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Dear Chump Lady, I’m jealous of the OW

cheaters_as_dog_pooDear Chump Lady,

I am sure that my story is the same one that you have heard a hundred times, I have read versions of it on your site and others… married 9 years, together 18, one small daughter and poof! He is gone. Like emotionally gone. Except that he did not physically leave.

My husband very abruptly announced that he was no longer interested in being married to me in October of 2012. He did not believe in marriage, did not love me anymore – maybe never did and wanted to be done. He spent the next 9 months waffling – going back and forth between being incredibly cruel to me and incredibly needy and sweet. He did not leave the house until July of 2013 for a “temporary trial” separation. During this time, an emotional affair with his friend’s girlfriend came to light.

For months and months I did the whole pick me dance… maybe if I was just a bit prettier, maybe if I was more interested in the things he is interested in, maybe if I could keep the house cleaner and the kid better behaved… I tried and I tried. Until I caught them together at a public event after he had promised me that they were not in contact. After he had spent several months wooing me – talking about new houses and vacations together. Then I realized that it did not matter what I did – the one thing that I could not do was be her. We have no moved from “trial” to separated and are heading towards dividing assets and divorce.

This is what is killing me — the total rejection of all the things that I am in favour of someone else. It make me doubt everything about myself. Intuitively – I know that this is not about me. I know that it is about him and his “friend” lacking moral compasses and engaging in truly selfish and narcissistic behavior. I know that there is really nothing I could do. I also know that I cannot live another second in this insane reality that he has created.

But, I just feel so … I don’t know. Angry one minute, sad the next, then happy to be free of it, scared of what the future will hold for me and my daughter. The over riding feeling though – and the reason I am writing to you – is jealousy. I cannot stand that he is going to get a happy ending. I cannot cope with the OW being a part of my child’s life. I cannot believe that SHE WON! I am a good person, and I did not deserve this – and she gets MY LIFE! My family. It is literally eating me alive. The fact that I did right by my family and my spouse and that he ‘gets away with it’ is more than I can wrap my head around. Why should they get to be happy when I am so miserable?

I don’t really know what I am looking for with this. I guess just a way to navigate this emotional mess that I find myself smack dab in the center of. I feel so shamed and so raw and just so stupid. I believed him. Worse than that – I believed IN him and I feel so so lost in that.

Thank you,

Allyson in Canada

Dear Allyson,

Okay, she won. She beat you in the pick me dance for fantastic fucktard prizes. You got the set of luggage. She got the fucktard.

What did she win? Well, by your own description — a desperately needy, cruel, and unstable man. Yippee.

Oh no! But somehow in your imagination when they’re together it’s happy and wonderful. Somehow he magically had a character transplant with maturity injections and became someone capable of commitment and deep joy. That guy who walked out on his little daughter and you — a guy who abandoned his family and betrayed his friend — that’s Mr. Happy. That’s your prize there.

Perhaps you’re new here, but we call that a sparkly turd. All the sugar frosting and colored sprinkles cannot disguise a dog turd. It’s still a dog turd.

He can dress it up anyway he wants to — she’s his Twu Wuv, it was something bigger than them both (a huge turd castle?), the heart wants what the heart wants — he’s still a turd. And she’s a woman who won a turd.

It’s not about you, Allyson. I’m sorry — that’s at once liberating and infuriating. You didn’t matter to him. Your daughter didn’t matter. That does NOT mean you do not matter. It means he is not the benchmark of your worthiness — he’s someone more at home with fellow turds.

But you invested in him! Surely that must mean something! It means you got chumped. You extract the painful life lessons, and you move forward. You loved someone undeserving of your love. It was a one-way street. It doesn’t mean you were less than, because you’re not her. Thank GOD you’re not her! Do you want to be someone with less moral sense than God gave badgers? Do you want to be saddled with a narcissist? There is nothing here to feel jealous about, because she is not enviable. She just thinks she is.

And he wants you to be jealous, because that’s the pick me dance, and that provides kibbles to the cheaters. So please, I know it’s hard right now, but stop giving a shit about them. Start focusing on your new turd-free life. And stop worrying about Ms. Won-a-Turd being around your daughter. You’re the mommy, that love is primal, no one takes that away from you. This is your chance to model to your daughter how to be kick ass. How you don’t tolerate disrespect. How you rebuild and reinvent yourself when life kicks you in the teeth. Do not model pick me dancing and turd envy.

You’re going to be fine, Allyson. You got the luggage set. YOU won.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • I’m beginning the comments by saying I like the word fucktard. And fuckwit. And fuck___ anything.

    I don’t call anyone a retard. (My niece and nephew are autistic and lovely people.) This is about cheaters, not people with disabilities. We’ve hashed this out elsewhere on this blog. If you don’t like the word, skip today, skip the blog, skip me. I’m deleting any comments on the fucktard tangent. Be forewarned.

    • AiC, I so get it. After an almost 40 year marriage and investment in my family, my ex and OW promptly decided that she was the new and fabulous family member, and all should welcome her and praise her and accept her, immediately please. And my ex would be so angry with our daughters if they did not. She was a colleague of 15 years, and while I never met her, she was apparently grooming our younger daughter, b/c they shared the same birthday date. Thus, each year she would give elaborate gifts wrapped beautifully. My daughter was, of course, thrilled from the age of about 11 on. (This is where my chumpdom badge begins, duh.)

      Fast forward to our divorce (after a 60 day separation, yay TX) and she (still married but now separated) began love bombing my children and my grandchildren. She had portraits made of each grandchild; she had personalized m&m’s and sodas made; she began buying extravagant amounts of my younger daughter’s jewelry (she’s a designer); she and ex would buy the gkids t-shirts everywhere they went (fabulous resorts, Europe) and on and on. It was mindblowing b/c I would see all this every time I entered my daughter’s home. It would cause me to weep constantly, in the bathroom so as not to make everyone uncomfortable. It was the worst two years of my life, post divorce. It was as though she wanted me to witness her attainment of the throne while I was in the tower awaiting execution, a la Anne Boleyn.

      And then, I said fuck it, it is what it is. You just get to an acceptance stage, and that’s that. You pull in your antennae and say this is MY life, and I still have all the people in it who love me, except for the one, and he’s a jerk. And obviously did not love me. She can have his insensitive ass. And the snoring. But it has to be a conscious decision, and then the work begins. It’s like exercising and dieting. No fun, but worth the effort.

      You will get there b/c time, while it does not heal all wounds, it makes them more tolerable as time goes by. And the reason you will get there is b/c at some point you begin to recognize that you are wasting time and emotion and life is way too short for that. Do not ever expect that your idiot ex will understand your pain. When I expressed to my idiot ex that her involvement with my family members was a struggle for me (understatement) he replied, ‘Well, you can’t have too many people to love you.’ End of discussion. You will figure it out, b/c it lessens the pain to focus on yourself and not them. Know your worth, acknowledge the hurt and move forward from it, consciously. Good luck.

      • I occasionally refer to my ex as a fucktard in a leotard. I always thought “fucktard” was a combo of fucker and bastard, but regardless, it suits my ex to a tee.

      • Thank you OlderWiser. This, too, is my biggest struggle. OW can have the asshole STBX. She is welcome to him and all that goes along with him. But my daughter – that is where I still struggle. You see my daughter is 15. At 15 Mom is boring and the one who makes her do her homework and tries to get her to get to bed before midnight. Mom isn’t fun. Mom gets the sass and the eye-rolls and the silent treatment. But OW…. OW is sparkly and fun and is 22 years younger that boring old Mom. OW has two little daughters and my only child daughter is excited to have two “little sisters” in her life. And it tears my heart out every time my daughter spends time with her and her family. She even gets invited to things with OW’s family on her own – without STBX if he’s got other plans. It kills me! I struggle. I have been at acceptance stage regarding STBX for a long time. But with my daughter and her involvement with OW. Not so much.

        • jv, when I was a facilitator in a div. support group, I heard this over and over again. Teenagers are all about the fun, and that is where their ego/id/superego is at the time. Avoid the bad stuff at all costs, and just enjoy the good stuff; i.e., the fun. You just have to grin and bear it, and know that it is temporary. And I finally….FINALLY had to admit after a few years, that maybe it was ok for my gkids to have a relationship with the OW from hell, b/c she might, just might, bring something of value to their table. But it took YEARS. I’ve been divorced for 8 years in two weeks, and it took 5 for me to reach that conclusion. It’s all about just letting go for your own sake and peace.

          When they tell me that they spent a week at their Pop’s vacay resort home and OW/wife took them horseback riding, I think, well, that’s one thing I don’t have to do, and it was probably fun. I’ve come a long way. But it takes time, time and more time. And I had nothing refutable for my ex’s remark that ‘you can’t have too many people to love you’. Could not think of one snappy comeback, b/c it’s probably true if that love is genuine. My ex’s OW/wife is manipulative and shallow, but she is not an evil person. I think she does ‘love’ my grands; she’s not a big fan of my daughters, but that’s ok. It’s mutual. Be patient; that’s all I’ve got.

            • Oops, I forgot to put the quote that sounds like my ex… “Teenagers are all about the fun, and that is where their ego/id/superego is at the time. Avoid the bad stuff at all costs, and just enjoy the good stuff; i.e., the fun.”

              (Unfortunately, he has not yet outgrown it…)

      • Thank you OlderWiser, beautifully put..

        I said the exact same thing, fuck it! My ex is a worthless POS and OW/OW’s can have him, along with his cheating, loud snoring, the mess, his fucktard user family who expects gifts for every occasion(but they don’t reciprocate), his pathological lying, his freeloading, mooching, deadbeat ass! He was/is not much of a prize when I look back now (what was I thinking?)

        I am sorry you are hurting, but life will get much better and happier without his ass believe me on that, I know you feel like you have lost but in reality you won, its just feels like that now because you have invested 18 years to this asswipe, I understand that. Those cheaters deserve each other and you deserve much better than that. I feel your pain, but a year or two from now (maybe much less) it wont hurt like you are hurting now, in the mean time try to distance yourself from them as much as possible. Life is short and its a gift, don’t waste it on people who is not worth a minute of your time. My best wishes to you.

      • What a wonderful post, and I think I know this wise person from another forum [waves, if it is you].
        I got absolutely hit between the eyes yesterday by a psychologist’s comments on Oscar Pretorius, on lack of empathy, concrete thinking and not understanding the symbolism, the deeper meaning, and how we chumps waste YEARS and tears trying to ‘get them’ to see. See, in his truth, I am always angry. Which justifies his treatment of me. The fact that 75% of the time I am not angry, or that it is his treatment of me that leaves me hurt withdrawn and angry – that bit his neural pathways simply do not process.
        So, on the school run I was thinking that OW, or me, or another exciting snatch – we are all appliances. Who must function for him in order of importance, telling him how wonderful he is, keeping his balls empty, and his stomach full. Who must never have needs that are inconvenient to him: no talking about your day, asking him to tell you about his, no wanting attention, no having any opinions that he might have to think about or include in long term calculations. No whining, no ‘you never talk to me’, no nagging or aggro. That is a bad appliance that is not working properly, and needs replacing.

        That is what you have to let go of, Allyson. He does NOT see you as the valuable treasure that you are. The 12 steps and OlderWiser above stress that you have to focus on yourself. It is what it is, and no amount of agonising or hoping or any other attempts to control, can change the reality. OW will find out. Hey, she might even be able to tolerate disconnect better than you. But he is what he is.

        • This! Is why I love this place! Thank you, Patsy!

          This comment from you just might get a few of us Chumps unstuck! (even though that’s another conversation currently running)

          The illustration of the appliances is so good! Has ‘fleshed out’ a point of understanding for me.

          Thanks for sharing that. Another reason I encourage some of you that are still ‘lurkers’ to become commentors; you never know which comment you share may be just the one that finally resonates with one of us that is having a ‘stuck moment’.

          This was especially useful to my little blonde brain on this particular day! Do hope Allyson listens & gets the same strength from this amazing place as I have!

          Forge on, Patsy……..Forge on, all……

          PS: I picked up a book recently at my local Library on Narcissists that I personally had not heard of. Perhaps some of the Chumps here have already read it. It is by Dr. Les Carter. It is called: “Enough about you, Let’s Talk About Me’. I have only just begun reading it, but IMHO, this is one of the best!

