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Being the Marriage Police

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If you didn’t leave right after D-Day, you’ve probably spent some time in chump Police Academy. You know, those dark days of “trust but verify” spent trying to hack into email accounts, cell phone SIM cards, velcro-ing voice activated recorders under carseats… Just how far did you go? (Anyone have a shoe phone?)

Today’s column came to me in a weird dream I had last night. I dreamt my friend needed some help driving to a vacation destination. So I get in the car, and there is a corpse in the back. I turn to my friend and say matter-of-factly, “You might want to consider going on vacation without the dead person in the back seat.”

Kind of a metaphor for a bad marriage really. The ride is so much nicer without a corpse.

When trust dies, the marriage is DEAD, but of course, chumps that we are, we drive on. Some people assemble evidence for help in court proceedings, or hire private investigators, and I do understand the necessity of that. But most of us go through the marriage police stage to convince ourselves, not the court of law. OMG, he was lying. OMG, she created a fake Facebook page. OMG, the lengths they went to for cake.

It’s just not enough to trust our senses, or trust our absence of trust — we need the unholy relics of the affairs. We need tangible proof we can touch and see, that won’t dissolve into a cloud of mindfuckery. “No! I can explain that!” says the cheater. But they can’t. It’s right there.

So my chumpy Colombos — were you a marriage detective? What did you find? And was it enough to make you hand in your badge?

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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.
  • Unfortunately, I spent most of post D-day thinking that I was crazy.
    (not for marrying him… But for having trust issues, paranoia and anxiety).
    I never had the strength to spy.
    Now, three years later, I wish I had. One day I was feeding the baby alone, while we had guests. I overheard a married woman say (presumably to my husband), “Oh! if Friend knew about this it would kill her.”
    I was confused and baffled… I went to see what was going on, but like a nasty basement… When you turn on the lights, the rats scatter.
    Still sometimes wonder.

  • Nothing exciting here. But I did have a good friend, a former Navy Seal spotter, offer to drive half way across the country to do recon for me. I didn’t take him up on that offer but appreciated the sentiment for sure. It was nice to have a friend so willing to have my back.

    Personally, I think gathering the evidence is part of the grieving process. I needed what I got to let go of the marriage. It was necessary to convince myself that she INDEED was committing adultery. This is especially so when the cheater is playing religious mind games with you as mine did (along with her religious supporters).

    DM

    • I hear you, DM.

      I had a friend who took a more aggressive angle. He has friends “in low places,” so he offered to put the hurt on the other man.

      I laughed and said it was tempting to think about, but (1) I’m not crazy and don’t want to do anything illegal, and (2) that would just bring me down to their level. They couldn’t handle their problems like mature adults. After some crying, I could, too, without resorting to useless violence.

      I also agree with you about convincing myself. I had the evidence. I had more than enough to leave.

      But…it takes time to change our mindset. Even though the evidence was staring me in the face, I wanted so badly to believe that I was crazy, or not seeing clearly, or assuming the worst unfairly. So…I had to gather more evidence.

      And as the evidence mounted, and the months passed, my mindset shifted. I realized just how bad she was treating me, and how far I’d sunk in trying to persuade myself otherwise. And…with that acceptance, it was time to let go.

      • Wow JC, thats pretty much exactly how my experience went, too.
        A friend who was gonna go full blown vigilante action, and the ‘time passing with mounting evidence’, then finally cutting the rope.

      • JC- I am just entering into the mindset shifting & true acceptance that it is time to let go. Oddly and wonderfully calming to finally be here after 14 months. Thank you for putting into words what a fellow Chump is experiencing.

  • I coined myself the name fbi on this website because I had to sprinkle crushed ativan in his salad so he would fall in a stupor while I hacked his cell to put a tracker on it. I found out basically very little over the 1.5 year I spied. I did listen in to him telling his friend he had fucked a girl from fuckbook and that he cheated on me from time time cause he liked a variety of pussy. I saw he lied about going to the stripclub on the gps and I saw texts to random skanks which proved he was flirting pathologically with whom ever gave him the time of day. Also a booty call with a reknown whore who ended up being to drunk to fuck. I was pissed cause I didn’t have access to his e mail nor blackberry messenger and I think I didn’t catch everything. So when he got a new cell with biometrics security I broke up with him because I couldn’t continue this morbid fascination, I couldn’t police him any longer. Long story but did get back with him. At xmas he admitted to have done other girls since we had been broken up. I m at my wits end…how do I just be me again. I enmeshed with this man who loves me but obviously an addict! !! And yes!!!!! policing is a sign the relationship is dead!

    • FBI, I am going to try and say this very kindly and gently–but you need to hear me when I say it.

      Drugging another person who is unknowing—is not just illegal in the sense that you won’t be able to use your information in court or it gets you a fine (like recording someone in a two party state)—it is illegal in the sense that you will go to jail, directly to jail, do not pass GO and do not collect $200.

      Second, you are not a physician. You have no prescribing rights and you have zero idea what could have happened to him had you given him the ativan. What would you have done if he’d gone into respiratory arrest? Call 911 and leave? Admit that you did it—and go to jail?

      At the end of the day, FBI, NOBODY has the right to drug another person without their consent, no matter what the circumstances.

      I think you need to see a therapist about the obsession that you have with this man. Yes, yours. He has his problems and he controls who he is—but YOU CONTROL YOU. Get some help with this and break away from this horrible situation before someone ends up getting hurt in more ways than just an STD.

      Good luck to you.

      • You know I agreed with you ^^ all the way until you made the comment before someone ends up getting hurt in more ways than just an STD.JUST AN STD …about caused my death. As the cervical cancer survivor due to an STD known as hpv16 I can tell you that there’s no such thing as ” just an STD.” So while you’re telling this woman that she shouldn’t be risking this man’s life, perhaps you should also evaluate the fact that she’s absolutely insane with what this man has brought onto her lifeand brought it on to her life without any thought. Just my two cents worth.

        • Kim, it was not meant to be “just an STD” as in, STDs are irrelevant and harmless. What I meant by it was that sleeping with someone and getting an STD is something that happens when two people come together in an act which transmits this horrible virus/bacteria.

          Drugging someone is NOT two people coming together in a consensual act and something happening to one/both of them.

          Both are violations. Both should be punished to the full extent of the law. What your husband did (or partner) what abhorrent. What FBI did is just as inexcusable.

          You’re trying to excuse her behavior because “he drove her to it.” Where have we heard that before?

          He is a human being. Just as all of us here are human beings. You do not harm other human beings in a purposeful and premeditated way. That is what this blog is all about—getting AWAY FROM people who purposefully and premeditatedly harm others.

          You are in control of you. He is in control of him. Just because he did something harmful to you, does not give you the right to do physical harm in return.

          Here’s another take: What if FBI’s spouse/partner had died from that ativan? What then? Is she “justified” then? Did he “drive her to do it”?

          Isn’t that the very basis of what these cheater say…..”YOU DROVE ME TO DO WHAT I DID.”

          Take responsibility for your own actions and be prepared to take the consequences.

          • Not trying to excuse it . Just simply bringing to light your words “just an STD …it’s the same words that come from cheaters and apologists. ( even though I KNOW you are NOT one ) ..

        • CL asked for the truth and she got it! I can understand this fanatical need for the truth, and liars should perhaps beware for a change that their lying could cause them some harm. I have not done this, but if you want to make people insane with lies, mindfuckery, gaslighting & cruelty, I guess you just might make someone do something insane!
          Kim should not be risking her future over an ass, but I understand the insatiable need to get to the truth.
          Interesting how all this lying is done on the stand and there is no punishment for it! Hence our overabundance of liars & cheats.
          That is why CL says just trust that they suck & leave, but even she acknowledges that she did not spend decades with her Cheater where you have to face your whole life is/could have been a lie. Not an overnight thing to face. You want to find out how bad it was, how much of a deal breaker it is, or could you trust again, etc.
          It is OK that Chumps have to drug themselves to sleep or deal with their depression for YEARS because of cruel betrayal. And even though this may be their choice to medicate, they would have preferred a whole different life than the one being shoved down their throat,
          As you can see, I have ZERO compassion for Cheaters. Too bad their is not much of a price tag for them in many cases.
          .Yes, Kim shouldn’t have done this, but he is lucky that in that moment she didn’t decide to make him some Ativan soup and silence his sorry ass forever.
          Boo hoo Cheaters, not feelin’ it!!

      • I agree! When it gets to the point that you are driven to drug your partner, it is time to run to the nearest fire exit! That’s the thing about being with a cheater-it can turn you into someone you don’t want to be. For me,that a major factor in walking away. I didn’t want to be the marriage police, angry and suspicious all the time, and I knew that it was just a matter of time before something else came to light.

    • fbi–I am very sorry for your pain. But surely you have enough information to know he does not “love” you in any real way; he is incapable of love. Is he considering your feelings at all? your marriage vows? your right to know what kind of marriage you have–without deception? No, he is not. His sexual needs trump EVERYthing and always will. You are worn down from the deception, and unable to think clearly with him in the house.

      “How do I just be me again?” You leave. Take the evidence, find an attorney, (or download the forms to go file yourself and then find an attorney to help you through settlement). There is NOOO way you can stay in a marriage with a sex-addict and EVER feel healthy. None. Take the first step.

    • 1. This man does not love you. He loves himself. And kibbles. Not you. rhe sooner you realize this, the better. Actual love isn’t like this.

      2. Drugging someone do you can spy on them? Time to seek therapy.

      I know it’s hard to let go, but it’s time to try. This is no way to live!

    • fbi–When you get to the point where you’re drugging someone, you’ve arrived at the point where you need therapy.

      When you say that you’re “enmeshed” with a man who loves you but is an addict, you’re devaluing yourself. You’re saying that you’re in the relationship because HE is the one who needs you. But he doesn’t need you. If he truly did need you, then he’d stop seeing other women. Or he’d come clean and say he’s polyamorous and let you decide if it’s okay for him to see/fuck other women.

      However, he’s not saying that he isn’t monogamous. Instead, he says that he’s addicted to sex. This is cheater speak for telling you that he likes screwing around, and you’re not allowed to be angry with him because he’s got issues. Those “issues” entitle him to cheat.

      So you have to ask yourself, what are you getting out of a relationship with a man who’s told you that he’s entitled to cheat?

      Tempest is right. If you want to disentangle yourself, you have to step away. See a lawyer. Go into therapy.

      You will come out a whole person, and your picker will be a lot better once you’re comfortable with you.

    • I think we may be a bit too hard on Fbi!…I’m not saying drugging anyone is ever the right thing to do and as someone with a medical background I know that there is a chance things may go terribly wrong…but I bet many of us here can understand the desperation & “temporary insanity” that arises from constantly being gaslighted that could lead a perfectly sane person to do this.

      I did not have drug my husband but I know how desperately I wanted to get into his passwords on phone & email so I could have proof I was not paranoid or mad. I’m ashamed of the amount of precious time I soent

      I agree entirely it is no way to live and it is one of the biggest reasons I filed.. To get my integrity & life back and stop living every spare moment as marriage police!

      I doubt Fbi needs more therapy than any other average chump.. I bet she will not under any circumstances drug anyone once she left the horror of her marriage and I KNOW we need to make her feel safe here to tell the truth and offer more compassion & empathy.

      The process of divorce sucks and the pain can be as bad as living with a cheater but it beats hands down living life everyday with someone who cheats on you and lies.

      • 13 Year Chump, I agree with you….wholeheartedly.

        We’ve all done things we aren’t proud of, FBI just typed hers out there for everyone to see. They do drive you crazy and make you do things you aren’t proud of such as “spying” “playing detective”. We all know it’s over when we get to that point but for some reason we want all the proof we can find. We always want the details.

        FBI – head up, you know what you did wrong. Stay strong and get the hell out of there…..

        • Michelexoxo4, you hit the nail right on the head- we’ve all done things we are not proud of ( & hide excellently)- fbi just put hers here for all us to see.

          I do not disagree that what fbi did may not have been her best moment but she knows that…what she needs is our support to get out of there fast!

      • Donna,There is no excuse for most of the wrong things we have ALL done at some point in our lives… At a site like this we don’t need to drag down someone already beaten to the floor.. We can still tell the truth with empathy and compassion.

        • Hi everyone, I understand why people are appaled after my admittance of putting ativan in his salad. But I had to act fast I got there in the afternoon and knew that by night time he would have put a numeric lock on his phone since I was known for checking it while he slept. So an afternoon nap was the only alternative. I don’t think you should judge me everyone has their moral limits and I think I needed to do what ever it took. I don t care if it was wrong..He has gaslighted me unabashedly and I needed to find out. I m not a physician but I know he’s built like a Mac truck and the dose I gave him was far from dangerous. Yes it’s totally unconventional to do such a thing. …but does he not deserve to get fucked like I did??????
          U say he doesn’t love me? Well he wants me because I m in fact very hot, educated, great career and charismatic. ..so it’s hard for me to understand why this is happening to me!!!
          I do appreciate your concern and am trying to free myself of this albatross which weights my soul so heavily. Thank you again to this community for caring.

          • No one deserves to be treated the way he treated you, ever! Everyone told me the best revenge was to live better. The pain they inflict is cruel and it’s unimaginable. I wanted my EX to hurt the way I did and sometimes we all do things we regret. It took me a long time to realize he didn’t respect women and no matter how hard I tried things never changed. We think things are finally working out and the rug is pulled out from under us once again. There is no way to fix them. You deserve to be treated with respect.

            • FBI, I do empathize with your situation and sometimes we all do cross the line. My therapist helped me understand the fact that a narcissistic partner cares only about themselves. This is why they they can discard us despite all the loving things a normal partner provides. Narcs are selfish and are attracted to loving selfless partners. All the evidence we gather eventually helps us believe they are truly disturbed. Love and support to you!

          • The point is that when you are doing things like drugging people, it is past time to leave. There is no reason to compromise your own values to “catch” a cheater! Sorry, I just cannot condone committing a crime, no matter how much you think the person deserves it; that is a slippery slope, which leads to nothing good…

          • Dear FBI,
            Like you,I thought for 13,years.. “I’m very lovable, how can he not love me?!!”
            I was a good wife,a Physician, took good care of myself, I’m a size 6 & no one will call me ‘ugly’, I’m a great mum and I loved him… It was only in the year that I filed for divorce that I realized it had nothing to do with me and he could never love me.

            Any man that treats us as badly as we have been treated DOES NOT LOVE US…a man that cheats on you consistently does not love you. It took me years to accept this FBI & even now in the process of divorce that knowledge still stings but I’ve accepted it and I’m trying to rebuild my confidence and life.

            I will be the last person to judge any chump as I know very well how crazy a cheating spouse can make you be but one thing I agree with is that you need to get away fast for your own sanity… That was the main reason I left… I endured years of cheating & gaslightining but I had to leave when I realized my sanity was truly at risk.

            Let it be your decision and yours alone but take a lot of wisdom from the people here.. We have been there.
            Best wishes and will be praying for strength and wisdom for you.
            Hugs,

          • fbi, you are confusing your level of attractiveness (hot, educated, great career, charismatic) with your partner’s capacity for love. Here’s one way to look at it. Imagine a man has a wonderful fixer-upper house, all the materials you need to renovate it, lots of power tools, and plenty of time. But he has no capacity for doing the work–no skills or training and no motivation. The fact that the man can’t do the work doesn’t reflect on the awesomeness of the house and renovation materials. All of us have attractive qualities; none of us were betrayed because of some hideous personal flaw. We were betrayed because cheaters cheat. They lie. They have no conscience to stop them from devastating people who trust them. And they do these terrible things because they CAN and because no one is the boss of them. Your involvement with this cheating jackass is “happening to you” because you don’t stop it. It will stop when you decide staying with this abusive man is not acceptable to you. And if you are waiting for him to change, he won’t.

            • Couldn’t have said it better Lovdajackass. Just because she is hot to trot doesn’t mean every man out there will find her irresistible .

          • fbi,
            I hear you & I take something very positive from what you’ve written. Follow me on this; you’ve spoken well about your positive attributes and I COMEND you for that. The reason I do is because it means you’ve still got some self esteem. You’ve still got your confidence. THAT in itself will prove invaluable to you IF/WHEN you move on.
            Use that fighter that’s in you to refuse this awful behavior to continue and take your life back!

            So many of these cheaters break us down piece by piece and many of us end up feeling like we are worthless…I imagine you’ve felt some level of this because of the cruel treatment you’ve been experiencing. BUT you still know your worth. You’re worth much more than this “man” is capable of appreciating and you’ve already come to that realization….you just haven’t cut his life support off yet.

            Try to keep in mind that supermodels have been cheated on. Is it because they’re not pretty/sexy/successful/intelligent/rich enough? Nope. It’s because they married someone who values nothing.

            You can get yourself out of this awful cyclical torture device, you just have to say when. Good luck!

        • When my friend was being chumped several years ago she was crushing up laxatives and mixing it into his food and he noticed the powder and aftertaste and got suspicious.
          She also put a skin irritant on the surface of the bathtub just before he bathed and he lept out of the water crying “my baaalls!!!
          I laughed with her then told her to stop right there. These guys and their sleazy antics are simply not worth the risk of being arrested.

          • In light of the recent Bill Cosby scandal, I would guess most people are aware when they have been drugged. This seems like a very risky move. Plus, it is just not worth it. You already know what he’s been doing, you don’t really need proof.
            dont let him make you that crazy. If you do, he wins

            • I dare say, with today’s powerful sedating medications, the vast majority of those who have been drugged are incapacitated a few seconds within realizing something’s not right. At least, that’s how it went with me…….

  • Mine was not so much about being the marriage police, but more about what i did when he told me he was going to go away the following weekend. It was 2 months after D-day, the kids were back at college, and we were alone doing something in the house to make it presentable for sale. I left the room, picked up my laptop and took a look at our cellphone account. There it was in front of me — her phone number and hundreds of phone calls between them. I took her number and dialed it from our house phone. She didn’t answer but I left a message telling her that i was still in love with my husband of nearly 30 years, we were still sleeping together, he was going though a rough patch. I told her i knew they had been friends in college and that she was still reeling from her divorce BUT how could she do this to another woman, etc., etc. I walked back upstairs and told him what I had done. He just about fell off the ladder. He went white. He asked why? And I said, because she needed to know my side. After his visit to schmoopie, I asked him if she got my phone message. He said she had. I asked what she thought and he replied that she said she felt like the Other Woman. Oh, really???? She’s as clueless as he is.

