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How Pretty Did You Dance?

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pickme If you’re a chump, you’ve performed the Humiliating Dance of “pick me.” Actually, you probably have an entire repertoire of dance moves.

The Self-Improvement Shuffle. Done with calorie-burning gusto. You might drop 20 pounds.

The Perfect Home Polka. Make the marriage a good place to be, chumps! You can begin by attacking those dust bunnies and renovating the children.

The Feigned Cheerfulness Cha-Cha. Catch an STD? Nothing gets YOU down! Smiles everyone! Smiles!

The Hysterical Bonding Boogaloo. Because you’re better at this mating dance than the affair partner is.

The Open Marriage Swing. Monogamy isn’t natural. You’re okay with that, right?

The Forgiveness Flamenco. Generally performed alone. They forgiven themselves, you can too!

The Interpretive Dance. Interpret everything your partner does as Hopeful and Full of Potential.

So chumps, what dance moves did you bust?

Here’s one — I folded his underwear. Yep, finished his laundry and folded everything neatly into newly purchased Rubbermaid containers. As if he would notice my considerate laundering effort as I threw him out. (Is there an Emily Post book of etiquette on this?)

But that wasn’t the chumpiest thing I did, of course. I had four D-Days to perfect my dance routine. Put a line of credit on the home equity after D-Day 1? Oh sure. Justify my reconciliation to the OW? Yep. Go to pointless rounds of therapy to learn how I make mistakes too? (I fail at pasta. The sauce to noodle ratio should be greater.) Yes, again!

We all know why we do this — bargaining stages of grief, trying to control the uncontrollable, trying to prove our worthiness… Doesn’t make it any less humiliating to recall. I bring it up today, not to mortify you further, but to find solidarity. You aren’t the chumpiest chump. You’re in good company!

And if you cringe? Good. You’ll never dance that dance again.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • In addition to all of the above (except the Open Marriage Swing) I did the Unselfish Salsa – After Dday 1, I continued to let him go out drinking and dancing once a month with his “study group” of colleagues and students while I took care of our kids because OW 1 had left the country, so I wanted to demonstrate that I trusted him again. Can you guess where OW2 and OW3 came from? …I am such a chump!

    • This was my biggest dance as well… Once a week out with the “girls” bar hopping (well she was hopping a bar, so I guess she wasn’t lying) because her friends were her life …not the kids or I, we were just in the way.

  • Knock his socks off chump- have as much sex and as exciting as possible to keep him happy,(as told to do by MC) book romantic weekends for sex romps, try to have sex daily- then be told after DDay number 3 how you are a frigid pole.

    • Wow many of these dances sound like me!! I pretty much did the sex thing since he told me his OW did ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to “please him.” After humiliating myself for 6 months, he still moved in with her anyway and I can now say he had great sex the entire time. As for me…………I’m now have great sex with someone who actually cares about me!!

  • The chumpiest thing I did right after DDay (about a month) was (1) to give him a printer and a scanner because he was whining that since I threw him out on DDay (and he was living in his OW’s rental property for free), that he couldn’t print his business invoices and scan in his receipts. Then I went one further and (2) offered to write him a huge check so he could find a rental property for himself and his business ($10K). I thought that if he had his own place, maybe he would come back to me because he wouldn’t need her free place to stay and for his business. LOL!! I didn’t realize that he never wanted to be out on his own. The whole appeal of OW was that she too would support him forever, as he thought I would.

    This plan ultimately failed when I then offered to give him half the equity in our house if he would sign the deed so I could own the house alone (that I’ve made 90% of the mtg pmts on, in addition to paying for all of his food for the last 16 years). He responded that wasn’t ENOUGH, and said he was being “played” and “snookered” by me. A lightbulb went off, and I rescinded my offer. He was livid and flipped from sweetly telling me “no one knows what the future holds” and that he thought it wasn’t going to last with OW and “who knows, maybe you’ll get a second chance, Margaret,” to him hiring a lawyer and threatening to sue me for almost the entire value of the house. That was almost a year ago and thousands of dollars in legals fees later for me.

    • “No one knows what the future holds”

      It still amazes me that cheaters use the exact. Same. Phrases. Is there a book out there?? Seriously. I had not seen other chumps report this one. I kept hearing it before Dday and when we (family and friends) thought he was just going thru another midlife crisis. It was so confusing.

      The ILYBIANILWY line should be taught in some class as a major red flag to all! I remember when my XH kept saying this, i was not worried knowing that happens in a long marriage. It happened on and off to me over TWENTY SEVEN years, 3 kids, deaths of parents, working full time, endless laundry…..etc. NOW i know he was telling me he found a fresh, no strings attached, source of kibbles. And i was assuming normalcy in him.

      Speaking of kibbles and dance moves….I did all of CL’s except open marriage, plus my special moves with Kibbles Conga. The whole conga line was…me!

      • Must clarify…Kibbles Conga marathon was prior to DDay. After DDay, i did the Hopium Hula Hoop. Round and round i went.

      • He said “no one knows what the future holds” dozens of times. He also kept saying, “if it doesn’t work out with her, I can totally see us getting back together.” And pointing out my Ex Father in law from my first marriage, who hooked back up with his second ex wife many years later. I said “No Way. If you are leaving me for another woman, we are NEVER getting back together.” Five other times he said, “if you play your cards right, Margaret, you just might get a second chance.” With. Tears. Streaming. Down. His. Face. I couldn’t believe my ears! Why would I want a second chance with a cheater?

        • Margaret…….you are killing me over here!! What losers we had! Mine said this….”how does that saying go, if you let something go and it comes back, then it was meant to be”. ASSHOLE!

        • Mine said “No one knows what the future holds” several times. He also said once that we might could try divorcing to see if we are happier and then remarry if we are not.

          “Noone knows what the future holds” is not something my husband would say. I thought at the time that he has talked to someone who has put this in his head. It was probably the other woman.

          They have to come up with these phrases somewhere. Theirs new piece is telling them. (If it is the first time.).

      • Yes, me too. He can see us reuniting at some stage in our old age. We just need a decade or two to get to the point where we are ready to make it exclusive.
        Who knows?
        Please take your partners for the Future Faking Foxtrot…

        • In other words, mary, they want to fuck around but would like you to be there for them to mop up the mess and take them back in when they can’t get it up anymore, and have no money. LOSERS!

        • Hey Mary, then perhaps by that time they will have many to pick from as their “one” and then the “many” who they can cheat with until they either can’t get it up, can’t find any “takers” or drop dead!

      • Mine told me that maybe in the “furfure” he would consider being friends with me. (he actually spelled it that way too). This was after he told me he didn’t understand why I didn’t want to talk to him because “lots of exes are still friends and help each other out.” I guess that’s what he learned when he did his exhaustive research of 1 divorced couple. Total. Asshat!

  • Can I add one? I did the Hip Hop Humilitation. Hop up and get him coffee in the morning. Hop in the shower to wash his back. Hop to his numerous Dr appointments. Lots of hopping under the covers. In the end he was still “confused” and I was tired of hopping! But the good news is “we can still date”. Sorry, not hoppening!

    • Omg Irene!! Hip hop humiliation is what I lived with!!! The coffee, the showers!! My misplaced “jealousy” because I am a fool, he and OW are just “friends”. As I cook him his favorite meal in the kitchen nooo he’s not sexting her! It is I who he will cuddle with and watch a movie after dinner, silly me for wondering why he refuses sex. Poor sap is so tired. He works long hours and my pussy isn’t “strange” and exciting like hers.

    • Irene – I’m crying laughing at your post. Hahaha. Oh that was great! I too did that dance and got the same response.

  • My ex made a wishlist (that I discovered after he left) about me that said he wanted me to “more fun, would dress more provocatively, go out dancing, go away regularly for weekends (even if it meant going into debt for it) to have sex, especially oral, which I told him for years that I find revolting, lose weight, become a singer again, get involved theatre/acting” — and I had this feeling that if I bent to his preferences (which were sooooo superficial and definitely NOT me) I would still have been giving, accommodating, working harder to earn more, eating shit sandwiches — because at NO time did he EVER admit HE had issues…drinking, obsessive, addictive, detached as a parent, self-absorbed, irresponsible, lazy, and under-employed. I refused to try and make him happy at that point – he just didn’t want to be a responsible adult anymore and never did. He was my fourth child.

    Guess who he has finally taken up with after two or three AP’s? A provocatively attired (bad) singer who definitely wasn’t chosen for her brains or talent. Shacking up, too, now after 20 years of pretending that “marriage was to be honored” and she gets most of the gigs for the two of them, keeping him employed. Funny thing was he said to me before he left when outlining our “incompatibilities” — that I cared about things like the house and getting new stove, and he could live in a “shack.” When he was a dry drunk the Christmas before D-day, miserable about my refusing to sleep with him anymore, I was so angry about his preoccupation with sex at the expense of a real partnership/relationship, that I said in frustration, “Just get yourself a prostitute.”

    Now he’s got both – a shack-up AND the whore – but in all honesty, I really think HE’s her whore, relying on her to take care of him. Nothing’s changed.

    • The worst I did in the “pick me” dance was apologize for all the things he criticized me for and justified his asking for a divorce (at the time, I didn’t know or want to believe he had been/was cheating). Having gotten no corresponding request for forgiveness on his end made it all too clear to me…..he didn’t think he needed to apologize for anything. After one or two mediation meetings with him and his “no-fault” entitlement attitude (at that time I had no idea he was cheating) I got a lawyer and went no contact.

  • Had to be submitting to the Unholy Trinity (a couple of horrible lay counselors, a Judas of a seminary “friend” and my former FIL). She told me in therapy I had to prove to them that I had changed for her to consider not to divorce me. I start getting close and she nixes that…time to move the goal posts….a few weeks later I discovered she was with the OM the whole time.

    • Remembered another groan-worthy/uber-chumpy dance move on my part:

      After I had confronted my (now) xW about her adultery, I still wrote a “love” letter hoping to “melt” her cold heart (Interpetative Dance?). Chumpy, I know. Wrote out 30 reasons I wanted her back as my wife. Got the , now, predictable response from a cheater. More or less, “That’s nice [I already knew I was a prize and awesome]. But I need to know what makes you worthy of winning the prize that is ME!” Turns out she was right: I didn’t deserve her. No one deserves that sort of arrogant contempt. Ha!

      • DM, me too. I wrote him a long letter containing a list of “thank you’s” about how grateful I was to have had him in my life. Six months later I wrote him a list of why I wish I never met him. I didn’t want that first letter to come back to haunt me!

      • I wrote a letter, too. After several years of increasing humiliation and being shamed both privately and publicly, I told him all the reasons I adored him and why I thought our relationship was worth fighting for. I don’t know who I feel more contempt for now: him, or the woman who wrote that stupid letter. Never again. Just, NEVER.AGAIN.