        • This is the best..I am still here two years after initially finding out about the prostitutes. Everything was my fault because I’m angry. That he hates me because I’m always angry and that my kids are scared and unhappy being around me because I’m always angry. For six months I went and listened to a marriage therapist justify his cheating..I needed to change in order for him to love me..we never focused on the character flaw of cheating, just week after week of how to change me so that I would be worthy. The prostitutes continued (including one scary looking dominatrix) while I worked to earn love. I am not an angry person. I have many fabulous friends, I work in a customer service industry where they would not tolerate me being or appearing to be angry, I have good relationships with my sons (as good as it can be when you are the disciplinarian). I am angry because I can’t make him see what he’s chosen to throw away, I am angry that he refuses to touch me because I do not look like a $500 an hour 25 year old whore. I am angry because I will be alone, I’m angry at where he took my life, BUT I think this post is finally what will get me unstuck..(yes, I know unstuck is another thread)

    • Dear CL,
      I just wanted to thank you for “turd envy”! I so love your writing!

    • CL: I never thought that fucktard was a conjunction of fucker and retard, I thought it was fucker and basTARD! Which totally works for me.

      • I had thought that too, but was put straight…

        Having said that, no person with any special needs, by any stretch of the imagination, will ever, ever, EVER be a retard or a fucktard in my books. They are far higher, more valuable human being than these cheater assholes.

        • We need a Chump Nation glossary. We will own this term *and* it’s definition.

    • This post is worthy of being a constant sidebar post. While all of your posts are amazing, I think this particular jealousy topic is something that ALL of us have experienced. Superb job, as always CL.

  • Allyson,

    What you’re feeling is so very normal, and understandable – but believe Chump Lady and Chump Nation when we say that it will fade and pass in time. Doesn’t make it easier now, but please know it’s true. He didn’t reject YOU – he chose HIMSELF – his needs, his selfishness, his “in the moment” feelings. Believe 100% that IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. Cheaters do this – they cheat on Halle Barry and Princess Diana and Robert Pattinson, and all sorts of perfectly beautiful, young, wonderful partners because they CAN.

    I beat myself up too – if I was younger, thinner, nicer, gentler…and then truth came around. Turns out he was cheating on the 28 year old OW (and 40 year old me) with a 50 year old married marathon running w/2 kids co-worker. Snort. They each thought they were his “tru wuv” and ended up having a skank slap down in the middle of a street in his hometown. Would have paid $$ to have a front row seat to that. Was the 28 year old “too young and pretty”? Was the 50 year old “too fit and skinny”? None of that matters. He just needed loads of kibbles and all of us were really just props – none of it meant anything to him.

    You are better off – and your daughter will be too. She will have her mommy calmer and more healthy and more devoted to her, instead of endlessly kibbling daddy and trying to love him and fix him and help him and make him less angry/moody/uncaring. If he’s like lots of these narc parents, he’ll lose interest in parenting when it’s not “fun”; so for now, just love on your little one, and breathe in and out. It will get better.

    • This is brilliant:

      “He didn’t reject YOU – he chose HIMSELF – his needs, his selfishness, his “in the moment” feelings. Believe 100% that IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.”

      Thanks, RDM!

      And Dear Allyson–we’ve all been there–Listen to ChumpLady and all the wisdom on this list . I promise, it *will* get you through. Crying, laughing, both at once. Vomiting from time to time, perhaps. I get myself to sleep at night my repeating “I’m safe, I’m safe.” A little like Dorothy, perhaps….

      Just remember: any idiot who gives up on his/her kid has given up on the most important part of life, and is therefore not worth a backward glance.

      Typically, they’ll never understand why it’s caused so much pain (nor really care) …because it’s “all about meeeee” (case in point my fucktard Ex weeping b/c he “doesn’t know” his 21 year old daughter. No tears whatsoever for ignoring, humiliating, & diminishing her for the last 6 years of her life, and generally being absent. Not to mention royally shafting her mother, which she, little smarty pants that she is, um, noticed!)

      As painful as the journey may be, it’s true what CL says, in the end you’ve got the better end of the deal. Ditch the turd, take the luggage!

      • ” Ditch the turd, take the luggage!”

        Lol, it sounds like Allyson is on “The Price is Right”!!!

    • Still laughing over “having a skank slap down in the middle of a street in his hometown.” I would have paid to see that, too.

    • Brillant! I would have paid money to watch the ‘skank slap down’ in the middle of a street in your ex’s hometown- LOL. Hell, I would have popped the popcorn for that one!! 🙂

    • “They each thought they were his “tru wuv” and ended up having a skank slap down in the middle of a street in his hometown.”


    • What got the whole thing going for me was an anonymous letter I got at work about a whore…..blow jobs for a $20.00 rock of cocaine. No big surprise but then MY fucktard comes home the next day furious telling me who SENT the letter….another Girl, we’ve both known for years…….(I have fed these girls, clothed them, comforted them when they talked about children abandoned, aborted etc etc) and I said…in shock….”YOU SLEPT WITH HER TOO???????!!!!!!!!! To which he says “Well only the first year or so you and I were together”.

      Yep. I was feeding and mothering them all…….doing everything I could for them…while they were doing HIM!!! I don’t comment very often because CL&CO saved me shortly after the DDays. If you read back through old posts from me starting about Feb 2013….it’s all there in real time. Struggling physically and financially very badly at this point, and I really don’t know what will happen to me but I wouldn’t take him back for anything. I love you all…specially you Tracy…..XO

  • The ow is pretty pathetic as she thinks a cheating man is great and thinks stepping in where you were will make her you, only she is wrong.

    It’s like a little child that has a favorite blankie and it gets destroyed somehow. You can buy him another one, but it is just not the same, the new one doesn’t have the same memories and adventures with the child.

    You got what you thought your life was, trampled on, you are trying to make sense of what seems something that should really be illegal, a ow trying to step right in to take an identity and life.

    She is a living walking plastic Barbie doll with nothing inside.

  • As in, a Barbie nitwit fool. Your husband/ex and ow are in some kind of non reality, they are forcing this play situation on you, it is just horrible.

    Just shows his immaturity level, he is getting more childlike the older he gets, you don’t want to be with a man child do you?

    • And this is exactly why they want to try to buy the kids with fun stuff and goodies. More playmates! More fun! Share the love!. Until the kids grow up and want something more out of life. Teenagers also cost more, and about that time the narcs can’t wait to get rid of them. (Usually the playmate new wife can’t wait first….)

      Kids eventually figure out that they are not as important to the narc as money and when that happens after they’ve been bribed to be on the narc’s side, watch out.

      Thanks to the OW, my ex has zero experience raising teenagers. He’ll be in his seventies when that happens next and I hope I live to see it.

      • Love it 😉 I still look forwardto OW doing a runner, then he’ll be paying child support into his 70’s. Hehe hope she wants a BIG family.

  • “You’re going to be fine, Allyson. You got the luggage set. YOU won.

    THIS. Which reminds me of that old joke, “First prize is a week’s stay in lovely Passaic, New Jersey. Second prize: Two weeks in Passaic!” Your cheating husband is Passaic, New Jersey. A toxic, corrupt, and dysfunctional sump filled with trash and reeking of overflowing sewers. CL is being diplomatic when she calls him a dog turd. Turd of the Universe is more like it.

    Sometimes the thing we want is not what is best for us. As the song says, “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” That your ex is moving on with someone else is a gift. Wishing you strength and courage to embrace it and move forward into a bright and lovely new life.

    • “Your cheating husband is Passaic, New Jersey. A toxic, corrupt, and dysfunctional sump filled with trash and reeking of overflowing sewers.”

      I needed to hear that today. Headed to mediation type counseling this evening and feeling like an emotional wreck with all of the toxic memories coming back. He is Passaic, NJ… I’ll just keep reminding myself. Thanks nomar.

      • Allyson, this seems very hard to believe, but someday, you will be so thankful you are NOT her. You got a golden ticket out of a marriage to a scumbag who threw everything away for a shiny piece of tin foil stuck to a heaping pile of shit at the bottom of an old poop pail.

        It helps me tremendously to think of my own X’s bimbo wondering why he has become such a robotic lover, a gassy old fart bag, a loud snorer, and a pathetic purchaser of hair removal AND hair growth products. I try to imagine her crossed-eyes opening in wide surprise when she figures out he has no original thought, but simply vomits back the vitriol he has heard on talk radio that afternoon. While the venom and insults are all about those he feels are beneath him, soon she will notice he is talking AT her and ABOUT her. Then it will hit her hard that her shiny new life has just morphed into a drama as predictable as the reruns of the Bonanza episodes he watches every afternoon at 4 because he’s unemployed. Bwhahahaha!

        He’s all hers now, and that gives me tremendous satisfaction!

        • Chutes – that’s funny. I suddenly came up with lots the OW will have to be dealing with, besides those farts and taking loud shits with the door open. His big gut, gray hair that looks like Back-to-the-Future scientist, the robotic sex! Ha, he just wants to be masturbated. Little affection or physical contact. Yeah, good luck with all that. But, to top it off, unlike the vitriol of politics, the ONLY thing that will interest him in conversation is talking non-stop about economics and the bond markets. Ohh…I was always a good listener – even tho I never had a clue what he was talking about. Since I know the OW well as an ex-friend, she used to hate that shit. (at least I understood *some* of it) bwahahahaha

          • …just to add…I’m a commodities broker myself, and she’s an office assistant who just likes groovy 70’s rock. Commodities bore the hell out of her.

  • I know this is hard to believe Allyson but this is better for you. You can now get this cheating bastard out of your life and focus on you and your daughter. You don’t have to waste any more of your precious life or time on him. Time is a gift and once it’s gone you never get it back.

    After my dday “I won” the pick me dance. I had all the same primal feelings you did. I was not going to let the OW step into MY life. I spent three years in false reconciliation-three years of my life I can never have back. I’ve recently left and divorced the POS and my only regret is that I didn’t wrap him up, tie a big pretty bow on him and serve him up to the OW immediately after dday. Now the only thing I can be greatful for is that I don’t have to waste any more time with him.

    CL is right. He’s a sparkly turd but he’s still a turd. You are a much better person, deserving of so much more than a sparkly turd. None of what he did is a reflection on you; it’s a reflection on him.

    This really does get better with time so hang in there and know that chump nation is out there when you need to vent.

  • ‘Do you want to be someone with less moral sense than God gave badgers?’

    Allyson, what you are going through is natural, of course you feel jealous and unbalanced…that’s just what they count on. They are losers of the worst sort, they are sparkly poopies who soon will lose their sparkle even for each other (and then they’ll try to stay together to prove it really WAS twu wuuuv). They are crap.

    From now on it’s about you and your daughter. Accept that you feel jealous and angry and betrayed and MOVE ON ANYHOW. Oh, and make a vow from now on…never let them see you sweat. That’s the worst punishment you can give a narcissist and his narcissist AP, indifference.


  • OMG, ChumpLady, that sparky turd is hilarious! I will have to use it for my STBX contact pic on my phone.

    Allyson, I know how you feel. My STBX was first emotionally distant with me and the children a couple of years ago and then last year started an emotional affair that became a real one. One day he asks for a divorce and I was flabbergasted that he could just throw away 13 years of marriage and abandon his parenting responsibilities just like that, for a woman that he really didn’t know all that well. I’m still in shock that he did that. My children (10 and 8 at the time) suffered immensely and when I asked him if he was OK with causing this pain to the kids he just replied that he knew that it would be hard but that he could not let that pain overwhelm him.

    I vowed to him that I would not let our children fail and that I was going to do everything in my power to make sure that they succeed in life in spite of his actions.

    That has been my main motivation…keeping my thoughts focused on succeeding at all costs.

    So I try not to think of OW and how successful she is and how successful she and STBX are going to be together. I told my STBX that he could tell OW to put “destroying children’s lives” on her resumé. Because that’s what she and he did.

    And so, no, they did not win anything because what they did was build their new lives on the suffering of your family and that is nothing to be proud of.

    Hang in there!!

      • That’s a GREAT idea! I would do it, too, but I deleted his number, as I have no use for it. I gotta get creative. Besides, it looks more like the OW, to me.

