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Chump Encouragement from the Other Side

MEHHi folks, just home from epic holiday travel. Airport delays, sullen teenagers, those horrible people in coach who recline their seat all the way into your lap… (can’t they feel my misery and judgment radiating into the backs of their heads?)

But on a happier note, I did get this nice email from a fellow chump, Jay, with some great advice for the new year. Thanks for the day off, Jay! — Tracy

Dear Chump Lady,

Christmas marked the one year anniversary of me finding out about my wife’s affair with a neighbor and friend. I wrote to you in May (http://www.chumplady.com/2014/04/dear-chump-lady-do-i-have-to-tolerate-the-om-around-my-kids/) asking for advice as I was concerned about my STBX bringing this slob to family events (birthday parties, etc.), which she vowed to do (but then didn’t.) Your advice was awesome: “She gets a reduced standard of living, single motherhood, and an unemployed boyfriend! Oh THAT’s going to turn out well…” and helped a lot.

I just wanted to share some lessons I learned over the past year.

  • Actions tell the tale: We tried counseling for a month or so but she wasn’t interested so I told her we needed to move towards divorce and someone needed to move out of the house. She moved out (leaving me the sweet old Victorian house) and our divorce is almost complete. Was it easy and painless? Hell no but it was necessary and 5 million times better than limbo.
    · Revenge!: There really isn’t much revenge, not like you imagine it at least. The best revenge is moving on, acting indifferent (even when it kills), and keeping things business-like. One caveat: I did spend the first month after D-Day group texting her and her boyfriend with the cruelest messages possible. Was it childish? Yes. Did it feel good at times? Also, yes. And when I stopped, it felt even better.
    · Karma: Sometimes it kicks in; sometimes it doesn’t. My ex moved out of the house and into a duplex with her mom on the other side. When her mom got into a loud argument with my ex’s boyfriend, she banned the unemployed bum from her house. This meant my ex had to move again and now, much of her family barely talks to her. Once the kids found out what really happened, they totally turned their back on this guy who they used to like. Despite his ongoing efforts, they are still very cold towards him.
  • Try to be productive: I was so out of my mind that I started walking 4 miles every morning. And then sometimes the same thing at night. It didn’t make the pain go away but at least I was doing something useful. By the time I met someone new, I was 20 lbs. lighter and physically felt better than I had in years.
  • Move on: Holy spit! Here’s a chance to move on and meet someone worthy of your love. I met a lovely woman who was also a chump. It’s been 10 months now and it is incredible to be with someone who is appreciative and thoughtful. The best was when my ex found out and then told me I shouldn’t talk about how I tried to save the marriage through counseling “when you so readily found someone to replace me.” Dummy.
  • Focus on the kids: Resist the temptation to badmouth, even though it’s tough. For instance, when my 11-year old refers to my ex’s boyfriend as “Fat Boy,” I don’t tell him it’s inappropriate. I just chuckle.

Yesterday, on Christmas, I got the greatest gift ever. It was a small box and inside, there were 20 notes from my sons, telling me how much they love me and what a great Dad I am. Bingo!

Thanks, Chump Lady, for the advice and to everyone going through this, believe in yourself and move on as quickly as you can! Happy New Year!

Jay

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  • Jay-
    Good to hear a success story in the making on the other side. December marked my 1 year anniversary of D-day as well. I’m not as far along as you are, but better than before. I hope 2015 brings new beginnings for all of us in Chump Nation.

    • Don´t hope…KNOW. 2015 WILL be an awesome year that will propel us into the best we have ever been. We have to get out of the mind process of being a chump. Cheater-free lives are the best, even if to ruminate on why this all happened to us and how we have to move on. I know I can say this now, a year from Dday and almost divorced, but I vowed that I will not let the cheater have one more tear , gray hair or wrinkle from me. If I get them, they will be of happiness. For those of you beginning the process, mourn quickly and remember that the cheater had his/her fun on your behalf. Now it is your turn. Getting rid of lying, cheating, negative energy will open up a whole new world of infinite, wonderful possibilities! 2015 will be the best! But don´t believe it….KNOW it!

      • Love this Chumpita! 2015 will be my year! I said it for 2014, but I didn’t believe it. I was still smoking the HopeIUM, that he would “GET IT”.

        This year, I truly believe it, I KNOW it! . My financial life, my love life, and my work/family life – will all sync. Meanwhile, I am grateful, truly grateful for my health, the health of my kids and that I have kept my sanity through this horrible stage in my life. Happy holidays Chumps!

      • Yes, KNOW. And I too am grateful for my wonderful friends and family, my health, my children, my intelligence, my loving nature, my home, and my job. 2015 will be great because we will make it be so.

      • Thank you Jay. I have just this minute returned from spending xmas holidays with the cheater and family – we were still in the reconciliation ‘phase’ prior to xmas and as I had only stopped smoking the hopium pipe about a month before xmas so I decided to attempt to play nice and continue with the original family plans rather create further disruption. It was not insufferable and I realized during that xmas break away that my STBX was a pathetic jerk who is remorseful but not worthy of a moment more of my time. and so rather than feeling sad I was actually itching to get away from him. I felt quite detached… like I was looking at him though a new lens. I just shake my head now and wonder what I ever saw in him and why I was so totally devastated 10 months ago when I found out that he had cheated on me for decades. This was a man I loved so deeply I thought I would die if he left me. My tiny bit of revenge is that he is a shattered version of his former self…. now that the loss of family and assets has become a reality he is an empty man. I do not expect this to last – I know he will bounce back fairly quickly… there will be another female installed in my place before the end of 2015… but I just don’t care … good luck to her – I know what is in store for that poor woman. The memory of his miserable face as I left him this morning is enough to satisfy any desire I have for revenge for the rest of my life. Ultimately my revenge on him will be to have the most fabulous life I can. This is going to begin in 2015 – I plan to work and live in another State this year and extend this to other countries over the next few years (something I was previously unable to do because of his occupation), I will make new friend but also revive old ones, now that he is not sapping energy from me. I am selling the big Mercedes station wagon he insisted I buy because it had ‘horse power’, I am going to run a 1/2 marathon in 2015, and also complete my second post grad degree in 2015, I will return to my love of cycling, craft and trekking. Another plus is that I will no longer have someone standing beside me trying to make himself look better by making me look bad – I have already lost 14 kilos – I look and feel better than I have for 20 years. 2015 is going to be the year of ME and maybe I’ll extend that to the decade of me…. My children are all grown now so in truth I can really please myself which is something I have not considered a priority for 28 years….Thank you Jay for all of the advice and insights – it really helps to see how other chumps are planning their new futures and what tips and tricks helped them in their navigation of this difficult time.