    • I cringe as I write this….ugggg all of this for a complete loser.
      I would search the inner toe of whatever shoe he wore out to his “frat meetings” and “church duties” Surprise thongs of the evening conquest. I would lift up the huge area rug in living room where he spent most of his time to avoid sex with me and interact with supply till the break of dawn..SURPRISE more thongs of all sizes, brands, quality. I would call the respective stores given them style number under pretense of purchasing more and find out the season so I guess the timelines. I would cross reference phone numbers on Been Verified. Downloaded a tracking device on his phone. Make fake profiles (he accepted them all ) to check where, who, what, when because he loved to display his fabulous grand life. The final was when I figured out his pass code and saw an email from one of his AF screaming that he was cheating on her with someone else…she was kind enough to include a phone number. So the night he told me he needed space and was going to a friend…i crossed referenced the number…called Minister Whore and there he was nice and snugged up in bed…she passed him the phone when I said put my husband on the phone. And even though he’s been out of the house 2 years…the thongs and condoms (which I’m sure he barely used) keeps popping up as I clean out closets, baskets, etc. Makes me sick to my stomach that he was sleep with all these women. Just sooo thankful to God I didn’t get any incurable std from him. Cringe all of this for loser uggggg. Thank God I’m on the other side …and so happy and at peace while Minister is now in my shoes. Happy Trails!!!!

      • Oh and how could I forget the car where most of his activities took place. I would search for strands of hair, look under mats, the glove compartment, the seat pockets …yup that’s where I found the secret cellphone and saw the pics he took of having sex in the car, at their homes, out on dates. It just all seems like one big giant waste of time for me…but the truth is is one big giant waste of life for him.

      • OMG that is horrible! Like he stuffed your house with thongs the way a squirrel stuff acorns in a tree. What do you do when you find the thongs? Burn them? Mail them to his mother? It sounds like you’re at MEH and all but that is so disgusting. Do you have to clean your home with those thick rubber gloves that you see coroners wear on TV shows?

        • I just had a laugh imagining a squirrel with a thong in its mouth with the caption “Stocking up the supply for winter.’ I am so sorry that you come across this crap Suzyoh.

    • She felt like the Other Woman. Huh. So she’s a big fat lying narcissist hologram too–or she would know that a WIFE is a flesh and blood person married to the dickhead she (the OW) is sleeping with.

  • I had to know that I wasn’t crazy. I knew our marriage was in trouble and I knew he was lying to me. I put the find my iPhone /iPad app on both my devices, and put the iPad in the trunk of his car. ( you must have stand alone internet on the device in the car). I then tracked where he went. I found out that on overnight business trips were actually at her condo & much more. Hope this helps a fellow chump. Much cheaper than a private detective.

    • Some cell phone services have a tracking service or “family locator”. It sends them a text once a month saying they are capable of being tracked… But you get a lot of tracking in that one month.

  • Ohhh my. This is going to be embarrassing. But hey. Good to look the devil in the eye, right?

    spycam keyfob = $100
    spycam bedside clock = $150
    GPS in live time with subscription to security company = $200 plus $50/mo. fee for live feed
    friend finder app on phone
    keylogger that was attached to the computer itself
    keylogger that was installed in the software

    Started getting specifics, where are you going EXACTLY? what route will you take? how long will you be there? who will be there? you will call me on the way and we will talk the whole time, you will call me when you leave there and we will talk the whole time. Then I would get in the car on random occasions and go to where he said he would be. Then I would tell him I did it, but not which times or what I found out. (talk about paranoia. i thought his head would explode).

    Called each and every single phone number on the cellphone bill and if a woman answered, I asked how she knew my husband? Apparently, he’d had more than one OW In Training, because several claimed that they had no knowledge that he is still married. I informed them that yes, dearie, he’s still got the ball and chain attached in whose house he still resides.

    Rearranged my work schedule so that I would have random free time in order to pop in at home. Surprise, honey!! I’m HOOOOOOOOME!!!

    It didn’t last long, thankfully. I like to think of it as my Temporary Insanity Related To Extreme Douchebaggery—or TIRED. It’s a disease. That makes you very, very tired indeed.

    Then I chose a lawyer who had immunity from TIRED and let HIM do all of the crazywork. Best $23,000 I ever spent.

    • TIRED——–excellent name and diagnosis!
      I suffered from TIRED, Aldo. Still do. I thought about doing most of the things you did but decided against it. I already knew he was a POS cheater, so I figured, why bother? However, the TIRED affliction certainly applied to me. The emotional pain was horrendous.
      Yep, our marriage is a corpse. A rotting, stinking corpse by now.

    • Oh, SphinxMoth–that whole process is designed to make you TIRED. And $23,000 for a lawyer!@#! Were there custody issues?

      • Tempest–yes, custody issues and Ex Is A Fucktard issues. He would call his lawyer, complain about something, like the spare key to his vehicle being in my possession. His lawyer would gladly write a 4 page letter to my lawyer about said spare key and all of the mischief I could get up to with said spare key.

        My lawyer would spend time calling me, drafting a response letter to his attorney….and this went on ad nauseum.

        The problem was, he wouldn’t talk to ME (he claimed it was on the advice of his lawyer. DUH. no shit. OF COURSE your lawyer is going to say that, dumbass!)—about ANYTHING. Kid is sick on a weekend of visitation? Call the lawyer. Where’s that suit that I bought in Boston 8 years ago? Call the lawyer. Can I see the dog? Call the lawyer.

        I agree that some things need to go through an attorney, but not “What time is it?” In the end I realized what he was doing–it actually wasn’t about bankrupting me, it was about hiding behind an authority figure. I finally understand that they simply have minds like 5 year olds. Brave and cocky when they want something and think in their toddler minds that they’ll get away with it—then when caught, scream/cry/pout/throw tantrums….lie, obfuscate—all without shame. At least with 5 year olds, they have an excuse for their behavior.

  • A week or two after dday, I had sat at the computer and just started to type…. I typed a letter to the Sheriff, ex’s boss, to inform him of the misconduct that was going on in his departments – that my ex who was on road patrol at the time was having an affair with the reserve officer on company time and on my tax dollar. I went on to say that this behavior goes against the oath that the officers take and so on and that how can you expect respect for your law enforcement employees with this kind of damaging behavior while on the clock and I believe their miscounduct needs to be looked into.

    I never sent it, just typed it on the computer to get it out of my system….
    Funny thing was that after dday, I noticed that ex would snoop on everything that I did and every website that I went on. When he saw what I had written, he started to cry and in front of the kids, hollared “your mother is trying to ruin me”.

    Thank you for this article today. Because in so many ways, it is a reminder that I did the right thing. He was never sorry for the pain he caused to me or the boys, just sorry that his image might be tarnished. I makes me laugh now realizing how pathetic his is.

    Life is so much better on the other side. 🙂

    • Casey–they are selfish, pathological turds. After I told my STBX that I knew about his second affair, he called not to apologize, but to go nuts at me for asking around since he could lose his job if information came out (he had a penchant for students as a prof).

      • His department chair must be sweating bullets. Your STBX is a liability waiting to happen, especially if his preference for sweet young things is starting to hit the departmental radar. They’ll probably hope that he’s discreet, as revoking his tenure at this point would be tricky. On the other hand, when things blow up to the point where some student files legal action against him, the department will have to cut him loose like a sacrificial lamb–save that he’s no innocent!

        • He’s a big name in the profession, and their departmental ratings will take a hit if he is fired.

          I found out about his affair from 8 years ago by discovering his notes to prepare for the sexual harassment officer. He dodged a bullet–it was consensual and grad student whore was not under his supervision directly.

      • Tempest, my XH is also a prof with a penchant for grad students. When I brought it to his Dept Chair’s attention, XH went ballistic – how DARE I tarnish his reputation like that? 5 years later, he still brings up how I almost cost him his job. Because a wife and kids are easy to replace, but a JOB? What was I thinking?!

        Turns out his Dept Chair was on HIS second marriage (AP), so he completely “got” the “looney 1st wife” tale. Birds of a feather…

        • Yes, Red, we are expendable and the job takes precedence. Mine thought he had one last opportunity to reconcile with me; I asked the slut’s name and he refused to give it because I might publicize it and cost him his job. I handed him the divorce papers on the spot (I’d already filed) and told him to make a seamless exit from my life.

        • What is with these professors? My then husband was chasing a student and found out that another professor was chasing the same student. So not fair. So what does he do? He accuses the OP of Many Bad Things in an email sent far and wide around the university. Immediate result was that OP was fired. Score one for the big man eliminating the competition so handily! Next result was that OP sued ex and the university for defamation and the university was facing wrongful termination claims. The end result was that the university settled the defamation action and fired ex’s completely discredited formerly fully tenured ass. From Chair of the Department to unemployed and unemployable with the click of a mouse.

          • Let’s hear it for karma!!! Now THAT is a great story. There’s nothing more gratifying than learning a crapweasel got a supersized shit sandwich stuffed down THEIR throat!

          • My husband fucked his work study student whilst married to his lovely second wife. He fucked the ugly librarian whilst married to me. I will never know how these hounds keep their jobs. Colleges=The good old boys club.

    • Casey, It sounds like our exes are cut from the same cloth! He’s also a cop and was having sex on duty with his OW. I, too, drafted a letter about his behavior, but just couldn’t bring myself to send it. I regret not having done that.

      • As much as I really wanted to send it, I was worried that if I did and he lost his job, the small amount that I would have gotten for child support would be gone plus I would be partially responsible for any negative consequences. I would rather sleep well at night knowing I did no harm. All the bad will catch up with him someday, that is for sure. I had also drafted one to the husband and ex was upset about that as well. I did send that one at a later time. 🙂

        From what I understand though, there was no need for me to send it to the Sheriff. The cops around here are like little school girls with their gossiping. They all knew about it including his direct boss and the sheriff from what I understand. Plus the ap ended up with her mugshot on the front page of the paper. Classic. LOL

        Then again, what does it tell you about the other person willing to have sex in dirty, nasty, squad card. Ummm, fucking gross!!!! I guess I respect myself much more than that.

        I guess for me though, the most important thing is to lead my boys on the right path. Just the other night my 10 yr old asked “do you think things would be different if dad didn’t lie about everything?”. It is moments like those that I feel they get it. My response was yes, but he lied about so many other things as well. Son said, “yeah, I know….”. In no way shape or form am I disparaging their father but I am not going to hide my kids from the truth.

        After dday I also posted a saying on the fridge “If you don’t find anyone to find out, don’t do it!” Yeah, that pissed ex off as well. I am certainly not going to keep quiet just to make his life look/feel better. He is a piece of shit and he knows it and most importantly, I know it. In a nutshell, he is scared of me and my mouth. I am far from “bitter” but am not afraid to speak my mind.

        • Casey, I totally understand wher both of you are coming from. Unfortunately, my exH was a firefighter/paramedic for a small rural ambulance district. He used his time on the job, as well as the county ambulance barn to hook up with his APs. Most of his coworkers knew about the other women and covered for him. Around here, it’s a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mentality. Affairs are common in his line of work. It’s almost like it’s expected. I’m not saying ALL firefighters cheat. His director knew about his behavior and condoned it. It makes me sick just to type that. I really liked some of his coworkers, but I didn’t know he had been trash talking me behind my back until they one by one quit talking to me and removing me from their “friends” lists. It was like a sock to the gut. Talk about adding insult to injury. Not only did my exH cheat on me, but he was blaming ME for the problems in our marriage to justify his behavior. In public, he still denies he has ever cheated. I think only his coworkers know the truth and no one in that “brotherhood” is talking. It infuriates me to know that these men that I once considered friends allowed me to be mentally abused and gas lighted. They went along with my ex trying to convince me I was crazy and that all of those other women were “just friends.”

          • Mine used to work third shift and I barely knew his co workers because of that. He also claimed that because of the schedule they really didn’t get together outside of work. Okay, sounded legit at the time….. I trusted him..
            Funny thing though, right after dday a couple of them that I did know came up to me and told me that they have no respect for him and I heard through the grapevine that so many of the officers that he worked with think he is a piece of shit.
            Bottom line is that it sucks how these so called work acquintances treated you but it can also be a blessing. What does it show you about THEIR character and why would you want other pieces of shit in your life anyway?? I am to the point that if people think my ex is a great guy – they can have him. I want no part of people who told me in the beginning that what he did was horrible and then decide to continue to be friends with him, nor will I compete for their friendship. Those people are not supporters of me – they are frauds. Life is too short to spend it with frauds.

      • Preaching to the choir! Im a cop and my STBX is a cop and he cheated with other lady cops, deputies, dispatchers.. “Ive had to email his boss about his harrassment and stalking since our break up. why i dont know because he left me for another cop who was notorious for sleeping with other married cops!!!. Snitches dont get stiches..they get freedom!!!

    • Hi Casey, my ex was using his company’s car and gas card to bank roll his weekend getaways to visit the ow. She lived three hours away. I emailed a letter to his boss regarding this and ex got his ass chewed out. He did not get fired for this but yelled about the possibility of losing his job. Wonder if he still has that gas card

    • Oh I absolutely ran down the marriage police road. And WTF is it about cops??? My stbx was a sheriff’s deputy. I was a SAHM with 4 kids 6 and under. First time I caught him masturbating to lesbian porn, I was 9 days from having baby #3. He cried like a baby and said it was the first time and he was very stressed out. Promised to go see our priest and soul NEVER, EVER do it again. Of course chumpy me, moved by his sorrow and tears, cried with him and believed him. Forward 8 months, day after my birthday. Child # 3 is 8 months old. I get up, make breakfast and check my email. I KNOW. You know where this goes don’t cha’? Mozilla would not work. So I had the bright idea that I would try internet explorer. Of course he had told me that it “did not work”. And that if I I opened I.E.,the computer would crash. He was sorta right. Something crashed alright. When I opened IE, a huge amount of teen porn came up. My heart started racing. I started sweating. I was dumbstruck with what I was seeing. In a lightning flash of intuition, I realized the web of lies and deception. I said nothing to him. Went and picked up his meds for an infected tooth. He insisted I take the kids. Like he always did. Clarity came in a rush. Puzzle pieces fell into place. OMG. When I came back with the prescription. He had been laying on the couch, moaning about his tooth pain. When I got back, he left for work. I checked the computer again. He had been on AGAIN in the time I took to get his meds.
      After he left, I packed up my kids, called his parents, and went to stay with them. He was totally pissed off. I stayed away a week and refused to talk to him for the first three days. I had to go home. I only had 100$ and no other funds. When I got back, I became the marriage cop from hell. I had no money to buy sleuthing equipment. So I searched online till I found a free hard drive recovery program. Assclown had of course deleted the history. So I ran this program. Omg. 16,000 photos and videos later, I stopped. I could not take any more. I was a mess. A complete emotional wreck. I did not tell him what I had found. I just started watching him. And keeping track. I spent about two years trying to keep him from being stressed into porn again. Making sure I did not try to “manage” his recovery. Only there wasn’t any frigging recovery.
      I had a friend who I had confided in. She sent me many books from Amazon on this subject. I read and read. I know more than I ever wanted to know. I wrote down about 15 questions I wanted him to answer. He answered them all. On the question about whether he had carried his “addiction” to an actual physical affair, he wrote “I know you would love for me to confirm your suspicions, but no,I have not had physical contact with anyone, just porn and masturbation”. “Love to have you confirm….” Uh. Huh. Yeah. Sure. Mindfuckery at its best. So, I continued on my quest to keep him pure. I checked his phone. Got rid of the computers. Made sure that he was not in the line of vision of any skimpily dressed or very attractive woman wherever we went. And I sheilded his eyes in the check out line from the magazine’s. I know, ridiculous right?? At the time, I felt it was life or death. I really did. I even got rid of cable TV and screened all movies for potential triggers before we watched them. CRAZY TOWN. That shit is crazy town.
      I had him call every 30 minutes to let me know where he was. I drove myself almost to a nervous breakdown. I was in high alert at all times. He blamed me for not praying with him. Said if I had, he could have stopped. Really? I finally gave up after 8 years one more child and numerous times of catching him. Turns out, he had started when he was 9 after he and his brother found their dad’s stash of porn. He had been doing that our whole 3 year courtship. What a chump.

  • My marriage police came after she left me at a court hearing because she ran off with my daughter and would not allow me to see her for 10 days and even tried to black mail me by saying she would allow me to see our daughter if I signed over full custody to her. At the hearing the Judge asked her where she lived now (she would not tell me) and she told the judge approximately. The judge then asked her again, where do you live I want an address. She then told her and then the judge asked her whose name is on the lease. She then said the persons (boyfriend) name and I immediately knew what was going on as my X and I had a run in in regards to him almost 1 year prior where she said they were just friends and that he was in a hard marriage and just needed advice.

    About a week after the hearing I found out the day of his divorce was the same day my X left me and as I dug in further I found hundreds of phone calls between the two of them on her cell phone and house phone records. I dug in further and contacted his now X-wife and between the two of us got credit card statements of them in Myrtle Beach and how he bought my X some $200 earrings.

    After all of this I was still stupid enough to try and reconcile and about 2 months intro trying to reconcile and at family counselling I realized that I was crazy for trying to work this out with her. I watched for nearly two hours as her and councilor went back and forth and how my X blamed me for everything and said how horrible our 13 year marriage was and how there were never any happy moments etc… It was very obvious to the councilor that my X was lying and several days after the councilor even told me that she refuses to take responsibility for her own actions and that I should move on. I had already decided after that session that I was over with and my X saw it on my face on the drive home.

    That 30 minute drive was both one of my best days and one of my worst days. The best part was I finally realized it was time to move forward and the future could not be possibly worse than continue with a past that seems to go nowhere but in circles. The worst is I made the stupid mistake of going to the councilor session in the same car with her and the 30 minute drive back I took a massive verbal assault were she called me every name in the book and told me how I ruined her life and how she was going to make me pay.

    She still denies having an affair but he keeps coming around and playing with my daughter etc… on a regular basis when my X has her. When my daughter tells me this all I tell her is that I am happy he is treating her well and that she has fun playing with him.

    • You’re a good, kind, and generous man, Lothos, to be able to tell your daughter that you’re happy that your X’s AP is treating her well. What a shit sandwich for you!

