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Dear Chump Lady, I’m due to give birth and found him sexting…

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Dear Chump Lady,

I am with who I thought was the love of my life. Everything was going so smooth. We were perfect! We were so happy and everything was going great, we found out we were going to be having a baby. We ended up having a bumpy path, but we got over it.

Well, I’m due in six days, and the other morning I looked through his phone because he was acting a bit strange. And come to find out he was sexting another girl. Getting her to send him pictures and he doesn’t know her. And it went on for four days.

He told me he had to quit talking to her cause he kept thinking of me. I don’t know if I should believe him. I told him I was going to give him another chance, but my trust for him is out the window. I love him with all my heart, I really do. This man means the world to me. But I’m scared he’s gonna do it again. What should I do?

Jessica

Dear Jessica,

I got your letter 9 days ago, so most likely by now you’re a mom — congratulations! What should you do? Focus on your new baby. Focus on your own self-care, and please, for right now, take the focus off Cheater McGee.

I know that sounds completely counter-intuitive, but that’s ultimately what this comes down to — redirecting the love from him and directing it to yourself and your child instead.

You don’t mention in your letter if you’re married. I hope the first thing you did was put him down as the father on the birth certificate. Now he’s legally on the hook.

Because IMO that’s the only hook that is going to commit this guy to his kid and you. The strong boot of the law. I’m sure some folks would read this (maybe you, in fact) and think I’m over-reacting, but sweetheart, please make a call to your local child support enforcement office. If you are not married, you need extra protection. You need to ensure that he will provide financially for that child, get his wages docked, and let the state be the heavy on this if he doesn’t.

Oh, but he loves you! Oh, but he Was Thinking Of You All the Time!

I’m going to go on a tangent here — the BIGGEST line of shit that cheaters spew is that they were “thinking of you.” Of course, while he was looking at her tits he was thinking of your tits! No he wasn’t. He was looking at OTHER tits because he wants to see OTHER tits. Tits that are NOT your tits. I was “thinking of you” is such utter mindfuckery.

No, Cheater, if you thought of ANYONE, you thought of YOURSELF. Because this is what cheating is — entitlement. He feels entitled to sex, pictures, sexy talk with whomever he pleases. He does not feel bound by a commitment to you.

You cannot reconcile cheating with “thinking of you.” Ask every chump — we’ve tried this one, trust us on this. It’s complete nonsense.

So, now what are we left with? A selfish jerk. A jerk you love.

The kindest thing I can say about the man is he’s immature and not ready for family life. Look, Jessica, there are men out there who truly do commit to their partners. Who would not leave you feeling unsafe when you are at your most vulnerable. New mothers have enough on their plates — an infant who attaches itself to you like a barnacle, an abdomen of silly putty, episiotomy scars — it’s not a pretty time. No one feels terrifically fetching after giving birth. And NOW, of all times, you’re expected to do the Pick Me Dance? How on earth could you compete with Miss Sexting there? All available and interested with her perky breasts that don’t leak or wake her up at inconvenient hours? Her taut pussy when yours feels like the Erie Canal? Her unwavering attentiveness when you can hardly stay awake from exhaustion?

It’s not a fair fight. And he fucking knows it.

Oh but it was only sexting! It just stopped there. Did it? Do you really think a guy who sexts isn’t a guy who wants to get laid?

But you don’t have evidence of that. No, you just have evidence that he’s a selfish asshole.

Is that guy acceptable to you? What could this man do to convince you of his love and commitment to you?

Here’s a pop quiz:

a) Tell you it’s no big deal. It didn’t mean anything.

b) Minimize it, lie, and tell you really he was thinking of you all along. He thought of you so much he did it for four straight days until you busted him.

c) Have an honest conversation with you and tell you he’s not ready for a larger commitment.

d) Work to reassure you that he is committed by legal means — a support agreement for your child.

e) Work to assure you this is HIS problem and not yours and goes to therapy for his entitlement issues and doesn’t blameshift his crap on to you (i.e., well I had to do this, you got fat and pregnant).

Let me guess — you’re getting a lot of a and b, and not much of c, d, or e?

Jessica, parenthood is a marathon. You need a steady, reliable partner by your side, not a fuckwit who is going to drag you down. You’re starting out of the gate with a guy you can’t trust. I suggest if this man is a boyfriend, that you dump him, and do work out with him what you can expect from him on the father front. Many of us have walked this path as single moms and we’re mighty! Many others of us have walked this path as the chump who took him back and lived to regret it. If there are unicorns out there who had a child with a guy like this and he matured into a good partner, I’d love to hear from you. But I expect you’re busy in the fairy forest somewhere…

This is your life, Jessica. Is this man deserving of your good opinion? Is he good enough to share your life and your child’s life? Please pay attention to who this guy IS — through his actions, not his pretty words. Your child is watching you, now and over the next 18 years. Model strength and resiliency — and don’t take shit, Jessica.

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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.
  • Jessica, you said there were some bumps in the road during your pregnancy. My husband and I were very young with our first child. I had mild nausea and slept a lot but that was it. He wanted the baby, sex between us was fine and he loves his children. Is he perfect? Nope, but I never had any “bumps in the road” from him. Please share with CN what those bumps were. These people have seen it all and lived it all. There is no better, clearer, eyesight than from a Chump.

  • Just wanted to add to my letter — giving someone a child is a GIFT. So is your love. Childbirth, childrearing, are the ultimate expressions of your love and self — and they take a toll. It’s sacrifice, it’s saggy tits, it’s stretch marks. If someone cannot appreciate your love and your gifts, Dear God, don’t share them. Give your love to people who CAN appreciate.

    Sexting another woman is devaluing you. Being emotionally checked on on your weeks before birth is him putting his immaturity and sexual gratification above your needs at a very difficult life passage. How is this guy going to do the rest of adult life?

    There ARE men who DO appreciate. Who are troopers. Who love past your stretch marks. Who partner. Hold out for one of the good ones and don’t settle for a jerk. JMHO.

  • Hello Chumps,

    I just wanted to ask CL if the forum is down? Last posts 7hrs ago and I find it hard to believe the forum regulars haven’t posted anything in that time..

  • Oh Jessica,
    My heart hurts for you and I know your pain too well. I may type some harsh truths below and I’m sorry for that. But trust that you will get through this better and faster on the brutal honesty track rather than the bullshit track. Trust me, I lived it.

    When I was pregnant was the exact time my sweet, loving, adoring husband turned into a withdrawn, callous, cold manipulator. And yes, CL is right, this is AWFUL timing for such deceit…and that’s his whole plan. Once this baby arrives that’s where your focus will be, and to an egotist…that just won’t work. He needs his ego stroked, he needs the attention all on him and he’s not willing not capable of taking a back seat to focus HIS time and energy on anyone else, including his baby. How SELFISH…yes, but that likely won’t change. Another thing CL is spot on about is making sure you get the money you and that child are entitled to, likelihood is that he won’t give it willingly. My ex and I were together for 6 years total, 3 years married and had a 1 year old and trust that he had zero plans of giving me a dime. He actually went so far as to collaborate with his police officer uncle (I wasn’t aware cops were lawyers, judges AND domestic relations officers, too!!! Lol.) and he used whatever bullshit information he obtained there to threaten and terrorize me for months; threatening to sell the house out from under me and giving me fake dates that I needed to vacate it by (with our baby included), telling me there’s no way I’d ever be able to afford it myself so I better get prepared to pay him off with a lump sum & even claiming not only would he not give me money but shit, I just may have to pay HIM!!!! Lmao…oh he always was funny. These people, cheaters, like to have control and that includes finances. Trust that unless he’s the one in a million statistic breaker and that this was his once in a lifetime slip up…you will need all the help you can get in making sure you and your baby are taken care of.

    Fast forward 2 and a half years for me; I have primary (80%) custody of our daughter, I kept our house and ironically have much more money now that he’s gone, he pays child support and a mortgage deviation until the finalization of our divorce and life is GREAT. For the jerk: He’s pretty much living the nomadic bachelor life with not much in the way of responsibility. He moved back with his parents for awhile but once that got old he went searching for his next victim or at least honed in and worked his manipulation magic on one that he already had in the works.
    He’s dating, crashing, likely rent free with what I believe was one of his other women and plays house one and a half days a week with our daughter, doesn’t pay his car bill so he drives her car around, has racked up multiple delinquent parking tickets from his excursions in the city, has multiple school loans to pay off because he failed out from his overwhelmingly distracting cheating (he blames me for him failing out), he looks like shit but claims he’s in the “best place he’s been in years”.