        • BOOM!

          You sure do know how to make an exit!

          Keep at it!! Great job!

          (Except I don’t think he’s as much remorseful as he is desperate.)

        • Woot!! Way to go, girl! I’ll be rooting for you on that 1/2 marathon – I’m doing my first 1/2 in April, too! Funny how much suppressed energy we find once we stop trying to get dead weight to freaking engage in the lives they made. Positive thoughts to you, and to all Chumps in 2015!

          • Update – got the divorce from the fucktard today! Finally free! There IS hope from the other side and I can’t wait. I JUST dipped my toe into the water, and it feels AWESOME!

            Love and (((hugs))) to all of us Chumps in 2015!! xox

              • Thx, Tempest! Feels weird to not be tethered to the dipshit after being with him since 16 yrs old (I turned 40 in Aug), but I feel stronger and mightier with every decision I make and every accomplishment. I know now that everything I always did for our kids and for the house or family, or even for myself, I was actually doing alone anyway. Now I just don’t have to beg for any kibbles for myself from a lying f-tard (which I wouldn’t get), or feel like I should ask for an f-tard’s opinion.

                Mega-watts of positive energy to all Chumps this year, and thank you Tracy for all of your amazing advice & sound direction. You’ve lived through the hell we’re all facing and in right now, and you’re just the no-BS angel we all need to re-focus, laugh again, connect for support, and KNOW that we’re going to get to the other side – cheater free. Massive (((hugs))) and warmth to all of you. xox

  • Thanks so much for sharing your positive story. So glad that you and your boys (and I hope your former mother-in-law) have come out the other side so (relatively) quickly!

  • Hello, all! Sorry if I am a little off topic and my comments are not directly related to the article.

    I am trying to show someone that her husband is a cheater. Her sister gave her “the news” a few days ago and right now she is in absolute denial! I am amazed, I never imagined that someone would dismiss so radically anything that she is told about this and even have sympathy for her husband, who, you guessed, is now playing the victim! (or at least this is my guess after chatting quickly with her sister).

    There are a few proofs about his cheating – such as text messages with him admitting that he is cheating, that he has feelings for someone else, and even a text message when he says that he is considering divorce ….. However, not too many and nothing intimate, but this is what I have. I also know much more about his cheating, but without clear evidence. The guy never imagined I would be able to get in touch with his wife (so he was a bit reckless) – which I finally did, when I realized that he is a serial cheater and for him having affairs is just a way of life. I never met the wife in person, who is a veeery nice, but, it seems, naive woman….. this is why contacting her was quite a challenge. And after thinking a lot that this is maybe none of my business, I realized however that it is better for her to know the truth – and her sister also agreed to that. He went too far. What this woman decides to do with that, it’s up to her….

    However, her sister didn’t have a chance to show her any proofs yet.

    Right now, the problem is not how to tell her, but how to convince her that the husband is cheating. As I said, she is in ABSOLUTE denial. But she didn’t see any proofs yet. If possible, I would like to ask those of you who went through this kind of experience: how did you finally get convinced that you were cheated on? What made you leave the denial state of mind and see the truth? I guess it is also a matter of time and you need to first deal with the shock of receiving such horrible news, before being able to process the information?

    What kind of proofs would be most convincing? I don’t have any pictures or so ….just text messages, but pretty clear. Also it is pretty clear that they are about an affair that lasted about 1year 1/2, he mentions that. Also, what is the best way to show her any proofs – I can’t meet her in person, and her sister can’t do that either. I also suspect the husband is monitoring her email address and some other online/social media accounts.

    Many thanks!!

    • If you can’t meet her in person, then take screen shots of the text messages, and send it certified mail, that requires only her signature to pick up at the post office. In person would be best.

      A cheater will only admit to what we have proof of – no more, even then he will still deny. You have planted the seed. Hopefully she’ll come around when she’s ready???

    • Maria, people are ready when they are ready…before then they will minimise, deny and stick to whatever version of events that they can bear.
      Even undeniable proof will be re-shaped and sanitised…yes, he had an affair but she took advantage of him…it was only sex and she meant nothing….she is just a dirty whore and he loves me.
      To anyone who has been chumped, and that is most of us here, finding out and accepting the truth is a painful and complicated process which goes round in circles of many emotions.
      You do not say how well you know this woman or why you have a motive to enlighten her but I would advise treading with great caution. It sounds like she is already aware of his cheating but still in. denial and she will stay in denial in spite of further evidence until anger/bargaining/grief set in.
      She may do the good old pick me dance, attempt to save the marriage, turn on the messenger and stay with the scumbag anyway.
      Unless this is someone very close to you, and it doesnt sound that way, I would recommend letting it be.

    • Maria, I have re read your post. Are you the one he was cheating with? Sorry if you are not but you seem to have texts, know a lot about the husband and his movements and not have met the woman in person so what is your motive?

      • My thoughts as well. Apologies if I am wrong, but this letter sounds like an OW trying to break up a marriage. How does she have the husbands text messages, has never met the wife, yet knows so much about the husband and his actions/cheating? Seriously fishy.

        • GIO–If I recall this post from last week or so, Maria was someone the target had picked out to be an OW, but she had not succumbed. I think, though, that Maria had other evidence of an OW she was willing to show the wife.

          I came away thinking her intentions were for honesty, but slap me if I’m wrong.

          • I posted this on another thread to you, Maria – so I’ll repost.