  • I almost wish I got to do a fun dance, but I just did the boring Waltz: the same steps over, and over and over again … all in circles. The whole time I hoped for a change. A change in direction perhaps? Something a little different, just once? But no. The same stupid dance!

  • Oh, yeah. I did all but the Open-Marriage Swing, which HE ACTUALLY ASKED FOR!!! But everything was my fault. I did not clean enough, I did not have enough sex with him, I was not exciting enough…
    I would work my 8 to 5 job, come home and clean until 8 or 9 at night, and- if he was off that night- perform whatever sexual deviance he requested, then he would go to the bar and meet up with his dispatcher OW. In the meantime, I was exhausted, confused, and being humiliated at every turn.
    No more hoop – jumping for me!

    • My first husband, upon being caught cheating online, also “asked” for an open marriage and I said no way. I am quite sure I had told my recent cheater (16 yrs together) that. So he must have known I would never agree to that so he was just a serial cheater from day 1 but I didn’t know till after DDay of the very last OW. When I begged him to say with me anyway (yeah, I know, pick-me), he said in a monotone, “No Margaret. That would never work. I already ran the sharing Idea by her and she won’t go for that.” i was positively gobsmacked and still am a year later. He never asked ME if I’d agree to ‘the sharing idea.” and who thinks like that anyway??? “The” sharing idea, like it was some reasonable, common type of request.

  • I was a ninja warrior of the Pick-Me Dance Dance Revolution, frantic and full of determination that I’d Make This Thing Work. But I’d say the move that characterized my terpsichorean trauma was the List Making Limbo. The moves were called by a quack therapist after D-day who told us both we needed to each make a list of 5 things we’d give up to make the marriage work and 5 things we’d start doing to make the marriage work (false equivalency much?). I threw myself at the task, making long catalogs of commitments for myself and then paring them down to the most onerous and conspicuously self-sacrificing items before agonizing over the wording until I struck just the right tone of earnest and forthright wheedling.

    Looking back even 6 years, I shudder. Included in my list of what I’d give up, written less than a week after D-Day 1, when I discovered that at least a decade of our 22 year marriage involved her cheating: “Anger about your affairs and the secrecy surrounding them.” Because, yeah, a week should have been enough time to get over that shit. Of course, the whole time I was scrawling my pathetic pledges, the ex just took her cheating underground.

    The ex’s lists? Oh, she never got around to them.

    Thank God it only took another week or so for me to discover the latest affair and trade in the various forms of Pick Me Dance for the Dump-the-B*tch Bop.

    • I remember spending hours completing a marriage questionaire, laying myself bare. He couldn’t be bothered. His answers were either one word or blank. But I did have my “revenge.” When the MC asked what brought us there, I whipped out the front page story about what had happened. Boy, did that piss him off. Unfortunately, I had one of those “what did you do to make him cheat” folks, so I was immediately shut down. I quickly realized that I was the only person trying to repair our relationship. He was too busy sneaking around, buying throw away phones and being depressed about NC with his Jesus slut…but he did pray with her to do the right thing , so that counts, right?

      • Sounds like you had a similar joint counseling experience to me. Kind of reminded me of that awful movie, “Weekend at Bernie’s,” in which a corpse is dragged around and propped up and everyone pretends that it’s still alive. The part of the corpse was played by my first marriage. Boy, what a waste of time and imagination!

  • Dance? Oh I danced…should have installed a stripper pole in the kitchen… For all the moves I was busting out. Yup.. The shame.

  • I have practiced several of these dances.

    First was the Forgiveness Flameno. On the first D-Day, right after his confession, which he said he gave because I had asked him how he was doing, I told him that I thought forgiveness was important. Before I could open my mouth to say I forgive you (for blowing up our family), he said, ‘I forgive you.’ He then proceeded to tell me of how jealous he felt of potential competitors for ‘his’ AP.

    Second was the Cheerful Cha Cha. To celebrate our anniversary, which I later learned he spent with a provider of sex services, I took him to dinner at a romantic restaurant. After dinner, feeling wistful, I told him that I wish we could be like the couples around us–the couple that was holding its wedding reception, the couple celebrating its billionth anniversary, surrounded by loved ones. He told me that he wished I were fun.

    On second D-Day, Cheater told me that he had lied to me and had a led a secret cheating life that involved all types of people, many strangers to him, over the last few decades, before and during our marriage. He wanted me to do an Interpretive Dance, commending him on confiding (after all these years). He said, ‘Don’t you know how difficult this is for me?!’ and ‘I thought we might be able to reconcile,’ (even though HE had filed for divorce) or something like that. I don’t recall the exact words–I was too busy contemplating my retirement from my dance career.

  • I seriously entertained applying for medical school at the age of 40, with three little kids, when my STBX Dr. cheater asked me in a sneering tone “What do you know – do you have Dr. in front of your name?” After all, he and his new schmoopie were both doctors, so how could I compete without having Dr. in front of my name?

    • What a boorish asshole.

      10 other sterling individuals who have “Dr.” in front of their names:

      Dr. Conrad Murray
      Dr. Bill Cosby
      Dr. Hannibal Lecter
      Dr. Frankenstein
      Dr. Frank Burns
      Dr. Strangeglove
      Dr. Evil
      Dr. Josef Mengele
      Dr. Faustus
      Dr. Mike Tyson (from Central State University in Ohio in 1989. Guess you could get a degree in rape).

        • Thanks Nomar, for your hilarious response! I never could have come up with a list like that, had I thought about it for a hundred years! Best laugh today.

      • Eeek Nomar! Shhhhhhhhhh…. I’m from Ohio and actually live fairly close to Central State. We don’t like to publicize that particular doctoral award. CSU is/was in serious financial straits, I’m sure he paid a nice sum for that “honor”. 🙂

        BTW, Mike Tyson, oops sorry I mean Dr. Tyson, lives in Ohio now, somewhere around Cleveland I think and keeps a bunch of wild animals at his place. So not proud that he is now an Ohioan.

        • Those of us old enough to remember M*A*S*H on TV will recall that Dr. Burns was not only a weasel and a dangerous doc but a cheater as well. I think there’s a good argument to be made that Frank Burns is the most accurate portrayal of a cheater’s temperament and charter ever to appear on major network prime-time television.

  • Me too. All of the above except the Open Marriage Swing. Apparently that one doesn’t require a partner. My cheater continued with his infidelities throughout my dance recital while I performed the Clueless Quadrille, the Bow Down Boogie, and the Edge of Sanity Shuffle.

  • All of the above except the open marriage but he still left after being together 36 yrs for a controlling manipulative bunny boiler who is 10 years older than him. Now I’m trying to talk myself into believing that I’m better off without him. The brain says I am but I just wish my heart would agree that I am.

    • I’m right there with you betrayed chump! I danced my ass off and I was also fighting lung cancer and after my initial operation I contracted MRSA! All my loving spouse was worried about was tricking me into redoing taxes jointly so he wouldn’t owe so much!! What a prince! And my heart still hurts for him! I must be crazy!

      • I’m sorry you have had to face all that as well as having to deal with a selfish SOB as well. Mine has had a bang on the head or else he is suffering from Mommy issues. If he wasn’t destroying my life in the process I could find it absolutely hilarious since it is all so pathetic.

  • No pick me dance. Was not even offered the stage. So I just did “Poker Face” Polka on the rare occasion we had to face each other. He got no expression, no rise, flat tone. I only faked cheerful once. That was to throw his ass off. He was about to get a letter from my attorney.

  • I forgot that I opened my recital with the Carpet Crawl. You know the one where you undulate on the floor in front of him creating a pathway to walk along, thereby enabling him and easing his way through life.

  • The night I found out about his affair, I punched him as hard as I could in the eye. He then proceeded to tell me how angry and abusive I was. I had never before hit anyone in my life. I think the shock and horror of it all made me snap. I told him to leave, but he refused. After I calmed down, I finally said, “It’s on you. Do you want to be with me or her?” I regret ever giving him a choice. I should have insisted he leave and file for divorce immediately. He chose me (words only and more lies and deception to come). I called a MC in the morning, started reading books on how to repair your marriage, etc. A few days later, I found a porn subscription on his iPhone. I threw it in a pan of water in the sink. Ruined it. I guess I wasn’t too great at the pick me dance. The MC let me know this too, saying I should offer him grace. I felt it was on him and that he should be doing the pick me dance of his life. After hanging in there for 6 miserable months and discovering more and more lies and secrets, I had enough. I think MC’s do us a disservice by encouraging us to stay in these harmful, abusive marriages. I only regret not getting out sooner. As horrible as it is, whenever I remember DDay 1, and picture him laying there with an ice pack over his eye, I still can’t help but laugh.

    • Haha! I too punched my XH repeatedly after a 4 hour or so pick me argument. I finally just snapped, and though I was aiming for his face, he kept turning away so all I got were some good shots on his arm. After that I stormed out to my car, he got in his brand new truck that he just HAD to have a few months prior. I turned around, walked up to his shiny truck (well, MY shiny truck, since I was the primary on the loan), looked him in the eye, and drug my key across the hood.

      I still took his arse back months later for a fake reconciliation – I also wish I had wised up sooner, but at least it’s over now.

      But yes, it’s kind of hilarious in retrospect… 😉

      • Good for you, Amanda. I had forgotten I keyed his car as well. It’s amazing to think you can do things you never thought yourself capable of when faced with the pain and anger such a huge betrayal brings out in you.

        I have a friend who was in the kitchen with her husband making a sandwich, as he confessed his affair. She took the glass mayonnaise jar and broke it over his head. Lol. She is one of the sweetest, most compassionate people ever. She said she didn’t know what came over her. Cheaters beware!

        • I punched a windshield (pricey release of anger on my part) and knocked over a rather large dead tree in our yard while my wife followed me close behind saying ‘I want to talk about this’ – I was completely seeing red, angriest and most out of my mind I had ever been. It had been months of gaslighting, being told I was crazy, flat out lied to and belittled by the time I found irrefutable proof – so yeah, I was a little perturbed.

          After the tree I turned around and she was right in front of me. At that moment I knew I couldn’t touch her – just don’t have it in me – so I walked away from her. She still followed, even sitting in my vehicle refusing to give me my keys (I just wanted to be away from her and every other human being).

          It was so strange – she kept saying ‘I want to talk’ so finally I just stopped, looked at her, and yelled ‘SPEAK!’ She had nothing to say…

          • This could be a whole separate topic. What physical acts or acting out did you engage in reacting to DDay. After years of being afraid of my Ex, due to his explosive, vile, obscene temper and narcissistic rages at me and my kids, when he came back to the house on one of his many trips to get his shit out, he sheepishly asked me if he could have these expensive gold-colored towels that we had just bought at his request. I went over to hand him the towels and suddenly grabbed and shoved him back at the shoulders, and hit the wall. The look on his face was of utter fear. I can’t believe I was afraid of this asshole all those years and took all that abuse from him. My therapist said, “Margaret, you always HAD all the power in the relationship, but you gave it to him.” No More. Later I realized telling him to get out was the ONLY time I had ever told him something he did was unacceptable to me. What a Chump I was.

