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Dear Chump Lady, Bye Bye Cheater

Dear Chump Lady,

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Why? Because reading your words and reading the words of others have finally given me the kick in the ass that I needed.

I’ve been married for 2.5 years — second marriage — and it’s been one thing after another. We separated after a year of marriage, then reconciled. It was all rainbows and sugar cubes for about seven months post reconciliation. It was soooo sparkly that I wasn’t as careful as I should have been with birth control and I got pregnant. When I was five months pregnant, I discovered his emotional affair. Ha! Snort! Sorry, laughing at myself!

I did the classic chump stuff — cried, asked what I could do to meet his needs so that he didn’t go outside of our marriage, kissed his ass…and of course he said he was sorry and would end things. Like a chump on hopium, I believed him. A few weeks later, on the fucking morning that my dad unexpectedly passed away, my jackass husband decided to tell me the truth, that he was still “talking” to the OW — because she had acute renal failure and was going to DIE!!! Needless to say, I didn’t respond well. My dad had been gone for 6 hours. I was kinda in shock.

Fast forward a month. I let him know that if he was going to continue this relationship, I would file for a legal separation. He “ended” it. Yep, it went underground. But like a stupid chump, I believed him!

I went into labor a month early and had an amazingly healthy son! My jackass was there at the birth, and I would find out later, was texting the OW. He sent her pics of MY son!

A month later, I got a screenshot text from OW. She said she was tired of living a lie. The screenshot was a conversation detailing what he wanted to do to her in bed. He had just left for a weekend trip. I told him we would talk when he got home, but that I didn’t want to talk to him until then.

It’s been 8 weeks since that weekend. For a while, too long, I did the pick me dance. I tried to prove my undying love. And he still couldn’t end it, because he wasn’t sure he could “trust” me. If he gave her up, how did he know I would be the wife he needed me to be? Holy shit. Writing that makes it real — he is so delusional! I spent a lot of time being angry. A lot. Our marriage counselor told me I was going to push him straight to OW.

One morning, a few weeks ago, I opened my eyes and looked at him. The hopium was out of my system and I saw him and our marriage for what it was—not a sparkly unicorn, but rather a dirty jackass with a carrot duct taped on his head! And that same day, one of my close friends told me to take a step back—that if this were happening to any of our friends, I would be telling her to get the hell out and/or laughing at the melodramatic acting going on! She was right!

Since then, I’ve embraced meh dom, read Chump Lady religiously, and am getting my ducks in a row. I have three children—two from my first marriage and one from this marriage. I used to be a teacher, but quit at his request to be a SAHM. I was afraid of stepping out on my own—37 years old, no job, three kids, one an infant! Screw that! I applied for public assistance, got a part time job cleaning houses, and am stashing money aside. I consulted a lawyer and filled out the paperwork. I am saving for the retainer fee. I have detached from jackass, which is driving him nuts!

Oh, and did I forget to mention that a week ago, he went to OW apartment up take her flowers, and walked in on her fucking someone else!?? So now he is scrambling and wants me to agree to work on our marriage—while he still tries to salvage things with her! But I no longer feed him kibbles, and am moving forward with my own life. This is killing him, but bringing me so much strength.

Please let the other chumps know that the best thing they can do for themselves is to get on with their lives. Reclaim who they are. Rediscover who they are. Laugh daily. Take a step back from the drama, and breathe. After they’ve started to reclaim themselves, they can put on their attitude boots, and walk away from the fucked up mess that their cheater made. It’s not the chump’s mess. It’s not up to them to clean it up for the cheater. Walk forward and don’t look back. Don’t. Look. Back. There’s nothing behind you but a huge fucking mess that you did not cause. Whistle a little as you walk away, and know that better days are ahead!

Oh, and I recommend putting “Bye Bye,” by Jodee Messina on their playlist, and singing it daily, loudly, where the cheater can hear them!

Thank you, Chump Lady, for your wisdom and insight!

Jenette ( a classic chump)

Dear Jenette,

You are MIGHTY! Boy, you navigated yourself out of that mess admirably. I know you’ve got a ways to go still, but such moxie! Your letter illustrates so perfectly the “fuck it, I’m done” moment. When you’ll do whatever it takes to get that new life. Go on assistance. Clean houses. Suck up another divorce. ANYTHING. Your bravery — and your anger — will serve you well.

Speaking of anger — a POX on your marriage counselor. Your “anger” is going to drive him to the Other Woman? What kind of toxic blame shifting crap is THAT? It’s NORMAL to be angry at someone who has betrayed you — and confesses to it on the day your father died, no less! That MC should have his head examined. A proper MC would’ve asked you what your anger was telling you. What it meant that warning bells and sirens were going off in your head. Not shamed you for it, and threatened you with it. Oh, if you feel anger he won’t Love You Any More. You bad girl! Get back in your place! Bow and scrape for his love. Don’t get uppity.

It’s a classic case of the mind fuck It’s Not What I Did, It’s Your Reaction to It. Shaming chumps for being angry at being betrayed? FUCK that noise.

And what IS it with men texting their mistresses in maternity wards? I keep reading this over and over again. Is there some hidden epidemic of douchebaggery? Is it just the ultimate kibble fest and pick me dance opportunity? Kibble fest in that “Hey look! I fathered a child! Aren’t I special on my special day?” and pick me dance as in “Oh, I had a baby with her, yeah, we share that. But you’re special too, because I’m telling you about it! And your vagina is very special and not all stretched out and gross like hers is. But, we still have this bond, you know. Yet, alas, my family needs me.” And Mr. Cheaterpants pretends to vacillate like Hamlet. Woe! This blessed birth. Woe! My obligations. Meanwhile the OW is having to congratulate him, yet feels threatened as hell. Huge shit sandwich for her. But she gets kibbles, because they share a SECRET. And she’s really special, because even while his wife was giving birth, he was thinking of HER, the OW, the whole time!

Ugh. They each deserve 5 inch episiotomies performed with rusty scissors. You may point out your cheater lacks the proper anatomy, but his head is stuck so far up his ass, they could improvise. Maybe use forceps to remove it. No anesthesia, of course. Just tell him to BREATHE.

As for telling you about his affair on the day your FATHER died? Unbelievable. I suppose in his warped way, he figured this bought him some cover. Well of course she’s upset — her father died!

But really the most stellar of mindfucks in this letter is:

For a while, too long, I did the pick me dance. I tried to prove my undying love. And he still couldn’t end it, because he wasn’t sure he could “trust” me. If he gave her up, how did he know I would be the wife he needed me to be?

Right. You’re the problem. How untrustworthy you are. How can he be assured you will continue the pick me dance with renewed vigor? How will you be the wife he needs you to be if you’re all ANGRY and shit, insisting he keep his commitments?

Jenette, I cannot wait for you to be free of this asshole. There’s a special place in my heart for second marriage chumps, because I was one. It makes infidelity extra painful, because you really do not want to “fail” at two marriages. You “pick me” dance with more gusto, because failure is not an option. They know this. They choose well, those cheaters. He thought he had you stuck. He sold you a bill of goods — be a stay at home mother! We’ll be a family! You bought into this dream, you accepted this vulnerable position and he took it as carte blanche to fuck around on you. IMO, this abuse is deliberate. It’s predatory. That’s why I caution all the single moms out there to fix those pickers as best you can. There are cheaters who prey on single mothers. We’re usually a vulnerable, chumpy bunch.

I fell for one of these sparkly assholes as a single mom, you did too. I also handed mine his ass in a divorce, and you will too. And I gained a life and eventually found real love. And I bet you will too.