      BUT–you’re being a really mighty dad. You’re letting your daughter know that you are there for her and that she should feel comfortable telling you anything, even stuff that can be hard to hear (and possibly hard for her to deal with. She may feel a bit guilty for having fun with the OM when he’s playing with her).

      • Thank you

        There is a lot more to the story and after almost 2 years this will be all over in May. It amazes me how far these kinds of people will go to the point of trying to destroy the other spouse simply because they chose to move on. What amazes me more is that the justice system assumes guilt with no evidence and it is up to the person that is being accused to pay for the defense while the accuser gets everything for free and provided for by the state.

        Fortunately for me I was able to afford my defense and in both cases she tried (over the past 2 years) claiming things such as domestic violence against her and my daughter I have won the cases and she was caught with perjury both times. The more dis-hearting part is that even though perjury was proven the District Attorney chose not to prosecute because in his opinion it was to small of a case and that half the people in the state would be in jail if he was to start prosecuting people for lying under oath which of-course defeats the entire purpose of testifying under oath.

        Yes, I have won in each outing and this nightmare (as ChumLady puts it no kibbles) but in this case since I cut off the kibbles she has lashed out (refer to previous paragraph). One thing that concerns me is that many people out there would not be able to afford the cost to defend themselves against these allegations so they just capitulate regardless if the accusations are un-true.

        I feel bad for other people who are put into these kinds of situations and some research I did over the web has revealed it is a major problem in the entire country where one spouse uses the court system with false accusations to get a leg up on the other spouse and since there are no ramifications for lying they are free to do it as the only stop gap is their conscious.

        There is more going on but I don’t want to sound like a broken record. I am sure parts of my story have been blogged on this website by other peoples experiences. It all ends up in the same place.

        • Wow Lothos! My EH committed perjury on his financial statement. it was discovered and used by my lawyer as a bargaining chip but I still felt like he got away with lying under oath. I guess they wouldn’t have prosecuted him either as your situation is much more serious. So sorry you had to go through that.

        • Lothos,
          Your legal situation sounds much like mine. I’m sorry that so many hostile, unethical, cruel personality-disorded people, both men and women, roam the earth and the court just looks the other way.

        • Wow, Lothos, good for you for keeping your head up. We chumps can sure turn on the mighty when we really need to.
          My STBX also lied under oath & likely still will in our future proceedings. But so far it hasn’t gotten him anywhere. I think his main focus is retaining as much of his money as possible; the custody stuff went through like a breeze…he offered me an 80/20 split and I happily agreed.

          I too have the conversations with my young daughter about the OW. I try not to be too angry with her because she’s just a naive pawn in his game…she’s the new me. I tell my daughter I’m glad she likes the OW and that they have fun together. I don’t want to taint her innocence…she’s too young to understand the reality of it all anyhow.

          Good much moving forward!

    • Lothos
      For the record, you are not the horrible person she said you were. It is SHE who is the horrible person. I’m not even going to justify her words by giving her an excuse for being so boorish as to do that to you after going to the counselor. The good thing is her words and actions impelled you to a good decision. To put it succinctly, WHAT A BITCH!

      What a shame. Some poor schmuck gets tossed in jail for Pot possession, but this person lies in court on more that one occasion and it’s dismissed. Meanwhile you are spending a ton to defend yourself to disprove her lies. Can you press charges for slander or libel? Sheesh!!! Injustice doesn’t even begin to describe this bullshit.

      In the state where I live you can still sue for divorce on the grounds of infidelity. You can still sue the OW/OM for alienation of affections. Why do the powers that be not see the costs in this bad behavior on everyone and yet have laws with no teeth?? Why bother having people swear on the bible when it doesn’t make a difference.

      You’re a good Dad by not vilifying your child’s mother to her. Your daughter will see her for what she is eventually any way. Keep taking the high road.

  • I was up at all hours every night for 4 months checking his phone for texts, emails and calls and sending copies of my findings to myself. I never confronted the OW because he made the choice to be with her so he should be held accountable. As it turned out, she was just one of many for him so there was nothing special about her other than her being a willing participant. Ho’s will be ho’s – and she definitely was one. Her husband had divorced her for cheating on him.

    The real turning point though was 5 months after we separated when I knew something was still not right so I followed him to a crappy motel where he went in for about an hour. When he came out, I confronted him in the parking lot. He tried to walk away at first but finally turned to talk to me. I asked him to take me inside to meet who ever he had been with but he said he couldn’t because he had booked her online. That’s when he admitted to seeing prostitutes throughout our marriage. Yes, I had to track him down and force him to tell me but it was the first time in a long time that honest words came out of his mouth and I saw true shame on his face. Then the entitled narc took over and he began blaming me for his actions. There was a full on screaming match between us in the parking lot – I’m sure it wasn’t the first one the employees of a motel with clientele like that have seen but they definitely got a show that day. I didn’t care though – he made his bed and he can continue to lie with his scanks from now on without me in the way.

    • You think you share values with these assholes and poof, they are creatures from hell. How awful. I found hotel receipts and he slept with them in my bed. I have access to his phone records and he is already cheating on the thing he has been living with and she is violent. We are mighty.

  • “What didn’t I do?” might be the better question to ask. I believed at the time (foolishly) that checking up on my ex would somehow make our relationship work. I didn’t occur to me that what I was doing was a symptom of our shitty relationship, not a solution to fix it.

    Anyhow… I became the relationship police like it was my damned job (which, ironically, is close to what I actually do for a living!) I managed to get both his voicemail passcode and his email password- I checked on these things repeatedly. I had these for years and he never did figure out how I had certain information (he’s stupid). When he told me he was over a friend’s house, I used public databases to get their addresses and would stop by to see if he was where he was supposed to be. I gathered all kinds of information about the OW from social media accounts- it’s actually amazing how much people put out there for public consumption. This got me the address for one of his affair partners and I knocked on her door while he was there one day. Gave him quite the surprise, although I’m positive he told her I was “just the crazy ex”. I tracked the final OW through our local court records and got her address. When he “couldn’t decide between us”, I started forwarding his mail to her parents’ house (where she lived). I followed him once, in a really bad storm, to a cheat’s house- after he said he was going to the store. He would hide his phone, which I brought up in a counseling session. As if hiding his phone was the real problem :-/ Oh good lord, it seems so ridiculous now, but I really thought I was being smart at the time.

    • I forgot to add, I found out about a secret cruise he took with another woman and a diamond ring he bought her. Both of these things happened while we were together. He had moved out temporarily while we were “working on things”, but he left all his crap (with the evidence of his behavior) behind. Dumbass!

      Looking back, I realized he only moved out to hide what he was doing and had no intention of working on anything. No, he didn’t get to move back home!

  • Lets just say I could have taught a class at the C I A. Did it solve anything? No. Did it make me feel better ? No.
    Idiot was always baffled that I knew of his whereabouts , names of women, monies spent and his real estate inquiries. I have to admit there was a small part of me that was entertained by his cover up stories and fabrications. I just stood and listened, nodding my head, making him believe that I believed every word he was saying. …. then I would start retelling his story with the truth and watch as his face would contort and turn red from rage….his tell tail. Dont know when it hit me… After the 20th time… 40th time…but it did…. That I just needed to accept the truth. As we put it here’ truth that he sucked’ and he had always been this way… and I deserved better. Did I need to play detective for that? Hard to say. Hard to say what would have been the push, or the hit to the head to wake up. But I did.
    All my investigations provided me was a distraction… Or should I say a place to bury my energies and pain. I became fixated and spent an enormous amount of time under surveillence… time I cant get back. Time I should have devoted to myself and our child. It consumed me. And for what? The answer was always there. I wasnt ready. I wasnt ready to face the pain or the loss.
    If you have to be the marriage police…you dont have a marriage worth saving.

    • I have a friend who is a long time PI. He says in all the years he has worked, there has NEVER been a instance when he was hired to investigate cheating that the person being investigated wasn’t cheating. In fact, he tells people to save their money because there is always a basis for those suspicions. Ironically, people still insist on hiring him and he has very little difficulty in finding evidence of cheating!

    • “It consumed me. And for what? The answer was always there. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to face the pain or the loss. If you have to be the marriage police…you don’t have a marriage worth saving.”

      ^^^This.

      I wasted days/weeks/months checking emails, phone records, bank accounts, etc., to make sure he wasn’t misbehaving. I checked his car. I did drive-bys. Then, when I found proof, it gutted me. I’d stop eating. Being the marriage police was a full time job. I finally stopped the crazy behavior when he moved out.

      These days, I don’t care what he does or who he’s with. He’s shown his true colors. The more distance we keep between us, the better.

  • I was one of those junior police reservists. I wish I had gone full on police mode, things would have ended sooner and more cleanly.

    I had three DDays, 2 of the 3 ex was acting weird. I checked email and found suspicious messages. Confronted, was gaslighted.
    Last one, he pulled it off as we lived in different locations (temp due to work). But AP tried to contact me via FaceTime, and I had started uncovering things when he finally told me he was in love with her…. But he had not cheated, marriage long over, etc, etc, blech.
    Still insists they did not cheat (she was also married), but I have the email where he says he was in love with her, felt more for her than he ever did with AP 1 (the one that was not an affair, remember? He finally copped to “only 1 time”…ha!)

    Wish I had checked phone records, etc. Would have saved myself a few years. And it would have helped the kids cope better.

  • On D-Day I found my husband’s sext – the sext led me to a secret email address, his secret online dating profile and his secret identity. I printed up much of it. I confronted him. He promised it was all only virtual. I found a phone number of a prostitute, I called him (yes my xh only slept with male prostitutes) I pretended to be my xh’s secretary to set up another visit, which the prostitute was more than willing to oblige – this is how I found out it was more than virtual. I made this call in front of my ex. For 6 months he said it was the only time, then he admitted to 10-12 prostitutes over 5 years. Fast forward 4 years later while he was on the witness stand, at child court, he admitted to this lifestyle for years before we were married. The lying never ends, do I know it all now? I don’t care.

    My life is now free of digging and free of wanting to dig.

  • I spent 18 months after dday making myself crazy – checking his wallet, his car (he stashed cash in there), his briefcase (where I found the prepaid phone on dday), phone records. I called hotels when he was “working late” and asked to talk to OW (never worked). I bought a GPS with a service but was too chumpy to use it. One of the final straws in my policing activity was when I drove to a restaurant where he was supposedly at a business meeting and almost had a car accident because I was so anxious. When I think back to that time, I feel sick about how much of my mental and emotional energy I wasted on him/them. I finally contacted a PI, but didn’t have the cash to be able to pay her. I subsequently saved a little here and there – enough to hire her if needed. But Tracy is right. Lack of trust kills a marriage. I am still in Unicornland. It’s been 4 1/2 years since dday now. I bought into the RIC websites because I had no other exposure to anything else and the two people IRL who knew both told me to stay. My cheater was of the variety who treated me like gold while eating his cake on the side. After dday he was never nasty, but also never really remorseful. I stopped policing because it was too stressful. I started some 12 step programs through COSA and CODA which helped me switch my focus to me.

    Now, I am sure this will be no surprise to the many of you who tried reconciliation only to have several more ddays, I was just checking on a problem his office was having with their phones this month, and what do you know – a call from OW’s cell phone. Just one call – but he never mentioned it to me. When I questioned him, he said it was out of the blue and he was shocked blah, blah, blah. He admitted that he did continue contact with her during those 18 months I was policing and then it died a slow death. Although, I guess it’s not dead yet. I feel sick all over again.

    I wish this website had existed back at my first dday.

    • Oh – and for anyone new I would add that cheaters just find ways to work around your spying. Mine definitely used skype so I wouldn’t see the phone calls anymore and set up alternate email accounts. I never bothered trying to get on his laptop,

      Just trust that they suck, they have set your home on fire – grab your kids and run.I know – easier said than done, but it’s what I wish someone had said to me back them. I didn’t even think it was an option.

      • You are right about the Skype. They also use Viber, What’s App, and I’ve even heard of them using the chat window in Words with Friends. And don’t forget how General Petraeus and his Whore used a gmail as a “dropbox” by just saving drafts of emails they would each log in as the same user to read. Amazing the lengths these fuckheads go to… wish they would all just put that energy into LEAVING in the first place so the chump has a chance to a real life.

          • Another nasty little trick he had was offering to drive me to the store and while I was safely in shopping he’d be free to chat privately. He’d see me coming back to the car in plenty of time to end the conversation. I can just hear him, “Gotta go! The bitch is coming.” I was so dumb that I thought he was being nice driving me to the store.

          • ah, online Scrabble. Not sure if he was in contact with OWomen, but ex was constantly playing Scrabble games with friends, and ignoring me and the kids. I warned him he was acting like he did when he was obsessed with chat rooms in the ’90s.
            Now i know, affairs both times.

            • I knew it was with the howorker. They were just “friends”. I trusted him until they were going to start “walking and running” together after work. I put a stop to that and that’s when the abuse really kicked in. The disrespect sickens me. He wouldn’t walk with me but bitched I was so out of shape. Not true. I’m no athlete but I’m in fine shape for my age. And I would hear what a wonderful person and mom she was and how her family meant everything to her. Then why was she “walking and running” with someone else’s husband? This was the bitch that sent me candy as a consolation after I got upset over their planned “work out” sessions. She was a sneaky, two faced, heinous piece of work that was leading him a merry dance and I think that he is going to find that out to his sorrow. I think she was playing HIM for kibbles.

              Then there was the mysterious incident where someone keyed his car at work. The lame story he had of why…. I can’t believe I fell for it. Or the “poker game” he went to and was back twenty minutes later. Guess their planned rendezvous didn’t work out that night.

              The shopping trips were on the days he didn’t work. So hey, I’ll offer to bring her somewhere to shop so I can call my “friend” since we won’t see each other at work today.

              The pieces of the puzzle do slowly fall into place. The funny thing is, he was cheating on those Scrabble games with some online dictionary. That kind of says it all.

        • I could never understand my ex’s fascination with words with friends. He used that all of the time to message his latest ow

          • I have the *email* where Cheater #2 and Bike Slut promise to use the chat function while playing phone Scrabble to hide their conversations. Now that the slut has been served, I wish I had his email address to forward that one to him, not that he needs it anymore. Pity we’re in a no-fault state.

            • Sorry, hit Reply too fast. By using email to “hide” shows how really dumb they are even if they think they are so slick and sly. *snort*

      • Lake, I’m saying it to you now: Take the kids (f they are still at home), the dogs, the cats, and your family heirlooms and run. Even if that means going to an attorney and then following the attorney’s advice to get your ducks in a row. You seem like a bright, observant person. There’s no reason for you to be in Unicornland waiting for a mythical creature to appear.

        • Thanks LAJ. I actually consulted one attorney back a few years ago as I work for my h’s business and wanted to know if I should find a different job etc. She gave me some good advice and I have I guess been preparing for this all along. I have copies of all financial records, have some cashed saved and am preparing for the inevitable. Thanks for telling me to go – no one did back then because, like I said, he treats me on the surface like gold – so outside people (only two of my friends know) are actually jealous of our marriage lol. My kids are college age, so in that sense I am lucky. Cheaters just don’t get it. Because he treats me well, he thinks all is well. It’s like Nomar said: Is he lying now? Was that a lie too? I could never even believe in the good things, because he says and does what he needs to do to keep the status quo. Thanks again for telling me what I wished someone had told me years ago.

  • My daughter found love letters between my ex and his married girlfriend. After this my son “hacked” into ex’s email and Facebook accounts. Ex always used the same password and never changed them even during his affairs. A pletheura of info including pictures of them in bed together were found in these accounts. Ex’s trying to save face was finished after all of this info came out. There was no more “My wife is nuts, there is no other woman.” I proceeded to go through all of his things including finding a secret retirement account, the real amounts in his other retirement accounts, his secret cell phone. Afterwards, I hired a private investigator to check out the other woman who we found out lied about being divorced. I came to realize that people that cheat lie about everything else too.

    • “I came to realize that people that cheat lie about everything else too.”

      This is 100% correct. The cheating is probably just the most blatant sign of bad character.

      Mine cheated and lied about everything. He cheated on his taxes (I found out when the IRS sent us a whopping bill that he forgot to grab from the mail), he lied about how much he made so he could skim off the top for his adventures, he lied about where he was constantly or if he was off from work, he lied about finishing college ( I found out this tidbit on my way out of the marriage). He would lie about something so simple as what he had for lunch!

      That’s why lying about cheating comes so naturally. Cheaters lie and liars cheat.

      • ^^^YES^^^
        My STBX is lying so long as he’s breathing. Literally, lies about everything. Who knows when or why he began doing that but damn he is good!

  • Ugh. I had to chase him down on an online message board where he posted everything openly and freely. How pathetic is that?! Everything I found simply confirmed everything I had *known* for the past several years but that he had vehemently denied…and then of course gaslighted me to top it all off. It was this last part that fucked me up the most I think.

    • But in a weird way I don’t have any regrets. While what I saw was horrible and burned on my eyes for the first several months, it was just the stuff I needed to realize what a scumbag he was. Once I saw who he really was, who he had been hiding from me all those years, I just walked. No need to look back because there wasn’t anything there for me. Trust that they truly do suck.

  • It seems reasonable to me that there are stages that are part of the disintegration of a relationship that are necessary for you to come to terms with it ending. These stages might vary in intensity and duration for different people, but it is part of a learning and acceptance process. Most people do not make instant decisions, most people do not have the twisted mentality to anticipate the kind of behavior cheaters use to carry on their cake eating activities. I never understood why someone would want to live a life that was so devious. Why choose to live a lie? It is a lot of work, and maybe I just don’t understand how good stolen cake tastes? That pesky guilt and responsibility issue would cause me to have cake heartburn, so I just could not understand why someone who had a good life would choose to mess it up. Obviously I was also looking for a reasonable way to explain unreasonable behavior. Good luck with that.

    So I started being the marriage police because I knew I was not getting the truth. I knew I had to protect myself, and if I was going to make life changing decisions I wanted to know with absolute certainty that what my gut instinct was telling me was true, was true. It is easy to snoop at your own house, so that is where I started. I found out that everything I suspected was true by checking the credit cards, computer and phone, and by doing a few recon drive by’s to see that he was not where he said he would be. I found out so much more than I needed to, or ever wanted to know. I found out that I was living with a mirage, a person who was a moral degenerate by my standards. I had married a man I did not know. I never needed to purchase any of the technological wonders available now. I just had to stop believing I had married a good person, and stop believing that I had used good judgment in choosing him. Sad, devastating time for me.