            • I agree – this could be a whole ‘nuther topic. How we reacted on accumulating D-days. I have a feeling there are a lot of horror stories as well as funny ones. The relationship with my X was never verbally, emotionally or physically abusive, of course, until he met HER. But, long before I knew about her but sort of knowing something was wrong, we got into the biggest fight of our lives . . . over the thermostat setting. He wanted me to put more clothes on. I wanted heat on (um..we can afford it?). I turned it up. He turned it down. Up..down..up..down, until somehow (repeat SOMEHOW) my hard elbow connected with his bad ear and it stopped the verbal fight. I guess I threw the first punch. Now, looking back at his anger towards me about turning up the bloody heat – and why THAT anger? I fucking wished I’d caved his head in for the next year of torment he put me through. OK, not caved his head – but made his ear fall off.

        • I punched my XW’s teeth throat and broke a sand iron over her head. I’d only done something like that 4 times in the past.

          • No. It was intended for all cheaters. You never know what could happen in those types of situations with emotions running so high. If the thought of doing irreparable damage to your spouse isn’t enough to keep one from cheating, maybe knowing it could turn ugly when shit hits the fan might be a deterrent. They are all cowards, after all. If not a very bad reaction from their own spouse, they might be surprised to get a violent reaction from the spouse of their AP. Not the kind of fire I’d want to play with. Just my humble opinion, of course…

              • Arnold, there used to be a 19th century criminal law in my country that was still applicable until the 1970s that exonerated the (male) spouse to kill his cheating wife if he was under the state of “rage and intense pain.” I can now understand the concept of “rage and intense pain” on Dday and months after but to go as far as physical harm or death is not instinctive to me, and I was very aware of not wanting to give him any ammunition for the divorce process (I am a lawyer). I have an intense desire for wanting to cause him psychological pain, but sometimes when I think I have succeeded he turns it back on me (he is very smart) and I end up whining. I have found out the hard way that trying to make a narc feel guilt or pain for having hurt anyone is useless and backfires. CL is always right!

    • Grace??? Are you kidding me? We must have gone to the same MC.My X’s affair was all over the press and the MC wanted to know what it was about our marriage that “led” X to cheat. How about that X was/is a self-entitled prick, who couldn’t keep his dick in his pants and who needed to be “worshipped” (OW’s word-barf). When it comes to MCs, it is definitely buyer beware.

      • Oh my goodness, I definitely lucked out big time with my MC. She said all the things to my XH’s face that I couldn’t…she made me feel empowered, and when it was just me going, after he’d made his final choice, she was so amazing. She had been through the same circumstance with her XH years ago, so she of course knew long before I did what kind of jerk we were dealing with. She still will text to check up on me.

      • This was a Christian MC who believed in reconciliation no matter what. In time, even he changed his tune. After months of weekly appointments, he told me my ex was a pathological liar and severely disordered. He said I should get away from him or I might end up on 48 hours.

      • Chumpita, best to simply ignore a Narc. They seem to hate that more than anything.
        You are exactly right, engaging with one is always a losing battle. I still get birthday and Christmas greetings etc from my first wife, a true NPD if ever there was one. 18 years after I moved out after reading her journal where she was talking about her multiple hookups during our marriage. And, yet, she still tries to act as if we are friends.
        I just completely ignore her overtures and try not to think about her.
        Like your XH, my XW was trying her hardest to provoke me into doing something she could use against me in court. She once woke me up to describe the body of one of the men she had recently been with. She was dying for me to blow up and do something foolish.
        I am a lawyer as well, and, although relatively young at the time and inexperienced, I intuitively knew what she was trying to do and resisted.

  • before I had knowledge of my husband’s affair with his coworker, long before I was diagnosed with HPV 16 and then later diagnosed with cervical cancer, before I went for you to radical surgeries and 15 rounds of chemo…. I did notice that my husband and I seem to have had some form of emotional detachment and I just chalked it up to her son being in Kandahar Afghanistan in the height of the war. I stayed in such a state of war and stress I can’t begin to describe it to you. Foolishly, I just assumed that was his stress as well. So when he told me that I had let myself go when he told me that our sex life wasn’t what it should be I danced every dance you could imagine despite the fact that I’m a stay at home mom has I’ve been caring for 18 year old daughter since birth as she is disabled and unable to take care of herself. Despite the fact that all of the yard work of our two acre property was solely dependent on me doing, despite the fact that I kept in immaculate home and dinner on the table every evening ,laundry , bill paying or later on juggling to try to pay. I felt I needed to try harder and try not to let her stress enter our sex life so I am tapped the sex giving him as much as he possibly could handle believe me on that great sex despite the fact I was always so worried about Jake our son in such constant danger. even though I was exhausted at the end of my day, I made a point of showering and putting makeup on and getting dressed up pretty early because after all it was implied by him that I’d let myself go. my self esteem has been so damaged I couldn’t even look in the mirror and make sense of any of this. I just assumed this man that I had been with all of these many many years would never been faithful to me would always love me and understand it like him I worked very hard to and although I’ve never been described as unattractive. I stand about 5 foot 10 inches and a hundred and thirty four pounds and is considered pretty fit. or at least to the best of my knowledge most folks part of me is pretty it baffled me so much that my husband didn’t….looking back it was so humiliating knowing now the horrible things he said to me and even worse about me to others I think the words or sometimes the hardest things to get over when you realized how hard you danced to make things better because you believed them. So humiliating!

    • Kimmie – keep doing everything you’ve been doing to keep yourself in great shape. For YOU. And some other lucky fellow you might choose. This personal attack of what is out-of-shape (oh, I just had a child or two – SORRY?) – I don’t have time to run and work out at the gym like you do. I’m doing my best for this family and you come home and criticize me for WHO I am? Never dance again for this asshole. He is missing out on your beauty that you could pick yourself up being tired, get ready for him, show affection, and really out out that romance. (I’ve been there) You already lost – he moved on to some whore. No bastard is worth humiliating you. I’m so sorry.

    • He was one sick prick….I am really sorry you endured such pain, Kimmie and everyone else who did the pick me “dance”.

    • Kimmie, this is a weird thing Narcissists do to their partners, and it took me decades to figure out. My X always put down my looks. He’s called me ‘plain’, ‘nerdy’ and made fun of my hair, skin, and the way I dress. (His friends would ask me what a beautiful girl like me, was doing with a guy like him! Honestly, I think I look very pretty sometimes, especially when I’m happy). Then he came up with pet names for me- Fatso and Tubba. He would call me these every day, even though I begged him to cut it out. I’ve never been bigger than a size 10.
      So WTF is going on in his head? I think it’s that idea of keeping us unstable, in a one-down position. And also, there can only be one Diva in the house, so it had to be him!
      So, if you haven’t already, try to rethink how you see yourself, because these people really screw up our minds.

  • I did more of a slow waltz of stepping on eggshells and carefully placed compliments I would whisper in his ear…..for six days.

  • The Branding Ballet? After I found out about my husband’s affair, he left town with the OW running home to his mommy’s house. When he finally came back 2 weeks later so we could actually talk, during the 4 hour “pick me” conversation, he told me that I was 9/10 the perfect woman, that the other woman had nothing on me, but she was that 1/10th he’d been missing in the 15 years we’d been married.

    As an act of rebellion/hurt/whatever, I *almost* got a tattoo that said “9/10”

    I opted for a beautiful tattoo of a dragonfly and tiny butterfly to represent me and my daughter instead. 😉

    • Ah yes, I was 90% perfect too but he opted to run away with Miss Nasty 10%. These cheaters and their screwed up grading curves.

      I think our cheaters are twins separated at birth Amanda. I tried to comment on your comment last week about your h’s response to your miscarriage – I got almost the same response to mine years ago. Must be a 9/10 thing. 🙂

  • I am so ashamed about how I danced to save my marriage to a serial cheater.

    I made it so easy for him to find excuses for his affair. I bought the book – “His Needs, Her Needs” and asked him to prioritize his needs so I can focus on the areas he was most concerned with. Did the “Perfect House Polka” and lost 30 pounds in a month. Ugh

    Never again!

    • UGH. My XH and I read His Needs, Her Needs forever ago when we first got married, and he always used it against me…about how sex was his #1 need. And he kept seeming to forget that Security was mine…so maybe it was hard to feel extremely sexy every month when his spending kept sending our bank account into the negative.

      That book is trash.

  • I am a classically trained dancer. Really.

    I did all of the dances knowingly except the Open Marriage. I didn’t know I had an open marriage, but I did being married to the serial cheater. All of his moves were to “make him a better father”. His words, not mine.

    I’m sure my performances were outstanding, as well as his, because everyone who knows cannot believe his level of deceit and depravity. Me…..I was trying to Leave it to Beaver it so much to shield my kids from his detached parenting style that he was working on with his fuck buddies.

    • Dancing, spackle, I was an expert.
      I too now have that same issue. I danced so well prior to D’ day people looking in struggle now with the truth of my marriage to the deceptacon .

      As a result post d’day the dance was just expected. And when I refused to dance it was it was projected by STBX and his support crew that all issues where mine.
      I love the song the “Veronica’s have released called ‘You reuin me’.

  • My husband told me to get out or he would. He went to the bar and I took an overdose. So a couple of weeks later when released from the hospital, I went to my parent’s home. It took another three months before he’d admit there was another woman, but I knew deep in my heart there was one. I begged him daily to admit it but he wouldn’t. Even when he finally admitted it, he claimed it was only after we were separated. All lies.

    So the entire time I did the pick me dance and he sure took advantage of that. I honestly feel that what he did to me in that three or four month period was every bit as bad as the infidelity itself.

    He lead me on by spending time on the phone with me. Asking for phone sex. Demanding to know my sexual fantasies, and twice having me come over to fuck him. I had always supported us so I not only gave him what I could, but I bought him gifts, including expensive cologne. When I saw him he always had his hand out for money. I continued to pay his cell phone bill because I lamented that if I cut him off he would not be able to communicate with his children in the UK. I sat down with my family and told them how they hadn’t been fair to him.

    And during that time, when I wanted to explode and scream at him, I did my best to appear calm and composed because I kept insisting to him that I had changed.

    I regret all of that so much. Even now, at 13+ months out, all of that bothers me just as much as knowing he was screwing a 26 year old the entire time.

    Why further humiliate me? What that says about his character is almost too scary to consider.

    Fucking asshole.

    • I am so sorry ML… he sounds one step above the law and being thrown in jail… your nightmare is over and now every day, it will get better. Karma is a bitch and he will get his. Be strong and know you have friends here.

    • Have said the same ML…prior to DDay when he was screwing his married OW for 4 years, he doused my in gaslighting and blameshifting, and i was unknowingly doing the pick me dance ( thought he was in midlife crisis; tried to be a supportive wife).

