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Dear Chump Lady, Is he a cheater?

Dear Chump Lady,

My husband of almost 10 years sat me down on the couch one day and told me, “I think I’d like a divorce.”

Five days after that, he wrote me an e-mail that said “We are getting a divorce.” Just 6.5 months prior I had given birth to our second child, 5.5 months prior moved to another state so I could start a new job, and had his parents move in with me per his insistence, 4.5 months prior he began commuting back and forth from our home state since he couldn’t find a job in the new state, and 3 months prior lost our dog of twelve years.

Two weeks after receiving the e-mail he told me he was in love with another woman that he had known for 4-5 years. She had broken up with her boyfriend 6.5 months prior and this guy committed suicide just 3 months afterwards. He was a friend of my husband’s and I can only assume that this deeply affected him. He had invited this woman to stay with him in our home state so she could get her mind off of the ex-boyfriend. This visit occurred just three weeks prior to D-day. Later he told me that they had a wonderful time, that she slept in the bed, and they kissed at the airport, but they didn’t have sex.

So, from his point of view he has done nothing wrong. He told me he wanted a divorce prior to having sex with her. He says he didn’t have sex with her until 2 months after D-day.

So is he really a cheater?

By the way, D-day occurred almost 9 months ago. He still hasn’t filed for divorce. He agreed to marriage counseling only to get me to a “happy and healthy place.” We went to four sessions during the first month after D-day. I was told I needed to work on myself before trying to work on the relationship. He agreed to a one-year separation only if it was an open relationship. Since I didn’t want a divorce, I felt obligated to agree. So now I feel in some way maybe he isn’t a cheater.


Dear Michelle,

Okay, he’s not a cheater. If we take him at his word:

1. Men just mysteriously one day want divorces apropos of nothing.

2. He visits with a woman he’s known for 5 years, has her to your home state (where he travels a lot “for work”), sleeps in your bed, but they just kiss at the airport.

3. Two weeks after he says wants a divorce, he professes his love for another woman, based on that innocent “kiss.”

4. His friend just happens to kill himself after breaking up with this woman. And a couple months after that event, she “kisses” your husband and they’re in “love.” Because nothing makes people more emotionally ready for a relationship than the recent, violent death of their ex.

Here’s one thing we KNOW about your husband, Michelle — he’s a liar. He says he wants a divorce, and yet, he doesn’t divorce you. Because cake is so delicious. He’s got both worlds — his new “love” and someone to take care of his parents, raise his kids, and be his ready-made side-dish spouse.  Oh, and didn’t you mention you have a job and he struggles to find one? (Or does he still have one in the home state that he commutes to, or is that a cover story?) How convenient of you to have income. Let’s keep things “open” he says.

Oh yeah, he’s NOTHING like a cheater. (Smell that? It’s sarcasm.)

Michelle, if I told you he was a cheater, would it make you divorce him? Because this divorce thing works both ways, you know. You can divorce HIM. Whatever he is, he’s checked out of your marriage, he says he loves someone else, and circumstantial evidence is such that he’s had a  much longer affair with this woman than he’ll admit, and my guess is the ex-boyfriend/friend of your husband killed himself over the discovery of infidelity. Can I prove it? No, it’s just one of those great, big, flaming coincidences.

I just find it hard to believe that anyone, who isn’t a sociopath, could go from that event and mere weeks later be in love with a married man and father of two. I suppose you could argue that the suicide unhinged her to do such a callous, stupid thing. But what does this say of your husband? He’ll travel out of state to fuck the recently bereaved?

Please dump this guy. Tell the in-laws they need to find a new place to stay and the particulars are your soon-to-be-ex’s problem, not yours. You’ve got two small kids to take care of. You don’t need his parents too — who, by the way, should be ashamed of him and not taking advantage of you by living with you! Reassure them they’ll see their grandkids, but you cannot pretend this arrangement is okay when their son has ABANDONED his family! Keeping you obligated to them keeps HIM in cake. Time to sever those ties, however unfair this may feel to them. You need to protect your emotional well-being as stay as no contact as possible. Living with his parents makes that impossible.

Michelle, this is a real clusterfuck. Please talk to a lawyer soonest about how to start extricating yourself from this mess. Oh, and your “happy healthy place” cannot be found in marriage counseling — it’s over at your new, improved life far away from this wing nut.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • What if the friend killed himself because his girlfriend was having an affair with his supposed buddy, Michele’s husband? One of my H’s affairs was with a “friend” and after DDay the thought certainly crossed my mind.

    • That was my first thought. That would have him dealing with a certain amount of guilt already and trying to make sure he didn’t get anymore by making sure Michelle is in a “happy and healthy place” before he pulls the plug.

  • Michelle,
    Save urself and ur kids…start making preps stealthily until u drop the final D-bomb.

  • As awful as it is, there are worse things than divorce, Michelle. Like someone dumping their parents and babies on you to go sleep with other women while you “work on yourself” during a trial separation.

    It seems like you’re the only one doing any work here – and you’re doing enough for five people. What has he done for YOU lately? Besides turn your world upside down?

    Don’t fear ending the relationship, Michelle. Fear him taking even MORE advantage of you. Because he will if you let him. Don’t.

    • Red, this is so very true: “…there are worse things than divorce…” After the shock of dday wore off some and I started coming a little out of the fog, I realized that being married to my husband who had a girlfriend who he “loves”…being married to this husband who I had loved with all of myself, but who had left me with no looking back at all and no feeling of having left anything at all behind as he left me to literally go straight to her…. Yeah, I realized that that was MUCH worse than divorce. That was absolute hell. Divorce felt freeing after living through that nightmare. At least now I have no commitment to him at all and no legal ties. I am free from him. And I am building my new life.

      There are definitely things worse than divorce.

      • Gosh you put it so well – like you exactly my husband left instantly to be with ow and has not looked back once – he showed no remorse and no feeling of loss at what we had at all – that was the maddness for me – how could all that good and happiness mean nothing to him – I struggle realising it was all nothing for him – a year on I still can’t handle well knowing it meant nothing – but after my Nisi last week I too realise divorce isn’t the worst thing – being free is my goal now too and like you , living this past years revalation is so much worse – I want to be clean again you know !!

        • Hang in there; you are almost there! Freedom is in sight… I wish you all the best.

        • Hopestar..Mine left for the OW on Dday, too. And like you..absolutely no remorse, no guilt, nothing for me after decades together. The times I do run into him or have to deal with him regarding the kids, he is just as happy as a lark, going about his life as though nothing happened, and he is the happiest man on earth. That truly tears me apart. I’m devastated, my life is in tatters, yet he’s smiling because he got rid of me and is with her. I’m 3 months out from DDay, and the divorce is in that limbo stage….a 90 day waiting period in Iowa. It’s that frickin happiness he exudes when I see him. WFT?? I can’t take it somedays.