    So the moral of the story is; YOU and that baby will be fine! HE will likely continue to live a lie.

    Take care of yourself & the baby and like CL said, take the focus off of him. That’s when you’ll really see who you’re dealing with. If he’s dedicated to change, he will be by your side. If not, collect evidence of his lies, document everything and keep it unknown to him…you may need that later.
    Good luck to you and to your blessing!

    • TBJ,
      Cheater sounds sadly familiar. Also, sounds as though poetic justice is being served. You are mighty.

      • Thank you, rockstar! It’s been a long & emotional couple years but I’ve been graced with many blessings since removing that black cloud from my life. Now he can take that shit storm into someone else’s world and I get to sit back and enjoy the comedy show!

        • Mighty story TBJ! I love “Now he can take that shit storm into someone else’s world and I get to sit back and enjoy the comedy show!” Don’t forget to get the popcorn!

          • Thanks, cheaterssuck! Just like I’m sure each and every one of us does…I have my moments of despair. But I was graced with a sick sense of humor and I now I know why. Humor is your best defense against all that life throws at you, especially these clowns. As he continues his life on this “better path” I’m sure I’ll be keeping you updated on the hilarity. I’ll bring enough popcorn for everyone!

    • “Once this baby arrives that’s where your focus will be, and to an egotist…that just won’t work. He needs his ego stroked, he needs the attention all on him and he’s not willing not capable of taking a back seat to focus HIS time and energy on anyone else, including his baby. How SELFISH…yes, but that likely won’t change.”

      TBJ is spot on with this, Jessica. My XH was a really good dad…for about 4 years. By the time #3 arrived, he was “done” being a father – that’s when single motherhood really began for me. The oldest was 12 when he told me, “The kids add no value to my life. I’d rather have the money I’d spent on the them than them.” I’ll never forget that.

      He remarried recently. Want to know what he was doing a few weeks before his wedding? Sexting some other woman. His fiance found out about it, married him ANYWAY, and is now the marriage police. His leash is so short, it chokes. Any guesses how long that marriage will last?

      As hard as it is, let him go, Jessica. CL is right: you need a strong partner to help you parent, not someone who’s more interested in himself than his child.

      • “The kids add no value to my life. I’d rather have the money I’d spent on the them than them.”

        Red, that is possibly the worst sentence I have ever read. Inhuman.

          • How heartbreaking that had to be to hear Red. So sorry for you and your kids but glad that he is out of your life. Whenever I read stories like that I can’t help but hope there is a special place in hell for jackasses like that!

          • Red–the only good thing about a comment like that is that you IMMEDIATELY know the fucker is irredeemable. Nada. nothing. zilch to work with in hopes of finding a human being.

            • Who does a cost/benefit analysis on their CHILDREN? “Sorry kids, you’re not bringing enough value to the table. You really need to up your game before your next annual review or you’ll need to find another job.”

    • so my cheater cheater pants decided to watch porn after my 3rd child, to give me a break. He could take care of things himself, so not to bother me. he was so thoughtful.. ohhhh no wait he was FULL OF SHIT. he wanted to watch porn, he was cheating I was just in crazy pregnant hormones and a heavy stage of mindfuckery. PROTECT YOURSELF and your baby

  • Jessica, i hope everything went well. The assumption is you had your baby without problems. Lets all pray( to whom ever is yr god(s) ) that you and baby are ok.
    How convenient that your fuckwit picks this particular time to get busted…at one of the most vulenerable times of your life… It aint by accident. Its a sign. Put it on file…. And make your plans.
    Run honey…. And run the otherway. Check in with us.

  • I forgot a few things, Jessica:
    1. Assemble your support group of trusted friends, family, co-workers and tell them everything. These people will help you through this tough time & keep you grounded.
    2. Speak your truth. Do not hide his actions for any reason. Not for hopes of reconciliation, not to protect his image, not because you feel embarrassed that he’s an idiot…accepting the facts will help you heal more quickly.
    3. Seek legal advice and advocacy. Lawyers are able to cut through bullshit very quickly because they have no emotional connection to your significant other. I ALWAYS felt relief after leaving an appointment with mine. The sooner you see one, the smarter you’ll handle this.
    4. Seek out a therapist or counselor. Mine has been invaluable! If you have constraints because of the baby, which I also had at one point, there are free/low cost options. The Catholic Charities in my area saw me for my $10 co-pay AND I brought my baby along.

    • Footnote: You don’t have to be Catholic to use the charities.

      Surrounding yourself with a network of support is the most important thing to do at this time. Having a child for the first time is dramatic enough without having to deal with a relationship gone wry. The baby’s father is an immature, foolish young man thinking only of his needs.

      YOU + BABY + SUPPORT NETWORK

      Get through your first 4-6 months, if you can, without disruption of home. You are nesting with your new baby chick. Learning how to care for an infant, breastfeeding, getting up in the middle of the night, caring for your body, healing and hormonal changes will keep you busy. Keep this world as the focus for the time being. Really concentrate on you and the baby’s well being.

      Look at him as a roommate. As long as there is no physical harm or severe verbal abuse, we can all live with a jackass for a short period of time.

      After 6 months make your plans.

      I’ve been through four pregnancies and my daughter just had her new baby. I forgot how much work it is with a new infant in those first months and how vulnerable you are as a new mother.

      Congratulations and welcome to motherhood. You are beautiful and I am sure your baby is, too.

      Keep in touch.

  • Excuses are usually offered to explain bad choices. Some excuses may be legitimate, like “my car slid on the black ice on the road, and I ran off the road and into a tree.” There was no intent to hit the ice. However — “you are pregnant (with my child) and not attractive to me or interested in having sex with me, therefore I am sexting with another woman” is not a valid excuse. It is bad character. It is selfish. He didn’t get sext’s without intent. As for women who agree to send these inappropriate images of their most personal body parts by sexting, or skyping, or whatever — I can only say that with the information available from the media coverage of this type of bad decision, if the woman is older than say 7 and still doesn’t know this is a BAD IDEA, then she will no doubt end up suffering the consequences of this appalling decision.

    In addition, there is a vast difference between being encouraged to do the Pick Me Dance and actually courting the woman you love to encourage loving activity. Men do know how to court a woman — they do it when they want us to date them, and later to become their fiance or wife. There is no reason a man should ever stop courting a woman he wants to be loving toward him. “We are married now” is no excuse. “It is your duty” is no excuse. The last thing most women need is ANOTHER job. Who gets excited and “in the mood” when the job awaiting you is basically like churning butter or sucking a golf ball through a garden hose? Not fun. Not exciting. Boring. Loving is mutual, and involves respect and integrity and accountability. Loving requires honest communication. No matter what the medical condition or problem is, there is probably a loving solution, but it has to be mutually attractive to be viable.

    The other elephant in the room in all of these transactions is the core problem of co-dependency. It is not MY responsibility to solve YOUR problem. Codependents often listen to another person, especially a family member, while they are recounting their litany of troubles, and then say “What am I doing to cause this? What can I do to fix this?” The question we should ask is “What are YOU doing to solve your own problem?” We may be able and/or willing to ASSIST another that we care about solve a problem, but it is not OUR job. No one, including us, can fix someone else. Fixing a problem starts by acknowledging that you have a problem and trying to figure out what you can do to solve your own problem. You may ask others for assistance, but you cannot expect to lie there like a slug and have anyone else do the heavy lifting for you. This is the heart of character, this is the basis of saving yourself. When you do not see yourself as a victim but as a mighty problem solver, your attitude about yourself and your abilities will change.

    With regard to having medical problems, or an illness, or dealing with the inevitable problems of aging — no one chooses these things. They are not pleasant. But you have to be realistic with regard to living with these conditions. For example, many men may have problems with premature ejaculation, or erectile dysfunction. This problem is not caused by women. This problem will not be “fixed” by trading in an existing woman for a new woman. Women may have a terrible time with the symptoms of menopause. This is not caused by men, or solved by getting a new man, or be as easy to fix as some assume by taking a trip to the drugstore and buying an ice-pack and a tube of KY. These problems are dealt with by being realistic and creatively caring. Denial of the problem is not going to “cure” anything.

