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Life Post-Cheater — What Did You Change?

badwallpaperYou know how something around your house can just bug the hell out of you? (I see you all raising your hands… I’m not talking about cheaters, yet.)

Or maybe you don’t… maybe you’re one of those people who can live with hideous wallpaper and not want to die from the psychic pain of contrasting pastel florals.

I confess I’m hideously domestic. Bad wallpaper gives me seizures. I’m the sort of person who insists on cloth napkins and organic butter. Please don’t compare me to my mother (Mrs. “Are You Wearing That?”) or my grandmother (who had three houses and changed furniture the way other people change socks). Because I’m not THAT bad. It gets watered down through the generations.

I just have… certain rules. Like you can’t hang anything on the wall that isn’t original art. (No framed posters after age 30. Never giclees.) You can’t buy conventional dairy products. (Or if you do, I’ll tell you all about the time I spent covering the dairy farming industry, and about rBST and manure lagoons, until your eyes glaze and you capitulate “Fine! Whatever! You’re in charge of groceries!”) Hardwood over particle board. You know, little things like that.

Okay, I sound insufferable. My poor husband lives with Texas art apartheid, where every oil painting of a desert tumbleweed (“Hey! It’s original!”) is confined to his office… several blocks away.

To his credit, our Venn diagram of tastes overlaps more than it differs. He likes old stuff. I like old stuff. He hates Ikea. I’m indifferent to Ikea. (I can’t assemble those things.) And he pretty much backs off on the rest, God bless him.

But I have lived with and was married to total assholes before, and their character and their chaos was reflected in the crap they kept. One of the most liberating things about divorce, that no one tells you, is that you can throw out the damn ceramic duck collection.

Okay, for you maybe it wasn’t ceramic ducks — it was their great Aunt’s lace doilies, or their fucking carburetors, or their 500 pairs of cheap shoes. But there is something that after they’re gone you immediately think “HELL YES! I don’t have to LIVE WITH THAT ANY MORE!!!”

… And then you replace it. With your things. With your better taste.

I remember when I finally got my first husband to move the hell out (the longest six months of my life… co-habitating while “separated”), I stared at these two closet doors across from my bed. He’d been promising to paint those doors for years. And of course, like everything else, hadn’t done it. (But would get righteously pissed if I mentioned it or offered to do it myself.) And the first thing I did was PAINT THOSE DOORS. Because it was the first thing I saw when I woke up! Then I got pretty, girly, mercury glass knobs to go with.

And I felt elated.

It wasn’t a huge investment, but this one little act of paint and hardware defiance made me feel better than months of therapy.

So what was your act of consumer defiance? What did you buy? What did you try that you always wanted to try, but couldn’t before? What did you change?

And if you say you hung contrasting pastel floral wallpapers, I don’t want to know!

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    • Agreed Monika, but I prefer to say, “the person who I really am”. In fact I haven’t missed a beat. I am on the same path I have always travelled but now without the cheater, so I know who was playing the games.!!

  • CL, I had the bathtube refinished, it’s been bugging me for years! The damn tub was so worn down you couldn’t even clean it. Made the appt, took about 4hrs, 2 days to dry. Viola, brand new tub!

  • I didn’t buy, I sold, the house, packed up all our stuff. Threw out all we didn’t need and bought a ticket for me and the kids, to join a friend, freestyle touring Israel and Jordan over easter and passover. We swam the med, the dead, the red and galilee. We spent easter sunday in Jerusalem. We toured Petra and camped in the desert in some random hippy guesthouse. We drove through the west bank. We freecamped and watched the sunset over Galilee whilst friendly neighbours brought us a gift of redwine to enjoy under a blanket of stars. No more waiting to live. My kids were just turned 1 and 4 at the time.

    • that is a great story. i wanted to hike in Israel next year, when i turn 50. the STBX has ruined every big moment in my life, so now i get to do what i want without toddler tantrums.

      • OMG! Moaklis!!! Toddler tantrums – YES!!! So glad to be rid of those! I love going places with kids and not having to worry about the giant baby.

        JJ – NICE!!! What a great new beginning!

    • JJ – I sold my house too. Afterwards I did the last third of El Camino de Santiago. I had planned to do this after my last one went to college. that was delayed a year due to the trauma of discovery (and the packing, relocation, “re-membering” a new family, etc), but i did it.

      not only was walking for two weeks good medicine, but following through with what i had planned to do helped me reclaim more of myself.

    • Also traveling when and where I want to go, which is usually just to see our kids and friends and other family…he used to have such a freakout when I said we want to go there or there…usually ‘we can’t afford it” I know now, bc I am up on the narcissism….it wasn’t about HIM. He couldn’t stand losing the attention. He would say shit like, ‘what have those people ever done for me?” are you kidding me?
      so now we are free to make those decisions ourselves. My god. What a prison we lived in.

      • Yes! I too love the pleasure and freedom to go places and travel without morose joy killer at my side. I took my son to Costa Rica, Florida and I went to Turkey on a conference. More than I had done in the seven years we were married. I love being able to enjoy people and notice everything again without feeling the mean critic at my side constantly. In Costa Rica I felt the pulse of the rain forest life. It keeps me going when I feel sad about how hard life has been.

  • I took all his “sound booth” foam down and dismantled his “recording studio” shit from the master bedroom closet. He was once a DJ in his glory days and had dreams of being a big VoiceOver artist. Only thing was, he had only one voice-80’s DJ! He had depth, zero timing and couldn’t fucking read copy properly to save his life!!

    Anyhow, it was uber cathartic to get that shit out of my space!

  • I changed the duvet and cushions. Got new lampshades that reflected the more feminine bedroom. No more messy bedroom. I also got rid of several file boxes (that were all around the house) with stuff he could never go through or find a place to store. I have a much more ordered, tidy, neat and clean house! Loving it!

    • “I have a much more ordered, tidy, neat and clean house! Loving it!”

      that’s me right there, plus I finished many projects in my home and yard. It looks great and so peaceful 🙂

      • I think so, get rid of the bedding at least and the mattress if possible, then sleep in another room if possible or re-arrange the bedroom.

        • That I could not do, the ex insisted on buying a tempurpedic mattress during false R, no way I am tossing that expensive thing, and resale on used beds is too low :(. I admit I get pissed when I change the sheets cos the asshole insisted we didn’t need a cover for it, and one week later spilled chili on it, so it’s got stains. But, I did move the bed to the opposite side of the room in front of the fireplace, something he refused to allow. Now I sit in bed on winter nights reading, with a crackling fire, it’s lovely.

            • I love my bed. I love that I share it now with my book, my glasses, my phone…and there isn’t a night that I don’t crawl in there and whisper ” I love my bed. I am so glad you aren’t in it anymore….” Safe now. Safe from hurt, and pain, and betrayal, and fear….
              Bed at the end of the day…should be our safe place. Sanctuary. Blessings!

      • I actually left the bed with him. If his skeez wanted to sleep with him in the same bed that he and I had done the “dance” in, let her. I bought a whole new set. I have seen pictures on facebook and they still have that bed and comforter that I bought for it. Of course, I am certain he told her that he picked it out which is why they still have it. I doubt that the sheets were even washed from my leaving it and her coming into it.

        • Ex never brought the OW to my house, and we never had any relations in the bed I have so maybe that’s why it doesn’t bother me so much, or it’s just practically speaking I cannot afford to replace it at this point.

      • Kept the bed (as far as I know his primary whore was bedded in Europe, not in our bed..), but replaced every bit of bedding with super lovely high thread count stuff and new down comforter. I did burn every set of my pajamas and nighties, and got all new stuff. Bed stuff must be a trigger for lots of us…

      • That was my home improvement; I tossed the king-sized bed that he never slept in with me (he preferred “dirty sex” on the bar sofa) and bought a lovely full size bed that fits me and occasionally the dog on cold nights.

        I also painted every room in the house in colors I liked, not to please him.

      • I was the one that moved so I bought all new stuff and the first thing I bought was a bed. Ex is a major pack rat so I always felt the house was cluttered. My place is not cluttered at all. It’s so much easier to keep clean even with my (not so neat) son living with me. I decorated it myself and I have to say it looks pretty nice.

        Eventually I will buy a house but for now, I like where I’m living just fine. I sleep in the middle of the bed without the fear of STDs, being lied to and all that other crap.

  • I sympathize with the living hell it is to live together while separated, my ex wouldn’t leave for 18 months!

    As I was never ‘allowed’ to touch the garden, I have now changed the plants around, fixed the fence, watered pressured the deck and generally kept it up to scratch and enjoyed every minute of it.

    I have completely changed the dining room, mostly to put my stamp on it, new table and chairs, new paint, new painting (original, local artist!). I have changed the bedroom and can’t believe the luxury of two wardrobes and two dressers.

    I removed a damn shelf that every single child that ever came to our house, hit their head on. But again, it was never ‘allowed’ to be removed because he had to have his flowers on it.

    Mostly I am loving being in the house with my children and not having to eat shit sandwiches every moment of every day.

    • I can’t imagine 18 months! The worst part for me was the state of Va. doesn’t recognize it as legal separation — you need separate physical addresses (and then have to wait one year AND a day until you can file). From the time I saw a lawyer to write a separation agreement, start divorce proceedings, it was 6 MONTHS before I could get that SOB to move out. But he did have to pay the mortgage for the first time in years and boy was he pissed.

      It was horrible. Longest 6 months of my life.

      • It is entitlement gone wild. I filed for divorce 3 months after separating, I got the house at financial court, sent numerous lawyer letters to get him out, a social worker wrote two reports to the court saying he needed to move out for the welfare of the children, the social worker spoke to him directly giving a deadline – yet still he thought he knew better and wouldn’t move. ‘No one is going to tell me what to do’ – was his attitude. Sadly, family court hearings take forever to roll around and he wasn’t going to budge until a judge was involved.

      • My ex also “knew his rights” and refused to leave the house, most here know how that ended up. However, I want to set the record straight about the Virginia divorce law on separations. To do it you need to have a third party come to the house regularly to witness that you are sleeping separately and not living as a couple, no shared meals, no “dates” (asshole kept trying that tactic). Then the third party is deposed as proof of the start of the one year separation. This is what I did and it was accepted by the court.

        • Datdamwuf is correct. My sister acted as the third party years ago. She was very good friends with both the wife and husband and they asked her to do it. She thought it was utterly ridiculous for her to swear to their living arrangements but she did it.

  • I first repainted most of the house – changed furniture around, and lived there for 1 year, then I thought, I need to get out of here, 22 yrs of too many memories.

    Then I sold the house, sold the expensive car, and our rings – yes his ring too.
    Moved to an apartment, did most of the move (only hired movers for big furniture pieces)- this alone was so empowering. It was only after this clean break, that I truly felt that I could move on with my life.

  • I left his house of horrors and moved back to my own little abode. I then proceeded to go through every nook and cranny of my home and got rid of everything that was us. (We had been married previously & I’d never truly got over him.) It was this time around that I found out he was a lying cheat. The only thing left is the handmade quilt his Mom made for our wedding present that I’m looking to sell.
    Second, I started updating my own home. So far the living room and hallway have been painted and trim. The kitchen and bathroom are next.
    “…or their fucking carburetors..” Yes, along with the transmission in the living room, guns and gun parts. Shit that man had his house, the garage, 2 outside storage buildings, and a container pod(largest size) full of his crap. He complained about what little space he provided for me.

    Anyway, he no longer occupies my heart and I no longer feel question whether or not leaving his ass 30 years ago was the right thing to do.

    • Chumpy, what you said about all his crap reminds me of my Ex. I spent $3000 getting a concrete floor poured in the basement so he could put his business there (power tools, for his contracting business). That only took up 1/3 and he filled the rest with a home beermaking brewery, a second office with a second computer in it (probably to view his porn on), a display of his completed, laminated jigsaw puzzles with beer and soccer themes. All well and good except one day he came upstairs and told me today was the day I “needed” to get rid of all my kids childhood mementos because they were taking up too much room. I resisted and this turned into another one of his 5 hour narc rages at me and how “selfish” I was. Did I mention he only paid 10% of our housing cost and 0% of our food over the entire 16 years.

        • In my case I have to add that I feel his inability to help provide to our way of life made him ashamed (which he’d never admit) and resentful, and I think he’d prefer to move on to someone who doesn’t know all his b.s. yet so he can continue the game.

      • Margaret and Moving Liquid. $$$$ GRRRRR!!! When we were married and when we lived together he used the term “broke” when it came to US but had not a problem dropping a grand or more for HIM. His gun collection. Wouldn’t get the septic sucked out which he swore did not have problems until I moved in and then dropped a grand on car parts for a car that will not ever get restored along with antique die cast soldier toys. I still remember telling him it’s 2013 buddy a working septic is no longer considered a luxury. Narc rage ensued.

