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Please Don’t Take Their Word for It

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unicorn_fightFolks, I know this is going to seem like a really obvious post, but remember my audience — we’re all chumps.

Cheaters lie, liars cheat. We all want to feel exceptional, but unfortunately, most of us can be snowed like gullible kindergartners. Why yes, the tooth fairy DID leave me a dollar! She’s going to use my molars to build a castle. 

I recently got a letter from a very kind woman who told me she was a unicorn. Upon discovery of her husband’s affair she did all the right things. She lawyered up, accepted no blameshifting bullshit, and began moving toward divorce.

But then she missed him. There were the kids. And he promised a post-nup! A REALLY favorable one.

Long story short, they reconciled. Everything seems pretty okay. He’s sorry, takes responsibility. Crisis dealt with.

I wrote back, said that I sincerely wished her the best, but please get the post-nup.

She wrote back that essentially, hey, they’re fine without it. Plenty of money, no worries, etc.

(Forehead slap.)

Look unicorns, you want to gage the depth of your cheaters’ sorry? Demand a post-nup. Put that sorry in a legally enforceable property settlement. Get a credit report. Know where ALL the money is going, so that if you ever have the misfortune of another D-Day, you’ve got a faster track to divorce, with all the messy particulars worked out.

Oh, but he promised me a fair settlement. 

Gah! I’m sorry, I can’t fold your promise and tuck it in my wallet. A cheater’s IOU and $4 bucks will buy me a latte at Starbucks.

But isn’t it enough that he promised? He seemed really deeply remorseful when he said I could have the kids and the 401K. I don’t want to take advantage of his guilt. Maybe people will think I’m money grubbing, or just reconciling for the security. Maybe he’ll think that. So, I’ll be the bigger person here and wave off his generous offer…

Look, a post-nup is a completely useless piece of paper if you don’t use it. (Same with pre-nups. I believe in those too.) The only person who controls if a cheater cheats again is the cheater. So he/she should be tripping all over themselves to give you this assurance of a fair settlement. If they’re NOT? That’s a BAD SIGN.

Note that I said FAIR settlement. I did not say 100 percent custody, everything they own, and the right to gouge their eyes out with a rusty spoon. A fair, enforceable PROPERTY settlement. I’m not a lawyer. Talk to your lawyer about the particulars. No one should sign something that is criminal or unenforceable.

But unicorns — I encourage you to look divorce proceedings squarely in the face and DEAL. Those “sorry I fucked the barmaid” promises should come with collateral. Sorry is as sorry does.

Because as much as you don’t want to believe it, shit can change. That person you love, who already played you (but is so very sorry), can play you again. You’ve got money now? PROTECT IT.

No one who is truly remorseful would take offense at your self-protection. The cheater has just destroyed your home life, your sense of personal safety, and above all your trust.

And they want you to take their word for something?

Demand better.

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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.
    • Just want to let you know Chump Lady that I know all about empty promises. My cheater would come back over and over promising to love me forever, do “whatever it takes”, and to sign a post nup! Then of course it would never happen! He would go so far as to call off his divorce action and actually have my lawyer prepare the agreement and then he would tell me, “I would be crazy to sign that, it’s all the assets!” Well, guess what? He insisted on mediation because he thought he would he would come out better in the deal. His Schmoopie did it and she did okay and he thinks she is so smart! Well, today was mediation after 2 years of Hell, my diagnosis of lung cancer and 2 surgeries! He was so sure he could do better in mediation, but I just got everything

      • So sorry about your diagnosis, Roberta, and the surgeries but glad you got a very good settlement. I am praying for you.

      • Wow! Roberta! And on Tuesday, even! How excellent is that?!?!

        The Universe CLEARLY has your back!
        Now, use that settlement to rebuild your health! Praying for you…..

        Forge on, Roberta! ForgeOn!

          • Good for you Roberta !!!!
            Now, take really good care of yourself! He got what he deserved, and so did you. I had Breast Cancer, and two surgeries. We can be healthy, and shine like never before, now that the toxins are gone- and I mean the cheaters! I wake up every morning now with a smile and a prayer of thanks, and I hope you do too. There is a whole life of possibilities, go grab some Girl!

        • Thank you everyone! And Forge On, yes on a Tuesday! Don’t think for a minute that got by me. I thought the very same thing! The struggle was crappy, but both my lawyer and I were so “amused” and happy at the end of it all that we had to actually “act” somber and sad! I told her I wanted to do the Snoopy happy dance on the glass table in my x hubs lawyers office! After all that fucktard put me through this has been so sweet for me!! He left pissed off and looking shell shocked! I just know he thought I would fold, but I was tough even when I thought I may not make it through! Fake it till you feel it! Not bad for an old sick broad who spent most of the day before in her robe curled up in the fetal position! I had to ask myself if I wasn’t willing to fight for myself and my future them who else would??? I’m just so happy and Chump Lady and Chump Nation had everything to do with this triumph!! Thank you again!! Chump Lady saved my life!!!!

            • Thank you Regina! For the first time in two years I feel great! The cherry on top was the fact that I found out his Schmoopie came to town the night before the mediation. I’m not surprised as sharks generally show up when you chum the waters! Ha! Ha! I certainly would have loved to have seen the look on her face when she read the final settlement. My lawyer and the mediator were taking bets on how long it will be before she dumps his broke ass!! I give it just a couple of months, but the two lawyers said it’s about 3 months and then they show up at your door again! I hope he doesn’t cause I really don’t want to kick his ass off MY PROPERTY!

              • Congrats, Roberta!!!!
                I genuinely hope once everuthing is settled that my X doesn’t come back…I’ve often wondered if he would or when or how…just out of pure fascination & curiosity. My mother says he’s too afraid of mr to try reconciliation. I sure hope she’s right!!!
                Lol.

              • Oh Man Roberta! What a rich moment in life! Yeah, Glitter Guy & Sequin Slut caught in the rush of rapids headed to the steep waterfall of shit that they created. All the sparkles will wash downstream & there they will be in all their naked glory. Dick & Vagina Broke Cheaterpants!!. Ah, poetic justice. So happy, feel like it happened to me.

              • OOOO 😀 Love that visual Regina! LOL! I’ve been told xmr is running around whining at everyone he doesn’t know how he is going to live!

              • that is TOTALLY AWESOME for you. i love that it worked out so well.

                i did my own papers. thru a packet i got from the courthouse. i filled them out at 3 am new years day when boyman didnt come home again. we got them signed by the notary at 2pm that same day. he didnt want to read them. he just signed on the dotted line and was too busy lying about his address and where he was staying to notice anything else. i honestly think he thought i was just doing it for attention. (maybe that is what SHE told him because the boyman can not think for himself)

                anyway after a month of trying to talk to boychild (i was not aware he had his married slut at the time so i was still “trying to save my marriage) i went to take him a box of his shit as an excuse to see him and was hoping to talk to him face to face. well he took his married slut. i filed the next day.

                but oh my giddy aunt the drama that night. she even called me from his phone to tell me he didnt want me anymore. blah blah blah. she did not beleieve that i hadnt filed already (i guess he told her our divorce was almost done) and wasnr sure that i would file. (i know contradicting huh)

                for the next month i keep asking what he wanted from the house, yard and garage. he had 2 trucks and lits of crap in the garage. i keep telling him to come get what he wanted before it was final. but again he was too busy playing games and blaming me. but he repeatedly told me he “didnt want anything. there is nothing HERE that he wanted” (nice huhthat included me and the boys). Not +\ did he ask about his children. not once did he ask about visitations. or custody. a couple of times he wanted to see the papers before i filed them (they were BOTH still thinking i was lying about filing them. and i guess SHE wanted to see them to see what he was gettting. of course boyman thinks she wanted to help him. ugh. so even thou i told them both the papers were filed they kept asking to see them. he even said ljust give me the papers and i will make sure they are filed” umm they are filed dumbass.

                anyhow. after the divorce was final and i gave him his copy THAT is the only time he mentioned the boys and he was only pissed because it said that visitation were to be determined by the mother in regards to the childrens safety and well being. he was only mad because i would decided when and where he got to see the kids. well duh. what did he expect. i told him that already. i got everything.

                2 month later he decids he needs 1 of the the trucks. i told him it was mine. he blew up. ohdid i forget to mention that he literally stole the rear end offone of my truck the day i kicked him out. so i told him if he paid me for the rear end he could get his truck. but oh noo. i wasnt being fair! i took everything from him. i actually felt bad for it too. if he had asked me for it again i would have gave it to him. but he didnt.

                he just goes around telling people i screwed him over. i wont let him see the boys. even thou he has never asked. i was setting up visitations until that became a circus with his whore trying to rum it. so i stopped and now he disappeared.

                finally a year later i think “good ridance”

        • Jeep!! I guess your Ex can’t survive on sex alone? Boo-hoo, too bad he didn’t realize that before he ended up in this horrible spot. Poor him! WhaaaaaaaaaaWhaaaaaaaaaaa! Hope Mommy has a room for him or he may be out of luck. Good thing beating off is free!

    • Yes I agree with Tracy on the post nup!

      I never understand why it is so difficult for chumps to protect themselves. What’s up with our tendency toward deeply ingrained chumpiness?

      I give a workshop for women about avoiding the financial pitfalls of divorce.That includes planning ahead before divorce.

      In the segment called ‘ignorance is not bliss’, I includes looking at reality in order to protect yourself financially from a cheater, narcissist, gambler, serial what-ever, while you have the chance.

      I do speak about post nups for those who have been cheated on while they are waiting for the inevitable other shoe to drop as well as filing for divorce in order to get the protections afforded by our state when you file. The temp restraining orders that take effect when you file in most states prohibit your spouse from cleaning out bank accounts, changing beneficiaries, transferring property.

      One woman, whose husband left for another woman said, ‘I don’t want to file b/c he never does anything for himself. I’m waiting b/c I want to see him do something on his own’.

      Well, he did something. Monday morning I got a call that he had cleaned our their joint bank accounts.

      Please people. There are no financial do-overs. You will always be made to feel like the warden grinch every time you take action in the real world of financial consequences to protect yourself.

      I’m inclined to think that if someone doesn’t agree to a post nup, post affair, then what you have is probably imitation naugahyde remorse. It’s best to find that early on before the real financial ruin begins.

      Don’t forget to run your credit report and your eyes open.

      ,

  • Tracy

    I laughed at your “A cheater’s IOU and $4 bucks will buy me a latte at Starbucks” because we used to say basically the same thing about getting medals when I was in the military.

    I just know that in my situation, as so a few others have astutely said, when someone cheats, there is no bargaining and compromising with a cheater because they have nothing with which to bargain and compromise!

    Any kind of a fair deal must be done with some kind of trust and respect, otherwise one has to stand over them at all times to make sure all of the terms are enforced, and the only place where that approaches reality is prison.

    If one were to enter a business contract, what keeps people in line is the possible legal ramifications of breaking the terms of the contract.

    However, what has fascinated me since getting my divorce – and something to which you yourself have alluded – is that in no-fault, communal property states (which is pretty much all of them) someone can have an affair and is entitled to half the shit!

    Essentially, I am saying that unfortunately, in many ways a marriage contract operates on a level outside of business contracts and in so many ways are enforceable only through morals and social norms and by cheating, the cheaters have already shown that they have calculated past that and do not care about these aspects.

    Thus a post-nuptial, but really, what kind of a life is that?

    • Yes, I too am fascinated about the wonders of no fault divorce laws. I thought w and I were set for life and ready to ride off in the sunset into our golden years with a great kid wrapping up his college education and starting his career. Well, that’s all done. She didn’t go after the barmaid, but she did go after the bodybuilder and the ski instructor, and others.

      And no doubt about it, she is entitled to half the assets plus alimony so she can live in the style she has become accustomed. I was getting to ready to wind down my business gradually to retire over the next several years or so (we had both discussed this and were on board with it). Now, the only real question other than the logistics is how much alimony she will be entitled to and whether instead of slowing down a bit, I will have to gear up and work extra and more years to pay her off.

      I get the rationale for the no fault on a global, macroeconomic basis, I really do. And half the assets, fine, whatever. They were accumulated over a lifetime, during most of which we were a great team. But the rest, I can’t wrap my mind around. Don’t even try to make the case to me.

      • Well, I’m on the opposite end. Set aside my career to support ex’s and be a SAHM while his career made some big changes in our lives. When we divorced I got very, very little and have been rebuilding a long lost career and barely hanging on by the skin of my teeth. And retire? I try not to think about it because I have no pension and am just hoping my kids are successful so they can throw some support my way. Sad, isn’t it?

        • Hear, hear. What kills me is that the cheater seems to internalize the term “no fault” to mean that he really is not at fault. It seems to have made him feel absolved! Nord, I’m in the same boat as you. Gave up my career and now starting from scratch.

          • The other side of this does suck as well. What you are going through – having to start over again with very little when someone cheats and violates the marriage agreement – makes absolutely no sense either. Ugh, I know this cuts both ways and I don’t wish it on anyone.

            • I hear all the stories, and even if there was money enough to go around, the pain and humiliation and anger would (rightly) remain. We chumps would still have to carve out a new life, and figure out how to live it, knowing that we are hip deep in alligator-human chimeras. Ugh.

              I got the post-nup at the first twinkle of cheater hi-jinks. (and 6 months of trickle truth made me realize that even if the Unicorn is the official animal of Scotland, it surely had no place in my miserable sham marriage.)

              I’m in a no-fault state, but one with firm guidelines (new ones) about alimony, staged by years of marriage. There is some wiggle room, but the laws are new, so they haven’t been tested.

              And they are custom built to screw over someone like me–25 years married, a highly educated professional who gave up her career to raise the family, renovate houses (and don’t think that didn’t bring in many 6-figure amounts) use up my inheritance–he had none. Also, our career decision were, like Nord’s by mutual agreement.

              I had no idea his plans included jettisoning me when I hit the sell-by date of about 53.

              So, thank God for that post-nup–it included language that said it would form the basis for a future divorce settlement, more favorable to me that the state guidelines–he had plenty of legal counsel in creating it, and the settlement.

              Of course Ex had hooked up with Mrs. Narcissa Parkinsons by the time we were at the end stages of mediating…and suddenly, he didn’t want to live up to all the agreements. And, like a true cheater, he would leave late night calls to me & attorneys on Friday, and jet off to Cali where no one could reach him. Did I say you can’t make this shit up?

              It ended up OK, but by screwing me out of a few grand a year (that he can make back by consulting in two weeks)….well let’s just say that between that heinous behavior, the lying about Narcissa, and lots of other stuff, daughter no longer wants anything to do with him, or his family.

              I can’t help wonder if it really is worth it, even to him? He always says, “I’m sure you tell (daughter) all kinds of terrible things about me.” And I say, “no, she’s a smart cookie, I just tell her the truth.” (she’s almost 23…) Ands sometimes I add, if you didn’t want her to hear all the nasty shit you get up to, don’t do it!

              • There was plenty enough to go around but because of the laws where I live I got very little. Fuck this no fault bullshit. We made an agreement, after many long talks, about what it would mean if anything happened to our marriage. He was able to walk away, with his massive career, while I started with nothing. Well, fuck him and fuck the bullshit divorce laws. I’ll survive but I would really like to see things change.