Thanks for writing your words of encouragement for other chumps, Jenette. Keep us posted on your progress!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Hey Jenette…
    You rock! I wish I had found your spirit and guts earlier in my situation.
    My STBXW also played the “don’t know if I can trust you” card.
    Seems that all my begging, pleading and pick-me marathon dancing wasn’t enough to convince her that * I * could be trusted with her more important happiness.
    I’m so impressed with that you (earlier on than I), saw through this for the egotistical, entitled mind-fuckery that it is!
    I actuly WROTE a lengthy apology letter to her , asking her to forgive me for all of my “sins” of the marriage (which included working too late and asking her to spend less on cosmetic surgeries , after she hit $30,000).
    I even apologized to her parents for being a son-in-law who let them down!
    In-laws were horrified at the whole mess and when crying FIL asked her to reconsider leaving me, she got furious and said that “now HE is trying to ruin my happiness!”
    In the end, she stayed with OM (after he left his wife and kids)…and guess what?
    She called me today (2 years later) and mentioned that she had made ME power of attorney on her will…because she doesn”t TRUST her new partner!
    My response to her?…”No Thanks, You fired me from that job…find another chump!”
    Stay strong…your awesome future is waiting for you!!!

    • That’s awesome Don, glad you told her no! My ex wanted to transfer a $6,000 balance from his credit card to my personal credit card because it had a lower rate. Seriously? I told him to take a hike.

      • Ohwhat?? You’re joking! These idiots really have no clue, do they? OMG, “Oh, here, you’ll take my debt after I fucked you over. Here.”

        Yeah, nuh.

    • Good for you, Don, she was trying to see if she could draw you back in. These people truly suck.

  • Yeah, what is it with childbirth and OWs????

    Mine douchebag of an EXH had his first mistress come over to stay with our oldest daughter when I went to the hospital in labor with our second, and I was clueless about that relationship! Damn, did I see red stars when I figured it out ten years later!

    • The OW babysat your daughter while you were in labor? Wow, that’s so wrong.

      Cheaters feel so “connected” to their APs….so of course they want to share those moments with their schmoopies. In narc-fashion, though, they don’t realize the epic wrongness of this especially when their spouses are at their most vulnerable.

      I highly suspect my STBX was texting his OW from the maternity ward, right after the birth of my son. I also suspect his strange 8-hour absence from the recovery room was to meet up with her. I do know for a fact that he was cheating while I was pregnant. Enough said. And the OW met me in person while I was obviously pregnant, and she didn’t give s***. So there you go.

    • So sick, right? My husband also was texting his affair partner throughout our only child’s high drama birth, and it’s one of a few things that make me know I’ll never respect him, ever again. The main purpose of his texts was to reassure his affair partner that his being at the hospital with me for the birth of our baby didn’t mean anything, that he loved her deliriously and wouldn’t get ‘distracted’ by having a newborn, and that his real life was with her. This was after 8 years of infertility and 2 rounds of IVF, by the way…. it’s not like we were having a baby against his will. There’s never been a more deliberate pregnancy.

      The texts were beyond silly. Just round after round of little nothing messages so she’d know that his attention wasn’t elsewhere. For example, about 20 minutes before my teeny son was born, my husband texted his affair partner exactly this message: “So sorry this is taking so long. I can’t wait to be with Ms. Beautiful. And by that I mean you.” Hahahahahaha! What a loser! Seriously, who over the age of 12 would ever be charmed by that text? Her response: “I love you, Andrew.” At the time I knew none of this, but my response now is, he’s all yours, Holly!

      In all seriousness, the pregnancy aspect of the betrayal is, to me, one of the worst pieces of the pain. It’s been 5 years and that aspect of his affair still takes my breath away.

      • AnotherRebecca, that is the most despicable thing I’ve ever heard. Only a person without a soul could do something like that. Or a sociopath.

        • Thanks, Lyn. I realized through my posts to CL that I’m still haunted by the pregnancy thing, because I seem to mention it every time I post… but honestly. It was bananas.

          Thanks for your post. It helps me feel like I’m not crazy for still being sad about that part of it.

          • AnotherRebecca, I know how you feel. There are so many things I kept quiet about that didn’t seem right to me, but once I broke the silence and started telling others they validated that I wasn’t crazy. It’s a good feeling isn’t it? And by the way, I still think what your ex did while you were in labor is the most despicable thing I’ve ever heard! I used to think my friend’s ex husband taking her on a 25th wedding anniversary trip and texting his AP the whole time was pretty disgusting until I heard YOUR story!

        • Ugh, the cheating Hollys. Lucky us! Sorry you are going through this too.

          One thing I am looking forward to when I finally leave (which I am trying to do before the end of this year) is not keeping their secret anymore. I don’t plan to trumpet it just to shame them publicly, but it will be such a relief not to have to caretake to someone else’s reprehensible conduct. I’m not going to out them maliciously, but I’m not going to protect them any more either. Sorry, Andrew and Holly!

    • My ex’s first OW sent me a gorgeous, huge flower arrangement when I gave birth to my child. Of course, I was clueless. When ex came to the hospital, he pointed out to me how nice OW was to send me such an arrangement. OW was his co-worker and knew me. How do these people live with themselves? Oh, that’s right. I forgot. They’re narcs. They can’t live without themselves.

      • Your ex is such a nightmare to point out the arrangement his affair partner sent you after you had your baby. She’s awful too for sending it (to impress him, no doubt), but he is a total prick for calling your attention to her flower arrangement.

      • Yeah, we visited my ex’s married AP coworker in the hospital after she had her first child. We were all such a happy foursome until I started feeling uncomfortable with how “close” my ex seemed to be getting to her, then I refused to socialize with them any more. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop it. Not even her moving away stopped it.

    • My ex tried to borrow money from me 2 weeks before our divorce was final last year. I was like, seriously? You-Are-Fucking-Crazy. Go borrow it from the AP you said you now loved more than me and were going to marry.

      • Kelly, our exes are truly peas in a pod. Mine sent me an email a couple months before divorce became final. He wanted me to re-file my taxes, filing jointly as married, instead of filing separated head of household as I’d already done. The reason for this was he owed the IRS a ton of money, and he wanted me to file jointly with him and pay half of HIS taxes. He wrote that “this would be in all of our best interests” and how great I’d be for cooperating. Ummm, no thanks!

        As far as I know, he still owes the IRS thousands of dollars.

        • They are like two creepy peas in a pod Glad. My ex had siphoned off tons of our marital assets (read my money) to pay for gifts and travel with his AP’s, porn. He even took our children’s college money out of their protcted accounts. But just before the divorce was to be final, he asked me to delay it so that we could still file jointly for the “tax benefit.” I was like, umm yeah, riiiiiiiight….then pushed ahead to get the decree as fast as I could.

  • So what is it about cheaters almost always saying something like “I don’t know if I can trust you” while discussing the possibility of reconciliation? Sigh.

    • I think it means “I’m pretty sure you’re going to hold this over me forever and ever as a guilt trip and get in the way of me exercising my “right to the pursuit of happiness” in the future should the opportunity present itself. I know I would”

    • My cheating XW said, “My mom says I shouldn’t try to reconcile, because you’ll never be able to forgive me anyway. But despite what she says, I’m going to try.” Gee, thanks, Hon.. Very generous of you. Guess I owe you one. Though it would’ve meant more if you, uh, . . . ACTUALLY STOPPED CHEATING while “trying” to reconcile.

      Seems that she never quite figured out that it was the cheating that created the need to reconcile in the first place.

      My XMIL is such a piece of trash that I can certainly imagine that she said it. But it’s also certainly possible that cheating XW, being such a compulsive liar, simply made it up to cast herself in a heroic light and to cast me in the role of the bitter and unforgiving turd who shouldn’t judge and Generally Really Should Try Harder. I did. For about 10 days. Until I couldn’t any more.

      Also love the new phrase, “‘Fuck it, I’m done’ moment” (Fi-Do-Mo?). That’s the epitome of the worst moment to live through that eventually reveals itself to have been the best moment. The Fi-Do-Mo rules!

      • Fi-do-mo him playing “poker” with her on his laptop, sitting on the floor back to the wall so you couldn’t see the screen and my father, our two kids and me on the couch in the SAME room.

        • Oh…..same. His usual spot I’d catch him doing anything. Always knew he was up to know good when he changed spots….grrrrr!

      • Lovin Fi-do-mo!!!! Makes me giggle! My mom just read the thread and called me. Though she is not a fan of the f word, she’s proud of me, lol!

    • I also got the “I can’t trust you” bullshit.