        “I think he’d prefer to move on to someone who doesn’t know all his b.s. yet so he can continue the game.” Yep, he let me know how he not only spent his money but borrowed money from his best friend to buy out gun/military books from the recently widowed at a gun show. He wanted her to see what a ‘nice guy” he was. He denied it but she’s the OW. (She didn’t and still doesn’t know about me) This happened when he was giving me the silent treatment(how dare I leave until the septic was fixed) and just behaving like a total ass. I asked him why I wasn’t getting “Mr. Nice Guy”? No answer. Typical Narc. The woman’s husband was an author who he looked up to so she would definitely be the uber Narc supply. A neighbor of his contacted me awhile back to let me know he’s working on his house. He wouldn’t ever do it for me but he knows if this woman would run if she saw the “disordered chaos” that he has been living in.

        I’m definitely being triggered by this aren’t I? It’s been almost 6 months and I haven’t cried once. I’m close to tears typing this. I feel white hot rising up from deep inside. Hurry up Tuesday!

  • I realized afterwards that he was so removed from the marriage and family that he stopped caring how the house, how his son’s were raised and anything to do with me.
    Everything was just fine with him!
    I now know he let me make all the decisions because he just didn’t give a shit.
    Not about his kids (even where they applied to college), family plans, vacations, furniture, kitchen cabinets or anything.
    When I saw photos of her apartment, I realized that was where he put his efforts, taste and interest.
    She let him chose everything and clearly his real life was very different from the fake life and house we built ‘together’.

    • Are you sure she let him choose everything? He’s probably doing the same “pretending to like it” schtick with her that he did with you. It’s not like a person like that can love and invest himself in ANYTHING or anyone.

      He has no “real life.” She the new front, that’s all.

  • I told my STBX when we were first married that I need bright colors and sun in my life because I struggle with depression and dark colors just bring me down. He made sure he filled our home with dark colors and grey. Plus he hoards, something I have battled to keep under control for 20 years. Since he has gone, I have filled my rooms with bright colors, pinks, orange, and turquoise. I just bought a car for the first time in 20 years and it is orange! I still don’t have all of his crap out, but once I do, my home will be a haven of peace and all things bright!

  • I too had to live with mine for 18 months while we got the house ready for market, sold and moved out. It was the longest nightmare ever! I then spent 5 months recuperating at my brother’s home in the CT countryside (while he was in FL) and cherished every moment. Then I bought my own apartment with room for both my college girls. I took the smaller room and since I left him all the “antiques” and crap I had to compromise on for 30 years, I have decorated it in very feminine creams and whites and pale blues most of which I got for free from relatives or bought off Craigslist for pennies. My home is now charming and slightly modern and I breathe a sigh of happiness when I open my front door. No more stuffy old worthless pieces and especially the horrible high school graduation pic of my former m-i-l looking down her nose at me — first thing you see when you enter his place! He can have “Mother”!

    I’m happy living for me! I think my girls realize that and are adjusting to their new mom. We are actually having fun!

  • I bought an LCD TV. Just a cheap 37″ one. This came after she insisted on taking our 42″ plasma screen. It was amazing how that simple purchase made me feel better. Not that I generally advocate shopping as therapy. It was a nice one time thing.

      • Except now I have to share it with a 3 foot munchkin or suffer her tantrum wrath.Ooh, the joy of being a father. Lots of Frozen, Pocoyo, and Monsters University watched in my household now. Better that then dealing with my cheater ex. And I don’t have the reminder when I look at this TV. Plus, it was easier to move. Win, win for me.

        • Right there with you DM…After painting every room in my house and getting all new, but used furniture and got rid of all her cheesy little nicknacks I got my house back…save the 5 and 8 year old who own the TV and if I have to watch Frozen again I might scream…Although I must admit to having gotten a bit used to and kind of enjoy Sponge Bob!

    • And you sold your old wedding ring, used the money to buy a new computer from which you are sharing your story on your own infidelity blog and helping others (take THAT ex!). Not to mention you also replaced that old ring with one of much better quality 😉 Best revenge ever. 😀

  • The very first MAJOR thing I did was sell my diamone engagement ring to a local jeweler. I then used some of that money to buy all new bedding and paint!!! I am painting my bedroom a beautiful and feminine plum. Girlie! I have taken over evey drawer in bedroom and all the space in the closet. I have rearranged some furniture downstairs. I GUTTED the garage when my STBXH didn’t take nearly what I thought he would. I couldn’t even get the car in there! Getting the house tidy and junk-free…cheater-free. I changed out some of the pictures like wedding photos. Loving my house more and more. 🙂

      • I’m picturing me, in the shower at Chateau Doop, with a bottle of that “Rid” shampoo, singing about how I’m gonna wash that man right outta my hair…

      • Despousing = Delousing… Next my agenda is the garage… all that old useless shit that we got from his useless shit of a mother when she kicked is going… he can take it or he can leave it. Also I let him take the really nice rugs. Schmoopie’s house is a lovely china blue and white scheme… my wonderful handknotted RED rugs don’t go with hers… He had some lame excuse for why he gave them back to me dirty grimy… but that’s him… sort of dirty grimy.

      • Love “De-spousing” – absolutely needs to go in the glossary. I bought a huge canopy bed (on sale). Looking forward to moving into my own place soon. No More car parts, fixer-up cars, too many power tools (never used), ball caps, and all the hoarding shit! And the cans and can of spackle! Gone!!!!!

  • First, I replaced the front door with a nice mahogany front door. Cost plenty. I like it.
    Then I wanted to build a nice PC. Did that.
    Since then, I have mostly been throwing my money down the Orchestral Sound Library money hole 🙂

    That’s going to have to stop after a few more thousand, and then… I need to probably put furniture in the guest room, my couch is dying thanks to the dogs, so I need a new one of those, and it’s probably time to paint the trim.

    Financially, it would have been much more difficult to do any one of these things before despite my ex having a decent job that was mostly used to supply pedicures and shoes as far as I can tell.

    I would definitely never have been able to do the whole PC/DAW/Orchestral Library thing.

  • My ex was a pack rat. His junk was in every corner of every room in our tiny mobile home. I gave him a weekend to come and get his shit, and he blew it off. So I and my kids took every one of his broken gadgets that he was going to “fix” and all his musical instruments and cassette tapes and CD’s and we took them all to the curb. I think my kids were extra mad at him because they dropped everything they carried more than once. I laughed each time!

  • This was the best part about losing a cheater and gaining a life! My house is so calm, peaceful, chaos-free. He lived in chaos and disarray, and I put so much time and effort into trying to wrangle that. No mas.

    I redecorated, rearranged, repainted, re landscaped and had impromptu little one-woman ceremonies every time I reclaimed another piece of my home. I’d say this is Mine! I’d burn sage… whatever it took. It is such a welcoming sanctuary now. Even during the moments when I miss the good times before the Troubles, I am so thankful that life is so much better now.

  • My STBXH doesn’t have any collections. He just has his clothes, some books, and his electronics here. He does play drums in a band but he keeps that stuff where they practice. When he moves out, it will be just like a roommate leaving.
    He’s pretty sterile, I guess. I don’t think that’s any better than having lots of stuff.

  • I´m in the process of redecorating, we are not completely divorced yet but I packed his 3,000 moldy books into boxes. My daughter´s allergies immediately gone. Now I am in the process of buying a new bed and mattress, turning his studio into a bedroom, and fixing the leaky bathrooms. I also realized how masculine and gloomy our place was. Since he was an expert in decorating (and everything), he also decided what colors we should use (and chumpy me let him). His awful art work is noticeably depressing and dark (even though original). I will sell whatever pieces I get in order to refurnish the home. I will leave most of my walls white so I can throw colors on everything else….But just packing the books was such a relief..

  • I got my freshly signed separation agreement and got on a plane to find a house halfway across the country. I signed a long term rental and moved the kids and I there. I left behind his 13 long boxes of comic books, boxes of b-school books and boxes of “memorabilia”. I got new bedding and took all the good furniture. I left him with an old loveseat, a blowup bed and minimal kitchen items. The only nice things I left him were the electronics…Time of decision to divorce to living in Texas…2 months.

    • Briana, that is awesome. Found out my ex was cheating and 4 months later I was living in a house I purchased myself! I technically purchased it while we were still married and there were no ramifications during the divorce!

  • Well, I left the condo and everything that we shared. He can have that crap! After leaving, I gave most of my clothing away and replaced everything with what I wanted to wear. Along with that…changed my hair too!

  • I lived in the marital home for one year until it was finally sold. I didn’t change anything knowing that I would be likely leaving. I did however, purge!!!!!! I went thru 23 years of memories in just under a year. I went thru three floors of stuff. Some days I cried. Some days I purged and then went straight to bed from the exhaustion and the emotional gymnastics. I threw away ALL of his saved racing magazines. Years worth that he just couldn’t part with but he NEVER looked at after the initial read. I had a huge garage sale. AND…….I threw away my wedding dress!!!! He never showed up until the very last weekend to collect his things. And then, he wanted to reminisce in the garage as I was loading the moving truck.

    I bought a beautiful townhouse for my two daughters and I. We decorated how we wanted. All of the family photos are still in a box and I replaced them with smiling pictures of myself and my girls!!!!!!!!! It’s home! It’s our new life! We are so happy!!!!!!

    • kimmy, I’m on your path. My daughter will hopefully be heading off to college next fall and I plan to sell the house after she’s settled. So no real need to spend the money changing it now. I’m going through the 3 floors and outdoors cleaning things out and freshening the place up but that’s it at this point. I’ll likely sell most of the furniture and replace it with new stuff that’s all mine. Once the house sells, I’m going to find a townhouse for my daughter and I and decorate it for us. I don’t want any reminders of him! I’m even planning to trade my car in on a new one and I’m going to make sure I get a new license plate – sounds weird but we had a running joke about the letters in the random one I have now so I don’t even want to look at it any more.

      • You will feel sooooo much better once you start your new chapter! I did. My girls did. They LOVE the new place. My youngest says she loves it even more than the house she grew up in. It feels like home, she says. After we moved in and we unpacked……I SLEPT LIKE A BABY!!!! I didn’t think I was ever going to wake up. Partly because I was exhausted, the divorce and the move were final on the same week, and partly because I was finally at peace!!!!

        I pray your move is a swift one!!!!

        • Thanks kimmy! It’s definitely mixed emotions for me but I do think I’ll be able to be happy when I’m not looking at so many memories.

    • Kimmy, I also got rid of my wedding dress. I felt nothing and it was awesome. Now, I’m just waiting for the right time to sell the rings.

  • Having the freedom to do what I want to, when I want to is very sweet and precious to me. Living with any other person, compromises have to be made, but living in a relationship with someone who is totally selfish and attempts to dictate minute details of how things are done — even in areas where he never lifts a finger, erodes a relationship like nothing else.

    An example of the minutia — he never did housework, unless on a very special occasion (he wanted me to do something for him) he would “help” me complete “my” duties. If I ever dared to question him about when he would complete one of his own “duties” — I was told that he had other, more important things to do, and I should not interfere or question his priorities. One of the things I regularly did was clean the bathrooms. He would do annoying things like leave whiskers in the sink, toothpaste in and on the sink, the toilet lid up and sometimes not flushed — never cleaning up after himself in any way. He did not buy groceries or household goods either — although he certainly used them. I would buy and stock the bathrooms with toilet paper, and hang fresh rolls. He would come behind me and reverse the direction of the roll. I like TP to roll over the top of the roll, he liked it to roll down the back side of the roll. I told him many times that if he wanted to take over the ENTIRE bathroom cleaning and maintenance, that I would learn to live with his TP preference. Since he did not choose to do that — he could learn to live with my preference. The fact that he would take the time to change the way the TP rolled, but may not take the time to flush, was indicative of his complete lack of respect for my wishes, and his complete unwillingness to compromise.

    Do I miss this petty bickering? Not at all!!!!