        THANK YOU, Tracy, for publishing a sparkly turd cartoon! LOVE it!

    • “And so, no, they did not win anything because what they did was build their new lives on the suffering of your family and that is nothing to be proud of”.

      Thank you Nat! You have no idea how much that helps me!

  • So many of us have stood where you are now Allyson. Your pride is hurt, you feel like your life is wrecked & all you can see is your ex playing happy families with someone else. Along with all the other pain is raw envy coursing through your veins. You feel like you played fair, you stuck by the rules & you end up with the shit sandwich. I know that this is how it feels because I felt that way myself.

    However, the wonderful Chump Lady is here to tell us how it really is. Your ex is a vile, despicable man who has broken his vows, lied & ultimately abandoned his wife & child. When you describe him like that, who’d want him? You definitely don’t. Leave him to the OW, they most likely deserve each other.

    • I wonder how all these cheaters will feel on their death beds. Probably, that’s the only time they will understand the words hurt and regret. But, who wants to wait around for that?

      • Pretty sure mine will feel sorry for himself. He’s a victim, doncha know.

        • Mine will have a camera rolling to capture his “inspirational last moments” on tape, and will have made prior arrangements to upload the resulting masterpiece to Facebook after his death, so everyone can continue to be motivated and inspired by his unending pursuit of his dreams and mission from God to stamp out bullying and suicide.

          There will definitely be no remorse or regrets. Delusional sociopaths don’t do those.

          • Hahahahahahaha! OMG, GladIt’sOver! Too right about your ex!

  • Liars, manipulators, cowards, soulless fucktards all of them. Before I could get clear I saw my narc go after one of his daughters for disagreeing with what he wanted.
    On Thanksgiving. At his mother’s house. I’d been in another room with the other daughter when I heard a thump and came running. His family looked at me when I spun around to look if they’d all suddenly gone blind and was told that they “were both wrong. ” wtf? No He is wrong. He is drama and chaos and wrong.
    This Disney dad snapped when he was confronted. Teens will do that.
    Sometimes it’s better that they’re just gone.

    • My ex also went on the attack when one of the kids wouldn’t go along with the new life plan. The result is a very, very bad relationship between them. And it’s all on ex’s head, who will, to this day, say he doesn’t understand why the kid wants nothing to do with him.

        • I don’t even think my ex is a fucktard anymore. I think he’s a pathetic weak man who has gotten by on good looks and charm for a lot of years but unfortunately when I found out he’d been screwing around for years I was less than quiet about it. This has led to him being a pathetic weak and very angry man who, as many of you probably know, still bombs me with ragey texts. Even today, discussing something that had to be addressed – I suggested something that seemed rather reasonable to me and his response was an immediate ‘no’. Not for any reason I could see other than to be contrary. Then he made a request of me that didn’t seem all that unreasonable and I simply said ‘sure’, despite him wording it in a way that he probably thought would get a rise out of me. He’ll have to get up a lot earlier to make that happen these days.

          I will say to Allyson that you will probably not believe that you’ll get to this point but I promise you that you will. In the early days after separating I thought I’d never survive. Seriously. I thought I was literally going to drown in the pain of what I discovered. My ex being a total fucktard asshat on top of it all who tried to destroy me financially didn’t help but it was really about having to take the painful steps to realise that he had been living a double life for years and had a whole world populated with people I never even knew existed.

          It was scary as hell and shook my very sense of self to my very core. Nearly 2 and a half years later and I’m doing alright. Still a lot of money worries but most everything else is coming along nicely. I’ve got short term goals, long term goals, and a lot of great people in my life, quite a few whom I’ve met since the idiot got kicked out. I’ve also lost some people in the wake of this and it was an additional pain in my heart.

          But if there’s one thing you will learn in all of this is that all that attention you once gave your fucktard can now be turned on yourself and your own wellbeing (and your kids, friends, family, etc). It takes time to recalibrate but if you stick with it and give yourself mental pep talks each and every time you feel yourself faltering (which will be more often than you expect – I had a falter yesterday!) you will slowly inch towards a better life.

          And then you’ll reach the point I’ve reached, where I see my situation as me being free. And him being handcuffed by his dumb choices. Because idiot ex hooked up right away with final OW (or should I say most likely to take him on OW, as he was banging others at the same time) and now he’s stuck with her. I, on the other hand, can take my time finding someone. No way would I run off and declare my intentions to someone after knowing them (on the sly) for a few months and a few stolen fucks, as my ex did. Hell, he even banged her at her flat when her live in boyfriend was out for the night! Pure class, those two, and although it hurt to learn all of that I now laugh because who would want to be with someone like that?

          Allyson, my point is that you really will be ok. It will suck harder than anything you’ve ever experienced for a long time. And then it won’t so much. You will notice one day that suddenly you feel a bit better, you laugh more, perhaps some belly laughs. You’ll still think about this and it will still hurt but the pain will be dulled. And the alternative is staying with this asshole and have the pain remain sharp forever.

          You’ll be ok. Trust me. Just start with one step forward and keep going from there. We’ve got your back and we will help as much as we can in this spread out, international Chump Nation.

          • Nord, I always love your posts! That was like a primer on ‘how to rebuild your life (slowly but surely)! You have class, and understanding, which is why the Douchetard lost you. On to bigger things for you and the kids.
            My X also tries to suck me into his drama, almost weekly, and I just won’t play. I live on the gorgeous West Coast now, and in my space I keep new age music, beautiful artwork, my vintage furniture collection, my psychic (female) cat, an assortment of teas, and uplifting books to read! It’s MY new world, and it’s only peaceful, all the time.
            He has a million problems, and they are not mine.
            I’m keepin’ it positive, and the payoff is huge so far (and I have a long way to go).
            Happiness to all you lovely Chumps, we are the ‘salt of the earth’!

  • I struggle with this thinking everyday.

    But hon, it’s about you taking responsibility for this thinking. Let me give you a couple of illustrations from my home life.

    I have a beautiful, cuddly, sweet-natured spaniel. I care about her, and researched which dog food would be best for her. I buy human-food grade, holistic, all-natural food for her.

    Although my dog is the laziest you have ever seen, she will industriously, dig deep into the snow to find shit and eat it (poopsicles are her favourite).

    My sweet young son eats snots. Last night, my husband looked at him, and asked,”Do they taste good, there son?” And a bashful “yeah” was heard under the blankets.

    I made my own baby food for this child. My husband and I are good cooks. My son will even lift his nose up at brownies! We’ve been to a French restaurant with this kid! And he eats boogers.

    Hon, you can lead a person to quality. It doesn’t mean they have the sense God gave them to recognize it. Do you want to measure yourself by this fucktard’s standards, whose dream is having a live dick-warmer with no commitment as the gold standard, or do you think there are other standards you would prefer to measure yourself against?

    Remember that the next time you look in the mirror.

    • OMG..I’m Laughing my Arse Off….
      About your dog being that Absolute Laziest creature, Except for when it comes to Digging up Shitcickles to Eat…Then they’ve got ALL the Energy in the World.
      THIS is SOO My EX. SHIT is His Favorite Thing. He’s got a REAL Taste for It.Anything NOT Shit, He Snubs his Nose at It. For These Arseholes, Up is Down and Down is Up. Treasure is Trash and Trash is Treasure. LOL..Did I Mention, He placed Compost, Anything he could Literally Find in a Dumpster and Dogs on a higher plateau of Priorities over his Daughter and Fiance’ ??
      It Infuriates you when you’re put Soo Low in their Eyes..Yet, Looking Back, Can Laugh about how Totally STUPID and INSANE these Fuckwits Are.

      • Exactly! Do you really think these shitheads have any idea what a worthwhile human being is, when they are that low?

  • Allyson – I so get what your saying but CL is right – the OW has won nothing . She has your sloppy seconds and not even the best of him as you had all that. Jealousy is a wasted emotion as it only serves to boost his ego further – you can’t be really jealous of a woman who settles for a person capable of such hardship and cruelty towards his own blood and family – yes really your ex has been atrocious to his own daughter – think for two seconds – a stranger walking in the street would probably be more courteous to you and your girl . I have the same issues – a younger, richer OW busy seducing my kids with designer materialistic shit – my teenage hormonal son will take a long time to see through the smoke and mirrors but that day will come !! I focus on being the sane parent as CL states and it helps – no one ever can take your place so let your daughter have that front row seat to her fathers craziness – the OW will be no threat at all and will suffer the same fate as you did eventually – cheaters don’t stop cheating – lying and entitlement come too easy as they’ve crossed a line and have no deterrent – we and life is forever changed but let go of him as he isn’t there anymore – she has the booby prize truly

  • Sparkly rainbow turds with tap shoes. That’s my ex-wife, a praying mantis in neon yoga pants who has memorized yoga quotes as a spiritual mantra with the assistance of plastic surgery, botox, recreational cocaine and copious amounts of booze. She looks ridiculous with her double-d breast implants while being engrossed in preaching about health and exercise, kale, the danger of gluten, and a natural vegan diet.

    She’s a yoga teacher in a town where yoga studios outnumber Starbucks locations. She works a grinding three hours a week. To subsidize her lifestyle she got herself a bald obese Texan doctor who eats only meat and potatoes, wears croc sandals and has a fine collection of guns.

    They’re getting married in the very near future, and I’m no longer going to pay alimony. I kinda of feel sorry for the guy, as he’s willing to marry her. I doubt he’d believe me anyway, as she has hypnotized him with her sparkly turd tap dance.

    Sparkly turds are a sub-species of the human race, a group dedicated to hypocrisy and speak fluent bullshit.

    My advice when accidentally married to a sparkly turd is to flush the toilet and wave bye bye.

    • You must live in Austin. Neon yoga pants/praying mantis types dominate the scene.

      I’m happy to hear the fat, bald doctor is ending your alimony payments. Better him than you.

      I’m trying to imagine how happy he’ll be with his new gluten-free, vegan, yoga lifestyle. Or she’ll be with his carnivorous, gun toting lifestyle. Oh man, it’s gonna be a train wreck.

      One that you no longer have to subsidize.

      • Yeah….it’s going to be a train wreck and I’m counting the days until their wedding. I’m looking forward to ending the subsidizing of a sparkly turd.

        The fat doctor, his meat and potatoes and guns reside in Dallas. My ex-wife ,yoga pants and cowboy boots, will be moving there from Portland Oregon.

            • Funny! I’m in Portland and my twin moved to Dallas. She just sent me a picture of a real magazine there called Garden and Gun…ahahah!!!!

            • I think the Flatlanders might’ve been talking about your cheater’s Fat Doctor Friend when they wrote:

              “Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eye.
              A steel and concrete soul with a warm-hearted love disguise.
              A rich man who tends to believe in his own lies.
              Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes.”


              Like I said, Dallas is karma, baby. You can take it to the bank.

          • Kinky Friedman says the women in Dallas tend to look like a cross between a praying mantis and Morgan Fairchild. And Molly Ivins said Dallas “is a city that roots for Goliath to beat David.”

            So, yeah, they should have a soulful, gentle, understated life of lovingkindness there.

            Uh, not.

            • If you ever see a fat bald doctor with a rifle over his shoulder and a tanning bed bronzed new wife of neon yoga pant wearing vegan with double-d breast implants in Dallas can you give them a big holler hello from the ex who is free from paying the monthly alimony.

              Yeah haw…..

              • so is it Dallas? OW # 5 (or is it 6 or 7 or 8…but I digress) is from there too……can we send them all back there?

              • Hey that’s where my cheating ex-BIL fucktard found his ho-wife! What a Coinkidence! He’s Hub-tard #4 for her, and he likes to say she has “great good sense”. I always think (yeah, great good sense for a nice fat wallet.) She’s traded up each time, and Lord, does she look rode hard and put up wet!

                My lovely SIL simply refers to her as “the Slut.”

            • Oh my, I really miss Molly Ivins. I was actually quite sad when she passed away. And now that I think about it, dumbass ex, who could barely read a label on a tin, had no idea who she was and didn’t give a flying fuck that her passing made me sad, simply because I was going to miss her wit and wisdom.