            Maria – I should be called Denial Chump. I had so many red flags that kept mounting. All my friends told me they were sure he was cheating because of everything he was doing. Denial! Another g/f told me about a rumor going around town – I totally attacked her verbally and told her to get lost. Denial. I tracked him on the iPad GPS – found him at her house several times (didn’t ask him about it). Denial! (They must just be friends as she was a good friend of ours) Caught a note with his fancy hotel room he flew her across the country in (1st class) to Savannah (I had no proof she had gone-yet). Nice room! Denial. Oh, he must have deserved that romantic, expensive room with the canopy and fireplace with all that work he was doing. He was VERY good at keeping the A at work and I couldn’t access his work phone. He took her on trips in our motorhome – I was suspicious but found no evidence other than the bed was made in a way I didn’t make it and the shower was so clean you could have eaten off the floor. (he never cleans that well) Denial.

            As it turns out, one night I’m feeling very confused and asked him a very short question, if something was going on. (couldn’t mention affair – no way!) And, the generous fellow came out and started rambling his confessions about everything. No stopping him. Oh – he felt SUCH relief getting it out after 2-1/2 yrs. Told me things I didn’t even want to hear – with a smirk on his ugly face! His black eyes hollow with nothing. Still Denial! Well, I think it was shock. It took awhile to set in and while I felt enormous relief that I wasn’t going crazy, I just couldn’t believe it still.

            So, I don’t know what to tell you. I probably wouldn’t have believed an anonymous letter, unless it had proof like the emails you have. But, I don’t know. I might have made something up to excuse them. Maybe she has to discover this on her own. They finally get so sloppy with hiding it, it’s almost like they want you to find out. Sorry, I realize that’s not much help.

            • SheChump this is so sad: “His black eyes hollow with nothing” BUT I know exactly what you are talking about. And the “relief” even callous laughter right in my face when I finally confronted him and he lied then admitted it. Aren’t we lucky these monsters are out of our lives now?

              • Margaret – how can we ever get over their eyes changing? Mine X’s went from crystal blue like Paul Newmans to Black like satan in the movies. And, just wanted to add – Denial Chump here actually said, on the night of confession and he was sooo sad. Ah, c’mon honey – it was just an affair. It’ll be okay. I belly laugh really hard that I actually said that!

              • I call those “shark eyes.” They are dead inside as they drop the bomb. They are not really there.
                Or is it that the news finally makes us take notice?
                Either way–it’s real phenomenon, and it’s creepy as hell. You wouldn’t believe it unless you’ve seen it.
                And, haven’t we seen it.

              • It is a while since I posted here, but oh my God, I just got chills and goosebumps reading all those comments about the cheater’s eyes! Honestly, I thought it was just me. The night my ex husband confessed, i swear his eyes turned satanic. It freaks me out remembering that. I had never seen anything like it before. They changed and went almost black and yes, like something I have never witnessed before or since. Eyes being windows to the soul and all that, this is most interesting and I am sort of relieved that I was not the only one to witness such a sight.

            • SheChump, this really struck a chord with me. As someone else said, the eyes are the windows to the soul and what I saw as he dropped the bomb on me was nothing but abject evil. He smirked at me as he said it as well. I am mostly nc with him, although we communicate by text and email about our 2 kids who are now young adults. He seems to live in a state of denial about the destruction he has caused. When our daughter graduated high school 2 years ago, we had to make sure we were in opposite areas of the arena. My family said they didn’t even want to look his way. I was just saying this to myself the other day. I spent 23 years of my life with him, married for 20 and I truly never want to see him again. I may be forced to see him again at a couple of weddings, if our kids get married. I have the perfect thing to say to the OW who is now his wife, if ever I am forced to be introduced. I am going to borrow it from someone who posted it on here. I called the OW after I got his cell phone records after he left and told her he was married. What I will say to her is, “Oh, yes, we’ve spoken on the phone once before. Now, if you’ll excuse me.” and walk away. My D-day was almost 5 years ago. This kind of evil takes a long time to get over. Does anybody but me feel like what they did kind of seems to defile all of the years you spent together? Makes you feel like you were living in a relationship that was a lie.

    • As a chump I can tell you that my subconscious was aware of the “disturbance in the force” well before I was willing to start doing my own investigation. You are ready when you’re ready and not a moment sooner.

      I didn’t start my investigative ways until I was ready to deal with the consequences. You can provide this woman with proof if you have it and when she’s ready to face it she will. She should know the truth but don’t expect her to act on it right away.

    • Maria–what everyone else says. Send screen shots of the texts. You have planted the seed; the woman will now be hypervigilant and do something when she is ready. (This may take years.)

      Mary–I think the husband-in-reference was trying to cheat with Maria, but she did not accept his advances.

  • Jay,

    D-day came about a year ago for me too. Divorce will be final in January. Except this Christmas, STBX found out from the kids that I have been seeing someone! He was furious (this baffles me as he is still with his affair partner). HaHa. Actually had his lawyer send an email to mine saying how my seeing someone was inappropriate and harmful to the children. My lawyer was actually laughing at it. The person i am seeing has NEVER stayed overnight as that would be wrong and I would never do that. But my new friend and I take the kids on daytrips almost every weekend when the STBX doesn’t have them. The kids really like him.

    Oh, and to top it off, STBX told me that if we get married (I am so not there btw) I MUST set up a trust for the kids with him as trustee in case something happens to me as I am the money maker. And if I do remarry, STBX told me that my new spouse “better not get anything if you die, since I am entitled to that too”. Where do they get this stuff from? And yeah, I just laughed because I just don’t care. At that moment I realized I have started to reach MEH. Thanks to all in Chump Nation for helping this Chump and I wish all of you a Happy 2015.

    • This kills me Khris! Wow. Cheaters are so childish and narcissistic. It’s wonderful that you’ve found somebody worthy of your affection. Of course you haven’t had him overnight. Why? Because it would be wrong. How would it affect the children? This is how CHUMPS think. We think about how our actions affect others, and the image we portray. And cheaters; blow things out of proportion, bend and twist reality to suit their own warped reality.

      Even though I will be requesting a divorce soon, I cannot consider becoming involved with anybody else. Although Dday was 2 years ago, and he’s seen me in various states of depression, he would gladly take any perceived failing on my behalf, and use it as the primary reason for our divorce. Ha! Cheaters are the best at blame shifting!!

      I’m so glad you’re at Meh. I hope to be there soon.

