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Don’t Send It. Three Reasons Why.

Psssst! I have a little secret to lay on you…. People are not interested in your messy divorce.

Okay, maybe your parents and closest friend. Certainly it sucks for your children. But the rest of humanity? I’m sorry. They do not care for the particulars.

I know how unjust this is, especially if you’ve been cheated on. It’s shattering. The horror of being played for a fool is enough to put anyone out of their right mind. But I’m telling you, chump-to-chump, maintain your dignity.

I’m not saying shut up. Please understand I want you to speak your truth.  If anyone asks, sing like a bird. “I found 14 Craigslist hook-ups. We’re divorced.” Or “I didn’t like her boyfriend.” Or “The Ashley Madison accounts really didn’t jive with my idea of marriage.” By all means, speak up. It’s not your job to be your ex’s PR agency and polish their image. What they did was shameful and it’s not your shame to wear. It’s theirs. But there is a difference between matter-of-fact succinctness… and emotionally vomiting all over a stranger’s shoes.

What I’m saying is — don’t send a three-page, single-spaced narrative with footnotes and apocrypha to their employer. Don’t do a social media blast of their sexts. Don’t post the naughty bits you found on their secret cell phone on Facebook and tag their mothers.

Does that sound delicious? Did you just read that and think “OMG, I have to try that!”

Step away from the send button. You’re still wobbly. These feelings will pass.

Here’s three reasons why over-sharing the particulars of your messy break up is a bad idea.

1.) Lawyers. Any tangible communication can be used against you in court. Don’t give the crazies in your life ammunition, okay? You don’t want to face harassment charges. If there is an actual abuse of power that you should report, like your ex was having sex with a minor, or their therapist, or was abusing their authority in some nefarious way — you need to run all that past a lawyer. How you expose, how you confront — these things are best left to professionals. And in other less egregious cases, let your lawyer use evidence of infidelity as leverage in your divorce. (Yes, even in no fault divorce states, affair partners tend not to want to be deposed.) It doesn’t work very well as a threat if you’ve already informed everyone on Facebook. You also need to think through the ramifications — could your ex lose their job for a work place affair? Shouldn’t you get the support order in place before that happens? Lawyers think about these things dispassionately and strategically. You need that.

2.) It makes you look like a loon. The last thing you want to do is match the narrative your ex paints that you’re crazy. Even if they manufacture crazy like Henry Ford made automobiles, even if they’re a big slag heap of insanity — don’t take the bait. Don’t match their crazy with your crazy. I know you’re angry and grieving, but take a big step back. You can’t control this. You only get to control you, so be the sane person.

And remember, people aren’t interested in your cosmic injustice. I know it’s huge to you, but to the person reading your three-page, single-spaced narrative with footnotes and apocrypha — it just comes across as raw. And unbalanced. And they don’t really want to sort it out, so they’re going to make a quick decision about who to side with and it’s probably going to be the person who didn’t send them a three-page, single-spaced narrative with footnotes and apocrypha to read.

So really, if you have something to say — bullet points.

But better yet, keep it to yourself and maintain your dignity.

3.) It gives the bad guys centrality. This is the biggest reason not to alert the press — it gives the bad guys your precious mental real estate. Your life gets winnowed down to winning some stupid narrative. You know the truth. The people who matter to you know the truth. Everyone else? Who cares. Who cares if they think the sun shines from your ex’s butt? Who cares that she’s a fraud? I promise you, they’ll find out (painfully) in time.

Focus on you. Focus on your new life. Don’t look back at their drama. Fold the three-page, single-spaced narrative with footnotes and apocrypha and stick it in a drawer. Pull it out a couple years from now and have a good (if rueful) laugh. You’ll be so grateful that’s no longer your life. Trust me on this.

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  • Absolutely CL. Thanks for this.

    My lawyer told me not to do anything that would make me look like a “crazy” as he would use that against me in any custody matter. I didn’t break a thing or touch a thing of his. I was generous in what I gave to him (I wanted him out) from our home. I lawyered up big time and she did the talking in the negotiations, not me.

    And yeah, after a while people don’t really give a shit about your betrayal. Nobody feels it like you do and eventually they want you to move on. It’s really meant with love I think.

    I’m so glad I didn’t “vomit” emotionally over everyone I met. I’ve told a few friends the gory details but not many. When asked why we aren’t together I sometimes said, “I didn’t much care for his girlfriend.” Otherwise, I just can’t be bothered trying to convince the world what a dick he is. At some point, I think I decided that it just wasn’t worth my time and that life, with all it’s twists and turns, would eventually sort it out.

    • I did do some emotional vomiting. I think that’s pretty normal in the shell shocked beginning.

      It’s okay to let the world know he’s a dick, it’s just not your job to convince them of it.

      • “It’s okay to let the world know he’s a dick, it’s just not your job to convince them of it.”

        Amen. Because those you tell will either believe you or they won’t – you can’t convince them. Many people have to experience the insanity for themselves in order to believe it. That whole, “if it’s not happening to me, it’s not really happening,” way of thinking.

        • Oh yeah, it’s normal. And I did some. However, I was so traumatized I walked around in a fog for a bit and didn’t know what to say. When I finally broke out of that, I woke up. I speak the truth to everyone I meet about my ex’s bad behaviour but I just don’t go into gory details. I save that for my closest friends.

  • 100% TRUTH.

    The WORST thing you can do to your ex is to maintain your dignity!

    I am guilty of having said too much to too many people, true–but I held back so much, and I am so happy that I did when I did. Find people in your life who DO give a shit–those are typically chumps themselves who need the support and are happy to lend it right back. With everyone else, keep it really, really brief, even when they paint your ex as a “good person” with whom they’d like to stay “neutral.” Move away from those who maintain company with the loser, and choose better friends.

    It’s ok to write the three-paged, detailed tome, but send it ONLY to YOURSELF, and edit it at will. I promise promise promise that you will find yourself editing like crazy (pun intended–this makes us crazy) at first, and the frequency of the edits will drop significantly over time. I got to the point where I could read what I’d written to myself without much feeling, but now I really can’t even look at it at all–too painful. SO SO SO glad I didn’t send it to anyone but myself.

    My mother warned me, too, that any shit I spewed at xH WOULD come back to bite me. He’d be able to challenge me for custody on the grounds that I was the imbalanced one. It also gave the ex and the twat troll really great reading–again, I looked like the crazy one. From time to time I fantasize that I’d never said a thing, just sent him on his way with a shrug of my shoulders and a twinkle in my eye, instead of obscenities and tears and horrendous vitriol that made ME look worst of all. When he said, “Your response is making it hard to regret what I’ve done!” he was speaking the truth! He’s an asshole for hurting me. I wish I’d have seen my future, and never let on that I was so deeply wounded, and that I’d known then what I know now, that in short time I’d be glad that he’d fallen off like a scab.

    So, listen to Tracy. She knows of what she speaks. It’s advanced learning, but some of you are really precocious. Learn from us veterans. Speak just enough to let others know (s)he’s a cheater, but always keep it brief and dignified. You will be glad that you did.

    • I practiced what to say. Now it’s just, “Aw, you know…he found the love of his life on Facebook, and off he went!” Generally the recipient of such explanation is horrified. “But what about the kids? He just left? And why would anyone leave YOU?!?” I smile and shrug. Clearly he’s deranged. What can you do? Be glad there are whores who seek out the trash in your life and suck it up and away? (Pun intended.)

    • It wasn’t your response to what he did that made it hard for him to be remorseful. It’s that he was/is a selfish psychopath.

      No one who has a shred of compassion and a semi-operational moral compass would ever suggest that the reason they don’t feel sorry about what they did was your reaction.

      That’s just more blame the victim. Do NOT accept that blame.

    • Oh Miss Sunshine, you had me at “twat troll”! Too funny. I needed that today as today would have been my 25th wedding anniversary if my H had been able to keep his dick in his pants.

  • The calmer and happier you are, the more they second-guess themselves and feel out of control. It’s awesome. 🙂

    • Michelle,
      You are so right. I have just sat back and let them squirm. They manage to bury themselves – in my case they publicly embarrassed themselves by going on tabloid TV and talking about their relationship problems with each other.

