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Sing Like a Bird?

So my husband posited this theory yesterday and suggested I write about it. (With the hope, of course, that we prove his theory…) He believes the difference between the Stuck and the Unstuck is emotional sloppiness. He posits that blabbing to everyone about what happened is essential to field marshaling and getting yourself the hell away from cheaters. The folks who stay stuck, in his opinion, are the folks who keep the secrets. Who maintain the image. Who keep things under wraps.

I think he’s on to something.

He’s a verbal gerbil and he got unstuck very quickly. Ten entire days of false reconciliation (other affair partners emerged) and he filed and separated. He was immediately on infidelity boards, found his own therapist, chucked the marriage counseling and got divorced in under four months. (God bless Texas and its 60-day divorce laws.)

He told his parents, his kids, his friends, his siblings, a few neighbors, his realtor (who took him to feed cattle to keep his mind off it). He was the walking wounded, and he didn’t hide it.

Me, I wasn’t as much of a quick study as he was. But I did have a big mouth. I also told everyone, and got on infidelity boards, and was incredibly emotionally sloppy. On my D-Day (the first), we were having a new furnace installed, and I had to pay the bill. As I wrote the check for $8,000 (out of my account, of course), I burst into tears and told the steamfitter what happened. He looked stunned and told me he’d “hold me up to Jesus” and pray for me. Which was very nice of him in a Bible-thumping, Lancaster County kind of way.

The upshot of telling everyone, is that I couldn’t really front that my life wasn’t falling apart. Everyone knew it was a dismal wreck. And the brave people in my life bitchslapped me into lucidity when I did stupid shit like take him back. Don’t get me wrong, I still tried to maintain I had it all under control (unicorn chump!) — but they knew the ugly details.

And looking back, I think I told people the ugly details because at some level I wanted them to keep me accountable, to be my reality check. I knew I had a hopium problem.

I told the therapist when he threatened to kill me. I told the people at county court. I told my appointed lawyer at Mid-Penn Legal Services.

And yet, I still didn’t believe myself, that this was my life, that this was truly happening to me. That the wedding I celebrated 6 months earlier, the new life I had bought into so completely, the love I felt, the dreams I had planned were crashing down like a burning Zeppelin.

Every person who knew, who reacted in horror and compassion, was a guide post on my way out of that darkness.

Contrast this with the Stuck. If you don’t tell the secrets, who can unburden you? Who is going to look at YOU with horror and compassion? Who will give you those reality checks? Who will light your way?

If you maintain their image and never speak of what they did to you, and how it felt, and what the repercussions were — how will you, or anyone else, ever see who they really are?

If instead of emotional sloppiness, you have super powers of reserve, how will you know this loss is real? When you look at the news, when someone learns of a death, those people collapse in grief. They wail. They sob. No one judges them for it. This is what grief looks like. If you keep it under wraps, are you telling yourself and others that It Wasn’t Really That Bad?

Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe you don’t feel the betrayal that deeply. But if you do, then what? Does it eat at your guts? Make you sick? Is it like that Langston Hughes poem?

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up 
like a raisin in the sun? 
Or fester like a sore– 
And then run? 
Does it stink like rotten meat? 
Or crust and sugar over– 
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags 
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
 Let your chump flag fly, people. TELL.

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  • I should say, in fairness, I think my husband meant emotional sloppiness **in the early days.*** Obviously you have to keep your shit together to work and carry on with life. And most chumps learn pretty early on who they can tell, and who just doesn’t get it.

    I think the stuck don’t tell in those early days. They front. And therein lies the difference.

    • I agree completely. The first time I found out about cheating, I kept it to myself, kept trying to fix it, got back together with him, etc.

      The second time, I told everyone (except my Dad): my brother, my friends, anyone who would listen really. The whole point is that I didn’t trust myself and needed people to reign me in. Telling people made it real. There were times I regretted telling people, those days were I thought there could be reconciliation, I thought how could I get back together with him if I have already told everyone?

      But in the end, telling people was what saved me. Was what made me get unstuck. Keeping the secret is deluding yourself.

    • Oh Tracey, that’s so true! I kept my mouth shut for 3 years, 3 long fucking years, I didn’t tell anyone and suffered silently to keep a front, while I had insomnia, slept maybe 2-3 hours in 48 hours, lost weight that I was below 0, in junior size and was barely able to function. Kept my mouth shut, didn’t tell anyone what he did/was doing to me and that kept me stuck in that hell for 3 long years! When I finally had enough that’s when I started to share what he was doing and he wasn’t a good guy as everyone thought, that included besides cheating, the lying and burdening me financially. After that I started to detach from him emotionally, saw him for who he really was then I went in NC. If I knew back then what I know now, I would’ve told everyone and not suffer for 3 years without sleep and the feeling of that horrible feeling, being betrayed! Your hubby and you are right, that’s got me unstuck from everything! Thank you once more for your wisdom from bottom of my heart. Thank you!!

  • Hi you have a point. i was so young when Art Ortenberg left me in that way that i did not speak of it so Art tells his side of it and with the money that is USA Power. i have allowed him to “define” me and the first time anyone asked me what happened is on this blog. i act, i am strict ,but always private and that is what is wrong now .my son and daughter manipulate me with their” wounds ” as if i don’t have any, this “lovely” retirement building has not supported me, and my side is only on your blog. in my case money was always the problem.My son and daughter “need” the money he will leave altho if i had a father like that i would scrub floors before i would take a cent. this last obit was an insult,my son published the book of tribute ,is in NY ,did not stop the last obit either and tells me to stay out of it. i am being “chumped” by my son and daughter and really did not pay enough attention, this morning got lost in Bach, and am “allowing” shunning or bullying or whatever you call it, because i am absent minded and would rather play bach. i should write book but i think” Liz ” is gone . i kicked art out,didnt look back, but really had no legal rights to stop his inexcusable publicity, 50 years later.Art is a sociopath big time. i never got stuck,as these people did, but denial is understandable, we dont want to think people are evil but they are. thank you chump lady and all of you the only support i have ever heard since my husband died.

    • I think you need to get tough with your kids, no matter their age. Tell them straight the bullshit you went through – and if you can’t do it in person then write it down, carefully and without editorialising about their father. Tell how this impacted YOU, how your life changed, what you went through. They may not care but at least you’ll have it out there in a way that they can’t ignore.

      I’m careful about what I say to the kids and thankfully my kids are smart cookies. One of them says to me, ‘I know you can’t say what a dick you think dad is but I get it, don’t worry’. This would be after their father nearly succeeded in leaving us completely broke without a roof over our collective heads.

      There’s a reason ‘honesty is the best policy’ is a cliché. Just the facts, ma’am, and then let the chips fall.

    • Yes, my precious Muriel…..There are many evil ones out there. Remember, though, the love you have found here that reaffirms not everyone is evil….just some. So glad that ChumpNation has provided the support you deserve!!!

      Do you remember your Bible history? Think back to what King David did….his adultery with Bath’sheba. Look at this passage: 2 Sam 12:7-13 The principle here is that what is done in secret will be / should be exposed in full glaring light for ALL to see! See what? The filth, horror and disgustingness of adultery! THAT is our Creator’s standards. God was the one who decreed this consequence of King David’s adultery.

      Shout it from the roof tops……

      Good to hear from you Muriel….Forge on, friend…..

  • You’re husband may in fact be on to something. I fronted and didn’t tell initially. As I learned more about the depth of his betrayal, I could no longer maintain the facade. Took me 5 months to go NC. Looking back, it’s clear now that I was “protecting” him (and our relationship) from the critique and judgements of others because I was hooked on hopium. If I told, then when he came to his senses (haha…glad he never did), I wouldn’t be able to justify “working things out.”

  • I totally agree with your husband. Once I got past feeling ashamed, which I now know was foolish. I told everyone I could think of!

  • I think it also has a lot to do with how much you trust people and your overall support network. I’m not the most trusting person in the world and my husband has pretty well exacerbated that. Also, I come from a family that wouldn’t be very supportive if I left. “You’re leaving with two small children (one somewhat autistic), you have tons of student debt with no way to pay it, and you’re going to be living in a homeless shelter… I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” Yeah, not very helpful and not something I can handle hearing without becoming a basket case, honestly. I put one foot in front of the other. I work. I got to graduate school. I come home and take care of the kids. One. Step. At. A. Time. Because that’s all my mind will absorb and the job/school/kids don’t take care of themselves.

    For those who do have a better support network, your advice is spot on. For the rest of us, we have to start building ourselves up as best we can.

    • You know, your point about supportive people around you is good–because there are cake-eaters out there who begin their snacking and feasting once they have moved the chump away from their network. Then, who can the chump talk to?

    • So sorry you didn’t start out with that support network, but good for you that you are going step by step to get where you want to be.

      But that suggests that those of us who have influence over young women approaching marriage or newly marriage should make sure they develop and nurture a support network as well as their capacity to earn a living, not just because they might get chumped but because we are all mortal and young women can’t take for granted that a partner will live out a full life. My cousin was widowed with three children under six; her mother relocated and went back to work to help her raise her kids.

  • I’m not much good at ‘acting’. I tried in high-school (drama), but couldn’t handle bit roles.

    I’m not much better about ‘acting’ in real life. The first round (DDAY1), I kept things to myself much better like it was my shame to bear or something, but that was part of a weird, codependent mindset I sort of developed over the course of that marriage.

    DDAY2 was easier. It was still traumatic, but resolution was immediate and firm. I simply told myself I had no choice, or rather… the choice was to go on living that way and going through trauma over and over or move on. So… yeah, I pretty much immediately told everybody what was happening, didn’t try to put a gloss on it, and that was that.

    • First dday saw me only confiding in a few close friends and begging them to keep it quiet as I ‘wanted to work out the marriage’ (despite telling him to leave if he wanted). Second dday? I went nuts and told everyone who would listen, including several realtors who were showing me places to live, the guy who came to literally fix the kitchen sink (he was also going through a divorce) and random anyone who asked me anything remotely connected with the story. I went nuclear and am quite glad I did.

      I do think, though, that this is why ex is such a dick to me – I really believe he thought he could have ‘a break’ and then saunter back and I’d be there. But I made sure that wouldn’t and couldn’t happen and now he is stuck in this exciting and wonderful and fun new life he wanted so badly! Except it’s more boring and constricting than his life with me for several reasons: I am not boring or constricting, and he lost all his history with me. So he’s angry. I figure he’ll be angry for a long time, because from all reports final OW is insecure yet arrogant, and has him on lock down. Hahahaha…I’m free and he’s not!

  • I am not shy and I will tell, if appropriate.

    I told family and close friends within days. All were shocked and not immediately helpful because they needed time to process it. We had date night, family game night, and marriage night. We worked together for years. People knew we had some problems; we weren’t fake or phony (at least I wasn’t). So, they were unprepared for the announcement. Mostly, she was well liked by all. But, then they fetched themselves up and gave me kick ass support from then on. It didn’t take them long.

    And, then 2 months after D-day, I told them I had been chumped. That’s when the ranks broke a little. But, I was singing loud and clear. The people who fell away, should have and would have anyway.

    I’m a talker. I need to talk shit out; whatever it is. I take polls. My problem with being stuck and talking about being as chump is balance.

    In the beginning, I gave myself a limited time to talk about it during the day. One relative (I have a big family, so some had to wait to get the details from me anyway) and one trusted friend. I couldn’t always do this very well. And, I stopped polling for the most part. For instance, asking three friends “What do you think?” about some issue that was probably awful for them to hear anyway. It was too much for me and maybe them. I rotated friends and family to give them a break. lol

    I found that if I tell the story too much then I stay in it. I give the hurt more lasting power. I give my power away. Of course, it depended on how I talked about it, too. Initially, I had nothing good to say. I still don’t most days.

    I told them things they didn’t know. I told them how I sucked too. Just to balance it out. Most got that cheating is irredeemable. If I don’t tell I remain stuck, too. I get sick. And, this has been such a difficult journey already. I need all the help I can get. I’m only as sick as my secrets. I need to let my close friends know who I am and what’s happening. I am grieving and it’s a motherfucker. They get it, thank God.

    I didn’t want to fly the chump flag. But, now I’ve joined a nation.

      • A Dr. Phil-ism “You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge.”

        Or from the Christian perspective, bringing what’s hidden in the darkness to the light.

        Aren’t we trying to teach kids this?

      • This is so true! I am a type A control freak who sparkled with all my might in an attempt to keep it together. I have an amazing family that will do anything to help, but I kept the details to myself and it kept me stuck . I am FINALLY kicking my hopium habit and seeing things for what they are . And talking about it. This is not MY shame to bear. I was a committed spouse . My only failing was the failure of knowing my own worth. I’m awesome. Any man who wouldn’t want me is a fucktard. End of story . Know your worth, walk away and save yourself loads of grief. Thanks Chump Lady. So many days it is like you are soeaking directly to me.

  • Totally agree with your hubby. When first two marriages ended (his addiction for #1 and his infidelity for #2) I held it together for the sake of my son and didn’t tell anyone what had really happened. It hurt for a long time and the end result was the people around me never knew what turds they were and still liked them.

    When I left the narcissist just over a year ago I was already telling people and I felt so much stronger because of it. Having that outside viewer telling you that your partner’s behavior is just plain WRONG and validating your emotions is so important! It still hurt, but I was able to pick myself up and move on into a truly fabulous life that I might not have had if I’d kept silent.

    • What I find so icky about the whole facade, is that YOU go through all the stress, while cheaterwad enjoys the benefit of looking good to everyone else. People may even sympathize with the cheater, because s/he has a spouse who seems so stressed out or depressed…(experience talking here…)

      • CITS!!! You’ve done it again!! Beautifully put in your response to Sofia Leo! You went through that too, uh? Surely must be pretty typical, though…….

        Cheaterpants had convinced me, most of our friends (not all!) & my parents that I was going through a mental breakdown, just loosing it, was a real witch for no real reason. (Our circle of friends included church counselors & they believed him, too!) My parents are NOT easily duped; they are both very well-grounded, but they live so far away, they really had no way of checking out what cheaterpants was claiming. He made it all sound as if he was the loving, caring husband who was trying to ‘get help’ for his suddenly disturbed wife! (Prior to this, I was known as dependable, responsible & emotionally stable.)

        From his descriptions, they all decided I was in early stages of menopause & it was turning me into a mental case, maybe they should have me committed!! (Peri-menopause came a full 5 years later, so, no, that was NOT it! But no one asked ME what was happening!)

        Of course, he pulled it off because, as you said, I was the one having melt-downs & other such things in public, on a repeat basis due to the horrors he was bringing into our life, all while he remained cool, calm & collected in public.

        Even my Dad insisted I needed to come to their place for a while, (hundreds of miles away) away from business and home responsibilities, to recover! They had NO idea at that point what was happening. (Of course, I did not go anywhere at that point!)

        And yes, many sympathized with the cheater because he was married to ‘someone like that’! bleeeeeeeech!

        Not no mo’ !!!! 😉 In the end, the cheaters were reveled! (She was part of our circle, too) And now, (most) everyone understands why I was having those melt-downs! Sing it!

        Thanks, CITS!! Forge on, girl, ForgeOn!

  • I told the people who mattered to me and I never covered for him at all. At the same time, my betrayal was a highly publized train wreck and I was damned if I was going to allow all those motherfucking rubberneckers front row seats to my families’ pain. I truly was in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. So I decided who I could trust and who cared about me, and shared everyhing with them. Oh, and I never failed to speak the truth.
    What was important to me was for my kids to see me make to the other side. And I did!

        • Rubberneckers and the people who turn away and say “we can’t choose we love you both”? Really, even when he has had anywhere between 4-6 AP’s along with a whole host of other stuff…..and you chose him…I guess I needed to she who they really were.

          • I froze those people out so quickly they wondered whether they even knew me. I had no time for people who lacked the backbone to acknowledge a grievous wrong.I still don’t.

            • Good for you!

              My experience with out mutual “friends” is that most everyone just wants to be liked. They don’t want to know anything that might make them have to judge or choose.

              Well….. fuck those people. They are not my friends or friends of my children. They are not people who you can count on for anything important.

              They can be liked by my cheater ex. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

              • Winston Churchill said: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

  • It was the morning of my 40th Birthday, my STBXW and two small children were at my parents mountain house. I did not have a cell phone at the time and was worried because my elderly parents were late in arriving, as well as other friends and family members. So I borrowed her cell phone to call and check on them. While on the phone a text came through and there was a picture of a man’s penis, as I scrolled through there were naked pictures of my wife taking a bath…This had all happened 10 minutes to me using her phone while I took the kids and dog on a walk…I tried to hold it together for my kids, until she decided to give me my birthday present…guess what it was? A fucking cell phone…Needless to say when my mom arrived and took one look at me she knew and broke down…Point is this all happened in a very public way and so everyone knew…Yet I remained stuck for a long time because of my kids, and just three weeks ago I found out that not only was she sleeping with this guy for three years, she was, at the same time fucking the neighbor…Point is making it public may not get you unstuck if you have small kids and want to keep your family together…At the start of her third affair during reconciliation I finally had to kick her out to save myself.

    • What a horror show! How humiliating to have DDay on your birthday in front of everyone. Your STBXW is a total POS, but you knew that.

      And what is it with 40th birthdays? (I’ve told the story about my truckload of cow manure/metaphor). Mine spent my birthday weekend off cheating with his OW at his cabin, saying he was “hunting” leaving me to my girlfriends.

      You didn’t really get a chance to tell or not tell. It was thrust upon you. I’m glad you got the fuck out.

      • Ha ha, for my 40th birthday I got tea bags one day later as a belated gift. We’d only been married a month too! Got a belated card too, pretty good eh?

        • Surely this age group is proof of the mid-life crisis…?


          Likely they’re realizing that if their spouse is ageing, then so are they…and it’s time to trade in….

          • Agreed. I was quite happy to be moving into a new stage of life and openly talked about it. Ex apparently was not happy about this because he’s off with someone very, very young. Kind of hilarious that he’s such a cliché. I refuse to be.

        • Yup, just 8 days after 40th for my exH, even after he said he felt good about turning forty, our life was good ,etc. OW is more than 10 yrs younger than him, almost 12 yrs younger than me,

        • Mine was after I turned 51 with someone who is 10-11 years younger – he was 52. Actually, I think that my 51st BD was the first day for them; he told me that it started in that month. He came home that day with a note in a card that said he “owed me a hand made corner cabinet”. His excuse was that he couldn’t find any corner wall cabinets (which I had specifically asked for). And by coincidence, he had to buy an expensive saw set up to make the cabinet (so he got a double present on my BD). Of course I made him pay back the money spent on that during the divorce!

    • Yeah, the kids… The kids and the family matter. Then you start thinking about your past with them and it gets very difficult from there. I struggle with the fact that I only got one shot to have an intact family and that it isn’t ending well. It’s probably my conservative upbringing coming out.

      • You’ll still have an intact family. It will just be minus one fucktard.

