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Dear Chump Lady, Did you have a defining moment?

Dear Chump Lady,

I have found online dating profiles for my husband, secret emails, I have been gas-lighted in many ways, he has given away money meant for me to have medical work done and more — but what he did yesterday was a defining moment for me.

To set the stage, we live paycheck to paycheck…..he is terrible with money. I have a lot of personal debt because of him, my son lost his job a few months ago and is presently employed but struggling. Me and my parents are helping him when we can.

So, I am home talking to my son on the phone, we were discussing looking for jobs and money of course. My husband arrives home, so I say to my son, “Let me go.”

My husband says “Who’s that?” When I tell him my son, he says tell him to hold on and I think maybe he’s heard about someone hiring.

He says, “look at these!”

So I put my phone down and put it on speaker.

He hands me a small stack of scratch-off lottery tickets (not unusual for him). I see a few small winners and then I see one for $5,000!!! “Is this real?” I ask and he shakes his head yes.

I tell my son and he says “Wow!”

My mind is racing. I’m thinking I can pay off one of my credit cards and still have enough left over he wouldn’t complain about paying the credit card and maybe we could make a $200 car payment for my son.

Then I look up at my husband and he is laughing. “It’s a fake…” He says, “I spent a lot of time altering it.”

I threw the tickets at him and called him a “fucking shithead.” (I’ve never called him a name like that) and started to cry. It was that uncontrollable sobbing, like a switch was turned on and I couldn’t stop.

He was disgusted with me for crying. Mad actually.

I left the room. He never apologized, nothing.

Something totally died inside of me and something else came to life.

All the other cheating things he has done really weren’t about me and I’ve learned not to take it personally. But this was a planned out hateful prank directed at me and my son.

All the other things he has done are part of the “tangled skein” but there was nothing tangled about this. It was hateful, almost sadistic.

That moment the realization that I have to get out was cemented.

I’d like to know if you think it was as mean as I took it and also do most people have that defining moment?


Dear Jane,

Was it as mean as you took it? Jane, he is a sick motherfucker and yes it was mean. It wasn’t just mean, it was abusive. Not only did he cruelly raise your hopes of some needed financial relief — he made certain this prank was in front of your son — on speaker phone. Just to maximize your humiliation.

He is a piece of shit. And if the cheating wasn’t enough to leave him, I hope this “joke” is.

Please get the book (in the Amazon box, or find it your library) Lundy Bancroft’s “Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.” You’ll see that shitheads like your husband are quite common. (And why you’ve never called him a fucking shithead before is beyond me. It’s so descriptive and appropriate.) What he did was calculated to get an effect. Hell, he DOCTORED a LOTTERY TICKET! That took quite a bit of aforethought and malice. He absolutely wanted to hurt you.

And I would point out that your husband knew affairs would hurt you too (and dating profiles and gaslighting and overspending) but he doesn’t give a shit. He delights in control and his “you’re not the boss of me” lifestyle. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s not only passive aggressive, he’s aggressive aggressive. He resents any financial help going to your son, because that takes resources away from him. In his sick mind, he thinks you and your son deserve such “jokes.”

Your upset is part of the pay off for him. His contemptuousness is his high. Your tears just prove you are the lesser being.

I could go on about what an abusive freak your husband is, Jane. Read Bancroft’s book if you want to know what makes him tick, it’s the best road map to the skein out there. But it’s long past time to ask yourself — why the hell are you sitting there taking it? And what are you doing to get AWAY from it?

Because that’s where you energies need to go, Jane. Understanding why this sicko arrangement is acceptable to you, and making a plan to escape. Stop trying to decode his “jokes” and why he cheats. Trust that he sucks. I don’t even think you have to “trust” here, Jane. Trip over the obvious that he sucks.

Talk to a domestic abuse hotline. They can help you make an escape plan.

Now, to your question — did I have a defining moment? I had several. Sitting in a courthouse waiting for a protection from abuse order was one. There was a veteran abused wife there with her small son, who was playing with some Thomas the Tank engine trains. I was chatting with him. “Oh that’s Percy, that one is Edmund.” Then I excused myself to go to the bathroom to cry, because I was pretty hysterical at that point, and she came in after me and said “Hey! You gotta be tough! You get that order!” I felt pretty humbled that this woman whose life circumstances were infinitely worse than mine was giving me the pep talk.

Later I sat next to a nice Puerto Rican young thug who asked me what I was there for, and when I told him, he said he’d be happy to throw him through a window for me “because I’m just that kind of guy.”

I had a lot of surreal moments, Jane. I had four D-Days. I don’t fault you for being a slow learner. But Jane, these assholes don’t get better — they get BOLDER. Every time you assert yourself and then back down and don’t leave? They build those walls higher. It’s more “jokes” and more punishment to erode your self esteem so you don’t get so uppity the next time.

He might love bomb you too. Oh, I didn’t mean it, baby. I’m so sorry. He may hoover you back with some “nice.” This is the classic cycle of abuse. It may be at the point he doesn’t have to throw you a bone. You can just expect more of his crap.

Time to say NO MORE!

Don’t let the finances scare you. You would be so much better off without this guy’s financial recklessness in your life. You could captain your own ship. Other people have gone before you and made it — and you will too! You do NOT need him. Nothing is worth living with this sort of abuse.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • You know Jane, You can read a million posts here about some terrible situations, but I dont think I have ever heard of someone deliberately going out of their way to hurt someone. I mean, when it comes to cheating, they’re getting sex, they arent “thinking” about you, they are thinking about themselves. But in this situation, he was thinking about you… and specifically making it a goal to hurt you. I honestly have never heard of that before.

    I am so sorry you had to go through that. That is one hell of a defining moment. Just hearing this story freaks me out about what other things he could be capable of.

    You will be so much better off without him. You will find peace. Like CL says, He has SHOWN you who he is; and its not a pretty picture.

    I accumulated quite a lot of debt with my ex. Buying dinner, anything we did, everything for the house, etc. When we split, he kept everything (I didnt really fight for it), my 20k engagement ring (I wouldnt dare try and take that away, he made that clear), sold the house and got rid of all of his debt with the new baby momma. I still have my debt, but I can feel better about taking longer getting rid of it because I did not have to screw anyone over to get rid of it. It may take a while but it will be worth it to know I did it on my own and he had to piggy-back his way out.

    You sound like such a sweet person. Please know you are worth more than this and you can make it out of your financial hole much faster without him.

    ((Hugs)) <3

    • My first XW woke me from a sound sleep to describe the body of the younger guy she was with that night.
      So, yes, some if these NOD assholes do try to hurt you through cheating.

  • Talk to some family practice lawyers soon. Most have inexpensive consulting fees. Try to get a good idea of where the money goes. Depending on your state and depending on what he spends his money on, you could be looking at dissipation of marital assets, which would possibly grant you a more favorable settlement. I agree that you cannot afford to stay married. In fact, your life would probably be significantly better, both from an emotional and fiscal perspective, if you dumped him.

    • Also, words cannot express the sheer ass-shatery of that lottery ticket stunt. Defining moment? Heck, yeah!

      Mine was less dramatic. While I can’t remember the exact date of dday, simply because I’m not wired that way, I do remember that STBX laying (and lying!) in bed, grinning at me, and asking for a foot rub. At that moment, all I could think about was how he’d betrayed me for a woman who’d sleep with any man who’d buy her a couple of drinks and here he was, laying in bed as if nothing were wrong, and expecting me to give him a foot massage. Fuck him and the whore he rides on.

      I don’t rub his feet, and I’m closer and closer to the day I file.

        • I had this thought last night and it’s kept me smiling all day:

          One woman’s trash is a white-trash woman’s treasure.

          Sounds like the OW better stock up on Odor Eaters and hand sanitizer!

          • Yes I am smiling too – there is no other word for the OW – she is CLASSIC “white trash” (and my husband is not white – but I am and I am calling her white trash), just cheap and nasty and it’s ALL about her FOO.