  • First, he said he is in love with another woman. If true, why stayed married to him? He does not respect you, nor understand what real love is, nor what marriage is all about. You, and your children, deserve better.

    Second, in my opinion, of course he is a cheater, my exH did something similar. Worked out of state, home every 4-5 weeks to see me and the kids. 7 months later, boom, not want to be married anymore. Three months later, admits being in love with another woman (but he had not cheated, no affair. Uh, huh, then how did you manage to “fall in love” with her?… Plus, he told daughter OW was still married when they met).
    … And to add insult to injury, I had to file for divorce, I had to find him a place to live, etc, since he was too busy with OW.

    It is tough, especially at this stage. Even two years later, I still want one piece of information (when OW divorce was finalized), but have decided to let it go.

    So, time to look out for yourself and your children.

    Hugs to you.

  • “While you work on yourself” ok that comment really is a doozy. As you are at your optimum in life in a way as having giving birth, have a job, are holding your little family together, and oh look nothing like the in laws sucking the life out of your while their whore son is doing this to you?

    How can they not see this is a little odd, what their son is doing?

    YOU, work on yourself? It sounds to me like you have and are living a put together life. Is it the husband of yours who if only he could grow up could work on himself.

    A big step to his idea of “working on yourself” would be a diet, how about lose 180 pounds of him and file his sorry ass.

    I think that will take care of the in laws, they aren’t your kids.

    You need to tell them to move now.

    • “How can they not see this is a little odd, what their son is doing?”

      Because, “he’s my son”. They want to forgive, etc. I think they are showing him that there are no consequences for his actions. I’ve heard stories about his childhood where his mother would rescue him from the schoolteachers. It was always someone else’s fault, never his.

      My IC said that I didn’t have problems, all I needed was a problem-ectomy (i.e. divorce from my husband). For years my husband told me I needed therapy for my many problems.

      • Your IC is a wise person; problem-ectomy – I love it! I will have to use that when my divorce is finalized and announce that my problemectomy has ben completed and successful! 🙂

      • Why don’t you pack up the in-laws and drop them on your husbands doorstep! Let his new love take care of them and all of his other problems if she loves and wants him so much! And if his parents think he is so great and can do no wrong then let them live with the monster they created! Drive them there, dump them and go live an authentic life!!

  • I also wanted to say, I don’t think he is a cheater. I really feel he is much worse, a sociopath, narcissist, a very creepy man who has a very long life master plan of lying to you. And he can spin it for a therapist also.

    If you are paying for his cell phone, and other expense, cancel he phone and stop his cards.

    • “I really feel he is much worse, a sociopath, narcissist, a very creepy man who has a very long life master plan of lying to you”. Deb, you just described my ex husband.

      I would like to say to Michelle to get out and get out quick. Your life is in complete turmoil and you need to separate yourself and your children from the mess and get your life in order. You will find a “happy and healthy place” when you dump the rat. You are more than capable, so do it.

  • You’re supposed to be in the prime of your life together–young, with a baby! How exciting! But he can’t handle it. Instead of landing a good job to match yours, out of a sense of responsibility to his family and to himself, he’s found a different hobby, instead, and has shifted the blame for being a spineless coward loser onto you. Well, lemme tell you–it sure as hell isn’t going to get BETTER from here! This is who he is! He’s an abandoning creeper! He masterfully set up a situation where you have all the responsibility–ALL of it!!–and he has all the pleasure. A man who loves a woman does not behave that way. He doesn’t love you. He’s not capable of love. He’s capable of fantasy and of taking what he wants, but like so many abandoning spouses, when anything is asked of them, when another human being’s needs might come before theirs at any time–BAM! They’re outta there! REAL mature, eh? Don’t you want a man who is mature and responsible and who loves and appreciates you? Well, he ain’t it. He never will be. He’s damaged.

    Toss him out NOW, while you are still YOUNG (trust me, it goes fast, honey!) and before he racks up years of marriage to you, resulting in YOU PAYING HIM ALIMONY! You do NOT want to have to pay that loser alimony. You do NOT want to fund his fuck-fest with a parasitic OW. (They’re both parasites, you realize.) Dump him NOW. Just do it. Get an attorney to walk you through the process. Run a credit check on your loser (bets are that he is running up debt, and you better put a stop to that being your responsibility now.) Stop the gravy train. Start being rewarded for YOUR work, not using it to fund his lifestyle. He’s a loser. You’re not.

    • This part really clarified some things for me about my ex, so thank you for sharing it, Miss Sunshine. (Especially the first three lines.)

      “This is who he is! He’s an abandoning creeper! He masterfully set up a situation where you have all the responsibility–ALL of it!!–and he has all the pleasure. A man who loves a woman does not behave that way. He doesn’t love you. He’s not capable of love. He’s capable of fantasy and of taking what he wants, but like so many abandoning spouses, when anything is asked of them, when another human being’s needs might come before theirs at any time–BAM! They’re outta there! REAL mature, eh? Don’t you want a man who is mature and responsible and who loves and appreciates you? Well, he ain’t it. He never will be. He’s damaged. “

    • “Start being rewarded for YOUR work, not using it to fund his lifestyle”.

      I think you are correct Miss Sunshine. I’ve been in this marriage with my whole heart and wallet. I’ve given up so he could have more. I’ve given so much and it was never enough. I’ve learned that he’s just expected it…. entitlement.

  • With two babies, I wouldn’t immediately kick out his parents IF you get along with them and they are providing childcare. But if they raised this freak, they may not be people you want around your kids. If you let them stay, start charging them rent.

    Ask to whether or not he’s a cheater… Duh. Of course he’s a cheater. He’s saying he slept in the same bed with this woman, but they didn’t have “sex”? I bet he has a very narrowly defined definition of sex. Just like Bill Clinton “didn’t have sex with that woman.”

  • Ok, so what if he didn’t have sex with her until he said?

    His actions show some planning to prepare himself for a life with her. Why do you think he’s got his parents moved in? Because he wants them to take care of the kids while he’s wooing the new woman.

    Let’s say his timeline IS truthful. He’s planned everything so that he’s not alone once he leaves you, the kids are taken care of. Again, SAY he didn’t have sex until after he announced the desire for divorce, he made sure he had a fuckdate set up so he wouldn’t go twatless for his orphan dick, and can “SAY” he didn’t “cheat” on you per se because he “outed” his “intentions” so he could save face.

    I really don’t think you need to concern yourself with whether he’s a cheater or not. He’s a fucktard who doesn’t want to remain married to you, and dumps it on you when you’re vulnerable with 2 young children. Honestly, I don’t really have a swearword strong enough to describe what I think of him. Please set up YOUR support system IMMEDIATELY.