        • True. I can see that it’s true in other people’s families, but I just have a hangup when I think about my own in that context. I’ve started talking to a therapist about the whole situation, so hopefully that will help.

          • Sweetie, I know. I’m from a similar background. It’s getting to point realizing that sometimes, despite our very best efforts, shit just plain happens.

    • OH mY GOD, CLETUS !!!!!!!!
      ** HUG**
      You Know, I’m GLAD you Never Had to Rehash it,Cause Everyone Found Out at the SAME Time, could All Grieve it Together..and Get ON with Life Faster. No Slowbleeding Shit.

      • Fucking Birthdays… They can Be Tragic..Lifechanging when dealing with these Arseholes…My 34th certainly was. It was the Worst and Best Because I Knew After he did what He did to Me on My Birthday I Would NEVER Forgive Him..Ever or Take Him Back….THAT kind of Thing you Don’t Bounce Back From…
        It’s That Harsh sort of Forever Gift… Seeing your Shackles..and Cutting them Off..
        Permanently..Where there were Things you could Bury and Hide…THOSE situations don’t Allow it, You MUST DEAL with REALITY.

    • I’m so sorry you had to go through that with your kids there. I am glad, however, that your parents were on the spot for you when you needed it.

    • And what I don’t get is that they don’t realize how they’re being assholes to the kids as well….

      • Oh..Well..My EX answered That Question Before my daughter was Even Born..
        He Referred to her as ” JUST a TAG-ALONG “…

        Guess who DOESN’T Get to Tag Along in OUR Life ????

      • Compartmentalizing. They don’t see any connection between their roles as spouse and as parent. As a lawyer had to firmly explain to me “A good father does not cheat on his child’s mother.” Amen.

        • “A good father does not cheat on his child’s mother.” Amen.

          Amen some more!!!

          THAT one went in my “keeper’s” file!!!

          Thanks for sharing!

          Forge on, Jamberry, ForgeOn!!!

  • Oh CL I think your husband is so right! I told and told and told, there were no secrets, and why should there be? It was not my actions or my shame. What I told was the truth and simply needed to be said.

    I told my children, the guy who cut the lawn, our friends, our family, his family, my partners, our hairdresser (telling her is like taking out an ad in the newspaper anyhow), the lady who waited on me at Macy’s, etc etc. If a “friend” did not want to hear, I cut them out, they were not supportive and therefore I assumed that they either (1) didn’t think the heinous things my ex did were bad, which calls into question their own mental stability, or (2) were cheaters themselves.

    My family rallied around. My friends were disgusted and furiously angry with my ex. My partners supported me in any way they could. The man who cut my lawn told me he’d beat my ex up if he ever saw him. Our acquaintances were horrified. A friend thought she saw my ex at the drycleaners and almost accosted the man, asking him “what are YOU doing here?” When she apologized to the man, saying she thought he was someone else, the man replied, “glad I’m not him.”

    Everyone believed me, because despite being the great pretender, somehow something that had been “missing” about my ex made sense to them now. My ex had to move out of town and resigned from every board, club and organization he had belonged to here. He is literally afraid to show his face.

    My children knew what their father did and they said that once I told them everything, things suddenly “computed”, and while upsetting at first it was somehow comforting to them to know the truth. This was because before D-Day, my children blamed themselves for causing their father to be so frustrated, angry and apparently “trapped”–this is the word my oldest son used to describe his dad– to the point where they felt they did not want to marry and have their own children if this is what having kids did to a man. At least now they know that their father is a very sick man, that he WAS doing very bad things with the women he brought to our home and into his and our lives, that my children were right to feel uncomfortable and nervous around these women, that their father’s frustration was sexual and from living a false life and had nothing to do with them, and that their father’s choice in hiding who and what he was and lying to everyone destroyed his life and damn near destroyed ours. They also understand their father’s almost complete disconnect and disinterest now that he is out of the home, as he rarely contacts them. They “get” it in a way they never could if they did not know.

    My gut was to tell, and I believe it was healing, it was affirming, and it confirmed that the reality was very very bad. Telling also ensured that I would not be blamed by my ex, by my children, by my family and friends, or anyone else. There was simply no possibility that my ex (who tried to lie shortly after D-Day about why we split) would be believed by anyone including the milkman by the time I got done telling. And he certainly was not able to drive a wedge between me and my children or anyone else. Instead, after a few pitiful attempts at lying about what happened, including to our children, and realizing no one believed him, my ex just…crawled….away, like the guttersnipe he is.

    I believe that, at least in my case, a refusal to tell would have been an attempt by me to cover for the ex, and I felt that pull at the beginning. We can use whatever pretty terms we want, but we are chumps and spacklers, and co-dependents, and not telling to me would have been a way to continue protecting him, but at my expense and the expense of my children. My ex tried to bleat a couple times, “you shouldn’t have told the children”, to which I replied (as I have said several times here): “IF IT WASN’T TOO BAD FOR YOU TO DO, IT CERTAINLY ISN’T TOO BAD FOR ME TO SAY. Now go away.”

    • Wow Kelly, strong work! Whabam. Your story is like a fantasy for me. My STBX is so sparkly and was recently described as “too cute to stay mad at” by a friend. It’s nauseating. I think a lot folks turned away from her but I didn’t try to counteract her lies very much.

      • Like so cute have affair with cause he is just too cute to put down? uggghhhhhh

        • I only had a blasé reaction from one friend who happened to be having an affair at the time and was trying to justify it. It wasn’t until much later and that person realized the mistake that I could share more.

          But I feel the need to say- anyone who minimizes the kind of pain and betrayal of infidelity and abandonment to someone they care about JUST SUCKS. You’re facing so much rejection in those moments, the most cruel thing is to give you another dose of it.

          Those people are either delusional, self-involved or guilty of their own bad behavior– and are cryptonite for a healing chump. Cut them out right along with the cheater.

          • I agree %100. I have a visceral reaction, even before my chump status.

          • “Anyone who minimizes the kind of pain and betrayal of infidelity and abandonment to someone they care about JUST SUCKS. You’re facing so much rejection in those moments, the most cruel thing is to give you another dose of it.”

            Your choice of words is perfect, MKinSD. Anyone who minimizes that pain and betrayal sucks. Minimizes, tries to reduce or make smaller than it actually is. That is another form of abuse. Those who do that minimizing are abusers themselves.

          • My Knight, I agree with you…the hurtful thing for me has been that I had to face the fact that these people I thought were friends, really don’t care. They were supposedly so disgusted when I told them who he was and what he had been doing, but then I would see them at a social function, chit-chatting away! I do think that if you are going to let it fly after d-day you need to be prepared for the push back from the ex. Mine did a thorough job of spinning a tale of “parent alienation” on my part that is pure projection, but sounds good… like a sparkly turd would sound. I think I read somewhere here that these people
            are just weak, shallow people that, at the end of the day decide that it’s too inconvenient to take a stand against the cheater because it would be uncomfortable for THEM. I don’t want cryptonite-friends in my life anymore.

            • I definitely got the pushback. My whole family, and we are many, 86’ed her ass on my request. I told her my whole family knew that she was a cheating asshole and had been for years. I threatened to tell all of our colleagues and friends in our professional community and church.

              This was the ONLY time she reacted to my calling her out for her treachery. Another small epiphany for me. It showed me that she was totally image oriented and was only concerned about what people think.

              She could give a fuck about what I think (literally, I guess). Two weeks after I found out, she was inviting me out to ice cream with her family. I was reeling. That’s when I did the “you are not my fucking friend blast…” She’s gets it now. But, according to Paltrow and STBX, I am unwashed and Spiritually bankrupt, ad infintum.

      • I should clarify….my friend thinks my ex is a knuclkehead and meant that she played the “I’m too cute to be mad” at game. And that she has played it as a way of life for her.

        It reminded me of the Eagles song “Lying Eyes”. The line “City girls seem to find out early….How to open doors with just a smile…” It was a post d-day mini revelation. Some spackle fell away. Another check in the “she sucks” column.

        • ugh… meant to tell you anyone that thinks they are “too cute” for anything sounds super annoying.

          • aE, I know. Since the “conscious uncoupling” thing came out, I think STBX is “Paltrowed.”

            I blasted her with the whole thing…being syrupy and too cute. I called her a coward and a phony; which were the sanitized names and defects I blasted her with. Her being Paltrowed makes it a bit easier.

      • Thirstyfish,

        May time be unkind to her face–and her plastic surgeon even worse…..

    • “you shouldn’t have told the children”, to which I replied (as I have said several times here): “IF IT WASN’T TOO BAD FOR YOU TO DO, IT CERTAINLY ISN’T TOO BAD FOR ME TO SAY. ”

      Fabulous answer.

      We should have a permanent list of these kinds of comebacks–if cheaters can have a playbook, why shouldn’t we?

      • Bloody Hell…
        There’s SOO MuchI KNOW my EX Doesn’t Want MY Daughter to Know..
        I hope The Fucker DIES Before I Ever Have to Tell her the Truth about her ” Spermdonor”.
        I Will NOT LIE for that Arsehole. NEVER Again.

      • “Chump 101 for Dummies”

        And a theme song…

        “99 ways to leave your Fucktard”

        • I’m writing a book, guys. I’ve got a chapter on stupid shit cheaters say… and how exactly to respond to it. Wait a couple more months! Deadline is June.

      • Yes Chump, my ex, the great sparkler and spinner and distracter, a man who was apparently born with a silver tongue, just didn’t know what to say to that. Then I told him to rot in hell.

      • Love that reply Chump in the sand! .. Going to tell STBEX THAT!!!!

        My 43 year old serial & multiple cheating who is a Psychiatrist & Master Manipulator & Narcissist is petrified about our 9 year old son ( whom I have to confess he adores) knowing anything about his serial cheating!… Unfortunately even though I will not say anything bad about STBEX “Wasband” to son.. Son is smart & knows what is going on..he knows about the kid born during our marriage by one of the multiple OW…. My sweet son does not like to talk about it bc he loves his dad but I’m glad he knows & glad that I’ve shown hi. that cheating cannot be tolerated.

    • Wow Kelly..your story reminds me a lot of mine! I discovered Dday when I was at work, so my coworkers got to witness that hell. I did not hesitate to tell anyone on the end of the day my in-laws knew, my entire family (Mom, Dad, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, dogs) knew, my children knew, and anyone I came in contact on my day of devastation knew. I never EVER thought about protecting his cheating, lying ass..not once. I didn’t do a damn thing to deserve it..he didn’t deserve to be shielded from the scrutiny of friends and family. I’ve had plenty of the “but we’re still friends with both of you and will continue to be” bullshit, which really pisses me off. Why would you want to stay friends with a cheating asshat that dumped his family to make sure he was happy happy happy? But they still do. And I make sure to correct the people who say “Oh I hear you’re splitting up”. I ask them if they know why, and if they don’t I tell them because my H is a liar, a cheater, and a selfish prick. Because of course, he never gives the reason about WHY we split up..he’s gotta save face, you know. I wish there was some way I could get on his FB page and let everyone know what he did..all of his old classmates, friends, coworkers and even relatives of his that don’t know. Why the hell should he have no consequences for his actions? If it were up to me, I would have drawn and quartered him by now!

      • If people say something that indicates they might not know the real story (ie., “I heard you are no longer together”), I definitely clarify the situation.

      • With your Sandy. My situation was “easy” in terms of the almost-complete shunning of my ex post D-Day. That is because my ex was a king even among his fellow narcissistic sociopaths.

        You see, my ex pretended to be the most uber loving husband and father, nauseatingly adoring, incredibly courtly, opening my car door, holding my arm, just super super attentive to me. Bought me wonderful gifts, told me he loved me every day. He also referred to me as “Mrs. Kelly” when speaking of me to others, so much did he purportedly respect his “beautiful wife.”

        And then, after 25 years of marriage, 3 beautiful children, and us being well known in our community, I, and everyone else along with me, learned that format least 15 years, my ex was having affairs and groups sex with two women he worked with, who he purposefully introduced to me and our children as family friends, who he had stay in our home with me and our children present (sick fucks). They tried to befriend me and our children, they slept in our home, one painted us paintings which hung on our walls. There is much more but you get the gist– he is One. Sick. Fuck.

        So on D-Day, and thereafter, when I and his whole world learned just what a sick pathetic lying perverted freak he was, pretty much everyone and I mean everyone was horrified. And rather than face it, my ex just ran. He almost immediately left and said he was going to marry one of the AP’s who he decided after D-Day he loved more than me. (And yes I told everyone that too, as if his grave wasn’t dug quite far enough yet).

        Not even our dogs miss him.

        • Wow…that part about the introductions and having them in the home. I don’t know how you didn’t kill that bastard. At least from my perspective. That kind of….I’m searching for a word… invasive or something…kind of betrayal….. I can’t describe it. I just can’t fathom it either. You know, hanging their paintings? I don’t know what to say.

          I do marvel at my fellow chumps. My story is tame and I felt run over most days. You men and women on here are warriors.

    • Kelly, your paragraph 3 cracked me up, especially the last line.

      And I too told everyone. The night of dday, I was unable to sleep so I got up and started sending emails in the middle of the night to my inner circle…which is actually pretty big. The next night I sent more emails, also while I was unable to sleep. And everyday I sent more until I had told about everyone. Each response was a balm to my very raw very wounded heart.

      I realized right from the beginning that honestly and openly telling the truth was the only thing that was letting me survive. Each time I told, I let more light in and received kind comments that were so very necessary in that time when everything felt completely unmoored. I think talking was a HUGE help in my healing. And I am a person who processes through talking with others, so I *so* needed that. And I am so thankful to have had a community around me that stepped up to the plate.

      • “Each time I told, I let more light in and received kind comments that were so very necessary in that time when everything felt completely unmoored. ”

        Beautifully said Northern, and so true in my experience.

    • Kelly…you are singin’ my song, girl…! There was no fooling our kids, either. One of them said, He’s a lost cause, Mom. Even if he WANTED to get help, he doesn’t have the lifetime left to deal with all of his problems. Actions speak louder than words….

      • Yes Jerseygirl, my daughter said simply “my father is dead. There is a man out there who looks like him, but that is not my father.”

  • I spent 30+ years suppressing things that bothered me about my ex. Things like strange love notes I found in his pocket when our kids were young, anonymous phone calls asking if I knew where my husband was, nights he was supposedly working and didn’t come home, announcements of how he practiced talks in his female boss’ hotel room, his too close relationship with another coworker…all these things shamed me and kept me quiet. I could hardly believe myself that they were true, and somehow I felt it was my problem, that I was too insecure and overly jealous. In the end all my gut feelings were right, but I’d smothered them so hard I could hardly let them up for air. I never told anyone the whole truth of all the evidence that had piled up in my mind. Once you let the cat out of the bag you can’t go back, so you have to be sure of the truth before you start talking. In my case the truth was always spun in a way that made me feel like the crazy one. If I hadn’t read my ex’s journal, and stood there watching his mouth as he told me I didn’t understand what I’d read…I would never have comprehended the depth of the lies I was dealing with.

    Telling everyone can be a two-edged sword. Some people responded, “but he never says anything bad about you.” They felt it was wrong for me to be talking about what happened. I was shamed once again for not being “a bigger person.” I remember wanting to yell “Do burglars go around talking about what they stole?” Anyway, I had to stop telling my 23 yo son because he believed his dad’s “we drifted apart” narrative. I didn’t want to risk losing him too.

    Anyway, I was paralyzed while playing the pick-me dance for several months. It wasn’t until I saw my ex’s signature on the petition for divorce that my mind suddenly switched. That day I stopped caring about trying to help him and started protecting myself from any more of his bullshit.

    • I feel for you. My daughter told me ‘mom it isn’t like you were on the wagontrain and left on the trail, the world is civilized now.

      • It FEELS like it ,Though…

        and The WORLD isn’t Soo Civilized that Those Disordered Arseholes No Longer Exist.
        I Swear, The Only Ones who REALLY get it are CHUMPS.

    • Why are women so afraid to be jealous IF THERE ARE SIGNS THAT A PARTNER IS INVOLVED WITH ANOTHER WOMAN? It is perfectly normal to be jealous if the partner is giving away the love, affection, money, loyalty and care that should go to the woman he publicly promised to cherish. I knew the first day the J mentioned his deceased friend’s married sister that it was trouble, but I was afraid to bring my feelings into the open because…he would say I was jealous and insecure. If I ever have that feeling in another relationship, I am going to say: “Tell me about this woman and your relationship to her. The way you talk about her makes me feel uncomfortable. And you are spending less time at home. Are we on the same page about our boundaries with other people? Where are you drawing those lines?” And then see what happens. I regret more than anything that I didn’t speak up right then and insist that he tell me where those lines were. Or fail in the attempt, which would also tell me what I needed to know.

      • No matter how much I expressed discomfort with his relationship with his married coworker it made no difference to him. I refused to socialize any more with her and her husband because she made me so uncomfortable. I found out later that when I was out of town my ex would invite the coworker and her family over for cookouts with MY kids. That’s what kind of an SOB he was. At least I attempted to put a boundary in place.

    • “Once you let the cat out of the bag you can’t go back, so you have to be sure of the truth before you start talking. ”

      I felt this way too. But on dday my ex made it explicitly (and coldly, dispassionately) clear that he was done with me and no longer in love with me and in love with OW. He was unwavering and certain. It was so clear I did not have an ounce of doubt about the fact that is was definitely over.

      It hurt so much that he just walked away and never looked back. But maybe, in hindsight, it was a huge blessing. And his absolute clarity (nevermind the absence of logic) gave me the push to let the cat out of the bag from the get-go.

  • I admire all those who are able to say it how it is. I think CL’s husband is right and I agree that it is a good thing to be open & honest about what happened.

    That said, I couldn’t do it. I was mortified, horrified, paralysed. I told no one – until ex-H moved out some 4 months after D day. I was terrified of being judged & coming up short. I had no self-esteem left. All that fear was a pointless waste of time & I wish I had blabbed to all & sundry. I missed out on a whole load of sympathy & support. The judgers will judge regardless & who wants friends like that anyway.

    I am both stiff-upper lip English & come from a Catholic family & education (although I no longer practise now). Don’t wash your dirty laundry in public & don’t shame yourself were quite literally beaten into me as a child. As you may know Catholics are great at guilt & I was convinced that I was somehow guilty of not being good enough, not being wife enough, not working at it all hard enough. Like I say self-esteem shot to pieces.

    Anyway, the point of my sorry tale is that it has taken me many years to undo all that well-intentioned upbringing & realise that I made life easier for my cheating, lying, vow-breaking, selfish ex-H by not shouting it from the rooftops.

    A bit of counselling & sites like this have helped me shift my perspective. As ever thank you CL for your spine stiffening posts. 🙂

    • CL is like the emotional version of Skele-Gro (from Harry Potter)!

    • I’m Catholic too, and I don’t give a flying fuck what the Church has to say, or how I’m supposed to act. Being told how to deal with the shattering of my life by a bunch of men who’ve never been married? Give me a break!

