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Dear Chump Lady, How do I survive day to day?

Dear Chump Lady,

I found your site by accident some months ago when I was researching articles to send to myself and my (hopefully soon to be ex) husband. I come to it often to remind me that it’s not me and I deserve better. Your site and articles give me strength in my weaker moments and I’ve read several of them numerous times.

In March of 2013, I discovered he had had an affair with one of his employees. He said, then, that it had only been going on six months and was online, as she had returned home to her country. In May of 2013, he said it had actually started ‘right before she left’ to return home in May 2011. She started working for him in Nov 2009 and I suspect it actually began in early 2010, but he balked about my wanting a timeline. He bought an iPad to FaceTime with her after she left, another phone, Skyped, etc etc. He closed all of those accounts, left Facebook (though I discovered a fake account he had had) and closed his personal-only bank account without balking when I asked.

We worked on reconciliation and while he was initially very remorseful and sorry, there were small signs that it was less than the 100% I was throwing myself into to save the marriage. When I asked him to draft a no-contact letter in Aug 2013, he refused, saying she might be mad at him. I should have taken this for more than I thought it was at the time, but didn’t – so intent was I on saving our family, which seemed to be going well enough.

He learned in early Sep 2013 that she might return from her country to work for him again and hid that from me. I discovered it late that month. He did nothing to stop it, atop of hiding it from me. When I begged and cried about him writing a no-contact letter, he refused. I began counseling and asked him to do the same. He did. She did return to his employ and he flat out told me in Oct 2013 that she was, ‘such a good friend,’ and he was not going to treat her any differently than any one else.

They restarted the affair in late October, from what I can gather, and I lived a torturous life from October through December, in which I was still committed to trying to save the marriage and he was a complete, self-serving jerk. The marriage counselor said that he was ambivalent about the marriage, but that I needed him to end it, not me. Just before Christmas, he said he’d be leaving after the holidays.

In early Jan 2014, I figured enough was enough. I had absorbed the fact that he’d been lying and hiding things for at least three years and it was likely she wasn’t the first one, though I don’t have proof of that. He quit marriage counseling, snuck out at night at least twice a week, slept in the den, etc. I consulted with two lawyers and retained one a week ago. He sent my husband a letter on Tue noting that I had retained him, to find an attorney and hopefully we could settle this amicably outside of litigation.

My problem is that while he still apparently can find time to sneak out at night, or be up all hours on his iPad, he has done jack-diddly about getting an attorney or moving out. The kids, aged 15 and 12, know something is up since he’s been sleeping in the den for nearly two months now and he and I barely speak. He said that he ‘can’t do anything’ until next week, due to his work schedule. I’m trying to be graceful and take the high-road, as we can’t afford too much litigation and I don’t want him getting into a fighting mood. Living this way, however, is sucking the life out of me.

How do I get through this day-to-day with him there? My nerves are starting to fray at this daily torture of having him there and his attempts to be friendly. I need some survival techniques. I’m tempted to ask him to leave, but no doubt he will stall on this leaving thing as before; it’s well after the holidays, after all, and he is still there. I hate his concern about my weight loss, I hate his watching me take out the garbage without offering to help, I hate his, ‘have a good day,’ on the mornings he’s feeling gracious. I hate the rolling in after midnight and our daughter worried and waiting up for him. Again, I’m trying to weather this, but each day just frays me a little further and I’m starting to question my patience. I need advice.

– Vicki

Advice? Use the contractor bags — the really large black ones. Don’t buy generic, because they rip. And forget anything with a twist tie. You want the bags with the built-in closures, so you can haul those suckers to the curb easier.

Seeing as you have all this experience taking out the trash, take it to the next level, Vicki. Throw the bum out.

But, but …his work schedule!

Oh hey, look at my watch. It says DUMP HIS SHIT ON THE LAWN IN TRASH BAGS. Actually, it’s quarter past DUMP HIS SHIT ON THE LAWN IN TRASH BAGS. And by “quarter past” I mean since March 2013.

Time to start calling the shots, Vicki. He’s still in his affair. He’s doing jack shit about your petition for divorce. He’s a cake eating bastard. He was going to leave after Christmas? People took down their trees weeks ago. It’s nearly February. Isn’t OW back from the home country? I’m sure she’s got a comfy sofa he can sleep on. Wherever he lays his air mattress isn’t your problem.

Change the locks. Throw him out.

But! But! What will the lawyers say?

He doesn’t have one. Maybe this will be a nice impetus for him to get one.

You have it on good authority that he was going to move out after Christmas. Told you so himself. It’s after Christmas. You’re just helping him pack.

But! But! What about the kids?

Time to tell them that dad’s been cheating on you for three years, you’re not going to take it any more and you’ve filed for divorce. And it’s all his fault.

Scared of my advice? Don’t be. The way you’re living now is a million, million times harder than calling a locksmith and throwing his shit on the lawn. Will it be hard on the kids? Yes. Get them some therapy. Start making a plan. But you know what’s worse for kids? Living with secrets and tension. Waiting for the world to collapse.

The world is collapsing, but you’re in charge. You’re mighty and you’re going to navigate yourself and them through this.

But first you need to get this asshole out of your life and go no contact. You need that lawyer to draft emergency support orders. You need to stop being passive in the face of his abusiveness — his blatant disrespect of you and the kids.

You know why you’re losing weight? Because you’re only eating shit sandwiches. You need a healthy diet of KICK ASS. Start taking control and you’re going to feel a hell of a lot better. And you’ll build up an appetite again.

You’re internalizing all of his wickedness. Taking sucker punch after sucker punch. You’re accommodating him. You’re putting his fucking WORK SCHEDULE above your sanity. Apparently Mr. Cheaterpants’ work schedule accommodates his fucking around quite nicely. I’m sure he’ll find time out from his busy life to pick his possessions up off the front lawn.

He gets ugly about it? You call the cops. Immediately. They’re not as nice as you are. They’ll give him 3 minutes to pack a duffle and a ride in the back of a cop car.

You can do this, Vicki. Get the ball rolling on your new life. We have your back.

ETA — You cannot “nice” a person out of an affair. And you can’t “nice” a cake eater into an amiable divorce. How’s that working for you? He enjoys the good opinion of his children and has you to take out the trash. It’s going to be ugly. Count on it. So go on the offensive. He dances to YOUR tune. You’ll accomplish a lot more by demonstrating you’re not his chump any more than you will trying to achieve consensus with a dickwad who does NOT have your best interests at heart. Give that motherfucker a FIGHT, Vicki!

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  • Actually, it’s quarter past DUMP HIS SHIT ON THE LAWN IN TRASH BAGS.

    This made my day, thank you CL.
    I need to get that watch BTW.

    • do they do watches on Cafe Press? I can think of a few people who could use a DUMP HIS SHIT ON THE LAWN watch. Like my sister, who did it. Bwa ha ha. And is mighty.

    • Those big, black ones are the luxury line of divorce luggage.

      I still have a vivid memory of my niece throwing out her ex’s things from a second story window onto the lawn below. No bag. Just a wide-open window with tons of freshly ironed Dockers and Izods coming out of it. It was a while back. Grab a lawn chair, sister! The shit’s goin’ down!

      • OMG!!! I cannot believe this. This asshole is in the U.S.? he is risking everything professionally. you have him by the balls. Call his boss, HR, anyone. What is he doing taking advantage of his direct report????

        This is not the most devastating thing about this post, but it is your power position. use it!!!

        • Not only that, but the employee has him by the short hairs as well. Whether they admit it to themselves or not.

          By the way, the EEOC doesn’t care who actually files a sexual harassment report…..

          • Definitely. I think that all that needs to be done here is provide the information to the ‘kickass’ lawyer. He can threaten to depose the employee and we have a settlement. yeah.

            An ‘asshole-ectomy’.

          • Yep. My STBX is sleeping with the woman who used to report directly to him. The PA started just after she left the company, but the EA was going on long before that. She has him by the short hairs, and he doesn’t see that at all. Nor does he see that she really needs money, and if he breaks off the affair, she can sue him from here to eternity AND his company. Hello meal ticket! Of course, she got him to co-sign a car loan, and I dunno, but I just found out that the bank account I’m not supposed to know holds the money that his company has reimbursed him for his education. He’s taken out $2K of that in less than 9 days. If he fights me on a reasonable settlement, I’ll hire a forensic accountant and depose OW.

            • kb! How dare you suggest that she would sue him! THEY ARE SOULMATES!!
              She loves him for him! Why can’t you see that?

            • I wish I had used a forensic accountant. At the time I could barely sit upright and my lawyer had me go through all his financial records to save me money. Each time I’d bring them to her, she’d want them organized a different way. When I left them for her to help me decide on a settlement, she had not looked at them and used our next meeting to glance through them. I finally just took a settlement he suggested which was half of his original.
              If you can barely function, don’t do what I did. My advice…

              1. Bring your toughest friend with you to meetings with your lawyer. Have them take notes and ask the questions you can’t form.
              2. If your soon to be ex made a lot of money and spent money whores, get a forensic accountant. It will be worth it financially as well as giving you some satisfaction that his lies will be exposed and you are no longer his dupe he kept in the dark.
              3. DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR HIM and worry that he won’t have any money. Why I ever did, I can’t imagine. Listen to your friends, doctors, therapists and everyone else who tells you that they hope you get him for all he’s worth.

        • Vicki,
          DO NOT call his boss or HR. Once it’s out at work there are repercussions legally they are required to take. If he gets fired, YOU lose. Screw what he will lose, you lose child support, you lose alimony, you lose insurance… Been there honey. Not to mention legally, you are dumping your personal life on his work environment and that will look bad in court.
          stop Stop AND STOP BEING NICE. I was you for a number of years, except mine never fessed up.
          Get a temp hearing. The judge will order child support, alimony if needed (you need to ask for it no matter what) joint custody with you as a primary custodian, full use and possession of the family home.
          I have been in the exact same place you are. I was so scared and then he GOT FIRED 2X in 3 years. first time, he was doing Dallas. 2nd one, don’t know, don’t care.
          Your therapist is a moron. He has to be the one to end it? REALLY? he cheated, avoided 100% no contact by not signing a NC order and is now right back at it. HE ALREADY DECIDED, he wants it all. YOU TAKE BACK YOUR POWER. Stop being a victim. Be a survivor.
          I tell my friends all the time, if not for my kids, hells no I would not fight him over any of the “stuff” Getting rid of him would be enough.
          Stop thinking of your husband, stop thinking as a wife. THINK like a mom protecting her kids. He stole from your kids. He stole every dime from them when he spent it on his hoochie. He stole time from them by spending it with the whore. He stole their ability to look at him with any respect.
          Fuck being nice. He has been served papers for divorce. Fuck him.
          I went with the best lawyer I could find. The cost financially is making me barf. He understands my position though. I want my kids taken care of. I want them stable and I want them eating every day. Our decisions have been made on this theory that my bil explained to me, Colonel in the military. Divorce is war. Go with the principles of war. Good war? Doesn’t exist. You do it like this, you push push push into his area, take control, put him in a position where you are calling all the shots bcz you have more ammo, bombs, air strikes, ground forces. Force him to surrender. THEN you get to determine how NIce it all goes down. If you want it to be fair and equal, YOU GET TO DECIDE THAT. YOu get to decide bcz you are in the POWER POSITION.
          If he is home, he can’t avoid being served if you are there. Get a private server, call him when your jerk fuckwad, lying sob is home. Private server comes over, you tell sir dick her a lot there is someone at the door and asking for him. Keep your gd mouth shut from beginning to end. Server hands him the paperwork and you’re golden on the temp hearing. My lawyer had the temp hearing scheduled on a Wed, served on Thurs evening. Point? Less time for x to prepare. think middle east, shock and awe. X has legal amount of time to get a lawyer, x has limited amount of time to get a good lawyer.
          Stop letting him run the gd show. WTF? pull out the ovaries, they are stronger than any set of balls, made, ever. He is fucking this bitch, eating her out, letting her suck his dick and sleeping on your couch while your therapist says continue to give him all the fucking power?
          Fuck him. Pack his shit the day of the temp hearing, in the designer divorce luggage and after court, have the sheriff there while you hold the court order and he gets his bags.
          Fuck being the door mat.

          • FUCKING AWESOME, lady. That was absolutely fucking amazing. Thank you. I am on brink of divorce negotiations and I am actually gonna wear my combat jeans the day of the meeting. Ok so I’ll probably change outfit for the actual meeting but hey you are right. THIS IS WAR. We did not start it but we are sure going to finish it in as mighty a fashion as we can.

            Chump lady thanks. Your words are so tough and funny and KICK ASS.