    But the good news is that once I ACCEPTED that he was not worthy of my love and attention, I started healing. The evidence produced by being the marriage police helped me convict him in the court of my heart. No appeal. The court showed no mercy. Banished from the home, cold civility dealing with business and child related matters. Once he had a hero’s welcome home, now he was a Zero without a home. Too bad, so sad. Another important aspect of going thru the marriage police trauma is not only to accept he is not worthy now, but to come to terms with the cycle of behavior a serial cheater has. Acceptance of this aspect will keep you from falling for the false reconciliation ploy, will help you understand that the affair partner will be just another player who will experience the cycle. It makes you feel odd to realize that you were never really important to someone who was very important to you — but it has nothing to do with your value and everything to do with that person’s personality disorder.

    I would not want to be a lifetime member of the marriage police force. That would be exhausting. After all, once you have the evidence needed to convict, why would you continue the investigation? How much evidence do you need to collect before you act? It is not a pleasant or peaceful way to live, so I recommend that you do not stay on the force a long time. It will damage you if you stay. I hope I never feel I have to investigate a loved one again. I am so much happier now that my tour of duty is over!

    • I so agree with your comment about the stages of disintegration of a relationship, Portia. Maybe the way things are revealed to us over time can be for the best. For me, it was a long process of discovery and realization but, when dday arrived, it wasn’t the shock that it is for some.

      • Reaching the stage where you no longer want to know is such a blessed relief…it is only with time and hindsight that it becomes clear what a pointless endeavour all that snooping and spying is.

    • Love your posts, Portia. “Convicted in the court of my heart.” That’s just it, isn’t it? No higher court in the land.

  • I was part marriage police and FBI detective as well .. From dday 3/10/2014..he confessed( cus he was having symptoms of a std and thought he caught something ) that he had one night stand unprotected sex with a coworker he had just met that night after another coworkers retirement celebration, well at least that was his story, he claimed to not know the girl cuz she worked at a different store than him and suposibly did not know what store or have her number. This story to me just did not add up. So I went into action, I called all the surrounding store asking for this girl name and nothing. So then I proceeded to check the cell phone bill and there it was a phone # that kept coming up. I purchased a membership to a people search to see who this # belonged to got her name , address , and found her on linkin and I calked her but asked for her by the name he had given me in his story and knew that it was a lie. That day I called him when he was at work at told him that he was lying to me about who it was and enter confession #2 .It was a coworker that worked in the same store and they first started talking at the company’s Xmas party. That he would often stay after work and talk to her or make out and give me the excuse that he was working late.

    I dug further checked his email he deleted all the inbox but then I checked his sent mail and found several emails to women , exgirlfriend and Craig’s list ads dating back to the birth if my first child with him 2007. I confronted him with the emails he says he does not recall but that he never had sex with any of them.

    I kept digging checked his fb messages he was messaging is mom while we were in false reconciliation saying to her that it was an error to have married me. And that he was in love with that other womAn and that I was a bad mom. As well I intercepted an email from his dad telling him to go ahead and give me a divorce and do not give her anything and claim that you are poor and have no money and to accuse me of family violence. After that I filed for divorce I knew I could not trust him.
    Shortly after he was served with the divorce , I was still in FBI mode, I was looking thru his browser history one morning before I got ready for work he had googled pelvic pain after sex. Being that we were not having sex I knew right away that he had done it again with the ow. So I searched his suit pockets and pants and I found a receipt for condoms purchased the day before right after he got off work. I remember this clearly I had called him around 5pm and told him that I was sick with a fever and he still showed up late at 8:30pm claiming he got stuck at work. I searched his car and found the empty box of condoms.
    That same day after he arrived from work i told him we can’t sleep in the same bed any more. He asked me why , what happened I told him he knows why. I have gave him a chance to confess but he denied, he said he did nothing , until I showed him the pic of the box and he still denied saying he did not use them , that he could not go thru with it.

    I still policed after that but it was more to gather evidence it was harder as he moved into my daughter room he put a lock on the door. Even though I had all the proof that I needed for court and for myself to be at peAce that I can trust that he sucks. It was just a hard habit to stop.

    I can assure you that I did feel crazy during that time cuz it’s all that I could think about. Trying to prove to myself that I can’t trust him. Doing all this searching while still being productive at work and taking care of two kids was difficult. But I don’t regret it.

    I am close to the end of my divorce court date 2/20.. I hope it will be the final since we have already mediated a settlement agreement.

    • To add that wasband did request to seperate his phone bill from our family plan, updated his relationship status on fb to separated , changed all his passwords for fb, email, credit cards..opened a separate bank account and took half of our savings and to top it off blocked me from fb all together.. And he did all of this while he was trying to reconcile with me to proof to me that I can trust him ?? As chumplady says we will never be able to untangle the skien if their fuckedupness.

  • Hmmm, I don’t think I would have made it out of the police academy. I wish I had known about all of the possibilities years ago so I wouldn’t have wasted additional years of my life with the cheater. I had small signs (and maybe a couple of big ones) over the years that something was going on but didn’t really think about spying… made a couple of lame attempts to get in to his laptop and phone but they were always password protected and shut down when he wasn’t home. I can’t believe how long it took me to realize that his secrecy was the biggest red flag of all. He had our cell phone bill sent to his business address so I couldn’t even see that. I eventually figured out that I could see the bill online and there I found a number he was texting all of the time – thousands of messages exchanged over several months. I called the number and it was a family friend. I confronted him and he told me it was all innocent – there was nothing going on, she just needed someone to talk to because her marriage was in trouble, her son was on drugs, blah, blah, blah. And, besides, he liked the attention. He said he would go to counseling because he knew it was wrong and I fell for the whole damn thing; took him back and trusted him completely (pretty sure I could win a chump of the year award). I felt so guilty for looking at the cell phone bill I swore I would never do it again – it seriously made me feel disgusting. At the time I thought my disgust was with myself but now I know the disgust was with him and his dirty secrets and lies. In the end, it was another woman who contacted me via FB to tell me that the cheater had been sexting her for over a year. I didn’t even know she existed. It was a shock but it quickly wore off when I started putting all of the pieces together – all of the “little” signs over the years, the secrecy – it all finally made sense. I still don’t know all of the details and I don’t think I want to know – but often wish I had dug deeper years ago to uncover his secrets and lies.

  • What’s especially painful about being the marriage police is that your spouse is supposed to be your best friend, the one person who always has your back and supports you, and having to be the marriage police makes you and your spouse adversaries. “Is she lying now? How about now? Just then? Was that a lie? When will she tell her next lie and how will I know?” And so on. Every minute of every day. Forever.

    Not to compare my ex-wife to a dog (okay, well, maybe a little), but it’s kind of like one day you have an affectionate, steadfast Golden Retriever who greets you with love and sloppy kisses, and the next day you come home to find out she’s transformed into a rabid wolverine that lives in your home and is hell-bent on ambushing you and gnawing off your pecker.

    It’s that stark contrast between certain safety and never-ending threat that I think is responsible for much of the PTSD suffered by chumps.

    • “…and the next day you come home to find out she’s transformed into a rabid wolverine that lives in your home and is hell-bent on ambushing you and gnawing off your pecker.”

      ROFLMAO!!! Thanks for the ‘visual’, nomar! OMG…it’s way, way too early to be laughing this hard…!

  • I did my share of things, but most of it was to gather 100% proof. It worked, i got the agreement i could live with, and removed the cancer from my life. Shes demolishing someone else now, thank god.

  • I did recon. Because like yesterday’s post by WTFever, I had no clue. It was so unbelievable. I discovered the decade long GF by accident. Kept my mouth shut, consulted attorneys and began to document until I couldn’t stand his lying to my facing any longer. This coincided with getting a complete STD panel and 2-3days worth of panic for the results and what to do if my youngest children were infected with anything.

    So yes, I needed to know who the clown was that he was fucking and enjoying waking up next to in various locations around the US and Canada. The fact that she left her password to her FB account on my cheater’s laptop proved to be invaluable and a source of rage for me mainly because that married bitch was talking about MY children by name to her friends. Also because it proved without a doubt that I have fucked, by proxy and because my cheater never wore condoms with any of the skanks he screwed, a huge population of LA county, ATL and some groups from CT.

    Did I continue to do recon after I busted his ass? Yea, for a little while. That’s where I found out he was still in contact with his GF for a 3month period because he was worried about her emotional state, all the while lying to my face and his therapist.

    Once trust is broken, there is nothing left. I don’t bother at all now. I had him create a written time line of all the people he screwed or engaged with orally (yes. He thought oral sex is not sex.) which I gave to my attorney. Crazy stuff. I know what he is. I know what he is capable of. I know my kids and I are just things to him.

    I think the recon phase is normal. I think once it becomes obsessive, you need to talk to someone about stopping the compulsion. We know they suck. It’s time to focus on positive momentum forward instead to picking at the scab and watching bleed all over again.

  • I’m not the kind of person to snoop. Both of us agreed long ago that if someone snoops, he or she probably shouldn’t be in the relationship!

    When my ex (we were not married) confessed that he had been having an emotional affair, he did not reveal who it was. I threw out a name and he never admitted it. A day or two after D-day, he left the house for a few days. His computer sat there. Unattended. Taunting me. Just BEGGING to be looked at. I swear ChumpNation, I swear…(lol)

    I figured that he probably put a keylogger on his computer, but at that point I didn’t care. All I wanted to do was to verify if my guess was right and…

    …it was. Took me only one mouse-click to find their emails and pictures that they sent to each others. I probably spent about 15 minutes scanning some of the stuff that was written and checking out the pics sent. No especially risqué pics, but there was only one thing that stood out for me. Only a few days before he revealed his affair, his affair partner actually wrote, “I don’t want to hurt Gypsy”.

    Uhhhh……Then WHY THE F*CK ARE YOU DELIBERATELY ENGAGING IN BEHAVIOR THAT WOULD BE HURTFUL TO ME?????????????????????????

    I realized that I could have downloaded everything onto a disc or a flash drive, drove to her husband (since I knew her address at this time) and handed him enough information for him to file a suit against my ex AND probably gain custody of their two children. He probably could have exposed her at work and had her fired.

    I decided against it. In fact, I could have done a LOT of damage that would have crippled my ex’s business and just about ruined him. I used to have some pretty wild fantasies about this, lol! Luckily, I didn’t act on any of it.

    As I sat there staring at the computer, I knew that our relationship was over. I had no desire to reconcile because I didn’t WANT to play the Relationship Police. Too much energy. Too much trust gone…

    …with the click of a mouse.

    • Me, too, Gypsy. Once I found evidence of an affair (or two), I removed all of my things from the bedroom, let him stay in the house long enough to get some answers and to run through a few of the Genuine Imitation Naugahyde remorse criteria, then filed. Funny enough, 3 weeks after I filed, he “offered” to let me have the passwords to his email to make sure he wasn’t cheating. Lol.

  • I did about 8 months of snooping: looking through his things, obsessively cleaning out the pockets of his clothing looking for evidence, combed through his old phone, did a drive by to the PT office he went to for over a year for a lame high school injury (the PT was one of his affair partners, I believe the first, I didn’t know at the time SHE was the one…I thought he was using the appointments to go meet with another woman…surprise!!! It was the PT!), obtained our phone records & saw obsessive calls between himself & PT chick, spoke to her supervisor because little did she know we were friendly and she gave me all info on his appointments, waited 6 months & enlightened her boss on their behavior & gave him the proof I had, did all kinds of Internet searches and I would’ve gone through his phone if I had the chance but he NEVER left it unattended or even face up.

    Thank GOD that time is over….it was like living in a non stop anxiety attack. Never again.

  • Stbx and I own a business that for no apparent reason started doing really poorly about a year before Dday. Once DDay came, I started to make the connection that he was funding this affair with money from the business as he was taking no funds from our personal accounts. I couldn’t afford a private investigator and a forensic accountant, so I hired the forensic accountant and became my own private investigator. The first thing I had to prove was that he had money. We were still living (in separate rooms) in the same house, and I knew his routines. When he would go downstairs to the kitchen to make his coffee every morning, I would sneak upstairs with my IPhone and get into his wallet. The very first time I looked, I found a check from one of our business customers made out to him personally for a large dollar amount. I also started going through his office garbage cans and recycle bins to find any scraps of paper that he had written job information on or receipts of purchases. I would wake myself up in the middle of the night to get into the work truck and look for evidence of jobs being done, but not being put on the business books. He was also leaving his IPad laying around and it is synced to his IPhone…and he didn’t bother to change the password. I had access to his email, texts and pictures. I was doing all of this to gather evidence that he is diverting funds from the business but I was also able to see texts and sexts from the OW. I also found that he had an account on Ashley Madison. In other words, I discovered what a total douchebag I had been married to for 20 years.
    He was attempting to trash the business so that it had no value as a marital asset and he wouldn’t have to pay me my fair share of it. He was also using the money to wine and dine and sweep OW off her feet. When I had the court remove him from the home, he had OW write a sworn statement that they are just “friends”…I was able to prove that she lied and perjured herself because I had pictures of their text messages and topless pics she sexted him. He had a business customer sign a sworn statement that he hadn’t done any work or been paid any cash by this customer. I was able to provide pics of texts showing that he had indeed done work for this particular customer.
    At first, I poured myself into my investigation…it really helped me to see who I was married to and to really trust that he sucks. Because our trial date isn’t till June, I am still investigating, but have grown really tired of it. I’m really ready to move on with my life and not have to spend so much of my time watching what he’s doing everyday…I most definitely wouldn’t do this to try to save my marriage! I’m just trying to fight for my future with my kids and to get what is rightfully mine.

  • My cheater told me about her affair, so I had no real need to be the marriage police. But I enlisted anyway. In marriage counselling, I asked her to give me her e-mail and FB passwords — she refused, saying she didn’t feel comfortable with my violating her privacy. After about three weeks, and at the counselor’s behest, she relented. But checking her browser history showed me she had deleted messages between her and the OM as well as a friend of his before she gave me her pw. I’m not proud to say that I continue to check her e-mail. I now know that she needlessly lies to her divorce lawyer and, for some reason, has not been paying her legal bills for enforcement of a judgment against the OM (she lent him $200k he hasn’t paid back — she’s run up at least $25 of legal bills). She clears her browser history every day now, We’re in the process of reaching a settlement (yes, with both of us still in the house), and I should probably just stop checking on her, but it’s a habit I’m finding it hard to shake.

    • Horrible ANR. Horrible. I had a similar experience. Once Cheatzilla was served papers on new years, she had her “breakdown” and spent time in the psyche ward. Then she wanted to reconcile. I decided to test her willingness to be honest with just a few things (knowing by the way, she wouldn’t do either). 1, told her to remove her 20 year old BF off of facebook. After watching her fall all over herself to NOT remove him, it became obvious she never would. And 2. Talk to a friend who had been on my side of the equation and was still working on reconciliation. She told me “you just want to embarrass me to my friends”. So much for working together. They lie, they cheat, they assume everyone else lies and cheats, and like good little chumps we give them opportunities, benefits of the doubt, etc. But trust me, once she leaves that house, once you have your life back, it gets much better. Not in one day mind you, but it’s just about 2 years since she left, and wow is my life better. You can’t buy peace of mind.

        • Right. I lived with Cheatzilla for 10 months post dday because her attorney (the one she fired) told her not to leave the marital home. Prolonged my healing and did more damage to my psyche. Had we not hammered out an agreement I would have ditched the house, but I have a feeling that’s what she wanted. So I waited it out. It is tough. You wake up every day staring at the freakshow you thought was your wife and realize it’s hurting you just being in the same space. I spent a lot of time at my friends houses and some weekends at my sisters house an hour away. I had to. I couldn’t stand the sight of her. And having that filth out of my life is an unimaginable gift. You’ll get there too. Hang in there, seriously. Don’t engage her, don’t discuss, just avoid until it’s final. Then move forward. Leave her behind forever.

      • I’m with you. Once you get out it gets a whole lot better. Once you stop giving them the benefit of the doubt and start trusting that they suck you can get your sanity back and get on with your life. Freedom!

  • I spent a year playing marriage police. Worst year of my life. All I did was check his email and Facebook, but that was bad enough. Constantly wondering what I would find. He knew I was checking so you’d think he’d have been smart enough to create a different account or something…but no. Cheaters are so dumb. I’m grateful my second D-day came 11 months after my first. That made it easy to walk away, knowing I’d done everything I could to save our marriage while he’d been busy stabbing it to death the entire time.

  • Voice activated recorder disguised as a pen (works just like a pen too) placed in his truck. Within 2 days I had all the proof I had waited 17 years to find. Affairs, double life, saying HORRIBLE things about me and my kids to his 26yo schmoopie, who had so much sage parental advice to give him. All for $100 bucks. So thankful I found that pen. I really wasn’t the crazy one after all!

  • After 18 years, 15 married, I had to resort to looking through his phone. There was nothing there but after a year of marriage counseling which was not doing our marriage any good (I was trying, he was not), I kept having this nagging feeling. I found a picture of a saying on his phone “it is hard to be with someone when you love another”. WTF? Who was that for? Not me. So, I dug and dug. I went through every picture, every text, every app, every background app but there was nothing. But, as I was staring at his phone saying to myself “things are not right”…I saw it. It was staring at me in the face the entire time…a Gmail app. We don’t have a Gmail account. Luckily for me, he never logged out. There, is where I found emails of Facetime photos. His stupid, smug “I’m getting off face” in the corner of the picture and his married with two small children coworker doing not so creative phone sex.

    I yelled, he lied, I threatened, he lied, pulled out more information from him, he lied. Now four months later, the divorce is final, I got most of everything I wanted financially and he is getting the bad karma that he deserves. My house is not toxic anymore. Our children are adapting with lots of love and caring from me. I realized that I was truly miserable for many years. I also realized that I am strong and showing my children that is wrong to accept bad treatment from a man for the sake of being married. But most importantly, this has not tainted me. I will find love again. It might take me some time but I am hopeful.

  • Here is my list of badge worthy “Police Academy” exercises right after dday #1 – #5!!!

