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Dreadful Cheater Holidays

So last week, in a comment from TimeHeals, I suggested that Dreadful Cheater Holidays could be its own post. How many of us had those last gasp romantic vacations that were really just a farce. (Or in my case, it was my honeymoon.) The affair continued on, unabated. Hell, maybe they even brought a souvenir back for their fuckbuddy.

Today’s a chance to share your Dreadful Cheater Holiday story. (Somehow I suspect Disneyland is going to feature prominently.)

It’s also a chance to have some fun and craft your own Cheater Travel Brochure. Imagine a Sandals resort for cheaters! Special wifi in the bathroom for those midnight texts! Different travel arrangements for all manner of cake eating. (Wife and children in one cabin, mistress in the other).

Need a gift for the Mrs. back home? Cheater resorts come equipped with Crappy Gift Boutiques. A one-pound bag of coffee, a keychain, some broken pencils. Nothing says “I’m thinking of you” like a broken pencil set.

Lay it on me, chumps.

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  • Christmas 2008 and New Years 2009. We drove all the way (in my car of course) from the east coast to the midwest and had a lovely Christmas with Cheater’s Father, brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew and my two teenage sons. Then we drove back to NY and three days later to Boston for First Night with my two brothers, their spouses, and my kids. Cheater enjoyed himself immensely, laughing up a storm at the Christmas dinner… wearing the goofy “2009” glasses as we rode the subway around Boston going to Poetry Slams, seeing ice sculptures, dancing in the park, hanging in a bar; Now, post DDay by 1 year plus, I know that he had a previous OW the whole time. I found his emails to her from Dec 2008 setting up their next date, wishing her a wonderful Christmas, a Happy New Year, and planning their next “get together” as he called it in the email.

    Summer 2003. We spent the weekend at a lake house Cheater’s brother had rented. Whooped it up with my kids, Cheater did, tubing on the lake, mixing up drinks for the grownups… till he had a little boating accident and cut his leg while disembarking. Last week (yes, Sept. 2014), OW prior to the one I just mentioned, referred to this incident – she knew all about it because he came over to her apartment to have sex, and his leg was all bandaged up. She said “he hurt himself while fishing with his best friend.” Um, no. It was a family weekend with me and my kids.

    Summer 2012. Again, cottage rented on the lake with Cheater’s brother and family. Tubing, partying etc. Cheater, I found out later, was phoning some guy in Washington DC on and off the phone time. What they were “talking about”, who knows. The guy has a listing online where it says he’s a therapist specializing in sexual identity disorders. Many phone calls to this number for months on end, I found in hindsight.

    Thanks for robbing me of my happy memories. Thanks, really, I guess, for stealing 16 years from my, my children’s childhood memories now tainted with memories of this asshole lying to us and using our entire family as a front for his secret life of phone sex, cheating, fucking his prior GF, and just generally being a lying douchebag.

    • Themuse, Yes, it is the fraud and the double lie of a life and the knowing that we personally would of chosen much differently if given the truth and the choice, which we obviously were not given. The arrogance and entitlement is astounding and infuriating. There should be laws against the embezzlement of the life and free will of others. Using others coldly to meet your narcissistic needs all under false pretense of being a genuine caring trustworthy person is evil. Cheating and lying short term or that go on and on are very much a form of embezzlement. The currency stolen is your life and your right to create and choose the life and future that one desires based on the facts and the truth.

  • How’s this – X #2 & I took a trip to DC after X #1 kidnapped daughter for *2nd* time… & brought the OW w/us & we all stayed in the same hotel suite together. Because, don’t you know, I needed her support too as it was a rough time for all of us. Of course I paid for the whole thing, you had to ask?

    • Isn’t it funny how we always paid? How about this, a week after DDay I was on the phone with Cheater’s sister, crying my eyes out. She said, he’s really suffering right now, maybe he should come and stay with me on this ranch I’m house sitting at in Montana, oh and Muse? Would you be willing to pay his airfare? Guess what I chumpily co-dependently said? Of course I’ll pay! Anything to make him happy!

  • We actually didn’t have one. He made me believe we were so cash-strapped because of bills and putting his son through college that we couldn’t afford a vacation. Instead he took his schmoopie and her daughters to the beach for a week (paid for their condo and everything). Fortunately for me, they left a Walmart receipt in the car for tampons and Pepsi. Mind you, he told me he was on a business trip in another city. That receipt was my golden ticket to D-Day.

    • I can relate. I knew I had fallen so far down the Marriage Police hole when hubby left me and his three kids for a week vacation at our family home on Cape Cod. He needed some time think. Turns out, it was Schmoopie’s coming out party with his friends and her family (daughter and druggie boyfriend slept in my kid’s room). They had a big cookout and celebrated their birthdays together.

      I’m disgusted to tell you I know this because I went through his vacation trash HE BROUGHT HOME. It had tampons and pepsi (and not new). I remember furiously going through the trash and having a sudden, “WTF AM I DOING?!” moment.

      From the receipts and paper plates and crushed beer cans, seems X had a nice vacation though. And I had a moment of clarity of how very far I had sunk to rescue a useless marriage to a turd.

      My trash-picking days are OVA!

  • My xW refused to go home to see my family over Christmas 2011 saying that she couldn’t “pretend” anymore about our marriage (more true that I knew at the time). I give her the plane ticket to see her brother in CA later in 2012. She visits him. Goes clubbing with him. Meets a guy. Goes out to lunch with this dude by herself afterwards because apparently she thinks it is okay for a married woman to date random dudes as long as she is out in public. Her own brother called her out on that behavior to little effect in the end. Oh, the entitlement of cheating princesses!

  • Xmas holidays 2008. Family visiting him in hongkong preparing to move. She left things in our apt. Bought the Xmas tree and texting together the whole holiday while visiting schools and touring china. Now we are divorced and she is still with him! 35 years and five kids. All she has is him —complete narcissist. Happy holidays

  • Couples trip to Mexico for those who made their sales quotas for the year. I had just found out about hubby’s “friendship” with a co-worker from across the country whom he had trained. Her husband called me one night. This was the second time a husband called me, about ten years apart, to inform me of my husband having an affair with their wives. The royal chump that I was, I forgave, with a warning that if one more husband called me I was done. Yeah, I know….. Third time I win the Best Chump of All Time Award. Anyway, as he did not wish to lose his nice guy persona, I went on the shitty trip!!!! She was there too. And both of them received their awards with the others. I was upset, avoided her mostly. But I looked her straight in the eye as she walked past our table, uneasy that I knew.

    Her husband had told me that she had a new boyfriend. My husband was old news. And my husband made me stand through it all like the adoring politician’s wife whose husband has been caught.

    I finally got wise and left for good about twelve years later. No other husbands called me. My children were grown.

    Come to think of it, the year before he earned a Caribbean cruise. He kept ditching me in ports to call her. Same woman! Grrrrrr……

  • My STBX spent a romantic week with an old GF, but told me he was using a cruise ticket for a friend whose mother was deathly ill and couldn’t go on the non-refundable cruise. Then, two months later, he was supposed to be visiting my oldest son who is living in Germany, but spent most of his time in a town an hour away with his OW instead.
    I found out about his OW when her named popped up on his phone weeks later. I put it all together and knew he was cheating, again. He said it was only an AE and swore he hadn’t slept with her, but would if she asked him too, but I guess she didn’t (I still didn’t know the truth about the cruise at this time.) This was in November and I had already booked a nice cabin over Christmas for a skiing vacation with us and our youngest son. Once I found out about the supposed AE, we went back to the MC we had been seeing for a few years and the MC wanted to help us reconcile. STBX was to have no contact with OW and delete her from his facebook, which he did but promptly set up a new secret facebook site.
    We went on the Christmas vacation; all the while he was playing video foostie with his OW while I was sleeping. During the vacation, he threw his normal temper tantrums, yelling, screaming at my son and I while on the mountain Christmas day in front of other happy skiers. After I found out the truth, that he was still lying, that he has still contacting her, even over Christmas, then I found his secret facebook page and saw a picture of SBTX with the OW on a beach on his cruise and I realized what a chump I had been for believing he hadn’t slept with her and for believing his original lies about the cruise, I felt sick. I regret wasting money on a vacation with him, just for him to bully me and my son. It also makes me angry how bad he treats us while on vacation but I am sure he did not yell at the OW while on vacation with her. That’s been a couple of years and it still smarts.

    • My ex cheaterpants was also particularly hateful to me and my kids- especially when we went on vacation. Long before I ever found out why he was behaving that way (MC said it was guilt over affairs), I got to the point I refused to go on vacation with him. I would go and take the kids without him. I think that’s wholat he wanted though, because it left him home alone free to do what he wanted, he got to justify taking a “solo” vacation himself (since he didn’t come with us), AND he got to tell everyone what a bitch I was for not allowing him to go with us. He really was awful on vacations. I dreaded vacation because of his behavior. The kids and I actually had a good time without him! The last vacation we took together was to Vegas. He started sleeping with his last mistress the week we returned. Nothing I did would have stopped it. It’s just who he is.

      • OMG…my stbx has always been shitty on vacations, too! I could never understand why (and boy, did I try to figure out why). I’m just 3 1/2 months out from D-Day and at first thought that this was the first and only affair. As I look back over our marriage and think about how he almost always worked evenings and weekends, was such an asshole on vacations that me and the kids no longer wanted to go anywhere with him and the stories of how “friends” were always giving him expensive things “for free” I realize my whole marriage was a lie…this affair is nothing new. What’s new is that I finally see him for who he really is.

      • Mine was really shitty on vacations as well. I finally figured out that it was because I was cramping his style. Hard to pick up women while I was hanging around. He resented me for it, and it showed.

        Yeah….the vacations where I was treated like an uninvited hanger-on.

    • I chalk up the abuse to issues with kibble, cake, and that someone gets to be the whipping boy.

      Look, the problem with holidays is that the Chumpy family expect that the Cheater will pay them some attention. But there’s also the AP! The AP wants some loving, too! The poor cheater sausage is stuck in the middle, with everyone making demands!

      No wonder the poor sausage gets cranky! And this adds another level of stress, because the crankiness must come out somehow!

      In Cheater Economics, it’s important to keep both the kibble and cake flowing. Chumps are very dependable for kibble supply. Since APs are much more tenuous, it’s important to keep them happy so that you get a constant flow of cake.

      Thus it makes sense to play nice with the AP, while being a total jerk to your spouse and kids. After all, the spouse and kids–well, they’re always at your side. The AP? It depends on how nice you are to him/her.

  • We hadn’t had a decent vacation since our honeymoon but finally had the means to take a huge vacation with my family that was planned for May 2013, bought and paid for. Then of course DDay arrived on March 23, 2013. Despite stbxh’s claim to want to reconcile…my family was not feeling the warm fuzzies for him to say the least. I left stbxh home, went on vacation and had the best time ever! I was determined not to think about the mess that was my marriage. He called me several times a day, sent pictures of the dogs and had an “epiphany” about how much he loved and missed me. Of course in reality he was having sleepovers with the AP, taking her all over town on the Harley and buying her jewlrey for Mother’s Day (I of course bought cards and gifts for my Mom and mother in law before I left…he bought for the AP but not his own Mom!). At any rate…I had a great time on his dime!!

  • Part one: Family vacation to Ormond Beach in 2009. He was glowing with familial happiness. Loved me, loved the kids, loved our time together. Shelling, dining, baking in the sun (he has always fancied himself a bronzed sun god, but this particular vacation I couldn’t help but notice he was using “old school” and was actually using no SPF oil instead of sunscreen lotion.) I also noticed he was not finishing his meals, and asked why he was dieting when he hadn’t been in this good a shape for years. (DUH!) Every morning he took over an hour to go “get coffee” at the local diner – I walked over one morning to surprise him and he was on the phone – said it was to a co-worker. Another time – I walked by the pool area and he was on the phone again – laughing and chatting and I asked who it was and he actually said the OW name! This was pre-D-day, of course. But how would I have known at that point? Odd little moments – but nothing that made me take down the blinkers and think.

    Part Two was our 24th anniversary getaway, which he planned just for us! A romantic B & B – a great meal at a wonderful, romantic spot – tons of time together….if not for all those pesky “smoke breaks” where I found he was always on the phone! When I asked to who – he said his best buddy Paul. Guess again. I got a gorgeous card thanking me for being in his life because I was his life. He loved me more each day and saw me in his eyes like I was that first day we met at the audition. Imagine my surprise when post- D-day I discovered via phone records that he had called to talk to the whorebag OW SIX times on our 24th anniversary! I guess her husband and kids weren’t entertaining her enough on Valentines day.