            Damn that stbx of mine. I was so enraged not only did I clear out his shit from the house I cleaned out his crap from the garden shed and dumped it out front. Him, his shit, his whole shitty being was like poison in the home.

            Vicki. Get him and his poisonous collection of shit out. Leave NOTHING. Not a sock or a book or a comb. NOTHING. You will feel lighter and ready for battle.
            Good luck.

          • Love your NO NONSENSE attitude all4freedom! :). I did exactly what u suggested, fought the temptation to get the loser of a husband in trouble at work, got my lawyer to file for temp orders for support, so I get child & spousal support plus the house b4 it all becomes final. I would have left with nothing if I did not have a child but I spent 13 years with the serial cheating man… I will get everything my child deserves.

    • “it’s quarter past DUMP HIS SHIT ON THE LAWN IN TRASH BAGS.”

      Omg, omg, omg….That is absolutely f**g hilarious!!!

      Vicki–dump his sick sorry ass, you are in control now. You and your kids will be much happier than “waiting for the world to collapse.” At least it will fully collapse on your time table and with you pulling the (final) plug and with your lawyers in the ready. GO!

  • I can relate as my stbx wants doesn’t want to hire an attorney, and is currently avoiding being served. For someone who was so unhappy in his marriage, he trying awefully hard to prevent his freedom. Find a way to talk to your children. Chances are they already know.

    • Divorce is such an ugly word. Maybe your process server should call them “freedom coupons” — redeem for happiness! — and carry balloons.

      Unbelievable he’s avoiding being served. Just wow.

    • Could be that he doesn’t want you to get his financial records as he must once the divorce starts. Mine fought it, threatened he’d fight to the end and our lawyers would end up with all our money. He finally had to let me have them. What I discovered was like a bomb going off in my life.

      • This is an important one. My STBX refused to have his business valued (it’s a family asset) and said that it wasn’t necessary, too much money, and yes, that the lawyers would just get all the money, his constant lament any time I want a third party involved

        One of the stipulations of the interim agreement is that he has to get the business valued. He’s put it off as long as he can but the auditor is in there Monday. I’m sure there will be some interesting discoveries.

  • I’ve never laughed so hard at advice aimed to sooth such misery. Chump Lady, Tracy, you are SUCH a blessing to so many. Because you T.H.I.N.K. (Is it Truth?, is it Helpful? is it Inspiring? is it Necessary? is it Kind?) and then you speak. Your posts nail all 5 questions every time. Thank-you. : )

  • I love ChumpLady because she doesn’t get distracted answering the questions we ask: she goes straight to the questions we SHOULD be asking.

    It’s funny how we often ask the wrong question. I, too, wanted to know “how to survive day to day”. I went to counseling and wanted the counselor to help me find a way to live with a marriage detente. Question: How can you live with it? Answer: YOU CAN’T LIVE WITH IT. You have to get a new life. (Seriously, I once suggested to my counselor I might just try to live together till the kids were out of the house – 8 years! – and she told me in no uncertain terms that was a crazy idea.)

    I was also reluctant to spend money on litigation – but my health and sanity are priceless. (You know the old joke: Why is divorce so expensive? Because it’s worth it!) Vicki, tell your lawyer to file immediately. You will feel so much better once you are in charge of your own life. You need a person in charge of your life who has your best interests at heart: you!

    • Edited to add: CL is right about the kids, too. They know trouble is brewing, and they are suffering from the frightening uncertainty of it all, just as you are (even more than you are, because they have no control). Take control of the situation, for your kids’ sake. Show them they can count on you to take charge and create stability in their lives.

      Don’t keep waiting. Rip the bandaid off, and get started on the healing.

    • “I love ChumpLady because she doesn’t get distracted answering the questions we ask: she goes straight to the questions we SHOULD be asking.

      It’s funny how we often ask the wrong question.”

      Very true. A sign of impressive wisdom…

      And thank you, Chump Lady, for sharing your insights and encouragement with all of us on this path we never wanted to be on…

    • Hey Walter

      Is that your face or does your ass have teeth.

      You cheaters just can’t own your own shit. Maybe that’s why you talk out of your ass.

    • Hey Walt, weren’t you banned for peddling the same victim-blaming bullshit last time? If you’re going to come back on a different IP address, you might want to not use the same name if you don’t want to be IMMEDIATELY noticed. You’d have been spotted anyway because if this same crap, but it might not have been as quick if you had a different name.

      But then again, you cheater jerks don’t think us chumps are as smart as we are anyway.

    • Hey Walter,

      I am fully prepared to own my part of any of my behaviours that contributed to our mutual unhappiness. Get that bit? MUTUAL (but I didn’t betray).

      However, nothing I did ever, ever justifies cheating. Funny, that on a state or army level cheating is called treason and gets jail time, and on a corporate level it’s called fraud (and gets jail time). But stupid little wives and children don’t count…

      1. unhappiness can be addressed through healthy ways – counselling, talking, letters – oh, and admitting you might also not ‘meet our needs’.

      2. But those respectful options don’t come with exciting new snatch and having all that lovely ego smoke blown up your ass, DO THEY WALTER????

      YOU need to face this truth. Your laziness, your inability to connect and be honourable, your selfishness. The person contributing LESS to the relationship, the person LESS invested, is usually the one who cheats.

      Piss off.

      • Hey Walter,
        I listened to the entire program you posted, although I have to say I don’t agree with all of it. In my case, my ex seems to have been a great actor. He played the devoted husband and father for the 23 yrs we were married and his time away was all in the name of business. I never found out about his affair til after he left, he was that good! No history of cheating, lying, or bad business that anyone saw, but it was still there, just hidden very deviously. So, NO, I don’t feel responsible in any way for his betrayal- he’s a sociopath! The OW however deserves what she gets! There are cases I agree when you make bad choices and shouldn’t be surprised when you are betrayed and then there are cases when you have to admit to we’re preyed upon by the disordered in life!

      • One thing that is interesting on that is around 44 minutes, he talks about the perspective of the betrayer towards the relationship of trust, the assumed trust and the distorted quality of the relationship. The betrayer vs the betrayee. What is it like to be someone who knows that you have an assumed trust? What happens to the mind of the betrayer? Their mind gets possessed. A betrayer has to manipulate and lie in order not to be caught. So now two roles: betrayer and betrayee. The biggest betrayal that takes place is when we betray ourselves. Some people choose to believe that whatever is told to them is true (and this is immature trust). Questioning is part of maturation and challenging.
        Actually I agree with him. I swallowed the BS. I overlooked the actions but believed the words. I let him cake eat for 2 years. I ‘reconciled’ for another 5. This is what CL tells us all the time.
        ‘Some people choose to believe that whatever is told to them is true…I believe because I want to believe – who am I betraying here? In almost every case, it is the choice of the betrayee to have been betrayed.’

        Therefore: what CL tells us:
        SEE A LAWYER
        WITHIN 24 HOURS
        we need to believe!!!!!!!!

          • Walter is a troll that came here a few months ago saying that all men cheat. Rich men cheat because they are rich, and ugly, poor men cheat because they just need the opportunity to get laid and we women should just accept that fact and get over it.

            He got banned because he was basically a self-admitted cheater. The video’s context may have been protect yourself, but Walter’s message is to blame Chumps and put the responsibility on them for their ex partner’s betrayal.

            It’s likely the video meant protect yourself, but that ain’t Walt’s goal here.

  • Vicki, it is a horrible situation to be in. I have lived it. Ex is a douche bag cop and would not get out of the house. I filed in March of 2013 and he finally left 2 days after the divorce was final in October. So that fucking asshole lived her for 2 years after d day. He would have his pity parties in the basement and some of his stupid friends said that wow he must feel really bad about what he did. Really? Are you fucking kidding me? He made NO effort to do anything. How is that feeling really bad? Just like you taking out the trash, he barely lifted a fucking finger to do anything. According to my attorney there was nothing that I could legally do to get him out of the house. It was fucking ridiculous. I bought the house but it had his name on it so by law he could be there. The only way to get him out is if he was beating me. I guess mental abuse does not count. Stay strong and if you cannot get him out, just pretend he is dead. That is what worked for me.
    I seriously cannot believe how people can’t see the situation for what it was, an abusive mindfuck. Good luck to you and as CL says, remember this shit is finite.

    • No, really this podcast is seriously worth listening to.

      He has some very interesting comments on shame. The shame of being betrayed. Is actually the shame of choosing to be betrayed (ie, not protecting oneself, betraying ONESELF by taking someone else’s abuse and disrespect).

      What he is saying is really not any different from Chump Lady. I recommend this podcast!

      • Patsy, I agree, the podcast was interesting and had many truths however like the lady who called about her aunt that appeared to be a narcissist, there are many betrayers that wear masks, develop an outside facade and are very covert, like Dr. George Simon writes about in his books. My ex is one of those and it took me 20 yrs to see the deviousness. No, I don’t feel responsible for that although I am much wiser now!

  • OMG Tracy bestest best best post. Vicki I am so sorry to read where you are at. I firmly believe that we chumps are kind, generous, fair, loving, supportive and trustful. And that this is the total opposite of the numpty”s that we call husband/wife/partner/ significant other!
    So it is foreign to consider that they are lying or worse have no respect for us (their partner) at all. Your husband is a jerk who is showing NO respect to you or your lovely children.
    And yes grab those excellent garbage bags that Tracy suggested and pile all his crap into it and show him its not going to be on his terms any more.
    When I was reading your story I thought geez that is exactly my story even down to you signing it with my name (vikki) don’t feel alone, don’t bottle it up. Tell someone, tell everyone. Cheating is wrong, he is a numpty who broke your family’s circle but you are strong and mighty ( I suggest reading the post.. I am mighty – it is awesome and powerful)
    Good luck go get em chumpygirl!

  • Hi Vicki,

    CL is giving you “The Talk.” I got my Talk from my trusted family and friends while my then-husband was waiting in our home for his departure date.

    And here’s what you need to realize: while you’re twiddling your thumbs in despair, your husband may be strategizing real ugly stuff behind the scenes: messing with your finances–withdrawing from your retirement savings, opening accounts in his own name, running up your credit cards, withdrawing huge amounts of cash, hiding and collecting property you own together, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

    You say he doesn’t have a lawyer, but he might. He might also be digging into your emails, FB, whatever information you got online. And if he’s real devious, he might secretively be taping your conversations and trying to frame you.

    Who the freak knows what he’s doing!? He’s already told you what he is: a liar.

    So suck it up now. Pull up your boot straps. Take action or I can promise you: You. Will. Regret. It. My neighbor actually GAVE me heavy duty garbage bags (and a six pack of beer) and this still makes us chuckle on garbage day.

    Hang in there. My heart aches for you. But you can cry and heal later. Right now you need to kick-ass. And fast.

    • Seren3838 is right. I’m amazed how quickly my husband turned from my biggest defender to the person I had to defend myself against. Liars lie, and they lie about EVERYTHING. Every day I find out something new, or one more thing he’s trying to do to fuck me over, be it over stuff, or money, credit cards, even mutual friends.

      You don’t need this shit in your life. Give him the heave fucking ho.

  • Oh, and one more thing, please! Vicki, I’d like to make my comments conditional—I’m assuming here, that your husband’s got the Cheating DNA that’s pathological (from the account you’ve shared it sure sounds like it) and I say this because I’ve enjoyed a brief exchange with Aloysha on this forum who opened my eyes to the fact that all cheaters are necessarily certifiable nut wings (there’s a small percentage that are just pathetic people–deeply damaged, spiteful, selfish people that potentially can be helped–I for one definitely know my ex DID NOT fit into this category–He was of the Contractor Bag category!).

  • As much as I’d love to fist pump along with everyone, I think that attempting to kick him out is most likely illegal and my concern is that I wouldn’t want the husband to use that to his advantage in some way (i.e. trying to show that you’re the less than stable, batshit parent when it comes to addressing custody). Besides, throwing his stuff out is likely going to result in a nasty confrontation in front of the kids and if you loose it (which would be understandable given his conduct), he could later use this behavior against you (the police can arrest you for destroying his property or assaulting him). Even if you don’t lose it, he can call the police to ensure you let him back into the property. Not to mention it’s going to make him look like the reasonable one to your kids.