    • Snap! I’m English, stiff upper lipped and catholic too! Actually in my case my parish priest was one of the first people I told. On D-day itself too. He was truly amazing. Immediately offered me any help I needed in getting to safety. He agreed 100% that I needed to divorce and never once suggested I should do any different. If anyone tried to make me feel bad about my marriage ending I’d tell them to stuff it. I haven’t come across any judgement actually and I’ve spoken to several priests about my situation. But I know that doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there who would judge and I really don’t want to invalidate your experiences. I’m sure they are real, but I just wanted to show you that it’s not all like that. If anyone does judge you on this they are clueless and in the wrong. You are the one who has been wronged and terribly, terribly hurt.

      We didn’t have the power to make our husbands make good choices. Only they had that power. And you just can’t force a man to do something he will not do. That doesn’t mean I did everything right. I didn’t. Of course not. Made a whole bunch of dumb, rookie mistakes. But I know I was committed to my marriage and faithful to my husband. I’m sure you were too. You mustn’t take the guilt on your shoulders for what your husband has done. It’s on him, not you. None of us is a perfect husband or wife. There’s no such thing. But there are small mistakes and then there are massive crimes. Not the same things at all.

  • I completely agree with you and your husband. My husband has done terrible things to me. Dispicable and illegal things that I felt so much shame about, I never told anyone. After Dday, I finally told a few close people the whole truth. Now, I have the urge to tell everyone who he really is, what he’s really done. I want that accountability. I have no urge to take him back, but if some craziness comes over me where I do, I want other people to remind me of what he’s done. I want other people to look at me as a fool if I give in. Because that’s what I’d be. I feel like I need to own my own culpability in letting him get away with it for so long. I don’t want to be that person anymore and I want everyone to know it.

    • Keep Coming Here…
      We’ll Remind you To NEVER Take Him back….
      and you Have a RIGHT to your anger…
      As for the Shame…It’s Over..He Can’t Hurt you Anymore, Unless you ALLOW him Back.

  • I did a bit of both hiding and telling. I needed my friends and family to survive so I told them immediately to help keep me sane. Their disgust was palpable and comforting. My closest girlfriends stayed on the phone with me for days and took me on trips to extricate me from the sleaze. My brother (X’s former best friend) and my brother in law (X’s brother) both cut him off immediately and haven’t spoken to him in 3.5 years. That support meant the world to me and was validating at a time when I felt invisible and worthless- they showed me the kind of love I would have expected from my husband before all this.

    I also couldn’t keep it from my job- they knew me too well and knew I was off. That part was so humiliating but wow did they show me compassion- my team brought me a basket of goodness to cheer me up one day and my boss told me to take a few weeks to go relax on an island if I wanted.

    The hiding on the other hand was all the hands of my X’s manipulative parents- who feigned concern and outrage to keep me from telling their family and country club friends, which they felt would demonize his and their image unfairly. I was so broken I went along with it, but in retrospect, I think they’re disgusting for that.

    It’s no wonder they have such a disordered son with priorities and values like that.

    • The parent thing really hit me…. Ex’s parents ended up moving in with us for three months during false R (about 6 months after dday) and during that time that was when Tiger Woods was outed for his cheating. One night we all were at the dinner table (his parents were aware of what their son did) and the news came on and was talking about Tiger. My then 10 year old son asked why Tiger was on the news so much lately. Before I could even get a word out, ex’s parents jumped right in and brushed it right under the rug – said something about sponsership, etc., did not make one mention of why that POS was really in the news a lot. Seeing that I did respect my elders, I kept my mouth shut until I tucked oldest into bed that night where I did tell him the truth and did not sugar coat any of it. It was sure an eye opening display and the loss of respect of his parents. And yes, his father cheated on his mother. They are all so good at just brushing shit under the rug and minimizing the effects.

      I kept quiet for a while, maybe six months but during that time I was questioned about my weight loss and people thought I was sick so I did keep to myself. I only told family members and a few close friends. Than after he made little to no effort I told everyone, still do. I don’t feel that I bash, but I also have a right to speak up and dammit, speak up I will. If people don’t like it tough shit! As someone else said, if it wasn’t so bad for you to do the actions, it isn’t bad of me to talk about it.

      • The other thing I forgot to mention was that ex MIL sent me a letter right after dday talking about my parents who are both deceased. She stated that I was now going through what my mother went through all those years ago and that mom and dad tolerated each other later in life. Like being lied to and cheated on was a rite of passage or something. Fucking delusional……

        • Casey,

          I feel your pain with the parents. My FIL also cheats and they live a complete lie. My MIL told me to keep it a secret to save me the embarrassment and that she didn’t want her sisters with great kids to know hers were in awful shape including one who has cut off my X. The family is mad at him, not the X, for doing that because it exposes them to some degree even if the larger family doesn’t know exactly why. In fact, after 3 years, some don’t even know we’re not together. I still receive Christmas cards to Mr & Mrs!

          The worst though: as my FIL was a supportive consoling figure for me who swore his cheating son would be out of the will and their lives, I later read emails and texts where he was coaching my X on how to ‘manage’ me and his affair. Downright disgusting.

          The disordered beget the disordered. What a life legacy.

          • MKISD, I agree. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. They can have their dysfunction because I want no part of it. Thank God they live on the other side of the US.
            Shortly after dday, ex FIL had the audacity to text me that the bible speaks of forgivness… Are you kidding me???
            I hesitated as my beef was not with him, it was with his son, but really, if you are going to start throwing bible stuff at me, have you ever heard of the 10 commandments? I did not engage with nastiness. But why is it with these cheaters and their families do as I say not as I do?
            When they were living with us, ex MIL talked about how to this day, she fears he will cheat again and how she caught him messaging an “old friend” within the past couple of years and how she just doesn’t trust him. Her take is that all these woman are after her husband. Again, are you kidding me?? No accountablity for the cheater. And even though the ex MIL has disclosed the cheating to me and supposedly to ex, ex denies it to this day.
            The lack of authenticity is ridiculous and I choose not to live my life they way that they do. I like honestly and loyalty and I will seek that. If not for me, but also for my kids.

  • Lyn has a point, about not competing with the cheater’s “we drifted apart” narrative to the children. My 19-yo son believes that whopper and is emotionally close to his dad (while physically away at college) and does not want to discuss ANY of this with me….even hears “I am really hurting” as criticism of his dad. He knows about OW but accepts her, even traveled with the happy couple in Europe for a few weeks, a mere 2 months after our separation. I don’t want to push him, or compete with OW (fergawd’s sake!) for my son’s affection, but he and I have “issues.” I don’t know how to handle the hurt and betrayal I feel from my son…I don’t believe that he needs to take my side. I just wish that he could acknowledge that this is a terrible thing to do to someone whom you profess to love.

    I like the way my daughter has handled it better. My 16-yo daughter understands the cheating tale, has never met OW and doesn’t want to because “she’s the woman who broke up my parent’s marriage”, and yet she still loves her dad (who makes time to see her for a few hours about every second or third week). If she’s taken sides, it’s only with regard to this issue, but she maintains her love for her father in all else. Which is good.

    I did not tell immediately, not while we were in false R. Even after we separated, it took me a long time to start talking to most people…mostly because I was abandoned 8 months into a year-long trip to Ireland, so I was far from my friends and family in the US. But once I got home, I told just about everyone. And it WAS then that I started to heal, and stopped feeling so anxious that I thought I might jump out of my skin, and so sad that I thought there was only one way to end the pain.

    But I have never told my in-laws, whom I love dearly, “my side” of the story. I don’t believe they know, because I am sure the POS would never humiliate himself to the point of admitting that he’s not perfect, narcissist that he is. My MIL is completely confused about how we could have broken up and she grieves over it. I haven’t explained because I don’t want to criticize their son to them. (He would go entirely ballistic, too….so there’s some self-preservation in keeping quiet…maybe after the divorce settlement is final, so he doesn’t have that to bludgeon me with?) But I wonder, is it fair to keep this essential information from my in-laws? MY family knows, and my kids know. And no one on his side of the family knows. I have to keep searching my motives. It’s troubling.

    • I’ve not said anything to my MIL either except that my ex refused to go to marriage counseling and never told me he was unhappy. It’s possible she believes this because I used to ask her how she dealt with her husband’s silence. My ex was very much like his father when it came to not talking about anything but work and sports. Sometimes I fantasize about showing her the 8-page document I found where my ex wrote about being madly in love with his coworker, but I know in the end she will stand by her son. So I think it’s best not to try to convince her of anything. I did tell her that I suspected he was in love with his coworker and she immediately called him up. He convinced her that they were just “good friends” and she was “someone who would listen to him.” My MIL wanted to believe that so she did.

  • Looking back, I realize the decision whether or not to share my experience was taken from me. Everyone already knew! And had an opinion. The spotlight was unmerciful, as were the unsolicited opinions. I could not believe complete strangers thought they had a right and a duty to comment about the state of my marriage and MY character. But looking back, I guess it did make it easier to move forward. I had no illusions about who did and did not love me. My lifelong dislike for people who enjoy commenting upon “the discomfort of others” was also confirmed. As was my disdain for Jesus cheaters.

  • Hmmmmm…..

    Well, if you are dealing with a sex addict label on a cheater, then, no, I don’t think chumps want to share that with others. It sort of insinuates some blame on you (even though that’s a load of horse-hockey). Plus, the word “addiction” adds that sense of malaise that could affect the cheater’s job and therefore household income.

    When it’s not labelled a “sex addiction”, I think it’s easier for chumps to come out honestly, because then a spade’s a spade, and it’s clear who’s actually acting out like the fucktard.

    Having said that…

    In my position, I meet a lot of people. Honestly, what I find the hardest, and what stresses me out the most, are the victim whiners who will dominate conversations about how miserable they are, yet continuously makes excuses for the spousal asswipe, and for whom, action to take care of themselves or the rest of their family is utterly inconceivable (I’m talking people with all sorts of narcs, not just cheaters). I know more “all talk, no walk” people than chumps who will take a stand. This site has a natural bias towards the latter.

    But this is from my own circle–there are probably people out there who experience the opposite…

    • I agree, Chump in the Sand. There’s something about the porn/sex addiction label that makes it harder to disclose the truth, though why that should be I’m not really sure (I’ve also noticed some people on this site using the word addiction in this context in quotation mars, and I’m curious to hear more about why). My two daughters, 12 and 15, have not been told anything specific (I’m 6 months post-D-day), nor has my 18-year-old SD. Of course in my case there are other factors that make things super complicated, like my elder daughter’s suicidal ideations and the fact that we just lost my elder SD to brain cancer (this just 4 years after both girls had lost their mum to breast cancer). Everything in me is screaming out for justice and truth, and some days it is SO hard to keep my trap shut, especially since X is very well-regarded in the community while I fear I’m viewed as some cruel and heartless abandoner. So even though I moved out within 2 weeks of D-day, my silence feels in some ways like an ongoing version of the shit sandwich. Yet, at whose expense would truth-telling come? My daughters are already fragile, and for my remaining SD, knowing the truth about her dad would mean taking away the last remaining member of her FOO. The whole thing is just a Hobson’s Choice, and I’d rather come on here and vent to you guys than know I’ve irrevocably taken away something from a young woman who’s already lost far too much. Sucks to be me, but that’s just how it is.

      • Some day, you’ll be drinking iced tea, and realize–“holy shit, am I ever strong to get myself and my family through that hellhole”–maybe with some scars, but hold them with a warrior woman’s pride…

        CL interviewed Dr. George Simon, and I’ve read some of his articles. His view is that these behaviours are weakness of character, not of mental or emotional health (if I understand correctly).

        Personally, I agree some narcs will grab onto a nice pathology to “apologize” for their behaviour, but I do believe there are sex addicts as well. But I’m no psychologist.

        • Thanks Chump on the Sand. I just finished reading a book by Jane Isay called “Secrets and Lies: Surviving the Truths that Change Our Lives.” Holy smokes, I just sat on the couch with my mouth hanging open, the stories were so incredible. The author was married for years and years to a guy who turned out to be gay, and even after D-Day, she and her husband never told their kids or anyone else. Instead, they just carried on as though they had this idyllic marriage, until one of their sons found out by accident years later. Of course then, the kids felt totally betrayed as their whole lives had turned out to be a lie. My own whole childhood was all about keeping secrets (nutbar alcoholic mom and all her crazy escapades), so I know from firsthand experience just how damaging keeping things under wraps can be. That kind of secrecy becomes not just an emotional but I think also a physical legacy–all of my sibs and me have some kind of autoimmune illness, sleep disorders, PTSD etc. etc. Does it become part of our DNA, too? Are my kids going to experience the same thing? Children create their own narratives–I know my sibs and I certainly did–and even though I haven’t lied about anything and I’ve tried to answer all their questions, my biggest fear is that my girls will wind up with some chimera that turns out to be WORSE than the actual truth (though how that could be is hard to imagine). I don’t even want to imagine what the fallout from that would be. What I need now is age-appropriate honesty in a way that won’t feel like yet another rug being pulled out from under them, and which also keeps me moving forward. I’m a 24/7 full-time mom now with a very intense full-time teaching job, and I can’t afford to go off the rails. Has anyone else found themselves getting MORE upset and emotional as time goes on and not the other way around?

          Really grateful to have found this site. I read and read like crazy, and somehow I feel that I’m coming to know you all, and I can practically hear your voices in each heartbreakingly honest and uplifting entry. It’s incredible to me that people can go through such hell yet retain their humanity and their humour. Not to mention being some of the smartest, most articulate and generous folks I’ve been lucky enough to chance upon. Seriously, wow. Just, WOW.

          • Er, make that Chump IN the Sand. Funny how the wrong preposition makes it sound like a Caribbean resort or the name of an umbrella drink. Sorry about that.

            • *snort* don’t worry about it–I have an ethnic name IRL–I’m sooo used to it!

              re: more emotional. That depends–are you in a safer place than before? Sometimes people suck it up until their in a safer emotional and physical space, and WHAMMO!

              I’m grateful for this site too.

  • When I went to a new doctor to make sure he did not give me anything I broke down and told. How he just walk out without looking back. The shame of being abandon warps my sense of self-worth. I thought I deserve to be discarded that way because I was not good enough. It took me awhile to tell my girlfriends a month. I had no problem telling strangers. I called his mother asking for help when he did not come home and email me telling me he wanted a divorced. She told me to “walk it off.” The sad part was I really thought he was a nice guy that would not cheat when she asked me if there was another woman. After five months it was confirmed. I have not blasted him to his friends or family what a fucktard he really is. I’m going the NC route. He have given them his narrative there no point of changing their prospective. If I could have go back and change it I would blast him to the world. Allowing our neighbor, friends and family know what a vile creature he really is.

  • I agree! After sitting on everything for a month, I told a close friend who immediately burst into uncontrollable sobs. I thought “Wow, it really is that bad, isn’t it?” W sometimes need the reactions of those who care about us in order to see our situation more clearly. Very helpful when one is still reeling from the shock of it all. I had already filed for divorce by this time but the horrified reactions of my close friends confirmed that I was on the right path.

  • I was so stunned I had to keep talking to everyone just to verify it was “a bad situation” I was getting bells and whistles from spousewhore that this was a perfectly normal thing I was the one who would soon see that this was for the best, one day I would understand and until them don’t hit a wall and keep myself in bubble wrap. I mean spousewhore even told me I would like the little fbuddy. I was walking around on half tilt it felt like life was muffled and not really real anymore.

    The sad thing is so many said the same thing happened to them or someone they knew, it is like the entire world is cheating whores now.

    I am not sure I agree with the question though. As a huge factor would be in how the relatives react, and mine on both side acted very differently than I thought they would. they either sided with spousewhore or would not let me talk about it.

    I was cast into the world of anyone I met and I was talking.

  • Your Husband is Right.
    Those Arseholes are Soo much like Childmolesters…They have the “power” cause They’re ” Bigger” and can Hurt You, and ” It’s All Your Fault” and ” Who’s Gonna Believe You over Me, After All I’m Such a GREAT Guy in THEIR Eyes….If YOU Tell There’s Gonna Be Trouble “.
    The Old Commercial Was Right…
    ” Say NO, Then GO..Then TELL “.
    It’s How you Heal When You’re Little..and Those Cheating Motherfuckers have Done their Best to make us Small Again…and Helpless..
    But Fuck THEM, ,Cause We’re Mighty..
    Just Like a Child Can’t Do ANYTHING to DESERVE being Molested or Raped…WE CHUMPS, Didn’t do ANYTHING to Cause What Happened to Us…It ALL on THEM…

    YEP, Say NO, Then GO Then TELL.
    Those That Don’t Believe… To Hell with THEM TOO !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Yeah. After the first time I told no one. This time, everyone gets told. I just told the kid that delivered the furniture what happened. Don’t know this kid from Adam, but he was a good delivery guy. So, I too, think you’re on to something.

  • Miranda Lambert has a song out in which she sings “this ain’t your mother’s broken heart” where historically women didn’t share the messy details. I was shocked when the man I thought I knew, who’d been in my life for over twenty five years, who’d fathered our three children, could be that POS. I think NOT telling leads us down a toxic path. It’s not just our reality, it is the TRUTH. When people ask me what happened to my marriage I tell them my husband ran off with his racquetball partner and that I was sleeping with him at the same time he was screwing his OW. I also tell them how much he fucked our family over financially, how even though he made over 100k a year he CHOSE not to pay our mortgage, and how he stole money from his kids’ college funds and the list goes on; so he basically robbed us of everything we had worked for. (We miss our home.) How in the end nothing else mattered to him except his wet dick. It’s a great life lesson. I will never trust anyone with my financial well being again. I know his choices say more about him than they do me, I am working on my “picker”. As great as our challenges were in our marriage I never chose to have an affair to end it. He did. All that and who knows what else? I think when these things happen and people say oh they grew apart blah blah blah it’s just not okay to think this will never happen to you. It does and often. Narcs are prevalent nowadays. I think living in a small town made me aware of how often falling in love with others was a contributing factor to divorce. So much for modern day vows. If we can learn from our mistakes our world becomes a better place.

    • Miranda and Blake are both cheaters. Miranda was the other woman in Blake’s marriage. Trash (with an amazing voice, but still TRASH.)

  • I told close friends and family – and they were shocked and horrified – but I also had to swear them to secrecy. My ex had/has a high-profile job where reputation is everything and a lot of innocent trusting people depend on him. And much as I hate him passionately for what he did to me, I do think he does a good job in his career – it gets all his positive attention, and I got all the negative crap and abuse. So I did promise both him and myself that I wouldn’t ruin his career. And I still believe that it was the right moral thing to do. But after almost 3 years since Dday, it’s still eating me alive to know that his friends and colleagues and people who depend on his leadership don’t know the truth. The post about revenge a few days ago really hit home – I have fantasies about bringing him down in front of the whole world. But this isn’t helping me get to ‘meh’. Help??