      This was almost worse than the infidelity. I was a kibble factory. He knew exactly what he was doing. It was a different kind of torture as i think about it now. ..

  • I did many humiliating dances. I met with the affair partner and told him that I hope my ex would choose me. I even shook his hand and said to him, ” let whatever is meant to be, be.” and since we met at a park and my ex drove me there to meet him, I was asked if I could have him give me a ride back home because my ex “needed time to go drive around and clear her mind.” Guess what? I accepted the ride from the affair partner!!! I will always regret that. I also asked if I could have breakup sex with my ex, and I was granted the WISH. I also offered to cook, clean, do laundry, help her look for an apartment, and help her move out after the breakup. A month later, I helped her move out. I also had to witness her coming home past midnight everyone night following the breakup ( because we were still living together while we both looked for a place of our own). When I asked her to not rub it in my face, she would say that we were no longer together so she didn’t owe me loyalty( as if she knew what loyalty was to beging with). I also claimed that I had forgiving them both. I cried million times in front of her, didn’t beg her not to leave, but I did cry my eyes out in front of her. The list could go on. What a freaking fool I was….

        • No Bea, The Cheaters are the ones heaping disgrace on themselves. We are just the Chumps who tried to honor what we thought was good in them.

    • It’s so sad; I too, begged my cheater to fuck me one last time so I could “say goodbye.” Add this to the list of his many cruelties: He replied, “Margaret, we both know I could take you upstairs and fuck your brains out right now but it wouldn’t do any good, and it wouldn’t be fair to ALL PARTIES.” Which I accurately took to mean that he would feel GUILTY cheating on OW with me, the woman who had loved and supported him financially for sixteen years. To make matters worse (crueler), he also said “OW is okay with it but I don’t think it would be fair to her.” I might add that until DDAy itself, this man was having sex with me and kissed and said “I love you” to me every night before we went to sleep.

      • Omg Margaret, your ex husband is a psycho and an asshole.

        My ex took my offer right away and when we were done, she said ” oh my god, I can’t believe I had breakup sex, that’s so cool. I officially had sex with my ex. Now I can say I have done it.” May I add, this was right after I had looked her dead in they eye and told her ” I officially break up with you because you don’t deserve me, and if you continue down this path you’re gonna end up very sad and lonely.” Bottom line Margaret, neither of our exes deserved to have our bodies, let alone our love, care and attention.

        • Oh, Bea. I’m so, so sorry. This whole post made my heart ache. Your ex is seriously messed up. Like ‘cheater break-up sex’ is something to scratch off the bucket list. So glad you were able to accommodate her quest for novel experiences.

    • I’m sorry Bea. I did a lot of desperate things as well. I think most of us have. Sometimes when I think back on it I feel physically ill. The upside to the pick-me dance is that it gives those of us who need more convincing, who haven’t quite given up, the opportunity to see how really selfish and unfeeling these cheaters are.

      • Thank you ItsAJourney, I truly appreciate your comment. I think you’re right. I was only in that toxic environment for 3 weeks after DDay, but as time went by, I got tired of dancing and I realized, like you said, how selfies and unfeeling my ex was. :/

        We, crumpy folks are the bigger person.

        Bea

  • What I find incredible is that our stories (chump side) all sound so terribly similar. More sex, boys/girls night out, freedom, forgiveness – all dancing for the cheater. I read them and think (smack to the forehead) why did I think it was necessary for me to “up my game” for someone who had checked out. Foolish doesn’t cover it.

  • I was so patient while my ex took up traveling the country with his married graduate student going to horse shows. They’d cooked up this plan to have one of my ex’s horses win at the national show, and all this was decided without any input from me. So I was rushing around with two teenagers on elite sports teams trying to get them to their various tournaments by myself, while ex and OW were having a good old time riding around the country together pulling a horse trailer. I was trying to be patient, to show him how understanding I was about his “dreams.” But I really wanted to rip both of their eyes out. Turns out at the big show, after a months of this traveling around together, the stupid horse threw a shoe and was disqualified from the national show.

    • Buwahahha! That community is small and incestous, especially at the A/AA level. Full of decent people and all out cons. The worst bunch are the older amateurs, that over 18 crowd or the older, entitled Juniors. The entire show becomes like a bad 80’s movie about Spring Break in Daytona Beach. Everyone n the barn knows who is hooking up. Purel, please!

  • I did the pick me dance and begged him not to go see the new soulmate in France. Why couldn’t he find someone in East Boston? With France there is more drama. Covered for him with our daughter because I did not want her exposed to such lowlife conduct. Everytime I think about how he didn’t care that our daughter was exposed to such low class conduct, I cringe. I admit that I sometimes try to untangle the skein of FOO issues with him. But then I threw him out! Yes, and I am working on the divorce. Is there a chip in some men that is left over from the neanderthals that they think that they are justified to do this? No character? And I know there are righteous men on this site who have been scammed and mis-used in their marriages, just as the women have. Ok, I will stop trying to untangle it!!!

  • I did lots of stupid things, but the one I’m most ashamed of now went as follows: For the first month or so after she dropped the bomb on my and moved in with her geriatric affair partner, she would bring her laundry home for me to do every weekend. I would wash and fold her laundry and she would take it back to his roach motel. One time she brought a bunch of his stuff mixed in with hers and sure enough, I washed and folded his clothes too. I hope I’m never that pathetic again.

    • Wow, just wow. You aren’t dumb, just still had feelings for her. We think if we show how caring and understanding we are they’ll listen.

      Right before the affair we’d bought a complete set of quality bath towels on a department store card in my name. I remember folding up half and giving them to him to pack. He said thank you, it was very nice of me and I got my crumb of comfort in my blinding sorrow,

      Now six months later I’m still paying for those towels. Grrrr! C.to the HUMP!

    • Cut yourself a break , folks. This is big time trauma and many of us were out of our fucking minds.
      First wife, I bent over and took it up the ass etc. Second wife, I gave her the heave ho ( emphasis on ho) right off the bat.

  • Boy, I don’t even know where to start with this. I probably did all these moves at one point, individually and at the end in some horrible and desperate danceathon. When working 10-hour days and bringing in the only income for a good chunk of our relationship stopped being good enough, I became a steam-mopping, toilet-scrubbing, lawn-mowing fool. Then I busted out the ironing board and started pressing and starching all his shirts before I hung them in the closet. At one point I remember feeling like I’d turned into Donna Reed or something. It was just the worst, and I’m completely mortified sharing this now.

    But I think the most mortifying thing of all was The Dress. I was one of those ‘self improvement’ chumps who figured snazzier/sexier outfits could help restore his rapidly dwindling attention span. So there’s this series of fundraisers, and we’d argued mightily about them. I had really strong ethical objections to holding them at all, and he took my very valid concerns (which I later found out were shared by the majority of our mutual friends) and turned them into an attack on me by telling me that I “wasn’t social enough” at the first one. Apparently I had fallen down in the schmooze department at an event that never should have been held in the first place. So instead of saying “Well, fuck you, dude!” as I should have, instead I went out and bought a one-of-a-kind locally designed dress that involved several different fittings, since all this pick-me dancing had me losing weight like crazy. Other than my wedding dress, it’s the most I’ve ever spent on a single piece of clothing, and I’m embarrassed to say how much here. I never told him about the dress and planned to knock his socks off at the biggest and fanciest fundraiser. So the day arrives, and I’m wearing this fabulous dress, killer stilettos, perfectly coiffed and made-up, and schmoozing it up at this fundraiser like I was trying to win the Miss Congeniality award. Guess what? He never even noticed! Of the countless compliments I received that day, not a single one came from him. Oh, and of course his AP was there flirting openly with him and sickeningly sweet to my face while staring daggers at me behind my back. I had a couple of my own friends there observing and taking pictures, and some of the shots of her when she didn’t know anyone was looking are really priceless as they show her true character.

    The very worst thing of all? After this godforsaken fundraiser was finally over, I actually asked him if I’d been ‘social enough.’ Like I’d just defended my dissertation and was wondering if I passed. Thinking of this now makes me weep for the shell of a woman I had let myself become.

    So, hey, I’ve got this kick-ass dress hanging in a garment bag in my closet, and for the first time in 2 years, the sight of it doesn’t break my heart or piss me off. All along I’ve told myself that one day I was gonna reclaim its mojo, and I’m thinking New Year’s Eve might be the day. This time I’ll be wearing it for the right reasons–to please myself–and hopefully with someone who can appreciate it.

    • I went through something similar at my son’s wedding reception. Had planned to look beautiful, worked really hard at getting a nice dress, wanted so much to dance the night away with my husband at our SON’s wedding reception. Turns out he got disgusted with me because I couldn’t do a new dance move he wanted to try, and next thing I know he’s dancing with OW who’s there with her husband and kids. I had this gut feeling something was up with them, but didn’t know for sure. I remember thinking, “I am NOT going to get upset at my son’s wedding reception and let his behavior ruin my night…” But I did cry later in our hotel room. I told him I was just really tired, but I was really heartbroken about his flagrant flirting.

      • I’m sorry, Lyn. Your selfish and self-centred ex robbed you of what should have been a joyous occasion, and OW is a piece of garbage. Hope he’s having fun living in her parents’ basement! (That is your ex, right?) More than that, I hope you have a chance sometime over the holidays to fancify yourself (my daughter’s word) and kick up your heels with someone who’s got his head screwed on straight.

        Big hugs to you.

      • Wear the dress, like you were born too.
        I recently went to a wedding that STBX had the hide to invite himself to the service.

        I stood there with my head up I a gorgeous strapless number thinking. Fuck you mate this bod ain’t yours anymore. I felt so good about myself.

        And you should too. Stay strong.

    • I bet you rock that dress! I have a sad memory about a sweater. Ex was always blatantly flirting with every woman he saw, right in front of me. One year at office Xmas party we just got there and a coworker of mine said hi, wearing a very lowcut red sweater – I had exactly the same one hanging in my closet. Ex started at her boobs practically drooling saying hello to her while I stood behind him being ignored by him. Next time we went out I wore that sweater and asked him, how do I look. Cold as ice he said, “it’s not really your style.” I was so hurt. I’m not as big as coworker was, but his current OW is completely flatchested, but WTFever anyway.

      Of course I’ve thrown that sweater away by now. Just a little incident but so indicative of daily ways he made me me feel small and unimportant.

  • I danced for a few days, but it wasn’t pretty. I wrote Hubs a letter echoing my long list of misdeeds (Too Smart, Too Good at Too Many Things, Too Anxious, Too Clean, Knowledge of Manly Tools) and agreeing to change for him. He barely acknowledged it. I scheduled a MC appt and diligently printed out and filled out my half of the paperwork. I left him his. Not only did he not fill out his, but he threw away mine and refused to admit he’d done so. He refused to go to a hotel or to Schmoopie’s to stay. but sent his daughter to her mom’s so he could control how much she knew. And he began to boldly text and call Schmoopie right in front of me. To look for three bedroom apartments to move her into. He flatly refused to go NC with her for even a few weeks of counseling.

