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Why Is No Contact So Hard?

gingerA lot of chumps falter when it comes to no contact (NC). It’s the most maddening thing — your brain will be very clear on the “dump the cheater” message, but the heart is emotionally sloppy and dimwitted. Much like my Australian Shepherd who flings herself daily at the mailman in a love/hate frenzy. Every noon she flails against the glass door, barking crucial missives that the mailman tragically ignores. How dare you step on my porch! Open this door and pet me! Can’t you see how PRETTY I am? Watch me do my pretty dance! I have a frisbee! Do you like frisbees? I LOVE frisbees! Wait! Do not walk away from me! (I am, however, pleased that you have stepped off my porch.) COME BACK!!! GO AWAY!!!

And then as the mailman retreats, she pees on the carpet, heartbroken. Unlike the schnauzer who is just full of contempt for mail carriers. And cats. And the dog next door. If someone has a treat for him, however, he’ll shelf his withering disdain for a moment. Schnauzers are mercenaries. The shepherd is a chump. She never learns that mail carriers are just there to deliver mail and really don’t give a flip about her pathos.

“Come back!”, “go away”, and also “explain yourself!” comprise the mental tape loop of limbo — that state where you’re not really in, and not really out, because you’re still engaging with the idiot. Like my shepherd, you can’t decide if this person is your enemy or your love object. Why is it so hard to go no contact? Why the flailing? Why the drama? Chump Lady has some thoughts on this:

1. This shit is addictive. Very few people just walk away and quit someone cold turkey. Even someone they know is very, very bad for them. Humans are wired to bond with each other, and un-bonding is extremely painful. Science says so — romantic love lights up the same centers of the brain as addiction. And loss of romantic love makes us temporarily deranged. They say there is an evolutionary basis to this — loss of a mate has bad consequences for reproduction of the species.

Now, combine your hard wiring to bond, with your hard-wiring to feel great distress at losing a mate, and throw in the addictive nature of unpredictable rewards on your brain. (Lots of science on that too.) What do you get? A real biological disincentive to go no contact. Kicking a cheater to the curb can feel like kicking a drug. You’ll have to sweat it out and suffer withdrawal. You’ll feel distress that is at odds with your rational brain, much like an addict who is trying to quit a bad substance. “Shit. I know cigarettes are bad for me… I just want one last smoke! Arrgh!”

2. Cheaters hoover. Just as you may have to fight off strong urges to stay no contact, the cheater often knows how to play your weakened state for ego kibbles. As mentioned above, the irregular rewards of an inconsistent love can keep you hooked. You will give those kibbles greater importance (she called! he texted to wish me happy birthday!) because they are so infrequent and unpredictable. It’s classic that just as you’re 30 days clean on the no contact, the cheater will come fishing. They’ll flatter, or cajole, act like nothing ever happened. Or they’ll do the fake remorse-ishness.Beware. You’re of use to them. They want something. (Kibbles probably, or for you to screw yourself over in the divorce). Cheaters suffer withdrawal too — withdrawal of kibbles. NOT YOU. Pay attention to the distinction. You were a good source, then you went away! Maybe they can mine that vein again…

Chumps confuse kibbles sourcing for love all the time. You don’t have to scratch very deep to realize that it’s still all about them.

3. There’s something in you that needs to keep hope alive. This goes beyond not trusting that they suck. You may have abandonment issues. Something about this drama may feel familiar to some old family or relationship drama from your past that you feel is unresolved. Okay! I’ll just try harder THIS time with THIS person and I’ll get a different outcome! (i.e., they won’t leave me.) You’re consciously, or unconsciously reliving that hurt. Fuckedup and unrequited feels normal for you at some level. You’re used to trying really, really hard for very little reward.

I’ll save you the shrinkage costs on your FOO issues. You’re not that kid anymore. You don’t have to put up with shit. You have choices. You are not powerless. You can be choosey about the people you have in your life. Learn to draw boundaries. Learn to holler NO! Learn to prioritize people who treat you right, give them your time and energy — yeah, even if it feels weird and unnatural at first. Step away from the jerk with sparkles.

4. Flubbing NC is a re-enforcing cycle. The more you stay in contact, the harder it is to go no contact. On the flip side — the longer you go no contact, the easier it gets, bit by bit, day by day. Have faith that it’s going to get easier. I promise you, you are going to get to MEH (on a Tuesday, of course). You just need to stay consistent.

So that’s four reasons why it’s so hard. Now then, why is NC so important?

Because the only way you can heal from the mindfuck is to get away from the mindfuck. The single most important thing you can do to heal from infidelity is free yourself from mental slavery. (Thank you, Bob Marley.)  It’s very hard to clear your head when your abuser is right in front of you pretending to be normal for entire minutes at a time. Or worse, arguing with you about how this is All Your Fault. The cognitive dissonance between the person you love, the mindfuck, and your common sense can make your head explode. No contact mutes the mindfuck radio and lets you think for yourself again. You will start to feel like yourself again (remember that person?)

Manipulative people cannot manipulate you if you shut them down. They need something to work with, so if you deny them access to the inside of your head, it makes it much harder for them to manipulate you. No contact is your best defense against mindfuckers and it makes you stronger. Chumps, you need every ounce of fight you’ve got. Don’t give cheaters your head and your heart.

This column ran previously. I’m rerunning some columns while I’m busy toiling away updating the Chump Lady site. Feel free to post new comments! 

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  • Holy Mindfuck – did *I* ever need to read that post tonight. I keep sending emails to him (for ego kibbles?) and get ignored, over important issues. I’m trying to keep my emotion OUT of them, but sometimes I faulter badly. I absolutely need to go N/C. My stress is killing me slowly awaiting a non-answer from him. Thank you for this great post today, CL. It helped this CN member open her eyes a little more.

    • I don’t know if you have a lawyer or not yet, but that stuff needs to go through them. Mine keeps trying to hoover me in, & I just say, talk to my attorney.

      • If you have a lawyer, let him send the email, if these matters involve things that your cheater must do, like return property that belongs to you. The other thing to think about is that these issues can’t be that important to the cheater or he wouldn’t be giving you the silent treatment so he can get you to email him. Again and again. Jackass left a whole room full of furniture and I expended lots of kibbles getting things back to him. He said (in a very nasty response on Valentine’s Day to a polite message I had sent) he was sending a truck for the big items 4 months ago. Of course, he didn’t. Now they belong to me. So if this business doesn’t matter enough for him to take care of it, please yourself and resolve it your own way. Without any contact.

      • THIS!!!
        I know I’m getting sucked back in. My head says “run you fool you can now even see the greener grass” and my heart says “I need him this time it will be different.” My body is telling me “it won’t be, devalue and discard in the cruelest manner await!” I can feel the stress coursing through my body. I even have to stop and take deep breaths of air but it is ever present.

        • That’s not your heart talking, when you hear “this time it will be different.” It’s the “addictive nature to unpredictable rewards” talking. The best predictor of the future is the past. What he did in the past he will do in the future. If he was sometimes kind but often cruel, that pattern will repeat itself. If he devalued you once, there is no evidence that he “values” you again, other than the words and behavior of a liar. “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”

        • I ignored my body for a long time and stuck with her for 10 years I developed bad anxiety problems. But now that I am taking myself out of that toxic situation I am starting to feel healthy again physically and emotionally.

          • I am going to echo what lovedajackass said. Its just addiction calling you back for another hit on off the chump crack pipe. You have to make a decision. Do you want to get and stay clean from this toxic drug or do you want to remain an addict?

            Its just a bad habit calling you back. Don’t let it win.

      • So true.

        I have a kid and want to know how he is doing when he is with ex. I feel sick every time I ask, but I want to hear that my child is okay, especially if he is out of state.

        I wish I could be NC completely. It makes me sick every time I email or text no matter how short or business-like and always focused on my child it is. It makes me sick to be parenting with this individual.

        It’s a sense of deep dread. May God help me and my son.

  • It must predate my discovery of the chump lady because I don’t remember this one: hence it’s new to me!

    NC is a learned behavior to be sure. The longer you go without it (contact), the easier it gets. Sometimes it’s a battle since I was married for 27 years but I win it the majority of the time. What I have found however is that even necessary contact sets me back….and I mean wayyyyyy back!

    Fortunately for me, my children are grown so ‘necessary contact’ does not occur that often. Unfortunately for me, like many others I know with grown children, our two have not “failed to launch” but they haven’t been tremendously successful at it either. My 27 year old is my “roommate” as he works toward his MS in clinical social work. I am happy to provide him with free room and board but I can’t exactly ask for child support either and it’s expensive to have a roommate who doesn’t share in any portion of the bills.

    Recently his 8 year old car needed a whole new set of back break pads, two new rotors, a new caliper and a muffler to boot. Cha ching! That bill came to $1,100.00 that I was not planning on, so I had to force my tail between my legs and ask the ex to chip in half-the very least he could do since I’m footing the bill for pretty much everything else. I had to be nice, overlook the fact that the shoddy break job he did with the next door neighbor ‘car mechanic’ the year before was mostly to blame; and basically eat shit so I could him to contribute half to this project. It worked. He was very accommodating and gave me half the bill without question.

    The incidental contact that I had to have for that 2-3 days just about killed me even though it was very necessary. It sucked and it’s taken the better part of 3 more weeks to ‘get over it.’

    I’m just starting to feel a modicum of normalcy again and just pray to whatever deity is available that I don’t have to do it again any time soon! Rock on with NC chumps. It’s the only way to go!!

      • The kid wanted dad to do his brakes again for “free” but when he did that last year, he wound up putting a fried caliper back on and the kid drove it so long like that the brake line blew and he lost all four brakes. He was lucky he didn’t die in an accident. Our eldest son is deaf so he can’t hear when metal starts grinding on metal….great decision on his dad’s part.

        I over ruled everyone and sent his car to a certified brake repair service so the ex couldn’t almost kill him again. Like I said. It was the least he could do! I can eat a shit sandwich in order to protect our son.

        • But … why were you asking for your grown son? It’s his car and his dad and his responsibility. I say this as gently as posssible, because this is an ongoing conversation I have with my friends. You are providing room and board as your son seeks his advanced degree. You should not also be required to navigate his financial negotiations with his dad.

          • I agree, friend!

            My children are all officially adults now, and I do not speak to their nasty father about anything, ever. If they need money or other help from their father, they have to ask him, for I will not.

            That means I do eat a lot of their expenses on my own, which is definitely not equitable, but I do what I have to do.

            Try it! It may save you a lot of heartache!

            • When you have been married to a Narc Cheater the mindfuck goes on and on. For example the same man who told me “to figure it out” in regards to son’s first year of college and who stole money from his son’s account is the same man who paid for my son to go fishing with him and his new Owife whore. Ask me how successful my son is in dealing with his absent father of five years. The one who acts like nothing bad happened. Try telling your 23 year old son that the person who walked out on him SHOULD matter. I want to protect my kids. All three believe this man SUCKS, truth is they are all high on HOPIUM. My ex is NO good father. He just NEEDS KIBBLES. Meanwhile all three of our kids are destroyed and IT’S BEEN FIVE YEARS! Seems to me both parents should contribute towards getting their children off to independence. I would bet my next paycheck that when a divorce occurs in adolescence (12 to 25, yes twenty five!) you can bet only the responsible “sane” adult will be supporting them. My ex’s pro rata share of support is equal to mine but his salary is four times what I bring in. And those adolescents will be later than their intact family peers at getting out into the real world because guess what? they are too busy dealing with that mindfuck fallout. How can the world be a safe place when everything you knew is GONE?! Your home, your friends, your community, your family… I do get that he was abusive and that my marriage was one big fat lie but my children will not recognize this hurt until it happens to them. I love my children but they are really struggling and it breaks my heart. I want them to set boundaries and ex gets off on manipulating them. I can not wait till they understand that they need to go NC on anybody TOXIC, even if that means dear old dad.

              • When we had the temporary child support/spousal support hearing on June 30th, STBX and his attorney actually threw our 20 year old daughter under the bus. She is a full time college student who will graduate in December, and works a part time job. We had no money to pay for our kids’ college educations, so she took out several student loans. We have always helped her out financially as much as we could while she is a full time student. We had said that once she graduates she is on her own. Over the summer she chose to move in with her boyfriend to save on room/board at college..a LOT less money she had to borrow this year. Well the assfart said that she was technically on her own now because she did that. Hello? She’s still a full time student! He decided not to help her out; I still am, as much as I can. (Which she feels horrible about, by the way). At the hearing, he and his attorney actually used it against me that I am still helping her financially! He threw it in my face that “we agreed not to help her blah blah blah”. Several times that was repeated as I sat on the witness stand! What kind of asshole throws his own daughter under the bus, to try to get out of paying me child support/spousal support? And the kicker? He makes 3 1/2 times more money than I do!

              • Oh!duh. Ex pays nowhere near a pro rata share. His contribution matches mine. My income about 20k a year part time, his? Over 100k. Not including the new wife. Lol

            • Ladies,
              We are talking about an irresponsible asshole who poorly fixed his sons car so that it had NO BRAKES! I don’t think Cheaterssuck was wrong in this case in making sure that her son didn’t crash and die in a car accident due to lack of brakes. Clearly her adult son doesn’t have proper perspective on the situation and I see nothing wrong in what she did in this case. Her son should understand that his Father is not a good mechanic and therefore should not be fixing his car and putting his life at risk for being an idiot!

              There seems to be an ever running theme with this fucking assholes (excuse my language but that’s how I feel about the lot of them both male and female), the complete lack of care or worry about anyone and most especially their immediate family! It friggin turns my stomach.

        • This is a simple fix. Tell your son “I will pay for 1/2 but it has to go to someone certified this time or this is the last money you see. Call your father and tell him you need the other half from him.” And let me say, gently, as someone who worked full time through the master’s degree and part-time through the Ph.D., that your son needs at least a part-time job to cover his own expenses. If he is deaf, it might be harder to find that part-time job, but doing so will greatly aid his move to independence.

          • He worked full time for the first two years (he’s in a part time program) but once his internships started, he couldn’t do that anymore. He works per diem now so he gets some money. I told him this was the last time I could help him like this and he would need to do a better job saving his money since I pay for everything except gas, tolls and insurance for his car. He buys his own food too but he really needs to plan better and save more since his car is aging.

            • You’re a great mom, cheaterssuck!

              It’s always hard to know what to do. I know I don’t have all the answers. I’m making mistakes. We want what’s best for our kids. Certainly having one parent up-end their lives is not helpful, and it also makes our jobs even more difficult.

            • I’d agree you’re okay to put more responsibility on your son. As a 26 year old myself, my parents let me move back in with them when I was a single mom. They gave me a free space to live and grandma was my daycare, but I paid for my gas, half (if not all) cost for car repairs (sometimes my dad fixed it himself), all my clothing and other necessities, my daughter’s diapers/wipes/food/other needs, phone, babysitters etc. I was working full time (part time for some of it) and in grad school too. He can take out a loan for a new car himself if that be the case. It can be easy to feel guilty b/c your son had to go through x, y, z b/c of your stupid ex. Be mindful of when that guilt card might be making you offer more than is necessary. I got overage checks in the mail when I was in grad school b/c I was low-income and that’s the form of aid they had for grad students. Had I been in undergrad I would have qualified for the Pell Grant but as a grad student there are fewer options for aid.

