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Spackle & Spackle Associates

spackleBW As chumps, it’s bad enough that we spackle. What’s worse is when the world spackles with you.

Spackle, for those new to Chump Lady, is the term I’ve given to slopping over the glaring faults and red flags of your cheater. In real life, spackle is the goop you use to fill unsightly dings and gouges in a wall. Squish it in, sand and prime, and voila! The appearance of unblemished normalcy!

Psychological spackle is when you keep trying to skim coat over the cracks and faulty foundation of your relationship.

Some examples of spackle are: He’s not a mooch, he’s just going through a difficult time now while he lives rent-free in his mother’s basement writing that screen play… for seven years. She’s really very clever, but she can’t keep a job because her bosses are intimidated by her brilliance. He doesn’t mean to be verbally abusive, it’s just that he’s tired after work and the kids are annoying. She’s not a flake, she’s a sensitive Buddhist dance major with a penchant for yoga pants and under employment.

A little spackle in a relationship is fine. Necessary even. You usually want to give the people you love the benefit of the doubt and see their occasional fuck ups through the gauzy haze of benevolence. Spackle becomes toxic though when there is more spackle than substance. More gaping hole than wall. Spackle is when you find yourself continually defending this person to yourself and others.

What’s really nuts though is when other people in your life spackle as much or more than you do, and they fail as reality checks.

For example, let’s say your husband cheats on you, and your mother is there with the spackle trough. “Well, a lot of men do that, and you have gained a little post-baby weight.” Or friends who know the horrors this person put you through, still persist in thinking the cheater is a “nice person.” Maybe they stay Facebook friends or invite them to the next BBQ. “Can’t we all just get along? Martin is still family to me.”

Spackle associates untangle the skein of fuckupedness for you and posit their own theories. “Well, she’s always needed validation since she lost the Miss Sugar Beet pageant.” Or  they speak in reconciliation cliches. “He’s just broken up inside, but he doesn’t show it. He’ll be able to express sorry some day, but he’s in a fog now.”

The problem with spackle associates is that your sense of reality and self-protection is pretty wobbly in the beginning — and then they’re smoking the hopium pipe too? It can keep a chump stuck, or second-guessing themselves.

Truth is a good therapist, or an old friend, or a Ray who takes you out for a beer and says. “Dude, this is fucked up. You deserve better.”

Rays are the kind of people you can’t bullshit. “Fuck the Sugar Beet pageant. That was in 1996. Bitch likes to sleep around. Wake UP.”

Hold the Rays close.


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I have one friend who functioned as a “Ray”. When I let her in on the highlights of what has passed for my life these last few months she became livid, positively stomped around my house in anger for me, the gist of which was “you didn’t do anything to cause this and you deserve better”. The rawness of her reaction coupled with the sincerity of it just knocked me out. It still sustains me when I feel like crawling back in my hole, putting up and shutting up.

    • I had a “Ray” in my life as well. He helped me realize drinking with “the girls” multiple nights a week is not a healthy behavior for a married woman, and I should have realized that sooner.

        • Yeah, when you are being labelled controlling, it is hard to trust your commonsense on this one.

          • I know I was labelled controlling. I think that is a common cheater behavior, that by asking them to respect your boundaries or, you know, be around their spouse every once in a while, gets labelled that way. Or it’s a tool to get the Chump to let them do whatever they want in order to not be labelled that way.

          • Our MC asked ‘were you controlling?’ when she brought that up.. I said “she cheated on me for years and I had no idea, obviously I wasn’t controlling enough..

            I didn’t want my wife to act like a tramp, I WAS trying to control that I suppose…. Trying to change her into something she wasn’t, a person that cared about her marriage and her husbands feelings. A person that places importance on her relationship with the man she married…

            A betrayed spouse that is acting ‘controlling’ is trying to figure out a what is going on, because they are being gas lit. They are being manipulated and screwed with by two people, one of them an insider, and they have no idea.

          • I was labeled controlling when I took exception to some rancid crap he was dishing out, or when he wanted to get us involved in shady or potentially poor financial dealings and I offered a difference of opinion. Most of the time when I expressed an opinion different from his I was labeled controlling. When he would do something terribly hurtful, if I cried, he would call me manipulative. He knew those were characteristics which I dreaded having so the most efficient way to shut me down was to accuse me of being those things. Of course, the fact that he actually possessed those characteristics in abundance added a lot of projection into the mix.

            I can only assume his one twu wuv agrees with him all the time and never cries. In the words of Nomar (I love you Nomar!), he is a dick with ears.

          • As someone who had no idea for the last 2 yrs what had occurred in my marriage, I was often called controlling. H even said, “my dad says you’re controlling me all the time.” Really? Call him and give him a phone high five jackass – you’ve controlled so much, you even controlled how controlling I was perceived by others. Project much? I was a powerless wimp being played like a marionette. Wouldn’t you think I would have controlled things to benefit me? Like used my controlling powers for good, like having a safe home and marriage, not std testing and other indignities?

            • Yup. I was also controlling. And paranoid. Then after the truth came out. He’d been the controlling one all along. And I was intuitive, not paranoid. Mindfucks!

        • My “Ray” was my wife’s sister. She told me my wife was really messed up and implored me to divorce her.

  • Sadly, I didn’t have one single ‘Ray’ in my life. Everyone around us thought ‘The Great I Am’ was exactly that – ‘Great’. I, on the other hand, spackled over masses of historic crap (his attitude towards and treatment of previous significant others / the times I felt he deeply disrespected me / the total financial control he assumed in our relationship. It’s not that these things didn’t disturb me, nor that I didn’t confront him about them – it’s just I took his word for it when he told me I was being unfair to him – ‘he’d been weak and she was evil’ / ‘he respected me deeply and it was my hangover from previous relationships that caused me to consider him disrespectful’ / ‘Trust Me, Trust Me – I’m a respected financial Advisor of 30 years and they don’t let you do that unless you’re a thoroughly good egg’).
    All my friends and family thought we were the embodiment of perfect, romantic love. His friends and family still think the sun shines out of his arse, and no doubt are buying his justifications for treating me so badly.

    So, wish there’d have been just one ‘Ray’ asking ‘Are you really buying this, Jayne’?

    • I love your posts Jayne. Sorry there wasn’t a “Ray” around for you when it mattered, but you have I think compensated very well with development of your own self awareness, and if I may say so, yourself. You seem to be a much more self assured person now than you once we’re.

      • AussieChump2 – thank you so much! Gosh – ‘blush’! It’s a funny old thing isn’t it? It comes as a surprise, as I look out of these eyes on the world, that other eyes see me too! I don’t want to sound like I’m so lacking in self – confidence that I believe I’m invisible, or I’m trying to claim a false modesty, it’s just a surprise, y’know 🙂

        I was so broken when I first used to post here, so full of self-doubt, I couldn’t even think in whole sentences at times. Now, well, I recognise the pain when I read it (as we all do) and feel compelled to reach out and offer comfort where I needed it in the past, and sometimes – well you have to have a laugh don’t you – life is absurd and it’s better than crying 😀

        Strangely enough, there has been some perverse consolation in knowing there weren’t any ‘Rays’ out there. It helps me not to beat myself up too much, knowing I wasn’t the only fool to be conned by a master of conmanship.

        Anyway, thanks again. You’ve put a big smile on my face 🙂 x

        • Like many of us chumps, you found that you not only needed to lose a cheater, you needed to gain friends who have your back. It’s all part of that rebuilding we are doing!

          • Hi LovedAJackass 🙂

            I think I misunderstood the brief – I thought it was ‘name the angels in your life who figured out he was a fuckwit before he confirmed it by giving you a D Day’. Sadly, no one else figured him out for a fuckwit, not that they didn’t have my back – we were all chumped! I’ve a posse of people who spit when they say his name now! 😀

        • Reading your reply, I would never have known that you we’re so crushed and had so little self-esteem when your relationship ended. Talking about it here has been really transforming for you. You must have been so much in love and never saw it coming. A familiar story here.

    • Jayne – sounds a lot like my STBXW. It wasn’t until I told my family that she had multiple affairs that I got the emotional support I needed from them. Until then when I asked if they thought she was an alcoholic for downing a bottle of wine before I got home from work (while with our kids after school) it was “Everyone has a little wine now and then.” Or when I asked what they thought about her going out with the “girls” and dressing provocatively it was, “well, she’s just getting older and maybe having a bit of a midlife crisis.” Only after the affairs came out did they put that stuff together. No one wanted to believe she was cheating (least of all, me).

      • Hi TwinsDad,

        It’s difficult isn’t it? I’m guessing at the time you were discussing the wine drinking and provocative dressing, your family and friends were doing what I’d have probably done too; thought you two were generally happy together but everyone has faults, so I’d have probably tried to diffuse your concerns too. Sorry about that, these things were red flags to you and you would not have been helped by others making ‘reasonable’ excuses. The trouble is, when dealing with normal people who have hearts and souls, it isn’t unreasonable to believe a ‘little wine drinking’ / ‘dressing provocatively doesn’t necessarily lead to infidelity and abuse. Mind you, if the bottle of wine drinking before you got home was a regular occurence I’m guessing I would have been questioning that with you.

        Unfortunately, right up until D Day, I had very little of substance to discuss with my friends and family. He told me daily I was the love of his life and he’d never been so happy, he earned good money and we appeared to have a wonderful life with a beautiful home and lovely holidays, he told me his disrespect was all in my head. I couldn’t really justify expressing concern over his hatred for his ex (although I really was concerned about it) as a problem in our relationship, sounded like looking for complaints even in my own head!

        I’m so glad you finally did the get the support you needed when the extent of her abuse was fully known. I’ve been lucky too, in that My friends and family (the only gaslighting I got was from HIS friends and family) were all horrified, I am so, so glad I didn’t have to justify my feelings to the people who matter to me. x

        • ahhhh–gaslighter, is he? “He told me his disrespect was all in my head…”

        • I’m glad for you too, Jayne! I’ve read posts on here from poor folks who really didn’t have support even after DDay. We are both fortunate for that.