    Cheating is trading a current problem for a future one. It never solves anything either. As the late Joan Rivers observed, “grow up”. Get real about your situation. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Forget about “but WE are so happy, and WE are so in love.” You can only speak for yourself. His actions do not indicate that he is happy or in love, nor does any character seem to be evident. That is reality, and that is what you have to deal with.

    • Portia writes: ‘Who gets excited and “in the mood” when the job awaiting you is basically like churning butter or sucking a golf ball through a garden hose? Not fun. Not exciting. Boring.”

      Wow – never heard that put so succinctly in such a funny way. And, man, can I relate!

      • I “borrowed” the golf ball/hose from Schmoopie, but I think it is an apt description. I suppose some folks might consider those things to be a skill, but I always felt that I preferred not to use those skills whenever I was offered yet another job at the end of my busy day!

  • Jessica,
    Six days before the birth of my son I was talking and making playful noises to that baby, making it kick and push back against my hand. The birth of my second, my 3 1/2 yr old son was helping me. We had mom laughing all the time.
    I can not imagine how he could leave your side for anything. He’s not normal. You know this! What drives you crazy is that he doesn’t get it. You can talk to him until the cows come home and he won’t get it.
    It takes a significant emotional event to change a person. I can only assume that if this pregnancy was not a significant enough event to keep him away from sexting he is a lost cause!
    Get your support order fast because he’s a runner!

  • Don’t become me, Jessica. My first pregnancy 19yrs ago with the cheater should have clued me into his self absorption and immaturity. We both we not expecting to begin our family so soon, but we..or I …embraced it. Up to that life change, we were young professionals having a very fun and sparkly DINK life.

    Having children demands the focus be shifted from you and placed solidly onto the child during the infancy stage, and it changes as the child grows and learns. I made the shift. I had to. My baby was extremely needy with colic but otherwise very heathy. My cheater, not so much. Lots of jealousy, blame shifting and immature, very immature, neediness. My focus was placed on meeting the needs of an infant who was unable to sooth, feed or change his own diapers vs focusing on the needs of a 30yr old man.

    This developed into a lot of passive aggressive and covert aggressive behavior from the cheater to me. Creating a pick me dance which I tried and tried and tried to please my partner. So, 20yrs later and four children later I discovered in 2013 that my cheater began his serial cheating on me when child number two was still in diapers. So cheating basically 17-18yrs out of our entire marriage. His justification: my wife is too focused on the kids (while I became a SAHM to support his career progression in 2 countries /4 states and huge travel load).

    Your guy will not change. maybe he will. But call his shit out now and he needs to initiate his own IC in order to grow the fuck up and be the man you love and the father your child deserves.

    Don’t become me. I spackled. I did not listen to my gut. So here I am. I am addressing the years of Gaslighting and emotional abuse, possible STDs xfrerred to me and thankfully not my other children, use of martial funds on his friends and his long term MOW, attempting to re-enter the workforce after being out for 17 yrs, making plans on supporting my remaining at home kids.

    Address what the fuck is going on. Prepare yourself to move forward and onto a better life with always the possibility to meet a true partner who respects you and has your back…and your child’s back.

  • Actually, he did give me the gift that keeps on giving, STD. His cheating was so very very bad and without using condoms, that my first shock was not panicking with the thought of WTF my young twins could be infected with. I know they already tested you as part of the prenatal exams. If you choose to breast feed, it still puts your baby at risk if he is screwing around. So sorry!

    • ANC…….mine gave me the same gift. I can NEVER forgive for that; he doesn’t care though because he has moved on infecting young strippers, mostly, with his gift. I have the worst time handling this part wondering how I can ever get anyone to be ok with potentially getting my gift too. I’m not ok with it, so why would anyone else who does not have it be ok with it?
      I am wondering how you are coping with this?

      • ANC and IHaveHate Wow you both have such powerful stories to share and it is so true. Indifferent people that will have sex with just about anyone will most likely be fine with causing harm that is physically mentally emotionally and psychologically damaging. People that will serial cheat and have one night stands and men who will use prostitutes and strippers are most often not that concerned about getting or sharing STD s. These behaviors are an obsessive compulsive Narcissistic type of sexuality. What jerks, It should be illegal to be such a jerk

        • Spot on, Martha. I was absolutely floored with the extent of his infidelities. The topper for sure was his swinging, serial cheating MOW. All.without.condoms! When I shrieked about the sheer stupidity and selfishness of his behavior and that his actions DIRECTLY PUT MY CHILDREN AT RISK for a potential death sentence, he looked dumb founded. Clearly his needs superseded even the health of his youngest kids. Asshole.

      • IHH- I think you mentioned you are Italian American. Me too. So there is a TON of indoctrination by our religion such as, hell divorce infidelty madonna complex misogyny blah blah blah, plus the whole Italian thing on top of it.

        WE-us chumps- upheld our vows with our spouses. Yea. I went through that entire polluted phase. I thank The Lord I do not have HPV linked cancer, HIV or hepatitis. I am glad I didn’t end up with PID to prematurely sterilize me before having kids. I’m not minimizing the violation of my marriage by the cheater and the permanent reminder of his wandering dick.

        It was HUMILIATING to tell my doctor to check me for all possible STD’s and that my spouse had already infected me with herpes by 1999.

        How I deal with this is by a weird acceptance that it is a part of me, like my blue eyes. There is no cure. There are medications to minimize outbreaks. Sucks. But it is not who I am as a person. I don’t or won’t allow myself to be shamed by his horrible behavior and complete disregard of my health and the health of my kids. I don’t and won’t permit myself to feel dirty. It is a fact I have it. It is a fact that I must reveal this to people who may become future partners and accept they may reject me.

        The only good thing, really, is I get to frankly discuss STD’s in graphic detail with my teens and implore them to protect themselves, even with the purest looking or acting person. You never know. I’ve even offered to buy my son condoms for college. He revealed that it was standard practice that the RA kept a large bowl filled with them and available at all times.

        Big hugs. This is absolutely NO reflection on you or your worthiness for a better future and a better partner!

        • ANC……thanks for that. Yes, I’m Italian-American and agreed with you on the ‘guilt’ issues related with religion, etc. I really don’t feel shamed, dirty, or less worthy of myself. It’s more of the way a future SO might feel. I know if I didn’t have it, I certainly wouldn’t want it either. So I have to put myself in their shoes. So to me ultimately, odds are not good. I’ve been rejected by one person. Haven’t connected with anyone since. Not too in a hurry to do so either. I can’t blame them though.
          Anyway, you sound like a wonderful mom! Your educating you kids on this is admirable!

  • I agree this is a big red flag of bad stuff to come. Be happy that you saw it now instead of 9 years later after having your second kid. I wish that I would have checked my husbands phone and emails throughout our marriage, I did not even though I had the passwords I trusted him. Finding out now on 3/2014 after 10 years of marriage is devastating. He hid it from me sexting with coworkers while I was pregnant, after I gave birth he was sending emails to Craig’s list hookup ads, messaging his ex girlfriend to try to have an affair with her and the worst he confessed to actually having sex with his coworker in her car after a work outing. He only confessed because he was having issues urinating and thought he had caught something from her and potentially given it to me. So you see it continues once they show the first red flag please pay attention and steer clear.

  • My ex started out doing exactly the same thing before our son was born. I caught him sexting the receptionist from our optometrist’s office, and he swore that it was a HUGE mistake, he was under a lot of stress, it would never happen again, blah blah blah. Guess what? It happened again. And THEN guess what happened? He had a full on physical affair and left me and our 2-year-old. I’m sure your husband will tell you that it was the stress of the baby that drove him to look for an outlet. That is BS. A person like that has the coping skills of a toddler. Not only will he not change, but he will escalate. Life gets tough, and only assholes turn to cheating for relief. I agree with CL’s advice. Stay for now because you and your newborn have enough to manage. But plan your exit once your life with baby normalizes. He is NOT the partner you need, and he is NOT a good role model for your child. And finally, I’m so very sorry you’re going through this. Snuggle that baby and let him or her be your new guiding light.