    I’m not a family law attorney and I don’t know where you reside Vicki, but assuming the home was purchased/lease while you were married, no one can unilaterally kick someone out without notice unless we are dealing with a domestic violence situation. That said, I wholeheartedly agree that this situation needs an end point and that you have to start setting the terms. I would do the following:
    1. Talk to your attorney again get those divorce papers filed next week (it sounds like your attorney didn’t actually file yet but only sent a letter). Also make sure husband gets personally served next week(heck one advantage of him living at home is he won’t be able to dodge personal service). That pretty much puts a (30-35 day) time clock on him to get a lawyer and answer the petition. If he’s stupid enough to sit on his ass, you can seek a default judgment against him. I agree that you should seek temporary support as well.
    I know you want to avoid litigation, but filing and serving him does not preclude you both from agreeing to a settlement at a later time. After you’ve consulted with your attorney on the strengths and weaknesses of your position, I would probably ask for more than what I’d settle for in the filing because you want to have some leverage over him. Chumplady is 100% that you should not attempt to nice him into doing the right thing. Back his ass into a corner to make informal resolution his best offer.
    2. Move half of the funds from your joint accounts to your personal account and change your passcodes if he ever had them. Start review and itemizing your joint assets (again, easier because his stuff is around).
    3. Tell your kids about the affair and the upcoming divorce in a non editorial way. They probably already know something is up anyway and I think the candidness will ease some tension. Get them and yourself some therapy.
    4. Move his stuff (as in his separate property not joint property that he uses) into the den and insist that he sleep there until he moves on his own accord or the divorce is finalized.
    5. You can ask him to leave (again) but assuming he doesn’t leave, refuse to engage him while you are living at the house. Just leave the room when he enters. Or go for a walk. If he has a routine, schedule yourself so that you don’t have much time to be around him. Try to do something enjoyable during that time, like mediation or journaling.

    While these actions are not as immediately gratifying as trash bags on the lawn, I think they will go a long way towards restoring your sense of agency.

    • All good advice, and I understand your caution. I’m not a lawyer, but in my first marriage I did live for 6 months with a sonofabitch who would not sign a settlement agreement and he would not move out. He wanted more money. (I paid him $150K of an inheritance for the house, gave him all the stocks we had, not much, and left 10 years of his pension alone. And I agreed to LESS than baseline CS. In short, I gave away the farm to divorce that POS.) I tried nice for 3 months. I tried co-existing to be “amiable” while he ate my groceries and pretended like I wasn’t divorcing him.

      When we got to the lawyers after 3 months where he promised to sign and move out the next day. Guess what? He didn’t sign.

      I didn’t trash bag him, but I wish I did. What I did do is make his life miserable. No more dinners. I stopped paying the bills — lawyers watching, HE had to for once pay bills like the mortgage. I stood up to the game of chicken. And I got confrontational. I remember saying very coldly if he didn’t move out that was fine. I wasn’t going to give him jack shit for money and mediate — I was going to spend the whole pot on lawyers and fuck him. I had an inheritance he couldn’t touch, so I had my lawyer’s money. He had nothing. Did he want to fuck with me?

      THAT moved his ass out of my house. Going on the offensive.

      I’m not a lawyer, but I’d like to know the real risk of packing him up. He’s promised — I’d get it documented on email — that he’s moving out. She’s got proof of him cheating. Throwing a cheating louse out of the house to be with his 3-year GF — I can’t see how a judge would frown on this. Or just dismiss it as drama and get to the business of dividing assets.

      Don’t do it in front of the kids. Do it on the sly when he’s at work and they’re at school. Don’t set it on fire. Do it calmly, premeditatedly.

      As for the locksmith. Yes, legally she man not be within her rights to do it. So then he’s got to go prove with a copy of the deed to the locksmith to have the locks changed AGAIN. It’s a pain in the ass for him. It’s a shot across the bow that he is NOT WELCOME. A message he’s not getting now. He seems very welcome. Very comfortable in cake.

      • Well, I can change the locks on my house any time I want. He can break into his house if he really wants. But I think that if she takes these steps he will get the heck out of dodge. Vicki should talk to her lawyer about this. But take the steps, see if he objects to it and demands a key to the new locks or breaks back in. Say–YOU NEED TO GET OUT TOMORROW OR I WILL PACK YOUR STUFF UP AND PUT IT OUTSIDE. Make him refuse to do it anyhow. Sitting there passively will just get Vicki more shit sandwiches and an ulcer.

        • Install keyless locks. That way you don’t have to call a locksmith every time, you just change the combination. Works like a charm.

  • Vicki, please listen to Seren3838 about possible financial tampering. Cheating men become absolutely ruthless once the wife is on the warpath and not prepared to back down. And some of them have been living at home, acting perfectly normal, but all the while tampering with the finances on the down low. I hope your atty gave sage advice about how to protect marital assets until they can be divided FAIRLY.

    At best divorces due to (known) adultery are very ugly; at worst they can be incredibly brutal. You need to take care of YOU. Understand that he is NOT YOUR FRIEND. Do not allow him to cry, plead, cajole, bully, or manipulate you into capitulating. If you lose your backbone and capitulate, all you have accomplished is, “endurance training” for him. He will just get worse and worse. In reality, all your efforts to save your marriage did was give him a good start on endurance training. If he had been sincere, he would have severed all contact with OW and moved mountains to be transparent and “win” you back.

    I am going to post an article in this thread which is hilarious but so damned true. It’s long but worth the read. It is called “Midlife for Dummies”.

  • ***The following “book” originated on The Midlife Club forum several years ago in a thread started by a member with the forum ID of Boosbrde. It has been copied and posted to other sites, mostly without crediting where it originated.
    MIDLIFE For Dummies

    (Just substitute “Cheating” for “Midlife” and all still applies. Besides I don’t believe in “Midlife Crisis”. I do believe that cheaters cheat because they feel entitle to and behave precisely in the following manner.)

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Mid Life Crisis!! You are about to embark on one of the most perilous journeys you have ever taken. A journey fraught with intrigue and guaranteed to turn you inside out! This book is designed to help you make sure you get the most emotional bang for your buck.

    In these pages are the “how to” answers to the questions you have been asking yourself about damaging as many people as you can along the way. Come on and dig in, it’s time to get this roller coaster rolling on down the tracks!!
    Chapter 1 – Choosing the Correct Speech

    There are 4 basic speeches for you to choose from. They are:

    a) I love you but I don’t know if I’m in love with you.

    b) I’ve never loved you, and we should never have gotten married.

    c) We got married to young. I never knew anything besides you.

    d) You tricked me into marrying you, I would never have done it otherwise.

    Once you have decided on which speech to give, you need to cause as much anxiety in your spouse as you can before you actually give it. Continue to the next chapter for Lessons in building anxiety.
    Chapter 2 – Lessons in Building Anxiety

    You will find these lessons to be helpful in causing anxiety in your spouse and others (depending on the level of pain and damage you want to cause), not just prior to giving the speech, but throughout your MLC.
    Lesson 1 – Monstrification of Your Spouse

    This is easy to accomplish. Simply think of only the “bad” things that your spouse has done throughout your entire relationship. Have one of those “angel” spouses? No problem, just remember how bad she always makes you feel. DO NOT under any circumstances remember fondly your spouse, or anything they have done for you. Remember, they are going to be the cause of all of your problems, so it is imperative that you convince your self of this first.
    Lesson 2 – Emotional Detachment

    This will be very easy to do after accomplishing lesson 1. All you have to do is start reminding yourself that you don’t care about them, what they feel, what they want, or if they hurt. Simple! Every time you remind yourself of this, you will get further and further away from your relationship emotionally. Now, that wasn’t too hard was it? On to lesson 3
    Lesson 3 – Mass Confusion and Indecision

    This lesson requires a little more thought and attention. You must constantly practice saying “I don’t know” to ANY and ALL questions. That is imperative!! Your spouse (and others) must never know precisely what is going on in-side your head. Also, never let them know where you are going, where you have been, who you were with (this will go hand in hand with the lesson on the Other Person, or OP), or whether or not they can expect you to return home.
    Lesson 4 – Lies and Deceit

    To get the most damage, and cause the most pain, you must lie and decieve at every opportunity. And to really achieve hall of fame status, you should be very inept at it, so that everyone knows that you are lying, or suspects, but can’t prove it initially. This works very well for the following chapters, OP and Cake Eating.
    Chapter 3 – The Other Person (or OP)

    Now it is time for you to succumb to temptation. You KNOW all of those other women/men want you! They have been coming on to you for years!! It is time for you to give them their chance at having some of you. Make sure that you leave a very confusing trail for your spouse to follow. One that lets them suspect, but have to dig and sneak (to make them feel worse about themselves) to find the information they need to prove it. Hold out admitting the affair as long as you can, and don’t admit it ever, if you can get away with it.
    Chapter 4 – Cake Eating

    This chapter is designed to string your spouse along in uncertainty as long as possible, because as long as they have hope, they won’t be able to go out and find their own lives and be fulfilled. Why should they get to do that, while you are so miserable? They shouldn’t!! So, make sure that you are affectionate occasionally (not too often, as this will raise anxiety levels), that you drag your feet about making a decision on the marriage, and that you leave and come back several times (as many as you can get away with).
    Chapter 5 – History Revision

    It is very important that you revise the life you have lead with your spouse. You must use words like: Always, Ever, Never and All of the Time. Always precede the statement with the terms: you, I, and we. As in “you always nag me” “I never ever (double bonus here) get to do what I want” and “We have to do what you want all of the time”. This will help to make your spouse feel like the way you are behaving is all their fault, and can cause them to feel even worse about themselves than they already did!!
    Chapter 6 – It’s All About You!!

    Remember this is all about you! What you want and need, RIGHT NOW! You shouldn’t have to wait until you can afford something, just go on out and get it! You deserve a new haircut, new clothes, and some new toys. You’ve worked for it. You would probably look great in that new Convertible, or on that new Harley!! So don’t hesitate! You live in the here and now! So why wait until tomorrow!!

    Remember, the word is CRISIS and if you are in one, EVERYONE else should have to ride the Roller coaster with you! It’s no fun taking a ride alone, and you know what they say about misery loving company! Go on out there and get started, so much pain and damage, and so little time!
    Chapter 7 – Avoid, Ignore, and Run Away

    This chapter is to help you deal with the problems that your spouse will try to cause. We don’t want you to have to “deal” with anything, now do we? You shouldn’t have to “think” about any “issues” right now, except those that concern you “feeling good”. The best way to handle this, is to Avoid, Ignore, and Run Away. Any time someone tries to make you see a more “reasonable” stance on a subject, simply Avoid making a reply… stare out into space, as if you are thinking about something important, and they will become uncomfortable and leave you alone.

    If there are responsibilities that need your attention, simply ignore them. You don’t have to do anything you don’t feel like doing. And the best for last is Run Away! This can be accomplished in many different ways. OP’s can help you Run Away from all of these “problems” as well as Alcohol, Drugs, New Sports Cars… etc the list is endless. Of course, you can always just leave… but remember not to let them know where you are going, and if you’ll be back!!
    Chapter 8 – MC and Therapists

    Your spouse may ask you to go to counseling with her/him. This is only useful to make them feel better. It cannot possibly have anything to you so there is no reason for you to follow-up with anything suggested–it doesn’t matter to you. The only thing you should look for is more reasons (excuses) for avoiding, running and ignoring (see previous chapter).
    Chapter 9 – I Don’t Have To if I Don’t Want To and You Can’t Make Me!

    Remember that this is about YOU, and what YOU want and how YOU feel!! No one else is important, so don’t let them make you feel as if you have to listen to anything they say. Your spouse will try to help you of course, because they love you. Don’t let them get away with giving you unwanted advice. Let them know in the teenage vernacular, that they can’t make you do anything.

    This is important, you must be as childish as possible!! Any truly adult behavior on your part will only convince them that you are listening to what they are saying, and you will have to start back at the beginning. Of course, this technique can be used knowingly to cause more confusion and chaos, just beware of the danger, you don’t actually want to start acting like an adult!!
    Chapter 10 – How To Threaten and/or How To Move Out

    You threaten to move out for weeks or months but you don’t. (*)You tell your spouse that you got too much on your plate right now to look for a flat but that you will do so in 2 weeks time. After 2 weeks, repeat from (*).

    If your wife wants to come too close to you, like entering your bedroom to talk to you, tell her to stay away or you will move out. When she replies that you will move out anyway tell her that you will move out faster if she comes any closer
    Chapter 11 – Art of Clinging

    The Art of Clinging to the End of the Mattress without falling off the matrimonial bed while still sharing it with your spouse.
    Chapter 12 – Advanced Lessons

    This is usually reserved for those in more difficult situations, where the LBS has responded not by tossing you out, threatening to leave, or filing for divorce, but instead persists in not only OFFERING to cooperate, but actually MAKING THE CHANGES you said you needed.

    “I am tired of living like this/I don’t want to live like this anymore/I am not going to live my life like this?” often is coupled with another advanced tactic, “It’s not you, it’s me”.