            [thanks ChumpLady for teaching me a new word – I had to google “FOO”]

            And yes mine also asked me for a foot massage within a shockingly short space of time from the day I walked in on them

    • The mean practical joke, followed by the accusation that you are too sensitive and lack a sense if humor is SOP for many disordered types.
      I could tell you countless stories, most involving dousing a with freezing cold water or off the cuff emasculating remarks.
      Wish Lundy had a book on mean, angry women.

      • Actually, Arnold, I think Lundy could make himself a few bucks by just taking the substantial parts of his book, reversing all the pronouns, putting on a new title, and sending it off to the publishers. Then he could do a version for gay male couples, another for lesbian couples, and another one for the work place! (Actually, I think that one already exists, ‘The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t’; also recommends GETTING OUT as the best solution!)

        Because entitlement is entitlement, and the narc strategies that one gender uses are used by the other as well. It’s both horrifying and reassuring to recognize the commonalities.

        • A few authors have figured out that womenabuse as frequently (some studies say even more) than men. Those folks interchange pronouns or do the he/she bit.
          But, for the most part, a lot of folks still subscribe to the tired old, disproven cliche that it is men who are the predominant abusers.
          The problem with this is that most guys who have been in abusive relationships with women abusers are really questioning if it was them who were the abuser.
          A PD person is very adept at convincing a victim that the victim is the one with the abusing problem.
          These folks are very parcticed at this and tireless at it.
          So, when a guy chum/abusee goes to Barnes and Noble or googles ” emotinal abuse” etc, he comes acroass all this stuff fromauthors and web owners who just default to using the male pronoun in describing the abuser. And, this makes things even tougher for guys trying to figure out what hit them.
          I recommend a couple sites forthese men, although Isee that these sites are becoming more dormant over time, now.
          http://www.shrink4 men, Shari Schreiber’s “gettinbetter” site and http://www.menwhoareabused are about the only ones I know of.
          But,there seem to be hundreds of sites devoted to women who are abuse victims.
          I saw a youtube video with a report that there is only on shelter in this entire country that allows male victims entry. It is shocking what we see in movies and on TV, with all the women hauling off and slapping men(there is plent of man onwoman abuse, too. But, it is look at in horror vs the acceptance we have of the woman belting the man across the face).
          This trickle down into the emotional abuse arena, too. Isee this prejuduce all over the place, even here on some occassions (see the earlier debate I got into where I pointed out the double standard re using male body parts as derogatoryterms vs doing the same using female body parts).
          I wonder , Karen, if it is true that lundy could convert the pronouns etc and make n money, why he has not done so. I suspect it is because he believes that men are the primary problem and that women abusers are rare.

  • What an asshole Jane, there is nothing at all funny about that!

    I remember a time when I had asked and asked him to get an armoire from my daughters house for me to store my artwork in…after about 3 months he finally did. It was heavy, but instead of getting a man to help him he made ME help him. He put me at the bottom of the steps (only 6 but steep) and I couldn’t carry my weight (I have carpel tunnel too) hurt my back and he had a frigging shit fit meltdown. Yelling and cursing and trying to drag it into the house. Of course he broke it AND he was mad at me for days! I knew I shouldn’t have helped but I was afraid of what he would do since he finally went and got it. I can’t believe I put up with that shit….that was a pretty wide eye opener, I mean how more apparent can you be that he had no more concern with my physical well being and actually didn’t care if he HURT me, when it almost certainly would?

    • Another one…his key wouldn’t work on our deadbolt and he tried to FORBID that I lock it when I went to sleep at night if he wasn’t home from being with whomever…he told me I HAD to leave the door unlocked while I was home alone. I told him to go fuck himself!

  • I had a defining moment like that, well many actually, but one in particular. Christmas day, I went to my brother’s house to visit with my family for the afternoon and told him what time I would be home to make dinner. Right after I got there, he called and told me that I had to come home. He accused me of cheating and said my family was helping me. He said if I wasn’t home in five minutes that he would take all the decorations down. I refused, went home when I said I would, and sure enough all the christmas ornaments, decorations, presents, everything, were stacked up on the coffee table. The kids stopped dead in their tracks, but didn’t say a word, didn’t even ask what happened. That shit pile stayed there for seven months before I was finally forced to clean it up.

    Christmas has always been my favorite day. My father was a sadistic, alcoholic pedophile, but he never managed to ruin Christmas. Well that day I recognized that the man I married was worse than my father.

    • QS — that’s sick. And it’s probably no surprise you married someone as vile as your father. Have you done the requisite therapy on that?

      Wishing you many merry Christmases ahead that are asshole free.

      • Yeah, met current asshole after eight years of therapy for the first asshole. Thought I had done so much better. Looking forward to eight more years for this one. Ha!

        • I heard somewhere that for folks with your kind of background (childhood abuse), if it feels comfortable? Run. Seriously, a good relationship might freak you out at first. I know, that would be a great problem to have. 🙂 But I think you just need to trust that you deserve kindness and respect. That’s the baseline. It’s not exceptional. Nothing wrong with a therapy tune up at all!

  • Going forward, discovering “Dating profiles” while married to somebody will (I am sure) and should be all the defining moments you really need. One thing about going through this stuff is that you will probably lose all interest in understanding such malfunction in others and just accept that they’re dysfunctional.

    And that’s a good thing.

  • I also had several defining moments, but 2 of them really stand out.

    #1) When I confronted him the first time (3 affair) with his ho-worker, he looked me in the eye and responded with “You forced me to go outside our marriage to get my needs met”.

    #2) After a year of marriage counseling, I discovered that he had renewed his affair with the aformentioned ho-worker. So I confronted him again, and told him I was getting a lawyer. The next day (Valentines Day) he sent me flowers and I ended up paying the bill for them.

    So done, time to go.

    • Jesus Angie. I got “you in my face like this (= talking to him about ANYTHING that he wants to avoid, or just wants to get back to computer game) is what pushed me into the arms of another woman.”

      My H looked me in the eye, pointed to her, said “I love this woman and I want to wake up evey day with her in my arms” (they had met 3 months earlier, through me as her kid is in our kid’s class at school and I helped her out by taking him back to our house one afternoon a week).

      Then the next morning, he said she had poisoned our marriage and that he was cutting off all ties.

      (I believed him until I caught him again)

  • Your husband is a sick monster. Not only was his little “prank” pure abuse, but he’s a mooch, a loser and a cheater on top of it. I know how scary it is to think of divorce, especially when finances are bad. Believe me, I understand. But it sounds like you will be better off without this millstone of a pig hanging around your neck. Perhaps you and your son can rent an apartment together for awhile.

    Your disordered husband is not going to change. He’s a mooch, a cheater, a liar and a bully. He’s always going to be a monster. But you have an opportunity to go forward into a new, healthy good life without that POS. Talk to a domestic violence shelter ASAP and get advice on getting OUT of that marriage.

    By the way, my ex pulled some stunts like your POS’s lottery ticket trick. My ex would have thought that was hysterical, and he would have used the old, “It’s just a JOKE. Can’t you take a JOKE?” to gaslight me. These men are demons.

    • “It was a joke” and “I was just kidding” as responses to any hurt inflicted on another are just plain abusive.

      • Yup. “Can’t you take a joke?” is classic gaslighting, as classic as it gets. I got that one from my ex too. The faked lottery ticket is abuse, pure and simple. I guarantee you things will not get better–don’t bother waiting around to see if it does.

  • That was a sick joke.

    Start making your plans quietly to leave. And then just go. Don’t get mad and tip him off. Gather your forces.