          • She won’t fit in in Dallas being from Portland, OR! (Austin, maybe) Trust me on that one. This is a titanic train-wreck. Kinda fun to watch from the side lines. Keep us posted PF, if you still care what happens. ha ha ha
            (and, I AM sorry)

            Anybody ever see the Woody Allen movie, Husbands and Wives? Sydney Pollack is the complete fool for a young ‘spiritually’ stupid yoga instructor. Personally, I more relate to Judy Davis 😉
            (I know I know, some of you boycott Woody)

          • Chumaplicious – I’m also from Portland. I know a lot of people don’t really ‘get’ Portlandia, like I didn’t, but there is genius writing there AND, in it’s weird way they really do capture the weird atmosphere of the NW. No religion to speak of, free spirits, free range chickens, and raw food. Yup, they’ve got the crazies coming out of the woodwork there. I loved it there, but moved to the coast 18 yrs ago to get away from it. Love the blue-collar coastal town much better.

            • That raw restaurant was a real place; I looked it up. Pretty sure the fart patio was made up though. Saves on sets, I suppose.

              My folks moved us out to a farming town when I was in high school. Best thing they could have done.

    • LOL..Aww P.F. I’m Sorry.
      But you’re Soo Right on Target with Everything.
      May that Toilet Never Clog on You whilst Flushing Miss Human Floatation Device and Mr MeatNPotatoehead. Congrats on being Done with them and onto a New life.
      LOVE that sense of Humor 🙂

      • Lol…the toilet flush cleansing of the flaming turd is quite therapeutic.

        I’ve considered giving my ex a years supply of toilet paper as a wedding gift.

        I can’t walk by a toilet paper section of store without laughing out loud.

        • Very funny PF.
          Maybe a new line of sparkly toilet paper for those cheaters who reach first wedding anniversaries!

    • What is about folks who “fall in love” with people who are the exact opposite of who they profess to be? My ex was a card carrying radical leftist, who hated Fox News, televangalists and anyone claiming to be Republican. We worked on every Leftist cause TOGETHER for over 30 years. Who did he get his BJ’s from? A married Bible-thumper, sporting a “choose life” bumper sticker!!! They “prayed” together (before or after -who knows?).Literally, every single value we shared and worked for, from gay rights to the First Amendment, the OW was radically the polar opposite. When I walked in one morning and he was watching one of those shysters
      on TV asking for money to save souls, I thought of the movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and I knew something was up. Six months later, they made front page news…for fucking in a car.

      • What is it? Sex. Can’t really be anything else.

        Also, I think a lot of the time, the person they are having sex with is basically whoever was willing to sleep with a cheater.

        • Thanks for referring me to that article. I truly thought I was the only person who had gone through such a mind fuck – and I read so much bullshit about the hows and whys of cheating. I do think though, that it all boiled down to so-called hero worship -and money. The OW saw an opportunity and took it. All she had to do was pretend to be in awe of the Great and Wonderful Oz and she would be on easy street. Boy, was she mistaken! I may have been naive, but I’m not dumb. Can you say irrevocable trust?

      • Louise, that’s the best one I’ve heard yet. My ex also spiritualized the euphoric sex fog he was immersed in. That’s how he knew “Thou shall not commit adultery” didn’t apply to him and his soulmate. I wish I got to say they were caught fucking in the car in the church parking lot. Instead my best friend got to pass around to the members of his men’s group a copy of the text message he sent me about the girlfriend being pregnant. (only about to deliver and the divorce wasn’t over yet) That will have to do. He got kicked out of the men’s group but wouldn’t slink off in proper humiliation — he kept going and still goes to that church. I wouldn’t be able to show my face.

      • My ex has done that: final OW is maybe not the opposite of me but she sure is different – and thus he’s different. Because some of these people don’t have their own personalities. They’re like tofu – they take on the flavour of whomever they’re with. It’s creepy, to be honest.

  • Allyson, I think we all struggle with this especially in the beginning. For me it helped to hear my counselor say that I shouldn’t accept someone else’s opinion of my worthiness. I especially shouldn’t accept the opinion of a man who was living a double life, who lied to me repeatedly about his involvement with his married coworker, who walked out on his family and moved into the OW parent’s basement. Who does that kind of stuff? Messed up people without morals. Do I accept the opinion of a messed up person without morals regarding my worthiness? NO.

    There is nothing we can do or say that will get through to these kinds of people. They want what they want come hell or high water and they don’t care who they hurt in order to get it.

    You might explain to your kids that it hurts to hear about what they do with the OW and ask them to keep it to themselves. Seems to me it’s within your right to draw that boundary to protect yourself from further pain. You’re not asking them to stop doing things with their father, just to respect your feelings about the situation.

  • I am not a very good contributor to this blog but I do read it every day and contribute now and again. It is 2am in the morning on Tuesday 1st April 2014 in Melbourne Australia. I wake up early every morning and the 1st thing I do is make a cup of tea and read Chump Lady. The wisdom from Chump Lady and all of the wonderful Chumpettes makes it easier for me to get through the day. After 37 years of marriage, I no longer miss him or even want to see him or hear his voice but I just feel a little sad and then get on with it. Thank you Chump Lady and Chumpettes. You all have my deepest gratitude. Have a great day all.

    PS – Allyson, keep coming to this site it will help you enormously. I wish you all the best my dear girl.

    • It’s the first thing I do every morning too. Makes the day better every time.<3

      • It’s the last thing I do every night… makes for peaceful sleep 🙂

        • Hey My Fellow Chumps & Chumpettes

          For me, Twice a day! Yeah! Morning & nite

          (Reading here, that is…..)

          Am totally loving this conversation!

          What I want to know is…. what have ya’all been smokin’ and where can I get some?!!!
          (sorry about the ‘ya’all’…lived in TX….was married in Austin / family still in TX, so ‘ya’all’ is in my blood) 😉

          Forge on, silly ones, ForgeOn!!!!

  • CL, spot on as always.
    Allyson, it is very, very tough, but it will get better. I, too, compared myself to the OW. In many ways she is a lot like me (12 y.o. daughter pointed it out), only 12 year younger than me. My DDay was made more difficult because it was actually #3 . I was gaslighted on the previous 2 (a PA and an EA), and then H and I had been to MC. I thought we were on the same page, that he could tell me what he thought, and needed.
    Nope. He couldn’t, so blameshifted for 3 months during MC before he finally ‘fessed up to the OW (but not an affair, just in love with her…snort!).
    Much of my disbelief was due to the fact that I was never given a chance to fight.

    Even though I knew OW also cheated on her husband, I still felt that I lost.
    But, time puts things in perspective. They are both cheaters, they deserve one another. ExH left his kids to take his ‘dream job” with OW overseas: dream jobs do not truly exist.
    He has replaced his kids with a new baby, yet blames me that he does not get enough time with our children (dude, you moved 2,500 miles away, not my fault).

    The list goes on,
    It SEEMS like OW won, but you are the true winner. Many societies focus on the superficial, but I truly believe character matters.

    Hold your head high. You are the best part of this equation.

  • Oh man I cannot tell you how I struggled with this. And while what everyone says here is right, truth be told it never helped me. The message from this site that helped me was to keep moving forward. But no matter how much I told myself the OW was settling, that even though she was duped in the beginning, she knowingly chose to stay so she’s a fucknut and no matter how much I told myself what a disordered POS my ex was, I could never shake the feeling that they “won” – because they still had what they wanted. What I will say is this – time makes all the difference. Getting on with YOUR life makes all the difference – to keep moving forward no matter how much it hurts. I spent all of 2012 and 2013 dealing with this shit pile, and remembering thinking how am I ever going to get on the otherside. Well guess what – it happens! I’m on the other side!!

    My divorce (all courtesy of my actions and money) was final December 30th. I was finally able to move out in February and even though my townhouse is half the size of the house I moved out of, I love it and most importantly, I love the peace that I have now that i’m removed. Sure, I miss what what I thought I had and there are elements of my Ex that I miss, but i’m not MISSING him. I still get worked up and angry or cry over the cheating. But it’s so much easier to not get upset and now it’s fewer and far between. AND AND AND!!! – I’m seeing a lovely person who thinks the world of me and so now I really can see that living a good life is the best revenge.

    • Chrissybob..I totally understand. As much as I read and reread the advice of CL and everyone else on the site, I tend to dwell on the OW and their relationship. She won immediately of course..I didn’t have a chance to do the “pick me” dance because he bailed out on our marriage and kids on Dday. Amazing how someone you thought you knew for 26 years turns out to be someone you never knew at all. In my case I can’t get past the thought that she truly has something I never had, or gives him something I never could. Their affair has been going on for 3 years..everybody tells me that the “newness and sparklyness” wears off. However, since the OW and my H have had their relationship for several years, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by thinking that it’s no longer in the “honeymoon” stage. He’s reminded me that she doesn’t bitch at him or nag him. Apparently I must be the bitchiest nag from hell. And I nagged about absolutely nothing, of course..just the kids, the finances, the house reponsibilities..none of which they share in their rainbow of a life. But they have so much FUN together! They go out and get DRUNK together! She’s “the one” and they are meant to be together! I hate them both, and I despise her with a passion. She is divorced so she hadn’t been cheating on a spouse; but she knows damn well that he left my kids and I for her. I remind myself that like CL says, I’m the winner. She’s the one that has decided he’s so great, regardless of what he did to his wife and kids. But what bugs me to no end is the thought of them being makes me sick. The asshats get to be with who they want and do whatever they please, while us chumps try to pick up the pieces of our shattered lives and get through each day. I often think that it’s not fair that he gets to be with someone he loves and be happy, while I have a life of loneliness to look forward to. I’m 45, and where I live the dating pool is pretty much empty..rural America! So I get to be here with no self-esteem or self-confidence thanks to being deserted, while the H and OW hold hands and ride off into the sunset together. The whole family thing affects me too. My family lives thousands of miles away, so his family has been my family for 26 years. Now that’s all changed..2 Sundays ago there was a family brunch, which happens most weekend, and of course I wasn’t invited. I have asked the H what I’m supposed to do on holidays considering him the the whore will be there, and he tells me “I don’t know” which basically means “I don’t give a shit as long as I’m happy with my true love”. And in my opinion..I am much better than the OW in every way. I’ve said here before that she’s white trash stuck in the 80s, whose social life consists of hitting the bars and getting smashed with my H as often as possible, which has resulted in them getting arrested 3 times for fighting other people in bars. What’s better..the fact that the h traded way down for some skank? Or those whose H “traded up” for someone younger, prettier, richer, and hotter? Both are painful, don’t get me wrong. But geez, if he was going to throw the kids and I away..couldn’t he have at least picked someone who doesn’t completely bleach her hair and white blonde as possible and has skin made of leather because she lives in a tanning booth? One that doesn’t consider fun getting drunk and arrested? And here’s his response when I told him I want my children to have absolutely nothing to do with her..”You’re gonna have to get used to it.”

      • Sandy – this is one of the most awful things I’ve read. You’ve been living close to his family all these years, included in all the family events, and special regular brunches – I mean, you guys were CLOSE! How shameful of them to just suddenly ostrasize you, evict you from the family basically. I know rural town USA very well and they are hard-working, very family oriented people and are mostly like a big family blanket that wraps their love around their ‘clan’ and make them all welcome. I can’t imagine the pain this brought you. Not only dumped by a cheater but by his whole family, which has become yours? You did NOTHING WRONG. I am disgusted by this to the bone. I’m so sorry. Yes, please move asap – you have NO support there. They support the cheater because, what? blood? That’s just BS. Not sure how they can go to church, let alone sleep at night! Fuck em all.

        • SheChump..It’s been horrible so far! It’s tough on me because I grew up in a very close-knit family, and in the past few years my parents moved to Arkansas; 1 sister and her family moved to Georgia; and my other sister and her family moved to Kansas. So his family really has been my family here! The first Sunday brunch a few weeks ago..I cried and cried and cried as I sat home alone, and the H was with the family like nothing happened..even after all he’s done. As for the inlaws..there take on this is “he is our son and we still love him”. Doesn’t matter that their son decided after 26 years that apparently the kids and I aren’t what he wants, so he decides to dump us for the OW. As for moving..boy, that’s tough. I have lived here all of my life; the job I’ve been at for 23 years is here; and my 6th grade daughter is extremely involved in school here with sports and other activities. It’s so, so hard..none of us should ever have to go through this. I don’t think the cheaters have any idea how shattered we are; or they just don’t care.