  • Hello Michelle,
    Yes, your husband is a cheater…and infidel…an adulterer… or whatever label you choose to put on it. Whether emotional or physical does not matter.

    From the standpoint of a mental health professional, I will not second guess your counselor about whether or not you need “me” work. Most of us do. (Yes, even counselors have counselors…or they do if they have any sense because the work is so incredibly emotionally demanding. )

    BUT, the overriding issue here and the one that must be addressed FIRST is the fact that your husband chose to deal with his personal problems by running away from them. He has decided that the “marriage made him do it” and he is WRONG.

    I am leaving you a link from a good no nonsense marriage and family therapist who does things the way I would do them if I weren’t retired. This man is a Christian counselor but is not one of those who think people should stay with an adulterer who refuses to recognize the magnitude of their destructive behavior and actively work permanently change their dysfunctional ways.

    I think you will find his article interesting reading, especially how he goes about therapy (described toward the end of the article).

    We all know that you are horrified right now at the prospect of the breakup of your family and being on your own with children. It is terrifying, and you feel like future events are beyond your control. But you have more power than you believe, and you must find a way to NOT give your power away to this silly, delusional man-child who refused to assume responsibility in his marriage when the going got tough!

    You are going to have to do some things that are counter intuitive and extremely difficult to do in order to save your own dignity and self-respect…and to survive this. You may or may not “save” the marriage, but you can “save” yourself from this careening, run-away crazy train onto which this man shoved you.


    • Oh, yes…..CL’s advice about fully informing his parents and explaining why you cannot assume responsibility for them anymore is spot on!! They need to know…NOW.

      Please do NOT in any way shield this man from the consequences of his behavior. If you do, he will never learn that behavior has consequences and he will continue to be a responsibility avoider and people exploiter.

      It is time for him to go to the “School of Life,” and experience some “traumatic one-trial learning.”

    • Thank you for the link. I can vouch that the traditional Christian advice does NOT work. We went through that and we experienced the damage that David Clarke noted. It was disturbing to read that we were given horrible, albeit well-meaning, advice. I hope other therapists will adopt Clarke’s methods. If the cheater doesn’t want to do the work, then the chump can leave sooner and not feel it’s her/his fault. I felt I was to blame for many, many years.

    • “BUT, the overriding issue here and the one that must be addressed FIRST is the fact that your husband chose to deal with his personal problems by running away from them. He has decided that the “marriage made him do it” and he is WRONG.”

      I can’t agree more notyou. I feel he blames everything on me. He told me that he had done nothing wrong and was nothing but a nice guy (for 16 years!). He wouldn’t admit any wrong…ever. It was so damaging to me that I just had to go no contact.

      I liked your link. When we went to MC that first time I was amazed that the counselor didn’t confront my husband. It was confusing to me and I feel that it was self damaging to me as well.

      I am horrified at the prospect of the breakup of my family. I think of those little children and what an impact this will have on them. It saddens my heart greatly.

  • Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself I just read this blog. Hugs for Michelle.

  • Michelle-

    Let’s face facts. No grown man finds twu wuv with another woman unless he sleeps with her first. He is keeping his foot in two doors because as CL has pointed out before; cake is delicious. By allowing for a trial separation “as long as the marriage is open” he gets two women doing the pick me dance. That means more cake and kibbles for him; more heartache for you.

    I’m going out on a limb here and guessing that if you’ve been together 10 years and you have two small children that you’re still young (maybe early to mid 30s or even late 20s?)
    Trust me when I tell you this doesn’t get any easier with age. You don’t want to hitch your wagon to this train for the next 10-15 years of your precious life do you?

    On the positive side? You’re earning the majority of the income and he hasn’t waited until you were on 50’s doorstep for him to show you exactly who he is. Your job now, besides taking care of your beautiful children, is to believe him.

    I know it’s hard to wrap your head around the idea of breaking up your family but I think you have to be headed in that direction or you wouldn’t be here. It only takes one article to understand the advice you’re going to get on this site. If you’re sending in a question, you’ve probably been lurking for a while so you know the drill. Now it’s just time to take action.

    Chumpnation is here for you.

  • Sure he’s a cheater, but even if he weren’t, he’s an ASSHOLE. That’s enough reason to dump his ass, and go on to a MUCH better life, one where your kids will learn to be real human beings, not pieces of shit like this.

  • Michelle-

    You wrote, “Later he told me that they had a wonderful time, that she slept in the bed, and they kissed at the airport, but they didn’t have sex. So, from his point of view he has done nothing wrong. He told me he wanted a divorce prior to having sex with her. He says he didn’t have sex with her until 2 months after D-day.”

    Of course, he sees nothing wrong with this behavior! (Or professes to see nothing wrong with it.) He has to do something to silence what’s left of his conscience. Plus, even if he wasn’t lying about initially not having sex, he still violated the marriage covenant by kissing her! Married people do NOT kiss the opposite sex or allow them to sleep in the same house unless in agreement with their spouse. Talk about disrespect of you, Michelle!

    And even if he had sex with her after announcing to you that he wanted a divorce, he remains a cheater. He is still MARRIED to you, the mother of his two children! It doesn’t matter if he announced that he wants a divorce. HE IS STILL MARRIED and sleeping with a woman that is not his wife! Announcing the desire to get divorced first might justify it in his own mind, but that doesn’t make what he did right.

    He freely admits to kissing this woman (violation of exclusiveness of marriage) AND sleeping her while STILL married to you! I’d say that’s pretty clear signs of his bankrupt cheater character. Disgusting! Don’t get pulled into his sick, justifying mind games…cheating is cheating.

    • I agree. And this is actually about the same as my situation because my ex said the OW and him had “only kissed” and made out before dday (which he initiated). And even if that is true, he was hiding that from me, and that would have NOT been okay with me. I consider kissing and making out and sleeping in the bed with someone, when you are married to (or dating) someone else to be cheating. It was certainly not platonic and it is not being faithful his vows (which incidently, turned out to not mean too much to him….because he meant them at the time, but knew that could change. Of coursem he never told ME that last part…) And I am also coming to realize that maybe what my ex told me about how much they did or didn’t do isn’t necessarily the truth. I have no idea anymore, but I do know his “word” is not trustworthy. But the extent of his cheating doesn’t really make much of a difference to me in the end because my undeniable reality was: he loves her, he no longer loved me, he left me for her. Not much I could do about it, so there really was no choice but to cut my losses, pick up the pieces and rebuild a new life without him.

  • He is calling the tune and he has everybody doing the Limbo Rock. You, your kids, his parents and the OW. He has everybody dancing and he has control over everything; MC for you, parents moving in, divorce on standy-by, OW waiting in the wings, etc. He doesn’t want a divorce or he would have already filed. He likes the Limbo Rock! You need to leave the dance floor. Take yourself and your kids and go call your own tune – take control of your life away from him and give it to yourself.