            • i totally get that you helped your son out. i comMend you are playing nice with the ex so he would pay half. GOOD FOR YOU!! I know that wasnt easy. i am 46 years old, been on my own since i was 22 and my parents will STILL help me out with money whenever they can. no problem with that. i agree that since your ex didnt care enough to do the brakes right the first time, you did the right thing. sometimes people think that just because the kid is over 18 years old they should “know” how to be adults. not everyone knows how to be an adult. i help mine do the simplest things just because he didnt “THINK” of it himself. i have no problem helping out your kids when they need you for as long as they live, not just until they turn 18. to me that is a bunch of crap.

              it is too bad you had to sweet talk and console your ex husband, father of the son to do what he should have been doing in the first place. i wont want father to work on my kids car either. Being a parent doesnt stop when the kids turn 18 and your sons father SHOULD be volunteering to help son out without having to be begged.

              i am impressed by your actions. by making sure your son is driving a safe car, by sucking up your pain and hurt just so you can get the father to do the right thing and by telling us your story.


              • mrsvain, I like this! “it is too bad you…” had to communicate to ex “what he should have been doing in the first place.” It’s as if our children, the exact moment he walked out, stopped needing a place to live, food in their bellies, rides to school, clothes on their backs, necessities, tuition (yeah state of Ca colleges usually require parental contribution until your dirtbag ex ditches you and you now fall under poverty guidelines), and medical, dental, and eye care copays. While I am totally guilty of helping my kids out too much at times our situation takes the cake. Who knew all the money would not go towards necessities (the mortgage mindfuck! Lol) but to his relationship with his latest truest love. And to this day my kids and I scramble. We KNOW we got this even though our debt now is overwhelming. I know the day will come when my children realize just how completely he fucked us over for his new life. Sandy R. In my final settlement I placed over half of my alimony into an Ed fund controlled by me for our two youngest, tax liability is less and I knew my alimony was going to pay my kids’ college expenses anyway (it amounts to grocery money or bills that need to be paid, just a small fraction of what school costs but it helps!) It also allowed my Narc ex to believe in some twisted way that while he was supporting our children he could actually screw me out of alimony; he tells the kids this is his contribution to them every chance he gets. I actually forced his hand re settlement and negotiated it all by myself, my lawyer was shocked at how much he paid especially as our patriarchal family court is against any SAH parent, aka “able bodied spouse,” collecting spousal support. But my ex had plenty of dirty secrets that no good peace officer should and I used those against him. So get creative and if you have known this man for any length of time use that knowledge to negotiate for what you need. I could never throw my kids under the bus, it’s enough to have one parent walk out, and financially we all need a little help. Such a cluster!

              • thank you drew. it is something i am currently dealing with because my XH is not paying any child support. he has quit his job where i knew he was working. i am sure he is working now but i dont know where to even send the garnishment papers. but i am confident that God will provide.

                in all actually, my financial situation really hasnt changed. apparently i was doing it all on my own anyway. or at least carrying the bulk of it. ya, we are still struggling. but so far my head is still above water. it would make it easier if he paid,. and i cant figure what the fuck he is thinking. but oh well, just another hard lesson learned that he is a jerk and an asshole and doesnt deserve me or these boys.

          • Brakes, LOL. Yeah my ex left me with our boat, two cars, a ranch truck and my son’s vehicle. And ALL needed stuff like registration, tires, etc. Amazing how you just start selling shit, or giving it away because you realize you can’t afford it!

    • Cheaterssuck, I know what you mean. My husband likes to call me to chat. Just to have a fucking friendly chat and gossip, which I used to love, of course. But I’ve finally told him for several months now that we must communicate via email or text only because after I hang up with him I am profoundly depressed for weeks! He, naturally, has no idea why I don’t want to be his best bud. CLUELESS.

      • Moving Liquid – he wants to Chit Chat? omg. That would set me back too. Don’t even engage unless it’s all business. M/F – is all that ever turns out to be. Hopium. Don’t even take the bloody call.

      • ML-mine still doesn’t get it either. At first I tried to explain it but it was about as fruitful as a dog chasing his own tail. They never get and they never will. When I finally figured out that it wasn’t my job to teach him or make him understand, I started getting some peace.

        As far as I’m concerned, we will not be “friends” and I don’t have to explain it because “he’s not the boss of me”. When I threw that line at him he shut right the fuck up. They really don’t like it when you use their logic against them.

        Stay strong ML. We chumps are mighty!!

        • They like to stay in touch whether it’s a negative or positive interaction. It’s part of their game & if you let them, they stay forever.
          No Contact is especially hard if you have children because they use them so, the less you actually deal with them the better if you can?
          I wrote notes to put in overnight bags etc…very tiring but, at least I didn’t have to talk to him. He would still call to ‘check’ etc…drove me insane!
          The next Socio in my life, calls & hangs up etc…still has women on hold 28 years later!!!
          That’s just the tip of the iceberg but, he’s a master narcissist & well into his life plan of search & destroy & leave them begging for more….I am free 😉 Yay me! 🙂 🙂

        • A chatty email, text or phone call from your ex is SO…well, not even passive aggressive. It’s just aggressive. It’s so clearly all about him (or her), with no regard for what you might actually want. Reminds me of this excellent quote from Tracy’s sister-in-law’s book, “Smile at Strangers”:

          “And that [how bad it normally feels to have someone say ‘no’ to you] started me thinking about the mind-set of people who keep asking for things, in normal life, even after people tell them ‘no.’

          “I always thought of them as annoying — the pushy guys in bars, the aggressive panhandlers, the telemarketers. But if they can keep asking me for something even when they know I don’t want them to, well…

          “Wow, those people are assholes. And they deserve to be told ‘no,’ and not a single thing more.”

          All’s I can say, Tracy, is that between you, your husband and his sister, y’all must have fabulous table talk at Thanksgiving. You all freaking rock.

      • Moving Liquid, my ex will go through periods where he wants to chat like we’re besties too. Well, how it works is we have kids (so hard to go no contact) so he’ll call to talk to them, then ask to talk to me about something them-related, and then trails off into talk about movies/books/people we know/etc. The thing is, he must just want to talk to someone or hear himself talk and sound SOOO knowledgeable about things because I’m not paying the least bit of attention. “Uh huh. Yeah. Wow. Interesting. I’ve got to go. Really? Nice. I’ve really got to go.”

        We’ve been divorced for 5 years – his AP dumped him (ha ha!), and he’s been through several GFs since, so I think those times are when he’s got no one again and/or his friends are sick of him.

      • I’ve been doing really well with NC for the last month, which is impressive for me, lol. However, the times that I do need to speak with him (we have 3 children) he acts like absolutely NOTHING is wrong..and like nothing ever happened! He’ll talk in that old familiar tone (we’ve been together 26 years) just like we’re a normal married couple. And it doesn’t even phase him that I answer with basically “yes” “no” or “ok”. It amazes me that he can care so little about what he did, and act like it didn’t happen. I just don’t get it.

  • I have the least amount of contact I can get away with under the circumstances. Later, when the money is settled I’ll go full NC. I hope when he’s got his settlement money he leaves MY town so I can have it back. Then he can eft off to anywhere he likes.

    Tomorrow I have the joy of selling the last nice piece of jewelry I own so that I can maybe retain an attorney. My god when did they get so expensive? If I can’t raise enough, I don’t know what I’ll do.

    The head knows NC is good. My heart, not so much. I’m just putting up with the VERY stupid heart and hope it will catch up soon.

    Being busier than I am now helps immensely.

    But sometimes I wonder if I won’t truly let him go until I have filled his place in my heart.

    • If he is guilty of infidelity then see an attorney, explain the circumstances and the attorney should see to it that he gets the bill.

    • Moving Liquid, do not tell him it hurts to talk to him. Just tell him you are not interested in any communication other than financial, otherwise you are still giving him what he wants. And if you can’t let him go until you find someone new to fill your heart you need to find out why you cannot be content with you before you replace him. My opinion only. Super Jedi hugs hon!

    • I just saw my STBX kissing his 20 yrs younger “friend” down the street from my house. Earlier that morning he was texting me that he wanted to look at pics from our old cruise vacations. The day before he text “hey baby taking the boy to the beach”. Even tho I know it’s over and do NOT want him back it hurt to see what I saw. Now I’m NC despite his attempts at fighting even tho I didn’t say a single word to him about it. He saw me and so did she so I’m sure he expected me to freak out and I didn’t. He has repeatedly text me “woman scorned” and I ignor it but it all hurts. I hate that those semi normal texts gave me something. I’m trying to retrain my brain. It’s all we can do is stay away from it because it makes things harder. Good luck to you!

      • Michelle I have the same experience with my STBX, he sends me emails begging to get back together and a few days later a friend saw him out on a date. You were right not to confront him or freak out…I wasn’t that strong at first. It’s so hard to retrain the brain to MEH.

        Now I just glance at the “happy birthday” or “what’s up” texts and emails, and just delete them. Try to pretend they’re junk mail and don’t let them take up space in my brain.

        • I wasn’t always that good about it, but it felt good despite the hurt to not give him the satisfaction of him knowing how I felt. Silence speaks louder than words. I like your way of looking at the texts as junk mail! Toss ’em in the garbage can where trash belongs!

        • so did I, get this, he was texting back and forth with some new chick and when they were done texting for the night he starts texting me, how much he misses and loves me, wants to get back what we had, cant stop thinking about me blah blah blah….I don’t know how, but his smart phone sent me their conversation into my email and 15 minutes later this loser is texting me with his bullshit! I knew he was a loser but that left me speechless and he is much much worse than I ever thought!! SMH….

        • That’s what mine did, and on occasion, continues to do. What I learned, the hard way of course, is that “I miss you so much” translates to “I’m drunk and horny and didn’t meet anybody on this week”.

          When they contact you, it’s all about kibbles. It’s a trick….there is no sincerity in anything they say or may seem to feel. It took me around 30 times of falling for it before I got wise. The only thing you can be sure of is that they WILL disappoint you.

          • AND It took you around 30 times of falling for it before you got wise?? seriously “Einstein” what’s wrong with you? 😉 joking aside, what you said is sooooooo true, when they text and say “I miss you” it means they are horny and seeing if you will fall for it.

          • My ex tried this with me too at first. I made it clear that I was thoroughly disgusted by him. I could not even imagine being physically intimate with him. Think Uma Thurman in Kill Bill ripping out the tongue of her rapist after she came out of a coma. Now I feel: What in the world did I see in this small self-righteous lying shit. His character has infused his physical being.

    • Moving Liquid, I think it works the other way. You have to kick him out of your heart. Then there is room for someone new, once you’ve healed. I’ve been lucky, since Jackass decided to punish me with the silent treatment once I caught him and MOW, I don’t have to worry about no contact on his side. But the biggest problem for me has been kicking him out of my head. I have found a mental ritual that works if I start to think about him or the MOW (I put the thought in a box, wrap it with that moving tape, mark the thought on the side of the box, put the box on a shelf in a closet, close the closet door, and lock the door to the room with the closet. The lock on the room has a number code, so after a few days, all I had to do with think of the number code or say it out loud, and it all locks up again. I’m sick of having him in my head for even a minute a day. And I am never going to heal enough to date responsibly if I don’t get over this betrayal. So I am all in on evicting him from my brain space. The heart, I think, got the message a long time ago because I have done a very good job of revising my history with this guy so that the smirking, the lying and gaslighting, the FB page, and his smug MOW have become the key points in my 30+ year experience, because these facts point objectively to the truth of who he is. ML, you are a strong woman; you don’t need this guy in your heart or head.

      • Thanks, LAJ. I will admit that I must be stronger than I give myself credit for, but it’s not easy or fun. I’m sure you’re correct that I need to expel him from my heart and be whole and healthy in order for my next relationship to be whole and healthy.

    • Do what you can to get an attorney, it is worth it..the cheater will go as low as they can to get out of financial responsibility, I’m talking from experience. STBX wanted to work it out without attorneys. Oh sure, you bet he did. Because he figured it would be easy to screw me over! Well, I am 45 years old. My Dad borrowed me the $2500 retainer fee. I feel horrible..I didn’t ask..but he chose to help me out so I could protect myself and our children. I intend to pay Dad back,, even if I have to pay him $25 a month for the rest of my life. Lo and behold..STBX helped me out financially for about the 1st month, and then it got less and less, and then he gave me nothing at all. Thank God for my attorney..he got us into court and rewarded temporary child support and alimony. This is temporary..and had I not had an attorney, I wouldn’t be getting a damn dime from STBX. And of course, during the hearing, STBX’s attorney made him look like this poor, overworked creature. But here’s the thing: He stopped paying every damn bill that we have, knowing that I would be responsible and do what I could myself. Not ONE damn bill! He makes triple my salary! And yet he is sooooooo poor…WTF. Judge saw right through his “poor me” charade, thank God. Now I am struggling to catch up as best as I can, since I spent months trying to pay bills with no help from STBX. He has now called up our daughter in college to complain that since he has to pay me sooooo much money each month, he has none.. He doesn’t even have money for his monthly medicine. Hello…his medicine costs $25 per month. Yep. $25 per month. My thoughts? The OWhore realizes that Mr. Moneybags doesn’t have so much anymore since he actually has to pay his wife of 25 years child support and a small amount of alimony. I think she sees her meal ticket flying out the window, because during their entire 3 year affair he’s paid all of her bills and bought her a shit ton of gifts. You should hear the names my parents call him when I speak wit them..I don’t think I can even repeat them here, lol!

        • I am so glad things went in your favor Sandy. $2500 retainer sounds good. Lawyers here have quoted me $15,000! Which is why I keep trying to settle in mediation. Am I missing something? Is it because I am in New York?

          • Well I live in the middle of cornfields in Iowa, lol..I’m assuming because of my location it’s cheaper to hire an attorney. Kind of off topic guys..but I have to get this off my chest! Today my attorney and I received the actual financial records for the past 3 years, the entire time of the affair. I knew that I would eventually see it all, but you guys..I had NO idea how much he spent on her! Truly! And now that I see the things he bought? Paying her cell phone bill every month; buying her jewelry; many, many motel rooms; constantly eating out and drinking at the bar; writing her actual checks, for what I don’t know; it goes on and on. I could sit here all day and list the things he’s spent all of OUR money on the past 3 years. I thought I was slowly getting to a better place emotionally, but today that damn reality smacked me right in the face again. I am literally sick to my stomach, and of course now I’m dwelling on it all. Any ideas you all have to boost myself back up?

            • It’s not really a boost, but luckily there are records so you can recover your part of that spent money. My STBX withdrew small amounts of money from the ATM (which I didn’t suspect since he traveled for work a lot) and then had a colleague send the combined amounts to his mistress on the other side of the world. He flew her around Asia and Europe showing her off to colleagues when he traveled (who thought he was ridiculous but in his arrogance thought they envied him) and taking weeklong vacations after his conferences/work, So much lying and gaslighting. What bothers me more than the money is the underhanded way it was done. And he sure didn’t care enough about the kids since that was their college tuitions.

              • “What bothers me more than the money is the underhanded way it was done. And he sure didn’t care enough about the kids since that was their college tuitions.”
                So true! What really pisses me off is that all the money he was spending on their “love” affair should have been going to the kids and me. He left me hanging month after month, trying to pay the bills on the amount he decided to give me each month..of course, after he spent most of it on her. I got the same excuse..things are slow, things will pick up, blah blah blah. Amazing how stupid I have been. And I thought that I was intelligent. Guess I fooled myself, huh?

  • That’s right, the longer you go no contact, the easier it gets, then one day you realize you don’t give a shit about that low life cheater anymore and you wouldn’t be able to believe yourself, how you actually let this cheating fucktard made you sad, cry and you will wonder why the fuck you didn’t dump his/her cheating, lying ass in the first place from the get go. I know why I didn’t, because I was constantly lied to, gaslighted, mindfucked, I just couldn’t believe someone can claim to love me so much yet fuck someone else, I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t loved and I was just of use, but once you go no contact and the longer you stay no contact everything becomes so very clear to you and once you “truly trust that they suck”, NC becomes piece of cake!