    I felt the most chumped regarding that last anniversary – but the most hurt by the last family vacation – and the three vacations prior – he loved to play the man with the perfect family – loved playing the “provider/man of the house” but in reality he took every lovely moment we had together and covered it with the stink of what he was doing – and who. He stole those lovely memories of happy family times because none of it was real – it was from my girls and me – but he was never really there. He was just an illusion. I think I will always hate him for that.

    • You see? This is what i just don’t get. Why not just leave? You don’t live your wife anymore? Leave. She’s a nasty bitch to you? Leave. Oops, you accidentally fell in love with someone else? Leave. Why the charade? Why the gaslighting ? Why the bother?

      You can be free if you want to be free. But the damage they do with the lying, sneaking around and ESPECIALLY gaslighting when you know something is wrong. .. well, that’s what we are left struggling with for ages. Am i wrong chump nation ?

      • They stay for cake. This is why infidelity is abuse. They are quite happy for you to stay in the dark, taking care of the home and kids, feeding them kibbles and managing their image for your family and friends while they enjoy their side piece as well as the comforts and status of marriage.

      • I think there are three reasons these pussies don’t man (or woman) up and end the marriage.

        1). They love the facade they project as “family people” and how it looks to the community and their familes;

        2). They see the money they earn as THEIRS – don’t want to split up IRAs, 401Ks, savings, etc. Not to mention cars, homes, boats, etc.;

        3). They don’t want to be seen as the bad guy – breaking up their family. They decide to humiliate and debase their wives or husbands to the point that the faithful partner gets so disgusted that it becomes the faithful’s decision to break up the family.

        I still regret not making a bonfire with his cashmere sweaters and alligator shoes.

  • My family and XH went to Maui to scatter my mother’s ashes 10 months after she died. We wanted to celebrate her life and had a service for her. This trip was going to give us closure. XH allowed my Dad to treat him to a $300 game of golf and listened to my Dad tell him how he loved him as a son. When it came to me, XH was distant, XH would conveniently go to the hotel lobby to “read” his book…this is MAUI! For the first time in our marriage, he had eh-hem..performance issues. He ended our nearly 17 marriage on the drive home from the airport. I found out about OW 2 months later. The sick bitch had lost her mother 4 months after mine. Guess she needed him more.

  • I have a few.
    First wife wanted to go to Lutsen, a ski resort near Lake Surperior for Thanksgiving in 1995. We had two young sons, one pretty disabled with Down Syndrome and autism (still a great kid).
    We had to drive about 4 hours from Minneapolis to Lutsen. I got off work, expecting to drive up together, but got a phone call that she wanted the time alone and would meet us there and drive herself.
    So, I got the kids ready , car seats, etc . picked them up from daycare and headed up expecting to meet her.
    She showed up hours late.
    Next day was Thanksgiving. I played in the indoor pool all morning with the kids while she lounged in the room. We had a nice dinner at the resort and then she announced she was leaving the next morning ( we were set to stay another couple days) to visit a girlfriend in St Cloud. This was a shock to me.
    But, she got up the next day and headed out. We did not see her for another few days. Not sure which affair partner she hooked up with ( she had several) or if she just trolled for a new one.
    Christmas came and she never showed up at her sister’s house where her entire family had gathered with all the cousins etc. I went and took my kids alone.
    She claimed she was out at a homeless shelter, feeding the homeless. Her sisters all rolled their eyes when I gave them that explanation for her whereabouts.
    Summer vacation at Cragun’s in Brainerd MN. She disappeared each night and , I found she had hooked up with the Karaoke lounge singer. Started sneaking up to Brainerd on weekends to see him.
    I could go on. Amazing thins, actually embarrassing thing, is that I bought this stuff at the time. I was so naïve. She was my first and only sex partner and I had little experience with women, hypergamy etc.

    • Geez, Arnold, those are terrible stories. What a monster. Very clear your ex is disordered, the absolute lack of any feeling whatsoever even for her own children shines through in those stories. Sorry you had to go through all that.

    • Arnold, if she’s trolling the areas and hooking up with Karaoke lounge singers, the hypergamy thing isn’t applicable. She’s just plain and simply disordered!

      You are so well out of that marriage!

      STBXH’s AP is into hypergamy. If she gets him to commit, he’ll be Husband #3 for her. Before she found out that he was dumb enough to hook up with her, she’d made passes at other people in the senior management of his company. She had to get to him, someone on the higher end of mid-level management–before she found the sucker she wanted.

      The funny thing is that a couple of the single guys had asked her out, but after a date or two, things fizzled out. It was clear even before I knew she was sleeping with STBX that she wanted a “professional” man in her life. Sheesh!

    • Yes, she is a special kind of whacko. And a cruel one. She lost out on your fine sense of humor and your kind heart.

  • This was a family vacation summer of 2003. We traveled to the west coast visiting my aunt in Seattle and his brother in CA. Our sons were 6 and 1.5 yrs old. It was all a wonderful vacation full of good memories… until I found out just a few months ago of this year that he had called her and emailed her while we were on vacation. He let her know when we were leaving and what we were doing. I know very few details but just the fact that he did this when I thoroughly enjoyed that particular trip just is mind-boggling to me. That year was a very good year in our marriage yet here he was screwing around with HER. Conference here… with her. Conference there… with her. This trip out west was the ONE trip that I don’t recall having a fight or any bad experience on. Now its tarnished. Now I question and wonder about every other trip he’s been on and what he’s said or even done with whom whether I was there or not. It’s all lies to me now.

    Doesn’t matter though being we are now divorcing. He doesn’t want the reason to be his affair. May not be YOUR reason jerk but it is most definitely mine! What really gets me though is at that particular time in our marriage I feel I was at one of our happier moments so I can’t grasp his doing this. I was so devoted to our marriage then and to find out this is how he treated me? Funny thing is he sent me this text just last week…
    “Next relationship you get in, give enough love, pay little more attention, spend time with him, be adventurous, stay up late once in a while, go places unplanned, don’t short change him, you will see his world will be revolved around you and he will not step in satan’s trap to eat the apple.” WTF!?!

    Anyway, I’m done. Done with dealing with his twisted sense of shit. He can sift through his own lies and see life through his shit-colored glasses being I really don’t care any more.

      • We all got that. They can’t see it any other way, they have to believe
        it is all our fault so they can live with it. switch off.

    • “Funny thing is he sent me this text just last week…
      ‘Next relationship you get in, give enough love, pay little more attention, spend time with him, be adventurous, stay up late once in a while, go places unplanned, don’t short change him, you will see his world will be revolved around you and he will not step in satan’s trap to eat the apple.’ WTF!?!”

      What an ASSHOLE!! That jerk is still blaming you for HIS affair. That’s the problem with these people…nothing is ever their fault. Just a couple of weeks ago my ex sent an email explaining that he’s not going to pay child support since the kids won’t see him. *I* destroyed his relationship with them. We’ll see what the judge has to say about the missing child support.

    • Same text to him: “Next relationship you get in, give her enough love, pay her a little more attention, spend time with her, be adventurous, stay up late once in a while, go places unplanned and don’t short change her, you will see her world will be revolved around you and you won’t step in satan’s trap to eat that apple.”

      The old blame game…

      Always about what you should have given them, not about what they should have been giving you.

      • “Always about what you should have given them…”

        True….but the biggest slap in the face is that all those things were on offer for us — they were rejected.

        One of the few things that still gets my gander up is remembering some of the comments whereby our breakup was all my fault, and he was just a fuckin saint.

    • How twisted, sending you that text. Mine tried to give me relationship advice too, saying, “The next relationship you are in, Muse, … ” when I just cut him off and said “Dont you even try to give ME relationship advice!” disordered freaks.

      • Mine told me that she dreamed “you married a nice asian lady, and you were happy, and sometimes my dreams come true”. I kid you not. Whacka-whacka-whacka. See, she was doing me a favor by running off to meet up with ap2 because she was setting me free to meet my future-destined asian soulmate. The mighty Oz had spoken.

        Of course, months later she called and talked about missing “being home…” blah, blah, blah. I shut that crap down in a hurry.

        • Your XW, Timeheals, must be related to mine. I swear, the whacked out stuff you describe could have just as easily come from mine. Spiritual, New age, Namaste, the whole deal.

    • This is so painful and infuriating. I would have been steaming had i received that text. I’d want to defend myself, I’d want to attack him, I’d want to yell and scream at the top of my lungs. But I’d ignore it because no contact is the only way to end it. That said, no contact doesn’t stop the inevitable fury from texts like that, which we are all left to deal with. That pisses me off. They just unload on you and you have no outlet for the anger/frustration/emotion of choice you are feeling. Grrr.

    • I wanna reply to the text!!! 😀

      .. Next relationship, give enough love to your spouse, not someone else.. pay attention to the person you are with, not your lover, spend time with your spouse, not your lover, don’t confuse adventure with being deceitful and abusive to people that love you, don’t short change your spouse by putting another persons needs in front of theirs, stay up late with your spouse, not to text your lover.. Go places with your spouse, don’t sneak off with another person then lie to your spouse about it.. and pretend it’s an adventure.

      Next relationship you get in.. be honest, don’t cheat and lie and pretend to be something you’re not. Don’t pretend to care about others when your world really revolves around you, try to care about someone other than yourself.

      Stop telling yourself lies that all your poor choices and actions in life are because of something someone else did to you. If you had issues with your spouse not staying up late at night, you could have mentioned that in a text before getting caught cheating. Don’t rewrite history to make it appear that your choices were good ones.

      Shove the apple up your behind, you and Satan.

      What a classic blame shift and gas light job. He’s a master at fooling himself into thinking he’s all justified… Cheaters justify cheating with the list of bullcrap reasons they build up, and on dday they shoot them off rapid fire “here’s why it’s okay that I cheated on you!” They are usually huge marital issues like not staying up late at night, not reading minds, and not being able to morph into some strange.

    • so to clarify, he is giving you relationship advice? The man who cheated is telling you how YOU can do better. I have a suggestion! How about if you don’t cheat on your partner… oh wait. That wasn’t you, you say? Oh, that was him, the one giving that very sage advice? Gosh. That is awkward!

      • It’s like being hit by a drunk driver, then he backs over you… then afterwards, he gives you advice about how next time you walk down the street, have more bounce in your step and don’t be always looking to get run over.

  • My soon-to-be XH is a particular kind of disordered (diagnosed)… and so I had a lot of shocking experiences when he went batshit crazy on the affair train:

    – We didn’t have a great intimate life to begin with, which was always a point of stress for me. During one false reconciliation after DDay, we decided to go to FL for a long weekend to see if we could start over. Once we got there and he had to share a bed with me (we had been living apart) he freaked out, told me we’re more like siblings and that he wasn’t ready to be intimate yet. Yea, on the start over rebuild weekend that was a blow. Of course, he was still banging his child-ho thing so… I guess he didn’t want to cheat on her with his wife! The insanity, really, it boggles the mind.

    But the most horrifying vacation stories really had to do with their vacations together, not ours:

    – My DDay happened over the holidays in late 2010-early 2011. XH never came home one night, and for weeks started acting viciously mean and cruel out of the blue. (He had always been a charmer so this was especially weird. I was one of those chumps who thought he either had a brain tumor or was on drugs. I later learned this is what the disordered sometimes do because they need to make you the awful person in their mind to justify their actions to themselves). On Christmas morning, he halfheartedly threw presents at me that clearly he had purchased in a 1-hour Christmas Eve shopping crunch, and so my life began to implode. After a horrifying Christmas and New Years, he took her away for long weekend to the hotel where he and I got married (I will never understand this sick and twisted act, and it still stings.

    – During another false reconciliation, he helped renovate my kitchen and gave me tickets to a concert to “go to with a friend.” I have the unfortunate luck of having a birthday within the same 2-week period of ho-bag, and I later learned she got a 5-star all paid vaca with him at the Four Seasons to a city she’d always wanted to go. It didnt take place until a few months later, and during that long weekend, he sent me and his family a bizarre, totally insane email explaining he needed to get away without a phone to find himself. A few months after that, I learned XH had been forging checks out of my bank account– so guess what, I now know I personally partly funded their magical Four Seasons getaway! Psychos

  • [Raises hand] Honeymoon 1st DDay here. Found out seven days into our marriage he was still very friendly with two ex-girlfriends that weren’t friends enough to be invited to the wedding. He was emailing them to set up dates, somehow forgetting to mention the whole engagement, wedding, wife, etc. You wouldn’t think it possible to ruin beautiful, fun Copenhagen, but he managed to do it.