  • Michelle, he’s a cheater. The evidence may be circumstantial, but it really points in the direction of him being one. Come on, he “commutes” to the other state, where he BROUGHT her, he let her stay with him, sleep in the bed, and they only kissed at the airport? I don’t buy it.

    Even if he didn’t sleep with her until after he told you he wanted a divorce, he still didn’t divorce you. The only reason he demanded an open relationship is so he can continue fucking her and then use the “open” label as a loophole to say he’s not cheating.

    Even if he IS telling the truth, which you shouldn’t trust him on that, that doesn’t matter. Because he’s manipulating you. He has it set up in such a way that you are taking care of his kids, his parents, paying all his bills, AND not resisting while he sets things up to go have a relationship with her. That’s exactly what he’s doing.

    He’s got it so you think that you’re the one who has all the issues. Seriously, YOU need to “work on yourself?” What kind of ass-backwards, self-serving logic is that? He’s got you taking responsibility for literally EVERYTHING and not arguing about it. This is what’s called being in his back-pocket. The OW is his priority and he’s got you on the back burner. Once everything is set the way he wants it with her and he’s 100% sure that he can leave with no resistance, he will drop you like a burning rock and not look back. The only reason he hasn’t done that yet is because he’s still making sure that everything will be secure and waiting for him when he leaves. I can guarantee you he’s setting up so he can marry her. …and probably inevitably cheat on her too.

    He NEEDS you to agree to an open marriage so he can move between you two with as little trouble as possible. And that’s probably going to hurt you in the longrun in ways that aren’t already immediately obvious. There might be some legal bumps in the road when you divorce him finally.

    Which you absolutely should. You don’t have to wait for him. The longer you wait, the more of an advantage he’s going to have. Get a good lawyer together on your own and file. Pull the rug out from under his plan. If he wants to be with her so bad, then let him. He can have her. But he only gets to have her if you are no longer attached. Take his terms and turn them into yours.

    He can have her, but not while he’s still married to you. The kids will be secure, but only after the divorce is final and there is a legal custody arrangement in place. His parents will be taken care of, when they are living with HIM, not passed off on you. Essentially, he gets his new life when you get yours, OUT of his back pocket. You refuse to be his backup and you refuse to be his financial provider and manager. You’re his wife. He either treats you like you are, and sticks to his marital vows, or he gets the fuck out.

    Manipulative jerks like that drive me nuts. Probably because my ex did something like that. Only I wasn’t aware of the OW. He told me we were just taking a break and that I could still tell people he was my boyfriend, but he had started a relationship with someone else behind my back. So when I found out, he tried to say he WASN’T cheating on me because he were supposedly “broken up” but the “breakup” was incredibly nebulous and to me, and to my THERAPIST, we were still together and he cheated. But even if that particular girl was on the cusp, there were 5 others before her so it doesn’t matter.

    Either way, do you really need to stick around to find out if he’s being honest or not? I don’t think that’s necessary. He’s already treating you like shit. That’s not going to change.

  • Not only is he absolutely a cheater (give me a break, sure, they only kissed at the airport) but he’s a master manipulator and con artist. He has set this situation up beautifully, all in his favor. You are doing EVERYTHING, while he is free to fuck the OW.

    My biggest concern is financial. Speak to a lawyer IMMEDIATELY, because this guy is planning to screw you big time, I guarantee it. He is probably planning to go after you for alimony and he likely is moving money or hiding finances already. He is clearly disordered and very cunning. Believe me when I say he will go after $$$$, and he will leave you destitute if possible. Talk to an attorney right away.

    • This too. Part of his setting up a life with this OW is absolutely setting up finances. Don’t think for two seconds that he won’t try to manipulate THAT to his advantage too. He’s been pretty cunning so far. Do you think that he’s *really* had trouble finding a job in your new area? Or do you think he’s purposefully holding on to his old job in another state so he can simultaneously get financial support from you, and then still have employment when he inevitably leaves and goes back to live in that area with his OW? (Seriously, he’s already brought her there once.)

  • Michelle, your letter is missing some key information so I’m not going to hop on the “is he a cheater” bus. It sounds very much like you are driving the marriage bus alone and he is agreeing to your demands to stay married while refusing to be monogamous. Is this true? yes, he probably cheated, but does it matter if he has come to you and asked for a divorce? When I read your letter I see you hanging on and him trying not to make shit any more painful than it has to be, while at the same time being clear that your marriage is over. He has betrayed you in a fundamental way, that pain is horrible. But I believe this is gift. You did not catch him, he confessed (as much as he is able), he wants a divorce, he’s not trying a fake reconciliation. Take the gift.

    • “It sounds very much like you are driving the marriage bus alone and he is agreeing to your demands to stay married while refusing to be monogamous.”

      Yes, I think this pretty much sums it up. I think you are correct that I should view this as a gift. It is still a horrifyingly painful gift. 🙁

  • Michelle I read your letter , Cl’s response and then most of the comments They are all spot on. What I hated most in your letter was the “work on myself while he has open marriage” F that.. Seriously see a lawyer, get your financial house in order, see a therapist for your self, the heck with marriage counselling. I don’t know what to do about his parents. They are almost as much the victims (I am assuming they moved with you guys) Did they sell their house and give him the money? If they are helping you with child care then they are an asset if not then maybe they can move in with him and OW. Is he a cheat Oh my YES. He is using you.

    • Yes, they sold their house and moved with us to the new state. I would be horrified if my son did this. There are consequences. His parents seem almost too forgiving and accepting of his behavior. Two weeks after D-day his father said, “why isn’t she over it yet?”

  • Michelle:

    Yes, he is a cheater.

    Even if he did not have sex with her (and I think that this is very unlikely because anyone over the age of puberty will have sex), he has cheated on you.

    1. He cheated because instead of taking the time to work on the marriage, he ran out on you and your child to be with the Other Woman.
    2. He cheated on you because instead of accepting his responsibility, he blames it on you.
    3. He cheated on you because instead of being honest and following through with the divorce, he’s still married to you.
    4. He cheated on you because he dumps his parents on you instead of taking care of them himself.
    5. He cheated on you because he lets you take care of the hard work of raising the family while he’s off in la-la land.

    I think that you will discover that the “happy place” will be your home once you have divorced his sorry ass. You will be free of a man who not only does not love you; he does not love his child. You will be free to find someone who does love and care for you and your family the way you deserve to be loved and cared for.

    What you are doing now only prolongs the agony. See a lawyer, draw up the paperwork, and file. Depending on your state, you could be in a happier place after 60 days.