      • ItsAJourney. I met my new friend while my son was touring the University of Pennsylvania. My son was on the tour and I was sitting in the campus park having coffee. I just struck up a conversation with him to pass the time and next thing he was asking me to lunch. At lunch I told him the whole story of me and STBX (full disclosure) and said “if you want to run away, I will fully understand”. His response: “I’m not going anywhere, why should I?”. WOW! Point is, you never know when that door opens, so hang in there.

    • Khris–your X is hysterical! He really deserves to play himself in a Seth Rogen movie as a spoiled adult brat with entitlement and anger issues. Wow, just wow.

    • He’s not entitled to shit if you’re divorced and, heaven forbid, you die. Fucking spoilt brat with entitlement issues, or what?
      I guess you’d probably need a will to make it all legal though, heh.

  • You told her. Tell her if she ever wants any additional information that you have it then move on. Give her this website.

    The seed is planted. It’s up to her what she wants to do with the information.

    I know women who have unfaithful husbands and STAY with them. There is nothing you can do other than speak the truth. You can continue to be their friend or not.

    Many times the messenger’s head is put in a basket and sent off.

    Good luck and you know the new chump is in our thoughts.

  • Jay –

    Congratulations on being mighty and moving on.

    Tracy, I hope the epic holiday travel coincided with an incredible vacation.

    I am 8 months out from DD. I try every day to keep my life in perspective. No cheater, open future, try something new. Whatever I have put off doing in my life is now front burner. If I meet a great fellow, wonderful. I am not looking. I neglected my family and my needs to keep complete narcissists afloat for WAY too long. I felt sorry for my abusers. That was just plain nuts.

    I am on my way to meh thanks to everyone who posts. I think I get my own problem of picking and staying with these assholes. This was a God send.

    If Tracy ever has a Chump Convention or “ChumpaCon”, I will be the first to volunteer. Always wanted to visit Texas.

      • We must gain more momentum with this idea…i sent a request for this to CL a couple of months ago, before the website issues. Maybe ChumpCon can take front and center! Soon!

    • CalamityJane–You are only 8 months out from D-day?! You are bloody awesome–giving other people the best advice & snark, taking flying lessons, great attitude.

      Chumpacon–okay, guys. I am in central Texas not far from CL, and I have academic connections to get speakers. And because I have so much free time without cheater sucking up all my attention and emotional energy (okay–no too much free time as I’m now a single mother), I would be willing to plan something. I’ll go start a new forum where people can give ideas, suggestions on the time, etc.

      How fascinating would it be to put faces and personalities to our code names!!

  • Will someone please tell me how to move on when the ex has successfully sabotaged me and the children staying in the family home and is set to control where I live and force me to move again when the kids are older. In all other areas I’ve moved on but the lingering influence on my life is sending me crazy. He is such a narcissistic pathological liar I can’t stand having anything to do with him. If your home situation and prospects look good that’s a huge thing less to deal with. Any advice for the rest of us who are being forced to fight for scraps?
    Congratulations Jay on your speedy journey to meh. I remember your question well from earlier this year.

    • Hi Chapterphoenix–how can he force you to move again once the kids are older? Because you couldn’t afford the 2nd house once child support ends?

      You need to lawyer up. Fuck him. He does not get to dictate your living situation. Garnish his wages for child support so you don’t have to deal with his manipulative, control-freak tendencies.

      Are you divorced yet? If not, your lawyer needs to get you a better settlement. If you can give further details, some law-savvy chumps might be able to give you more specific advice.

      • I’m totally paranoid so don’t want to put to many details out there. And I’m in the UK. But yep you’ve got it Tempest I won’t be able to afford to buy him out of the new place Prices will have gone up and I won’t be able to buy much else. Meanwhile he now has a new house.
        I have a lawyer but the whole world is sucked into his poor me act and lies.
        🙁
        🙁
        🙁

        • Chapterphoenix–If your lawyer is sucked into X’s “poor me” act and lies, you need to get a new lawyer. If Britain has the possibility of running a credit check during discovery, you should be able to get access to all X’s financial records so that his obfuscation can stop. I would certainly make sure YOU don’t have to move once the kids are out of the house (and that the house is in YOUR name). Do not tolerate his crap and control; get a better lawyer (which will pay off in the long run, and if the UK is like the States, lawyer fees are part of ‘community property’).

          What an arsehole. (My STBX is British so I can switch between US and UK cussing with ease!)

        • Cheaterphoenix,
          As far as I know if he has purchased that 2nd property during yr marriage…. U are entitled to half of the marital assests. I would force the sale of both properties…and if u are not divorced yet… U need to move back into yr home. Dont budge.
          If you already settled then its kinda game over.U did not mention custody. U said he sabotaged the children as well. And he forced them /u out?! So did u agree to that? U would have the children and he would have the property? Cause no judge in the land would force children out of their home. something isnt making sense. What was the arrangement for the children?
          The only way i can see that he could dictate where u live is if u agreed to it during yr settlement. Otherwise you can live where ever u want … Do believe its within a certain kilometer range for the children.
          if u havent settled then u need to get savy quick and find a new lawyer..
          If your lawyer is being swayed by yr ex… ‘ the poor me act’ Then something is really fishy.

      • CP, I can tell you from a good friend’s experience that you need to invest in the best lawyer possible. Don’t look at the upfront cost. Look at the long-term benefits. My girlfriend had a spineless, chauvinistic lawyer that jerked her around for over a year, and allowed the cheating ex to get away with all kinds of shit (supporting a lover in a foreign country? Really?). I helped her find a bulldog lawyer, who was definitely at the top of the pay scale, but guess what? His lawyer called her lawyer the following week; he was ready to settle! She ended up saving thousands in legal fees, and who knows how much in the settlement.