    Of course, sucker that I am, I believed him that he was sorry and that they were flirting, harmlessly. I wish I’d taken up a healthier habit, like hitting my fingers with a hammer.

    • ” wish I’d taken up a healthier habit, like hitting my fingers with a hammer.”

      lol. I think most of us feel like that if we look back at all those years of metaphorically banging our heads against walls and expecting the walls to magically have different properties before the next time our skulls met the wall 🙂 But… but.. but.. the wall says it’s soft and comfy 🙂

        • That’s because it isn’t harmless. I think that people in committed relationships who flirt with others are, at best, looking for a little narcissistic supply or, at worst, looking to line up some sec on the side because they are disordered. I (now) consider it a big fucking red flag either way.

          • I told my guy & he agrees that flirting is showing sexual interest in someone. That is what I believe the definition is. He agreed. It also escalates over time if these 2 continue to run into each other as one flirtation builds on another. Then the parties are looking forward to seeing each other for the “boost” (supply) They are skipping down the Cheater’s Trail.

        • Totally agree LovedaJackass. Any flirting with a person outside your relationship is not on, “harmless” or not. I draw a huge boundary around that. The OW even said to me one night that she hoped I didn’t mind her flirting with my husband as she found him so attractive (barf!!!).

  • The Infamous Cruise!

    Booked to celebrate his 50th, where he uttered the words, “I’ll end up a lonely old man”.
    3 weeks later he was gone, not so lonely after all eh?

    Should have chucked him overboard while I had the chance 🙂

    • OMG…. verity!
      I heard the exact same thing!! Mine even talked about jumping.. shoulda
      gave him a loving gentle push….

  • One week before Xmas 2008 she says she wants a divorce. She decides to take a vacation alone, the week between Xmas and New years to deliver my son’s vehicle to him in Arizona. A chumpy email I sent during the ride out was answered very coldly.
    When she returned I sneaked a look at the photos in her digital camera. To my complete shock, I saw pics of her with my son AND the #$&*%# which we met when we rented a room to him for the summer! When I forced my son to come clean he finally admitted that he/it flew up here from Florida to a local airport, and they drove from here (New England) to Arizona together! Of course enjoying the nightly stays in hotels along the way. The first XXX pics I stumbled upon which they took of each other were from that trip. (Don’t think for one minute that she EVER allowed me to take nude pics of her in the 30 years we were married!!!) When I accused her of adultery she replied. ” No…it is not adultery,because I had already told you that I wanted a divorce! ” Imagine….that’s all it takes to keep from committing adultery! Just tell your spouse you want a divorce! Now you’re free to do as you please!

    • I had told my stbx that I wanted a divorce last December. Could not take the abuse any longer and was starting to understand he is probably disordered. I got the “Please forgive me, I’ll DO ANYTHING to win you back” speech. Funny thing is, his “DO ANYTHING” was to start going out to bars and find some whore to have an affair with. When I discovered the affair, he actually told me that I had given him permission to have a girlfriend, because, you know, he couldn’t be expected to wait till we were divorced to be able to have sex with other people! And now, he says that they’re “just friends” and that it can’t be adultery if I already told him I wanted a divorce! I will never understand his f&%#$d up thinking and I need to stop trying…it makes my head hurt!

      • Another play in the cheater handbook. When I told my ex in August of 2013 I wanted a divorce, he hemmed and hawed. I thought maybe it was because he wanted to try harder. He just wanted to find my replacement.

        When I started looking for places to live the next month I got the infamous “Let’s wait until the holidays are over” speech. And the question “what’s the rush?” The rush was that I knew what he was going to do because in his head once I told him it was over that meant he was free to date…even though I was still living in the house.

        He stalled and stalled and dated and dated. I suspected this (found his ring with a load of jeans in the dryer) and told him as much but I was still providing useful things to him (e.g. money etc). He avoided answering the question outright and just kind of danced around it. He wanted to come with me to look at apartments-mostly just to stall me some more so I just went ahead, made appointments and found one without inviting him.

        When I finally moved out-12/28-I went no contact with him. He wonders why can’t be friends because “lots of ex’s are still friends and help each other out”. When I told him that he showed a complete lack of respect for me by dating while I was still living in the house he blamed it on “such mis-communication and just so sad at the end”.

        I guess I should’ve communicated to him better that he should hold off on dating until I moved out of the house. The only thing sad about that ending was that it didn’t happen sooner!

  • XH’s mentor asked us to come to Atlanta for 4th of July 2007. It’s about a 10 hour drive from here, so XH said he wanted to leave early, around 6 am. So I got up at 4:30, got myself ready, got the kids up and ready, and made XH coffee. I woke him up at 5:45. He said he wanted to, “sleep a little longer” and “would get up soon,” and to keep the kids quiet and not to bother him again. So we all sat around, waiting…and waiting…and waiting. He finally got up around 8:30 and we left at 9. When I complained that we could have all slept in later if we’d just planned to leave at 9, he shrugged and said, “It’s nice to have all YOU waiting on me instead of the other way around.”

    He was snippy the whole trip and spent as little time with us as possible. On the one occasion he did go with us to a museum, he got mad at the kids and made us leave then and there, then complained about how much money he’d wasted paying for tickets. I felt like I was on pins and needles the whole trip. I was glad to get home.

    When arrived late at night and were greeted with the smell of cat urine permeating the house – the first time that had ever happened in all our years of owning cats. Apparently, the female grad student he’d asked to watch the house while we were gone had closed the basement door after scooping the cat box, and the cat couldn’t get to her litter box. I asked XH what kind of morons they were letting into grad school these days, and he fluttered all about, apologizing and cleaning the cat mess.

    D-day was a year later. Turns out, he spent so little time with us on that trip because he was talking and texting OW when he wasn’t with his mentor, and she turned out to be – you guessed it – the female grad student who scooped the cat box and then closed the basement door on the cat. XH gave her Victoria’s Secret sleepwear for her troubles. She got it the night before our 21st anniversary…

  • I’m not going to post much because I’d have to go into a lot of detail that I’d rather not re-live to properly explain a lot of it, but I will offer bullet-points:

    1. Non-refundable vacation to “get away, hit reset/refresh” to San Francisco/Bay Area/California Redwoods. Conceived by yours truly because “something seemed to be bothering [ex]”. Cancellation reason: Dday 1.

    2. I’m going to mention Disneyworld because it was just an awful trip and CL waved the Disneyland flag. In truth all trips conceived as romantic or entertaining get-aways failed in some respect because the ex was just unpleasant generally toward me. I was the designated complaint department, and somehow whatever the problem was, it was my job to fix it apparently, and then be rewarded by mostly sulking or more complaints. Man, could she complain a lot.

    3. Definitely the last Hot Springs trip, but she was working on affair #2 which partially explains her behavior. Again, something seemed to be bothering her, and the trip was conceived as a “reset and reboot” type of getaway. Yeah, I am slow. Dday 2 was shortly after this, and then it all became clearer when I checked the phone bills and such and noted the dates.

  • Valentine’s Day 2007. Cheaterpants XH told me that he needed to go to a city down the road to get me a present…one that he had seen at a kiosk at a mall over Christmas. He was gone about 12 hours getting me this ‘present.’ V Day rolls around and I get a gift certificate for a massage for a place six blocks from our house. When I asked him about it he said he couldn’t find what he was looking for when he went in to the city. Bwahahaha. He most certainly did…come to find out he was fucking skank woman all day in some cheap motel.

  • Never found out about a vacation, but wouldn’t put it past her. When she informed me she was leaving promptly after I told her I didn’t appreciate her staying out at a bar until 12:30 am with a couple of male co-workers(if that’s really where she was). I looked over the phone records, and found she had one number that she was texting so much that it really stood out. I did a reverse phone lookup and found that the phone was registered to one of the guys at the bar’s daughter. We were visiting a friend couple that had kids close to our kids age, we always got together for New Years Eve with them. All this time that we are with them that evening she is texting her OM. 152 text messages that day, there were other days that had even more. I don’t know that she ever texted me 152 in one month. So we hadn’t gone away on vacation, but that tradition on that holiday is forever tarnished.

  • Last winter. W and I were having problems (her infidelity) that had been going on for a while. Our son knew W was a little off, but was not really aware of how bad things had gotten. He wanted a family ski vacation, so we decided to make it happen notwithstanding the problems. We went to a very nice ski resort (we have done this every year).

    My son and I went into town to arrange for his ski equipment while W went on to the hotel. When we got there, the luggage was dumped in the room still packed. My son and I organized the stuff and unpacked. We found her in the lodge bar with her head in the cellphone of a ski instructor. She later left us on two nights to go to him, telling us she didn’t feel great and just needed some fresh air and space. Obviously I had an idea of what was up; my son was a little perplexed but OK.

    The day after she left the first time, my son (God love him) convinced us to go snowshoeing as a change of pace. He led us up a wooded trail way off the beaten path in the mountains, the snow falling, hushed, views beyond gorgeous, no one but us anywhere around. He stopped and turned and said, “Let’s stop here for a minute, and just listen to how quiet the mountains are…”

    As I watched him during what should have been one of those lifetime moments, I glanced over at her, who had her back to me. What we had just wasn’t enough for her. I’ll let you imagine my thoughts.

    • Its interesting how many of these cheaters are so unhappy even with their kids. They are so angry that they can’t even be there in the moment for the kids.

    • Chumpguy-
      I understand this feeling well (not being enough), but having her take out her selfishness on your son must be another level of torture. It’s a good thing he has you in his life.

      • When I confronted the jackass after D-Day, the most important thing I said was “Why wasn’t sitting on the porch with me watching the deer enough?” The answer of course is that there are not kibbles for these folks in having real relationships or lifetime moments. No matter how much it hurts when we think of what they did to us and others, the fact remains is that it’s like they live on another, lower level of existence. They don’t love like we do and thus they don’t have the capacity for wonder, which requires us to be humble in the face of the universe.

        • Good points. Not to get too new agey, but when I think of what I used to enjoy (and still do, just without her) are things like a bike ride together followed by a lazy lunch on a patio, walking the dog on a crisp autumn afternoon and then making a great meal at home, spending a cold winter afternoon in front of the fire watching a goofy movie or reading, many others.

          I think she enjoyed all of that too, but in the end, not sparkly and edgy enough for her.

        • –When I confronted the jackass after D-Day, the most important thing I said was “Why wasn’t sitting on the porch with me watching the deer enough?”–

          This commenting may be overkill, I know, but am repeating this because it cuts to the heart of what I (and I believe many others here) can never understand. I think many of us at this site still wonder “We had it so good. Why? How could you and why would you?’

          Also learning there sometimes are no logical or good answers – maybe just a realization of what reality is post D-Day. Push it aside, move on to meh.

      • Thanks for the thoughts! When things are especially rough I can always draw on the thought that the incredible luck of having him as my son makes whatever ugliness is around due to her ultimately worthwhile. She is now a very bad patch in my life that I’m on my way to “meh” with; he is forever.

        • Chumpguy,
          Your comments sound familiar. Why couldn’t we just enjoy the activities you just listed??? On my list for the next guy (no where near ready for that, but hey, discovering my boundaries!) is a guy who will read with me!!!

          • Many of my treasured memories of my parents involve them reading aloud. They read aloud to all of us kids (and we were many)–well past the point where we could read for ourselves. It was a family time together. They also read aloud to each other.

            STBX and I are living in the house we bought. One of the best features of the house is the back porch–a covered 3-season room with a lovely breeze and view. STBX never liked eating out there. He’d rather eat on the sofa in front of the television, which is where he’s eaten every day since we moved into the house. Now that we’re getting divorced, I no longer feel obligated to eat with him, so I’m taking back eating at the table on the porch, watching the birds and enjoying the spectacular sunsets.

            It has occurred to me that STBX doesn’t know how to enjoy the beauty of the world around him. That’s his loss.

  • Yes, Disney World. We had saved for months, and I let him happily plan all the details. On the trip he acted very strange, always arranging for us to sit separate with our own daughters, barely tolerating affection from me, and needing to duck out to the store alone. And although we had plenty of money, he seemed uncharacteristically cheap compared to other vacations. He took almost no photos that included me.

    After D-Day I found he and the OW had texted back and forth dozens of times daily, and two days prior was when they decided to be a couple.

    Sickening. I am saving to go back to Disney on our own and make our own untarnished memories.

  • I was turning 60 and my then partner “surprised” me with a trip to celebrate. The trip was miserable, the ex was irritable, critical and I walked on eggshells for 10 days. Being miserable in Paris of all places. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Our previous trip had been wonderful. Fast forward 9 months, I was left, humiliated and dumped after 22 years for an OW. The relationship had been going on for at least 2years.