  • The thing about NPD is not just the love bombing. That’s bad enough. But what they do is learn everything about you–not because they give a rat’s ass–but because it’s information that they use to either hoover you back in or destroy you.

    Shechump, your XH sounds a lot like mine. He knows you want an answer, and he knows from his years with you that it drives you crazy not knowing. He does it on purpose. In his mind, you are CHASING HIM.

    I got that a lot. If I merely said hello to him if I saw him out somewhere, it was because I followed him and was chasing him. He would make shitty remarks like “I need to check to start using a different store!” As if I am there deliberately, just to wait with bated breath in case he shows up at the oil change place.

    It’s just another mindfuck—they like it and they know you are bothered by it. When you’re bothered by it, that means that they are CENTRAL again.

    It was harder than hell for me at first, because he seemed so…….normal… times. For whole minutes at a time. Sometimes for a whole day. But then the shitty remarks, the ones that he shrugged off as “just a joke” or “i didn’t mean it that way” would come back and I remembered what an utter waste of oxygen he really is.

    Nice dog!

    • Ugh! Mine has now started making comments to me about my male neighbor like I’m screwing around with him. Then he writes “just joking with you” or “obviously I’m joking”. It’s like he wants me to confirm to him that I’m not doing anything with this guy, which I’m NOT, but I refuse to deny any of it because why should I put his mind at ease. “Just a joke”…. What assholes.

  • Moving Liquid – ‘But sometimes I wonder if I won’t truly let him go until I have filled his place in my heart.’

    ^^This. I think all us betrayed folks have to figure out a way to fill this huge hole. I try to throw some dirt on it everyday and the maggots seem to come and take what I’ve added away on their little maggot-trains. One load thrown; 1/2 of it comes back and hits me in the face like hitting a big pile of dog shit with the lawn mower that throws it all over my face.
    Their motives? – as we’re coming close to grabbing him by the balls amaze me. He’s nice one day when he wants to pay less on support, and when I say no – that’s when the b/s starts to hit my face.

    • Shechump, look and think of it this way; when they are hot, they are manipulating, when they are cold, they are showing their true colors…

    • Fill that hole by loving yourself and your own life. If you have been living with or in love with a narcissist, you have a long backlog of your own needs that you should address. What makes you happy? What kind of life do you want? I wouldn’t throw dirt in that hole–I would excavate it completely and use that space for building the foundation of my new life. I would be very careful about what I put in that space and make everything I allow in my life, everything I add to it, necessary and precious. It took me a while to get to that point, and I am still learning how to keep the focus on me, not “me + some narcissistic jackass.” But that’s the goal–to create a life I love.

      • I like how you put this:
        “I wouldn’t throw dirt in that hole–I would excavate it completely and use that space for building the foundation of my new life. I would be very careful about what I put in that space and make everything I allow in my life, everything I add to it, necessary and precious.”

    • yep i totally agree!! my XH would always be super nice and charming when he wanted something. here i would be thinking “finally we can talk decent to each other” but as soon as i didnt give him what it was he was being so nice about, then the asshole came back out and everything i said was twisted and it was all my fault again. i would end up being back on square one.

      i finally realized that when he was nice it was only because he wanted something from me and would hang up. now i dont take any of his calls. (or at least the unknown numbers that randomly call my cell phone being as i dont know his new number) so heard it from the grape vine that i am now keeping him from seeing his kids. wow!!

  • Great Post CL 🙂
    Excellent & all true & NC is the only way to go.
    If I were a dog, I’d lick you 🙂
    How about a big non-stop tail wag 😉
    I am Australian so, no more Frisbee’s for me 😉
    I got my own ball now 🙂

  • buttercup – ‘Shechump, your XH sounds a lot like mine. He knows you want an answer, and he knows from his years with you that it drives you crazy not knowing. He does it on purpose. In his mind, you are CHASING HIM.’

    Jeezus buttercup – you sure hit the nail on the head. He LIKES giving me crickets when it comes to the settlement that I just want over. We are >this close< to resolving and he wants mediation now? I don't know if my stress levels can handle it. So – more running, more dogs, more friends, – anything to take my mind off the fact he's fucked up my head for over 2 yrs and now, and a third summer. Fuck him.
    You are right – he likes my CHASE. That's just WHAT I needed to hear tonight. Thanks.

    • My ex pulled the mediation, do it amicable even tho I had a protective order, I gave him four months to settle and he fucked with me, I filed. If you’ve been bullshitting around with your stbx for two years and NOW he wants a mediator? Fuck that, file, he will have to do a hell of a lot of shit to deal with that, he’ll have to pay a lawyer to do it, I’m kinda betting you have been spending all the money on writing and rewriting the settlement with your lawyer while he spends nothing. That’s how my ex was playing me. Once I filed it took very little time to get his signature.

      • Yeah, file. And then tell him when he squeaks that the best offer was the one you made before you filed.

  • This post reminds me of some good old Tennessee wisdom from a mentor of mine as I was facing the ecclesiastical trial to keep my minister’s license (because I was divorced). He told me what his granddaddy would say: “If you tell them everything you know, then they know what you know AND what they know.” It was something like that. The point is that it pays to give less information, especially in touchy situations. I think this is real applicable to dealing with cheaters who like to play with chumps’ heads. It is sick that the world has people like this who do these things, but it is better to face that reality and protect oneself than continue being chumped.

    • GREAT advice!!

      And it goes back to the point about keeping appropriate boundaries with everyone, but especially with toxic people.

      I will repeat–just because someone asks or demands something of you, doesn’t mean you must oblige. Consider your replies carefully. Practice saying, “No,” or variations of it, and just letting the silence drift. You don’t have to fill every void–it’s not your job, and it doesn’t help you. You can ignore inappropriate requests, or only give information that you choose to give. You are not your ex’s personal assistant any more.

      • I loved this! I’m finally going NC after the most recent drama and now I’m being accused of not letting him talk on the phone to our son. He sees him on average of 6 hrs a week so whenever he feels guilty or just gotten over he will call to touch base with the 6 year old/ me. If we are in the middle of something or with friends I’ve stopped putting my son on the phone if he doesn’t feel like talking. We have stopped “jumping” when he barks orders. My son still talks to him, but when its an appropriate time. If there were no cell phones it woukdnt be an issue. But of course it’s because I’m a “woman scorned”. He is such a loser.

        • He must have forgotten the “hell hath no fury” part…. Fuck him.
          My STBX does stuff like that too. I call it “hoop jumping”. He wants to see how fast & high I will jump for him – he’s such a good manipulator – “will you do me a favor?” then if I don’t, it’s just proof to himself of what an unreasonable bitch I am. I stopped taking his phone calls. He can leave a msg if he wants to – & if I deem it necessary to respond will do via text. Has really helped my stress levels.

          • I actually think the original quote is pretty awesome:

            “Heav’n has no rage like love to hatred turn’d
            Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’s.”

            Tell him to be afraid. Be very afraid!

          • Just established a more definitive boundary on that this morning. No more texting me in the morning to just tell me when he will call my son and then ask “what are you doing”. I always felt it was just a way to “poke me” to remind me he was still there. I ignored 80% of them but now it will be 100% ignored. I need to get rid of some of the stress he gives me. It’s not necessary to have any contact unless it pertains to son or finances.

            • He’s not checking in, he’s checking up.

              “What are you doing,” is for partners or friends. He’s not your friend, because he fucks other women, and therefore he has no claim to what you are doing, or anything else that is yours, for that matter.

              • I’ve used a similar line recently with ex in response to “why can’t we be friends?”
                So I set him straight but what do you say when they want to engage in an argument and say things like “but I’ve stopped doing that.” Or “will you be punishing me for the rest of my life?”
                I’m all about witty comebacks but sometimes I get stuck because I really just want to punch him instead.
                Need a one liner for “but I did that a year ago.”

              • I have so man great comebacks and it’s hard holding them back because I just hate him so much. I want him to hurt. But he’ll never hurt as hard as me. What hurts him the most is to be ignored so I’m doing that now. What stinks about that though is that it doesn’t make him stop and in some ways it makes him scary. Probably because with my comebacks I may feel I have a little control in the “argument”. Regardless, I’m staying silent.

              • As I’m going through all the replies right now he has texted me 10+ times and I’ve ignored every one of them. He actually has asked if I’m getting any and then said “yes, I’m being a douchebag this morning”. He’s supposed to come at noon to be with our son. I’m going to continue to ignore him. He’s just absolutely insane.

        • The great thing about phones today (both cell and landline) is that you know who is calling. Set up a regular time for phone calls and when he calls let your son do the answering. My guess is the calls will diminish when you aren’t in the mix because talking to a 6 year-old on the phone is not much fun.

          • Thank you! I will set it up that way permanently. The phone calls with my son last a total of 2 minutes on average so it definitely won’t need to involve me.

        • GAH! That whole, “woman scorned” is bugging the shit out of me. You said it in a previous post, too, and it got under my skin.

          What an arrogant prick!

          He’s saying it to provoke you. It’s a no-win situation. If you don’t reply, you feel like you accept that description. If you protest, “Uhp! See?! Woman Scorned!” Well, fuckhead, when your partner cheats and abandons you, yes, it’s very painful–to anyone with a heart or soul, which cheaters and OPs lack.

          So I think you have to ignore him, and NOT take the bait. He uses the term to manipulate you, to provoke a reaction that “proves” his point, to satisfy his need to believe he still controls you. He is using classic bully tactics–name-calling. He’s like a brat with a new weapon, so pleased with himself. Don’t give him the satisfaction. In these situations I like to realize the provocation for what it is, then study it scientifically. Take your own emotion out of it, because it’s not about you. So, every time he says, “Woman scorned,” think about what may have caused him to say it. Is he feeling ignored or insecure? Probably. Good! Is he feeling anxious? Good! Is there a consistent pattern you can see in which he uses it? Every time he says it, he’s taunting you–ask yourself, what’s wrong with a person who taunts someone they just hurt? He may be trying to deflect blame for his general shittiness. This is the tactic of, “See? She’s so difficult and hysterical, a Woman Scorned, that it’s no WONDER I cheated.” But, of course, SHITTY people cheat, and normal people get hurt from it.

          So remove yourself from his line of fire. If he lobs it, let it drop, then examine it. Don’t catch it and carry it or try to toss it back. Just let it flop.

          Don’t answer his phone ever. Let it go to voice mail. You don’t belong to him any more. This will make him crazy, and the taunts will ramp up. Be on the lookout for it, realize it’s a sign of his desperate frustration, and have a laugh. You are right. He is such a loser.

          • I never set the voicemail up on my cell phone. Why should I have to suffer that anxiety of listening to whatever abuse he left there? I can just see him stabbing the END button with his fat finger and lobbing the phone across the room. Of course he will text, but that’s more abstract. I read text, not listen to it.

            If he really has something to say, it now forces him to put pen to paper (or compose on computer) and because he’s sending off a hard copy of something, he’s usually more reasonable. Maybe it even uses a different part of his “brain”.

            I kind of miss the days of the lawyers when dishing out shit in my direction cost him $350/hr.

            • Oh, text would trigger the hell out of me, because we used to text all the time in the faux “good old days.” I used FB messages on the few occasions when I needed to contact him–they go straight to his phone and I could either read them or not. I guess the best thing to do is figure out what is least painful to us and do that.

              • When the last kid is off on his own (not long now) I’m getting rid of the cell phone (well, changing numbers so the kids and family can reach me) and there will be no form of electronic contact. Write a letter and send it snail mail. That’s it.

              • i am not having too much of an issue with my XH (besides hearing how he is blaming me from keeping him for seeing his boys, even thou the last time i tried, he shoot it down and basically told me not to text him anymore. so i told ok then, i will never text you to see your kids again, if you want to see them you will have to call and so one month later no calls but ya, it is MY fault he hasnt seen his kids)

                the problem i am having is with his MOW!! she keeps fucking with me, sending texts messages acting like she is him (only she must not know that my XH cant spell certain words correctly so i KNOW it is not him), i blocked her from my facebook and now she has her friends sending me friend requests and checking out my page, recently (like just today) she has fb messaged one of my friends saying it was a fake account and to stop playing games and let XH see his boys. and i am all WTF!!!

                why cant she just leave me alone. i havent contacted him (or her) for over a month. i do not respond to their/her craziness.(i did post public on my fb that posts that were made at the beginning of this year on my behalf no longer apply, and not to start shit over posts that were made months ago) i dont know what kind of game she is playing but that bitch is crazy. and keeps trying to suck me into her crazy. i honestly think that if they are not bitching about me then they have nothing else to talk about. she was his enabler from the day she saw what we had, and she was also his exit cheat so apparently she thinks she is more then that and finding out he is not the joy of sunshine he said he was but it was MY fault that he wasnt happy.

                i cant get away from her craziness. she smugly throws it in my face every chance she gets (and they wonder why i dont want my children in her presence). i try not to let it get to me, but damn, it is hard when the OW is rubbing your face in the fact that SHE has your husband (XH) and he doesnt want me anymore. i am almost positive that my XH doesnt even know what is going on, he is computer illiterate and believes every twisted word she is telling him. sigh. fuktards!!! they both suck.

          • Miss Sunshine- WOW!! You described him to a tee!! Thank you so much for the awesome reply. I copied and pasted it to my notes in my phone. It is exactly how you put it. It’s a no win situation. I can’t deny or confirm the “woman scorned” comment, but next time I will let it flop just like all of his words. He is an absolute waste of time.

  • I have enforced strict NC for the past several month. During our first court date stbxh attempted to be friendly and make conversation. That attempt resulted in more crickets from me, I turned my back to him and stuck my nose up in the air. It was tough for me because that is not who I normally am and I really suck at being a bitch! Wouldn’t you know, later that evening I got a text from stbxh reprimanding me for being “mean” to him. He might see it that way… but from my point of view NC is the only way I have left of protecting myself from him and the devastation and emotional abuse he has brought into my life.

      • Datdamwuf OMG!!! I cannot thank you enough for that article. Minus only a few points, it described my relationship in explicit detail. It made me feel so understood and validated. It’s such a tricky complicated thing. Unlike physical violence, it is not illegal, it’s not clearly seen, and it is so hard to explain to others what it is like. And the article does an outstanding job of explaining it and I feel very empowered and enlightened. CL you should link this article, it’s so good. Thank you so much.

        • I’m glad it helped b.f. ! The site hasn’t been updated in years, I’m glad it’s still online, if it helped you might want to copy it to a file – I did that with a few of their rants. They have one called the martyr man in the section “manipulator files” that also helped me. I’m sorry you were with someone like that. Jedi Hugs!

      • Yes, I wanted to add my thanks, as well! I loved that article, and gained a lot of insights from it! My ex was extremely passive-aggressive and just a jerk in general, and that article helped me put my finger on a lot of the behavior that was so off-putting and weird. He had one face in public, quite another at home with me. Good riddance!

      • Awesome article, Dat, thanks for sharing. I could never put all that in one place because it all just sounds too petty by itself to be meaningful But thank God somebody did. 80% on the nose.

