by indifference to your pain and a failure to fix what he broke.

Do you not want to divorce him because limbo isn’t so bad? Stop smoking hopium. Put down the crack pipe. Limbo IS bad. It’s soul destroying. You can do this on your own, and when you do, you’re going to be much happier. Limbo is shitty chump cake. You’re not in the marriage, and you’re not out of the marriage. You’ve got the worst of both sides — a lousy marriage and no real new life. Oh, you have an “intact family” and you’ve got paid bills. Newsflash — you don’t have an intact family — daddy lives in a basement. You do have paid bills. But with a job and a court order you will also have paid bills. You don’t need this idiot.

Do you not want to divorce him because you’ll be damned if the OW has him? Your husband is not a prize. He lives in a BASEMENT. Cockroaches live in basements. Mold lives in basements. Let her have him. I sincerely doubt she really wants a guy who lives in his sister’s basement, but maybe she’s delusional enough to leave a husband and four kids for that. Have you told her husband what’s going on? If not I would. He deserves to know, and she deserves to be thrown out into a relative’s basement herself somewhere. Anyway, this is not the start of some Great Romance that you are thwarting by failing to divorce him. It’s two pathetic people acting pathetically. Be the grown up and remove yourself from this ridiculous situation and let them have each other.

You can do this Limbo! Yes, it will be hard on the kids at first. But modeling this crazy to them is worse. You’re going to be just fine on your own. Better, I promise. Don’t waste any more of your life on this guy — there’s a good life out here waiting for you on the other side.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • What a great letter and response! Taking the first step out of limbo is frightening and sucky but once you take that step I bet you will feel a sense of relief mixed in with your feelings of terror. Eventually the relief will take over and you’ll be so glad you did it. You deserve more out of life. Take that first step!

  • Im new to this but I have learned that filing for divorce wasn’t a failure on my part but hers and the fact that she cheated on me. It sucks and I struggle every day right now but my sanity is restored when I come here and I read and re-read posts. Kay H I agree with you taking that first step gave me relief and terror. I’m ready for it to just be relief. One day at a time!

  • Here is why you need to file immediately: You need the best financial arrangement that you can get because you are not self-supporting. Time is not on your side; the current situation will not continue. Say OW does leave her husband and hooks up with him. Do you think she is going to let you maintain control of the money? No, she is going to beat him with a rubber hose until he throws you under the financial bus. Even if they split up, there will be another GF who will come into this picture and be pretty unhappy with it.

    Get things finalized while he still feels a modicum of guilt and wants to at least keep you and your children financially comfortable. And the part time job is a step in the right direction, but unless you are independently wealthy (which it doesn’t sound like) I would start thinking about how to move toward more lucrative long-term employment. I know, it sucks because you wanted to be a SAHM to be there for your children. But he made a choice that you are stuck with, and you need to worry about the financial future for you and your children.

  • Limbo, your situation has so many parallels to mine that it gave me goose bumps. CL is so correct: “And it was not just a kiss — it was abandonment and profound disrespect. Compounded by indifference to your pain and a failure to fix what he broke.” I strongly recommend you file for divorce and move on with your life. You did not break up the family, your cowardly cheater did, and he needs to live with the consequences. I wish you strength and resolve. Know that we support you!

    • Limbo: in retrospect I wish I had thrown my H out when I first learned of his affair very similar to your situation facebook old girl friend. I quess I was too much in shock or hanging on to hope. It is an emotion affair they rarely see each other (haven’t in 8 ms) but have the secret cell phone and talk daily. By not cutting the cord quickly I have allowed this situation to become the norm and define the relationship. He keeps saying he wants a divorce but doesn’t do anything about it. I have my ducks lined up but have been reluctant to take the next step. Now we are kind of stuck in a situation involving storm damage to our home and the need to get it fixed which puts all else on backburner.

  • I think anyone who ever uses the term “closure” should be divorced, immediately. Same with “soulmate”, “connection”, “sexual chemistry”, or any other bullshit new age expression( I am on the fence with this “resonating” deal, but I am inclined to think that anyone who claims something “resonates” with him or her is nuts, too ).
    Tell this woman’s husband, BTW. Your H, like his affair partner woman, is a fucking monster and people need to know.

    • My cheating husband told me that he was learning that it was “OK to put himself first”, from his therapy sessions. ( You can’t make this stuff up.) He definitely is in lala land. The term “soulmate” makes me nuts too.

    • Connection was one I heard about final OW. Yes, this middle aged man ‘connected’ with a young girl at the office in her twenties who was sending naked snaps of herself to him and asking him if he wanted to try. I bet that connected directly to his dick.

      • One if my ex’s affair partners claims to anyone who will listen that they are the “loves of each others’ lives…” Ummmm…riiiiiiiight…. Both she and her best friend had been having sex and group sex with my ex for 17 years before I caught him.

        You know, you really can’t make this shit up.

  • Today’s post strikes a nerve as I’ve been walking the streets here in Limbo Land too…… To long……………..

      • Dude…I’m with you. 2years in limbo land and I can’t take it anymore…but the kids, but the family unit, but,but,but……taking the first step is sooo hard. Why?

        • Limbo man – was your wife with my husband? I will be 2 years this Saturday that I found out about his adultery. I filed in March and I hope it is over by year end. The first step is hard, I have two children and never wanted to put them through this. However, I didn’t put this on them their douchebag father they have did. It is not wrong to stand up for yourself. After all, that is some of the things they teach the children at school. I laugh everytime I am at the kids school walking past the posters on the wall….Loyalty, Trustworthy, Honesty, Leadership, etc., etc. It is obvious now that their father wasn’t invested in what the children were learning or even learned these things when he was a child or more importantly – felt that they applied to him. These are basic values that the children are taught from a very young age. Why should it not apply to adulthood? I hope my kids see me as a strong woman who will not put up with people who treat me like shit as I would never want them to put up with it in their lives. Good luck to you.

          • Casey I had to chuckle with the comment you made about the school posters pointing out Loyalty, Trustworthy, Honesty, Leadership. My cheating wife being an elem. teacher had some of the same type of words posted on her school webpage. I pointed them out to her shortly after D-day. She has since removed them…. I guess she was gone that day they taught the meaning of those words in school.

            • Bud, I now point them out to my kids all the time. Ours have the meanings/definations listed below the words. Well, you know, they must not have applied to her. Maybe she was a do as I say not as I do teacher. I hope you can hear my sarcasm. 🙂
              My oldest boy mows yards in the neighborhood – my little business man, so proud. Anyway, he has access to some garage codes and such. A great opportunity for me to point out to him that he is trusted by these people and he wouldn’t want to do anything stupid to break that trust because once it is gone, it is gone. He takes that responsibility and trust very seriously. I cannot believe she actually removed them…………

              • Oh and my STBX is a cop…… actually promoted two years ago to detective sargeant. Nice, huh? And they wonder why no one respects them (cops) anymore…… Do as I say, not as I do…..
                His ap was a married with two kids co worker who now works in the jail and was busted for a dui and hit and run and had her mug shot in the paper….priceless. Can you hear me laughing???????

              • I pay much more attention to things she says. The other day we were having a conversation about our daughter and something our daughter just said to me. My cheating wife says “SHE JUST LIED”. My response was “everyone lies to me”. Silence………….