  • I didn’t have a cheater holiday just a near miss, but I want to play…

    So after I found out that the WAW was sexting one of our kids, best friend’s dad, (a cop) we began marriage counseling and I starting looking for the reconciliation unicorn. One of the exercises that the marriage councilor wanted us to do was to go on dates, weekend trips, quality alone time, you know??? Whatever…

    During 21 years of marriage, we had always wanted to go to DC to sight-see but never had been able to because of one reason or another. I decided to plan a weekend trip to DC, reserved a room, places to visit, looked for restaurants, the whole nine yards.

    The week before we were scheduled to leave on the trip, I found another secret cell phone and realized that I was a huge chump and she was still having sex with this douchebag cop. (I am bitter – I’m a fireman.)

    Guess what one of the first things she asked me after she got busted…”So are we still going to Washington?” No shit, I couldn’t make that shit up…

    • OMG – I got the same thing last fall. I busted STBXH 3 days before a much anticipated trip to Vegas to run a half marathon that I had been training for for months. After I heard a couple of bullshit lines like “Let’s work it out, baby! This isn’t what you think! I didn’t know she was a porn star until two weeks ago!”, etc, etc, I got “Are we still going to Vegas this weekend?” I was a heap on the floor in the worst pain I’ve ever felt and he was concerned about whether or not he was still going to be able to catch the Blue Man Group’s show.

    • I got versions of that “So are we still going to Washington [just replace place name]?” as my spouse had a traveling job. Whenever I objected, cheater husband would tell me, “It’s not about YOU; it’s for the KIDS,” as if I were a horrible, selfish wife and mother for not wanting to spend time with abusive cheater spouse. (I wanted to go on vacation and outings with the kids without him, which I have done before.) I wonder if he thought his affair was “for the kids.”

  • Cranky, nagging spouse?
    Bills piling up?
    Low on Kibbles?
    Tired of the questions?
    Lost your access to your old cell phone/Facebook/Twitter?
    Then pack it up, take a break from the old ball and chain, and come with your Twu Wuv to …
    Fantasy Island!
    Soundproof bathrooms so you can call home without waking Schmoopie
    Simulated office/airport/train noise machines in every toilet area
    Big beds
    Mirrors on every wall!
    And more.
    At Fantasy Island, it’s not cheating if you think it’s the honest to God love of your life!
    [In small print: Not responsible for new affairs while here with your current affair partner. Please fuck up responsibly.]

    • With each room comes a free pass to one of our spectacular seminars….
      “Cheating do’s and don’ts”. “Gas lighting 101”, “25 sure fire ways to blame your spouse.” And finally “Double Talk and Nonsense – was to say nothing and mean it,”

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      With each room comes a free profile makeover for any of your online multiple dating accounts and a free photoshop makeover for your picture. 50 and multiple kids and diseases? No problem.. We can make you 15 years younger and kid free! We got it all. Questions? Call 1-800-cheater

  • We were out of state visiting relatives when he insisted we had to go shopping and we went around looking for various bead shops.
    He was very particular that he find the perfect beads so as to make a nice piece of jewelry, which was sort of his latest hobby.
    Turns out the whole reason was so he could make something special for his schmoopie. Something to bring back home to her to let her know he was thinking of her the whole time. And schmuck that I am helped him pick them out.

    • I helped mine choose the perfect new designer suit, shirt and tie for his affair partner’s brother’s wedding.
      That’s funny, could’ve sworn he’d said it was for a work function while we were shopping for it and I was telling him how great he looked…

  • My stories aren’t nearly as bad as many others here, but here are a couple:

    Our honeymoon in Hawaii, we did not have sex a single time. We did have a great time snorkeling and such, but seriously, talk about a red flag.

    A couple months before Dday, we went on a family road trip to Yellowstone, along with several other homeschooling families. This was an eight-day trip, it’s around 20 hours of driving time just to get to Yellowstone from where we live.

    Anyway, it was a great trip, or so I thought. If you’ve never been to Yellowstone, you need to go, there’s just nowhere else like it in the US, probably in the world. Ex and I got along together great, son had a great time, we were with other families that were friends. I actually thought this trip was some sort of turning point, because I’d been sensing that the marriage was rocketing downhill and I thought our good time on this trip meant things weren’t so bad.

    A few months later, after ex dumped me, one of the things he told people and actually wrote in his book about himself was that he had some sort of “epiphany” on that trip and decided he didn’t want to be married to me anymore. Too bad he didn’t share that with me. My guess is he either had just barely started his affairs with the two married women right before the trip, or else had decided he would start the affairs once we got home.

    Anyway, talk about spoiled memories. I still treasure the thought of the beauty of Yellowstone and of a lot of the country we drove through to get there, but in terms of a family vacation (one of the very, very few we ever took), the memories are ruined.

  • X left a day early from my grandmother’s funeral (2004) to go home and have some me time (when I phoned to ask how his day at work was he said “ok”. Later found out, he was at home trolling internet for AP). X encouraged us (me and kids to go to Washington State (2009) to visit friends as he just couldn’t take the time off work). He needed to spend time trolling the internet looking for AP. We went to Vegas (2009) with the kids, only to have him and DS spend the whole time in the hotel room. I realize that Vegas was a poor choice but it was what we could afford and get some warm weather. Encouraged me and DD to go to my sister’s for Thanksgiving (2009) so he could stay at home and make his money shot video/pics for the AP he met online (she was in her 20s and lived in Kentucky, USA). I only found the pics/video after seeing a file name “open when alone” on the desktop computer we shared. Talk about chump and marriage police. They were married (2013) but she still lives in Kentucky, whilst he has a basement suite in Canada.

  • I was married to the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the basement-dwelling, heart is “two sizes too small” creature who walked out three days before Christmas. . . and our anniversary. We were also scheduled to leave the country for a vacation. To celebrate the anniversary. To enjoy the holiday.

    Merry Christmas to me! Ho. Ho. Wait. You mean he’s screwing a ho? It was the gift that kept on giving.

    • Wow! That is twice the hurt. Coincidentally, my X was a basement dweller, too. Two years into our marriage, and with me eight months pregnant, he moved out of our bedroom. Came back for sex, but never returned to cuddle or actually sleep next to me ever again. He missed the family bed I created with our kids. He missed cuddles and all the good parent stuff.

      Heard tell from my poor son who lives in Clusterfuckdale that he moved out of Schmoopie’s bed and is sleeping in the office. Start the countdown. She’s going to be wondering what the hell happened, I’m guessing, very soon! Bwhahahaha! I could send her the play book, but why stop Twu Wuv?!

  • Many years ago, I was engaged to Cheater #1. I was 22 years old, and we had been dating for five years at that point. I had graduated and had a job. With my first paycheque, I paid for him to go on a hiking trip in the Yukon (helicoptered in, the whole deal) that he had been talking about for a long time. I could not go because I had just started my new job but was happy to see him enjoy such an adventure.

    He goes off for the two weeks, and I stay home, working and cleaning house, happy that I’ve trusted him to go on his dream trip before becoming a married man. Upon his return, he didn’t even take time to kiss me hello. He just plunked himself down in a chair, head in hands, and said he had ‘met’ someone else. He asked for ‘time to make up his mind’ and walked out. I didn’t see him for about five months after that. Engagement cancelled, family disappointed, me devastated.

    It didn’t help that when I finally caught sight of the OW, what an ugly horse she truly was.

    Fast forward another couple of months, and he appears at my door. He says he still loves me and wants to go ahead with the wedding because his mother said we should. CHUMP FOOL …I say yes, and married him.

    He proceeded to assault and insult me emotionally over the next 25 years until I finally made my jail break. I am now the polar opposite of that young insecure girl who didn’t know enough to dump a cheater.

    • It is so true that they tell us who they are from the beginning and we still want to believe that they will change because our love is special…how I know to really see those moments as “this is who I am” and to choose accordingly. Lesson learned, painfully.

  • This is a great exercise for trust that they suck. Just thinking about all the ruined trips/experiences I had with Asshat Cheater reinforce the fact that me & my son will be better off without him. There have been so many red flags along the way, I could have been a ground air traffic controller! Here’s a few off the top of my head:
    1) Honeymoon-hardly any sex. He said the tons of sex were for people who didn’t live together before marriage
    2) Grand Cayman-He shot video footage of some blonde in a purple bikini IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR VACATION VIDEO and was zooming in, etc and in the audio he was saying it was for my uncle (yeah right)
    3) Vegas/Texas-I thought we were having a great time in Vegas however when we flew to Texas to see his sister & her kids I found out differently. His young niece was looking through the pictures on his phone & then asked him why he was taking pictures of a bunch of girls butts? Once I saw that it was an immediate flight home
    4) Oahu-he left me in the hotel after dinner because he said that he wanted to do some shopping for me/some of the family. So, after a few hours go by-I call him & it sounds like he’s in a bar. We fight and he shows up at our hotel room minutes later with no shirt on. Another trip where I booked a return flight immediately & the trip was cut short
    5) Oahu Again-Trip was supposed to be family but he said bringing family would give us alone time together. Right. We had dinner alone 1 time and he was an asshole. He went to the gym at night and I was drinking at the bar with his uncle. The one day that I wanted to take my sister somewhere alone he refused to babysit our son & had his mom & uncle come with us and he was at the hotel all day. Supposedly one of his old employees, a guy named Jordan who now lives in Hawaii came to visit. It was another vacation from hell.

    Gah, I WAS such an epic chump!
    I’m so glad those days are over!

  • We took a lot of wonderful family vacations when the kids were very young. We had maybe ten years of that, and I’m pretty sure that he wasn’t distracted by any infatuation (although he may have been screwing around). When he did “fall in love” what changed was he started sending the kids and I on vacations ALONE, saying he just couldn’t get time off from work and it wasn’t fair that the kids and I had to have our summer ruined just because he couldn’t come along. Back at home, without us to cramp his style, guess what he was doing?

    Well, asshole, thanks for caring so much, because the kids and I had GREAT times together without you there, and we are super bonded as a trio. You will never know what that is like — Schmoopie-wife and 4 year old Dennis the Menace don’t hold a candle to what the kids and I have still, even though they’re grown and out on their own.

    • Yeah, my asshole cheated when we were away too. We left for a family holiday that he didn’t want to come to despite me asking how we could make it better for him. He arrived half way through the holiday all fucked up from booze and screwing her. Gross.

  • Oh, and yes, on the first Oahu trip-not only did he come back with his shirt in his hand, he hadn’t purchased a single gift for anyone on his supposed shopping trip!!!!! I’m sure now that he was with a hooker & Honolulu is chock full of them.

  • Christmas 2013: Trying to watch our 4 y.o. daughter open presents two days after being told she wants a divorce (less than 3 weeks into her long distance EA). Going to her family’s Christmas get together that day, later to find out she was texting him throughout the day.

    4th of July 2014: Finding evidence on her phone that she had met him while traveling for work. We were 4 weeks into reconciliation after she changed her mind about divorce. All sorts of denials and lies, right up to the point I was taking our daughter to a family 4th of July fireworks party. I found e-mails the following day confirming he came to her hotel room, but they only “made out”.

    Our divorce was finalized one month ago today, I visit here multiple times a day to remind myself that she sucks. Thanks, Chump Lady.

  • ExH and I used to take big international trips thanks to work; no kids. I viewed it as a good way to have quality couple time. The last two trips, things seemed off. I did all the planning, not much in the intimate department, etc. On the last trip, scrolling through pictures at home… only 1 picture of me from the entire trip; we went to Australia!
    That should have been my sign that he was completely checked out.

    I was saved by his therapist (maybe OW, who knows) from a last ditch vacation. I planned a family dream trip to Ireland with the kids for our anniversary. Ex had spent the entire school year out of state for work, home every 4-5 weeks. It was supposed to be a time for the family to bond after exH’s absence that year.
    Come May, the trip already paid for, etc. and we are in MC. The decision was made that he would NOT go. In between that decision and the trip, I find out about OW (well, she’s not an AP because he’s in love with her, but he stopped socializing with her 3.5 months before, so no relationship, no cheating…. yeah, right…).
    A week before the kids and I go to Ireland: marriage is over.
    We went alone and I mourned in silence as I wanted to wait to tell the kids about the divorce after we returned. (poor kids; father gone basically for a year…. and then does not come home!)

    The trip remains one of my happiest memories with the children. We rented a house and hung out, visited ruined castles and monasteries, explored a cave, ate wonderful ice cream, etc. I have that memory with the kids, and many others like it.
    Ex H does not.