    I, too, read Bancroft’s book. It was several years ago, and it’s an excellent book. But the biggest thing I remember from it was that “these guys do that” simply because they want to. They feel entitled. In the end, there was no “secret” to be discovered, not necessarily and deep, dramatic sob story that could explain why some men behave the way they do. (I know NPD cuts both ways on gender, but Brancroft focuses on men.) In the final analysis, they are just empty, entitled little characters who laugh off or dismiss the distress they cause others. When you look inside them, there’s…nothing, literally nothing there. Nada.

    Anyway, Jane, time to hit the road. Just start making your road map quietly and on your own. You are about to lose nothing more than…a loser. Which is to say that you will lose nothing (a nothing) and you’ll gain a great deal.

      • PDs definitely cut across gender lines. For a variety of reasons, however, men are more commonly NPD and women are more commonly BPD. There are exceptions, of course, but as a disease, this is how it tends to go.

        • I think there are just as many female NPDs. But, due to some archaic biases, therapists seem more likely to dx women NPDs as BPDs, as they cannot seem to deal with the concept that women can be so evil. BPD vs NPD or ASPD seems more palatable to them.

          • Well,there are more men being diagnosed with autism than women.I hope it’s not because of some archaic biases held by them.

            • yes – men and women are different. They are treated differently from before they even come out of mother’s womb. Boys (especially in non-western countries) are taught Entitlement. They are not reprimanded for having that sense of entitlement. What our grandparents’ generation used to call “spoiled brats”. Girls are taught to comply, supply, put up, shut up. Still are, in MOST of the world’s families.

              That in no way dismisses the fact that there are NPD women. But it is not 50-50, not equal, just because we want it to be. The world is not like that.

    • Thanks David, I’m taking the time to reread this thread. I’ve been spending less time on blogs sites and more time making my road map. The scary thing is this……I had forgotten that he did this, the lottery ticket “joke”. What does that mean?!
      Finding a job is the next big mile marker on my map.
      Unfortunately, my son that I thought could move in with me and help financially is having terrible health problems. And my husband has whittled us down to one vehicle which he takes to work (60 miles away) 4 days a week. I still manage to get out of the house and in to town but I don’t let on to him that I did.
      Recently he accused me of making those dating profiles!! Like you said quietly because there is no talking or reasoning with someone like him.
      My sister said she will get the book for me. I had forgotten the title, just like the event.
      Not good.

  • My moment was when by his own admission, the future ex admitted he had come home 2 days early from a week long business trip and shacked up in a hotel with his ho-worker 20 minutes down the road, and spent the weekend shopping and going to movies, dinner, with her at the shopping plaza across from the hotel, a place I take my son to all the time. We could have run into them there. I remember too when he did come home from that trip, he said he caught an earlier flight adn got home sunday afternoon instead of sunday night. Our son was so happy and I made a surprise out of it. The only reason why he was home early was not an early flight but he was already in town and they had to check out of the hotel. When I found out the truth, I still wasn’t 100% about leaving but it was at that moment I realized it didn’t matter if I still cared for this person or not, that my only choice was to get out. I could not choose to stay with a man-child who could be capable and actually do such a thing. It was so weird too because when I realized that, I had the physical sensation of something getting lifted off of me. I felt lighter, better. So I guess it was the decision that deep down I knew had to be made all along.

    I’m so sorry – what a cruel thing to do.

    • I felt the same way. Like a weight had been lifted. I made the decision in that moment and haven’t looked back.

  • Posted too quickly again.

    There was no secret to be discovered. There was not necessarily a deep, dramatic sob story that could justify what they do. They are just empty. And selfish.

  • Read the book CL recommends, you don’t want your husband to see it though. I wish I’d read it before I told my ex we were divorcing. It would have saved me a world of hurt, he upped his rages to the physical at that point. He literally set me up to get arrested and eventually he held a gun on himself and me. If your husband rages at you, do not make the mistake I did, do not believe that he wouldn’t actually physically hurt you (or find more devious ways to harm you). He can, and he will go further when the rages no longer work to bring you under control.

    My defining moments;
    4th reconciliation attempt was done the day after he told me he was not seeing the OW and I saw his car there the next day, when confronted his response was: “I said I had not seen her, I didn’t say I wasn’t going to see her”.

    All the rest of the shit he inflicted on me was a result of his insanity and abuse when I continued to insist on divorce. BTW, I just renewed my protective order this spring. I installed an alarm system just because of ex.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Datdamwuf, preparations for separation and divorce should be done on the QT when dealing w/these abusive idiots. Actually one of my defining moments was when I realized I wouldn’t confront my (at the time not yet) ex about anything or discuss anything he might really not like without another adult in the house, or doing it in a public place. He had threatened me physically in VERY convincing ways on several ocassions. (And I think hadn’t gone beyond that only because the very first time he did it, I called the police; the second time, many years later, I left w/the kids to a friend’s place, and the third, years later still, I took the kids and went to a shelter.)

      And another defining moment was shortly after Dday, in a discussion about the downfall of our relationships, when I asked about the physical threats, He claimed they ‘weren’t a big deal. I never ACTUALLY hurt you. Not a big deal at all’. I remember just looking at him in amazement! So, it’s OK to repeatedly scare the SHIT out of your wife and kids, as long as you don’t actually hurt them. And since you’ve never actually hurt them so far, they should trust that you never will.

      What planet do these guys live on?

    • Absolutely I will get the book. I will have my sister order it for me. My sons lease is up after the first of the year and he called me the next day and told me I should get a divorce. Possibly my son could move into the house with me.
      And yes, I know my husband is cold cold inside. He never love bombs me anymore, in the ten years we have been together he has apologized once….a long time ago. He would think nothing of hurting one of my cats.
      Agreed, I’ve know for awhile that I have to make my road map quietly, he is a dangerous man. I have a good friend who grew up around the mob in New York and she told me she is frightened for me.
      That’s the problem with the house.
      After the first he wants to get a new mortgage and put the house in his name. Since I can’t possibly afford it by myself I’m thinking I may let him refinance….use some of the money to pay my debts and then I can disappear. It may be the only safe way for me.
      My parents are in their 80’s and if they don’t hear from me for a few days they are certain he has killed me. But I don’t think he will go that far because he has secret clearances, many specialized licenses. Yet, at the same time, I think the only reason I am still here (in his eyes) is because he hasn’t gotten everything he wants from me yet. The house is probably the last. I think he wants to suck me dry and destroy me.

      • Jane — call that domestic abuse hotline TODAY and DO NOT put the house in his name. If you really think he will destroy you, what’s to stop him after he has the house? Seriously, don’t be a doormat and let him do that. I don’t care how dire your finances — don’t sign it over to him. You need PROFESSIONAL HELP. I’m just a blog. If you call the hotline these people can get you local help — legal help — they can help you make an escape plan, which you very badly need.

        This goes way beyond infidelity, the scope of my blog, if you fear he is dangerous, do NOT minimize your feelings about that. He is NOT all powerful. He can be dealt with, but you need to reach out to professionals in your area. Get a protection from abuse order, and talk TODAY with a professional abuse hotline.

        • I will, I also have other professional resources I can call on that know how to deal with this sort of problem. I’m not minimizing, I just refuse to live in fear.
          If I let him have the house, I have to be ready to walk out the door.
          If I stay here in the house he will destroy me and have the pleasure of seeing me lose the house, walk to work and then he could burn the house or worse. He can kill me and get away with it.
          If I leave and no one knows where I am I’ll be safe. I also have friends that are private investigators and more who can help me disappear and not leave a trail.

          • Jane, it sounds like you are very aware of how dangerous he is and will be careful. I get you on the house, you refi and take as much money out as possible to split with him so you can disappear with some cash to start over in a secret place.

            That makes sense, protective orders only work if the person is terrified of going to jail – I am lucky my ex is one of those people. You can’t be sure your husband is until you have one, so disappear if you have the means and you seem to. I totally understand fearing he will kill you if he thinks he can get away with it, that is true of my ex. I saw it in his eyes when he held that gun on me, he was deciding if he could get away with it – thankfully he decided he could not. I did and do everything I can to make sure there is no next chance.