          • My STBX joined a fraternal organization last summer that takes great pride in doing background checks of its potential members. The organization also requires character references. STBX had fine references. At that time, his affair would have been very new and very covert. His fraternal organization really cares about morals, and often the meetings are based around some kind of reenactment of an instance where an individual had to show great moral virtue.

            I have to laugh every time I hear him talk about this stuff. It’s as if he has a gigantic chasm in his brain between the moral character he admires from his fraternal organization and his own deceitful character.

            Also, Bud, just to chime in on the issue of modeling normal spousal behavior to your children, my STBX’s father cheated on his mother and was involved in a very long-term affair. His parents should have divorced, but never did. At the same time, the mistress was the secret everyone knew about but no one ever talked about. There was very little parental interaction at home, and neither STBX nor his brother really understood even the little things about the marriage relationship.

            For example, in the first couple of years of our marriage, I had to remind STBX that he should kiss me good bye when he went to work in the morning, or that it was okay to give me a hug and kiss when he came into the house. His parents never did this kind of stuff. My parents would always hug and kiss each other hello and good-bye.

            Children need to see healthy relationships. It doesn’t do them any favors to see unhealthy ones. In this case, you’re divorcing for the sake of the children!

            • I agree that this is important to show affection. Wife didn’t care much for that even early on. To me it was normal.

              • Men seem to be more in touch with there emotional side, I guess. It is a shame that we teach women in our society that feelings and emotions are not to be displayed.
                I think this may be the reason that they say men cheat more for emotional reasons , where to women, it is often just the sex.

  • Yes, Limbo, my husband has been indifferent to my pain (and our daughter’s) and not tried to fix anything. As I have posted on CL before, he did a SC governor trick and took off to France twice to see his “soulmate”. It has been a year since I found out and 8 months since he moved out, at my behest. In the 8 months, he has told me several times that he does not know if he wants to try to save the marriage (32 years) or what he wants to do. BTW, he will only talk about the “weather” etc with me. He never initiates substantive conversations with me or his daughter. I am in Limbo, but waiting to get a little stronger for the D fight. Limbo, you need to get someone on your side to be your advocate. CL is right. D is a consequence of his creepy and selfish actions.
    BTW, it is not just SAHM who are chumps. I am a chump lawyer! Be Chump Strong!

    • bostonirisher, I relate to your story. I was married 31 years. My husband didn’t want to save our marriage and in the end would only talk to me about the weather. Just want you to know that I’m out, living in a house of my own, have a decent settlement and maintenance payments for life. I’m much happier than I was, just wanted you to know there is hope for a better life.

  • I was also married for 18 years.
    Being in limbo land sucks. I cannot imagine living in that state for 4 years, I was in it for 4 months. I agree with everything said thus far.
    Why are most cheaters so passive? I guess for the same reasons they could not work on the relationship before it got to the cheating stage.
    My exH claimed the relationship was not physical, yet wanted to end the marriage (emotional affairs are just as bad as physical ones…. He admits it).
    Yet he could not even say those words! At the time he was living in another city following his dream while I stayed home with the kids. So, he wanted out, but would not come home early to end our marriage (it was a one year position). I had to file! I found him a place to live that was suitable for the kids.

    My favorite terms for my exH: lazy, lying, selfish, coward
    Your H is as well:
    Lazy: took the easy route, rather than talk to his WIFE; marriage is about teamwork
    Lying: it was more than kiss… But even if you forget that, he lied about his whereabouts
    Selfish: only thinks about himself
    Coward: will not come clean, nor work on things

    And I second all the advice: file now before this woman or another woman gets involved… Get things while the guilt is still there.

    I felt horrible filing for divorce. I had NEVER quit on anything in my life before. But, the truth is, your H is the one who quit on the marriage, as did mine. Their actions demonstrate they were not not true partners.
    So, time to hold your head up high. You did as much as you could. Time to move on.

    • Why are most cheaters so passive? I guess for the same reasons they could not work on the relationship before it got to the cheating stage.

      Bingo! well said & I couldn’t agree more.

      • Was about to write the same thing. Two people, one marriage, both facing the same issues yet one cheats and one doesn’t.

      • Yep. There’s nothing wrong with a marriage that counseling won’t fix–assuming that both parties want it to work. Cheaters have told you by their actions that they don’t want to do the work. Work means giving up either the cake or the kibbles. It’s much easier to sit by passively. Also cheaper. Just string the chumps along a bit more.

        • So, so true…my ex was passive-aggressive (I’m reading In Sheep’s Clothing and I;m checking that relates to their behaviors). He was cheating while we were in marriage counseling, where he changed the subject anytime things got too real. The list goes on and on, but his passivity in the face of my directness was a terrible mix. Oh, that and his serial cheating… 🙂

    • I agree with this so much, I feel surely that we are the same person married to the same man! I have a question, but I’m going to post it at the bottom because its in regard to health insurance if one is self-employed. its why I’m still married.

  • Limbo, I think your letter should say: “during the last four years I was working to resolve our problems and keep our marriage together while my husband was working on having an affair”. If your husband was texting, talking to and emailing the OW leading up to the meeting then they weren’t together for only 36 hours. My ex spent hours talking to his OW while I was in bed before I found out, during that time WE never had long thoughtful discussions…

    And that kiss thing? Yeah, about that, my ex said he never had sex with the OW too, wonder how he got that nasty STD he gave to me? oh yeah, he said I must have cheated on HIM. Right. Cheaters who are caught never cop to anything you don’t have proof of. And in my case ex found ways to destroy proof and then claim it never happened, gaslight anyone?

    CL is correct that cheaters don’t want a divorce, if they did they could have gone that honorable route before the cheating. My ex told his brother that I fucked everything up for him by demanding a divorce…seriously, he said that…You see the sneaking around was part of the fun, and the pick me dance after I found out, also part of the fun. He actually told our marriage counselor “I’ve never had two women want me, it makes me feel amazing”. He said that in front of me.

    I think you know what to do, fear stops you. I love scifi and Dune is my favorite, this quote is also a favorite: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

    I wish you the best no matter what you choose. And you could choose to remain married. My aunt and uncle separated and remained “officially” married for 20 years afterward. He even mowed her lawn for her, I would note that they split because although they cared for each other they came to the mutual conclusion they simply could not live together. If cheating was involved they never told anyone.

  • “He’s forcing you to hold the gun — and shoot something you love.”

    Oh God, CL. You described exactly how I felt about the end of our marriage. I kept thinking it felt like he was asking me to kill a beloved pet (my marriage) that was still full of life, just needed some TLC to restore it to health. I refused to file. I kept telling him that I loved him and our family, and I didn’t want a divorce. This was before I knew the extent of his relationship with his married coworker and he was just telling me he had “fallen out of love” with me. I couldn’t believe he was trying to make me file for something I didn’t want. At least he finally took responsibility and filed himself.

    • Same situation here. I don’t want to file but know I need to. She has moved out and I was hoping this would allow me to gather the strength to “Shoot something I love” (End the marriage). No fault state and I feel as though she deserves nothing. But I’m sure I’ll get screwed over…..