    • Meh is the goal. but first the desire for justice is human . Most people are asleep to human misery. Art did something vile 2 months ago and i think he wrote his obituary. i am livid and i usually am meh +. Now my son and daughter are not in contact. wait a minute what is my rule? they are not getting away with this. Let them have time to mourn the miserable father that wasnt (tho at least gave money) and i will see what i want to do. prepare yourself folks . Even children can be disappointing.OK why not i fire everyone and play lots more Bach? Muriel

      • Hi murielschnierow, I am an Australian and I do not know your story but I will endeavour to enlighten myself. Apologies for my ignorance. My 2 adult kids (35 & 31) haven’t spoken to me for just on 4 years even though they are completely aware of their sire’s misappropriation of funds from a job and sex with a 20 year old Asian prostitute and that he had to be tested for STDs – YUK. He told the kids about that and it makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. So, to quote you “even children can be disappointing”. To say I have a sick feeling in my stomach up to my throat on a daily basis is an understatement, as I do not understand my treatment because no one will speak to me. Now, I will google you and educate myself!! Best wishes.

      • murielschnierow, I am now familiar with your story. You have been and are an incredibly strong woman. Speaking as a hard nosed Aussie, you could have killed that cheating ex husband of yours and it would have been “justifiable homicide”. That is just my opinion of course. I dream that my ex husband will meet his maker but then I feel terrible for having such thoughts. Still it is nice to dream !! I do hope you are well dear lady.

        • Nothing worse than a Jesus cheater; in my case so willing to tell me I was going to hell for supporting abortion and gay rights, but breaking one of the Ten Commandments? “Christians aren’t perfect just forgiven.” This from a person who said Ted Bundy had a better chance of getting into heaven than me cause he was “saved” just before his execution. The memory of that hypocrisy makes me want to barf all these years later. Sometimes I wonder how I survived, but I did more than that. Today, I am content in myself, my surrondings, and my family and I know I can survive just about anything life throws my way. Just throw the bastard out and make a new life for yourself. That’s the best revenge.

          • Did you tell him you don’t want to go anywhere where Ted Bundy might be?

            LOL. The strangest things come out of peoples’ mouths when they are proselytizing sometimes. Makes you realize they aren’t that deep, eh?

            • That’s exactly what I said! Any place Bundy was spending eternity was a place I didn’t want to be.

              • Aw, Louise, not even a Bundy with angel wings, a halo and a harp? SURELY you wouldn’t want to miss on such an opportunity…

          • Man, Louise, listening to the crap you had to listen to makes me want to vomit.

            FWIW, Louise, I don’t think God thinks your husband’s opinions of his choices are right–it’s just self-delusion that allows people (honestly, self-avowed Christians AND not), to pick and choose which “sins” are worse than others.

        • My husband’s a minister.

          I’m going to post to you in the private forum.

          • That was meant for Meg–I’m not out to “duke” anti-Christian cheaters–lol–I’ll join any chump in a back alley!

            • I sure as shit HOPE NOT! We have enough “Minister’s Wives” out there. What people need is a good dose of reality–in and out of the church.

        • There’s a term for this, it’s so common unfortunately — the “sinister ministers.”

          Lots of lawsuits around it (I hear this from my husband, an employment attorney and my father, a retired Methodist conference treasurer).

          Sorry Meg. I’d tell people. I’m also going to guess that a lot of people already know, and there are other affair partners in the congregation.

          • Also consider — he’s a liability to his employer — the church. Doing good in the world, relying on donations, supporting charities. Harassment lawsuits cost money. The “moral thing” might be to not keep his dirty secrets. I’m not saying have a campaign, I’m saying tell the church council and let THEM decide what to do with the info.

            You’re safely out of it now, you don’t work for his PR agency Minister’s WIfe Inc. any longer.

            • THIS!

              It’s not your job to make him look good, but it is only fair for those people in the church who are vulnerable to have measures in place to ensure their emotional safety.

              GOOD elders who are aware of this will institute measures, such as your ex not being alone on the premises with a woman–church secretary on premises and nearby. Things like that.

              Trust me–he ain’t losing his job over this. At most, they’ll give him some “time off” to reboot. And depending on where on the spectrum his church is, he may get off looking good and you like some evil tool of Satan.

              • Thank you! I’m so glad you guys understand, it means a lot. And thanks CL for the ‘sinister minister’ – some days laughs are few and far between, but I’m still chuckling over that one! And you’re right, I was the PR lady, no more thankfully. But I’m trying to take the high road and let the karma bus (or someone upstairs if we’re getting religious) deal with him. I’m having more good days than bad days now, so it’s getting better, I just wish I could convince that little bit of still-angry person inside me to not care anymore.
                Chump in the Sand – sorry I’m new here – how do I get to the private forum?

              • Meg, you just need to register your screen name to the website, with your email address. Then log in, and I posted a message to you in the general forum.

                CL’s forum doesn’t have private messages, so no one can email you via your profile, or id you in any way.

          • Thank you for writing about cheating ministers! My first husband was a pastor. He is also a sociopathic child molester. He raped our 2 little girls. He got off in his criminal trial because children at that age couldn’t testify in court. They both have physical scars but are now happily married mothers.
            Fast forward to the present. My current husband had an ongoing emotional affair with a former mistress for 20+ years. This is in addition to various sexual affairs over the years. I discovered the nasty texts nearly two years ago. I didn’t tell about my second husband because everyone knows about my first husband. I feel do ashamed that I chose these men! I am too embarrassed to be open. The kids all know but I am trying to work things out with my lying POS husband. I
            Am not sure what my next steps will be.
            I did talk to a few women at my church who were very loving and accepting of me. My pastor’s mom assured me that any choice I make is fine with her. Honestly, I am just praying and waiting. I have talked to a lawyer and have everything ready to file if he shows any signs of cheating again. But I am not sure I can live with what he has already done. (I was diagnosed with an STD last year and I have only been with him for 26 years!)
            Thank you so much for sharing on the site! I need to know that I am sane when I feel do sad.

            • Linda, why would you need to wait ‘until’ he cheats again? He’s clearly clearly shown you who he is. Do you want to live with this POS for the rest of your life? You deserve so much better! And even being single in peace and tranquility is WAY better than living with a person like this, he’s disgusting!

              • KarenE, I am stuck. My husband gave all of his passwords,etc to me so it seems he is trying. But “seems” is the key word. Unless I see some genuine remorse soon, I can’t go on. He has no grief over any of this. His answer is that he already apologized and I should just get over it. Chump Lady is doing more to clarify my thoughts than any counseling I have had. I am grateful for her and all of the others who are sharing their stories.
                Oh! Here is another bit of information. DH is mad at God. God, you know, the maker of the Universe, has not been good enough to him. Now how am I supposed to be good enough as a wife? Impossible! I can’t do anything. Of course at this point, I don’t want to do anything!

              • Hi Linda – this is a reply to your comment below.

                GOD is not good enough for him? You are so right – this is a no-win situation. Please follow KarenE’s advice and cut it off now. Frankly, even if he were sincerely repentant, you would have no obligation to give him a reconciliation. I totally understand that you feel obligated to carry it out because you started, but guess what… that’s chumpiness! He feels no such obligation to you: trust that from the many chumps here who were chumped again after suffering through false reconciliation.

                You can walk away right now. File for divorce. Then, if you must, tell him you appreciate his efforts, but that it’s clear to you the relationship is irrevocably damaged, and you’ve already taken steps to move on. (Just make sure you do line up your ducks before you tell him – if he’s already grumpy in reconciliation, trust Chump Nation again that he will turn vicious once he realizes the kibbles are really and truly ending.)

              • Linda, one thing that helped me get unstuck was realizing that even if he never cheated again, this was NOT a person I wanted to be with any longer. My ex is a selfish, entitled, negative, judgemental, demanding, unpleasant, no fun guy!! He did not value or respect me or our relationship (or anybody else either), and he did not care about his children’s well-being. In a way, that 2nd time he cheated freed me from everything ELSE that was not good about him!

                It doesn’t sound like your ex values, respects of loves you. Doesn’t sound like he is a pleasant person to be around. He sounds incredibly entitled. THOSE ALONE are GREAT reasons to leave, cheating or no cheating!

              • Aw, Linda, real remorse is also in his attitude to you. It’s not taking responsibility for his wronging you by wanting you to shut up about it and move on.

                And I hate to sound subversive but…if he’s giving you his passwords but talks to you that way…it’s extremely likely he’s just getting better at hiding the other accounts or phone or something…

            • Thank you all for encouraging me. I am being vigilant about his behavior. He believes I know nothing about computers/technology. Truth is in my profession, we use technology like it is oxygen. He erases things on his laptop and thinks they are gone. Surprise! It is never really gone if you know how to find it! I was simply not aware and not watching before! I thought he had been “clean” for the last 17 years.
              My attorney advised me to only divorce him when he was employed. He hates working at a job. It is beneath him. So, he has a job right now and I am waiting to see how he does with me. His parents house is in probate and he should get cash from that. I just don’t want to pay alimony to a cheating, lying scumbag! I have a year before he can quit and collect social security so I am trying to time my moves to my advantage. So far in our marriage, he has always been the winner. I have been the exploited, employed chump. No more!
              I am not sure what I will do but I will do something in the next year. Either he repents and makes amends or I will let him go.

          • Not only that, but I’ve learned there’s a term of art in the profession for the ministers who have to clean up the churches in the wake of ‘sinister ministers’. They’re called “After pastors” and it’s a whole subspecialty, across (Protestant) denominations, anyway. That there’s a need for such a profession speaks volumes, IMHO.

    • We all want justice, thing is in most cases you cannot get it without hurting yourself. If outing your ex does you no harm then go for it. Just makes sure you don’t end up with the fall out instead of him. These manipulative fucks are very good at turning shit around, even when you don’t do anything to harm them.

    • I call ” Bullshit ”

      If your career requires honesty and integrity then you don’t fuck people you’re not married to !

      Destroy his ass!
      Let his career be a fleeting memory like his honesty and integrity!

      • HA!!!!!

        D’you REALLY think he’ll lose his career in this day and age? Especially if he’s good at spackling???

        I don’t care WHAT denomination he’s from (and I have personal experience in a number of denominations–evangelical/charismatic to traditional to mainstream), if you really believe that, I’ve got prime real estate to sell you. PRIME.

      • Agreed! it’s the fact that you’re a good person that makes you concerned for the innocents but where was his concern for you or his concern for them??? That is not your burden!

        • just my opinion!forget about the stupid cheater,get the money, get more money as in $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, if there are children encourage strenghth, and Meh is about not caring. read John Kass in the chicago Trib- give him a BIG moutsa (Greek) as in HA with your palm out. then make some money ,dress like a socialite, and get your hair done!!
          The Moutsa will work. if asked about your life tell everyone that you are a socialite.

    • Meg- So often you see betrayed spouses/chumps being labeled as bitchy, scorned women when they dare to reveal their high profile cheaters’s deceits. I think Jenny Sanford and Elizabeth Edwards both had their detractors and apologists for their cheaters, when they revealed the truth. I can understand your anger and your fantasies as you try to navigate a clear path. I don’t think your cheater deserves a cover-up that detracts from your own nagging conscience, although you do state you feel it was the moral thing to do under the circumstances. I keep remembering Chump in the Sands definition of integrity and its root being the word, integration. I don’t believe your cheater could have integrity in the workplace while eschewing it on the home front but I understand if your divorce hinges on keeping mum to maintain your family’s economic well-being and stability.

      • Yes my and my family’s stability depends on my silence – so thank you for understanding. Another family member attempted some retribution and got smacked down hard for it, so I can’t go there without putting my divorce settlement in jeopardy. It’s great just to vent! (I wish I’d found this site 2 years ago.) And I’ve gone *religiously* no contact for almost 2 years now, so I don’t want to break that, I think my mental health is better for it. It’s just the middle of the night screaming rages that sometimes pop up. I keep hoping there’s a missing piece of advice or something that will put it all into perspective so I can move on completely.

        • Meg, it may not help. Are those screaming rages really about him? To hold onto hate for him that long is likely because you have some for yourself. This long after your split it would be good if you could let go of the hate. Mostly of yourself I think. My ex came within an ounce shooting me and it took a lot of therapy to get OK after that. I can honestly say now that I no longer hate him. I still have fear of him so I do some nights suddenly think “today he is dying”. I have no, absolutely NO guilt for thinking that. If he were dead I would be truly fear free. Other than that, it matters not what he did, what he is, who he’s with or who he will fuck over next, I know it won’t be me. See if some of that hate is directed at yourself, that might be key to getting past this. Jedi Hugs!

          • Yes you are so right. Part of it is hatred of myself for falling for it hook, line & sinker. I was so careful – I had been divorced before and single for many years – and I thought he was my soul mate, my one true love, the one I had been waiting for . . . and I’ve found from reading this site that he didn’t even have the balls to be original about it, he just took it verbatim from the cheater’s playbook. I just found this site a couple of months ago so I’m just learning to let go of the hate for myself and start to realize that I was living as authentically as I could have at the time with the information that I had. But it’s hard, one step at a time . . .

  • Do you mean they don’t tell anyone?? Because I disagree… I did immediately tell my two best friends who do not live locally and aren’t really good friends with each other. And that is all that I told for the 6 months of our attempted reconciliation. I did not tell my family or anyone else until the day I dumped his shit all over her car at their work and exposed the whole thing 6 months later after he failed me all over again.

    For me, from the moment it happened, I knew what he needed to do for us to attempt to move on from this. It was the most basic request you make of a cheater – that they completely cut the affair partner out of their life. He needed to fire her. So, there was no halfway thing he could really do. He attempted it (I think) by getting her to quit and then hiring her back a few weeks later (I think his attempt was to show that he was actually WILLING to fire her and that should be enough). And that was when I left. It was a very black and white request and he didn’t do it. I never wavered in this request. He even fucking accused me of getting that idea in my head from my friends… like I would never be so strong to come up with it and hold to it like I did. But no, it was what I basically screamed at him within a couple hours of discovering the texts.

    I think the Stuck get Stuck because their cheater at least makes some attempts to meet their demands. Or makes amends in some small ways. And feels really bad when they fail again and again. I will admit if my ex had done what I asked then we would have stayed together… for some amt of time until he fucked up again… met her through other ways, met someone else, whatever. Or just until I found out I actually couldn’t move on. But it would have been a lot harder to me to leave once I no longer had that very specific, very basic, and unfulfilled request to hold onto.

    I think the Stuck need to draw their fucking line in the sand. A big line. Not some half-assed request. One that if met will make them feel safe again. (we can argue all day whether even that is enough, that maybe attempted reconciliation at all is for the birds) And when the cheater fails to do what they need, they need to leave. The cheater has shown then that they don’t care about you or about really saving the marriage.

  • At first I didnt tell a soul, because I knew (and hoped) that if we worked things out – they’d always know our “dirty laundry”. After the 4th and final D Day, I told almost everyone. But the kids still dont know the real reason, though I do plan to tell them. Someday. But I’d have to agree, its when you keep everything inside, that’s what keeps you stuck. So, with that in mind, check out this song from the movie Frozen’s sound track.

    Let It Go –

    The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
    Not a footprint to be seen
    A kingdom of isolation
    And it looks like I’m the queen

    The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
    Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried
    Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
    Be the good girl you always have to be
    Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
    Well, now they know

    Let it go, let it go
    Can’t hold it back anymore
    Let it go, let it go
    Turn away and slam the door
    I don’t care what they’re going to say
    Let the storm rage on
    The cold never bothered me anyway

    It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small
    And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all
    It’s time to see what I can do
    To test the limits and break through
    No right, no wrong, no rules for me
    I’m free

    Let it go, let it go
    I am one with the wind and sky
    Let it go, let it go
    You’ll never see me cry
    Here I stand and here I’ll stay
    Let the storm rage on…

    My power flurries through the air into the ground
    My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
    And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
    I’m never going back
    The past is in the past

    Let it go, let it go
    And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
    Let it go, let it go
    That perfect girl is gone
    Here I stand in the light of day
    Let the storm rage on!
    The cold never bothered me anyway

    • I actually still have trouble with this song, as my exH went on about how he was “tired of living a lie” etc etc. So when I hear the song, I think of him and how he must have felt to finally let go of the hiding who he is and what he wants.

      Silly, I know, as it turns out the lie was the fact that he was a cheater and never confessed, etc. It was all _HIS_ fault, I never made him lie, etc. He never spoke to me and told me what he wanted/needed. (So, still a bit of woulda-shoulda-coulda in my brain; not at “meh” if things like this trigger me… but on my way.

    • This song always makes me bawl! I’m a radio DJ and when I’m in the studio and it’s on my playlist, I have a hard time keeping myself under control!

  • I so agree – what do any of us have to be ashamed of…(of course that takes a while to realize after the vast mindfuck that is being married to these crazies…)

    I couldn’t keep it a secret when exH left – he met with his Board of Directors at work, resigned unexpectedly, and left the country 24 hours later. The Board and all the kids he worked with figured it all out, and some came to me (sheepishly) later and apologized for believing his “side of the story”.

    Meanwhile, I’d been a stay at home mom for 6 years, and miraculously found a job, where I sat and involuntarily wept for the first six months. I’m sure my co-workers thought I was insane – I literally cried the whole way to work; at work – like 10 hours a day. You see, exH couldn’t HAVE crying – he claimed it was “abusive and manipulative” so I hadn’t cried for ten years – it literally made him violent. Ten years of stored up tears. My family hated him immediately – they all figured he was cheating. The saddest part was the kids he worked with – many of them had idolized him, and he really disappointed them. The public nature of my complete and total meltdown did allow me to see that people generally WERE good and supportive and that was very healing. My recent troubles have been much more private, and I’m finding it harder to handle. Maybe that’s part of the reason…

    • Agh, the ‘no crying’ rule! I had a boyfriend when I was younger and even stupider than now, who would do or say nasty things, then when I was upset and cried, would say ‘stop crying, you’re doing that to make me feel bad, to make me feel guilty’. At least it didn’t take that long for me to get away from him! Then my narc ex used to demand that I not raise my voice if I was upset or angry – and after a while, would accuse me of ‘yelling’ even when I spoke very softly but was upset. I guess the ‘real’ rule was that I should always be happy happy with him and adore him and never complain or criticize or be upset about anything – I guess that would have satisfied him!

      Disgusting entitled demanding narcs. And they suck us in, so we’re actually trying to comply with their ridiculous demands.

      ReDefining, my heart breaks to think of you crying so much for so long, but at the same time, in my mind is the image of woman who is finally FREE to feel and to express what she felt. I’m so glad people were supportive and understanding!

      • OMG I got this too. ‘You’re yelling’ in this tone that made it seem like it was unreasonable that I raise my voice b/c I’m upset that HE CHEATED ON ME! I think most sane people would get worked up. My therapist was always wondering why I wasn’t getting mad – and all the while he was shaming me when I would get upset with the ‘I don’t respond to yelling’ attitutde. I should have been screaming like a banshee!

        • I hear you guys! Every time I’ve cried about the whole nightmare, he’s told me too quit crying, because he doesn’t like it. And when he flat out told me I need to get used to my kids being part of the OW’s life, of course I bawled. He is so cruel! And yep..even then he told me to quit crying.