    * Computer history search
    * Coat pocket/pants pocket search (weekly, then daily!)
    * Vehicle search (oh…….the things I found!!!!!)
    * Wallet/bed side table search
    * Time table keeping (this encompasses writing down times, strange events witnessed, etc)
    * Computer search of OW name, her H name, located their home on Google Earth, search of their children
    and their lives (kinda crazy….right?)
    * Years worth of credit card statement searches to check for purchases I may have been unaware of
    * Cellphone records search
    * Intensive note taking (jotting down all crazy statements made by exH to verify his whereabouts)
    * Voice Activated Recorder in his truck to finally verify (with my own ears) the I Love You’s exchanged
    between him and OW. Because ALL of the above was not enough for this Chumpy Chump!

    I have SOOOOO much free time now that I rid myself of exH!!!!!!!!

    I’d make one hell of a detective!

  • OK, we went through false reconciliation for 13 years, and both times I played marriage police. (Only policed him for about 2 months with the last affair, then I knew I was done trying to repair the marriage. Yes, he guilt tripped me both times about invading his “privacy”.)

    I did the usual phone/credit card checks/computer checks with the second affair. I bought voice activated recorders and velcro, but never installed them on the advise of my lawyer.

    With the first affair I was more low tech, though I did phone and computer checks. I did do some drive by’s at their place of employment and her house to catch them together and, with that, I have a funny story….

    During the first affair, I got on base and snuck up to her work building. I didn’t spy her at her desk where I knew she should be seated. No one saw me…deserted! I just knew they were making out in a store room or something.

    So I crept around the nearly empty building looking in all the doors….staff only, boiler, etc. Finally, there were only the men’s and women’s locker rooms. I just had to finish my inspection . Well, there was no one in the women’s locker room…only the men’s locker room was left!

    I crept into the men’s locker room…with my newborn baby in tow. (Hey, I had no one to watch him and I was nursing every two hours!) No one at the lockers, but there was a shower running in the back, so I slunk back to the showers.

    Well, there was a man in the shower and it wasn’t my husband. Fortunately, his back was to me, so he didn’t see me, although I got a real good view of his BUTT! Yikes!

    I flew out of there like a bat out of hell. Quietly.

    • Robinlee,
      That is hilarious. I can just imagine the adrenalin surge, seeing that guy in the shower, carrying your baby, hoping kid doesn’t squeal, then legging it outta there! Makes one hate detective work lol. From a fellow experienced detective of similar experiences 🙂

      • Do tell!

        I’m wondering if anyone else ever crawled across the bedroom floor like a lion stalking its prey to rifle though their husband’s wallet while he slept….looking for tidbits like receipts and notes! Reading this thread makes it seem even more nuts than it seemed at the time!

        So glad those days are over:-)

  • Didn’t even try to be the marriage police. He dumped me and a week or so later started yammering about getting our financial statements in order for the mediator. Idiot me thought we might have a chance to reconcile as he had given me the impression our issues with out son had caused a rift in our relationship. Son had some mental health issues and was smoking pot now and then.

    I had misplaced some info about the name of a tiny retirement savings and was looking for a spreadsheet he had created a couple of months earlier listing all our assets and debits when we were renegotiating the mortgage.

    Didn’t find the spreadsheet on MY laptop under the name problemsolved. Found his Ashley Madison skanks’ emails to XH’s acct name. And pictures of said skanks. And pictures of him he used on AM. And the tales he told of his conquests…including his best friend’s wife.

    All on my computer.

    Can you say feeling stupider than stupid. He did all this on my laptop (granted it was used by the whole family for awhile). The size of his cojones!!

    He was so lucky he had moved his vehicle and Harley prior to me finding this shit. I would have been playing the entire back 40 on them with his golf clubs and precious coloured golf balls.

  • I was not the marriage police during our marriage, though in hindsight I kind of wish I was. But once I filed and he moved out, I was obsessed with going through every single piece of paper he left behind (and there was plenty!). I found love cards from the first affairs, receipts of gifts he purchased, receipts of gifts he received, pictures of him with his “friend”, etc. I felt strangely validated by having this “proof”. It helped me let go of the image I had of him and then I saw his true character. And I have all that evidence safely stored in case I ever need it!

    • Even though it’s been 3 years since D-day and 2 years since my divorce, I accidentally found something else the other day when reformatting my computer. It was a receipt for flowers my ex sent OW in 2012. I thought “this is the last thing I ever have to discover,” as my IT guy wiped my ex’s old laptop clean and reinstalled all the software. So tired of finding the crap he left behind.

  • Nancy Drew, girl detective, here.

    Ugh. I was a full on member of the detective squad. I obsessively checked phone and text logs (the phone itself was practically guarded by a dragon at the gates of Fort Knox). Checked emails, ran checks on the women. There was a secret email account, a second cell phone, Craigslist ads. I was accused of being a snoop, gas lighted, lied to, and he upped his game – I made him and his sleazy activities so central.

    I spent an embarrassing amount of time, that could have been otherwise used so productively, monitoring him.

    There is a theory about a co-dependent cycle of addiction to drama called “excited misery”. I was in that cycle, and the stress, adrenaline, disappoinment, frustration, and anger took an enormous toll on my health. My work performance suffered because I was so busy logging in to see who he’d been texting that day. It makes me want to go back in time and hug Doop, and take her by the hand and lead her out of that situation. But, for some reason, I felt compelled to slog through. I hated the way it made me feel about myself. On the upside, I have amazing notes and evidence for my memoir.

    Here’s what I wish I could have believed then, and what I hope any new Chumps will hear: A GOOD PERSON DOES NOT DESERVE A LIFE OF MONITORING A CHEATER.

    By the time you’ve found the secret texts, secret email account, trail of FB instant messages, gross selfies and send backs, Craigslist ads, you know all you need to know. The cheater’s behavior is unacceptable, and you deserve better.

    • When I think back over all the evidence I gathered including recycled live poems, text messages, voice mail, checking accounts and letters, I realized how obsessed I had become. I did so many humiliating pick me dances. I deserved better and wasted so much time on a loser. Today is Tuesday and my very first day of being cheater free. I never thought I would be able to be happy again.

  • I would leave to catch my work train early (he of course was always gone at 5am because he was “so busy at work”) and go to his train station and look through his car. I would also look for strands of hair, receipts, anything to catch him. This was all prior to D-Day but my gut was screaming at me. I finally caught him in the typical manner…looked at the phone records and saw that he had called someone at 2:45 AM and the call lasted 45 minutes. I paid an online service to track the number and realized it was a ho-worker.

    We also had condoms in one of our drawers that we never used but never threw away. When my gut was screaming at me, I counted all the condoms. One weekend he was gone at a “work event” and I counted the condoms. One was missing of course. When confronted about this, he gaslit me and told me that I didn’t know what I was talking about and that condoms were NOT missing.

  • I snooped in his phone and email, never hiding what I was doing. He continued to deny, the messages were never overtly sexy. It was more the circumstances that made it obvious. She was a former girlfriend who only called or came on days I was not there.

    I didn’t feel good doing it, I was raised better than that, but nobody likes being chumped. I guess I thought if I could expose him, he wasn’t “winning.”

    I have seen her profile on Facebook and she isn’t hot. I would venture to say I’m better looking, but I guess that’s a matter of opinion.

    I just wish we could’ve been honest with each other. Now I feel like I sunk to his level.

    • I absolutely feel your pain; I went through the same type of thing. But honesty is the last thing these types have on their mind.

  • After a few years of gaslighting, going into Machiavellian spy mode was the best thing I ever did. I am a tech person, and I did some email hacking. Subsequent reading and downloading of years of email correspondence with her equally very married boyfriend completely killed any chance for half-truthing her way out of it when I revealed what I knew. Incredibly painful, but it expedited the process of accepting reality.

    It was a magical chlorine bleach cleaner of smeared narcissistic bullshit.

  • The first time he cheated on me, and was caught, he denied. You know, they were just friends. I was such a jealous person (NOT true, by any stretch of the imagination) that he was forced to keep this friend a secret from me. He went on two vacations with her and spent all of his free time with her. After D-Day, and his denials, he continued on as if nothing was amiss. I was just supposed to accept this friendship! So, I hired a private detective. I was 30 years old and this was 1988. It cost me $500, which was a ton of money then. They put a recorder on the phone and followed him for most of a week, while I was out of town for work. Of course, I got the proof I needed, including a conversation on the phone where they agreed that I clearly had no real proof that it was an affair, so they should just keep denying. I immediately asked him to leave and I filed for divorce. Sadly, six months later, I let him talk me into taking him back. Fast forward to 2004-2005 and it happened again. This time, he had all of his technology locked down like Ft. Knox, so I couldn’t see what was happening on his computer or phone. I just knew that something wasn’t right, and having learned that I should always trust my gut, I confronted and he left. He knew that I wasn’t going tolerate another round of blame shifting and gas lighting. It took me about seven years to get over that first episode, and I wasn’t in any mood to be his punching bag again. It took me all of those years to get my head on straight and understand that I never did anything to make him cheat and there was nothing unusual about our marriage. He was the problem.

  • Gee, it seems like the FBI & CIA should be have served as a chump as a hiring requirement. Following my discovery of his hidden sex book there was constant searching of car, wallet, pockets & drawers. I wanted to know how far it went and was it real and was I crazy. Then when I went to check his phone and email and found that they were suddenly password protected. I bought a program to download his deleted texts, I thought about keylogging, but for both of those I didn’t have a chance because he had suddenly password protected them.

    Even that wasn’t enough so to make sure I waited for a couple weeks for my chance to take a peek at unprotected phone and computer – he is one lazy dude when it comes to logging off – and sure enough found plenty of evidence. I also thought about spying on him or confronting him and his OW at a date they’d set up for drinks and massages (in the middle of the work day!) but thank God some greater part of myself said, “Ca-chump, no!” because I would have had my children with me and who knows how I would have reacted. I paid for online searches of the OW and other women I suspected.

    Ideally the need to police should have made me realize the relationship was dead, but years of gaslighting probably did make me fully doubt myself in every possible way. When you are even considering dragging your children with you to spy on your spouse and his girlfriend, it is way, way, way past time to stop policing and to apply that creative energy toward divorce.

  • As chumps, is it not our *responsibility* to see to it that the corpse in the back seat enjoys the vacation, too?

  • Sadly, I did the “tired” investigation for six years. I was limited to cell phone bills since his personal accounts went to his mother’s home. I watched and only questioned once,which he explained with a plausible excuse, considering his friends. He did the same with the condoms and Porno I found. When he went out of town I would search his other vehicles but I knew that he would never leave anything behind after I found out about the others. He was a cash king and left no trail.
    The only concrete thing I found after Dday was a receipt for a second cell phone in his friends name. I never mentioned it until I left and he kept calling me on the phone I paid for and would not answer. I answered when he called on that one. He gave the snide remark that I would answer a call I did not know. I told him I knew all about this phone in blanks name and I knew exactly who was calling when I answered. He quickly said it was not his phone. (I wonder how the other person will feel when that number if we go to court)? All his friends are shady. I hope he felt that I knew more than I do and made him paranoid, because he always said he had me watched by a third party.
    I did a LOT of listening over the years. Remember they love to talk about themselves and their problems. Its never reciprocated. It wasn’t until the last two yeas that I got smart enough to write and date the accusations and abuse toward me. I know I can’t use it but I can read and remind myself that I was not the crazy one. When we go into mediation I am going to take it with me as a reminder of the real shithead he is and use that anger to negotiate a settlement. He is already giving me the pity of please don’t make me sell the property. I cant afford to buy you out. I want the kids to have it one day. Right, I don’t care. They will get anything I have left and he can leave them what he wants. I have tried to raise them ( as a married but single mom) to be independent and be able to take care of themselves. As of now, I have to take care of their needs in the present moment. I’ll never be a detective but I hope I can detect another narc if I see one approaching.By the way I went NC other than communication concerning kids which is the best thing.

    • Best thing I did was force the sale of our house! I felt that it was purchased for us as a family. He wants it so he can bring new women into it? I think not! Don’t listen to the pity angle, it’s fake like Cheaters.

  • I checked his phone on DDay because I knew something was very wrong; which is why in fact it was dday. I only needed to read three emails and I found out everything I needed to know.

    After dday, he was changing jobs so he got a new smartphone that he put on our home account. They had a going away party for him in which the OW attended and they texted each other like 20 times throughout the evening. I happened to notice he was texting her so I tried checking his phone later and viola there no texts available to look at. Asshat didn’t realize that I could view the usage details online which is where I discovered the 20 texts he deleted. (This from the man who ‘was never trying to hide anything from me’…ha!)

    Anyway when I confronted him about the 20 texts I got both the blame shifting: “It was my fault because I was texting my friends all night” which I’m sure pissed him off since I didn’t drape myself all over him and throw the suitable amount kibbles his way. Of course I was texting my friends all night because I was in an absolutely ludicrous situation. I was forced to be in the same room with him and the OW AND I couldn’t drink because I was the designated driver. But yeah he was right, that is the same as him texting the woman he had an affair with! NOT

    I also got the thinly veiled threat: “I’m just not sure if you can get over this if you’re going to keep checking up on me.”

    Yup-that was only a month after dday and I stuck around for three more years of that horse shit. Face plant on desk please!

  • Until I started reading here, I never really understood that I had a first Dday halfway through my marriage when he admitted to having sex with other men at gay bath houses. I threw him out immediately, called an attorney the next day to file for divorce and cried hysterically. Unfortunately, four days later, I agreed to take him back. Talk about spackle, denial and sweeping problems under the rug…. we never really talked about it, just mainly pretended it hadn’t happened and I tried to believe him that it wouldn’t happen again.

    But I definitely spent the next eight years as marriage police. Periodically looking for any sign of gay porn — I found some occasionally. Once the internet came along, I would occasionally look at his history — once found he had Googled “guys fucking” and when I confronted him about it, he said, “So what?” But for the most part, I didn’t find anything because he didn’t leave much evidence around the house.

    As for his eventual affairs with the married women…. I never knew about those until he dumped me at the final Dday. In looking back, however, I see how blind I was and I realize that almost certainly there were other one-night women as well.

    Marriage police is no way to live. If you have to check up on your spouse, the marriage is dead. I wish I had understood that way back when, but of course, there were other issues that kept me stuck in that nightmare of a marriage. Thank God it’s over now.

  • Here’s a twist on a theme–I, loyal spouse, never served as Marriage Police, during any of our decade long relationship. Even after Chronic Cheater took a six-week long business trip with OW after D-Day #1, I still did not serve as the police. Cheater, on the contrary, secretly read my e-mail and electronic diary for years.

    However, since Cheater filed for divorce and moved across the street last fall, I am more tempted to join the Marriage Police, partly because I wish that I could obtain concrete evidence that he used our money to pay prostitutes (as I want our kids to receive money that is rightfully theirs) and partly because I am a bit jealous. I really wish that I could move away from him so that I wouldn’t have to observe his ‘adventures,’ but I don’t know how to do so without losing physical custody of the kids. (I don’t know how Cheater manages to hook up so often; I can’t get someone to even hold my hand.) Also, Cheater and I moved into this place, on which we signed a year-lease, a few days before Cheater took me to court and filed. I will lose a ton of money if I break the lease. He doesn’t want to move. I work from home often and he spends much time at home as he is not earning income. Thus, we spend a lot of time in each other’s vicinity. To ease the pain and to reduce the temptation to look out the window to determine where he is and what he’s doing, I try to work on the side of my home facing the other direction. I wish that I could speed my journey to Meh. I’m open to suggestions.

    • Will zoning let you put up a tall fence on the road side so you don’t have to see his sorry ass much until you can move?

      • Tempest, I love the idea. Too bad I can’t put up that fence. I’m trying to change my mindset to feeling pity, not jealousy, toward anyone who hooks up with my cheating STBX. I don’t expect my abusive STBX to turn into a decent human being (at least not for more than a few minutes per day). Anyone who hooks up with him is either a mess or is a ‘normal’ person who will become sorely disappointed, probably even demolished, by him.

    • You might put your energy into choosing your next home. Once the lease is up, you’re free to move to a place where you can’t see what he’s up to. So long as you aren’t moving to a whole different region, there should be no repercussions if you move once the lease is up. In the meantime, put a dollar in a jar every time you see some skank pull up to his place. Once you get $60, buy a massage or keep saving for something that will make you happy. You’ll get more pleasure out of that than the cheater will from all his hookups. He’s like a big mud puddle–four feet wide and an inch deep.

      As for not being able to get someone to hold your hand, remember that you are a normal person and still have your emotions (though now largely negative) wound up in ending your marriage. While your mind and emotions are busy untangling your life, you aren’t “available” for other relationships and aren’t sending out the vibes of availability. All that is good, as it indicates that you aren’t medicating yourself with some rebound with yet another jackass. Once you are physically, legally and emotionally free of this guy, your sassy self will have plenty of opportunity to find a kind man with a big heart.

      • LAJ, thanks for you sage and clever advice. I laughed at the mud puddle description. I hope to put out ‘productive’ and ‘available’ vibes soon! I just hope that my scary STBX won’t scare off all suitors. (He seems to want to boink everybody but not allow me to form any type of romantic relationship, even though he discarded me.)

  • When my X had his EA about 10-12 years ago, (the one I knew about anyway), I happened to see an email come through on our business computer.

    My X was involved in a business down south, and he occasionally went down there for several days. I saw increasing emails coming up from this woman who worked at this company, and she was quite chatty with him. This one particular email had an, “I miss you” in it. I confronted my X. He gave me some excuse; I bought it and never looked back. DUH. I’m not sure if it ever went physical; but, this was when his treatment of me went WAY downhill.

    I don’t *think* back then, access to stealthy investigatory stuff was all that available like it is now. And whatever *was* available wasn’t very affordable. We had analog cell phones with no cameras or texting. If my X had been involved physically, there really was no way I would have known. He stayed in hotels, etc., anyway – and his best friend (who owned the business) himself was a dabbler cheat on his wife…..so he would have been “down” with it (excuse the pun), and probably promoted and helped with the “fun”.

    I *do* have an acquaintance who had a nagging feeling that her SO was seeing other women. One night things weren’t quite “right”, so the following morning when he was in the shower, she went through his phone and found quite damning texts. She took pictures of the texts with her phone. She confronted him and he of course denied it. Knowing that he guarded his phone like Fort Knox (and this was a red flag to her), she took out her phone and showed him the pictures. One exchange was: “I’m back in room 131” … the response was “Do you need Viagra’s?” Things didn’t go well from there, and they’ve since split.