        • I tried switching but two lawyers I spoke to said not to and that it’d cost way more to change now. They say that if he has messed up the figures a different lawyer will not be able to change things. My lawyer is aware of the ex’s games but she is ‘nice’. The barrister is sucked in and I may look to change to a new one. Christmas was cancelled so I could pay to fight this man and yet he pleads poverty having partied all year like its 1999. This year has been tough 2015 looks worse and I’m trying to remain optimistic despite the future forecast. He’s cheated me in every single way possible. Silver lining: at least once everyday I shout out thanks for the split as I know I dodged a long term bullet.
          Thanks for taking note anyway.
          x
          🙁

          • Fuck ‘nice’.
            ‘Nice’ doesn’t give you a better living situation or take away the hell you’re in.
            You need someone who legally uncovers the fact he has another home, and go after it as marital assets. See to it that this can be used as leverage to make your family home 100% yours. That if he refuses, that you’ll take half of that house too. Forensic accountants also follow the money trail of any hidden bank accounts he (most likely) has, too – and they are marital assets too!
            Chapterphoenix, this is your life and livelihood you’re playing with here. You simply can’t afford to go cheap on it. Sending my pissed-off warrior-spirit mentality to you after reading this.

            • And may I add one more? My attorney told me that ANY and ALL money he spent on other women, or in the pursuit of other women, or any manner that I did not consent to is due to me 100%. I live in a no-fault state where everything is split 50/50, so you’re situation might be different. Save anything you can find that verifies these expenses. Listen to Lania. If you get yourself a serious, reputable attorney with teeth you won’t have to worry about all this. Your attorney will counsel you, hire a great forensic accountant, and help you untangle the whole mess.

              Ask around. Check online reviews. Ask your marriage counselor. Ask every trusted source. Keep your chin up, hold it together and fight hard until you’ve secured a great attorney. You’ll feel SO much better when you’ve got somebody in your corner fighting hard for you. You feel like you’re fighting for scraps now, but a good attorney will make sure you get what you deserve.

              • Listen to what the group is telling you. Lawyer up. “Nice” is not an option. I was a SAHM for most of my marriage. One lawyer I interviewed told me to go out and get a full time job because we wanted to be “nice,” didn’t we? She kept stressing how I wanted to be fair to him. She also said it would appear that I was being “nice” for the judge to see if I had gotten a job to support myself.

                It was total bullshit.

                The lawyer I ended up hiring laughed when I told him about “nice and fair.” I remember him saying to me, “Nice, fair? Is your husband being “nice and fair” to you right now?”

                I got the recommendation for this lawyer from my then-therapist. I figured he held hands of many divorcing women and would know who cheating spouses hated. That’s the guy I hired. Was he expensive? Yes. But he was also so good that even though I filed, my ex had to pay all of his, and my, legal fees.

                It’s okay to change lawyers. It gets done every day. You want the best representation you can. Your lawyer is your advocate. Make sure that voice is knowledgeable, loud and totally focused on you needs.

                Perhaps the best advice I can give you is what my lawyer told me at our first consultation. Think long, think hard. Don’t be so eager to give him what he wants (or do things to be “nice”) just to get rid of him. You’re negotiating your future and the future of your children. You only get one shot at it. And the future is a very long time.

    • C-Phoenix I’m going through the exact same thing. POS taking me to court to have the kids and I move back into the family home to which I packed the kids ran/flew 2000 away from. Trial in a week to which we all have to fly back to our former state to attend. Its been a few months since leaving, I’m in fulltime woek , kids have settled in to our new life. I have little to gain by returning and I’m fighting this tooth and nail. As far as I’m concerned pos decided all our fates with his continual cheating. Its sad the courts do not take SERIAL cheating, emotional and psychological abuse into consideration when deciding MY and children’s future. I wish he fucking dies so I can have peace. ( not very meh and I feel guilty for saying that especially since I’ve just returned from church!)

        • Dearest people.
          Thanks so much for all the advice and kick ass kind words. I’m trying really I am but have been blindsided at every single turn. Everyone talks about fair and that the judge will try to be fair even though he has played the legal system while I’ve upped my hours at work and have struggled to keep him from forcing us to move. I’m pissed off because I think of all the unfairness I’ve had to endure the past 17 years and feel a fool.
          I’ve tried to change lawyer but they did not want to know. I’ve asked a friend to give me her lawyer friend’s details after all your advice. Maybe it will be third time lucky.
          x

          • CP……… check with an anti domestic violence organization in the UK. You need a pit bull of a lawyer, and that is a good place to find one. They have lists of lawyers who are used to dealing with narcs and their B.S. That is what I did and she (my lawyer) was wonderful. It took me 2 years to pay the bill but she was worth every penny. She saved me a lot of problems in dealing with my batshit crazy ex. I did not get everything I wanted but I did get a much fairer shake than i would have gotten if I had not had her for a lawyer.

            I’m keeping you in my prayers……..

            • Also, try and get it so your batshit crazy scumbag XH has to pay the legal fees when you win a decent settlement. It’ll sure as hell be the icing on the cake. 🙂

              • A woman I know who bought dogs with her then-husband got half the vet bills written into the settlement (she kept the dogs). Now, that is a smart settlement!

  • Thank you Jay for your inspiring note! The best reminder to me is that “moving on” really does mean walking 4 miles a day, walking away, walking over, and NOT standing still. Thank you to all of Chump Nation for every little comment you make to support Traci’s AWESOME advice. Happy 2015 to all of us as we reclaim the joy in our lives!

  • Congratulations Jay! Hope to be there one day and that gift from your sons is a treasure. I don’t think I’ve heard of a more touching gift you could’ve received.

  • Great inspiring post – moving on is hard but the only option – I’m working on it but time has to pass bye yet !
    Glad things going well for you – reaching meh must feel so amazing ! Bliss your gift from your sons – that’s magic – similarly my two kids wrote unbelievable motivational cards to me showing I’ve been a positive role model to them these past 21 months when I have felt so rubbish !! My ex cannot ever hope for the same – thanks to all here at Chump Nation – you all have gotten me through my own hell by posting hard earned life lessons in coping with this nightmare – and CL what can I say – your a real difference to coping or drowning – thank you all

  • I was just reflecting on this theme yesterday, Jay and CL. It is amazing how good can come out of such evil. There is truly a future on the other side even though it certainly does not feel like it during the darkest part of the adultery discovery valley. While I am not thankful for the evil per se, I am thankful for the person God forged me to be through such suffering. It’s redemptive.

    Here’s a link to my more expensive thoughts on that matter: http://www.divorceminister.com/unchosen-paths/

    • DM, I read your article “Unchosen Paths.” This is something I’m grappling with now; understanding the good that comes from suffering. My husband has led our family down a different path through his lifestyle of infidelity. The path is dark, twisted and full of obstacles, but I know I will emerge a stronger person.