      He’s cheating; he’s busted my ribs in the past; and on more than one occasion he threatened to kill me.

      I work in a bank, and worked my ass off to pay my way through a fairly exclusive private university.

      Yep, I’m the person who’s not trustworthy in this scenario.

      At one point, Andy even announced he’d be justified to have *another* affair. I dragged him to a mutual friend–about one generation older than us–and begged for clarity.

      This woman, who I call my other mother–who’s known Andy more than a decade longer than she’s known me–got incredibly pissed off. Got in Andy’s face, and yelled at him, “You can’t trust her?! SHE CAN’T TRUST YOU.”

      Andy and I went out to a marsh to “talk”. Where he proceeded to have his *inner werewolf* threaten to rip my throat out with his teeth.

      Uh huh. I’m the untrustworthy & unstable person in this situation.

      • I was too untrusting….he blamed me for aving trust issues, how he could do that knowing what he was doing I’ll never know. But boy did I used to think I was terrible for having even the slightest suspician. Oh man!

        • Me too. I felt like I was an overly jealous, insecure person. I thought the problem was me.

    • IME, it’s classic projection. “I don’t know if I can trust you” is narc-speak for “You can’t trust me.”

    • That truly is the sickest and most insulting thing somehow. Project much? Let me translate from the original narc-speak- I am afraid that you will not continue to be the incredibly stupid chump you were in the past.

  • Five years later I still mourn the loss of my marriage. We all want the fairy tale. I wanted to believe I mattered and that someone I thought I knew and had married and spent twenty + years with would never betray me. Looking back I realize I was the perfect chump. There were plenty of signs. He looked great, had a great career but the guys he hung with were losers. Complaining about wives and children. Shitting on every special moment. And I never understood why someone would sabotage their own family. On his way out he said “everything about my life is perfect except for you”. And that was the moment I realized that he was totally delusional. And that I no longer wanted this man in my life. Because the truth is that I was easily the best thing in his life. Our children and I. He’d spent the last two years of our marriage doing the OW and financially dissipating many of our community assets. All to be the big man on campus. I knew not to fight for our marriage. My asshole ex is welcome to his new life. It will give him exactly what he deserves. As for his abandoned family we are getting stronger and more resilient every year. It’s taught us all never to settle for second best. Baby steps forward. Your son is away from a crap dad. And you are a beautiful woman with your whole life ahead of you. Oh best album ever, A Kiss in Time by Patty Griffin.

    • Drew, aren’t their parting words just great? Like they haven’t done enough damage already, they decide to grind your heart into the floor before they leave. Mine told me “When I look into my future, YOU’RE not in it.

      • I also got the “I don’t see myself spending the rest of my life with you” bullshit. Very cruel…. but now I can easily say that about him. It’s amazing how time slowly heals all wounds. Stay strong. We will all get through this.

        • Well- I won’t spend the rest of MY life in his kooky world! No thank you anymore to trying to hit a constantly moving target to make him feel happy, paying for just everything we need or he wants, feeling unworthy (over that now!), and GPSing his dick! I’m sure I can come up with a more satisfying and rewarding life than that, and even if it might sometimes be on the dull side, that’s OK with me.

            • Can’t take credit for that, I love that too, and you should have seen the look on X’s face when I said it to him! LOL
              Another chump said it a couple of months ago! Chumps are pretty clever.

        • I got a similar one, my Douche Bag said, ” When I said two days ago in marriage counseling that I wanted to grow old with you, I didn’t really mean ‘With you”.

        • Mine was “I can’t see myself spending the rest of my life with you but I don’t want a divorce.” Talk about entitlement.

        • Mine said “When your sister (who died about 6 weeks after DDay) was diagnosed with cancer, I realized that life is too short and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life unhappy.” (Referring, of course to his unhappiness in being married to me.)

          I think that is about the cruelest thing he or anyone has said to me.

        • I don’t know, but “I always thought we’d grow old together” (after finding out that he was having sex with three of his ho-workers) isn’t any better. He still thinks it’s a game. I’m not sure what he’ll do when he realizes that it’s over. In his mind I’ll come back to him in a year or two. Not fucking likely. I don’t know if I would ever try as hard again as I did for that sparkly POS. He was happy mimicking me to the world. I was a great coach. Now he’s love-bombing indiscriminately trying to fill the void. But the chances of him finding someone like me are slim to none. Sometimes I think that finding one of us is like winning the lottery for the cheater. We have spent our lives developing empathy and becoming the kind who give others the benefit of the doubt. They prey on that, but it doesn’t make us less than who we are. We are the people who give our word and keep it. We keep loving even when it gets beyond shitty and our instincts are screaming. I am committed to harvesting every good thing that I saw in him, because it is actually a reflection of me. All of those amazing qualities I attributed to him were his expression of me. We are the kind, smart and faithful ones who don’t need the thrill of – well, of anything that wreaks havoc on another person. That is our legacy.

          • So.well.said. That is exactly what happened in my life and in my brain! Thanks for articulating it soooo well!

            • I agree, nicely said, LD.
              My X told me three or four times, after I made it clear I was leaving to build a true life that I could be proud of, that I should find him a replacement for me. So lazy and clingy, the same guy who’d disappear at 2 AM to go see his AP. The same guy who kept telling me I was the one who was crazy!
              Now he wants me to go get him a GF as I walk out the door. Sometimes I just have to shake my head, I have no words. I am close to no contact now, because I won’t feed him delicious kibbles, so he’s gradually cutting off contact!

              • No, he meant find him a housekeeper/nurse/mommy! Not another girlfriend! You can’t abandon your post without securing a replacement! What’s the matter with you?

          • Funny about them mimicking us because ex seems oddly deflated the few times I’ve seen him, like his Coach Nord isn’t there to give him guidance on how to act. He seems ‘smaller’ in so many ways, and very uncomfortable in his own skin. I do think he hit the jackpot with me: I’m smart, funny, clever, well-read and was able to feed him all sorts of interesting tidbits that he would then relay as his own (as I later found out). Now he’s got a young OW who spends half her life playing games on a tablet or exercising and there’s not a lot of inspiration in that. I think he lost a lot and is slowly realising it, hence his misery and weird accusations towards me.

            • Last time I saw my ex he was like a jittery crab, scurrying all around to try to avoid me. I used to admire him so much, and thought he was all that, but now he just seems kind of pathetic.

            • I had to attend PT conferences for my youngest the other week. XWH did attend and when he showed up as I was sitting in the hallway, early for the appointment, he had the gall to walk by and say hi to me like nothing bad ever happened. I didn’t say a word and didn’t even look at him. The other people at the table just took a double take. It was almost hysterical. Good for me! Anyway, the coaching thing makes perfect sense. After I did not respond it was obvious to me that he was so uncomfortable. He just kept walking around and whistling or humming. I made it through the PT conference not saying one word to him or adressing him in any way shape or form even had to sit near him at a table. I left feeling very empowered and capable. I also left knowing what a pathetic excuse for a husband, friend, cop, and father he truly is. I am not to meh yet but getting there….

              Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I am thankful for all of you who have helped and inspired me. I hate that I had to meet you all here but am truly thankful for all the support, not only to me, but also each other.

              • Casey, I know how you feel. After I realized my ex was more of a wreck than I was and that I was calm and cool it felt so good. The shoe had always been on the other foot. It was like I’d rediscovered my power and the tables had been turned.

            • When I think back, my SBXH used to call me from work to “refresh” his memory of something so he could tell a co-worker! You know, simple stuff like, “what was the name of that CD you were listening to last night?” The only thing he could really keep track of was sports scores – oh and who to call next in his sexual rotation. I can’t believe I filled in so much white space in his life. It’s no wonder these phony people seem so deflated now, we literally breathed life into them. And we did it with grace, reverence and thanksgiving! My husband actually said it to a counselor, “she is the first person to ever speak life into me”. So weird in retrospect – these broken and messed up people. All I know is that I trust that he sucks, and in that regard he never disappoints me.

            • My ex is the same way, Nord, when dealing with me– cautious, skittery–I described it to a friend that he was “like a cat on a hot tin roof”. And yes, my ex too seems so much smaller. I have heard that he is not enjoying his freedom as much as he thought, missing our children, missing his former standing in the community.