  • This crap on top of the emotions of surrounding pregnancy and childbirth is something awful. The quick way to find out what this guy is made of is exposure. Point a spotlight into his dark dirty closet of nasty. Tell your parents, your closest friends, etc about the dirtbag sexting while you were doing the Braxton Hicks. Also be sure to collect and evidence and send a copy to his skank’s boyfriend/husband and relatives. Keep a copy around if you happen to be married or in one of those states where you can sue the her. Or at least threaten to. I have to say from personal experience that is really satisfying to alert the OWs husband.

    1. You get extra emotional support that you really need. 2. You do not carry his icky secrets which will nibble your soul away over the years 3. If he freaks out, dump and run. 4. If he publicly owns his crap not just to you, but your friends and family maybe, just maybe, you might have a chance.

  • Dear Jessica,
    I have a story here which I think can really help you.
    When I was pregnant with my first son I wasnt able to live with his father during part of the pregnancy due to some circumstances beyond both of our control. However when our baby was 4 months old I went to live with him. When I got to his place, he went out to run an errand and I found some “love poems” sitting on a table, and I could tell they were not about me. I confronted him and he said it was nothing, said that he loved me, said that he wanted to stay with me. I cried and cried, but I forgave him.
    I cut him some slack because he was the father of my baby. However I noticed a woman that was hanging around me and the baby, and I suspected she was the one. We moved away and I never saw her again.
    Fast forward to second pregnancy seven years later. xH becomes emotionally withdrawn and when my baby is a few months old I find out that he is having an affair. This time I make him move out, and it takes 9 months of apologies before I let him move back in.Eventually after much pleading I let him back in my life because he is very romantic and I want the children to have a father.
    He took absolutely no responsibility for anything practical. I was the one to do all the heavy lifting, pay the bills, take care of repairs etc. When there was an emergency (broken legs, broken arms etc) xH would disappear. We began a lopsided marriage where xH was like having another child. I would support him and he would provide me with companionship but I was always the one to have to do all the “manly” stuff. I said it sucks, but the important thing is to have a father for my children so I got used to it.
    Fast forward 27 years of taking care of my two children and my man-child and what happens? He ran off with the OW who was the exact same one who moved in on our marriage when I was pregnant with my second baby and who used to lurk around when my oldest was a baby. That is to say she had been stalking us. On his way out the door he was angry, told everyone he knew that he had never loved me and I had “ruined his life”. He even went to enormous effort to turn my children against me.
    So at the age of 54 I have to start my life over again.
    Don’t let this be you Jessica. Don’t believe his apologies. It is much easier to find a new partner and a father for your children when you are young. You can do better. There are men out there looking for a long term committed relationship who will accept a woman with a young child. Someone trustworthy you can grow old with. Honestly this guy doesnt sound like family building material. This sounds a lot like my xH.

    • Freeatlast, damn, another one of those “patient ” hard up OWs we were discussing yesterday! WTF is wrong with these people???? It’s mind boggling! I just hope this lovely woman and her sweet baby will run as fast as she can in the opposite direction of the baby daddy! He’s a total crapweasel!!

  • Jessica, Here’s the ‘good news’:

    If you end this relationship,

    *your baby will not have to suffer the shock, pain, confusion, loss, etc which is experienced by older children when their parents split and their lives become burdened with many stresses surrounding divorce and the dismantling of their home. Your baby can grow up with split parents as a way of life; no shock, drama, and trauma mid-childhood.

    *you can move forward establishing a life free of the chronic distrust, disgust, resentment, and bitterness which have a way of becoming hallmark of the ‘new normal’ post-betrayal/infidelity life.

    *you can move forward surrounding yourself with people who are genuine and authentic in their care, regard, and respect for you and your baby rather than watching your H’s mouth move when he speaks always wondering if what is coming out is the truth or manipulation or lies.

    *you can avoid a relationship and a life of ALWAYS wondering…worrying…what is REALLY in your H’s mind and heart; facing the daily decision to snoop for verification of no inappropriate behaviors OR bury your head in the sand and hope for the best. It’s an awful way to live… but is a given as part of the territory in a post-infidelity relationship.

    *removing yourself from all the typical, consuming, mental/emotional turmoil and distress associated with staying will free up your mind and energies so that you can be the best mother you can be for your baby; otherwise, you will be a chronically distracted mother who is struggling to cope in a relationship missing the most basic, fundamental features: faithfulness and trust. It is VERY hard to be that ‘good mother’ when taxed with the post-infidelity disarray from morning til night.

    MAYBE this was his only offense. But, I think it is VERY telling that he was so sneaky, entitled, self-indulgent and focused AWAY from you and the relationship at a time when couples draw closer than ever in anticipation of the birth of their first child. If he’s straying NOW…at a peak…at a relationship-high time…what can you expect when the novelty of it all wears off…and you both settle into the routines of family life??

    There are some basic givens when it comes to cheating:

    *what faithful spouses find out…is only what THEY have been able to uncover; cheaters typically do not admit to MORE or further incidents of infidelity. It’s no surprise that they are SELFISHLY more interested in damage control and saving face for themselves than coming clean about EVERYTHING they’ve been up to behind their partner’s back. If you are like so many other spouses, you have likely only discovered the tip of the ice burg.

    Please take care of yourself and your beautiful baby.

    • TrailGirl is right, there are a lot of positives to take away from this. You might not see those for a little while because of the initial pain & devastation that you’re experiencing. But I guarantee you that eventually, you will see the positive benefits of it.

      Although it was completely selfishly motivated, my ex did me a favor by shitting the bed on our marriage 3 years in & leaving before our daughter was aware of what was happening. She will never hear us going head to head over his lies, never hear me crying throughout the night upon seeing his phone records and she will never see me so low from constant verbal abuse that I lost 20 pounds in one month and became a temporary shell of my former self. Because of all he has taught me about sociopathy & narcissism and all that they entail I move forward with eyes wide open. I can’t guarantee I’ll never marry another cheater because that’s an individual choice that I have no control over. But I can guarantee that I know much more about what to look for when dating now and if I ever do find myself in that predicament again…I’ll know exactly how to handle it.

      Whatever happens with you, your significant other and your child, you will learn something (likely many things) and you will become stronger.

      I wish you all the best & congratulations on that new baby!

  • Jessica-

    First Congrats! Being pregnant and giving birth is hard enough without the circumstances you described. You have my deepest sympathy for that.

    My experience with being a chump came after my children were already grown and out of the house. That’s the first one I found out about so who knows; I could’ve been a chump when I was pregnant and knowing what I know now, I think I would be more surprised to find out that I wasn’t.

    I don’t have a lot of advice to give you with regards to your next steps because I know it must be scary facing motherhood alone. It sounds like you are young though and that works in your favor. If you’re reaching out to Chump Lady then you already know what your boundaries are and when we’re young and fierce and have not spent our lives with someone who cuts us down all the time, we retain that fierceness.

    I would say cut your losses and get away from him. He’s already sort of flunked the true reconciliation test so you’ll wind up with worse if you stay.

    Just my two cents. Good luck.

  • Jessica, Here’s the thing. If as the birth of his first child approaches, he spends his time and energy on another woman instead of the woman carrying his child, he’s no good. No good. Think of it this way, how did he get to know this woman well enough to be exchanging sexy talk and pictures? How long has it been going on? Have they met in person? And who else is involved?

    You mention that you’ve had a bumpy time. Let me guess: you are ready to settle down and he’s having trouble behaving like a committed partner/husband and father. You love him exclusively and want to make him the center of your world and you’ve had issues about how he spends his time. He spends money on himself and you want him to think of the “family.” He parties and you want family life. That is, some version of you are “all in” and he wants his options open and his life to remain what it was before you got pregnant.

    Honey, there are many chumps here who did everything in the right order: dated, got engaged, had the big wedding, built up resources, bought a home, waited for a few years and had a well-planned family–and then found out that partners were cheating, sometimes even before the wedding. So this situation has nothing to do with how your situation unfolded. But if you aren’t married yet, figure out who will take you in for 6 months to a year. Can you go home to your parents, with the baby? Can a grandparent take you in? Are there any resources for child care so you can go back to work? Do you need to train for a job so you can support your child? Think all that through (and don’t tell your partner until you have all your ducks in a row) and go get an order for child support. Make sure his wages are garnished, especially if you are not married.