      I have had so many moments when my inner smile just lets me have a huge sigh of relief knowing they are still messing up, while I preserved my dignity, my sanity, and my reputation. I can just ignore them, and occasionally look them up for a laugh.

      Having your privacy and self respect intact is much easier if you have no reason to feel regrets about revenge. I know for a fact that Ex and OW regularly make inquiries about me, and it IS awesome that I am thriving. Living well is absolutely the best revenge.

      • Yes, even if you have to fake it, which I do a lot, it’s the best path. Each time I see that loser riding around and living it up down the road from my house, I want to call him up and cuss him out or better, run him off the road. However, I don’t. I’m not sure how I even stop myself. The only way I manage is by asking myself.. What would Chump Lady do? I remember in one of her post, she said…Nothing says F-Off more than your silence. From that point on, that’s what I do. I keep silent no matter what they do.

  • I will admit I have a hard time with this. Yeah, my POS ex married his racquetball partner, LOL! It’s what happened for three years before Dday (my first and last!) that really pisses me off. The fucked up lies. The intimidation. Dissipating assets. And he was still fucking me. Walking out on all our joint financial responsibilities (the biggest one was the mortgage on the house, a house we had built in the country on twenty acres that should have been my children’s home), stealing our savings (college anyone?) and then turning around and tossing it out to kids in the community in the way of scholarships so that he could control the narrative, pulling equity out of the house with no intention of paying the mortgage, getting a second job at the family court next county over so he could learn even better how to screw his family over. A peace officer no less. Hey when it came to screwing me over, he did this well! Then there was the local news article proclaiming for all our community to see, how much he looked forward to playing racquetball tournaments because poor sausage he had spent all these years raising his children and only now just had extra time. “And the wife?” “She supports me, she has always supported me…” Blah blah Fuckity Blah. Hey I was doing the pick me dance for a long time, no wonder sex with him sucked! But best of all I have a great souvenir from our twenty eight plus years together. I have his HIV test framed and on my bedroom wall (oh yes I discovered this special piece of paper among all those personal financial records of his when I was scrambling to fill out paperwork for the court, hell I could barely afford a lawyer, that test was dated two years before DDay). It reminds me daily of WHO and WHAT he is. I will never comprehend why someone who was so ill equipped for marriage not only fucked someone else but BLEW apart my financial security as well. Guy makes over 100k/year and would not pay the $1500/month mortgage (or the kids college expenses). You should have been there looking on as my kids and I scrambled to pack up a house 500 miles away from family and move all our belongings into storage (he left it ALL, the pets, all the vehicles, all the stuff acquired over our last twenty years together and that he abandoned) because we couldn’t afford to take it with us. My children were blindsided as well, because Cheaters never communicate they just triangulate, and they don’t know half of what went on. All they know is that their father was no longer a significant part of their lives. And hey we are barely making a living! Ain’t love grand?!?!?? Now if my story doesn’t teach anyone anything, one thing is obvious: Whores. are. expensive.
    PS kudos to my kids for being damn brilliant and finishing degrees. Way to prioritize! And to ALL my family, YOU ROCK and who without their support I would not have been able to follow through on all the promises I made. And to all those people who just listened, you gave me hope to move forward.

    • Karma… it all comes back to them… Just wait… get your popcorn and wait for the shit show to begin… because it will.

  • You are right CL. Down the road you are really grateful you didn’t sing like a canary. I told my oldest child and two very good friends everything — almost. I then told those who were sorta close to me and really, really wanted to know the whole scoop, that I would tell them the sordid story in a year. That gives me enough time to get my head around the insanity of his double life, my bad choice of a partner, again, and more time to make a decision if I want them to know or not. The enlightenment to hold off on the loud speaker came with experience. You see, I have struck out on picking decent men. First, a passive aggressive narc-married him and had 2 kids — he said I wasn’t woman enough and had an affair, second an extremely aggressive overt narc-married him and had 2 kids — he said I didn’t know how to obey and had an affair, third a passive aggressive covert narc who preys on vulnerable women — I didn’t marry, thank you Jesus — said he was going to make me a real mother — he paid for his sex services.

    WTF!! I have must have a plastic wrapper around me that says “sucker”.

    Boy, oh boy, have I been replaying something crazy in my life or what.

    I should have Phd in spackle. It seems I can tolerate high levels of emotional pain, but when it came to infidelity I had no problem throwing them out. Go figure.

    I am financially secure, own my home and all my kids made it through college by the grace of God. We are all pretty close, not perfect, but not bad considering my relationships. Tried to never speak ill of their dads.

    After hearing everyone’s story on this site, I believe I know my problem and I hope everyone chimes in if I’m wrong: I’m a triple CO-De with my male partners.

    I cannot thank you, and everyone who participates, enough for this site. If it was available back in the day, I would hope my choices would have been different after the first remodel. All of you keep me honest with myself.

    Maintain your dignity. Tell us your madness when you need to vent.

    That’s is why CL is here.

    This IS something you will not regret….

    • For the record, I am ALL for singing like a bird and telling your kids the reason for the divorce is infidelity. (So they don’t think nebulous clouds of “we just drifted apart” descend on families and break them up.) I just say do that without editorializing. (i.e., “Dad is a man-whore.”)

      I absolutely think you should speak your truth, just don’t do it in a way that could get you sued or would mortify you later.

      • I do agree with you, CL. I did tell my children and friends it was infidelity. I just didn’t go into the details. My friends and children all met the other women which was humiliation enough.

        They both went on to several more relationshipds

        Horrible women. None of the new girlfriends or wives were kind to my kids. That was my biggest sorrow.

      • I do agree with you, CL. I did tell my children and friends it was infidelity. I just didn’t go into the details. My friends and children all met the other women which was humiliation enough.

        They both went on to several more relationships.

        Horrible women. None of the new girlfriends or wives were kind to my kids. That was my biggest sorrow.

  • It wasn’t a divorce. I wish this had been written earlier. I made the mistake of e-mailing his sister that he’d accused me of cheating. He was a big time projector and she knew it. She told her Mom which I didn’t expect Mom sends a belated birthday card stating over and over her appreciation for everything I had done for him/them. It was obvious she felt bad for me. In response I sent a 1 page letter; 2 paragraphs thanking her for being so awesome Mom. a mentor that I tried to emulate, and my appreciation for all the big and small positives that she brought to my life. 1 paragraph blandly explaining what happened. No recriminations, no editorializing, just this is what happened and my leaving was a consequence. One paragraph of future plans to let her know that everything would be okay. Promised to pray for her boy and told her I wished him the best… no regrets. As he had already poisoned the well with the “she’s crazy” talk I wanted to assure her I was okay. Sadly, I really do miss her way more than I miss him. Wish this post had been written two months ago. : (

    • Don’t beat yourself up. That’s not a bad thing to have done, it’s totally human. You wrote a nice letter. What I’m talking about is if you sent her his naked dick pics.

      It’s very common that your ex’s family sides with your ex, yeah, even if they know about the cheating.

      • I totally agree that you did not do anything bad. I too wrote an email to my ex in laws to let them know what the situation is. My ex h has been painting a pretty picture of us and my ex in laws believed him because they are truly nice people. I felt even more disrespected by my ex. I’ve had enough after a year of them not knowing. So, I decided to tell my ex in laws. I wanted his family to understand what the kids and I are going through. I did tell them about my ex h’s affair in roughly 3 sentences. Just what the situation is, no editorializing, bashing or anything crazy.

        After laying out the truth to his family, I just moved on from it. You did not do anything wrong especially if you were respectful.

    • Chumpy – it sounds to me like you maintained your dignity and class, but also spoke your truth. No shame there – you should be proud of yourself.

      • I wrote a very undignified letter to the ow’s husband. I didn’t mince words and it read like a porno screenplay, starring his blow job giving wife and a revolving door of personal injury lawyers across the city of (largest urban area north of Buffalo). I let rip and his response to me was, “I was unaware of the extent”. I said she couldn’t tell you the extent, she always has a dick in her mouth. It’s why she’s known as a good listener. It was bru-fucking-tal. And salty. And frankly I embellished where I didn’t know the details lol. This was 2 weeks ago, I’m not in a good place, but thinking about it makes me laugh. Not sure if it was a good idea, but I’m pretty sure it won’t go viral.