              We gave them their substance, their direction and our own humanity. Then they walked away thinking they were all that, but reality is slowly dawning on them…they left all of that behind.

          • I got the same, eerily similar, statement from my ex, Linda, whenever I asked WHY he cheated for 15 years, separate affairs and group sex with howorkers I thought were family friends, my ex just repeated over and over, “I just always thought we’d be together”. To which I replied–HOW MANY OF US??

            The rest of what you said is beautiful Linda, I am going to keep those worlds in my little chumps archive to retread when feeling down.

      • Hi folks,
        First time post but I have been lurking and reading this brilliant website since August (Two months after DDay). Maybe I will write and share my story at some point but for now the discussion regarding parting words made me just want to share one of my STXW parting shots.

        I was absolutely devastated by the turn of events which I hadn’t seen coming and she just kept on heaping on the hurt. The worst comment from her was “I’m a good actress, I must be to, have made you believe that I have been enjoying sex with you for the last five years”!
        How do you even attempt to reply to a comment like that? Like many here I saw my Spouse of 21 years turn from what I thought was the love of my life into something akin to a monster with cold dead fish eyes, just frightening.

        Well on my way to my Tuesday of Meh. Thank you CL, your website has helped me immensely plus it has sped my recovery towards sanity.

          • Thanks Stephanie,

            Yes they are. The strangest thing I have found from reading other Chump’s unfortunate stories is that the cheaters appear to have all attended the same College Course about how to cheat and chump your loyal partner or spouse. It really is bizarre that they all seem to have the same lines and lies to tell.
            They truly are emotional vampires and they walk amongst us!

        • Hi Max, that is vile. I do believe that in the end our ex cheaters take a certain glee in trying to break us. That way they think they have an excuse when they try to tell the world we’re “crazy” etc and drove them to it. And they hope it’ll give them a one-up on us as we’ll be too broken, lying in a corner in a fetal position, to stand for ourselves in the divorce. Wishing you Godspeed to Meh.

          • Welcome Max. That line is akin to “I never loved you”. They say the most hurtful things they can think of and then gaslight you. Glad you are on your way to meh!

            • Hi Datdamwuf,
              Yep I heard that one as well,”I’ve not loved you for years and I love you more like a brother”.
              You wouldn’t treat a dog like she treated me let alone a brother.

              Here is to Mehdom. I for one cannot wait to arrive.

          • Hi Kelly,
            I certainly agree with you. When I look back to the time when the split was happening she was trying to completely destroy me, my confidence and self esteem were absolutely rock bottom. It is just incredible what they come out with!
            I have been completely no contact with her for the last six weeks and have no intention of ever speaking to her again unless it pertains to my youngest daughter, whom is ten years old. This is obviously hard at the best of times but I work as a civilian contractor with the armed forces in the Middle East and it just crushes me that I don’t get to spend enough time talking with my youngest daughter. It can be a lonely existence out here at the best of times and things can play on your mind a great deal but I have found solace in my family and work colleagues that have been through similar circumstances.

            I find comfort that the end is in sight and I won’t have to put up with her shit for to much longer.

            Has anyone else noticed how greedy they are too. I’ve offered her $1500 in child support per calendar month and she has rebuked that and is after more.
            I’m British by the way. I would again like to thank Chumplady. This site has been my shining light since August of this year. When I stumbled across the site we were on a false reconciliation holiday to Florida and once I read some of the posts by CL here it was as if light bulbs were flashing in my mind. I decided there and then in Florida that I would be filing for divorce once back in the UK.

            Best wishes to all…..

  • I heard a version of:

    “…he wasn’t sure he could “trust” me. If he gave her up, how did he know I would be the wife he needed me to be?”

    My ex told me he didn’t know that I could become the wife he needed either. My pain was making him feel guilty and that was uncomfortable for him (no shit.) After that he left for a weekend “business” trip and came back saying he felt better when he was away from me. I’m sure this is true since I later learned he was with his married coworker. What they had was twu wuv, all he had with me was 36 years of history and two children.

    Boy, all this crazy crap is starting to make sense the more I read about other people’s experiences and see parallels to my own. It does help put things into perspective.

    Jenette, I am in awe of you. I didn’t have the strength or confidence to walk away when my kids were little. It is amazing what you are doing to bring about a better future. Congratulations on facing the tiger and wrestling it to the ground.

    • Lyn, same here. Reading our fellow chumps’ stories is helping to make sense out of two decades of hell for me. Boy, I’m glad those years are BEHIND me!

  • Wow! Just Wow!
    I can’t wait to share my story some day.
    I don’t even know where to begin.
    I am reeling with anger and disgust.
    I can’t believe there are so many serial cheaters out there.
    So may delusional narcissists.
    Wow! Just Wow!
    Each time I log in here, I am flabbergasted, perplexed, and astounded by everyone’s stories. WTF is wrong with people?

  • You rock, Jeanette! 37 yo, 3 kids and you had the strength to kick that disordered clown to the curb. I salute you and pray that you’ll meet someone worthy of you one day. I’m just curious, how are you getting by on public assistance and cleaning houses alone? I assume there’s a significant child support in place?

  • Congratulations, Jenette, on doing what it takes to free yourself to LIVE again.

    One of the things that sticks in my mind is the cheater (of ALL people) talking about not being able to “trust” the betrayed spouse. This appears to be some kind of common mind-fuck tactic. Mine said it, too back when I initially tired to see if we could “work it out.” WTF? Bullshit! Can you spell p-r-o-j-e-c-t-i-o-n? I don’t know where they get this crapola, and over time reached the point where I just didn’t give a shit anymore as to “why?”….because we will never really know what goes on in their convoluted minds.

    You did the best thing you could do. You quit obsessing about, “why?” and decided to address the, “what?”…as in, “What am I going to do to get a life again?” All we can do is observe how they behave and act accordingly in self-protection. They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do, and we have to plan and act in such a way as to minimize the damage to self and kids…while moving on to a life of peace with honorable people in it!

    Again, congratulations for exhibiting courage under fire…and best of luck in your future drama free life!!

    • Mine told him it made him very angry I got into his private stuff and read his journal. I said, “Oh yeah, well it makes me very angry you’re in love with another woman.” That shut him up.

      • Lyn, mine said something similar, about me invading his privacy, and how he was upset that I met with his OW and told her stuff about him. I looked at him and said, “well, it really bothers me that there’s another female who knows that you are too lazy to shave your balls, but want oral sex constantly…” He had no reply.

          • Same shit different cheater, after we attended a marriage seminar where we filled out workbooks and he refused to return for the second day “it’s too hard” he said. I read what he wrote in the workbook, in the things I did that made him angry or upset.

            First on the list? “when she calls OW a whore”.

            You can’t make this shit up, we are in MC and that is what he wrote. His response was “that’s private” you invaded my privacy”.

        • LOL! You just made my day with that comment Jenette! My ex denied he was in a relationship with anyone and I told him he “owed me” the truth. He said “but if I tell you you will go and tell everyone we know 20 minutes after I leave”. I swore I wouldn’t. He admitted it. I told everyone 10 minutes after 🙂

          • That’s so funny. Why cheaters think chumps want to protect their sacred image is beyond me.

            • Sick, I LOVE it! My X still denies his 4+ year relationship, even though OW confirmed it. Of course I told the other guy and OW had to confess to keep him (poor chump). But before that I shouted it from the mountaintops. Too bad so sad. No more good guy, family man image for X.

          • Yay for telling everyone as fast as we can! Yeah, they can cheat and lie and tell people all sorts of crap about us, but they still count on our being trustworthy. Idiots.

  • Jenette, so glad to hear you aren’t putting up with that crap anymore.

    I’m pretty much in the same boat as you – late thirties, three kids, one an infant – and it takes balls to re-invent yourself from the ground up. But what else can you do when an infidelity tornado has level ed your home to the ground? I got a new job and am slowly starting to heal. I have faith that there is a better life ahead. It has to be better than the one I left!