              • I, too, gave up my inheritance to renovate our 100+ year old dream home. Hardwood floors, a library, canvas awnings and other Victorian necessaries. I got the house in the divorce since he ran away & I had no where else to go. Now I have to sell it & I am heart broken. I can no longer afford the upkeep even though it is mortgage-free. In the back of my mind I thought down the line I would meet & fall in love with someone & we could share a lovely home together.

              • @named for Vera – You make a great point about post-nups.

                Many states do have draconian spousal support laws, esp when it comes to long term marriages that leave the ‘mature’ non earning spouse at a bare sustanence level of support.

                A post nup can craft a settlement beyond state guidelines. Congrats for acknowledging the writing on the wall and protecting yourself.

                It’s only a small percent of people who are willing to take this step for themselves.

              • What is it with inheritances??? I forked over all of my inheritances as well. I put the deposit on the marital home, cars, put him through cop school and so on. I thought we were a team so I was happy to put more than my fair share in. Lesson learned……
                The real positive though is that I got the house and he got squat and he has to look himself in the mirror everyday!!
                Good riddance! 🙂

              • Thank you for the link!!! I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to watch the whole thing through. This is EXACTLY how the conversations with my exH were. From one topic to another, never making sense and always convoluted! Thanks again 🙂

        • Nord I feel your pain. Gave up my career and the seniority I had gained in my field to stay home, raise and homeschool my kids. Now, I have no insurance, no retirement, and I have to recertify to gain my credentials back. I will have to start over as soon as the divorce is final. I’m 54 and like you, I hope my 5 children will be able to help when they are grown and get jobs. This is not how I envisioned my golden years. 🙁

          • God, I’m so glad my idiot ex chose to bang a housewife next to a lifelong friend of mine! I quit my career too, but discovered he was a serial cheater at 35. I was preggo with 2 small kids, but transitioned to working fulltime when the baby was almost a year. While I’m not going to retire at 55 like planned…I’ll likely do so comfortably around 65. I’m so sorry ladies! It’s such BS!

      • It is incredibly unfair. I was a SAHM for the second decade of my marriage. When we separated, ex immediately quit his $100K job and has not worked a real job since. He let the marital home foreclose, that is on my credit report as well. He has not reliably paid child support in five years. I was totally screwed by him in every way possible.

        The OW he left me for (but they did not last long) was also a SAHM to two little boys. I’ve often thought how unfair it is that her ex husband is almost certainly having to pay her alimony and does not get to live with his young sons any longer, when SHE was the filthy cheater.

        I do not regret the years I spent as a SAHM homeschooling my son, because they were instrumental in how well he is doing now. And I did manage to start a new career after divorce. But it was very hard, and I am struggling financially every day. It certainly would have been better for me if I had already had a job at the time we separated. I know I will never get the money my ex owes me, and that makes me very angry, but there’s nothing I can do about that.

        • GIO, I know right? My stbx promptly got tired and has not had good employment since. I’ll never get the money he owes me in back support of the money he took and spent that was legally mine. It’s a bigger pill. And trying to get back into my job 15 tears older is daunting to say the least. I am very afraid for my future. But I just have to keep going. And pray a lot!!! Here’s to all the SAHMs who stayed home, raised and homeschooled kids. Whatever happens, that was worth it!!!

          • Yep. No matter what, I am proud of my accomplishments in homeschooling my son, who turned out to be a fine young man with more integrity in his little finger than his father has in his entire body.

            • I was a SAHM, too. I never homeschooled my kids (God bless those of you who have that kind of patience!). Instead, I ran a profitable marketing communications company from our home. Sounds like heaven to some, but it was 18 years being responsible for all household chores (inside and out), with no weekends, no vacations, no sick days, lowball bids, jostling for jobs, hunting down payments, etc. While X was out for lunch with his work buddies and bimbos, drinking after work, playing in company softball leagues, and going to company morale parties at luxurious venues, I was home raising our children, working like a dog, and still making sure the driveway was shoveled when he returned.

              Hello. My name is ChutesandLadders, and I am a CHUMP.

              Looking back, I deeply regret not returning to full-time work years earlier. I treasured my time at home with my kids, I realize now that I gave up any equity in our marriage. I believe strongly that I did my sons a disservice by not demonstrating my worth earlier during their formative years.

              God help me; my kids are teens now. And while I know teens are by nature, a horribly selfish and inconsiderate developmental stage, I still worry all the time that I may have unintentionally raised three more misogynists.

          • I did the same. Taking care of everything, homeschooling kids, as a single but married parent,left him plenty of time for girlfriends and prostitutes. He was court ordered to pay family support. Thank God my lawyer knows the type because i almost took his word he would pay more than he thought court would order. He gave us nothing the first two months so i told her lets go. I am really scared of him so i did not want to make him angry. Now I care less – still cautious-because i know i have to take care of us. One is in college and one in high-school that I continue to homeschool. Asshole didn’t even celebrate her high-school graduation with us. He never did anything with us. He has his Parents sending the checks as if he has nothing. Sicko poor man-boy. Self employed so he’ll claim nothing on taxes. I’m the one who left and the kids have no interest in seeing him and I have never said anything bad about him. They know we never existed to him. Literally!
            It will make him mad but I’m willing to sell it all right down to silverware in order to survive. I have a lot of nice antique furniture from my parents but letting him know “i don’t need it that bad” will send his selfish narcissist ass a big message as well as a message to his friends that maybe his ex family knows something they may need to know about the pretending a-gamer.

            • In addition, when he sent his rebuttal to my lawyer, declaring he was the most involved parent in the relationship and never had illicit affairs. I know thats expected but it hit me in the face like a shit pie to see that in writing with his signature. I was so willing to be kind to get out of there but i hit the sky emotionally, went NC, and i am going to try not to back down. He went by and told my mom I must be mad but i need to remember he got papers too. I said he’s not to go to my parents again. Oh get this shit- he told her he did not come Christmas because it would have been awkward but he is sure he will be back next year. WTF??

        • i was lucky in that i got everything, the house, all the vehicles, everything in the house, garage and yard, the 4 wheelers, the boats, the jet ski (of course it was my dime that paid from most of that) but i also got all the mortgage, the bills, the junk piled everywhere, and the pain while he waltzes away with no concerns at all.

          he quit his job in july. so now he doesnt have a cell phone. and then he and the married slut he is with moved out of town. so now i dont have anyway to “bother” them. of course he hasnt paid child support since fathers day last year and i know i will never get another single dime out of him. i have no clue on how to find out if he is working or where he is working. i honestly believe that he is working side jobs here and there and she is paying for everything else. i guess he thinks it is “fair” being as he hasnt seen his kids since fathers day either. *shrugs*. i doubt me or my boys will see him anytime soon. and i am also financial struggling. the house HE wanted was only achievable with 2 incomes. now i only owe 50K for it and i am just hoping that i am not going to lose it. however, i have also been paying for just about everything for 4 years now. i am just sick and tired of leaving pay check to pay check…..well usually broke a few days before paycheck.

          recently i have been struggling with changing my 2 little boys last name to my maiden name. i just dont see why they should keep his name when he isnt doing anything for them. isnt supporting them financially, emotionally, physically or anything at all. why should the father who blow up our family, and security, the man who walked out and turned him back and forgot all about his loving wife and children, who now lives with some other mans wife and kids everyday get to claim the boys he walked out on? i am the one doing all the work. i am the one who is raising them with morals, values and ethics. i am the one who has to deal with their anger, pain, confusion and insecurities. i am the one who feeds them and makes sure they have clean clothes. i believe they should have MY name and not the name of a cheater, liar, betrayer alcoholic loser.

          • MrsVain, I don’t know who to find him either but there are some ladies here who could find him before I finish writing this. Okay ladies, how to you find a schmuck?

            • Your state should have a ‘new hire’ registry…you would need his social security number…that is what the ‘new hire’ registry is for…dead beats that run out on their children…and other debts…

              (((MrsVain)))

              • Mrs. Vain, first, do you have his social security number? Nothing easier than running a credit check on him to find out what his last known address is. The CPS you’re dealing with can (and will) seize his passport, prevent him from getting a tax refund, seize disability and/or unemployment checks and can even sue an employer if they don’t report his information thru the proper channels so that he can be compared to the deadbeat parent listing.

                On your own? Just a computer? Spokeo, Intelius…lots of those databases that mine information and give you just enough to know the general location. Then you go to work on public tax records—-assessors’ sites are required to list all owned properties and they are a goldmine of information.

                Report any debts that he owes to the creditor he owes. Let THEM go after him. Give them all of the pertinent information you can on him–old DL#, old addresses, social security number–let them go after him.

                Use what you know about him. What he does for a living (when he works).
                What do you know about the MOW? You may be able to locate him—by locating HER. Who are her friends? What does she do for a living? Talk to a few people, it’s interesting how many people have a story to tell you when you ask.

                If he does anything “normal”:

                1. Get a driver’s license.
                2. Get a job that takes taxes out of his pay.
                3. Rents an apartment (or any residence) in his name.

                All of this is online and free for a few hours’ worth of searches. You would be shocked at how much just Spokeo knows about you and your movements.

                At the end of the day, go thru CPS first–they have the big guns and the time/expertise to go after him where it clearly hurts him most—money. They’ll take away his driver’s license and passport. He won’t be able to get a job, go on disability or unemployment, or leave the country.

                The more pressure you bring to bear, the more doors you close, the more desperate he will become. You need to be ready for him to possibly come back into your life with a bad attitude and a demand to see his kids. I saw that happen with an ex boyfriend and his ex wife–he finally nailed her for abandoning her kids (4), no support, no palimony….just dusted off 7500 miles away, hid under the anonymity of her boyfriend’s ability to rent a condo—but she had to drive. They got her when she tried to get a driver’s license. All of a sudden, 1 year of NC, not one call to those kids—she was all up their ass like nothing happened. Damage all around as a consequence.

                So be prepared if you are willing to do these things to find him.

                Good luck to you.

          • Maybe you can’t find him but can you find HER? He’s somewhere nearby, no doubt, mooching. If you can find out where she works, wait there and follow her home. Write down the address. Wait a bit, to see if he works anywhere and if so, deliver the HR person there a copy of your court order. bwa haha

          • Mrsvain,
            Two of my four children want to take my maiden name when the divorce is final. I am considering it. I do not want his name on my gravestone. No way.

            • True, Irish. With the last name of “Satan” on your tombstone, people are less likely to leave flowers. And kudos to your kids for integrity.

          • Mrsvain. changed my daughters last name to my maiden name when she was about 8, and it was great no longer having to see the name all the time, and not having to SAY IT….
            I HAVE NEVER SAID IT AGAIN!! It did cost me about $1000.00 twenty years ago, but perhaps it is easier and/or cheaper now.
            My first X did not reliably pay child support either, so I felt the same way-why should he get any credit for her?.

            • A chump friend’s 20 year old daughter took her mother’s surname, and the 18 year old son has hyphenated, with hers last – not her idea, they did this individually. They were both very close with their father, but are disgusted with him and his lack of remorse or attempts to contact them when their mother moved them all home to her home country about six months after he abandoned them all a few years ago.

          • Hey everyone- make sure these nuts don’t claim your kids on their taxes, before you do. I used to do taxes, and saw that happen a lot. I even saw Grandparents claim kids, that they didn’t support! Sub-Human creeps. The best way to fight this is to file your taxes fast, as early as you can!

    • Tony and Chumpguy, I, too, am mystified by the no-fault laws. I’m told that all Canadian provinces are no-fault, which means my whole country is cheater heaven apparently. In fact, my lawyer told me that I’m lucky that my ex moved to another province or else he could have sued me for spousal support since I earn more than he does. And I’m lucky that we weren’t married because otherwise he could have claimed half the value of the appreciation of MY condo from the time he moved in with me. In other words, I’m lucky that he just rode out of Dodge, without giving me a penny, instead of taking ME to the cleaners. I’m considering writing to my elected officials to point out this gross unfairness in the laws.

      • Feminists drove the bus on the original “no fault” divorce laws because women were trapped in marriages. However, all it was in the beginning was a way to divorce without proving your spouse had done something terrible to you. Men drove the division of property issue, the 50/50 deal because they felt they were getting screwed over by their ex wives once the women could instigate divorce. I should say RICH men drove that bus…

              • Ringin’, I’m sure it’s spring somewhere, but certainly not here. The average high so far in February has been -11C; average low has been -21C. I’m not feisty; I’m frozen.

              • Bottom line to me is the divorce laws were created as a way to try to even things out between parties so all would be treated as fairly as possible. But if you are unfortunate enough to be involved with a “playah” (as w and a friend of hers also separated from a solid husband call them – and themselves in reality) who is willing and able to work the system (as many cheaters are), God help you.

                An attorney I know said many years ago when I consulted him, “Landlord/tenant codes end up favoring sleazy landlords and deadbeat tenants who know how to game the system.” The ones who try to do the right thing and run into a sleazeball who plays with nothing to lose end up on the short end of the stick in a conflict. So it goes.

                Truly sorry to hear about all sides of this crappy “game” they play. Nord, and everyone else on one side or the other of this, I don’t know the legal answer, nor do I care because it won’t happen in time to help any of us, but we’re in the same crappy situation here, just from different angles. Depressing. It’s late. Wish I could buy everyone here a glass of wine or a drink!

        • No Fault originated here in California by Pres Reagan who called it the biggest mistake in his political career. It is said, one likely reason for Reagan’s decision to sign the bill was that his first wife, Jane Wyman, had unfairly accused him of “mental cruelty” to obtain a divorce in 1948.

            • Absolutely Tempest! It is emotional torture. The crap they put us through. When what you thought was reality turns out to be a lie it’s jacks with your head. As you all know..

              • “Irreconcilable differences” was the title of a very cute eighties movie staring Ryan O’Neal, Shelly Long, Sharon Stone, and Drew Barrymore (then a child).

                Drew Barrymore divorces her parents, who originally had a loving marriage that grew stale/difficult and was hijacked by Sharon Stone. All the adults are acting crazy, and Drew Barrymore divorces them, recounting all the experiences during court testimony.

                I find it sweetly ironic, as I know Barrymore had to grow up way too fast as a child actor from actor parents. O’Neal is famous for being both incredible puppy dog charming and a horrible narcissist to Farrah Faucet and his children. I think Farrah left Lee Majors for him, not that he would ever marry her, not even as she was dying of cancer. He just couldn’t sacrifice himself for her, even as she was dying. And Sharon Stone, well if you were alive in the eighties, you are aware of Basic Instinct.

    • I’ve done no research on these post-nups , but I really wonder how enforceable they are. Where is the consideration that makes it enforceable? By definition, isn’t it entered into post re-marriage, so , where is the consideration going into the marriage? Detrimental reliance, always a sketchy substitute for real “consideration”, as I recall? And, if one is already married when the post nup is entered into, , how can there be any reliance?
      And, can one parent really negotiate things like custody ahead of time, since the standard seems to be ” best interests of the child’.
      I question whether a court would consider an agreement like this enforceable if there is an issue as to what is in the best interests of the child.
      I would really consult with a lawyer specializing in this stuff in the locale.

      • I’m not a lawyer, but when I got a postnup in Pa. I was told it could only be a property settlement and it was totally enforceable. That’s how I got my divorce (and my cheating ex was an attorney). Some states I believe allow you to work out custody terms and some do not. IMO custody is always in flux anyway so long as you’ve got minors (everything can be challenged). This is totally something to raise with your lawyer and do your research on.