  • yup . Good advice (and I learned the hard way…). It didn’t have any legal ramifications in my divorce (oh! hello, no-fault), but I guess that was luck of a sort. I do think that it played a big part in me losing my “friends”….although you’d think after folks know you for 20+ years they’d cut you a little slack, but no, they do not. No slack at all.

    You go right into the “uh-oh I better not make eye contact” bin.

    Put. Down. The. Cursor. Maybe it’s called a CURSor for a reason! (I’m sure it is and I’m sure it has nothing to do with curses, but it’s 6 AM here in Dublin, 1 AM body clock time, and you know, whatever.)

    Have you ever tried to go shopping to waste time at 1AM/6AM in what is basically a luxury shopping mall. Do not do. Head exploding. I didn’t know they sprayed the smelly parfum all over this early!

      • Yeah, well destination, Hamburg now. Plenty of good beer abounds. I will not suffer. Also, besser? with lovely daughter.

        Left for trip (not on purpose, due to airfare) on Ex’s barday… haha!

      • Yeah, well destination, Hamburg now. Plenty of good beer abounds. I will not suffer. Also, besser? with lovely daughter.

        Left for trip (not on purpose, due to airfare) on Ex’s barfday… haha!

  • Since leaving my X 3 weeks ago I had shut down all my social media accounts

    1) I didn’t want any family&friends noseyparkers checking my pages for updates on my situation once word got around that I had walked out. I had foreseen some of them may have predicted I was going to have a meltdown and blast my business online, hmm mm no one is going to get a free keeble from me by witnessing my soul demise and probably laughing in mockery (in laws and shared friends sitting on the fence

    2) online social media is not a place to dwell while grieving my lost dreams, plus it was going to be annoying seeing all the happy family posts/pictures when my house has burnt down

    • I did this too, I shut down fb until I had a grasp on the situation. Because those leechy people will absolutely spy and gossip and not say a word to you, or worse, send fake friendly messages hoping to get the “juicy” story. I also had a best friend who listened to my “raw” versions of everything over and over until I’m sure her ears were bleeding, and every once in a while she would give me a gentle “you’re hard to understand when you’re upset, understandably, but don’t talk to him until you’ve calmed down.” Looking at my ramblings she was completely right and thank goodness she was there.

  • Revenge, aka Karma, is a long game. Like most good things in life, patience and timing are everything. The problem with early Chumpdom is the pain makes you want to lash out. It’s a normal, human response. But it’s a behavioural one. You have to learn quickly to think your way through the trauma – that’s what will help you survive with a strong chance of a full recovery. After all, it’s the lack of self-restraint that got the Cheaters out in the crazy jungle. You’re running away from, not into the jungle.

    One of my favourite novels – even before I lived in Cheaterville – is The Life and Loves of a She-devil by Fay Weldon. Yes, made into a BBC series and a Hollywood film but the book is a Chump’s guide to procuring the very best Karma. This is no plot spoiler but the last line says: “I am a lady of six feet two…A comic turn, turned serious.” Cheating is low rent comedy, Chumpdom is high quality drama. You get to write, direct and star as the protagonist who wins, integrity intact. So kill the inflammatory jibes and get to work on your own winning script.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Life-Loves-She-devil-Weldon/dp/0340589353

  • I found that just writing the (in my case) 10 page, vitriolic, tear streaked, pen stabbed, shrieking/vomit letter and stashing it away in a drawer was not cathartic enough. I had to find a third option, because neither sending nor not sending it was working for me. I’ve been involved with Jungian psychology for a long time and one major tenet is that doing something symbolically, as a ritual, has the same effect on the unconscious as doing it for real. So I put the letter in an envelope, and made a fake address for Mr. Asshole in Cheaterville, put stamps on it and walked down to the mailbox. Made a big production of pulling down the handle and throwing the letter in. “Sending” this letter was so empowering – I finally felt like I had “told him” everything I wanted to say. I had spoken my truth and had put it out there. It had the cathartic effect I was hoping for and now I no longer feel that terrible sense that I didn’t get to have my say. I don’t know what happens to letters that can’t be delivered or returned. They probably go to a dead letter office somewhere. But if a curious postal worker wonders what’s inside a letter addressed to Mr. Asshole and opens it, it’s going to make their day!

    • Hahaha omg that’s the best!!
      + I kind of hope someone who is cheating or being cheated did read that letter! Like a message straight from The Great Beyond! Lol.

      • That is awesome, NeverAgain! And yes, let’s pray that God as the power of the universe puts that letter in the hands of a cheater somewhere!

  • Thank you CL. So many of your posts speak directly to me. I appreciate all of your efforts to help. My case was organizational abuse and I feel a responsibility to others. But…

    I do realize that justice is a long term project that is out of my hands….not a three-paged-single-spaced-apocryphal account certainly ; ). A one bullet pointed page…much better, but as you say, not if it gets in the way of my healing.

    Better to refocus on my life. Stay sane. I am just a year out and sicko ex and his buddies have already taken so much of my life. It is very hard to be the one to shoulder this trauma. But that is what I must do.

  • I put mine on Cheaterville and was going to put her fuck buddy on there too. As soon as I did it, I got instant schadenfreude and thought I was ok with it. I figured it was my way of forcing karma or the universe to finally begin to taking revenge on her and all that. I never did get the other man on there.

    A couple of days later, I began to have feelings of regret for doing it, not sure why. I thought…who would really ever look at this and care, other than me and my kids? Our dirty laundry out in public and no one else even cared. It changed nothing and no one wanted to get involved. It was stupid.

    Nevertheless, I have left the Cheaterville thing up, although I now really regret doing it. CL, you are right! It just allowed that bitch back into my head, gave her my energy and head-space, allowed her to know how fragile and hurt I was and continue to be. She will always win when it comes to her affair and being able to hurt me. Even when I try to get revenge, I still fuck up, get hurt and feel sorry for her!

    I wish I had just taken the high road and never looked back. Time to re-group and refocus on me….good topic CL!

    • Think of it as the karma bus about to roll the skank over, because these things tend to crop up in the oddest of ways – for example, if she applies for another job and people do a search for her.
      Don’t ever, EVER feel bad for what you did. Its done now, and theres no use beating yourself up over it.

  • Those of you that may be in the early stages of chumpdom (shortly after D-Day) please listen to CL on this. Depending on how far your divorce goes in the courts, you may be required to hand over any and all communications with friends and family to her (his) lawyer. Since my case settled the day before trial it didn’t happen for me, but I’m sure some of my emails/texts to fellow chumps and other friends would have ended up being twisted out of context in court. Write it to yourself. Better yet, write it to you lawyer! Then it becomes protected info and her (his) lawyer cannot get it!

  • I’ve worked hard to remain calm and civil in the face of all kinds of rage and abuse. And, yet, the jackass tried to use my behavior against me. He informed the therapist that I should not have custody because I was cold and unemotional (his proof was that I was not ranting and raving and calling him names and punching holes in walls and destroying stuff like he was, apparently).

    Fortunately, the therapist working with the kids and evaluating the situation decided that I was a great parent. (When I ended counseling and the therapist was giving me some “go forth and prosper” types of encouragement, he told me that the reports made by my EX of my “robotic” and “unloving” behavior had been one of the things he was concerned about before our initial session, but that he knew I was okay from the first time he saw me in the waiting room with one kid on my lap and the other draped over my shoulders.) But it infuriated me (okay, still infuriates me) that my good behavior in the face of all kinds of provocation ended up being used against me.

    I can’t imagine what nonsense the EX would have stirred up if I had ever let loose and yelled back, sent a letter with details to his employer, etc. No good deed goes unpunished with the narcs out there, so you be sure that the bad deeds will really be used against you.

    So, I can’t agree with CL more. Remaining as rational and civil as possible is really important, and absolutely essential when custody is involved. I don’t blame anyone who loses it, but do your best to lose it in a safe place with people who have your back (Chump Nation is a good bet.)

    • Well, you know what they say about Divorce cases, right? There is a “Vs” between your names for a reason.

      My ex didn’t go to low-blows in the divorce. I can imagine it might not have worked out well for me if I had drug in things that were inconsequential considering… the fact that I was basically giving her very little in the divorce (and no alimony, no splitting of any investment accounts, etc).