      • I’ve said it before, Bud, but I’ll say it again. While all of us take a real financial hit in a divorce (another shit sandwich on top of the infidelity), I think that Stay at Home Parents and Major Breadwinners have it the worst. The SAHPs have to take the hit in that they’ve sacrificed their careers for their families, and then have to start out at a disadvantage. The Major Breadwinners end up subsidizing their cheater as a result of having to pay out 50% of the marital assets–most of which they earned–and child support. In other words, they end up subsidizing their cheater.

        • SAHM here and yep, totally screwed. Going to court today to try and settle the financial stuff. I’m going to be poor, that’s for sure – it’s just a matter of just how poor. And this after 20 years of me giving all my support to his career and aspirations. Fucking asshole. I’m stressed beyond words, haven’t slept in I don’t know when and if today doesn’t go well I’ll be homeless in a few weeks.

          • Good luck! I hope things are ordered in your favor. You’ve been a champion here, you will do great in court too

            • Good Luck Nord! My grandmother used to say it is always darkest before the dawn. I hope your dawn comes with the promise of the sun shining bright. Praying for you!

            • It didn’t go well. Essentially he wants to give me nothing and now it’s going to judgement. He’s such an asshole but the nice bit was my lawyer’s reaction to him was that he is ‘personality disordered’ (she hadn’t met him before) and her assistant, who hadn’t met me or him, said he has serious issues and should be forced to get help. He was literally seething with rage that I was fighting for my life.

  • The bit about the inaction of the cheater (to initiate and see through the divorce) being akin to soldiers in civil wars who make civilians shoot people they love . . . ?

    Holy. Shit.

    That is EXACTLY what I have been feeling. Thank you so much for that analogy, it literally felt like an OOF in the chest when I read that. He forced me to shoot our marriage, our intact family. He forced me to put a bullet in nearly 30 years of dedicated partnering.

    • Yeah, that really struck me too. Hadn’t heard anyone else put it that way before, but was exactly how it felt!

      • Same here, I started crying when I read that because that is exactly what it feels like. He was the one who cheated and left, but I am the one who has to kill our marriage, one that I didn’t want to die. Selfish again on his part. Taking zero responsibility for anything.

  • Also, “he’s not going to fix the marriage, he’s not going to end the affair. What is torturous limbo for you is cake for him.”

    Exactly true. I was living in that kind of limbo, and every conversation ended up being about how it was my fault we were in this situation, but he was the one who created it! Gosh. So eye-opening and validating of my experience…so much clearer how I was being manipulated.

  • I was a child that grew up in Limbo Land. It was a very dysfunctional, sick, weird,”just not right” feeling me & my 2 brothers lived in everyday.
    My Dad would go off for a fishing trip and be gone for a week , come home, and my Mom would being crying , hurt, lots of arguing although she tried to spare us , by sending us to the neighbors to play. We never knew all the details… we were just kids… but we always knew we weren’t like our friends parents.Our family wasn’t right.
    I remember wishing every time my Dad left for a trip that he would die, I was a young girl I didn’t know, or understand about divorce… but did know that “dead” meant he could never come back to hurt us, physically or mentally.
    As I got older I prayed every day that my Mom would get a divorce… but she had no money, education and her parents, my grandparents didn’t want us to live with them.
    My Mom got out of so much misery by developing breast cancer and dying at age 53… with me as the oldest, age 24, brothers 20 and 18. My Dad started openingly dating 6 weeks after Mom died, married 5 months later. My folks were “married” 43 yrs.
    I thought he should have let her body get cold first.
    Yes, baby brother was living at home and was left to his own devices,drinking, drugs, arrested… you name it. Dad was off 500 miles seeing a new woman. Selfish ? All that mattered to Dad was Dad !
    Your kids are 8,5 4 ? So the 2 young ones have never known a stable family life… the 8 yr old is comparing her family to hers friends. Trust me ..the kids feel like something is so very wrong, but they can’t define it , do not have words to understand it. This IS damaging to your precious children. Give them and yourself peace of mind, to have a normal, healthier life, where Mom faces her fear and makes a better life for her family.
    Why allow a your “H” to scar your children and yourself ?
    Living in Limbo is a living hell… believe me.. I have lived it ,resent it still 56 yrs later.
    Do this for the love of your children . They are victims in this, it is your respondiblity to protect them. Take care

    • Thanks for sharing your story. My oldest son told me he knew from a very young age that I seemed to lean on him for the emotional support I didn’t get from his dad. To me it wasn’t that odd because my own mother had done the same to me.

      • Yes Lyn…. I always was my Moms companion. That is not the role of a child. It forced us to grow up too fast, to always want to “rescue my Mom, save my brothers” from abuse. I always felt I was older , I never felt like a child… more of a mini adult.
        Cheating, cheats children out of their childhoods.
        Mothers need to nurture their kids…. they can’t do so… if they themselves are in so much pain … so much limbo.Mom need to chart a course for her family. Dad wants Mom to file .. so she is the bad guy… he gets sympathy…the VICTIM.
        If the Dad is so selfish…. let him go. Make a better life without him. He is nothing more than a childish child himself.
        A man cannot give … what he doesn’t have….it is his problem to seek help for.
        IMHO cut the cord… pull the trigger…. design a life without a back stabbing cheater. Agree ?

        • Well, my childhood prepared me to be a codependent chump, to put other people’s needs before my own. To try be quiet and not cause trouble. Not to expect too much. Perfect match for a narcissist to sparkle. My ex was very accomplished, very sparkly, a real go-getter. But I couldn’t really connect with him, I just didn’t understand what a true reciprocal relationship was because I didn’t see it growing up.

          • Lyn..
            I know, but at least you came out of the “fog” and put an end to the cycle of abuse. It starts with us and we leave a legacy of love, self- respect, honesty .We must model to our kids healthy adult behavior, ideally with a Mom & Dad… but if one parent refuses to act like an adult… one healthy parent is better than 2 angry co-dependent, dysfunctional ones.
            Crazy begets Crazy !
            Being a “chump” models self destructive behavior… it is abuse. I would love my kids too much to ever let them be in pain….the pain they learned from me.
            Huma ? are you reading this ?

  • I laughed lots reading the response CL. First because I so admire your brutal honesty. Also, Arnold’s perspective on those cliche words we’ve all heard – laughed.out.loud. I too have been in limbo even though I left a few weeks ago. I see my peace on the horizon but I, too have been hesitating to file. So, I will do it today. Because I can see that the pos I am still married to after everything will NEVER Do The Right Thing.

    • It was done in fun, but, seriously, I think you will find that folks who are drawn to that type of language, are , in general, without much substance: Thus, their proclivity for cheating.

      • No such things as closure, only no contact is closure.

        Whenever I hear someone say “soul-mates” I puke a little in my mouth.

      • Arnold, I have read the emails between OW and STBXH. “Soul mates” is the least puerile. Honestly, their correspondence reads like a bad teen romance. Then I come here and discover that cheaters apparently all read the same style manual.

        • I read a letter the OW sent to my STBXH, it read, “Our love is so strong, no one will ever be able to come in between us.”

          Ha, ha, I’m glad it makes me laugh now.

        • You should print them off and oublish them. Atleast post them on some local bulletin boards or something. Maybe put their pictures up alongisde the tripe.