  • Dear Allyson,
    They may look happy, but eventually he won’t be able to maintain it. These people don’t change.
    The NPD person I was married to was a serial cheater and skirt-chaser in his previous marriage which he forgot to mention. He progressed to prostitutes by the end of our marriage.
    After I found out and he had left, I contacted his former wife hoping to make sense of it all. Our stories were mirror images. He pulled the same shit with her that he did with me, and he’ll do it with the next one and next one till he dies.
    People like that have such rigid, entrenched coping mechanisms that they are not going to change. The ex-NPD I married didn’t learn a thing from cheating with his former wife or with me. She and I did all the changing, pressing our real selves down to avoid the temper tantrums, the storming out, the cold silence.
    I would guess he’s already shown her his ugly side, but she’ll find out sooner or later what he’s doing when she isn’t with him. If he was like the NPD person I was married to, he needs constant validation that he’s a Don Juan and irresistible to women and an extremely good liar. It will come out in the end.
    Even though it seems impossible now, you’ll be glad you got rid of him when you did. They just get worse and more desperate for attention as they age. The “person” in my case, has spent the last few years after the divorce (as well as during the marriage when he’d make a side-trip from Germany or London while on business.) traveling to Eastern Europe to meet girls he found online. After getting some expensive trips, cash and gifts, they’d dump him, but there were always more. Now that that source has been closed off now after the situation with Russia and Ukraine, instead of moving there, he’s moving to the Philippines. But he believes in “romance” with a capital R even if women continually disappoint him. One of the last things he told me was that he wasn’t through with “Romance” even though he’s been disappointed by women all his life. Pathetic for someone pushing 70.

    I want you to know, even if it seems impossible now, you will someday be past those intense feelings you are having now. I planned many times to kill myself because the pain was unbearable but held off another day. It’s possible to ride it out and come out on the other side. I promise.

    • nwrain, your 2nd last sentence made me cold because I was planning my demise. That is exactly how I was feeling only about 4 weeks ago. I have lost my husband, my 2 adult children and nobody cares because life goes on around me. I kept thinking to myself, ‘what do I have to live for’ and certainly nobody will miss me. Slowly but surely I realised I had ‘me’ to live for. I have decided to go on a trip for a few weeks in early May (never got taken anywhere in 37 years) and I kept thinking that, that was what kept me going (living) and then what will I do upon my return home. Death seemed like the only option. Not now, I know things will get better and are getting better because I am willing myself to improve my lot. I have a lot to be grateful for even through all of the pain.

      • Maree, remember “good in this life is always rewarded”. I know you are grieving and believe your children have abandoned you as well, but it’s new. IMHO your grown children are experiencing the very same emotions you are. You have always been the parent they’ve relied on and you are hurting. Your world has been turned upside down. Know this YOU are strong. Your children will come around they are wounded too. We all need time to “lick our wounds”. My children went through this with me. They are still fragile. Be there for yours. Plan new crazy times together. My kids and I went to New York for Christmas. We ate Chinese takeout Christmas Eve. It was so healing. The best thing you can do now is to nurture yourself. Enjoy that trip, explore new hobbies, go to a concert. The kids will know then that life goes on. And that will also help them to know how to treat you (my ex modeled a likable veneer but treated me like crap). I always called him on it. I wish you the best future and I love that you are time away from us in the States and are peacefully drinking your tea.

      • Maree I know how you’re feeling. The day I had to pick up the petition for divorce and saw my ex’s name on that paper I wanted to drive over to the nearest graveyard, climb in and hole and have them cover me up. I was just so tired of living! Please get help for yourself, call on everyone you can think of to help. For me it was a pastor who talked to me weekly, plus a counselor, plus lots of friends and family that surrounded me. Hold onto hope that things can change for the better with your kids but in the meantime work on learning how to take care of yourself and make yourself happy. You can do it but it takes time to get through the grief. Don’t try to go it alone. My ex left right at the time that my kids got married and moved away so I know how tough it is to feel you’ve lost everything you lived for. There is life out there, though. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and press on.

      • Hon, NEVER Let Death be your Only option.
        Build a LIFE YOU want. It’s Enough that They’ve Caused you Soo Much Pain. Don’t Give Them THAT Too. They Don’t Deserve That OR YOU.
        YOU DESERVE Happiness. If You’ve forgotten what that IS, Spend the Remainder Finding Out…THAT Is what TRUE Life Is..Rediscovering ,after that which Should be Removed, Is. You can Afford to be ” SElfish” Cause it’s Just You now, No one to Answer to or Tell you NO or ” What about ME ?!
        You have a Kind Heart, so I Needn’t tell you not to be Selfish in a way that is Harmful to Others..Unlike Those Who Walked Away from You..
        I Say GOOD..NOW there’s ROOM for Beauty. Embrace it for ALL you’re Worth…and you ARE WORTHY of a GOOD Life.

      • Maree, I’m glad you are getting past the worst of it – keep going, it will keep getting better. Jedi Hugs!

      • Good for you for planning your own trip! I hope it is an amazing experience that is the start of a much better chapter for you.

        I knew winter would be hard for me, so I made a list of goals to accomplish by the end of June. Something I could look at and use to propel me in some sort of forward motion. Some are small tasks, others are trips, and others are more career-oriented steps. So I know what you mean by creating events of things to help as we all try to keep going.

        Hang in there… It will get better.

      • Precious Maree!! Very precious Maree……

        So glad you worked through that awful feeling & see the value of YOU & the value of the gift of life!

        I, too, have felt like ending it all….on MANY occasions! But, it was more of a ‘l just want to not exist any longer’ due to the pain. I never could go as far as planning anything…….I would always imagine how it would make my parents feel, how my son would feel (thankfully, I still have a VERY close bound with my child) how my friends would feel & so on. Mostly, how would my Creator feel.

        Do not give the cheaters that gift…..the gift of your life TOTALLY sacrificed for THEM!
        Immediately following one of my D-Day’s, my circle of support knew I was extremely distraught & took turns checking up on me…..Get such a circle if you don’t already.

        Remember, this is NOT just a cutesie saying; it is the truth: “A life well lived IS the best revenge!”

        You can not do that if you are dead…….

        Live well, Maree…..and ForgeON!!!!!

    • “I would guess he’s already shown her his ugly side, but she’ll find out sooner or later what he’s doing when she isn’t with him.”
      I think my H has shown him his best and brightest personality in the 3 years they’ve been together. Obviously she doesn’t get the crabby-assed, lazy, selfish lover, horrible father, gets pissed at the drop of a hat side of him. No..he saved that for me..woo hoo!So why is it that she gets the best of him, while I got the worst? Oh and I forgot to a lot of cheaters, he’s been paying her bills and buying her gifts..instead of taking care of his family. And he’s spent more time with her family in the last 3 years than he did with ours. I can only hope that somehow, sometime she will get to see something other than a hero that treats her like a queen.

    • So happy you are planning a trip! And while you are on that trip, you can decide what new thing to do for yourself when you get home. I had a very bad day a couple of weeks ago and thought that my life was meaningless (although I have great work, friends, etc., it seemed…meaningless. But like you I got through that and what I learned on the other side is that I am lucky (we are lucky) that we have an opportunity to reinvent our lives. Keep the great stuff, shine up the stuff that good but could be better, and ditch what doesn’t work. Then find the things that bring us joy. Today I wrote, “Life is good.” We wouldn’t be reading and writing here if we didn’t want to live whole and happy lives. And you are on your way!

      • Maree, I hope you have a great time on your trip. Abroad? You deserve it and deserve to find out what pleases you.

        • nwrain and Ladies, thank you all for your very kind comments. I have taken them all on board.

          nwrain, I am going to Paris which is a very long way from Australia.. I feel blessed to be able to do that at 62 years of age. I will be in Paris for 2 days and nights and then a cruise for 2 weeks then home. I am excited but also nervous.

          • Maree. Narre Warren South. Italy in June. Tour then 3 days on my own in Sorrento. Petrified and Liberated all at the same time. I am sorry about your kids. That sucks. I don’t get it. But rejoice in your flight of fancy. I am waiting for 50 before I do Paris, but I swear to God, for the first time EVER in my life, I am convinced I can DO ANYTHING! And I really only have that idiot to thank for that. He really did give me my freedom.

          • Maree, I hope you fall in love with Paris: it can happen in just two days!

          • Maree – are you going this alone? If so, I SO admire you. I want to do the exact same thing! If you’re going with friends, great. Paree, oh how I’d love to do that. Maybe a cruise like that but….women only! I just cannot do men any more!

            • Hi SheChump, yes I am going alone at the grand age of 62 years. My sister is worried for me but I know I will be fine. The cruise I am going on is a mixed bunch so that will be interesting. I totally agree with no men any more. I have only had one romance in my life and I will never give another bloke the opportunity to lie, cheat and deceive me again. Us girls are far more resilient than we know. I still have 5 weeks before departure but will let you know how it all went upon my return home.

  • Allyson,

    Along the whole “trust that he/she sucks” theme – she is NOT getting her “dream” – she is getting your nightmare…just delayed a bit.

    The younger OW in my case had apparently been knowingly cheating with my exH most of our 10 year marriage. They were “soul mates” and all that sh*&. So, apparently about six months after he left me – for her – she discovered that there was ANOTHER OW, and that instead of being divorced from me for the past 5 years (as he’d told her and his family) we were still very much married. Oh, and the 5 year old daughter he claimed “he wasn’t sure was his”? And the 2 year old son he “forgot to mention” – she apparently discovered photos online with captions…dated photos of the daughter that looks EXACTLY like him being kissed by her daddy (wearing his wedding ring) and photos of his son being held by him with tears in his eyes (also wearing his wedding ring)…my point is – these crazy cheaters don’t change their character and become better. They might lie more effectively for longer, but they are still lying, cheating creeps. I used to wonder what went through her head when she saw those pictures, how I hardly care. Just know that they suck. And nobody who hurts people like this lives happily ever after.

    • Yep ” She’s not Getting Her Dream, she’s getting Your Nightmare “.

  • Allyson,

    You are both right and wrong. His cheating was NOT about you. It wasn’t caused by anything you lacked, an extra few pounds or years, your hair color or the way you dressed. Cheating was all about him. It always is. Cheating is an act of supreme selfishness. Cheating and leaving you and his child is even more supremely selfish. Putting you and his child through the Pick Me Dance is disgusting. Think about it. He played with both of your emotions for months. He’s worse than a turd, because at least a turd eventually dries up and stops stinking. He will always smell like last week’s garbage.

    On the other hand… this… right here, right now, and forever into the future is ALL ABOUT YOU. That’s the good news, because you can take care of you from here on out. You can trust yourself, you can treat yourself well, you can make sure that your lovely daughter gets the best of you. You are both so very worth it.

    Jealous? Of course you are sometimes, because you’re human. It’s okay, but it’s not about the other woman, either. Giving himself permission to cheat is all about him, even if she went after him.

    Happy Ending? Don’t count on it. I mean, really, what is she getting? A man who could change his mind at any time about whether or not he wants to be in her life. How must that feel to chew on? What is he getting? A woman who doesn’t have the boundaries to stay away from a married father. A woman who would cheat on her boyfriend with his friend. She ought to be a LOT of fun to take to social events, huh? He’s going to be watching her like a hawk, because if she crossed that boundary once…

    You got the luggage set and a all-expense paid trip to a better future, even if it isn’t the one you once thought it would be.

    Take care of you and that precious daughter.

    • This is good…really good: “Happy Ending? Don’t count on it. I mean, really, what is she getting? A man who could change his mind at any time about whether or not he wants to be in her life. How must that feel to chew on? What is he getting? A woman who doesn’t have the boundaries to stay away from a married father. A woman who would cheat on her boyfriend with his friend. She ought to be a LOT of fun to take to social events, huh? He’s going to be watching her like a hawk, because if she crossed that boundary once…”

  • Allyson, just today I received a copy of a text message from a mother of one of my sons best mate.
    She had the terrible experience of her ex taking off with her best friend 16 years ago when her three kids were in nappies.
    She had to move 1000km away because the fuckwits would go to the local shopping centre just to piss her off.
    Her ex did nothing for the kids. No maintenance, no contact, zip.