  • Is this a defining moment? I recently discovered that WH changed the beneficiary of his life insurance policy from me to his sister (we have two young children).

    • Talk to a lawyer about that! Can he change that without your signature if you’re still married? It may be a different matter if you’re filing for divorce. Or maybe I’m confusing this with retirement accounts.

      Anyway, he’s dreadful!!!! Please make WH a STBX.

            • I fought issues with life insurance — narcissists look at it differently. My ex said I shouldn’t “win the lottery” just because he died.

              They really have a mean streak they intend to take beyond the grave with them.

              • I agree. As part of their divorce settlement, XFIL was required to get a life insurance policy naming XMIL beneficiary. As soon as the divorce was final, he cancelled it.

                Total a-hole. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree in that family… 🙁

              • I make his life insurance payments and hide the statements so he doesn’t think about it. He doesn’t even know what company.

              • Ok. Yes, thanks. I need to knocked with a 2 x 4 once in a while. But punishing me for what in his mind?

              • Who can tell? CL’s answer is as good as it comes. Trying to figure out what’s going on in his head is another attempt at untangling the skein of fuckedupness.

                Boy, you can really trust that he sucks, though.

      • I am not sure of the laws in different states/provinces but the general theme is that the will is either revocable or irrevocable. in revocable the owner of the life insurance can change it at any time and does not require the beneficiaries signature. in irrevocable they can not make any changes, cancel, revoke or add to without consent from beneficiary or it be amended in the settlement agreement. i made sure my name is irrevocable 27 yrs ago ( i better ask for a copy of it). so do not sign anything without a lawyer and get a copy and hide it till you need it.

    • Cranberry, is your divorce finalized? My divorce decree says exH and I both have to maintain our life insurance policies with one another as beneficiaries. The decree includes the policy amount, as well as the account number. Any changes, and I can challenge him (and AP/new wife in court).

      • a lot of agreements have this clause if the child support is involved. its the job of a good lawyer to include it.

      • Divorce is not yet finalized. I just filed a few weeks ago. Do you think I can still insist that I, instead of my kids, be the beneficiary, even if I don’t receive alimony?

      • When she insisted they get life insurance after buying their first house a few years ago, knowing she and their daughter would lose the house if anything happened to the husband, my friend’s incredibly self-centered husband said, ‘I’m not an insurance kind of guy’.

        Ah, ok, not sure what that means, except ‘fuck you all’.

        • Holy cow, the life insurance! Same thing for me: “Why should I give you money to spend on another man?” Also worried that I might put a hit out on him (seriously??). Only just barely convinced him to get a policy. CL, I think we’ve identified another red flag here for the picker.

  • My defining moment? I had already kicked him out but he was still coming over to see the kids. I stupidly looked at his phone and saw that he was writing absolute crap about me to final OW. I confronted him, handed him the already prepared divorce papers and said enough is enough. He said he wasn’t ready to take that step and it struck me that he wanted to keep me around while he banged the side piece. I went back to the lawyer the next day and started the ball rolling. And NEVER had him over again.

  • It’s not the big things, it’s always the little ones.

    Defining moment #1: After 25 years of marriage and discovery of the affairs, we were “working” on things. He thought my favorite candy bar was the same as when we got married, a Mounds Bar. It’s been Snicker’s for 20 plus years.

    Defining moment #2: During the “working on things time” also, there was a woman at his work that made special cream cheese sugar cookies, just for him. He showed me a picture of the cookies, and I saw the texts associated….she said “they might not be as good as your Mom’s, but they’re really good.!” That was MY recipe and he compliments me about them every time I make them. I asked him why he left me out, he “Didn’t want to hurt her feelings.”

  • Jane, this line of yours resonated so deeply with me:

    “Something totally died inside of me and something else came to life.”

    Congratulations on this new awakening! I feel the same way. In fact, I now have a beautiful phoenix as my computer’s desktop image, because I am choosing to focus on the glory of a new life. Yes, there is some inevitable grieving of the old life, but as CL and everyone here has said (and as you know!) the old life was not very good.

    I am a chump of abuse, not cheating, and I can say quite sincerely now that I do not love my soon-to-be-ex husband. I know others here are struggling with still feeling love, and that is 100% understandable, but my ex used to engage in a dramatic push-pull, where he’d periodically rage at me and threaten to leave, then apologize profusely and sweetly. In the aftermath of the rages, I’d be left trying to imagine “what will I do now?”, and although the first time I was just completely shocked at the idea of divorce, by the end of our marriage, that alternative had become more real to me – and even more attractive.

    I told him once that with each push-pull, he was stretching and straining an elastic band (my love) that was not infinitely flexible. Although I was able to full-heartedly forgive and recommit a few times, it became harder and harder to do so, and that bond would eventually snap. Which, of course, it finally did. Now I’ve filed for divorce, and he’s out of the house per a protection order. Even with all the stress of the divorce (and criminal assault charges), it’s already better! No contact is a beautiful thing. Peace in the house is *amazing*. Coming home to my loving children, and being able to love them (including setting loving boundaries) without interference is amazing.

    Nurture that something that has just come alive. Even if it’s just righteous anger at this point, it is TRUE and real, and can grow into new power and independence. Nurture your new life and watch it flourish.

    • Psyche – my husband was emotionally abusive, particularly at the very end. I felt like I had to walk on eggshells around him. I HATED when he was home.

      Once he left, like you, the kids and I finally enjoyed some peace. Normal dinner times, watching the TV shows WE wanted, playing computer games – it was like we’d been let out of prison.

    • Exactly….the first time he threatened to leave and didn’t talk to me for two days I cried and begged, but each time I just calmly sat there and started making plans A, B and C. All of those times made me stronger, not weaker as he imagined.

      • Psyche, oh yes the heartfelt sorry and the pity me party about how he would never hurt you and he’s so messed up and please don’t leave me because without you I can’t make it and it’s ALL BULLSHIT CONTROLLING BULLSHIT and once you won’t be control the violence escalates and can get you killed. And Did I mention that it’s all bullshit?

    • Psyche: I’m also dealing with the abuse issue. My husband has tried to cheat on me in the past and that’s how I found the CL site. It’s amazing how many of these behaviors are shared between physical abusers and cheaters. We had another physical altercation a few nights ago and I’m having trouble remembering what happened. I think I dissociate things because I can’t deal with the reality. Also, I have a clearance and being a stable person is very much expected at my job. I feel like I have to put a big wall between the person I am at home and the person I am at work.

      Guess I wanted to say that you did great work untangling yourself. I know how hard it is.

      • KT, do not let your clearance get in the way of leaving your abuser. My ex set me up and got me arrested, I reported it and I retained my clearance even when I came up for re-investigation. Do not let your practical side stop you from getting out fast, I did that and he truly nearly shot me. Make a plan and GTFO, I too know how hard it is to do. ((hugs)) I too would “blank” on my ex’s abuse when it got bad, it’s your subconscious trying to save you from pain, but it can really damage you. I had to see a hypnotist to get back some of my memories, the ones where I would have a short blank spot. It’s the utter betrayal your subconscious is trying to block, it freed me when I regained those memories.

    • Thanks, KT and everyone. It’s a hard road, but now we all have found this great support! So grateful for CL 🙂

  • I had two defining moments. The first was when I discovered the second affair,and that was it, and I filed for divorce.

    Nearly a year after my divorce I received a letter by a woman who went on to write about about her husband’s affair with my wife that overlapped the second affair I had discovered. Seems my wife had been cheating with another man while cheating with the guy I caught her with. Turns out it was three affairs and I can only guess that were even more.

    Even though we were already divorced it was a second defining moment and I felt so sure that I had been so right to divorce her.