    Here’s the best case scenario. You got pregnant, he is immature and not ready or somewhat resentful at feeling “trapped,” and might, in time, mature. That maturing will not happen if you are living with him in those conditions. Turn your love and attention to yourself and the baby. Get whatever support, emotional and financial, that you can. That might mean admitting to others that he isn’t the prince you thought he was but trust me–learning this at your age is better than at mine. I was 62 when I found my partner in a FB relationship with a MOW. I know of one situation (and only one) in which a new father was reluctant to settle down and by the time the child was three wanted to marry the mother and be a family. He just had to grow up. However, he wasn’t cheating and he was upfront with his feelings and his sense that he wasn’t ready. He paid child support, finished college, and was deeply involved with his daughter. Love for the mother of that child grew over time. If you want to give this guy a chance, do it from a distance and watch carefully to see what he does. He will show you if he is capable of being the partner and family man you want him to be.

    Right now, the “love” you are feeling is a lot of attraction to a person you don’t really know. It’s the spark for a long relationship that can only grow if both people feed it. Don’t waste your life because you feel intense attraction to this one person, even if he is the father of your child. Believe me, a 10 or 20 year investment in a cheater is not going to make your happy, loving feelings grow or increase your chances of being loved in return. Love yourself. Love your child. And step back to see if this guy is up to the job.

  • Jessica, I agree with Lets Go: review what those “bumps” were. They may have been red flags which you ignored because you truly believed you were with your soul mate. The same happened to me. I ignored the flags that were there from the beginning and a year after our first child was born (and life was “perfect”) he began an emotional affair with a woman which by the time our second child was born two years later was probably a full affair. I caught them making out in our home after a party, while I had gone to bed exhausted from breastfeeding and taking care of two kids. The husbands of three friends of mine, who had babies at the same time, also cheated on them during their pregnancies, and one left a student of his pregnant. These are all highly educated men who were husbands to highly educated women, both spouses worked full time and lived very nice lives—But they still felt entitled to make up stupid excuses like they “felt abandoned by the wife when the child was born” or their wife became frigid during pregnancy (its hard to enjoy making love when you have an enormous belly, are a first time mom and can´t stand the pressure and the heat).

    I forgave my stupid husband that time, and now, seven years later not only was I devastated by the new affair but so were my daughters who could have never imagined their dad could do such a thing to our family. My friends who divorced when their babies were newborns are much better off because their kids don´t have the trauma of seeing their mom suffer and their father leave for another woman. So, I would suggest that as soon as your body recovers and you have some strength, get away from this guy and do all the legal steps necessary to ensure the economic support you will need from him. But if you forgive him now, thinking it was only an “incident” you will be sending him the message that it is OK to cheat and that you will forgive him again next time. I wish you the best with your baby, and if it helps to not hurt so much at this difficult time, think that maybe the only purpose of your relationship with your cheater was to bring a beautiful child to this world that will be your blessing and give you the strength to renew your life.

    • Chumpita-your entire comment has brought me to tears because as you have written above, I lived the same story as you have. Every word of it. From the excuses they used to the timeline you describe.

      Early on, in my very depressed and emotional days, I would tell myself that everything that I was through was only to bring my beautiful daughters into this world. Despite my youngest baby girl having medical issues (I have written my comment below to Jessica describing this), I know she was brought to me for a reason.

      My girls carry me through good and bad…and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  • Jessica,
    I understand the fear of being a single mom and also wanting my child to have a real family. I had the same choice to make years ago and I chose to stay…I so wish I hadn’t. I hope my story helps you.
    After a whirlwind romance that quickly went from dating to talking marriage and kids, we did get married and a few weeks later, I was pregnant. Then the “bumps” started. This man who had swept me off my feet with his undying love for me became increasingly grumpy, insensitive and mean. He wasn’t the center of my world anymore and he was pissed. I should have left many times during my pregnancy, but was afraid to be a single mom. And codependent me thought if I could only make him feel loved enough this bad behavior would go away and we would all live happily ever after. WRONG! I stayed and things never, ever went back to the way they had been. He never loved me like he had before I got pregnant. I realize all these years later, that his absurd accusations that I was cheating on him or would cheat on him, were screaming sirens accompanying the red flags that should have told me that that’s what HE was doing. The day I brought our first-born home from the hospital, his sister came to see us and took some pictures. She was showing them to us and I made a comment about how puffy my face was (lovely water retention!). My husband said “I’m the one that has to sleep with it” in a really disgusted voice and walked out of the room. That’s the “love and support” I got from him on the day our son came home. I wish I had left all those years ago. He has been a terrible, abusive husband, a horrible and neglectful father. I’ve been a single mother all these years anyway…..
    I wish you and your baby well. Listen to Chump Lady. This guy of yours doesn’t really love you if he could be sexting with someone else. Especially when you were pregnant with his child. I can’t think of anything more heinous than a man who would abandon (even emotionally) the woman who is carrying his child. He’s showing you who he really is and all his words mean nothing.

    • “My husband said ‘I’m the one that has to sleep with it’ in a really disgusted voice and walked out of the room.” MightyMite, I’m so sorry that you were married to someone so cruel. I almost wrote “thoughtless,” but these jackasses know exactly what they are saying and in these moments, the masks slip and we see who they really are.

      4-5 years ago, I lost 25 pounds after much effort and was nearing my goal. I got dressed up for work in an outfit I hadn’t been able to wear for a couple of years.My XH (not a cheater so far as I know) looked at me and told me I looked nice (and how that perked me up) but he followed it by saying, “Lose a few more pounds and maybe we can start having sex again.” I went from happy to totally devastated in 10 seconds. I should have left him right there. Right at that moment. I waited a few weeks and then my friend died and it took a few more years (and seeing him flirt with the bridal party and a married woman at our table during a wedding) to see that he had zero respect for me–and I had let him get away from that. Went from him to Jackass, which was truly rock bottom. But when they say and do that stuff-that’s the real person, not the one feeding you just enough hopium to keep you stuck.

      • LAJ,
        Agreed that in those moments, the mask slipped and he showed me who he really is. The only problem is I didn’t see it that way for years! I shake my head now and can’t make sense of the spackling I did to make those moments okay enough to stay in the marriage. And then he would deny that he ever said the things he did…and I’d spend so much time in my head thinking that maybe I hadn’t heard him right!
        I’m sorry your ex said such a cruel thing to you…I think they know when we are vulnerable and say just the thing to tear us down when we least can bear to hear it. Or, they begin to see that we are getting stronger in ourselves and they can’t have that! You were probably feeling pretty and sexy and confident and he just couldn’t stand it, so he had to take that away from you. I realize now that my stbx said all the things he did to erode away my self confidence and independence and keep me low…too low to stick up for myself or fight back eventually…I became so depressed. Not only did he take me away from myself, but he took away the mother I could have been; he undermined me there, too. And the wife I could have been to a deserving man. When I finally left his ass, I spent some time grieving the life I could have had if I had only left so many years ago.

  • When I was nine months pregnant with my 3rd and last child, I had a series of vivid dreams for about two weeks, that my STBX was cheating on me. The woman was faceless, but appeared in the same clothing and hairstyle in every dream – she seemed familiar, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. The dreams would wake me out of my sleep in the early morning; sweating, shaking and panting. I would tell my STBX about these dreams over breakfast and we would get a chuckle out of them, because that scenario was so out of the realm of our seemingly happy family life.

    I didn’t give the dreams a second thought until our third child turned 4, when I caught my husband in an affair with a colleague, who was also a family friend. He claimed it was only a 6 month relationship, but we all know, that cheaters lie. Post our quick divorce, the affair partners rushed out to marry. His new wife has been a steady toxic presence in my life as my children’s step-mother for the last 16 years.

    I am not a big believer in analyzing dream imagery, but I will say now that those dreams happened for a reason. My subconscious was nudging me in my sleep – pay attention, pay attention – things are not as they seem.

    Jessica – You’ve been given a warning and it’s not a dream. Pay attention.