  • I read stuff like this and really start to wonder how many creepy assholes are among us. Keep kicking ass!

  • I also got the ‘it was your reaction that made things so horrible’ thing, which seriously sent me into rage that I thought would never end. I was so flipping angry because I knew, deep down, that he was pulling the ultimate disrespectful mindfuck. I seriously could have beaten him with any object handy at one point.

    • Yeah Nord, couldn’t you handle the truth of his complete betrayal with a little more grace? What are you, crazy? LOL

  • Y’all have made me laugh and cry! Thank you!

    As to how I am making it—legal separation papers are pretty. They let your cheater know that because he fucked up, he can support you in the manner in which you are accustomed to being supported until such time that reasonable employment can be obtained, due to the young age of the children. My cheater was so freaked out by those papers and now, after discovering his OW is not who he thought she was (but she’s exactly who I thought she was…) that he agreed to have a portion of his paycheck direct deposited into an account that is only in my name, if I just wouldn’t file for divorce until he’s had a chance to “prove” to me that he loves me. I’m ok with that—not fooled by it, mind you. But ok with collecting his pay. I view it as my pay for being his devoted housekeeper and babysitter. Yes, he left his children with me more than once while he went and fucked her. I’d say compensation for my time is in order.

    Public assistance is still in the process. If it helps me with food, that alone would be great!
    I have an interview for a teaching position on Monday! Wish me luck!

    • Jenette:

      I love you attitude and admire your resilience! You really do “get it” and for some of us chumps it takes months or years before we realize the trainwreck that our cheaters have turned our lives into!

      By the way, have you considered going back into teaching? I’m sure you can renew your credentials rather easily. I know the job market isn’t the best in the field of education but if there’s ANYONE I’d want instructing my kids it’d be someone of your gusto and determination! Not a lot of teachers like that these days!

      • Chris, ya know what’s funny? Not only was I a teacher, I was a kick ass teacher. For 6 years, I taught children with trauma induced behavior issues. My classroom was a therapeutic classroom. Within a year in our program, most of our traumatized students were indistinguishable from typical students. This is big, as they generally came into the classroom with developmental delays of at least a year in most areas! The thing that kills me about this whole clusterfack (my mom is now reading the thread, gotta clean up my mouth before she gives me a bar of soap…love you, mama!) is that deep down, I KNEW the signs of my stbx’s mental instability. But I foolishly thought I could deal with things, since I was a therapeutic teacher!

        Agh! Teaching interview on Monday, 10 am!!!!

        • Good luck Jenette, I have no doubt you will kick ass and take names (sort of like with your ex).

        • Jeanette – I have been reading comments on this wonderful site for several months now and I have come to the realization that so many of us “chumps” work in “helping” professions – teachers, counselors, medical professionals, child care workers, etc. We seem to be nurturers and care-givers by profession as well as by nature! I was a teacher and now work in an administrative capacity for a drug and alcohol counseling organization. I wonder if sparkly narcissistic cheaters are drawn to people like us – people who have morals – who care about others – who put the welfare of their children and family above themselves – people who have a heart and soul!!?? I know my Ex thrived off my passivity – my willingness to say “ok dear…whatever you want to do is fine with me” to keep the peace and to avoid his sulky moods and temper. I was constantly focused on making his life easier and caring for our children (all while working full time) that I never saw d-day coming (the “I love you but I’m not in love with you” and “I need to find my happiness because life is too short” day). I can only hope that my children did not inherit that part of his DNA. My oldest son, sadly, seems to have a very similar “me first” focus on life. My younger son, I still have hope for him. Hugs to you and stay strong!!

    • Big luck to you, Jenette…and yes, I was often left with the kids while ex was out screwing around. I actually believed he was working hard and late to make our lives more comfortable. Boy do I feel stupid.

      • Nord, I felt stupid for about 6 weeks. I have recently come to the understanding that I am not stupid—I am a good person and since I don’t habitually lie to those I love (or any one else…), I don’t expect others to lie to me! Not stupid, just decent. Reject that word and feeling of stupid. You’re not. You’re good, honest, and human.

      • Ex left the kids with me while he went off on vacays and day trips, and hump sessions in our family vehicle or in cheap motels. Then he had the nerve to compare the two of us–“SHE gives me all the time in the world.” Whereas, I, you know, washing his underwear and helping the kids with school and extracurriculars, and doing all the yard work and housework and working full time–I was just not doing it for him. We weren’t on his list, either, you see.
        “YOU DON’T NEED ME!” he cried. Well, no shit, I don’t need you, you don’t do anything for me or for us, anyway, except waste our money.

      • Me too. I took care of everything else while he “worked.” Yeah, he was working HARD all right. Ugh.

    • Great Luck to YOU!
      I am so sorry you have had to join all of us chumps.
      But together we know that at least we are honest and faithful.
      They can’t claim that.
      We can sleep at night.
      Well at least I try.
      As you all know, sleep is hard when you are chumped.

      • Right now, I sleep better than I did while I was dancing the pick me! That had me waking up every hour to make sure he was next to me and not texting or calling the OW.

        • Jenette – me, too! I sleep better, too, not waking up to the bright light of my STBX’s iPhone as he’s sexting his OW.

          I also sleep better without my STBX intentionally waking me up because he wants to know where his book is, or his belt, or some other inane thing he lost himself but somehow thinks is ultimately important enough to wake me up for.

          • Oh my gosh, were we married to the same man??? I would have just fallen back to sleep at 6 am, after nursing the baby, and he would wake me up for something like that! Or, complain that I got to “sleep in,” in the mornings. Yeah, cuz I really get a full night of sleep with an infant who feeds from me every two hours…

          • Me too, I had a real epiphany the first time I slept after changing the locks, I felt SAFE. I don’t think I realized how deep and wide the fear was – not that he would physically harm me, but that he poisoned my space with his betrayal. I still give thanks that he’s gone. Whenever I miss him, I remind myself of what it was like to listen to the noise of the television blaring sports or violence from the time he got home until the time he left. Truth be told, I had gotten him really good headphones at the end, and I realized that he had rarely, if ever, initiated a conversation that wasn’t about supper, laundry or a movie he wanted to see.

    • Yay Jenette! You are a chump-star! (That’s like a rocks star without the drugs, booze and whores) I just know that you will kick ass at your interview, just like you kicked ass at your dirtbag exodus plan. Please let us know how it goes.

  • I wasn’t married to my cheater. Actually, there have been two cheaters I dated in the last several years. The first took 6 months to get out of my life. I wasn’t doing the pick me dance, quite the opposite, but I got a heaping helping of a narcissist’s manipulation that protracted the breakup process. Had I found this site then, my eyes would have been opened much sooner, or should I say, I would have gone NC far sooner. As it was, it was a full month of near-constant harassment even after I went NC. I gained a lot of perspective from that, though.

    With the second, I not only trusted my instincts when something didn’t feel right, but when I found the proof (his profile up on Match and emails on his phone showing he was corresponding with women), I was gone. POOF! Left in the middle of the night with no explanation other than that I was going home.

    I waited until he got online, sent him an email with a screen shot of his profile (online now!), told him I didn’t care to hear any BS, lies, remorse or promises. I didn’t care who, how many or how long. I knew the two most important things: 1) It wasn’t me, it was him, and 2) I deserved far better than a selfish, lying asshole. I actually laughed when he emailed to tell me he had no clue his profile was online and that Match had made a mistake of some sort. I had no desire to even bother telling him I was pretty sure Match could not have possibly changed his screen name or location (to where he owns a vacation condo).

    I admire your fortitude, and want to assure you that life is definitely not over just because you’re a single mom with 3 kids. I was widowed with 4 very young ones years ago. I’m in my early 50’s now, and life is what you dig in and decide to make of it. Never let the bad parts of life steal the good parts that are just waiting for you to claim them!

    As luck would have it, I met a wonderful man kayaking with a group just before my breakup with the last cheater. He’d asked me out after the second outing. I told him I was dating someone else, that I had misgivings, but would honor my commitment until I made a decision one way or another. A month after my breakup, we had our first date and have been going strong ever since. Funny how after a few photos of us together surfaced on Facebook, I get an email from Mr. Cheat telling me he misses me, can’t imagine life without me and repeated his claims of a Match snafu. Meh.