    I only regret I hadn’t divorced her sooner. I was a chump after her first affair and had bought into the reconciliation industry of MC, books and forums that claimed reconciliation success stories.

    I wish Chump Lady was around then.

  • There were several, but the two that stand out in my mind – both post-divorce – include:

    1. His standing in front of me in $1,000 worth of new clothes, telling me his lawyer and tax bills were so high he was going to petition to have his child support payment cut. Because it was okay for his growing children to go without new clothes, but not him.

    2. Hurricane Sandy. He’s on the west coast with OW while we were terrified we were going to be blown away. We heard from EVERY member of his family – and several of his colleagues – all concerned for our safety. But not from him.

    Puts his kids last, then wonder why they don’t put him first. It’s not rocket science….

  • Jane, that is incredibly cruel. I’ve gone through tough financial times before, and cannot imagine anyone who cared coming up with a “prank” like that. Unbelievable. So glad to hear you’re getting out of that marriage. Good for you. One thing I’ve noticed about these kinds of assholes. The more you put up with their shit in order to “save” your marriage, the more they will abuse you. Good luck.

  • I don’t know about defining moment. I put up with a lot of shit during “reconciliation”… he did several things that were just shitty and not the actions of someone who is remorseful in any way. And he failed to fire the OW by my deadline… though he’d been promising me the whole time he would (which is what led me to finally call a therapist… to give the marriage one last chance). She was on board with my demand and so we set up a second deadline which he almost missed… literally he called the OW the night before to tell her. And then a month later he ended up hiring her back… which he told me via text after I had written to see if he wanted to go to lunch with me and the kids. He tried to make it sound like it wasn’t a big deal. He was just so nonchalant about it. “btw, OW is back helping out. where do you want to eat?”. What?? Fuck that!

    So that was the straw that broke the camel’s back (though it’s not even a straw… it was a huge thing that I had been insisting on since literally day 1). I immediately packed his stuff up and drove it to his work. In that moment I didn’t think about the repercussions to my family, I wasn’t scared of what it would be like to be alone, I didn’t worry about any of the details of the decision I was making. I didn’t think at all. I was just following through with what I had told him and what I had told myself I would do. I was finally so pissed and tired of being jerked around that I took action.

    And it was kind of awesome in a sick way… I drove his stuff over there… called him once I was there to say to come and get his stuff. He told me “just put it in the back of his truck”. Yet again, expecting me to cater to him, like I was his personal bellhop. He didn’t even protest about it either. No begging me to stay, etc. So instead I put his luggage, guitars, whatever, all over the OW’s car that was conveniently parked right next to his. And that’s when his dirty little secret that he was so worried about coming out became exposed to his entire workplace. And the rest is history!

  • OW’s husband told me that she had been told that I was mentally ill and I had been in an INSTITUTION for some time ( none true of course). I don’t know if this was hers or his idea but even if it was hers ( I doubt it) I asked him to make her confess that she had been spreading these lies and he refused. Why would someone create such a story is beyond me. The next day I filed.

  • I appreciate all of the feedback because the real sad part of this lottery ticket joke was that my sister, parents, sons and close friends are so used to his assholedness that their horror meter barely made it to a low roar. My Dad was the most upset about it, I guess being a man he knew just how scary mean it was.

  • I have so many moments that should have been the final straw. I’m to embarrassed to give the details right now. Maybe someday I’ll feel more comfortable telling.

    I could have sworn I saw a unicorn. I really thought I did. Turns out I didn’t notice the Sasquatch mooning me and flipping me the bird with both hands while riding the stupid Unicorn. I’m such a chump!

    Draw a illustration of that CL! I would love to frame that one…..

    • it’s okay, Bud, we all have those. I detailed one of them yesterday on another post. It was the first time I’d told that particular story and I think I’ve been here a year. So it can take time to share every humiliation they make us suffer… and it’s not a requirement to share either! 🙂 But seeing that fucked up shit in print and having others validate that it was in fact as bad as I had thought was helpful. We are seriously so messed up after years with these people that our judgement regarding them and what they put us through is pretty flawed… and it takes a while for it to get better. The reconciliation complex doesn’t help either.

      • I agree that our judgement is flawed because we were in the thick of it for so long. Ex still tells me I over-reacted, I exaggerate, and I acted like a love sick teenager when I got REALLY UPSET upon discovering his serial infidelities. Add to that his family and the few friends he has backing him up on this (and him telling them that I was making things up, etc) and it’s hard to wrap your head around it.

        I found that by telling other people what had happened I was able to gauge just how bad it was, because every person I told had such looks of shock on their faces that I knew it really was that bad. One woman was in tears, another said she felt like vomiting, a third said she wanted to beat the shit out of him – and had never met him as she was a ‘new’ friend.

        I know now that what he did was absolutely awful but it took me awhile to face up to that. Naturally, he’s moved on to the later chapters of the Cheater’s Handbook and is now saying he’s a ‘changed man’.

    • Oh god, Bud, when I tell people about the long term in my relationship w/my narc ex, it can get damned embarrassing! He did this and that and the other, and still I stayed. It’s hard to explain to people how tangled up you get, how confused, and how hard it is to give up on spackling and hope and untangling the skein ….

      Funny how much clearer things get w/as little contact w/the ex as possible. And of course, now that my eyes are open, every time we are in touch, I can see how he keeps showing exactly who he is. The difference being that now I believe him.

  • Jane, that’s awful. I’m sorry you went through that. Get rid of him.

    When my STBX admitted he’d had sex with her in our home while we were on a trial separation. Done. No unicorns in sight. That and I discovered he took us to the restaurant on our anniversary where the AP worked. That and when I discovered the sex texting he said, “She’s really nice. A go-getter.”

    I said, “Go get ‘er.” And that was that.

    • I find it hilarious that nearly every cheater says the APs are ‘really nice’. It’s kind of astounding that they all use the same pat phrases.

      • Love the way mine told me ( before he started to deny that OW existed) that she felt really bad about me but “this love was bigger than both of us”

        • Excuse me? That sounds like it came right out of a paperback love novel. Is she kidding? They really don’t even think too hard (it might hurt)! Insane neighbor AP told me (after I approached her to let her know she was hurting a family, and how could she hurt a fellow female)- ‘well, I guess he’s not getting what he needs at home!’ ALSO very corny, over-used phrase, but use that as your life mantra if you want, jerk!

      • Mine actually asked me – don’t you think she is pretty (after I discovered the naked pictures he has tried to hide on his phone – thanks technology).

      • ugh, mine told m, just a few weeks before Dday that I should try talking to her sometime, that “she’s fun to talk to”. Because I was irritated she was calling him at home so much lately.

        So he was actually encouraging me to become friends with her during his affair with her!

        • My ex was in love with his married coworker. His relationship with her was too close and although we started out socializing as couples, I began to suspect what was going on and refused to be around her any more. I always felt like he’d be super happy if he could join her family. Turns out that feeling was correct because after he left he moved into her parent’s basement. Eventually he bought a house near hers. Later I found a document on his old computer that outlined how he was “planting seeds” to break up her marriage and have her to himself because he adored her so much. His vision was to live with her and her young children on his new farm some day. No mention of me or her husband in the document. I let some of my friends read the document and they said it sounded like the kind of thing you’d find at a murder-suicide scene.

  • I have what should have been a defining moment but I went through six more months of awful. He got a call on his cell phone from OW’s husband, and proceeded to tell the guy that he was in love with his wife, wanted to be with her, etc. Then the OW’s mom talked to him and he told her the same thing while she screamed at him about breaking up a family (the OW’s). I sat with him and listened to the whole thing, and truly thought he was just confused, bewitched, messed up. It was sooo not the man I had been with for 20 years. I would have saved myself lots of pain if I had kicked him out that night. He went through being “in love” with two more women soon after.