      I did the “get a signed separation agreement when they are in running off with AP mode and not thinking ahead very far” thing. In a messed up situation where I made mistakes and wasn’t thinking clearly at all times, I was pretty focused on assets/money but not so much that I did anything that would provoke a battle over getting that agreement signed.

      Your situation was different because you had kids, and your cheater was on the hook for child support at the very least, and by the time that sort of case gets to court, they’ve had a lawyer explaining consequences, and if they are manipulative people to begin with, nothing provokes more manipulative BS like consequences 🙁

      • I made my own deal with the devil to get free–i.e. no child support, and I gave him much of what he wanted from our shared assets (i.e. most of them) in exchange for custody. I had perfectly good legal advice, so I’m not complaining about this. But I do want to clear up the widespread belief that custodial parents get child support (or alimony). There are a thousand ways that irresponsible parents can make it difficult for their partners to get support. After tangling with a couple of them, I chose to cut my losses.

        It isn’t fair that he doesn’t support his kids, but part of unchumping myself was to stop expecting and negotiating for “fairness” and to deal with reality. And, in all honesty, I was stunned to discover how well we could live on my earnings–I had no idea how much of our money was going to his habits (of various selfish sorts) until I saw how far my paycheck went when I just spent it on what the kids and I need. And even with less money, I have less anxiety. I never knew what the credit card bill would be from one month to the next before; now I do, and if I have to reduce expenses–no one yells at me or accuses me of being selfish and ruining his weekend, etc. There may be fewer things in the house, but there is a whole lot more oxygen.

        • Mine threatened me with custody of our child. I was so terrified I actually believed him. Ugh.

          When dealing with the lawyers he behaved himself and sat the hell down. I never heard another threat. And yeah we had to do some give and take. For now, he supports us but I do wonder for how long. I work and that helps me feel better about my finances. Still, dealing with a cheater in divorce is brutal – my lawyer said as much himself and to be prepared for a shit show.

  • Oh Dear! I failed spectacularly at all of this! I told everyone and anyone who even looked at me sideways. I’ve written loads of texts, emails and letters on the theme of ‘you’re a complete bastard and I loathe you’ (do you know how many words there are for conman that begin with C – cad, carpetbagger, confidence trickster, con artist – and that’s before we even start getting anglo-saxon about it)! I just could not contain my rage. Whatsmore, I felt strongly that I was being forced into this stereotype of how a chumped wife was supposed to behave (with dignity sure, but above all, quietly while she packs up her shit and just stops being a bother in his life) – and I was outraged by that – why was I supposed to ‘follow the rules’ when I’d done nothing wrong! I was dying inside, my life was ruined so why should I quietly eat that shit banquet and not throw some sandwiches at the one who provided the catering? I’d had a glimpse of the fantasy he had about how this was going to play out (he was trying to write a book) and I was supposed to disappear in the dead of night, so as not to cause him any trouble. I didn’t care if people saw me as crazy. I’ve heard some of the PR he used to mitigate his public image (apparently, he didn’t just keep leaving, then coming back then leaving again, for the slightest excuses – no apparently he was just so remorseful and was trying so hard to reconcile but I kept throwing him out! That was news to me)! So, frankly, whatever I did, I’d be painted as crazy anyway – it was imperative people thought I was crazy or they’d start questioning who they thought he was. The people I care about don’t think I’m crazy, so fuck anyone else who thinks they’re entitled to an opinion. We don’t have children (thank heavens) he’d have fucked me over financially whether I was sweetness personified – he’d already secretly done it – so the missives he can show as proof of my insanity make no difference to anything. I have never hated anyone with the passion I hate him, and I cannot envisage a time when I will have one single good thing to say about him. This is so alien to anything I’ve felt about any previous lover in my life. The break-up of my first marriage was heartbreaking for me, but, ask anyone in my life (well I know you can’t but you’ll just have to trust me on this) I tell everyone my first husband is a lovely man and they’d really like him, he just wasn’t very good at being my husband. I still think fondly of him, and remember lovely things we shared. ‘The Great I Am’ – it was all a lie. There is nothing I can enjoy of my memory of him that I can pull out an go ‘well that was a lovely time we had’.
    The only reason why I wish I’d have done the ‘dignified chumped wife’ thing is that I reckon he’d be more heartbroken about losing me (and even then I couldn’t be sure of that) – I don’t know whether it would have just let him have the personal narrative that he could have me back anytime he wanted, and I really, really wouldn’t want him comforting himself with that delusion.

    So, notwithstanding all that, I am certain CL is absolutely right, act with dignity and get out with your pride intact. Just because I became the verbose harridan from hell, doesn’t mean you have to 🙂

    • My dumb ass ex hired his (and my former) niece’s fiancé, who’d just passed the bar, as his lawyer. This niece was my flower girl-another stab in the back-and I spent many family holidays sitting with this kid. It all backfired though (I maintained my dignity and never said a bad word to any of his family) when he was caught commiting perjury on his financial statement which gave my lawyer a big bargainning chip, along with his 50+ years of experience practicing law, and of course his new family member now knows what a liar he is. In the end, I came out way ahead financially and can hold my head high. I consider his getting caught out as the first karma bite of his ass.

      • Sorry, this was meant as a comment, not a reply to Jayne. Jayne, you are not a harridan. Don’t beat yourself up. I never contacted his family but sent a couple of texts to him that I regret. The begging sorry kind. I’m sure most of us have.

    • Jayne, don’t beat yourself up about it. I think that there are times when you can be a little mad. Particularly when there aren’t children to consider.

    • Jayne,
      Some of the Chumps I know IRL can talk about a fun holiday they shared with their ex, or a funny story related to them and the kids or something back from when they were together. I, on the other hand, now talk about “the time I took the kids to the beach” or “that time I went to that amusement park.” I did not take the kids to the beach by myself or go to the amusement park on my own. But I might as well have. Like you, I feel like it was all a lie, a part X was playing. So I edit him out of the memories. Not a good enough actor, he’s not making the theatrical release. 😉

      I can’t really think of a good thing to say about him either. I do not like him, he’s not a good person, he’s a liar and a manipulator and a user of people and he only cares about himself, and I’m seeing all of those things play out with his relationship with the kids. (Has CL written anything about trying to co-parent with Narc Cheaters? That’s what I struggle with most often.)

      Anyway, the Great I Am and the X aren’t so great if we can’t remember them fondly. You know that’s got to drive them nuts. 😉

      • (Has CL written anything about trying to co-parent with Narc Cheaters? That’s what I struggle with most often.)

        Tell me about it Kira! I’m really struggling with this too. I’m just hopeful that it will get better once the divorce is final and some time has passed. So sick of her “maneuvering” in the name of co-parenting to try to paint herself as the caring parent.

        • Me three! And one year out of the divorce, unfortunately it does not get much easier. (Yet?!)

          Some random examples:

          – always late picking up and dropping off the kids
          – always putting his own agenda upfront, he has some ‘important’ thing, so we have to adapt. Swallow or choke.
          – making me reschedule the parent-teacher appointments, then not show up or even let me know what’s up.

          Basically… no communication or lies. And Disney dad behavior, of course, to charm anyone who believes his happily ever after. Many do, since he’s such a ‘nice guy’.

          Since I have learned there is no way to change him/his behavior, I have some measures/boundaries:
          – no comment whatsoever about his tardiness, it’s not worth it and I suspect part of why he does it is to annoy me.
          – If it fits my schedule, fine, but I’m not moving heaven and earth again for the ‘sake of our children’.
          – I quit the secretarial job…

          And I stopped promptly responding to everything, difficult for me, since I love neatly tied ends, organization, schedules that work.

          The annoying ‘caring parent’ trap? I have recently unfriended his family (dropped me like a hot potato anyway, but chumpy me kept hoping they’d want to hear my side of the story, that 20 years of being part of the family meant something) and one by one I’m distancing myself from all fence-sitting friends. So no more terrific father tales reach me, I’m looking forward to sweet silence.

          I’d love a post about co-parenting with cheaters, since it is a minefield you cannot avoid with young children. And any form of contact is a potential kibble source, even if you intended the cake to be eaten by your children, he’ll dig right in! I’m learning, but tend to fall into traps all the same, they know how to push our buttons. Rewiring takes some serious, but useful, introspection.