      I noticed about a year ago that I’ve become much more compassionate. I’m more accepting and open minded. We’ve all heard that “everybody is fighting some kind of personal battle”, but now I really understand it. I didn’t REALLY understand it until I had to deal with Dday in silence. I was afraid to talk to anybody, because I was in such a state of confusion. Now I can say I get it. I really get it, and it has made me a more compassionate person. To cope with the craziness of my life I’ve been doing yoga, journaling, reading, and praying more. I like the person I’m becoming.

      Don’t get me wrong, there are still times I’d like to stab my husband with a fork, but I’m getting to meh. Our lives are becoming increasingly distant. I’m investing a great deal of time to personal growth, and he appears to be regressing.

      • You are right! Sharing my story with anyone (the taxi driver, the doorman, the lady at the bank, etc) has led me to make amazing heartfelt connections to many people I would normally not talk to. It has also helped me to weed out potential cheaters that I would have never imagined (like a friend´s husband who when I told my story said “he must have been unhappy” “I don´t believe in monogamy either”…You should have seen my poor friend´s jaw drop. She has been married for five years and has twins and this is her second marriage). So, tons of personal growth for sure. The hard way, of course.

    • Agreed everyone! And thanks for the kind words. I think two major gifts such suffering can give us is both a greater capacity for empathy AND greater humility realizing tragedy can happen to ANYONE (i.e. things happen to people that they do not deserve).

  • “The best was when my ex found out and then told me I shouldn’t talk about how I tried to save the marriage through counseling “when you so readily found someone to replace me.”

    Oh, Jay, that is priceless. Your X has moved up to Blameshifting 300.

    • Lol… cheaters are absolutely bonkers aren’t they? I was stuck for a good long time because things just didn’t make sense. As it turns out, CHEATERS just don’t make sense, and that’s hard for a rational person to wrap their head around.

    • Tempest-I know right??! The last time I talked to my ex she was angry I hadn’t taken any responsibility..and she was the one who cheated and left!! The playbook is exactly the same with these fucktards, no originality..!

  • Jay, great to hear a positive, good news story. It sounds like you’re focusing on “you”, and a positive future and “meh”. All good!
    Wishing us all a positive 2015.

  • This seems a good place to put a Tim Minchin video that I love, makes me laugh and is so very true, because “soul mates” is such bullshit. Here is “If I didn’t have you”, I hope this embed thing works:

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zn6gV2sdl38&w=854&h=510%5D

    PSA: no matter how much you laugh and or like this video, if you are religious you probably won’t like any of his comedy on that subject.

    • I so love Tim Minchin. His ‘White Wine in the Sun’ is an awesome Christmas song for those of us down under who get bombarded with Christmas carols about snow and frost, and wouldn’t be offensive to anyone, I think…

  • Returning to the theme of the power of denial in the face of mounting evidence I remembering d this:
    ex and I sitting at the table after eating evening meal while ex has local newspaper spread out on the table – he is going to the cinema alone to watch a film while I stay at home with the children and he needs to check the timing of the show. This situation was not an isolated event and something he had done before. I can only liken it to a computer pop up but for one split second I knew without doubt that he was not really going to the cinema…I mean KNEW…but I said nothing and pushed the thought back down and let it go.
    His “squash sessions” were lasting all morning and once he came back in a filthy mood – my then 3 year old son had left a breakfast bowl with some milk in it on the coffee table. I asked mildly where he had been and he hurled the bowl across the room.
    He was often away overnight for work and managed to lose an entire set of clothing without explanation.
    He came back from a “work trip” with an enormous black eye – said they had been set upon – he had lost his watch. It arrived in a posted package…someone had found it and taken it to the police who had kindly sent it on.
    I could go on as there are many more examples of strange behaviour and unexplained events that only half made sense…I let them all go and lived in blissful oblivion until DDay 1 when I discovered a long love letter in the pocket of his shirt discarded on our bedroom chair.
    I was not snoping…just looking for white stuff to make up a wash load. Even I could not pretend that someone would hand write two sides of A4 pages full of times, places and even jokes about alibis. kisses and I luv u as a workplace prank.
    Denial is one powerful defence mechanism.

    • Jogged my memory. W “lost” her extremely expensive watch. Her explanation was along the lines that she went out for Happy Hour, ran into a bunch of people and got really bombed, and that someone must have somehow stolen it from her. By that time D-Day had already happened but she was still hoping I would do the pick me dance. Never have really tried to unravel that particular thread of f’d upness, or others. No point, there is no explanation (the truth or a lie) that would do anything but make you even crazier.

      But it’s a huge red flag when these events start happening for which there is no logical or innocent explanation. And I’ll just bet pretty much everyone on this board has similar war stories.

      • Yes, Chumpguy, you are right. My ex came home one night with a tale that his wallet and (work) phone were stolen. Looking back he was visiting his massage parlor in a sketchy part of town which made him an easy target, this when he was supposedly “working out at the club.”

        • Drew–you are many shades of Mighty to have put your kids through college after the f**ktard decimated your finances.

          And as for losing his wallet “working out at the club,” I guess that could be true–he was simply working out different muscles than you thought. I’d love to know what about these people’s childhoods makes them so disgusting in their sexual tastes and overall morals.

      • Yes, someone mysteriously keyed his car in the parking lot at work. He claimed it was someone else’s girlfriend who had keyed all her boyfriends’s friends cars. At the time I felt there was something not quite right about that. He wasn’t all that friendly with the guy and he wouldn’t report it claiming management “wouldn’t like it”. Still I felt sorry for him and bought him scratch repair. Now it all makes sense. OW was ho-worker. They must have had a spat.

  • ““She gets a reduced standard of living, single motherhood, and an unemployed boyfriend! Oh THAT’s going to turn out well…”

    Except for the unemployed boyfriend part, this is going to be my life because of my scumbag husband.
    That’s one sentence that tells the truth and rattles every nerve.

    • TRUTH. All of that applies to me except the boyfriend part. I am floundering financially with 4 children to take care of. He has stopped paying the court ordered support because he has no JOB now. Boo fucking hoo.