  • I think the APs like the limbo, because they still don’t have to face the reality of what they have created. It’s still fantasy land. Keep the Family and keep the Fun Fucking Fantasy Land. They get to keep it all going while the betrayed partner does all the stressing, grieving, crying, soul searching, bill paying, appointment making for the councelors,ect. No accountability for their actions. I even think they blame their APs for starting the affair( at least with mine.)”she came to my office and asked me if I wanted to have an affair no strings attached,” she found me first on Facebook. I said its because u allowed her to feel comfortable and flirted with her in the first place. Its called Boundaries! It was YOUR choice to cheat! U are a cheater! It’s weakness within them that makes everything someone else’s fault. Ex: my wife nags, she weighs more than when we met, we never have sex anymore, ect. The truth is made up to justify their actions. Wake His Ass Up! Get a lawyer and your Freedom Date! Picture yourself as Mel Gibson in Braveheart fighting out of the oppression, and cry out! FREEDOM!!!

    • I get your post and totally agree with the sentiment. Just remember, Mel Gibson is a cheater who ditched his wife of many years go on and turn into a total train wreck of a man.

      • The progress of my ex’s meltdown went step by step with Gibson’s — including the luv child being born within weeks of each other.

        I told the child custody mediator he had ‘Mel Gibson disease’. She totally got it.

        Unfortunately, my ex doesn’t have Mel’s bucks, so she couldn’t stab him in the back once she had the kid. That would have been sweet.

  • Ah yes…the land of Limbo.

    I was there for 2 years. STBXW had multiple affairs. 4 that I found out about later in a 6 month window. The last one stuck. She completely denied all of them. “They’re just friends”. I was trying to raise my kids with morals and without a spouse on board it’s kind of pointless. After speaking with my attorney and the fact I worked 1-1/2 hours from home, I decided to leave. No-fault state and in PA you can’t file until there’s been a 2 year separation.

    I since have befriended the wife of my wife’s last AP. Her divorce is going on 4 years. She keeps getting stuck in limbo. I hope mine doesn’t take that long. I just hope I’m not stuck in emotional limbo after the divorce. I’m trying to date but, respectable women that I would want don’t want to date a man who is still married. I can’t blame them. It’s very frustrating.

    • My stbxw did the same but mainly sticks to the “We weren’t married, I don’t believe in marriage, and I don’t believe in our vows” That was the first time she left. Now she just flat out denies the OM and says the texts I found out about were from when we were split up the first time. Why did I ever take her back? I’m hoping that I can keep my cool until oct.

        • Congrats TH! I hope it goes well. Dating seems a distant thing to me right now. How did you get back in the water?

          • HA! Its there for sure. I don’t know how healthy it is though. I know I’m not in the right place to start dating anyways. My stbxw however already is……which is so awesome! It makes me feel so warm in fuzzy inside that she is such a fucking bitch and has introduced my children to him. Yay for mom! *gags*

            • we really need a chump dating site, except that it would be like cattle fodder for narcs to swoop down on the vulnerable who are desperately trying to find a way to trust again and give someone their heart. Narcs love to partake of delicate hearts… a rare delicacy for them.

              I actually loved being married. I loved knowing that there was someone who I had built this life with… (yes, yes… house of cards) who we had this shared history and we knew all of our little inside jokes…We could just look at each other and knew what the other was thinking in so many situations. it takes a long time to build that.

              my husband wouldn’t touch me and Arnold, no offense, but it started with internet porn. I guess it depends on the person, some can handle it and some can’t, just like with alcohol.

              but I don’t want to spend the rest of my days all alone. Whenever I see friends of mine going on vacation with their spouses and/or family… I think… Oh, yeah… that’s NORMAL. No wonder they look so happy.

              I always find it so refreshing to see you guys on here. I’m so sorry that you have a need to BE here as for all of us… but it also gives me a lot of hope.

              I want all of us to throw caution to the wind. GO ON A DATE. Go on lots of dates. Have fun!

              If we don’t. Guess what? They win. Its their sick game. We didn’t even want to play it, but since we were unwitting participants, let’s not let them win.

              Cheaters aren’t happy people, in any case. Let me repeat that.


              Happy people do not cheat. Pretending to be happy is not the same as genuinely happy. You can’t be genuinely happy when you are fucking over people and hurting them… over and over… Its impossible.

              love to all!

              • Laurel,

                Even though my x and i split up once before and got back together. I was happy. I also loved being married, I loved to introduce her to people and say that she was my wife. I was proud of her when she said she wanted to become a cop and supported her 110%, . We had our problems but i thought the worst of it was behind us. Yes, her remorse was not genuine, I see that now, and it sucks. She needed her cake, kibble etc. This time it was with her “first love” (vomit) I still ache, I still cry. I’m an overly sensitive chumpy mess. I am going to date, and a ton. Just not right now. I miss just having that person to come home to and talk to. To hug. I’m a hugger, lol I’m glad I found this site and I’m certainly glad I found out about her and her AP and only had 11 years with her and not 20 to 30. I’m young still and I have a shit ton of awesome plans. I just need to get my ass into gear.

                TimeHeals, if you read this. I ran a mile tonight. Tomorrow maybe 2.

              • I agree. Once you’re over the worse of it go on some dates. I’ve been on some and they haven’t led anywhere but it’s generally been fine – meeting some nice people, getting over the nervousness and also meeting some really odd people who make great dinner party stories. I don’t date a lot but at least once a month I go on one. One guy has become a friend of sorts and it’s nice.

              • Loved being married too. As you mentioned, Someone to come home to, the inside jokes, the songs we shared, the family vacations, memories etc. All the time that we took to build all that means NOTHING to her. Pisses her off All I get now is blameshifting BS for wasting her years……

                I agree cheaters are not happy. Of course she tells me that’s why she cheated and of course her counselor agrees. That may be a reason to want to cheat but not an excuse to go through with it.

          • Yeah, I really loved my first wife, a lot. But, in retrospect, I can see she did not love me.
            It’s almost like I just know too much, now. I see so much cheating and so many NPDs. I watch people manipulate their partners and abuse them and wonder why the fuck people tolerate all the bullshit and do this dance.
            I see some happy relationships where folks treat each other well, but most seem totoally fucked up.
            I see idiot guys who feel they must pay for every date and be the big provider etc. I read the ads on and see women saying they want a guy to “make me laugh” and think why the hell do you think some guy should take responsibility for that?
            Whatever happened to people being equals and paying their own way etc?

            • There are different schools of thought on that one and it really depends on the person. Whatever… the other person should make you feel like you can do or say anything at all… Any sign of a put down and I’m done.

              Sense of humor is often subjective and there are different types of humor. Everyone wants to laugh and have a good time, so its really a dumb thing to say, IMO.

        • Dear TH…
          Be a enjoyable , confident.
          DO NOT talk about all of the Xs crap…. NO ONE cares about it , that is what we are here for.
          BTW.. every time you talk about the X you give power to it, you also relive the stress , anxiety…. don’t do that do yourself.
          Look up some funny, stupid, light hearted items on the internet.(today I saw a fish with human looking teeth !)
          Make her smile, laugh , joke and be charming ! keep it light !
          That is the best “revenge “… to have a GREAT time sans X.