          • Dutch-Chump, your first two examples, OMG, The Exact. Same. Thing. with me! In fact, I was just sitting here, trying to word something for the forum to get advice on how to deal with those, because it’s driving me nuts, every bit of boundary setting I try he just flat out ignores.

      • Hi Kira and TwinsDad,

        I was sure CL had done something about Co-parenting with Narc Cheaters, so have just gone through the archives. My memory must be playing up (I really did have a vague picture of a post headed as such) – nothing as totally specific as that, so I made a note of the posts that had something to do with children in the title.
        Ta Dah:
        2012 – August

        2013 – Jan (2 posts) Apr July Aug Sept (2 posts)

        2014 – Jan (specifically called Narcissist Dads) Feb March Apr (2 posts) July.

        Kira – ‘Not a good enough actor, he’s not making the theatrical release’. Ha 🙂 I’d doubt either of them would get the part even in their own version of the Play! 😉

      • i have been looking up unsuccessfully how to co-parent with a passive aggressive / Borderline personality disorder. but havent found anything really helpful. Although i currently do not have to worry about it since my Xh has disappeared and i have no idea how to reach him or contact him.

  • When asked, “How’s X?” I would reply, “I wouldn’t know.” And if people asked what happened, “He decided a much younger coworker was more fun than a wife and little kids.”

  • CL’s website gives many people a valuable outlet to vent their spleen. I think that it is important to talk about these problems and not hide them away. This site is also valuable in allowing others to realise that others have had similar problems and they are not alone. It offers a real sense of camaraderie.

  • That being said in my previous post, I find that I can’t leave it alone entirely and will say something, but only wen I figure out what to say, who to say it to and find an appropriate occasion. I’m not going to rush it.

  • CL is correct as always. I’m in a fault state and I laid out in my filing the initial desertion, the abuse, the adultery with the OW named and required to be deposed. Under my PO ex was allowed to email me to “negotiate” a settlement. When he was served the papers he sent me an email that said “What are you doing? this will destroy me”. You see, he had no intention of ever working again, he was living with the OW and she is an elementary school teacher…pretty sure he was afraid she’d lose her job.

    he still refused to settle but he also did not provide discovery data. I lucked into a judge who slapped him with a contempt charge 3 weeks before the court date, since he was on probation for 2 DUIs this moved his sorry ass. I had my settlement a week later. He still got way more than he should have but it certainly shut down the bullshit about my paying him alimony.

  • I was definitely guilty of the word vomit in emails/texts to the ex after he abandoned me and our two boys to relive his glory days as a swinging bachelor (at age 49…nothing more pathetic than a 49 year old man who thinks he is back in college but his penis is 30 years past its prime). I did, however, maintain my dignity with others with the exception of a few close friends who got to hear the whole sordid story ad nauseam (love them and I will never forget their kindness!!). I did have one breakdown in front of his mother and unloaded on her after she told me in her best preachy voice that she felt I contributed to his leaving in some way…she dared to say “there are two sides to every story and you should work on your anger towards him.” Of course, I lost it. I reminded her that he LEFT his children and took up with another woman and even if I had been the bitch from hell there is no justification for what he did. I unloaded on her some of the awful things he said and did before and after he left, and enlightened her to the verbal/emotional and financial abuse I had endured over the 20 years of our marriage. Now, I wish I could take it all back. She cried. Said she could not hear this as he was her son and she loved him no matter what. We parted with angry words and our relationship is now chilly. I still invite her to spend time with the kids, but we will never be the same. I wish I had just turned and walked away when she said that – blood is ALWAYS thicker than water and as a parent I should know better than to try and sway the opinion of a parent against their child. It just will never happen – especially when she knows her own poor choices in life contributed to his disordered mindset (she left his dad on father’s day weekend while he was on a fishing trip…he returned home to a note on the kitchen counter and an empty house and bank account). Lesson to be learned here – don’t waste your breath with the cheater’s family. They are likely as f’d up as the cheater and are not capable of understanding what you are going through. They will just think you are vengeful and angry and “no wonder he cheated/left her/etc.” Conversely, if they happen to be reasonably normal/emotionally mature people, they will still feel a familial bond with the cheater that is very hard to break and your attempts to break it will likely backfire. It’s a bitter pill to swallow – but with regards to a cheater’s family – your best recourse is to walk away with your head held high and don’t look back. It will hurt like hell if you cared about them and felt you had a bond with them, but time WILL lesson that hurt and you will be glad you kept your dignity.

  • Someone please help. I barely slept last night, I’m so consumed with hatred. I want to spit out every cruel thing that crosses my mind. But I can’t because of the kids. I feel like I’m going to drown in this pit of hate. It’s disgusting that he’s harmed me this much and still keeps going for more. He’ll continue to take and take until there’s nothing left, because it’s what he is. He sucks everything dry because he’s so empty. To think I ever believed that he had real human emotions is beyond mind boggling. I’m embarrassed that I showed him the pain I was in and believed his fake remorse. I feel like the biggest idiot on the planet.

    • We’re all going to fight you for the title : “Biggest idiot on the planet” That’s how I felt, and I’ve read plenty of others’ comments to see it’s a common thought. But it’s just that- a thought- it’s not real or who you are. I don’t know where you are in the drama but getting away from it- physically, geographically, emotionally etc is the best way to reset your thinking. I’m over a year out, divorced, no contact with XH. Distance will give you clarity and control. As does time- a cliche but true.

      Here’s how it works- I used to pine for contact after D-Day I get a text last night at 11pm- new number- but asking if I’m on the same number. I know this is XH who hasn’t texted for over 8 months. I don’t reply. Five minutes later another text ” I guess not, then”. I don’t reply. Midnight he phones ( obviously checking if my number is active). I don’t pick up. I know he’s drunk. I now know he’s searching for kibbles (thanks CL). I know he wont follow it up today with any sensible sober contact. None of this spoils my day today- a woman who really used to care. Meh.

      • Thank you both. I can’t wait until I get some distance from him. As of now, we’re stuck under the same roof. He refuses to give me any space. He doesn’t care that I need it.
        And now he wants to pull the kids down with him. He wants to put them in his creepy born again church. Says I’m the one trying to control by objecting when he’s the one who only cares about converting everyone around him. He was the one against baptism and religion in the beginning. We were on the same page back then. But of course, I’m the crazy one. I married the most hypocritical narcissistic freak and it seems that there isn’t much I can do to protect the kids from his fuckedupness. I don’t even begin to know how to get to indifference when it comes to him. I want nothing to do with him, but now I have to watch him use up the kids the way he did with me.
        Oh, and last night, he assured me that he wouldn’t be dating anyone during separation because “that would be adultery.” lmfao or cry? I don’t know anymore. His sudden pureness is so touching. And he’s so special that he has a direct line to God, who personally told him that I’m his soul mate.
        What a creep.

        • My x and I had to live in our house together for several months post dday and it ate me from the inside out daily. Moving to separate bedrooms and bathrooms helped tremendously. If you have an option to sleep, eat and shower in your own private area of the house it can help a lot. It’s SO hard to have to try to remain sane or civil when you’re forced to live together after cheating! If you have an extra room just move your stuff and don’t ask him, just do it. He can’t tell you what to do and if he intrudes on your space don’t engage. Try to not look at him or talk with him, they get off on you being upset. 🙁

    • Super_chump, two words: Individual Counselor. And a third word, pronto.

      Your anger is perfectly understandable but it’s important for you to be kind to yourself. He chumped you and you’re having to rebuild your life. With counseling you can learn how to process that anger and over time you’ll forgive yourself and place the blame squarely where it should be, on his shoulders.

      That said, I’m a year out from d-day and in the middle of my own setback so this is a “do as I say, and not as I do” comment.

      Have you used the General Forum on this website? It’s on the right up there under Chump Chat. Follow the steps to register and then come in and vent. Chump Nation will always be here for you. xoxo

      • Thank you! I didn’t know about the forum. I’ve clicked on the chat bar up there a few times, but it would always say page not found. But I just found the register button. Better late than never!

        I’m trying to find a counsellor right now. The thing is, I’m only covered on the fucker’s plan, since I haven’t found work yet. I don’t know when he’s going to kick me off.