    • Wow – this guy has a lot of “love” to spread around. Ugh. I seriously blame the reconciliation complex for encouraging us to believe things like that.. they tell us that they don’t mean the things they say, they are confused, we just need to be there for them and understand how it would be hard to end something with someone they love. Or some shit like that. How about the fact that they shouldn’t be “in love” with two people in the first place!?!? I didn’t read that much about it myself, but I heard others at my support group saying things like that… which is why I don’t go to that support group anymore.

      My ex never was in love with his OW. Well, actually part of Dday was reading a text where he told her that he did, but he disavowed it immediately and I did believe him. At the same time I also acknowledged that why should I believe him when he says he loves me either when I already know he’s lied to one person about it?

      Weirdly, at the time I THOUGHT I would have preferred for him to be in love with her because then at least then he wouldn’t have risked our marriage and family just to get laid. I feel like I would have understood at least the pretense of a real emotion other than him just doing it for the cake. And then he put the nail in the coffin of our marriage trying to keep his good employee and his reputation intact, which I REALLY didn’t understand. I also think he made a miscalculation and thought I would never actually leave so he just went on doing what he wanted to do. And that’s actually the main point of why I can’t be with him. Everything he does is CALCULATED… and solely for his own benefit.

      • Yes anotherErica, that is my feeling too. i hope him and OW last forever because I hate to think he would do to his wife and children for nothing!

        • I know that feeling too! A couple of months after I kicked the narc ex out, I was still really suffering, thinking that he had put so many valuable things in the garbage (our kids’ intact family, the many good things he and I did share, the life we had built together) for so little, just stupidity really.

          Then one day it occurred to me, maybe he was actually right! Maybe I was too hard to live with , maybe he’d actually be happier w/the OW, maybe there were decent reasons for ending the relationship (although not for HOW he ended it, of course).

          I felt a lot better! Losing so much to stupidity hurt way more than losing it for a reasonable reason.

          But nooooo, of course not. Months later the ex was back, trying to reconcile, admitting he hadn’t thought for one second about everything he was throwing away by starting a second affair, and by choosing to continue it. Admitting that the AP was just a side dish, that he had always known that wouldn’t be a long-term relationship. That he was miserable, lonely, and missed the kids and I and our life together. Admitting that he had never made any kind of effort to make our relationship work, or to make the kids happier (his negativity and constant criticism made us all pretty miserable pretty often), and therefore couldn’t even say we weren’t compatible, how would he know?

          So, it all was stupidity after all, he did all that to his wife and children for nothing. Sigh.

          Hard to feel sorry for how unhappy he is now, that’s for sure.

  • …several defining moments where each prompted a shift in my perception that eventually gave me clarity… these moments occurred over years.

    first one that really clicked – when he didn’t come home one night and I drove to GF house in the morning and caught him there – he bolted and did the old, gonna kill myself thing (which he’d used before) – I called the police, had the call traced, and they snagged him in a hotel room and took him for evaluation. He NEVER pulled that BS again.

    Ulitimately, we had a week where I came home and found then 4 yr old unsupervised outside when he was hanging out with this buddies in our man cave … few days later, he had a gig (was in a band on weekends) at a big advertised event that I really wanted to attend – and he told me he didn’t want me there. And several days after that – he told me the night before we were to leave on a vacation that he wasn’t going.

    I took the kids – drove to the smokey mountains had a great time. I decided on that vacation I was done and I felt ok about it.

    I came home and he said something like, “if you don’t like it I”ll just leave” & I looked at him and said, ‘I agree. Make arrangements to move your stuff out Saturday. I”ll take the kids and not be here but you’re right it’s over.”

    That night he pouted because I slept on the couch…. go figure. I don’t think he ever ever thought I’d call his bluff.

    • Marcie – Ugh… yours reminds me of mine… I got the suicide threats as well (I just wish I’d called the police like you did, cause I had to suffer through it multiple times). My ex WISHES he was in a band… he plays guitar and thinks he’s the shit. And of course, we had a man cave. Because of course, they MUST have a man cave. And that is just fucked up to leave a 4 year old unattended! Glad nothing worse happened.

      We had the reverse with the leaving though… he assumed I was bluffing and he called me on it… and leaving is what I did.

      • I want to note here that threatening to kill yourself to keep someone with you is a BIG RED FLAG of ABUSE. Many people do not realize that it is used by abusers often and if it doesn’t work you may get badly hurt. This is how domestic abuse murder/suicides happen. If your spouse is threatening to suicide GTFO.

        I too got my ex forcefully evaluated when he threatened himself and me with a gun, it was all I could do because he convinced the cops who arrested him for DUI that he never did anything I said he did…

  • Listen to CL. Read Lundy Bancroft’s book (I did, about two years too late). Make a plan to get out. When I say “plan,” I mean find a way to squirrel away some money, and figure out where you might have to go if you have to leave suddenly.

    My ex cheated too, and the marriage deteriorated significantly after the affair was revealed. I tried to wait while I saved money for an attorney and for a place to live with my kids. Then, one Sunday while I was trying to help our kids with their science fair projects, he got violently angry. He physically punished them (I prefer not to share details) and then began yelling in front of my older child, “you created this monster” (meaning the younger child). The older child had to get between us to prevent a physical fight. Though there were other reasons I wanted to end the marriage, this incident was the one which decided me.

    Not even two months later he got into another altercation involving the kids. He began screaming at my 13 year old daughter about “what a fucking spoiled brat” she is. All she had asked for was a new shirt to wear to her 8th grade graduation. The three of us walked out that day, and have not returned. We had a place to stay because a friend had insisted we make a plan–we stayed for a month in a house that was vacant and on the market, while I looked for a more permanent place to stay.

    BTW you say your husband is bad with money. Do you know where the money is going? While you are still with him, it would be a good idea to do a little detective work. I didn’t, and I will be paying the price for the rest of my life. I suspect he was gambling it away or socking it into hidden bank accounts. The result was he professed poverty and I got no alimony–after 24 years of marriage. I wonder if your husband is gambling too–is he only buying lottery tickets, or is he up to something else?

        • Thank you…I wish I could tell you I have full custody, but I don’t. The mistake I made all those years was not calling the police when things got ugly. No evidence means no abuse, so I had to agree to shared custody (but I have them 2/3 of the time). Not the healthiest things for the kids, but I do have them in therapy and they’ve been told that if he touches them again, they are to call the cops.

          I love my kids, but I still wish I had never been married. He came from an abusive household, and obviously, anger is his default emotion in any difficult situation. So sad I wasted so much of my life with him.

  • I’m a chump and should of had my defining moment many, many months before I did but I thought I saw a unicorn. In my efforts to reconcile, I turned a blind eye.

    #1 – I had expressed to him how St Pattys Day was a trigger for me because the year before he didn’t come home until 5 am and stood me up for a walk we were doing with friends. I opened my heart (in a nice not bitchy way) that it would really crush me if he didn’t spend the night with me. I was working on expressing my feelings bc that was one of the areas I needed to work on. Well, true to form he went out w his co-workers (including OW #2) and didn’t come home until morning. I was crushed! But that wasn’t enough…

    #2 – a few weeks later I was training for a marathon and went for a run on a Sat morning after he didn’t come home. On my run I saw him in the car w the OW. Still not enough….

    #3 – this time something inside me just changed, I knew I could not stay in the relationship anymore. Saw him coming out of a hotel with OW and when I stopped to confront him he followed me to the car and asked me to give him a ride to his car. I said, “no, you can fucking walk.” I couldn’t believe that was what he said like I was just going to give him a ride….I jut snapped and said I have had enough and I want a divorce (first time I had ever said that). He didn’t come home after work until late and didn’t have anything to say). That showed me what he really thought of me.

    Happy to say I moved out a month later and filed for divorce 3 months after. I’m on my way to meh.

    • Good for you, your new life awaits!
      I know that feeling, when they act like it’s all no big deal, let’s all ignore it, shall we? I felt that THAT was what he really thought of me and us, not the pretty WORDS he said later. We don’t exist, Narcs are scary. Much luck with getting free of being devalued all the time.