      • wow!! just wow!! great article!! i found myself saying wow over and over when something hit close to home. i knew he was passive aggressive. i believe his actions and lies made me a co dependent. and that was hard for me to take since i am so independent. i am trying to figure that one out and better myself. like Mrs Sunshine said, it helped me put a finger on all that was wrong. that i keep trying to figure out because someone IT WAS ALL MY FAULT. i really did try to save my marriage but now i see how everything i was doing was just playing into his sick little twisted game.

        at one point after i kicked him out (again) and right after i found out about the OW. i told him “Just tell me you dont love me anymore” i was practically begging him to say those words because in my mind it would explain all the bad behavior, what he told me what ” i do love you. but i love you enough to stop hurting you. i just cant seem to stop hurting you.” i was MINDBLOWN!! i think i said something like “if you want to stop hurting me then just stop doing the shit that hurts me” i can see how that would be simple for someone like me, but impossible for someone like him. probably the closest to the truth he has ever been with me.

    • Oh yeah! When I first started going NC , X was complaining to me about how cold I was. Umm… ok… so him screwing other people all the time, well just another day. Me justifiably angry , and going NC on his crazy ass, well…. how dare I !!

      • mine said the exact same thing too! He also said (in a text), he couldn’t believe how I could just wipe clean a decade like nothing, and he truly thought that we had something special and why cant we at least stay friends. Ummmm no motherfucker, if we had something “special” you wouldn’t be fucking every skank who spread their legs at every opportunity from day one and lie to me repeatedly and why would I stay friends with someone who repeatedly betrayed, lied and gaslighted me? NC is great!

        • Truly, NC is the only way to guard my heart and protect myself from being vulnerable to him when I get bombarded with this: “Please, lovehonorcherish, don’t do this! I have loved you for so long and I don’t want to be without you. I don’t want to throw away 17 years of our life together.” Yeah. Guess he should have thought of that before he buried himself in that bitch…repeatedly : (

          • Exactly my point! He should’ve thought about that before! the moment he touched that bitch, the moment he knowingly threw away 17 years of your life together and now they all can go and cry me a fucking river!

        • I’m always amazed how they have the exact same playbook! My STBX’s new theme is that I broke his heart and rejected him after he poured out his feelings and vulnerability to me when trying to reconcile. He calls me vindictive, angry, and bitter. The mind reels! You were fucking literal prostitutes our entire marriage, but I am the cruel one because I’ve finally decided (after multiple second chances) to protect myself?

          The last thing I said to him when he pulled that, before I successfully went NC a few weeks ago, was “You are so full of shit.” And I laughed at him. He hated that.

          • Absolutely, the same playbook step by step! Mine called me hateful and said he wished that “I didn’t have such hate” because we had many many good times together. Oh yeah, they all are full of shit! Mine would text me so many mushy texts over and over when I went NC, then later, I realized one certain night, he was texting me more often and pretty late, considering he should’ve been in bed at that hour. What do you know, on that certain days he was going to a ladies nights at a bar and I guess when he couldn’t get anyone to give him the time of the day, he was texting me, trying to get kibbles and lurking around my house, fucking loser!

            I am glad you are in NC, and again yes they all are full of shit! You didn’t break his heart, that’s a pity play to make you feel bad for him so you may give him another chance, like you did in the past. That’s exactly what he is counting on and knows what buttons to push, but if you’re NC he cant manipulate you and pull you back in to his web. Stay strong and keep NC!

        • i was the idiot who thought we could be friends or at least decent to each other. he made it easier by being mean, cruel and hateful. it still took me MONTHs to figure out i dont need a person like that in my life.

          oh, and btw i say (to myself since i am not talking to him) if he truely loved me he wouldnt have fucked the first thing that smiled and agreed with what he said and the first thing that made his dick hard. and they say it is wuvvv.

    • Gavin de Becker (author of “The Gift of Fear”) says that bitch stands for: Boys, I’m Taking Control Here.

    • Yes, NC is more for protecting yourself from more harm than trying to get back at them. I’m sure my ex interpreted it as me being a bitch, but I just didn’t care what he thought any more. NC was the best thing for healing, and once I figured that out I did everything to stay NC. I even arranged to sign papers on the sale of our house before he arrived, then picked them up after everyone else had signed during the closing. During the closing I met a friend for breakfast and had a lovely time. It made a difficult day so much easier for me. I was proud of how I protected myself from further harm and the realtors and bank officials seemed to understand.

    • Before our temporary financial hearing, his attorney and mine went to another room to talk some pre-trial stuff. STBX stood in the hall of the courtroom, chatting to me like nothing was going on. We weren’t going to court for temporary child support or anything like that, you know. He actually stood there and made small talk with me. 10 minutes before our court hearing began. Oh..and once I started going NC with him, I get texts like this: “Oh so now you’re too fucking good to talk to me, huh?”

  • I had a very hard time reducing contact. When you have twenty-some years of going to that person for comfort when you’re down, it’s hard to break that habit just because that’s the person now causing the pain! I still find, years later, that when we have contact because of the kids, I end up divulging more about my life and thoughts than I meant to, simply because of the ingrained habit of doing so. I kick myself afterwards, but it’s hard not to keep making the same mistake!

  • What a coincidence that you choose to post this article today. I had been crawling the net all evening reading articles on staying no contact. My keywords are along the lines of “help me stay no contact” or “I am struggling to stay no contact”

    Yes I admit I am having some weak moments these last few days. What do they say the stages of grief are again? anger than sadness then acceptance?? or something like that? Well I had definitely been in the blue sadness stage these last few days.

    I am trying to keep myself busy and distracted but I have to frequently remind myself that she is just sitting there waiting for me to text her or email her so she can see I still care are repeat the cycle.

    The other day I made the mistake of looking at her facebook. I see it still says she is Married up there. Funny, I had to twist her arm a year ago to get her to put that “Married” on her facebook because I wasn’t feeling much trust for her at the time and she was looking like a single woman on facebook.

    Well as I was saying I looked at her facebook and it still says Married even though divorce has been filed and the case management conference is next week. She can take that off now. But what she did instead was add some male friends to her friend list. Males that I asked her to remove a while back because I don’t know who they are and I have a suspicion she may had gone on some dates with them or more.

    So she resisted like crazy to take those guys off her friends list and resisted putting “Married” as her status. But now she leaves married on but puts the guys back in. This was confusing to me at first but Now I think she is trying to make me jealous or get a reaction out of me.

    I have been completely NC for 4 week this Thursday. I know it has to be driving her crazy. We never went this long with out exchanging words before. So I think she is trying to make me react by adding these men back to facebook when she knows how much it bothered me pre-divorce filing.

    Well I didn’t react and when I thought about it I started laughing. Nice try Mona but its not going to work.

    • Good for you! Stay strong! She is going to get desperate and do anything that she can think of to get even a slight reaction from you! She is crying for her kibbles! Feed me, Feed me!!! STAY OFF HER FACEBOOK PAGE! Unfriend her, so you can stay strong! If you get weak, do you have any mean emails or letters from her?…those reminders always keep things in perspective!

    • Fred, block her from your FB page and stop looking at hers. NC means NC, you are torturing yourself looking at her shit.

      • Another tip for Fred. Tell well meaning friends, family and coworkers that they DO NOT need to keep you apprised of your ex’s shenanigans! No information means no new hurt.

    • Fred,
      NC for you has to include no looking at her facebook. You have made your decision to divorce, right? Her facebook tricks are only happening to suit whatever her next strategy is. They have nothing to do with you. Looking at this point just allows her another method of mindfucking you.

      Until you stop looking, I will not be convinced you have not yet given up smoking the hopium.

      When I look at my ex’s facebook five years on, I see an aging narc surrounded by skanky OW friends. I just shake my head and feel a warm glow that it’s them, not I. Hopium has never been my drug of choice. I prefer to engage “getting a hate on” so that when NC pangs rear their ugly head, I revert to my “reasons why I’m so glad he is gone” list, review it, and settle down again.

      You are so early on in this process. Start into some fun stuff that pleases you. Lots of exercise. Good food. Anything to set you on the path to your new life. You deserve happiness, so focus on finding that.

      • Dear Old Facebook…

        Before we split my ex would never ‘accept’ me as his wife on Facebook… preferring to state he was in an ‘open relationship’, he thought this was hilarious. After 3 plus years with OW, his status apparently hasn’t changed… 🙂

      • Facebook. That’s where I caught Jackass and the MOW. I didn’t have to block Jackass’s FB page, as it only existed as a way for the two of them to communicate without texting. But I was sort of hooked on looking at what MOW was up to. The best thing to do is block their access to your FB account and then YOU can’t see theirs either. It’s like they don’t exist. And it may be a good thing to take a FB holiday for 30 days (to start) so that when you start back, it’s about keeping in touch with people where the relationship is mutual and reciprocal. Let her have a cyber life. You go on and have a real one, a happy and awesome life.

        • You need to block the AP, your former spouse and any other mutually toxic people.

          I never knew, BUT DISCOVERED that asshat’s MOW had been a lurker on my account via asshat’s account for YEARS. She would emailed copied stuff from my account along with her selected porn links to asshat all.the.time.

          Don’t let toxic waste invade any more of your private, personal space. And FWIW, prior to finding out about her lurking, I had always used the highest privacy settings.

          Block those creeps from your LINKEDIN account as well.

    • Mine would never wear his wedding ring until I found out he was cheating. Then he started wearing it. Cheaters are so ridiculous.

    • good for you fred!!! you did it!! that is what i am currently dealing with right now. i blocked her from my fb so she has her friends send me friend requests. and now she is attacking my other friends for what they posted months ago about cheaters and liers. i know she also posted some pictures on her facebook (same friend told me) of her and my XH together, and one of them kissing (i have literally hundreds of pictures of me and XH kissing, it was my favorite past time.) and yet another one of her chest where she had the name of her last, last, 3 times last? boyfriends name tattooed covered with some tacky flowers and the name of my XH tattooed under it. that made me laugh too. my guess is that she is upset that i didnt react or text or try to call and now she is trying to get me to react by attacking my friends posts. i did ask said friend to delete her posts, and as far as i know she did. but i am still waiting for the next bout of crazy to come my way.

      i am actually loving how my lack of reaction and continued nc is bugging the hell out of HER. my XH hasnt said anything as far as know. although i heard that he is still talking shit about me and how it is my fault he isnt seeing his boys.

      *shrug* cant win for losing with these people

  • Contact got me nothing from him but pain, and I quickly learned that I had nobody to blame but myself. Anything you say can and will be used against you, for manipulation and triangulation. Imagine your ex and the OP having a gooood laugh at your expense. Imagine how aghast your children or your boss would be to see you grovel or spew. I told the ex soon after BD that I was not his friend–he’d chosen that. I meant it. I miss having a companion–that’s the hardest part. But I realize he never was very good to me, anyway, so what I’m missing is just an illusion.
    NC is the only way to go.

    • I agree! I told my mom that N/C prevented him from manipulating, coercing, threatening, or pissing me off! I understand about the companion part, but I just want some peace right now. I am tired and I still cannot figure out how I could have been so blind and accepting during this marriage. N/C is helping me maintain control of my situation without the psychobabble coming from the NPD…

    • On DDay and not a moment after, Chumps should be pulled over and read the Chump Miranda Warning you have up there. Yes, anything you say CAN and WILL be used against you. ANYTHING. ANY THING.

      Furthermore, you have no expectation of privacy. It is guaranteed that the anything that you communicate will be shared with the affair partner for maximum violation and character assassination.

      Before I knew about the whore, while I thought we were just “having problems”, I wrote the ex several heartfelt letters that I know he let her read. It helped to bond them together in a way, by having this delicious secret and making fun of me behind my back. The only way to take that away from them is to take it away by going no contact! Starve the beast with two backs by getting out of a triangle you don’t recognize you’re in.

      • I wrote letters like that too. When I realized we were through I wrote him another one stating why I wish I’d never met him. I needed to balance out all the good I had written previously.

        • Ah, yes, letters…I never wrote one. I asked him to write one to me after our first separation. He had asked me to move back home, he was going to counseling for his sex addiction (barf), and I was who he wanted for the rest of his life. I asked for a detailed apology letter and received a handwritten one. Three months later, he is meeting the same hooker and I have a handwritten adulterer’s confession in a state where it is still illegal. Not that it would be worth my time to do anything with it, but it makes me feel mighty!

      • YES!! THIS!!! exactly!! i thought we were just “having problems” too, i didnt write letters but i have many many long talks with him. my guess is he would run to her and tell her everything i said and of course she would “explain” to him that i was only trying to make him feel bad, or put the blame on him, and of course how i didnt treat him good.

        due to recent activities, i 100% believe that if they are not talking about how badly i treated him then they have nothing to talk about. that was their only connection. his telling her how unhappy he was and her enabling him to leave the one woman who loved and truely tried to make him a better person. i tell myself that he gave up on the one person that would not have given up on him.

        but YES!! nc will prevent them from having anything to twist and blame you with. i can not control his actions (or her actions either) but i only control my REACTION to what they say and do by not saying anything at all.

        you can not explain yourself to people who are determined to misunderstand you.

        • I think this is why there is no such thing as an amicable divorce with these people. They have done such a good job whipping up a lynch mob mentality among all the people who are privy to all the privacy blowing slander that they really can’t moderate. I had a scorched earth divorce thanks to the OW and the ex’s four sisters and assorted friends. Every time I thought I had talked a little sense into him he came back twice as bad after talking to them.

          • what is sad is that my XH is letting her make all the decisions in his life (and all not for the better) he is treating her like he treated me. i took care of everything but mostly everything i did was for the good of our family. i guess he never saw it that way and thinks she is “taking care of him”. he is even letting her make the decisions about when, where and how he sees his children. since she definately cant allow him time alone, and has to know what everyone is saying, she makes sure she is always right in the thick of it. my boys have already told me that they hate it when she is there because she doesnt let my XXh talk, interrupts to ask stupid questions and if they play catch or basketball she is always throwing herself at him. making sure his focus is on her instead of on the boys where it should be.

            i never knew he was so spineless. but *shrugs* Not my monkeys not my circus.
            and completely out of my control. only i have put a stop to visits at his/her house (boys both told me they dont want to go there anymore) and having visits where she is there. needless to say, all visits have stopped and it is ALL MY FAULT

  • I would like to be able to say that I am 7 days N/C since I told him the marriage is over, I am gone, and he is free to visit the strip clubs, massage parlors, hookers, or whatever without having to sneak anymore. (He did not take it quite so well and argued that the marriage can’t be over just because I say so) He did leave me a VM on Friday, day 3, to let me know that he would prefer not to see me this weekend. I did not respond- yay me! On Sunday, he left me another VM informing me that I had taken his .40 caliper handgun when I moved out and he was obligated by the county to report it as stolen. I had 2 hours to return it to him or he was contacting the authorities. Of course, I did not have his gun. He was having a tantrum because he could not manipulate me anymore. He also had emailed MY attorney that I had taken his gun and taken funds out of our joint bank account! GASP! He was trying to flex his muscle that he is important and all he did was show what an asshat he is. He could have easily text me asking if I knew where his gun was without having to get so stupid about it. I sent him one text, “Your gun is in the top of your closet.” He responded within 20 minutes, “confirmed.”
    So, on what would have been day 7 of N/C, I started the count over again and went to OUR family practitioner to be tested for STDs. WooHoo…
    I am surprised that going N/C has been this easy for me but I have already been through the pick-me dances, the spackling, the giving of kibbles, the reconciliation without contrition, the blame shifting, and even sending him sexy pictures of me. When I found out that he had been at the strip club with the dancer/ hooker again, my heart died and brains took over! 7 weeks later, my plan is put into action and he does not understand how I could drop this bomb on him and stab him in the back! He fools no one and YAY for N/C! I wish that I had found Chump Lady in the summer of 2013, it would have saved me a lot of wasted time and heartache, but I am mighty now!

    • For me NC has been the hardest thing so I greatly appreciate the addiction analogy CL because I keep telling my friends, “what is wrong with me, why can’t I stop?” Really great article and could not be better timed.