    This line is most effective AFTER the LBS has jumped through hoops and bent over backwards. It basically confirms that no matter what changes the LBS is willing to make, the incompatibility lies within the MLCer, who has no intention of, or implied desire or ability to, compromise.

    1. When confronted by the evidence of an EA or PA, become very indignant. Stress that the LBS is obviously just a jealous sob/bi*ch, and you are entitled to “buddies” of the opposite sex.

    2. Never, ever answer the question, “Are you okay? Is there something wrong?” with a direct answer that might actually lead to a discussion that might help the marriage. Continue to never talk to spouse, never give her/him a personal compliment or touch of affection and by all means work on the “cling to the edge of the mattress to avoid touching” manoeuvre that is so successful in making your spouse crazy.

    3. Always bear in mind that your spouse will expect you to want to at least give them the chance to “fix” the marriage. Since you have already checked out emotionally (of course NEVER tell them that!), you are under no obligation to actually listen to anything they say or acknowledge anything they do. This tactic is also extremely beneficial when they employ the MLC diet. When they lose a massive amount of weight and you are in ear shot of someone who mentions to spouse about the weight loss, say “Are you losing weight? Why don’t you ever tell me things?”

    4. Of course one of the most successful ways to drive them crazy may only be used when you have earned the MLC Black Belt. Go to marriage counselling for months, let them pour out their soul to you and the counsellor and let them believe they are actually accomplishing something. Then arrange things so the spouse finds you in your own home with OP. This will accomplish two things: a. She will finally have to understand how lucky you are to have found your “soul mate” and b. She will be doubly betrayed because she thought you were actually working on the marriage.

    1. Make negative comments about OP or the chances that the relationship with OP will succeed. HOWEVER, under no circumstances, make any commitment to end the relationship with OP.

    2. Make veiled hints about suicide or excessive drinking or drug use. Be erratic and hard to contact.

    3. Do random acts of kindness such as yard work or something. That will keep your spouse confused and hopeful.

    4. Make vague comments hinting that things might work out between you and your spouse IN THE FUTURE. HOWEVER, under no circumstances take any actions to work anything out.
    CUSTODY – Using the Kids To Your Advantage

    If you have children, they can be extremely useful for inducing fear and panic in your spouse. Recommended phrases include, “You’re poisoning my kids against me”, “You put that idea into their heads”, and “You need to do [insert pertinent action here] for the sake of the kids’.” Remember, your spouse, being a responsible and loving person, is not only trying to cope with his/her own feelings, but trying to protect the children, and you can use that to your advantage.

    Don’t forget to use the fact that if you spend any time with your kids, you should get Extra Credit Bonus Good Parent points from your spouse. It doesn’t matter if you feed them ice cream for breakfast and have them watch “Hellboy” when they asked for “Veggie Tales”, you Just Wanted To Make Them Happy, and since YOU are the best judge of Happiness, that makes you Super Parent.

    You can use this opportunity to trash talk your spouse (“Isn’t this more fun than what Mommy/Daddy would let you do?” “Mom/Dad doesn’t know how to relax.”) which of course, will be repeated back to your spouse so you get the benefit of destroying their self-esteem second hand.

    Highly advanced MLCers may want to start casually using the word Custody, but be very, very careful. While useful for sending your spouse into a state of panic, you certainly do not want to be responsible for a bunch of kids who will seriously cut into your personal fun time. The word Custody should only be used in a casual tone of voice for the most devastating effect.

    You (the mlcer) know a lot about your spouse. You know what pushes their buttons to get them both upset and/or happy. You have the power, you can do it! So using the kids to upset them is fair game (see section on how to use “custody” to upset them but not take on the “custody”). And if that ever stops working, find something else. Suggestions might include pets, valuables in the home, their appearance, family, career. Nothing is out of your reach since you have put in so many years getting to know your spouse–use what you know.

    By now, you should be aware that all of this MUST be your spouse’s fault, however, your spouse may not understand this completely yet, so you need to start planting the seeds.

    There are several ingenious ways to put the blame on your spouse, and we will be exploring them all.

    Method 1: The Non-Blame Statement

    I’m trying not to blame YOU

    This statement implies that you are “not putting the blame on them” but on closer look (which your spouse is guaranteed to be doing) The words actually put all of the blame on the spouse (where of course we know it belongs).

    Method 2: The Passive Blame Statement

    I don’t think that I can live with you.
    My opinion never mattered to you.
    I can’t live like this.
    We rarely have fun anymore.
    I don’t want to live this way anymore.

    These are passive statements that don’t actually assign blame to your spouse, but your spouse will definitely get the idea if you use them. They can’t help but see that it MUST be them that makes you feel this way.

    Method 3: The Direct Blame Statement

    You never listen to me.
    You never put creases in my pants.
    You use bagged salad.
    You never keep the house clean.
    You are going to do it your way.

    All of these are direct statements of blame. You should mix actual faults with things that don’t really matter to make it more confusing, and make your spouse feel as bad as possible about themselves.

    Your spouse has probably already started doing the hard work to look inside his/herself (Yuck, what an awful thought!) and will take on all of the faults you list to try and correct them. This will keep them occupied for awhile, and you can avoid any serious relationship talks while they apologize for and try to fix all of their own faults.

    Make sure that you don’t actually accept the apology, that way you can continue to bring the fault up which will slow down their self improvement process. Remember, they are working on becoming better human beings, and you wouldn’t want that to happen to fast, as that would interfere with your ability to string them along.


    Let’s not forget “We’re just incompatible – we always were.”

    Also, when the LBS starts to make changes, make SURE you find fault with these changes, or point out how it’s “too little, too late”, or wasn’t what you meant AT ALL. If all else fails, put the LBS down for being so willing to change herself for your needs. Also, when the LBS starts to make changes, make SURE you find fault with these changes, or point out how it’s “too little, too late”, or wasn’t what you meant AT ALL.”

    How to keep you spouse guessing…be mean one minute threatening divorce, etc then next day be kind and sweet almost the way your spouse remembers you..rinse repeat….

    1. Even though by now you, dear MLCer, have done everything human possibly to convince your spouse that you do not love him/her and want out, when the time comes to actually file, DON”T DO IT! This is the coup de gras of MLC. Absolutely DO NOT TAKE THE INITIATIVE. This is a most vital and awesome crazy-maker. Holding out will force your by now totally devastated spouse to finally throw up his/her hands and seek legal counsel.

    2. Once the LBS has had enough and decides that divorce is in their best interest, you have won HUGE points here. Refusing to be the one to file now puts YOU in the role of victim, bringing you all the attention and pity necessary to allow you to again regain your image of the abused one in all this. Now you can, with absolutely NO guilt, tell everyone the divorce was your LBS’s idea (which of COURSE it was!) and they will assume that:

    a. the LBS lost all that weight and obviously has been involved in an affair, and

    b. the marriage ended because your LBS spouse is going through a – YES! THE PINNACLE OF CRAZINESS! – Midlife Crisis!!

    • This is my first reply, so I hope I have the process correct. I just wanted to thank Notyou for this post. I held my breath in amazement as I read it cuz I think my H used it as his game plan for the last 12 months. I have not been able to articulate the mindf**k that I have been going through with him. This did the job. I will print it and read it over and over, just to verify to myself that I am not actually going CRAZY as he says. For me it is the beginning of going forward.

      • patticake,

        Happy that this magnificent piece of satire rang the bell for you and you can see the way forward now. Of course you are not crazy!!! You just feel crazy, and….NOW you know why. Understanding what you are REALLY dealing with makes all the difference in the world, eh?

    • I am reading this in complete and utter shock and fright because this post could have been written to describe my STBX and the complete mindfuck he has put me through. The worst part is unless you have lived through this, no one would believe that this the accuracy of this post.

    • Notyou,
      I wish I had known then…It is as if I have lived it all some 2 years back. This mind-fuck is called Midlife! Hell. I went to this website and there is more shit there.

      I am happy, I broke this chain of events. I understood and thankfully had friends, helpers at home who also saw the dynamics play out at our home and advised me about it. I also learned from horror stories from many of the victims, who I met during volunteering for social work.

      He continued to use those strategies, but I had learned by then. So, for him there was a vacuum after that. Heck. All the tried and tested formula failed and continue to fail, thereafter 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing this, notyou! CL, you should repost it as a post – more people will find it than if it just remains in the comments.

    • Here I thought I could write a book about my horrible experience, and it has already been written – and so perfectly descriptive and concise.

      Anyone not having lived this would laugh and think it was quaint. Only people who have survived it understand the horror behind these words.

      • That reminds me that I recently saw a joke in a family-friendly popular magazine. It was a joke about a person’s spouse having an affair. And it was just in there as a family-friendly joke. I even mentioned it to my dad because I found it upsetting, and he laughed. So, yeah, I agree… one just it until they’ve been through it. Even if they care about a person who has been through it and are trying to get it…they just can’t really get it.

      • Surreal isn’t it? Even my kids who are grown adults have finally realized what a douchebag their own father is. He tried to convince them that I was emotionally needy so that is why he did what he did. Of course I found out that he had been working on them for years to achieve that goal. At first they believed him when I of course went berserk upon uncovering his double life. But after months of them sifting through the untruths and his manipulations that got more desperate as time went on. They now realize what a fucked up mess he is. My daughters now say, that he is crazy and delusional. Time reveals the truth. So sad….so very very sad….. It is indeed surreal!

    • WOW. My life in print. There it all is. I have been going crazy and living that script for about 6 years. I thought I was alone and started thinking it was normal. By the end I was feeling totally paranoid even though evidence was staring me in the face and shithead’s words and actions didn’t make sense.
      I swear my stbx must have bought or written this and followed it like it was some sort of manifesto.
      It’s too accurate. I feel so sad that some of us have been played like this. At least it’s over now. At least I know now he was and is a crazy fucked up waste of oxygen. I know now that it wasn’t me.

      • Ok, that was just eerie how accurate that was for my experience as well. My ex literally said to me “I never get to do what I want”. It was really confusing at the time. Glad to know it’s just part of the bullshit playbook.

        • Kat,
          Too bad you didn’t have this cheater’s playbook earlier. Then every
          time he whined about “never getting to do what HE wanted,” you could have dropped a bagged salad in his lap, given him the stink-eye, and said, “Eat your heart out!”

    • I still can’t get over the uncanny accuracy of this article. Right down to the art of clinging. Except my douche ex had an interesting variation to the art of clinging. Every night he would literally build a wall of pillows between me and him at night. This was towards tge end of the false reconciliation and he and the ow had, unbeknownst to me, resumed their relationship. Childish coward would rather build a pillow fort around himself every night than man up and be honest with me

    • WOW!!!! This is exactly the book she used. To. The. Letter. The first words out of her mouth was speech “a)”. It really is so scary how they all act identically. Just WOW!

  • My Ex filed and acted like it as my punishment for how badly I reacted to his affair.
    I told our children of his deceit, they were 18 and 22 at the time. I kicked him out of the house. When he called two days later asking to pick up more of his clothes I told him that I would have them ready for him on the driveway. I put them in garage bags, all hangers removed and stuffed as full as each bag would hold to ensure that it was all as wrinkled as possible. I then had the locks changed so that he could not enter the house again.

    When he complained about the clothes on the drive way as asked him were they are fire? When he responded well no they I said that I think he should be happy.

    19 months later during our divorce trial he mentioned this as a point of how “crazy” I acted. My lawyer and I just laughed and his lawyer kept shaking her head in disbelief.

    Lets just say I think that the judge saw him without the halo that he feels he has.

      • I politely disagree, CL.

        Jen, you trash bagged & got lucky. Lawyers laughed. Everyone shook their heads. That’s rarely the case. But I’m happy for you.

        But, Vicki, why risk it?

        If you and your husband’s names are on your home deed/mortgage or rental lease, then keep the trash bags on your premises & do not damage any of his personal belongings. This -cktards will look for anything to legally pin on you. If your husband hires a bulldog attorney, all the more to pin. So play by the rules. To the letter. And document. Take pictures of everything. Tape conversations (depending on which state you live it’s admissible). Go to the bank and set up your own bank account. Block all your online information.

        And here’s lovely–although kinda corrupt–advice my attorney gave me: start spending more monthly on foods, clothing for the kids, their entertainment, sports equipment etc. to “pad” your family expenses. This helps a lot when it comes down to deciding child support (and alimony if you need it). We always lived very frugally so it was good long-term planning during our long-drawn-out divorce to establish spending patterns monthly that helped the kids and me financially while I got my sea legs again . . .

  • Your points are excellent, Pregnant Chump.