          • Great Advice from Smart! The X didn’t think about you when she was cheating, so don’t ruin your evening by giving thoughts of her any sway or power over you! Have a fabulous evening!

          • Just be yourself. It is not your responsibility to be Louis Black etc and “make her laugh’ etc. Maybe she should make you laugh and smile.

          • It went well. She’s from Turkey so her culture is a little different. She seems very genuine. Very cute too! She seems to like me as well. It’s a little slow going because of schedules and when I have my kids and so forth. It’s very refreshing to have an honest conversation with the oposite sex for a change.

              • Actually I did. That’s how we did it 20 years ago. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I promised myself not to blame future girlfriends for my wife’s flaws. Not fair for them and not healthy for me.

            • That’s great TH, good for you! and don’t worry about who pays but rule of thumb is the person who asks you out pays, if you are with someone who never asks ya out that could get awkward though.

      • My XW, despite my having found her journal where she described having sex with strangers, still tells me that she did not have sex with these guys. But, “the chemistry did become sexualized”, whatever the fuck that means.
        Gotta love this crap. It is funny, in some pathetic way.
        Too bad the kids suffered so she could chase Mr Goodbar(s).

        • Man Ive gotten that also. The thing that really irks ne is she is now using God and religion saying he is in this and she feels that he is supporting her. Wtf? Im reading this and wondering why I back slide every few days and I begin to miss her. She has completely fucked with my head. Why wuold I ever want her?

          • OMG, I got that too. My ex started quoting scriptures to me like “Lean not unto thy own understanding…” from Proverbs. I guess he was trying to say he had no idea why this was happening, but we should just trust in God. He is the one who lead my ex to fall in love with his married coworker. I wanted to tell him to turn the damn page in Proverbs and read “Rejoice in the wife of your youth!”

            • Ugh, Lyn I’m sorry. It is gut wrenching when they do that. When she said that to me her face literally changed before my eyes and I was seeing the ugly inside of her. I wish I could see that all the time because physically she is beautiful. Which makes it easier for her to find a dick to fall on. Sorry that was graphic.

              • CP,

                Wow, haven’t you been tempted to go to the church and out this person? Excommunication is still a thing, and it does unfortunately happen often. Plus this is a person that is supposed to be upholding the Law and Gospel.

                That really bums me out.

              • RC,

                I smiled when I read your post. I was actually tempted to send pictures to her local newspaper (she is currently “ministering” out of state) of her in bed kissing (clothed) my STBX (he sent them to me “by mistake” Suuurrre). But, in the end, I always ask myself the questions: How does this serve me? How does this serve God/The Universe? If it does not put anything positive into the atmosphere, I tend not to default to that position. So while I would have experienced a moment of pleasure for having done that, at the end of the day I would not have gained anything, and it would have brought me down to their level. The most important thing to me is being able to look at myself as a person of class, morals, character and integrity.

                I guess that’s why I’m a Chump Princess. 🙂

              • My STBXWs father was supposedly a devout Catholic. When his 10 year affair and “love child” came out 5 years ago he claimed he was now an Atheist. So rather than accept the blame he changed hats. I have nothing against Atheists but, don’t pretend to be one person for 40 years of marriage then, change to avoid harboring all your guilt.

                I believe this was the trigger to my STBXWs actions 4 years ago. My family and I basically got his penance.

                In some off the wall way, I figured if we did reconcile, she could do confession and sign a post-nup. She just isn’t genuine any more.

              • CP–Actually, having a minister as an AP is really problematic in the same way that being a boss and having a subordinate be your AP is problematic. Both the boss and the minister are considered to be in positions of power. If they become embroiled in an affair, it’s construed as an abuse of that power since it can be reasonably argued that there’s an element of coercion in the affair. And yes, I know that clergy and bosses have affairs, but the fact remains that these people are setting themselves up for significant pain should they break off with their APs, and their APs decide to get even.

                STBXH is sleeping with a former subordinate of his. Now, she’s a gold-digger, but if she ever gets pissed off at him, she has enough on him to sue him and his company from here to the next decade. Interestingly enough, I warned STBX about this nearly 2 years ago, which is, I think, well before even the EA started.

                So if you think that your cheater is not the first or only that this clergy’s had an affair with, then by all means, report the affair (after you’ve finalized the divorce, gotten your settlement, etc.).

              • CP
                “How does this serve me? How does this serve God/The Universe?”
                It serves God because it is right, morally. This AP is supposed to be leading people. It is wrong for someone in a position like this to be having an Affair. Its bullshit. It serves you because you know you saved in entire congregation from a self serving, manipulative asshole.

              • Arnold – LOLOLOL!!!

                In truth, this “minister” has been after my STBX for over 20 years. After her THIRD divorce, she came looking for him again. Because she got a big, fat divorce settlement from her THIRD husband, which will allow my STBX to live the life he has always felt he was supposed to live (read: doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to do (work) and can buy whatever he wants to buy), she was very appealing to him this time around and is suddenly the woman he should have ALWAYS been with. Of course, he said that about the last relatively wealthy woman (large court settlement) who came after him. I am, apparently, a 28-year mistake. I haven’t wanted to make her my focus, as it is all I can do some days to dodge the stones and bricks my STBX continues to throw whenever he gets a chance.

                The current AP doesn’t even live in the same state, although they have spent most of the spring and summer going back and forth being with each other. She has family in, and is from, the state where we currently reside.

                Because we are in the early stages of our divorce, I’d like to get a little further into it to see how it is going to play out. He is looking to leave me with nothing while he goes off and lives the rich man’s life. It’s not enough for him that he broke up our family, but it doesn’t seem like he can be happy unless he is able to crush me.

                He really has no way to do that except through attempting to pauper me and through the children because he knows I love them above all else. He wants me brought low and suffering (for some reason, that appears to be the only way this all works for him).

                The Minister is all in for the trying to bring me low – it’s as if she resents that he was married to me when she first came looking for him after her first divorce. She’s a willing participant (and perhaps a co-conspirator) in whatever scheme he has to try to pick at me. Of course, all the time they are talking about the wonders of God/Jesus. People are amazed because for the past 30 years or longer my husband has been against the Christian religion and people who practice it, most particularly ministers. Hyprocisy much? I realize she should not be “ministering” to anyone, as her moral compass is horribly compromised or non-existent. I think that’s why she didn’t fly in to sleep with him until I physically moved out of the house. Of course, she assisted him in facilitating that, as well as continuing to advise him on how to best screw me in the divorce. In answer to KB, I don’t know if she had any other affairs – she was only divorced a couple of months when she came sniffing after my STBX. That’s why I believe he wants to divorce quickly – before the congregation which she services gets wind of the real story. I’m sure being out of state helps keep the details from going any further than here.

                I have pretty much been able to ignore both of them, most particularly MY little pile of steaming narcissist. No contact, therapy and CL and this community of people have kept me going. However, I am taking everyone’s advice under consideration and I thank all of you for your insight and suggestions. This is a very wise and insightful group of people.

          • RC, it’s a tough one when you know these people are toxic assholes yet there is something, no matter how small, that makes you still want them. I went through that for a long time and it took a lot of therapy and a couple of tough minded friends to force me to see that this guy, my ex, was an absolute shit and not worth anything from me, not even the time. It’s hard as hell, though, trust me. But you’ll figure it out eventually.