      • Awww – thanks EnoughAlready 🙂 As you are for me too! It’s so easy to take a step backwards on this mad journey, it’s very easy to take what they do as a comment on our worth, our lovability. Without you EnoughAlready, and every other big hearted and wise member of Chump Nation, there to offer hugs, tea, tears and a 2 by 4 to the head, I don’t know where I’d be. A long way from laughing about this crap, I’m certain! x

        • “tea, tears and a 2 by 4 to the head” we do need to be jolted back to reality and thats what happens everytime I get on this site. Thank you everyone for sharing your experience, has helped me sooo much.

  • Often it’s not the really big hole that’s hard to miss, but the numerous small holes that are much easier to spackle over. Lots of little holes could equal one big problem.

    • Good point AC2. Particularly when things are done by stealth with the full intention of never being caught or found out.

      • Yep. Well she wasn’t found out. It took almost 30 years before I figured out about her multiple affairs, some with mutual married friends. 30 years of blaming myself for the breakdown in our relationship (a healthy dose of gaslighting here). Then she projected her behaviour on me by falsely accusing me of cheating on her – “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. Told me that I was responsible for all her problems in life and subsequent relationship problems. It was a complete shock. I had no idea and had always thought she had given our marriage a go.
        Yes there is a mental health issue which explains her behaviour (she was sexually abused as a young child by an intruder who got into her bedroom through a window) but it doesn’t excuse it. It doesn’t excuse her refusal to get psychological help.
        My saviour was meeting my wife, a wonderful, loving person. We have been married for 28 years now

    • Totally agree. i think if i had seen the big hole i would have run away. but a bunch of little little holes, many that just kept reopening when i least expected it, or would fissure a whole nother set of holes. And Damn was I GOOD because i would just slap that spackle over it and keep up with the crazy fissures, never once did i look back and say WoW, that is a whole lot of issues. I really love to fix things and make it all better.

      • Yes, it is hard to go from constant small disrespectful actions or neglect to think that you could actually have a legitimate reason to be upset and demand that things be different. Even things as seemingly insignificant as never helping to clean the kitchen, or never learning the telephone numbers for the kids’ school and pediatrician. I was really invested in the spackle long before DDay and now I look back in frustration with myself and wonder why I was willing to do that.

        • Still a chump, you voiced my married life, constant small disrespectful actions or neglect. I wish I’d had enough self respect and strength to leave my husband years ago. Instead, I put up with his selfishness and disrespect and neglect to “keep the marriage together”. WTF!! Is “marriage” two people coming together? I’ve been a chump for years. It took “catching” him with whores to be sure 100% to divorce him, which I’m now in the process of. And, to my surprise, he’s back to being the nice man I married 28 years ago. BUT TOO LATE!

          • I’m right there with you Linda, its’ taken me years (25) and finally when I caught him chasing a women around among other things and now all of a sudden he is being a cival kind husband? Its a little too late.

            • Probably a little too unreal as well as too late. Mine turned back into the sweet attentive cool fun man that I’d originally been attracted to. He got me to go back to him with that act, and he kept it up for a few years. Then when some stressful work related things came up for us, he went and repeated the same way of leaving our relationship in the dust. By omitting truths and going with another woman while we were working in different cities. Good for all of you who don’t waste time on anything after dday1. In my experience it’s not only too little, too late – it’s wasn’t even real!

      • Yes Mrs Vain, you see lots of what you think are little problems and don’t appreciate that they might be linked and indicative of something much bigger.

  • I don’t think I have any Rays in my life. Just this morning I was thinking about everyone who does know about my h’s cheating and how they all still think he’s a great guy. I even thought about my kids, one of whom hatefully asked me why I had to divorce him. It just made me think that I will be having to deal with so many people who just don’t get how bad it is. Life will always be full of people who will think I somehow made him fuck other women. I want to scream with the unfairness of it all. I was home taking care of 4 children, one of whom had very serious medical issues. My h used that child’s medical issues to help him cheat. He would trash me and then say he was staying with me because of said child’s health.
    It’s hard to take.

    • Yep, they can’t deal with the situation they caused so they make it your fault. It is unfair. Unfortunately there are not many “Rays” out there either. Most people, even close friends seem to feel uncomfortable talking about infidelity, and won’t. That’s why CL’s website is so great.

      • You know why I think decent people sometimes try not to “take sides”, at least initially? Because what happens if they tell you to dump the loser, and then you don’t? Even if they’re happy to block a cheater from their lives, anything they say to you can be used against them.

        Of course, it’s incomplete logic, IMO. Because if you used your friends to “win and argument” rather than appreciating their support, then you wouldn’t be a very good friend, so they should be happy to be rid of you.

        Still… I know a lot of people who a reluctant to involve themselves in such things because they know they “can’t change others”, and “sticking your nose in” can invite drama into your own life.

        • “I know a lot of people who a reluctant to involve themselves in such things”
          Good point, Time Heals. I didn’t want to trash my ex in case things worked out after all. This was during the early shock phase. Mainly it was because I didn’t want to trash my child’s father to others because of any gossip that would reflect on her. If children are involved maybe others are sensitive to that fact and not want to trash a parent. I’m talking about people that are in one’s circle, not best type friends. I suppose though they probably couldn’t help but wonder what I must have done to lead to problems. I even thought that about a friend before it happened to me. We’ve had so much to talk about since the same happened to me.

          • I have a friend who always tells me “My mom told me there are friends who tell you what you want to hear and friends who tell you the truth. Linda, you’re the friend to go to when I want the truth.” I’m glad I’m that friend. And it does take a strong friendship to come out with the truth, because it’s often hurtful.

        • “You know why I think decent people sometimes try not to “take sides”, at least initially? Because what happens if they tell you to dump the loser, and then you don’t?”

          Been there, done that with one of my friends. She has a crazy H (who probably not ironically is one of my X’s friends) who whenever they have a fight, threatens divorce, leaves for a few days, then comes back and acts like nothing happened. I think I have achieved a delicate balance of “that behavior is not OK and you need to tell him so” and “I care about you, so I’ll support you whether you choose to stay or choose to go.” Honestly, I don’t like him and I wish she would leave, but I can’t make her do it. :/

          • The people who act like Switzerland *are* taking a side – to condone the bullshit.
            Whenever I hear ‘I’m not taking sides’ thats precisely what I think.

            • Agreed! All the people who told me “well, I will keep being friends with both of you” are no longer my friends. If they can be friends with someone who does that to a person he claimed to love, then it can be their problem, not mine. If you aren’t 100% in my corner after I was lied to and betrayed, then you’re not a true friend.

              • Ditto. I’ve lost a lot people who supposedly wanted to remain friends with both of us, only not with me. Hmm, how is that not taking sides?

        • I didn’t try to make our friends take sides. I thought that our marriage breakdown was traumatic for both of us and tried to move on from it as fast as I could. I didn’t talk about it to anyone at the time.
          But what I found out years later was that she denigrated me to her friends falsely accusing me of cheating on her! Probably more than anything else that really sticks in my craw.

    • Supreme Chump, you are not alone. I have never and I mean never had a Ray in my life. Even when my ex husband misappropriated funds from his job within weeks of being found out and sacked it somehow turned around that I had put him up to it. He is just such a ‘nice’ man that he could not have possibly thought to do this on his own. It still makes my blood boil 32 years after the fact and he still hides behind the lies. What a man, not! Suffice to say it was the beginning of the end.

      • My STBX always took the position that put me in the worst light. It didn’t matter what the question was. If there could be a bad guy in any situation or decision, he always took the position that made me the bad guy. My two daughters bought that hook line and sinker. This is soul eroding and very harmful to family dynamics.

        I also had no Rays in my life. My mother’s globs of spackle included, ‘Remember his family situation… he grew up in a terrible family, so we have to be more understanding.’ Part of it is my fault, because I was complicit in the ‘code of silence’. Another friend told me, ‘Think of it like a broken arm, you would treat him with love and kindness if he had a broken arm… he is just broken in another way.” What a pile of crap!

        You don’t air your dirty laundry anywhere. So no one really knew the depths of what he was and is capable of. So how is a Ray supposed to know… I do know that when people got just the tiniest taste of his abuse to me, you could see the shock in their eyes. They never looked at him or me the same way after.

        So who are the Rays in the world? We are, we are mighty, we can never be silent again. We can never be in the spackle brigade… We have to speak. We have to educate. Why? Because WE KNOW.

    • I’m so sorry. I feel your pain. My ExH tells our daughter we got divorced for “no reason” because I “believed all the lies other people said.” Really I only believed the other women telling me what he was doing after they got angry with him for not leaving me. Our daughter is ten. She says she knows better. My oldest daughter is 16. She is from a previous marriage. She was 6 the first time another woman showed up at our home yelling at my husband on our front lawn “does your WIFE KNOW about us??!!!” She was outside. So was I holding our daughter who was 4 months old at the time. It absolutely crushed me that he cheated on me while I was pregnant. He didn’t just risk my health, but our daughters health as well.

    • SC,
      We are here for you. Mine was an incredibly “nice” guy too and although I was lucky enough to have my two daughters (not his) as my “Ray’s” alot of other people were doubtful . He made me look really bad, calling me a drunk, saying I wouldn’t have sex (?!) while all along he was smoking crack and spending all of the time “working” with whores… What I felt helped me ALOT was diving headfirst into CL and reading every single thing I could find on Psycopaths and Narcicccists. It made so many things make sense and made me feel not so alone and not so stupid. My life is so much better now and I am so happy, alone but loving my own company and finally able to be the Mom and Grandmom I’m capable of being. No more spackling and walking on eggshells and never knowing if he would stand me up for important family occasions (Poor man was shy-meaning guilty) my daughter had a big wedding this past weekend and both daughters and I talked about the fact that we were so happy he wasn’t a part of it so that I could really be present) I’m happy – stronger and smiling more every day.