        • Keep this in mind, for some cheaters, asking for lots of custody time is all about limiting child support and using kids as a bargaining chip in the property settlement. If a chump thinks Cheaterpants wants full custody, then the chump will not ask for the 401K, etc. So the pre- or post-nip takes part of that bargaining off the table. In most states, child support is done by a formula based on income and “earning potential,” i.e., cheaters who reduce income might find themselves paying support based on old earning patterns, if the chump has a good attorney.

          • LaJ,
            I second what you’ve said, particularly the last part. My STBX was trying to claim he was a full time student (he wasn’t, he failed out) in order to not pay as much in child support. My state didn’t give a damn if he was a student, first off. But when they utilized his earning statements they were VERY low because he HAD been a full time student until 2 weeks post seoatation. So what they did was pull old tax records to see how much he was making at his same employment back when he was full time to identify his earning potential for a full time position and compared that with what he would make if he were working a full time minimum wage job. Luckily the court decided on the upper end of the number and awarded me that.

    • Totally agree. America has a system based on contracts. There are penalties if you break contracts in all other aspects of life. No matter which side of the earning table you’re on – the main or sole breadwinner or the SAH parent, if you’re holding up your end of the contract, you should be rewarded from a contract law perspective. There are NO (or few) penalties for bad behaviour in marriage. That would solve a lot on both sides of the equation.

      • None. I would say there are NO penalties. My XH not only got to trot off with a 25yr old waitress and live happily ever after, but he also got to keep a lot of the friends who felt like “it can’t be a bad thing that he did, because just look how HAPPY he is!” No, no penalties. I think that, more than even XH’s betrayal, has been the hardest lesson in all this. How no one seems to think what he did was wrong.

  • Extra bullet–meet gun. He promised to love, honor and cherish you solely, until death do you part. Situational truth, honor, loyalty and fidelity.

    This woman clearly has serious abandonment issues of her own, that unless she deals with those…he will continue to do whatever he wants, whenever he likes. No consequences.

    I’m realizing that some people just simply cannot be helped out of their shitty situations, no matter how hard you try to get them to safety. I feel sorry about that, but knowing when to cut the cord with people like that is essential to your own well being.

    What does surprise me, however, is why she chose to write to CHUMPLADY about it. Curious behavior for a unicorn that is so convinced she’s going to live happily ever after while swinging naked in the wind. Who is she trying to convince….us or herself?

    • SphinxMoth

      I see what you are saying, but you are being harsh to someone who is reaching out for help – which is what this woman is doing, reaching out for help by contacting Tracy.

      She is dealing with the pain of this differently than all of us. I know my divorce was very easy because my ex-wife had already discarded me and only cared to manage the situation insofar as her public image from having an affair so soon after marrying me.

      I know that if my wife had tried the reconciliation game I would have done it because she still had my heart and soul despite the cheating.

      I am really trying not to tell you what to do, SphinxMoth, but give this woman some shared love and compassion for what she is going through and knowing where she will probably end in the situation in which the posters on this blog find themselves.

      • S’ok, Tony. You have your opinion, I have mine. People of all stripes have abandonment issues–and it seems to me that the lady has them, as well as a really serious case of denial.

        I chafe at anyone, though, who will not take any advice whatsoever–to PROTECT THEMSELVES, especially when there are children involved.

        She needs to get some therapy, if for no other reason than to try to get centered, figure some things out. I doubt she’ll take that advice—why? Because she said so. “Thanks, but I’ve got it covered. Cheater Liar said he was sorry and I missed him, so it’s all good.”

        She needs to protect those kids, if she’s not going to protect herself. She won’t listen, though. She’s got it all figured out no matter all of the evidence to the contrary….that when work isn’t done to correct the problems and consequences aren’t leveled—the problems don’t just vanish magically because someone said they were sorry.

    • SM, People who reconcile are welcome here. I get a rap for being against reconciliation — I am SKEPTICAL of reconciliation and I think the odds are long. But look, most of us who were able, tried it and don’t regret the first attempt anyway. My advice, however, is that you PROTECT yourself financially. Marriage is the most intimate of business, but it is about business and property. The state sees it like that too. Don’t let emotions cloud the practical considerations of self protection.

      To have an affair, you’ve taken a big step away from the marriage, acted with complete unilateral entitlement. To be sorry about that, a cheater needs to DEMONSTRATE their remorse with tangible acts. A postnup IS a consequence. It’s a protection, a fast track to divorce should the problems continue. It’s releasing the chump from the financial penalties for trusting. (Or most of them anyway, divorce is of course, costly.)

      The other reason I recommend credit reports and post-nups is that they are quick litmus tests of how sorry the cheater is. If you won’t back your promises up, if you won’t commit to complete legal transparency? I doubt you’re terribly sorry.

      Chumps should not confer forgiveness or reconciliation, IMO, without restitution.

    • SphinxMoth,
      Good call…I wondered the same thing…I think it’s curious that she is writing Chump Lady when apparently she’s very happily living the unicorn life. I think somewhere deep inside she knows what the answer is and knows that she can’t and shouldn’t trust her cheater but may not be ready to fully embrace that yet. And since she’s been living in unicorn land for a while, how does she now turn the tables and ask for the post-nup again without “offending” the cheater, who is “so remorseful”? I think she also knows deep inside that if she were to ask for the post-nup, there’s a good chance she’s never really going to get it anyway. My cheater offered up the “I’ll do ANYTHING if you stay and forgive me” line and of course, when I started enforcing the requirements, he turned on me and told me what an unforgiving bitch I was for not trusting him…he never had any intention of keeping his word. Unicornland is a fantasy place where denial rules supreme. It’s all pleasant and cozy and gives you a false sense of security. Even though I can understand why some people choose it (I chose to live there for many years because I had so much fear of starting over again at my age), I’ll take a cheater-free reality with all the painful aspects of building a cheater-free life, thank you! I’m forever grateful for CL and the Nation for being so real and telling the hard truths! At one time, I may not have wanted to hear that I was a chump living in denial, but now I’m proud to say I’m a chump living in reality!! And I’m cheater-free!!!

      • CL–I have taken your advice to heart and recommended you widely to everyone I know, even if it is just to get a good laugh at how ridiculous these cheaters can be. You give solid, sound advice from EXPERIENCE.

        My name, “SphinxMoth” is from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Sphinx”. About a man who escapes a cholera epidemic to a house in the country with a friend. He sees a monster on a hill while sitting at a window. He is terrified and his mind goes through all sorts of tortured scenarios. When he finally gets the courage to tell his friend, his friend laughs and then seeing the man’s true distress…he takes him seriously—and proceeds to calmly provide proof of what the monster really is.

        I won’t spoil the story for those who want to read it—but this is how I see life (and afterlife) with a cheater. You are so close to something dreadful–you can’t see things clearly. Your mind doesn’t function correctly. You need an unbiased observer, someone who isn’t suffering as you are presently, but someone who cares for you and can be trusted with your welfare–to give you the reality of the situation.

        That role was abdicated by the cheater when they screwed around. Trusting the proven untrustworthy is an exercise in pain.

        • SphinxMoth I felt the same way. So many – friends and family that had been through this before – tried to tell me – it took the ‘bitch slap’ of CL’s clear views to snap me out of it and back to clarity. I couldn’t have made it these last 2 trials without her and you guys. I hope that woman has a tireless support system…she’s gonna need it!

          Ugh…disordered assholes know no shame, compassion or true feelings.

      • I too, took my time in leaving Chumpville. I think dealing with the cheater experience is like death- for some a sudden event, for others a long drawn out process. Mine was the latter. I simply had to learn all those horrible lessons before I was ready to deal with the situation. And then I was gone.

        Although as we know from this site, there are many common patterns in these relationship firestorms ( and we like to talk about the cheater playbook and how they are all the same…) our own situations are unique to us and it sometimes just takes the time it takes to wake up to the reality. At some point, maybe in the not too distant future, Chump Lady’s recent enquirer will sit bolt up right in bed one night with ‘leave a cheater,gain a life’ ringing in her ears, and leave.

  • Yep, never went that route and was assured by now ex that if we divorced it would be fair and amicable, of course the cats would stay with me and of course the house was mine before we ever got together. The asshole flipped totally when I actually started divorce proceedings. I think his exact words were “I’m going to destroy you, this will be the ugliest divorce on record. That is MY house and I will fight you down to the last piece of furniture and you WILL pay alimony you fucking bitch” Yep, that’s what the recording says.

      • YES, assholes without empathy are pretty stupid sometimes. He knew I bought the cats and the breeder would attest to it, plus I made sure I had the bill of sale for both cats with only my name on them AND it never occurred to him that if he tried to get cat custody I would have given him more money. Of course I never, never talked about the cats at all to him other than to send him pics he asked for and assure him he could see them some day…yes, I lied, I can do that when I am protecting my family.

  • FYI Before your spouse signs it take it to another lawyer to be sure it is a solid contract. I did the post nup a few years ago and when i needed it my divorce went pretty smooth, now that I,m divorced I am back in court because the wording was terrible, that means the difference of 1500.00 a month for the rest of my life or 1500.00 a month during separation only. The wording matters trust me.

    • Plus the validity of postnups varies from state to state. My lawyer here in a state where they are totally valid says that his firm challenges them all the time.

      • If you live in such a state, then I would ask about having an asset transferred directly to your name. It is still community property? Could they sign a quit claim deed?

          • I wish that was true. Ex and I bought a rental property while we were married and the Judge still awarded the whole house to him. That will never cease to be BS, but at least I am divorced and free, and that is infinitely more rewarding than fighting tooth and nail over that house.

  • Having been a unicorn, only to be chumped again, and finally extricating myself from the fetid swamp of lies and deception that continued to fester post d day, I would say a post nuptial gives you a life based on certainty and clearly articulated rights rather than a wobbly shack made from unicorn horns. Only dumb luck saved me from financial ruin and that is not something I think you can rely on if you want to avoid a champling (chump being trampled).

  • My cheater promised a post-nup. Had he really meant it, he would have gone to his lawyer and had it drawn up for my review. He offered it up to me based on his knowledge of my character and unwillingness or unease at making him actually do it. He knew I would say no to it. He took advantage of my kindness at every turn. Which explains my five ddays!!!!

    In hind sight, I wish I had made him do this, would have saved me lots of stress through the divorce process.

  • Exactly Tracy! I am 100% with you on that!

    “Oh, but he promised me a fair settlement. ”

    yeah, they also promised to be true, loyal, forsaken all others, how did that work out? The person who supposed to watch your back stabbed you in the back, without a blink. They lied to you for weeks, months, even years and you are supposed to believe the promises of this very person who betrayed you repeatedly, lied to you? What makes anyone think they wont do it again? Didn’t they also promised to be faithful? NAH, I say words are just words. Protect yourself because this person proved to you with their actions that they can not be trusted. Like Tracy said, get a Postnup, better yet get a property settlement without dissolution of marriage, which outlays who gets what, the custody, the house, money, that 401k. The postnup can be challenged and it could take months or more to enforce it, however “a property settlement without dissolution of marriage” is enforceable, from day one, because its signed by a judge, just like the divorce degree but without the divorce, so if they fuck up again? well this way, no need to fight in court, spend thousands on lawyers, its a legal document and cant be challenged, it will be swift and done and it will be word by word in the divorce degree so there is nothing a cheater can do. This protects the chumps 1000%! Protect yourself from a proven lying cheat, so you can sleep better at night, knowing your ducks are already in a row….

    • This is great advice! I have a postnup but am already in the hole for vast amounts of money to get it upheld. Apparently, my serial cheating Narc didn’t read it before he signed it. (Yeah, right.)

    • Amen, Nicolette. They’ve already demonstrated that they have no problem lying to you, betraying your trust, and treating you indignantly without regard or respect. The only thing easier than the first time, is the second (third, fourth, fifth…..).

      • I think anyone contemplating reconciliation ( or anyone contemplating getting married , for that matter) should never consider agreeing to the stay at home parent deal. Once a spouse leaves the work force, especially if it is long term, if that person dumps you, even with no cheating, the working spouse is hosed.
        The stay at home parent has a distinct advantage in custody disputes and a decent shot at alimony.
        I would insist that any spouse remain working.
        A lot of guys from my generation got a rude awakening when their wives cheated and filed on them. We were raised brainwashed to believe in the old Ward and June Cleaver model. But, today, women file 70% of the divorces and get custody in over 80% of the contested disputes.
        If a person was brought up in my generation, he or she seem to think that the stay at home parent will not cheat and , therefore, it is safe to agree to this old fashioned arrangement ( and, that arrangement , often, makes a lot of sense, financially and for the kids and for the division of labor.).
        But, it is just too risky these days.
        It is also a risk for the parent who stays home. He or she takes a step back in the career and, once cheated on and forced to divorce, can , probably, never make up the lost ground. And, if the marriage was not long enough, access to alimony may be limited.
        Sort of sad, to me.. I was raised with a SAHM and it was great to have so much access to her. But, I am advising my son to never , ever consider this arrangement. Women, just like men, are cheating like crazy these days.

  • SphinxMoth, I was in a similar situation and reconciled numerous times. After 36 years of being married to a serial cheating Narc I finally filed for divorce. I think it through and through and try to understand why I stayed. I battle with this daily. Sometimes its not about abandonment issues, rather loving someone so much that you overlook their deviance. People have told me that I never wanted to be alone. That too is incorrect in my situation. I did everything alone. Your point about consequences rings so loudly. My EX never had any consequences for his behavior. The dynamic in my situation was very typical of a narcissistic relationship, a selfish narc and a selfless spouse. Today I would recommend leaving a cheater the first time they cheat. The selfless person also has a fantasy of the future they envision which includes a home, family, friends, and love. The selfish narc cannot make plans, use their home life as a cover, and they typically have superficial relationships. As far as pre/post arrangements I would never marry again without having something in place to protect myself. I wonder how a spouses cheating is considered a crisis? It is his way of saying, I love you honey, but I guess what, I fucked another woman. I totally disrespect your and our children. Sorry. Really?

    • {{{{{DONNA}}}}}} You’re right, sometimes it’s not abandonment issues, it’s just plain goodness. I have read another blogpost here that says that they “trade on your goodness. your ability to forgive.”

      It makes me crazy to think that there are people out there that actually look for people that have this quality, in order to harm them. I also struggle every day—why doesn’t he love me? I’m a good person. I do good things. I’m a good mother. What is wrong with me that he won’t see that?

      It’s unfair that we have to think “I need to always protect myself now, just in case things go south”—but this is the way things have started trending in our overstimulated society. I don’t like it and it goes against every fiber of my being—which is why I am content to stay single, be on my farm and take care of my kids. I don’t feel it’s a life wasted if I know me and my kids are safe.

      • Spinx; After D-Day & for quite sometime my Ex used to tell me “You are the finest woman I have ever known”, or “I have never met anyone else with all your great attributes” blah, blah, blah….I told him to shut the Eff up because when it counted it didn’t get me anywhere did it? My goodness did not protect me from this pain, did not make you (him) choose a different outcome for us, did not one thing to help me! I told him he would have been much kinder to someone he was afraid of.
        I told him I did not ever want to hear those words from him again, I consider it an insult coming from his mouth.