  • Speaking of singing, this one gets me too.

    Invisible- Hunter Hayes

    Crowded hallways are the loneliest places for outcasts and rebels
    Or anyone who just dares to be different
    And you’ve been trying for so long to find out what your place is
    But in their narrow minds, there’s no room for anyone who
    dares to do something different
    Oh, but listen for a minute

    Trust the one who’s been where you are wishing all it was sticks and stones
    Those words cut deep but they don’t mean you’re all alone
    You’re not invisible
    Hear me out, there’s so much more to life than what you’re feeling now
    Someday you’ll look back on these days and all the pain is gonna be…
    Oh, invisible

    So your confidence is quit
    To them quiet looks like weakness but you don’t have to fight it
    Cause you’re strong enough to win without the war
    Every heart has a rhythm, let yours beat out so loudly
    That everyone can hear it, yeah, promise you don’t need to hide it anymore
    Oh, and never be afraid of doing something different
    Dare to be something more

    Trust the one who’s been where you are wishing all it was sticks and stones
    Those words cut deep but they don’t mean you’re all alone
    You’re not invisible
    Hear me out, there’s so much more to life than what you’re feeling now
    Someday you’ll look back on these days and all the pain is gonna be…
    Oh, invisible

    These labels that they give you just ’cause they don’t understand
    If you look past this moment, you’ll see you’ve got a friend
    Waving a flag, for who you are, and all you’re gonna do
    Yeah, here’s to you and here’s to anyone who’s ever felt invisible

  • At first I kept quiet, I told people online, but did not want to hear the opinions of those close to me. Because they would write him off and I was 100% focused on reconciliation. They would judge him. And me for staying.

    Can anyone say denial?! The whole false reconciliation period I kept things close and quiet, but I had to tell some people close to me. They saw me break down, were worried. And that broke the dam, their reactions made me see what I didn’t want to see, but needed to. I knew the moment I would let the children know there would be no turning back, you do not throw the bomb of knowledge on them when there’s still a way back. For me telling people was kind of a catalyst, from total silence to giving the window cleaner the whole (SFW!) story (I had to cancel his services and suddenly decided to tell him how and why, he was so kind to offer me an occasional wash for free… :-D), from shame and humiliation to inner strength and courage.

    My openness brought me many similar experiences in return. People I hardly knew, like a woman in the health club I explained my absence to: “sorry, going through a bad divorce” – suddenly there’s a fellow chump right in front of you! And many with experience and long term success stories… too bad we stay quiet so often!

    • “My openness brought me many similar experiences in return.”

      I found this too. I found my sharing sometimes prompted the listener to share how it had happened to their best friend or someone close to them too. Sometimes the listener…like the owner of the vegan grocery store I randomly shared (the very short version) my story with.

      • yes, this is so true. When I was printing a pic of the horrible knife my ex was sleeping with a woman behind me saw it and poured out her story of abuse. people share our experiences and they will share it with us because we care about each other, at root most people need people. it’s so simple.

  • First year marriage mom dies (cancer.) I’m diagnosed six weeks later. She wouldn’t have known how to support me if she’d been alive. Didn’t come from emotional support. I get that. Radiation messed with me. Find out he’s cheating (while I’m being nuked.) Had to quit work and go on disability. He says I’m lazy and he has to cheat cause I’m not working. Chronic illness and shmoe’s desire to beat me with my damage in continued court battle has me in a puddle. Wish I had the strength of Madelaine-truly (shout out to Madelaine.) Weak. Isolated. Sick. Yesterday I was ordered to voc eval so he won’t have to pay the support I actually need. I can barely spell dignity. Blood pressure spiked 30 points. On 3rd lawyer and 2nd move. Belongings in storage, what’s left of me in with 87 year old father, cause shmoe didn’t pay what first lawyer assured me but wound up getting for their crooked firm instead. Weaker. More sick. Completely isolated. Failed. Humiliated. Dwindled to survival mode. Sang as loud as I could. Still seeking voice. Some of us get laryngitis.

    • Oh– and I “only had surgery and radiation…NO chemo” his lawyer wrote. And I didn’t recover like his friends wife did so he wasn’t attracted to me anymore, he said. And my cousin’s cancer was far worse than mine, dad reminded me. And what do you mean lupus shmoopis. Your eyes aren’t bleeding or anything. Nothing like fighting for your fucking disability to boost your self esteem. This is why I don’t sing. I hate my song. On a happier note…?

      • Yea.. How ” Selfish” of you to get Cancer so he HAD to Cheat on You.


        He says YOU’re Disabled..No HE’S the one who’s SICK in the Worst Way..
        At Least There’s a Remedy for Yours…and you’re FIGHTING. He’s ALWAYS gonna be DISEASED, by his OWN Choosing…HE’S WEAK. Can’t Even Control his OWN DICK.
        Tell Me, Sara, Who is The Really SICK one in this Scenerio ??
        You’re BRAVE..He’s a ” Little ” Fucking COWARD.

            • Datdam,
              Thank you, I needed a Jedi hug! Your Jedi cyberwishes do help. And my father…well, that it where it all began–for me, anyway. I am the Behavioral Therapist’s Repetition Compulsive rat! Thanks Wuf, and Jedi hugs backactcha.
              And I love. that. song. And I won’t. back. down… 😉

  • I completely agree. I spent years not talking about things because I was ashamed and hurt and feared being seen as part of the problem or as having failed. In short, I believed him when he said I deserved his abuse. When I finally, began to talk, I also began to take action.

    Just last night, I called the police when the dysfunctional EX turned up in my driveway, screaming, ranting, and refusing to leave (No reason; he just insists on trying to control me even though more than 2 years have passed since our marriage ended.) I spent years hushing up and capitulating when he spiraled into these kinds of rages. Now, I let the men and women who are paid to handle society’s trolls take care of it. And I don’t dilly-dally or try to negotiate. I don’t spackle for the neighbors anymore either. And wouldn’t you know it, now they call to see if I need help when he stands in my driveway shouting obscenities and yelling about what a horrible person I am. (It’s great to know they don’t believe him . . . but it took me a long time to get to that point.)

    Talking is important–to friends, therapists, lawyers, law officers, and Chumplady.

    • Protective Order, you can get one. Then we shows up doing that shit they take him to jail. Only you know if that’s a safe thing to do, some people are not afraid of jail, but throwing it out there. It works for me.

  • Funny, this post, because I remember saying to my therapist that my ex was so bloody angry with me for spilling about all that I had discovered but I felt like my unconscious made me do it, as some sort of self-preservation thing, because I knew my friends and family would give me holy hell if I went back to him after what I told them. One friend even said to me, when I was talking unicorn shit, that he would lose all respect for me if I actually gave ex any part of me or my life again. He meant it and I know that I would have lost a very important friendship had I not listened. Thankfully his friendship is one of my most important relationships (no worries, folks, he and his hubby are my gay BFFs) and I valued it, at that point, more than ex.

    So I agree. Spill. When you see the look on people’s faces it will tell you all you need to know. Cheaters like you to keep things under wraps so that they can maintain their image but fuck that noise. Fly the flag of honesty and let your cheater deal with the fallout. You will find, though, some who think you should do the ‘dignity’ thing, which I often find is really about them not wanting to deal with your distress.

    • My ex didn’t tell his siblings that he’d left me. I was shocked that several months later I had to tell them why I moved out. I had to tell his extended family as well. It made me furious that he was so f’ing weak he couldn’t tell the truth to his family. I resented having to break the news to them myself.

      • I told his family before he did. He said he would but, naturally, did not. So I did it. They’re all narc/enablers like him, though, so it didn’t take long for me to get the blame. And thus we have no relationship.

        • Cowards Don’t Face Anything..Nor Do they DEAL WITH ANYTHING. They’s what they Do..Run and Fucking HIDE.
          All they Do is it’s Best they just Suck on a Big Steaming Mug of ” Shutthefuck up “…and Leave The TRUTH to Those that Have it In Em to Tell It.

  • “Every person who knew, who reacted in horror and compassion, was a guide post on my way out of that darkness.”

    I hold this perfect statement up to the universe. This is the first utterence that each newly chumped should hear. God Tracy, you’re so stinkin smart.

  • I told. In the words of Joe Friday, I kept it to “Just the facts, Ma’am.” I told the truth. Short and sweet – we divorced because he wanted to be with a whore.

    I refused to give someone who hurt me, hurt my children, blew apart my family and destroyed life as we knew it, the gift of my silence.

  • Ugh this post gave me a belly ache. I’m 3 months in from dday, h has done all the right things, the affair was over 6mos ago, he has bent over backwards, the mc, the ic, the books, the phone bills, emails texts, calendars, letter to her, her husband yadda yadda. Too soon to tell if it’s sincere or not, im cautious. He still works with his chippy, and I’ve decided that’s my deal breaker. So I’m moving away, he’s welcome to join us – if it’s true reconciliation, he will make it work. If its bullshit, I’ll be where I want to be. I have no support where I currently live, told my BFF, she winced and said I could have made him happier (wtf? – shes been an ow btw) and broke down over coffee with a neighbor, and she’s been a pal about it all. His family knows (they’ve decided on nc with me – wtf?), but the thought of telling my parents paralyzes me. Not supportive people in the past. Frankly what “stucks” me is my humiliation. I feel like a fool. Today I was in a good place and found a photo in my stream I had taken months ago of a weird email on his phone from his hee haw ho – it plunged me back, I had forgotten about it. They were so stupid frankly, she left a trail and made holes in his stories that Stevie Wonder could drive a truck through. Stevie would also be able to tell what an ugly troll she is too lol. Right after dday I took a deep breath and thought of 4 people who could really help me leave my current city, and sent them emails. It was empowering. They are my strength now, h was mortified they’d been told, but he didn’t blame me – they are a powerful and action oriented group. I did feel bad for the salesgirl at the shop where I returned every gift h gave me. No receipts, I just said loudly, “my asswipe bought me these while he was fucking around, can we make this work?”. She did lol. And I exchanged it all for overpriced makeup and killer boots for when I walk out the front door and back home. I guess I’m still stuck a bit. “when you’re stuck, he doesn’t suck”. But I know he sucks. I think.

    • You’re ” Friend” was an OW..
      DUMP HIM AND that Bitch…THEY are More Alike than You Will Ever Be To Them…and You should Tank your Lucky, Dignified Stars for That.
      LOVE YOURSELF Enough to Keep the Company of DIGNIFIED People.

      • ” Your” pissed off.
        You’re a Friend , She Isn’t…Must’ve been Freudian.

        • How ’bout when you tell your family and they ask what you did to cause it? I know, get another family. Ironically that’s what i thought I was doing when we got married. Looking back there were signs. There are always signs.

          • I love “when you’re stuck he doesn’t suck.” When you’re stuck he’s not shmuck.

            How many chumps does it take to change a lightbulb?

            I can’t answer but I know someone here will 😉

          • I was Blamed for Something that had NO Blame on Me, BELIEVE Me…
            It just made me see Who was worth Trusting, and who Wasn’t. It took Courage to come out and Admit What Happened TO Me…and to be Told I Deserved it…Oh, Believe me..THAT Moment I KNEW I was The Answer Was …well ME.. I WAS ALWAYS THE ANSWER. Slam the Door Shut on their ” Permission” about Anything regarding Your BODY, MIND, HEART and SOUL.

        • Her line was “well if he was with someone who blew sunshine up his ass, maybe you should have been blowing sunshine up his ass.”. Ouch. 27 year friendship, she and I met my h at the same time in college. I may need a counseling session just for that. And after that response, I cannot tell my parents – I’m terrified at the hurt they will sweetly stab me with. There seems to be a weird thing about being a stay at home mother – that if you get cheated on it’s your fault – I mean isnt being a full time wife your job??? And you fucking failed at it? It’s all you had to do and you sucked? Now I have to look at reentering the work force after toooo long, health insurance and for the first time aftercare. Because I failed? Oh mylanta.

          • Don’t even waste your time thinking about what your ex-friend said. She was an OW!!! She sleeps with other people’s husbands. She has to make up some nonsense to excuse her behavior.

            You can find friends who have morals and believe in strange things like loyalty and honesty.

            Yes, I agree about the at-home mom thing. There are a lot of ideas out there about how you shouldn’t be one – some people seem to get satisfaction from hearing about an at-home mom ending up broke and in the gutter.

            There are also all kinds of ideas about how you are supposed to be an amazing 100% perfect person if you are at home with your kids – like being at home is going to give you tons of free time to keep a perfect house with perfect kids in it. Sometimes this is about people who’ve never stayed home and don’t know what it’s like, sometimes it’s about people who have stayed home and think the way they did things is the only way.

    • Nic, good impulse to buy new boots — walking boots. Now, vote with your feet and leave. If he’s sorry, he doesn’t work with his affair partner. That shit isn’t sustainable.

      The boots remind me of one of my favorite quotes, by Frederick Douglass, former slave and great abolitionist — “I prayed for 20 years and received no answer, until I prayed with my legs.”

      Pray with your legs, Nic.

      • A big factor in my stuckness is the legality of relocating – I may get the “you can’t take my kids”. There’s a border involved. This causes me to fall in a heap in the shower sobbing, even during the few months of attentiveness. I need free legal advice north of the border.

      • I agree that the boots where a beautiful choice. I know when I wear my boots I feel stronger and like I am a bad-ass.

        • I feel this way too about boots!

          Actually, and this sounds a little shallow but for me it really worked during early days of trying to rebuild myself– focus on dressing with attitude. It was almost the same as fake it til you make it and gave me an unexpected boost of confidence. I wore boots most of those days.

  • Well CL, I am your husband’s poster child! I am still stuck as you know, but I think initially the reason I didn’t say a word was because I believed I wanted to reconcile. I told no one – not a word, not an online forum, nothing for about 4 months. But I was literally drowning in my sorrow. Oh, no one would have known it from the outside. In fact we were so hyperbonding, that people would say they were jealous of our marriage. I finally found online support (although it was pro-reconciliation) and did get to a therapist a couple of times. I found that just being able to say it out loud was a relief – it made it real. I finally did tell one friend who had believed that she and I had just grown apart. She was hurt by my distance, but because I felt I couldn’t tell anyone, I just distanced myself. She was a good friend who listened without judging, but again, her pov was that “he seems to love you so much.” The only other person who knows to this day is a very good friend of OW, who was also a friend of mine. This person had been through two ddays at least on her own, but stayed with her husband. She also was of the perspective that I should stay in my marriage. She has since distanced herself from OW, but her pov is that lots of men cheat, especially high powered career oriented men, and that “we” knew what who we were marrying. So even my support system, although it did allow me to get it all off my chest, were so pro-marriage that the advice I got was to stay. You all here are my reality check, because when I read the stories here, I realize I am not alone in my feelings and that there are people out there who would support me if and when I am ready to leave. Thanks Chump Nation!

    • You know What..Being in a ” High Power Position” doesn’t Give Anyone Permission to be a Shit…Sorry, but I HAD to Say it…you wanna get Unstuck, you’d better See that, Believe it and Use that TRUTH to get you Out…or just Reconcile and Get used to Feeling Shitty…and Always Looking Over Your Shoulder.
      They Say, ” You Wanna Know the CHARACTER of a Man, give Him POWER”…

    • Lake, my husband is a pretty successful attorney and he’s got all his hair, and he doesn’t cheat. (In fact, he’s a chump.)

      If that’s the kind of marriage you want, if those are your values — being married to the Great Man is worth his disrespect because of the perks and status and societal image — then live them. If you want a marriage that’s monogamous, that reflects your authentic feelings about commitment and respect — live that.

      • Ouch. S.L. got that right. I left the perks and image and landed on my ass. Hard. Then I got picked up like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz but the tornado hasn’t stopped and I still don’t know where we are. But we’re certainly not in Kansas. Or maybe we’re actually back in Kansas. No bright lights and big city. No His Life. Now if someone would just give me some ruby shoes, embrace me with gentle arms, tell me to click my heels three times and get me out of this nightmare…

    • It sounds like OW’s friend is married to a guy who cheats on her. She’s chosen to put up with it.

      I think you should talk to a lawyer about your rights and how to protect them. It might help you decide.

    • Yes – I was pretty horrified by the comment about how I “knew” who I was marrying and that it is common and acceptable in circles of “high powered” men. At that point, I was so grateful just to be able to say my story out loud and make it real that I couldn’t react with any backbone. This stuff really did break me down.

      And CL you are right – and I am working again toward my goal of peace and authenticity for myself. This is not the life I want – because it is not real.

  • I didn’t tell anyone. I was put in a position where my friends and family were cast aside. I just realized after riding his dysfunctional merry-go-round that I was sick and wanted to get off. He never admitted to anything, and I had no evidence. He was at the very least a horrible father and husband, and my kids even wanted him gone.
    He told all his friends and family that I was the whore, and that I was the abusive one. Meanwhile, my kids have no “other side of the family” I am still stuck in my anger, but I will never be stuck with him or his crazy family again.

    • Lisa, NOTHING is Better than getting Stuck in THAT Shit…and Nothing Contains SPACE to Fill it with Whatever YOU want. THEY were Taking Up Valuable Space they Didn’t DESERVE. When you feel the Emptiness of that Space, please remember, it’s a GOOD thing.
      You KNOW the TRUTH About You…and They are Refuse to Feel Haunted by the Opinions of Ghosts…YOU Exorcized their Arses.
      Proud of you, Lisa…
      YOU Be Proud of YOU.

  • I was sorta stuck for the first 3.5 months, as it turns out it was false MC (no acknowledgement of an OW). I also did not tell folks at work (except a handful of good friends) about the cheating; exH and I worked together. HOWEVER, I did start telling the bare bones after he had the gall to bring OW to work one time.
    Turns out, everyone suspected…. why else does an 18 yr marriage end after the spouse had been gone for a year on leave (that and I had lost a ton of weight).

    Now I am stuck again, but not wanting exH. Just finding it tough being a single parent without any time to myself. I felt pretty good until kids came to me 100% of the time; just feel so overwhelmed with work and kid activities. Deep breaths, it will come.

    • Been there, done that. My kids are 22 and 20, and they now do for me! They know who is there for them 100% of the time, and they appreciate it NOW. It’s been over ten years for me.

      • They are Mature enough to have beaus/girlfriends of Their they can Empathize Truly, about How it would Hurt to be Betrayed. Little ones can’t Fully grasp the Enormity of the situation.
        I’m glad They’ve got Your back.

      • That is such a great perspective, Lisa in Joisey, thank you! And well done! (I have a teenager and I’m trying to imagine him picking laundry off the floor, let alone doing for me. Hah!)

      • Thanks, Lisa. That is what everyone keeps telling me, but I worry about it.

  • Good point, CL. I think in a weird way telling people keeps you accountable because, if you go back to the cheater and he cheats again, people will have less sympathy for you the second time around because they will know that you knowingly went back to a known cheater, and you don’t want people telling you, “I told you so” or ” You have no one to blame but yourself.”