    Needless to say I went to counseling alone.

    I realized I’d been doing the Love Me Hustle for years, frankly. Now that he has to actually look after his daughter, pay his own bills and buy his own food, he’s pretty much a disaster,

    Now as I understand it he doesn’t even speak to the woman he left me for. He blew up his family, finances and marriage refusing to lift a finger for us. While I busted my bum. She was SO very special.

    I’ll never do the Pick Me Dance again. I am too damn old for that shite. You like me, or you don’t. If you have a concern, bring it to me like a fullgrown adult. I have a grasp of my own worth now, and the fact that Cheater’s entire list of complaints were essentially, “You are too awesome for me to handle” says it all.

    I am almost to meh, but I still take great delight in growing more like the person he rejected. Pushy? Great. let me take on contract negotiations and noncompliant partners at work. Good with manly tools? Fine. Let me fix a massive leak in the laundry room without calling a plumber or a carpenter. Don’t like my red microwave I bought with my money without your opinion? Everything KitchenAid, and red. Don’t like healthy food? Cutting all the white carbs except for holidays. Don’t like cats? Lets get an adorable one and love her like crazy. Let the dog on the couch. Eat Italian food, ALLLLL THE FREEDOM THINGS!

    • Ooooooo, a knowledge of manly tools. Someone call the cops!

      Sounds like your ex is the real tool here, Luz, though he doesn’t deserve the term ‘manly.’ So inspiring to hear how you’re reclaiming your life!

      • Word. His definition of manly chores was announcing we should roll out the fridge and spray for stink bugs, and then toddling the well worn path from the couch to the computer. He did this once a weel for months. I guess he was doing all his manly quests virtually in Guild Wars.

        When King Stink Bug left, son and I rolled out the fridge and sprayed for stink bugs. It took five minutes. Five minutes. The label on the bottle did not in fact state “Not for use by the Vagina-ed”. The lawnmower dosen’t have that disclaimer either, nor does the 60 sq ft workshop full of tolls my dad left me. I haven’t found one errant penis growing from my knee or hip since I learned how to bevel cut….

            • Liz you are awesome.
              Before d’day being feed up this the Gaslighting and in the mists of yet another heated discussion over STBX hiding carp I stated I wanted a divorce. I later told church eldership I had asked for a divorce as I was pretty sure I had married a girl. In fake MC they suggested I write a list of things I want done around the house and STBX could work through the list as an act of duty ? Or some BS. He replaced a towel rail in the bathroom that had fallen down almost a decade earlier. It took him 3 days. When it fell down after d’day the kids and I pissed our selves laughing.

              Liz you are mighty.

    • Yes! I am loving the freedom things! Older son and I have decided that 72 degrees is totally awesome and we crank the furnace up continually. When STBX was here we all walked around in jackets, the thermostat was not to go above 66. Brrrr. And food!! I can now cook with spices…and make casseroles. His Highness would not permit food to touch or be anything but bland. My kids have entered a whole new world at dinnertime. And this year my house is decorated to the max for the holidays. The house looks how I feel…happy.

      • Yay for you!! My kids love trying new things too. We haven’t had a bland slab of meat fried in butter in this house for months. Finally, a side dish is NOT a second pork chop!

  • I did the “Eastern European Polka tour”. A holiday in Eastern Europe was something my ex and I had always wanted to do pre affair. After Dday, my wife suggested an OS holiday might be good to help us “recover”. I was such a lost person back then. I agreed. Now, it makes me sick thinking about it.

  • Thanks to you CL and Chump Nation I sat my ass down instead of dancing. Mailed the keys back, changed my cell # and put a block on the home phone. The only dance I’d do for him is tap dance on his grave.

  • Dday was the day I knew my marriage was over. He was gone in a week and I had nothing but contempt for him and what his crap decision meant to our family. Our beautiful kids have been scarred by this. Come to find out he led a separate life for about five years all the while playing Mr. Sparkles but our relationship declined over those last years. I just could not figure it out. Like so many of us I was juggling work, home, and activities with our children while his focus was work and the fitness club. Looking back I should have known. He was disengaged. Any time we spent together was…hard. I guess I was playing the “pick me dance” unknowingly.

    • I think the unknown pic me dance is the worst of all. You run yourself to the point of despair caring for them, kids, house, finances, etc, and they just sparkle their way through life. Why because they are entitled.
      I always thought that if I did everything and allowed STBX to just focus in work and the few things that made him happy our home life would be good. Wrong he took what I gave and then demanded more. I was never enough for him.

      He is such a sad fuck

  • I undertook several open, honest conversations about open marriage…and how I didn’t want that and it wasn’t what we’d previously agreed upon.

    I said I understood the superficial desire for one, but that I thought it was a bad, hurtful idea.

    I researched open marriages, too. I read up on their success rate, the rules, and the feelings of those involved. I thought about all of the attractive single women in my life, and the possibility of having a romp in the sack with each.

    Still, I didn’t want to do it.

    I sat patiently through at least 3 separate therapy sessions during which my wife and our marriage counselor BOTH advocated for an open marriage as a way for my wife to “stay true to herself.” Funny, I thought marriage counseling was about salvaging a marriage, not ending it. Maya, wherever you are, please know that you are a joke of a marriage counselor, and I’ve heard other therapists say that you should lose your certification.

    Rule of thumb: if your spouse is asking for an open marriage, then you already have one (you just didn’t know it). Don’t consider it out of love, understanding, or compassion. It’s not a loving request. It’s an act of aggression designed to control you.

  • I have thought about this a lot – imagined doing it differently a million times… Those cringe-worthy days and months after d day… My list includes:

    – Telling her I would not ask her to leave her job (other creep was her boss) because I knew it meant so much to her. This was a moot point anyway, because she said she wouldn’t
    – Agreeing not to ‘out’ him to his superiors, because that would out her, and cause her humiliation – and oddly she said THEN she would quit most likely
    – Agreeing to respect her privacy and not look at her phone/emails (because this meant we weren’t moving forward if I didn’t show unconditional trust – of the women who lied to my face until she realized she was absolutely caught…)
    – Agreeing to buy a new house within a month
    – Agreeing not to tell anyone she didn’t approve of (to avoid people judging her)
    – Agreeing to act ‘normal’ at work social functions (of which there were many)

    I can’t believe it took months for me to lose my mind in this environment.

  • After Dday (today is 5 year anniversary of ex leaving our home and sending mass text message to everyone we knew informing them that we had separated), I didn’t do the pick-me dance. In fact, ex complained to some people that his OW’s husband was dancing like crazy and I wasn’t.

    I DID do some embarrassing pick-me dances prior to Dday, however, as I started to sense something was wrong and my panic set in. A couple months before Dday, I took a hula-hooping dance class. Don’t know if you’ve ever seen real hooping, but it’s pretty crazy and fun. Very large, heavy hoops, not those cheap little flimsy things you get at Walmart. Anyway, I took the class thinking it was fun and zany, and would spark ex’s interest in me back into a flame, because it had become so obvious he thought I was boring.

    One evening, I wanted to do a routine for him at home. I needed room, so I did it in the yard, right in front of the window. Ex was supposed to watch me from inside because it was really cold.

    I hooped and danced my heart out, turning and swaying and doing tricks with the hoop. When I finished, I looked towards the window. And there was my ex, not only was he NOT watching, he wasn’t even at the window. He had his back turned and was texting away on his phone.

    I felt so humiliated and so sad. It was like something died inside right then and there. I realize how childish this sounds, but that little incident kind of sums up the whole marriage — me desperately hoping for his attention, he with his back turned, involved with someone else.

    • Nord, me too but I also threw in “has it all been worth it”? I never received an answer for either question. I always thought my ex was emotionally immature and I am correct. He only feels for himself and nobody else.

  • I must have no dance skills whatever. As soon as I realized it was d-day, my rage energy was directed at planning what I could do to ensure that Ex and OW never profited in any way from their deceit. He mooched off me for months while unemployed, then stole things from my home to provide his penniless OW with anything she coveted that was mine. What disgusting creeps…who would I want to even see, let alone reconcile, with someone so rotten. I find it quite easy to stop loving someone like that.

    I have too much self-worth to waste time on gaining anyone else’s approval. This was not always the case…I can understand how a chump might dance in disbelief. However, there is no excuse for being chumped twice by the same person.

  • The RIC Waltz to the beat of religious organ music. Awkward !

    I guess the Toe to Toe Shuffle with OM #1, would count. Beat his ass in the middle of the main drag and left him laying on the double yellow line. Don’t regret it one bit. Double betrayal! He knew the risk !

  • I did the Self-Improvement Shuffle. During my two-week pick-me dance, I offered to do whatever it takes to keep us together, including attending the annual self-improvement retreat that fucktard has been going on for years and that I never attended. Little did I know that he had met the OW at the most recent retreat! Talk about irony.

  • The more of stories I read, the angrier I get. Because these dances are not simply “acts of desperation”. The people here are demonstrating who they really are–kind, loving, hopeful, empathetic people who love with 100% of their chumpy hearts despite difficult circumstances. Real love is a verb, not a merely a feeling. Disordered cheaters just don’t get it. They only understand how to use and abuse. They mistake lust with love. Poor fools. They are, in equal measure, pathetic and disgusting.

    • To clarify, the cheaters are pathetic and disgusting. Chump Nation is full of amazing, loving, mighty people.

    • flyingsquirrel, I love love your comment. We, crumpy folks truly know what unconditional love is. Cheaters are truly pathetic jerks.

  • I sign my divorce decree tomorrow… My STBX has gone back to his first AP… from 30 years ago. Apparently she has waited for his wonderfulness for 30 years and it is twu luv. I did the pick me dance for 30 years and nearly every form up their except the ones that would require having fun or my STBX speaking to other lesser mortals. On Friday, I will walk in front of a judge and get a summary divorce so it is done before the end of the year. My STBX was unfaithful in body but he ‘being the uber shy genius’ that he is was also unfaithful in his interest in the marriage and in the kids. He was all ‘brain candy’. I tried for 32 years to make his life happy… he was never happy, ever. A friend asked me ages ago, how I managed to be married for 32 years. I answered that everything, and I mean everything had to be carefully choreographed or all hell would break loose. So next year, it is time for me to find me again. AND schmoopie gets her prince. I trust he SUCKS.

  • I did the hysterical bonding dance for all the good it did me. Plus I wrote the epic War and Peace emails about ‘all’ he was throwing away blah blah blah. Groveling at it’s best.

    I knew if I kept coming back here long enough something would gob smack me and yesterday it happened. Yesterday Portia described how these people don’t really love others, they find people who are of use to them. I could never put it into words but this is exactly what it is. I was useful until my XH found someone who was MORE useful to him. It had nothing whatsoever to do with love. Or me, for a matter of fact.