    I would like to add one more observation to the debate which started yesterday over whether or not the objectification of women is more pervasive in our world than the objectification of men. The issue we are discussing today may seem trivial in comparison with being told we need to seek plastic surgery in order to remain attractive to our men, and that it is our fault that the men choose to cheat if we don’t keep ourselves in tip top condition. It is all part of the same lame attitudinal crap as far as I am concerned. Although there can be selfish and shallow people in both genders, and both are certainly capable of making superficial judgments about the other — the air of entitlement has certainly been and continues to be more pervasive in the male gender. The times may be changing, but so far, men still hold the majority of the positions of power, and project the expectation that their wishes will be catered to. Yesterday there was a comment that my views on patriarchy were “old and tired” and that I was painting myself as a “victim.” I would like to clearly state that just because I see inequity, and am willing to comment on it, that does not make me a victim. With regard to my viewpoint being “old and tired” — when a group of heavily armed FEMALE terrorists,board a bus and attempt to murder a young BOY, simply because he wants an education — then you can talk to me about my old tired patriarchal viewpoint and the gynocracy we live in.

    I detect a great deal of anger and unhappiness in the observations that were made by a male member yesterday. When he was young, and athletic he was objectified by women who just wanted to use his body, now that he is older and may not resemble George Clooney — he is not. He is assaulted with views of washboard abs and handsome male models who do not reflect the reality of the average male in magazines and movies and on television. Advertisers choose “pretty people” to represent their products instead of “average people”. What a shocker that is! I, too, received unwanted attention from the opposite sex as soon as breasts popped out on my prepubescent chest, and the male attention came from men of all ages. Now that I am an older woman, I don’t get hit on as much, either. Perhaps I don’t seem as vulnerable as I did as a young girl. Whatever. The point is, the behavior was inappropriate then and was always inappropriate — whether you are male or female. People who want to use other people’s bodies simply for their own satisfaction are PREDATORS. Do predators exist in both sexes? Why yes, they do! Another shocker. Does that make the objectification of men equal to the objectification of women in the sense that it pervades the entire social structure? Why, NO, IT DOES NOT!!!

    I have traveled to different cultures, and I always come back to the USA happy that I live in this time and place — but it doesn’t make it perfect. We have made advances, but we are far from being equal. We still have not had a female president, the state I live in has not had a female governor, I have worked for 4 higher education institutions over the course of my career, and not one of them had a female president or even second in command. I have been told in job interviews that “we don’t hire women in that position.” Changes are being made, but they are slow and arduous. Historically women have not held the right to vote until fairly recently in this country, still make a % of what male workers do, and are still considered a rarity in upper management positions. Don’t tell me that my ideas of a tightly structured patriarchal society are old and tired until EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE ISSUES have been fixed. Then I’ll hand you a few more that still require attention.

    If you want to bash women, there are plenty of sites on the internet where they trash talk all day long. I would not choose the Chump Lady audience as one who would want to hear or be likely to tolerate your negative observations about women. You may have been treated poorly by a woman, and you may have a whole boatload of grievances against her — but she is no more representative of all the women on this site than a rapist is representative of all the men in the world. Don’t project your anger toward the way you have been treated by one woman onto all the women who have been chumped on this site.

    • Portia

      Standing O and I tip my hat to your eloquence and veracity 🙂

      (I’ve been bothered all day by that thread of conversation yesterday).

      Jayne x

      • It makes me angry when a man who has NEVER experienced what it is like to be a woman and be discriminated against or objectified to the point that you are not even sure the perpetrator thinks of you as a human being tells me that he has experienced something equal to or greater than what I have experienced. I also do not like my philosophy to be described as “old and tired”, to be accused of taking the victim stance, or to endure an accusation as ridiculous as “gynocracy”.

        Just as I will never know what it is like to be kicked in the testicles, and he will never know what childbirth is like — I hate to be told that “my pain is greater than or equal to your pain.” Outside of slavery, men have not been considered “chattel”, or the property of their spouses. They have not been legally denied the right to vote, the right to own property, the chance at education, even the right to make legal decisions regarding your children. I don’t suppose he ever had the opportunity to overhear his grandfather tell his mother that it was a “waste of money” to educate a woman because all she would ever do was stay at home to cook, clean and raise the children. It was a waste of time to teach a woman to drive, because she didn’t need to go anywhere that her father, husband, or brother wouldn’t be able to take her. That women didn’t need money of their own because their father or husband could decide just what her needs were and would provide them for her. I, however, not only heard all that, but I saw my grandmother’s live that life. No one thought my grandfather’s were cruel — they were entitled to make the decisions because they were the MAN of the house.

        Fortunately for me, my mother didn’t buy into that crap either. She went to school anyway, and obtained a Ph.D in Botany. She also married, and raised 5 children. We were not cold, hungry or lacking for love or care. She drove to work and drove us to all the appointments kids have growing up. She made her own money, and made her own choices about how to spend that money. If my father ever “forgot” who he was dealing with and tried to tell her he was the MAN of the house, she would give him a long hard look, and the opportunity to rethink that position. My father was not less of a man because he recognized that he got a hell of a deal when my mother agreed to marry him. He had a companion who was willing to work by his side, and together they were able to escape the life they knew and obtain an education and jobs that did not involve descending into the coal mines every day. My parents were far from perfect people, but seeing the break they made from the culture they were raised in and understanding the tremendous cultural differences in the way I was raised and regarded opportunities made me appreciate their rebellion, and probably instilled a warrior spirit in my own psyche.

        It is unfortunate that some men will still think and say the things that were said yesterday. I am sure men have many problems that we do not understand because we are women and have a different way of looking at things. I have two son’s of my own, and they talk to me about their frustrations and worries. They tell me about things I have never imagined or experienced. I am sure that fellow yesterday felt justified in saying what he said, that he had rationalized that his pain had earned him the right to speak. Unfortunately for him, he could not accept an acknowledgement of his point of view, or a disagreement that his objectification was just as bad as what women endure. So he went for the personal insult. That is where he crossed the line with me and I think several others in the Chump Nation.

        I thank you all for the support –it is nice to know that others are paying attention out there, and think similar thoughts. Fight the good fight!

        Portia

        • If you’d care to come back to yesterday’s blog post, he continues the attack. I’m the only person still posting back. He really likes to have the last word…still no citations for his position though, so I might let him be, after all nothing is going to change his mind anyway. Sad really that the men’s rights organizations are so prevalent and so popular and their skewed views so readily swallowed whole.

          • Do you think he is a troll and is having a good time trashing women, or do you think he truly believes he has a legitimate point of view? When he went for the personal insult his argument lost all credibility for me. I can agree to disagree with anyone and respect their right to a different opinion, but insults are the lowest form of bullying to win an argument.

          • I went back and read thru the exchanges — you are absolutely correct in your assessment. He must have the “last” word, even if all he can come up with is “drivel”. What style! He does not hear or consider any reasoning, and will concede no value in any points other than his own. I am even more convinced he is a troll and he is having a great time disrespecting the women of the Chump Nation. He cannot act respectful to any of us, he can only tell us to pay our share of the expenses of a date. I don’t know which is more painful for him — the fact that he has lost his youthful allure (assuming he actually had that) or that his obvious lack of charm keeps women away from him now. He obviously does not understand ad hominem argument, or that he was the one who went there when we did not agree with his assessment. Several of the responses he received were actually quite nice — but he ignored them . If he is going to be so condescending and disrespectful, I will no longer respond to him at all. I learned how to go No Contact with the Narcissist I was married to. Ignoring Arnold will be easy. I am surprised that he reads and responds to Chump Lady though — she certainly does not coddle BS dispensers

            • I only responded cos I’m sick and grumpy right now, he’s MRA all the way – it’s like talking to a wall. He now has 63 comments on that thread, he kept going without me all night and found someone else to post agreement with him. He currently has the last word.

              • I hope you feel better soon Dat, I didn’t get to read all the posts from yesterday but I read some of yours. Damn you are fantastic!! 🙂

              • Evidently he has nothing better to do than go through the comments and try to include himself in a conversation he obviously does not understand. Several people tried to tell him, in a nice way, that he was not on point, and should consider the audience here at CL. He ignored them, and he kept looking for ways to put you down, acting as if he was doing it with a sense of humor. He is not funny. Actually, he seems to be caught up in the past — living his “glory days” and looking for someone to blame IN ADDITION to his ex wife. If he communicated with her the way he has here, I can’t really say I blame her for moving as far away from him as possible.
                Your points are all valid, and supported with references. He cannot cite references, or even spell his sources names correctly. He belongs to the school of thought that says “This is true because I believe it to be so.” No one can argue with that kind of logic — facts make no difference, because he chooses not to believe them, or even act like he heard them. He thinks he can win by intimidation — unfortunately for him, he lost his audience long ago and doesn’t even realize that all he is doing is wandering aimlessly.

                Take care of yourself — I hope you feel better soon. Don’t waste another minute trying to talk to him. It is an exercise in futility, like trying to be friends with a pig. You don’t have any common interests, and all the pig wants to do is root around in the mud! Who needs that?

          • Thanks! My mother is a force of nature! She will soon be 83, and has been a strong role model for me. We don’t always agree on issues, but I respect her, and honor her, and would never want to do anything that would not make her proud. She had 3 books when she was a little girl. She has accumulated over 10,000 now, and the really scary thing is she has read most of them. She has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and can carry on a conversation with just about anyone. I hope I can continue to keep up with her!!!!

    • I taught women’s studies courses in my early career. patriarchy (“male rules”) as the dominant social structure is alive and well around the world. while the U.S. is better than many 1st world countries, girls and women are still considered inferior by powers that be (i.e., – and are discriminated against politically and socially. there has been improvement since 1920 when women earned the right to vote. but we have a very long way to go.

      my own daughters and their friends didn’t believe this until going to college; it was verified when entering work force in their professions. for those who do not believe patriarchy is alive and well, talk and listen to adult women’s experience in the workforce today. look at the male:femaie ratio in U.S. Congress..or the gender division in the workforce at every level. who is in highest paid sector? lowest paid sector?

      does any of this mean than individual men are not abused or discriminated against? no.does it mean that individual women have not achieved success. no. this is about the larger social and legal structure that each of us lives in and is affected by and…that is still patriarchal. being a member of the dominant social group conveys invisible privileges to that group; membership can be difficult to “know” much the way it is difficult for a fish to describe water.

      • the above i.e., meant to include examples of gender discrimination ranging from.”throw like a girl” to 78% gender pay gap..

        • I will be interviewing for the job of my dreams in the place, outside the US of my dreams next Thursday. My friends in this place, tell me that it is really hard for women to rise in this place. In fact when they let me know that I had been short listed, they addressed the email to Mr. Ringinonmyownbell. Now I am worried. The truth is I can do what any man can do with on hand tied behind my back and that might be the problem. It happens all the time.

          • Hope you hit a home run during interview. If they need to “diversify” then being female may work for you…

  • New house–1/3 the size, and very cheap (let me brag about what an accomplishment that is the Boston area, 3rd most expensive Metro in the nation…), but downsizing left me splitting everything with Ex.

    By splitting I mean, taking what I liked and leaving him the crap. Oriental rugs in bad color schemes. That lovely Japanese Tansu that turns out to be lined in camphor wood, so if you put any clothes in it you smell like ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ (he asked for it, and I said, sure! with a sly inward smile…), all the Indonesian crap…he grew up there… I kept a few nice pieces for my daughter, but hells to the no. Dr. Hoe & Ex hooked up via Indo connections, so nuh, uh-uh, not that stuff. I donated all the blue willow–had had enough of that for a lifetime, and am still trying to find “microwave safe” everyday stuff that I like but doesn’t crack in the MW…from Target…hmm. Different bed, different bedding, all that. Yup.

    We split the good rugs, then, when the nincompoop departed for CA to live with the next married GF, he asked me if I wanted any, so yeah, I cherry picked…why the hell not?

    All the good art (and yes it’s real and good), interesting furniture, etc etc all came from my family. Huh. So we’re not only the ones with morals, we have good taste!?! Who’d a thunk. So that was all mine by default.

    But really, the most important thing I got back was not any of the stuff (even though it does comfort me to sit in a room with portraits of my grandmother, and her sisters, and their mother.) The most important thing by far is the lovely photo of my daughter that sits propped up beneath her great-grandmother. Because we are close, in connection, and care for and about each other. He on the other hand is dead to me, and I don’t know what to her, but she surely doesn’t respect him, or want to see him.

    It’s more than I can comprehend, to be so selfish that any parent would do something so harmful to their own child. I’m glad I took a miss on that rearranging.

  • I did not change too many things since I was the one who wanted the house from the beginning:
    New bedding
    Painted the outside fence a nice blue to give the house more curb appeal
    Purchased a few choice antiques (architectural element on the wall, step stool on the porch for plants)
    Took the stones from my engagement and ‘promise’ rings and had a beautiful pendant made

    ExH is lactose intolerant– I immediately bought butter, ice cream, and real whipped cream once he moved out

    • ExH ate about 3 foods – pork, potatoes, and bread. Never, ever any spices, onion, or garlic in ANYTHING. Since he left, I’ve been a cooking machine – with all sorts of yummy spices and recipes that I could never cook when he lived there since “the smell made him sick”. What a pansy.