    Go gettum girl!

    • Is a cheater magnet, more than the other dating sites? (other than Ashley Madison, of course….)

      • Match isn’t as strenuous in their screening process as other sites, like ehatmony. I’ve actually browsed on it—reading the profiles is a great way to hone your picker. Not that I want to use my picker again any time soon—but it’s nice to see if you can spot the sparkles and the ones who are addicted to kibbles. It’s a great way to see the NPD in action—I recognize the warning signs so much better in people’s written communication than in their verbal communication. But seriously, my fellow chumps, don’t go looking for wuv on any site until you’ve addressed what might be wrong with your picker, and have worked on it!

        • True…I certainly have no desire to go onto any dating site….my heart needs to heal before I venture into dating again. I was wondering about because I’ve heard many stories of cheaters using that site…..and my own STBX also used that as well. It’s not the site’s fault. But I do wonder what attracts cheaters to certain things. The lax screening process would be a reason.

          On a similar note, I don’t think I can ever look at Ruth Chris’ restaurant again without thinking of the stat about how it’s the most common place for Ashley Madison dates. Yuck.

          • Ducks – thanks for the warning…I’ll stick with another steak house.

            My story was told in a previous CL blog, but I was a 95% match with my ex-scumbag on Match. Although he’s supposedly head over heels for his new live-in love, he was “online now” and “active within 24 hours” on said site. His new love is a recently divorced neighbor with a young child. I think a lot of predatory dildos (sorry Jennette’s mom) use Match. It’s too easy.

            Jennette – I’m in awe of you. Keep kicking ass!!

        • We need a column about dating profile kryptonite. I have a few ideas. I avoid the following:
          1) Men who do not live at least part time with their children, or who say they have children, but then reveal that they recently moved quite some distance from where they used to live, presumably, away from their children.
          2) Men who post shirtless pictures of themselves in the bathroom mirror. Or only selfies, even with a shirt–in the car, at their laptop, etc. Makes me wonder if they have any friends who take pictures of them?
          3) Men who drone on and on about how “People say I look much younger than I am” and all about their fitness prowess, how they only spend free time running marathons and kayaking white water rapids. “You probly think this song is about you…”
          4) Men who are looking to date women only younger than they are, even if I’m in that posted age range.
          5) Men who put in their posts that they will only date someone who is “fit.” (I have a nice figure, btw, but this makes me very, very leery.)
          6) Men who put in their posts that they are looking for a woman who likes sex. That’s putting the cart before the horse. It’d be like me posting that I am looking for a man who is generous.
          7) Men who pose with lots of beautiful women. Duh.

            • 1) Referring to yourself as a ‘princess’
              2) Saying you want a man who ‘knows how to treat a woman’. A seemingly inoccous statement, but it’s mostly used by gold diggers in its verbatim form. A woman who is into character will list specific qualities- kind, considerate, thoughtful, mature, etc
              3) Ex-bashing on your profile. I’ll take your word for it that he was a jerk, but that doesn’t tell me anything about you. I don’t ‘bristle’ at this I just don’t think it adds value, really. Save it for the second or third date
              4) A million different activities (men are guilty of this as well)
              5) Vaguely New Age affectation – I’m not talking about people who are genuinely Buddhist, Wiccan, Kare Krishna etc but the ones who wear other people’s beliefs like accessories

            • Mine put “I love to kiss” on the profiles he set up while we were still married. I had to look at his photo twice, otherwise I would have mistaken him for a 14 year-old girl.

          • You are funny Stephanie!
            Ok chainsaw man tries to tick so,e boxes here.
            1/ He moved country to be away from his kids!
            2/ trust me you wouldn’t want to see him shirtless.
            3/ he uses hair colour
            4/ yep TICK 13-14 years younger

          • 8) Men who go on and on about how funny they are. How everyone tells him he is funny, and this one time he had someone laughing for a really long time, because he is so funny. And the rest of the profile is lacking any humor.

            • “Others have told me how amazing I am…” So in other words, I am not all that, but if I let you know early on that others think I sparkle, you will think I sparkle too!

            • Guys who state they are “following their passion” in anything entertainment-field related.

              Guys who go on and on about being “sensual.”

              Guys on OKCupid who answer the question: How high is your self esteem? With “Very, very high.”

              Guys who go on and on about their published books, hit songs, films, music scores or any similar pursuits.

              Guys who claim they make others feel good just by being near them.

              • Well, your story has certainly made me leery of self-described motivational speakers or life coaches. For DB’s maybe, but, uh, no thank you. I’ll take my inspiration from people who are actually successful.

            • I look for someone who can communicate, who takes the time to fill it out their profile come up with interesting or humorous things to say. To my surprise, the majority of profiles are pretty nondescript. After living with a man who couldn’t communicate for 30+ years, I want someone who knows how to express himself.

          • 8) Men whose checklist preferences are wide open: They aren’t looking for someone, they’re looking for “anyone.”
            9) Men who list a huge salary: Probably not true, and you will find them selfish. REAL men who really make a large salary will keep that to themselves until they know that a woman isn’t just looking for a sugar daddy.
            10) Anyone who is “separated” or divorced less than one year; two is preferable.
            11) Anyone who disparages his ex or can’t manage to find one thing nice to say even when asked what first attracted him to her.
            12) Men who list an age range that is younger than their own, especially when the top limit is 10 years their junior. Good luck with that.
            13) Negativity or whining about what they don’t want in a woman.
            14) A man who contacts you and talks only or almost only about your physical traits.
            15) A very short or very long profile. A few sentences = lazy. A novella = Narcissist.
            16) On multiple dating sites. He’s probably hooked on the chase.

            Google, Google, Google. You can Google a phone number, and Google now has a feature that lets you drag a photo into the search box–just save one or two of the main profile pics to your desktop and drag into the search bar. If they have multiple dating profiles, it may pop, but you should definitely do a search for them on a few dating sites using their basic parameters.

          • Stephanie! Ha! I’m reading your post and in my head going, “YUP!”. I’m on a free one right now basically out if curiosity. I haven’t talked to anyone and don’t plan on it. It is a good way to see what other men think of themselves and I have to say I’ve gotten quite a few laughs out of it. What’s with the shirtless bathroom pics? I think they seriously need the attention from someone saying how big their muscles are (the shirtless pics of the guys without muscles is a whole other laugh in itself). I agree with your post saying what to look for. I especially like when they disguise their want for sex by saying they like to “cuddle”. and what’s with the pics of their pets or sunsets?? Lol!! It is an interesting way to hone in on what may be wrong with your picker however. Just a little tool in practicing what to look out for.

            • I’d just like to take mild exception about the cuddling, with the caveat that it may very well be a code-word on dating sites.

              But for myself…I think sex is just lovely, all for it, very important in a marriage for all sorts of reasons. I like it a lot. But I don’t feel as though I’d die without it. Whereas without a certain amount of cuddling (i.e. reasonably lightly-clothed body contact without heavy breathing) I’m really not sure how I’d live.

              I know I’m a statistical outlier, but surely there must be other folks around with similar feelings? (Listens for crickets…)

  • “There’s a special place in my heart for second marriage chumps, because I was one. It makes infidelity extra painful, because you really do not want to “fail” at two marriages. You “pick me” dance with more gusto, because failure is not an option. They know this. They choose well, those cheaters”…

    Ouch! So painful to be chumped a second time… Yet truer words were never spoken.. CL.. thank u.. and Jenette … u go girl…!

  • OMG, Jenette, you ROCK! I love your attitude! Strong, righteously angry and determined, there is no question your future is going to be BRIGHT! And WTF, your STBX is a monster! Telling you about his affair the day your dad died? (Condolences to you on that. May he RIP, and his memory be a blessing.) Texting pictures from the DELIVERY ROOM? And talk about being hit by the karma bus, he actually walked in on his OW fucking another man? I love that!

    I love the stories here about chumps reaching the breaking point, standing up and shouting out, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Because that breaking point is the moment when life really begins for us chumps.