      • For years, I tried to untangle the skein of fuckeduppedness. All of the things I looked at didn’t quite fit him. Asperger’s, not really, full-on depression, not really, social anxiety, not really. I first read, Verbal Abuse and then Trauma Bonds. That started to make sense. The patterns were correct. The when a good girl friend told me she thought another problematic, drama queen friend, (male) was a narcissist. I researched that. Man, that rang a bell. Then like you, I devoured everything I could on narcissism. He is, by my diagnosis, a covert narcissist, saving his really shitty and savage behavior for me, behind close doors. Then I read about psychopaths, and this summer my vacation was spent reading the Sociopath Next Door. There seems to be a ton of crossovers with these ClusterBFuckers… Different reasons, or diagnosis but very similar patterns and outcomes. Our marriage counselor never put a label on him, but she was very clear that I didn’t cause this and that he will never change. I was done at that moment. Good luck to the OW… I know she drinks a lot. She will be drowning in wine before this is over.

        I don’t know if I will ever find anyone else. I think I have more than boundaries now. I have fucking castle walls around me, and an alligator filled moat too.

        It would be nice to trust again… but if I never have anyone else in my life, if I am safe and happy being a mum and gma, then I will have no complaints.

        • i found out that my XH was (is) passive aggressive 5 years ago by my own research but my problem is i never keep up with it as everyday life contined to keep me busy. i forgot. years later he is still passive aggressive and nothing i did or could have done will change him. in fact everything that happened in 2013 and all this year fits into one category or another.

          it is sad really becuse he gave up on the one woman that would have never given up on him. and he will always be pa among several other things.

        • ringinonmyownbell,
          A similar journey for me when it was suggested that my former wife suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder and was possibly narcissistic as well. Everything about her behaviour made sense.
          Reading many of the posts here leads me to suspect that many of the cheaters are disordered individuals with problems. I would like to think that information and education might help identify these individuals, and if you still knowingly pursue a relationship with one, then some sort of help should be considered early on.
          Understanding the nature of my former wife’s problem during our relationship would certainly have helped us both, even if the relationship still failed.
          Unfortunately for her she has children with mental health issues similar to hers – I am sure that the problems are related. She refuses to accept it, continuing her delusion. It’s all very sad.

  • I got:
    From my priest: “That man is hurting.” (evidently due to the pain of being driven into the arms of another woman by me).
    From the assistant priest: “Only accept responsibility for your half of the blame.” (note: I later found out he had left his first wife for OW.)
    From my father: “Give the boy some rope.” (i.e.: let him have his way with the floozie (like I ran around on your mother for 2 decades) and “Maybe he’ll decide to come back to you and the children.”
    From my sister: “Why are you so upset? It’s what men DOOOOOO!”
    From my mother-in-law (who, bless her, had the best of intentions in helping me woo him back): “What about sex? You know, the B______ men like sex.”
    From the husband of one of my dearest friends: “Nobody really even cares.”
    From countless friends and coworkers: “He’ll realize what he has lost and come back.”
    My “Rays” were my Godmother (a family law attorney who is divorced several times herself) and her wonderful final husband, a psychologist:
    Godmother (in response to my hopium for reconciliation): “He’s not sorry. And if he ever truly is you will have already moved on with your life.”
    Godmother’s hubby (in response to my hesitation to file for divorce, knowing there was no turning back): “Delta, Your Marriage is Over. Delta, Your Marriage is Over. Delta, Your Marriage is Over. Delta, Your Marriage is Over. . . . . . . . . . . .” Bless him. He probably said it 100 times over and over again all in one phone conversation. I can still hear those words ringing in my ears almost a decade later. It really took hearing it over and over almost like a mantra for me to start to internalize it and accept it.

    • DG,

      As a minister, I am sorry on behalf of the clear failure of your priests to take adultery seriously. It hurts my heart to hear how they treated you! That is not how God sees it as Scripture clearly states. Glad to hear you did fund support eventually!


    • I have no Rays. This is sad. But we’ve had to move so many times that I’ve lost and haven’t really found any close friends.

      Think your Godmother’s hubby would be willing to record the “Your marriage is over” 100x for me to listen to every morning in the car? Actually what I’d really love is for a collection of the Rays here in Chumpland to make an “IT’S OVER” mashup, a sort of Chump Anthem.

    • DeltaGirl, I’m sorry that you were put through more blameshifting by your priest. I too thought that my 80 year old, hard line, Catholic priest was going to tell me I must turn the other cheek or suck it up. He turned out being one of my Rays. He told me that cheater x had to figure out how he was going to fix himself first, then if I felt safe with his changing (no possibility of his changing, because he’s Special) we could go through some intense counseling and then see if the change took. I asked my priest if this is what he told x and he said yes. I would have loved to see how x took that. There are just some people out there that will never get it. It surprises me that a lot of “priests” over look that pesky “Thou shall not commit adultery” commandment. Whose priest are they???? Makes you wonder.
      But DG, do not let those priests take away your faith because our Creator is true. And even though we may not always see it, He has delivered us from evil.

      • My catholic priest told me that if my husband wasnt doing his part of the contract, ie: marriage. then i would be better to divorce him. i was shocked. he tells me that Catholics are not against divorce. i can divorce, in fact he encouraged me that it would be in my best interest and my childrens best interest to divorce my husband. i just can never get remarried according to Catholic religion. which is okay with me right now.

        i dont understand how someone who is a minister or a priest could advise people that adultery is ok. that is not what the bible says.

        • MrsVain, what we both need is an annulment. Scrape the shit completely off of our shoes and go on to a better cheater free life.

          • yes. i am fixing to change my last name and my boys last name to my maiden name. (it was on the divorce papers that ex did not read when he signed. then i will go for an annulment. although the wy he has been drinking and drugs, he might die before i do it

            • mrsvainm, can I can tell you first hand that reverting back to your maiden name will be like lifting the weight of the world off your shoulders. I reverted back 3 months ago and it took me all of 2 days to forget the name that I wore for 37 years. I am me again and loving it. All the very best to you and your boys.

        • I was lucky enough to get an annulment. The problem for the catholic church is that they regard adultery as a sin, albeit a major one. It can be forgiven by going to confession. Basically they do not see adultery as reason enough for dissolution of a marriage.
          I also knew a catholic priest who would also have advised divorce in certain circumstances. He was as close to a saint as anyone I have ever met. Although a humble priest, his funeral was huge, overflowing with other clergy and bishops.

    • Wow Delta, that’s quite a spackle chorus. Thank goodness your “Rays” had strong voices. And a catchy refrain “Delta, Your Marriage Is Over.” 🙂

  • I had Bob. His response when he heard was, “Your husband is being a dick.” He didn’t know me terribly well, and we don’t have a lot in common, but that was the right thing to say to me when I was spiraling in self doubt.
    When things get tough, when I start to wonder, I just remember that line. I still remember it over 3 years later.

  • I was fortunate enough to have several Rays. One friend dissolved into tears when I told her, which made me think “Wow, it really is that bad.” Another one wanted to fly to my town and pummel him. Even a casual acquaintance who found out indirectly wanted to “kick his f*cking teeth in”. I am grateful to all the Rays out there!

  • My Ray and Rayita told me to draw a line and hold my ex to her word. It was hard for me as I was still mostly a chump. But I know they were godsends strengthening my knees so that I could stand against the disrespect and damage.

  • No Ray’s. A Rachel, however, who said “I think you’re over-reacting. I’ve been on all sides of the infidelity triangle and, really, I think you’re over-reacting.” Then went around and told everyone I know that I was a crazy lady. Fuck her and her holier than thou Quaker-tude.

    ChumpLady was my Ray. Tracy, aka “Ray”. Can we call you Ray now?

    Also? a really good therapist or two, especially the one who said, if you hear the word “codependent” run like hell. You’ve been abused and are in trauma.

  • You, Chumplady and the chump network, are my ‘Rays’! My mother supports me, but is also a spackle queen. Most of my friends don’t really get it, they prefer the concept of an amicable divorce.

    There are very little Rays out there, right after D-day someone tried to get me to see the depth of his deceit, but I preferred to think we were special unicorns. That was a Ray!

  • I spackled hard, and I had friends and family who cautiously followed my lead. I don’t blame them, and when I changed my tune, they hopped on the “Fuck That Guy” train immediately. So that was helpful.

    I am now officially a Ray-in-waiting. If one of my friends tells me about a similar type of abuse (gaslighting, cheating, lying, disrespect), I will be the friend who tells it like it is. His/her behavior is unacceptable — full stop. Life is too short to spend spackling over someone else’s abhorrent behavior.

    I want to be the Johnny Appleseed of Getting the Fuck Out. (Well, maybe on a small scale).

    • LilyBart, I spackled very hard too because no one liked my husband from the start and even I knew I had made a mistake but I figured being with him was better than being alone.

      I’ve decided, like you, to have an opinion on this issue when I hear about it. Society needs to stop winking at adultery and instead start calling it out as the horrible abuse that it is.

  • The two handed 360 slam dunk by CL. Sooo many people just blew it off, “is she sorry?” “Give it time”. “Just suck it up shes in a midlife crisis” and her own family of course was the worst, “its a symptom of her inner struggles” and “maybe there’s a physiological reason, like a brain tumor”.

    Made it so much more difficult to heal. Even when i was barely functioning and needed some of those people to step up for me (not her family of course), she dominated and sucked the room dry with her neediness. Found out who my real friends were real quick.

    • Oh Scott, I’m so sorry people surrounding you were so willing to make excuses for her. That must have been hell on top of hell. You kind of expect it from Her Family (His were the only spacklers / cheater apologists in my story) but your own family and friends? Oh dear, awful. 🙁

      Mind you, have to admit laughing at “maybe there’s a physiological reason, like a brain tumor”. That’s hysterical:-D No! No! she’s not a dirty, lying rat – we’d rather believe she’s seriously ill and DYING! Bet you’re glad to get those fruitloops out of your life!