    My lawyer advised me in exactly the same fashion–the only difference is I DID gather up all his belongings from our house and put them in heavy duty trash bags and dragged them down into our finished basement where I set up his toiletries in a bathroom and hung up all of his clothing (and then took pictures to verify what I did). And even though I strategically did all of this planning, he STILL used it against me claiming legally from that day forward we lived under “bed and board” (that we were basically living “separately” in the same house) which meant he officially started paying child and spousal support on that date. Hello?! Is that criminal or what?! Yes, my ex is an attorney. My attorney, however, told him to stop blowing hot air & to pay all his support in arrears (which he did).

    Vicki, you should really heed Pregnant Chumps advice–and also talk more directly with your lawyer and come up with a legally sound extra-strategy for your ex.

  • Fuckface needs to go. However, you should be a little concerned with his lackadaisical response to everything. It would seem to me that it is perfectly acceptable to pack a suitcase for him and box/bag the rest of his shit, neatly placing it in a garage or attic. You do need to be somewhat considerate of his possessions so they are not damaged or ruined. That covers your ass in court.

    Then changed the locks. He can legally change them back. But then you can legally change them back.

    This man is not your friend. This is not going to be amicable. He needs to go. Say nothing, give him no indication of your intentions. Everything you say can and will be used against you.

  • CL,

    I would like to place an order for that Pom-Pom Girl Divorce T-Shirt and the Quarter Past Dump His Shit on the Lawn watch!! What a perfect ensemble for every Chump!!! I’d like to have them in time for my divorce hearing. Hilarious!


    It is absolute HELL living like you’re living. You are living in a hostage situation and you and your children are the hostages. That asshole you keep calling your husband? Fuck that. He’s a hostage taker – and not the benevolent kind who will free you once the FBI gives him his plane out of the country. He is one of the hostage takers who kills the hostages whether or not he gets what he wants.

    I’ve been you Vicki – taking the high road, letting my STBX call the shots determining both of our realities, sleeping in separate rooms – all of it. Even when I moved out, I allowed him to come into my apartment and walk around as if he lived here because I didn’t want things to get “ugly” between us. You know what happened? It got ugly. He just kept shitting all over me and when he was finished shitting on me, he wiped his ass on me. I found a therapist and Chump Lady, he filed for divorce and tried to shit on and wipe his ass on me some more. And it finally occurred to me (between therapy and Chump Lady), the only way for me to stop feeling and smelling like shit was to stop that disordered Baboon from shitting on me.

    One poster here said it best – start acting into feeling. Don’t just dump his shit on the lawn – dump him on the lawn. You cannot be “nice” to these people. It. Does. Not. Work. He is no longer your husband – he is your adversary. Unfortunately, in this situation, it is fuck him up or get fucked up. He is using the feelings he knows you still have for him to manipulate you. He’s concerned about your weight loss? Really? How is he showing his concern? By saying he’s concerned? By continuing to see the OW while living in and refusing to leave the house? Taking the high road does not mean dining on the grilled shit sandwich that your asshole husband is serving up. Why is he more important to you than you are to yourself? Why are his feelings more important than yours – to you?

    You can take a day and when he is out of the house, bag up, box up and crate up his shit and throw it out. Or, if you prefer, hold a garage sale and sell it so you have some money to help with expenses after he’s gone. Or, use his crap to build a bonfire and toast marshmallows and make S’mores. It doesn’t matter. He’s mentally and emotionally gone – he needs to be physically gone – and he doesn’t get to decide when.

    And you might want to reconsider that “settling amicably outside of litigation.” I had to borrow money to hire an attorney. You might want to think about that. To someone like your husband, “settling amicably outside of litigation” doesn’t mean what you think it means. “Amicably” isn’t even in his personal dictionary – he has no idea that means. You know what he hears when someone says the word “amicable?” “Someone likes my grilled shit sandwiches and wants me to serve them some more.”

    Fuck This Guy! Throw him out and kick him in his ass on his way out of the door.

  • I’d have your lawyer draft a letter and send it to him saying you want to meet. I’m not sure you can legally kick him out so talk to your lawyer. However, I got my cheater out by lawyering up fast. He made no bones about it that I wanted my cheater OUT. I had to give him a day to come collect a few things but otherwise, my loser got out. Without that lawyer, he would have delayed it and delayed it. So talk to your lawyer about the fastest, most effective way to get him out. Don’t let your husband know you are doing this. Just do it.

    And yeah, if that doesn’t work, stuff his shit in bags and put it out on the lawn. That usually gets the process moving.

    I know how difficult it is to live in the same space which is why I got him out ASAP. You cannot wait on the cheater to “do the right thing.” They won’t. They usually count on you to be patient and kind and all that while they get their ducks lined up. In my opinion, if a cheater is in any way even remotely sorry or guilty, they will get out. (Not likely.) He’s making your life miserable, it’s time to take action.

  • I, too, threw the XH’s property on the front lawn after weeks of his coming and going at his leisure. When I called him and told him to come get his $hit, he took a splitting mal and beat the door down with it. I of course called 911. The police told me since his name was on the house he had every right to enter his home by whatever means necessary. He proceeded to put all his stuff back into the spare bedroom and then went back to work. Moral of the story: Hope you don’t live in Arkansas. After I realized his newfound reconciliation request was a complete joke and unicorns really don’t exist, I spent the next 2 years planning my escape…it was very deliberate and complicated, but proud to say my divorce from that cheating narcissist POS was final December 16. PLAN PLAN PLAN. SAVE SAVE SAVE. You will feel guilty for the deception, but if you don’t look out for yourself, don’t expect anyone else to. Good luck to you.

  • Okay chumps — short of changing the locks — give me your suggestions or trial tested results of making a caking eating cheater UNWELCOME. Hint, hint — there’s the door.

    Civil disobedience? What did you do?

    • Sorry, I posted before I saw this. I barely spoke to her and made myself scarce as much as I could. She tried to talk with me a few times about reconciling in the first few days and I turned my back and walked away. She knew I was dead serious. She decided to be the one to go. It went from small skirmish to get the fuck out in no time flat. When I did speak to her, it was some version of get the fuck out.

      So, that’s it. I made no nice small talk. Get out. If you’re going, get out. No hinting. My method does not work for everyone I’m sure.

      • thirtyfish, I did something similar. I told my ex that he needs to leave immediately. I then stopped talking to him and when he asked, “So, now you’re not talking to me?” I responded, “Trust me, you don’t want me to talk to you.” He moved out immediately.

    • After the “incident” with the splitting maul, I hired the most expensive, scariest lawyer in town. Even he told me that judges don’t care anymore about cheating, and best case scenario I win the fight for my inheritance but spend most of it on legal fees. So I withdrew the petition for divorce and the protection order. We reconciled (what a joke) and while XH was busy looking for my next replacement, I found him a great new job in a new city, a big beautiful new house and made it look like it was all his idea. He really does believe it, too. I don’t have the ability to be cold and distant or cruel to his face; I do still love him, but I am strong enough to take care of myself and smart enough to figure out how to do it, whatever it takes. I am fierce. Do your research on the legal system in your state. You gotta realize if you are dealing with a cheater, they are pretty effing stupid to begin with. It’s not that hard to outsmart the poor sausage.

    • I went and found him three apts to choose from – told him to sign a lease and I would pay for the first months rent and deposit just to get him out of my house. I also gave him about $100k cash, a car (clear title – but older), etc.

      What I got? The house, so my son would have a stable home that he wanted to continue living in. The ass out of my life, my ability to make a living in tact (he was after support) and essentially custody of our son.

    • Not mine, but I helped a friend do this. A longtime friend spent about 4 months in turmoil sharing space with her cake eating stbxh. While he was at work she enlisted a few friends to move his belongings and his clothes to a storage locker about an hour outside of town (it was everything.. his couch, TV gaming systems, PC, motorcycle, a kayak, camping gear, skis, and his toiletries.. everything). We then changed all the locks on their house and shored up a few areas where we thought he might be able to force his way into the home. By 3 that afternoon the items were being off loaded to the locker and she dropped off an information packet. It included the location of the storage locker, a copy of the key to the locker and a note saying that the locker was in his name and had only been paid for the month after which he was on his own.. The note also said he was not to return home, all of the locks had been changed and none of his belongings were currently at his now former residence. She also listed off all of his items that had been moved.

      That evening most of those that had helped with that days move stayed over to ensure she was not in any danger.

      Her STBXH may have came by that night, but would have certainly noticed all the extra cars in the driveway. Regardless, there were no issues.

    • 1. Fish and popcorn in the microwave. Every night.
      2. Hosting parties with lawyers. He’s not invited.

      I actually had planned the lawyer party for a day he was scheduled to come back to pick up some belongings, like his ever important gaming console, and pretend to do our taxes. I did not want to see his face, he kept insisting on stopping by despite telling him I was busy, so I was going to invite all of the lawyers I used to work for a party. I figured that would drive the point home that I meant what I said and not exactly on the light side with legal advice. We decided not to piss the dog off that time.

      My husband deserted our marital home, but I was worried that he might return and there would be nothing I could do about it. He did break in unexpectedly, and like Ms. Arkansas, it took two 911 calls to convince the sheriff to come out because in my state, there is no legal separation, so we were just a young married couple having a spat. I learned that if I wanted any help, my husband had to be an “intruder” in my life.

  • Luckily for my STBX, I found out about her and schmoopie’s longtime affair after she moved out. If she was in the house, I have no doubt that I would have packed up all of her shit and put it outside within a day or two. And, I would change the locks and tell her to go fuck yourself and live with the other guy. Sometimes, I wish I had that chance. You see, she was already on her second chance.

    I’m an attorney. I’m not giving legal advice, but, I can tell you that it’s not a crime where I am; the cops would come by (maybe) and tell her it’s a civil dispute. I would not destroy her things of course. But if I did and it’s marital property how could they arrest me? For breaking our own stuff? They can’t force me to let her in my own house.

    Or pack up that asshole’s stuff nicely and bring it to a relative’s house.

    All in all, it’s an ugly way to go if you have to. But, I didn’t start the ugliness by fucking another (or more). Besides, all the lies, gaslighting, and treachery in finances and narratives to others. My visceral reaction was to get her as far away from me as possible. So, that would’ve been dumping her ass out. Every situation is unique. Would I have consulted with my attorney? Yes. Would I consider the reaction from her and what it meant since the gloves are off? Yes. But once again, and we all know this feeling, she was secretly kicking my ass for years and it was going to stop immediately.

    I had to live with her for a short time before she moved out. Thank goodness, because it was difficult as hell. I don’t know how people do it for long periods. It’s very very stressful. During that time she became the enemy. She lied about money, all of our accounts and her plans. She tried to hack into my e-mail accounts (nothing to see anyway) and sabotaged our relations with financial institutions. And, my friends who had done this before me had to tell me she was the enemy. I was angry as hell but still in shock and not thinking of everything.

    Life got a thousand times easier the moment she was gone from the house. I’m not saying I was skipping through the fields, but I was less stressed by far. And, I started to get some real perspective on the marriage and the cheating. Fucking A.

  • I think if he is taking advantage of a foreign national here, (the f***ed employee) especially from a 3rd world country, he has left himself in a very precarious professional position. Seems to me a lawyer of even mediocre status could take make something of that?
    Even Arkansas they have fortune 500 companies that can be sued for allowing this behavior. The EEOC should be involved if you can’t get him to negotiate.

  • Wow. Chump Son here.

    Great CL comment in terms of what has to be done. And what’s that?

    -Recognize that this will be an ugly fight.

    Now, as to how to go about that fight, that depends on the state, on the guy, on the lawyers.

    I’d say get a good lawyer and make it your goal to get him out of the house. But each state is different and you may have to shop around for lawyers. The strategy goal should be get him out. But the tactics may vary. For that, you need expert local advice.

  • Vicki–

    Worst days after DDay were the few weeks we lived under the same roof–BY FAR. It was a nightmare. It got SO MUCH BETTER after he moved out. I didn’t have to bear the heartbreak of watching him leave to go see the twat in our family car, or come home after spending the day with it. Oh, my LORD, those were hard days. His eyes were empty and he did not care at all that I was shattered in a million pieces. The kids knew something bad was happening. We finally had to break the news. In retrospect, the one regret I have is that I didn’t immediately tell the kids that everything was going to be ok. If I had it to do over, I would have held them by the shoulders, looked them straight in the eye, and told them not to worry. In actuality, I did it without words. I didn’t fall apart, except for the weight loss (all gained back now!) I spent one day in bed until my middle one asked me to get up, and I knew the look of worry on his face, so I sucked it up and got on with my life. They quickly knew that everything would be ok.