  • Well done Jennette. It was Tuesday here in Australia yesterday and yesterday was my Tuesday. CL was spot on
    On Monday night the boys were having dinner with Groceries while I was returning from Philippines.
    She said a few things and then said btw chainsaw man is moving in tomorrow. My eldest got up from the table and just said I’m not staying if he is here, let me know when he’s away and il stay and went to bed very upset.
    Yesterday both the boys were really upset. They will just have to renegotiate when and howvtheybwill have their relationship with their mother.
    I’m just going to put my head down and be a good father.

    I received an email from groceries expecting me to support the boys normal visits. The boys can CHOSE how they want to interact with her. It’s not my responsibility. She is truly fucked up.

    Fuck the cheaters!

    • Baci,
      Your poor boys! How old are they? If over 10 they should have a say in how they see their parents. At one point recently y 13 yr daughter came to me full time, as she could not handle being with her father (emotionally). That lasted only 2 weeks, because then exH moved away!
      Just an an aside, my kids and I will spend the New Year in Australia…. so looking forward to it! Can’t wait to take the kids.

      • They are 14 and 17. Up until yesterday the oldest stayed with mum on Mondays and Thursday and the other Tuesday and Wednesday. CSM would stay on Friday through Monday morning but if the boys wanted to see mum they would call and he would leave while they were there.
        Now they will stay when he is away on business.
        Had a really good routine happening but that’s now over. It’s all about entitlement to the cheaters but the boys control what they do.
        Someone said here once they only need one good parent. Groceries portrays herself as a good parent but its has to suit her relationship with chainsaw man.
        The boys have set boundaries and they can chose where they live and with whom.
        Welcome to Australia. Enjoy

        • You’re supposed to put your family first–taking care of your family comes before anything else, in a values-oriented life.

          The cheaters make it clear–the interloper home-wrecker comes first. That is perverted and hurtful. It shows you how damaged the cheaters and trolls are. They might look normal, but their behavior and choices scream otherwise.

          As a woman, I can look at someone like Groceries and know that there is something fundamentally wrong with her. She truly is soul-less. Ask a real mom if anything–ANYTHING–could come between her and her kids? We’d rather you cut off our arm, than take our children away from us. And we would NEVER put someone or something between us and our children.

          Your ex is damaged. Your kids don’t deserve this pain. Nor do you. Hopefully they know that they had nothing to do with her mental illness, but were innocent bystanders who really coped quite well in spite of being hobbled by their own mother. Some people are not equipped to be parents. My own ex stole from my children’s security and happiness in a vain pursuit of thrills, and there is nothing in life more shameful than that.

          More hugs, B.

        • It was Tracy herself who pointed out that the kids need one good parent.

          Of course, two is optimal, and it’s what we wanted for our children, but we can only control ourselves.

        • I think it’s really good that the boys are allowed to set boundaries of what they aren’t comfortable with. At least they aren’t being forced to swallow the shit sandwich and pretend like they enjoy it. That will make it much easier for them to set boundaries in their own relationships in the future.

    • Oh, Baci, I feel you, been there.

      Your boy has laid a pretty clear boundary, there. Brave thing for any kid to do.

      Head down. You are a good Dad with a good kid!!

      (Pat on the back)


    • Wow, she is really selfish and deaf, isn’t she? She really does not care about her kids, only herself.

      Good going, Baci! Be the good dad. Be the parent they can count on. Rest, knowing that you are doing the right thing. Your values will guide you well.


      • She doesn’t take into account their feelings.
        To the cheaters it’s all about moving on.
        She said” boys you’ve had nearly two years to get to know him. My oldest hasn’t even been introduced to him. My youngest locked himself in his bedroom when they tried. Now he’s moved in!!!!
        Just have to support the boys during this difficult period.

        • Baci, at least your ex told the kids. Mine moved OW in without telling them. They found out when they went over. It was a done deal and they had no warning.

          • That happens so often, Nord. A friend of mine’s children heard their dad was getting married because other kids were talking about it. Their dad didn’t even bother to tell them first.

            • why do they do that actually? what’s it about? my 17 year old will not have anything to do with him. Until recently 15 year old wouldn’t either but she will talk to him now. He is one of those that moved away, so he rings now all the time. Sent 15 year old photos of baby and told her OW wished her happy birthday. Told 11 year old he had to look after baby cos his “friend” was away last weekend, but never actually told her there was going to be a baby. Has not told either of them he is engaged and going to be married sometime next year. You’d think he’d be proud of himself and wanting to share his new life with them, as a man with conviction would. Right?

              • After my ex left he didn’t tell anyone but his parents. Several months later I sent out a mass email giving people my new address. Ex’s older brother asked why I was moving and hadn’t heard a word from my ex! This floored me because my ex claimed his older brother was his closest friend in the world. It made me so mad to have to break the news to his siblings and other people. What a coward. Speaks a lot to me of shame.

        • More evidence that cheaters don’t know what love is.

          I could never love a man who had such callous disregard for my children’s well-being.

    • What selfish lost would your ex and CSM are, Baci. But you have incredible sons, and they have you. Happy Meh!

  • Jenette–

    Add me to the chorus of fellow chumps who wishes you well on your quest for a teaching job. This is your talent. You’ll feel way better supporting yourself, doing something you’re good at–with all its frustrations and victories–than on public assistance. Truly.
    I’m glad you have the chutzpah to get out of a bad situation. It’s telling–it means you haven’t allowed him to steal all of your self esteem. Good for you, and good for your kids (the ones you gave birth to, and the ones you will profoundly influence in your career.)

    Dude’s just a road bump in life. What a pathetic coward. Like the rest of them. Glad you found CL.

    See what a treasure you are, CL??

  • Jeanette, you are awesome. I never had the courage you had. It took me over 20 years to finally dump the cheater (3 OWs later). You will be okay. Don’t ever doubt that. Your new life will be amazing.

  • Jenette,
    You need to bottle that stuff and sell it! I love your spirit.

    The funny thing was reading so many remarks to this story is you can feel the positive energy you created with your zest for ENOUGH is ENOUGH, I’m out and my head only looks forward! Love it. I also love that your ex got the dbl whammy with catching his OW cheating on him and you dumping his ass and not looking back! It doesn’t get much better than that.

    We all have to see that no matter how badly you are feeling after this happens. You just got rid of a huge loser and should be doing the HAPPY DANCE, not the PICK ME DANCE!

    The other thing that struck me were so many comments by others stating how they now see their their ex’s as pathetic.

    The minute I kicked my ex boyfriend to the curb after seeing a tab on his computer with a Craigslist Casual Encounter ad, I couldn’t look at him again without feeling like he looked like the cartoon character Baby Huey! I could only see him wearing big diapers with a pacifier in his mouth. He is a total dork and so repulsive to me now both physically and intellectually. I can’t believe I was with him and having sex with him for a year and actually fell in love with him. I feel like what was I thinking? I deserve a million times better than this piece of huge baby loser who is delusional in thinking he is da man when in reality he is da baby with a really large diaper and so boring and shallow.

    Life is so much clearer without those rosey, foggy chump glasses on and so much better now that I have remembered who I am and I have a lot of fun whether I am out with other people or by myself.

    I have been dating and the quality of men I am meeting is getting better now that I am back to myself. I have two dates next week and no expectations but I am looking forward to each date and whatever happens, happens. I am not giving myself away so easily and he will have to prove himself to me first, whoever the he turns out to be.

    Thanks Jenette for sharing your empowerment and making everyone here feel good about you and themselves!

    Rock on sista!!! I know you will.