    • THIS.
      Pride Can Free You..Or Keep You Trapped.
      OUR Choice, of Course

  • When we first separated, he kept his head in the sand and pretended that it hadn’t really happened. You know – the sparkling Narc has to keep his facade up. I was hesitant for the first few weeks because of the kids. Then I would politely say, “No one knows what goes on behind closed doors” and that kept most people from asking any further questions. After about 3 months I decided to announce that I left him. When people would ask why I left I would tell them the short or long story depending on who I was speaking to. That was usually followed by an “I’m so sorry to hear that” To which I would reply “Don’t be sorry, I’m not! It was the best decision I ever made”. That would cause the person to laugh, raise an eyebrow or just stare. But it was the truth and by the time I reached that point, it was quite fun to see their reaction.

  • I never had to cover for my ex because he just disappeared. But I did maintain my silence except for those who needed to know. It was a matter of necessity and survival. I remember feeling like I was carrying a heavy, black shadow on my back during those days.

    I did, however, ask for help when I needed it and had no problem throwing him under a bus when necessary. His name was mud with our neighbors, bank, insurances, sheriff’s department, and anyone else who needed to know the reason behind my peculiar requests or lack of information. A demure, “I don’t know where my spouse is as he ran off with another woman a few days before Christmas” usually achieved the objective of the interaction.

    For everyone else, they need not know he ever existed. Why give him the honor?

    • I also don’t mind admitting I do not feel like dealing with people’s reaction to my divorce. For those who have not been through it, infidelity, and/or marital abandonment, they can say some pretty stupid and/or insensitive things and not even mean to.

      I think Brene Brown says it well (as did Chump Lady):

      (It is a really cute and poignant video BTW).

  • Thougt CL et al might like this, from today’s Huffington post:

    8 Ways Gwyneth Paltrow’s Divorce Will Be Superior To Yours
    03/29/14 01:56 PM ET
    Written by Adriana Velez on CafeMom’s blog, The Stir

    Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t discuss this very much because she’s a pretty private person, but I am her doppelganger: Her shorter, poorer, darker-haired, less-fabulous doppelganger. You see, I do everything first, and then she does the same thing only better. I was born a year before she was. I had my baby a year before she had her first. I spatchcocked my first local, organic chicken a year before she did. And I separated from my husband a year (and a half) before Gwyneth Paltrow separated from her husband.

    Just like everything else, Gwyneth’s “conscious uncoupling” is already so much better than anything my ex-husband and I could ever come up with. How does she do it? Man. If you’re looking for the ultimate aspirational separation, take out your bespoke stationary and fountain pen and take notes.

    1. First of all, her euphemism: Conscious uncoupling . Why didn’t I think of that? All this time I’ve been calling it things like “shit-show detangling” and “marital meiosis.” Her euphemism is so much more soulful and poetic, right?

    2. They won’t have lawyers or a mediator, they’ll have “uncoupling facilitators.” And they’ll probably meet in heavenly-scented offices with soft lighting. There will be hand-holding and green tea. Everyone will understand each other, and there will be no uncomfortable crying or arguing.

    3. It’ll all get settled super quickly. In fact, they’ve probably finished already. Mine is taking forever.

    4. There will be an uncoupling event. It will be this beautiful ceremony officiated by GP’s “very good friend” Kabbalah guru Michael Berg and her other “very good friend” Episcopal priest Cynthia Bourgealt. It will be catered by Mario Batali. GP will wear a custom Uncoupled pantsuit by Stella McCartney, and she’ll look stunning in it. It’ll be white. There will be an acoustic number by Chris, with the kids singing backup. Everyone will cry mostly happy tears and then they’ll all hug in silence.

    5. Gwyneth will have a special Me&Ro Uncoupled ring made and sell it via Goop. I will entertain the idea of buying it for myself and then remember that I’m a single mom who also has to buy her son shoes.

    6. Thanks to this week’s announcement, Gwyneth probably already has a long line of potential boyfriends outside her door. While I — oh wait! Hah — once again I am first, for I have already nabbed the best boyfriend ever in the world. Sorry, GP. He’s all mine. This is one area where you don’t have me beat.

    7. All her servants will take care of all the crap single moms have to deal with, so she won’t ever look haggard or overwhelmed. Like I do. Every single morning. No running out the door late in the morning with a load of laundry in one arm and a bag of garbage in the other hand for her!

    8. Gwyneth will write a brilliant, best-selling book on how to have the finest divorce ever.

    Okay, all joking aside, I am sad it didn’t work out between GP and Chris Martin, and I really do hope their split is as amicable and peaceful as possible, especially for their kids.

    • I can’t enter that last post without paying due homage: CL’s recent post asking us to envision Winston Churchill in downward dog while pondering conscious uncoupling from Hitler’s troops slayed me. I mean slayed me.

  • You know, if you Don’t want to Explain..Then DON’T..It’s YOUR Heartbreak..You don’t Owe ” Outsiders” Explanations….but for Fuckssakes…Use what you KNOW to GET OUT OF THERE. It’s not what you KNOW about a Situation, It’s what you DO with / About It . It’s YOUR LiFE. I’d say the ” OUR” thing went OUT the Window the Minute the Arsehole Cheated.

  • For me I hid DDay #1 mostly because I still wanted to make it work and I knew down deep that once I told people what would happen, that they would start smacking me upside the head. Once the pattern started for DDay #3 I too felt it was subconscious…..I started telling people involuntarily…..kinda of how I shamed myself into leaving him……because I knew people would think I was crazy…I couldn’t stay. One thing I didn’t realize thought was that my speaking up and telling people about his affair was a deal breaker for him….as he told me over and over again…I had never forgiven him because I wouldn’t forget what he had done….No I didn’t forget so when the same pattern started over again. I started talking……had to stop the cycle.

    Talking out-loud about my experiences, I shamed myself into recognizing the bad decisions……I was making and the mis-treatment I was tolerating.

    I also realized how much lighter I felt once I shared…there was no longer this incredible pressure on my shoulders to keep up appearances….that in and of itself was freeing…….the trick is getting to that point …………I had a LOT of help getting unstuck…

    • LOL..Telling the TRUTH was a DEALBREAKER for HIM….. LMAO..IMAGINE THAT.

      HON….GOOD ON YOU. Be WELL…. Gone of Him..and BE HAPPY *HUG*
      You’re Gonna go on To GREATER Things and People. ((Hugs))

  • I kept the secret, hoping for five years. It is soul destroying. I realized that my life with the EH was full of half truths and all manner of subterfuge for most of our years together (his drinking issues, etc). What a weight to heave off once living a life of truth and in full daylight.

  • Well, I tried telling everyone and everyone except my family decided he was a great guy and I must be the idjut. Oh sure, they will still let me come over and visit, but they really adore STBEX. So I didn’t get much support. Even my family, who didn’t actually support the STBEX, still came up with gems like, “well if I hadn’t divorced your dad, then remarried him, I would probably be in the same boat as you” (so it is my fault for not divorcing during thte happy times), and my sister told me how “she got one of the good ones” (that’s what I thought for 27.5 years – it was that last 6 months that sucked). I didn’t really get the support I was looking for as it was all in a distancy sort of way (kind of like, well I told you 28 years ago you shouldn’t marry him).

    I just reconnected with someone I had worked with long ago who never knew STBEX and found a release and understanding that I needed. Coworker had been thru much the same that I had (married a very long time then the spouse choose an affair as the exit strategy). Of course that didn’t heal everything, and happened last night – on the date of the final signing of the papers (yeah me for getting that arranged and done), but it was more cathartic than I could have imagined just 3 days ago.

    So I agree with previous commenters. if your support system isn’t the greatest, it’s not much help. Finding even one or two people can make a huge differenct.

    • Sometimes Others are too Close to SEE.
      Glad you Found Some OUTSIDE Support , not Emotionally Invested in Him at all , to Help you get Out.
      If Those who Didn’t Believe you don’t Unchump Themselves, YOU Warned them, It’s Their Deal…either way YOUR Conscience is Clear.

    • May I just say I loathe your sister?

      I got several variations on the “well I picked a good one” theme (sung in the key of Me) “Oh, I’m so glad Brian would never cheat on me.” And “Boy, good thing I don’t have that kind of drama. The worst thing in my marriage was when he bought a TransAm.” (Double bonus points for the humble brag.)

      • Chump Lady – loathe away. Now I don’t loather her (she’s family and has generally been supportive of me), but it makes me see her in a different light!

        Gosh, it never went thru my mind to say that to friends that went thru the same thing years ago. I might have thought it (and although I don’t specifically remember thinking it, I probably did), but definitely wouldn’t say it or even hint at it to someone who is going thru the pain!

  • When my STBX came home and told me that he no longer wanted to be married, I was shocked! I had no clue! I asked him if there was someone else and he said no. He then went on to say that we should not tell anyone until we sorted things out. He said that if we did not separate there would be nothing to tell, and if we did separate, we should let people know when we had a plan. He went on to say that he would not be moving out, or making any decisions that he may regret six months later. I went along with it because I was shocked and didn’t know what to do.

    Nine days later, I found out he was cheating and I told the WORLD!!!!! Screw him. I didn’t give a shit. He lost control of the situation and people saw him for the POS he is. I was his third wife. I then found out that he had cheated on the first two wives as well. He is such a manipulative, narcissist! This happened last August, two weeks before what would have been our ninth anniversary. He moved out seven weeks later, after he did work on the house in preparation to list it. That was the hardest seven weeks of my life! By the way, I got married for the first time at 46 years of age.

    So, last Thursday he sends an email asking if I wanted to discuss reconciliation. I said, no. I then asked him whether his girlfriend knew that he wanted to discuss reconciliation. No response to that. No surprise.

    Once the house is sold I will not need to have any further contact with him. Fingers crossed that will happen soon – I have a showing tonight!

    My advice is TELL! TELL! TELL!


  • Oh man, this is SPOT ON! When I finally found evidence of what was lurking in the back of my mind in the form of a hidden text app in his phone, I took a screen shot of that shit faster than I could think. I immediately sent it to myself from his phone, and then sent it to 5 very close friends with a message that said something to the effect of… “when I start to backpedal in the coming weeks, I need you to remind me of THIS”. And they did. If I had waited, even 5 minutes, I would have chickened out and kept it all to myself. I knew that I was the chumpiest and needed some unchumpy people to keep my thinking strait. I also noticed that after D Day when I was home, alone I would be sooo very sad. But, when I was out talking to my support system about it, my sadness turned to anger. Very productive anger. Validation from others is what I needed; that I should be pissed about this. I don’t need to feel sorry for him, or feel bad about breaking up my family. I needed to be fucking pissed off and do something about it. Man I cannot thank that moment of ACTION by chumpy me enough. It really did change my life.

  • I told my cheater’s friends, because I thought they would hold him more accountable. When they tried to intercede, he told them to back off or he would never speak to them again. They backed off.
    I told my mother, who had experienced infidelity at the hands of my philandering father. Her take was ” as long as there are more good days then bad….” I told my brother, who stated if he had a terminal illness, he would gladly kill my cheater. My best friend was supportive, but I think she just told me what I wanted to hear, “well you work and own a business together and you have already made such an investment in the relationship…” I wanted to tell close business associates but because I worked with him at the business, it was like shooting myself in the foot. I told the MC of course, but she just identified my cheater as a thrill-seeker and told me I shouldn’t make accusations or question his behavior (based on my correct gut feeling that he continued to cheat) as I might end up forcing my cheater to cheat again since he was already being accused of it. Uh huh…. I told my cheater’s family (only cousins remain.) While they were upset for me, they knew my cheater was disordered and were happy to see him settled with someone who cared for him so they weren’t involved. I told my internist, my gynecologist, and my dermatologist, so I could get the proper STD testing. They were sympathetic. My female dermatologist wanted to take a scalpel to his penis to perform the necessary biopsy that my cheater’s male dermatologist refused to do.
    I can laugh at it all now but I think if you are late to the “know your own worth” party, you remain stuck at the station. Thankfully, that issue is resolving.

  • I tell everyone who asks where the exbf of 10 years went. I tell ’em straight out he is a narc, liar and cheater. That he has no integrity and treats his own children like crap. He is nothing but a twisted POS.
    I tell them….and it gives ME the power! I will not abuse myself trying to keep his dirty laundry clean! The abuse he put on me is OVER!

  • I’ve been largely quiet, save for the infidelity boards, but I have told some people as I get closer to filing.

    I think there is something to the emotional sloppiness for getting unstuck because words usually accompany action. If I tell someone that STBX is cheating on me, I will feel obligated to state what my next course of action will be.

    As a result, I’ve told only a very few people, and I’ve told all those people that I will be divorcing him for cheating. None of these people are people who would see STBX, so they would not feel obligated to keep silent if they should meet him in passing. This is why I’ve not told my family. Once I do that, I better be filing the very next day. I think it wrong to tell them that I’m divorcing STBX for cheating, but to keep it under wraps.

    Anyway, for me, telling must accompany doing.

    It may be that, for those who are really stuck, they don’t want to tell themselves that they need to get out of the situation. If they admit to themselves that they’re chumps, they will no longer be able to hide. They’ll have to decide either to divorce or to continue enduring.

  • The first dday only lasted for a week, so I did not tell anyone except my sister and I made him tell his sister and our daughters. I was in shock and trying get my ducks in a row. He returned, promising to never leave again, and that lasted ten weeks. He then left for good and filed for divorce. Then, I told everyone including a lady in Target, who thought I was nuts. But, since he denied an OW, and I was stupid, I never got to tell that part of the story. Three months later he told the girls he was ‘seeing’ someone, and then they had to be the ones to tell me he was a cheater, and they did not believe his ‘we just started seeing each other’ for one minute. I was gobsmacked, but by then it was old news and no one cared, and he never ever deviated from his story. Never, to this day. But, as my older daughter said, ‘If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a fucking duck.’ Amen to that.

    • Olderwiser it was the same with me. His excuses for leaving our marriage just didn’t make sense until I found out he was in love with the married coworker. He told our kids that the coworker had nothing to do with it, so I made sure to share the document he wrote professing his love for her with them. Their reactions were interesting because my oldest was completely disgusted and said his dad was a liar. The youngest (who is a lawyer) said his dad was having a hard time and would stop crushing on the coworker as he moved further along in his new life.

  • Older..
    Your Daughter is a SMART Girl. I’m Glad you’ve Got her.

  • I haven’t posted for a while. You all kicked me into gear. Scared the living shit outta me. Made me see that he was a total pathological lying fucktard. It took him funnelling our 10,000$ tax refund into an account that I did not know existed and then proceed to blatantly gaslight me to really really make me see that he is a fucktard and I have to trust that he sucks and that he will NEVER NEVER EVER CHANGE. NOT EVER. NOT NOHOW. And certainly not for me. Or for our 5 beautiful kids. He is a liar and a cheat. I did the pick me dance, spackle the turd, denial, wring my hands over what about my poor kids, beg, cry, pray,trust over and over because I wanted to keep my vows, Because I wanted to believe him. Oh what a chump. I Finally filed for divorce. I knew he was going to be very angry. I reinforced my windowswith expanded metal,got door alarms,I had already changed the locks 2 months ago. On Friday, he tried to break in while I was at dinner with my kids. I filed a police report. He got served this morning, my atty advised me. I had the front gate padlocked, the alarms armed and doors locked. He showed up while I was in the restroom. He waited till my son opened the front door to let the dog out. He asked my son to let him in. Son said no. He jumped up on the hood of my truck and vaulted over my 6 ft security fence and rushed the door before my son could get it locked. He yelled at me if I had told the kids what I had done. I said we are not talking about this right now. He said yes we are kids sit down now! I told all four kids go to your rooms NOW! The split into 2 groups (I have 4) and they ran immediately to the rooms. My Stbx ran to where the older kids had gone. I followed and my son (who has a full arm cast from a broken arm) was struggling to get the door closed. I ran over, grabbed the knob and pulled with all my strength. Stbx was shoving me backwards and trying to enter the room. I managed to pull it shut and son immediately locked it. Then Stbx grabbed my phone from the counter. I tried to get him to give it to me. A struggle ensued and I was unable to get my phone. I took off to beetroot neighbors and got her phone and called 911. I went back into my home and he was trying to push my little girls door open. 8 yo had blocked door with a dog kennel and had 6yo hide under bed. Police finally arrived. They arrested him for interference with communication. 10,000 dollar bond. Officer just dropped off emergency order of protection. Please keep me and my children in your thoughts. I am scared shitless.

    • Oh my, definitely in my thoughts!! You did the right thing, but I know you are scared, any sane person would be.

    • Stay strong!! And I refuse to call you Hopeless Chump — change your name to MIGHTY Chump! Keep the boot of the law on his neck and do NOT back off. He’s going to get ugly and they’re the professionals — let your lawyer and the police deal with him.

      If you don’t think he will stay away, stay with friends for a while or family, or have them move in with you, or consider a shelter.

      This is the scary, dangerous time. But it gets better. Birthing pains to a new life — hurts like hell. Keep pushing forward.

    • Dear God in Heaven. Of course you are scared. What an awful man. I don’t know where you live but don’t rely on an order of protection. It’s great that you have alarms and all, but you need panic alarms and a voicelink system so that if he gets inside or breaks a window, the alarm company will be sending people immediately. Make sure you talk to the alarm people about the situation. I would also get inexpensive motion cameras if you can’t afford a high-end security system with video. Get the kids a cellphone to keep in their rooms for emergencies only–the pay as you go kind in case they have to barricade themselves. And keep your own cell handy. Your kids are awesome and brave.

    • You are MIGHTY indeed! We are all sending you powerful high-fives! You did everything right. We will keep you in prayer. Stay in touch with your lawyer and the police, and get in touch with local resources for domestic violence. Follow all the good advice, and stay strong! This is horrifying, but it’s powerful confirmation that you have done the right thing.

      (I have a protection order and pending criminal trial, too, so while my situation does not compare fully to yours, I do understand the fear. You can do this!)

    • You are Not Hopeless…You’re VERY BRAVE…What You’ve Been Through..and Your Kids take after their MAMA.
      I’m gonna be Praying for you and your Kids…
      Keep yourselves SAFE, NO MATTER WHAT.
      He’s a Monster..No Doubt About it. .And your Kids KNOW now, No Doubt…No Congnitive Dissonance going on Now. There’s Power in Numbers..Keep Close to Eachother…
      Got a Gun for Protection ???
      Nobody’s gonna Blame you if You Shoot that Fucker DEAD for Coming Anywhere Near you and Your Kids from Here on Out…He’s Made his Intentions Shown..Take em Seriously.
      WHY THE FUCK did they give that PSYCHO BOND ????!!!!!!!!!!
      He’s CRAZZY.
      ARM Yourself Hon…Seriously. He Comes Around Again, Unload ALL The Bullets in that Arsehole and Cry Later.

    • Jedi hugs times a thousand to you Hopeless! I have been in the bad place, you can get free, don’t let up on his ass. And do be scared, scared enough to pull out all the stops to keep yourself and your kids safe. Don’t let him fuck with you, don’t let him convince you he really didn’t mean it. You are MIGHTY, you can OVERCOME this.