    • I’ve had a similar experience with dreams. In my case, it happens when I already have all the information about something key to survival but I am not seeing the meaning of it. The dream is just some part of me that “gets” it and wants the rest of me to get it to. Always, always, pay attention to those dreams.

      • My epiphany came in a dream as well. If not for that awful dream I would be clueless…and my H says I’m crazy. Dreams/subconsience ARE telling us something. Now that I am digging I have found a shitload of stuff. If what everyone is saying and this is just the tip o the iceberg than this just might be the motherload of a fuckfest!

        • And A big congrats Jessica on the baby. hope you both are recovering very well, and that baby is eating and sleeping and that you are too.
          cyber ((hugs))

  • Everyone has already said all the thing you need to hear. So I’ll just through in a digital hug. I know the first 3-4 months after having my daughter was an emotional roller coaster. All the hormones raging and the bonding happening, and the stress and lack of sleep. I guess I can call myself “lucky” that the EH waited until my daughter was 14 months before walking out on his family.

    So yes, on top of all the craziness, I cannot imagine having to deal with THIS during that particular vulnerable and raw time. But you can. I wish you all the positive vibes and emotions that can come across on a digital platform.

    You can do it, keep going.

  • “We ended up having a bumpy path, but we got over it.”

    I wonder if those bumps occurred while your partner was in full-blown infatuation with another woman. Maybe it was with the OW in he was sexting? Have you considered that you might have gotten his negative side because he was feeling guilty or projecting all his problems on you while cheating? Just a thought.

    Regardless, he does not sound like a winner. I cannot imagine–as a father myself by marriage–a true man cheating on his pregnant wife as she is about to give him a precious child. That’s sick. As CL says, men exist out there that have character. It does not sound like he does, sadly.

    Hugs,
    DM

    • Oh, good point, DM. Jessica may not know that some cheaters start “picking” at their partner when they are cheating or getting ready to leave–they are justifying their actions by finding fault.

  • My dearest Jessica,

    First and foremost, congrats and welcome to motherhood. I wish you love and joy with your baby.

    Next – OUTSTANDING response from ChumpLady. Every.Word.Of.It. Follow it through, and you will begin to heal.

    Last: My experience and first encounter with xH infidelities started out with sexting. This was back in April 2006. I was pregnant with my youngest of three girls. I went into pre-term labor and my daughter was born at 30 weeks. Among many, MANY health issues, the most prevalent were underdeveloped lungs. She is currently on a wait list for a heart and lung transplant. She is 8 years old.

    Somehow, through her doctor appointments and 16 procedures and surgeries, and, well, life itself, we “reconcile”. Though, I never trusted him again.

    Fast forward to 7 years later, another blow to my heart when my oldest daughter (she was 14 at the time) alerts me that dad is acting weird, especially with his phone, overhead an odd conversation (he didn’t know), etc. She started snooping around and whoa…of course he’s cheating again. We heard every excuse in the book. Every.Single.One.

    Please, do not accept “it’s just sexting”. It’s never “just sexting”. It’s never just four days. He HAD to quit because he though of you? Chances are, he hasn’t quit. If you have to question yourself if you should believe him or not, there is your answer. You should NEVER, EVER question or second guess yourself. Furthermore, if you don’t trust him anymore, you will never trust him again. When you love someone, it’s not supposed to hurt. Your love for him is hurting you in more ways than you think. Giving him another chance will only cause you more pain. Ask me how I know.

    Don’t spend 20 years (as I did), on a relationship based on YOUR LOVE FOR HIM. One day is already too many. Believe in yourself and invest your time and energy in the precious angel you now can’t keep your eyes off of. Your baby will bring you much more love than you can ever imagine. Ask me how I know.

    • Todova– I agree with your wise advice “You should NEVER, EVER question or second guess yourself” This is so true.

  • Hi Jessica, let me join CN in congratulating you on motherhood. I never thought I’d be a mom, but it has been quite the adventure. Wouldn’t give any of it back, though I do now know why some animals eat their young – and I remind my preteen of this often, LOL.

    Seriously, you have been given some good inisight and advice from others who have walked this path in almost the same circumstances as you. Let me give you one more cautionary tale: I suspected Cheater #1 of cheating and was informed, at 40, that he would be a better husband if I was a better wife and had his child (his wording, not mine). Otherwise, he would divorce me and find someone to have a child with. Stoooopid me, went off birth control and got pregnant less than four months later. I was traveling for work then, and came home early for the Fourth of July holiday, catching him with one of the OW. This confirmed the suspicions, though I had stuck my head firmly in the sand.

    My pregnancy, which should’ve been a time of great joy and anticipation, was a nightmare. I was all over the place. One moment, I wanted to remain married with all my heart, the next I wished he’d plow his car into a tree driving home drunk from one of his many bar forays. (Oh, did I mention he became a raging alcoholic – he had been functioning before – during the pregnancy?) I moved into and out of the spare bedroom three times over the course of the pregnancy. I threatened not to have his name on the birth certificate. I did the pregnant lady pick me dance which, believe me you, is not pretty (think dancing elephant). I did the full battery of STD tests not once, but twice during pregnancy and also right after Jr. was born. It was a terrible, terrible time.

    When Jr. was born, Cheater #1 didn’t even hang around the hospital but went out to drink with his cronies, and probably fuck an OW or two. Free pass! Her Blondeness is in the hospital so I can do what I want! Yaaaay! If you’ve indeed given birth in the past few days, that is what your cheater is thinking and doing right now. I’ll bet this *and* next month’s mortgages on that.

    It won’t get better once you bring the baby home. I chased him out of bars, stalked OW, obtained restraining orders (two of the OW are convicted felons, lovely), you name it. Finally, when Jr. was eight months old and when I caught Cheater #1 “in a moment” with Felon OW #1 at a party, I walked. Yep, I’m a slow learner.

    Thirteen years later (Jr. turns twelve on Feb. 5), I’m glad I did have the baby, but wish I had walked the first time my suspicions were confirmed. Instead, I listened to my conservative family, pastor and the RIC to “stay for the baby”. Thirteen years later, I wish I had had the cajones to say, “FUCK THAT! It’s better I leave now!” As it is, I’m glad I left before Jr. was old enough to remember ever living with his father, who is now, at best, a less than involved parent. He maybe sees Jr. one or two days a month for a mid-day excursion – no overnights. For someone who emotionally blackmailed me into becoming a parent, you think he’d be a little more invested. Nah. He wanted Jr. as a trophy. Now that Jr. interferes with his love life (nothing says romance like a talkative twelve year old, dontcha know?), he doesn’t bother. Sad for Jr.

    Bottom line, do you want to go bat shit crazy for the next year or so until one of you walks or do you want to get your ducks in a row and get the hell out of Dodge now? I vote for now. For you and your baby. For your peace of mind. Good luck, which ever you choose.

  • Exact same thing happened to me while pregnant. I confronted him, he ended it and I never brought it up again. Fast forward to when my baby was one year old. He started a year long physical affair with another woman. This man has always chastised cheaters and would frequently say during our ten year marriage how if one of us was ever going to cheat, please have the decency to end the marriage first. His affair blew my mind. But now I think back to the sexting while I was pregnant. It was my first red flag and I should not have ignored it.

    • Oh, yeah. I was well past pregnancy, or being able to… but my crapweasel, or Ex (I don’t happen to think they ever stop being crapweasels, even when we sever our relationships with them…), used to put a hand on each of my shoulders, look deeply, meaningfully into my eyes, tell me he loved me, and that, “he would never do that to me.” “That” being lying and cheating.

      And guess what? he was out on all the boards, just looking for a piece of skank to mess around with. Eventually reality and fantasy found themselves in the same room, and that was a terrible shock. (For me.)

      I say, line up your ducks, get financial support from this sperm donor, and get yourself a new life. It’s too short, and matters too much to waste with someone like this. Both you and your lovely new child deserve a better life than playing “guess who lied this week.”

      Kids need reliability–and parents do too! If you need to provide it all, so be it. There’s a certain comfort in defining your own rules and routines, and so, so much better than trying to play catch me up with an absentee cheater. You are young, and have it all before you. You’ll be fine, you can do this.