        • I would check with the Customer service on the insurance card. Usually they require a Life Status change, ie legal divorce, to removeyou except during open enrollment.

          • I will check that out, thank you. Before the separation, he checked the box that said I would be covered even in the event of divorce. He did this to prove he was serious about R. Of course, after separation, he kindly told me that he would be nice and keep me on, as he doesn’t want to be vindictive. Yeah…. I assume it would still take some time to take me off in any event.

            • i dont know your situation but if you are still at home with him and he is treating you badly, you need to talk to a lawyer. he doesnt have to know you talked to a lawyer.

              also may i suggest that you quietly move the stuff you care about and dont want to lose. if you can, get a storage unit and start moving stuff into it. things that are important to you that you dont want broken or missing. or stuff that he could use against you — knowing they are important to you. ie: your grandmother plate she brought from russia or even just stuff you have saved from your childhood.

              good luck and hugs

    • Don’t worry you are not the biggest idiot on the planet because I took that spot long ago…I feel the same as you it’s been 6 yrs and her shit never ends either and I feel complete hatred because everyday I deal with the fallout.
      But you answered your own question “he’s so empty” its true they have nothing and will take from you until its all gone. Just remember this …he will still be empty and will have nothing but YOU will start to grow again HE won’t.

  • If I may offer a piece of tangent advice to CL’s — distill and edit your story as an emotional recovery exercise for yourself, and when you tell it to others, leave out details which do nothing to promote understanding.

    I regularly read another online forum and they have a My Story section. It may feel like good therapy to “get it all out”, but it tends to be information overload for the reader/listener. No one needs to know every kiss and caress, or a blow by blow description of each new discovery you made when you were doing the detective work necessary to accumulate the evidence against your unfaithful mate. You may even reactivate the hurt feelings and sense of despair you experienced when you found out each and every disgusting thing your lying cheater did while betraying you. Making a list or outline to guide you while you are recovering, or constructing a chronological narrative can also remind you why you need to focus on your own recovery and why you should not “relapse”. Don’t apologize for the story being “a long one” — edit it. All that is really important is that YOU understand why your cheater sucks. Other readers and listeners probably won’t spackle as much as you did, or need as much evidence as you did to stop living in denial.

    Many family members and friends don’t want to know the details either — they know both of you in another context, and they may prefer not knowing the sordid details, and probably do not want to see the nasty pictures. Really, think about it, do you want to see your best friend’s husband’s dick pic? Probably not. Lewd pictures of his OW? I don’t think so. Those types of pictures are not designed to be great photography, and in my unfortunate exposure to them, were quite nauseating. I don’t think anyone really wants to “share” this type of experience. Your best friend might endure them to support you in your grief, but the general public really does not need to know.

    You will save yourself a lot of embarrassment if you keep your dignity and class. Your cheater doesn’t need to know how much he or she hurt you — they usually don’t care, or they enjoy your humiliation, or it adds to their belief that you are “obsessively hung up on ” them. Nothing good for you in any way, and only more kibbles for them. Don’t feed the monster — get away from the monster and the drama and start living a more peaceful life. Trust that these miserable creatures will always find a way to become miserable again in the future. You will be well over it by then. You win!!!

    • I’ve been accused of being “obsessed with my ex”. Even though I remarried and how no contact with him unless it’s about our child. And that is done through emails and texts. I find it funny that I’m being accused of being “obsessed” yet it’s been years since I sent those emails and texts and they are the ones still obsessing over what I wrote. I guess the truth hurts. I really think that the ex is pissed off that I moved on and am really over him. After he found out that I remarried, he and his whore were engaged the following month .surprise. .surprise..not. lol

      • Annabelle, like that lady tells Jake from State Farm, they “sound hideous”.

        You say “their hatred of me has made them close.” What a sick ass relationship they have. Toxic. Wait till they turn all that hatred on each other.

  • This is timely for me. I find writing very therapeutic and I have been writing the story of my marriage. It has helped me to remember how I got into this situation — untangling my own skein! And it is so healing for me to remember who I used to be, and it helps me to identify the manipulation that my serial cheating STBX has been putting me through for the last 11 years. I can look back and see things much clearer now. Anyway, writing this document is a healing activity that is for me only. My attorney brother advised me to put “Confidential correspondence with my attorney” across the top of every page so that it cannot be twisted in court and used against me. When it is finished I will print it out and three hole punch it and put it in my divorce binder right next to cheater’s discovery documents, wherein he admits to cheating for 11 years but blames it all on me.

    • I wrote a journal just about every day for the last year of my marriage and I will read it from time to time just to remind myself what he really was doing at the time and that no, I wasn’t crazy. He really did those things. It was very helpful for me too.

      My cheater continues to blame me “these sorts of things don’t happen in a vacuum” is how he likes to frame it. Forget it, I don’t even engage.

      • Right, “these things” don’t just “happen”, do they? Low-life pricks like him DO “these things”! People like him with character disorders CHEAT. They DO it. That is how it “happens”.

        Sorry, didn’t mean to get so nasty about it. But I just absolutely HATE hearing cheating described by cheaters as “something that just happens”.

      • Silly Cheater,

        Nobody ever accused him of living in a vacuum. Nobody can live in a vacuum. There might be a few people walking around wishing he were in a vacuum, but everybody knows he can’t live there 😉

    • i used to write journals and dates in a calendar of events all the time before i met my XH. i used to be very organized. but after we married and then moved, i never could get my shit together. i never could get as organized as i used to be, i just figured it was baby #4 and #5 that added the ciaos but it was more that he keep it in ciaos. i made several attempts thou. and have found some old date books and ever old emails or journals and i have been going thru this shit forever. probably since i married him. it never ceases to amaze me when i re-read something i wrote years ago. i am shocked that i put up with so much shit from XH.

  • Great article! -it’s like you know what I’m thinking…..
    So he has cheated and been violent. However, he’s wanting to tell the world that we simply decided to break up 9 months after we got married and omit the fact he’s a bastard.
    I know he’s telling people I’m a crazy.
    I wanted to contact key people, telling the truth. Is that foolish..?

  • In the beginning I wrote to the OW and I sent an affair exposure letter to about 30 of her FB friends. It was a nice letter. Very professional. At the time I believed in the reconciliation unicorn and a website suggested sending an exposure letter. I think she lost her job because of my letter, but I dont care. That was two years ago and I would never send her anything or even acknowledge the bitch now!! Her revenge…She got a job right down the street from my house and her and my ex live on the same street. What kind of people do this? Why doesn’t she feel guilty about her actions. So now I have the pleasure of worrying about running into them at the grocery store, post office, etc. It’s been two years since he left me and I am still suffering from this bullshit. I hate them so much, but I never reacted to the fact they moved on the same road as me. I just can’t believe people can be this evil.

    • They probably worry about running into you too. Everyone saw my ex with fat arsed freaky fuck around the traps, yet I never did. I always made a special point of walking with my head held high just in case but it just never happened. I still maintain its because they saw me first…..and ran!

  • This issue has been hard for me, mostly because of my step kids. I was very close to his daughter, who recently went to college. A couple of weeks ago, about a year after I left, I finally emailed her to try to get some closure. I specifically stayed away from discussing the reasons for the divorce. I just told her I loved her and was proud of her and that I was always there for her if she needed me. I told her that I had not talked to her about the divorce because I thought her dad should do that and that I didn’t want to interfere with their relationship. I told her that she didn’t need to write me back but that I didn’t want to leave these things unsaid.

    Shortly thereafter I get crazy ranting emails from the STBXH threatening me to never contact his kids again and similar mind f*** stuff. He told me that they had loved me and that I abandoned them and that they had nothing to say to me.

    This hurt, especially because just a few weeks later I received some of his financial info in preparation for the divorce. I found more than 65 hotel rooms on his credit cards for hotels in various towns less than a half hour away. Along with corresponding large cash withdrawals made on the same day, usually in the same cities. I knew he had a hooker problem (Internet evidence and he admitted), but it seems that it was even more extensive than I had imagined.

    So the combination of his children hating me and the hard evidence of his extreme gross cheating has made it hard not to “put him on blast”, so to speak. I would love to tell them, his family, our mutual lawyer colleagues, our friends, and the world about what a disgusting joke he is. So far I’ve mostly refrained, although I do “speak my truth” to friends and those who ask. But it’s so hard to get completely screwed over and have people you love think that you were the one who did them wrong.