    The text message today said what a mess he had made of his life and how he missed her bla bla fucking bla!
    She replied Chris, look after yourself.

    That’s Karma Allyson. It takes a full 16 years. It’s a slow bus but it does arrive.

    I’m with you jealous as hell but after two years I’m beginning to wonder what a empty shallow life my two fucktards have. No friends and unable to fit in anywhere with the boys mates or mates parents. They live in their fantasyland cocooned like two leaches sucking blood and who knows what out of each other until they explode.

    Allyson its the hardest journey you are on now( but you won the luggage which will help) however in time you and I will realise we left behind a train smash and lucky we were given the opportunity to get off the train.

    I get the replacement feeling too. She has just purchased a sister golden retriever to our same dog. She lives 200 meters up the road. She wants everything she had. She lost her integrity, morals, trust, honesty , and reputation. You can’t buy those. Fuckwits!

  • Actually started laughing when my ex married his OW. Classic! Knew right then I was FREE! And that they truly deserve one another. A, you will, one day, realize your gifts were absolutely wasted on your ex. There is a better life waiting and all it requires you to do is to move forward. CL, I am still laughing at your comment, “lately, I’ve been wondering if I’m everybody’s divorce fairy godmother”…. Uh, you ARE! 😉 Sunny thoughts Chump Nation!

    • I started laughing when the exH of 5 days emailed me to say the OW was pregnant even though they had decided to wait, he was angry, blah, blah, blah. Ha! He got a cheater just looking for a baby daddy. Hee hee.

      I was not so happy 2 months later when he said he was marrying her, even though the kids had not yet met her! I still shake my head on that one. He had no idea how she would treat his children…..

  • Allyson, their happiness is doubtful, and doubly doubtful that it would last. He was a jerk to you, he;ll eventually be a jerk to her, too. As another poster wrote in their limerick awhile back:

    “Your past is her future.”

  • Allyson, I know that feeling of disbelief and of having been ripped off, SO well! That the idiot cheater would make the choices he/she did, and that the AP would end up having so many good things that you thought were yours, is just MADDENING!

    At some point I realized that a big part of my difficulty accepting this was the inability to understand how my ex didn’t value certain things that are clearly, clearly so valuable. He didn’t value having a loving, fun, smart wife who made HUGE efforts to make our relationship work and to make him happy. He didn’t value having a wife who knew him very well, knew how negative, difficult, etc he could be, and loved him anyway, AND still had good sex with him, often! He didn’t value being part of a team that worked hard together (well, the together part was mostly spackle) to create a good life for us and our kids. He didn’t value, most unbelievably of all, providing an intact family for his kids, with two parents who loved them and were always there.

    I kept getting hung up on this; the kids are being adorable (or awful); how could he not think it important to BE here for this? I’m not having sex w/anybody; how could he throw that away? Didn’t he KNOW that having a very active sex life for a decade and a half, with every sign it would continue, was hugely LUCKY? Having dinner with friends; didn’t he value THIS? Contacts with extended family (even his); how could he not value THIS? Stupid little stuff, a beautiful Saturday when he and I would have been holding hands and walking to the shops to get groceries for the week, to cook nice meals and feed our family. How could he not realize how fucking lucky he was? ESPECIALLY after all the CRAP he had pulled in the past, that I had moved on from??

    Then I realized I needed to shift my focus; every time I felt that, it was just a sign that I DO value all those things. They are important and valuable to me, and I will work hard to keep them in my life. They clearly weren’t that valuable to him, or not valuable enough that he would make any effort to keep them, either in the relationship or outside it. So now when that disbelief and revolt rises up, I just focus on how much I DO value that moment, that experience, that person or situation. It had to become about me, which is ironic, because his problem is that it’s always been too much about him.

    On one of his multiple attempts to convince me to let him come back, my ex said ‘it can’t have been selfishness, I wouldn’t have done things that made me as unhappy as I am now’. I had to explain that it was short-sighted selfishness – I want what I want when I want it (and there will never be consequences of any kind, and later when I want something else, I’ll have that). But he still doesn’t get it.

    • “Then I realized I needed to shift my focus; every time I felt that, it was just a sign that I DO value all those things. “

      This is so helpful, Karen – thank you!

    • Karen E, that was beautifully put. I know I was always reminding my ex that he should slow down and enjoy life. He seemed to drive himself and work so hard, always gone and when he was home he was working just as hard outside. I kept thinking at some point he would realize he had a family who loved him, a wife that had stayed with him for so many years…our family was so precious to me. Sometimes at the end when I’d tell him “you need to enjoy your life” he would get a funny look on his face. Now I know it was because he was thinking he’d enjoy it a whole lot more if he wasn’t with me. He even told our oldest son after he left that he needed to “find his happiness.” My oldest son said, “he doesn’t know that you look for happiness on the inside instead of the outside.” Even our kids knew more about what was really important than he did. All my ex ever cared about was acquisition. Getting more accolades, more awards, more cars, more prestige, more land, more money…more, more, more. I’m so glad to be off that out of control merry-go-round!

      • I too agree that you write beautifully. That funny look on his face? These people will never “get” being a part of a real family. It was never you, or what you had to offer, that makes these choices. They can’t appreciate it because they are not wired to do so. That what I want when I want it? Yes. It is always about that.

      • Your son is right on target. It’s clear he got his wisdom from you.

    • KarenE, Wow. Just wow. I spent all afternoon thinking about Easter–last year my family get-together was on Good Friday so we went for a long drive in his truck, just had a terrific day, ended up heating hot dogs and fries at some little family restaurant open at 5 pm Easter Sunday. And I thought, “Won’t he miss that?” But you are right; that’s just a sign that I valued what we did, what we had, and he didn’t. So I am going on that drive myself this year, maybe not with the hot dog and fries (I’m down 20 pounds and not going back) but for the walk along the river and the slow ride through spring countryside, radio on. Going to copy your post and read it when I need it. Thanks.

    • Your idea of turning the thinking around from “he didn’t value x” to “I really value x!” is great. I think I need to reframe my thoughts in this way. I find myself thinking about him abandoning me, and it would probably be better for me to try to reframe my thought pattern somehow.

      • Yeah, because I’d get stuck on this hamster wheel of ‘how is it possible he didn’t or doesn’t value this? How can ANYBODY not value this? It’s so valuable in this way and that way …’, as if trying to convince him in my mind! It was wearing me out and keeping me on the defensive and focussed on him.

        Just helped my son review for his biology test, accepted that my daughter was going to go to school in an old t-shirt of her brother’s, and waved them both off to school on a BEAUTIFUL morning (still entirely covered in snow, but ONLY -2 degrees C, so pretty much spring!), came back in the house to see my kitties playing together and then settling into a nap in the sunshine. My life is GREAT, because I know how lucky I am to have my kids, my health, two jobs I love, great friends, a supportive family ….. I know what I value, and that’s all that matters.

      • Karen and Lyn – very good posts and made me think. My H was also an acquisitionist. Always had to have more more more more. As the good wife, I went along with HIS dreams. And, he kept me busy.
        I read a post awhile back about a couple starting out in a rowboat. (and I paraphrase) They do well with their paddles and get a little better rowboat…then another nicer rowboat…oh, how lucky they are, but surely there are better rowboats out there…SO, they are doing so well, they finally ascend to a big wonderful Cruise Boat. They have reached Utopia! Suddenly, they have it ALL. Looking around, wife thinks it’s time to stop and smell the roses and watch the whales a little more. Good to quit rowing so hard, finally…and move onto real peace and life and old age. But, one day, the Driver of the Cruise Boat is not sure what to do next, so – he unplugs the drain in the beautiful boat. It sinks. And, he finds himself back in a shabby rowboat with a big headache.

        This about sums up my materialistic stbx who doesn’t seem to recall any good memories of the past 35 yrs to keep him with his absolutely faithful wife who loved him no matter how bad he rowed at times. Nah – he just wanted to find a new rowboat operator who doesn’t have a clue how to row!

  • Wow. I am SO living this with you. Envy = feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions. Oh I get it: Two incomes. Financial security. Vacations. New cars. A home. A couple. A family. A future.

    I struggle with the battle nearly every day. It sucks. You are right – they do not deserve to be happy.

    My best advice (and hundreds of dollars spent on counseling): learn to control your thoughts. Focus on you. Learn to re-live your life. Invest in you. And, GIVE IT TIME. There is a season of being alone after an unforeseen divorce. Stop fighting it and start fighting for your own happiness (even if it just 15 minute increments).

    • It helps to turn your thinking around. Think of the time you now spend alone as a gift to find out who you really are and how to take care of yourself. Don’t think of it as a punishment for not being good enough for the cheater ex.

  • “It is literally eating me alive. The fact that I did right by my family and my spouse and that he ‘gets away with it’ is more than I can wrap my head around. Why should they get to be happy when I am so miserable?”

    This reminds me of when I discovered my ex’s (last) OW. Said bullshit like she was “so soooooorrrryyy” that I was hurting and “didn’t meeeaaaan” to make me feel that way. And that they were TOTALLY going to WAIT until ex and I were broken up, but they just made each other SO HAPPY so I should just move on so they could have their happiness.

    Gag me with a spoon, right?

    Well, I did move on. But not for their sake. For my own. Yes, I was hurting. I was hurting to the tune of 7 months of therapy and suicidal thoughts. No, she wasn’t sorry and neither was he. And sure, she slathered a shitload of crap on her page about how great he was and how much he loves her and how rainbows shoot out her ass when they are together. For a while, I was bitter because I thought “What the fuck is so special about this girl that she gets all this shit when I never got treated that way?!?!?”

    Then I realized:

    Nothing. Absolutely NOTHING is special about her. And nothing WAS special about her. After a while he did the same thing to her that he did to me and their ass-shooting-rainbows relationship went to just as much shit as ours did. And now, I actually found a profile of hers on an art site, and she pretty much hates him. Whattaya know.

    A dog turd with sparkles and pink frosting is STILL a dog turd. No matter what you put on it. So she won. Big whoop. What did she win? She won a lying, selfish, narcissistic cheater. Yeah, that sounds like a prize, don’t it? “If you marry a man who cheated on his wife, you married a man who cheats on his wife.” Or “If he’ll cheat with you, he’ll cheat on you.”

    She’s not special. And I’d say she got the booby prize. A REAL prize would be freedom from the emotional hurt he doles out. YOU got that prize. Not her.

    • “If you marry a man who cheated on his wife, you married a man who cheats on his wife.” Or “If he’ll cheat with you, he’ll cheat on you.”
      Do you think that’s true? I feel like the OW is “the one” who will stop his philandering, because they are obviously deeply in love. I do wonder..don’t you think that there will always be a little nagging thought somewhere in the back of her mind..that maybe he’ll cheat on her, too?

      • No way Sandy. Like CL said-he won’t get a character transplant overnight and become wonderful. People very rarely change and when they do it’s because of a lot of work they’ve done (usually as a result of a life changing incident).

        Your ex did not find “the one”. Eventually the shine will wear off this one too and he’ll take his penis to greener pastures. Plus I’ve read before on this site that cheaters have to keep appearences because it validates their twu wuv. What everyone else sees is not necessarily what it is actually going on.

        And yes, she is always going to worry about whether or not he will cheat on her so that is some crazy making right there. Get some popcorn and enjoy the show, even if you have to imagine it.

        • Or she won’t worry because she’s convinced that she, and their two lurv are so special!!!! One day the wake up call will come, and even if by some fluke he never cheats on her, he’ll still be the selfish idiot he always was. No prize!

      • Yeah, I think it’s true. Here’s why:

        People don’t change because of other people making them. They change because they want to. You can drag a drug addict to rehab, but they will only clean up if they want to. You can sit them in a room in a straight jacket and make them detox. But they can still leave and relapse. They will only stay detoxed IF THEY WANT TO.

        The OW isn’t special. The cheater will only stop cheating if he wants to. And if he feels that his cheating was justified (with whatever bullshit reason he can pull out his ass) he will never want to change because he will never feel that he needs to.

        The OW isn’t magical. She isn’t special. If she were special, she wouldn’t be an OW. She’d be able to obtain a partner who is single and available and not have to dig her claws into someone else’s husband.