    • What an a-hole. I still cannot fathom their gall… asking for a ride to his car after you’ve caught them with another woman!!

      My ex pulled that shit as well (see above: wanted me to load up his luggage into the back of his truck after I packed it up to finally kick him out of the house). After he moved back in for a few months while he looked for an apartment he wanted me to help him shop and pick out stuff for his new place. WTF?

  • I just wanted to post something which might be of use to anyone who feels threatened in a relationship. This is an online threat assessment test developed by Gavin de Becker (author of “The Gift of Fear,” a book I read years ago and recommend highly). Here’s the link to the test:

    • I second this recommendation, taking that survey convinced me to go full out crazy to get away from my ex. I’m an engineer so the logic of it helped, plus by the time the shit went down my intuition was pretty much do bad I only heard it in my nightmares. MOSAIC pegged my ex at a 9 out of 10 likely to kill me.

      • I don’t recall the score on that test, but it was sobering and scary, and made me feel even more justified in finally leaving. Abuse doesn’t go away and it doesn’t get any better–unless the abuser is seriously invested in changing. And I doubt that many of them are.

  • For me, the defining moment was when (still married to me) he went on vacation for a week two summers ago with his bimbo and her family at our family house at the Cape. He never spent that much time with us, ever. Our ten-year old son asked me to bring him to the store to buy a cake mix with his own money to make a cake for his father because, “Dad always spends his birthday with me.” And then, of course, dear old douchebag dad never showed up.* Seeing that homemade-with-pure-love cake thrown in the trash untouched the next day by the kid with a broken heart did it for me.

    *I found out later that he threw himself a big birthday bash/introduction to his whore cookout party for all of his friends and their families. So yeah, I hate them now, too.

    • I have heard some truly repulsive things on this site but I think what your ex did to his son is probably one of the vilest things ever. Its one thing to fuck with an adult but to cause that much pain to a ten year old. I hope your ex rots in hell.

    • Chutes, that is despicable. I hope your son has a good counselor. I can’t imagine how a father could be so clueless. Recently I was I with a group of people who talked about what they learned from their fathers. There were several people who had absentee fathers but they all spoke of an uncle, grandfather or family friend who had stepped in to be role models in their lives. I hope your son finds someone who will do that for him.

      • ‘Clueless’ is too gentle a word, Lyn. SELFISH is what we’re talking about.

        Right now I’m hoping my kids benefit from the good and decent men in their lives; my brother, brother-in-law, two of their father’s brothers, some family friends, some teachers and a fencing coach. Because right now they can’t stand to be near their dad for long, and although he’s upset about that, I can’t imagine he’ll be able to step up to what would be needed to repair that relationship. Just too SELFISH.

        Fucking monsters. Mess w/us, it’s mean and nasty, we didn’t deserve it, but at least we’re grown-ups. But to do what they do to their kids, they are MONSTERS.

      • Sadly, that is just one of hundreds of examples of the insensitive, asshole moves X has pulled on me and our kids out of spite and control. It kills him that we are doing better without him. He has been stealing money from his kids for years. His mother would give him money to be used by the family to go to DisneyWorld (never went), pay for college (most of it went into his slush fund), but a new dining room table (“invested into his account), etc. He recently began extorting money from them, too. Our two oldest teens pulled a really stupid move last winter. It seems the bimbo’s daughter was spying on my son (living with Dad, her and the bimbo in Clusterfuckdale at the time) at the request of X and the bimbo. When my son found out, he and his brother poured water into the daughter’s gas tank. I found out a few days later, and called X to warn him. As my sister said, I gave him the shovel to bury us all.

        Within 24 hours, he and his bimbo turned the whole thing into a hate crime intended for his bimbo and fueled by me. He wanted all three boys (they had a friend with them, too) pay restitution ($150 each). My oldest paid his share, but the other two told X to go shit in his hat. So, X decided my oldest must pay the full amount. When my son mentioned that the real “victim” still doesn’t know the truth (X and bim want to keep the truth from her to forge a bond between her and our kids), X said, “Good thing for you.” It seems he threatened to have members of Hells Angels come beat the shit out of his own sons if they ever tell the truth to the daughter.

        Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. Best day EVER! I’m SO happy I only have to deal with his crazy from a distance now.

        • Sometimes it’s actually hard to find good words to describe these people, what they do is so hard to wrap a chump’s mind around! But Chutes, one word popped right into my head to describe your ex, as I reading about what he’s done to his kids.


  • Like many, I had more than one, but the defining moment(s) only became clear in hindsight. There would be times when she would be so depressed and would simply cry in my arms and wail at how horrible she was. I never understood that and tried to comfort her and remind her that she was worthwhile. At the time i wrote it off to living with a person with diagnosed mental illness. It only occurred to me later that those days had been when she had been with one of the other men.

    I am in meh now, but that used to make me so damn mad! The moment that fact really hit home, I could not stand to be anywhere near her for any real length of time. She let me comfort her and build her up when she had just slept with another man. Who does shit like that?

  • There are a lot of moments after 32 yrs! Yet, I kept thinking he’d get better, or learn what I needed, or mellow with age. Hah! He just got more adept at abusing me and then denying it, and his massive flirtations became a full-blown (and really filthy and intense affair/second fake wife).
    For some reason, I lost my mind when he started whining one day ‘my eyes are so bad, I’m gonna get Lasik!’
    He has no job.
    He hadn’t worked for four years.
    I’ve worn glasses since 5th grade.
    The other time I just thought ‘I hate you, get out of my orbit’, was when I figured out that while I was slogging away at work, he brought his ALSO unemployed whore/fake other wife in my house and they cooked dinner and ate it there! Just, he’s a filthy Pig, and nuts as they come.

  • Sadly the defining moments just keep adding up. Reading the daily text/sexting messages on the “secret” cell phone just reinforce my motivation to leave. Putting in an application at an appartment complex today. Coming home after 10 hours + of work. He has been home with bad back. I bought home dinner (he knows I’ll be home by 6:30) to find him heating something up. Screaming (yes screaming) he is cold and bring him a blanket. Carrying on like a lunatic over nothing. Why in God’s name would I want to put up with this anymore? I am sad that it has come to this as I do love him but I need to be treated a whole lot better than this.

    • yes you do! And he will never be able to treat you the way that you deserve.

      I know it takes time to stop caring about them. But when you get out of the house, you will realize how much better your life is. You will realize he doesn’t deserve your love and you will get closer and closer to meh over time. It really is a slow process of falling out of love with them. Of lowering your expectations. I used to care so much about him that even when our marriage was over, I wanted him to learn from this and become a better person. I guess I still wanted him to be the person I always imagined he was. But in every way since, he has shown me he never will learn from this. And he is who he is. I can’t control or change it.

      It’s weird to think about how I spent so many years with him and now he is close to being a stranger. Or a slightly annoying work acquaintance who I only talk to about a specific project (our children). A project we both care a lot about, but one that he doesn’t pull his weight on.

  • I know this is an old entry but I’m feeling punchy today and I just need to get this out. Here goes..

    I get the “I love you but not in love with you” speech. OK I need to be better in our relationship. I’m on board (turns out she already screwed him a month earlier) I already had suspicions because of all her late night partying with her girlfriend and other odd behavior. But it really started the morning when I sent her an email to call me at work ASAP. When she called she asked what’s wrong? I asked her if she was cheating on me. She said NO. Why are you asking? I told her I found his phone number on her phone listed as a second listing for her girlfriend. WHY ARE YOU ON MY PHONE? I apologized….. What a chump.

    Following weekend she buys a new cell phone, one she can lock.

    Month later I found a note from him in a jewelry box that she said her girlfriend gave her. Again I ask “Are you cheating on me?” NO! Later that night she talks to me about how I should have stayed a bachelor because to her I never seemed happy to be married blah blah. Totally untrue. Classic blame shifting. What a chump.