  • “But most of us go through the marriage police stage to convince ourselves, not the court of law.”

    That was me.

    A few months into the affair, I did laundry and changed the sheets on a Thursday, and then went away for a 3-day weekend. When I came back on Sunday afternoon, my wife was putting clean sheets on the bed again.

    And yet, that wasn’t evidence enough for me. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

    I installed a keylogger on our home computer, I read her texts and e-mails, and I left a sound-activated audio recorder in our living room.

    I degraded myself and destroyed my dignity. I knew my marriage was ending, but I wanted *proof*!

    In the end, I found no silver bullet. But I was able to connect the dots.

    I learned how much my wife despised me. The audio recorder picked up conversations she had with friends and family, and I heard how she described me to them. I heard the lies she told them, and how they were different from the lies she told me. I heard how her support network bent over backwards to find fault with me, even when my wife admitted to them that she was “exploring being with someone else.” Most importantly, I learned that the spiel she was giving me and our MC was entirely different from the spiel she was giving others in her support network.

    I realized that my wife did not love me. But she was trying her damnedest to persuade others that she did.

  • Wow! So sad to hear of the cruelty exhibited by those who profess to love us, the continued affairs and lies to hide the them. I have to believe there is karma when anyone is abused in this manner…eventually. Hugs…

  • Maybe each of us has to do the detective thing for our own satisfaction — to actually see the evidence that our beloved can be so treacherous.

    I installed a keylogger on my own laptop to gather proof of Cheater’s affair, after a colleague outed him. Proof was forthcoming, and it gave me the lead time to plan a royal dumping and a little fun revenge … Like giving his clothes to charity, and taking control of his dating site profiles long enough to have some silly fun. I also got the original OW’s passwords since she shared her ebay one with him and it turned out to be her “master” password. No end of voyeuristic fun.

    I gathered and recorded his passwords which have been a laugh and a half ever since, simply because he reuses the same passwords to this day. I’ve been able to silently watch his activities in the three years he’s been gone. Have watched him cheat on other woman. I never interfered in his accounts, but oh wow, what a lesson in evil to see how he manipulates and leads women on. I honestly am way past MEH, but sometimes curiosity or boredom makes me take a peek. He’s a complete loser.

    The curious thing about having a keylogger though is that my boyfriends in the intervening period have also met their end for using MY laptop while visiting. I have so far dumped two of them as well, having caught them early on in lies and cheating. Now, I know the morality police folks here will say it’s not honest to keylog even on one’s own computer, but my opinion is it’s fair game in love and war.

    My current boyfriend so far is as honest as the day. I feel though that keeping an eye on his activity in the first year has helped me feel that I am not risking either my safety or my money. He always tells a story that lines up with his online activity. I don’t track him for thrills. It’s more like I am so damaged by being fooled in the past that now it really is all about me. So cynical I know.

    • My best friend has caught TWO of her serious boyfriends who, when they stayed over at her house, used her computer to send email to their OWs. Just ridiculous.

    • I don’t see anything wrong with keylogging your own computer – if someone is lying through their teeth to you its a good way to catch them out on their shit. Its not like you’re using it for nefarious purposes (and I don’t consider your actions regarding your ex to be nefarious either – a bit of karmic justice if anything). Its fair game, because they shouldn’t be lying and deceiving you. They deserve any and all consequences for being a dishonest piece of crap – maybe they shouldn’t have been deceptive in the first place?
      See it as protecting yourself from being screwed over again.

  • I found ‘snooping’ reprehensible and ‘policing’ degrading but like everyone else, we have to do what we have to do to get to the truth.

    I wasn’t married to this man; he lived in my home and had access to everything that was mine. I paid all expenses, he contributed nothing but pain and anguish.

    He was not only a dedicated serial cheater, he was a dedicated serial deleter. It was very hard to get any real evidence but every now and then, he would slip.

    This is the coup de grace:

    He told me he was going out of town for 4 days to visit his Marine son, who was on leave. I was very skeptical as I knew his son hated him and had refused to have any contact with him for years.

    Hours before he was to return, XBF accidentally dialed my home phone and I heard 54 minutes of conversation between him and his ‘former GF’. Here are the highlights:

    GF–‘do you love me?’
    Asshole–‘Baaaby, you know I love you! I just spent 4 days with you, didn’t I?’

    GF–‘what about (Hesatthecurb)?’
    Asshole–‘Fuck her…..I don’t care about her’

    I had activated my answering machine to record everything they said. I didn’t have to do a thing to get my proof–he did it to himself.

    I will leave it to CN’s collective imagination as to how he tried to talk his way out of this mess. He even enlisted the Ho to call me and attempt to mimic his laughable explanation.

  • Red, I also wasted so much time gathering information on xhole. It was such a painful process knowing the person I loved could discard me with no regrets after 36 years. Facing that pain was so difficult but in the end I survived and today is my Tuesday. My divorce was final yesterday and I feel amazing. It is such a relief to think of myself and my future.

    • Congratulations! I’m so happy for you. Hooray for Tuesday, and here’s to everyone in CN getting to Tuesday and Meh.

    • Congratuations, Donna! Yesterday was also a good day for me – heard from my lawyer that stbxh had agreed to all of my settlement terms.

      • Lizzy. Congratulations to you also! It was amazing to look at him and know I was finally free from years of abuse. I gained my life back! Working toward meh.

        • Donna it is so comforting to hear you survived after being married 36 years. I too am married 30 plus years and often feel my life is just over. How to start again? I haven’t worked in over twenty yrs even though I am well educated. Things are just obsolete now. My H is a financial whiz and am certain (no proof) money has already been secreted away when I first accused/confronted. I have policed as much as I can, mainly to find and document as much of the financials as I can get my hands on. Looking for Some way to show there is something squirrelly going on. Plus I am so frightened that he would hide as much as possible to keep me from it. So much stress is eating a hole in my stomach.

  • I became a CSI investigator with super human powers. It was unbelievable what I uncovered and found out. Did it do me any good? Not so much. All I learned was that I was married to a pathological liar and a cheater. He had forgotten he had given me his password years earlier so I had access to all their ‘love’ letters where they made their plans and talked about their fabulous future and made fun of me and my pain. I was obsessed with the OW too and wanted to know everything I could about her too. I talked to her ex husband and found out she was consumed with looking good and keeping up with the neighbors…that she was absolutely desperate for a man because she thought she was old and ugly and no one would want her. I found out that she didn’t have a friend in the world. Sometimes women just know who will fuck their husbands. Two despicable people who truly deserve each other.

    I wasted so much time and energy on these people it makes me cringe today. I am so glad I finally got to MEH and I’m so looking forward to the rest of my cheater free life.

  • I spent my entire marriage as a sergeant of the marriage police. He cheated before the end of the first year of marriage so from that point on it was a constant duck and dodge between us.

    I spent countless hours of my life for years going through web histories, key logging, cell phone bugging, cell phone bill searching, bank account itemizing, credit card bill snooping, poking about the nooks and cranies of my house, email account hacking, and on and on.

    I think the lowest point had to have been when I laid on the couch for nearly an hour pretending to be asleep while I waited for him to go for his weekend walk to the gym. After I was sure he was far enough away, I jumped up grabbed the spare key to his truck and went outside in the freezing cold to rifle through it.

    After I finished I sat in the house and cried. I never felt so ridiculous in my life. There I was in my slipper and sweatpants hanging out the back of his truck. That moment was the next to the last straw that finally pushed me to divorce.

    • My worst moment was on my hands and knees in the rain on a dark afternoon going through his garbage with my bare hands outside his rental.

    • My cheater rifled through papers in my trunk while I was cleaning one of our homes. (The next day, he accused me of spending too much time in our other homes. No thanks for working hard, and no mention, until weeks later, that he had secretly driven to that other home to rifle through my papers.) At the time, he had not served me divorce summons and we were still living together. He had already threatened to divorce me several times by then and had even told me that I would be ‘amicably served.’ I felt that I had nothing to hide. Several days later, he accused me of plotting to divorce him because he had seen notes on domestic abuse that I had written in the office of a lawyer I had consulted a few days earlier to protect myself from my cheater. Cheater conveniently ignored the fact that he had revealed details of that year’s affair to me, knew that I knew he had retained a divorce attorney, had been informed by me that I had retained an attorney, and repeatedly took other divorce-related actions for months before I retained an attorney in self-defense. Narc logic is incredible.

  • I found cell phones, secret email accounts, facebook messages, text messages, email from work account, hotel bills, games like word with friends, draw something, and Trivia Crack that they used to send cute little messages to each other (Barf). Receipts for gifts, birthday and valentine cards, Christmas gifts, restaurant receipts, requests for vacation/ personnel days from both of them requesting the same day (they work together, he is now her supervisor). Little toy superman figures, (she used to call him her superman) Barf again!

    Now I just find peace because I don’t look anymore and I don’t care!

  • Screw being the marriage police. I turned into The Marriage ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) the second go round and deported the cheater forever.

  • Oh my gosh. I read that last line and remembered how my ex-husband and his first whore called me Columbo to each other. I found out that when I cracked into his Facebook account. I cracked into his FB because I’d already cracked into his phone to check his text messages while he was sleeping. This was because I checked the phone records and saw how many times they were texting a day. I think he even called me Columbo to his second whore. I found that out because I cracked into his secret email account. I cracked into his secret email account because I cracked into his regular email account to look for evidence. Found it. I always liked Peter Falk.

  • I literally cringe at the lengths I went to for answers.

    Primarily the answers were for the lies, cheating but then as I uncovered things they became criminal and damn right scary.

    Called the multiple OW – they always were lead to believe that the POS was living with me but residing in the downstairs flat so that we could co-parent our children without detriment to them emotionally.

    Called florists for details on flowers sent – he said they were for clients

    Forensically combed the bank statements for any clues – he mostly used cash but later I learned that’s because he had a lifetime of avoiding the tax man.

    One night went he was out “networking” I had a good IT friend of mine clone his hard drive on his laptop – he always had all his devices on lock so I couldn’t look, he even took his iphone and ipad into the bathroom with his when showering.

    All our mail went to a PO Box that I was never given the key to so while he was having a nap one day (poor crap weasel was tired from all that running around) I took all his keys and had them copied. This was a gold mine for his communication with one of the OW he was having an affair with who was later jailed for corporate banking fraud (7 years) all her letters to him were sent there.

    I also had the key cut for an off site office that we had leased (it was in my name as well) but because the leasing agent was POS friend I did not want to alert him by asking for another key. Well that proved to be another goldmine for his moral bankrupt arse, however it turned disturbing as I uncovered documents that later proved to be criminal.

    In the later stages of all of this I contacted the lead Detectives in the fraud case of the OW – turns out the POS was well known in the department for being her boyfriend and the information I handed over was used in further charges being laid.

    I also uncovered evidence of the POS allowing the fraudulent OW to use my identity when traveling on business because she was unable to do so on bail conditions.

    There are many more things I did – really not proud of who I became to get the answers I needed, I still feel on some level sneaky and deceitful for what I did.

    • Yellow Diamonds—feel no shame. Feel. NO. shame.

      No matter ‘who’ you felt you became to get the answers you needed, you are a FAR SUPERIOR PERSON than the two sneak-ass crapweasels you brought down. 😉 😉

        • I can’t take credit for coining it, COH. 😉 I adopted it from seeing it here. Kudos to whoever introduced us to ‘crapweasel’, it’s such an excellent descriptive.

          • I always felt terrible for sneaking around and putting a tap on our home phone-this was 1997 and his “cell” phone was a big boxy thing that plugged into the car’s lighter- because I truly believed that people were entitled to their privacy. But I needed to know what was going on, as he was obviously lying to me. In 1 hour he was on the phone with her, talking about meeting at a no-tell motel 2 days before, when I thought he was working. I couldn’t believe how quickly I caught him. Within days I made an appointment with an attorney, and in 6 weeks I had a place of my own. I never would have believed it if I hadn’t heard it with my own ears. I’ve been divorced from him since 1998, and there was nothing like the freedom of being away from that rot and toxic poison. Such a burden lifted from me. Make no mistake, I cried at least once a day for nearly 2 years, and went for therapy twice a week for 2 years. But snooping on him, finding out the truth, and leaving him was the best thing I ever could have done for myself. And 18 years later it’s so helpful to come to CL’s site. It’s just wonderful to share with others who can relate to what you’ve been through, and who understand the need to be a detective in your own marriage and not be judgy.

            • Crap weasel is my favorite word to describe him without using vile filth – another mighty chump came up with it and its absolutely brilliant!!

    • Be proud of the fact that you took charge of the situation before the shit hit the fan YD – if you hadn’t, theres a very real chance you could have somehow been involved with criminal activity under your name because of that skank. No shame whatsoever.

  • Never did the marriage police routine. But I knew something bad was going on and was being gaslighted. I finally snooped on w’s phone when she got several texts very late after supposedly being out with “a girlfriend who’s only in town for one night”. That was D-day.

    My whole life I have felt like you either trust someone or you don’t, but you can’t live on the razor’s edge. If you can’t trust them, shouldn’t be with them. I still believe this to my core, but I have found it’s not as easy to extricate oneself from a 30+ year marriage as I would have thought.

    I think to some of them, the whole idea of sneaking around and coming up with ways to cheat and get away with it in spite of someone watching them like a hawk adds to the delicious sparkle and buzz of the whole cheater world. Ugh.

    • “I think to some of them, the whole idea of sneaking around and coming up with ways to cheat and get away with it in spite of someone watching them like a hawk adds to the delicious sparkle and buzz of the whole cheater world.”

      Absolutely. Specifically, I think they get off on pulling the wool over the spouse’s eyes. I’d guess this relates to the fact that soooooooooooooo many serial cheaters are narcissists (who want to feel superior to those around them) and also underachievers (who can’t seem to earn anything honestly and so have to cut corners to gain advantage). That was certainly the case with my ex-wife. Very smart, but very lazy and with terrible judgment. I think she deeply resented what I achieved professionally and cheating was one way she reasserted all the potential she once had and had so thoroughly squandered.

      • Of course…that is part of the fun, stolen moments, secrecy, risk taking, always being left wanting more and rarely getting the chance to outstay your welcome!
        In the backdrop a chump lies waiting…what a perfect foil for all that rationed passion that an affair brings. Minus the chump I imagine a lot of the thrill wears off.
        I will not be the marriage police again as its soul destroying and too bloody exhausting and not worthy of the effort.

      • nomar, everyone reading here should remember these words: “I’d guess this relates to the fact that soooooooooooooo many serial cheaters are narcissists (who want to feel superior to those around them) and also underachievers (who can’t seem to earn anything honestly and so have to cut corners to gain advantage).” I think many chumps who keep asking “how could someone love me one minute and walk away the next?” don’t get it that narcissist cheaters want that advantage over others and need to feel superior. And of course their motto is “You aren’t the boss of me.”

    • “I think to some of them, the whole idea of sneaking around and coming up with ways to cheat and get away with it in spite of someone watching them like a hawk adds to the delicious sparkle and buzz of the whole cheater world. Ugh.”

      Absolutely. I know for my ex, at least part of the thrill of all his endless cheating was knowing that he was getting away with it.

          • Your response?
            “Sure, I’ll play. But lets play my game instead. You have ten minutes to pack your bags and get the fuck out of the marital home and never return, seeing as though you don’t believe in marital vows. If you’re not out within ten minutes, the cops will be here to remove you forcibly. Fuck off.”

    • I agree that for some cheaters, there is real pleasure in the deception itself and a thrill in lying and getting away with the lie.

  • FBI….I am hoping that you are only fabricating that story for its shock value. If not, I suggest you get some help. If you are being sincere…you are brave for your honesty…however…your approach is way over the top. Its not like the”Nation” haven’t considered drugging,stabbing…etc… their POS cheaters…and God knows many of them deserve that and worse…..acting upon it is a whole other level of crazy.
    I feel that you crossed a boundary…and maybe you are surprised at the response that you have received from the CN. Maybe you expected to be applauded for this act….I won’t speak for everyone….but it was wrong on many levels.Please seek some counseling and keep working on you.

    • Theclip, I agree. Hopefully sharing this information and getting feedback will help you recognize there are many chumps here FBI that understand the pain you are experiencing. Compassion and empathy are very familiar to all chumps. The cheaters literally make their own hell and we end up stronger over time. It takes a lot of support. I gained so much knowing I wasn’t alone.

  • I don’t see any shame in snooping when you’re a chump, or even suspect your partner may be cheating. I was such a naive sucker compared to my cheating stbx. His methods of deception made my detective work look like kindergarten recon. I don’t have a grain of guilt or shame for snooping. In fact, at one point I felt safer snooping, because I felt as though I was living with a stranger. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, they would. I couldn’t get a handle on who he was.

    I did become concerned about my mental health, and wondered if I would ever reach a point where the snooping was no longer necessary. I would still like to know just how involved he was with his secretary, his loan officer, the massage parlor whore etc… In every instance he’s always told me “it was just once”, which I know is a lie. I know that should be enough, but I guess I just want to know where I missed red flags. How did I miss the signs? How could I have NOT noticed? Just how chumpy am I? I’m happy to say I almost don’t care anymore.

    These fuckers have stolen so much from us!! Would you feel guilty tracking down a thief that took your most valuable possessions? Cheaters are thieves. They steal our confidence, trust, and years of our lives that could have been spent with someone more worthy.

    • “I guess I just want to know where I missed red flags. How did I miss the signs? How could I have NOT noticed? Just how chumpy am I?”

      This is a very important point for me: How do we Chumps avoid getting involved with another one of these NPDs ever again? This scares the life out of me. I’d like to share my life with a good man eventually, but I don’t trust myself to be more choosy. Thoughts?

      • My experience, so far, has been I’ve known it when I’ve ‘felt’ it or seen it and you will too.

        My boundaries are so strongly wrapped in barbed wire that when I feel the pressure of anyone leaning against it, I instinctively extract myself as quickly as possible.

  • I spent a lot of time after D-Day doing online searches and watching the OW’s posts on Twitter. It took me a long time to just stop and accept that:
    – My husband was a shameless and really convincing liar
    – He was a coward, willing to throw anyone under the bus to make himself come off well (including me)
    – He and the OW enjoyed the whole “secret affair” thing, and I was cast in the role of Mean Wife.