        There might be a nagging, but in my experience (and the experience of many others) that nagging is non-existent because AP’s think they are made of sunshine dust. It’s kind of in the same vein of what you just said. They believe, though coming from completely different angles, that they are “THE ONE.” Coming from your perspective it’s “I wasn’t good enough.” Coming from her perspective it’s “I’m the BEST.” It’s a dangerous mindset to have. For you, it pushes your self-esteem into a ditch and keeps you from Meh. For her, it inflates her ego to the point where she thinks she’s untouchable.

        Nah. She ain’t special. As long as he thinks he’s fine as he is, he won’t change. The only person that can change him is HIM.

        • I should also add: That as long as he believes his loyalty in a relationship is contingent on how his partner behaves, then he won’t change. No matter who he’s with. The minute the OW doesn’t live up to his standards, he will find another one and give her the same justifications he gave before. It’s about his moral (or lack thereof) compass. If it points to “cheat whenever you’re not satisfied” that’s what he’ll do. And he’s got plenty of shit coming from the Reconciliation Industrial Complex to make him believe that cheating is the justifiable way of dealing with dissatisfaction. So he has very little incentive to change.

        • Ugg, I’m struggling with this now too. What about he found an OW who is ok with him being with other women? Don’t think he’ll leave that anytime soon! I’m having a hard time dealing with that reality.

  • When the garbage man picks the trash up at the curb I don’t mind. Hell I give him a Christmas card every year!
    If someone wants to take the garbage from my life have at it.
    Pick ups are Tuesday mornings.
    All the ow got was garbage. Image management can’t change that. And if I’m right these types get worse with age so the garbage will smell even worse with time. It’s hard, no doubt. But time and distance, gratitude and patience and certainly this site will help.
    It gets better. Peace awaits.

  • I used to say “she got my life” because it was true. House, cars, trips, husband. All of it. Even upgraded. I got bupkiss. But at least what I got is honest. The life we had together and the life they will have together is anything but.

    It really has nothing to do with you. Their affair had nothing to do with you. What happens to them now has nothing to do with you. It’s their own ineptitude that landed them there, not yours.

    Trust me. You will drive yourself bonkers with comparing yourself to her. Some days you will feel like Grace Kelly and others a nameless bum if you keep chasing the comparison. It is exhausting and yields nothing that means anything. All you are doing is trying to regain control of a situation you have absolutely no control over.

  • OMG – Allyson, Walking It, Kara, you all could have written my story for me. Agree agree agree. I won’t take up more time re-writing it. I have only one thing to add: my STBX has ALREADY had the big screaming fight with OW and stomped out and they haven’t seen each other again. Their twu wuv didn’t even last 9 months (the length of a pregnancy!) , once we’d separated. I was so so jealous during all that time, thinking that she was getting MY life. And I finally GOT IT: it was not about me. It was about his selfishness, capability of deceit, arrogance. It was not LOVE. A man who loved that woman would not stomp out after the first fight and give up. Turds don’t change, even if they put on sparkly frosting. And a man who loved ME would not have done this to me. I don’t want to be with someone who does not LOVE me. I gained a chance to be whole within myself, instead of always living in his shadow. What a blessing and a gift, the real treasure in this mess!

  • “I gained a chance to be whole within myself, instead of always living in his shadow. What a blessing and a gift, the real treasure in this mess!”

    Amen to that!

  • “Turd envy.”

    That, quite frankly, is exactly why I come here. CL, you have such a way not only of making me laugh but making me realize that what I might be doing– feeling resentful or jealous because I’m alone and they’re playing “happy family” with my kids– is downright ridiculous and makes about as much sense as envying a turd, which I would never do. Who envies feces? Who wishes she could be around dog doo on a sidewalk all the time and is jealous of others who have it in their backyards when she doesn’t?

    No one does, and yet we do envy these turds all the time even though that’s exactly what they are– the undigestable remains from a dog’s intenstines. It stinks, it’s gross, and when you step in it, you cringe in horror and fear that your shoe will never be the same; you rush off immediately to clean the nastiness off. What my XWH and his sad excuse for a woman did is nasty, and I don’t want to be anywhere near that (let alone have it on my shoes!).

    That image is a keeper! 🙂

  • Allyson–I hear you. As others have said, we’ve been there. It’s easy to be jealous of the AP. It’s also very, very natural.

    One of my revenge fantasies is to take the high road through all the proceedings, and then, once the divorce is declared final, to tell OW that yes, the best woman won: me.

    She gets a man who will cheat on his wife. He gets a woman who has no problems with cheating with other people’s husbands (she’s had 2 long-term affairs with married men that I know of, and has one-night stands with at least 2 more from STBX’s workplace).

    Me? I get the freedom from STBX’s drama, and more importantly, freedom to find my happiness.

    • My revenge fantasy is to go up to the other woman and THANK her for taking that POS off my hands.

      • Me, too. I wanted to say, “Good luck, turns out you are #3. Hope you knew that.”

        But, I still have not met her, and I hope I will not have to for 5 years (high school graduation).

  • Allyson, you said “I cannot believe that SHE WON! I am a good person, and I did not deserve this – and she gets MY LIFE!”

    Really? NO.

    YOU WON. You are a good person who deserves a GOOD life, you are free now to have a GOOD life.

    Don’t let fear keep you stuck desiring the nebulous life you thought was ahead of. You would never have that with the asshole who treated you like dirt, neither will the OW. Kick that imaginary life out of your way. You don’t have to miserable, you don’t need to compare your life with anyone else, and you certainly have NOTHING to be ashamed of. You were honest and true to your marriage and you expected the same in return. There is no shame in navigating the world with honesty and trust. There is no reason to be jealous of a woman who hit the fucked up life jackpot.

  • don’t share the same politics as Jenny Sanford but loved, loved, loved her response to the reporter asking about her husband, “his career is not a concern of mine. I’m worried about taking care of …the character of my children.”

    Keep in mind the balls she had as the First Lady to a sitting Governor – who was on the short list for potential VP candidates at the time….


  • I struggle with the jealousy thing, too. It didn’t take very long for it to become clear that the cheating Jackass and the married OW were not going to live happily ever after. He is still denying that he “stepped on” on me (his term) and once I caught them on FB and the secret was out, there were too many ways that his ego would take a hit if her husband caught them or her teenage sons or someone else. I spent a lot of time looking at one social media (although I blocked her on FB) that revealed a lot about who she is, what she likes, etc. Poorly educated, very concerned with designer labels and the expensive life, no sign of thoughtfulness about others, etc., and behaviors more appropriate for a teenager than a mother in her mid-40s. That of course took me to the “what does he see in her? phase,” and that too leads nowhere. In the end, he can’t do what I can do. Commit. Share. Be accountable. Live without ego kibbles. Love a partner unconditionally, flaws and all. Not chase after shiny objects and then drop them on the street when they get a little worn.

    KarenE said this above, and it bear repeating: “Then I realized I needed to shift my focus; every time I felt that, it was just a sign that I DO value all those things. They are important and valuable to me, and I will work hard to keep them in my life. They clearly weren’t that valuable to him, or not valuable enough that he would make any effort to keep them, either in the relationship or outside it. So now when that disbelief and revolt rises up, I just focus on how much I DO value that moment, that experience, that person or situation. It had to become about me, which is ironic, because his problem is that it’s always been too much about him.”

    I think one reason I ended up being chumped is that I have spent a lifetime spackling guys and making it “too much about [them.]” In some cases, it may be true that the OW is living your old life, but where did that old life get you? In every fiber of my being I mourned the life I had, the one I thought we were building. I still cry about it sometimes. But I intend to have every bit of what I loved in that life and a whole lot more than I can’t imagine. And I will have it for myself until–and only if–I meet a man who can value those things too, value them enough to treat them as the precious things they are. And me as a precious person. Now I feel like that about 87.3 % of the time.

    • LaJ, THIS: ‘ But I intend to have every bit of what I loved in that life and a whole lot more than I can’t imagine. And I will have it for myself until–and only if–I meet a man who can value those things too, value them enough to treat them as the precious things they are. And me as a precious person.’

      THIS is why I am not the tiniest littlest teeniest bit tempted when my ex comes around trying to get me or some little part of our life together back. He says NOW he realizes what he threw away, NOW he sees he was stupid to do what he did. But I want a man who values me BEFORE he loses me, one who treats me and my kids well because he knows how precious we are, as we would him.

  • When I was researching OW in the early days of discovering the affair, I kept finding evidence that she decidedly wasn’t all that. It’s amazing what you can learn through public records alone. To wit:

    1. She’s been married and divorced twice. Not a terrible thing by itself, but I’m thinking that if you were looking for a nice husband #3 (and she has a tween daughter to think about), why would you settle for a married man who lives 1,500 miles away with a child? This speaks directly to her very low sense of self-worth, I’m thinking.

    2. She bought her house in Florida at the height of the real estate bubble. Put zero down on it, which tells me a couple things about her business sense and finances. She missed her very first homeowners association payment and they filed a complaint about it. And now she’s at least $100K underwater on it. SUX2BU!

    3. Based on her LinkedIn pages, she changes companies every three years on average. They seem to be decent, middle-management type jobs, but she can’t keep one very long. She’s had a shit-ton of jobs in the last 20 years. Hmmm.

    Plus, I’ve seen this bitch on video. She looks like an average, flabby, 40something soccer mom. On the whole, quite mousy. My point is that she does not look or sound like I was picturing a mistress would. The whole thing now is like, “Really? That’s IT? THAT’S what you destroyed our daughter’s intact family for? What a MAROON.”

    My sparkly ex probably dazzled the dumbass mistress with his shtick and she thought she’d hit the jackpot. They SO deserve each other. Neither will ever be able to fully trust the other one. I have zero envy for either one of them.

    You, too, will get there, Allyson. Give it time. The OW being part of your child’s life is especially galling. But your ex is highly unlikely to have the happy ending you’re imagining.

    Focus on building a great life for yourself and your daughter. Go no-contact as much as humanly possible with your ex. Read everything Chump Lady writes. Best three things I ever did to get through this craptastic turn of events.

  • I also spend too much time thinking about the OW, but more in disbelief. As a fellow mother, wife, woman, aunt, daughter, friend, professional…how could one do this to another? I know that there is noway I could live with myself, knowing all the pain that I was causing to everyone around me, by having a LTA with a married man. Who does that? What is there to be jealous of? That she doesn’t have a conscious or a moral compass? That fucking around, lying, cheating, betrayal and deceit are all behaviors that she likes to model for her 2 kids? I am so better than that and she will never be 1/8 of what I am…She can have him, because that just means there is someone bigger(really can’t wait!) better and more beautiful waiting for me!!

    • Piper, that’s awesome. My mantra was all, women helping women, trying to convey the strength in that energy to his 2 teen daughters, working with their mom to show women can work together for the betterment of all involved, empathy, blah, blah and the whole time he’s screwing the women that he’d apparently screwed through his marriage. And who he told me thinks Paramour’s Misery Business is a great song. Good friggin’ grief.
      You are awesome and there is a great, real and lucky man that’s going to appreciate that. Hugs.

    • Piper, there IS someone bigger and better and REAL and beautiful, who will truly love you for you. You will find what you seek. (((HUGS)))

  • Allyson, you are going to be fine. Right now, you are shell-shocked that you can’t see that the “prize” is actually a heap of garbage. With no contact and taking of yourself and your daughter in the meantime, you will heal and you will look back and finally see him exactly for who he is – someone worth tossing away … like garbage. The OW gets to keep the stinky garbage. Woop. Everything appears wonderful right now. It’s not. It’s called impression management. They are working very hard to appear happy. I was in your place over a year ago. Since then, ex has been spending way too much money keeping the OW happy, OW is monitoring his emails and calls (including work ones), attempting to reconcile with me (gross) and admitting he’s miserable, messing up at work, and has been on medication to deal with depression and anxiety. The sparkly life is not sustainable. Maybe the time frame of your ex’s downward spiral may not be as fast as mine, but it will happen. Forget them and focus on yourself, and before you know it, what goes around, comes around. Trust that.

    I see some posts referring to the time spent with the cheater as “investment”. Investment means there’s potential for returns. Not really an appropriate term for life with a cheater. A more accurate term would be “sunk costs”. Never to be recovered. Gone. So don’t look back and try to recover your investment. There never was one.