      • Oh yeah, very much so! Fortunately people came out of the woodwork eventually, shockingly some people with cheating pasts, and they told me the truth, she was manipulating me…so its all good. Life moves on! 🙂

    • I think there is a whole post in the “maybe it’s a brain tumor.” God, that’s common.

      • I seriously thought mine had a brain tumor because his actions were completely uncharacteristic. Sobbing and curling up in a fetal position after 36 years of hardly shedding a tear. Seemed to me that metal illness or brain tumor or some horrible hormone imbalance was the only logical explanation for his behavior, but no amount of begging would convince him to see a doctor. I would bring home books about male midlife crisis and read him passages, he’d just shake his head a sigh but he wouldn’t tell the truth.

        • In my initial traumatized state I too thought he had a brain tumor. Mind you I knew about the cheating and seriously could not believe it. I was so trusting.

          Mine has no tumor just the personality of a dead fish.

        • Lyn, I thought the same thing. Must be a brain tumor! I begged for the truth, why is it so hard to tell the truth when I already knew and just wanted him to tell me! Would have been easier to explain if it was a medical problem!

      • Before I separated from my husband (alcoholic, not a cheater), I made him get a neurological exam. To make sure he didn’t have a brain tumor…

      • My father was very difficult to live with but wasn’t a cheater. He actually did have a brain tumor which did cause his difficult behavior. He knew he had a problem and did go to doctors to check his health out, but they all missed it for many years. It was our neighbor, a nurse who suspected what the problem was and suggested he have an endocrine test – and sure enough.
        We shouldn’t dismiss the possibility that some of the destructive people in our lives really do have physical / psychological problems.

  • I am having a little bit of a hard time right now, because one of my Ray’s just reversed — 2 yrs later — into an anti-Ray. He was a mutual friend from the last place we lived. People told me that when he found out what my ExH did, he was livid. He told everyone what a POS ExH was. Hearing how upset he was on my behalf really gave me strength and validated me when I ws in a very tough place. His wife, too, was super vocal about what a jerk ExH was and how I didn’t deserve that.

    Now, 2 years later, this FB friend whose loyalty had been so important to me just friended my ExH on FB. Since he was one of the only guys who stood up for me when everything went down, the fact that he is apparently now “ok” with ExH really, really bothers me… Did anyone else’s Ray go anti-Ray on them? Did you talk to them about it? Guess I feel a little victimized all over again…

    • Yeah, I had on of those Rays who become anti-Rays. Rayette was my staunchest supporter after D-Day. We spoke all the time, and she couldn’t stand the sound of my Ex’s name, supposedly. Recently, I found out that she has actually been telling Ex everything I do, everything I say, and lying to me about being NC with him. I confronted her, and calmly told her we couldn’t be friends anymore. So she FB friends the OW. WTF!

      • The one woman who got cheated on by her husband around the same time as my dday1 is the same bitch that is now sleeping with him and texting me crap like “You loooove him but that love neeeeeedss to change!!!!! Men neeeeed SEX!!!!!!!!!!! BTW when are you coming back to visit?? Misssss yoouuuuu xoxoxoxoxoxo!!!!!”

        Way back when, she had asked me to please tell her if I happened to be out and saw her husband flirting with any other women. WTF.

        * No I don’t text or talk with her much but had texted her asking with with her and my (not yet x) several months ago after seeing her number pop up far too often than it should on our phone records, them texting for hours late night, 30 minute calls, etc. The crap I wrote above is pretty much a quote of some texts she’d sent me in response. What a lovely way to break the news to me, eh?!

        What a backstabbing idiot. It’s ok though. Makes me fume but also realize that if that’s the character type that he’s into now then he and I aren’t a match any longer. smh

    • Did anyone else’s Ray go anti-Ray on them? Did you talk to them about it? Guess I feel a little victimized all over again…

      Yes, his neighbor who told me X was a jerk and pointed out how full of life I was and how self confident I was when she met me and how beat down I was before I left. She told me I was being abused. She also said she thought he was demon possessed, creeped her out, yada, yada, yada. She told me if I ever went back to him she would beat the crap out of me. This was before the affair had came to light. Last time I talked to her she went Switzerland on me. She had been to his house to invite him to her wedding and she considered us both friends. WTH??? Not 2 years but 2 months. I mailed her a letter and said I was cutting all contact with friends he had before I moved in. I politely suggested she lose my number.

      I have two awesome Rays(of sunshine) who did an intervention with me on FB. They have had my back for years. They both admitted they didn’t come down hard on me originally was because they selfishly were happy to have me back in the home state. Once the affair came to light the velvet gloves came off. One said the only way she could see me coming back to live with him was if he had a major stroke and was in a vegetative state. She was the one who suggested looking into NPD.

      • I had one Ray person who was apparently on my side. Refused to talk to the OW- who we both worked with. But on reflection she was less ‘against’ the XH. Really that’s down to me and all that damage limitation spackling I did. And that’s about shame. I felt foolish admitting how much shit I’d put up with even before the OW- the EAs, porn, prostitutes- financial shenanigans. There was a strange double bind going on for me and I realised people would either think why did you stay with him ( and why do you want him back) or it/he can’t be that bad really. Anyway XH benefited from my lousy PR which meant former Ray person kept in with XH and therefore OW and their new sparkly life. It does add to the sense of unfairness but I’m no contact with anyone who knew us both so more damage limitation.

        Unfortunately I think the passage of time makes people less resolute about choosing sides- well it’s not their pain. As we say here you can’t control other people….

        • I had no expectation or desire for our mutual friends to take ‘sides’ or shun him forever. That isn’t to say that I was okay with them condoning his behavior, and I rather imagine they remind him of what a dumb-ass he was from time to time. That they will always think it’s the stupidest thing he ever did makes me feel pretty good about me.

          I won’t ever forget what he did or the years he cost me, but I don’t hate him, and I don’t need anyone else to hate him on my behalf. It would only give what he did to me too much power.

    • While I would never say that any of my family members qualified as “Rays,” they did appear to attempt to be supportive of me. However, in the early days when I was still obsessed with looking at his phone records to see how often he was in contact with OW (his cell phone was in my name), I noticed some familiar phone numbers that were NOT the OW’s. It slowly sunk in that EVERY member of my immediate family including my stepmother (except my brother, bless him) was in contact with my then-STBX. I’m talking long, extended phone conversations with the man who had just walked out on his wife of 16 years, 3-year-old daughter and one-week-old son to be with a married trollop. My sister, in particular — the one who had flippantly told me “Why are you so upset? ALL men DOOOOO it!” — was in frequent contact with him. I was stunned. I expected to see on the phone records tons of calls to and from MOW, but not ALL my family members (with the exception of my sweet brother). I felt betrayed 100 times over. I decided to conduct a little test. Over the next month, I would tell give “bait” to one family member at a time. Some type of juicy tidbit related to the divorce situation, the kids custody, etc. Then, I would follow the phone records and also take note of if my STBX seemed to have knowledge of the information or not. That way, I could know who to trust, etc. Well, every single time I tried my experiment, word would get back to him. Mostly from my sister (who, in addition to phone calls was also babysitting for him when my kids were visiting so he could rendevous with MOW). In some cases, other family members would tell her and then she would tell my STBX. I realized that anything that any of my family members knew about me or the kids or the divorce was as good as my STBX knowing about it too. Those months (all 18 of them) when we were navigating the divorce were particularly hard because so much was at stake. After the divorce was final I wasn’t as vulnerable.

      • Wow, DG. That is seriously messed up. I am so sorry you had to suffer all those betrayals on top of being chumped. Do you still maintain relationships with them now? Hugs to you.

        • Re: still maintaining contact with Anti-Ray family. Yes and no. The way I handled it at the time was to tell no one in my family about what I knew and how I knew it. I didn’t want people to go “underground.” I just made sure not to share anything with anyone (other than my therapist, my godmother, my lawyer, and a very close friend) that I didn’t want getting back to my STBX. Next, since my sister was the worst offender, I decided (stupidly and chumpily, I now know) to give my sister the benefit of the doubt and let her know how hurtful it was for me to have learned that she was so chummy with STBX. (I didn’t tell her how I knew) I told her, “You can choose to be close with whomever you wish. But please just understand that I do not feel safe with people who are close to STBX. And if you choose to be close to him than I will not be able to be close to you.” Her response: “But I need him to help me.” (Ex: Haul her appliances for her catering business around for her; Rescue her when her car breaks down.) I told her, “Do you really think he ever did anything nice for you because he wanted to? Last summer when your car was broken down in a dangerous part of town (and unstated but man was I thinking it: and you were half-clothed, drunk out of your mind after your date dumped you because you pole-danced for some other guy at the nightclub), STBX came to get you because I asked him to. Everything nice he ever did for you was because I asked him to. Please understand that I will know if you are communicating with him and if that is that case, that I will be pulling back from our relationship.” Well, sure enough, she continued to be even tighter with him. I did not cut her or my family completely out of my life but I did not go out of my way to have a relationship with her. As for the others, I simply was very careful not to share to much or anything of substance. A year later, in the final weeks of the divorce when we were going back and forth with mediators, my Godmother called me and said, “Whatever you do, don’t say ANYTHING to your dad about the negotiations. He just called me and was practically begging me ‘not to do anything that would damage STBX’s business, that the boy has to have something to live on.’ Delta, your father has information about the negotiations that he could only have been told by you, STBX or me.” Since I had told him nothing, that meant STBX and my father were in communication even throughout these negotiations. My father was advocating to my Godmother (who is also a divorce attorney) on behalf of my STBX!!!! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (BTW, my atty nailed his balls to the wall). What is so funny is that once the divorce was over and X couldn’t really hurt me anymore, I began to heal and eventually felt less and less threatened by X, and with all the logistics involving the kids, had to communicate with him every few days or so. My (new) husband and I even included X in our kid’s bday parties, holiday time with kids, etc. My family began to see him for what he is (he and OWife actually live about a block from my parents) they all started to despise him (about 5 years after the fact).