    My XH was tired of his job and wanted a way out of here and the OW provided all that. She found a job several thousand miles away and got the house and sent for him. He slid right into that. It was perfect for him. Now he tries to keep a foot in my life in case that doesn’t work out so he can slide in back here if he has to. You never know, I might be of ‘use’ to him again. These people don’t love. They USE. We chumps tend to think people are just like us. That’s dangerous thinking.

    • “I was useful until my XH found someone who was MORE useful to him. It had nothing whatsoever to do with love. Or me, for a matter of fact.”

      This is one of the hardest things for a chump married to a truly disordered person to grasp. It was never really personal. They would have done the same things to anyone else that they did to you. For a diagnosably disordered person, other people are just a slight step above the toaster or the refrigerator. Useful appliances that are discarded and replaced when the newer, shinier version comes along. When your toaster breaks and you throw it out and buy a new one, you don’t feel bad about the old toaster, or feel remorse or guilt, right? Because it was just an inanimate object. That’s how the disordered feel about chumps once they move on.

      • Syringa and Glad, I whole heartedly agree with you that we are useful to them until they find someone more useful to them. Please help me take that a slightly different direction based on my situation – my cheater wasn’t looking for/didn’t find someone more useful to him. He was simply out there getting as much sex as he could from whomever he could. He had lots of random one nighters and prostitutes and a few regulars. He told the regulars that I was an awful person but he also told them he had no intention of leaving me. So, yes, they were useful to him from a sex, ego kibbles standpoint but that was it. I know I’ll never really be able to understand his thought process because I’m not disordered but it would be nice to have the ah ha moment. I guess he’s simply a disordered character serial cheater.

        • Bye Bye Cheater….I think there are different kinds of disordered people. My cheater didn’t cheat with prostitutes and he didn’t have affairs UNTIL he found another woman who was more useful than I was. He acted completely devoted to me. Notice I said ‘acted.’ I always knew he had a ‘type.’ He wasn’t interested in young hotties. He liked educated, employed, home owners. Women who could make him look ‘normal.’

          Your cheater had no intention of leaving you because you made him look normal. You were of USE to him.

        • ByeBye, you were an extremely useful toaster for your ex. I am sure he really DIDN’T intend to leave you, because you filled a useful slot in his life. You provided the mask of normalcy, kept the home going, took care of kids, right? While he fucked whores.

          Most likely, he will eventually find another “toaster” to provide his image of normal family man, but he will continue to fuck the whores. That’s how the disordered roll. One toaster is the same as the next.

          But many disordered types are extremely skilled at pretending to be loving, devoted spouses, parents, friends, for as long as it is to their advantage. My ex could play the loving husband like you would not believe. In reality, it was nothing but an act. He will play this same act with any future woman damaged/gullible enough to fall for his sparkle. They do not change.

          • Thanks guys – your answers actually support something I said to him at one point – ‘Our marriage was a façade. It made you look like the right kind of person while keeping your secrets hidden.’ I did provide the normalcy and that’s the use I was to him. Thanks for remind me of that.

      • Yeah. I got that just recently. Fully embraced it a few months ago despite kinda knowing it all along. Due to his serial cheating and systematic lying about stupid stuff, it was never about me. He has always cheated and lied in relationships and then pranced off. The difference with me is that I married him and had four children with him.

        Now how do I explain that to the kids once they are also old enough to get it? That it isn’t that he doesn’t love them. They are simply things to parade around when they can make him look good. His version of love is like how I love chocolate, it isn’t my version of love and it certainly what children desire from their parents.

        My dances began after the honeymoon period while smoking the Hopium. I wanted an engaged partner to mature and grow with. Someone who would nurture and guide our kids into responsible adulthood. It’s been hard being in the marriage alone and then expected to raise a 50yr old idiot.

  • I’m not a good dancer, but I tripped over my own feet to save our marriage when I found out by the Other Man’s wife that our spouses were f-ing each other. My wife put on a good show of crocodile tears begged for a new start and clean slate by leaving the cliche of California and restart in Oregon. Our kids were only 6 and 8 and my wife did the MC, IC, and begged me to move out o to Portland Oregon, where it rains and is the opposite of Cali, a place where being pale and wearing no name labels means you’re above the shallow lights of Hollywood.

    So we danced off to portland, and I tap danced as fast as I could, commuting back and forth my Cali office to my Portland office and we were starting fresh and our kids would grow up away from the trapping of Hollywood. Turned out, that there are just as many freaks on Oregon than there are in Cali and my wife fit right in. She got into yoga and tree hugging, there are as many or more yoga studios in portland as there are Starbucks and just as many cheaters and it would take her 6 minutes to order her double non skim milk small grande liberal assed coffee.

    I danced so fast, I thought we were reconciling, turns out no one dances in Portland, they’re too depressed from lack of sunlight and there are not enough tattoo parlours and pot to cheer you up.

    In 2009 I stopped dancing when it turns out my wife was still a cheater and she wasn’t only hugging trees in the Oregon forests.

    I’ve learned some new dance moves, it’s the f-u dance, and I’ve got to say it’s pretty awesome.

    My ex doesn’t hug trees or vote liberal anymore. She’s now in Texas and hugs guns instead of trees and votes republican. Who know what state she’ll end up in next, maybe she’ll move to Amish country, wear a bonnet and churn butter and teach yoga on the side as her next adventure.

    • If she winds up in Amish country — they’ll just pray over her to cast out her sins of pridefulness. I lived in Lancaster, Pa. It’s short on tattoo parlors.

      • Knowing my ex she’ll be right there getting a kick out casting the sins from her pridefulness as long as Amish attention is on her. She’ll cry on cue and be the bestest ever Amish repentant sinner. She’ll even post on her facebook page and brag about it. Lol.lol..lol and get her mom to sell Amish dresses instead of fleece vests for the therapists in Cali.

        • PF, you could put a cheater on the moon and they’ll have an affair with … something. “Wherever you go, there you are.”

    • Ah, yes: the chameleon Xs.
      First wife flitted from religion to religion, joined AA and began fucking men in AA.
      Next she stopped practicing law, became a spiritual advisor at an upscale CD treatment center in Wayzata, MN. She remarried and her new husband, an aging, overweight hippy who would greet me with” Namaste”, soon began cheating on her and , eventually, divorced her.
      Second wife , a true racial bigot( did not know this when we married(( good mask)) ), dumped her Ap after 18 months, started dressing like do I e twenty years younger, a d hooked up with a married black guy who claimed, despite playing D3 that he was an NBA prospect until he got injured( base on his stats, the guy could not carry the jocks of many of the guys I grew up playing with).

  • One thing I did do that I regret is I sent ex a lengthy email apologizing for things I would have done differently. These were not major, for the most part: I wrote that I should have played board games more, I should have gone once or twice to his 5 AM exercise club (where he met both the OW), I should have been more spontaneous and fun. Things like that. I wanted to get this off my chest, in the mistaken belief it would make me feel better about the end of the marriage.

    He replied that he was floored by my email and that he would keep it forever, because it showed that I admitted all the ways I was to blame for the problems in the marriage.

    • Really! He sounds like the cretin who had the affair because his partner was using the wrong ratio of sauce to pasta. Unzipping your pants for APs is not justifiable retaliation for things that are at worst mildly irritating. Poor baby didn’t get enough attention?
      You’re definitely better off not being with somebody with the mindset of a toddler.

  • Oh, gosh! I do remember one dance I did that I have NO SHAME about! The day after D-Day I forced Cheater pants to meet me at the cellular provider to get his cheaty cheat phone off my account and he could assume the debt for his 100 a day Schmoopie text habit and the fancyass phone I had provided for him. The dilemma, as always was would his credit finally be good enough to qualify without a massive deposit?

    The answer was of course YES! Because after years of paying 80% of his bills his credit was up 100 points and his DTI was 5%. So he’s across the store on the phone with the credit department and flashes me (I swear) a giant smile and thumbs up, GIDDY that he’ll now be free to sext SchmoopDaLoop on his own dime! I’m sleepless, exhausted, DISGUSTED. All the fucks I had to give were gone.

    So I put both thumbs up like a go-go dancer and started doing a sarcastic Elaine Benes Go-Go Dance in my t-shirt and yoga pants. In the cellular store. Yes! You’re texting a whore! Tearing your family apart! Go Speed Racer, Go!

    His face fell. He was livid. We are at the cellular store dividing our life up because he’s cheating but he said I was “coarse” and ‘making a scene”. Hahahahha! I’m not sorry! It was funny as hell and I’d do it again.

  • I guess I’m glad I didn’t do the dance, but it makes me wonder if my reaction was normal. I felt immediate fight or flight, wanting to flee, but feeling like I couldn’t because of the kids. I remember briefly thinking, “I didn’t frame and hang enough family photos” (isn’t that crazy?!), but that was about it. I did stick around for quite a while feeling like I had no choice because of the kids and I did try therapy, but after Dday, he and the relationship were tainted for me. It didn’t help that all I got was GINR. I remember reading in an infidelity book that for some people, it’s like dropping an apple on the floor. Pick it up and it’s a bit bruised, but it’s still an apple you can eat. Then, other times, it’s like dropping a piece of fish. Pick it up and eat it? Ew. For me, he was the fish!

  • With less than 48 hours notice, I had no real opportunity to dance. It was a horrible violent ending and he immediately disappeared off the radar and went no contact with everyone.

    3 months later, I’d got hold of his new address and I wrote him a letter asking him if he was sure this is what he wanted. I asked that he keep in touch with the kids and said that I hoped he would look back on our 30 years together and remember the good stuff.

    He never replied, he went on holiday with OW instead, on my birthday.

  • I didn’t do the pick me dance. I knew it was over as soon as I found out. But how long did it take me to file and leave? Almost a year. You could do another blog post on fear and paralysis causing slow-motion in the moving-on process. Like I was stuck in quicksand. But, I finally did it, and I’m so glad. Better slow than never.

  • I danced all through our marriage. For years, X and I did the “Junior High Maul,” the one where the girl is in pure, fairy tale bliss in the arms of her true love, and the boy is looking around the gym for his next girlfriend.

    When it dawned on me that I had been duped into marrying a good guy imposter, I was an interpretive dance champion. Everyone knew he was a loser, but they treated me like an ignorant tot who still believed in Santa Claus. Probably because I dropped anyone who dared to speak the truth about my husband.

    Yup. It was hard extricating my head from the concrete sand. But I did. The new view is lovely.

  • Oh, and during the Junior High Maul dance, imagine the DJ is playing “Freebird” or “Stairway to Heaven” to get the real jist.

    • I personally want to dedicate the song “Stairway to Heaven” to STBX’s new Schmoopie! She’s going to “win” her prize and I can’t wait! They soooOoo deserve each other! Best punishment I can think of is for both of them to be together forever!!