      You said, “…loss of romantic love makes us temporarily deranged.” Thank you for helping to explain what is going on with me. But I am happy to say I get it now, more than ever. I have a contract with a friend that whenever I need to contact ex, I write it on good old fashioned paper, and then in 2 weeks revisit it to see if anything is still pertinent. So far I am 4 days out from the texting about kid and finance stuff, but her method makes it even tighter.

      Thank you also for the FOO stuff. It’s true, I have abandonment issues due to death of parent at young age and even though in my head I knew ex was not good for me, I was addicted. You said, “Fuckedup and unrequited feels normal for you at some level. You’re used to trying really, really hard for very little reward.” Wow, this is me to the nth degree and you really did just save me a bunch of therapy.

      • I want to add. Are you sure you should tell him where his gun is? Next time let him send the police over and you tell THEM where the gun is then they’ll go back to him and he will look stupid.

        • I did think about that, but I do not think that he knows where I am living to send to police. I travel for my job and the last thing I need is an APB out on me…LOL. I am trying to be reasonable and since he emailed my attorney and showed his ass, I just text him.
          I never thought I would be in this position. Last year, I thought that my love could conquer his issues and he would pick me. My eyes are open, I know that he is going to put up a fight over every minute marital asset. I will not let him walk all over me. I am going to be strong.
          Bring It On! (because i am N/C and will not respond! :-0)

          • You could also have your attorney tell him where the gun is or whatever he pretends he can’t find next time. Nothing will infuriate him more when he asks you a question and the reply comes from the attorney. I will guarantee that unless you are one of those gun tooting chick that whole “where is my gun” crap was just something to get a reaction out of you. Any reaction will do for him. He got your attention with that one He’ll try it again with something else soon.

            I am preparing myself for my wife’s crap which I know will start sooner or later.

            • i am always trying to prepare myself for his (and her) crap. i know him well enough to know it will come. only i dont know what form it will take. after nc from me since july 7thish, i knew when the kids came back from summer vacation at my parents he would try to see them. so last saturday when an unknow to me number kept calling my cell phone every hour for 5 hours. i did not answer him. i am almost certain it was him, wanting to see the boys. i actually was on my way to go pick them up and hadnt even had a chance to see them myself. of course he doesnt care about whether or not i have seen the boys, only wanted to see them himself.

              since i didnt answer, his CRAZY has exploded in her attempts to draw me out. still not working (even thou i did post something on my fb indirectly but directly about her attempts).

              i know the next one will be around the boys bdays in oct and then halloween and the big one will be on Christmas. when he tries to buy the boys love with really cool gifts and will want to make sure they open these gifts in front of him so he can bask in the glory of their happiness and think daddy is super wonderful. GAG!!

              but it seems like no amount of “trying to be prepared” is actually going to prepare me for that amount of craziness. any suggestions are appreciated.

              • Don’t be fooled. That is not about wanting to see the boys or even about wanting to feel like super dad when they open the real cool gifts in front of him. Its about making YOU look bad compared to him. Wanting to see them is what he is using to get under your skin. I believe that is only to either have an opportunity to see you or to just piss you off.

                Spoiling the kids is something he know is getting under your skin so therefore he has control of you. He is taking pleasure out of knowing he is pissing you off.

                Did he spoil them before? Was he concerned with looking like super dad before? Probably not. This is all about him getting narc fix by upsetting you. It doesn’t bother him the slightest that he is using the kids to do that.

                A rational and healthy adult would want to balance things. They would say respect your mother. They wouldn’t do anything to cause the kids to favor one parent over the other. Because that is harmful to the kids. But because he is a crazy asshole who only thinks about himself it doesn’t bother him in the slightest that the kids may grow to disrespect their mother because she isn’t as cool as dad (because YOU are trying to raise them not be their buddy so they are prepared for the real world while he is crippling them)

                The hard part of this to me is how to explain that to the kids. You can’t make him not spoil them. I don’t even think the courts will do that. Some how you have to find a way to instill a sense of morals into them where they know that all these material possessions don’t mean anything in the big picture. That is going to be a task. But if you know and understand it maybe you can prepare for it and talk to the right people who know how to approach the issue.

                Sorry for the lecture. Its just that one of the things that angers me the most is parents who use their kids as pawns to get back at their ex spouse. I have seen it so many times. I think that parent should be locked up for child abuse because that is all it is. The kids will grow up angry and and confused because of it.

              • thank you fred.

                to answer your questions. yes he always tried to buy thier love. especially if he messed up. like didnt make a soccer game or something. he was always giving in to them. and getting them cool stuff. it was one of the things i hated and would try to tell him. but ya, he has always used gifts to boost himself up with the kids. and make himself feel better. that is why i KNOW he will do it on christmas. he doesnt care if he messes up christmas for me, he will make sure to get his kibbles from the boys. and will be downright unbearable. i dread the day

                actually when we were married, up until i kicked him out for not coming home on new years eve and of course when he was actually home. he would reinforce me. he would tell the kids “do what your mom said” or “respect your mother”. he actually was good, and was always trying. i really dont know what happened to change all that. he absoluately hates me now. i really think he did think i would divorce him. he thought he would just f8ck around and party and then come back and act like evertything was ok. but that happened too many times in the past. besides i would have done that if he didnt f*ck this hood rat and throw it in my face. i refuse to compete for his love. by divorcing him, i think it triggered that abandonment issue of his, even thou he was doind all he could to push me away. he doesnt understand why i gave up on him. so he hates me now. and is doing and saying all sorts of shit. the person he has become is someone i never saw in 14 years with him. and i dont understand it.

      • Isn’t that the truth! The thrill of being naughty outweighs any vow or commitment plus they do not mean anything and he loves me…right? It is just physical. Well…I have ethics, integrity, and character and only took part of the funds out of our joint bank account. It was the proper thing to do.
        YAY N/C!

        • Hey my wife said are marriage is only a piece of paper. *sigh* Its exhausting trying to make sense of their non sense.

          • It is exhausting! I am in the medical profession and dealing with Narcs are like dealing with drunks in the emergency department. You do not argue with them. You do not want your blood drawn? I’m not going to argue.
            Same thing having a disagreement with a Narc, the slippery slope of the rules changing. It makes it impossible to have an intelligent disagreement or for them to take responsibility for anything!
            I assume that your wife verbalized vows, commitments, promises during the ceremony? Reminds me of my estranged hubs. How can someone fairly intelligent be so stupid? Because they are entitled and special!
            Save your energy and maintain your N/C!

    • Excellent Mighty Cat! Do be careful, the gun Issue is threatening IMO, he’s losing control of you, and that can trigger bad shit. If he threatens suicide, call 911 and report it, I wish I’d known that was an abusers tactic before he went further. May not ply to your situation but just a warning. Jedi hugs and well done!

      • Thank for the warning, but he had his .40 stored in my dresser, which I took. (the dresser) A simple text- hey, where did you put my gun- would have been cool, but the VM and email to my attorney? What an idiot. He has several guns and a cc permit as do I. He probably already had found his .40, but since he had not been able to get a rise out of me in several days, he had planned this. He is all about the drama and confrontations. I am sure that he had a fun weekend paying someone for some happy endings…he withdrew some hundreds out of the account that I get daily updates on. He is trying to push my buttons and I am over it…Meh…OMG, is it a Tuesday?

        • Mighty Cat,
          Would it be possible to let the police come and get his gun from you and deliver it to him, or at least let him know they have it so he can pick it up somewhere? That way, you would be absolved of having possession. Has he been threatening at all? If you have correspondence to that effect, maybe the police would choose to keep his gun away from him until they are sure he is not angry at you/ post-divorce.

          Also that way he would not discover your whereabouts. Just a thought.

        • personally i think you handled it well. your simple text got him off your back with a limited amount of craziness. you cant control what he does but your reaction to what he was trying to do was EXCELLENT. good for you. plus you have proof of his craziness since he sent the email to your attorney. double points to YOU!!!

          you are MIGHTY!!

    • Be careful, Mighty Cat, If this man knew you did not have his gun but accused you of taking it anyway and contacted your lawyer….Narcs control narratives and they can be dangerous. Share concerns with lawyer, or cops, or judge if need be. I almost dismissed warning signs and a charge against my ex would have jeopardized my settlement. Just pay attention to your gut.

      • I would have been more concerned if he hadn’t texted back, confirmed. But save the texts! And maybe have your lawyer send him a letter that will end all such fishing attempts.

        • I photo’d the texts and sent them to my son, who is also an attorney. I have not heard from him since Sunday…maybe he will only irritate me on weekends…

      • Drew,
        Please help me understand about having a charge against your STBX jeopardizing
        your settlement? I am in the same situation, where my STBX refused to leave the house
        and tried to make me retrieve all 16 of his weapons, and when i refused, he broke
        a house phone while I was calling 911, and went after my cell phone as well. struggled
        with me over it, and I wound up with 7 bruises and a cut. Officer came and took
        pictures and reports, and now 6 weeks later, he is being charged with 2nd degree
        assault by the DA. I haven’t even filed a protection order.

        • So done, peace officers can be fired for domestic violence issues…happens all the time. Meanwhile the spouse, especially one who does the child rearing, is left to scramble because then everything is lost. My Narc annihilated our finances anyway. I did not want to jeopardize my settlement (five years of alimony which were dependent upon his well paying job), or pension (or more accurately my 1/2 of ours, 🙂 long term marriage, one income for awhile). My ex dissipated assets and while all family courts warn spouses NOT to, it happens all the time and the courts DON’T DO Anything about it. My judge did not even believe we owned a custom home on twenty acres and actually laughed at our tax statement. In your situation the police are now required to file and though you may not wish to prosecute the DA will. I don’t know how this will affect your STBX’s job but most department do an internal investigation. All departments have a special group of investigators. Your STBX should be talking to a lawyer ASAP and a union rep for advice.

          • Also all those guns, unless they are department issued, if purchased during marriage are HUGE community property assets and worth thousands of dollars. Take pics and hunt down receipts. My ex sold guns he had purchased during our last two years together, pocketed the cash, and came after ones in the settlement that belonged to our child. When I filed I knew exactly what he was going after and I included that info there. Get your lawyer on this too.

            • Drew, as far as the guns are concerned, the police have confiscated them
              pending the outcome of the charge. I do plan to appear on the day of the
              hearing if they allow me to do so. Sorry I took so long to respond. Going
              thru another tornado here. Got about a months worth of his chats, with about 5 women, and it was awful. My daughter cried. He discarded her and says
              his new love’s daughters will be his own. Just awful. I am not sure exactly
              what the lawyer can use of it but I guess we will see.

    • Interesting that he said, “(He did not take it quite so well and argued that the marriage can’t be over just because I say so)”
      And you know what? He is wrong. Ending a relationship can definitely be a one-sided decision. Once one person says they are out, then it is over! Not like you have to wait around for him to AGREE for it to be over!

      Sounds like he is trying all his best tactics to keep you engaged! Good work with the no contact. Keep it up – these narcs tend to escalate when they don’t get what they want!

      • I love it how these people can make the unilateral decision to cheat but when the chump wants to end the marriage, it can’t be over because only one party says so. My answer to that: “You ended the marriage when you cheated. I am just doing the paper work to make it official.”

        • “You ended the marriage when you cheated. I am just doing the paper work to make it official.”

          Love this! Great and true response, I’m going to steal it to use on my STBX if necessary, if that’s OK 🙂

          • Isn’t that the truth! He told me that he put too much work into this marriage to throw it away. I was dumbstruck! I was thinking, too much work to find CAKE? I ended up reminding him that he is NOT the victim…poor fella…ugh!

            • i dont know what kind of “work” he thought he put into the marriage if he was sticking his dick into the first thing that made it hard. seems to me he was putting too much work in keeping you in the dark while he did whatever he wanted to do and whatever felt good at the moment.

  • I am in the process of picking myself up after seeing STBX for the first time in a year last week. It was supposed to be our divorce hearing, but my lawyer messed up and brought us to the wrong courthouse. We have to reschedule. I’m so annoyed.

    In any case, after we walked out of the courthouse, I asked him if he wanted to grab a coffee. So we went to a coffee shop across the street and talked for an hour or so.

    You know — nothing horrible happened. But I have been in pain ever since. It’s just that I can see myself getting pulled back into his drama. I found myself giving him advice and sharing things that I’ve done over the last year to heal. And for the last few days I’ve been back in that awful mindset again. Thinking “I can fix this” is the monkey on my back. And when I’m with my source, I just fall back into it. No thinking involved — I just do what I do.

    It’s strange and disturbing to observe in myself, and it makes me sad. I imagine it’s the feeling that a recovering alcoholic feels when he passes a bar. There are things that I must not go near. And it’s killing me.

    • LilyBart, gosh I feel for you. It is “strange and disturbing,” isn’t it and so stick with CLs addiction analogy as well as your own about passing a bar. You have wisdom and insight. Keep using it to stay strong. Best.

    • You can’t fix him, you can fix your desire to fix things out of your control, keep seeing your therapist and make this a CBT exercise, learning how to stop trying to fix other people. Jedi hugs hon!

      • Datdamwuf is right and you are, too. You just had a little codependency relapse. Maybe the next thing to do is read about codependence and how to recover from that. This is just one of the FOO issues that CL talks about above and part of fixing your picker. “notyou” used to make the point that codependency is what keeps many of us stuck as “chumps”–that urge to fix other people’s lives instead of living our own. Some of us were raised by narcissists to “serve” them and so the whole dynamic is very familiar from childhood. That’s my struggle, too, but I am determined to get past that. Hang in there! You might find it useful to do some reading about codependency as part of repairing your boundaries.

  • It took me months to get to NC and I still struggle with it on occasion. Biggest obstacle has been being dependent on him financially and as long as my income doesn’t allow for full emancipation, I have to see his face at least every other weekend and he always pushes for me, as we share a child together. Ideally, I’d like him to deposit money into my account and not talk to me, but because what he’s been giving me is a little over what the child support payment would have been, I feel “obligated” to play nice, at least for the time being. So when he says he wants to spend a day with his child,
    I usually agree to it, unless there was a pre scheduled school activity or doctor appointment. It is not exactly NC because he always finds a way to wheezel into more activities… But believe me, if it wasn’t for extra money, I would be seeing him every other weekend for 2 minutes total. I feel as I’ve made small progress with communication tools. I’ve changed my number and never gave him the new number. I also set up my emails settings so that his emails go directly to my spam folder. Now I no longer get aggrevated when his name pops up in incoming emails, I just check it on my own time, usually with a glass of wine in hand, about twice a week.

    • Monika,

      That ist he WHOLE reason why he is paying a little more than he has too so that you feel obligated to owe him some attention or breaks or whatever he is asking for. I feel he is slowly working his way back into the control position buy asking for more outings with the kid.

      I think you are doing the rest of that stuff better than a lot of us are but be wary of these extras he is giving you. Its probably more for his gain than yours.

      • Oh, you’re absolutely correct. He’s expecting now to see his child pretty much whenever he feels like it and when I object, he screams parental alienation. But as it’s often the case with these disordered fucktards, it’s not about spending time with his child, it’s about control and kibbles. The child happens to be adorable, affectionate and at the age when he’s easily impressionable and gives a lot of love back. Kibbles. Case in point, it was a bit inconvenient for him to pick up his child the other day, so be sends over his mother instead. I send the narc enabler clueless woman back to where she came from. Of course, now she hates me too because I’m an impossible “bitch” and I’m still “bitter.”
        Fuck them disordered people- their entire legacy is infidelity and emotional problems- I sort of blame myself for getting into this mess. 14 years ago ex told me his own father was a POS and I didn’t think there would be a connection to ex. How naive of me.