  • Wait, I just want to highlight something that Chump Lady said. The OW, her boyfriend of a few years committed suicide right after they broke up and a few weeks later she got into a new relationship with the father of a new baby? I’m sorry, what? WHAT? That is the most messed up part of all of it. She’s a shell of a human. If she can be kissing new men in airports rather than working through her grief/guilt with a counselor, she is BONKERS, EMPTY and EVIL. I have a friend who had a roommate who shot himself. They were just roommates, not even really friends, and he went to church every night for the next six months. He had to have daily counseling with his priest to even begin to deal with it. And he was just a bystander!! If she can skip around holding hands with someone new, she is really scary and messed up.

    • My nieces husband committed hari kari (violent, with a gun; she’s lucky he didn’t shoot her) and left her with 2 toddlers. She was in her prime. Fast forward 6 yrs filled with intensive therapy trying to get over guilt, shame, etc. She’s still not ready for a new relationship. Yup, something very fucked up about the OW in this case. Seriously fucked up. (maybe she even had something to do with offing him? hey – it’s possible) Run fast NOW! Yours and your childrens’ lives could even be in danger.

    • What Rose said. On top of the excellent points already made by the other chumps, if your husband has any interest in a woman like that, what further proof do you need to run for your life? And your kids’ lives? I mean, if that is the moral benchmark, then holy crap.

  • Your husband is a piece of work. He had a woman over, slept in the same bed with her, and kissed her. That’s cheating. Emotional affairs count, too, especially if they end up breaking up the marriage.

    It reminds me of teenagers doing “everything but” because they think they’ll stay pure that way.

    It’s very possible that he did more than kiss her, but maybe that’s not the right question. Does it really matter whether or not he cheated?

    You’re married to a guy who is sleeping with another woman.

    Your husband is a rotten father who doesn’t live in the same state as you, even though you have an infant.

    Your husband has gotten you to take care of his parents.

    You felt pressured to agree to an open marriage, so now you feel that you can’t accuse him of cheating. This is one of the problems with open marriage – so often it doesn’t seem to really be something two people wanted.

    Anyhow, if we just take him at his word and say he didn’t cheat, you’re in a marriage that is grossly unfair and not meeting your needs.

    No matter how angelic he has been, you have the absolute right to lay down a few normal requirements here:

    1. Stop sleeping with other women.
    2. Live in the same place as me.
    3. Take care of our children.
    4. Take care of your parents.
    5. Come to a sane marriage counselor with me.
    6. Work on what is wrong with you, the cheater, that you would behave this way.

    I think you have to set the terms on which you are willing to stay married to him. I know you don’t want a divorce, but your current separation sounds like you’re divorced, but he has no legal obligations to his kids or you, his girlfriend can’t ask for much from him, and it sounds like he’s getting sex from you, too.

    I don’t see how his staying married to you is helping you mentally, if he leaves you to care for you babies and his parents while he sleeps with the blankety-blank.

    Anyhow, you should see a lawyer, just to find out what your rights are in a divorce. Your husband seems to be planning to leave, and you need to figure out what he’s going to do to you financially.

    You need to fire your counselor. You probably do need a good counselor to help you sort all this out, but the one you have is as toxic as your husband.

    If you do go back for marriage counseling, look around carefully to find someone sane.

  • Let’s say that you, as the wife, had gone out and ‘only’ shared a bed with another man and ‘only’ kissed him too. What would your husband have said to you? “No problem, honey! That’s totally cool with me.” I doubt it.

    Convenient how that works though, right?

    • He told me that he didn’t understand why I would be upset if he had sex with someone else. He told me that he wouldn’t be upset if I had sex with someone else.

      I was shocked that he could say something like this. I couldn’t believe it.

  • “But what does this say of your husband? He’ll travel out of state to fuck the recently bereaved?”

    That’s exactly what my exH did! His best mates widow, poor guy was barely cold.
    Their total lack of integrity or compassion left me speechless.
    But, of course they didn’t have sex until after he’d left…. after ‘visiting’ her every week since the funeral…. yeah right!

    • Michelle

      He IS a Cheater…. of the worst kind.
      If he is SO disordered that he can “fuck the recently bereaved”, then he will have no qualms about hiding his assets. Please, if nothing else, get legal advice to protect your finances. I got my lawyer onto my exH straight away…. best thing I ever did!!

    • Verity297, I’m so sorry for what you had to go through. That just makes my heart ache. Were you friends with them/her, too?

      • For 20 years…. she often asked my advice when her husband was ill.
        I hugged her at his funeral and sent my love every time my exH visited her…. seems she was getting all the ‘love’ she needed from him.
        Still can’t quite get my head around it….

        • Gross. Man, these people are just messed up in the head. And in the heart.

          Getting chumped sucks no matter what, but to be chumped by people who’ve been your friends is the worst kind of violation. If you can’t get your head around it, that’s probably because you’re the only one in this three-ring circus who’s not crazy and morally bankrupt. Hugs to you.

  • So… the question was “Is he a cheater?”, right?

    He’s married and he is involved romantically with somebody who is not his wife.

    Isn’t that pretty much the definition of cheating.

    Where is the confusing part?

    • not to worry TimeHeals sometimes these “people” do just have friends of the opposite sex that they talk to and text for hours at a time, work with, go to “friendly” lunches with, take a drive with for lunch break, etc…… They have NOT cheated until they say they have cheated dammit. We chumps are just confused on timelines and stuff.

      • “…..sometimes these “people” do just have friends of the opposite sex that they talk to and text for hours at a time, work with, go to “friendly” lunches with, take a drive with for lunch break, etc…… ”

        So this happened during my entire relationship with my husband. During MC he admitted to having two emotional affairs. I just didn’t realize it was cheating. I was so accepting of his online and at-work ‘friendships’ with other women. I look back on it and blame myself for not seeing the red flags.

        • Michelle, at some point, after all the arguments, you get to a point where you want to be Nice and you accept this shitty behavior. Don’t take it upon yourself cause you were being conditioned into accepting this behavior. Should you have, no, but You were committed to your relationship, he wasn’t. It’s not a crime to be committed to your relationship. The crime is that your ex cheated. And that’s that. Hard to deal with at first but you can heal from it and all of Chumpnstion is here for you!!!

  • Absolutely he’s a cheater, unless you had a pre-nup that spelled out it was an open marriage OR that he could change the rules any time he wanted. That is what he did, change the rules on you under duress while claiming that it is your fault because you need to be in a happy place and coercing you to “agree” to an open marriage – then went and slept with her while not filing for divorce (as he claims to want) – which is not conducive to you getting to a happy place.