    All the parenting I’d done, where I’d taught them that divorce was an ugly thing for families that hurts kids, had back-fired when their coward father decided to bolt. They rightfully worried that their lives were about to fall apart, and I had to eat those words. They know the pain that divorce causes, but they also know they’re going to be ok. They are proud of the way I’ve handled the aftermath of their father’s destruction.

    You have to strike while the iron is hot, my dear. Get a settlement agreement, and pronto. Check out the finances. If he’s racked up credit card bills (run a credit report on him) then try to get the date of separation retroactive to WAY back, as far as you can legally get away with it, so that the bills he ran up are HIS, not yours. Alternatively, you might be able to get him to take full responsibility for any bills he ran up without your knowledge. You’ve got to go after his guilt–he will be more likely to sign a favorable settlement if you can get to him before his lawyer does. Go for primary custody–I got 90%, because he was not interested in the kids, and he worried that they hated him. All he cared about was that twat he was humping. Go back a couple weeks and read the column where we all gave good divorce advice, and follow it. Perhaps someone can link to it–I forget which one it was.

    As for how I got the ex to go, I asked him to move out. We were sitting paying bills together (I’d opened my own account after he emptied our joint account of thousands of dollars.) That whore texted him while he was at home. I could not believe the audacity of it all–the sanctity of my own home was pierced by the sound of her communicating with him on his phone–like her presence was there with us. I was so deeply hurt. I knew it wasn’t going to stop. I looked at him and asked him if he’d been with her that day, and he said he had. I said, “You have to leave.” He’d wanted someone to call it, and he was too much of a coward to do it. She wanted me to do cut him loose, too. He’d always wanted his own place, anyway, and he was high on infatuation neurochemistry, believing we were awash in money, and so the idea of a big bachelor pad really excited him. Be aware, though, that at least in my state, he was entitled to rent. So, in effect, that meant that we had to split our combined rent/mortgage, since I got sole use of the house. AND, while he could legally come into MY home any time he wanted, since his name was on the deed, *I*, on the other hand, had no legal right to enter his apartment and invade his privacy. I was so incensed by that. It still killed me that I had this run-down old house, and he was entertaining the whore in his luxury apartment that I had to help pay for. It made me SO eager to divorce his ass, I cannot tell you. The day I changed the locks legally was GLORIOUS. And I’m fixing up the house, and he lives in a dump an hour away now with the booby prize.

    You might be entitled to alimony; I was not. But I was entitled to child support. I knew our home was important psychologically to maintaining security for our kids, and because it is a very modest home, I was able to keep it and buy him out, much to his shock and dismay. However, if I’d had to move from a really nice, big home to a smaller, more modest home, it would have been SO worth it just to have him gone, and to have peace for the kids. A house is just a house. A home is a home. YOU and the kids will make wherever you live a home.

    After he left, I packed his shit in boxes, and every time he picked the kids up for an awkward hour-long dinner a couple times a month, I’d text him to let him know he needed to pick up more boxes of his things from our door step. And, out of character, I did not help him move them into his truck. In retrospect I wish I’d have used economy-strength plastic bags and set them on the driveway. Ass. There were times that the things I packed up hurt me a lot–like finding evidence of the affair (his map of Oahu, where he’d vacationed with the twat, pretending to be on a solo, mind-clearing hiking holiday.) Most of the time it felt good to just purge this place of his crap, clearing space. My garage is amazing now, for example. Oh, and I have real furniture now, too. (It gets so much better!)

    Oh, my gosh, your letter gave me a chill, for it reminded me of those darkest of days. I can testify that what you are living now is the WORST, and getting him out of the house will be a HUGE HUGE HUGE relief for you and for your kids.

    • I agree that getting rid of their stuff is great, although painful at times. I got the bulk of his stuff gone pretty quickly but when me and the kids had to move I had to go through everything and found all sorts of things I didn’t want to deal with. But what happened is that it spurred me to dump A LOT of things, even pots and pans that reminded me of his or his family or anything that pissed me off or made my hurt come back. I may be short a few bits of crockery and some other stuff but those can be replaced. It felt SO GOOD to just start chucking things, I can’t even tell you.

      • I keep finding things. It’s been months since she left. I have a lake in the backyard. It’s so much fun to throw reminders of her in it.

        • Moving was great because I was forced to go through tons of stuff. It was liberating to just get tough and chuck things. I may regret tossing a few things but overall I am so glad I did it. Very few reminders of him left in my life and that’s what I like.

          • With you on that, Nord, and you know what? The smoke from twenty years’s worth of bank statements and ‘love’ notes was so pretty. I made a ritual of it, and felt soooo much better afterward. Yep, occasionally I come across the odd ‘bomb’, but when I do, out comes the barbecue and up it goes in flames. Anything bigger, I gave away-nice to know all those lovely shirts that the Downgrade gave Mr Fabulous are now gracing the backs of the hobo population where I live. I slept on the floor for six weeks after I gave away the bed, but I couldn’t sleep in it another night.

            Purge, purge, purge. It is only stuff, and easily replaced.

          • When I moved into my own place, I took NOTHING that even reminded me of him, I gave away or sold everything he’d ever given me…(went on holiday with the kids with the money I got for our wedding rings!) What I brought with me was MINE and mine only…
            It was the only way I could feel clean.

            • Me too. I got rid of everything that reminded me of her. My goal, though probably unachievable, is to completely forget she ever entered my life. 30 years and two wonderful girls will make it difficult. But only then will I be able to forgive myself for being the doormat that I was.

  • I also wanted to say that these words from your letter really struck me:

    “They restarted the affair in late October, from what I can gather….”

    I thought, wow, if that doesn’t scream entitlement, I don’t know what does. Here you are, dying on the inside, working so hard to keep your marriage alive, and the fucker just restarts his affair. Just pushes you to the side mid-sentence, and walks out the door to go fuck that parasite.

    Oh, my goodness, my friend.


  • It is so IMPORTANT to know that it will get ugly. These f^cktard cheaters are very creative with the finances and most have a couple years head start. They NO LONGER CARE about you or your children. Stop spackling. What your lawyer needs to file RIGHT NOW is a motion that protects your assets, not one penny should be missing from joint accounts or savings. My ex who made 100k per year moved out of the family home to be with his “true love” and then walked out on the mortgage as well. Your lawyer needs to know exactly what pro rata share means. If he makes x amount and you make y those are your shares. That is what needs to go towards paying bills. At the first hearing you need to ask for support if that is what your family needs and this will be temporary until YOU negotiate YOUR settlement. My ex stole money from savings, ours and the 3 kids college funds, purchased flashy vehicles in those last two years of our marriage and took out two equity loans on the house so we could finance his crappy double life (thereby eliminating any assets). Legal hell NO but he got away with it. My husband threatened me but here’s the funny one his second job was serving as a bailiff in family court the next county over. Most courts don’t have the time or the power to ENFORCE limits, so you need to get that lawyer of your thinking outside the box. Get your ducks in a row. Then Get out Fast! Cheaters want to fuck you over every way possible because they are missing something most of us Chumps have. You know all those character traits they teach our children in school. Honesty, Integrity, etc. Don’t live with this and think you can fix it. Your children need to know that this is not the fairy tale.

  • Leverage
    You’ve got it lady!
    He can lose his job!
    He can lose his family
    He can lose his house

    I mean, what are you scared of.
    Get him out, you’re closer to an easier life without him.

  • Absolutely brilliant post and comments! I always try to figure out WHY he wanted not to get a divorse if his AP was his twu a visual person so here was my imaginary take on him staying. His AP is on top of the high wire. They are up there living in danger, life is thrilling, hehas to crawl up that dangerous pole to get to her. He needs his thrill ride to make him feel like a teen again. Air is thin up there and he doesn’t think clearly.He. Doesn’t fear falling WHY? His wife is the BIG soft pad the bottom to catch him if he falls. If his AP gets mad, or puts to much pressure on him, or acts like his WIFE, ( heaven forbid) He just falls back on his bumper pad wife. The reason they won’t go see the lawyer first is he’d have to climb down that scary pole and might fall on the hard concrete.
    Make your husband fall on that concrete!
    Can u go to a boss of his with the office affair? If so, he can get in trouble and u have leverage. Good luck and hugs!!!

  • If you’re counting on him for alimony and child support, I wouldn’t be too eager for him to lose his job right now.

    • of course not, but she can use exposing him to gain leverage in negotiation, if she is very careful. wouldn’t want her to end up with a blackmail charge.

  • Total silence. No conversation, no nothin’ (he is invisible), no laundry, no meals. Buy only food you are going to serve the children that day and do it while he is out of the house, have no food in the house, snacks stay in your purse. Silence really is golden.

  • I can’t speak to this topic if there is no domestic abuse because the only way I got my ex out was with a protective order. He knew his rights to the house, he had no intention of divorcing me EVER. He told me flat out “I’m going to live in this house for the rest of my life, get used to it”. There was a reason he begged me to marry him for years, this is part of it…

    After I got the PO I boxed up all of his shit and put it in the basement. His mother came and got some of it but most just sat there for months. Then we had a two day rain storm and for the first time in 23 years my basement flooded. Karma? I emailed him that his shit was soaked and if he didn’t send someone to pick it up in two days I would throw it out. His mother & her husband came and took it away. I could have thrown his shit out after the PO, but in the event we ended up in court I felt doing that would be giving evidence I was irrational.

    I agree with many of the posters, find out from your lawyer what you can legally do to get him out and do that. In my state you have to be separated for a year, if you are in the same house you need a witness to come by regularly who is willing to be deposed to show that you are really separated. Put him in one room, do not have dinner with him, do not do anything that a couple does – you are separated.

    If your state allows filing for Adultery, then you need a Private Detective NOW, evidence you or friends have is meaningless in court. In my state infidelity is the only way to get a divorce without a separation period, ask your lawyer about your state. BTW, it’s adultery even if you are separated, so evidence the PI gets now, it applies. If it’s a no fault state you are SOL on this strategy, find out.

    Do the following stuff while your husband is still high on his relationship with his OW, he may cooperate because he thinks by doing these “little” things he can put you off on the divorce:
    If you have joint bank accounts both of you have to sign to unjoint them, I managed to get my ex to sign before things got ugly so I had the bulk of my cash savings safe from him. Copy down all of your and his credit cards info, contact every company; get his name off your cards and your name off his cards. Cancel any joint credit cards and put a new one in your name only. Then contact any investment firm you have accounts with, tell them you are divorcing. Most firms have a policy that once they know a divorce is in the works they will not allow assets to be withdrawn without consent of both spouses on the account. These things saved me a lot of money (and my credit score). If you end up in court it shows you were doing your part to divorce amicably, to untangle your joint finances. I phrased my requests to him as “saving us money on lawyers by getting our accounts in order”. Later he accused me of stealing from him, of course! hah

    Do not offer a fair settlement, offer one that is advantageous to you because no matter what you offer he is going to want more. I really made a mistake on this one, I offered a meticulously fair settlement, even hired a financial advisor to do the math. I ended up paying him double what I initially offered.

    If the lawyer you have is advising you to walk softly and work it out, that’s common. Most lawyers thing the opposing spouse is going to be rational, I know mine did. YOU know what your husband is like so think hard about the advice you get, don’t float along thinking the attorney knows better. That is another mistake I made and it doubled my attorney fees. Had I put the pedal to the metal sooner I would have been better off. FILE as soon as you can, hit hard, have no mercy, he has none for you.

    “No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.” ― William Shakespeare, Richard III

    That is who your husband is, you can cloak yourself in it for a time so you can get free.

  • Vicki,

    Turn it into a workout! When I was dumped by my XW for her AP I did most of the moving into my new place, and that involved quite a bit of heavy lifting. It’s a good stress-reducer, and I felt and looked better too after doing it.

    Maybe we could have a new Olympic sport – divorce bag tossing!

  • Vicki,

    Don’t feel bad about throwing him out. Chances are pretty good that his friends are acting as enablers, feeding him lies about what a lousy wife you were and how you’re not good enough for him, giving him alibis, sex tips, and ideas for excuses.

    You don’t need that nonsense in your life – fill up those bags!

  • Dat’s advice above is really good. I’ve been feeling quite depressed this week – writing another big cheque to the lawyer with money I don’t have for a process that seems to be endless – but reading Dat’s post I realized that maybe I haven’t made as many mistakes in this process as I tell myself I have.