  • In the days before I found out about the MOW, I thought it was my fault he was distant and angry. So I started reading books about vulnerability. I kid you not. He was chumping me, lying, gaslighting, and blame shifting, and I thought I needed to be more vulnerable. With him. There’s a surviving message between us on my iPad where I told him all about what I was learning. And of course, all the while, well, he wasn’t calling and texting me because there was his worshipful married Schmoopie.

    I did need to be more vulnerable, in terms of being able to take good risks and not try to be perfect and bulletproof. I will always have a lot of work to do on me. But before I found out about MOW, I was sure trying to get him back. And even after DDay, I tried to keep the possibility for friendship open. Because, you know–I wanted him to see the awesomeness he would be missing. I’ll stop here and go bleach my eyes….

  • I did pick me before I knew he was cheating because he made me feel like I didn’t measure up. I did the Swingers Club Softshoe, but never did anything there because, srlsy, people were fugs. I got all dressed up and the place was so gross that I couldn’t mentally get past where the hell I would put my clothes…? ew. I told him I felt like I was “taking one for the team”, he got pissed. We left. Commence lead up to DDay.

  • I could never understand the tears. It was a constant fountain. Dozens of boxes of Kleenex. All with an audience. The amount of energy it had to take to try and sustain it amazes me even now.

  • Oh my God. I offered to take up the same sport she does, convincing myself that I was genuinely interested. Also offered to be her support crew for any future races. Offered to fly to the States with her and the affair partner to support them as they competed in a 3-week race on a tandem bike that spanned the whole country. Got back on Zoloft and restarted counselling (both good moves, in the end). Visited two doctors to try and get a referral to a psychiatrist for my “personality disorder” (my ex diagnosed this for me). This all went on for a couple of weeks, then, after a few therapy sessions with my usual psychologist, I said “fuck it” and moved onto the couch until I could find somewhere else to live.

  • I did the dance in that I stuck around, went to 3 MCs, bought him gifts (on the recommendation of one counselor) and covered for him with friends and family. It always felt rotten. I knew he was still cheating, and I hated myself for putting up with it.

    Then I realized that the OW was dancing her ass off, and that he was always comparing me to her. For example:
    -“She started eating meat for me. You are stubbornly vegetarian.”
    -“She begs to see me. You never beg.”
    -“She is always happy to see me. You’re always down.” (about the affair)

    I finally realized that I didn’t want to win this dance off — that winning meant selling out on my dignity and accepting a lifetime of shit sandwiches. The trophy is all hers (probably — I don’t keep tabs), and I consider that feat my crowning achievement.

      • “beg”. That word was another of my Cheater’s favorite sex lines (in addition to “down on your knees, worship my cock!”, he would command me to beg him to fuck me. I had to say repeatedly, “Fuck me [insert name here],” over and over and afterwards, I had to say over and over, “Thank you for fucking me, thank you for fucking me!” My stomach is in knots writing this. It’s funny as hell. But then again it isn’t. I’m thinking narcissism is the common denominator for these cheaters.

    • Lilybart, the worst part for me what believing I had to do things I didn’t want to do. I didn’t realize then that my soul was rotting. So glad I’m out of that living hell.

  • I never got a chance to pick-me dance because my ex just left after dday to go straight to the OW. He was clear it was over. I did, however, wash his clothes that were in the dirty clothes hamper and put them back in his dresser. At some point though, I started packing his stuff in garbage bags (the cheap kind, and I made sure to stuff them very full!) and shoving it in his office, to get it more out of my sight during the months and months it took him before he finally found the time to move his stuff out. Guess he was just too busy with the OW to get his stuff?

  • Tracy, I because nauseous reading your post. So glad you added that last line! I can’t even bring myself to think what I have done to “win” him back (hey, it worked twice, right?) because I don’t want to lose my dinner. Someone asked me a couple of days ago if I have found a perfect Christmas gift for someone on my list. Right away, I replied, “I did. I got myself a new life sans cheater.” I gave myself the gift of giving and hung up my pick-me dancing shoes. For life.

  • I was wondering..who taught us this pick me dance? Then I realized when I went on the internet, that is all the celebrities do!!! They do the pick me dance with the by way they dress, act, live and it is broadcast to the world! Ms. World just WON the world “pick me” dance!

    That is how advertisers make money. That is how the show must go on. The pick me dance! Reality show pick me dances. And just look at how fucked up most of them are! Can you imagine doing the pick me dance for a living. All of us here almost lost our minds.

    Prostitutes have to do the pick me dance. That is their full time job!! OW had to do the pick me dance. We attempted the pick me dance, there are others still dancing their feet off.

    Men have to do the pick me dance with $$ or charm or shaved backs (really shaved backs?) and women get off on that. No wonder this world is mad.

    MAKE THE ASSHOLES DO THE PICK ME DANCE ladies and gentlemen. Make those cheating, lying, faking, POS do Swan Lake.

    Want a great movie on the pick me dance? French Kiss. Ok, it’s with Meg Ryan, but this is a great movie on the pick me dance. It woke me up while married to H#2. I was watching my life.

    • Problem with us is, we can’t make someone else to the humiliating pick me dance. It just isn’t in us.

      We are such chumps.

      Thank God.

  • I am so thankful I found Chump Nation, but I would probably give my right arm if I had found it before DDay1. The dances I did make me so embarrassed and sad…sad that I had so little self esteem and that I thought that motherfucker was worth dancing for. I became “SuperWife” who would sweep in a take care of all his needs. There was nothing that SuperWife wouldn’t do to make sure his big, fat ego was taken care of every moment. He didn’t have to pick…he had the best of both worlds. The thing that makes me really sad (other than him fucking the OW) was on DDay 2, I felt like I had been violated even more than DDay1. I guess that was because although I was blind-sided the first time, the second time I felt like he had taken more of my heart and soul and stomped on them knowing full well that he had no desire to reconcile. To me, I guess being chumped one time is demoralizing, but somehow the 2nd time razed me to the ground. I will say that I have also thrown away my dancing shoes and right now I am glad to be able to sit on the couch to get support and strength from all the so very important, brilliant, and loving Chumps here. Rock on, Chumps!!

    • “The thing that makes me really sad … was on DDay 2, I felt like I had been violated even more than DDay1”.

      YES to this. Cannot go thru that BS more than once.

      Which is why, on DDay 2, the only dance I did was the Two-Minute Waltz. I waltzed my *ss straight to a good divorce attorney within two days after learning of the infidelity.

      I may still have one future dance left in me. Maybe a French can-can in front of cheater’s tombstone. ooo-la-la!

  • I don’t think I did much of a pick me dance, once the shock wore off – which took almost 2 months – for all those weeks I walked around like a zombie thinking OMG this can’t be happening! But then one day something just slapped me in the face and said “yes this is happening he fucked that nasty cum dumpster” I said “hell to the no” and then I snapped – I beat the shit out of him and told him to get the fuck out of my house and started throwing his clothes in a pile in the floor because I was going to gather them up and throw them in the yard! And OMG you should have seen the pick me dance he started doing and is still doing to this day! Lol….I should be ashamed because I have taken full advantage of it and I will till the divorce is final!

  • I don’t know CJ some days I feel really quilty knowing he was trying so hard for nothing! I have known the whole time I wouldn’t stay!

    • He’ll survive. Let him feel the pain. Pain keeps you from putting your hand on the fire again.

      I know I cannot go back to the man who I just threw out. He has been writing me letters for 8 months. I just let him write….until one day he will stop.

      It’s a good thing to feel guilty and somewhat ashamed. It shows empathy. Something us chumps carry around like water.

      Homeboy is just realizing that he had it made with a good person and fucked up. BIG time.

      • Yea and I never lied to him either I told him it wouldn’t do him any good but he said ” it’s not over till it’s over and I am going to treat you like a queen till it is” and when I yell at him to stop and leave me alone he says “please let me love you” he is so pitiful!

  • After D-Day, on the rare occasions where ex chose to speak to me, I would be funny, witty and charming…I think hoping he would at least regret what he did, and to throw him off until the property settlement agreement was signed. If I was nice, he was polite. If I was nasty he became frightening. But he seriously just never cared. Sometimes I would tell him something about our children which would invite a questions or response, but he never did. He never failed to disappoint me, and still does not.

    • That is what I have done… been nice… been reasonable and as of tomorrow, when the deal is inked… I will walk away with a sweet settlement and he can walk off into the sunset, with his twu luv. Ha… I.WIN

  • Shortly after our dday, my ex made the announcement to me that he wanted to take his associates degree and turn it into a bachelor’s degree. He was going to an informational session at the university and he wanted me along for support. He never graduated from high school but he did take his GED and worked on getting a technical associates degree. That’s all he was comfortable with because he didn’t have the best writing skills; not to mention the fact that reading was absolute torture for him.

    Over the years, I had been asked to edit thousands of his emails before he would send them out to his colleagues, lest they figure out his dirty little secret. I knew that my invitation to his “information session” meant I was in for a lot more editing sessions. I was totally wrong. My support actually turned into me taking 7 bachelor level classes for him in their entirety. Ah the beauty of online classes!

    Talk about dancing pretty. Most of them were 4 credits a piece and if you’ve ever taken an online class, you know that they professors tend to lay the work on a little thick since they want you to have the full “college experience” That’s almost 30 credits or a full year worth of work. I already had my BS so I must have owed it to him cuz the bastard never even once thanked me. I got all As except for the last class which I pretty much tanked on purpose but even then I could only bring myself to go as low as a C. Yup, I was an epic chump.

  • Cheaterssuck…
    I teach college …sometimes teach interent classes. I make my students go to the testing center with ID to take their tests for reasons like this. Typing on iPad here. This makes me sad. Make that asshat carry his own ID from now on .

  • Oh God,,I did the letter thing after I learned that he was sleeping with his ex wife. Told him how much I loved him and what he was throwing away, still got them and up until now I used to read them over and over and cry. His responses were that he never felt comfortable at my house and espeacially when my kids were at home.He never meant to hurt me but he had to go as all his friends anf family were telling him he should reconcile, but could I please wait for him, he doesn’t know if it will work or not! WTF and I still replied “of course, I love you, I will wait and not have a life” all while you plan exotic holidays with the ex and renovate her house and go to parties and have a good time, buy her a new car. Don’t worry babes I’ll wait for you!

    After reading this I can’t believe that I said that! I am truely a chump!!!!

    Time to get my own life!!

  • How well did I dance? Call me Oprah…

    I bought him a new car!

    The first thing he did, of course, was go show it to OW. After NOT getting the thank you I was expecting, I prompted him like a five year old. “What do you say?” I asked.

    He looked me straight in the eye and said, “It’s about f**king time!”

    Apparently, I’d missed a spot. Working hard was MY lot; reaping the rewards was his…

    • o.O Gobsmacked, Red, just gobsmacked. (Sometimes it’s actually good in a way when they step so ridiculously far over the line that you can’t even spackle it.)