      Oh, and he couldn’t even stand the SIGHT of milk. So it wasn’t allowed. Enjoy your dairy 🙂

        • Mine didn’t like onion either… so is that a test for a new partner… see what kind of goofy food issues they have… ding ding red flag, gone.

          • Hey! No hating on those of us who are picky eaters – I’m certainly one, haha.
            But I won’t begrudge other people and make them feel like crap for eating stuff I don’t personally like.

      • This attitude of “I don’t like this food so you can’t have it either” is so prevalent! My ex couldn’t stand seafood so I could never cook it, not even for myself, and if we went out to eat and I ordered seafood, I got dirty looks and complaints about the smell.

        Just an early demonstration that their selfishness was far more important than anything we could want.

  • I know it seems small, but new bed sheets. He always complained about the sheets. His nasty greasy body would stain the sheets brown since he drank only pots of coffee all day and chain -smoked. So nasty! Well once his ass was gone and the Queen bed was all mine, I went and bought 300 count, white and lavender sheets! So pretty and no more nastiness!

    I’ve redone my bedroom from his dungeon look with stain sheets and axes hanging on the walls, to beautiful lavender and purple sheets and comforter, white antique furniture, and the only thing hanging on the wall is my wonderful scarf collection 🙂

      • Yes, and a flail too. He thinks he’s some kind of mid-evil warrior, LOL. Kind of sad to think that my bedroom looked like the place I had been kidnapped in, and now it is a gorgeous sanctuary.

        • Mine liked books on Hitler & co. and other assorted murderers. I used to hide them on the top bookshelf. I thought he had eclectic taste and I was being broadminded. No, just another facet of his dark side, and my chumpiness.

          • Viet Nam fantasies for my former dreamboat. Clues, clues, clues that I seriously overlooked…

            He’s really a coward, maybe he thought reading the books about soldiers in combat would make him brave enough to face his demons.

            Nope.

  • Whenever I have broken up with a guy, whether we lived together or not I; I would totally redo the house. I used to get my hair cut, until I went in with waist length brown hair and came out with a bleach blonde bob. My son refused to come home from daycare with me, screaming “You’re not my mom!!”
    The next day I regretted it and had to wait years for it to grow out, so I took to painting (and years ago wallpapering, I know! shoot me) and changing the furniture around. I have been known to hump a china cabinet and buffet the full length of the house with my wee son on the other side of it trying to stop me saying, “Mommy please don’t move the furniture again.” ( it was a bad dating year in 1984). One time I stayed up all night drinking wine and painting the whole first floor of the house. By the time I got to the end I could give a second coat, 3 coats.
    My poor kid is probably scarred for life.

  • I did a lot of household projects and redecorating since the divorce. Even did some rennovations with the help of my dad. I think there’s probably only two rooms in the house that haven’t undergone some sort of chance in the years since. When we were married, Ex would talk about doing things, then never make any forward motion to do any of them, or spend the money on other things so we had no money to do them. I’ll never forget, he came to pick up the kids and saw one of my rennovations all done, and said, “What, you wait until I’m gone and then do all of this?” I just looked at him and said, “You know, not everything is about you.”

    • My ex was the same, the money we took out of the house to fix the house somehow never got spent on the house. The shit ex said he would do, never got done. But my ex tried to say that all the money I did manage to spend on the house, he should get half of it…sorry dude, I spent it on the house while you dragged your feet finalizing the divorce for a REASON…

  • I am SO excited that I no longer have to live with his overflowing collection of beer paraphernalia that he began collecting in college and refused to grow out of. No more “Guinness” bar towels in my kitchen, no more cabinets devoted to empty pint glasses and growlers, no more “decorative” displays of beer tap handles on my beautiful vintage furniture. His attachment to the junk was so bad that he refused to downsize his collection when we lived in a tiny 1-bed apartment and had no room for our toddler’s belongings because his precious boxes upon boxes of beer swag took priority. Thank god I’m free of that shit.

    • I can relate! I have been living with John Deer everything and his emotional attachment to all things farming related and all things old car-like! Can’t wait to be “free of that shit”!

  • I am pretty sure that whole “cassette tape” portastudio thing disappeared in the late 1990s 🙂

    It’s all done on computers or packet multi-track field recorders with flash memory now.

    Not the getting stoned part. The recording part.

  • I got a new garage door, paved the driveway and had the foundation wall re-parged. X was a home remodeling contractor, and together (me supplying the $) we had remodeled our old farmhouse over 12 years. In the last couple of years during his last round of cheating (of which i knew nothing) he did hardly anything except live there for free. The garage door squealed, reopened after being closed, and generally sucked. When the repair ppl came they said X had made the door too heavy by nailing boards over the loose parts. So I got a whole new, beautiful, silent awesome door! Then I had the gravel driveway paved.

    Ex used to love the martyr trip of snowblowing the gravel dw for 2 hours while complaining how hard he worked. So last winter, my first alone, I got it paved and hired a plow guy. Awesome! Looks like a whole new house.

    My brother and his dog now live with me, as bro recently got divorced too. X was allergic to all pets. I ripped out gardens formerly planted with veggies by me and cheater, and replaced them with zinnias and other brightly colored flowers. Threw out old soggy wooden benches, and birdhouses that cheater had built. I also allowed to go wild an area he had created an elaborate series of trails on the bank near our pond. At first I thought it would be sad to see all of that go, but I’m gradually getting used to the changes and feeling that natural woods are better than the parklike OCD thing he created back there. Besides, he didnt care enough about our years of work creating this place, so why the hell should I spend time and money to maintain it? I do regret or resent that he ripped out some perennial flowers unbeknownst to me until the first Spring. I through that was cheap and petty of him.

    I’ve had many moments over the past year when being outside and seeing our beautiful property makes me cry, but those are fewer and fewer and usually I end up just scratching my head that anyone could forego all of this, this wonderful place that we worked so hard for (though 90% paid for by me, maybe that’s the answer….) for a bunch of side fucks just for ego kibbles.

    Now just awaiting my attorney to kick some ass and make the deed to the place solely mine.

  • Similar to you CL I painted. The house we had bought together was a renovation project and we had kept on putting off the decoration. I painted the hallway, landing, lounge and kitchen and bought a new sofa and chair to fir in the new room.

    I remember the first time I sat in the lounge after it was all done. It felt so good. I was pleased and happy; something I hadn’t felt in ages.

    I was told it’s an important step towards recovery is to start making the place where you are staying your own again. It really help me those first few months. Still working on the house and gardens and it gives me so much pleasure seeing it take shape.

    My blog on my experience of being cheated on can be found at the link below. I was lucky compared to what many have been through on here. There’s still a lot of pain though and reading your blog has really helped!

    http://infidelityexperience.blogspot.se/

  • It has been 3 years for me, so I have changed a LOT! Partly due to the infidelity diet, and partly due to Weight Watchers, I lost 40 lbs so I had to get a new wardrobe. And of course new hair to go along with it. Oh, and something else good came out oall that weight loss: my doctor took meoff my diabetes medication as a result, have been medication free since!

    Then because the whore I married was so kind to conduct his whoring in our home and I had pictures and videos of his ho and him in our bathroom, bedroom and living room, I proceeded to strip the house bare of furniture. New living room set. New bedroom set. Delivered ALL of the linens from the marriage to the ass wipe on Christmas day! Bought all new stuff to go along with the new bed I bought. Oh, and the shelving the idiot couldn’t get done for 6 years, I invited a friend over and we put them up. Our kids needed new beds, so I hired a guy from my church to help me purchase new bunk beds and get them in the house. I spent the next 4 days assembling them…on day four I let the whore that there was nothing left and was divorcing his fat, last behind!

    Oh, and it doesn’t stop there…totally painted over the bedrooms, living room and kitchen. Updated my living room which had all this floor to ceiling mirrored tile, removed it and put up floating shelving. I have built in alcoves in my living room that has always been white…I painted it turquoise, to match my new entryway. My Dad came over one day and was stunned, asked me if they were always there. I even moved the furniture to new positioning: NOTHING resembles what it did when he lived there. It’s like a new family moved in.

    Everyone says I look better that I have looked in years, getting rid of him was painful, but feels sooo much better now!

  • Rearranged the furniture in “my” bedroom and bought new linens. Put up new framed posters to replace his framed poster 🙂 Got rid of the “C” decorations which represented his last name, not mine. I have added a few more houseplants and outdoor plantings, all of which are thriving because I know how to take care of them! I just generally remove anything that has triggered me to thinking about him. I am still in the home that we bought together, so this is really important. Last weekend I took our collection of special wine bottles that we had saved and threw every one of them in the recycling dumpster, so they shattered as much as possible.

  • Having lost my home and all my assets while married to my cheater, I no longer have a home to go home to. My changes just had to do with my attitude, personal appearance, and enjoyment of the freedom to make my own decisions.

    Though still smarting from the betrayal, I am glad to leave behind a man who stays up until 3 a.m., sleeps until 1 p.m., talks on FaceTime with his family until 5 p.m. and then showers and goes to the bar (where he met the OW). All the while complaining about how we don’t make love.

    Sometimes I thought I would need to leave the house and call him just to get his attention since I came last to everyone else who wanted to talk to him.

    I don’t miss the hundreds of ties he bought at the Goodwill, or the dozens of shoes he bought there, most of which are way too big for him but he bought them anyway. Or, I should say, I bought them.

    I don’t miss that he smelled like an ashtray or that he sat at the table plucking the hair between his eyebrows with tweezers. I don’t miss his fascination with guns, nazis, and the masons. I won’t miss how he triangulated me with his daughters.

    Of course I’ll never thank him for it, but the thing about this experienced which changed me the most for the better is I decided I would never again consider suicide as an option to dealing with my pain.

    There is so much I want to do, but for now I am limited by funds. In the meantime I have built an eBay shop and have a ton of fun selling on there. I’m on a big learning curve about what to try to sell and how much to charge for things, but it feels as close to my own business as anything I’ve ever done before.

    • An inspiration, Moving Liquid. Even poor, my life is so much better without Mr. Selfish in it, and he was a master of Distance, like yours, and a master of Destruction with our finances. I remind myself every day to be brave and try my best. And it truly is all the little things that matter. I try to explore my new community as if I were a tourist. It’s amazing how fun life is when you throw yourself into new experiences. I love thrift shops, old wood furniture, and painting. Always looking for something made well. A lot of people here sell upcycled furniture. Old pieces they have pieced together or refurbished.

      • Thank you, Moving Liquid. Very poignant. A new attitude is the best change we can make. You are inspiring! It’s what really matters in the end, right? Thank you!

  • My ex and I had purchased virgin acres in the Sierra Foothills to build our dream home. We installed a well, septic, had electricity brought in, and in two years were able to move into the home I’d spent the last decade drawing and dreaming about. The only thing missing was love and when his affair surfaced he, like so many others, went “scorched earth” on his family. My ex landed at home but his real life was very separate from mine. I took care of our home and family but he was never much invested (I believe he had many secrets) so, of course, I spent a lot of time in the house and the yard. His activities pulled rank financially so we never landscaped. Our property was beautiful though and covered in oak, pine, and native brush and had a seasonal stream. There was one pine in particular I wanted removed as it rose above the house pad and would destroy the roof if it ever fell. I had asked my ex to cut it down but he too never got around to doing it. When I realized my ex had no intention of paying the mortgage and that foreclosure was imminent I was so angry that I took a hand saw and cut that tree down by myself. All forty foot of it! ;). My family and I packed up all our belongings (ex left only with his personal belongings, the truck, but nothing to remind him of us, ie family photos, etc), what we hadn’t given away, we placed in storage, then moved 500 miles away. My youngest began college that year and had everything she loved packed into her dorm room. My parents were generous enough to set up a small 5th wheel on their property so we lived in that for three years until we fixed up an old outbuilding. I hope to build a little house of my own one day and make new and better memories.

  • My STBX controlled the money and demanded a lot of time and attention (Until the OW gave him his kibbles). The first thing I did was buy a pair of expensive shoes. That was such a weird liberating feeling. I also bought a bike and joined an adult women’s soccer league!!! He hates soccer-makes me love it even more!

  • In 22 years of marriage, we never bought nice bedroom furniture. We used odds and ends that we both brought to the marriage. Other things came first, like the kids. So, after I asked him to leave, I had the movers take all of his CRAP, and I bought a brand new bedroom set, including a Tempur-pedic mattress! I love it!