    • zyx321,
      I had that same phenomenon about the photos. He never took pictures of me. We have dozens of him on our vacations, but he never picked up the camera to take any of me with the kids. I have exactly five photos of me from 29 years of married life.

      • Wow – the picture thing! If it weren’t for the waiters willing to take our photo together on vacations, the only photos I’d have are of me taking them of him. I don’t think he’s ever picked up a camera – thus, very few photos of me after 35 yrs. That’s just one more insult to assume he didn’t care enough to capture me in one shot in my bathing suit. Asshole.

      • I noticed that too! Only ONE family photo of us and our three sons in 18 years, and it’s a long shot so you can’t even see us! And the only photos of me were taken by my kids (you can tell by the upward angles).

        Now, the “new and improved couple” on the other hand… they just can’t take enough “selfies” together with my youngest son (the other two are on to them). My son looks as though he knows dear old dad and good ole, “Take 2” are using him as a prop.

        Seems I repulsed him all along.

        Yeah, they suck.

      • I cant remember when I picked up on fucktardhubbys reluctancy to take a photo with me but within the last 2 years it started to annoy me because I knew with every solo pic of him, it was a potential good pic to post to his online dating sites, txts his fuckbuddies. And he got into the habit of taking pictures of the food we cooked, helllooo its text material to his hoes ie, txts this is my lunch, dinne etc. Sometime this ruined my apetite, real suck this man is.

    • What a relief to know other people had the issue with the pictures. For me, it’s one of the biggest cheater litmus tests. Too bad I didn’t see it at the time. I sure will moving forward!

      • Me too! My daughter was looking for a family photo today and we could barely find one. I always complained about this. He would be in all the photos with our kids while I was the official photographer. The last trip we made as a family he took his own camera and shot pictures of nature or of himself. The OW was always making sure that he didn´t sleep with me or flirt with anyone….So glad she will really have to worry about this now…not me.

        • Yes me too! He never took a single photo of me, the children, picnics, birthdays, Christmas, cute baby moments nothing! He did however lurv snapping trucks and cars. Millions of pics of them. Jerk!

  • I also got the horrible, angry tantrums during several vacations, the disappearing acts, as well as sexual apathy (thus faithfulness to the OW) But last Christmas, when we were separated so he could “think things over,” he would show up at the Christmas parties and he begged me to stay overnight at his place for Christmas day so we could open gifts with our kids like we do every year. I later found out that he met with OW that night…New Years, same thing, sexting all the time while on vacation with us (I thought that it was strange that he had to do “work” emails over the holidays) but when we got back, he was preparing to go for a “work” trip for 15 days! Fortunately, this was my ticket to Dday because I discovered that he really had been planning to go with the OW to have a true-love trip, and he had faked his way through Christmas and New Years with us so that I wouldn´t question this long work trip. Dday was two nights before the trip but he still decided to go (arguing that “it could have happened to me”) and left me in shambles to figure out what to do (though he said he had never thought of a divorce… cake eater!)…Fortunately, turns out that during those 15 days I was able to move some of his stuff out, get a lawyer, a shrink and discover enough evidence to force him to agree on the terms of the divorce when he got back (I live in a fault country and he either had to agree to my terms, or I would have to take his sorry ass to the courts). Thank God he was stupid enough to go on that vacation with the OW!

  • Unicorn Land – “Where Friends Become Family!!”

    Come enjoy a sex filled vacation with your affair partner where there is no chance of discovery since you must be cheating to gain access!!!! No worrying about home and all of that nonsense of responsibility or work. Just relax and have a grand time while your spouse and family is none the wiser! After all, you deserve it! Want to avoid all phone calls and contact to eliminate all the guilt? Simply add to your package and we will do all of your communicating for you!

    What happens in Unicorn Land – Stays in Unicorn Land!!!!

  • How about texting his sweetie while I was delivering his baby?

    My daughter’s birthday is bittersweet. She was born with the cord wrapped around her neck and had an Apgar score of 2. CH was eating a sandwich and texting his sweetie while the team rushed in to deliver the baby.

    He wandered back 45 minutes later to us.

    What?! He said it was a good sandwich.

    • Every week or so, I read a story that is simply sickening. I am so sorry this happened to you. And people think when we rip on guys like this we are “bitter.” No, we are outraged. And very sorry for the person who was so badly mistreated.

      • Oh SSSF…I am so sorry that happened to you. That has got to be an all time low, even for all the crappy stories we hear here.

        What an evil twit!

        • I didn’t mention this part – but my beloved grandmother’s 100th birthday was on January 28. So the kids & I drove the 2 hours to spend the day/night with her. January 28 was when CH & OW “passionately kissed” (his words) for the first time.

          She died 3 days later, so I likely wasn’t paying as much attention to CH as I normally did.

          Fast forward to January 28 of the next year, their son – “a miracle baby” – is born.

          The symmetry just gets me.

    • Yup. I had to have an emergency C-section but dear old dad had to finish his Italian sub first, even though I told him the smell was making me sick. He told me it must just be the medicine smells. He doesn’t like hospitals. Then he polished it off and “we” went to deliver our son. The OR smelled like onions.

      Wish there was a GIF of me dope slapping myself to put here.

    • What an ass!

      He was txting, talking to his online hoes on the day after I had our last baby. Also while in the throes of labour pain I nodded off in between contractions, I opened my sore tired eyes and caught the sickfuck standing in the corner of the room taking a pic of me, at a time when most women are looking their worst. I suspect he took it to post at a later time to try and embarrass me? But I deleted those pics and also pics showing our newborn child with some of my privates showing. What kind of man does this to the mother of his kids! A sick narc who never knew the love of his parents

  • Not going into the gory details, but the final five times we were out in public, on holiday, etc, he brought Schmoopie, including daughter’s 13th birthday.

    He sucks.

      • Well she had the cover of being an ‘Auntie’/ family. Not sure what the f*ck she is now. They are perfect for each other.


        • I had 3 years of her and her husband being at my house on weekends and doing everything with us….
          But he worked a lot ( to put her through her Master’s ) where she and my stbx met,
          Needless to say – he wasn’t available a lot if the time.
          She was in my fucking house, with my H 12-14 hours a day and even started dressing like me.
          And we had to go places with them.
          And he took lots of work trips with her of course.
          These two are Ministers now – so they played the whole deck of Holy cards right under my nose – but my gut knew.
          They are still together 5.5 years down the road. In fact – they are taking one of their little trips this weekend.
          I don’t go anywhere these days cause I am left trying to put the pieces back together on a shoe string budget.

          One day I will take a trip with my kids and create our own memories.

          These people do find a way to ruin everything!

          And yes – Christmas and Disney too 🙁

  • So, STBXH and I, after a brutal work year for me (him, not so much…took a year off to find himself and was starting his own business so had loads of free-time to find his new love while I kept us afloat…) were going on our annual holiday/Anniversary (10years) trip to Paris. Our first leg was Barcelona, he picked fights with me and excused himself from sightseeing in a place we had never been before-funny how hindsight is 20/20-that left him plenty of time to text his love-while in Spain. Then off to Paris, my favorite city on the planet where we had a lovely, expensive, Christmas Eve dinner with a friend where he was posting to Facebook all evening. The next day we went to a movie, he picked a random stupid fight with me on the metro and was so verbally abusive that we didn’t talk for the rest of the day….plenty of texting and Facebooking going on from his side of the room however. Then, December 26, we spent the day apart because he was still being a douche. Long story short, I was having internet issues so I upgrade my iOS and because we shared an iTunes account, guess what I got full view of? That’s right folks, him telling his 65 year old whore (I am 43 and he is 50) that he couldn’t wait to get home to fuck her, that I am a total bitch and was being mean to him and she was telling him how much she was thinking of him and that they needed to be “gentle” the next time they fucked…right because she could break a hip!!! Oh, did I mention she is in AA with him? Followed by the usual shit lines from him of why he did it, of course she understood him in a way I never could and they had so much in common and I had become so distant (because I was the only one working) and didn’t meet his sexual needs…what?????!!!!

    Anyhow, I lost my mind, threw him and all his shit out into the hall and can still see the face of a poor little French family walking past the room as the crazy American lady was screaming things like “you never deserved me; you are a piece of shit alcoholic and you can go live with your alcoholic grandma whore and do everyone a favor and throw yourself in front of a metro train you crazy bastard.”

    I had 3 days left of vacation so I stayed on, went to Brussels the next day, had a breakdown on the train home, rallied the next day and finished my shopping (why waste good free-time to shop in the most amazing city around?), drank myself to oblivion that night and then hopped on my flight home to confront the POS. Ended up going to 3-months of couples therapy before pulling the plug and wish I had done it sooner! He never took full responsibility, kept blaming me for his cheating and wanted me to get over it so our marriage could be stronger….nope, no thanks, you can try life without me…my life without him has been 100% better! Not gonna lie, I thought I was going to die everyday for those 3 months and a couple months after but, thanks in no small part to CL and Chump Nation, I can actually say I am at Meh (with the occasional dark thought of him being killed in some delicious way) most of the time and I thank God every day that he is not in my life. Yes, it sucked; yes I got screwed financially; yes I didn’t count on my life going like this but in the end, it will all work out.

    Poor Paris, seems there are a lot of stories of love and betrayal. I, personally, am not going to let STBXH ruin it for me! So, when the marital house closes escrow in a couple of weeks, I am booking my Business Class flight on Air France back to Paris and landing on D-day! I have reservations at a swanky place for dinner to celebrate taking my city back and being mighty enough to leave! Thank you all for your inspiration and your mightiness that I leaned on heavily until I could truly trust that he sucked!!!

  • Never had a vacation with my cheater. But I did pay for us to move back and forth from the UK to the USA several times. Living with him in London was as horrific as living with him here in the US. But I love London and plan to return on my own terms next year to actually have a good time and spend a little money.

  • These are my known shared holidays..

    Atlanta 1998 – cheater flys in from Italy a week before me to attend a training meeting and to hook up with old highschool GF. I fly in to Florida from Italy the following week with two small children in tow and meet cheater there. We are in Florida to attend a half-brother’s wedding. I had no freaking clue. We go on as a family for a week at Disney, yuck.

    Las Vegas multiple times, Orlando again, San Diego, New Orleans blah blah blah. Different host sites for annual customer event. Meets up with co worker and have multiple sexy times. Brings back tradeshow crap to kids as “gifts” from tiring week entertaining clients.

    2003 meets true love MOW in New Orleans. Brings back bead necklaces for kids. Probably made pearl necklace for MOW.

    2004 meets true love in Deerfield, Illinois. “Honey, I need to walk the Appalachian Trail!” for 2 consecutive nights. Barf.
    Chicago-business meeting in the City….
    New York
    Las Vegas….

    ….. I could really go on and on. Toronto, Los Angeles, Rancho Bernardo and their fucking inn, San Diego, Nashville, DC, Pittsburg, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Columbus,Dayton, Philly, my home, Orange County, Tampa, Miami… I know I am missing a lot of locations.

    These were his holidays with her. We never fucking went anywhere as a family until I began to book a small cabin in Elk Rapids Mi. With that, he’d spend a week with her and then drive up for a week with us. Pretty sick.

    He’d spend New Years with us and the next week spent another new yrs with her in Manhattan.

    Not a lot of chumpy gift giving to the kids during this. Just mugs, pens, stress balls. The crap you find in the hotel shop or on a trade show floor. Lots of romantic pics, which he showed me and MOW was always in the background!

    Pretty sick. I had no idea someone with whom you could build a life could be so sneaky, so shitty. I’m not wired like that. That is why I didn’t see or understand the abuse. This makes me sad.

      • ANC, you have my sympathy. My cheater ‘marked his territory’ in virtually every city in North America. I used to loved to travel–now I wonder if he ‘did her/them’ in that city (fill in name), along with the ones I know of. When I told cheater husband that I felt sick thinking about it, he sent me a link to a site showing the Kama sutra (with sexual positions numbered) and identified which ones he used on his mistress. He told me that 104 positions had been ‘unused’ by her, so those positions were still available to me (i.e., wouldn’t cause nasty, traumatic flashbacks) to use with him. The audacity and entitlement of these narcissistic, borderline, sociopath types never cease to amaze me.