            • Nord,
              I’m trying one day at a time. I really need to stop feeling sorry for myself. It hits me though and hard. Right now I’m feeling pretty good but that is because I’ve been reading all of these posts and replies and it is a comfort to see others recover from the shit storm that is a narc cheater. I love you guys!

              • Try to remember that being with someone a long time makes thinking about them a HABIT. We all know how hard a habit is to break, even the ones that kill us. So when you get to missing the asshole, remind yourself that it is just a damn bad HABIT you need to quit and replace that HABIT with a better one.

              • Replace bad memories with good ones,

                You were injured. Re-living it makes the trauma last longer.

                The only thing that ever worked for me is to catch myself doing that, and then do something (create new memory) or practice gratitude and mindfulness ( replace bad memory with calmness), and set and achieve new goals (so I don’t wind up with new regrets and become fatalistic).

              • TimeHeals,

                “The only thing that ever worked for me is to catch myself doing that, and then do something (create new memory) or practice gratitude and mindfulness ( replace bad memory with calmness), and set and achieve new goals (so I don’t wind up with new regrets and become fatalistic).”

                I’ve been trying that but its like a kid playing with the light switch turning it on and off as quickly as possible. I think about her, I don’t, I do, I dont, I do, I dont…I seriously was screaming in my head on monday, if it escaped from there I would have scared everyone in my office and probably would have been fired. Ahh I’m trying though.

              • Start training for a 5K or something 😉 That oughta take your mind off of it for a little bit.

              • TimeHeals,

                Yeah I need to get off my ass. I’ve lost 22 lbs but not in the correct way. Tonight pushups!! Tomorrow a 5k lol 😉

              • Well, if you’re just starting out, join sparkpeople or something like it. They provide a good framework for putting that compulsive energy to work as fitness fanaticism. lol

                I started out walking my dogs every day just to get tuned back into the present. I have done that ever day since early October (except 1 day–too much crazy weather that day) in rain, ice, and brutal heat and humidity. I do that even if I do nothing else. About 3 miles a day for the last 9 months or so. I wore out a couple pair of shoes.

              • RC— Pretend that she’s covered with vomit. I’ll be happy to puke all over her for you because she’s making me might nauseous.

                I realized after a time… that while I still hurt, I don’t really love my husband any longer. He systematically destroyed all of it. Sure… I still would enjoy his company. He’s outrageously funny, but I don’t need him for that. I realized that what I really need is a handyman.

                That’s not too difficult to come by. And my technical issues like how to print my return address on an envelop… I’ll figure it out.

                I guess what I’m trying to say is… all of our wases have some good attributes and things we actually miss about them. Stay focused on WHY we are here and WHY we’ve left (or are trying to).

                Focus on the good in our lives and expand on that. One thing at a time. Do something that scares you… for me, its singing in public— ALONE. It feels like I’m butt neked…totally raw and exposed. That’s WHY i NEED to do it and its getting better. Its giving me a newfound confidence because I’m slowly conquering something that had control over me.

                Here are some other ideas. Try one new thing at least 2 or 3 times a month and keep on trying new things until you find your groove. Take a class, perhaps–something you always wanted to learn, but put off— when you were focused on covered-in-vomit-bitch. Classes are great because you are with the same group of people for a while and there is already a common interest. Just some ideas of mine. I think its a great way to make some new friends. And it could be a guy-friend too. He might have a woman friend to fix you up with. You never know… but you have to get out there… with NO expectations, just to stop perseverating on CIVB and being angry because she fucked you over. Thank her. She’s released you from a life of having to live with the stench of her being covered in vomit. xo

              • Laurel,

                I’m sorry I just saw your reply to this.

                I would love to have you vomit all over her. It would be great to see.

                “just to stop perseverating on CIVB and being angry because she fucked you over. Thank her. She’s released you from a life of having to live with the stench of her being covered in vomit.”

                CIVB…..Covered in Vomit Bitch……..AWESOME! Going to use it for a long long while.

                I have been doing really well this past week, since this post by CL acutally. I haven’t been focusing on the things I missed about her at all. I focused on the things I was missing about myself. I wrote those bitches down and I am starting to check that shit off. I went out on friday this last week and I got a girls phone number…Not something I do. My wife I met online, other girls before her I met through friends. Getting out there and talking to a beautiful woman is intimidating to me. I did though. I’m feeling really good. I have a positive attitude about the things going on in my life right now (even the things that I dont want to do, like moving) and I am shoving the negative thoughts away. I have CL and all of you, friends/family to thank. I’m digging myself out and I will never ever go back.

            • I agree Nord. Even though the divorce was final Dec. 2012 and I’m dating another person, have NO contact with the ex or hear anything about him, I still think about him every day. Just last night I went to bed and cried. It just wears me out sometimes. 36 years is a lifetime of memories, hard to overwrite them very quickly…sometimes I’d still like to ask him “How did I turn into nothing more than a floor rug to you?” but I know he’d just blame it on me, it wouldn’t lead to any sense of closure.

              • 36 years is a very long time I am sad right there with you. I have only 23 yrs. of memories that I have to deal with. Make me think the reason we keep thinking of them is because we never had the switch go off in our head/heart the same way they did. I think what we have is a knob that slowly gets turned to the off position.

              • Lyn, I’m going to pray for you tonight.
                I would like to ask my stbxw the same thing. Why is it so easy for her to use me? To treat me like I was a stranger.

              • I’ve got 20+ years of Ex to deal with. And it sucks. Last time we spoke at all about any of this the 20 years thing came up. He rolled his eyes. I walked away.

              • (((hugs))) Lyn… My 25th is in 6 days. I often cry myself to sleep or I’ll say… “Dear God… PLEASE help me… ” it helps. it really does. I find I wake up more refreshed and ready to tackle the next day, better. Its like a little rock bottom. I think as we climb up out of our deep, deep holes, we’ll reach a little ledge and sometimes it gives way and fall back down a bit, but then… once rested, we find the strength to keep moving up and out.

                Telling my was to fuck off the other day and then having to tell him to “respect my wishes” — AGAIN, after he ignored me and wrote back some lame bullshit, felt EMPOWERING. Sure… its a control thing. But that’s just it. He doesn’t get to control me. He would like to. He would like to have his hand in my life, but he doesn’t get that privilege any longer.

                But, your point is so well-made. There IS no closure. no vindication. no fucking AMENDS! Hell… isn’t that the first thing alkies have to do? Make some fucking amends to those that they hurt? but, if they could DO that, they wouldn’t have behaved as they did in the first place!

        • Ugh, I found my ex’s journal too and read all about how he was in love with his married coworker. Even with the words in black and white, he tried to convince me there was nothing between them. He said I was misinterpreting what I read. Right.

          • I know. WTF is wrong with these people? You totally bust them and they still gaslight you, the abusive assholes.

            • After reading some of the replies about financial situations on this post I have a question.

              My stbxw is unemployed, in the separation agreement she has agreed to waive her right to spousal support. She also agreed that she does not want my any of my retirement. I’ve only been putting away to my retirement for two years.

              Will the judge give her a percentage of my retirement or an amount for x number of years? I’m sorry if this seems callous when a lot of you are struggling. I don’t want to come off that way.