          • Wow, DeltaGirl65. You’re a better person than me. I don’t think I could have hung out with my family for 5 years while they supported my ex over me. As it is, I don’t speak to my mom anymore for this reason. Well that, and she’s an alcoholic with a raging martyr complex and a side of narcissism who slipped up and revealed to me this past February that she’s been lying about being in recovery for the past 7 years. NOPE. Can’t do the crazy anymore.

          • Your skanky sister deserves nothing more than a slap across the face for that sort of behaviour.
            Pole dancing at a club for someone not her partner? WTF is wrong with her.
            I guess thats probably why shes being two-faced to you – she has no morals or respect.

      • DeltaGirl,

        That’s so horrible of your family, especially your sister. I can’t think of One Single Excuse for any of them. You must have felt so alone and devalued. I’m so sorry. Nasty Bastards!

        Ah well, you can’t choose your family – and you don’t need to be there for them when they stumble and fall.


      • All men walk out on infants and small children? Fucking hey. That’s some grade A spackle there. Wow.

        Nice of them to give him an ear, about his so common, everyone does it not-a-crisis.

      • WTF is up with your sister? Was she a chump? Was
        She jealous you had the nerve to leave and she didn’t?

        • Sister has some serious issues but is undiagnosed so who knows. She is currently not speaking with ANYONE in the family except once in a while our mother. Sadly, I have not missed her for one moment.

          • I think we have the same sister. If she ever tries to ingratiate herself into your life. RUN!

    • Hi Sunshine,

      Oh I am sorry. I don’t blame you feeling hurt by this – I know I certainly would. Have you had any explanation? Would you feel differently if you heard your friend and his wife had been pressured into ‘friending’ him but still thought he was an arsehole? Not saying that’s a good excuse, but maybe they have some ‘extenuating circumstances’ that called for this apparent ‘turn-around’? Even to me, this sounds like spackling your friends behaviour, but I’d be tempted to honestly confront them about it, just in case. At least it would let them know that they’d made a choice between who they wanted to hurt – you or him. And, perhaps it might make them have ‘a long, hard look at themselves’ 🙂

    • I think that when a Ray becomes an anti-Ray, they are showing you who they truly are. And what is that saying, When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. Even though its heartbreaking to lose a “loyal” friend, you have to look out for yourself first and foremost. You deserve better than to be betrayed yet once again. People know right from wrong and even if you did speak to them, I’m sure that they would justify their turnaround somehow and blame you for not moving on and letting this thing go.

    • Wow, Sounds like others had some pretty bad anti-Rays, too. How sucky 🙁 I don’t think I’ll do anything about my anti-Ray, but I do feel better getting it off my chest and hearing others’ stories. Am so thankful for Chump Lady and Chump Nation…! 🙂

  • I had several “Rays” in my life who helped me tremendously. I should add though that many of my “Rays” became “Rays” by virtue of the fact that my Ex un-friended everyone he considered one of my friends on FB, so a large social group of people felt like they had been unceremoniously dumped along with me and that didn’t sit well with them either, on top of the cheating and lying.

    Right now I struggle with having a good friend who has been very supportive and loving towards to me and yet he still occasionally “hangs out” with my ex and his pasta whorebag presumably as if nothing has happened. This bothers me because this friend knows exactly what happened and it was abusive, humiliating, hurtful and disgusting; so I have a difficult time accepting that he can just “shoot the breeze” with my ex not acknowledging any of the mess that happened, but days later call me and say kind things.

    • Right now I struggle with having a good friend who has been very supportive and loving towards to me and yet he still occasionally “hangs out” with my ex

      I don’t understand where the dilemma is: if you’ve decided to go no-contact with your ex, then you go no-contact with people provide a conduit to your ex as well. It seems simple to me, but I guess it’s up to you to define and enforce your own boundaries.

      • When you have kids, it is trickier to have those boundaries with godparents, cousins, etc, but by and large, yep, if you are pals with Mr Fab, then you aren’t pals with me. This is because no one I could call a friend from here on out would ever condone abuse. I still have to be in some contact with some of the ‘Switzerland’ crowd, though, and I limit my responses to ‘Yes.’, ‘No.’ and ‘Three bags full’.

        • FWIW, I don’t even think you need to judge them or expect them to have great boundaries themselves; if they want to be Switzerland (or Poland or Uganda or Tazmania) let them.

          It doesn’t have to be personal at all: it’s just about enforcing a boundary that assures no contact with somebody you have decided to exclude from your life as much as is humanly possible for you own good. Hey, great; you guys are friends. That’s fantastic. On the other hand you are also a conduit of information to a world I no longer want to be a part of, so ciao.

      • It’s hard but this is good advice. I spent a year doing a form of the Pick Me dance with these Switzerland friends till I finally realized they weren’t really my friends. Their initial shock and “support” faded into being “neutral” to inviting him over. I knew/know that inviting him as a couple with OW would happen next. I didn’t wait to find out. I stopped caring about these so-called friends and whose side they were on. If they choose to be friends with an immoral abuser and his skank that is the company they keep. And I do judge them by that.

        • Amen. I hear way too many excuses for cheaters. If they burned a church or robbed a store would it be the marriage that caused it?
          Heres the analogy i use for those people. You drive your spouse to the convenience store, he or she tells you to park in a certain parking space. When you park in the wrong space he or she walks into the store and shoots the clerk and kills the clerk. If you are the cop, do you walk up to the innocent spouse and say, “if you had parked in the right spot he/she wouldnt have had to kill the clerk”? Blaming a faithful spouse is like blaming an innocent man for murder. Because its sex though we want to over complicate it. Someones a pathetic loser that cant keep commitments. The other person was just helplessly watching their love get murdered. Why blame the victim? Because they are hoping the explanation will save them from it happening to them.

  • Before D-day, my best friend, hearing of Jackass’s behavior: “He isn’t in your corner any more.” Another friend, who during pre-D-Day, speculated that Jackass might be truly hurt by a supposedly mutual decision, said when she heard about Jackass and his MOW: “He sucks. He truly sucks. And she is a skank, so he’s showing how low he is. He doesn’t deserve you.”

  • The words “Is this how you want your boys to treat their wives someday? Do you want those two to think that this is OK?” hit me like a fist to the gut. My dear Ray knew exactly what to say to get me to see that the spackle I was using was made out of shit. She also gave such pearls of wisdom as, ” Keep a smile plastered on your face and yes dears coming out of your mouth while you figure out exactly how much of your shit you can fit into your car when you take the boys and leave” and “Are you stupid, girl? Get the fuck out of that shit!” and “You are nicer than I am. I would smother him in his sleep with his pillow because that sound of his breathing would annoy me.”

    She is still, and will always be, my hero for helping me to see that I did not have to live that way. She put me firmly on my path back to self respect and self dependence. She made me remember that I always have a choice on how I am treated.

    • WOW, we are truly blessed with our Rays! I have several Rays in my life right now and I appreciate each and every one of them!

  • According to the people in the NPD forum of a popular infidelity site, one of the unofficial diagnostic criteria for NPD is how many tubes of caulk and tubs of spackle are in the garage. Ns collect it like crazy.

    • OMG – is that true? That’s really funny! ‘The Great I Am’ had tons and tons of sealant, caulk all through the house and garden sheds. That’s amazing – what a weird Red flag!

      There wasn’t any opinion about a wood fetish was there? Wooden floors, wooden units, wooden furniture, wooden tables, wooden doors, wooden beds, wooden blinds, wooden desk. I swear, once I manage to get my own place there’ll be carpets, curtains and I’ll ruddy knit my kitchen units if I have to! 😀

      • I’m not convinced that STBX is NPD, but I’d not be surprised if he weren’t BPD. Anyway, he has an obsession with neatness–not cleanliness–but neatness. As he defines it. This means that he zeroes in on the minor stuff without seeing the major stuff. In his world, the problem with the house is that he dislikes the color scheme, not that he needs to get the roof fixed. 😛

        So after I leave, I assume that he’ll collect paint, not caulk.

      • you guys are gonna make me go out to the garage to get a piece count!!
        It is all still there!!

  • I need me some Rays……
    Almost no one left except family.
    It took me over a year to finally convince and it wasn’t even me really. It was my daughter actually. To ask why even my own sisters still had him as a facebook friend.
    Mister nice guy…..yeah right?
    Although I will have to admit, the cognitive dissonance still tends to lurk…..
    18 Months later……when does the logical mind catch up?
    I feel like I purchased the economy sized barrel of spackle some days….

      • I think it is when you tune in to Chump Lady and Chump Nation. One of the hardest things about all this process is the unreality, managed reality and real reality get thrown in a blender. Not to mention, the logical conclusion sucks: He didn’t love me enough to not fuck another woman and emotionally abuse our child. Logical conclusion: he never loved me. That is a shit sandwich and a half, but the last one I will ever eat. Logic ain’t the problem, accepting it is.

        I had some Rays, and some Rays that went back, started to hang with ex-oh, he ain’t that bad. Excommunicated them, because it was logical. Painful, but logical, and much much much healthier than scanning the horizon for Flying Spackle Monkeys.

  • Interestly, I experienced a pseudo spackle the other day and was very unsettled by it. Almost thought of saying something to my friends, but decided not to. I was with two other female friends at a public event (our kids are all friends through activities), both of whom know what happened to me (my ex is one of those that just left and is still rotten to me and hardly sees our kids, moved in w/ OW/now wife). One of them even had *her* husband cheating on her years back (but they stayed married). They had a neighbor that left her husband. She was there with a new man. They were chit chatting about it and one made the comment “I heard he even left his wife for her”. Like I said, they know this happened to me (and they knew my ex). And while they didn’t “know” if she left her marriage for him, rumors were MAYBE, JUST MAYBE they were messing around while she was still married. But that wasn’t official. What did both of them say? Not that was awful. Not that was terrible. Not what a pig he was for leaving his wife. They said: BUT THEY SEEM LIKE A GOOD COUPLE (and happy together, or something like that). I think I sat there during the rest of our time together just dumbfounded. And shocked. And surprised. No, I must have said something weakly because then I got well SHE was divorced first (sort of contradicts the rumors above though, no? So they were “defending” her but didn’t feel what he did was WRONG?). I was SO disappointed in my friends. These were people I confided in at the beginning and thought “got it”.