      Get a excellent lawyer so you can keep that protective order (PO). Think hard, is he afraid of jail? Will a PO work to keep him away? If the answer is no then get somewhere safe. PLEASE call your local Women’s abuse shelter/help group, they know how the system works and can help you even if you don’t need to stay with them. I am so sorry you are going through this, it’s my nightmare, I too have alarms and everything set up to keep me safe. I am so glad you managed to get out of this OK.

    • OMG! This is horrifying and if you needed any more evidence that he is beyond fucking seriously crazy, it’s scaring the living hell out of his own young kids.

      You are *damn mighty* for how you took action, and prepared your children. But yes be as careful as possible- whatever it costs.

      Major prayers to you and your family 😉

    • I agree with Chump Lady – you are not Hopeless Chump, you are the mightiest Mama Bear that ever roared! My thoughts are with you and your children.

  • Oh Gawd! I aired my dirty laundry like my washer was broke! I told EVERYONE! I never really said much to anyone about my problems, but when it all hit, I sang and sang. Funny enough, I never felt shame at all. I am still working on the blaming myself for what happened part, but I never once felt it was my shame to bare.

  • I sat on it for three whole days. Then I knew that everyone of my friends would know that I had been turned inside out, so I let the floodgates open. I even told my parents on day 3, because I knew that if I told them, I could never go back. My friends would be more accepting, but I needed to build that wall that I could not get through. Then I had to humiliatingly tell my boss who basically didn’t want to hear anything about it, which sucked, but I was coming in to work late and basically sitting around in a daze while trying to pretend to work.

    My cheating ex told me that his story was that “the relationship wasn’t good, there were red flags” and it ended because he dealt with the demise of the relationship “shittily”. He’s a fucking coward who only admitted to telling his parents the extent of his betrayal (10 women in 2 years, plus a long term affair).

    I kicked him out and bought the house from him all within 4 months. He needs to lie, and I live in the truth. I still am furious and hate him and haven’t reached ‘meh’. But, the support and kindness I have been shown by women that I barely know has been an incredible support, and I’ve made new friends.

    The people who squirm, I believe, have cheated and they either got away with it, or they are uber chumps and I have no use for them. So I let those reactions roll off. This blog is my daily saving grace.

  • I called my parents within minutes of finding out, which was at about 4am. They live five hours away from me, so it probably wasn’t the best time to call and worry them. To me, it was like finding out someone had died and I had to let them know, regardless of the time. I had to tell someone. I also called my sister, who lives close by, and asked her to come over. I was an emotional mess and needed her there to keep me from doing anything (to him) that I would regret.
    On a different note, it’s been 5 years since DDay. This past Sunday, I came across a tool box that was left in the garage and I opened it up. Among the typical guy type magazines and tools, I found one of his porn magazines and the wedding album I threw away shortly after DDay. The magazine was published August 2007. To the best of my knowledge, his affair lasted all of 2008. I experienced a bad trigger from this discovery. I lost my appetite and didn’t sleep more than 5 hours that night. It’s been bothering me ever since. I am not sure how it plays into the affair, but he was buying (or borrowing?) this offensive junk months before he began his affair. At the time, I was busy working full-time and caring for our 2 year old who has a medical condition, while he was busy looking at porn and starting an affair. I wrapped the magazine up in several grocery bags and threw it in the outside trash can along with the wedding album. He hid his porn and our wedding album in the same tool box. What a mindfuck.

    • Have you considered EMDR therapy? I mean triggers do happen even long after but if this is causing you to dwell for days it might be helpful to go through those memories and get them to stop fucking with you. Jedi Hugs

      • I had not considered it, but I will now. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • I also told almost everybody – even a cabbie one night who gave me a huge hug. It made ME feel better and it eased my pain a lot, maybe even helped me to justify trashing his character like he trashed our marriage. I wasn’t sure if any of it would backfire but I didn’t care, and so far, it hasn’t, except he’s lost all the respect in this small town that he spent years cultivating. Image was everything to him.

    My sisters were here when we discovered his cheating when he was out of town with his skank ‘on business’ and it was devastating to everybody in the room. When I looked over at my shocked sister staring into space I suddenly felt horrible for her. I realized what kind of pain she was in – for ME. I wanted to suddenly cover her with my arms and protect her with my might. I realized this was a big deal for all them and not just me. My family has been super supportive throughout all of this. They loved my husband so these horrid details just floored them and they realized they didn’t know him at all.

    I came across a quick book about dealing with the hurt of telling people and what it does to them. It reminded me that we have to be conscious of what we’re doing to them, and boy, did I unload every piece of excrement on a daily basis to my 3 sisters! Imagine how they had to process that with their own lives going on. So, it woke me up to empathize what they were going through. This book helped.

    How To Survive The Loss of a Love by Stephanie Kuiack
    “Your family and close friends are hurting. Your break-up has hurt them. You have a responsibility to admit your role in their pain. Do not avoid addressing addressing their issues. It is important in their healing process that you ‘be with their pain’. Experience their desolation. Feel their hurt.”

  • Stuckness. Emotionally sloppy. Yup and yup. I’ve told my family, all 4 siblings, but not my parents who would indeed inflict weird Italian voodoo while telling the world.

    I have been instructed by 2 different therapists NOT to tell my 4 kids because of resulting emotional damage this would cause. I have told close friends both where I am currently living and close friends who live elsewhere in the USA. I told our physician because we both needed STD testing.

    Asshat told only2 of his brothers some version of the truth. He is incapable of honesty. So in his head, lying by omission or plain lying is truth to him. His mother is a 2x chump from two different husbands. My SIL is a co- dependent mess. They have no idea.

    Yeah. It really really angers me to hold the shit sandwich, because what did he really lose? Only anal sex with the porny church lady. In fact he was still in contact with her since last October when he sent her the NC letter.

    I argue with the MC guy a lot. This shit is black and white. Asshat wants his facade, career and personal good guy image. It comes with a price. So I’ve given asshat half of the shit sandwich in legal terms.

    I feel great when I am either traveling without him OR he’s gone for work. My paid BFF (therapist) has counseled me to keep the next bits off stuff close to my chest, while making sure I am lawyered up. The bucket of his shit that I am holding is going to hit the fan. Not as fast as a lot of you here have tossed it.

    What I do not want to be is a bitter old soul. I can tell people that I’ve been abused emotionally, but I cannot have this shit define me.

    • My betrayal was very public so there was no way to hide it from my kids, but even if it hadn’t been public, there is NO way I wouldn’t have told them. Granted they were older (preteen to post-college), but to hide something that significant to the family as a whole? I can’t believe any competent therapist would encourage such deceit. I think my kids would be so pissed if they later learned the truth. I believe there are age appropriate ways to tell the truth and I don’t think it is fair to use the kids as confidants, but to keep them in the dark about something so important to their stability is wrong and will cause future distrust. I also think it is very important that your words and actions let your children know you are their rock and they will be just fine in the long run.

  • I told no one my suspicions for many years. Even though there was lots of “Clues” there was no direct evidence to “prove” XH was unfaithful – just a shit.

    I told no one.

    When I hit the first big D-Day, I did tell people. I didn’t leave for 4 more years but I didn’t keep his affair a secret.

    Emotional Sloppiness? I don’ know.

  • I waited a few weeks after dday to tell but I told my family all and my ex was stunned. Him – you told them?!?! Me – hey its my life too, and I get to tell my truth. What did he think I would do, tell them we “grew apart”? It never occurred to him that I would tell, I think he thought I would be ashamed – I didn’t cheat, why would I be ashamed? Typical narc, not for one second did he see any of this from any point of view but his own. I never for one second thought I wouldn’t tell once I decided to divorce that asshole.

    On dday – I walked in on a phone call, heard the whole thing since he uses the speaker phone. I came home from work a few hours earlier than normal as I had a double root canal performed. I had told him more than once I would be coming home early that day to rest before he picked up the kids from school and yet he must have “forgot.” I came in and called out I was home and heard him on the phone upstairs, sounded like his business partner. When he got off, I started upstairs but he placed another call and by the time I was at the top of the stairs I heard a woman’s voice. I stopped in my tracks, stunned, where he could not see me and I heard him trying to arrange to meet the whore he had been emailing with. I knew I could never unknow what I did in that moment and my gut dropped. My very first internal reaction was – I am NOT putting up with this TOO!. Ex is a big Narc, who took no responsibility for anything and had a spending addiction I had been supporting for years and I was already miserable, but had not even thought divorce with two kids (6 & 10 at the time). I walked in and demanded to know who he was speaking to. He hung up and tried to gaslight me. Didn’t work. While he slept that night I gathered cell phone/bank records then woke him up and badgered him until he confessed to recently seeing prostitutes, I am not stupid enough to think it was the only time as he claimed, just the first time he got caught red handed. I later found the Adult Friend Finder account he had opened a month prior, disgusting. He screamed at me that it was my fault, he hated me and he wanted a divorce – but denied saying that the next day, familiar anyone? Oh and dday was my birthday too – didn’t feel like it then, but it turned out to be the best present I got in a long time.

    We had a long standing disneyworld vacation planned, leaving the next week so I toughed it out through that (pure torture as were the next 3 months until he moved out) – he was hoping I would cancel it – but I needed time to think and get my ducks in a row. I think he believed I didn’t have the guts to divorce him and he didn’t apologize or show an remorse or even acknowledge he hurt me. I think he thought his threat of divorce would scare me into just going with the flow (of shit). Saw a family law friend from high school before leaving on vacation and started moving money (given to me by my father) out of my brokerage account as soon as we got home (he could electronically transfer funds since he had all my info), he saw the money movement (stock sales) and withdrew $25K cash immediately – since he knew this was MY separate money, never commingled with community property and he was not to touch it (see spending addiction above), that was stealing (and pissed of my dad more than the cheating). I closed the account, rushed home from work and told him I was filing for divorce.

    He ran upstairs and told my daughter that we were getting divorced because “Mom” was unhappy. Idiot. Later he tried to set me up further but it backfired. I took the garbage out that night (needed air) and he confronted me in the driveway under my daughter’s bedroom (later I realized her window was open which I think he knew). He asked, was I sure I wanted to do this to the kids? I went ballistic, said – You are the one that cheated you asshole, you did this to the kids. While the marriage may have been cracked through both of our actions, he was the one who took a sledgehammer to it. I am showing our daughter that you don’t have to put up with shit like this. At first when I later realized my daughter’s window was open I was sorry, for about 60 seconds, serves him right.

    My family all knows the bitter truth and I told work (all men so I didn’t want to get into details) that my ex had done something that I just couldn’t live with. They got the picture immediately.

  • I found out at 10 on a Friday night and texted my closest friends, who called me right back and have been rocks. I told my therapist at the next appointment. Also the plumbers, the exterminator, hairdresser, pedicure artist, etc. I kept things away from work; it was enough that I was a mess but it helped to have a place where I could put it all aside for a few hours. While I was not married to the Jackass, we were in a committed relationship, or so I thought, but I had a bellyful of “not telling” when I was married, although the issues in that marriage were not cheating unless whiskey, beer, and hydrocodone count as the OW. Lots of people knew I was a mess; some asked what was wrong and I told them. Others just were extra kind. So I was lucky. I didn’t tell Jackass’s family because I hadn’t yet become part of their lives (RED FLAG, eh?) and I didn’t tell the married OW’s husband because I figured either J would kick her to the curb soon enough or her husband would catch them on phone and FB (she got kicked to the curb). At the time, Jackass was in full denial mode and all they needed to do was delete messages because all I had were FB screenshots. But once I told people and they all reacted the same way–“You can’t go back! EVER!!”–it helped me when the hopium struck and at times when I couldn’t believe he didn’t love me. If he ever did. My friends would never walk away from me, but they threatened to hold an intervention if I wavered. My best friend put it this way, even before we know about the OW: “He’s not in your corner any more.” But telling allowed me to find out who WAS in my corner and who was willing to travel 2000 miles to take care of me, who was willing to cat sit when I had to travel for work, who would walk for hours with me while I cried. Who monitored the OW’s Pinterest page and texted me to make fun of her. So silly but it helped me see that she wasn’t anybody special, just a woman in her forties who wants many things she will never have. Tell.

  • I told everyone in my family and all my friends. Probably a few strangers as well. But in my case, once my ex started posting his various videos on YouTube, there really was no further need for me to say anything. His freakiness speaks for itself, and that’s WITHOUT even bringing the staggering amount of infidelity into it. My mom read the book he wrote about himself, and said most people reading it would feel sorry for ME for having been married to him.

  • Thought I would share some lovely verbatim quotes from “my community” now Ex-community, or Fired! in Muriel’s wonderful phrase. To wit

    2 months after D-day, when I had reached out to 4 friends for support, one responded to my Ex (not me!):

    “There’s a lot of rage here. I feel terrible asking this, but I must , should XX historical building & church community have any safety concerns? [NamedforVera] has expressed a lot of anger (I’m getting this second hand but reliably)….”

    The above was from one so-called friend to my abusive/abusing lying skankhole Ex, who was just then in the middle of doubling down on the lies, whilst I was discovering all the years of coverup. PS, I was working in a historic preservation-related field, so the very notion that I would do anything to an historic building was (a) bizarre, and (b) totally unfounded. And rage. Really? ya think? How about a little empathy douchebags?

    So the rumor mill ground on. 18 months later I heard from these folks again–I had responded about another matter to someone else’s FB. But in the ensuing year plus, none of these so-called friends ever called me, wrote me, reached out to me, came to see me at my new home. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

    So then I read:

    “About the question of you harming the church. [NamedforVera], that was not my idea, and I didn’t think it was true or remotely likely. However, the leadership of the church asked me to find out. I should have come to you, but it was not at a time when you were responding to me. It was a nasty business, that is true. But people were afraid, so I did what I could to take that discussion down. ”

    (Needless to say, I would have, of course, responded to any offer of kindness or support; more traumatic accusations–maybe not so much. They never came.)

    I now have the most complete and thorough definition of hypocrite that I could possibly imagine.

    Sorry if this skews the curve CL, but I spoke out early and wow have I ever suffered for it. I wonder if it matters how people react when you speak or not. In my case, they denied my experience, publicly shamed me, talked behind my back, and excluded me from the community…talk about blaming the victim!

    At least it’s a very clear line, now.

    • You know, sometimes you just don’t know what you’re going to get. You tell the steamfitter and he holds you up to Jesus in prayer. Another chump here told the window washer and got an offer of free window cleaning. You tell a friend and you get accusations that you’re an arsonist.

      I shouldn’t joke, but how exactly did you lose your shit? With a can of gasoline?

      No one wants to be around secondhand rage — makes people twitchy. Grief, sobbing, over sharing is bad enough for the empathy challenged. But to project rage on to you that you didn’t commit makes me think your ex got to the narrative first?

      I’m sorry this happened to you NFV. That just sucks.

      • Absolutely true. He had been salting the ground for quite some time, having quiet talks–he swears with only one friend, but we all know how honest cheaters are (!). So when the shit hit the fan, there was at least one outside party–to unseeing eyes–there, to say I was a crazy bitch. The fact that this guy had been masquerading as my friend, while my Ex poured out his little shriveled black cheater heart about my galactic awfulness–and about his own dick-sticking, was invisible to the world.

        And frankly, naked female anger is really upsetting to people. I didn’t cut any corners on telling it like I saw it, which, to be fair, is pretty much the way you present things here. But to the non-Chump world? It sounds like crazy talk. And I did get my rage on as I realized just how badly I’d been betrayed, humiliated etc etc.

        The irony of all this? If just one of those jackholes had been a real friend and offered me some emotional support, I would have been so much more …ladylike… Their deafening silence seemed only to validate all the shitty things that Ex said to me, and yeah, the injustice of that made me crazy. Also too, in addition.

      • oh, and ps. all I did was send a couple of emails that said “asshole cheated on me in thus and such ways. He said he doesn’t want to be (daughter’s) father. I can’t believe it. this hurts so much. I feel like my whole life just blew up…my therapist said I’m in deep shock, PTSD, I’m agoraphobic for the first time in my life… yadda, yadda.”

        So that’s what I did. verbal gasoline, I guess.

        • I know it’s hard, but I would be glad these people are out of your life. Couldn’t they have judged you by your actions of X number of years? The smear campaigns disordered people do are really hard — they paint you crazy, you get mad, or try and defend yourself and it’s like you’re proving the crazy.

          But I think that only plays with people who don’t really know you, or feel intimately connected to you. People who love and care for you can’t be swayed by PR and spin. They judge you by your character and your actions.

          The rest of them can rot. Let the cheater have them.

          • And FWIW, I’m sure I sent far sloppier emails to the collective. I know I did. (Cringe.)

            • Oh how I’ve battered this quote by Bernard Baruch:
              “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind…” Thanks Google.

    • NFV,

      Your post made me remember a bad experience I had that I’d blocked out I guess.

      I always felt a little outside with X’s male friends- they were shady and standoffish I realize in hindsight, probably because they knew more than I did about his antics.

      In the wretched weeks following DDay when I was convinced he was on drugs or something, I selectively chose one older friend to contact who had kind of mentored X in his younger years. He wasn’t super shocked that x could be acting addictive but appalled that it was now cheating oriented.

      He offered to meet up and talk some sense into him. I thanked him profusely, they met, and after… I called the friend for follow up. He completely changed his tune/ I’m not a marriage counselor, I wasn’t in your marriage and I don’t really know the dynamic. I love you both but he’s my old buddy and I can’t be involved anymore.

      X later confessed to me to telling him untrue horror stories about me to persuade his support. Soooo my point is- these people are manipulative as hell and I bet yours did something similar to cause that response. Don’t take it personally because I doubt it’s based in any reality or truth why they turned on you.

      In any case, I realized that friend is a damn fool and a hurtful POS and I won’t be ever speaking to him again Happy to let him be X’s sucker for lying, stealing etc which is bound to happen eventually. Disorder doesn’t discriminate who it’s unleashed on.

      • I never shared specifics with members of XH’s family, aside from a SIL I remain close to. With the exception of my former Brother in law, who was a bit of an A-hole anyway, X’s family has kept in some form of touch with me.

        Following our split, I took my children to visit XH’s family out of state and former B-I-L actually refused to speak to me – literally turned his back on me and whenever we crossed paths, I was persona non grata. He considered me a bitch for “walking out” on his brother (my XH) . Whatever.

        Fast forward 15 years. XH has been married an divorced 2x more – one wife he married was 21 years old and he knew her for 5 days. He fathered a child with a GF while married and she subsequently had his parental rights terminated. He is chronically unemployed, relapsed several years ago into chronic alcoholism, and most of his family steers clear of him.

        The BIL that refused to acknowledge me for years? he’s telling other family members he plans to contact me to apologize. (Still haven’t heard from him, but nice to know).