  • My ex had insisted on building all our furniture, because it was better and cheaper and more real somehow. Whatever.
    All the furniture he made was big, heavy, ugly and impractical, and some of it caused me injuries on a regular basis. The bed frame he made out of logs had a knot that I would often gash open my head on. He got mad at me for hurting myself on it, it showed I wasn’t grateful for his hard work and creativity or some such shit.
    After he moved out, he left all the crappy furniture he made behind, because he didn’t want that shit either.
    After he left, piece by piece, I replaced all that crap he made and took an ax, a sledgehammer, and a saw and cut that stuff up and burned it all in the backyard firepit. The kids helped because they couldn’t stand that stuff either.
    My replacement furniture is Ikea. And I couldn’t be happier. I’ts lightweight, functional, simple furniture. It carries none of the burden of memories of my ex. And the most important thing about it is that I could afford it.

  • Since fucktard rolled not 1, but 2 deferred student loans into the mortgage upon the birth of 3 of 4 children in the boom in 2006, then walked away from everything in 2012, there was nothing left for us to do but let the house foreclose.

    I did get to purge, though. My oldest helped me carry the shadow-box framed wedding flowers (HUGE bouquet that tapered and then trailed ivy), cake topper, and invitation to the trash. His stupid vinyl collection. Not the vinyls that people would ooh and aah over. We are talking 5″ vinyls of 1940s country singers no one has ever heard of and other weird crap from his dead grandfather. While X accused me of being the hoarder because I organized the children’s toys into buckets, put them in the garage, and only let them get one bucket out at a time. I got to get rid of his gross collection of old used tooth brushes – cuz you never know when you will need a small brush to clean something, old computers and parts that did and didn’t work (some of which were stolen from offices he worked at), a keyboard that was broken and just sitting around because he might need the parts (really??), and just a bunch of crap!!!

    Wish I could say that we are making a new nest. But living with my parents doesn’t really allow for that. It’s going to be a long time before we will be able to get back on our feet. meanwhile, his mommy pays for him to have a new rental house.

    Trying to start over: took the GRE, applying to grad school, etc. But, went to buy an actual working computer (nothing like living with an IT person and never having a working computer) yesterday for school and ran into another nightmare. Checked the Best Buy credit card limit a couple weeks ago to prep for the purchase. Had a beautiful new laptop picked out with some extras after months of research and talking to the guy for an hour. Went to pay with card and BB had closed it 3 days ago due to inactivity. So, he screws up all our finances, I try to be disciplined and appropriate with my finances and get screwed again. Tried to open a new card, but I know it won’t be approved because of what he has done to my credit. FUCKTARD!!!!!

    • I’m sorry to hear this Home School Mama, Jedi Hugs! If they turn you down, try getting the Best Buy store card, it’s not good for your credit score but usually store cards are easier to get.

    • I feel for you Home School Mama. Our house went into foreclosure and the kids and I had to move in with my mom. I took everything out of the house and moved it into storage. Not only was it inconvenient, it was expensive too. I slowly purged things from the unit. I took great joy in smashing things. He kept asking for the china, lenox and crystal – so he could sell the stuff. Every time I came across a piece. I would drop it or smash it. Very therapeutic.

      The foreclosure screwed up our credit too. Dickhead took the one vehicle which was in both names for himself right out of the driveway in the middle of the night because he didn’t have the balls to leave me the POS that was deemed unsafe to drive.He left me no choice but to get a new car with a bad credit rating. The interest rate is sky high. I eventually filed for bankruptcy. That was over a year ago and I have paid every single bill early or on time. My score has jumped dramatically. Its great to be the only one handling the money. It sucked when I would go to balance the checkbook and there would be $400 – $500 dollars missing because he never gave me the mac receipts. He was such an idiot.

      I opened a credit line directly with a computer company last year right about this time. I was able to finance it for 6 months with no interest. Look around you might find the same with the holidays approaching. Good luck !

      • Yep! I would sit at the computer every week entering in all his receipts to the quicken account and cry and drink. It was awful! He was angry when there wasn’t money for us to date (each other) but he was the one who spent it all on himself as usual.

        Part of the reason I can’t get back on my feet is because he won’t pay what the judge ordered him to pay me. He won’t pay for any of the kids’ activities. He’d rather have is mommy pay $350 an hour to a lawyer to get out of having to pay for stuff for the kids. Fucktard!

        I loved smashing things too.

  • I am very glad to be rid of my ex’s animal figurine collection, to which his mother constantly added during her exotic global travels. Everyone who came to our place assumed the animals were mine (I’m not a girly girl at all).

    He’s only been gone two months so I haven’t had much chance to do anything domestic besides move my clothes into his half of the closet and his wardrobe. But I have plans to paint one wall in the bedroom and one in the office, and get rid of his desk and put up shelves to make a library. Have always wanted a library wall.

    He left behind a massive book and CD collection, which I intend to sell during a party to raise money for charity. Something good has to come out of this fucktard’s behaviour.

  • Another timely post CL!! I woke up today feeling it was long past due (since he’s been out of the house for 4 months) for his STUFF to follow him! Because the padlocked room with his junk in it is just a reason for him to occasionally stop by and torment my son and myself.
    But, even before he has u-hauled his belongings out of here I have already made some changes.
    No more symmetry in decor. I like collections, not line ups. And no more “the shelves in the library are for books and the shelves in the living room are for photos and knick knacks.”
    I like to stack a few books on their side with a photo sitting on top, maybe some seashells around the antique photo of my Grandmother in her bathing suit and parasol.

    I always say that when you are young your fantasies are pretty straight forward and as you get older they change. That good looking man in jeans and no shirt better be doing something such as mowing the lawn or painting!
    In my case, I look at the padlocked bedroom door and fantasy about making it my office with my small hoard of computers and those vintage typewriters I have stashed away!!

    Gee, thinking about this made me happy.

  • He left everything ‘domestic’ up to me anyway (only to complain during false reconciliation that I was too controlling and made all decisions). So most things were already in my taste. Got rid of his junk and ‘collections’ and started despousing anyway.

    Learned how to lay tiles, install a faucet and sink. Learned to work with electric wiring and power tools. Did all kind of projects that we never got to when he was committed to a long term AP, without my knowledge, in stead of putting energy into our family (house).

    It felt very instinctive, the need to change drastically – especially the bedroom – even though I couldn’t find real fault with it. And every project killed the time during those first weekends when the children were with him!

    • Hi Dutch-Chump, I am interested in learning how to lay tiles and install faucets and sinks as well. Any links you can share on how to learn how? Thanks!! 🙂

      • I used several, some Youtube, some from a local DIY store (in Dutch, sorry). I did thorough research and then… it all was so much easier than I imagined! Especially installing the sink/kabinet, since it was Ikea and came with flexible hoses (and an Ikea instruction manual, basically just keep going until all nuts and bolts are gone).

        But trust me, it is so much easier than you think. I kept telling myself: why on earth did I believe ex (and all men) came with some sort of instinct or knowledge how to do these projects? They just get started (and many never finish).

        Nowadays with the internet at your fingertips there’s not much we can’t do! (except for fitting that lamp very high up on the attick ceiling – I’m afraid of heights).

  • I changed my name. My first name. Years later, he still can’t bring himself to use it – because he prefers to speak in single syllables.

  • Ex and I actually had pretty much the same taste when it came to decorating, with a few definite exceptions. We had a beautiful home with a fantastic garden, one that I spent hours and hours planning, planting and maintaining. I left it all behind and moved to an apartment with our son, we’re still in that apartment. Ex, of course, let that beautiful house foreclose and has spent the past two years moving from place to place.

    Anyway, one thing I was so glad to leave behind was ex’s collection of ceramic, painted face masks, the kind that were so popular in the 80s. Those of you who lived through those days probably know what I’m talking about — they were generally painted white, with little decorative details like flowers or stars or whatever painted on the glossy white face. Ex had a big collection of those, he loved them. I made him hang them in his bathroom where I didn’t have to see them — they were SO tacky, so flamingly gay, so juvenile for a grown man. I sure don’t miss those.

  • I joyfully de-spoused the place and systematically made each room organized, comfy, and feminine. The long list of things he was ‘allergic’ to was welcomed back from banishment (cats, plants, down, open windows, whatever). But probably the most symbolic thing I did was the that first night after the drum and strang of his multi-day departure drama was simply change sides of the bed. Though he was not missed, it felt empty, so I made it mine. Ahhhhhh.

  • Since STBX left (and it is indeed SOON–hopefully in a few weeks my divorce will be final!) I repainted the interior of the house (and with high ceilings at 2000 sq. ft. that took a while!), painted the ceiling fans white, changed out light fixtures by myself, painted an old dresser bright yellow, put up what I wanted on the walls, all over the house, and rearranged my closet and replaced my bedding all to suit my tastes.

    I ripped out my front lawn and had a contractor put in a concrete patio to replace the old gross wooden deck, and I plan to have my front and back yards professionally done to be drought-tolerant (STBX loved grass, I have always hated it).

    Putting all my energy into making my house the way I want it has, without question, helped me stay sane during this fucked up time. I am so proud of all that I have accomplished in my home and because I will be able to keep the home after the divorce, and with a promotion on the horizon, I’ll be able to make it MY comfortable bachelorette pad!

  • OH, and I was so happy to remove all the wires, cables, video games, stupid DVDs, and useless tools from the house. Not to mention his HIDEOUS blue recliner that squeaked when he rocked back and forth constantly. SO GLAD that is gone!

  • The first thing I got rid of was the sofa he had been sleeping on. It reeked of his smell. Our basement flooded and I bought all new furniture and carpet with the insurance money. I hung new curtains, painted the bathroom, and found the perfect sign that reads “This is a house of peace”

    • One of the very first things I purchased when I moved to my apartment was a little sign that says, “Relax. You’re Home.” It is hanging over my bedroom door now, where I see it every night from my bed.

  • Hi all – new username, I have posted under Foollisa sometimes before
    What did I change? What a great post, it triggered me in commenting right away!
    Whai I did was:
    Emptied the house of all his small stupid stuff within 1 day and put it in the garage, just about 50 boxes, his face when he came home from work, wiiieeee
    Gave him the braun couches, braun table and braun dressoir which he bought through his sisters shop and replaced it with a 2 dark grey couches and a white table and white tv dressoir
    Got rid of the curtains and bougt new ones, inclusive new over curtains which he never wanted
    Got me a new out door light, makes you feel you coming home to an old London house, what he did not get or liked
    Gave him the spare bed and bought a new white one
    Got me hotel quality new bed sheets in aqua blue and flowers in pink which reminds me of summer, what he never liked and I go to sleep whit a smile now every night
    Got me more lights in the living room
    Got me the country french style cooking tools
    Got me finally a new iron and threw his away
    Got rid of the dress I wore the the ows’ wedding when she marries her husband for the second time (he is a 2 time chump)
    Threw away all dresses exh bought me which make me look like a H*
    Bought new dresses in my style
    Changed my hairstyle and I am changing it even more radically next week
    Bought some kick ass boots
    Got me a boyfriend who makes me like sex

    • Ow wow, half of my comment is gone
      Just wanted to add that I changed a lot more, including bathroom, all with the feel good in mind
      I like it so when my kids enjoy all the changes, the house is all coziness
      Got me the french cooking utensils
      Became the girl I was before I married, bad ass and happy
      And finally, got myself a tattoo today! I listened here and got myself a phoenix, rising from the ashes. It hurt like hell, but, men, it is beautifull. So, it will be with me to the day I die, and everytine I look in the mirror, it reminds me that nothing will get me under again. And whatever happens, I will manage and rise from the ashes. Today is Tuesday!

      • Oh, that is awesome! I can’t wait to get a phoenix tattooed on my hip… waiting to have extra money to spend. I already have a koi tattooed on my left ankle — koi symbolizes overcoming adversity. I have a bird on my right ankle with the words “Love Life” tattooed above it. Love my tats!

        • Txs! I look in the mirror and I cannot believe me :-). It is on the side and on the hip. No ignoring it when in a bikini haha. It is forever life changing, no returns, and get to look at it every day. Amazing “me” moment today. And the hurt, wow, tatooing over ribs and hip bones is no easy ride. But took it and birthed it. For just me, for no one else, my freaking own decision. Did not tell anybody, looked for designs for weeks, and braced for the pain and the change. I thought I wanted just this one, but I love them. Want another! And the idea of me lying old and wrinkled deceased in my casket and my grandchildren weeping over their loss….. Watch the phoenix watching 😉 . I am having a great day, a huge step closer to meh, 17 months out of dday!