    • I, too, had 2 step-daughters. The oldest was long gone before the cheating came to light. She had accused her dad of molesting her as a child and wanted nothing to do with us. The younger one was around all the time. She was married with a child of her own and her husband had cheated on her. When she found out that her father was cheating on me (as he had cheated on her mother and the step-mother before me) she was very disgusted. She told me that “you will always be my family. I will never embrace the woman he has taken up with.” Well, fast forward 4 years … she decided she couldn’t live with the discord the year after her father left me so she ditched me and is now a frequent visitor at her father’s house (and, yes, the “woman he has taken up with” lives with him.) She posted on facebook how much she loves “Jane” and “what a wonderful woman you are” (speaking to Jane). So wonderful that she cheated with a married man. Guess those little details got lost somewhere. Oh, and the older daughter? She just had a baby girl and guess where she is living? Yup … with daddy and “Jane”.

      Don’t worry about it DefyingGravity. They really are no better than their fathers. After all, who had a hand in raising them? They don’t deserve your love. Just let them go just as you did their dad. They will never know what they lost because they don’t know how to appreciate real love. They have never experienced it and don’t recognize it when it is right in front of them.

  • Beautiful advice CL!

    At the time, I kept the details to a minimum ‘oh, he had a bad case of the wandering eye’, while my exH very publicly spiraled out of control because we were getting divorced — even though he had been openly living with the OW while we were still married.

    For me personally, the difficult part was – and still is – that friends and family believe that the split was amicable. They feel ‘sorry for me’ but really don’t have a clue about how it impacted me. They give me updates on his various activities not knowing how hurtful and inappropriate this is. Sometimes I am polite and listen. Mostly I change the subject. I feel the ‘mind-fuckery’ continues because many of them were aware of the affairs — and said nothing to me. I really want to yell – ‘what’s wrong with you people?’. I understand these aren’t real friends and just keep moving forward. Its bloody tough to be an adult sometimes!

    Now I say, ‘Yes, we’re divorced. I can’t believe how much happier and saner my life is’. It is 100% true!

  • I REALLY needed this post today. Two days ago my ex mother-in-law posted a picture on her Facebook account and tagged my teenage daughter. Which also automatically appeared on my Facebook timeline. The picture was of my ex asswipe, his parents, a couple other family members, my two daughters, and of course the OW. I so badly wanted to make a comment such as “Which one doesn’t belong?” or “Who is the skank in the background?”. Now I am really glad that I did not. Almost two years since separation day. Why give them the satisfaction of knowing that I am letting those two idiots take up any of my brain space? And it just reaffirmed that I want no contact with my ex mother-in-law because she has always thought that her little boy could do not wrong.

    • I had to endure seeing the “happy family event” picture taken at Thanksgiving not long after my ex left. My teen sons, the jesus cheaters (ex and OW), and my ex’s entire family. It was surreal…there she stood right next to him where I had stood for 23 years prior for their annual family picture. I saw it totally by accident – I was FB friends with several of his cousins and it popped up in my news feed. I immediately unfriended and blocked every member of his family. It felt sort of mean to do it – but I knew it was self preservation and not done out of spite. I can think back on this without much pain now, but at the time it was like a dagger through my heart. To this day I wonder what his family members where thinking when they look at that picture? Did they even notice that I had been replaced? Was I just a ghost that disappeared and reappeared in the form of another person? My heart still aches, though, for my kids. What must have been going through their minds that day. Mom was at home alone and they had to spend the day with dad and this woman that was suddenly taking her place.

      • Nicole,

        I know, isn’t it just strange to see someone else in your place?! Soon after he left I saw some Instagram pictures on my then 8 year old daughters account of all of them at Disneyland and then driving home. There she was, smiling away on that log ride, and then sitting in the front seat of his Suburban. It was like I was just cut out and replaced for a newer, younger version. So weird!! My younger daughter just doesn’t understand even though she knows the truth. And I don’t want to make her feel like she was to worry or monitor everything she puts on Instagram. Thankfully, there are rarely pictures on there of the OW.

  • This touched a nerve with me today also. Even though we separated almost 5 years ago so he could pursue a relationship with his high school sweetheart (his first love according to her), I have so much wanted to write a letter to her friends and family letting them know who she and my XH really are. They moved to where she is from so all her friends have become his friends and all they know is what these two have told them which, I am sure, is that he was in the middle of a very nasty divorce when they met up again after all these years. I so badly want them to know what a skank she is and the cheater and liar that he is.

    I have also wanted to write her a nice long letter telling her that he isn’t the “engineer” that he has professed to be, that he has never been to college, that he has cheated on her and has his profile on several adult websites.

    What has kept me from doing this? First of all, harassment. Don’t need to go to jail as this stage in my life. And second, I am married to a great guy and I don’t want to bring this headache into our lives. He doesn’t deserve any of the fallout that would come from this. I also don’t need the karma bus to come run me down. I would rather it find it’s way to my XH and flatten him.

    I also like the idea that both she and he worry about the cards that I hold. They know that I am the keeper of the truth and all it would take is one well-placed call and their house of cards would crumble.

    I have to believe that at some point in time all will reveal itself to both their friends, her family and to her. I just hope I am alive to see it unravel. Patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait.

    But, in the meantime, unfortunately, the battle rages in my head and the desire is deep to do a “tell all”.

    • Wow

      Your story is similar to mine. My now EX hooked up with his high school honey on Facebook – destroyed both our marriage and theirs. I sometimes wonder about her ex – poor chump like me. I too, have some information that could damage my EX’s career, but I’ve kept it to myself. For several reasons – 1) I did not want him not to come sniffing around my pension and meager savings if he lost his job, 2) anything coming from a “woman scorned” is viewed as suspicious – that’s just the way our world works, and 3) I’m a better person and I cling to the edge of the high road. Oh I would love to see the Karma Wheels run over these two (or any of the idiots masquerading as human beings who have ruined so many lives), but I’m not in charge of that.

      I’m nearly to meh. Some days are better than others. I did write all the information down, and that was actually very helpful.

  • YAY CL–you are so right–but probably one of the hardest things to control. I so want revenge–but someone told me….”the best revenge is no revenge!” Some days harder said than done, but doing it!

    • My idea of the perfect revenge is two Whores Together Forever. Having to spend all day, every day, texting hundreds of times, talking all day, sex multiple times a day til they hated the sight of each other, lol.

  • This is such great advice. Bad enough to cringe over X’s behavior, but when it’s your own?…we have enough to deal with.

    Oh, the letters I wrote, and I had every intention of sending them. Getting the details right, and succinct so as not to bore the reader, inevitably went way past my bedtime. I’d promise myself one last review in the morning – thank the sweet baby Jesus for that one because I sounded demented. It was the truth, and X was demented, but unless you’ve lived it the frame of reference isn’t there.

    Shout out to Miss Sunshine: “in short time I’d be glad that he’d fallen off like a scab.” A scab! So funny.

  • There was an episode of The Outer Limits where a scientist’s wife was cheating. She and the co cheater kept making out on the couch saying “I want your body!” The scientist developed 24 hour anesthesia and transplanted their heads on each others body. Disgusting, but so funny !!!

  • I failed at all this. I sent the hateful, hurting emails, texts to him. Then her. I posted things about them both and their affair on my fb page and told everyone and anyone who would listen. I joined cheating websites and posted their pictures for everyone to see. I was accused of being unstable and “batshit crazy”. According to the whore, ppl who were my “friends” were saying that about me. I also posted things that the whore said about herself on another website. When we went to court he brought the emails and texts I sent him but omitted his response back to me. So it looked like I was harassing him and like I was having a conversation with myself. That was 4 years ago. We are going to court again bc he wants primary custody of our child. He and his whore keep bringing up those emails and texts I sent when I first found out about their affair. And me responding to her texts but again omitted her responses. This time I backed up everything in my phone so I have the transcripts of the entire conversation. Again, this happened 4 yrs ago and they are still using it against me. Even though I live in a no fault state, I’m hoping my attorney will bring up their affair which is the only reason I did what I did. They have both perjuried themselves multiple times and she admitted in court that she was having an affair with him while we were married. Looking back, I wish I remained calm and maintained my dignity bc their hatred for me made them closer and I was just proving to ppl that I was the crazy one like he claimed I was. But the pain and heartbreak was too much to much to bear and it does make you do things one would normally not do. Now the tables have turned. I tuned them out, ignore them and they are the ones cyber stalking me and doing things they shouldn’t be doing. Which is great for me bc i can use everything they have done in court 🙂

  • When people expressed condolences, ‘I said don’t. This is the best thing I have ever done… He is abusive and I have tried for years to have it stop.’ I left out the clusterbfucker stuff and the cheating. That was enough… and my happiness gave everyone something to think about… now they looked at him with different eyes.