  • Supreme Chump,
    I think that a lot of us here feel your pain. Some of us (abandoned chump parents who have not been receiving child support) also need to rush out to secure a full-time job (or two) to cover the price of bare necessities. Any suggestions from other chumps?

  • The only thing I would say is, you’re not necessarily always going to be single with a reduced standard of living. And I think CL’s point is: that is what my ex CHOSE vs. having it inflicted upon her like you and so many others. Yes, all that sucks but on the flip side, you get to move on and find someone worthy of you!

    • Yes–the entitled cheater does not thrive when various forms of cake disappear. They start out wanting what they have and more, but end up losing everything that matters. Chumps left in the situation of single-parenthood and reduced income still have their integrity, home (wherever they settle) and family lives (minus the cheater) and they have a chance to rebuild financially using that same integrity and the grit that has held a family together single-handed. And they won’t saddle themselves with another entitled, lazy, screwup.

  • Do any of you chumps, who have gotten to the other side, ever this feeling that impending doom is around the corner… That you don’t trust that life can be this peaceful and happy because you were always one mood swing or DDay or dumb ass parenting event away from disaster with your X? I trust he sucks… but after 32 years of coping with his shit, it is hard to trust that life is not lurking out there to kick you in the teeth again. I wonder how long it takes to get to Meh on steroids.

    • It has taken me a very long time to not expect disaster just around the corner. My DDay coincided with alot of other losses- death of best friends (yes, plural), health problems with my parents and more. It became difficult to think I would ever experience joy again. I am still very self-protective four years later, and my emotions are still muted, but I am beginning to allow myself to enjoy life. I have given myself permission to be happy, even knowing sorrow will always be part of the human experience-yours, mine and everyone else’s on this planet. My life is not necessarily what I would have wanted, but I I am better every day and that is enough for me right now. I hope you will be feeling better soon, too.

      • Guess I will throw in my 2 cents worth……I think it takes time to get over trauma, and the healing process is one day at a time. Like Irish says ……how do you eat an elephant………. For me …. after my whole world imploded and I had lost damn near everything……marriage, my child, my mother my home, my pets and just about everything I owned. I was faced with looking at my whole life like a pile of pick up sticks. It was this huge jumble and nothing made sense any more. The very few things I had were left were my remaining child, faith in Spirit, my knowledge that I am a survivor, and the kind friends that stepped in to help where they could. I think that one of my character flaws helped too…..I can be very stubborn.
        I knew that I wanted to live a quality life of integrity, kindness, and hope. I knew if I chose hatred i would be very difficult to hang on to hope. I also knew that many of my choices in had been based on a highly disordered FOO with a malignant narcissist for a father and a covert narcissist for a mother. It was time to start re-examining my life….pulling out one pick up stick at a time and either keeping it, modifying it, or tossing it.
        One of the things I kept was my faith in Spirit. (I say Spirit rather than God because I believe that Spirit has bot the female and male energy, and I want to honor both.) In my Alanon days I learned about turning anything I could not handle over to Spirit. For me it meant doing the footwork……anything that I could do to insure a good outcome (I call it laying the matrix for a miracle)….and turning the results over to Spirit. That alone has brought some amazing things into my life. I also do my best to keep that attitude of gratitude, doing my best to be thankful for all the good things in my life at this moment. I also believe there is a blessing hidden in everything. Sometimes we have to dig to find it.
        Does that mean being a Pollyanna? No not at all. It does mean being a lot more choosy who I give my time and energy to. It means working on myself to be able to tell the difference between health and disorder in both myself and others. It means never “settling” these days. I want genuinely healthy, kind and loving people in my life. They get a chance to prove who they are and if they are disordered……..bye…..out they go. I highly value my serenity and there is no more room in my life for drama.
        To all my fellow chumps out there, I can say that it will get better, even if the only thing you change is kicking the cheater to the curb. That is a huge loss of negative energy right there. We Chumps tend to be growth oriented people, always looking for ways to improve ourselves, and that will help us as we are willing to do the heavy lifting to improve our lives….unlike the cheaters. When we do the footwork, and then leave the results up to Spirit…..well the results can be astounding. Today I have so many blessings to be grateful for….. I have a home I own free and clear., wonderful furbabies whom I love dearly (canine and feline), a amazing son and his beautiful wife and two wonderful grandchildren, an income that meets my needs and then some, and a volunteer job that lets me be friends with the most amazing bunch of mature women it has ever been my privilege to meet. They are blessedly normal and mother me for all they are worth.
        I have been blessed.
        I also am blessed to be part of chump nation where kindness, truth and growth reign.I am grateful for everyone of you…..Rock on Chump Nation!!!

    • Ringin, I had that with my ex. 🙂 But I also have visions some days, a flash forward, déjà vu kind of thing…. And then days, weeks, months, or years later will be experiencing it. Initially though anything my STBX did after I discovered his secret life put me into fight or flight mode. Too I think some people are more intuitively born with the ability to pay attention to a sixth sense or their gut. Just be careful not to make doom self fulfilling. Life is unpredictable, betrayal left our lives upended. We do however control what we do, but it is no wonder you feel a bit of doom. Also it could be your gut telling you to get away from danger. I would pay attention to that.

    • You are describing what sounds like PTSD or some close cousin to me. It’s easy for people to understand trauma that comes from years in combat, a criminal attack, or surviving a catastrophe like Hurricane Katrina. But we know now that childhood abuse and other domestic trauma causes similar symptoms. I’ve lived with PTSD forever, it seems. My XH (not a cheater, but…) used to yell at me because I have such a big startle response to sudden noises. The kind of anxiety about doom around the corner comes from years of walking on eggshells and waiting for someone to blow up the peace of a day or a week. For these symptoms, I’ve found therapy helps, as does meditation, yoga, and lots of information about what is likely to trigger you and recognizing the signs that you’ve been triggered. Whatever keeps me in the moment, anchored to today, instead of the abusive past or the invisible future.

      • Thank you! Indeed you are correct. I had a very abusive step father and an abusive cheater husband. I have often thought I had PTSD or some cousin of it. For the moment, I work on staying in the present moment, breathing, and giving thanks a litany for all the things I am grateful for. I have many things on that list. I am just glad to know that I am not alone in this. My personal goal is to not add to anyone else’s misery and try to the best of my ability to be loving and kind to every soul I meet. (Unless I sense a red flag. I am getting better at that) and then I try to disengage with kindness.