        • OMG! I thought mine was an ass when he not only “did” her for at least 6 months, he felt it was Ok to see her at work two times a week for his job after D-Day when we were trying to reconcile & acted like I should be OK with it. Then, like the comment above, he started making comments about how I should act, and look more “natural,” understand him better and all the “script” of the cheater. OW was a Ho turd from a third world country, and as plain as the day is long. (Would say ugly but don’t want to be bunny bitter) Not a high school education, and various kids from various guys. And did I mention alcoholic? Nice to know what you can’t compete with!! It is a shock and a half.
          But the Kama Sutra??? With “taken” positions?? He sounds real deep all right!! Damn, now I have heard it all…I guess I was lucky to get a “Jr. Narcissist” instead of the Granddaddy! My condolences, rockstarwife!

  • 13th Anniversary, 2011:

    Ex and I went with our children and his family to a little beach town for our yearly vacation. He took me out to dinner to a lovely restaurant in an old Victorian home on our anniversary. We got all dressed up, admired the elderly couples at the next table who were having a great time (discussing how we hoped we’d be like them some day), and as we ate, we saw a lovely rainbow out the window. We of course said that it was in honor of our anniversary. After dinner, we went for a walk, holding hands and enjoying each other’s company.

    What was really going on was that he was sleeping with his whore, and a few days into our vacation, I noticed that I was having a problem with itchiness because he was having unprotected sex at the same time with two different women. Fortunately, I was negative for STDs, and it was likely that he gave me a yeast infection because you’re not supposed to mix the “flora” of two different women’s vaginas!

    So yeah… don’t care if I never go back to that beach town, and I could throw up when I think how much he had me snowed– all lovey-dovey, so glad we’re together, romantic bullshit streaming out of his toilet mouth.

    • Just wanted to add: I’m also glad that I never celebrated another anniversary with him since I found out what he was up to about two months later, and we were over shortly after that. I wouldn’t have wanted to celebrate another anniversary with him. He shat upon it, and it wouldn’t have been anything but a massive trigger for me.

      • When I was at college, our suite had a tub instead of a shower, and there were 4 women using it. We did clean it but we would get itchy! She said to use Dial soap (not the same bar, obviously). So the “flora” thing is true!

      • I didn’t see a doctor– I treated them with OTC medicine because I had had a yeast infection years ago, and I knew the symptoms. Well, it would go away and come back, and then it stopped coming back when I stopped having sex with him (and this was after years of having sex with him without any problems– all of a sudden, during the summer he took up with his online hobag, I started having them). I then started reading similar stories online about women who started having yeast infections while they were being cheated on, and I put two and two together. I don’t think they were random infections– I hadn’t changed my diet, have never been pre-diabetic, wasn’t wearing tight clothes or hanging out in a wet bathing suit, etc. It’s not considered an STD, but it certainly made me feel very grossed out that I was being tainted by a sexual partner that I had never consented to have sex with. :S

        • I had a similar experience but couldn’t figure out why it was happening at the time. Hasn’t come back since he left.

  • I’ve posted this before but after d-day I made him take me on a fancy trip to Maui, thinking it would be a great place to R and get over this nightmare. Well, he brought his work computer and phone and stayed in the room most of the day while I went to the nice pool by myself – got a burned back as nobody was around to put lotion on it, snorkeled by myself, shopped by myself. Guess he was upstairs in his room sexting and talking to his twu wuv.

    He never once got intimate with me and did that edge-of-the-bed hugging. I asked him for a hug and he was a shit about it – so I just told him to forget it. I assume he thought he was cheating on HER with his wife? wtf is that about?
    I cried most of that vacation from sheer neglect.

    Anyway, on the way home, he tells me he never broke up with her and they were still seeing each other. I think I need to go take back Maui.

    • oh, and did I mention, he felt the need to complain about the cost of that vacation right up to the end, even telling the lawyers about it during our mediation. I think they saw right through him. We hadn’t had a vacation in over 20 yrs and he’s going to complain about one trip?!

  • I don’t have many stories. What I thought of as a friendship with Jackass Cheaterpants was long; the committed relationship relatively short. He was never a holiday kind of guy, anyway. He made a lot of noise about hating commercialization and not needing presents, etc. He’d buy his parents lottery scratch-offs for Christmas. They didn’t buy things either, but looking back, the lack of generosity was a red flag.

    My birthday 2013 was the last evening I spent with Jackass Cheaterpants. The birthday fell on a Friday. He had been in full baiting, blaming, gaslighting mode for weeks. The previous 2 weekends he had spent Saturday at his friend’s memorial service, which I later found out was the night that the affair really got started, although they were in contact before. The following weekend he traveled for business (yeah, I know). So we are fighting because up to the memorial service we had been together pretty much every day for months. I finally called him on Wednesday and said, “Are you planning to be here for my birthday? Because I am not sitting here by myself.” He said he would come over. I got all dressed up. He arrived, waving a pair of cards he had just bought at Wal-Mart. Cards are full of “love you always,” but no long, personal note as on previous holidays. We went for cheeseburgers and to a movie. He dropped the news on the way home that he didn’t want to stay over, had things to do Saturday morning, but would come over Saturday night. I was crushed, but it had been a decent, but not fun evening, so I said nothing. But when we walked to the truck on the way to dinner, I had said, “I don’t think you love me any more.” And he just smiled and said, “We’ll have to fix that.” Now it seems very clear that was a two-sided message. He did show up on Saturday, at 10:30 pm, and I was looking forward to some romantic time, but he smirked at me and turned me down. Two days later his dad went into the hospital and I never say him again, other than one trip I made to his house after his dad died, 3 days before D-Day. He could use his dad’s death to hold me at bay, to make excuses for why he didn’t have time to talk etc., to deny we were breaking up–he just “needed time” and “had things to work on.” Yes, the semi-literate, selfish MOW mother of three with forearms the size of Easter hams who lived a five minute walk away, that very special kind of disordered skank who hooks up with someone in front of her husband, mother, siblings and kids at her brother’s memorial service. It was the worst birthday ever but I’m having a party this year, just the really good friends and relatives who stood by me this year.

    As I look back on things he said, I think about his first wife, who had one of these honeymoons where the husband slept on the couch and who, a friend of hers says, never got over what he did to her in that marriage. I still don’t know the whole truth. But I know they don’t change. And that while I still have very bad feeling about those months, I am very grateful that I didn’t move Jackass Cheaterpants into my house.

    • I understand about birthdays. Dday was several days before my bday. I told my family that I’m moving my bday to July, and not to call/text/acknowledge my real bday. Glad you didn’t move him in, either.

      • Mine gave the I love you but not in love speech right before my birthday. I had to go through several family events pretending like everything was fine, only I know I spent half of one dinner at a restaurant crying in the bathroom. I was so relieved when my bday was over that year!

  • Immediately after I found the first piece of damning evidence of an affair, but before I had put the whole puzzle together, we went on vacation to a houseboat in Kentucky with 3 other families. It was amazing how in such intimate quarters he was able to avoid spending any time at all with me. He even texted the whore pics of our children having fun on that vacation!

    And as a mark of my supreme chumpiness, I had even agreed that we could drive separately to and from (about 9 hours each way) because he “had to” return early to prep for a “major high profile work project”. So he left Saturday morning instead of Sunday and I spent Saturday night crying myself to sleep in our cabin while all of the other couples skinny-dipped in the lake. Then the next day I had the pleasure of cleaning up and packing up all of our stuff by myself and driving the kids home alone. DDay was 24 hours after I got home.

    What still burns me to this day was how that vacation was stolen from me, and how humiliated I was in front of all of our friends. Right before he left, one of our friends even jokingly said to him: Why are you leaving? Got a hot girlfriend at a home?

    The silver lining is that the children had a wonderful time, and they occasionally spoke about what a great vacation it was before everything changed. Me, I have never even looked at a single photo from that trip. I threw the book I had been reading during it in the garbage, and basically still feel sick to my stomach at the thought of it. This whole trip with our friends had been my idea, and I was miserable for every single minute of it.

    The triggers continue. This summer, 3 years later, we vacationed again with those same families (different location) and I definitely had trouble even being nice to him. Asshole.

  • Fellow chumps, thank you for support! Here’s a brief introduction: I learned that my husband, who works in the touring music business, had a mistress in May 2014 (a couple months before my nightmarish “family” vacation). One terrible morning (on a few-day break from the tour), while looking at one of our kids’ drawing, my cheater husband started crying, so I asked him what was wrong. He told me that the drawing was so beautiful and then proceeded to cry on my shoulder about how he was devastated that his mistress, had turned out to be just like a nagging wife (just like me, according to him) when she was drunk (unlike me). He told me that under different circumstances I’d probably like her. (Like me she had a psychology background and was like me in some other ways (dark hair, educated). Differences included she was a habitual homewrecker, never married, repeatedly got DUIs (which might have ended her psychotherapy career), had incurable STDs she didn’t tell her new lover (my husband) about–even though she was trying to get impregnated by him before telling him to get a vasectomy without my knowledge, etc.) He excused his affair by telling me that he thought we had gotten divorced a year earlier. (How did I imagine to miss the divorce summons? Perhaps it was because I was quitting doctoral program to go to another city, state, which I really disliked, to search for a job, house, and school for the kids in order to live in the place where he was entertaining (in more ways than one?).)

    The “family vacation:” July 2014: Southern California, CA: I had the “pleasure” of meeting my husband’s mistress, one of his co-workers (for the second time) at the music venue. I went to the venue (arena) before the show with my husband and young children to meet his co-workers, including her, as it turned out. While abusive, cheating husband was in different part of venue, this vampire mistress descended upon me from nowhere and told me, ‘I want to clear the air in this uncomfortable situation.’ I was flabbergasted. My cheater husband arrived about a minute later. She said, ‘Your husband can give you my contact information.’ Later that day, back at our hotel, I laughed as I told him that I never thought that I would get to talk to his mistress. He gave me her information. I sent her a text message. The text conversation lasted almost two hours. I got quite an education about homewreckers and cheating spouses in that time. My husband harassed me, mocked me, and insulted me for most of the conversation–except for the moments he wasn’t out smoking a pack of cigarettes–a new habit he has picked up to cope with his awful wife, mother of his children, person (that he officially resides with)–me–even after trying to divorce me three times in three months (since disclosing his affair). Many of my husband’s co-workers asked my husband why he was quitting. He responded, ‘My family needs me.’ They told me, ‘That I had married a ‘great guy’ that would be sorely missed.’ I felt like throwing up all over the place. During the concert, I cried several times and sang along with the iconic diva on stage about cheating partners. After our “vacation” ended a couple of days later, upon arriving home, I dropped the bomb that my replacement had decided not to tell him about her incurable STDs before, during, or after the 40-50 times they had unprotected sex during their tour of North America this year.

    This month, cheater husband insisted on moving in with me (we have to evacuate our current university housing this week as I am no longer a grad student). In July, he quit his high-paying job, although I don’t have a job and we have young children. He plans to continue financially, emotionally, verbally, physically abusing me several times a day when only kids and I are around and live with our kids and me as a “free agent” for as long as he wishes because he does not want to pay child support and alimony and wants to see his children whenever the mood moves him. He still wears his wedding ring and tells me that I don’t honor this marriage as he wages his distortion campaign. I wouldn’t wish this vacation nor any part of my “marriage” on anybody.

    • RockStarWife, you must find a way out. He is an abusive, controlling son of a bitch who is going to turn you into his fantasy by being so freaking mean and debasing you all the time. Surely you have someone who can help you and the kids escape? You are an educated woman, which tells me you think enough about yourself to complete such a rigorous program. Use it to leave. Please.

    • He’s physically abusive? Get a protection from abuse order IMMEDIATELY. Call your local courthouse and get started. The police will serve him and he’ll have 5 minutes to collect his things, escorted. Then get a temporary support order in place.

      You can do this. Don’t be financially, emotionally, or in any way dependent on this person.

      • Thanks, Chump Lady! Neighbor, worried about me, called the police one day while I was out. Now various professionals are on the case. Don’t think abuser will try physical abuse now, not because he loves me, nor because he thinks refraining from unprovoked abuse is the just and compassionate thing to do, but because he’d hate for his shiny rockstar, wonderdad reputation to be tarnished. I am making plans to start a new, safer, saner life–with our kids.

  • This past Christmas, instead of giving each other a lot of junk we didn’t need, we got practical presents–kids got clothes, and then we took a trip to NYC. Later, after I found the texts and started going through the phone records, I found out that he texted her on Christmas Day. January 27th was DDay. One day, gotta go back and reclaim the Big Apple for myself, which will include a lot of art museums that The Rodent wouldn’t even go to. Spring Break 2013, it took a massive effort on my part to get into the Smithsonian art museum to see the impressionists that I’ve always wanted to see. Anyway, have a lot of ground to cover.