      • ‘why doesn’t he love me? I’m a good person. I do good things’
        Donna, and Regina- I relate to and agree totally with your thoughts on this. It used to blow my mind, too. Especially when our male friends would tell me how highly he spoke of me, when I wasn’t there!
        I know with my spouse, it came down to this- he NEEDS the dark side, the raunchy kind of gal that will do things she has to keep secret. So, I either had to ‘let’ him have that, and stay married, or keep my values intact, and live my beliefs. You know what I chose.
        I wish I could have had a lifelong partnership with him, but it was not meant to be, and I’m getting more OK with that as I live my new, real, life!

        • I guess you couldn’t call yourself “freewoman” if you were putting up with this crap!! It is hard to reconcile that they will say anything in the moment to suit their agenda, and might not mean any of it. I am glad we have some labels for it (strange behavior & lack of empathy) and some common traits to help us understand we cannot help or change such people. The behavior is so queer, and motives so twisted it is hard to figure out.
          Mine charmed two shrinks and won them over in one meeting after I had been going alone for months. One male shrink when I told him I was being verbally abused did not recognize that as a problem, and that if I was not being hit, he did not see it as abuse. (This was 15 years ago when I first wanted to go to MC.) The second was a female and she was joking & flirting with him by the end of the only session with him. I had been going to her for at least 6 months alone once a week pouring my heart out before he ever showed up. I was stunned and hurt. When I told him I didn’t want to go back, he said “So now because she liked me you don’t want to go anymore?” First class mindfuckery!

    • Donna, I was also with my ex 36 years. There was never any definitive proof of cheating although I had gut feelings. In the end I discovered my gut was right all those years. Anyway, I also spent most of my time alone in our marriage, but I was holding on for retirement. I truly believed my ex would one day wake up and see that although he was great at his job, that his family truly loved him. I used to tell him all the time that his job wouldn’t be there when he was an old man to hold his hand in the nursing home. My own father was a workaholic but went through a transformation when he was forced into retirement and went through a series of heart attacks. He finally saw how much our family was there for him and now he’s become very loving and self-sacrificing as he cares for my frail mom. For some reason I just believed some life event would happen to my ex that would open his eyes.

    • Donna, I did the same thing…36 years with a serial cheater…yep…I wish I would have left immediately also… I seriously thought everyone was just like me…I didn’t know such monsters walked among us…I do now…boy do I.

      After the separation people started crawling out of the woodwork to tell me what they knew…I finally had to beg everyone to stop telling me…I got enough crap screamin in my head from just xmr’s venomous words…ugh…

    • Hear you loud and clear, Donna. I’m the youngster here with only 33 years of marriage blown to smithereeens. W had her first (known) affair 7 years into the marriage. She apologized in tears; I reconciled after basically saying, “If you have any inkling at all that you will do this again, just let me go now. I’ve moved on. We cannot go through this again.”

      Well, 25 years later, well hello there, cheater. Her response, basically, “ILYBINILWY” Looking for a new model.

      My son, who is my heart, makes it all worth it. No question,none. But other than that, if I’d never have met her I would have dodged, not a bullet, but an RPG.

      Anyone who is still young (whatever that is), I’m not telling you what to do, but keep that in your thinking cap. Believe me, you don’t want to be doing this for the second time around much later on, please trust me on that. And the stakes may be so much higher you can’t believe, but that doesn’t bother them.

  • I just finished mediating with my STBX. He is still claiming he didn’t want my money, as he takes half of everthing including my pension, plus the dogs. But that is all my fault of course. After the 3rd DDay I did consider a post nup but by that time I was done. I didn’t want to have to police the man. I just want peace and joy in my life and if I have to pay him to go away, it is worth it. My nightmares have stopped and I feel so much better without him, no amount of money can buy peace of mind.

    • ChumptotheMax, I was told he would never negotiate and it was the truth. He had filed for divorce two times previous and then cancelled. He never wanted my pension previously. This last time he met the scum of the earth and bedded with her, moving in within weeks of meeting. As they age their pickings become limited and she has and arrest record for assault, drugs, and breaking and entering. Evidently when she realized I was the breadwinner and he literally has no assets my pension became attractive.

      This is a strong reason anyone taking back a cheating fucktard narc should get a post/nup immediately regardless of the promises a man guided by his dick makes. To cheat a person has to plan, lie, spend money on another woman, talk shit about their wife/husband, and expose their spouse to STD’s. Those are a cheaters wants/needs.

      While they are doing this they disregard, disrespect, and inflict pain on a loving unsuspecting spouse. These selfish acts in my opinion should not be forgiven under any circumstances. Anyone in the position of taking back a cheater after the first time needs to understand that you are settling for someone who does not RESPECT you in the least!!!

      It angers me that in the end they feel entitled to take whatever they can and feel justified. I too had to settle with a fuckwit for peace of mind.

  • Guilty!
    Six months after Ex promised! … I got screwed royally in a nasty divorce. (and I had less than ten days warning that he was back on Mashley’s track)…
    Chumps with unicorns BEWARE! Heed CLs advice or walk away with NOTHING… (except lawyer debt and some clothes).
    Signed,
    ButHeWasSoSparkley

  • It is the same here in Texas,my STBX is a serial cheating abuser who lost more money than he has saved. So now he gets half of everything I have including my pension. I was angry but what good does that do? He is gone. I just am grateful he finally agreed to settle and go away, but fair? no way. And yes, they will tell you all sorts of sweet pretty lies, but in the end, it is all about them and what they can get from you.

    • If my ex hadn’t fucked up and refused to answer discovery he would have gotten half my shit too. Once the judge slapped contempt of court on him he settled fast. He still got 1/3 of my retirement because it was in an investment acct he claimed was “ours”. But he only got 10k outta the house and I held onto my 401K

  • I tried to get a post nup, he delayed, I will, I will, I will. He did nothing but cheat on me again and run out the door. I was granted $300/month and have not seen anything since September. I now have to sue him for it and to top it off, I am afraid to. He is a bit, shall we say, fucking nuts!

    Get that post nup now if you can. I know it feels wrong but you must protect yourself. Do not trust again until much time and proven action, action being the key word and a post nup is part of that.

    I do wish you the best.

  • Part 1- . When I busted my Idiot he fled and return 3 days later and threw the divorce papers on the bed. He said” I took care of you sign it” and indeed he did.Custody, the house and half of all other assests. He was so hell bent on leaving the scene of the crime that he essentially gave it all away. I took it to a lawyer friend who said ‘If this is what he is offering,sign it. Just know when the reality hits him he will be back” I thought it was an odd comment but took his advice. I met Idiot at the notary and sign it while tears poured down my face. As predicted when reality set in and he realized what he had done guess who showed up 3 months later divorce papers retracted.Claimed he wanted to give us another chance “work on us” What that means in cheater speak ” I just screwed myself so I am going to stick around until I can figure out how to leave better”

  • Part 2- Within a month he wastaking our child out with him trying to purchase rental properties under the guise of an investment for our future.Meanwhile he and Tweeny Bopper were making their get away plans while he was working the wifey for a more equitable settlement. He put in his time…playing the part of hubby and daddy..taking his usual position on the couch burning thru the TV channels. That was his effort..”to be there” What he and Tweeny didnt anticipate was that wifey was making her own plans. So while he was out sneeking a piece…I was meeting with the same lawyer. After 9 months he threw another packet of divorce papers down stating”sign them” He didnt like when I said “No.I have my own plans” I had to endure months of threats and abuse to wait for the hearing….but I did.
    I aint no fucking Unicorn.

  • This whole thing about cheaters showing their true colors worries me. I’ve only seen stbx’s rage a few times. He hides it well, but I know it’s there. It’s so disorienting that he can be Mr. Nicey Nice one day, running errands for me, and then the next he seems quiet and calculating. I’m trying to sustain my forward motion until I can pull the plug on this sinking ship, but I do worry, and stress about how he will behave when I file.

    Some days I waver, but I know in my heart that if he’s capable of lying to me for more than 15 years, he’s capable of ruining me financially as well. The first months of discovery I lost a lot of sleep, mostly because I felt like I was living with a total stranger. I remember thinking that my life, the secrecy, the lies and sordid details were similar to many of those murder-mystery television shows. I didn’t feel secure in my own home, and I didn’t know who he was, or what he was capable of.

    In spite of it all, it’s still too easy for me to slip into believing that things just might work out; that he might have an epiphany. I need to check in with CL every day to ensure that I don’t backslide. Today’s topic did the trick!

    • My ex went into rages once a year, sometimes a few times a year. When I dropped the divorce on him he escalated and kept escalating until he pulled a gun. So don’t ignore your intuition. You might want to be elsewhere when you have him served.

      • I totally agree with DDW! Same thing happened to me. When I filed, I got alarms on both doors, installed expanded metal over backdoor window so he couldn’t break the window,reach in and open the door. I chained and padlocked the front gate of my 6 foot security fence, and changed all door locks. I told my attorney I was afraid. She told me to call 911if something happened. Well, it did. He jumped over my security fence, broke in, assaulted me and took my phone so I could not call for help. I had to run to my neighbor’s house and use their phone to call 911. He went to jail. Never never never underestimate the threat. Ever. That is what gets people killed.

        • Journey, listen to me Irish and Dat…. I was assualted and he threaten my life twice. I never called the police… Because he is the police… A high ranking officer. He would tell me ‘ Call…. Who do think is gonna respond? ‘ and things like ” there are ways to deal with you outside a court room” ” it would be really horrible if you had an accident” ” You dont think I dont know how to word things to make you look crazy” ” try and get a restraining order, who is gonna sign it”
          He is a scary mother fucker. I have had to be ten steps ahead of him. Luckily his anger gets the best of him and I can always out wit him. I am lucky. I am lucky that I had a judge who listened. I am lucky… So far. I live in fear. And restraining orders are useless… In a true situation they are useless. Judges hear so many false claims that they are fairly immune to the claim of domestic violence.
          I have to share a child with this knucle dragging idiot… So i mind my peees and qqqqs. But i document everything and have a safety plan.
          Journey… If you think u are in danger then you need a smarter plan. Research leaving a relationship of DV. Be safe. I hope you dont have to suffer too long before you can be free.

          • I did want to comment further in the Jeckell / Hyde trait… Its a warning sign. My Idiot would essentially threaten to slit my throat … Jaw clenched…holding my hand and arm in an arm guard manuever…and turn ever so pleasantly with a big shit eating grin to the clerk at the drive thru window. Even wish her a wonderful day as the tendons in my elbow are snapping.
            Crazy crazy mother fucker.
            If you feel it… That fear that hits you at yr core… Looking into the dead eyes of yr spouse and you start shaking… Its real. Be smart… Take care of you… And file after you have a plan… Dont act on emotion… It will get you killed.

            • Clip my stbx is an ex sheriffs deputy . He also had people in the department who were looking out for him. It made it really hard when I had to call for help. There was one time when the officer showed up and I heard a call out on his radio, they let him know that my ex had called in. I ask the officer if it was my stbx. He said yes and he was sorry but that when it went out over the air stbx had friends in the department who probably let him know there was a call for service at my home. I told the officer that I did not feel safe if I couldn’t call the police and have them come here without stbx knowing. This is a small town and a small department and he has friends. So I know how you feel it is really frightening.

            • TheClip I saw this side of xmr on 4 occasions…I called the police the 4th time…scary stuff! I now realize that he would probably be in jail if I had went to the emergency room for my injuries. Frightening…just frightening. I weigh 110 pounds…he weighs about 200…no contest… And he would just go off!

              Everybody be safe!

      • itsAJourney, one last thing; if he starts talking suicide that is a huge flag that he’ll escalate to violence against you. Suicide threats if you don’t do what he wants are a way to control you, if they don’t work it can get much worse.

    • Trust you gut! We have a great resource for abused women in our area that helped me get my perspective and get out safely. It was scary as hell and still is. Nightmares etc. Try to find that type of resource. If you have a lawyer(secretly) they should be able to point you toward help. Friends and family are going to be paramount as well. I did same day truck rental under the cover of a new moon while he was out of town. The day he came home i moved us to a different place, then another etc. he knew nothing of our lives/friends and luckily never saw us at my parents. Two weeks later we were all exhausted and had to carry daughter out of state to college which was a breather for us. My son was hurting the most and wanted to know why he couldn’t grow up and accept how he treated us and the consequences. Smart young man!
      We saw him a couple of times later but NC now. We are fairly close to our old home but he swears he will not bother us. He is a cheating abusive person and i do not trust him at all. Sadly, i know if he chooses to hurt us:he will. I could do protective orders and take his guns but that will enrage him farther and guns are a dime a dozen. I try to stay low and take us to therapy. I feel sick thinking of mediation or court and having to face him. He playing the victim but i know he is bidding his time and plotting. I was with him 33years so i feel i know how he ticks and what ticks him off. Losing control is a big one!
      Plan for safety.

      • You all know my story. I did everything right and the courts still took away my children’s safety by allowing unsupervised visitation despite a restraining order out against him. I also had to state my new address publicly in court. Guess who drove by later that day?

        I wish i had a magic wand I could wave to keep us all safe….unfortunately, I don’t. All I can say is that they can be really patient when waiting for revenge. Watch your backs everyone….stay safe!

  • This is so, SO true. My X told me he “got” a new health insurance policy for our son. Like the duh-ever-gullible-trusting person I am, I cancelled DS’ policy. Well guess what … No coverage yet.

    Please, PLEASE do not trust anything!!! Like CL says its backup protection that you have (and chances are pretty good you’ll need).

  • Am feel very sorry for all of you who have had to deal with this. Divorce laws in some states are downright cruel. I did not deal with a post-nup, so I can’t claim to know what I would have done. I do agree with CL, though: your stbx (or your ex) proved that he/she is a person willing to lie, cheat, and manipulate for sex. I protected myself by assuming that my ex-wife would also lie, cheat, and manipulate for money.

    I live in a community property state, so there wasn’t much that we could argue over. The biggest challenge was getting my ex to accept that it didn’t matter who’s account the money came from for payment of A, B, or C. When you’re married in my state, you are one economic unit, and therefore all revenues and expenses during the marriage are considered “pooled.”

    My ex understood this just fine. She just argued because she didn’t accept it.

    (1) She demanded her “fair share” (read: more than 50%) because she made more than me for the first 2/3 of our marriage.

    (2) She claimed (incorrectly) that we’d spent more on my education than on her own, and started saying we needed to go back to see who’s account payments were made from. This re-confirmed to me that she always view our marriage as two people with separate lives / finances, while I viewed us (correctly) as one economic unit.

    (3) She even tried to avoid paying me half of our security deposit on our apartment, where she still lives. I moved out, so I told her to pay me for half the security deposit, and then she’d be made whole when the landlord paid her the full security deposit back whenever she moved out. She responded with one of her increasingly typical rage episodes, saying that I “left her paying rent on her own,” and therefore she should be entitled to the full security deposit.

    Oh, poor ex-wife, how terrible for you to have to pay rent on your own on your month-to-month lease! How cruel of me! Clearly, I should have stayed around while you f***ed another man in our bed any chance you got. After all, that would have been more *fair*!

    I put up with none of this. I pulled the applicable sections of the state family legal code and sent them to her. I reminded her that the date of separation (when I moved out) is when we became separate economic units, and I reminded her that our lease was month-to-month so all I’d “left her” with was items to store.