    • Red, once I figure out an invective that’s bad enough for your ex, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, what an uber-schmuck.

  • I did the Miracle Mambo (“If anyone can survive an affair it’s US, for my love can Pull Us Through!” Ugh.)

    • yes Free Vixen, me too. I even said to him “we’re soul mates so of course we’ll get through this’. What an idiot I was!

  • Marriage Counseling, weight-loss, stopped drinking, worked out two or three hours 5-7 days a week, took her out on dinner dates for her birthday and anniversary, movies, baseball games, sent flowers, sent ‘I love you’ hallmark cards, tried to be a better dad, told her we could still date even after she moved out, hysterical bonding and ‘good-bye’ sex. She did no heavy lifting or reinvestment. No wonder my emotions were in the toilet.

    Ironic, I now have the kids, house, my money (I pay no child support or alimony), she only got 5% of my pension, I’m finishing my MBA and getting ready to look for a dream job somewhere close to a beach after youngest son graduates high school.

    Meanwhile, she has been evicted from that first apartment, been forced to move a second time after MIL sold her home where they were living, been forced to move 2.5 hours away from kids with a new BF, filed bankruptcy was fired from her job. Now she sells Mary Kay and works in a restaurant. Karma

    • WOW! That story gives hope for us all! Kudos to you for concentrating on some things that will benefit you (working out, quit drinking) in the long run. Mine has money so I will never see him move into his mother’s basement (we don’t have basements in Florida for one thing) or hitting financial rock bottom, but I sure like hearing how other Chumps who were once humiliated and downtrodden ended up on top!

      • Mine has also has money and good financial sense. But hopefully after it’s settled he’ll have a lot less money and will feel the burn

  • Mine “insinuated” there were things I could do to incorporate what he was getting in that relationship with what he got in ours. Like he had some hope that I could fulfill ALL of his needs if I would just “step up my game.” Then when I said he was doing this, he denied it. (mindfuckery)
    I told him as soon as you remove the glee of sneaking around, the excitement of NEW ass, and the atta boy of SCORING, you have a regular, old, truly loving & real relationship….which you threw under the bus for a HO!
    This level of shock I had when he was saying things to me was stupendous! First you go through the general shock & horror of the decimation of trust & your life as you knew it, then you need to hear about how you could take on some of the affair partners “game” so you can compete?

    Where is a copy of “The Job of Sex” when you need it? Cause Buddy, you just made it a job!
    But at the time I sadly tried to up my game for a few months before I realized that the elements of this game I cannot ever compete with. And I felt like such a sorry fool. So humiliating!

  • I went to ridiculous lengths to make my ExH happy. Somehow, he always found a way to use my efforts to put me down. He always made fun of women who were overweight (despite the fact that he is overweight and bald). He made fun of his first wife because she was “fit when he married her but let herself go.” I vowed to always take care of myself. I worked out every day, put effort into looking good (nice hair, nice nails, cute clothes, etx). I even changed the type of underwear I wore in order to accommodate the sexy lingerie he always bought me. He liked the way I looked but he put me down. He would tell me “you just love having people state at you. People look at your ass and you know you look good. Guys can see your underwear every time you bend over (the underwear HE insisted I wear!!). You just like guys at the gym staring at you. The other moms talk about you at the pool. They know all the ‘tricks’ you use to stay thin. You should hear the things they say.”
    He would tell me how his first wife was such a slob. She never cleaned and the house was always a mess. I made sure out house was ALWAYS clean. He twisted that too. He would say “this house is more like a museum than a house. Everything has to be perfect for you. I feel like I can’t live here and make a mess.” His first wife was terrible with money. They had to file bankruptcy. I paid all the bills and we never had debt. Then he complained I was too stingy with money. He needed more spending money. He would complain that I was so selfish but then say the only people I cared about were my children and my dad. They were the only people who mattered to me according to my ExH. I guess what I’m trying to say is that he had impossibly high standards and then put me down for trying to reach them.

    • MmmHmm, I don’t know if complaining and negativity is considered a narc trait but it certainly was a trait my STBX had as well. I’m a glass half full kind of person so his constant negativity drove me crazy. Occasionally after negative remarks from him, I would say ‘ ok, what can you say that’s positive about that’? Then he’d act all offended and look for ways to criticize me.

  • CL, what about those of us that did the “YOU (the cheater) have to pick me dance”? That is the dance I was engaged in. He kept lying about picking me, after I figured that out and went for divorce he got violent. I can’t seem to come up with a way to describe this particular dance.

  • I did the Sex Toy Samba… He told me one of the reasons he cheated was because our sex life was boring and infrequent (true, but he had never said a word of complaint before), so I ordered $200 worth of sex toys to liven things up. Needless to say, he wasn’t that interested in livening things up with me, when the OW was still servicing him on his business trips.

  • After spending nearly a year reading the comments on this site, I finally decided to leave a comment today. When I look back on the stage of the “pick me dance” I feel so sorry for the girl I was, so naive, desperately clinging to the fairytale I had played out in my head. I had two d days, the first one I threw myself at him, took picture messages of myself, cooked more cleaned more… I don’t recognise myself when I type these things!!! The second d day came and I packed my bags and left, found an amazing therapist and since then I’m a happier, more confident person. This collapse in my life made way for a level of conscience I am so grateful for, I still have bad days but I’m so much more aware of my thinking, my self blaming, my guilt for leaving, I have the tools to get past this thought pattern, and of course chump lady is one of those tools too, it’s a relief to hear the opinions of like minded people, who are authentic to themselves and what they tolerate, I am truly grateful x

    • I’m happy to hear your voice Empowered_lady! We are the total of our experiences aren’t we? So we may have made mistakes but we learn from them and become ourselves more every day. Jedi Hugs!

  • God. I did everyone of them , except for the open marriage swing. See I didn’t realize that was the tripe my now X was slinging to his OW, telling them we had an open-marriage. After I forget which DDay it was, he tried to get me to do the open marriage thing. Nope. Not happening. Shut it down. He was pissed, and I pretty much knew we were done, since he was then giving me GINR, and then not even that after a short while. The way our relationship had evolved from ok in the beginning, to downright hell in the end after 12 years, I knew it had to end. I am so GLAD that he is out of my life, for the most part. Every day I wake up thrilled that he is not here. Funny because a year ago, I wouldn’t have felt this way.

  • OK, I have a question. What does GINR stand for? I googled it but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t stand for Greenland Institute of Natural Resources.

  • 12 months post d’day and STBX still expects me to dance. Let’s call it the ‘you should just know what I want and sort it for me samba’. STBX called last night demanding to know what portion of Christmas Day do I plan on giving him with the kids. A week out from Christmas, Me, “I’m sorry I have made plans as you had not arranged anything with me, Him,” but I want them and it is unfair of you to not consider that I would want that. Me,” no sorry not my job to read your mind and assume to know your plans.

    Then it continued. He requested a few months back to have the kids for a weeks holidays over January ( giving me less than 24 hours for a reply) but neither week would work so offered an alternative. I heard nothing from him only to find in this conversation last night that he went ahead and booked one of the weeks even cleared it with the hospital as our youngest is battling leukaemia. And now just expects that I should give in and forget any plans the kids and I have.

    I now laugh because when I remained assertive but calm and stated that he was hoping he could get round me, his only come back was that to get round me would take an extra wide berth.

    Reality is I too experienced the cheater diet and look better now than I did married to him. LOL

  • It only took me an hour to go from the Pick Me dance to the F***you Flamenco. I was due to chair an Alanon meeting that we attended together once a week, and then we would go out for coffee. It was our weekly “date.” I did not have much time for dancing then, as I was working full time nights, going to nursing school, and dealing with running the household with two kids and him. He went to work and came home….period.
    Well we went to the meeting and lo and behold…there is schmoopie….I have to chair the meeting,,,,he sits down beside her and they proceed to schmooze…her hand on his knee. I sat there and thought..” I could go over and slap the shit out of both of them, or I could hang on to my dignity and sit here and chair the meeting like the classy lady I am.” I chaired the meeting. When it was over I went in to the bathroom and cried for about 5 minutes, splashed some cold water on my face, and went out to tear him a new one. He had meanwhile said his goodbyes to schmoopie and had gotten into the car. I got in and looked at him for a minute and told him…”You want her….you got her….Lets go home and pack your shit!” At that point I was done with any dancing whatsoever. That was the day I started planning my sons and my getaway.

    I never danced for him again.

  • Just wanted to mention that on the day of my divorce my xH said to me:
    “The children are grown. You are no longer useful to me.”
    Swear to God.
    Us chumps find it really really hard to believe that there are people in the world who think like this. We thought we were in love. They thought we were useful.

    • freetlast, im sorry your ex husband said that to you. That’s cruel!!! I’m not sure why they would say that, but just know that you’re worth so much and you deserve 10000000 times better than that.

      • Bea, my Ex said so many heartless things to me I was truly in stunned silence a lot. I did not know who this person was or why I would have ever looked twice at him. Yet I was still in love with who I had thought he was. It is a mind screw, doctoral level course!! Too bad he didn’t leave after being a sperm donor for your wonderful kids!! But most of us aren’t feeling too clever at the time we are hearing such drivel.
        Hope his lessons going forward are hard.
        In fact, most of us are relieved when we realize by reading about the amazing similarities in our stories that we have not lost our minds-they have!

        • Regina, That’s absolutely right. We felt in love with who we thought we they were. In other words, we felt in love with an illusion. I think that what Freeatlast’s xH told her is so cruel, it’s mind blowing. It seems that your x was also cruel with you Regina, I’m sorry about that!

          • Thank you Bea, just wanted you to know you are hardly alone!! One of the hardest things to get over was these unnecessary heartless comments that were said & are now floating around in your head! Mine said he cheated because he wanted something “different!” WTF? It didn’t take much did it? Just an offer? I could be courting “offers” too, in fact my job offers me much freedom to do so. When Chumps give their word, you can take it to the bank. When a Cheater gives his word, even the pawn shop turns it down as foolsgold.

            • You welcome Regina. 🙂

              Wow, I love what you said: “When Chumps give their word, you can take it to the bank. When a Cheater gives his word, even the pawn shop turns it down as foolsgold.” So true, because we are loyal, kind and honest people. We even loved our cheater exes because for us loving is just a lifestyle.

              And if your ex wanted something different, he got it, because I doubt he would find another one like you. Keep on going, your future is bright! 🙂

              • Thx Bea! Feeling better. Like most of our Cheaters, we would often have a belly laugh seeing who it was that was just “too great to resist” if it weren’t so shocking & we hadn’t wasted all the time with them. Kind of like abandoning a nice new vehicle to carjack a clunker!!

  • When he moved out I helped him find a mattress for his new place. And when he came over to visit our daughter (he refused to tell me where he was living and refused to let me/our daughter over there) I made a homecooked meal for all of us to eat together. I was trying to show him how kind and patient I was and what he was giving up. Thankfully I got over that after about a month.

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