              • I’m not a lawyer and what do I know, but hey, if she’s waiving her right to spousal support and your SS benefits, then I’m not sure why a judge would even need to be involved? And its not callous. Its smart. Vomit bitch sounds like she’s high on her own stench.

                good riddance!

              • Laurel,

                She is sure high on the unicorn farts. I don’t know if it is out of her own guilt that she accepted my terms. She may be thinking that she is glad I’m not fighting her on the custody of the children. Mainly cause I have my big boy pants on and I know how to drive on the highway. My kids will be fine because I will be there for them when she fails to on a daily basis. She is repeating the history of her mother so its only a matter of time. I could be surprised and see that xW will be just fine and have a great life and that the kids wont have to see their mother stumble some dark path. I pray that she doesn’t.

  • Here’s my biggest concern for you….. at any time, he could clear that joint checking account out and proceed to screw you over financially. In fact, I would say it’s only a matter of time before he does so.

    Talk to an attorney ASAP, and get the filing under way. Get orders for temporary support for you and the children during the time the divorce is proceeding. Listen to your attorney’s advice on all things financial, because when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, that’s what matters most at this point. Your children need to be cared and provided for.

    Your husband is a cheater, a liar and a loser. Reminds me of my ex, who at almost 48 years old, spent eight months living in his sister’s spare bedroom for free, then the past three months living in his childhood bedroom at his dad’s house for free, and plans on moving in with some male “friend” for the NEXT few months, again, you guessed it, for free.

    You sound way ahead of many chumps here, so run with the ball while you have it.

    • Agreed– take advantage of what little guilt he might feel or his willingness to leave things as they are. If he starts actively working on building a future with the OW, like mine eventually did, he’s going to become less generous and less agreeable. I was glad that we immediately hammered out a legal separation agreement (which we then used in the D… XWH likely didn’t want to alter it because he didn’t want to pay his attorney any more than he already had). At that point, he and the OW were up in the air as they were still both married to and living with their spouses, so he wasn’t sure what was going to happen, and XWH probably also wanted to appear generous as part of his DDay damage control to his image. If I had waited any longer, I shudder to think of what he might have demanded and how it might have turned into a protracted court battle, and I can’t imagine how his decision-making might have been impacted if the OW had become involved. Since she felt entitled to my husband and my life, I’m sure she would have also felt entitled to my half of the assets.

      So, move on this quickly. The faster, the better. Protect yourself. He didn’t care about protecting you, your health, your children, your stable family structure, so it’s time to throw him under the bus.

      • Excellent advice. I saw a lawyer early on and she told me to get what I could while he was still feeling guilty. I didn’t listen and now I’m in one hell of a fight trying to get basic living support.

    • My ex lived in the basement of his married coworker girlfriend’s parent’s basement for awhile after we divorced. It always makes me laugh to see people’s reaction to that statement.

      • right… as the wheels in their head are working over-time to comprehend what you just said. lol. my h lived in our basement for a year and a half before I finally left.

        Dank, dark basements are a suitable habitat for “bottom dwellers.”

        Oh… and we found out before we sold our place that the radon levels in our basement were above legal limits.

        oh well…

  • Dear Limbo land,

    Cheaters won’t leave you easily. In fact you have to kind of exorcise them out of your life. At least, I had to. I always wandered why that is. Now I know: it IS the way of the cake eaters.

    Meanwhile, you still harbor hope, but hope is no longer your friend (if ever), it is your enemy. Hope undermines your strenght and keeps you passive. Like C.L. told you: you’re handed a gun. Deal with hope: Shoot It.

  • Haven’t had a chance to read the other comments, so sorry if I’m repeating anything.

    I was a SAHM as well and I would like to say that you need to think more about your future than a part time job that is convenient with the kids schedules. If/when you leave him, you need to be thinking about how you are going to support yourself and the kids for the rest of your life. Yes, you will get help from him, but once the kids are gone it will just be you. There’s a chance you could marry again, but I would make career plans (and life plans) as if that wasn’t going to happen. Do you want to be able to travel, etc.? You need to think about how YOU will be able to make those kinds of things happen for yourself. Don’t settle. Don’t settle for a life with him and don’t settle for a life without him. This is your chance to start over! Dream big!

  • Limbo,

    Trust me, he won’t file. My ex cheated on me 3 times and never filed. I filed after the second affair and withdrew it after he begged for forgiveness. After the third affair, he said he was going to file. I knew he was lying, so I filed. I tell people, “He ended the marriage, I filed for divorce.” People get it right away.

    Have the strength to have a better life.

    • My ex cheated who knows how many times but he was saying to the kids, even months after I kicked him out, that he never wanted to end the marriage and he never had any intention of leaving. Yet he was telling final OW that he loved her (while having other affairs at the same time) and that ‘they’d be together’. Well, now they’re together and I’m fucked financially.

  • Just another vote for “get out of limboland”.
    I did it 2 and a half months ago, and have absolutley no regrets.
    It’s a hard process. As dawg said, cheaters generally don’t leave easily. I had to leave my STBXW to end it, and she still tries to hoover me make.
    Plan your escape, stay strong and make it happen.


    emesis basin— quick!

    no, he needs a lobotomy and a muzzle for his dick.

    QUESTION: While I have moved out and finally— just yesterday told him to fuck off because I don’t like the way he treats me, by OMISSION. grrrrrrrrrrr… the worst kind of abuse, because not doing something, is STILL doing something, but its not an obvious thing. Sorry… my question is… I am self-employed and I am on my was’s medical insurance plan. Any suggestions? Neither of us has filed. Everything is separate. Our kids are young adults. I just don’t want to be connected to him in any way, shape or form. However, if I had to pay private single insurance, it could be 1,000/month or more, here in NY! ugh!

    • I have been meaning to bring this up…….since a lot of people have mentioned it as a concern.

      Out of necessity (couldn’t afford it) I have been bare since the fall of 2007. I had a high deductible policy that *used to be* affordable. I would be broke now if I were trying to keep up with it. As it is, in that 5 year time frame, the one issue I had, a kidney stone, I would have had to pay for anyway since it came in under the deductible amount. And since I had saved all that money NOT paying insurance, I just paid cash for the episode.

      The one major concession I made in going bare is that I no longer ride horses.

      Health insurance is no longer health insurance but asset protection insurance. But not even that, really, anymore. If you have to whittle away your asset base in order to keep yourself covered, then you’re getting further and further behind. You’ll pauperize yourself for sure just to attempt to keep from being pauperized hypothetically.

      I realize it’s a big step to make, and I feel fortunate that my hand got forced that direction. I use a naturopath that loves cash patients for any problem I have. If I needed surgery, I’d go to the Oklahoma Surgical Center and pay cash there as well.

      I recommend Matt Taibbi ‘s book “Griftopia” for the chapter on health insurance that will elucidate just why the problem is so bad, and why it won’t get any better. (they aren’t covered under the Sherman anti-trust act)

      The kids used to be on my policy, but moved over to the ex’s just before he moved out. The law changed in the meantime and he now has to keep the kids on his policy until they turn 26 unless they get coverage of their own.

      It’s a bizarro world out there. I try to have as little to do with it as possible.