    I kepting wanting to ask or text them all weekend, so if you saw my ex and his new wife, after knowing what he did, you would also say THEY look like such a good couple/look so happy together? I said nothing. However, I decided that maybe I need to re-evaluate how I feel about them. I really just feel so dumbfounded, and in a way hurt, by their comments. I think I was in a fog the rest of the evening. 🙁

    • I experienced a similar situation. I took my kids to a school event. A friend’s daughter was at the event with the cheater dad, OW and her newborn baby. I took note at how the family looked superficially. They were both blonde, beautiful and sparkly. They laughed a lot and practically skipped hand-in-hand through the entire event. It was a pretty picture, to be sure. Part of me recognized the aesthetics but my gut recognized the rotting substructure underneath all the blonde hair, the flawless complexions and pearly white teeth. That guy fucked that slut in my friend’s bed. I don’t care how pretty they look, they showed rotten character through and through.

      Your friends may have just been commenting on the aesthetics. They might be mistaken the sparkly outside to mean that they have an sparkly inside. It happens. Hopefully your friends aren’t totally clueless and can see the difference. I’m crossing my fingers for you, because many of mine liked the razzle dazzle.

    • Yeah but you see how shallow people can be right? Being a good couple trumps the horror they inflicted right? Are these the same people that assume people are no longer a danger to society so we should parole rapists and killers? Those are the people who should explain things to the next victims families…

  • My poor family never liked my husband and frankly they could have tried a little harder at first to make him feel welcome (they saw through him immediately), but the bottom line is I hid 99% of his bad behavior from them because, a.) I didn’t want them to worry about me, and b.) I didn’t want to give them more reasons to dislike him, and c.) I didn’t want them to know how stupid I was.

    When I finally began to let them know what I had been living with, they gathered round to support me, but even then they were cautious because I had taken him back a few times before. And now though we all know I won’t go back to him they are reluctant to say too much in front of me, just in case I take offense to it. But I know exactly how they feel — they despise him.

    The last time I took him back even my daughter who had been fair and accepting of him from the start looked at me and said, “Mom, I won’t have anything to do with him ever.” And I’m glad she was that strong. He and I both knew after that that my life would now be totally split in half and that was no way to live.

    With his ENORMOUS ego he could not stand to have people not like him so it wasn’t so hard for him to dump me knowing my entire family was against him. Funny thing is he just considers all of us as backward for not recognizing his brilliance.

    One of my big issues now is why my own ego is still so fucking battered. If I had never taken him back and the breakup had all been MY idea, would I be in a better place than I am now? The other main issue is why the fuck do I still miss him, care about him, and even like him? Don’t answer that. I guess only time will get rid of all that and finding where I misplaced my self-esteem.

    • ML, I’ve been noticing that you beat yourself up a lot about what you still feel for your x. Feel your feelings all the way through to their conclusion. Your rational mind tells you that this man is poison and he will never change, but your heart hasn’t quite caught up to your brain. It will catch up one day soon. It will be very painful. But it will be right for you, for your process of finally getting to Meh. You care about him still because you were/are a caring person and that is not a crime. Cut yourself some slack because you deserve it.

      • Totally agree DeeL. Well said.

        Moving Liquid, it’s ok that your heart hasn’t caught up with your brain yet, it’s a bloody big heart, we all see that. You deserved to be cherished for your big heart but unfortunately you weren’t. That’s on him, not you. Get back some of your self-esteem by valuing that beautiful, wonderful thing about you, that we can all see but you had devalued so much by him, you’ve almost convinced yourself it wasn’t worth much. I call bullshit on that. A loving, compassionate heart is the ONLY thing of value anyone has. You have it in spades, you deserve to love yourself for having it (that’s my 2 by 4 to your head there – did you feel it)? 🙂 x

    • ML, please stop all the self criticism over your feelings for your STBX. There’s nothing wrong with still having those feelings. Nothing at all. You loved him and were committed to him. You had a life with him and you had hopes and dreams for the future with him. Just because that’s gone and you know that with your head, doesn’t mean your heart is on board yet. I missed my STBX so much it was physically painful. I cried oceans of tears over him. Why wouldn’t I? It’s the sociopath/narc/general asshole who is capable of walking away from people they claimed to love – not chumps. And we chumps wouldn’t want to be able to do that anyway! It’s sick.

      Those feelings will ease and start to disappear. I promise you this. The pain is finite. You have so much to offer with your big heart – give it time to heal. Every step you take away from this horrible situation will get you closer to that self-esteem you are missing.

      • DeeL, Jayne, and Lissa, thanks for the 2×4 of love. As you know I’m having a sort of relapse, if you will, now that my husband’s lawsuit is over and I found there’s very little money coming my way. It feels as though I put my healing on hold while I waited to see how this case would end up. Now that it’s over and there’s nothing else to look forward to with this man, I find myself in a weak place much like I was just a few months after d-day.

        In the months and years leading up to d-day I cried almost every single day. And following d-day I cried a lot. But in the last several months I’ve had relief from that and now I’m starting to feel if I let the tears come, I won’t know how to stop them. Weird, since I’m a person who has cried a great deal in her life.

        Anyway, I guess I’m going to have to let this grief out because it’s making me miserable. I will accept what you all say that it’s not shameful that I still care for him even while I know I’d never take him back.

        I’m so grateful for you all, and all of Chump Nation. xox

    • ML,

      I totally agree with DeeL, Jayne and lissa. It is normal and human to have your feelings. Genuine love is kind and forgiving. Why would you beat yourself up about being loving, kind and forgiving? It is like any other grieving – you heal when you heal. You get move past it when you move past it. The most important thing is that you continue to move forward, even if they are baby steps.

      My mind knows who and what STBX is and isn’t. My heart? There’s still a quivering part in there that is having difficulty accepting it. I never deny that reality – to myself or anyone else. I have to acknowledge it in order to deal with it and get rid of it. It has weakened much over time and the longer I am no contact, the weaker it becomes. I have accepted that it is a process.

      Give yourself a break and some time. All of this is finite. You will get where you want to be. Just be patient with yourself and extend the same love and kindness to yourself that you were willing to show H.

      • I would say that I like a lot of things about the Jackass until i finally “got it” that he was simply a hologram, a projection of characteristics I liked. When I look at what he does–what he DOES, how he behaves, how he treated me and others–I stopped “liking” him. Still like that guy I was having the relationship with at first. Too bad he wasn’t real. Now I’m surprised that my default feeling about him is “too bad he isn’t real.”

        So sorry that the lawsuit didn’t pan out as you had hoped. Once the shock wears off, though, you have a total green light for getting back on the rebuilding track. Head to the pool! And cry all you need to. It’s a journey and you are one might traveler.

  • CL was my Ray.

    Just over 2 years ago, I discovered my STBX was cheating. I knew he was being actively pursued by a woman at work. I had warned him that she was making a pass at him, and some of the stories about his absences didn’t add up, but I spackled because I trusted him. Then, one day, I was at my computer, got up, went to him at his computer, and asked if OW had feelings for him. His answer? “Of course not!” I went back to my study. I went out again and asked him if he had feelings for her. “Of course not!”

    He left the room and put his phone on the counter. For some reason, it didn’t lock right away. I read the texts: “kb confronted me” followed by “what did you SAY???” Bam!

    The first thing I did was google, “what to do if your husband is having an affair.” That led me to the Truth about Deception site, and to ChumpLady. Thankfully, TaD is not necessarily pro-reconciliation, though there are a lot of reconciliation types over there. Between those articles and Chump Lady, I realized I needed to 1) keep quiet and let him think he’d snowed me and 2) see a lawyer right away.

    I had to wait about a week before I could see a lawyer, but in that week I thought a lot about the marriage. I was reading CL and I’d read the articles on TaD. At that time, I was convinced that he was suffering from depression (possibly true), as well as workplace stress that meant he was not in his right mind. Even so, I realized I did not want to be married to a man who thought having an affair was an appropriate coping mechanism.

    I realized, after talking to the lawyer and discovering what it meant to divorce in a no-fault, community property state, that I could not afford a divorce. I then started planning to get to the point where I could divorce.

    Now I’ve filed, and STBX has discovered that the kibble is leaving. He’s dragging on his financials. That won’t get him far…

    But I digress. My Ray has been the wonderful folks on this site, who’ve helped me to trust that he sucks.

    • Me too, kb. My Rays are CL and all of Chump Nation who pick me up here several times a week.

    • Mine happened 2 years ago too. He met this floozie in a running club and on Facebook she would flirt with him. She is married too( and still is while I divorced his ass) and I would tell my ex be careful she is looking for something, she is flirting with you…he always denied it and the affair went further underground using cheater apps that deletes their texts automatically. The affair started in April of 2012, I was getting suspicious in august. He was running so much with her and the club he was never home much on weekends. All of a sudden he was preparing himself to be a marathon runner, triathlete. In September I asked him if he has an affair with her and he denied it. Then in October I put a recording device in his car and busted him . Then I forgave him great Chump that I am, and did the pick me dance for 8 months. Then I saw an attorney and filled. Took about 13 months and I divorced 2 moths. I would not want him back.
      I am just lost right now. I wanna go to school but the thought of that makes me feel so paralyzed by fear and anxious thoughts that I won’t make it.

      • YOU CAN MAKE IT!!! go back to school!! take 1 class per semester and it wont seem so overwhelming. you can do this!!

        repeat this to yourself “I can DO ANYTHING” over and over.

        • Yeah, don’t do 22 units, 3 of the classes with with 2 3-hour labs a week. That sucks even when you’re pretty confident otherwise and have been going a while 🙂

          When I first went back to college, I took one Sociology class and aced it, so my confidence started to climb. I almost bit off more than I could chew when I tried advanced mathematics, physics and a bunch of other hard-science classes later though. You have to learn your limitations after you figure out that you’re probably as smart as at least half of the people in college (and probably more motivated if you’re older than them).