    In the face of this overwhelming legal truth, she caved. She claimed to have some sort of “enlightened” moment when an acquaintance asked her why she was bothering to argue with me over mere thousands of dollars. In other words, she tried to play the “I’m above worrying about these petty details” card.

    That’s fine. She can keep her false modesty. I know she gave in because she saw no other exit. And so she immediately white-washed the situation to try to make herself look better. It’s all part of he manipulative spouse playbook. I’m so happy that game is over!

    • Reminds me of ex, during settlement talks I kept him on my insurance with him sending me his share of the costs, he insisted I cover him the month he signed the papers. When he had to pay COBRA that month, he emailed and said he wanted the last months payment back. I told him too bad, the money was paid for his insurance by me that month. He responded that I could keep the money, “I don’t have time to deal with petty people, you and your lawyer can keep it” LOL

  • Chumps need to understand that “I’m the bigger person here and I’ll wave a generous offer “reflects a quaint almost saintly modesty; a trait, which lead them to become chumps In the first place. After Dday the chump mantra needs to change to ‘I’m going to take bloody good care of the bigger person here because if I don’t, no one will”. Hard for chumps to switch mental gears from being nice to being not nice. Take a page from your ruthless narcissis’s playbook – it will serve you well.

  • I agree with CL on this. Once the marriage contract is broken by infidelity, chumps must protect themselves financially, medically and socially if there is any attempt to reconcile.A remorseful cheater should understand the devastation of his/her actions and see the need for the spouse to consider that there might be a repeat offense.

  • I am days away from signing my post nup. I’m the person who always made the money by working a full time job plus 2 to 4 part time jobs while he worked 30 hours a week. I saved and budgeted and invested money and bought income property during the 34 year marriage, while he had a 7 year affair with a hooker. Years before he started seeing the hooker, I told him I’d support him and pay tuition etc if he wanted to go back to school to get a credential or train for a better job, but no he was happy with our status quo and was all about fun.

    I can trace every single paycheck of mine going directly into my own checking or savings account, going into my investments, going into my IRAs, and the loans for my income property were in my name, and mortgages were paid by me, only me, and from my separate bank accounts.

    None of that mattered because California is a community property state. Way back when I married at age 30, I believed I found the right man. Fast forward to 26 or 27 years into the marriage, and he starts seeing a prostitute that went on for years.

    When I found out in 2013 about his secret life, my very *first* thought was that if I kicked him out and proceeded with a divorce, I would have to give him 50% of everything. He dropped over $25K (at least!!!!) of “community property” funds on the slunt, but I can’t mention that in the post nup or have that amount figure into the post nup because then it would seem retaliatory and that, my fellow chumps, would adversely affect the validity of the ‘think of the post nup as a strictly business deal, void of emotion’ post nup marital agreement that divides money and property and income should a divorce occur in the future.

    To protect myself and MY money and MY property, the post nup gives him 25 – 30% of everything but without the post nup, if we divorce, I would have to give him 50% of ***everything*** plus support to the tune of around $2K /month, when he did nothing to earn it.

    I can hardly wait to sign it.

  • What is disturbing to me about this alleged unicorn is how willing she is to not see demonstrated character. Her husband has already violated the most sacred vow and promise a human can give to another human being. Then he promises a post-nup as a way to draw her back and BREAKS this promise by not following through with it. She glosses over this pattern by essentially saying it isn’t needed. The lack of character pattern has not changed as I see it. He made a promise, and he broke a promise. That alone ought to give this unicorn pause. A person of integrity does not promise something then not follow through. People who make empty promises are people who lack character. And cheaters are in that category.

        • DM, I love phrase “demonstrated character”. Leopards cannot change their spots. And humans cannot get character transplants. Trust that they suck. When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
          TRUTH.

    • It’s rocky enough that she’s probably afraid to ask him and rock the boat.

      My cheater only admits to emotional affairs with kissing and light petting. heh. (CL says there’s unicorn potential in that but not much – I agree.) We have no assets to split and I’m the reason behind his income now being so high. I have a kind of sheltered asset in the form of a several acres’ easement on my parents’ very large property’s deed, to build my home. My former-accountant mother/jilted while pregnant with me fiancee-in-the-past did that. She’s smart- always telling me to get things in writing. Paper trails are king.

      I’ll admit to staying. BUT – and this is a huge but – I have the ability to make more money. I’m staying to see if this change is real and in the meantime, paying off all debts as quickly as possible with HIS income. I’m staying to tuck away cash. I’m staying to get to 10 years (this September), so I can maximize the retirement split and get alimony. I haven’t put up with his BS for 12 years – 9.5 married – just to fuck myself over just under the wire. I find myself becoming more and more detached from him and tell him to go out and look for someone else, if that’s what he wants… he’s not taking me up on it. I’ve been telling him to THROW himself out there and LOOK. He’s not. He seems to be changing – he’s a new person… but I don’t trust it’ll stick. Maybe I’ll love him – truly – as I did in the past. Maybe not and we’ll divorce.

      So yes – in the meantime, I’m setting myself up to be a single mother of 3 with no debt. He’s a financial idiot – has no idea about his credit report or the nitty-gritty of finances. He’ll have no debt either because I would want to leave his finances in a pristine state, to afford alimony and CS. And his half of the rent with a roommate/new lover. He’ll need one or the other. 😛

      • I think it’s very shrewd of you to wait for the 10 year mark. As long as you are not in any physical danger, let him think you’re happy to be his complacent little chump. Work on yourself, and getting your financial and personal details in order. Six months will be here before you know it… keep your eyes on the prize! I wish you strength to get through this!

        • No chance of physical danger whatsoever. The only emotional danger would exist if I was still madly in love with him… he’d be able to really hurt me then. I’m, honestly, just waiting for him to fuck up; going off history, it’s only a matter of time. I’ve told him this countless times.

          I feel like we’ve reconciled. Really. He couldn’t be more remorseful, ashamed, and apologetic. He seems to have grown up, finally. I have the partner I always hoped he’d be… he DOES what he says. He means it. His relationship with me and our children and our families are completely different, for the far, FAR better. He isn’t holding onto resentments and little tiffs. He’s expressing himself.

          But it very well may be too late. I’m growing more apathetic to his advances and *together* dreams by the day. I’m TRYING to not feel detached but it keeps happening. Now I kind of feel bad for him… but then I think of all the underhanded selfishness and smirk. On the outside. He’s terrified. I really think he’s falling in love with me for the first time… and I’m falling out.

          But yes… reality. I’m taking care of myself and it shows. I will be starting work again this fall. We will have no debts. There will be a schedule for everyone. Husband and I will make roughly the same amount. I need that – to know that if he ends up being an asshole and does NOTHING for me or our children, that I can well financially make it on my own. And if reality is kinder than that? YAY.

        • And I’ve never been terribly complacent… that still holds true. lol. The difference now is that he actually pays attention to the words coming out of my mouth. He senses my moods when before, he didn’t even pay attention if I outright told him. He cares if I’m unhappy. He knows when I’m just being polite/civil and when I’m actually pleased with someone/something/somewhere. He didn’t care enough to notice those things before. I think he’s actually changing but… so am I. He’s afraid that it’s too late, after all this time. He might very well be right.

          I’m staying… but I’m not pretending to be happy and at peace about it. He knows I’m not too hopeful about staying married. It just might happen. Or it won’t. But my ducks will be in a mother-f#%ing ROW.

          • Keep saving throughout all the time YOU are willing to stay with him. BUT never never hint to him that you have that savings since you have no crystal ball for what he may do in the future…and what is not known cannot be split or taken. IF you are both still together and OLD, you will have quite a nest egg for whatever you want/need in the event that you two have overcome this mess.

            Truth is, he may eventually grow tired of feeling like “he” is only one doing all the emotional investment in the relationship and begin to long for a new relationship which does not have that “cloud” (he created) hanging above him. He is human. This is where YOU are likely to be endangered…if you dare begin to invest in him emotionally once more just to have the rug pulled out from under you after you already reached MEH or made the mistake of allowing yourself deep feelings for him.

            We read about this over and over here. But I do prefer to believe that God can and sometimes does redeem souls…I just have to see that for myself before I can believe it happened in MY cheater.

            I prefer MEH…but if the Lord has any say about what is going on in my heart (which He does) then I may have to go through additional heartbreak in the event that I am able to love deeply once again, just have that love betrayed. It is a gamble BECAUSE:

            There is a fine line between safeguarding my heart, and destroying the love that my husband is now trying to build between us. Sometimes, in the interim, you will need to throw him a bone with a little meat on it to help him not be too discouraged. It is a “dance” to see if you two will end up on the same page w/o one of you giving up during this time.

            Unfortunately, the desire for policing under these circumstances will NEVER go away. Because you KNOW that if you relax and FULLY love him once again, you are indeed setting yourself up for further danger.

            • I don’t “do” religion so – not to be disrespectful of your beliefs but really,, just know that I hurl God-verbage past me as efficiently as possible. lol

              But no – I sure as hell won’t be dancing and throwing bones to keep up a charade. I’ve never done that between us before and I certainly don’t intend to start.

              • Fair enough.

                Perhaps this should have been addressed to Chump Lady. I have a difficult time with Christian “divorce/reconciliation sites” because they do not advise anything which resembles dealing with OUR painful “reality”…it is just forgive forgive forgive with very little reasonable indication of TRUE repentance (getting caught does not count to me)…or dealing with reasonable consequences that often happens when someone does NOT repent…then, it is just “pray pray pray”. On the other hand, this site is so very (understandably) hardcore “dump them” that there is very little room for a Unicorns ass to fit in if/when there is actually a REAL one emerging…which some (maybe) appear to have on their hands?

                I did not mean the degrading “pretty dance” the way it is described here on Chump Lady (throwing out kibbles designed to validate OUR own worth to THEM)…I meant fitting ourselves in with the reconciliation dance that is RARELY done by the Cheater himself…to see if HIS dance is genuine. Somewhere in that dance is YOU…he cannot dance alone for the marriage forever…something will HAVE to eventually change for the better between the two of you in order for love to thrive…if we dare to allow it. Somewhere would be the need for us to lower our gun while not lowering our shield. Or vice-versa.

                There seems to be nothing in these sites that HELPS those of us who have been all but destroyed by a cheater after/while they actually DO repent…something offered to US to help get OUR own equilibrium back into the marriage before divorce seems to be the only “final solution”. Maybe that just “happens” over time with enough “proof”?

                Throwing him an undeserved bone puts ME in the drivers seat (for a change) and buys HIM more time to PROVE his authenticity so that HE does not become exhausted and discouraged over time…and he WILL (just as we have) if he does not eventually see you reciprocate on some level. And, I might offer this…is not having sex one such “bone”? Sex that we really do not WANT to have (given the situation), but we seem to reason that NOT giving it could be the final undoing of the marriage by its own merit…even if we “owe” them nothing? Are we to assume that sex is nothing more than giving them “kibbles”? Even if there is ample evidence that a former cheater is NOT getting it elsewhere or even looking to?

                Why is there so little spoken of regarding SEX? If ANGER can be so easily discussed, why cant sex be navigated too? Am I to assume that NO ONE is having sex while still living with their cheater (who at least appears to be trying to repent)? Am I the only one still “putting out” while at the same time preparing for an exit? Or does this depend on how many times we have caught them cheating..or if it was “just” an EA and not proven to be a PA? Trust me, I am not the one who really “wants” or “needs” sex…but I see that withholding it too long will expedite the “end” much too soon to realize having MY own financial/future needs met favorably. Sex is tolerated easily enough once a reasonable amount of evidence of true repentance is clear…I put it on par with doing a load of laundry. So does that suddenly make ME a prostitute during the interim…while waiting to see for myself what is real and what is NOT? Making love is a whole different dynamic and may or may not ever happen again even after reconciliation because of permanent damages to the psyche.

                We need not do anything disingenuous except to be empathetic to their basic needs while they are proving themselves to be more than simply sucky…meanwhile, we can and should prepare for the worse. I personally would not want to be the one who destroys a truly authentic repentance. Total hardening of OUR hearts could easily result in just that…and it is perfectly natural. But is it desirable? Or should we wait until there is further evidence and just file and harden ourselves entirely at THAT point?

                Sometimes I wonder if that is the ONLY way many of us can finally “get even” with a cheater (when they offer true repentance but then, are themselves rejected). But if we are not simply trying to get even, then at some point we will NEED to join in his seemingly authentic “dance” IF we gingerly intend to make a go of the marriage.
                I hope I do not get thrown off this site. Because I am somewhere between doing what I MUST do to create a favorable exit, and giving benefit of the doubt to see if my cheater has REALLY authentically repented. Only time will tell, and I at least seem to have that much going for me…for others, time is at a premium and should not be wasted.

      • Ditto here. I am waiting out the ten year mark for the same reasons. Social Security requires that a marriage lasts a total (including the time it takes to divorce) of TEN years to qualify for drawing from my husband’s (larger) earning record rather than my own (provided I do not remarry for two years…which at 60 I have no intention of doing). The same goes for collecting Alimony payments…that is, ten years is considered a “long term marriage” and alimony is more likely to be collected for a longer length of time in that event.

        Meanwhile, we have zero debt (I run a credit check on him on line to make sure there are no secrets) AND we own our home outright. So in our state, division of all assets/property will be 50/50 and I am fine with that especially since the children are all grown and gone.

        I resent the idea that I will have to pay a Lawyer for something I did not do…sooo, I pilfer a couple hundred dollars cash from his business each week to put aside to pay for this…he does not keep books and is unaware of how much cash he has on hand at any given time. I also do not tell him about the extra sales I make in my own little part time business and put that money aside as well. I also get an extra $20 cash back each time I go grocery shopping and tuck that away…all of which amounts to about $280 a week and goes unnoticed.

        I have free VA health care coverage…so no problems there because I am the Vet.

        I go to work with him once a week now days (taking care of paying bills and organizing), and am busy collecting documentation for all the MANY under-the-table cash transactions that he does so that I have proof of income. I also found out about the IRS form for “innocent spouses” so that I am prepared to file that since he does not permit me to have ANY say about his business transactions.

        I “could” have him deported (he is not a US citizen) for owning several unregistered firearms, heavy marijuana possession/use, and probable IRS fraud…but chances are that the IRS would end up owning our property rather than me getting my half of the divorce settlement so I wont. If he gets caught regarding IRS, firearms or marijuana, THEY will deport him. If we lose the home, I will still have my cash savings for a softer landing…and cheater will be gone while I complete the divorce…uncontested and therefore cheaper.

        We get along very well now because he has no clue about the preparation I am making being the sweet person that I am…so I keep these things under tight wraps.

        I have one year left to go and I will not be driven out of my home I am ready or until it is sold…and I may even consider staying in the “marriage” a year longer so that I can garner up even more cash for a softer landing.

        I will not be doing a Post-Nup because I will NOT live my life looking over my shoulder being the marriage police…in other words, when I am finally ready to go, I am DONE. I will simply file and tell him that I want HIM to have his “freedom” and wish him well.

        • Oh, and like you Insistonhonesty, I am already emotionally detached. I simply cannot find the love I once had, because it is too dangerous for me to swim in those waters again… and I KNOW what I know about him. If he changes, then that is good for HIM, but as for me, it is too dangerous for me to let my guard down…which is HIS consequence for having an unfaithful heart. He will have to just live out his life the way I have had to live mine…never really feeling like he has MY whole heart. If he has ANY humility, he will accept that like I had to do.