    Choice of lawyer is big. Mine is a pitbull, and when I engaged her I wasn’t aware that I needed one like this yet, still being in “I’m sure we can work this out like reasonable adults” unicorn mode. I remember sitting with her in the initial consultation when she was going over some of the possibilities – she read my situation better than I did at that point – and I kept saying, oh, I don’t think he would do that, no, he says he doesn’t have a girlfriend, oh I am sure he is honest. She knew. She kept encouraging me to file for divorce but because I am a chump and hadn’t found this site yet I waited. If there is one thing I wish I had done sooner, like as soon as he left, it would have been to file immediately for divorce. Oh well, live and learn. 36 years of spackling and unicorn hunting is hard to give up.

    I did a lot that was the right thing to do, though. The day he gave me the “ILYBINILWY” speech after coming home from a “weekend away with the guys” (he doesn’t really have friends…) one of the first things I said to him was, “well, you will be moving out then”, and he agreed. I gave him a deadline, one month to find a place, and he did. I was still giving him kibbles and thinking of him as a poor sausage in a midlife crisis, which I think actually helped him leave (and go live with his girlfriend, unbeknownst to me). .

    I’ve also always done the finances, so I was quick to get my name off the one credit card we had after he charged up an expensive bed “because of his bad back”. I opened my own account for my paycheque to be deposited in, got my own credit card, stopped contributing to the joint account aside from the mortgage payments and property taxes, and started watching all the accounts like a hawk. He agreed to put a couple of thousand a month in the joint account to pay for the house and did. At that point he was pretty sure that he would be getting everything, I think, so was happy to string me along.

    Ten months of fruitless negotiations later I found out about the girlfriend. I immediately changed the locks and that was when he started to get mean. The threatening e-mails started, oddly alternating with strange late night messages saying things like “I notice that you haven’t sent me an e-mail asking me if there is a possibility we can get back together”. No shit, Sherlock. I also boxed up all his stuff and stored it in the basement. It’s a big enough house that while it annoys me, I can live with it until this is settled. The day I get divorced it all goes to a storage unit.

    He took out several thousand from the joint line of credit to pay his lawyer when he finally got one, and that day I went to the bank, had them suspend the LOC (money can come in, but money can’t be taken out) and put notes on all the accounts saying that we were estranged and that divorce was pending. He got a letter from the bank on that one, and I told him it was “for both our protection”. He was horrified, but I don’t care. I’ve learned that the more people know from me the more protected I am from his bullshit stories and manipulations.

    He also, for some reason, never changed his mailing address on anything, including his income tax return, just had his mail forwarded. Which meant that the tax people came back to me saying that they didn’t believe we were separated as we both had the same address. A bunch of paperwork, witness affidavits, and notary publics later I now have written confirmation from the tax people of the date of separation, one month after d-day. Doesn’t hurt.

    I thought that would be a wake up call for him, but no. I finally filed for divorce in August 2013, he stopped any support for me and the kids, and here we are. He just gets meaner and stupider as this goes on, but his passive aggressive approach to life is not doing him any favours. For instance, after being served, he never bothered to respond, which only helps me in the end. And his delays in getting to things he agreed to in the initial documents filed in court is pissing off both the lawyers.

    And now my credit is golden; I’ve bought a car and opened my own LOC to pay for the lawyers, I am papered up the yin-yang, have a decent job with benefits, and am still in the house. He is living in an illegal suite trying to persuade his elderly father to “give him his inheritance early” and his girlfriend has asked my kids which one of them will take care of their dad “when he gets sick” (not on her list of important things, apparently).

    What I learned –
    – get a good lawyer who understands the dysfunctional. Lots of people who post here have said this and I want to add to the chorus. I know, paying out the money is a killer, but it is worth it.
    – get the grownups involved. He has no respect for me, but he bloody well respects the taxation people and the bank.
    – as soon as you get the d-day speech, start separating your finances if you do nothing else in your shocked state. Tell the banks you deal with, the credit card companies, like Dat says. And if you suspect before that something is up, start setting up your own accounts and credit card, monitoring existing accounts, stashing away money.
    – save everything, every e-mail, every piece of paper, every bank statement, every bill. Have your own safety deposit box for deeds and important documents. I forward all his e-mails to my lawyer and my sister, and all the lawyer’s e-mails to my sister for safekeeping.
    – don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was terrified to ask for a personal line of credit but found out the bank was more than willing to give me one, pre approved. I just had to ask. I can’t tell you how much weight that took off of my shoulders.
    – stay in the house if you can. It’s been my only real stability this past few years and one of the things he wants. He has to deal with me. If I’d moved this divorce would go on for years and years and years I’m sure.

    I’m rabbiting on again but I feel much better now. Thank Goddess, and Tracy, for this safe place. Sadly, as has been said before, if you haven’t been here, you really don’t get it.

    • I think you’ve done really well exrepeatedmeme. What makes this so much harder is that 99% of these cheating assholes tell us chumps they want to split amicably and we believe them. Meanwhile, they are draining finances, consulting a lawyer while swearing they have not, constantly trying to draw you back in so they have their cushion while they fuck around. And delaying, delaying, delaying because they do not care, they never wanted a divorce.

      So many of the stories here show that the cheater is just fucking you over while you wait for that “amicable” split. That is what I think we are all trying to save the letter writer from, the additional pain – both mental and financial.

      • I completely agree with you, Dat! It is still hard for me to believe, even after two and a half years, that he can actually behave like this, and I so get the denial that we all seem to have had at the beginning of our long journeys into hell. Anything I can do or say to save someone else from this limbo I will do.

        I wish that somewhere along the line I had had some kind of training for this, for want of a better word. I’m informed now, but how much easier life would have been if I had information on the dysfunctional and how they behave when I was a teenager, before all this began.

        I was on the bus the other day and heard some guy blowing off about how “70% of divorces are initiated by women, which shows you who is doing all the cheating”. I almost went over and ripped his head off, but stopped myself. I think that’s when this little bit of depression started to creep in.

        • exrepeatedmeme

          You are doing exceptionally well!

          I can so identify with your circumstances. We honestly could be leading parallel lives (which is terrifying if you think about it) although my divorce was finalized last yr. So please know from my perspective, you rock!!! And you are not alone, I’m here with you–and other like us–in spirit! You’re doing everything right, you’re one tough & smart lady!

          Keep up the great work!!

          ((Hugs)) Elizabeth

          • Thank you, Elizabeth – I don’t need to tell you or anyone here how lonely it can be when you are going through this crap. I am so grateful for everyone here. I can come here, blow off some steam, and I feel safe and understood, kind of a novelty in my world. Nobody mocking me, belittling me, gaslighting……

            I am always hopeful when I hear of people like you who have come out the other side successfully. My court date is end of August, and I’m hoping that by September I’ll know what it’s like to be in your shoes!

            • Trust me, exrepeatedme, you will come out on the other side successfully because right now you’ve lined yourself up beautifully for this hell-of-a miserable ride and it’s endpoint in August.

              In the meantime, please be good to yourself–eat well, workout, meet with friends, get your hair done, whatever works for you!–and it’s not a luxury, it’s essential. Mark it on your calendar and force yourself to do it. Always remind yourself you are not a martyr or slave to this -cktard nor your divorce. See it as you’re an intelligent women who’s currently stuck in a pile dog shit. You got rid of the -ckin dawg, now you’re cleaning up the mess. So why not look and feel beautiful while you’re doing it? You are mighty. hugs! . . take care, E

            • So true, it’s so lonely. I’ve been reading all the posts and replies, starting from the beginning. I’m catching up. It has made living day to day possible. I’m grateful for everyone here, especially CL. Thanks

  • My own husbands affair was my inspiration to switch from international trade to family law, and the longer I do this the more i’m convinced that where there is cheating (which IS a form of abuse), lying, sneaking around, etc., there is NO WAY to have an amicable divorce. Amicable divorces are a fairy tale that we tell ourselves after the reconciliation unicorns don’t emerge. Screw amicable. Throw his shit out, get a mean divorce attorney and go for the throat. From my experience, when you don’t feed these guys cake they get mean quick. You’ll get past this, put your needs and your kids first and tough shit to him!

    • I agree. When there is cheating involved and the betrayed spouse starts calling the cheater on their shit then cheater gets mean and ugly. My ex to this day will say ‘you always said we’d be friends if we split and you just got so angry and acted so badly’. This means, of course, that I spilled the beans on his cheating, I refused to feed his ego any longer and I am brutally honest with him and about him. And he got mean and ugly as a result. Even today TODAY!!! he was texting me some bullshit about one of the kids – the majority of it was nonsense and the little that actually made sense was inconsequential. But he was itching for a fight and deliberately tried to provoke me. I ignored him but I wonder how long this shit will go on. It’s been two years and he still wants to argue.

      • I’m agree with you Nord. My STBX was so “nice” until I found out he was a cheater. When I asked him to leave the home, he got so nasty. I mean nasty as in I called the police on his ass nasty. My lawyer said, “Get a separation agreement NOW. He won’t remember you in two months time.” I thought he was just being harsh. Nope, he was bang on. GET A SEPARATION AGREEMENT in place as soon as you can because cheaters DO NOT play fair. Get a lawyer that will tell their cheating abusing ass to sit down! Mine did. He behaved.

        I’m relieved now that I acted so quickly but at the time I was terrified. I thought I was making matters “worse” by going to an attorney. I was SUCH a chump.

        Trust me, get your affairs in order. Listen to the advice here.

      • Get a court order so that he can only communicate thru an attorney, that is what I did!
        In court he said he wanted one against me because of all the email and phone calls I made lieing about how many there were. I got onto stand and said yes I was angry for the first 6 months but it had been a year of nc on my part but he continued and I could prove. Judge said neither of us could communicate except thru attorney. Worked for me as I had no intention of communicating with him!!
        The peace is wonderful!!

    • Well, my divorce was amicable, but I think only because I was in shock and the OW lived clear across the country.
      It stayed amicable because exH still maintained the image of a good guy (marriage was long over, etc). I should have thrown his stuff out… But he was already out of the house for a job in another city.
      ExH is paying more than he is required to, and this permits me to stay I the house (I refinanced and he is off the title and mortgage), so this permits the friendly part…
      But boy did he get upset when I told daughter about the PREVIOUS affair. That messes up the story. It’s one thing for us to “drift apart”, it’s another if he cheated more than once.

      ChumpyLawyer, I am glad you are able to help others going through what we have endured

  • Please, please, please take all the steps your fellow Chumps have suggested to protect yourself financially! First and foremost, safeguard your money.

    If Dumb Fuck refuses to budge, and you don’t want to go the Hefty Bag route, you can try what I did: Dumb Fuck could stay in the house but I sure as hell wasn’t going to make it comfortable for him!

    Told my daughters in detail exactly what had happened and that we were divorcing. Then I told the neighbors. And the pastor. While I paid the mortgage every month and he paid the utilities, his name was on the house deed.

    And then I made it damn uncomfortable for him to stay. His laundry – nope. Not being co mingled with the family’s. It got tossed back on the floor of his room.

    Bathroom sundries? Nope, those were mine. I bought them. For the girls and for me. Put the toothpSte and shampoo and soap in a locked box in the bathroom.

    Morning newspaper? That was mine. I paid. Read it first before he roused his sorry ass and then shredded it.

    Meals? Oh, hell no! I bought the groceries, he could feed himself. Down to coffee and toast. Again, food was locked in a footlocker, kept next to nothing in the fridge.

    Turned off the cable. I paid for it, it was in my name.

    Disconnected the home phone. Did I mention that it was part of our cable plan, and he’s a self employed musician who depended on the home phone to be called for gigs?

    Turned off his cellphone. Again, I paid for the family plan.

    Sent the girls off to summer camp as previously planned, and then made it worse. I disconnected the air conditioning I had installed. Moved every chair in the house into a friend’s basement, because I had inherited them all from my parents.

    Forwarded all mail addressed to him to his SECOND mistress’s house.

    Took his car off the joint family car insurance policy.

    I bombarded him on his mistress’s email account with forwarded apartment listings from Craigslist in his budget and geographical area. Like, ten a day, every day. Ditto the ads for cheap moving companies.

    Bought those industrial Heft bags and piled the, in his bedroom. Along with his dirty laundry and every oh her piece of his shit laying around the house or the basement. Golf clubs, skis, winter coats

    He was madder than a wet hen, but there was nothing he could do. I didn’t change the locks, he still had access, but I was not accommodating his crap. It took three weeks for him to sign a lease and move out. I will never forget the morning that the moving truck was due to arrive, he was screaming and crying, “I can’t believe you are making me do this!” I ignored him and left for work after my burly gay neighbor stopped by at my invitation to be sure he didn’t abscond with anything or trash the house.

    The girls came home from summer camp to a cleansed house

    Buddy, don’t let he door hit your sorry ass on the way out.