        • I would strongly suggest seeing if you can get an official court order that restricts how often he can see the kid. Because as it is going now it is creating a lot of drama and I am thinking that kid is getting caught in the middle of all of it. He is using the kid as a pawn. If you don’t get control of the matter the kid is going to start developing some serious emotional problems. I would recommend that you ask your attorney what can be done about this. Maybe establish a court order that will punish him if he attempts to visit the kid at times not agreed on. Do this all in the name of protecting your kid. That is your job now because he won’t do it.

    • I agree with Fred, unless you truly need the extra, turn it down or free yourself from the idea you owe him anything for it, you are not asking for this, he’s slowly worming you into a power down position. The little boundary crossings that lead to total obliteration suck, ok I was being over the top with that last statement, maybe…

      • That extra happens to be enough to not get my cars repossessed (my credit score was always much higher so both car loans are under my name)- but here’s the kicker: because of this extra help, he’s been hinting lately he feels as he deserves something “extra” himself and wouldn’t you guess what he has in mind? And this comes after I kicked him out and changed the locks. They just don’t get it, do they?

        • Monika, do you need both cars? Is he driving one of them? If the latter, sign ‘his’ car title over to him and report it to DMV and your insurance.

          • this would have been a good solution if the cars were paid off. The bank still owns the titles, not I. He doesn’t have possession of the second car because we’ve been playing this game of “begging for car loan money” for months now. He can be somewhat generous one month, others its back to:… warning, offensive language, ..”am I gonna get pussy for this?”
            Btw, there’s been no “pussy” for him from me. As to others, I’m sure Ashley Madison can help.

            • Sell the extra car or trade both in for one paid for car or a lower payment if you are upside down (the vehicles are worth less than you owe). There are solutions as the cars are in your name. Then use the child support system, set visitation rules and stick to them. Your goal is to end up with one reliable car at a price you can afford. Take the one you want to get rid of to a dealer and see what is possible.

              • Solid advice. I’ve done that. Currently trying to get rid of one car… dealerships are not interested in giving me fair value so I’ve been holding out. They’re also luxury cars and the buyers are narrow pool.

        • He’s certainly got it in his mind that money buys sex. Don’t let him make u feel guilty for the extra money he’s giving you. What a manipulative jerk.

          • work it for all that you can, because as soon as he figures out he cant have it his way, it will stop. mine hasnt paid child support since fathers day.

            • Ha, mine has avoided child support for 11 years! Throws guilt money at me intermittently but, doesn’t file tax returns, works cash in hand & says if i report him he’ll go to jail before i get a cent!
              He cheats the system as well as me!
              I am so over the witholding financial support game that I trundle along & support myself & 2 kids. The kids know at the end of the day who has their back & I am determined not to let him mindfuck me anymore. He left 11 years ago with receptionist & friend in our business & blames me for it sinking! Go figger….Thankgod I have great family & friends, even his family love me 🙂

    • My XH used to do the exact same thing. Tried to make me beg for every child support payment, which he’d only give me in person. So I went to my lawyer and got him garnished. He got quite nasty after that, but I didn’t have to kiss his ass for the money anymore.

  • I don’t know what I would do without this website and all of you that post…I’m still at the point that I have read all of your posts but am afraid of posting myself…I read all and feel SO sorry for all that you have gone through…F-Ing PTSD… that I still constantly question if it is OK to voice my vote and question my own worth that anyone would want to hear my voice much less validate it…I’m getting back to the person that was before the NARC but boy it’s a tough road…

    I am 9 months out from the day that HE left…I can’t believe that I knew nothing about narcissists and pathological liars…This is my second divorce…first was we were just too young…I came apon this site when I was searching for some kind of answers for that…We had no children and even though I know this is for the best I can’t stop thinking about him…lying, cheating, legal and financial troubles…he had type 2 diabetes that he ignored and testosterone problems…we hadn’t had intimacy in three years…of course it was all my fault…

    I at least knew how my first husband was doing because we had a child together…I had gotten to MEH very quickly with that one…

    I’m having a really hard time with this one…the whole love-bomb…and all the years after that I sacrificed every penney I had, my enheritance, my 401 K, my EVERYTHING…

    Some part of me still cares after all the lies, financial abuse, physical abuse and the smear campaign…WTF?!! Why does our female brain do this to us?!!!!

    PS…Wasband is being brought up on his third charge for contracting without a licence…mandatory 90 day jail term…maybe his new Kibble will go with him to court and pay the 300k in restitution that will be fined…

    Wasband pulled up in front of my house last weekend (he didn’t see me on our porch) to obviously show the new pitiful kibble our home that he “PAID” for…yeah…whatever…Bet he told her the same thing that he told me…plaid football for UCLA…etc…

    • Chumpaprecious, it’s not the female brain, depending on what things were like and what you are like it and how long you were together, could be many things making it difficult. Abusers can work on beating you down slowly, denying intimacy then giving just enough to keep you while making it seem like you are to blame is a common tool. Welcome and feel free to share your story. You are worthy, you have value, we will support you, Chump Nation will have your back. Jedi hugs!

    • It is tough. Why do we give so much of ourselves to people that do not deserve us? Why do we believe their lies? Allow them to make us doubt ourselves? I have found that doing a little thing for myself makes me happy and I want and need that happiness right now!
      Sunday morning, I went to a matinee, I did not have to share my popcorn or soda, I did not have to explain to movie, I did not have to worry if he was enjoying the movie. I just sat there, early enough to see the previews, with a stupid, happy grin on my face!
      Go find some happiness being with yourself. Embrace yourself. He will always lie. He will always suck. He will always make you cry. Yay N/C…Be Mighty!

    • Chumpaprecious, I am glad you’re here. We want to hear your story. Speak up anytime. My husband ruined me financially, too. And more. Sometimes I just feel numb. In fact numb is preferable over the pain and confusion of somehow still longing for him and wondering why, oh why, did he do this to me.

      • I think you’ll see it’s a constant..the cheaters ruined us financially. They spend so much money on the OW/OM, family needs be damned.

        • my XH did not take money from me. i was paying all the bills myself and still am holding on strong. but he did stop giving me money 2 years ago. always said he was broke and couldnt pay the bills. i dont think he was spending it on OW but i do think he has a drug problem that he is STILL hiding from me and i have no proof. it is like when THEY decide they do not want to be in the marriage anymore they just quit helping.

  • YMMV, we convince ourselves we love our spouse despite our lived experiences. We tell ourselves we love them, we don’t want to lose that love. We lie to ourselves out fear, out of habit, out of sheer loyalty and our own fucked up sense of duty and yes, again loyalty. There is no one true love, we can love a multitude, we can love many people over our lifetimes and yet when someone we have decided to love fucks us over we cling to the initial love and it’s not healthy. And why is it so hard to stop loving someone so undeserving? I think it is because we are invested in that decision, we can’t believe we made a mistake, we can’t believe the love we felt was not reciprocated equally, surely our spouse is temporarily deranged, or mentally I’ll or has lost his way. So we fight to keep the person with us no matter the pain, they will come to their senses, we can fix it.

    Removing the person from our lives, going NC requires us to examine “love”. Truly look at what love means to us, what love is for us. And when we are shattered we do not do that, we cling to “I love”. When I wrote down why and reasons why I loved my ex and also when and how he showed that love over time, NC became easier. When he was gone, I found that my bouts of sadness, my missing of him had no basis in him. He hadn’t given me anything of love in a very long time, not really, I’d fabricated his love of me, I’d kept his loving of me alive in my head when his actions had been less than loving, and for his part, he made sure to give me a little of what I needed. He’d done that when my discontent was so strong he needed to give me the bits that would keep me there hoping for more and believing he was in such need himself that it was the most he could manage.

    We give “love” some nebulous importance without examination when we are devastated. Take the time to define what love is to you. Then take the time to look at how your spouse “loved” you. Write it down. NC will get much easier if you do.

    • Datdamwuf, what you said above really hit home with me. I am convinced that somewhere inside of me, what I think is love and desire for this man, is really some twisted insanity having to do with the fact that in the end he left me, when all along I tried to leave him. My ego is damaged. I’d like to go back in time a year when I left him, and he was begging me to come back. But I caved in to him even though at the time I found him almost repulsive and I knew it was the wrong thing to do, but there was that “loyalty” thing and I just couldn’t leave someone who begged me that way. I’ll tell you what I DO know: that wasn’t love.

    • Dat this is so true, great post.

      I literally have a pro and con list that I wrote about my STBX and when I look back on it from some distance, it is so sad that I ever mistook that for love. I’m not missing anything by not having him in my life, and I’m so much more at peace.

    • You are one wise human, Datdamwuf. Too often, “love” is a feeling we have within us for the hologram we have created. But “love” should be what our partner does to support and enhance our lives (just as we “love” him or her). I’m thinking that leaving me sit at home while he is carrying on with MOW is not “love.”

    • Dat,

      Your brain must be constantly tuned to “brilliance.” This was such an insightful and beautiful post. The one line I most remember from Susan Forward’s book, “When Your Lover is a Liar,” is that love is a behavior. When someone acts toward you in an unloving manner – lies to you, betrays you, disrespects and abuses you – they don’t love you. If you extrapolate on that, if you treat yourself in a unloving manner, you don’t love you. If you don’t love you, you can’t possibly connect yourself to someone who does.

      No contact gives you the time and distance to evaluate how you’ve been living in a way you cannot do when it is part of your day to day existence because it’s your normal. You have to experience the new normal, no matter how uncomfortable and painful, to see how fucked up the old normal was and is.

      • “When Your Lover is a Liar,” is that love is a behavior. When someone acts toward you in an unloving manner – lies to you, betrays you, disrespects and abuses you – they don’t love you.”

        isn’t that the real truth!

    • Dat, I have to agree with the rest, “This was such an insightful and beautiful post.” Thank you for such a well written post!!

  • I have a son with my STBX and we see each other 2x a week because of it. I’ve pulled away, but he always found some excuse to text me. Usually at 4 or 5 am. Up until last Wednesday he was still contacting me and asking for old pictures of us. Then as I’m driving with my son past a bar down the street from my house to go home, there’s my STBX kissing the 20years younger skank that he got involved with last year. It HURT! More so because of the location. A lot of people still don’t know about ujus or because it’s any secret on my part) and I’m tired of him humiliating me. Also, it made me so angry being the one hurt even though he’s still essentially hitting on me and there she is thinking he is the greatest guy. My sin saw too and asked me who daddy was “talking” to. I said I didn’t know and have hind complete NC with him. He is now accusing me of not letting him talk to our son when he feels like calling. I’m not. I’ve just decided that if he calls while we are out with other people my son doesn’t have to answer if he doesn’t want to. I’m not forcing him to. The NC feels weird though. I was getting something from those early morning texts. Even tho I knew it was BS. The day before I saw him he text me in the afternoon “hey baby, taking the boy to the beach”. Asked if he meant that for me. He said “yes, sorry meant to say hon instead but I guess that’s not much better”. Ugh!! I hate it. It’s been a year since we split. Going through the steps to divorce. But seeing that really threw me and I don’t know why. I feel hurt again. All the same feelings from last year are back. NC is good tho. I just wish he’d do his sleepy teenage shit somewhere further from my house.

    • Michelle, I don’t know if it will help or hurt you; before divorce, I discovered that my ex called both myself and his OW the same thing “hon” and he wrote some of the exact same shit to both of us. Then I thought about it and I realized, my ex had NOT called me by my actual name in years. Eye opening, like I wasn’t a complete and separate person – interchangeable maybe with any other woman.

      • Datdamwuf..the whole name thing!! I found out that he calls her “honey” and “darlin'”. The “darlin'” makes me want to puke my guts out. I guess he thinks he’s some witty country singer or something.

      • I actually thought the same thing at that time. When he sent the first “hey baby” I felt like if it IS for me I’d be annoyed and if it is NOT for me I’ll be hurt. I’m just going to put it out of my mind. What upsets me more actually is if it was for the OW I hate that he told her what he was doing with my son. I really want him left out of that. The OW is 20 yrs younger than my STBX and she doesn’t deserve to know my son or what he is doing. That’s the only bothersome point right now for me.

    • Block the texts. Tell him to contact you only in an emergency, and an emergency means broken bones, etc. Set up visitation and calling times. Communicate by email and via lawyer.

      There’s no answer for the public display of affection, other than to say that when you see such things, you have visible proof that he’s a liar, a cheater, and a con artist. That in itself is very valuable, as many chumps here who struggle with “what? me cheat?” can tell you. But if you are texting him back and getting on the phone when he calls, he has an open conduit to manipulate you and keep you hooked. You are young. You can find a great new man to have in your life once you get past these games with your cheater.

      • Definitely! I need to establish further boundaries. I told him when we are out somewhere there will be no taking phone calls or texts to my son. He never has my son and he knows he is always with me therefore knowing exactly where I am and what I’m doing. If there were no cell phones it wouldn’t be an issue. So now calls will only be taken when we are home. It was hard to see, but I think I needed it to take another step forward. I’m an optimist by nature and in my denial of many things I felt we could have some sort of a friendship for my sons sake. A grind doesn’t treat you like this. He is not my friend. Quite the opposite.

  • NC is hard because…

    The offender has been grooming the victim for D Day from the start.

  • I’ve divorced my ex. I don’t want to be married to him. My heart has moved on.

    But I’m still in a lot of contact with him. He has been completely nice since the divorce, so I decided to co-parent with him. It’s been great for our pre-K kids. And in a way, it’s been great for me, because he’s been very easy to get along with (a welcome change!), which means less stress for me, too. I decided that as long as he behaves himself, I’ll continue to co-parent. So far, it’s worked out.

    But I’m finding myself questioning my sanity. How can he be THIS nice, when he was such a JERK when we were married? Was I the problem in the equation, or is he just hoovering?

    • LiningUpDucks, wasn’t he THAT nice at the beginning of your marriage? and likely so on and off through the years? And yes, he could be hoovering, or he could have learned from what happened, lotsa of options there, you know him, we don’t. I do not believe everyone who cheats has serious mental health issues. Some people do learn from their mistakes and become better people.

      • I respectfully disagree. Cheaters are mentally ill! Personality disordered at best. Someone who deliberately inflicts severe psychological pain to another person is sick. Someone who minimizes such trauma is sick. The severity of such sickness will vary but I’ll never buy the argument that it was simply a “mistake.” Fuck that theory. There’s sowmthing OFF with your psyche if you think you can gaslight, blame shift, project, minimize and then plead “oops, I didn’t mean it.” Can they modify their behavior? Probably. I’m not sticking around to find out.

        • It’s perfectly fine to disagree, we are not a monolith, simply people brought together due to something we have in common. We do agree there is no point in sticking around to find out.

          • Mine was a serial cheater, it wasn’t just a one-time thing. Plus, an angry, controlling, gaslighter, with alcohol and other abusive issues. I do think he is bi-polar, with narc tendencies (our therapist called him a flat-out narcissist). I just know that I can’t risk another round of marriage with him, so I’m out. I hope he’s changing to be nicer. Maybe yes, maybe no. Time will tell, I suppose. I plan on having my own (peaceful!) home, in my own name, and my own bank accounts, and my own time with the children….so if/when he reverts back to his old behavior, I’ll still be safe (and our children will be as safe as possible).

    • I know what you’re saying. It’s as though they get to feel as if there were no repercussions from their horrible actions. But I suppose for the sake of your children, and your sanity, it may be best to continue as you are — keeping him at arm’s length, however.