      • If you’re in the U.S. or Canada, check out community colleges in your area. These institutions often have a lot of support for returning students, and often your classmates will be older than 18, or even 22! At any rate, if you want to go back to school, but the thought is a bit terrifying, the community college offers quite a bit. You can take classes for personal enrichment, pursue a credential (lots of technical licenses), or prepare to transfer to a traditional college/university.

        Going back to school won’t be nearly as scary as kicking out a cheater and starting life anew!

      • I am a college professor, so I am giving advice that I give every day to students and potential students.

        Of course you can do it. Follow TimeHeals’s advice: start with one course. But more important, figure out what you want to do and what school and degree or certification works. Want to be a nurse? Start with the Associates Degree or the R.N. and then work toward a B.S.N if you want it. If you want a trade, consider trade schools. Some Community Colleges or unions offer free or very low-cost programs. If you want to earn the college degree, look for a school that has a lot of good support for adult students. Look into “credit for life experience” if you have a career, or degree completion programs. Do your homework! If you take that stage seriously and choose well, you will be very successful.

        My experience over many years is that returning adult students often lack confidence and feel rusty, but almost always are terrific, motivated students. Traditional freshmen (at 18 or 19) often drag bad habits from high school or allow their new-found “independence” in college to derail their academic work. You have several advantages: maturity, your degree from the “school of hard knocks,” high motivation, and clear goals. My stepson failed out of college at 18 in one semester, went through a few jobs, got laid off, and went back to school. He wanted an IT program, so we went to visit a tech school that offered an Associate’s degree and an articulation program that provided a path to a bachelor’s at a nearby university. I made sure all credits would transfer to the 3 colleges he would most likely attend. I was mostly concerned that he didn’t have the hassles of registration, buying books, etc. that were problems for him on his first college attempt at our local huge university. He not only finished the Associates program at the top of his class, he went on to the B.S. and the M.B.A. with great success. By the time he was ready for the full college degree, he was doing his own research and making his own choices, totally independent and confident. You can do this, too. Talk to others who have done similar programs. Do some networking. Tour the schools. Get a feeling for the people and your best fit. Learn about financial aid. Go for it!

  • Ironically enough, it was my mother who was my ray. We have had a contentious relationship for years. She is the one to talked me into staying after the first D day but by the THIRD, she would listen to me tell her what he said and then call bullshit. “He says nothing happened. They’re just friends. ” “He’s spending the night at the fire station because the weather is bad.” “He’s not willing to give up her friendship.” She said “oh come ON! Look how he’s treated you for months! He’s even stopped paying attention to the kids! This has been going on for awhile. Just sit on it for awhile. If you don’t leave him right away, she will show her true colors. She will pitch a fit and all this ‘bliss’ will blow up in his face!” I did sit on it for 6 months. She DID blow a gasket. Their relationship ended. THEN I filed. I’m a bitch like that

  • Thankfully I had many Ray’s and Rayette’s. Both my coworkers in the small business I worked for at the time gathered round me strong. They hated my XH for what he did to me. They saw the worst of it because I could barely drag myself into work most days and when I did I was a blubbering chocolate mess.
    Yeah, everyone pretty much hated his guts after that. He got cancer when we were married and people saw how lovingly I took care of him when he was so critically ill. He recovered and had an affair and shit all over my face with Schmoopie. They let people see them together and didn’t give a rat’s ass who saw them cuddling and kissing all over town. Rubbed my nose in it good! I remember a woman that went to high school with my XH coming up to me and telling me how despicable he was.

    The only comment that really bugged me was when a friend asked me if Schmoopie was thin. She said that’s all men care about. I took it to mean that she thought I was fat. No….Schmoopie is bigger than me and very unfortunate looking to say the least. I doubt she was even a cute baby.

    I love my Ray’s and Rayette’s at Chump Nation. When I’ve been sad I’ve come here and you always have my back and cheer me up.

    • I like Chump Lady’s cartoon, “The muffin top that launched a thousand affairs.”

      STBX cheated on me with a woman who stands about 5’3″ or 5’4″ and weights over 200 lbs. In her mind, she’s a sleek seductress. In reality, she just opens up to whoever will buy her kibbles.

      • kb….I thought about that cartoon too. Love it.

        My true friends gathered around me but there were lots of people we knew who spackled for my XH. They actually said things like ‘I don’t want to take sides.’ I wrote them off so fast. I still see some of them around and I do The Total Ignore. I actually work with these phony fucks…not in the same department but I see them around. Total Ignore. I don’t give them the time of day.

  • Nice Timing, Strugglingnomore.

    I have moved to a new place, not employed yet, very isolated. I don’t want to get to know this new place by having ‘Vulnerable Chump (recovering)’ tattooed on my forehead, so Chump Nation is my Ray, and I am grateful for every single one of us-this blog is truly one of the safest, most honest places I can go to.


    • Mehphista,
      I too moved far away from my home after being chumped. I felt so raw, so utterly alone. I used to curl up on my bed and talk to myself. I thought of all the nice friends I had over the years. I thought of my family, long gone. But somehow, deep inside, I found the dignity to just move forward one step at a time. I found a job, invented a new me, and took things slowly. Time does heal to an extent. Being in a new place can be a blessing when no one knows your pain. New acquaintances cannot remind you of things. You can be yourself finally. It is possible, I have done it, and I know you can too.

      • Marci, Mephista-I too moved away- 300 miles, just over a year ago. Left behind a job, some non – Ray friends and of course the XH. At the same time as the marriage was unravelling my elderly parents’ health was deteriorating- so I moved near to them. I decided I would put my care where it was needed and although the relationship was never easy due to mother’s drinking and depression I wanted some good to come out of the marital chaos. I also felt strongly about doing the right thing- ‘Honour thy father and thy mother’ goes the commandment. Nothing necessarily about loving or even liking. Just doing the right thing- the polar opposite to what the XH had done.

        My mother had dementia and died this July and my father is frail and quite difficult. Friends are few. Yes I have cats. Yes I talk to myself, but it’s quite a gentle monologue. Mikky you can do this. Mikky look how far you’ve come (divorce, new home, new career in offing). Mikky read Chump Lady and see how very ordinary the situation was and how it gets better. Mikky be grateful for being alive. Mikky tomorrow’s another day- who knows what (good thing) may happen.

        • Bravo for moving away and starting a new life!! I wanted to move so badly it’s all I thought of for at least two years. But I had a home, a job and family here so it never seemed possible. I know now that it should have been all his shame to bear but I was so ashamed about what he did to me. It’s small around here and a couple of times I ran into them. Or people would tell me they saw them here or there. I remember a lady that I only kind of knew saw them hand in hand at the mall and she told me she just wanted to walk up to him and smash in the face.

          My grandaughter was born in December and he walked out two months later. I was so traumatized and heartbroken I didn’t even get to enjoy her. It should have been the happiest time of my life but the fucker stole that from me.

          • Syringa-Where I moved from is a very small community- I also worked with OW. Before I moved it took all of my courage to keep my head up high and not show that I felt completely blindsided and humiliated by the actions of two very selfish people. This was pre Chump Lady so I was struggling to do the next right thing. I’d lost faith in XH but I knew I had to keep faith with myself and believe I could survive and then thrive. You have to become your own best friend. It does take time and you have to accept that. But I learnt you can grieve and grow at the same time. You can hold your grandaughter and cry tears of pain and joy. You can watch her grow and know you are growing towards a new life too.

        • I know exactly what you mean when you talk about wanting to honor your parents, even if they have been and are difficult. My mother had dementia, also, along with a number of other health problems brought on by smoking. We would go for long walks around the facility, during which she would complain bitterly about her daughter (me) and how she (I) neglect her–because of course she no longer recognized me. But she was just rehearsing all her old grievances and I would just say, “Yes, that’s hard if you feel neglected.” My boss, a nun, always told me I would never be sorry if I took good care of my mother, and she was right. Now I can honor and love her many talents and know she did the best she could–and let the rest go. My condolences on your mother’s passing, but for those with dementia, I am sure that whatever comes next is a release from suffering. You are doing mighty work.

  • His whole family is Spackle & Spackle Associates. I kid you not, most of his cousins, aunts, uncles, even sisters and his brother are all married and dating someone else. they all subscribe to the “well if you are not happy” book and they all have zero morals, values, loyalty and faithfulness. All he had to do was tell them it was all my fault and they supported his decision to leave his family, children and loving wife. the entire family believe that it is okay to live like that. i didnt have to divorce, i just had to accept him fucking someone else, living with someone else and doing things for her that he should have been doing for me. according to them I am the one with the problem. they all do not understand why i dont want my kids near the MOW, after all she is a nice person, and she keeps my XH so happy.

    my rays are my entire family who believe like i do and support my decision to divorce him. my family, (parents, cousins, aunts, uncles) all tell me i deserve better then that and he is fucking up and that i dont need to live like that. they ask me if i need help (problem is they all live 3 hours away) they are awesome!!

    i dont understand the entitlement his people have. they are so worried about not judging people and not pointing fingers at anyone (usually because they dont want anyone to point out their own fuck ups) they are all so wishy washy. oh, i know she uses meth on a daily basis and has abandoned her kids but she is a good mom and she loves her kids (WTF?) he left his wife of 14 years when she needed him the most, but he really was super unhappy and now all he does is drink and do drugs but he really is a good guy with a good heart, he is just hurting so badly (of course noONE mentions how it was HIS decision to leave and fuck someone else, and how he doesnt even try to talk to me or the kids but poor little sausage is hurting so badly for losing his family and not being able to talk or see his kids.)