    • Me 2. I don’t use the “abuse” word, though. I just say life is a lot calmer without all that crazy 😉

  • This is great advice! My daughter’s high school counselor told me this as well. I never forgot her words: “Whatever happens, maintain your dignity at all times!” Fast forward three years later, going through divorce and he has no proof of any craziness from me. Of course, I have tons of documents proving his lies, cheating, thievery from the 401k, credit card statements of buying whore and kids tons of meals, trips to Vegas, paying her utility bills, etc. When the ho decided to text my then 16 yr old daughter 9 mos. after DDay, berating her for not speaking with her Dad and calling her a bad Christian!??? We responded by calling the police and filling out a phone harrassment report. Lawyer has a copy now. We are going to trial next month and IT.WILL.ALL.COME.OUT! He even lied to the Judge’s face recently! Still after three years being gone he emails me about once a month with some type of nonsense. He gets NO response from me. Wanted to meet for lunch recently to discuss how the lawyers cost so much money! Yes, because he will not cooperate and has dragged this on and on and on. It is so true that they will bury themselves in the pig slop they mire in. Please ignore the cheater. No contact really is the way to go. It is hard work at first especially if you have been together for decades. Like withdrawal from a drug. But, worth weaning yourself from their stench.

  • I’ve not detonated Mr. ImAFlamingAsshole. I would love to do so. I’m angry enough to do so. However, I really, really, REALLY want to get the settlement that’s most favorable for me. Getting that depends on his staying lost in the fog. The fog is the status quo. I still make sure he gets his dinner on time. Life proceeds for him as it did beforehand.

    Divorce? It’s not so bad–at least that’s what I want him to think, and I want to have him keep thinking that way until the divorce is finalized, I’ve moved out, and he comes home only to realize that dinner isn’t going to appear magically, and there’s no one other than the cats to listen to his latest great thoughts.

    At this point, I’ve been frank about the cause for divorce. I’ve not gone into details because in the grand scheme of things, no one really wants to know them. My community is small enough that word will get around.

    I’ll still need therapy for having stomped on my emotions for the past couple of years.

  • Well, you know how vomit is – no matter how you try to keep it from coming up, when you’re really feeling sick, it just comes out anyway. That was me in the very beginning – very vomity. It kept bubbling up no matter how hard I tried to keep it down. I never sent him anything in an email (I watch a lot of crime shows, so I know better than to put things in writing), although I did make the mistake of sending him a couple of texts basically telling him he was a lying, cheating, thieving, rancid piece of shit from hell.

    As time went on (by getting a grip in counseling and after finding this site) I began to realize that he actually enjoyed riling me up and he enjoyed causing me pain. The counseling and this site and the poeple on it, began to cure me of most of my upset stomach and my need to vomit. It has been a process as there are times those Cheaters just have a way of sticking their fingers down your throat and making you spew vomit all over them, whether you really want to or not. It has been a long road figuring out that I just had to stop allowing him to stick his Cheater fingers down my throat. I also decided that I wanted peace and I was never going to get it if I kept giving him any oxygen. So I made up my mind that it was not going to stop unless I stopped it. So I did.

    Has it been easy? No. Do I struggle? For sure. There are times I feel as though I want to club him with a bat, stab him repeatedly and sip his blood from a crystal goblet, and it still wouldn’t be enough punishment. I feel it, own it, examine it, and realize how much I don’t want to be the main squeeze for the ladies on the cell block, and I have to let it go. I also realized that silence, self-respect and dignity solicited a lot more positive regard than the frentic, middle school “twu lurv” of two cheating hyenas. I always remember the story of Gandhi and how his quiet dignity was the beginning of the end of an empire.

    No Contact is the Pepto Bismol of Chump recovery. It is difficult to swallow at first, but you feel so much better once it begins to work.

  • Leaving facebook was one of the best things i ever did. I have more time, i miss a few things but i just dont get absorbed. Amazing what you can do with extra time every day

  • I told a lot of people – but only those who were interested. I think years of not telling anyone except my closest friends finally hit its limits. I went no contact immediately and pretty much disappeared from his world. All communication was via email. This proved to be extremely difficult for him – there was no crazy woman who could justify what he did. He always accused me of having a temper (yeah, that’s what happens when you have a serial cheater for a spouse) and he never saw a second of that. Not even in emails. Looking back, I’m glad I did what I did. Nowadays, when someone ask, I simply say, “The divorce was not exactly under the best of circumstances.”

  • I would love to say I did just like CL said to do above. I did not. I did go crazy. I didn’t send an 18 page letter…just a phone call (brief)

    I ‘ve never been treated so badly in my life and I didn’t handle it well. The whole thing has been so traumatic that I don’t even think about falling in love. Ever.Again. No way. I can’t even take the chance to fall off a slippery slope again. I probaby belonged in a psyhc ward. The OW had so much fun painting me crazy.

    My XH knows the truth. He knows that I’m a good person who got shot up. He made me beneficiary of his life insurance and pension plan before he left town for good with the OW. That wasn’t in the divorce decree. He just did it. The OW can kiss my ass. I did fight for what I thought was mine. CL wasn’t around back then. I got therapy but once a week didn’t cut it. Some people have to have their nervous breakdowns on the job. I’m one of them. I couldn’t afford to take time off work suddenly single.

    I look back on that time and feel so bad for that hurt woman. The Truth: It scarred me. At this point I’m happy and vibrant again, spending time with friends and family. But I do know I can never go through this again. I truly loved my husband with all my heart. I thought he was crazy about me. Oh! The damage these things cause!

    • I made many phone calls to him in the beginning as well as his sister. I was a hysterical mess, crying and traumatized. Not proud of that now but had to go through that to be where I am today. You sound a lot like me. I loved him so much too. At times there is a tiny tiny part in my heart where the old him resides…Still shocked at who and what he has become. Not your fault. Makes you aware of everyone’s behaviors and actions around you. Boundaries become very solid. You will know bullshit quicker than someone who has not been through this mess. Hang in there. Hugs to you and all of us on here. It has been hell but I have so much more than him. Things that cannot be bought with a MasterCard or Visa.

  • P.S. The only one it really hurt was me. I wish I had been the cool cucumber that threw his clothes out on the street in hefty bags, went no contact and lawyered up. That’s my fantasy. LOL

    • Syringa, did that (threw him out of the house, no contact and lawyered up) and believe me I just find myself every once in a while wanting to send him and his OW a “nice” letter just to tell them my opinion of them both 🙂
      Just think you were the one hurted and not in control at that moment, and that makes you HUMAN. Big HUGE hugs!

  • I trust you on this. The further (mentally and physically) I get away from the POS, the more I realize he’s just as important as that pesky fly you try to keep away from your face. Even if I wanted to shout out to the world about who he really is, he’s got zero friends and no real job, which in itself is a statement about what type of person he is.., early on I spent hundreds in therapy sessions and wrote countless posts on my blog, now I see my therapist twice a month and each visit is to simply reassure myself that I’m not the crazy one.
    Do people care? Not really. One of my closests friends kept asking me for months after DD “have you heard from the sociopath pos this week.?” That’s all she wanted to know. It’s hard to be friends with someone who’s stuck in the grieving process and I refuse to be that burden to my friends.

  • Too late. I did the 3-pager the very night I found out about the cheating – and sent it to all his family and many, many colleagues. Gotta say I actually don’t regret it! Yes it made me look crazy but abuse does actually unbalance a person and I was pretty crazy back then. I’m glad everyone knows his shabby little secrets.
    Life’s good now though btw… I got custody of the kids and the money. 🙂

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