      • I think sometimes cheaters think we should thank them for abandoning us. I know mine thought he was doing me a great favor. To be honest, once I learned the truth of what was going on, he did in fact release me from an incredibly painful situation that wasn’t going to get better.

    • If things are working well for you and the kids, and you have truly moved on emotionally, then good for you. He may have been just a guy who shouldn’t be married but who can be a co-parent because he loves his kids. He may not be at the far end of the narcissist scale. My XH (not the cheater) and I get along very well. His problem is alcohol. Mine is co-dependence. I can’t live with him and be healthy. But I love him dearly though no longer in the way I did for many years. But it is much easier to manage my boundaries with him when I don’t want him to love me as a husband should love his wife.

      You will know if he is hoovering if you start to get emotionally hooked. It may not be helpful to overthink things. Just be aware of how your interactions with him and whether he respects your boundaries, whether he treats you and the kids with respect, whether he keeps his word. If all is well on that front, you don’t have a problem.

      • Thank you, this really helps, what you said here: “It may not be helpful to overthink things. Just be aware of how your interactions with him and whether he respects your boundaries, whether he treats you and the kids with respect, whether he keeps his word. If all is well on that front, you don’t have a problem.”

        All has been going well, so far. If he starts being the controlling, angry man again, the co-parenting will have to stop. But no need to cross that bridge yet. I think I just need to give myself the permission to enjoy this peaceful time. Still keep him at arm’s length emotionally, of course, with firm boundaries. I can do this! The hardest part is already accomplished, which is for my heart to move on, which I have. I just have to stop overthinking things, so my head can catch up to all this.

    • “But I’m finding myself questioning my sanity. How can he be THIS nice, when he was such a JERK when we were married? Was I the problem in the equation, or is he just hoovering?”
      My STBX also is polite nice now which throws me off a lot – I question myself too but then I’m brought back to reality reading this website realizing it is the continuation of his narcissistic manipulation. He even told me recently that he really is a nice guy – I just didn’t see that or appreciate it (what?? He was a serial cheater). What I hate is how much the cheating takes up my mental space. There are reminders everywhere. For example I know Robin Williams made people laugh, struggled a lot with depression, was involved in charities, but what I seem to focus on is that he was a cheater too (with the OW nanny with the first wife; that nanny became the second wife whom he allegedly cheated on later). He had good qualities – the usual rationalization is that people are complicated. He gets a lot of adulation. I’m not saying it wasn’t deserved…it’s that I am so focused on the cheating aspect. Was he a jerk? Was he remorseful? That’s what I wonder. I can only seem to see cheating in black and white. Maybe my ego is in play too much and I need to chill.

      • Oh sweet Jesus, I don’t know if I should thank you or hate you for bringing attention to the fact that Robin Williams was a cheater. I just posted a short post about him on Facebook, saying how kind and compassionate he appeared to be. I feel like deleting it now because somehow I feel misled. And no doubt that he was a complex figure. Funny too.

        • Yes, and I’ve been watching the news, interviews, etc. about what a kind, generous, exceptional person he was. The reality is that he WAS those things. My struggle is to reconcile that someone can be all those things and also be a cheater – and the public overlook that as being part of the complexity. It’s not such a big deal as long as they have done other great things. I used to accept that to some degree myself, but am now hyper-observant when I see this acceptance. My preoccupation/paranoia about cheaters is something that bothers me a lot – not in a good way. I guess I’m not at meh yet.

        • Yea. Self-inflicted. He also made a statement that he carried a lot of shame and did things that disgusted himself. He said basically that he was forgiven , probably by the spouse, for his disgusting behavior…but once he napalmed the relationship with drinking, adultry etc… No amount of forgiveness could reboot the relationship he destroyed.

          I don’t pity cheaters, liars or thieves. I don’t pity drug addicts either. As an adult, no one is compelling you to do things that are harmful to other people or yourself.

          • I truly had no idea that he was a cheater until today…I always remembered him from that movie “What Dreams May Come” which by the way use to make me cry, specially on the part when he gave up heaven to be with his wife in hell for eternity..

            Anyways it kind of shocked me to learn he had cheated…because all I ever knew about him was that he was a kind and good hearted person…learn something new everyday I guess.

            • Meh, not every cheater is a narcissist or sociopath. Not even every serial cheater.

              I think his official diagnosis was Bipolar II. In the end, he cheated in all of his previous marriages (and we don’t know how many times, we just know about the affairs that ended the relationships). People can have good qualities but be poor marriage material, and that would be OK if they didn’t insist on marrying over and over 🙁

              Bipolar IIs are often misdiagnosed as NPDs when they are in their manic phases, but they do have empathy and a conscience, and when the down, self-recrimination phase starts they can be horribly hard on themselves.

              Just because some folks like this can have empathy, experience deep shame, and experience real regret, though, doesn’t mean they make great partners. It comes down to the choices they make, right? If they choose to behave with narcissistic disregard for their spouses, it… well it is what it is. What can you say?

              • I know that not every cheater is a narcissist, sociopath or disordered, some cheaters are just idiots who just cant keep their pants zipped or keep their legs closed and these people shouldn’t be in relationships with unsuspecting innocent people and stick with their own kind or have open relationships. Yes you’re absolutely right. Its all about choices, right or wrong and cheating itself is a narcissistic behavior and the end result is always the same, disastrous heartbreak for people like yeah, what can we say?

          • I do know that he suffered from bi-polar disorder. I don’t know how this influenced the drinking and the adultery, but any type of serious disorder is going to contribute to some level of distorted behavior. There are plenty of people suffering with bi-polar disorder who don’t cheat, however, so his demons were his demons, bi-polar disorder or not.

            • I’m no expert, but I think some people have a lot more trouble with impulse control, especially when there’s mental illness. Robin Williams was definitely a very complex person, and most likely hard to live with, especially during his years of addiction.

    • When everybody can get audio recording off their cell phones, and pin hole video recorders don’t require much of any investment at all, these guys are the FIRST to make sure their public persona is impeccable. This is also a form of bait. Don’t take it.

      If I were ever to talk to the ex again, he would have to take the battery out of his phone and sit naked in a hot tub before I’d listen to anything he had to say.

  • True True True. #2 describes my ex perfectly. It took me 7 months but once I truly got strong enough to break all contact completely, the healing could finally begin.

  • I have follow up story about NC. It usually, sadly, needs to extend to Outlaw Extended Family.

    Five years post divorce, my outlaw niece friended me on facebook. She is about 30 and we were always on good terms. No problem. The ex and I have moved on and we have no residual dealings except for kids graduations and weddings. We live 3000 miles apart. Great!

    Problem was, the Ex’s other family who happened to be niece’s friends could see some of my photos, even though I had things fairly restricted. Out of the blue, I get a message on facebook…no correct that…a POST on my wall…from an ex-BIL who divorced my narc-ex-SIL over 30 YEARS AGO. He is an alcoholic vietnam vet for whom life has not gone well.

    To cut a long story short, the tale my ex had spun to his family was that I had cheated on HIM, not the other way round! This ex-BIL was ripping me for being a cheater! I couldn’t care less what he thinks, but I do somewhat care what my new friends here 3000 miles away, think.

    So, I deleted the post of course, and blocked him. Then I sent a copy of the posting to my ex, and said in light of all this, that I was considering reopening the support case. Now this would terrify the ex, since he has inherited a few gazillion bucks since the divorce. He defines himself by his money, so this would be bad news. He quickly replied with a scathing reply to the ex-BIL in which he retracted his story about my cheating.

    What do fellow chumps think…would you go for the gold?

    • Marci, if it were me I would only go for more support if I truly needed it and my attorney was very certain it would be granted (you could end up with less). I wouldn’t want to have to deal with the ex if I didn’t have to.

    • First, I would lock down the FB page. You are probably “friends of friends” and that is how the BIL saw things through the niece.

      Second, you are five years post-divorce. Let him have his money. You have your new life. And you clearly have set a boundary that he is willing to enforce about not taking crap from his family. You have already won the battle. If the kids need something major, Daddy Big Bucks can provide it.

      • Oh yes I know how he saw things, just did not expect the ex to be spreading lies about me. After all, we parted fairly amicably because I wanted to spare our teenage sons at the time any acrimony. “Show them an example of graciousness in the face of humiliation” and all that.

        I did lock down facebook, my list of blocked people includes all the Outlaws. This is one of the sad fallouts of a cheater. They steal not only your time and love, but also the mileage you put in developing relationships with family.

        By the way, my sons saw the facebook post originally and have told their father exactly what they think of his ball-less state. They have been very supportive of me (I did not make a big drama of it) and I have asked them to simply use it as a life lesson to not emulate their father’s cheating, cowardly ways.

        • Your sons know the truth. Anyone that really knows you would question that post. Would you go after the money because of financial need or to be spiteful to the ex. I am not saying that there isn’t a joyful feeling associated to watching the ex get their dues, but is it worth YOUR stress and the drama that surrounds the narc? Look at the drama that came from this facebook mishap. I would maintain my calm and NC…spend your time loving your sons.

  • Well, could not end up with less. I walked away with no support because I had enough money already and just wanted to be rid of the oaf. I felt at the time it was the best slap in the face for him since he couldn’t complain about my support payments being a burden.

    I did however, make him agree to pay the kids’ tuition all through grad school, which he did. Not sure if I’d have any grounds to claim more support, so I suppose dragging him through a reassessment would just be vengeful. He had no right to villify me to family after I spared him public embarrassment at the time. Not to mention his new schmoopie who now lives in my former family home and cottage. She probably thinks he’s a poor chump. Would love to set her straight.

  • Best. Article. Ever.

    It makes me laugh, cry, understand that which I previously could not pin down (isn’t that CL’s gift to us? putting into words, and describing and defining the confusion and disorientation we suffer, so that we can understand and deal with??).

    I identify SO MUCH with the unfortunate Australian Shepherd, and the swirl of hate and love that takes us by storm when we are not N.C….and sometimes even when we are. As an aside, I always wished I had been the cat calmly bathing my right paw while my cheater walked away almost 3 years ago, but that is unfortunately not what we do as chumps. I now at best pretend I am bathing my right paw, when in reality I still hate him and care about him and still hurt that he does not even care to see our children (sigh….chumpy-me!).

    Although I am now re-married, I had been about to e-mail my ex about something that was not absolutely necessary, when I saw this article by CL (again). I have not seen it in a while and it is my all time favorite. It made me remember NOT to e-mail him.

    N.C., N.C., N.C.

    And so I re-play in my mind this most profound of CL-isms: “[T]he only way you can heal from the mindfuck is to get away from the mindfuck.”

    Thanks C.L. You are genius.

  • I can go no contact pretty effectively until the activities in Clusterfuckdale demand my attention.

    This past week, I discovered the live-in bimbo’s ex-husband is a big time sex offender. Seems he raped his daughter and served time. Now he’s on parole and good buddies with my X, who describes him as “a friendly guest” at their home. When I contacted X to express my wishes that Billy not be around when our thirteen year old is visiting, X replied, “You don’t know what you’re talking about, so you should probably shut up before you sound even stupider. I protect my children, and I don’t answer to you.”

    I responded that I will be forced to take necessary precautions to protect our child since his reply demonstrates a continued refusal to maturely communicate with me about legitimate concerns I have about our children’s safety. This was his response…

    “You talk to me about not communicating maturely when I have to suffer obscene phone calls from you highlighted by such language as, “I’m not going to drop off my child with your white-trash fuck buddy”. Yup, I said that months ago when she showed up to pick up our son instead of him.

    NOT replying, “What exactly is NOT accurate in that statement?” was sooooo difficult, but I did it! Instead, I contacted DCF to report him for possible neglect.

    • Ugh. Just, ugh.

      What the fuck. What a complete clusterfuck. I am soooooo sorry.

      Do report him. Do tell your child the truth without embellishment that OW’s ex husband is a sex offender (make sure you have FACTS and not hear-say, so you can’t be accused of slander) and make sure your children know they have a right if not responsibility to NEVER be ANYWHERE with Mr. Rapist unless a RESPONSIBLE adult is present.

      Uhhhhhhhh…soooooo…I guess that rules out spending time with your ex if Mr. Rapist is present. As it should be. I would try my best to get a court order.

      What the fuck. I just cannot believe people some days.

    • ChutesAndLadders, more than likely he is a registered sex offender and has restrictions not to be around minors or schools, etc. Don’t take any chances! Find out and report him. These guys can appear “normal and nice” until they are the monsters they really are.

    • Talk to your attorney, I would not want my kid around that guy, the fact his father thinks it is fine is scary.

    • CaL,

      Your X is a disgusting pig beast from hell of a man (and I apologize to actual men everywhere). What kind of “father” ( I apologize to men everywhere who are actually fathers) is willing to allow their teenage daughter within spitting distance of a man who, what the fuckity-fuck!, SERVED TIME (I’m screaming!!!) for violating HIS OWN DAUGHTER?!!! (I’m screaming louder!!!!). OMG! You’re good because they would so be taking my measurements for the orange jumpsuit.

      You are so blessed to be away from that pile of diarrhea from Satan’s flaming ass.

  • Yes…how adorable the Australian Shepherd wanting/hating the mailman!

    I couldn’t go NC with my X because we worked for the same company. Not the same department. At first it was just horrible. But it’s been years and he has since taken another job and moved 3000 miles away. He likes to put money in my bank account and hey, I let him. He’s still with the OW. I have no idea how that is going and I never ask. I’m at MEH now. It’s Tuesday, isn’t it?

  • This is exactly what I needed. I’m so tired of the cheater moping around my house saying hes depressed because he thinks I don’t want him around. Guess what?? I dont! I just haven’t been able to put those words together yet.

    • oh man, mine would do that after he wouldnt come home. and then act like a dog that had been kicked. i soooOOOooo hated it so much. moping around, acting all whimpy, if i asked him to get something he would act like a little kid, get whatever it was i asked for and softly say something like here you go, i did what you wanted. (arent i a good little husband, dont be mad). i wanted to kick his a$$!! but i never did

      the other thing he would do that would drive me crazy is be talking to me, explained something i asked him while walkin away so i couldnt actually hear what he said. and then mumble shit under his breath. i was forever asking him what. what are you saying. if you want to say something to me just say, dont mumble it. damn, be a man!! his response was always the same, no nothing. i didnt say nothing. ugh. so frustrating. trying to get him to voice his feeling, emotions and wants was like pulling teeth!!!

  • OMG-thank you for this post!!! It is exactly what I needed. I see clearly that even though it feels really, really, really good to tell him what a piece of shit he is and to go fuck his whore and leave me alone, it just tells him I still have feelings around this and keeps the door open!

    Blech, that is not at all what I want! Thank you for setting me straight. Still waiting for my Tuesday of Meh to arrive but with the support of CL & CN, I am confident I will get there.

    Stay strong everyone!

  • I have a way of reminding myself not to let the ex’s texts push my emotional buttons. On my phone I have his number so I know it’s him…except as his name I put Narcissist X. So when a text comes in, I read it with the appropriate degree of cynicism. Phone calls can easily be ignored when the name pops up. Works for me.

  • Oh and any other jokers I’ve dated, dumped prior to getting serious, they are on the list as Assclown 1, Assclown 2, etc. That way it’s like a loudspeaker announcing “assclown 1, about to poop on your otherwise calm day!”

  • CL -“You will give those kibbles greater importance (she called! he texted to wish me happy birthday!) because they are so infrequent and unpredictable. It’s classic that just as you’re 30 days clean on the no contact, the cheater will come fishing. They’ll flatter, or cajole, act like nothing ever happened. Or they’ll do the fake remorse-ishness.Beware. You’re of use to them. They want something.”