  • Five years ago, my husband left our annual beach trip early to attend his class reunion. When I discovered his serial cheating last year, I found that one of his hook ups was with a woman he reacquainted himself with during that class reunion. She happens to work for one of the airlines based in a major city which for some reason he really liked to route his work trips through.

    Two years ago, just before I discovered his serial cheating, he oddly invited me to go with him on one of his business trips. I went and we had fun until the last night when he and I were supposed to have a dinner to ourselves. He showed up at the hotel with his work buddies and they were all drinking in the bar. Silly me, I thought we would have a special dinner together that night but as it turned out, he just wanted to eat there with them or grab fast food with me so he could hang with them afterwards. For some reason he couldn’t understand why I was upset. But of course I was being a bitch in his eyes. Turns out, his hook ups while he travels on business was encouraged by these guys. No surprise…

  • No vacation story, but Mother’s Day 2014 was a rough day for me. Knew he was screwing someone for several months, but couldn’t find the proof that I needed. (Proof came in August) He comes downstairs stating that we should go out to Mother’s Day brunch just the 2 of us and leave the kids at home. His reasoning was because the kids (ages 17,18 and 19) had not gone out and bought gifts for me on their own. (Nevermind the fact that I received a PowerPoint and 2 heartfelt letters of love from them that afternoon.) he proceeded to inform me that if it wasn’t for him the kids would never even think of getting me a present because they were lazy, selfish brats who only think of themselves.

    He knows my weakness is how I feel about our kids (SAHM for 19 years).

    What a loser.

    • Narc. I’m sure the truth is exactly the opposite.

      After the ex moved out, I quit reminding the kids to do their filial duties. Like birthday and Father’s Day cards and gifts. He was so shocked and hurt that they didn’t remember on their own. Well, they remembered my days just fine. Gosh, I can’t imagine what the problem could be.

      My daughter (21 now) slipped up last month and texted him a happy birthay message, 6 months out of phase with the real date. Oops.

      • Same here. My STBX has been gone for three months, and after I told our 10 and 13 year old the truth about why we separated, they are hardly interested in talking to him. I have to beg them to talk to him everyday. He thinks they are talking to him because nothing has changed, but they are really doing it because I force them to….until the divorce papers are finalized.

  • H had been having an affair for about a year, apparently. H signed a contract to go to work halfway around the world without discussing it with the family beforehand. H made a big show of taking us all to Disney World and Universal for New Year’s. One of the (adult) children recalls that H sprang his overseas departure plan on us in the long line at the newly opened Harry Potter ride at Universal.

    Of course, H did not make it clear how long he planned to be gone – up to 3 years. He left 2 weeks later and he is still there to this day. Within a couple of months he began the practice of flying the adultery partner in to see him.

  • There were a lot of trips that sucked. One in particular was my parents’ 50th anniversary, which was celebrated with a family gathering in Yosemite.

    We drove up early from our home in southern CA. W needed to make a potty stop around Fresno, and disappeared for something like half an hour! Completed the drive and checked into the hotel, we had the afternoon before any of the others would arrive. W discovered she’d left her cell phone at the stop. We’d just have to pick it up on the way back.

    We looked around the visitor center and did a ranger program. Apropos of nothing in particular, the W delivered a burst of snark: “Any of these places we visit today, I’m not coming back to again with your family!” Um, OK…

    The family gradually assembled, and in the evening we got pizza. My brother said or did something that started W fuming. Now, he’s perfectly capable of sundry jerky or passive-aggressive behavior at times, but he hadn’t done anything today besides showing up with his tired and hungry family and look to get them fed; certainly nothing directed at her.

    We went back to the room, and W gave me a ration of shit about my brother. She was mad that I hadn’t raised hell with him in front of the entire extended family for whatever minor lapse in civility he’d committed.

    Next morning, we sightsee in the valley. W stuck around for some photos, but otherwise walked ahead of or stayed behind the group. I took advantage of the gap she maintained to quietly ask her to just try to relax and enjoy the day, and not make things awkward. That was ignored. I went back to minding the kids and visiting with family.

    Back at the hotel in the afternoon, the expected explosion occurred, and she started giving the kids (4 and 9) a bad time too. I finally said:

    “We’re in a beautiful location, with people who’ve been nothing but kind to you, celebrating a big family milestone, and you’re acting like an asshole. If you can’t straighten up and behave yourself, I don’t want you at the anniversary dinner tonight. I don’t need you spoiling any more of this for me.”

    She got weepy and apologized, and behaved for the dinner and the rest of the trip. On the drive out, she started talking about how nice it was and that maybe when our 20th came we could do it there. I said, “Hmm,” and thought, “At this rate, not likely we’ll make it that far.”

    On the way back I retrieved the cell phone. There was a half hour call to a number that belonged, I later determined, to her new secret BF. Maybe she’d gotten cranky because she hadn’t been able to keep exchanging obscene little nothings with him.

  • Struck by how many similarities there are across the experiences above. Particularly the nasty turn that the cheaters seem to take in order to make you (and them) believe that you’re the problem. I had years of this – it’s fucking awful and it drove me insane.

    Anyway, my ex had organised a trip the the island where we had our honeymoon. Idea was to spend Christmas there with our daughter and the other man’s family (I suspected something was up at this stage, but didn’t know for sure).

    After telling me she wanted to separate, we all went on a day trip to the beach together (my ex, the other man, his wife, their daughter, our daughter and me). Nobody knew that it was over and I didn’t tell anyone. I just played with the kids a bit and kind of sat on the sand near the other man’s wife, not saying much. My ex and he frolicked in the waves.

    I moved out a couple of month’s later, when it became very clear that my attempts to work things out were going nowhere. They all still went to the island together. My ex went out of her way to let me know that I was very welcome to come along. I declined and flew to my parent’s place to spend Christmas there instead.

    Prior to this there were countless “work” or “training” or “racing” trips (my ex, as well as holding down a very well paid professional job, also has a career as a semi-pro athlete) with the other man. They were planning a 2-month long trip to the States together to compete as a 2-person team in one particular, very lengthy, race. I was not welcome because I didn’t have the “experience” needed to provide support. When she told me this I questioned her about the sleeping arrangements during their most recent trip to Italy. She confessed that they’d been sharing hotel rooms. My questioning this was basically the beginning of the end. She went from bitchy and absent to outright abusive.

    Prior to the split, they’d phone/text eachother many times a day. I know this because it was done right in front of me, although I did not read her text messages. I thought it was all legit…what an idiot. They’d train together for hours almost every day. Friends and family were hinting to me that they thought something was up. I just blanked it all out. Pro-level chumpiness.

  • Here’s one I didn’t go on, but it sucked anyway.

    A couple years before Dday, ex insisted we do a large, expensive addition to our house. During the construction, he went ahead and paid the deposit for a non-refundable, two-week tour of Ireland. He planned on going with his mother, her husband, a friend of ex (female) and the friend’s elderly father. He did not discuss this trip with me even one time before paying for it.

    I was floored that he hadn’t even discussed this trip prior to paying and that he would even THINK of going on such an expensive trip during the house construction we couldn’t even afford.

    Off he went on his trip, leaving me to deal with all the construction. He had a great time, didn’t bother to call a whole lot during the trip. I really wasn’t worried about the female friend on the trip, she was really ditzy and it didn’t occur to me to worry. Afterwards, I heard that ex’s mother’s husband thought something was going on with ex and that friend during the whole trip, ex of course denied it.

    In looking back, it still amazes me he went on that trip without even bothering to talk to me beforehand. And he probably did sleep with the ditzy friend.

  • We never went on trips or holidays anywhere, unless it was work related or really brief. He could never be away from his business that long, or we couldn’t afford it, or whatever event I was interested in looked unpleasant to him, or we couldn’t leave the kids or he didn’t like crowds, etc.

    After d-day and during my shameful pick-me days which I thought for sure I’d win because schmoopie was moving overseas, I insisted we take a weekend away from the kids for my birthday, to reconnect, etc, blah blah blah, and picked a nearby event I was confident we could both enjoy. We got there and I unpacked the suitcase while he was in the shower, only to find a gift from schmoopie that revealed their secret plans for staying in touch after her departure. I rugswept it in an effort to save the weekend, but on the Saturday night, after what I thought was a good day of exploring and attending events, he elected to stay in the hotel room to ‘work’ instead of accompanying me to further evening events. When I got back, he was in a foul mood because he couldn’t get the hotel internet to work (couldn’t cyber with schmoopie!) and didn’t want to pay me any attention. I cried and cried as silently as I could for hours, while he slept obliviously, then finally managed a bit of exhausted sleep, only to be woken early by morning wood poking me. Then on the drive home, he played music from his iPod loudly so he didn’t have to talk to me, featuring the love song playlist she had assembled for him.

    A few months later, I finally came to my senses (well, with the help of a marriage therapist who suggested divorce!) and we separated. A few months after that, he’s leaving his business and his kids and managing to afford to fly overseas to visit schmoopie in her fabulous exotic location for three weeks. I guess his unwillingness to go on vacations only extended to those with me.

    • Oh, I also forgot to mention (or does it go without saying!?) that one of his many complaints about the marriage was that I never wanted to go anywhere or do anything.

  • This thread makes me really sad. othing funny here. I guess my worst story is the HS reunion that Ex went in San Fran (where my brother & his family lives). I was going to go but he pretty subtly manipulated me out of it. Why? well, he’d been spending a good 8-10 months on Facebook with Dr. Hoe getting all juiced to fuck at at said reunion (they went to an international school, so reunions happen all over the world.) Oh, and he blocked all my calls the whole time. It wasn’t until my daughter called him that he answered, and she said, “mom’s really upset, why won’t you talk to her?” So inappropriate that she was the intermediary, but she took in on herself, and I did not know…. When I talked to him for 30 seconds, he was an asshole.

    One of the most painful thing is knowing how public they were about it, in front of hundreds of people, many of whom I knew, although few of whom I thought were actually friends. Still, the humiliation…. turns out he was wining, dining as well as fucking her. Took her out to the theater and they held hands. Holy cow that really stung–remember, I was in total shock, I could not believe what was happening to me, and detail like this made me quite literally crazy.

    And then, a year later after the reunion, D-day (yes, he told me). He apologized to me and cc’d all the folks from the reunion. So guess what? The shit rained down on me like a hellish storm. It was all my fault. I was a bad wife. They had been tested, and had not “fallen, so therefore it was my fault” (huh?) on and on and on and on. It was unbelievable, and I’m sure it doubled down on giving me PTSD.

    And then, once *he* decided he had moved on…he refriended all those folks! of course. Nothing like walking the talk, when it comes to 100% Naugahyde remorse. (I hate to think of the number of innocent Nauga’s that my ex slaughtered in his mindlessness…)

    So now I have also the joy of detesting all things Indonesian (where he grew up)…I even speak some Bahasa, but I don’t want any of the sculpture, the fabrics, the art, none of it. I’ve kept a little as my daughter’s heritage, but I keep it stored away. Because I think her father is intent on forgetting that he ever had a first family.

  • we went to Mallorca for a week to relax during my son’s school holiday, with our 6 month old and 4.5 year old. We picked a little family run apartment with a little swimming pool, a street away from the beach. I wanted it to be easy, our baby didn’t like driving so I just wanted to thaw on the sand for a week and let the kids relax and play. Of course, H wanted to rent a car, and proceeded to drive us all over the island every day to “see” what was there. One day, after 90 minutes on windy mountain roads, both kids were vomiting and car sick and the baby wouldn’t stop crying. H didn’t want to be intimate or caring at all and just didn’t want to be there. It was pure misery. Dday was about 3 weeks later.

  • Wow. This post is great timing, CL!!

    October 2013. Our big family holiday at the Gold Coast. The first real holiday we’d had in years. He spent the whole time being grumpy and bad-tempered as hell with me and our two kids.

    Wandering round the theme parks we would realise he had disappeared and discover he was fifty metres behind us, absorbed in his mobile phone.

    I would take the kids down to the pool, he would stay in the room because he didn’t feel like swimming. We’d get back, and he’d head off to the pool by himself.

    He had our twelve year old son taking shirtless photos of him on the beach (to post on fb for the aging skank to admire, of course). Of the many, lovely family photos we took, in which I looked quite pretty, the one photo of me that he posted on fb was one where I was deliberately making a crazy ugly face.

    Fast forward to November and I am blind-sided and destroyed by the news that he is in a ‘relationship’ with someone else, after twenty years of marriage.

    This year? I ask the kids where they want to go for their October holiday and they tell me they want to go there again. I had a moment of abject horror and then realised I haven’t seen them look so happy and excited for months!