  • See I like many others have been there and when I first read your letter I thought well it’s only a bit of texting. And that is the problem. NO. CHUMPLADY AND EVERYONE ABOVE IS RIGHT. RUN. I was 6 months pregnant with child two when I discovered my husband was sleeping with prostitutes and organising countrywide meetings with escorts whenever he was away on business. Also when he was abroad for work. He was on married affair sites. There had been MANY bumps but I spackled and made excuses. Drugs. Porn. Chat lines. Alcoholism. Not coming home. You name it. He was cheating from the start with pregnancy child one. It got worse and staying only made him think he could get away with it and I would not leave. Things escalate. This is your red flag moment. I am still a chump who needs to work on boundaries. My reaction to your letter has shown me that. Don’t waste your life waiting for someone to behave in a very basic decent fashion. If he is truely sorry he will bring heaven and earth to your feet. Taking care on one child is hard enough without taking care of a grown man baby. And whereas your child will grow up that man child never will. Good luck.

  • Jessica – The father of your child has shown you exactly what kind of man he really is and what he is capable of. He has shown you how much you can actually count on him to have your and your child’s back during vulnerable times and your wellbeing at heart during the most vulnerable and meaningful times in your life. His minimizing is disturbing and very predictable. You can count on him to continue being the man he REALLY is only now he will be much more careful about how he goes about it. Wish it was easier to get this point across regarding how NOT COMPLICATED this abusive situation actually is and where it is likely to go if you continue to give him more chances to violate your life.

    There are patterns in human personalities. His behavior and timing is a demonstration of a character with low empathy, narcissistic tendencies and someone that lacks a conscience about how what he does affects the lives of others. This is not a good or promising pattern at all. It points to a serious underlying character flaw that most likely is more entrenched and significant than you can even fathom and that most likely will not truly change in any significant way. My bet would me there is more there that you don’t know and that if you did know then it would be a no brainier. especially regarding things like how little it bothered him to violate your relationship.. The details of what he has done and the patterns most likely connected to this suggest strongly that this is only going to get worse and also better hidden.

  • I’m not buying there was only sexting involved. I found compromising pictures of final OW on ex’s email. He tried to tell me that they hadn’t fucked. I nearly believed him until a friend asked me if I REALLY thought anyone would send naked pictures of themselves to someone they weren’t fucking, particularly as final OW was living with her boyfriend. Yeah, I think your baby daddy is up to more than you think and while it’s most definitely not the optimal time to cut and run you should still cut and run. I know a woman who went through this during her pregnancy and she dumped the loser, took charge of her child, and is better than ever.

  • Hi Jessica, congratulations on your new baby. What a wonderful life changing moment. I’m so sorry to hear that the baby Daddy is an ASSHOLE!!! What a creep! Trust me, they don’t change. Listen to the advice on this site. We have earned our Chump status. Welcome to the club.

  • Morning (NZ time) Jessica,

    I felt complete sadness for you when I read your letter this morning, I really hope that you have read all these responses from fellow chumps, we are a collection of a vast array of situations but all share the common connection of being devastated by the one person who was suppose to protect you from harm.

    Right now I could well imagine that everything is over whelming being a new Mummy and dealing with the doubt that will be constantly lurking in your thoughts – its a beautiful but daunting time for you.

    Jessica I have been where you are so I have a fair idea of whats running through your head. One of my POS ex accomplishments was my midwifes best friend/colleague so I felt even more let down as after all we trust our midwifes and Husbands. We all have to “trust that he sucks” and for you right know evidently you have proof that he was sexting another woman – so your level of “trust that he sucks” is most likely not that high.

    Hold onto what CL said she is one wise and mighty Woman and has been a savior to us all.

    “This is your life, Jessica. Is this man deserving of your good opinion? Is he good enough to share your life and your child’s life? Please pay attention to who this guy IS — through his actions, not his pretty words. Your child is watching you, now and over the next 18 years. Model strength and resiliency — and don’t take shit, Jessica”

    Please feel the strength of this community wrap around you

    Hugs Yellow Diamonds

  • Jessica,

    Congratulations on your baby. I hope it all went well and you all are healthy & doing well.

    You didn’t say how old you are or how old your guy is, but here is what, at the ripe old age of 50, I’ve come to realize: My XH was immature when I married him, and I always thought we’d grow old and mature together (girls are almost always more mature than boys growing up, AND I had ten chronological years on XH, as well). Well, what happened was that I turned out to be his “practice wife.” He grew up & matured (sort of) into a new person and a new life ($300 jeans and rides a skateboard to work, at age 40 … we don’t even live in Portland), and left me behind for a girl (yep, “girl,” 25 years old, like he’s seeking a do-over for the life he thought he SHOULD have had).

    Please look — really look — at your situation. He sounds really immature to me, not taking the gravity of his commitment as a dad seriously, enough to be sexting someone else. Also, not being a mom myself so I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think you’re supposed to be doing anything “down there” for a while after birth, so what’s gonna keep him from getting his frustrated jollies somewhere else while you’re recovering from the miraculous feat of having created a new live human being and pushed it out of your pelvis for the next three months?

    Just look at your life. You, and now your baby, need someone to rely on. His excuse, IMHO, in woefully inadequate, almost as if he perceives you as an authority figure or parent rather than as someone he loves and cherishes. Let me tell you, as someone who came to (unwillingly and unwittingly) occupy the role of pseudo-mother figure in my own marriage, that is not how you want your husband to see you, because all kids leave their parents eventually. IMHO (again), it’s better to know you have no safety net than to be uncertain whether the net you do have has enormous baby-sized holes in it.

    Good luck, I’m sorry about the guy, and congratulations again on your baby.

  • Wow!! I so needed this today, thank you CL!

    Just celebrated 1 year divorced from ex who started an emotional affair with his co-worker while I was pregnant. When kiddo was 5 months old ex told me he was depressed (not depressed – having an affair). At 6 months I found out about the skank. At 10 months ex moved out of the house. Ex never once asked to make things work. He always chose the skank over his family.

    History – Skank knew he was married, she knew me and knew I was pregnant.

    I did it all – pick me dance, utter and complete rage, begging, therapy, prayer, space – no matter he still chose the skank.

    In the 3 years since kiddo’s birth, I have been fired (inability to concentrate) from 2 jobs, completed my undergrad degree, finally found full time employment and recently returned to school in pursuit of a higher degree in a different field of study. There is life after infidelity.

    Men who cheat on their pregnant wives are scum.

    Why did I need this so today? Rough days lately. Feelings of being a bad mother, questioning if I can do it all again (school, work and kiddo – alone). Thoughts of maybe ex learned the errors of his ways. I was actually contemplating trying for reconciliation after divorce. WTF!!!

    But CL to the rescue to remind me of the pain and betrayal and that no matter what, I am better off without the ex. Times get hard, but never to the point of returning to that. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Moxie, Dont’ do it, don’t even think of reconcilling with asshole. Develop your support network. Women friends who understand this role and can help. You are a good mom and quite frankly if you did reconcile, how would your life be better. You might not have to work, but you would still worry about your mothering in fact twice as much because dickhead would be such a distraction. You still need a new career because after what you have been through, you will never really trust him with your future and kiddo will have a double exposure to senor toxic. Stay the course… be mighty… write to CN… read all the stories about women who did just what you did and how the karma bus came for them (kids doing wonderfully) and how it came for the crapweasel, scary ugly. Hold your head up, one foot in front of the other… Know you are pretty darn MIGHTY and pretty darn wonderful.

  • When my wife (soon to be x hopefully) and I adopted our son, I vowed I was going to do what was needed so that I could look back and know for absolute sure I had not left any cards on the table, that I had given fatherhood my best. I knew that I would only have 18 or 20 years of my life to really get this right, and that there are NO do overs. I have no doubt from your post that you feel this way too (maybe in diferent words, but I know you get my meaning). Being a Mom (or Dad) is huge. It overshadows everything.

    I don’t really know what my wife’s double life (if there was one) was like back then, but parenthood has enough twists and turns that you surely need everyone’s A-game, and to her credit she brought what seemed like an A game at the time. It fell apart recently, but thank God, my son was in college by then and a bit removed from the storm.