    Accepting those facts and detaching myself from their madness was the best thing I have done for myself. At a certain point, you truly know enough. Life is too short.

  • In my brief foray as a member of the Marriage Police, I did the following:

    Created a fake Facebook persona and got cheater Azzhat husband to accept my friend request – turned out to be a gold mine for finding info about his exploits. I printed it all and took it to my lawyer.
    Sent his current girlfriend a Facebook friend request (DENIED)
    Logged into his personal email and found: love letters to/from current girlfriend, along with emails about his profile and “X wants to meet you!” from Plenty of Fish, FuckBuddy.com, Match.com, etc.
    Found his profile on Match.com and POF
    Found a letter on the computer we shared written to former AP partner (also printed for my lawyer)
    Got a list of his prescriptions from the pharmacist for the last year (including monthly refills of Viagra – we haven’t had sex in years at HIS insistence) – gave a copy to my lawyer
    Figured out how to access the cell phone bill online – found a treasure trove of details not in the printed bills, such as the hundreds of calls to/from current AP

    I used none of this to confront him, to date. But my lawyer said most of it was helpful and provided enough details to file on the basis of adultery, which I am doing – he’ll be served in a few days…so looking forward to that!

  • Like most cheaters, my ex only admitted to what he thought I already knew and continued to lie — both directly and by omission. As one of my friends said, he must have been crazy if he thought I couldn’t figure it all out. I’m a puzzle-solver by nature and insist on logic above all.

    I could never have imagined all the things I’d find when I started searching — Ashley Madison accounts, secret credit cards, autographed photos from more than one dominatrix, hotel receipts, jewelry purchases, hundreds of text messages to the OW each day. I’m not sure my brain could have processed all of it simultaneously had the full truth been known. Though it made me feel like I had D-days over and over and over again each time I learned a new piece of information, perhaps in a way it was less devastating to have it unfold slowly. In any case, it may have been what I needed to get the anger rolling and convince me that he is a total POS. Had he been more forthcoming and not continued to lie and spin tales, I might have spent more time trying to repair the relationship.

    A piece of advice for those of you who are in need of financial details for divorce and custody hearings: have your attorney request a credit report and credit card statements for the period of time in question. I spent untold hours combing through those records and it was painful as hell. However, without that I wouldn’t have discovered the secret cards, confirmed my suspicions about nefarious purchases, or been able to prove the marital assets dissipated on the most recent schmoopie — and get them back in the settlement.

    • Sometimes the credit report doesn’t tell the whole tale. Depends on how sneaky your cheater is.

      I “knew” my ex was hiding money and had other credit cards and bank accounts. Numbers don’t lie, and he had nothing to show for the thousands in missing money from his annual salary or the money he withdrew annually from his 401K.

      I ran a credit report on him on the sly. It showed nothing but the one credit card I knew about. I think he must have gotten credit in someone else’s name.( I don’t put that past anyone willing to claim an extra kid on past taxes that wasn’t his).

      I almost got him to fess up to it once. He had purchased tickets for an event via the web. You can only pay by credit or debit card. I checked his bank and credit card statements online. That charge never showed up. I asked about the tickets and the receipt. He couldn’t find it, he thinks he used his debit card, maybe there’s a mistake at the bank, blah blah blah.

      The one thing I learned is never underestimate a cheater. They are willing to go to lengths that normal people wouldn’t even think of.

  • I could have saved myself months of pain during false reconciliation had I thought to use a VAR in the car, or a keylogger on his computer, or hire a PI to follow him for even just one night. But my cheater predated Chump Lady’s site and I only discovered other sites after we finally separated and it was too late. During the worst of it, all I was Googling was stuff on how to make open marriages work and finding out that honesty was a big component.

    I did go to MSN on his home and work (family business) computers and turn on logging. Then I’d periodically check the logs. They didn’t chat often because they had so many in-person opportunities for contact. Usually they chatted when I was out for the evening and he had to stay home with the kids, instead of the usual vice-versa. I’d read the logs when I came home and he was asleep, or when I had a chance to go by the business when it was closed. Sometimes I’d get up in the middle of the night and head out and do that. It was usually cybersexing, or plotting how he could escape from the ‘babysitter.’ Funny, I felt a lot more like a parole officer than a babysitter!

    I also snooped his email, but there was never anything there and I thought he was deleting them. It was when I finally stumbled across his super-dooper sekrit gmail that they had set up that I knew there was no hope. Everything I was doing to verify that his reconciliation was genuine was just telling me the affair was going further underground. I set it up to forward all the emails to my own, then confronted him.

    For months after separation, I kept receiving the forwarded emails, unable to turn them off as he’d changed his password. He went from plotting with her on how to keep their affair alive under my scrutiny, to complaining about our separation and telling her complete and utter lies about things I had done or not done. Seeing him lie to her as much as he’d lied to me was what finally convinced me he was never the man I thought he had been. Even the love of his life schmoopie wasn’t worth being truthful to. So my snooping was very helpful in that regard.

    Of course, the cost of this epiphany was to keep receiving these forwarded painful emails (sometimes with eyeful photos attached!) until finally one day a pic was too big for my inbox and it bounced back to him. I didn’t want to just block them in case I was given a gift of something I could use in the legal stuff.

  • Initially I wanted to see if I could split up my ex-wife and her adultery partner by exposing the adultery to his parents but at the same time I wanted to make sure his family to knew what was going on. So I went to the home of my cheating ex-wife’s adultery partner. Waited till his eldery parents came home. Asked to speak to the father (who is about 80). I then showed him a photo of my family and told him straight out that his son is sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong and is half responsible for destroying my family. I did that because I didn’t want them to ever think that his son just reconnected with his old high school girlfriend after the divorce. I wanted them to know that they were the reason for the divorce.

  • Verizon cell phone records helped me bust him on D-Day. I wasn’t really suspicious just got a weird feeling when he wasn’t home on time and I thought I would check and see who he’d been talking to….Later, during his attempt to get me to dance Pick Me, I hired P.I. to watch OW’s house which confirmed he was living there, so I knew there was no reason to waste any time trying to hold out for the “second chance” he kept alluding to. Finding out that he was a serial cheater was a big revelation but not the result of any detective work… I had previously saved what I thought was a single email in an out box in an email app on a shared computer because it said it had photos of our house renovation attached to it. Eventually when I went to look at those photos, it turned out to be an entire year’s worth of sent emails. In there were the mushy emails to the prior OW. This really hit me like a ton of bricks and helped me Trust that he Sucked. I did waste many months trolling for info on both him and OW, and trying to make sense of his life before me but eventually realized it was a waste of time. He’s just a douchebag. But I agree that for me, I really needed to see the evidence with my own eyes, precisely because for sixteen years I had 100% trusted him and never had a single suspicion. He effectively shattered that trust.

  • The pattern of cheaters loving the thrill of going behind a chump’s back has always reminded me of that Seinfeld where George is the Bad Boy.

    George meets one of Elaine’s employees at her company party (the famous one where she dances). The chick has zero interest in George. Elaine tells her employee to stay away from George…which makes the employee think George is a VERY desirable Bad Boy. Later in the episode, Elaine tells her employee that George really is a good person, and the attraction is off.

  • My good friend asked me after the separation what I was going to do with my extra free time since I didn’t have to be a detective anymore!! DDay1 was a complete blindside when I found Facebook messages between the XH and Howorker. While I was pouring my heart and soul into reconciliation (biggest mistake ever), he was still lying, cheating, and whatever else he wanted. I knew that I was putting all the effort into “fixing” our marriage and he was doing NOTHING. I had a feeling that he was still seeing Howorker, so I became a super slueth, which was extremely difficult since he password protected everything and never let any electronic device out of his sight. But I did find receipts from hotels, receipts from restaurants, receipts for jewelry, receipts from gasoline stations where he shouldn’t have been, a viagra prescription, and finally the thousands of texts and phone calls. Evidently dumbass was sloppy at covering his adultering ass. Spending all that time and effort was exhausting and depressing. Those 5 months of playing detective were the worst days of my life. I vividly remember thinking that I can’t continue to live like this. No one should have to be a detective investigating their spouse!!

  • I figured her out when he used the OW’s initials to name a new iTunes playlist with songs like “Longing for You.”

    Which led me to her Facebook page which was completely open. She used his initials to comment on flowers received, meet ups etc, etc, etc.

    So it was easy for the PI to find her, track his car and get what was needed for adultery. I decided it couldn’t hurt to have the PI run forensics on his personal laptop and that was when I found out about all the porn he had downloaded. The PI report on her showed she had declared bankruptcy in her 20’s and had been sued four times. She passed herself off as a “consultant” when she was actually an admin assistant.

    I know, I didn’t need anything more but got access to his secret email account and downloaded emails that clearly indicated they were conspiring to string me along for another year so his asking for a divorce would coincide with our daughter’s high school graduation. She moped about how “two years is a long time to wait and a lot could happen.” There was so much more which was, while disgusting, showed what a real class act she is. I then found a journal where he had written down his thoughts about finding out she had cheated on him with a couple one-night stands after they met and had both declared their undying love for each other, being soul mates, and always “honest and direct.” He wrote down all the things he had confronted her about. One of the hook ups was with a guy from his work. And she and this guy had conspired so they would have the same story to tell him. So while my badge was already turned in, at this point I went NC even though he still hadn’t moved out.

    And this is when I finally went in for STD testing.

    I’m actually laughing. I should contact Jerry Springer. I thank God every day I am rid of him. He wears a perfect mask. They plan to marry, may already be married. Two absolute losers, perfect for each other, and according to him, she is “the one.” What a trade down; however, given he (and she) is a serial cheater – all the pieces really fell into place when his first wife and I talked – I’m taking bets on which one will fuck over the other first.

      • The first wife was the one who told me he had cheated on her – he married that OW – wife 2. That’s how I learned he was a serial cheater. He had cheated early in our marriage but I thought it was a one-time thing. The first wife and I are friends now. She was lucky. She was rid of him after five years; I tolerated his crap for 20 and I guess he got smarter about hiding the affairs I’m sure he had but I never found out about until this last one. Well, last for me, more r in his future!

  • My ex was acting so bizarre and uncharacteristic that I thought he might have developed a brain tumor. Seriously. He was saying he wanted out of our marriage but the reasons he gave didn’t make sense. I couldn’t understand how he could walk out after 31 years without ever having said he was unhappy, although I admit I had feelings of disconnection from time to time and worried about his too close relationships with coworkers throughout our marriage. Anyway, I started to suspect there was a lot more to his reason for “wanting out” than what he was telling me, so one day at work I decided to look up his cell phone records. That’s when I discovered tons of phone calls to the same number. I called the number to find out who it was, and it was his married coworker. The same one I’d been worried about for several years, although he kept assuring me she was “just a friend.” I remember I even asked “who is this?” when she answered the phone. When she said her name I said “thank you” and hung up. Within 30 seconds I received a text message from my ex who wanted to know if I’d called his coworker, because the number on her phone showed my place of work. I ignored his text and didn’t answer him. I saw there were calls at 6 am on a Saturday, and calls where he’d talk to her for an hour while waiting for a flight, (while I got a text that said “leaving now), then call her and talk for another hour during his layover, etc. Seemed a little intense for work related discussions IMO.

    Still I wasn’t sure until one night after he went to bed I decided to look in the journal he’d been writing in because “his project at work was going to make him famous and he was planning to write a book about it.” Turns out he was not writing a book about work, he was writing about me as I walked around the house, how he couldn’t stand me, couldn’t stand me to touch him, that I’d been around forever and he was tired of me, etc. He wondered if his coworker would leave her husband because they talked about how irritating their spouses were to each other. He seemed convinced they were going to have a life together once they got us out of the way. He’d even been to a lawyer and had written out how he thought assets should be split up. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion. Part of me felt like I’d been waiting for that moment all my life, the other part couldn’t believe my suspicions were really true.

    When I was reading his journal in the bathroom I was shaking so hard, my heart was pounding so loud in my ears I could barely concentrate. It made me feel sick to violate his privacy. I’d never in 31 years done anything like that. Had always taken his word. Even though it was one of the worst moments of my life and probably put the nail in the coffin of our marriage, I’m still not sorry I read it because everyone deserves to know the truth about matters that determine the course of their own life. It was horrible, but after I read it all the puzzle pieces started to fall into place.

    I woke him up at 2 am and told him everything I knew. He asked how I knew “all this stuff” and that’s when I told him I’d read it in his journal. He immediately started telling me I didn’t understand what I read and that’s when I realized what a good liar he was. I mean, it was there in black and white and he was still trying to convince me I didn’t understand what I read. He said our marriage “wasn’t hopeless.” Boy, did my chump heart want to cling to those words.

    I hated those days. I felt like I’d lost complete control of my own destiny. Life is such much more peaceful now that I don’t have to deal with all that.

    • When I could finally get to the phone records, the amount of calls and texts to the Ho-worker was mind-boggling. Because he traveled for his job, I found times when he would call me on his way to an office location and talk to me for 2 minutes and immediately call her and talk for an hour. He would give me a 2 minute call before bedtime from his hotel room to tell me goodnight and then talk to her for 2 hours or more. I wondered why he was always so tired!! This was the Ho-worker who was also “just a friend”.

    • Oh man! How I remember the hurt of seeing hours-long calls to the OW immediately after two-minute ‘check-in’ calls to me while he was traveling. I remember confronting him: “You spent TEN HOURS on the phone with her during your trip, and SIXTEEN MINUTES on the phone with me!” “Yeah, well, she had more to say than you did.” Asshole.

      • Kibbles.
        The AP is like- OOOoooh, you are so awesome! I miss you so much! And, probably phone sex/mutual playing with ourselves.
        I experienced this goop too. All it is, is a grasping at fantasy, by both of them. That’s why they crash and burn when they have to live together ( ;D )
        The AP used to call me ‘Your Nosey Mommy Wife’. I know that because I did do some Marriage Policing, and since X is an alcoholic, it was easy. He got careless all the time. It was awfully painful to read his texts agreeing with her assassination of me, very painful. It does help me now, though, because if I think about him, I just remember that he thought he could put me in the category of a jailer or something like that, when I was just loving him, and trying to take care of him. Then I just realize he is a goofy Bitch!

      • ChChChump, my ex said something similar. I think it was “I have so much in common with her and nothing to say to you.” Heck, only thing we had in common was 2 kids and 31 years of history. Not that much! LOL My ex was very driven, a workaholic. He always placed value on his work over everything else. He’d promoted OW to be his assistant. I guess they were conquering the world together.

    • Lyn, every time you share this part of your story, it makes me cry. How unspeakably horrible to be violated like that by someone you’ve loved and trusted. Your every move, every touch, your very existence described as an annoyance, and the two of them wanted to get you and OW’s spouse “out of the way”? That he tried to gaslight you after you read it is just evil. He is an evil, hollow person, and you deserve so much better. So glad you are away from that! Do you know what happened with her husband? Were you ever able to communicate with him?

      My ex was never the diary type, but I bet his narrative wouldn’t have been much different from yours. These guys don’t handle reality too well.

      • FoolMe, I thought long and hard about whether to tell her husband about it, but I didn’t have the proof in writing. I’d put his journal back in his brief case after reading it. In hind sight, I should have kept it or taken pictures of it, but at that point I was afraid of what he’d do to me if I did that. After our separation my ex moved into his married coworker’s parent’s house. YES. He moved in with her parents and started ingratiating himself with her children by having them call him “Uncle ___.” A year later I happened upon another document through a cloud folder that his work computer backed up to. I was using his old laptop after the divorce and didn’t realize it was still connected to his work computer. Once I discovered that, I snooped around and saw lots of pictures of her kids in his photo folder. Then I came across another document on his desktop called “The Secret.” That was just too tantalizing so I pulled it over to my computer and read very detailed info about how much he adored her and her children, and how he was “planting seeds” to break up her marriage so they could live happily ever after. That’s when I realized how truly sick and obsessed he was. I sat up until about 4 am after reading it, then thanked God for removing me from such a painful situation and went to bed. After discussing with my counselor whether or not I should try to enlighten her family about my ex’s intentions, we decided it was best to let it go. Chances were pretty good they would think I made it up and was “crazy,” since that’s the narrative my ex was telling them. As far as I know she is still with her husband. I heard my ex has coached her kid’s soccer team. There’s no contact between me and my ex now, and I’ve asked everyone to keep what they know about him to themselves. I do what I can to protect myself from any more pain in regards to him. Sometimes I still think about how he told my son that OW had nothing to do with our marriage breaking up. He seems to truly believe this. There’s an emotion chip missing from his brain.

        • Wow. Just, WOW. “The Secret.” Very telling title for that document, with loads of insight into the way this guy works. Don’t communicate up front; just run around letting people think you’re a normal, upstanding person while you’re penning these mysterious secret manifestos. I think you’re exactly right about the emotion chip being missing, along with the ethical one. So he basically had a detailed plan about how to ambush a family. Unbelievable! I wonder if his Schmoopie has any idea how cold and calculating this guy really is. Well, as sorry as I feel for her husband and their kids, I have no sympathy whatsoever for her, and I believe you made the right and only call in letting it go and moving on. You’ve been put through more than enough. Sending big love your way and a round of applause for surviving what sounds to be a profoundly damaged and damaging relationship. You’re free now!

    • Dear Lynn,
      I’ve heard some pretty heartbreaking stories but what your ex wrote is one of the most horrible! I pray you have all the happiness and peace you truly deserve.

  • I wasn’t married to the Jackass, but inadvertent snooping led to DDay. He had been so distant that I was on the computer trying to change the EZPass account into my name and while I was looking for his CDL # I saw that he had a FB page, opened it, and saw the MOW was his sole friend. All of the stuff that made no sense then made perfect sense. Like so many of you, I was concerned about his “friendship” with her, in conduction with his brand new “you aren’t the boss of me” attitude, which was a huge change from being welded to my hip. But I was trying to prove I wasn’t ‘jealous.” (And by the way, fuck that stupid thought if it ever comes up again. In an emotionally healthy human, jealousy is an early warning system.)

    He of course lied and denied and blame shifted (“She wrote to me!”) and gaslighted. I never had any text messages, but the very fact that he had time to start any kind of relationship with her while he had no time to call, text, or drive to see me said all I needed to know. I had cried and cried with the pain of the rejection and it outraged me that he couldn’t just say, “It’s over” and allow me to start to heal.