    I know it is tough, my husband decided to cheat as an exit strategy after 27+ years of marriage. I still had to file for divorce because he wouldn’t, even though he kept telling me that is absolutely what he wanted. In my mind my husband has cheated continuously since the day he told me of the affair (we are waiting for the judge to rubberstamp the decree). To me, a confession does not make it acceptable to continue (or start) sleeping with someone when you are still married.

    Start the divorce proceedings. You may be surprised and find that as cathartic as I did (I hope you do!)

  • “He agreed to marriage counseling only to get me to a ‘happy and healthy place.'”
    Michelle, how condescending and not the point of marriage counseling. I would tell him to shove the marital counseling up his ass.

    And holy crap! He asked for a one year trial separation where he can fuck around as he pleases? But of course! You need to take time to “work on yourself” before the relationship?! That, my friend, is a cop out.

    How about working on a divorce and forgetting about the relationship? You got this.

    I did the little logic game in my head of “what if” my ex started his affair after he walked out. Guess what? Screwing somebody who is not your spouse while legally married is still adultery. And let’s get real: Nobody leaves their wife for no reason unless they have a brain tumor or screwing someone’s brain’s out. The mythical unconsummated emotional affair is Romeo and Juliet bullshit that simply does not exist.

    (PS: Find a good therapist, not to “work on yourself”, but to help you navigate the divorce, not a marriage counselor to help you figure out a phantom relationship.)

  • You are trying to untangle that skein.
    What difference does it make if he had an affair or not? You can do better .
    Tell him to move on!

  • Wow. Just wow. He’s just like my ex! Who set it up perfectly too. Two years after starting his relationship with his OW (and dissipating our life’s assets in the process) he sat down and said those same words to me, his wife of twenty years, “I want a divorce.” At that moment I knew he had someone else and that my marriage was over. Michelle, my advice to you and I feel for what you are going through, give it to him and as soon as you can. Divorces usually have a residency requirement and a guideline for how long you must be living separately (in Ca it’s six months!) but be sure to hit the ground running! I know you’d like to believe your marriage is salvageable but it is not. He is not salvageable. Read all the responses. And then read them again. Know we are rooting for you. You and your kids deserve better. Life is too short to waste on someone who doesn’t know what love is. He will never love someone. He operates on the mindset that good and easy is what he wants and deserves no matter who it hurts. Why live with this when there’s a man out there who can live (and love you) intentionally?

    • Michelle, trust in the advice that CL gives you and especially this from Drew, “He is NOT salvageable”!!!!! He is not salvageable, you have to cut and run. There is no thought for you or for your children from this “man”, using that term loosely. Get out before you have to pay this asswipe alimony, that will only add insult to injury. File for divorce now and get yourself into therapy with someone that will help you deal with this mindfuck, cause damn this guy is some kind of fucked up.

  • Michelle, if you aren’t ready for a divorce–and with all of the change you are grappling with over the past two years, I can see that–what I would suggest is that you formalize the trial separation by filing for custody and child support. That will initiate investigation into his finances out of state. He will have to produce documents. If the OW is living with him, in the other state, you might find that out. You will of course need a lawyer to take you through this process, but while he is out of state, you have a shot at full legal custody.

    I agree with those who say that the in-laws need to go live with him, wherever he is. If childcare is an issue, you can look for a college student or older person or perhaps a fellow Chump with a child to live in in exchange for that help. There are lots of ways to work things out, once you understand that he has said he wants a divorce, which means, essentially, that he is walking out on you and the kids. If he would do this while the kids are so small, and while you are taking care of his parents, just when could you EVER count on him for anything, even if he did come back? It’s perfectly understandable that you want to hang onto your marriage, but a guy that’s out of state? Saying he can’t find a job locally? Even though he was part of the relocation decision?

    Honey, you have a timetable that starts with his announcing he wants a divorce, simultaneous to the OW initiating a break-up. What a coincidence. They’ve known each other 4-5 years. Her boyfriend commits suicide a few months after the breakup. Call me crazy, but I think its possible your husband and this chick have been involved prior to that breakup. I simply cannot imagine a married man inviting the ex-girlfriend of a buddy/friend who committed suicide AFTER THEIR BREAKUP to stay with him alone, out of state to “get her mind off her ex.” Which I take to be a euphemism for “have sex.” The fact that she slept in the same bed–right there is a deal breaker. There is absolutely no excuse that justifies being alone in a house or apartment, let alone sharing a bed. There’s a reason why people say cheaters “slept together.” And the two of them are either so emotionally stunted as to have no understanding about grieving and recovery or they care nothing about the deceased boyfriend, or you, or your kids, or his parents. As to open marriage, for someone who signed up for a traditional, regular, faithful marriage, you just signed on to share your husband with a woman he has probably been having some sort of relationship for a long time.

    My ex-boyfriend claims he wasn’t “stepping out” on me and I think it’s possible that they didn’t have sex. But whatever was going on with them, he unplugged from our relationship and broke ever promise he made, as well as significant financial commitments. I’ve loved him for a long time, but after D-Day, I was done. I still miss him or the dream of him and I don’t have kids or the years of marriage you had. But look at what you know: he says he wants a divorce, he isn’t making any effort to live in the same state, and he let another woman (with whom he had a great time!) sleep in bed with him. I’m thinking there hasn’t been a minute since this shit started that you had a good time. If you aren’t ready to divorce, really separate. Tell him no thanks on open marriage, Get custody, child support and thereby information about what is actually going on. Let him react to you and what you want. And pay attention to what he does, not what he says.

  • Michelle, get out and as fast as you can. He’s a liar and a user and he does not love you, his kids, his parents or anyone else. He’s told you and he’s shown you he wants out of your family, so give him his wish. And oh yeah, that includes his parents, who can live with him in the place he sleeps with his little friend. And I mean NOW. I believe he moved you to where you out of state because he was sleeping with her and planned this all along. I know it is the hardest thing imaginable, but they are astonishingly calculating cold monsters who do not love us. Please save yourself now, do not end up like me, finding out after 25 years of marriage that it was all a lie, after he abandoned me and our adult/teen kids to be with his paramours who he said he loved more than me and chose over me.


  • Michelle, another long-time chump here. Leave now. Give yourself the gift of a cheater-free life. By asking if he is a cheater, I can see that you are desperately hanging on to your marriage with a warped way of thinking. There is no marriage to hang on, not a healthy one at least. You don’t want that. Please don’t do what I did – spackling became an Olympic sport for me for more than 20 years until I didn’t even know what a healthy relationship looked like. I can’t take back those years but I am just so happy I am no longer in that marriage (more like a sham). Your marriage is so terribly unhealthy and whether he is a cheater or not is irrelevant. He treats you like crap and it will only stop when you say so.