    I could conceive of having been a single parent if I had needed to; we try to rise to the occasion. But I cannot imagine doing right by my child with a cheater draining all the positive energy that is needed in the day to day to be a good parent and role model. I know many incredible people on this site manage to do so, and I am humbled daily by them. But the past is the best predictor of future behavior. I have to ask, why go into the most vitally important game of your life when the one who is supposed to be your rock to lean on when things get tough, has already demonstrated he’s willing to rig the rules in his favor, to bring misery to your house and marriage, at you and your baby’s expense?

    I wish you and your child nothing but the best, however this unfolds! My son was at my office all day working with me while on college break, and I had lunch with he and his buddy, who also pitched in to help. Nothing is better than a grounded kid that you are close to – it trumps everything else, and the job is deserving of the best effort you can give. The last thing you need is a self absorbed, deceptive jerk dragging you down. I’m not a religious person, really, but the best I can manage is God bless you!

  • I caught my STBX “talking” with a girl when my son was 6 mo. old. To this day- he claims that he didn’t meet up with her because he was “thinking of me”. BULLSHIT!

    FF 3.5 years and I catch him having a full fledged affair, A girlfriend. They had sex in the maternity room at their work for 7 months.

    Your baby’s daddy is immature. Do not give him a second chance. You will just live to get your heart ripped out later.
    However even through all the pain,a s CL say’s I am mightier because of it and I am looking forward to moving into a new house with my 5yr old son.

    Seek legal advise. Get support, faith based or not you will need it. 🙂

  • I never realized the pattern of my husbands cheating until his last and final whore picked him up while we were together. He actually said she would do whatever he wanted in bed because she was so desperate. It made me sick enough to file and I will officially be cheater free very soon.
    My therapist pointed out that he cheated at my most vulnerable times in my life. I really loved him as he explained that he got crabs from someone’s dirty house when my first daughter was born. Talk about immature, I believed him even though my gut disagreed. There was another woman he was sleeping with when I was giving birth to my second child. The next was a woman at a house party. I went upstairs because my baby was in pain and teething. I wondered where he was and I caught him with a friend. The next was when I was working three jobs to buy a house. This time he slept with her in my bed. The list goes on and on. I should have left him but I stayed. It never ended. I just got a call from his latest whore accusing me of doing something. I didn’t recognize her number. The point is that you are with a cheater. You can waste your life explaining it away for the sake of love, but it will always be one sided love. I hear ther are men who are not like this but I never met one because I remained faithful to a very disturbed individual. I read a book called Women who love too much and saw myself. I am healing and will recover. You deserve better and so does your child. I am ashamed to say I put up with him for most of my life. This last time my mother passed away and instead of being there for me he was dating three women. He got tested for std’s and continues to cheat on the one who let him move into her apartment . It feel so good to have him out of my life

  • Jessica, I am so sorry. My ex cheated on me while I was pregnant but I didn’t know until a few weeks after our baby was born. He confessed. And he said a similar thing – “I was thinking of you the entire time I was with her.” Bull.shit. I can’t tell you what you should do but don’t do what I did. I focused on “saving our marriage” instead of taking care of myself. Yes, I took care of our baby but I became obsessed with the affair. It was a horrible time of my life. Had I known it was the beginning of over 2 decades of spackling, more affairs and getting sucked into an emotional wormhole, I would have thrown out the cheater IMMEDIATELY.

    Unfortunately, he doesn’t love you. He loves one person: himself.

  • Hi Momma,you said you checked his phone because he was acting strange. I think that is an odd choice for a relationship based on trust. So that was probably your gut talking – and kudos to you for listening to it. When people in your life act strange, it should be normal to just reach out to them – directly. The sneaky stuff is a sign something is wrong.

    On a different note, the best advice anyone ever gave me with my first newborn was, “You will never be a new mother again, so revel in it”.

    Congratulations and revelations, Jessica

    • I don’t see how reaching out directly to someone whos a liar and a thief, or acting very strangely helps anyone at all.
      You have to resort to subterfuge to understand the real situation, in this case.
      Could you seriously think about how that situation would go down if she reached out to him directly? Gaslighting ahoy. And because she had tipped her hand, he’d go underground with it further – making it even harder to find out the truth.
      I personally expect 100% transparency in all my relationships. If someone is being evasive, or cracks the shits at say, me looking at their phone, or anything else like that, chances are they’re up to something that I would not be impressed about – and hence it proves my point.

      • I think that what No More Narcs was saying was that she resorted to subterfuge prior to knowing what he was doing, which is a weird choice if it’s a good relationship. Then again, when I thought something was weird I too checked his phone. That was quite interesting reading. 🙂

        • Oh right. Yeah – could be read both ways I guess. My apologies.
          But its a good litmus test to know if someone is hiding something – if they don’t mind at all about you, say, grabbing their phone and answering it if its ringing (if they’re not able to) – and if they don’t guard their phone more than Fort Knox. Not iron-clad of course, but its a decent indicator.

  • I’m so sorry this of all things comes about right as you’re expecting your baby. I’m glad you’re here, you’re not alone and you’re not the first one to deal with the cheating around the arrival of a new baby.

    If you’re not married I’d advise not marrying him. It doesn’t sound like he’s someone you really want by your side. The baby is only going to add another level of stress and make continuing to cheat all the more acceptable to him.

    If you’re married he’s automatically on the birth certificate. If you’re not married I would actually caution putting his name down on the birth certificate. Putting his name down means you can pursue child support and some states, like MN, require the father’s name (if you know who it is) on the birth certificate to apply for certain welfare programs. However, filing for child support doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll actually pay it and you’re only getting a benefit if he’s paying it. Putting his name down also means that the only way you will get it off is if a) he voluntarily signs the form to renounce his paternity or b) you pay the high legal costs to make the court revoke it and you’re going to need a strong case of child abuse or something along those lines to make that happen. If you marry someone else and your husband wants to adopt your child, he cannot do a stepchild adoption unless a or b happens. Putting his name down also means that b/c he is listed as the legal father he gets first dibs regardless of what you put in your will for guardianship. Is he really someone you want having a legitimate, legal stake in the welfare of your child over your husband or whoever it is you’d choose to care for your child?

    I was not married to my daughter’s father but I put his name down b/c I wanted her to know who her father was and thought we could make it work. We didn’t make it work. He’s in another country, child support couldn’t be enforced internationally and now my husband can’t adopt my daughter. My husband can’t sign my daughter’s passport renewal form b/c the legal father on her birth certificate is not him. I called to set up a will and was told that regardless of what I put in it for guardianship in case of my death, my daughter’s biological father will get a say in if he wants her. I’m not happy about that, especially as it means there’s a possibility, even if it’s a slim one (they won’t just up and send her abroad), that the paternal family in Colombia might get preference over my husband, who is the only father she knows. The only family she knows is here.

    You can sign an ROP (recognition of parentage) at any point. You only have a 60 day window to revoke it after signing it and even then you need a mutual agreement to revoke it I believe. If you have the option to wait to sign the ROP I would recommend waiting. Be sure of his character and your relationship first. IMO it’s worth forgoing child support in the short term if it means that when you marry a genuine, caring man he can adopt your child and care for them for the long term without the interference of bio dad.

  • Sorry – he is full of shit. I went through this and I have a few other girlfriends who went through this too. These men are not mature enough to take life on. I say he is full of shit because it’s going to keep going. I am so sorry to be posting this. Makes me sick. I was about to give birth to my first and I found an emotional relationship he was having with a bi woman. He said he ended up – 3 make up sex sessions later, I’m pregnant. I have a one year old and my second is due in 4 months and I find he is sleeping with men. I’m not saying this is what is going on with you, I am only saying to be careful. AND IT SUCKS BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING THROUGH SOMETHING SO DAMN AMAZING! I send you a million and two hugs!!!! Make sure you tell your family and close friends what is going on. You’ll have enough to deal with after you have your baby and the emotional ups and downs you will have – what he is doing will be magnified. You need all the love and support around you as much as possible.

  • I feel for you Jessica. Please don’t cry over him because he doesn’t seem to be crying over you. I can kinda relate.. My ex and I had sex just twice during her pregnancy. I thought it was hormones. I came to find out she was not only having sex with a man almost 30 years her senior, but with an ex boyfriend before we met, while pregnant. It doesn’t get any more nasty than this, but my therapist says this is “normal and okay.” Really???? I still struggle getting the images out of my mind. He just isn’t worth it Jessica. All the best to you!

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