    Next morning things did not set well with me from the previous night’s talk. She finally confesses. My world crumbles around me. HATE, HURT, SADNESS, a form of Depression sets in.

    Week or so later I find emails to him on the ipad and asked her to open them. She said NO and promptly deleted them. What a chump. More HATE, HURT, and SADNESS

    Two days later right before Christmas I catch her going to see him. I inform our 17yr old Daughter “Mom has a boyfriend”. Cheating wife gets mad a me for telling her. Calling me crazy….

    Time spent together felt like we were working things out. (She was showing remorse or so I thought.) Wanting to have an intimate moment she tells me no, I ask why? Her response “He might get mad” WTF???? I tell her, I am not an option he needs to be removed from your life FOREVER. She says “I can’t do that, that would be mean, I can’t be that mean” I’m thinking Trust me, Yes you can.

    After finding more messages from him on her phone after another one of her nights out. That night I decided it’s over and the following morning we need to end this crap once and for all. My mind was set. That morning before I’m fully awake she comes to me and whispers in my ear in the most sincere and loving way. “I’m so sorry, I Love you” My heart melts and we made love for what turns out to be the last time. (STD test since then came back Neg)

    I know you are all wondering WTF? My only real excuse I let her stay so long other than being a major chump was that our daughter was to graduate HS and felt that we needed to keep it together until that was over. So we made plans to separate.

    Final and last straw was when she came home shit faced drunk in the middle of the week. She drove into the garage but didn’t come into the house. I went out to see what was going on. She’s standing there looking at her car talking on her precious cell phone and glares at me and says “Close the door I’m on the phone” I look at her thinking, wha??? I see her car is torn up. She hit something but was to drunk to remember what she hit or to even know she hit something. In the car I found half a beer. I kept my cool (the best I could) and asked what happened? She says I don’t know, yadda yadda. In this conversation she called me by HIS name three times. The man she’s been with for over 20 years calls me by the wrong f’-in’ name!!! I was at my wits end. She goes into the bathroom calls her boyfriend again, I’m losing it. Kids are crying. I tell her you are drunk and you need to go to sleep. No, she wants to talk. I wanted to leave but I couldn’t leave her with the kids and the kids did not want to leave. They are in tears. I go to comfort them and tell them I can’t take anymore. Please try to go to sleep. She still wants to talk. So we talk. During this talk she goes off blaming me for more shit.( I won’t go into that). She does admit that she is at rock bottom. I just want her to shut up and pass out already. We get up early that next morning and drove around looking to find out what she hit. When we got back home I told her “You need to leave, TODAY!” she was already planning to leave the following week but I couldn’t wait till then. She agreed! That morning watching her mess with her cell phone while my 12 yr old is in tears was an image I can’t ever forget.

    More defining moments that she sucks
    Ended up finding data on our GPS that she spent an hour at his work visiting him (Day after Valentines Day) and where she spent the night at his place a month earlier (Her car was parked in the tavern half mile from his house) She still says she didn’t sleep with him that night.

    Just before she moved out I found her journal and saw an entry that said. “I can’t believe I ended my marriage. If there’s any positive I did lose a bunch of weight” again HATE, HURT, SADNESS

    Turns out every time she acted nice to me in the past 10 months she was either just with him or was planning to. I wasted so much time believing her, so much time trusting her, gave her so many chances. Oh how she sucks and the vacuum she created sucked all the good times I thought we had over the last 20+ years.

    Where did my wife go? Where did my friend go? I sure do miss her….

    • Well, it’s clear she sucks. I’m so sorry for all she has put you and the kids through. I could really put myself in your place during your story… especially because it’s not too dissimilar from what I went through. These people really have no shame and they only think of themselves. The details are different, but the suffering we go through and the complete disregard shown to us by our spouse are the same.

      We try to work on things with them even after they do this stuff to us because I think it’s a form of denial… it must be some big mistake, this can’t be who they are. And we want to protect what we’ve spent our whole lives building. But they keep pushing us and pushing us until we eventually have had enough and something does break. We want our family, etc., but not under these terms. We realize our souls will never survive under this new arrangement.

      I’m not sure how long you’ve been separated, but hopefully things are getting better. I know I felt immediate relief because the pain of this false reconciliation is horrible. And I was so happy to be away from it. But I did go through a lot of anger, shame, and paralyzing fear at the beginning as well. And still had unrealistic expectations regarding my now ex that had to be slowly adjusted downward. It really does take time to accept who they are.

      • I totally agree with your second paragraph. She wants family too and has owned up to the fact that the affair is her but continues to say that she didn’t betray them, only me.

        Separated since end of July. The kids are with me most nights of the week. With having kids NC is not an option. Best we can do is LC (Limited Contact). But I do feel better when that strange women isn’t there.

        • Bud, I’m glad you finally got that out, I hope it helped you feel better to type it – sometimes sharing the shit does help (jedi hugs)

    • I am so so sorry to read your story. She sounds almost like an addict…so addicted to attention from the other man that she has completely forgotten the consequences of her actions on her husband and her children. So sad that she openly drank and interacted with OM around her own children. I know you miss the real wife, but it sounds like she is long gone. I wish you and your children peace and healing.

  • Not “almost” sadistic. That is straight-up Marquis de Sade territory.

    It’s fascinating the things that constitute the final straw for each of us. You could manage to swallow the dating profiles, financial bungling, and gaslighting, but this one was just one too many. However you got here, it’s good that you’ve arrived. My ex-husband bankrupted us and drove us into debt I learned about only after mediators got involved. (forged my signature on various credit card applications, second mortgage paperwork, etc.) As tough as it is to be on my own with two small children, it’s waaaaay better than dealing with the uncertainty and anxiety of that.

    Make your plan and get away from him. He means to harm you. He has already harmed you. And when you shake his dust off of your boots, expect all manner of pleading, tears, yelling, threats, venom, sugar to try to get you back. People like him feed off of people like you. Your pain feeds him. Don’t let him wriggle back in. NC. It’s the only way.

    • Hollywood Chump you are so right about not letting them back into your life. My STBX is about as vile as they come and its amazing that he actually thinks that we are going to remain friends and calls me crying and going on and on about his life and how he needs me, blagh blagh blagh…..

      All the while updating his FB account saying that has met the love of his life, the only person to ever really understand him and so on……

      Never fall for their crap…its a game, gas lighting and a mind f*ck on a whole nother level.

      Looking to me for absolution for his sins and trying to pawn the blame off on me.

      I guess he never figured that I would be as strong as I am and kick his ass out of my life. Its not like I didn’t give him fair warning. They just think they are invincible.

  • My defining moment was more of a realization that he just wasn’t capable of having an emotionally intimate relationship. He told me he’d fallen out of love with me years ago (later on found out he was in love with his married coworker). Of course I was confused and asked how he could just “fall out of love” after so many years. His answer was “I tried looking on the internet for answers a few years ago but nothing worked.” All I could think was “why wouldn’t you just TALK to me?” That’s when I realized he just couldn’t do it. He couldn’t open up and be vulnerable. I realized then that I was never going to be able to get from him what I needed.

  • My defining moment was watching the exH interact with his AP in front of me, my kids and my father. If felt like I was watching my life from above – I was watching someone who looked and sounded like me, play my part. I wasn’t astounded that he could contact the AP in my presence, I couldn’t stomach that he would do this in front of my father. I was humiliated and knew then that things would never change. I would always be the marriage police and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was living a lie.

  • Defining moment: he was forced to whore around because our sex life was sporadic due to my depression, anxiety issues and the general resentment toward him for being unemployed. He said when I reminded him that it was his fault he got fired after three months, which it was, it signified lack of loyalty and solidarity for him. So finding a fuck buddy was the first logical step.

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