  • My little house is in need of a lot of work, all those years when we took out equity to fix shit and it never got spent on the house…sigh. Anyhow, I’ve done all I can with the money I had – now I’m still stuck with a 1958 bathroom that is truly awful and a fireplace with no mantle. I also have dining chairs that need repair before normal sized people can sit in them again. Structural repairs have to done and are going to take precedence over fixing that up. BUT! The house was mine before I ever met him and it is MINE now. I thought about moving, but I live in a little piece of rural close to everything/work.

    While asshole still lived in the house (against my will): I painted my bedroom lemon yellow and put my bed next to the fireplace for cozy nights. Finally got rid of the “Brady Bunch” door between bedroom & unfinished basement that ex insisted he would take care of for years. I had a nifty pocket door installed. And I had a little archway of my own design put in the wall so the cats can get to their litter boxes. I bought a nice desk for my office and I replaced all but one light fixture in the house.

    After I got the PO, his mother/stepdad came over and we packed up every fucking thing of his I could find, half it ended up in the basement, grr. Then the basement flooded, which sucked cos my bedroom is in one half of it and had to spend dollars on anti-flood/fixing. But it was good in another way cos I called his mother and told her if someone didn’t come get all those sodden wet boxes in 3 days I was throwing it all away before it could mold. Wallah! shit was gone.

    After he finally signed the settlement, movers came so I no longer had to look at the ugly ass La-Z-Boy sofa, I forgot two ugly framed pictures and no way was I going to pay to ship them, so I threw those in the trash. I put all tools in one place, imagine that, I know where the tools are! I also sold/gave away the duplicate tools and power equipment since asshole bought new tools for every job he never actually did…I found FIVE pairs of identical pliers, a bench saw never even powered up, who does that?

    I bought a Weber grill, finally a grill that won’t rust out after 2 years, yay! I painted my living room and hall a beautiful plum color, it is NOT a girly color, it’s a color, period. I bought an Italian chaise lounge that fits nicely in my tiny living room and a nice lamp. I reno’d the kitchen, including a wood floor matching the living room (it was the first thing I wanted to do 25 years ago!).

    My poor old Firebird developed a rod knock this spring and I finally got a used corvette in Atomic Orange (that’s not a girly color either). I guess my neighbors think I’m having a mid life crisis, they’d be wrong – I just never outgrew fast cars. Saved up and put on a deck out back this spring (second thing I wanted 25 years ago!) and now the cats and I can chillax and they are safe within my fence. Down side is the builders caused my basement to flood and I had to take a loan to fix that problem, replace carpet, so other needed repairs and fixes are on hold.

    I’m kinda stuck in lazy land now. I am a minimalist but I have nothing on any of my walls and have not put out any of my nice decorative stuff. I still have two rooms to clear out of junk and a roll top desk to sell but I can’t get motivated as much as I want to be. Not to be a downer but I think it’s because I really don’t have anyone to invite over, I can just not look at the parts I don’t like (except that bathroom damn sink/vanity). I’ll get there, I have to fix those chairs to even extend a dinner invite, time to get an estimate!

  • My ex was a slob. Not a disorganized but clean slob. A sneeze without covering your mouth, Netti-pot drippage all over the sink, only showers on the weekend if he has to kind of slob. When he left, the bastard also left all of the dishes in the sink for me to scrub while contemplating how my life suddenly went down the drain.

    He only took two duffel bags when he suddenly walked out the door. That meant the rest of his shit was heaping all over the house. At first, I was afraid to touch anything. If I made any changes, that meant what was happening was real, and I could not deal with real. . . Other than getting an attorney.

    Eventually, though, I realized he was not coming back and even if he tried, I was the ruler of the marital home, and his shit had to go. His office was starting to smell like sweaty five year old, courtesy of the pile of dirty laundry he left, so I boxed that shit up and into the attic it went, along with his diploma, which I wanted to drop kick every time I walked by it. Out of the closet and wardrobe went his smelly shoes and stupid t-shirts. Into the basement went the rest of that shit.

    I moved the super big screen TV upstairs. I gave the cat his bathroom for her own personal use and stinkage. Out went his kitschy bullshit and my fine Asian antiques and impressive library.

    I did not keep the house. I did not want the underwater mortgage, maintenance, and memories.

    But for a year, I had my own home. It was mine.

  • Yes, also PS. as several have mentioned: I took all the jewelry from Ex to an auction house and sold it. Yes! Made a tidy profit (although the retail markup on jewelry is incredible, but I digress…).

    I first gave my daughter the pick of the litter.

    And, of course once again most of the good stuff had come from my family, so I kept that…. I’m sensing a pattern here…

    I just need to get some sage bundles and smudge…although Ex never lived here, some things still have cooties.

  • The first thing the kids and I did after he finally was court-ordered to leave the house (took only 2 1/2 months, thank God!) was to remove all of the deer heads and horns from the walls and pack all of the things he left behind into garbage bags and plastic tubs. This past weekend, we hauled it all up to the barn so we don’t have to look at it anymore (divorce may not be over anytime soon). I moved back into the master bedroom and redecorated with new furniture, mattress, bedding, curtains. It’s so pretty now, I love it!

  • There are moments when I truly miss my XH the drinker (not a cheater). Then I think about what it was like to hold back the chaos and the mess because he would leave the tools and materials needed for some household job out–forever. The job was important enough to imagine doing in the future but never important enough to do now. So the house always had stuff piled here and there and that drove me crazy. He was also a big magazine reader and could never through out a magazine with handyman projects, guns or consumer ratings. When he moved out, it took me a week of 8 hour days to clean out his basement workshop. I found irreplaceable family artifacts, photos and important documents (e.g., birth certificates, social security cards) relevant to him and his side of the family on the floor, mixed with receipts and general rubble. The yard? I am still cleaning that up. He would never hire a pro painter and thus the paint on the house would bubble and peel. He was another one who liked dark walls. So I painted the walls a nice antique white, decluttered massively, had the hardwood floors refinished, had the outside painted, bought antique wicker for the porch (he hated that).

    The Jackass and I co-habitated for under a year and I heard all about how he hand washed the dishes, kept thing orderly, did the cleaning and the laundry, etc. He shrunk my favorite pants (I recovered them using the hair conditioner soaking method). When I surprised him at his childhood home (where he lived alone, his parents having moved), he was living in utter chaos. My friend and I dropped off the last off his junk 8 months later and the place still looked bad. So clearly I dodged a bullet there. My XH’s relational problems all relate to drinking, and while I found them abusive, at least I knew that somewhere in there was a real person who had given himself over to drugs and alcohol. The Jackass? A hologram of a hyena.

    • Closet, commissioned an artist to do a huge painting of a mother and child (funky and fun) and aired out the house to get rid of the cheater energy.

      Sorry I submitted a tad too soon.

  • This is a fun thing to think about and celebrate, especially since I’m just in the middle of spackling a ceiling patch and it’s not going too well (turns out I’m a better surgeon than a spackler, who knew?):

    It almost made me giddy to finally change all the stuff that bugged me. New shower curtain was the first thing. Then the light bulbs — As I get older, the dim light is just a nuisance. When I flip a switch, I was LIGHT not some dim shimmer the strength of a couple of tea light candles! And dog beds everywhere! I confess it’s a little ridiculous, but if I have furniture in every room, why shouldn’t they? God knows they’ve made (and kept) me happier than he ever did?

    Rearranged the bedroom — weird at first, now so glad I did. Cut down a couple of the dying trees in the yard. Restocked the firewood and got rid of all the logs he SAID he was going to split “someday” (not a lot of hours left in the day when you’re sticking it to a 25 year old, I guess).

    But right now I’m getting ready for a big change — a move out of state. Not sure where exactly, or when exactly, but I’m prepping the house and getting finances in order. I’m considering moving abroad to New Zealand, or maybe the south of France, which I do love. Less exotic is Oregon/Washington, but I think I’ve finished my bucket list in Alaska, and that was something XH would never say. He can stay here in all this darkness. I’m moving toward the light.

    Nice post, CL — A boost to see how folks are moving on!

  • I didn’t so much change things as left things, because I was the one to move out first. I couldn’t stand to live in the crazy one more day! I left the beautiful carved antique tables he gave me after I recovered from cancer treatments. I left closets full of crap that needed to be sorted through. I left the stupid Christmas pillows that OW picked out for me on one of their shopping trips. I left our bed and took my son’s bed, which I’d used as a child. I left all the gardening tools which was dumb because I didn’t realize I would still live in a place that had a yard, I thought I’d probably end up in a townhouse.

    Many sentimental things from our marriage I gave to the kids. For instance, I had a plant I’d kept alive the whole time we were married (31 years). I told them I didn’t want to take care of it any more, so divided it for them. I also passed on our wedding dishes and crystal. In some ways it felt freeing to let go of all that stuff.

    There are several things I lost in the two moves that year, my camera is the thing I miss most. It might turn up some day when I’m reorganizing a closet but I’m not holding my breath. I’ve been contemplating selling my rings to get a new one but can’t let go of them yet. I took all the photo albums I’d painstakingly kept up with all those years and I haven’t looked at them since. I hope I’m able to look at them some day.

    My ex always insisted on driving. After we separated I took a 14 hour roadtrip by myself to visit a cousin. Not very exciting, but I felt proud of myself for making the trip and navigating the map. Also took a trip to NYC with a friend to see a Broadway play. I’d really hoped to travel more, but so far it hasn’t worked out that way. Either I need to save more or get a part time job in order to afford it. I’d love to see Italy some day and have been scouting for a friend to go with me.

    It was fun to pick out a small house and rip up all the carpets to find beautiful hardwood underneath. I’ve been slowly redecorating it but am not rushing since I don’t have many visitors. Hope to do one thing a year until it’s just like I want it.

  • Throughout our marriage stbx always got to drive the nice car or truck. Usually a very nice one. I got to drive a piece of crap or economy car when we had the cash. But it would get run into the ground and not repaired cause he didn’t have to drive it.

    One of the first things i did – as broke ass as I am – is buy a decent car. I depend on it to get me to two jobs, travel with my kids and keep us safe on the big Canadian highways in the dead of winter.

    I am very proud of this car. It goes to the dealer for oil changes. I gave up TV and a few other luxuries to own it – but it is worth it to me 🙂

    • He always had a nice new leased car that he kept spic and span and would barely allow the kids in. I was stuck driving the trashed minivan and carting the kids everywhere. He would never take it to get cleaned or help clean it would just complain about what a mess it was and remind me constantly that I should really take the time to get it cleaned. It really irked me that he never thought to take mine to get cleaned.

  • I bought a new mattress and new sheets and rearranged my bedroom furniture.. Changed the locks on the doors and decorated the porch with bags of her clothes and stuff…

  • Oh, goodness- what HAVEN’T we done do wash the cheater stink off this place?

    We fixed major plumbing leaks without hiring anyone. Rebuilt the subfloor in 3 rooms. Made stepdaughter’s old room back into adult son’s room. Made empty den into a badass bargain homework center/home office.
    The house is mine, mine mine. I pay a small HOA fee. That’s all. he now pays almost a grand a month for a shitty 2 BR apt. I hear it’s a terrible struggle for him. Heeeeeeeee…..

    We eat super healthy now, meatless at least 1 of 3 meals. Ex would have had a shit fit. I have lost 50 pounds and 3 dress sizes. We spend half what we used on food from that bacon inhaling monolith. We have a full gym membership, and we use it,

    Cheater left all his Kitchen and Christmas stuff, made noises that he thought he was a real swell guy to do so. Well, fuck that noise. I had asked for a red microwave in the past, He had balked. So I bought red EVERYTHING after he left. I have donated all his crap to Goodwill. I will do the same when I get out the Christmas Stuff.

    And last but not least I got a huge bonus this pay period!I used it to pay off every bill in sight, put some away for emergencies, and then I booked a cruise to Jamaica and Grand Cayman Cozumel for just me and my two kids. The worries I was having financially adjusting back to one income? Much alleviated.

    Cheater might have a Schmoopie, but she’s a poor skanky Schmoopie. I have peace, integrity, health, security and abundance. I win.