  • For the sake of argument let’s assume he really didn’t sleep w/ her – ever.
    If you’re carrying on w/ someone other than your wife in any way you’re giving more attention to that woman than your wife. That’s an emotional affair and IMO that’s the worst.
    Then of course there’s the kiss…that’s more than an emotional affair. That’s physical contact – and clearly intent for more.

    I think everyone else has already said it…he wants what he wants and he sees no reason why he should stop doing what he’s doing and you should continue doing what you’re doing FOR him.

    CL said it. You can leave HIM.

    I also think if you’re asking “is he cheating” you already knew the answer.
    Validation feels good, though.
    I think chump nation is behind you!

  • Michelle – Chump Nation is definitely behind you on this one. My stbx admitted he’d never have ended the affair if I hadn’t caught him. Oh, the relief he had to finally get caught! Poor baby, keeping that all inside.
    It took me about 2 yrs to find any proof – ok, I’m very slow on this stuff.
    When I did – the shit hit the fan, and to quote somebody else – when I threw him out to the curb (literally) his grey Back-to-the-future-hairdo had been blown back by the DeLorean door.
    He honestly didn’t know what hit him – and he’s a Supreme Control Freak…or used to be. I found strength from this website and info that I needed badly to come to the point of getting all my ducks in a row and hitting him over his smirking grey-whiskery face with D papers.
    Now, I’m laughing all the way to Alimony Avenue.
    Filing first, I believe – will you give you an advantage. They have to produce whatever documents you demand. Good luck and all the best to you. We have your back!

    • “My stbx admitted he’d never have ended the affair if I hadn’t caught him. Oh, the relief he had to finally get caught! Poor baby, keeping that all inside.”
      Same here! His response when I asked him when he was going to tell me (as the OW has been pushing for marriage since they’ve been together 3 years) “I never figured that part out. To tell you the truth, I just hoped I’d never get caught”. My parents are 100% right..he’s so fucked up that chances are he would have been a bigamist, since he never really intended to leave me, as I was the responsible one in the marriage..handling finances, kids, house, work, you name it. Yep, he had the best of both worlds. And now, that relief is just wonderful for more hiding the affair, he’s with the OW, and his life is just fine and dandy now!

  • Echoing what others on this site have said, Michelle. Please get your children and yourself to a safe place both physically and emotionally. Do you have any family? Please confide in them or anyone else you trust. After DDay I shielded the truth from my family for several weeks because I was hoping things would work out between us and I didn’t want to have my family treat him any differently. I finally informed them about 6 -7 weeks later when I finally kicked him out of the house. And I realized then that my shielding him from the consequences of his actions had been coming at an enormous cost to myself, which was a lack of daily emotional and even financial support.

    Take care and please let us know how you are doing.

  • Michelle….

    File for divorce with full intentions of getting it done. Please do not wast another minute of your precious life with this man.

    No secrets, tell family and friends exactly what is going on if they ask. No announcements on social media. You can keep the high road.

    Talk with your lawyer about selling the original home in the other state. Gather up all financials so YOU know what accounts there are and the money currently in them. Talk to your lawyer about setting up your own checking account and what exactly you need to do to protect yourself financially.

    Bravo to you for having an income!!! (I was a stay at home mom)

    Please get his parents OUT of your home. His parents, His problem!!!

    Please read a boundary book..literally called Boundaries by by Henry Cloud and John Townsend (Apr 1, 1992) Made a world of difference for me.

    …………..The BEST revenge for the Other Woman, is to LET HER HAVE HIM…………….

    I pray you are strong to get away from all of this mess, I know you will be fantastically happier after a divorce.

  • Does anyone know if having parents live with you and kids could be a way to make sure he gets custody?

    Could it be a way to keep track of his wife?

    • Who knows? But yet another reason for Michelle to get anyone on his side of things away from her.

    • yes, good point. no matter how nice ILs are to you now, blood is thicker than water, and they will side with your H when things get ugly and possibly feed him information that may be potentially damaging to you. you have no legal obligation to look after his parents, and don’t let H try to guilt you into doing it. even if the ILs help with childcare, it’s still not worth it. that kind of stress ifs not good for you, and, if it’s not good for you, it’s not good for your kids. your primary responsiblity now is to your kids, which means you need to take good care of yourself (emotionally, mentally, physically) so that you can be the best mom you can to them.

      • “no matter how nice ILs are to you now, blood is thicker than water, and they will side with your H when things get ugly and possibly feed him information that may be potentially damaging to you”
        This..100%!! My ILs are saying “What he did was wrong, but he’s our son and we love him” while in the meantime, they treat him like nothing ever, he didn’t tear a family apart! Our son is perfect, no matter what he did!

  • This self-absorbed piece of shit thinks he is the puppet master and needs to be expelled from your life, pronto. It will not be easy but anything will be an improvement on living in this torturous state. With some careful planning (read: good legal advice) and support, you can save yourself and your children from this nightmare. Don’t doubt yourself for one more second.

  • Yep, he cheated on you. Definitely. Take it from us chumps, we can smell cheating behavior a mile away, and your husband stinks.

    If you’re okay with your husband fucking other women, then stay. If not, divorce him. Don’t wait for him to divorce you.

  • Michelle, he cheated on you even if he didn’t poke the new vagina right away. He turned away from you and toward another woman. That is cheating.

    He sounds like a sociopath who has no problem siphoning everything out of you until you have nothing left to give. Eject him from your life! Sorry, his parents have to go, too, no matter how lovely and innocent in all of this. It is Shameless User’s job to take care of them. You are the only one who can save yourself and your children.

    When in the habit of making the Cheater the center of your life, it takes time to switch your focus to yourself and your children. I don’t know if it was part of the brain washing or if it was out of sheer habit. Anyway, this is a stage that passes. It helped me to keep a picture of my daughter on hand at all times as a reminder of who deserved my love. I also carried around a picture of myself as a little girl. Did this little girl deserve to be grow up to be cheated on? Whenever I started to lose focus, I pulled out the photos as a reminder. Maybe this exercise will help you too.

    I’ve learned to not be too surprised by anything I read here anymore because there are some people out in the world devoid of conscience. Know that your cheater is APPALLING and YOU DESERVE A BETTER LIFE. You will never have that better life if he is in it.

    Hugs, my dear, we are here to support you!

  • CL,

    Thank you so much for answering my letter. Also, thanks to everyone who posted with your support. Your words are helping me build up my strength.

    It’s taking me much too long to come to the realization that divorce is an option. Admitting he is a liar means that I have to come to terms with the fact I’ve been lied to or deceived for the last 16 years. It’s quite a bitter pill to swallow.

    Since my letter to you, my husband has filed for divorce. So, at least that process is underway but I’m expecting to be put back into the emotional trenches by now being financially taken. I am dreading the next few months.