  • Oh, yes, this is absolutely true in my case. I kept quiet with OW1, told a few souls with OW2 and sang like a bird with OW3 and everyone took my side. And lo and behold, my life turned a corner and I got unstuck. There was a lot of shame and co-dependency going on with the first OWs, so I felt I needed to still appear perfect even if my world was falling apart. The more people I told with OW3, the more I felt accountable to them that I have to do something about my mess. I did and I have never, ever regretted leaving the cheater ex.

  • I think it’s true that you should tell people. Especially close friends and family – that way, they can help you in any way they can. For me, it took a lot of phone calls with friends and family to understand that his behavior was not because of me or something I did and that I had to leave the abusive relationship.

    And when the ex confronted me about “invading his privacy” by telling people? Most of my friends had some words to say about that too. Most were along the lines of “F*ck that. If he didn’t want people to think he was an a**hole, he shouldn’t have acted like one.”

    A good support network definitely sped up the separation and healing process. I love myself, and it’s been a very very long time since I cried. I found out that life CAN be beautiful, and it’s all thanks to my friends, family, and CL 🙂

  • After DD I broke down and turned to my three closest friends for support. Two of them abandoned me within weeks and I realised they were also narcissists. As soon as I wasn’t at their disposal for their life problems they disappeared to find another chump who would.

    As a result I shut-down and kept to myself – I didn’t trust anyone. I set my own trap because by the time I realised I wanted out of the marriage the big drama time had passed.

    Now my mother has a terminal illness and I can’t bring myself to upset her and my dad by announcing I’m getting divorced. It kills me that he’s being protected but I can’t see a way to get unstuck until my mother dies. I also don’t want to further upset my kids who are dealing with their grandma being so sick.

    I know I have to stop looking after everyone else and start looking after myself but fuck it is hard!!!!!

  • Completely agree. I told everyone, and in stream of conscious talking in counseling, I told my therapist that I told everyone because I wanted to be peer-pressured into not taking him back when he wanted to come crawling back. I didn’t realize it was true until I said it.

    And he did come crawling back. I’m sure I would have taken him back and I’d likely still be in a terrible marriage, playing marriage police, had I kept the secret.

    • THAT….Amy….that was why I finally told too…….trying to shame myself into not going back………..

  • My 3rd Dday was at 2 am on a Tuesday. By 6am, I told my sister and my brother in law. By 10 am STBX was out of the house, and by noon I had two good friends come to be with me and hear my story. The next day my STBX left with the OW on a 10 day trip he had planned with her, but left all his stuff behind. During those days, I moved out all his garbage (personal stuff) and I gathered all the information I would need for the divorce process. And I told EVERYONEm including cab drivers, house cleaner, hairdresser, school teachers, friends, family, cousins, colleagues, etc. So many bonding stories came from these conversations because absolutely everyone had a story about their own cheater or their parents, or someone close….and they gave great advice. None of the people who know my cheater sided with him…they were just VERY disappointed and mad at him –
    An interesting reaction was when I told two cheaters that I know had cheated on my friends (and they know I know) and they acted as if they had gone through the same side of the story (as if they were chumps!) and both asked me out to lunch to “talk about it.” Of course they never followed up on the invitation..The funniest incident was when I hired some guys to help me move my STBX´s junk out of the house and once they found out why I was moving his stuff and that I was a lawyer, they said that my husband was an idiot, and that they would invite me out for some drinks so I could find someone to cheat with, as a revenge on my cheater! As if that would solve anything…but it was all in great humor and made me laugh when I most needed it. In conclusion, talking about Dday with anyone and everyone has helped me to keep grounded, and to see my STBX as a “normal” cheater and not as the extraordinary person I thought he was. It also made me realize that the world is divided in only two types of people: cheaters and chumps. But the best part is, that today, on April Fools, and a Tuesday, three months after the Dday, I submitted my divorce papers and I am on my way to reach “meh” nirvana (though not quite there yet)…

    • Love that you submitted your divorce papers on April Fool’s Day. Some poetic justice in that. My divorce was granted on the exact day I married my ex, twenty two years later. I think that was the family court judge’s way of acknowledging the injustice done to me and my family. Those papers were signed on a Thursday. Family Court was held on Mondays and Tuesdays. 🙂

      • My divorce was finalized by the court on the same day we were married, I found that to be perfect karma

          • i think that with the best intentions never to be defeated, and a work ethic like a mule, Art somehow succeeded in defining me as the “Dumped wife” in this community.I could not fight the Supreme Court for approving the monstrous divorce, the obituaries were beyond my control,the gossips were jealous, and the money lots of it was very seductive. i am an eternal optimist. i will wait and then talk .would love to write a book on my incredible journey and the joys of determination love to all you are my special friends. thank you Tracy. we MUST have broad understanding of antisocial personality disorder we are all paying too high a price

  • In telling the truth you experience real freedom. My x insisted on the “happy family” front for years prior to discovery of the (first) affair. I, the easily manipulated chump that I was, went along with the charade. I didn’t tell anyone he was horribly abusive, not even family members. I isolated myself and kept my mouth shut. When the affair came to light, it was empowering to just tell the truth and expose him for who he really is.

  • I have read on various R sites, and articles warning about telling others of a spouses’ infidelity.
    Apparently , reconciliation, is much like an affair.
    Both need secrecy, to be successful.

  • I believe a lot of these narcs are good at controlling the narrative, isolating us first, to make us look crazy. My take in all this, when I did share, was that it weeded out those who were good for me and eliminated those from my life who were in some way challenged. It was such a relief to live truthfully. I get that real life makes some people uncomfortable but it’s not my job to sugarcoat my ex’s infidelity. My marriage was normal, up to a point. When he continued to disengage, choosing instead to share his life and intimacies with others, those were his choices, his character. Not mine.

  • I told everyone. Within two hours of the big reveal I had called the affair partners (all three), his best friend and then his mother, then I moved on to my family. I was so utterly freaked out and disgusted that I wanted the whole world to know. I was burning down his house of horrors and didn’t care if I went up in the flames. Afterwards, I suffered through false reconciliation until I recognized that I could never be intimate with him again… That’s when his mask came off and I ran like hell to an attorney. The mind-fuck of cognitive dissonance still raises it’s ugly head from time to time, but I don’t regret flipping the rock over and exposing it to the light of day. My pain was transparent and my grief impossible to hide. My disgust came a little later and now meh is drawing closer every day.

  • Yes. Telling. I told anyone I felt like telling. The two stuck people I know, don’t tell and don’t get on supportive websites. I knew these two people for years and they never told me anything until I told them about what happened to me. Telling creates support. The truth literally sets you free.

    • You became their Light out of the tunnel..
      Sometimes it Only Takes One to Help Free The Many.
      Soo Many Feel they are All Alone…
      Luckily, Though Very Sadly, as Well, We’re Very Much NOT Alone…but as One Gets Free and Meh, Others ,Too, Follow…and Heal.

  • I have too much to say but my situation was different than most so I don’t think it is helpful. The only bit that might inform others is if your spouse co-opted your friends and they are trying to be neutral. That’s what my ex did, I was fucked over hearing bullshit because he told them what was going on before I did, every time. Because they trusted his narrative they never heard mine, until he made allegations about me that they could not believe. Only then did they ask me what happened rather than just believing his shit. It was pretty fucked up. And yeah, it never occurred to me that I wasn’t saying my truth when he was telling them lies so perhaps it would have helped. But honestly, even when I tried I was dismissed because I was so “crazy” at the time.

    Anyhow, this thread has gotten heavy and I thought maybe we could all use something to remember that we are who we are. I give you this:

    Remember? I do, I feel so free and full of life – when I loose that feeling, I remember. Everything I’ve ever experienced made me who I am, the sweet and the sour, the good and the bad and in the end, I am me and I am alive and here I am. I’m still here and I still love sun on my face and birds in the trees and the cat purring and the peepers, the PEEPERS are singing because it is spring again. And there will be a spring every damn year, even after I am gone. I can’t even say how cool that is. I can’t begin to explain how much I want to do and be and see. Oh hell, I think I was being all spiritual or something there, or maybe I’m just at meh and want all of Chump Nation here with me.

    • Oh, Dat – thank you! For the video and the reminder that life is beautiful. We are heading towards winter in Australia but I had a moment this morning looking at the trees on the hill rising out of the fog when I just forgot my unhappiness and anger and I just was. I know there will be more moments like that as time moves on.

      • Rosie Boa, I remember the first time after dday (about 6 weeks after) that I forgot the awfulness my life for just a little bit. Maybe it was for 30 minutes? 45? I’m not sure. I got completely absorbed in a work project and when I snapped back to my reality, I just cried. I cried out of thankfulness that I was able to forget my pain, even if just for a little bit. And I cried from the pain that I again felt. But after that experience, I knew that there would be other times in the future that I would be able to forget just for a little bit, and it gave me hope.

        I am glad you had a moment where you were able to forget or a while too…

  • I didn’t put it all out there, with the exception of a few minor details to close family members and one friend. But I really didn’t stay stuck. I did my grieving, don’t get me wrong, but I progressed even more rapidly than I thought I might in the beginning.
    Some of that might be due to my journaling, and some of it might be because I started an anti-cheating page on facebook; but truly, I credit this site for my being able to get un-stuck fairly rapidly. Thank you, Chump Lady, and all the rest of you!

  • I told a lot of people, a real lot. Nothing really complicated about my motivation.
    Both XWs like to pretend they Re something they are not. I wanted to dispel that.
    I also wanted to make sure that there was no turning back from divorce.

  • I sang, let my chump flag fly and was honest with everyone in my life. It was necessary for me. I’d spent three years prior to D-Day with my mouth firmly glued shut about what I was really dealing with in my marriage. I kept it shut because I kept telling myself I could figure out how to solve the problems, and once they were solved, then all would be well with the world. The problems just got worse and worse, and I was a walking live wire of stress that was taking a serious toll on my health. It was extremely difficult for me to keep the truth from my friends and family. I’d isolated myself so I didn’t have to lie to them.

    When I made the decision to walk, I made the decision to be honest with everyone. Almost all were incredibly supportive and a real source of strength. It was hard to say my husband relapsed into stage 3 alcoholism, had been having a long standing affair, and bled my dry financially. It was embarrassing, humiliating, and I felt so very stupid and disappointed in myself.

    I connected with a kick ass therapist who got it and helped me out of the weeds emotionally. Honestly cannot say enough good things about my therapist, which I know isn’t the case for many who post here. She is a cut to the chase, no bullshit kind of therapist who looks out for me. I reconnected with friends who knew me well, knew the true me, and helped me find that woman again. My family was nothing short of amazing. Yes, there were difficult people in the midst. People who said, “can’t you just get over it?”, as though you can just shelve it all and keep moving forward. I dismissed them, even though it was hard with some because I thought they cared about me.

    I’m knocking on the door of my one year anniversary from D-Day. It’s amazing to think it’s been almost a year already. Seems like it just happened yesterday sometimes. I’m so grateful I sang like a bird, standing here now looking back. I do think it made a difference for me and being able to move forward with my life. My health, both physical and mental, has rebounded. There are days when something hits me….a question, a thought, a resentment…it happens. Fortunately these don’t linger in my thoughts and in my mind and toy with me. I’m able to look at what I’ve rebuilt and feel grateful. Checking in on chumplady gives good reinforcement. Chumplady: You have no idea how much your straight talk contributed to the rebuilding. Thank you for being here speaking your mind.

  • At first I only told my family, and I did that in a burst of utter devastation. I then slowly, after about a month revealed it to my boss and a few workmates. And then, I just blabbed to all. I remember being ANGRY AT THOSE I told (when I revealed that we were “reconciling”) and I was angry at them because of their “raised eyebrows” and comments of, “Yeah, sure….that’s a great plan, ” or “yeah, that will work out….”. I remember being angry at my mom for telling me to move on and that he wants “her” not you. My mom even told me that she would write me out of her will if I stayed with the “fucktard”. I was angry….. After a few more D-Days and a very false reconciliation, on July 17, 2013, I filed for divorce. My mom died suddenly one month later. She never got to see the final divorce certificate, but she was right and the people who raised their eyebrows were right. Mom, I will never forget your harsh words which ultimately saved my soul…….I love you and miss you, and I am on my way to “meh”

    • Tara,
      I don’t know if you believe in Heaven…but I do…and I Believe She KNOWS you left the cheater, and is Very Proud of you. I hope it is of Some comfort to you.
      Bless you on your Journey Forward. May Love Always be KIND to you from here on out.

  • Late posting to this. After dday, I kept quiet, for these reasons, in this order:

    I kept quiet …

    1) At dday, because I had hope, and was advised that telling people would mess up chances for healing the marriage
    2) For the months after dday, because I suspected he was still cheating, but I didn’t want him to be on high alert….I wanted him to ‘relax’ to see if he would continue cheating….which he did
    3) For the entire next 6 months, because I needed to get myself and our kids the hell out of my state, with his consent

    Now? I’m telling people, but in a reserved fashion. I’m not posting it on FB or anything. Just a few people, and just the facts.

    Honestly, I think keeping quiet for so long was really hard on me. I wish I could have just gotten it all out of my system, and gotten the support I needed, earlier on. If I had it to do over again, I would perhaps choose that route.

  • My older children 16 & 18 “outed” my stbx on his most recent affair with his “soulmate” My daughter suspected something because the OW called and texted him a lot and her picture would pop up on his phone. When she asked L about it he told her it was his sister. He was also gone all of the time he stated visiting with family and working on tractors.
    On another weekend getaway for him he left his overnight bag unattened for a few minutes. In there she found multiple love letters from Ow to my stbx. She did not tell me until the next day because my health is poor and “mom, I don’t want you to get sick again.” Afterwards, my son got into his fb and email accounts and found love letters, pics of them in bed together, their sex toys, etc.He also found evidence of other affairs. He hardcopied all of the info for me for use in court. To make a long story short, they found out on their own. If this had played out differently I would have shared some information but not all of the crap that they found regarding their father’s affairs. I did notify close friends and family members of his affair. He is a very good liar and most were shocked.

    All of his affairs involved women who were also married. I decided to share this information with the husbands of these women. the one husband that I was able to reach already knew about the affair. He stated that he wanted to tell me about it but that he did not think it was the right thing to do because we had a younger child together. I also notified the current OW’s mother of the affair. The OW has been threatening to sue and this started after I filed for divorce. She threw a complete hissy fit after I notified her mother of the affair. She is still threatening to sue. This coming from the woman who is still married to her husband but shacks up with mine every chance she gets. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that conversation with her mother.

    • That’s RIch…
      She even Tries to Sue YOU Cause you told the Truth that She’s a Cheating Whore, I Hope it’s on Open PUBLIC RECORD so EVERYONE Worldwide can Know..all Because She had to be a Vindictive Bitch who can’t WomanUp to HER OWN Disgraces.

      I’m Soo Sorry You’re going through this.
      My Best hopes for your Physical health…and Your Heart to heal from the Emotional and Mental hurt.
      **Hugs to you and your children**


  • It’s important to tell, because that allows you to control the narrative and get the truth out there before the disordered cheater spins reality into a web of lies.

    My ex sent a mass text message to everyone we knew, both friends and family, just 1.5 HOURS after walking out of our home on dday. The text said that they should all pray for us, as we had decided to separate and walk our own paths through life, or some such bullshit. This to announce the end of a 20-year marriage, which had been a strong one as far as anyone knew. This immediate action was important damage/image control for the ex. It allowed him to get the story he WANTED out there before I could talk to anyone.

    I told all my friends and family the truth. Over the next week or so, just about all of them got a text or email from the ex, thanking them for “being there for Glad” and subtly implying that I was a weak, crazy person who needed a lot of tending and caretaking.

    I don’t think you need to shout the truth from the rooftops, or take out a full-page ad in the newspaper, but I DO think you need to tell your close family and friends right away. This is a safeguard in case you weaken and decide to take the cheater back, or to deflect the rewriting of history the cheater is sure to engage in.

    • You are3 right and the families took advantage of my silence to oppose me and buy into Art’s description of me as the dumped wife. i was on poor terms with my father ,mother and sister when my father and husband died. However having said that in a community of dedicated “chumps” you may not get the Halleluyah Chorus. There is no sure way to deal with a sociopath except to learn how to recognize them and make sure that there is public awareness of how ruthless they can be.

      • You’ve gotta somehow learn to sing that Halleluyah Chorus YOURSELF….and Know the Angels in Heaven for Justice were singing Along with You when you Got Gone and Free from that Jerk.

  • Oh beautiful, wise Chump Lady!
    This post did me so much good as I have been spewing my story to anyone who will listen. Like so many others, I feel incredible gratitude to you for bravely putting your story out there so that other chumps can gain your wisdom and cultivate the indifference needed to move beyond these nightmares. I consider myself lucky having found your blog 2 weeks after my D-Day (almost 8 weeks ago), which confirmed long denied suspicions.

    I had found some reconciliation sites which were making me feel more miserable as my STBX was utterly flippant and remorseless. When I stumbled onto your site I felt a gigantic wave of anguish lift off me after reading only a couple of posts. It was amazing and I got out of bed for the first time in 24 hours and built a fire and read all the key posts repeatedly.

    I have continued reading this blog at almost any spare minute and it has done more to build my resolve and help me grasp my situation and, more importantly, what to do about it than anything else. It has been my lifeline and I cannot thank you and all the other chumps enough. I filed for divorce this week and my STBX has suddenly begun pleading for another chance, which I can now see right through.

    I’m in a therapy group and my sisters as well as several friends have been very supportive. I am looking forward to getting his crap out of my house and starting fresh. I see now how terribly miserable, fearful and depressed I’ve been for quite some time. I want to get myself and my 5 year old son as far away from that tortured existence as I can.

    I’m just starting down this path away from all this suffering and I know it won’t be easy. I needed someone to make me understand that all the energy I had been dumping into that fucked up relationship is now MINE and I can now go do something WORTHWHILE with that energy. You, Chump Lady have given me that understanding. I cannot thank you enough.

    • I am sorry you are in the same situation as all of us here, but so glad you found this site. I too am so thankful I stumbled upon this site (about 6 weeks post dday. dday was about 8 months ago). It has also been essential for me in my grieving and healing process. Chumo Lady’s writing makes things so clear and so do all the comments from this wise community of caring people…people who get it. Hang in there, CRHCHK. It sounds like you are taking the right steps, and things will get better as you start inching your way towards the other side of this nightmare…

    • is this more of the same from me? yesterday i brought a friend ofnmine to play here at the retirement building i got this building the lovely Kawaii concert grand , helped the CEO decide to rehab the entire building,the pianist who played yesterday was wonderful, has concertized for years, is head of the piano department at a major university, well it was lovely and some thanked me, some wandered in and out. later i saw a few of the “residents” mean as ever , and a “friend to whom i told some of my story. It was really “too much ” for her, so telling didnt work for me.Casting” pearls before swine “doesnt work either and the “Friend” wanted to know if Art was going to leave me money. i had never mentioned him to her, not sure how she knew his name. so i broke my piano glasses by accident, fired everyone again mentally, am told by my son and daughter to “Stay out of it” , which may be a blessing. with Celebrities not sure what works. blessings Muriel