  • My STBX just gave me this line. After he came over around 10 PM to “talk” to me about why he is so messed up I felt bad for him and missed him so we started to get intimate. It was stopped by the interruption of a FaceTime call on his phone from the 25 yr. old GF, who he refuses to call her his GF and he is 45. Anyway, I told him get the F out and he wouldn’t let me go until I pushed him off of me. He then went into the speech again and said,”I know how much I’ve lost and you’ll never take me back. I’ll do what I can to get better and you won’t be there for me in the end. I don’t know if I’m even fixable and you don’t deserve to live the rest of your life like this”. All of this and more said through his tears. I fell for it. Until I just read all of this, I fell for it. Even though I know we will never reconcile I felt bad for him. He has a lot of bad parent issues from childhood so I did talk with him to get help for the sake of our 6 year old son who wants us back together desperately. This was also my second marriage. It all sucks. I’ve hit my depression stage of grief at the worst time because of the holidays. I’m trying so hard to get to meh, but I feel stuck most days and wanting to reconcile just so I can stop hurting, but the thing that stops me from that is knowing I will end up hurting even moe if we did.

    • You cannot begin to heal until you get this asshole out of your life, Michelle. Take some action and you’ll feel better. Call a lawyer. Make STBX actually X.

      • I completely agree. My XWH would not get out of my house or my life. We tried to work things out right after dday. It took me a year and a half to file and even after that he would not leave the house. He certainly was not trying to fix anything just stay in the house. He finally left two days after we were divorced (court ordered). His name was on the deed so by law, he could be there. He is a POS cop and uses that to his advantage. Fast forward to today….two months since the divorce. I feel that I am starting to heal – life is getting back to normal. I don’t have him in my house and I am feeling so much better. So thankful for this website!!

        • Casey, my ex wouldn’t leave either, he knew his rights. Didn’t get him out until he nearly killed me. He wanted to stay married and continue with affair, I was the evil bitch fucking him up with a divorce.

          • Dat,
            The reason why I did not want to leave the house is because I purchased it! It was bought from the inheritance that I received from my father’s death. Otherwise, I would have been out of there.
            I have no idea if he continued with the affair and really don’t care….she can have him. But, yes, in the end, one of the friends even said about him not leaving is that he must feel really bad? Are you fucking kidding me? He doesn’t feel bad at all, he feels entitled. But yet again, it is the image thing. Well, Dat, you and I can be evil twin sisters then. 🙂

            • Casey, I didn’t leave because it was MY house that I bought long before I met him and worked my ass off to keep, plus he lost his job so if I moved I would not be able to pay both the mortgage and rent on a place. I refused to leave my house. It was not smart, I had no idea how dangerous he would become but I was stubborn, it’s MY DAMN HOUSE.

              So yeah, we are evil twins, laugh!

      • I finally went to a lawyer. It did make me feel like I can move on. I’m trying to get the money together now for the retainer. I truly want to move on.

    • It’s hard I know. In the beginning many of us wanted to reconcile too. My STBXW confessed a year ago tomorrow. I caught her again 3 weeks later (4 days before Christmas). Getting through Christmas was horrible. She talked like she wanted to reconcile but her actions were telling a different story as she would not remove him from her life. (she couldn’t be that mean) Worst Christmas ever. Once you see through their BS you’ll know what you need to do. He needs to fix himself if that’s even possible.

      Christmas will be tough. Surround yourself with family and friends and stay strong. I gathered more strength when my cheater finally moved out. Limited Contact helps so much. We have 3 kids to raise so NC won’t work.

    • Michelle, he’s a vampire. It’s so sad, and the parents he had were not his fault, but all his choices are voluntary. He does have a brain. He is able to reason. But he CHOOSES to act impulsively and try to drag you down. He will drain you of your life and still not be any better. No, he’ll be worse, because none of his actions have consequences. He’s really smooth, knows what to say to get your clothes off. (It would have worked on me, too, btw.) You wanted to feel special, to have intimacy with someone who loves you. But he doesn’t love you. He isn’t capable.
      You did the right thing getting pissed off. You got that going for you! Stay with it.

      I made a list of things that piss me off. I sent it to myself in an e-mail entitled, “Stay Angry, My Friend.” Included are things like, he didn’t care that I could have been exposed to STDs. He told her things about me, broke my trust. He hurt my kids. She spoke their names out of her filthy mouth. Stuff like that. It helps me when I am feeling soft. He cost us tens of thousands in legal fees. I’m sure you have your own list. There are some things that give me a huge flash of anger, and I don’t want to forget them. Anger is healthy in the case of betrayal.

      • Stephanie, this has helped me too! Soon after I kicked the ex out, I started a list of all the things he had done that really bothered me. I kept it on my computer desktop, and just added to it as I remembered stuff, or as he did more selfish, entitled or mean things.

        Then when I felt myself missing him or wondering whether we might possibly perhaps someday maybe work things out and be back together, I’d go look at the list again. WHAMMO! Gone the longing, gone the hopium, back to reality! And back to the righteous anger that energizes us and protects us from these emotional vampires.

        The nice thing is that now (nearly a year and a half after DDay #2), I rarely have to look at it. I think that’s a signpost that I’m on the right road to ‘Meh’.

        I called the doc ‘101 Reasons I Don’t Want Him Back’. I’m up to 135, actually.

      • Oh my goodness Stephanie, I LOVE “Stay angry my friend”!! (Also, “she spoke their names out of her filthy mouth”). You are right, anger is healthy, energizing, and frees us from the betrayer.

      • Ok, I only found this site last week so I’m pretty new here. I do have a question about anger that maybe someone can help me with? I’m 2.5 years past DDay and I’m still SOOOO angry. Is that normal? I’ve noticed that many people on here aren’t that far along. At what point do you let that anger go? Do you have to let it go to get to “meh”? I’m starting to get frustrated with myself for still caring so much. My ex just married the OW 5 days ago, so I think I still am entitled to some anger. Maybe you never let it go. I don’t know.

        • Hey, SOHC.

          Welcome to the club no one volunteers to join.

          One question (or series of questions, really): is he still contacting you on a regular basis? Have kids together? Insults, accusations, disrespect on a regular basis? Douchbaggery acts like family traditions where he inserts AP into your role as casually as changing a screw?

          Cause that would indicate completely normal emotional reactions to stimulus that is happening NOW, not 2.5 years ago.

          About 18 months after Andy’s lies started to come out, I started to experience a real uptick in anger–which was weird, because I was not a bit shy or hesitant to get really fuckin’ furious for about 6 – 8 months. A therapist eventually helped me recognize, I was getting mad when *I* minimalized, marginalized and or trivialized Andy’s behavior. Andy was just a convenient scapegoat.

          Once I noticed it and started to consciously give myself permission to be hurt (as opposed to angry), I stopped being angry.

          That’s just my experience, and entirely possible that you have something completely different going on.

          If you are dealing with an ex who is also pathological–I tend to think anyone capable of years of deceit is pathological, to a greater or lesser extent–AND you have a child together: at some point you will need to make peace with the idea that periodically, they will contact you and try to drag you into the crazy.

          Therapy can be a God-send in learning how to recognize your own emotions, recognize when they are breaching boundaries, learn how to effectively enforce boundaries, and learn techniques to prevent them ruining your day, just because they are still peanut-brittle nutty.

          If you have a kid together, you aren’t completely free until the youngest is 18. But that doesn’t automatically mean they get to control and terrorize you for however many years.

      • Michelle, that’s a great way to put what he is. A vampire. I’m going to make a “Stay Angry” list! I’m also going to make a list of what he says to me to make me actually listen to his BS. I’m tired of being manipulated by him. He is forcing my hand at filing an Order Of Support. I’m going to do it just so he can’t hold money over my head and to get him away from me. It’s sad because I’d never treat someone like this, much less someone I said I loved.

        • Sorry, Stephanie! That was kudos to YOUR idea. IDK why I put my name there. Lol! I’m losing it after cooking Thanksgiving dinner yesterday.

  • It absolutely kills me hearing how every one of these assholes work from the same script! I’m sitting here SMH because my STBX fed me this same exact line of BS last week. He said through tears that I would never take him back and he would do what he could do to get himself better and I wouldn’t be there for him in the end anyway and he doesn’t even know if he’s fixable. I actually felt sorry for him because he was so upset telling me that he truly loved me but he doesnt think it’s fair for me to have to live like that anymore. I so badly want to believe him because I want to stop hurting but he was actually honest finally. I don’t deserve to live like this anymore. I need to focus my energy on why I want any attention from him. He is unfixable. When someone tells you what they’re really like listen the first time.

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