    • “i dont understand the entitlement his people have. they are so worried about not judging people and not pointing fingers at anyone (usually because they dont want anyone to point out their own fuck ups) they are all so wishy washy. ”

      We must have the same in-laws mrsvain. Same here. A lot of enabling and passive-aggressive acceptance of the most egregious behavior in the name of “family.” I understand it and sometimes, depending on the circumstances and the behavior, it is more important to have peace than to be right. But when the behavior is in direct contradiction to what are your supposed beliefs and values and you are twisting yourself into a pretzel to excuse and defend the behavior because it so foul and rancid – yeah, that’s just fucked up.

      • Well, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree, does it? While I’m sure some of these disordered, entitled cheaters come from decent families, and we don’t know the role of DNA or biology in “personality disorders,” the family has either taught that bad behavior has no consequences directly or through “enabling” and co-dependence. You and actual reality threaten what they’ve built through denial, so they will pull out that industrial-size vat of spackle and get busy with it.

  • Rays!!! oh the irony of this post. I had friends with the last name Ray. At first they, husband and wife, were on the fence. It’s like one of the posters here said, people don’t want to say much just in case you work things out. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that Mrs. Ray was a long time admirer of x, until she betrayed me with some info on our divorce. I could have gotten a divorce about a year ago if not for her “being a friend to the both of you”. Anyway fast forward to a couple of months ago, and you guessed it folks she is in close and constant communication with x. I went NC with them, I don’t think that there was much to say or much substance in an explanation anyway. Her husband, sadly, committed suicide in August. I don’t know if her husband knew about their close relationship but his parents sure think that it was something that could have “pushed” him over the edge finally. Scary people both of them and they deserve each other. I hope their relationship “sticks” because it would suck to see them with other unsuspecting people.

  • Yes, I had several friends who refused to choose between us when I finally learned the extent of it all. Turns out, they already knew what he was doing…. they simply believed his reasons and never asked me. (Cause that would blow the game and exh had threatened them not to. You’d think they would wonder if his reasons were legitimate when he insisted on threatening them to keep them quiet.)

    His work buddies would tell me what to do to fix things….aka:

    “If you would have sex with him more, he wouldn’t keep going back to OW.”
    “If you would learn to cook like her, he wouldn’t be so embarrassed by the lunches you pack.” (Yeah, that….*face/palm*)
    “If you wouldn’t nag him to come home early from band practice…”
    And on and on…
    His family believed his lies until they learned the truth…mine had my back the entire time. But then, they saw what he was doing and the results.

    I’m no longer friends with the on-the-fencers, if we ever were to begin with.

  • I had no Rays either. Now that I’ve made my decisions, family has been supportive, but before, they didn’t want to rock the boat.
    It sucked. It was hard. But in a way, it’s making me that much stronger. I know my decision is my own with no input from anyone else. Well, except from the R community and 12 steps about twisting myself into a pretzel to make it work.
    I am following me, and no one else. No one has a noose around my neck. Not anymore. No more spackle, only reality.

  • Remember in The Shining, how that little boy had that voice speak to him through his finger? It’s like I have a Ray in me too – and he’s got a potty mouth and does not like my husband.

  • No Rays here, my ex co-opted the only two friends he hadn’t isolated me from over the years. He was way ahead of me feeding them utter lies about what was happening with us AND neither of them thought to question his narratives until his drinking got COMPLETELY out of control and he started drunk dialing them and saying such outrageous stuff they FINALLY, FINALLY got on the clue train. Only then did they bother to ask ME what happened. By then he had fucked me over so badly that I was in real need of their support, they gave it as best they could. But honestly, even then neither of them *really* believed in their heart he was as abusive as I said he was. It took his nearly killing me before I found a way out, and they truly understood how far his abuse went. You see abusers never do this shit in front of anyone, he was always the rough looking “gentle” guy around everyone else except me. Both my friends apologized deeply for how they reacted during the craziness and I believe I can trust them to be there for me now, but within limits.

    I also had one long distance friend of 20 years who still wanted to remain neutral after the gun incident. That woman can go fuck herself and her self righteous “you can’t tell me who to be friends with” bullshit. I can and I will tell you who *I* can be friends with. It ain’t never going to be someone who would talk to a man that abused me.

  • Holy Self-Realization, Batman! I just realized…..I’m a Ray to other people but I’ve been a total chump in my own life. It’s easy for me to see the crux of other people’s issues because it’s not personal. My own fear and FOO blinded me to my own mess. That’s why I excel at mixing up and using only Grade A, Union-Approved, Organic, Proudly-Made-in-the-USA, Fermented-in-Oak-Barrels-for-Ten-Years, SPACKLE.

    Now I understand why the friend who told me that my abusive cheater was still a “good and decent person” rankled me so much. I thought she was merely another form of cake eater (why decide which friend to keep? I’ll just keep them both and enjoy the drama!). What irritated the shit out of me was that I was done spackling and she stood there with a shovel and trowel, insisting that I get back to work on the gigantic holes in the wall.

    Ultimately, she did me a solid by showing me who she is. I’m a Ray. I can’t be friends with an enabler because I’m all done enabling that shit in my life.

  • Posting this time before I read so sorry if it’s repetitive. My marriage probably would not have survived for over 20 years without great big helpings of MIL spackle. I met her son when I was 19, and I pretty much trusted everything she ever said, and went to her for advice about everything. It’s only now that I’m out of it that I can see the major disfunction happening in that family. My MIL is conservative, Christian, and worships her grandchildren. She also has always known that her son has a mental illness and has always wanted to be involved getting him help. But when I told her that he was planning on having his 24 year old girlfriend who was the OW stay with him over Christmas with our daughters, she said,”Well, that just seems to be the way people do things these days. At least he waited a year.” Um, no, we haven’t even been divorced for a year. They are seven, and that was totally incongruent with all of your religious beliefs and what you want for your grandchildren. If it was someone else she’d be horrified. I’m not saying she should be horrified, just that this was major spackle for her. I can’t count the number of times I’ve also heard her say, “Oh, all men are like that.” No, they’re like that if you let them be. They aren’t all that way.

  • I am fortunate to have a couple of Rayettes in my life. I have always insisted that my real friends tell me the complete truth – even if I don’t want to hear it. I’ve explained to them I consider that part of being a real friend – the ability to tell me the truth even if it’s painful for me to hear.

    I have one friend in particular who was extremely angry on my behalf before I was able to get angry. I have frequently thanked her for that. It was my first indication that what happened to me was truly horrible. Her first piece of advice to me was for me to stop talking to STBX and not to let him in or near my space. It took me awhile to heed that advice. I am fortunate that my true friends are as loyal to me as I am them. They pretty much pretend STBX doesn’t exist. On the rare occasion when they have been forced to interact with him, they are polite but distant and cool.

    When I found this site, CL was as blunt and take no prisoners as my main Rayette friend. It was just the reinforcement that I needed. I love the people on this site. Each time I have felt as though I couldn’t stand being in my own skin, I logged onto this site and read and re-read people’s stories of overcoming and CL’s advice, and it gave me just the kick I needed to keep moving forward.

    I feel very fortunate to have this community and my core Rayettes (4 or 5 people) IRL.

  • I’ve been so grateful for all the Rays. Of course, all the Rays here on CL are a continuous consistent reliable resource, an oasis in the confused desert of bewildered betrayal. “You aren’t crazy, that guy’s an asshole!” “Trust that he sucks.” Ah, yes.

    But I was fortunate to have other Rays, too:
    — My close work friends who, when I told them … and even still today, five months later… register shock and disbelief that he really did cheat and leave;
    — A couple of my clients who, upon hearing, offered to beat him up (or worse). And the one mild mannered bead-maker whose jaw dropped open and her normally squeaky timid voice said, “Motherfucker!” She sent me flowers, recommending MF as my new mantra, the card is still on my fridge;
    — A colleague at work who canceled her membership at his wine shop (and she’s quite a wine enthusiast) because “it’s just not right what he did to you.”
    — A less close friend and a wife of another client who I barely know who also canceled their memberships in solidarity.
    — A friend who was witness at our wedding (small ceremony) who, even though he wants to try to salvage some kind of friendship, stopped me cold when I said I didn’t expect him to be angry with XH and he said, “Oh, I’m angry! Damn right I’m angry what he did to you! I don’t know how our friendship would ever survive this and I don’t plan to let him off the hook for it!”
    — Another client today reminded me, again, that she still has that gun…. She’s joking, but it still makes me smile to know there are people who SEE.

    The other ones who don’t see? Can’t be helped. People mostly think about themselves and want an easy life. Taking a stance is hard, it’s unpleasant and uncomfortable. And I know because this morning I got an email from a friend whose marriage is in trouble and she just told me there’s this guy she works with…. And now I have to tell her she’s wrong to even be thinking about that other guy while she’s still married, and how much that hurts, whether her husband is a controlling manipulative bastard or not. We all deserve better than that. And it’s hard to be tough. I’m grateful for the Rays. Throw that spackle in the trash.

  • I try not to feel bad about I have reacted in the past, because you can’t change the past. Just the future.

  • I have couple of Rays in my life but I continued to have to spackle even after the details of the cheating came out along with public humiliation and total Gaslighting. Thank god I have run out of spackle. What really hurt were the “friends and family” who participated in the coverup. They saw the torture I was going through but said nothing. Even after I was beaten up and had the asshole arrested one couple sent him a birthday card and another challenged him to the ALS water thing. I just wonder at what point do the spackle helpers draw the line? If I had been killed that night?

  • CL says “Or friends who know the horrors this person put you through, still persist in thinking the cheater is a “nice person.” Maybe they stay Facebook friends or invite them to the next BBQ. “Can’t we all just get along? Martin is still family to me.”
    I was thinking about this just yesterday.
    Two years ago I send a request to my husband to add our relationship to his facebook. After all his profile picture is our wedding pic. On my FB page it still says pending, though I unfriended him right after he moved out. But I look at his friends and so many of my friends are still on his list. I had immediately unfriended the 3 family members of his that I had been able to tolerate. Nothing against them personally but why do I want them in my life.
    And I was feeling hurt about the “friends”.
    So this post, yes they are still spackling his actions in their own minds.
    I was beginning to question my own feelings…geez.

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