    So what the hell, hey? We are off again in a few weeks time to reclaim the Gold Coast. One year later, to be precise. This time we will create real memories to replace the fake ones – and we will all be much happier and relaxed without the grumpy old fuck alternately ignoring us or yelling at us.

    Yay me and my kids!

    • ” ROSIE BOA…Wandering round the theme parks we would realise he had disappeared and discover he was fifty metres behind us, absorbed in his mobile phone.”

      Noticed my hubby doing this alot, at supermarkets, family outing etc…he would walk faster or slower so we wouldnt be walkibg together. Hurt alot to know he doesnt want to be seen together. I had questioned him on this a few times and he always replied, I walk at the back so I can admire your behind. Yeah right, this is a pro womaniser reply.

  • So many stories…so little time.
    A whole string of “romantic weekends” after first EA. All were horrible and most ended in fighting.
    Fast forward 15 years and I am still “trying”….a big family weekend with his relatives paid for from his mothers will…a glorious setting but treated like a leper. Someone trashed my old rusty car just before and police asked if I had any enemies or upset anyone recently as no othercar was touched. no.
    Hindsight is great…his true love must have felt so left outat not getting her rightful invite to that event.
    His “training course” just as he was about to retire. He forgot his charger so no phone contact possible….abroad with her.
    Last but not least his holiday with herthat she “surprise booked” just ashe was working on a false reconciliation with me. He will be ending it right after they get back..honest.
    He texted me throughout and brought me some beads.
    Do I qualify as afully fledged chump yet?

  • My Cheater ex was like so many others here, convinced he was special and entitled. Vacations were always a little off. It’s amazing how truly disordered shows up during what should be life’s best moments. The wife and the kids really get into the way of fucking others and real life is such a chore. Lol. Every winter break we would travel 500 miles south home where we both grew up. My cousin would put us all up (five!) and there would be ex, sleeping in late, arguing, depressed, in general a real asshole. Christmas holidays with him were a big lesson in futility (as was my marriage in hindsight). I spent hours doing the Chump thing, buying the kids, parents, and in laws thoughtful gifts and wrapping everything up but never fully recognized that POS ex was sabotaging our good time because it wasn’t all about him. Last Christmas together (kids are sophomore in college, junior and senior in high school) he wants to buy us all…you guessed it, CELL PHONES. Took me a while to figure this one out! So he can text his new “friend”. Priceless.
    During Spring Break we went on a family vacation to look at son’s colleges. POS ex was a dick all the way up to flight out and I mentioned that perhaps he could stay home. Traveled to Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and met my father there (he’s an alumni of Colorado State). Of course ex was in a foul mood the whole time. Picking arguments, disappearing from our room, and talking to every stranger while ignoring his own family. We rented a car and he and I were jammed into the back and he could barely touch me. We even moved from one hotel to the next because he needed access to a computer (but sold it to us as “the kids and you need a pool”). We attended Easter Brunch at my father’s friend’s house where my ex sparkled so much that upon leaving said friend remarked to me, “He’s a good man and father.” I glanced over at my ex and didn’t reply. At that moment I recognized He was everything but.

    • Danger Will Robinson!

      My ex also got us a family account of cell phones, against my wishes, right before he moved out. He took the kids, 6th and 8th grades at the time to the store and got them whatever their hearts desired. Bought me one too. Paid for it all and owned the contract so I couldn’t cancel. For the next 4 years the kids and I were tracked and eavesdropped upon. I’m ashamed to say how long it took me to figure that one out. So many things fell into place once I did. The asshole even got to overhear conversations with my attorney.

      I pretty much kept a lot of stuff to myself, but I did on occasion have to blow off steam about him to my sister. Served him right for what he overheard, but it made his attitude VERY antagonistic.

      It’s kind of hard to go No Contact like you need to when this kind of subterfuge is going on. When I finally did go dark on him, he went through withdrawal.

      Creepy narcissistic voyeurism. In an earlier day, he’d have to take time off of work or away from Schoompie in order to stalk us.

      • Chumpalicious,
        This is a really good point you’re making about cell phone spyware, eavesdropping & tracking.

        Replacing my cell & pad bought me such piece of mind.

        NPR just did a segment on cell spyware; everyone should google it. I know I was astonished to find out how spouses can actually eavesdrop on conversations such as you mention.

  • These vacay stories break my heart & almost make me feel lucky that we were always too broke (& STBX was always too “busy”) to actually ever go anywhere on vacation.

    Maybe someday CL can host some kind of ” Chumpfest” in a different locale every year….”Chumpalooza”….Chump cruises.

    We can take it back; one city at a time 🙂

  • Well, my worst vacation with the X was also my best. He had a conference to attend in Paris (of course), so we spent weeks and months planning a fabulous trip across France. This was before the internet, so I put it together from guide books and recommendations of friends and we secured letters of introduction for special tours at special wineries and champagne houses. It was going to be great. It was also being promised to someone else, who was going to take my place when the time was right, after I’d done the work and paid the freight.

    Well, seeing as how I was already onto this, private investigator’s daughter as I was, I decided I’d be taking my trip, and he could explain himself to his Whore de Jour. As the departure date approached, his anxiety reached a fever pitch. Every dust particle out of place in his life provoked an argument with me. The food was cold, the mail was late, there were no batteries in the drawer, I bought the wrong laundry soap, [use your imagination]. This went on for weeks. I didn’t take the bait, just smiled and warmed the food, called the postal service to complain, ran out for batteries, bought new laundry soap that met his suddenly exacting needs, etc. By the time we left, no blowup of any sort had occurred to excuse him jettisoning his wife, and the OW was left high and dry. The X was miserable, and I had a fabulous time, driving across France for ten days with an asshat in the next seat with a bottle of wine between his knees, while he ducked into phone booths “to check his voice mail at work.” In Paris, he claimed I could not attend the conference because “Oops! I forgot to get you a badge!” No problem, I’ll take in the museums and shops.

    Was the OW at the conference? I believe so. But she didn’t get a thing from me. When we got home, he was furious enough to get himself a one-way ticket to The Pokey and removed from the family home, and I got my life back. I’d like to visit those places again in pleasant company, but it was a huge victory at the time.*

    * I have been divorced from that cheating, lying narcissistic X for 16 years, just as long as I was with him. When I asked him why he’d cheated and lied, his answer told me everything I needed to know about him. “Because you aren’t young enough, thin enough or pretty enough for me anymore.” Translation: “I want another 21 year old.” Believe me, it gets better when you have your life back. Thankfully, there were no children because he needed all the available attention, and kids require sacrifice. Good luck to all.

  • Mmm, mine would be the times we went to our lake house, and OW came too. My friend. And the love of my life. And she came without my love. When it was just me, the kids, her and her kid. Fun times.

  • This was one of the hardest threads for me to read, and the comments just made my heart ache. It absolutely sucks that so many of us have had such wonderful places and experiences ruined. For me, I’d have to say my worst cheater vacation was about 6 months before D-day. This was a few months after OW showed up out of nowhere to “help” our family deal with a terminal illness. Some “help”: suddenly a person who’d been a complete stranger only weeks earlier was making her whole life about us–well, about my ex, anyway. Adding that dynamic to the mix, when things were already far too complicated in our family anyway, was honestly one of the most bizarre things I have ever experienced. After a few weeks of her constant texting and FB messaging my partner (she even gave him a private nickname, a supremely stupid one, I might add), I started noticing behavioural changes in him. He became distant, disconnected, critical, just–off. The harder I tried to connect, the more disengaged he was. Callous, even. I told him I was suspicious of this woman and her motives, and that we needed to turn down the outside noise and pull together as a couple, but he insisted that she was just really altruistic and then accused me of being jealous/insecure. Of course, the whole time, this woman made ZERO effort to know me or contact me, or even the person she was supposedly trying to “help.” Only my ex. I didn’t know what I found more despicable: the fact that she was trying to poach another woman’s man (mine), or the fact that she was attempting to do so in a do-gooder’s cloak.

    Anyway, my ex and I took a week to go to a local island, my first vacation in years. I’d never been to this island and was so looking forward to it. A couple days before, the OW shows up at our house ostensibly to drop something off for my ex, but actually to grandstand and to snoop. She stood in my kitchen while I was just home from work and trying frantically to get dinner on the table, and started digging about the trip, all the while doing this touchy-feely/fake complimenting shit. When she found out I was going to this island, along with my girls, she says to me all wide-eyed and ingenuous, “Oh, [Ex’s name] didn’t tell me you were going with him!” This is like only the second time I’d ever met her. I was like, WTF?? Number, one, are you on such intimate terms with him that you expect to be told everything he’s doing? Or what I’m doing? And B), who the fuck else would he be going with? But ex refused to discuss it later and found nothing at all weird about her comment. Meanwhile, I was completely creeped out by what I found almost stalkerish behaviour.

    Anyway, even on the ferry over, I knew it was going to be a doomed trip. He spent the whole ride on his phone and on his laptop, and that’s pretty much what he did the rest of the time we were there, too. Every 5 minutes his phone would buzz with a text or message from her–again, for the ‘family cause’–and we spent practically no time together on the getaway that was supposed to bring us closer.together. One night when we did go out to dinner, I tried to kiss him in the car. We’d always enjoyed great snogs, but this felt like kissing a piece of styrofoam. He just wasn’t there (this would be another thing I’d add to the litmus test of “Is your partner cheating?”–whether or not they stop kissing you). We came into the hotel room, and he wanted to show me a funny video on Youtube, but when he started typing the words into the search box, all this porn/Craiglist stuff started popping up in the dropdown box, showing me exactly what he’d been looking at, and my heart just sank, especially since he didn’t even seem to notice that *I* noticed. His iphone was still going off every 5 minutes with a text or message from OW. I excused myself and went in the bathroom and just cried my eyes out, and when I came out, he didn’t even notice. Since the kids were right there, I couldn’t even have a discussion with him.

    On our last day there, we went for a walk in the park with the kids. He was always such a tactile, affectionate guy, but that day he walked just slightly ahead of me and made no attempt to hold my hand. When I tried to take his, it was the same feeling I’d had when I tried to kiss him in the car–like holding hands with a piece of styrofoam. I got kind of teary, because it was such a beautiful day, and I was in this place I’d dreamed of visiting for years, but the whole thing felt so awful and so hollow. He looked at me with this ‘snap out of it’ look of contempt and said to me kind of briskly, like you’d say to a child, “FMT, choose your mood.” Like I had any choice in that moment to feel anything other than completely abandoned and betrayed. In the year since I left him, the memory of that comment has kept me up gnashing my teeth many nights. Funny, how the smallest things can make you the angriest. What a fucking patronizing DICK.

    That’s when I knew in my gut that it was over. By the time I left, he’d already cut off contact with OW, but it was too late. The trust was completely gone, and along with it so was all the respect I’d had for him. As for her, I still think she’s probably the most contemptible person I’ve ever met. A total fraud–vain, silly, narcissistic, falsely altruistic–but hey, as long as you look good on FB! She’s welcome to him and her private nickname now. As far as I’m concerned, those guys are mirror images, and they deserve each other. All style (well, what passes for style in some circles), no substance.

  • The XW and I have been discussing splitting holidays for a little while now. I guess it’s now becoming real to her now that the OM put a ring on her finger a few weeks back that now it’s time to become responsible.

    Anyway, since CL mentioned Disneyland, the lovely woman I am currently dating (and her family) happen to be Disney experts, and I think a trip with her and the little ones to Disneyland might be a lot of fun.

  • I had suspected something, but no proof and so we went as a family for our big european trip – 3 weeks (2008). That’s where he decided he’d come clean because he figured I wouldn’t throw him out of the hotel. He bought stuff for her kids and for her once it was off his chest. Our teenage son just gaped at him for his tenacity at going on a family vacation while buying stuff for his girlfriend and her kids….and asking our son if he thought she’d like this or that. Needless to say, he was out of the house as soon as we got back and he moved right in with her – while she kicked her husband to the curb to allow my husband to move in.

  • I haven’t had a real vacation since 2009, when ex-DBag and I went on a cruise. Lives got busy, money got tight, yada, yada. However, we made time for dinners out, weekends away locally.

    When “he needed time apart to work on things but I love you and want to be with you”, that included going on a cruise with one of his OW. There were many. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why his phone went right to VM when I called for a week straight. His excuse? That he went to visit family in a neighboring state. I guess he thought I was stupid.

    We weren’t even officially broken up when he went on the cruise- all his stuff was still in my home! Looking back, I knew he’d been planning it for a long time beforehand. “Needing space” was his way to go on the cruise without having to answer to me.

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