    • I’m also self employed. I haven’t had medical insurance in a couple of years, nor is my teen son covered. It sucks, because there have been times I felt like I needed to see a doctor, but didn’t go. My son hasn’t had a checkup in over two years. Ex husband was supposed to provide insurance for our son, but since he has been basically unemployed for three years now, that never happened.

    • I am in the very beginning stages of divorce (literally have only had one court date thus far) but my atty will be asking that my STBX has to cover my vision insurance. I have my own medical through work, but no vision coverage. My atty told me to find a private comparable plan and she will ask that he has to cover me for XX amount of time. I will be asking for 6 years of coverage since we were married for 6 years. Seems fair and reasonable to me. You could try and ask for some insurance coverage in your settlement. I know that doesn’t help right now though. =( It is such a huge injustice that they have the power to take away our insurance too. Like they haven’t done enough already!

      • “Get health insurance, I want a divorce” is what my XH said when he broke the news to me on the phone from his deployment. So caring to think of me and the fact I would need insurance without him..asshole! What is really amusing is that the divorce has been final since Nov 2012 and I am still on his plan and he is still paying for me even though he doesn’t have to…idiot can’t be bothered to take care of the paperwork….I feel a bit guilty about the fact he loses $40 per paycheck and feel like I should tell him and then I remember what he did and remind myself he fired me from the job of protecting him and handling his shit for him. I wish I could see the look on his face when he finally marries the other woman and goes to add her only to realize he never removed me….although I am sure that will somehow be my fault…after all it was my fault that he maxed out his credit card and I didn’t tell him about out….lol

  • oh, that scares me… because of catastrophe. But, I also forgot to mention, that I end up spending at least 2-3k out of pocket anyway. That’s like at least 15k a year! That’s nuts! Still, I can see the point of doing it your way. ugh. seems we get screwed, no matter what!

    • Check out the bankruptcy statistics for people who had medical insurance! It’s no safety net anymore.

      The whole system (insurance/medical/regulatory) is working together like a gigantic symbiont. It will get your money from you one way or another. Up front as insurance or in person if you cross their threshold. I choose the later, because there’s a chance it may never happen and in the meantime, I get to use my money for more productive things, like helping my kids.

      Here’s a recent thread from an economic blog I follow. Check out the bill from a “charitable hospital”. The comments section is interesting too.

      We have one of those “charitable hospitals” in my town. (It’s where I crawled into the ER to get the kidney stone treated.) A good friend of mine in the billing department just quit from the stress. She was watching too many people she knew being bankrupted.

      • Laurel, if you have to be separated for a year before the divorce is final then request he keep you on his insurance until the papers are final and reimburse him for the premiums. You can put this in the separation agreement, I know you want no connection but no health insurance can suck. Then check out the new health care regs going into effect beginning of next year, it won’t be great but it will help some.

      • thanks Chumpalicious and Dat. And Ashley… I just wrote all sorts of nasty evil stuff… but nice work with the insurance! If he finds out. ignore him.






        my inner bitch is starting to sprout wings!

  • Limbo Land, I second what CL has said.

    I am in a similar situation. I’ve been in limbo for seventh months and it royally sucked. I didn’t have an actual marriage (hadn’t for awhile) but yet didn’t have a new life, either. Totally stressful. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. I couldn’t make plans because STBX could throw a monkey-wrench in anytime. Plus, I was so stressed I could barely function – I didn’t know how the divorce/custody was going to play out, and I was dreading the filing part (mostly because my STBX has a bad temper). It was not a good way to live.

    I filed a few weeks ago and am starting to feel the pressure/stress lift. It’s hard going through it, but waiting/limbo was torture. I’m can see some light at the end of the tunnel now and am starting to function again. Feels good.

  • Limbo: It is a state where chumps stay for interim after their D-day. The interim could be short, long, very long or never-ending. It depends on chumps’ idiosyncrasies, context, finances, kids, number of years with the cheater-ex etc.

    Limbo serves two purposes: 1. It allows you to grieve and accept your position after the cheater is exposed and marriage (rather the trust on which the foundations of marriage is built) is broken. 2. The extreme hopelessness of the state of limbo sometimes give the chumps the necessary jolt needed to exercise their subconscious power and try to come out of it.

    Both the purposes are necessary. Acceptance and Jolt. Limbo should be used to plan and assess oneself truly too. In fact, all our stories of Limbo-land tend to suggest that major rewiring of our internal systems happen while in Limbo-land. In this sense, limbo is good.

    However, limbo shouldn’t extend forever. If it does, the very purpose of limbo is defeated.

    • Brilliant, Anudi! Limbo IS often a natural step in this nasty process, and often a necessary one. It`s only a problem when it lasts too long, if you get stuck in it. Limbo is the between-place, where we`re not quite ready for the next phase – but hopefully getting ready for it, bit by bit. I think Limbo`s writing CL is one of those steps …

  • I divorced my XH years ago after 17 years together. It took me several years to get to that point after seperations/reconciliations etc. To this day, I honest to god swear that if I hadn’t filed for divorce, we’d be living apart, while remaining legally married. Except he’d still be attempting to jump in and out of the marriage and household as it suited him.

  • CL Nation-

    No more Limbo! Thought you’d like to know that my divorce was finale last Friday. Ironically, August 16th was SW’s sobriety birthday last year so it seems fitting that our divorce was finale on the same date. I didn’t want to marry an alcoholic. When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. She fell over in her front yard on our 3rd date. Caught her heal she said. Never marry someone who loves something more then you. They will always commit infidelity with their main love object, their substance of abuse of choice. ( ) I wonder how many of us Chumps married a spouse with substance issues? I ended up getting 7k out of her at the divorce settlement hearing the week prior. It would have been more but they based it on her current assets which are none. This really pissed her off. And she looked horrible. Her energy was dark and she was puffy and pasty looking. Just like the women of December, her true self. She came in full waif mode with her hair back playing the total victim role.

    She roles around in Shrek’s BMW and lives with him when she doesn’t have the kids. Last year I was dropping 10k on her and the kids before school, and this year, someone else is doing the same thing for her. Nothing changed except her zip code and he is supposed to be a horrible guy. I guess if you want a pet to keep versus a partner, then SW is the right woman for him. Not for me. Maybe she gets her shit together for him but it doesn’t matter either way. For me, she lied, cheated and stole from me and that’s all that matters.

    It’s been such a trying 8 months since Dday. It does feel good to get my life back. Last year I dropped out of Grad school to spend more time with SW and the kids before our wedding. During the fall, I passed my National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer test and became certified. A friend of mine is opening her new studio in September and I’m going to start training clients part time. I know I’m really going to enjoy this. It’s time for me now and to really focus on what brings me joy in my life and I think this is good start for me. I’m still really involved in the community and fundraising for nonprofits, but I need a break from this.

    Not sure what I would do without the help of CL and the fellow Chumps. It’s so great to have the love and support of a community of folks that understand the pain and the betrayal of infidelity.

    Leave a cheater, gain a life.

  • Just wanted to give an update that I have hired an attorney and today I emailed the OW’s husband. He emailed back and said he isn’t totally surprised because she checked out of the relationship a long time ago, but thanked me for confirming his suspicions. I can’t wait to feel the shock waves from me telling her husband!

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