          • You ladies are kick ass. Planning your escape… I can’t say I was at all that methodical, but I know his strengths and weaknesses. Strength – Rage… weakness- organization. Good on you. CL needs to do a column about planning your escape like this. You are BOSS!

            • Thank God Ingot out just under the ten year mark. Made it by 9 months. Otherwise I would be paying alimony and my SD would be compromised.
              My cheating XW was too horned up to wait.

        • Sweets! Oh my my my god! Yours and my financial situation is nearly identical. I too have been stashing money to pay atty fees. I have never heard of the innocent spouse forms from IRS. I have no say in the business transactions either. After DDay was screamed at to stay the frack out of his business! I do know he keeps impeccable records and only claims expenses that were actually business. I Also believe some of those business trips were part pleasure but don’t have definitive proof. Although the air fair was oddly double what he said it was on one of those trips. I am not detached and still cry. I am so afraid of being blindsided by him. I don’t trust anything and it’s so difficult living with this paranoia. But if he lied about that then anything coming out of his mouth is a potential lie. I am so afraid of not being able to survive financially cause I did not contribute since kids were born. SAHM for more than twenty years. I have looked up that my state is combined fault/no fault.

          • He will have to pay Alimony and probably long term because your marriage lasted at least ten years…even in a no fault State. I did not suddenly find out about my husband. He has been caught too many times with porn, flirting, and has had affairs in his past marriage it turns out. I caught him simply by accident in the beginnings of an EA and put an end to it. I recently installed hidden voice activated recorders at his store hahaha! since then, and listen to them while I do my housework. So far, so good…meanwhile, I make my plans.

            I am so sorry for your heartbreak!! I already went through all of that though. Now, it is strictly business for me in getting my ducks in a row while I watch my back…and while being a sweetie pie. Keep saving and try to ignore what he is doing since your heart is so tender. Give yourself the time you need to make a decent exit. The more you look at what he does, the more it will HURT…so if pain immobilizes you, then dont look. At some point, you will be ready…with or without so much of the pain. The pain is unproductive to plan for your future ends…yet, it is what propels you to turn it into enough anger to go forward with plans for your future when you are ready. Take the time YOU need. He will continue as he already is.

            Hugs!

          • He will also have to give you half of the equity of any property that he owns…whether or not you are on the Deed or the loan. You can also make sure that he keeps you on his healthcare plan. PLUS he has to give you half his retirement. I was also a stay home mom who home schooled our four children during my first 20 year marriage in a no fault state. I only served 4 years in the Air Force prior to having our children and staying home…so no job skills back then. I was entitled to half of EVERYTHING even though I did not work outside the home all those years….even half of any “overtime” pay he would earn. Alimony was set at an amount which included extra for job training as a “displaced homemaker”.

            If being in a “fault” state means that you have to prove his affair(s) then there are plenty of ways to do that w/o going into debt…he will NEVER confess. If this is too painful, just wait until you ARE stronger and more resolved to want to KNOW for sure. Meanwhile, keep saving!!!

            The IRS form I mentioned is in the event that my husband gets audited (you can google it). It is basically an affidavit that declares that you had no knowledge of any financial cheating/tax fraud, and signed the returns based on the word of a man who would not give you that knowledge. This absolves YOU of anything the IRS might go after him for.

            You being a stay at home mom can actually work financially in your favor. Alimony is based on each partners proof of earning capacity. If you are not working at the time that you decide to file, your husband will likely be made to pay for your atty fees too. Some atty’s suggest that you NOT take a job until the divorce is final and that YOU do not leave the home (he CANNOT make you leave). This is why so many high earning men often quit their jobs prior to divorce and work “under the table”…so they cannot be made to pay (although some Judges are on to that and enforce their “potential” earning capacity anyway).

            So do NOT let him know what is coming down the pike. Just try to be nice till you are ready and give him the gift of “surprise”.

            Get a few consultation appts with kick-ass attys to get an idea of what you will stand to get.

            • To throw him “off” NEVER talk about his affair again until AFTER you have filed. Just smile and let him think that you are too stupid or too scared to actually do anything about it. Do not do anything that will make him take action until YOU are ready. This means YOU will become an actress of Academy Award quality.

            • Again, faithful nice husbands have been hit like this forever by their cheating Sahm wives. Guys, never agree to this arrangement. Too many Sahm are doing the delivery guy.

  • Hopium is a powerful drug, and when it is reinforced with all the fiction/fantasy that surrounds relationships in our society, it is a wonder that any of us survive any of our relationships. Even our own family of origin provides us with the basis for misconception, and our partner’s family of origin does the same thing. Unfortunately, we are basically alone in the world, and it is up to us to provide for ourselves. We can make up stories full of unicorns and light and people sacrificing for others, but those are fairy tales.

    At some point we have to stand up and realize that we can only make choices for our own actions, and live according to our own standards. We can try to choose friends, and hopefully find some family members who have similar standards and beliefs, and build a support group around us that operates on some system of honor and fairness — but we have to build it, and unfortunately we cannot rely on the law to protect us. Truly vile people may operate within the bounds of THE LAW, and act in a manner that has nothing to do with fairness or honor or love.

    I am not against relationships, but I have learned not to rely upon them. As we all know, a good chump can team up with a bad dysfunctional selfish person, and there is always a price to pay for being a chump. You will pay financially and emotionally, and if you have children, there will be damage done. That is reality, there is no way to protect yourself from all the bad people and bad things that happen in the world. However, if you practice self reliance, you stand a better chance of surviving the badness. Any legal documentation that outlines the goals and boundaries of a relationship is probably a good idea, because it establishes intent — but you may not be able to enforce it, later on. Even if you are lucky enough to find someone who treats you well and acts honorably in a relationship, that person could suddenly die, and if you are entirely dependent on that person, your hopes will die with him/her.

    Therefore, my advice would be to operate, even within a relationship, in a manner which will protect your interests. If you are joining into a relationship with the goal of sharing assets and responsibilities and building a life together, with the ultimate goal of sharing the benefits of that life together equally, there should be no reason to feel awkward or uneasy to establish some type of legal and binding agreement. That is what a pre-nup or post -nup is for. It will not guaranty good behavior, it will only establish an orderly dissolution of the relationship, if it is legally enforceable. It is much better than having no agreement and counting on “love will solve all problems” to take care of your future.

    It is not romantic to discuss such things, but it is necessary. No one I know lives without paying for shelter and food, and transportation and other necessities of life. If you choose to have children, you should be prepared to be financially responsible for those children until they can take care of themselves. Making arrangements to do these things should not be a punitive exercise. The existing laws vary from community to community, and should not be expected to cover all situations — a specific, binding, enforceable contractual agreement should do a much better job of addressing your particular relationship needs and goals. As chumps, we have to put down the hopium pipe and pick out a good lawyer to provide good legal advice. We can desire love. We have to understand that there is no way to legally force someone to behave AS IF they love us. These are two very different things, and we have to face that reality.

    • Portia, I couldn’t agree more. Love and trust and hope are wonderful things, and we should totally feel them and enjoy them in our lives, in those situations when we have had no indication we should feel otherwise. But, as far as our health permits, we should ALWAYS be able to provide for ourselves and our kids, because we do not know what life will bring.

      I remember hearing a (female) family lawyer on the radio at one point when I was a SAHM with small kids. She was insisting that every parent who agrees to stay home with the kids should keep at least some part-time work going. Besides providing some money that is under our control, it keeps our skills sharp, our ‘connections’ active, our CVs up to date, and our professional certifications etc current. And if we don’t do that, we MUST have a signed legal agreement with the partner who continues to work, about compensation for those work years that are ‘lost’, and very, very good disability and life insurance for the working partner. At the time, I thought how sad it was that she felt she needed to warn people about this, and that a stay-at-home parent shouldn’t have to be thinking about this – but she was so right.

      It’s a bit like having a will and a health care directive; we don’t want to think about it, we hope it will never apply for us, but we have to be prepared.

      • I feel badly for all of you that were SAHM’s and now find yourself in harms way due to trusting. My parents had a bad marriage, and I have never felt comfortable trusting anyone to provide for me. I have never been without a job for more than a few weeks, and did not believe.Ex when he told me he was paying for my toddler daughter’s health insurance, but never seemed to come up with the proof. Therefore, I provided it for her whole childhood, up until 20 or so when she got her own job.
        Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely Chumpy. My Cheater wanted me to quit my job and stay home, but I just couldn’t trust anyone that much. I know I could not have gotten back into my particular career had I taken any kind of hiatus.
        You know, no Real Man could do this to a dependent wife and children. These are selfish immature little boys.

  • This is a great topic. My own gut feeling is that 9 out of 10 chumps will regret reconciling and it will end badly, but I know that almost every one of us here had to learn that the hard way. I certainly did.

    When my ex suddenly wanted to reconcile six months after we separated, basically the only concession he was going to make was that he wouldn’t cheat anymore (he claimed.) He also had a lot of concessions I was expected to make. But what it really came down to was that he wanted me to work full time and support him financially, he wanted me to bail our house of of foreclosure and he didn’t want to pay support. The whole “reconciliation” was nothing but a con game.

    If you are a chump and you are trying to reconcile, please take CL seriously and do whatever it takes to protect yourself. I hate to say it, but it’s highly unlikely your cheater suddenly has had a character transplant. Almost certainly, your reconciliation will end with the discovery that they are still cheating, so cover your ass. At the very minimum, keep finances as separate as possible so that the cheater can’t drain your account. Keep meticulous financial records. Get a job if you don’t have one, or a better job if possible. Because these people have no remorse, no conscience and no problem leaving you holding the bag as they bail to some greener pasture.

  • As someone whose now-ex made all kinds of promises to be there for me and for the kids while we were going through the process of separation and then divorce, I can say that I’ve seen that abrupt, ugly turnaround first-hand. Everything went as smoothly as could be expected at first, but only because I struck while the cheater still felt guilt. There are certain things I wish I had given more teeth in our agreement– like how to handle child care– but because I thought he would never stoop lower than he already did, I trusted him.

    BAD MOVE. Once my ex had the OW on the hook, he started to become increasingly difficult, questioning and criticizing everything that we had previously had no problems agreeing about. Once he married her and moved her in, he became a complete and utter asshole, treating me like I was the cheater, accusing me of alienating the kids from him, etc.

    One of the most important lessons of this site is Trust That They Suck. My ex continually lets me down, and I hope that I’ve finally arrived at acceptance of that so that I don’t continue to be disappointed when he shows his suckiness for the millionth time.

    Unfortunately, I think that the unicorn in question will show once again that he is actually a wild boar (and bore) in disguise when (and not if) he cheats again. My belief is that if cheaters aren’t using the affair as an exit or as a way to enjoy cake, it’s because they’re using it to get the chumps in line: “See what I did? You’re mean to me/boring/fat/not fun anymore/aging/wearing too much of a color I don’t like/never want to go parasailing so I’m going to show you! You’d better be nice to me, or I’ll leave!”

    I think that many cheaters expect that the affairs will make the chumps change; they will become the “perfect” spouses to the cheaters because the chumps’ security and futures have been threatened.

    It’s always good to call their bluffs and leave them. 🙂

    • Yes yes yes ! This^ I know for an absolute fact when you call their bluff and drop them . ( Don’t leave just change the locks and wish them happiness. They run back BEGGING ! So so true.

  • I’m a 2 year out reconciler/unicorn, and thanks to chump lady, I have the highly recommended postnup! Why? Insurance, plain and simple. Not only did it show my husband really wanted to come home, but It allowed me to be my broken, angry self through that rocky road especially that first year. I held nothing in. I really don’t know how we made it through at times. The OW is still around like a circling shark, where we work. She showed her teeth to him after we separated 2 years ago, and she scared him. I had the divorce decree already signed and in motion at this point, 2 weeks before the divorce day, he said he’d do anything not to get divorced. I read CL’s blog on true reconciliation and sent it to him, stating that if he was truly remorseful, he would follow her steps. He did everything on the list of 6 things, and besides the postnup, him going to individual counseling probably helped him the most. I did not sugar coat the affair or place a bandaid on it. I was marriage police for awhile, but as time goes on I am beginning to trust him some. It still hurts, but other than having to run into OW on occasion, we are getting our marriage back. I think it’s bogus to say it’s stronger, but I will say it’s different in a good way. He read Chumplady’s book for me, and he reads any blogs that I think can help us.
    The best advice I can give is kick your cheater to the curb, get lawyered up, don’t use staying for the kids as an excuse to stay, don’t keep the affair a secret, get a great support system, and read Chumplady. If your Cheater wants to truly come home, he/she will sign a postnup, get counseling on his own, dump the affair partner, take full responsibility for cheating, call it cheating, and say I’m sorry with true love and kindness over and over again. Then, and only then, will you maybe have a chance to repair the damage, but it’s not going to be easy even then.

    • LivingMyLife, I wish the best for you all. I know that couples CAN recover after infidelity because my parents did. It’s rare, but it can happen. If it were up to me everyone would be willing to do the hard word to stay together, but unfortunately it’s not the norm.

      • I hope it works out for you LivingMyLife.

        Lyn, I did that hard work and my husband did too, or so I thought. Many on this site did it too. 10 years later I caught him again. no guarantees in life. I hope every person who goes for the Unicorn gets it until they die. I did not.

      • Reconciliation is exceedingly rare. I am convinced that many couples claiming to be happy after cheating are lying.

      • And don’t forget your milk & vitamins!
        Later translation; You’re not going to forget your glass of wine & sleeping pill, even without Mom’s reminder.
        (Still taking your vitamins wouldn’t hurt though)

        • Regina! LOL!!! You crack me up!

          …are all of us drinking wine to sleep? OH my…I am but…I finally have an appetite and feel like cooking for myself again. I’m enjoying my fresh garden goodies I canned earlier this year… But, yes…must have the wine to sleep!

          …and I ask you Chumps…why is xmr runnin up and down the road in front of my house now? Its week 4 after the divorce is final…hummm…WHY is he doing that? Maybe OW dumped him and he is fresh out of cake?? Ugh!

          • Jeep, seriously, that is a little scary!
            What about divorce does he not understand?
            Di-vorce, Di-vest, Di-gress, Di-verge, Di-vide, what about “Di” does he not understand??
            Don’t leave any crumbs out, I think you are right.
            I hope he is not dangerous, proceed with caution!

            • xmr was dangerous when he was still living here…I don’t think he will try to come in here…I will call first my neighbors and then 911…he learned 2 years ago I won’t be hurt again.

              xmr decided a couple of months before the final on the divorce that he didn’t want it…so…yeah…guess he doesn’t understand DI – VORCE

              My friend came and hung out with me for a few hours. All is quiet now. 😀 My dog would alert me if someone came on the property.

            • I need a pep talk Regina!!! HELP! My sister just texted me a facebook picture of xmr…I don’t know why it is affecting me so bad! I am shaking all over…QUICK! Get the 2 x 4!!!!

              • Jeep,
                Google “pictures of cute kittens” ♥♥♥ If that doesn’t help… Open a window for a few seconds and breath in some cold air.