  • I got rid of his horrific mug collection and various other crap that littered my home. He actually requested that I send him back designer boots that I bought him that he refused to wear when we were together – I didn’t when I realised he probably intended to sell them, along with ipod and leather jacket he never wore either. They all went to charity.
    Then I tiled my landing a funky chequerboard, bought new furnishings with relish since he always got upset with me if I purchased something for the home without his consent. I’ve been travelling to Germany, Spain and soon Sri Lanka where I’m going to learn how to surf – he never had any money to travel becasue of compulsive gambling induced debts. Spending lots of time with my family & friends which he didn’t like either. I also gave him most of our books, music& DVD collection, subscribed to Spotify & Netflix & bought a Kindle. I do not have to watch crap reality TV shows anymore and love catching up on old movies. I created what my therapist calls a “positivity wall” in my den that reflects my own happy memories of gigs I went to, holidays I went on and (original!) paintings from my Dad. I indulge my inner geek by going to regular quiz night and have made several new friends in the process. I also gained back my confidence and actually started liking myself again. Practice mindfulness meditation, which he would have scoffed at, but has really helped me calm my mind and get over this situation. Still thinking of cutting my hair…
    I didn’t realise that I changed so much of my life in such a short time. Wow. The start to the year was bloody awful but I’m kicking ass at the end. Bring on 2015 and a cheater free life!

  • I despoused in reverse. I left behind the home I’d renovated over the course of 12 years, packed up what was mine and a couple of choice pieces of furniture and art, and bought a little fixer in another city. Before I handed over the keys, I removed all evidence that I’d ever been there. Every photograph that included me. Every greeting card. Every comforter I’d sewed and every curtain I’d hung. Every rosebush I’d planted. The whole shebang. My replacement wasn’t going to enjoy the benefit of all my efforts. She wasn’t going to eat my food off my plates. The place looked stark and unwelcoming. It was a house, but not a home. I was doing both of us a favor. The new place was mine alone. I painted, put in hardwood floors, tiled the courtyard and patio in saltillo. Bought a new bed. Loved that place and the peace it brought to me. I now live in a different house, bought by me and my new husband after we each sold our own places. It’s got a bit of us both, but the furniture is mine and the former owners’ and he’s fine with that. When we married, we sold both of our old wedding rings to help pay for the wedding. They didn’t fetch much, but it was a fine gesture.

  • I got a new sumptuous mattress. My old one had went through two husbands so that was enough bad juju to fill a stadium.
    I had the inside of my house painted the colors I wanted.
    The Best was to get rid of all the NASCAR shit in the guest room. It’s at her house now. Ha! It’s my workout room now with MY stuff in it.

  • I moved out, left behind all of the crap I didn’t want, took only the things that were meaningful to me, and filled in the gaps with hand-me-downs from family and a few new purchases. The only thing of his that I took was one of the couches from his side of the family, which is now in very bad shape and is basically being held together by the cover I put over it. When my kids get a little bit older, that’s going too! I also decorated my bedroom in light, relaxing colors. Everything with the ex was always too dark– dark bedding, dark furniture. I guess he was trying to show me a glimpse of his soul! 🙂

      • Funny – first thing my stbx did is paint our light yellow bedroom grey and dark grey with grey and black accents ….and more grey stuff.
        WTF ?!?!!
        And one of those New York black and white pictures over the bed.
        It’s like a cave.

  • Mine was not consumer defiance, but consumption defiance. He imposed a strict dietary regimen; no potatoes, no casseroles, it went on and on. It was ok to drink barrels of wine, though.

    Now I can eat whatever I want.

    • Mine was a vegeterian. I did not cook meat for 16 years and if we were at a restaurant, I was told that it would be better if I didn’t order what I wanted, but to share two of what he wanted. Not anymore.

      • Yay for you! I hate it when someone doesn’t order what they really want so as to appear more frugal or healthier then asks for bites of mine.

        • The whole idea was to keep me from eating what I liked and could not cook at home, where meat was forbidden (by him). Years later now, I will cook a good vegetarian thing as a side, but can eat what I like as well. I also heard things like about how another choice would cost a dollar less. It was all about not letting me have a single thing I wanted, even if it was just an enchilada.

          • What a controlling freak. I would’ve kept a wad of single dollars in my purse and handed him one every time he said it.

          • There’s no cheater like a cheap-ass cheater, either. SOOOOOO hot. Like my ex. Really got me all excited for him when he gave me dirty looks if I wanted something I didn’t “need.” Like a box of tea from the grocery store. Or Starbucks on a road trip. With money I earned, as we blew THOUSANDS of dollars a month and countless hours on HIS dream.
            Ugh.
            Good riddance.

            • Hah. So true. A few years back, my current husband and I were at a nice little restaurant in Cambria and at the next table over was a poser and the poor woman he’d apparently invited for the weekend, who looked like she was ready to go home already. He argued about what she wanted to order, and she held firm. When the check came, that awesome look in every mirror to admire his hair guy decided that splitting the bill would be unfair because her dinner cost (drumroll) $1 more than his. To her credit, she walked out without paying and hailed a cab. Way to go, asshat.

  • I bought a new bed – I told him he could take the old one(plus all bedding) with him when I asked him to leave, so he could continue f***** slut-pants in it. Totally redecorated the bedroom in a night, light, feminine style. Got rid of all the brown and dark beige all over the house including a $h!£-brown leather suite that he thought was wonderful. It lifted the energy in the house no end! I made a vow that I would never, ever, ever, have anything brown in my home ever again – and I haven’t !!

  • During my marriage I started to let things around the house go. I thought it was being overwhelmed with 2 small children, but now I think I was depressed due to my marriage. I literally have 3 glasses in my house. All of them have broken and I haven’t even gone to bed bath and beyond to replace them. I never have company because I feel embrassed. I recently spotted some beautiful turquoise glasses made by a local artist that I have been eyeing. I would like to get them along with some matching mugs to replace the heart mug I got as a last minute valentines gift one year. I want my home to reflect the true me.

    • I know this feeling TimeToGo, little steps toward getting stuff done, write it down. Don’t try to do it all at once. You will get there, I’m still not where I invite people over yet myself. Jedi Hugs.

  • Dining room. Man did i hate that wallpaper…she had too much shit piled everywhere to change anything. Took me a year of repairing plaster, ceiling, and sanding, priming, new electrical, but so worth it.

  • Have you ever gone to Google Earth to look at your house. I do. They have this history thing at the bottom of the screen, you can see your house from street view from years back. I love to go there. There is an image of our house looking like the Klampets live there while he was living there and now there is a recent one…

    Looks lovely, thank you very much. His apartment looks just like our house used to look… a layer of grime over everything, the gardens are a mess. I hauled in 10 yards of decomposed granite to make new patios. I have wonderful wood working friends who made me gates and fixed my termite rotted grape arbor. I, me, myself and I, made a wonderful hanging bed that hangs beneath my big shad tree. I have chicken wire on my arbor where the grapes are not, and it is filled with colorful wine bottles from parties, making it like a stain glass. Next a cob bread oven… and a huge party for my daughters high school graduations. FU! FU! FU…

    Sista is doing it for herself. standing on her own two feet and ringing on her own bell. Thank you Aretha and Annie Lennox as well as Chumplady.

  • Once I got her out of the house I went and bought a flat screen tv and put it on the dresser in the bedroom because the only damn thing allowed on that dresser was her jewelry box.

  • Is it just me? Or has anyone else noticed the prevalence of “because he wouldn’t let me”…”he got angry at me” and so on and so forth. This was true for me as well so I’m not judging but what the hell? Were our exes controlling our what?? Why did we chumps put up with that?

    • HM, there’s a really interesting post from sometime last Spring that was something like, “What did you give up when you married your cheater.” And it was fascinating how many of us really gave up ourselves. I’ve tried to find the article again, but never been able to.

  • I painted a feature wall in the the formal lounge a red colour, and changed the cushions on the lounge. Sold that house and bought my own. Got rid of all the bedroom furniture, bought my own bedroom furniture, tossed anything of his, Went through the bookshelf which contained mostly his old books, gave them all away, put all my stuff there. Tossed all the linen and got nice big fluffy towels and new sheets. In the process of getting new furniture for the lounge at the moment, rustic furniture. I had to fight to get any nice furniture living with the idiot, now love saving up for it and getting it. Slowly replacing it all. Got two horses.

  • Either gave away or burned all wedding phots and photos of her. Lie to me for 16 years it wasnt a real marriage. I dont care what anyone says.

    • Scott, I totally understand your position but it would still be very painful for you. I hope you have found a lovely lady who is worthy of you?

      • Been dating a good one yes, since its two years post dday and 14 months since my divorce, im close to meh, but having older kids makes it tough to get there completely…that said, dating women my age is a joy…many had been burned and are fellow chumps, and having decent thoughtful conversations is such a change for me i hardly know how to act…

        • Good for you Scott. You sound like a decent man. My ex husband is 62 and is obsessed with 18 year Asian prostitutes and he frequents Cambodia a lot. These girls can’t even say his name in English. He never was much of a talker, so that sorts out that issue! My 2 kids are 35 and 32 respectively and no longer speak with me, so whilst meh is just around the corner, I think not having contact with my kids is the final piece of the puzzle. Maybe one day they will remember what a good Mum I was and still am. Say a prayer for me won’t you.
          PS – I love having good conversation with gents my own age which is nearly 63 but I know I will live out my life on my own now. Too much damage has been done.

  • I was one of the lucky ones, my ex took ALL his shit with him.
    I’ve moved to a new place, took all the stuff I loved and dumped the rest. Apart from the original wedding photos, I have nothing that reminds me of him.
    My new home is not perfect, it’s covered in the sticky fingerprints of the grandchildren that he doesn’t see. It’s full of mismatched furniture and muddy wellies where I help my daughter with her horses. It’s where my granddaughter stays 2 days a week, where she learned to walk and play in her sandpit.
    I love my home where my friends and family are welcome, where I feel safe. I have chickens and guinea pigs and I store my brother-in laws tools in my garage… because I can.

  • I have tears in my eyes from all the entries where chumps were diminished and their innocent choices in life curtailed by narcissistic cheaters.

    Let’s teach our children NOT to tolerate such nonsense. Compromise in a marriage is one thing; subjugation is quite another.

    • Tempest, I totally agree. I have made it my mission to talk to my son as often as he cares to listen about red flags, co-dependency, mindfulness, self-worth, self-respect, self-love and anything and everything I can possibly think of to help him avoid the horrendous pain I had to go through. Thank goodness he writes for a living so he is almost always interested.

  • I kept the house in the divorce. It was purchased from her enabling parents. (They had the OM over for the holidays as her date while she was still technically married to me.)

    Anyway, I kept the house. So once the divorce was final and everything in the house was legally mine, I arranged for a roll off dumpster and filled it with crap that belonged to her and her family.

    Best $300 and many hours of my time spent.

    • My husband, who left me destitute, has just taken his lovely young OW to London, UK, from Oregon, USA, to meet the family and my stepdaughters. We haven’t even started the divorce yet. And where’d he get the money? Even though I know we’re more than over, it still hurts to know how easily I was replaced. Screw enabling inlaws.

      • Yep! Screw them! I don’t speak to my xMIL unless she manages to corner me, and then I play dumb and smile and say something sweet and brief and skip away. I was good to her, to my ex, to her grandkids. She hated when I bragged about HER grandkids. My mom LOVES it!!
        The xMIL enabled xH to move out into an awesome apartment–set him up with furniture, etc. I am certain that when she comes to town she stays at the Coward and Twat Troll’s house. Well, actually, it’s quite a drive up to his new place, so I laugh. She canceled my Costco membership without telling me, letting me find out when I was in line to pay. Never once asked if I was ok, and counseled the coward through the divorce. I was a good DIL–no more. And I do not miss her defensiveness nor her cigarettes nor her slurred-speech phone calls, worried about some thing or another that I’d help her with. Adieu. She might miss when I clean up her whole kitchen after a holiday meal, because her kids sure as hell don’t care to lift a finger.
        Ulck!

        • ML,

          You were not replaced, there is just some new girl filling a void in the cheater’s life. You know how they hate to be alone. I am in the same situation. Not even in mediation yet, separated six months and STBXH is in Hawaii with new girlfriend. There are many days when it hurts like hell, but there are more days that I realize I still have my soul…

        • Probably a good idea I’ve not had to deal with enabling in-laws – because if I had to, I probably wouldn’t. If they even so far as looked in my direction I’d be like ‘Back the fuck off. Your worthless swine of a son did the wrong thing by me, so why on earth would I want to even fart in your general direction ever again?’

  • I lost my house when he left me for pornarella, thanks to the way he ran a business into the ground a few years before, all while secretly setting me up to take the fall should he decide to split. But it never really was my house. It was in the neighborhood he grew up in, decorated pretty much how he wanted (he didn’t have bad taste but everyone who came over said “your house is so… masculine”). I loved our life there, but always felt it was his life, I was just making a cameo. He said to me on the way out “the only time our relationship was good was when we bought the house and we got this big place before any of our friends got theirs.” His identity and self worth were all tied to that big, old house, and his motorcycle. He definitely loves those two things more than he ever loved me. Good riddance to all of it.