    I told him that I felt I was just a paycheck to him. My new job was a pay cut by choice to pursue a different career and so that I could be home more with the children. It seems that once I started making less money I was somehow less desirable. He still had his job in the home state and said he couldn’t get one in the new state. He was able to get a new job in the OW’s state and moved a few months ago.

    I agree that he’s checked out of the marriage. This is just so overwhelmingly difficult for me. I can’t understand why someone would treat another person in this way. To just give up on a marriage where children are involved and immediately begin a new relationship. I’ve come to the realization that I can’t reconcile with someone that doesn’t want to do so. Even though some websites/books say that this is possible. Which just adds to my feelings of failure.

    I did finally ask the ILs to move out. I didn’t realize how much of a stressor this was in my life until they moved out. They helped their son move ‘his’ stuff to his new state. Their reason? “He’s my son”. They don’t understand why their actions to help their son upset me. I feel his parents are essentially showing him with their actions that what he did really wasn’t that bad.

    I’ve tried to keep as no contact as possible. He says he wants to be friends and has invited me to spend time with him and the kids. So, I feel like I’m the bad guy when I say no.

    • Oh dear God, Michelle. You are NOT the bad guy! Him wanting to be friends is him wanting to control the narrative that what he did (cheating, abandoning his family and small children) is Not So Bad. Trust me, you’ve got better people to be friends with. Keep staying no contact and see a lawyer like YESTERDAY.

      I’m glad someone filed for divorce — you so need this guy out of your life. And I’m especially glad the in-laws left. They went with him? Helped him pack? Good riddance to bad rubbish.

      Michelle — this is NOT your fault. You are not the bad guy. No one can save a marriage by themselves. NO ONE. The crazy that you alone can control this scary outcome is the snake oil that those reconciliation sites sell. You are NOT a failure. HE is the failure. You are a strong woman dealing with a very challenging set of circumstances.

      Get a lawyer. I hope things go well for you in court, as it’s pretty clear he abandoned his children. Good counsel will make hay with that. Stay strong!

      • Thanks CL.

        I’m just not sure how long it will take for me to believe it’s not my fault. I just so badly wanted to fix it. Maybe this has been my problem from the start…. spackling.

    • Michelle – get thee a lawyer soonest! The only way to protect your assets and children are to be aggressive about getting your narrative out there. Did he file as irreconcilable differences? If so, you may want to counter file for infidelity and abandonment to help protect YOUR assets (I’m not a lawyer , nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn, so I don’t know all the ins and outs, but that is why you need a lawyer).

      I’m not saying that irreconcilable differences can’t be a way to do the deal, STBX and I did that – but our assets were pretty equal and we have no children, so I didn’t have to worry about him filing for alimony – AND YOU JUST MIGHT HAVE THAT WORRY.

      Glad you have seen the light and it sounds like you are on the right track – good luck and keep the good fight!

      • I am very worried about him inviting you to “spend time with him and the kids”. The kids should under no circumstances be with him out of state. Get to a lawyer ASAP.

      • I’m in a no fault divorce state so it doesn’t really matter, but I did counter for infidelity. I thought abandonment would push his buttons too much.

        • You’ve been abandoned. He dumped his parents on you and then when he moved he moved to the OW’s state. (And that answers the question of whether he was cheating–that kind of thing had to be in the works for a long time.) Don’t worry about whether or not you are pushing his buttons. Go for full legal custody and child support. He can drive to your state to see his kids. The terms of custody are crucial. Whether you are in a no-fault state or not has little impact on support and custody. Those are separate issues. Get a lawyer who is an inter-state custody expert. And please keep us updated on how this goes. Protect yourself and your kids or the OW will have them 40-50% of the time. Do NOT worry about how he feels about anything. He didn’t care what kind of mess he left you in. Read the post and comments above about the uselessness of “being nice” to a user like your husband.

          • Michelle, this is hardball. The outcome of divorce and custody will control the rest of your years of parenting minor children. Play hardball.

            • I’m with LovedaJackass, both times. It will matter in the custody and support (even if just in the judges mind and not recognized by law). This is not the time to worry about pushing buttons unless you feel he will physically harm you – then that is a whole different story and whole ‘nother phone call you gotta make. You are awake – now go play like you mean it!

    • He’s being all nice and “let’s be friends” right now because he wants to soften you and butter you up to make it easier for him to screw you financially in the divorce, mark my words. My ex did this same trick, it’s a common ploy. That Mr Nice Guy routine will change in the blink of an eye when he realizes you are not playing along, and then you will see the demon that lives in his head.

      You are most certainly NOT to blame and NOT the bad guy. You are listening to the tapes he recorded in your head. Keep reading here, and listen to the many voices of experience instead of his brainwashing bullshit. Your STBX is a TURD. His family are TURDS. His OW is TURD. You are the only one in this saga who has shown any integrity, responsibility and maturity. Stay strong.

      • They don’t stay nice for long. Trust me. I am in a no fault state, I filled 9 moths ago and legally I can’t get him out of the house. But after I filled a few days later he was soooo nice and told me that he will not take anything out of the house, and he will show me how to pay the bills, and that I need to get my own credit card… Things my attorney and counselor advised me to do already.As long as I don’t take some of his pension. He said he did not wanted to live at his moms for the rest of his life! We’ll he found out different!!! And he is pissed and angry!! Blaming me for wasting money on attorneys, making me feel like the bad guy. Please stay strong they are only nice to manipulate you. Because they know how much we loved them,they assume we will just give in.

        I am scarred of the future too!! I need to go back to school in mid 40s! But one thing I know now for sure is that there is no future with disordered characters. I used to sparkle a lot too and that just became my normal. I did not know what a healthy marriage looks like! But I am learning that when somebody really loves you they don’t lie, cheat, and blame shift.We are not divorced yet, going trough financial stuff now, but I am so glad I found this site. Thank you!!!!

  • I would drop his parents on his doorstep and let him take care of them. Then I would cancel his credit cards or at the very least have the bills sent to him! Let’s see how much his new love likes this lazy coward then!

  • My ex also claimed he had not crossed any lines when I first began to suspect that *something* was going on (honestly, I thought he was depressed). He made me think I was crazy & insecure, and that he just wasn’t happy at work, but there was no cheating or anything like that. When I secretly got credit card records without him knowing, he’d been sleeping with dozens of other women (all married women with small kids) for the majority of our 10 year marriage. He’d fly them with him on business trips, get hotels at lunch time, etc.

    So how many men bring another woman into their home (and bed!) to NOT cheat? I don’t know of any. If you can afford to hire a Private Investigator, do it ASAP. And start collecting copies of credit card records, bank records, and anything else that will shed light on his “unhappiness”–just don’t let him find out.

  • I found a picture on my man’s phone of him having sex with another woman is that cheating

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