  • Allyson,

    My problem, if it’s a problem, is that I didn’t like the OW before she became the OW. I thought she was not a good person when I met her and got to know her somewhat. When she popped into our lives over 20 years ago and she went on and on about herself and how she missed her home from pre-divorce, but she had to leave after the divorce – me, me, me, I – this to a person whom she had never laid eyes on before that moment, I thought, “Lord, who is this person?” She pretended to try to befriend me and I guess when I remained politely distant but my STBX cultivated their “childhood (childish?) friendship,” she promptly stopped pretending that my friendship mattered and set her attention on him, even though she married her second husband within a year of having moved back to town. She was desperate to get remarried. Then, the ink was barely dry on her second divorce and she was marrying her third husband and moving away. This was reported to me by my STBX who had heard it, he said, from one of her family members. She was not out, or barely out of her third marriage, when she and my STBX were making plans to toss me out on my ear.

    She had 4 children of her own (2 from each of the first 2 marriages) and, in her church biography, mentions being a mother of six, as if the children of her third husband did not have a mother of their own. She continues to try to co-opt my adult children even though they are aware that she is the other woman.

    Am I jealous of her? I’m disgusted and insulted by his choice to leave me for someone with little to no discernible character and questionable morals. A minister who thinks it’s A-Okay to plot and scheme to aid and abet and be an active participant with a man in leaving his wife and family?

    I’m more hung up on virulently hating her than being jealous of her. She, of course, due to her last marriage and whatever she has acquired on her own, has expensive beach front property and can afford to maintain the STBX in the lifestyle he feels he so richly deserves. The STBX’s true love is money and not having to work hard – and she can provide that for him. I believe he has decided to retire (he is not yet 60) because he plans on enjoying the life of the rich and famous – and he believes that her money and connections will give him entrée into those rarified circles where he can parlay his own now hobby into fame and fortune.

    I could be consumed with bitterness about it all, I suppose, but then that would hurt me. I have decided that I really don’t want someone who would want her because unlike her other victims – er, husbands – he knows exactly who and what she is – but has chosen to convince himself that she’s something else. Otherwise, how to justify his behavior and treatment of me? You know, the whole “the heart wants what the heart wants,” that he has everyone else buying into.

    I’m struggling to rid myself of the hatred because it is keeping me stuck. I don’t know what’s worse, the hatred or to feel jealous. I’m so afraid that I will come face to face with her and physically attack her because she was insufferable before and I can only imagine how insufferable she will be now that she has the “prize” she always wanted.

    The only advice I can give you is to try to keep the focus on yourself and your daughter as much as possible. I don’t know what ultimately will happen, but you will probably find when you really let him go, free yourself from him, there will be a shift in the universe – yours and his.

    A short story – my uncle (mother’s brother), turned 60 and left my aunt for a younger woman because he said he felt he had missed out on life. At the time my mother and I thought he had lost his mind (he had). He was out finding himself for about three years and then tried to return to my aunt because he realized he had made a mistake. She told him thanks, but no thanks, that he had hurt her too badly and she had moved on. She loved him and remained his friend, but he could never return home to her. I also read on the front of a magazine tabloid today that there is a world of trouble between LeAnn Rhimes and Eddie Cibrian.

    Allyson, go live your best life with your daughter and the Universe will bring to you what you truly deserve. It is your husband who is the loser in all of this and if you are lucky, the Universe will reward you with the gift of witnessing what the loss of you and your daughter actually cost him and him being jealous of what he gave up.



    • Chump Princess, be comforted that water seeks its own level. She deserves your ex. And your ex? Is he seriously thinking that she’s going to hold on to him with her history? If so, he’s delusional. Right now, everything is sparkly because it’s new. Wait until it gets old. I hope you have front row seats to witness that. I do and I am actually getting sick of hearing that the karma bus that keeps making u-turns for the ex. I no longer want to know more.

      I hated OW2 – she actually told me she knew he was married but she couldn’t help herself. And then I started praying for her – it was short and not sincere in the beginning but I kept at it for my own sake. Gradually, my hatred turned to pity and I forgot about her. I knew OW1 but the karma bus hit so fast with her, I didn’t have time to hate her. Her H of 6 months left her after knowing of the affair. OW3? Not worth any mental space. She got the “prize” – that’s enough karma right there.

      • Thank you Uniquelyme. I truly love you! Every post from you is like a warm hug.

        I know intellectually and spiritually everything you say is true and it is what I tell myself, but it is taking awhile for those emotions to catch up. I continue to pray for healing. I’m getting there.

    • Princess, I used to say I was not my husband’s type. I thought that before me he was usually drawn to large, masculine women and I was the aberration. Well I realized after D-Day I really wasn’t his type, that he probably married me because I was an attorney, and that shortly after our wedding he went back to his “type” (which also included women who liked group sex and cheated on their husbands and anything else that moved).

      I have often used the phrase, “water seeks its own level” in describing my ex too. He never had great passion for me or was really happy with our “normal” life. I see that so clearly now that I have real love with my fiance….the differences are so astounding I sometimes feel stupid for not having seen before and for accepting what I had with my ex as real love.

      In a way, I think my ex had little choice about who he was attracted to and what type of life he wanted to lead. What he DID have a choice about was marrying me and fooling me for all those years, having 3 beautiful children with me, and then abandoning us all. But he is truly at the level he deserves, and I frankly do not think he is unhappy now (I wish he were but I truly don’t think he is). He was living a lie for 25 years, and bringing us all along for the ride. He doesn’t have enough integrity or compassion to feel anything much for us at all at this point.

      And FWIW, I believe that hatred is SOOOOO much better than jealousy. The anger gets me through.

  • When I wrote this I never imagined in a million years that I would get a reply… thank you chump lady and all that have replied. My faith the universe, while not restored has been given some much needed life support because of all of this kindness. I will make my way – with as much dignity and grace as I can manage. Thank you all again – truly a bright light in a really dark tunnel

    • Allyson, the best part is that so many of us here can guarantee you there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. We are here for you.

  • Allyson, Recently I had dinner at a neighbor’s house. I hesitated to go because the couple had a 20 year age disparity and I had suspicions that “their story” would trigger some bad moments for me, but I went anyway. Sure enough, midway into the dinner they felt compelled to tell their love story. It was the typical cliche. They with their former spouses had all lived on the same block. He and she would go out together for “innocent” lunches and outings, becoming each other’s sounding board. I couldn’t contain myself, so I asked if their spouses were concerned that they spent this time together??? He was afterall, wealthy, handsome, and fifty-ish, she was very attractive and thirty-ish. Oh no they stated, no one saw this coming… they were like brother and sister, until they weren’t…. It was the old lightening strike at work. Her husband left her (read: she is emotionally needy and needs protection and will be happy to supply ego kibbles.) The affair escalated. He leaves his wife of 30+ years. His kids are mostly grown. Hers are younger. Lots of resentment all around. Everyone’s lives are blown apart. He has money and several businesses. It takes years to get everything settled, and my impression was his wife was short-changed after his elite, high-powered attorney got through with her and she is/was righteously bitter and broken.
    Twenty years later relationships remain strained or non-existent with their kids. This couple goes to therapy together to feel better about themselves and things. Because they came from a small town, there was a lot of blow-back. She is terribly hurt by the accusations of “gold-digger.” Yes, they appear to live a high life, but my impression is they are always running from and to something. When they do interact with the adult kids, it seems more of a pay-off of goods and services. They dash about gathering a collection of “dear, dear” friends. The minute you meet them, they claim you as “family.” It is all rather sad, if I were to have any empathy left for their behavior.
    A- don’t be jealous of the OW. She, whether she can admit it or not, lives a life built on other people’s unhappiness. Work on getting the terrific settlement you deserve for you and your daughter. Leave them to fade away into their life of superficiality and unstated regret that they will never have the true respect of the people who once loved them unconditionally.

    • “Everyones’ lifes are blown apart.” Exactly. Most days, I don’t even think about the sheer fuckedupitness of the whole situation. When I think about what it did and still does to my kids, though, I just get too angry. I have to remove myself from that point of view to maintain the peace I need to continue living the now wonderful life I have. Having enough time to see the “real” ending to the “joining of two souls” certainly hasn’t hurt my journey! The karma bus arrived, accompanied by the trucks from the Monster Truck Jam…

  • Allyson,

    I, too, have struggled greatly with this. My XH left me for an old high school flame that found him on Facebook. She seemed to think he was the same “boy” she knew in high school. Boy, was she sadly mistaken. At any rate, we divorced and he moved to her home town to pick up her life just as he had picked up my life 13 years previously. He has no friends of his own, nothing to call his own which should have been a HUGE red flag for both of us. I watch both of them on Facebook and see what their life entails. Presently, they are fixing up an old home that he purchased. He has bought a business down there and by all accounts is the savior they have been praying for. Except that I know all of this has a shelf life. This is the story of HIS life. I watch and seethe because this was MY life that SHE is now living, the one that SHE took away from me. But, you know what? I owe her a debt of gratitude because he is a loser. It doesn’t matter how successful he is, it will never be enough and because it will never be enough, he will shoot himself in the foot. It is just a matter of time before it all crumbles. He is a serial cheater. He is on every online adult dating site there is (I know because I found him there. Yes, I went looking for him because I KNOW.) And SHE is the one stuck with HIM now. He’s not my worry any more. I don’t have to worry about what disease he is going to bring home to me, who he is screwing on the side, why he didn’t come home from work on time. Right now, she isn’t smart enough to know that she should be worried, but I know it will rear its ugly head, because, here’s the kicker. He doesn’t care when or if it does. He will lie through his teeth about it all. And, I don’t have to worry about it. I know it’s not me … it really is HIM. Here is the best advice I can ever give you … make a conscious decision to let it all go. To know that in the end the Karma bus will run both of them down and if it doesn’t? So what. You are so much better off without him in your life. There is someone better waiting in the wings and I can attest to that. I met a man who is so unbelievable that I just know God designed him for me. So, hang tough. And when you have those weak “feel sorry for me” moments, cry a little and move on. Know that you are better off without him than you ever were with him.

  • Allyson, I too was super jealous of the OW. I just couldn’t figure out what she had that I didn’t. She is so ugly it’s beyond words and if you could see her picture you would vigorously agree. My X has always liked manly looking women, real plain jane’s with no make up. I’m the only girly girl he has been married to. He told me I was his second wife when we got married, I found out afterwards I was his fifth! And he cheated on every single one of them. He’s cheated on all his girlfriends and he has cheated on the OW.
    But really, what’s there to be jealous of? A cheating, lying, alcoholic?
    She gets to look at his passed out bald spot now. She gets to wonder when the other shoe will drop and he leaves her for someone else. I actually think she thinks she is so darn special that it won’t happen to her. Hahaha. Silly her.

    I have no idea why some woman would fuck a married man and think they’re going to build happiness on someone else’s misery. I don’t get it and I never will.
    Hang in there. There is an end to this shit. I promise.

    • Exactly Gio … what do they think they are getting that is so great? He cheats with her. Does she think he “loves” her soooo much he won’t cheat on her? I also had the whole “is it me?” until I found him on the dating websites. Nope. Not me. Definitely him. And, fortunately, it does end!

  • My ex-wife and her now boyfriend are both fucktards and all my friends and family that know about the situation or known one or both of them agree that they are perfect for each other (in a sarcastic kind of way). Both clearly have no internal moral compass or know the difference between right and wrong. I found a wonderful woman, and she treats me with love and respect. During that time, I couldn’t understand why my ex-wife did what she did to me. I went through the pick-me-dance, eating shit sandwiches while she was seeing her affair partner. Now I realize that it lead up to meeting a wonderful, genuine, smart woman. One day I want to thank both of them and be grateful they did what they did, because both of them got two people that had no problem hurting their spouses. History repeats itself and I feel they will do it to eachother. I am thankful they let me found a wonderful person. Both of them, completely suck none-the-less but I think they already know that. Oh, I forgot to mention, I saw my ex-wife at a auto repair shop (small world) and walked right by her like she didn’t exist, because quick frankly she never really did. I love you all, Chumpnation…we are real and many. Lets continue the fight against cheaters and find someone that is well deserving of our love!

  • I come back to this post often. Thanks CL for the encouragement!

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