    • Wow, I like your style. i wish I hadn’t been such a wreck after dray- I would love to have done something like this. Instead I was a quivering mess who could barely brush my teeth (I did find out about more than a decade of cheating with friends, etc. and also that he apparently hadn’t loved me since the kids were born…which is creepy when you think about it). I admire your boxy!

      • Don’t get me wrong, I was a hysterical mess for about 48 hours. Sobbing, vomiting, shaking, insomniac mess.

        And then I reached deep down, and found the balls of brass I had grown in college, when I was the only woman in a male dominated science field.

        And I channeled my inner Lucrezia Borgia. Without the actual poison.

        After a couple days, it was gleefully amusing to see how I could mess with him.

        • I couldn’t function for about 6 months but my circumstances are and were particularly fucked up. And that was moxy–what is up with predictive typing!

          • When I found out I was six weeks pregnant. I didn’t hesitate for a second, called my family in another state and asked if I could stay with them. Then called my husband and told him I was leaving. He said “well what about the baby?” and I said, “Well I guess it’s coming with me.” I moved out ten days later. I’d known in my gut for a while that he wasn’t faithful so once I finally found proof that was it. Honestly though I spent my first trimester sobbing a lot and thankfully having someone else cook for me. It’s been six months and I still can’t listen to music. I also had to wait until I was in a better financial situation to retain a lawyer. I think all of our situations are different. I was lucky that I wasn’t as entrenched with my ex. We’d lived together for three years but only been married for a short time. Nord your story involves an incredible level of betrayal and some SERIOUS violation of your space and life by the others involved. There aren’t a lot of things that are more painful…or more evil IMO.

    • MN, you ROCK! That is absolutely magnificent. If your moron ex is like mine, the final straw was probably killing the cable and losing the chairs – did you have a recliner, by any chance?

      So many of us chumps do everything, pay for everything, organize everything in our marriages. The secret weapon we have, and that we don’t use enough, I fear, is to just stop doing and paying for it all and let our idiot exes deal.

    • MN moved on

      I love your style! Why? Because you had some fun (man, you’re good!) while you kicked your -cktards sorry ass out the door. That’s my biggest regret. I operated from a place of fear & self-protection should have been having some more fun . . .

      You, however, kept your brilliant sense of humor and this in my opinion is a chump’s saving grace. It’s hard to cultivate–and you were very creative thinking outside the box. Man, all ya gotta do is ridicule & mock these -cktards–and like you said–they turn into wet hens. Bravo. Take a bow. I’m so impressed.

      I may be passing along some of your wicked antics to my friends. 🙂

    • Balls of steel! You do indeed rock! Fury will let us accomplish a lot.
      I was fortunate in the respect that mine left without any argument.
      He was busted and had nothing to rebut. Am I crazy? Maybe?
      Time will tell.
      I’ve got a lot of people backing me and ready to catch me if he pulls something.
      I however think he has so much financial illegalities to hide, that I am sitting pretty for now. Who knows…..
      I figure one of two things will happen.

      1. I am totally fucked in the end if I file and he gets thrown in jail
      2. He really is remorseful and feels he deserves nothing.

      I am betting on #1 though…..
      And I am playing the wait and see hand
      Listening and observing from a distance.
      Latest in…..he is slowly crumbling, or it’s his newest game.

    • if you want to do that for evidence, do not do it yourself. Find a forensics company to do it. Otherwise there are plenty of how tos out there, google.

  • After darling X ran off with skank woman and went to live in our motor home with her. (He couldn’t move in with her right away because her elderly mother was there) I bamboozled my way in and asked if I could ‘use’ the restroom. I peed in their shampoo and mouthwash and douched both ends with her toothbrush. (<:

  • I’m loving this thread! All power to us!
    When my ex told me he was moving out. I gave him 24 hours and a big roll of black bags. I remember tearing them off the roll while he emptied the wardrobe and I made a point of checking all the drawers to make sure he hadn’t missed anything….
    Everything went…. his cracked football shaped cereal bowl, all his crappy holiday souveniers, the lot!!
    I still smle when I remember the look on his face

  • Mine got the largest piece of crap ass, cheap ass luggage for the first round of ejection. The day he busted his own ass out. Then in the weeks to follow he got a car load of cheap white generic white trash bags with the rest of his stuff in them. Don’t know if they survived the trip, my daughter made the delivery. But it was no longer my problem. His only response was, “what am I going to do with all of this?” My response was, “Don’t know, Don’t care, no longer my problem.” His own mother asked me where he was suppose to live. I told her that I didn’t give a shit, and that she could have him back and what she decided to do with him was not my problem. He’s 50 by the way……They finally got tired of his excuses and threw him out last October. He lasted 6 months. Now he is living with his brother and sister in law. Last I heard, his car doesn’t run, he actually texted me and asked for my brothers phone number. He is an auto mechanic. I gave it to him and my brother ignored his plea for help. He is essentially broke, or so he claims. I call bullshit! And our girls no longer want anything to do with him. He tried the suicide card on my youngest, she is 24. All that did was shut her out completely. He is a pathetic soul, if he even has one. Yours by the sounds of it is just as N/P as the rest of them. Kick his ass to the curb. No need to be nice about it. Time to look after #1…..YOU! You can do it. It sucks, I won’t lie. I was always the person to see the bright side of any situation. Now I am un trusting and angry. No one better mess with me. Slowly I am finding the middle ground. But staying angry helps you focus on what’s important. YOU! Be angry, but at the right person. He deserves nothing.

  • This thread needs this song. Jem — Crazy

    Take your aftershave, take your rings
    Take your clothes just take all of your things
    Move your flash car it’s wasting my space
    Now take yourself and get outta my place

    You think I’m crazy, Well hell I may be
    Boy you’re not welcome here
    But if I’m crazy you made me crazy so
    Boy you’re not welcome here

    Don’t like problems, I don’t like stress
    Don’t like to argue like tears even less
    Ya’ think it’s clever to play all these games
    Well say goodbye ’cause the rules have just changed

    You think I’m crazy, well hell I may be
    Boy you’re not welcome here
    But if I’m crazy, you made me crazy so
    Boy you’re not welcome here

    Ba dom bom bom banna bom [x4]

    I’ve got brains an’ a hot body too
    I’m not stupid I leave that to you
    Don’t think you counted on me being strong
    Well I’m calling time now you, just run along

    Not too perceptive, not too perceptive
    Boy I’m not that kind of girl
    Go find another, sleep with another
    Boy I’m not that kind of girl

    You think I’m crazy, well hell I may be
    Boy you’re not welcome here
    But if I’m crazy, you made me crazy so
    Boy you’re not welcome here

    Not too perceptive, not too perceptive
    Boy I’m not that kind of girl
    Go find another, sleep with another
    Boy I’m not that kind of girl

    And if I’m crazy, you made me crazy so
    Boy you’re not welcome here

  • Vicki, I feel for you – this is one of the worst situations to be in. My xh wouldn’t move out either. He was going out, coming and going (excuse the pun) as he pleased, didn’t want a separation, kept on saying he would move out, but never did. It was TERRIBLE living under the same roof. I was trying to process the fact that this wonderful, devoted, loving husband and father had been living this lie for 31 years – asking my friends for sex, having sex with other couples and guys, having at least 2 affairs that I know of. To say I was blind-sided is an understatement. Somewhere deep down I knew that my very survival depended on getting myself the hell away. Our MC said that it was obvious that there was no real remorse and no indication that he would stop feeding his sexual urges.
    So this is what I did. I started adding $25 cash payout every time I went grocery shopping. (I knew I would need some cash for my moving expenses etc.)
    I took my name off our joint credit card and applied for my own. I bought some new furniture and stored it at various friends homes. I had already decided that I did not want to remain in our family home – my daughter was in University and my son was in his last year on High School and would be going to University when he graduated.
    I started the ball rolling to secure a separation agreement. I got free advice from 2 lawyers (first half an hour was free) to get an idea of what to expect. I had our vehicle and house assessed, had statements from our bank regarding RRSPs, savings, debts etc. all on hand for the meeting for the separation agreement, which he initially refused to attend. (He did attend the meeting and the Mediator made reference to his reluctance to attend and his initial unwillingness to agree to child support.)
    I found a lovely modest little townhouse so that I could provide a stable home for my son before he left for University and for both my children between semesters, etc. I told xh that seeing the house was valued at x amount, I expected him to buy my portion out in order for me to buy the townhouse. He was shocked to say the least. If I had not taken those steps Vicki, he would have fed me the shit sandwich as long as it suited him.
    Having the Separation Agreement and the Mediator facilitating this forced him to move his ass – it was the authority figure – the mediator was a big guy with a no-nonsense attitude.
    I negotiated a private sale, applied for a mortgage, got my bank accounts in order, made sure I exercised, forced myself to eat 3 meals a day, even if it meant choking back just a few mouthfuls. I also drank smoothies packed with berries, fruit, yogurt, protein powder – all clean, wholesome food – I could stomach that easier.
    Friends (and their friends – total strangers to me) helped my son and I move out and helped us set up everything in our new townhome – the kindness and support from them was amazing.
    If I had to do it again there are a couple of things I would do differently. Firstly, I would not have been so fair about what I took. I took on some debt so that I would leave him with what he would need to continue living in the house. That was misplaced fairness on my part and bordering on being stupid in trying to play fair. Secondly, I should have left our marital bed and bedroom furniture for him. It took me several years to replace that furniture and mattress and it was so freeing when I finally bought a new bed – I felt I could not afford to, but I should have done it earlier. It has made a HUGE difference not to have that bedroom furniture anymore.
    I would not have been so fucking NICE about everything! Yes, I was angry and I had meltdowns, but I believed in fair-play and I was too nice. I made sure I left him some furniture, a bed,linen, pots, pans, plates, cutlery, even a can opener and potato peeler – for the love of God, why would I still try to be so NICE I will never know. He would have had to go out and buy practically nothing. I should have taken more than just a screwdriver or two. I had to go out and buy a hammer, various basic tools.
    I was Mighty. I found the strength somewhere Vicki, even though I had no bloody family in this country and in this hemisphere. It was just my 2 kids and myself.
    My xh started dating 1 week after I moved out and he suddenly became totally distant, detached and nasty. He was ANGRY. I mean really angry and mean. He filed for divorce – a day after my son left I was served without warning. It was a shock – I should have expected it but all I was focussed on was my survival and it all caught up with me. I was not sleeping and I was losing more and more weight. I missed what I thought I had, who I thought he was and I was lost, lonely and fearful. I had empty next syndrome and suddenly found myself single at 49 in a country that was not my own and no family.
    I went on anti-depressants and just plugged along – the pain in my heart was crushing. I retained a lawyer when I was served the papers and then my xh got REALLY mad. He expected me to roll over and play dead. He thought I would be so stunned that I would not respond. I had 7 days to respond – he had me served on a Thurs evening which gave me very little time to find a lawyer to respond by the following Wed. He was FURIOUS and accused me of contesting the divorce because I hired a lawyer. He tried to shame me into firing my lawyer because the money we would be spending on lawyers was taking food out of the mouths of our children. I held fast. I had no option – I had to fight for my kids.
    My lawyer was a bull-dog. He negotiated child support for my university-going children and spousal support for me. My xh tried charm, nastiness, coldness, stalled the divorce, more charm, threats that I would regret not firing my lawyer, tried to use the children against me, more charm – even offering me $300 a month for 3 years spousal support because he was being so fair (haha).
    I held fast. My lawyer was awesome, but it cost me – divorce costs were higher because my lawyer had to repeatedly write to him or phone him to get things moving – divorce went through after +3 years of him stalling. My lawyer actually gave me a substantial discount because he noted that my costs were higher due to dickhead stalling. By that time the GF was out and he moved in with another GF.
    It took me a long time to get over this. BUT, my xh inadvertently gave me the greatest gift he could ever give me – he moved on so quickly once the separation went through that there was no chance of a reconciliation. He moved on completely and utterly in a week. My heart was breaking and I think I would have spackled and made dangerous compromises to keep our family intact if we had merely separated. I would probably have gone back.
    I look back and I see I was mighty. I had to be Vicki. I am proud of my sense of self and that I had the balls to do what I did. So, I fell apart afterwards. I am better now, especially after I found CL and the wonderful nation of fellow chumps. If I found this site earlier, my healing and peacefulness would have been sooner.
    It is a hard road ahead Vicki, but please do not continue eating this shit sandwich he is serving you. He is NOT your friend and being so god damned NICE is not going to help you and your children an iota – all he will do is manipulate your niceness to suit him.
    Hugs Vicki, hug, hugs.

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