    Ohhh….I needed this post today. Thank you!! 2 months no contact. He stops by yesterday with paperwork about Health Insurance that could have easily just been left in the mailbox. No real explanations were needed…but that is what he told me….that he had to go over it with me. Then I start getting the flattery,…”You look amazing. I have never seen you this skinny before” Really?? I wonder why I lost so much weight?? I get the sad eyes. The long pauses. Some small part of me likes it. Some sick part of me thinks he really does miss me and regrets what he has done. I am soooooo wrong!!!

    Today is my birthday….and just as CL says…”he texted to wish me a Happy Birthday”. I am now in an incredibly crappy mood because of his stupid shit. It has set me back. I was MUCH happier 2 days ago….before I broke no contact. I’m mad at myself. Maybe I needed the kibbles….just as much as he did?? 🙁

    • its ok Kara, it will get better in time. He is flattering you because you know what he wants and once he gets that he will go back to his OW or whoever again and the usual bullshit, don’t give in and just hang in there!

      by the way,

      Happy Birthday!! 🙂

    • O sheesh, I totally missed that. Happy Freakin Birthday Kara!!!!! And you looked awesome before you got put on the cheater diet, and don’t beat yourself up, just go back to NC. Jedi Bday Hugs

    • Happy Birthday Kara!! And I’m so sorry that asswipe rained on your birthday parade. They have a way of doing that. Commenting on how much weight you’ve lost. Sheese. And some sick part of us ALWAYS wants them to miss us. I don’t think it’s really sick. I think they’re sick. We’re normal.
      Anyway honey, you go have a birthday margarita on Chump Nation. Call a girlfriend!

    • Happy Birthday Kara!! If I knew you IRL, I would bring you cake and ice cream and we would drink mimosas and laugh at your !

      I love birthdays, mostly because I love cake – of the birthday variety that is. 🙂

      I have fallen off of the no contact wagon several times and have had to climb back on and start from scratch working through the painful and numbing effects of the mindfuck. It’s that whole post by CL about the pig-faced aliens – so normal looking on the surface, but a pig-faced alien underneath. We get mesmerized and hypnotized by the normal appearing surface which distracts us from what lies at the core – the pig-faced alien. I am on my third round of re-instituting NC – six weeks and counting. He’s pretty much full-time with Rev. Imaho now, and that makes it easier. Since I never liked her as a person, it is easier for me to keep his pig-face clearly in view because only a pig-faced alien would be with her. Plus, he’s an asshole, at least as far as I’m concerned.

    • Kara – that sounds like hell re-visited on your special day – your Birthday. Happy Happy to you! And, sorry if he ruined it for you. The worst thing that could happen to me is seeing HIM on my b’day.

      To have him show up at your door? I certainly hope he fore-warned you or let you know he was arriving ‘with papers’ on your b’day. aww…how sweet.
      And, then go on to -I think- a sexist comment about your looks, weight or whatever. Bet he never said anything like that when you were married to him.
      And Ogler – that’s all he reminds me of.
      I’m mad. Sorry.
      My stbx is due to show up this weekend and I have NO intention of seeing him. He’ll pick up his stuff from the office and leave. I never ever want to see him again.
      I don’t think he knows that. But, he physically makes me puke a little in the mouth if I were to see him again.
      Hang strong. I’d be mad at myself. OK – 16 whips to you, Kara – with the Chump-whip. 🙂

      • Thanks so much to everyone for the birthday wishes and support, it really means so much.

        Thing is…he did tell me he was coming over….and I didn’t stop it. I have been so good with either A-telling him not to come over or B-making other arrangements to exchange whatever is in discussion (papers, money, insurance cards)

        But this time…I don’t know…maybe I thought I was at MEH…that I could handle it. But I wasn’t. In hindsight….I think my self esteem is so in the gutter…that maybe I was looking for validation. The comments about by weight and looks should have insulted me…but they didn’t. And now I kinda feel used all over again. I am so much stronger when I am angry. I think he knows that, and he always seems to wait until the dust settles to strike again.

        Well….tomorrows another day. Thank you guys for getting me through this one!! xoxoxo

        • When I quit eating, I’ll never forget how he didn’t care I wasn’t touching my food. I would push it around on my plate – those were the not-eating-days. I’m small anyway so 10#’s is a lot for me – did he worry? Nah -not once; just said – great, leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
          He never cared what kind of shape I kept myself in for him anyway, so wth is he going to notice a bunch of pounds off – probably show on my face anyway – he’d think that looked old..
          If he were to make a comment about my appearance – and I intend to put on my tight jeans and come-fuck-me-boots when I see him at this mediation. Maybe I’ll get a tattoo and a wig – sunglasses. Do the whole Faye Dunaway thing. Can you tell I’m very nervous about seeing him again and this damn mediation coming up that I will NOT let ruin the remainder of my summer. It is Tuesday, and I am chanting meh meh.. Sorry for the ramble.

    • Text him to let him know that he will not be welcomed again in your home, nor even on your front doorstep. And stick to it. Don’t ever answer the door to him ever again. Any correspondence can be conducted by e-mail, postal service, or text. And never answer him within 24 hours.

    • First, “Happy Birthday!” I am sure you look fabulous regardless of the cheater’s diet and you do not need asshat’s approval! PLEASE tell me that you did not complement him back…Please, tell me that you accepted his kibbles but did not shower any kibbles his way? Please tell me that when he told you that you looked amazing, your reply was, I know and I feel amazing too! If not, you can remember to be sassy and confident next time.
      NC is best, but if the narc is going to fish for kibbles by giving me a compliment. I am going to agree with the compliment and go about my merry way. He is no longer a member in my kibble program. He voided his warranty…
      Don’t be mad at yourself…give yourself a hug and smile. Enjoy your birthday cake!

      • Thanks Might Cat & Sunshine! I did NOT complement him back. Unfortunately I was definitely not sassy and confident….just kinda showed indifference I guess. If there is a next time, which I hope there will not be, I will try to find my confidence and as you say “go about my merry way” Not let it get to me like this.

        I’m at work and my co-workers just came in with a cake for me!! Yay!! This is the only type of cake eating that will be acceptable today! 😉

  • As a domestic abuse survivor and breast cancer survivor, I refuse to give away one second of my new, healing life. Thank God, my children are grown. We all now live cheater free!

  • We need to change our frame of minds and “demonize” back. I try to keep reminding myself that my STBXH was able to sleep like a baby in our bed after his fuck sessions with the OWs. I have to remind myself that I don’t want that kind of person as a partner. He was capable of causing mass destruction without blinking. He’s not SAFE.

    No contact has been helping, but like all of you fellow chumps, I still have set backs. We have young kids so I can’t just walk away. When we have to have contact, I can tell he is trying to read and observe my reactions, being that this was probably one of his manipulation tools from the beginning. I can say that I think about him and our relationship less and less with the NC. I do think about what happened to me and my kids daily. I’m naturally still traumatized and trying to make sense of it.

    • It is traumatizing but remember one can never “make sense of this.” Keep moving forward, it’s the only way to happy. Happy Birthday Kara!

  • I just started reading this site so I don’t know all of the acronyms yet!

    Anyway, my husband and I have been separated for 1 month and 3 days and I go back and forth on my feelings He cheated on me with his co-worker, who he is still with, and tells me we are getting a divorce because “it just didn’t work”. I left him the day I found out about her and filed for divorce four days later. I know it would never work between us and that I wouldn’t even want it to work, but all I can do is think about him. I think about what our life would have been like, when he decided I wasn’t worth his time, all the time I wasted with him, and that I don’t even know who I am without him. Every time I get a text or a phone call I’m wishing it’s him asking for my forgiveness.

    We do not have any kids (thankfully I suppose) but we do have a dog who I have. He asked to see the dog a couple of times, and each time that I have actually agreed to meet at the dog park so he could see the dog and I could get a check for the bills, he doesn’t answer his phone and ignores my texts.

    He is living at the house, I’m living with my parents. Luckily we have a buyer for the house and are hoping to close in September so I’m hoping we can get all of our stuff separated before then and divorced shortly after? That’s best case scenario of course and I know once we are actually divorced I will have no reason to see or speak to him ever again. Right now though I’m having such a hard time. I have texted him randomly about the dog, but I know I shouldn’t. Some days are really easy for me, and others really hard. I suppose all of this is normal and I’ve been seeing a counselor who says that of course I can’t just cut off contact and love for a person that I’ve been with for 7 years, but it’s SO HARD.

    I don’t really have a point to saying any of this stuff but I love reading what everyone else has to say and just wanted to put a bit of my story out there. I’m so thankful to have all of your stories to read, it helps me think that I might have a future of my own without him, a better future.

    • Katie,
      You are awesome! You are handling your cheater much better than I did. I did the whole pick me dance and thought that I was making headway. He actually kept cheating but was even more discreet. So after 18 months of marriage counseling, a failed reconciliation, hours wasted playing marriage police, and the stress of numerous verbal attacks, I finally left and filed for divorce. He is playing victim and states that he feel emotionally unsafe around me. Whatever, Mr. Asshat Projector.
      You are so far ahead of where I was in your shoes. Now, you exert your mightiness and enforce your boundaries. You do not initiate contact. If he contacts you to see the dog, give him a time that fits with your schedule. “I can try to fit you in to see Fido Saturday at 3:15 for 40 minutes, but you will need to retrieve and return Fido from my current living location.” If he starts asking questions, say that you are sorry but you have to go, just text me in the next few hours if that time works for you. If not, we can try again next weekend.
      It took me 18 months to realize that I would never be able to trust my stbx again and I needed to file for divorce. You are a smart lady!

    • well done girl. keep being strong. personally i dont think he deserves to see the dog and is probably just using it as an excuse so he can see you. stringing you along and feeling you out to see if you are “still mad” at him and see if he has a way in. be careful

      i agree with might cat. definitely do no text him!! if he texts you to see the dog, then schedule a time and have him pick up the dog and drop it off. or find a trusted friend that can take the dog to him so you dont have to worry about him running off with it. that way you dont have to see him. seeing my XH would kill me. i love everything about him, my heart still jumps, my tummy gets butterflies. it has always been that way for me. i love his eyes, his voice, his smile, his boys, his looks, his mannerisms. it would kill my heart to see him.

    • Katie – this is still so fresh for you and you are being so mighty!

      You said ” I don’t even know who I am without him”. Many of us have felt the same way, but this is your chance to find out. Who are you? What do YOU want? What do you like doing, where do you like going? It’s ok to start small and take baby steps, but to move away from him and the pain, you need to start moving towards something better. At first, it may not feel as if anything helps, but please trust me, over time you will start to learn who you are, and you will start to love who you are and how your life is developing. Hang in there.

    • You will! I’ve been separated for over a year. I always thought that cheaters AKA narcissists read from the same script. So much so it’s scary. But so do we. We have all felt the same way your feeling. Unfortunately it takes time to feel better and some days are not as good as others, but you will get past him. You’ll go into a better life. It still hurts one year out and I’m scared as hell over the fights to come dealing with child support and alimony, etc. but I have more energy and I am definitely better than I was last year. It’s still new, but you’re going to be ok.

  • To all the fellow “Chumps”…I want to say thanks for your support…I have been reading this site daily for 9 months and didn’t even trust my own feelings to post here…I think my voice is coming back…it’s so hard for all of us that loved and trusted the best we could only to have our entire existence squashed by someone that as Chumplady says would eat a cheeseburger while they watch you drown…
    I think the whole “No Contact” thing is so hard because we fell for the whole “love bomb” thing, even though there was this little voice that said that maybe something wasn’t right…Gosh, maybe if your friends and family just “knew his story and how SAD it was…”OH the sex…!!!!at least till they got bored, started watching porn and turned to every young receptionist that would THRILL to hear that they were SO powerful!! We SO wanted to believe the stories that they told to patch up their fucked up past…We SO wanted to hear that we finally had found our “Soul Mate!” The one that finally understood us and would heal all of our past hurts! Oh they would NEVER treat us badly and if anything ever happened they would go to therapy to work it out! Bullshit…they walk out of therapy cause they are seen for what they are and you don’t go back to that therapist because you don’t want to have to face the fact that they are SO right… We all loved with all our heart…we took our vows seriously…we thought that if we just loved more we could fix whatever the problems were…financial, legal…sicko relationships with their triangulated children that they had abandoned in the previous marriage…we were loyal to the point that we took some really obscene behavior up the ass…and begged and pleaded for whatever would just make it right and what could we all do to apologize for the mind-fuck silence treatment that you aren’t even sure that you caused…YEAH, just apologize for making them feel bad that you called them out on their lying, cheating, financial, legal problems, health problems that they blame on you…Oh you stupid CHUMP!! My ex told me in one of his last texts that “Everything would have been fixed if I had just learned to SHUT THE FUCK UP…
    SO…after all this…married or not…gay or straight…a few months, a few years…10, 20 lost years with a life sucking emotional vampire…We still care…Yeah go ahead…finally get to the point that you won’t EVER be safe emotionally, legally, physically and financially with that person…wake up “THAT” morning in tears knowing that you have to do what you have to do and it’s going to hurt LIKE HELL…That right there proves that you are a REAL person…Your ability to hurt that much just proves that you have the ability to love that much…
    Chumplady is right…the best is “NO CONTACT”…don’t keep passing by the car accident…You know that they are TOXIC and they will spin whatever story that they have to get a whole new life and a whole new bunch of followers and people that will be in their orbit…delete all family contacts on Facebook…Oh gosh it’s hard not to mine for any info of their life…I have been guilty of this…Block them…Block phone numbers on your phone, or just get a new number…Watch what you post on all social websites…they can use that against you for any court shit…Watch too…if they find out that you are doing great, have recovered…they can use that to get support reduced…
    It’s so sad to be in the place that you were SO intimate with someone…slept next to them, cared for them, gave all you had to them…and be so easily tossed off…
    I was married to my husband for almost 15 years…he promised it ALL…gave everything I had to fix his relationships with his family and kids…have known his grandkids since they were born…bought everything for all the babies…gave everything I had for the sake of our family… now they and all I had is gone…God, I don’t miss the husband, but really miss the 4 grandkids…
    No Contact for me is so bad that I feel it in my bones sometimes…I couldn’t give a shit about my STBEX but the thought that I will never see my grandkids again is almost more than I can bear…

  • Unfortunately, I am so overwhelmed with other issues in my life, going N/C is easier than it would be normally. I’m having problems with having to contact him, telling him to get his stuff out of my house, out of his office that he padlocked!! I dread turning the corner to my street and looking to see if he is there.
    Yes, I took a picture of the padlocked room.
    I read something the other day that said, a narcissist will leave you as soon as they are not the center of attention and leave you holding the bag.
    That’s exactly what he did. It must drive him crazy that my 24 year old son with cancer has upstaged him. In fact when my STBX left ,he left me with my sons car (a stick) which on that day I could not drive. I had to borrow a car to take my son for 5 days inpatient treatment. Then when we came home, while he still felt half way decent, my son taught me to drive the car. THEN my husband comes around and offers to switch cars, NO!!!

    He calls to see if I need anything from the store, NO! The other day he dropped off his car with a fresh oil change and a full gas tank “in case”. I’ll piggyback my son 30 miles before I use his car.

    He’s the one having trouble with N/C. He called me after 10 days and said “I figured I better call you since I haven’t heard from you.” He’s looking for the drama, for me to cry and beg.
    The drama is going to me when I tell him he needs to get ALL of his stuff out so I can make a home for my son for the year or two he has left.

    I’m calling a lawyer tomorrow.
    We’ll be broke and I won’t be able to pay the mortgage but maybe I won’t get that ulcer I feel creepy up on me.

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