    I did do a lot of investigating into the MOW, mostly because I was convinced that she had to be amazing to “make” him dump me like he did. But no. She’s at best of average intelligence, poorly educated, and inappropriately adolescent in her clothing preferences. And of course, she is willing to risk her kids’ happiness and make her husband a chump for someone she really did not and still does not know–because all she’s seeing is the mask.

    One thing I learned from reading this thread is that secrecy in a marriage is a huge red flag. Bank statements going elsewhere, mail that can’t be shared, locked phones and computers, multiple unexplained absences–all of this stuff should never go on in any sort of partnership. Imagine having a business partner who won’t let you see the bank statements, who expects you to accept his word on the financial integrity of the enterprise, who, instead of doing his share at work, leaves in the middle of the day for an hour or two to help out a business rival. People in general are so brainwashed about the sanctity of marriage that whatever real hopes and dreams that had for a wonderful partnership are thrown away to save a legal tie with a disrespectful cheater. I’m in the group that says it is a good thing for people trapped into that “marriage must be preserved” worldview to be the marriage police in order to find out the truth and then make an informed decision about what to do. And of course, you guys give me all kinds of material for my novel. 🙂

  • I always felt off balance in my marriage. I loved more, worked more, valued it. Wasn’t suspicious though until our last couple of years together. He was heavily into the devalue phrase, and I was just barely treading water because my children and I were just recovering from an accident. My ex, he was busy lining up his next sure thing. Dday was when the lightbulb went on over my head, I knew the exact moment he told me he wanted a divorce that he had someone else. Hell, I threw up for the next six months over it. Two weeks after Dday he moved out. In our twenty eight years together I never questioned his whereabouts, never questioned him spending time away from home, never questioned the long work hours. Looking back I realize I was trusting, but he always had great reasons and I spackled. His behavior though changed in those last few years (his mask was slipping) and he did unusual things. Started going crazy with the finances, refinanced the house, purchased vehicles even when I stressed we had three kids entering college within the next four years, went on many trips by himself, did not spend a lot of time at home. I too rarely expected any phone calls when he was out of town, this had just been normal. Until it wasn’t. In the two weeks shithead remained in our home I did happen to pick up his new cell phone (he had purchased our cell phones for Christmas gifts two months earlier) and saw, “I love you!” from his POS OW. I knew right away there was no saving my marriage. Of course he was all, “We haven’t slept together…” (It took me awhile to discover who his whore was and FB, linkedin, etc. was a big part of their narrative.) The happy couple, right!?!? Perhaps that’s why I jumped into the shower after sex with him, my body knew way before I did. I think by the time us Chumps are aware of anything the Cheater has already set everything in motion. Hell, my finances were by this time so ruined it was a wonder I ended up with anything in settlement. My ex went out of his way to dissipate assets then trashed our home two weeks before I was due to move out. He was completely psycho for the entire two years it took for us to divorce and I did call the cops (oh yeah my POS ex was a peace officer too). My life is so much better without that nightmare. Anybody who cheats and then goes scorched earth has got to be disordered.

    • Drew, I agree with you that my body knew before my mind would acknowledge what was going on. I’d “stuffed” my emotions for so long over my suspicions that I could hardly hear my intuition. One thing I’ve learned through all this is to trust my gut. It knows the truth, even when I can’t acknowledge it in my head. I’ve heard other people on this site refer to feeling a “disturbance in the force.” I think that’s a good way to put it.

  • You can get previous copies of your tax returns from your accountant. Get your own credit cards in your name only. There are accountants that specalize in finding hidden money. I am not sure how much this costs. I had a great lawyer and my ex was cheap and wouldn’t hire his own. Depending on the state you are in you are entitled to pensions, 401k, and savings sometimes 50/50 or more depending on the coduct of your spouse. Get copies of everything, expecially account numblers. Wish you the best.

  • This crazy makes us crazy. My STBx was also in law enforcement, so naturally by association I became a detective too. He was a homicide detective so i learned from the best what “murder” feels like in a 31 year marriage. He once told me that being a cop gave him alot of “opportunity”! Yup. One of his affairs I discovered he admitted he had met her at a call. I paid her a little visit with him and then she promptly called his LT to report me harrassing her. (bahahaha) The LT called me and told me not to do this again as Dect. Cheater could loose his job. The LT of course was a cheater too so he covered nicely for him. I am finally leaving him, as we all know on this site, they don’t / can’t change/ I am proud of all of my detective skills and I hope they serve me well throughout the divorce process. I need to go back and read all this thread again in case I forgot something. Peace to my friends here!!

  • He would come home and sometimes talk about one of his female customers “Aimee” over the course of these past several months. I did not think too much of it since whatever he said seemed to be business related. He said that I should get to know her because “I would really like her”. Hmmm…

    Our business is a jewelry store…people walk in, look around, buy something (or not) and then leave. It all takes about 20 minutes usually. We have no employees.

    So two months ago, I stopped by his store (rarely do) to use the bathroom while shopping in town and noticed a hair brush laying there on the counter that was not mine…this is not a public restroom, but private in the back room. I put the brush in my purse to take home to examine the length/color of the hair. While I am still there, (talk about timing) in walks “Aimee” who plops herself down on a stool…her little dog runs to my husband in the back room…already being very familiar/friendly with him. Turns out that it was her hair/brush.

    So I introduce myself to this woman Aimee who says “OH! You are very beautiful”! (yeah, thanks). Then the “air” gets heavy so I try to lighten it up and make conversation with her (which she is not interested in)…what happened to the “lots of fun” person? I notice my husband is acting very uncomfortable. I cannot seem to get Aimee to relax, so I eventually leave. And I KNOW…

    She fits his “sexual profile”, 20 years younger than me (I am 60) and has the huge breasts and perky nipples (something I lack) which are very protruding. I also had noticed over several months that he, during sex, kept blowing on my nipples to make them “stand out” which I found to be rather odd…which means that he is “with her” in his mind while screwing me.

    When he gets home, I find out that he has been having “lunches” with her in the back room as he claims that she is “just a friend” and that she is “a lot of fun”.

    So I did not have to do any policing…I just walked into it and the timing was amazing to me…obviously, God wanted me to know that my husband was/is cultivating a personal relationship with her, and it is at the very least an EA.

    I tell him that we had an long held “understanding” that he should not be flirting and getting “personal” when dealing with female customers, let alone bringing anyone behind the counters and into the back room for “private conversations”. All my husband’s friends (who often come into the store and hang out with him) even got to know her by this point…

    She was then “given notice” a few weeks later by both my husband as well as myself together, that she not come into the store again and that there is to be no contact. BUT, I also ordered two 15 day voice activated recorders. At the end of this year, I will put them in strategic places and see what I find out (I am waiting out the last year of the required “ten year marriage mark” so I can draw Social Security using his income amounts). I am also busy getting all the financial ducks in a row meanwhile, and will make a decision at that time depending on anything else I find out (or run into).

    So at the end of the year, I will be ready to file. I will do no dancing or policing until that time nears…to keep myself protected from acting against MY own best interest too soon. My husband has had a history of lust and adultery during his last marriage it turns out…and given the Aimee incident (as well as many Porn discoveries in the past), it appears that he has not given up on pursuing his kibbles.

    But for now, I do not want to know any more because knowing will only do ME more emotional damage before I am ready to act.

  • Sweetz, I think you have made a good plan. Protecting your emotional health by not gathering the evidence until you need it is understandable.

    • Lyn,

      Yeah, that is the conclusion I had already come to after catching him with Porn and flirting so many times since year one of our marriage…that was always very painful, but now days, I seem to feel very detached emotionally. This is just another revelation that the Lord wanted me to be aware of (that my husband has still NOT repented)…and my time forbearing with him is growing short.

      By the time I had come to a realization that he was a “player” or at least a “wannabe” he had already dug us into $270K worth of unsecured credit card debt behind my back. So, I filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy several years ago, because I did not/could not afford to get stuck with half that debt in the event of a looming divorce (no fault state). That bankruptcy is now officially discharged. So now both of our credit is ruined (thank GOD)! Which means he would have difficulty in getting us into more debt before I can high tail it out.

      I also do a credit check on him online every so often to make sure there are no new cards/loans against our house (which is totally paid for) or any other marital debt…so far, so good.

      He does half his business in cash, so every Monday I go to work with him now days to do “office work”…and help myself to a few $100’s…he never knows how much cash he has laying around because he does not pay the slightest attention (keeps no records/books)…and there is often thousands at any given time. He will be paying for MY attorney with the money I take each week when I do file…I do not see why I should be the one to have THAT financial burden to bear on top of everything else.
      I am gathering proof of income each time I go to work with him…including the cash transactions.

      So I say nothing…just smile sweetly and act like a MACK truck is not heading towards us…I will miss the better qualities of who he is…but I just cannot picture “us” in the future anymore, especially at our age.

  • Part of the thrill of cheating is duping your partner, who for whatever reason, the cheater turned into someone he/she should rebel against in his/her brain.
    We react by going sluth (he actually called me this) and trying in our own way to win this stupid game.
    What if people just said to one another, “I’m not happy.”
    I am left wondering who won. Did I win, because I figured out what he was doing? Did he win because I poked through his stuff like a crazy jealous person and forced the eventual breakup, which he did not have to initiate?
    I don’t want to dislike myself because someone I cared for didn’t return my feelings. I would advise anyone in this stage, to drop the sluth routine and just walk away. We have as much value as they do, we don’t need them to validate us. No more Encyclopedia Brown, just walk away!

  • Wanted to also mention if your cheating spouse uses a GPS (mine is a Garmin) there is a file on the GPS that with the help of Google Earth will show you where the GPS was, with time stamps. It of course needs to be turned on to capture this info. I won’t go into details as to what my cheating ex-wife did and said but I will never forget the look of evil in her eyes when I told her what I knew and started asking her questions about her whereabouts on those days.

  • Actually I think it is completely normal to go to great lengths to confirm the extent of the betrayal. After all if you have a family, you dont want to blow up your family based on an unconfirmed suspicion. Understanding the extent of the behavior and confirming that the behavior is a deal breaker seems to me to be something perfectly reasonable. You dont want to accuse your husband based on a suspicion, you want to be sure that it is a verifiable fact.

    • One of the big problems is gaslighting. The cheater trys to convince you that you are the one who is crazy. Since one is being fed a litany of lies, sometimes the only hope of finding the truth is through such methods. Sad but true.

  • I had a similar dream and woke up wed.18th to put it in writing because it was so stressful and weird. I drive to a vacation place with a Mexican male friend (?) who is kind but not a bit attractive. My car’s tire explodes and I have no gas left. We arrive at his family’s house, there is a corpse on a kitchen counter and we have to put a lot of wood chips on it to suppress the smell and pretend it doesn’t exist.
    I love the fact that I found the interpretation in your article, the coincidence is perfect. Thank you !

  • This is a funny thing I did about four months ago, right after DDay, I found tons of photos on facebook of the OW. I printed them and cut them out and I hid them all over the house. I put them in cupboards, in the fridge hanging, in the dryer, in the washer, sticking out from the sprinklers. I made a collage and hung it from the ceiling. When he asked me, “Why the hell are you doing this?” I said, “I figured you missed her and needed to be able to see her in every space of the house.” The funniest part is that he forgot I had placed all these photos in all these places and when he opened the garage door, one was on the back…I heard him from the house, “Jesus Christ!” It surprised the crap out of him. Ooooh. Good times.

  • This subject reminds me of a great question/answer sequence for all occasions:
    How do you get yourself out of a hole?
    Quit digging.

  • Cass, when you learn of infidelity, it rips through the very core of your soul. It has been three years since I found out about the other women. Two years since my divorce was final. Some of that time, I remember like it was yesterday and some is a blur! During this time, my oldest daughter who was only 33 years old, suddenly passed away. He was by my side 24/7 but he left me to move to another state with the OW only 5 weeks after she passed away. I was paralyzed with pain. I secluded for months only doing what I needed to do financially to get by on my own. I could not eat or sleep. I went to the store and bought the cans of ensure and drank smoothies to keep up my strength. My family was panicked by my seclusion but I did what was necessary for me. I would tell them, I am going to be sad until I am not sad any longer. I remember the first day when I did not cry the entire 24 hours. The doctor prescribed a 4 hour ambien. It is 1.5 MG’s instead of 10 MG’s and it did help but does not leave you groggy the entire next day. I was determined not to allow this to destroy me or steal my joy. In the morning, regardless of how I was feeling, I would put my feet on the side of the bed and say, I Choose Life. I was determined to say this until, it became my truth. When I began to see the light, the more I wanted to continue towards that light. I am a believer, what we tell ourselves becomes our truth. I believed I would live a life of joy and happiness again and I refused to let him take any more of my precious time, thinking about him or trying to figure out why! I do not care! He called me 2 months after he left, the OW was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she died 2 months later. I spoke to him a few weeks ago, about a few legal issues. He has moved back to my state. He is unhappy and says, leaving me was the biggest mistake of his life. He just wants to come home. If I can say anything to you about this and help to make your road a little lighter you and your children are all that matters. I personally believe it is alright to tell your kids that mommy is sad because sometimes mommy’s are sad. But we have each other. I have 2 other daughter’s and my being well was important to me. I wanted to be there for them. My life depended on it, they had already lost a sister, I did not want them to lose a mom as well, because we have to love those who know how to love us back. True love, loves us regardless of our flaws and through the good and bad. Cherish those times surrounded by the people who know how to love. The truth is, cheating is the result of someone needing someone else to feel better about themselves. We have to be able to love ourselves before we can love another. Take all the time you need. Only you will know how long that will be. Many blessings! I will be thinking of you and you children. You are an amazing women and this journey will change you forever. Just give it the time you deserve!

  • Yeah, I did it for a few weeks then realized it was a complete and utter waste of time and headspace. But for a while, it made me feel like I was doing something “active”.. but really, it was super unhealthy.

  • I just want hard core evidence…I have read one PM on Facebook, and I saw about 7 or 8 emails he sent out to various sexual activity ads with his picture and p# telling them call him. That’s it. He does admit to the PM on FB, but denies the sent messages.

    He is really good at cyber-stuff and now that he knows I know (but how much do I know he doesn’t know) so I’m sure he’s got safe-guards in place to avoid being tracked, UGH…waiting game…I just need to know- every idea I have I know he’ll bust me before I can get to the good stuff.

  • Luckily, I only spent a couple of months in this mode, as most of what I needed to know either came from the STBXW’s phone or directly from her AP via text messages (he happens to be a lawyer in a state where fault divorce clauses are available, and he admitted to the affair to me in writing… so, he’s not a very smart lawyer :).

    Rifled through some financial stuff (surprise! more lies and hidden debts!), the occasional email snoop (which showed the depth of the deception in her forwarding private correspondence to others without my consent, her family trash-talking me, etc.).

    I feel compelled to also point out that one of the issues chumps have is that we tend to assume others will act honestly; bear in mind that the cheater almost certainly does not think that way, so s/he will assume you’re trying to lie/cheat/manipulate/abuse (they will project their behavior onto others in times of stress, which Dday and divorce most certainly are). So when that happens, you’re at a natural impasse anyway.

    The bottom line is, if you’re doing all of the work in having to piece together a narrative or timeline of an affair, and have to go snooping while the other person is bitching and moaning about privacy rather than taking initiative to be honest and help you heal, then your marriage is already pretty much dead. The cheater decided that unilaterally, and deliberately never sent you the memo.

    Get only what you need for the lawyers (particularly the financials!!!), and then file and get out of the relationship as soon as reasonably possible.

  • OMG!!!! I am sitting at my desk at work with tears pouring from my eyes!!!! Pouring!! STBX convinced me that I was a stalker, crazy. and psychotic for the lengths I went to in order to prove the infidelity and lying. Like being told that I am blowing my possibilities of being given a second chance in the future bc of my obsessive behavior. I tried to find a psychiatrist to see me bc I thought I was CRAZY! I wanted a diagnosis and medications to make me worthy and lovable again!! The first affair, STBX kept saying I was jealous and the married woman was a friend!!! Denied, denied, denied. I thought I was losing my mind. The phone records showed that some days they talked like 6 hours. I was dazed and ran to get us into MC and took all blame. My gut told me something wasn’t right but my heart was trying earnestly to save my marriage. So I bought this little voice recorder. Size of my thumb. Charged it and it recorded 9 hours. First time I left it out in the living room, got the conversation on the phone. Wow. Gut, you are the supreme of all detectives. I contacted husband, told in laws….just blew it out of the water. But I never revealed my source. I did get 50 pages of sexting printed out of AP’s husband who gave up and divorced her. STBX moved in with parents and carried on the affair at their house for 8 months and affair lasted 10 months. Then, poof, AP was no longer the love she once was and I was back in!! I was sooooooo happy…..for 4 months and then I saw some sneaky behaviors. Then after an argument about sneaky behaviors STBX says we need to go ahead and divorce so she can get some space, air, and a break. I get us into MC again but also dust off the mini recorder. Yeah, sex on my couch in my mf’ing house while my two young children were hopefully sleeping in bed. I even got brave enough to put in the vehicle a couple of times to catch them. When I confronted the lies poured out. I did what I should never have done but I couldn’t help it. I played my hand. She looked me in the yes and said I swear on our children’s lives that I was alone in the house. Should have seen that face when I hit the play button to reveal a glorious orgasm…on my couch…in my house. So STBX loses it and says I am an obsessive, stalking, sneaky, crazy, psychotic bitch. And when I provided that orgasm to the boyfriend of who I thought it was (bc i was steered toward someone to keep from finding out the truth…..too bad, I found out any way and she is married), I was told that it was distasteful to do. No, the fact that it happened is distasteful. I own binoculars. I felt the hoods of cars to see if they had been ran recently, I rigged the conditioner bottle at my in-laws house to see if someone was using it bc STBX doesn’t. I dug in pockets…..once found some nice expensive lip gloss in the back pocket of STBX’s pants. There is a really gross story that goes with that one but I hope she ended up with ecoli once it was returned to her. But I am not the only one. I am not crazy. I just needed the truth when the truth could not come from those lips but I was blamed for everything going wrong no matter how hard I tried to be a better whatever and made to think I was crazy!!!! Thank God I found this site!!

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