              • Jeep, you asked for it:
                My mother would say, “There is something wrong with you. You shouldn’t have gotten married so young. If you would just go to church more, all your problems would be solved. You think you are better than me. Why do you spend so much time in that chumplady chatroom? I could really live without you in my life.”♥♥♥
                Translation: 2×4

              • ??? I don’t think I’m better than you…

                I’m here for enlightenment…and support…

                2 x 4? No…that was ummm…that was…wow…

              • Thank you MountainLily 😀 Regina explained what your comment was all about.

                I’m sorry you have to put up with being talked to like that. I hope that stops and becomes more supportive. I am sure you deserve better.

              • Jeep,
                You might not remember me, but I am a huge fan of yours. I love your comments, and I admire your attitude.
                My mother’s advice is just painful lately. I am sorry I shared it with you at a sensitive time. Regina is in a better place to help.
                Keep trusting that he sucks. Leave a cheater; gain a life.

              • Oh MountainLily I am so sorry! I absolutely misunderstood what you were saying! Regina made it clear to me. I am so sorry! I was in a really bad place last night. I still have some residual agony carving pain in my heart but I am better than I was last night.

                Thank you for being there for me last night! It meant a lot! I am just sorry I misunderstood.

                Tony also sent me encouraging words and explanations that helped soothe my jangled nerves. He is right, no real man would behave the way xmr has. That is truly the bottom line. xmr does not deserve me and I do not deserve to be abused by him and his selfish black heart…no…wait…he doesn’t have a heart or a soul!!! Just a penis! A party penis! And that is exactly what he is…a penis. …no…wait…he’s not that mature!…he is a weenie!!!! Yes!!!! There! He is a whiny, selfish weenie!!! And I am digging my way out of that messed up world where I once almost died. 😀

                Thank you for helping me MountainLily 😀 I hope your mother enlightens herself on what you are going through so she can be support for you and not make it worse for you!

                Come on over and we will take my radical puppy and go sledding! We have got about 7 inches of snow so far! I will make hot chocolate 😀

              • Jeep,
                Abuse is such a terrible thing. I read on here many people who say it is devastating. I know the shakey feeling you described, and the triggers and the fear. Take comfort where you can. You are mighty!
                And yes I would love to go sledding and sip some hot chocolate. Thanks.

                Xoxo

              • Yes it sucked. Very painful…took a month for my ribs to heal and my finger is permanently bent 🙁 But I lived through it and my bones healed. It is taking quite a bit longer for my heart and my nerves.

                It is too bad we aren’t all closer together! It would be fun to go sledding! That would be great!

              • MountainLily…I didn’t even realize that my posts show up under Jeep and Jeepin4Me… Okay…both are me 😀

              • JEEP!!! (Why is your own sister doing this to you!! Tell her to stop!)
                #1. He is a nut job who is still “running” by your house after your divorce!
                #2. He might take a good picture, but his heart is dark & selfish.
                #3. He does not deserve you!! Don’t even think about going backwards!
                #4. He has selected you because of your big heart and will take advantage of you again if you let him!
                #5. He is not really on your team, he has only one person on his team-himself.
                #6. Write down a few of the really cruel things he said and did while breaking your heart & keep them handy!
                #7. Remember he has a faulty “package!” Return to sender special. (Just kidding guy chumps, but LOL that was funny when Jeep came out with that one!!)
                .

              • OMG!!!! REGINA!!! Where were you!!!! Yes!!! YES!!! You are so right!!! My sister meant no harm…she just thought I’d see it and not reach out….she didn’t know I’d taken down my FB page…

                Ugh…so glad you are here!

                …that post from ML was …. unbelieveable…

              • JEEP! Since I wrote that I came across you telling someone else he had multiple OW’s!! OK, well he is not the run of the mill asshole, he is the King of Asshole County.
                Are we going to have to come up there and lock you in the basement for a couple of weeks? Stop it RIGHT NOW!!
                I think ML was trying to say her Mom is no help at all & in fact messes with her mind! (I think?)

              • Oh my…yes, I temporarily forgot who xmr is! Ugh! He is the king of disordered assholes.

                Thank you Regina 😀

                And yes 😀 It would be nice if you guys would come over for a bit :D!

        • Mary your wise friend must be correct…people have been comin out of the woodwork telling me stories of xmr’s many OWs… I am baffled why they waited to come share now…I thought they cared about me…but I truly can’t figure out if I would have believed them or not…it had to happen now I guess…

          • Jeep; I am glad you are feeling better. Wanted to say that I also saw a post of yours saying you had to be very physically afraid of him too….that you had maybe 4 incidences of intimidation & physical threat that managed to survive. Jeepers Creepers Jeep-this is one Dude you just have to stay away from!!
            We Chumps see the good in everyone, and once we love it is hard to let go. But please believe me and CN, he will only take more of your sanity and goodness.
            Many years ago mine shoved me & I didn’t call the cops. A few months later he was raging at my daughters doorway & would not stop. I told him I would call the cops if he didn’t. He didn’t listen and I called 911 & filed a report. He fled the scene. He was very angry when he came back and said I betrayed HIM!! I said oh no no no, you betrayed me & if you do it again, you are going to jail.
            Guess what? He never did that again! I was with him for years after that, but amazing as soon as he might have a price to pay for his actions, he could control himself! Funny how that works. I am certain it would have escalated if I would have put up with it. Moved to Plan B; mindfuckery! I even brought it up later and said he can control his behavior when he wants to & not one thing “just happens!”
            I guess what I am saying is if he is any kind of threat, get a restraining order, or please protect yourself.

            • Yes he is dangerous…he’d be in jail if I’d went to the emergency room…broken ribs and my finger…but…I didn’t go or call the police until he threatened me again…they took him away but I didn’t press charges…and yes, he did the same as yours he blamed me! He said I SENT HIM TO JAIL! Not his violence but me…sigh…yes. Disfunctional alcoholic narcissitc asshole. I don’t think he will bother me anymore since he knows I will call the police.

              …I am ashamed of myself for doing the pick me dance for so long…I haven’t had any contact with him for over a month and I am very proud of that. I have prayed to get away from that nightmare.

              The horror of loving someone like that is overwhelming when they turn on you. I was very frightened for a very long time. I didn’t feel safe in the world at all. It’s very hard to get past all the demeaning and hurtful abuse. I thought I was past it! I am going to sell this house and move away to get out of all these memories that hurt me all the time. He lives right down the street and its hard just knowing that let alone that he has access to my privacy. For a long time he and his friends watched me, driving around all the time. Those were my friends to so that hurts also. He tells everyone I am crazy and I’ve slept with everyone around…I don’t know how anyone could believe him they know me and know that’s not true.

              …I do wish these nightmares had to wear signs…

              • Jeep,

                As a man, I can tell you unequivocally that it is wrong and cowardly for a man to terrorize women.

                It is wrong. If a man has a disagreement with a woman, there are many other avenues to express that disagreement other than instilling fear of physical harm in a woman, especially one he has pledged to love.

                As a man I can tell you I know this is not love.

                The man you are describing is no good, and sounds worse than the common, cowardly weasel that most of the women on this website whose cheating spouse slinks away when they are caught.

                I guess what I am trying to say is that there are men out there that are good and know what this man is doing to you is wrong in every way, and that it is okay to feel everything you are feeling right now when dealing with this person.

                I am glad that you are taking him seriously and planning for your physical safety because as we know, a person who cheats – and especially one who threatens – may have no limits or boundaries. This does not mean you accede to his threats, it just means you think ahead as you seem to be.

                I wish you all the best from Austin.

              • Thank you Tony. You are a credit to your gender. I know he is a coward and a liar and a cheater and an abuser. Intellectually I know all these things to be true. He is not the great man I have always thought that he is…he isn’t even a man…he is evil and very bad. I can’t figure out why I can’t get past this and move on. I divorced him and it is over now forever. I never have to see him, talk to him or even hear about him for the rest of my life. I thought I was past all this! I need to get out of here. The realtor is coming tomorrow and I will see where I stand and then make a plan.

              • I think from reading your comments that you said you are only a month out from divorce, so of course you are still connected in some mental ways to your ex! This is because you have the capability to love!

                I know that even after I found out after not even being married a year that my wife, the person I had just made a promise to love forever in front of friends, family and God, was having affairs while working seven days a week, she still had my heart and soul even while my brain, instinct, friends and family took over to continue ushering my through the process of divorcing her.

                I can tell you know that despite loving her with everything I had that I cannot remember things about her. I cannot remember what she smells like, or fine features of her face, or certain things such as her laugh unless I concentrate, and my mind does not allow me to concentrate as a self-defense mechanism.

                You will reach that point also with enough time, and distance is important. I am lucky in that she lives an hour away from Austin, because even though Austin is a big city in many ways it is like a small town and I would be running into her often if she remained here.

                Point is, once again, you are correct – distance is important. Time is important also, but you cannot fast forward through life – you can only go through each agonizing moment, but the better person you are at the end will be you, and you will have earned every second of it and no one will ever be able to take that away from you.

              • I separated from him 2 years ago…but, until last month still had some contact. I was feeling stronger until last night. I hope you are right and I will be better soon. I can’t imagine not remembering him but I want to really bad Tony!

              • Yeah Jeep, if only their pants were really on fire, we could spot them for sure.
                I think they say all that crap about us because it makes us deserve what they did to us & makes it acceptable. I guess it is a proven fact from my reading that cheaters usually hang out with others who do it and/or think it is OK. Chances are these people are not of your caliber, but I agree, still hurtful.
                What you know always SEEMS better than the unknown, but in the case of us Chumps, I believe the future must hold better than this crap we have been through. He sounds pretty unhinged Jeep, and you do not want to give him even a moment of your time. These other people would just be a way for you to hear what he is up to, and only hurt would come of it. No good would come of you staying in touch with them anyhow.

                My first marriage ended due to lying (did not suspect cheating, but other lying so who knows?) and I left. I lost all my “friends” in that one because they never seemed to want to hear my end of the story & passed judgment on me!. Why would I even try to convince anyone that I am a swell person if they have already made up their mind? I later I found out he told them that I was on drugs (false) that I was a crappy Mom, told the family (his) that I hated them, etc. All so they would not find out what I knew about him. Oh, and he also left me in debt with a credit card in my name only making mortgage payments while we were building a business, meanwhile telling them I left him in debt!! WHAT A LOSER!
                Now I just want peace. Trying to appreciate myself for the things that are good in me, and protect myself from future predators. I think Chumps are more sensitive than most people and need to be their own best friend. Be a good Chump and love your Chumpy self!!

              • Oh my Regina…yes you are right…all of his friends are just like him…they all run around and cheat on their spouses…drinking till they pass out…drugs…each other’s spouses…gossip about each other and everyone else. Yes, you are right…they are not like me at all.

                …my friend told me when this started that she never saw why someone as smart and kind as I am would ever run around with that bunch…she said I was, ‘arm candy’ for xmr…that I made him look good. …I just didn’t get it…I do now. I was raised on a farm and he is a city kid…they all are…I truly thought everyone felt just like me…but they are nothing like me. Stupid that I didn’t pick up on the differences just in conversation.

                Truly, in the early years of our relationship I tried to break away…he would go away for awhile and then there he would be…he just had to have me. It took me 6 years to say yes…I should have said no…emphatically.

                I want to get to that peaceful place. The realtor is coming tomorrow and I hope to move away soon. I want out of this house and away from all of it. I may sell everything and start with all new 😀 Somehow I will make it just mine…but I can’t do it here in this house.

                Thank you Regina. Your 2 x 4 worked great!

                …it’s appalling to think there are so many of these people out there…my neighbor’s son came over and told me it just happened to him…his spouse of 8 years just walked out and moved in with her boss…!!! Apparently it had been going on a while…he thinks the boss is just one of them…

                …one of my other good friends told me today that an acquaintance had a house crisis and had to stay in a hotel for a bit…one day she told her husband she was going to go home for the day and would be back in the evening…for some reason she went back shortly and there was her husband with his girlfriend in bed! She had no idea he was having an affair! Shortly after he was hospitalized for something, so there she is grieving what to do about her marriage and the surgeon comes out and says we lost him HE DIED! OH MY GOSH! …so friends and family help with the arrangements and the poor woman walks into her husband’s funeral and there are pictures of him with the OW! And the OW is THERE! What!!!

                There is no way these disordered assholes have hearts or any care at all besides themselves…Run! Run away from them really fast! And never look back!

              • Hi Jeep; Man those stories are something else! I can’t believe how fast the world is changing and how acceptable it is to treat people so badly. How sex means nothing and people are to be used instead of loved and cared for. I wonder why get up in the morning and go through the motions. Am I a simply a sex organ and a wallet with legs? (wrong order, probably a wallet first.) It is as if honesty, kindness and integrity are no longer even valued anymore. If you have those qualities, you are a sucker to be taken advantage of. Have I been in South Florida too long?

                Anyhow, I think that quality your Ex had to follow you to the ends of the Earth to have you & never give up is probably part of why you were with him. Mine did the same thing, and I thought this must be love. I left him a couple of times over the years before I married him, and he always showed up on my doorstep like a lost puppy dog professing undying love. He wouldn’t give up, and I mistook that for love. I guess I liked that or thought it meant he cared for me very much. Now I know it is about “winning.” (Think Charlie Sheen, Narc much?)

                Don’t beat yourself up Jeep, you can’t help it if you don’t think like a selfish, evil, twisted little boy!!
                They also count on how it is hard for Chumps to turn their whole attention to themselves to get away & get well.
                I am glad the 2 x 4 worked, don’t make me get out the Taser!

              • Regina you are priceless!!! Lol!! Thank you for being there!!!

                I can’t understand these twisted assholes. And I’m learning not to try. But I know mature, caring adults do not hurt the ones that that profess to love…they just give it up and make it known they need to move on. xmr MEOWED at me…when he was actually here…for a year! I actually thought he had had a stroke!!! Tried to help him!!! Ugh, run Nellie RUN! Right?

  • For about a month after DDay2 and on our way to divorce, I got the apologetic cheater. Promises from him that, if I ever need anything in my future life, he would always be willing to help. He would be glad to provide whatever I needed because he “knew he would continue to make much more money for many more years than me”. And one day he just knew we could sweep his indiscretion under the rug and become bestest friends. I took advantage of his “generosity” in all things involving money and finances. Fast forward to divorce…the true asshole comes out and here he is seriously arguing with me over a table that he had promised me that I could keep. It is not about the table for my cheater…he didn’t want it, need it, or care about the table. He just couldn’t stand the fact that I would sell it and make a paltry amount of money. What IS a fact is that I could not trust that person. All bets are off when you are dealing with a lying cheater. So protect yourself in the best way for you. Hord money, get a post-nup, hire a bulldog attorney, become your own private decective, hire a detective, or whatever it takes to PROTECT yourself. If you don’t protect yourself, no one will!

    • Yes, snow gets very, very old.
      As I have said, I have many dogs & have not been thrown out of Florida yet for it! Anything Chocolate is always a hit-especially labs. I don’t know what kind of job you are looking for, but they say it has improved a lot for jobs. Helps to be bi-lingual. (I am not)
      You Ex MEOWS? I am not sure what that means but I would not stick around to find out! Maybe you should call Animal Control!!
      Where do you live?
      I agree it would be great if you could get out of that neighborhood!