        I have to say I love this spunky group of such smart and thoughtful people. Chump Nation and CL are on my list of things to give thanks for. xoxo and much love

      • Good advice, LAJ. I’m trying to get a handle on PTSD from sexual assaults and from my chump experience. It’s tough going, but it’s worth it.

    • Its also the fact that your ‘bullshit detector’ is probably working far better now, given the crap you’ve been put through.
      Taking off the rose-coloured glasses and seeing the world for what it really is, and the sheer amount of stupidity/entitlement/etc that you never previously saw.
      Better to be like that, than having your head stuck in the sand and wishing it all went away, though.

  • To those who find themselves stuck financially. My advice? Find even a part time job…quickly. And use community resources. My part time job barely supports my son and I but I have two children who have also graduated college in the past four years because of my income (even with “maintenance,”‘ it is at poverty level in CA.). I spent two years fighting for a fair settlement w/an idiot family court, a clueless lawyer, and an entitled Narc STBX. This is “normal” for most of us. Life is NOT fair, but as DM says, crap happens to good people. As to getting away from destructive disordered spouses I can’t begin to tell you how much better my life is. Financially it’s a struggle but every day I try and I don’t have to live with someone who communicates to me that I don’t matter. That is one day more that I can live my one authentic precious life. Toxic people thrive on triangulation, subtly putting others down, and they get off on abusing others. Your children will need professional counseling because they won’t recognize the unhealthy family dynamic. What you also need to do is assess what you can do. Upgrade skills, volunteer (this may get your foot into the door), get a paid internship, go back to school. You have gifts, use them. I house and pet sit for friends and family to make a little extra money and am toying with the idea of returning to school to finish my bachelor’s. It has taken me five years to untangle from toxic but pretty soon no ties, financial, will exist. I don’t think anybody realizes how difficult it is to move forward when your life implodes and so many of ours had other challenges to deal with at the same time Infidelity took center stage. Just remember baby steps forward, life is not a race. Take gentle care of yourself. Ask for help when you need it. And vent here. The one place that gets what it is like to, “leave a Cheater, gain a life.”

    • Thanks for Drew for that insightful post. I keep telling myself, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Baby steps. I am just so worried about how to make this work. I want to keep doing my soap business, and figure that with a part time job that I could do it. Maybe. But it’s a big maybe. And sending my 4 homeschool kiddos to public schools gives me a panic attack. Seriously.
      You are an inspiration Drew. Thanks. 🙂

      • Irish…you can send your kids to public schools. My kids went there. .I went to them. I teach there. Quit thinking that they won’t thrive there. I don’t think you have the luxury to think you can home school them forever.

        .

    • My daughter was in a charter school when my cheater husband left. I moved back to my home state where there were few similar types of schools. I did pick a place that had a good public high school. My daughter has some learning problems and I didn’t know how she would do in a large public high school but she thrived. She attended grades 10, 11 and 12 there and graduated and is now in college and doing well. After she finished her first year of college, I decided I would go back to college myself. I have 2 other degrees but in fields that don’t pay well. I started back to college this past summer and took a full load of courses this fall semester. What do you know? I have a 4.00 GPA with the 20 hours I’ve taken so far! You can do it! Heck, I literally had the highest grades in some of my classes. It is a bit odd with my classmates being younger than my own kids but I have been enjoying school so much. I have decided to get a master’s degree after I finish this current program. The sky’s the limit! I don’t want to steal Ralph Malph’s motto, but “I still got it!!” HAHA!!! All of you do too.

  • My moving on story has kind of just started a year out from DDay. I recently bought tickets to see a band that me and Cheating Fucktard went to see back in the day. The venue is somewhat small. About two days before the upcoming show, it dawned on me that I might run into Cheater. I was kind of stunned with my own reaction–it was, SO WHAT?! The fact that I didn’t even think about running into him until two days before stunned me, and it took me 2 seconds to remember that I look better than I ever had when I was with him AND I would have a super smokin’ man-friend with me as my date (which definitely helped, I admit). I kept my eyes somewhat peeled for him at the show, never saw him, but it was a relief to know that my reaction wasn’t one of panic or fear.

    Also, I’ve noticed that I have zero fucks to give when it comes to him. I played nice to get ownership of the house, so I was still sort of in that battered wife role during our separation, acting with sensitivity and concern for his feelings. I never retaliated with words when he tried to manipulate me with bald faced lies. That was about 8 months ago when it was final. Fast forward to last night….I get a package in the mail addressed to Him & Whore (Same Last Name). As if they were a married couple. It was a marketing package for a high end swingers resort that they went to while he was still with me. BAHAHAHAHAHAH. Nothing like a Christmas package from your cheating ex fiance’s swingers club to put you in the holiday spirit. The fact that I can laugh about this says volumes for the miracle of time passing. IT WILL GET BETTER.

    This was the second package I’ve received at my home. I fired off an email to the swingers resort telling them that “Cheater no longer lives here. Whore NEVER lived here. They are not married and do not share the same last name despite what he left with you as a forwarding address and her being his guest at your “events”. Cheater’s participation in these events necessitated his moving from this address. Do me a favor and update your database as I no longer wish to receive any further correspondence at this address from you.”

    Hopefully I blacklisted the fucker for being a liar to one of the most “exclusive” swinger’s resorts in the country. Kind of an oxymoron isn’t it? Exclusive and Swingers??

    Anyways– I used to be sad about the loss of a partner. About not growing old with someone. Yes, in the darkest of winter nights, I feel sad that I am single and alone in my bed. When I have nothing to do on a weekend night because everyone else is paired off, I go to a movie. And I feel proud of going to movies alone. I make a drink with some good bourbon in my beautiful formal crystal glasses and read and fill my days with exercise and making lunch plans with friends or taking a tour at the art museum. Being alone forces you to fill your soul in other ways. Being alone teaches you a lot about what you are made of. I never asked to be devastated, but when other difficulties cross my path, I can say I survived Dday, whatever this is, it’s a piece of cake.

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