    And I’m sure he’s already purged the place of anything personal – wether or not it was related to us. He never even liked family pictures to be displayed because then the house didn’t look like a model home. The place was always tidy but not even close to model home and not because there was a picture of my late grandma and I on the wall. And he was all about the framed poster. I took all my photo artwork and family pictures and left him the “model home” crap.

    I went to pick something up on the front porch about a week after I left this summer and the whole front yard was different – in one week! I worked so hard on that yard so that was very sad. He always complained it never looked good and he’s so tired from all the yard work and he’s the only one that does any work around the house (boohoo – all not true, btw). So I suggested getting a gardener to help out with some things but alas – he bankrupted us so no money for that! I’m sure mommy warbucks paid for the army of gardeners that transformed the place in a week.

    Whatevs. I won’t be able to afford something new for a few years – thanks to the fucking cheater – but in the meantime, I found an amazing place to rent. Every night I can watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean and this morning I got up early enough to catch a spectacular moonset! Those moments make me feel so alive. So much more so than living in the wannabe model home. That place is more suited for superficial, fake fakers like the cheater and his plastic OW.

    Things will get better in my new life. Fucking cheater is saddled with the same old house in the same old neighborhood with the same old girlfriend he had in his 20s (and probably never broke up with, now that I think about it). And the sky’s the limit for KitKat!!

    • It sounds like he doesn’t even love his friends–he competes with them. Yay, he beat them at getting a THING!
      You’ll be so much better off. I think you’re going to love loving your space with lovely things that are not staged for their ability to be fake and create envy. You’re going to love the perfect imperfections of your HOME instead of living on a set that is a house.

  • Greetings all,
    My first post. I am still angry as fuck. Its been 2 months since the divorce… And almost two years since DDay. I am no where near ‘ meh’ and in all honesty dont know if I will ever get to mecca.
    I remember the white hot pain rip through my chest and sound of the flip of my sanity switch … Snap!
    In my blind fury I ripped the bed from its frame… linen… pillows and all…and hucked it out on the front lawn. I cut up my wedding dress … Dumped every picture, valentine and momento in the backyard firepit…. Pooof !! Up it all went in a giant fire ball while I screamed! That horrible screaming like something is dying…
    He stood speechless….. and I said “get -the -fuck -outa -MY -house … ..cause as u can see I finally took out the trash! “

    • Damn straight Clip. I bet that was incredibly satisfying being able to rip it up and light it on fire! If that works for you then by all means keep ripping it up and throwing it in the fire pit (make sure no aerosol cans or firecrackers get mixed up in there somehow 😉 Welcome.

  • My cheater ex would never buy or chip in to buy the basic necessities of life (toilet paper, dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent, sponges, etc.) including bed linens. The first thing I did as I began packing up my belongings (he owned the house) was wash, fold and pack all the linens, 98% of which belonged to me. He didn’t have sheets for his bed when he came home that night.

    He also had a big knife/sword collection that he hung up on many of the living room walls (I had to fight to hang up artwork). Since moving out, I’ve made my space a cozy, warm, colorful inviting space with nary a knife or sword on the wall. I’m so glad I don’t have to live with that stupid collection anymore.

  • Divorce isn’t final, and I’m still cohabitating with STBX. What to do in a cheater-free zone is a big fantasy. 🙂

    STBX will keep this house. I’ll take my bit of the equity and buy a smaller house on more land a bit farther out. I plan to do the following:

    1. Buy a share in one of the local CSAs (Consumer Supported Agriculture–think local growers). I have a wide range of food tastes, and I’ve been told a share should be sufficient.
    2. Investigate meat CSAs.
    3. Buy a freezer for the food I’ll cook.
    4. Fill the house with the smell of good food cooking!

    STBX hates the smell of pretty much anything cooking. He comes in the kitchen, throws open the window, grabs the air freshener, and sprays everywhere–all the while complaining that the house stinks, something’s burning, etc.

    Nope. That smell? It’s called “cooking.” And I’m damn good at it.

    • kb I just started a CSA and I love it! It’s really broadening my cooking horizons. I’m thinking about doing a meat CSA also.

    • Wow, what a drama queen your stbx is! It must be so awesome when he sprays toxic crap into the air to cover the smell of real food.

      What a jerk.

      These cheaters are jerks in SO many ways. All the cheating did was to force us to remove our filters so we could see ALL the bullshit for what it is.

      CL, can you take away my spam filter? I lost an entry I tried to post this morning because I got the captcha wrong. :/

  • oh my gosh, I have to come out of the weeds for this post! Chumplady! Thank you!
    I have lived in this old farmhouse of ours for 34 years, and it was NEVER FINISHED. Everything was ‘temporary’ And when I mean unfinished I am talking about exposed insulation on the ‘walls’ which of course, means no walls, right? Here’s the best part – the ex is a carpenter!!! Just goes to show you how little he valued the home his family was living in, and his complete lack of caring for my feelings, etc. It’s warm, there is running water, and for so long, I trained myself to be grateful for that. So many people don’t have that, and I am being genuine.
    But. The divorce was final in late December, and I spent that winter painting the kitchen. Old farmhouse kitchen cupboards. Inside and out. Stripping the hardware. Caulking the cracks. Nail holes in the ceiling. Three coats on the ceiling! And with the help of Pandora and vodka ….it was the best therapy any money could buy.
    Now I am obsessed with finishing the house. I am living below the poverty line, but I have done it myself, bartered rent for plastering, gotten my kids and their friends to help, and so dammit, we are finishing this fucking house. Before I fucking die. He controlled us with his cheapness, the subliminal ‘we don’t deserve to live in a nice place’ his laziness…he got kibbles from clients of how wonderful he was, but here at home, we knew the truth, so why should he extend himself? for what? He’s a narc, and he knew we knew it, so ‘just be grateful it’s warm in here’
    My home is the kind of home where people gather. Drop by, cook, drink, play music, laugh, cuddle, watch movies, have campfires, sit on the porch for hours over food and drink…it’s full of love, and now that creepy guy is gone, we are finally free to dance, love, and laugh even more. And even though everyone says I love your house just the way it is, because it’s fun and happy and cozy…for ME? I want painted walls. I want my mom’s stuff to pop. I have original amazing art from my stepson that deserves a great wall. Cozy couches and quilts and twinkle lights and candles…. take THAT, asshole. The kids and I? We are pushing on. Free from YOU, in the family home, being a FAMILY. Something you know nothing about.
    Damn. 🙂

  • He was so proud of his muscles but couldn’t get an old tree stump out of the front garden. I managed to dig it up by myself. Installed new border and tons of annuals. I wanted color everywhere. A couple of neighbors stopped by to tell me how pretty the flowers were. Made my day.

    The mattress is new so couldn’t afford to replace it but did get new sheets and comforter.

    He told me when the cat died he didn’t want me to get another. So I got two!

  • I have ripped up the living room carpet. Polished boards underneath, they need work, but heaps better than the stinky carpet. With help, moved the fence surrounding the dog yard, it was installed by R. Sole, and blocked access to the gas meter, the poor meter man had to bush bash through the shrubs every time he had to check the meter. Once again, much better. I painted the badly weathered letterbox and stuck a nice new number on it. Took the lawn mower to the repair shop and got it fixed. Mulched the front yard and part of the backyard . Rearranged the living room. I have my lovely white antique quilt on my bed. R. Sole was always covered in dirt n grease so I could not have Anything white any where near him.
    Although he was a mechanic, my car was a bomb, it died not long after he ran off with vinegar tits. I bought a new car, well new to me anyway, I love it and I am so proud of myself. Myonfidence is increasing daily and life is much more peaceful, he used to be so fecking miserable all the time.

    Speaking about food, the local chain hardware store has a sausage sizzle out the front on weekends raising money for charities. I don’t eat much meat, but if we ever went there I usually fancied a nice sausage in bread with sauce n fried onions. Cheap and cheerful, helps a charity.
    No, I was never allowed to. The reasons were many, varied and always invented.
    I went to the hardware store the other day, parked the car, saw and smelled the sausage sizzle, felt disappointed, oh I won’t be able to have one. Then I realised, I am free, I can have one if I want! I happily joined the queue and thoroughly enjoyed that sausage. So much control he exerted over me, and so mean and miserable. I am still discovering myself and exploring life without the oppression. Thanks for your support everyone here and especially chump lady.

  • On the Other Side, the air is fresher. The grass is greener. The sleep is more refreshing. Little joys amaze us. Getting there can be a beast, but all senses are eventually back in action and life has more colors, smells, tastes and sounds. It has more texture and interest. More possibilities. And no one to tell us what we cannot have or wish for. So those of you who are not yet free, remember to run toward the light. And those who are, please grab the arm of the one who is standing in the shadow within a foot of the light but cannot yet see it. Even in the light, it takes time to shake off the darkness and find that you shine in the light. Never look back, but make your life your own.

  • Oh Survivor…I so agree. It is so much easier to not have to drag their dead weight through life. Once we are free everything is just that much sweeter. It’s like shrugging out of a way too tight girdle we didn’t even realize we were being smooshed by.
    My journey to my own little place has been a convoluted one, but I’m here in my own home, with everything just the way I want it and I’m happy. I got the family home when he (ex shithead) went down to city hall and signed a quit claim deed on it not realizing that he would be entitled to half the equity if I got the house. I’m sure he thought I could not afford the mortgage and would lose it. I just got a second part time job and did fine. (Would have loved to be a fly on the wall when he realized he screwed himself out of thousands.) Couldn’t afford to change much though. Then all the crap went down with the ex shit head killing our youngest son and himself, and I wasn’t present enough to do much of anything for a while. A couple of years later shithead’d family arranged to burn my house down. I lost everything. Friends pressured me to take the money and run. Well fuck that noise….I rebuilt right there. I got to design the house myself. I got exactly what I wanted design wise. I made it break-in proof and lived there for ten years before I sold it for a tidy profit. That enabled me to put together my place I have now and where I live debt free. When I can no longer manage this place I have a tiny house designed to move to. I have the design done and am starting work on the construction drawings.
    As with most things in life, the challenges and blessings seem to come holding hands. It’s not so much what happens to us that matters…..but what we do with it. Do we spend the rest of our lives wrapped in our tragedy, clutching it to our bosoms and damning fate? Or do we grieve as long as we need to, lick our wounds? Or do we rise up and get out there and LIVE. Really live. Live our lives with verve, enthusiasm,and enjoyment putting our own wonderful unique stamp on our passage. We get to choose ….choose a lifetime of misery, or a lifetime of love, growth and blessings.
    We already know which senario our cheating jerkoffs would choose for us………fuck them!….Choose growth!

    • God bless you Tessie, seriously, you rock. You are a strong and awesome momma. I was just sitting here feeling sorry for myself because ex is engaged and looks happy with his schmoopie. Fuck that noise. I love your insight that ” the challenges and blessings seem to come holding hands.” Thank you.

      • I hear you KellyOne, mine is looking to marry his schmoopie just as soon as our divorce is final. And he just moved into a new house. These are just distractions to what is really important – the love of family and friends, both of which he doesn’t value and therefore has lost through the years. When the gloss has faded with these he will just be on to the next, and the next and the next…. I think its horrible when a parent loses the respect of their children, what a failure in life….

  • When he left (for good, the second time) he came to the house when no one was here so he wouldn’t have to face me or his children. He loaded up the 2 huge backpacks we received as wedding presents (from my folks, natch) and split. A few weeks later, I just started cleaning and rearranging, realizing, “Hey, so much of this is shit I don’t care about!” I went to the liquor store and got dozens of free empty boxes and loaded them up with all the shit I didn’t want. If it had been mine before the marriage, still mine. Ours? I kept it if I wanted it. Everything else got loaded up and I called to tell him I was bring his stuff. He was living in a one-room studio with his Skankerbell and he asked, “Will I have room for it?” I replied, “I don’t know!” I packed and moved every box by myself – nothing ever felt so good as cleaning up his final mess… 🙂

  • I had a HUGE Bon fire. Invited all my friends and we drank vodka and took turns throwing his shit in the fire. When we were in front of the Judge for the divorce he said “it took me 15 years to get a big deer and have it mounted and she got rid of it.” I just laughed and told the judge it may have taken him 15 years to shoot a buck but that sucker went up in flames in seconds. The judge cracked up and you should of seen the look on my ex’s face, PRICELESS! I still laugh about it and that was 4 years ago.

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