      • Yep he meowed at me instead of talking to me. Disordered asshole! I have absolutely no idea why…picked it up from one of his OW? I’m guessin it was his idea of side stepping the issue of his infidelities…he didn’t find me important enough to actually TALK to…so…’meow’ was his answer for everything. What a great guy huh! Thirty-six years and that’s the end of it. The Karma bus will drag this one for miles!

        …I just realized how grateful I am not to have to put up with his shit anymore! All the lying and meowing and crazy making!!! NO MORE! YA!!! He is definitely NOT a class act. From reading this site, and many others, I’ve learned his is just your garden variety sociopath nothing more…ugh how could I be so stupid to cry over that asshole?! I have the pleasure of never having to see him, talk to him or hear about him for the rest of my wonderful asshole free life!!! YA!!!!

        I live in a 200 year old brick federal in a small burg in Ohio. Lived here for almost 30 years…It is beautiful and almost completely redone now…2 rooms left to go…but…that will have to be someone else’s dream now 🙂 The realtor is coming today and this baby will be on the market. …maybe the new owners will let me come see it later 🙂 It’s too big for just me and the dog anyway. I used to feel safe here…I don’t anymore because of he and his friends. Although my neighbors are like my family and I will miss them a lot.They have been wonderful through all of this. Lots of support and encouragement and they watch out for me. We got each other’s backs 😀

        • Sounds like you are giving up a lot to leave, but are willing to make a new start. Good for you!
          New memories and new environment would probably make it much easier to move on.
          Try to keep as much support as possible of course.
          You know Jeep; from what you have said about him I pictured you both as quite young. He is beyond immature! He still hangs on to his boyhood friends? Meow, meow, MEOW! (translation: run, run RUN!)
          WOW. Thirty years is a long time. (It has been long for me too) He has probably been given hundreds of chances in that time.
          Go have peace Jeep, you will be surprised when you get your life, sanity & mind back.
          Thank God for this site, CL & CN, it is so much harder to see in your life as opposed to someone else’s life. That is why reading about someone else’s crazy crap wakes you up. It is like, well why would he/she put up with that….and then it occurs to you, look what I have put up with! When you are drowning you don’t see the shore.
          Good luck today with the Realtor.

          • …try this again…I keep losing connectivity for some reason…

            I am young at heart but I will be 58 this May…asshole will be 57…we have been together since I was 20….he had just turned 18…chased me around for quite a while before I acquiesced…I loved him so much.

            I am guessin he meowed at me because actually telling me the truth about what was going on was not necessary in his mind…I just was no longer important to him. I finally found out about a couple of the women…one was really nasty and I bet she meowed at everybody! I know I’m not perfect but a real man would have confessed and helped to divide the property in a sane manner…not this asshole…he just meowed…till I found out…he ran away…he is a coward and doesn’t do blame…

            I did take him back numerous times…sigh…I just loved that asshole. Even after he was out of the house he would call me and tell me he didn’t think it was possible for me to divorce him…what???…guess he thought any behavior was just acceptable to me as long as he stayed…he is a nightmare.

            I have grown to appreciate the lack of tension and EGGSHELLS in the house. My days and nights are peaceful and I can sleep without wonderin when he is going to climb out a window…ugh…assshhhoooollleeee! I have been NC since January 15, 2015…saw him briefly when he approached me in the court house hall the day the divorce was finalized…I considered meowing at him but realized it would just pump up his ego so I just turned away…he wanted to talk to me but I just turned away. Enough already asshole! Ugh…

            I am going to hate leaving my home but it is really too big for me and this dog. I hope I can feel safe wherever I land. And I hope he never comes near me again. Hopefully whoever buys this house will love it and finish it the way it should be done. Piece of history here.

            I am so grateful for Tracy and you and CN.

          • Oh…the realtor called and rescheduled till Wednesday…she’s got whatever is going around…she sounded horrible and I agreed with her I didn’t need to catch it. Poor woman!

            • Jeep; I have had that darned thing 4 times this season, stay away from it, highly contagious! Take your own pen!
              I wasn’t asking your age, I just thought his behavior seemed really immature. I can see though that you have spent your whole adult life with him. I can see why it is difficult to adjust, but you can do this!. He will probably be back – prepare for it!

              This “meowing” thing is too much! As CL says, you couldn’t make this shit up!! Next time I get asked a question I don’t want to answer, I might try it out. Sounds like a quick way to get locked up!
              I am a couple of years older than you, turned 60 in November. Still feel like I have many good years ahead. It feels weird to have it be more unknown, but kind of exciting too. I am so glad you are feeling better.
              I always had this take on marriage. Before you get married, you are aware of some not so great qualities in your significant other, but you overlook them and stick around for the “good stuff.” After the marriage, what becomes glaring are the things you have to “put up with” because you now view it differently because it is “forever.” Now you are “stuck” with the bad stuff, and much of the good either gets forgotten or taken for granted. I know not everyone will agree, but the perception can change, and gives devaluation a door into the relationship.

              I am NOT talking about these disordered people here, they are in a class of their own! They try to transfer crazy over to you.

              • I have been lucky this year and not got it yet once – knock on wood 😀 – despite the grandkids 😀

                His behavior is immature…and yes I have spent my whole adult life with him. I thought it was forever.

                He has tried to come back numerous times…after everyone of his ow’s tossed him out…I held firm cause, despite how much I CARED for him…he is not good for me…he has no real care for anyone but himself…and money…he loves money…

                …his own mother tried to tell me I really didn’t know who he was…she said didn’t say monster…but she might as well have…same difference.

                Yes the meowing unnerved me…I thought he’d had a stroke. Nah…he just didn’t care.

                We have lots of good years ahead of us Regina!!! These are gonna be the best ones! Oooo! I always wanted to dive a reef…do you do that? That would be so cool! I have my own fish pond in the back yard 😀 (dug that baby myself and concreted it in – he said, ‘bitch if you want it you have to dig it yourself’…nice guy huh…of course he and my brother helped me concrete it in. There is a dug well in the basement that pumps out every 20 minutes or…20 – 50 gallons depending on the weather. Cool huh 😀

                As for the bad stuff in my now x marriage…it was the drinking and how everything – and I mean everything – had to be his way or his head would explode…yes…I am a well conditioned chump.

                Yes…they are disordered…its a damn shame there is so many of them!

              • I am in the health care field and spend my day visiting doctors offices and hospitals, needless to say lots of exposure to everything, especially this type of thing.
                When their Mom says they are no good, that’s big.
                He is lucky he didn’t become a part of your backyard project, and then a missing person featured on “Disappeared.”
                I have snorkeled reefs in the islands, (am claustrophobic underwater with a tank) and swam with the dolphins in the Bahamas which was super cool!

              • Wow! I’m impressed! I work with computers and bookkeeping.

                I am also claustrophobic also…even in small cars! I cannot sit in the backseat at all…except in my Jeep…don’t know why that is. Yes snorkeling would be what I would want to do.

                …I actually think I would have become a lifetime movie feature had I taken the trip with him he kept asking me to go on before the divorce…yeah…sayin…

                When all this is settled … papers in order and house sold and such I hope to take a vacation – I haven’t had one in 4 years and do something that gives me back my wonder and awe in life. Snorkeling and the ocean is just what I have been envisioning…sand and surf…yes… Sun and sand 😀 That would be awesome.

  • Sorry is as sorry does. I took these words and wrote them on an index card and put them on the cupboard door. This is true. Since “no contact” and moving out with three kids, I have yet to hear from him, nor see his big plan for “changing” and “giving me money.” Please. His image is blown, his cover story is gone, and he’s glad to be rid of us. It hurts to be dumped but on the other hand, good riddance to him. Who would want to be with someone whose “sorry” really means “fuck you and get over it.”

    • malbecrioja; that son of a you know what will most likely die alone & think the world has been cruel to HIM!
      I think when these jerks (male & female) leave, they have been done for awhile. Who needs to be the only one in a relationship? That can’t work at all. Good riddance to bad rubbish! (Sorry you and your kids got hurt.)

    • Jeep; Keep me posted about coming down. I have been all over the place alone, but some of it years ago. I would say it is safe if you don’t roam the streets after dark with a jug of whiskey.
      Go to a touristy area to stay, and venture out during the day and explore.
      It is kind of liberating to go on a vacation alone-or take a friend.

      • Oh Regina it would be great to meet you!!! And a vacation is what I need…I haven’t had fun for so long…

        Truly I would love it! Yes…I will let you know!

        I will research South Florida places to stay! …that allow dogs…can’t leave this rescue puppy (gotta be 7 or 8 years old by now) he has lots of issues! I can’t imagine what boarding him would do…separation anxiety is huge for him.

        That would be awesome!! And I could scope out the job market and housing…

        WOOOHOOO! MountainLily could come too!!!!

  • Malbe – well said! I would totally agree that once the D starts, the War starts. They ARE enemies at that point – and believe it. X was a good business man but I think I was better, although he didn’t recognize that. For one: 1) I filed first (yay – advantage right there) – they are on the defense and totally flabbergasted you’d do this.
    2) I kicked him out under the pretense of giving me 30 days to think of it while he lived in our travel trailer. He agree because of my anger…and 1 yr later, he is still in his trailer in a trailer park. I got the house, dogs and whatever that mattered to me, until I can sell it. Bottom line, I got medieval on his ass by keeping my mouth shut about what I knew and what I was doing. When it came out – he was blindsided but I could never see living with him again. A 3 yr affair with my ‘best friend’ is my straw.
    3) Not putting up with his shit gave me strength far more than I thought I had. I agree with a previous poster. One affair is the limit.

    Good luck on your journeys’ everybody!
    I actually hit a REAL Meh today and it is a Tuesday!
    Where’s my cake??

  • In keeping with the theme of this topic I would like to run a strange conversation with ex through the bullshit translator:
    Subject – financial disclosure of the full and frank variety to be viewed by my lawyer before she briefs me for mediation – if not forthcoming and complete then no more mediation for us as lawyer will be running the show.

    Ex: I think I have all the papers you wanted. No, I do not want a lawyer of my own just yet – will get it checked out after we agree something in mediation. I will leave the papers with our daughter if I dont see you. We will talk more real soon about all this and…other stuff. You might have included a little note when you posted me those laminated funereal cards of my dead relatives the other day. I mean I understand that you are having a clearout and did not want to keep them or dispose of them …I did not understand why they arrived in the post and a note would have been nice.
    If you are having a clearout then one day soon the boys and I will sort out the attic for you…unless you would prefer to do it yourself?
    If you decided that you do not want the marital house we will go along with whatever you want…have you been to Spain for the weekend?

    I was polite and noncommital, asked no personal questions, explained that without disrespect to the dead I do not like laminated photographs and verse as I find them morbid and thought he should have them as it is his mum, aunt and cousin that they are in memory of. Yes I did go to Spain but will not elaborate or ask about the trip he has just taken. I have not yet got round to the attic and will decided about the house after fnancial dislosure and lawyer advice. I need that to make a sound decision and intend to finally get to “final” as this has drifted for years.

    Schmoopie moved into his small rental with him after selling her house so I will wait til I have all the documents before telling him that my laywer also requires details of HER assets and income since they are cohabiting…he is saying she pays no rent or bills.

    • Ex: I think I have all the papers you wanted. No, I do not want a lawyer of my own just yet – will get it checked out after we agree something in mediation))))

      I’m not a UBT expert but I think you’ve just been told that you have s surprise coming in mediation. Prepare for the lawyer to be taking over as you mentioned

      Since everything in mediation is voluntary, protect yourself. In most states you have the right to request that an expert review his financial documents before you agreed to them. Many a bad financial deal based on fraudelent info is struck in mediation. Bc he submits it in mediation does not mean it’s true

      Do not be afraid of blowing up your mediation bc you insist on confirmation of every one of his financial documents. It would only blow up over something else

      I don’t understand why you have to ask him for the documents? If it about the fees to have the lawyer or mediator do it, it’s a small price to pay not to be jerked around

      My UBT says have your lawyer ready to go

      • My lawyer says mediation can save money but wants to see all his papers first and will brief me before we look at options with the mediator. She will then check over and draw up a legal settlement for me and said that if he starts messing around or the papers are not right then I will halt mediation and she will take over.
        This guy seems genuinely hurt that I feel the need “to do all this” when his word is his bond…he only has a tract record for . lying for years on end and is living with a woman who bosses him around.
        Small minded, unforgiving and suspicious little chump that I am…he has promised that he will make sure that I am “alright” so here I am paying out on an experienced divorce laywer when I could be a good little chump and just buy the bullshit.

        • “his word is his bond’, is exactly what bothers me. In my state, anyone who represents you in a mediation, can’t represent you if the mediation blows up. It’s always the smartest route to have your own lawyer on board even during mediation.

          If he has a pension, self employment income, a business, anything but a w-2 job, i would definitely insist on having a financial neutral or an additional financial professional to test any financial statements he makes at the mediation, There are no do-overs here.

            • Arnold HaaaaaaaaHaaa! Yeah, that is the kind of “bond” we have gotten, the guy with a woman in the closet, under the bed, one calling & one knocking at the door all at the same time! LOL!! Or you got the “Ms. Bond” variety!

  • I have puzzled for a long time why we allow others to treat us poorly. I am guessing that if most of you look back across your lives you will see somewhere in your youth the beginnings of the doormat. It certainly happened to me. I was a feisty kid until about the sixth grade. I wanted so badly to be accepted by the popular girls that I begin to subsume my own personality. I became the happy go lucky, nothing bothers me, kind of person. I went along to get along and after a while it became a habit. A habit I didn’t even know I had. When I got married I was the one most in love so my marriage started off out of balance. It was under the surface and for many years it worked. But my personality, that feisty kid, had disappeared. I was the peacemaker. I never raised my voice…… Until the day I did. After my kids were in school I started working and my job called for me to not only make decisions but to stand by them. I had to learn to get a backbone. The hardest word I ever learned to say is the word “no”. Not “no I’m sorry” or “no forgive me” but just “no” and after that I learned to say “stop it” and “don’t”. I have no idea why it is so hard to learn to look after yourself but it is. My daughter was raised by two parents who love her, who never gave her, as far as we know, suggestions about what to do with her life, but she followed the normal route for young girls and went to university to take English, or philosophy, or basket weaving. I am not knocking any of that but it did not suit her and she dropped out of school. She made a bad marriage and got out of that and made a good marriage and went back to school. This time she decided on math and science just to see. She now has a very good job using her math and science skills and has no clue why it did not occur to her in the beginning. Why!?!!? What message did she get, or not get? Why do we keep doing this to our girls?
    What is it about our society that we have “takers” like the people the chumps have been married to and “givers” like the chumps themseles. My suggestion to anyone new on this site is to learn that “no” is not a curse word. Use it, it may keep you safe.
    My marriage is balanced now and I say what I think. I also want people to truly ask themselves why they are marrying. Over the course of my life I have met several women who left good men. Not a single one got married for the right reason. One’s mother was like water dripping on stone. He was such a catch. Well, the girl married him, had a couple of kids, nervous breakdowns and affairs. One day she just left. Another was pregnant. Another begged to get out of the wedding but her parents said gifts were given, money was spent and she was not to embarrass them. She had an affair, they both left their spouses and children and the marriage was only so so. Another married because he was so in love with her she just could say “no”. Another married because her parents thought he was such a nice young man. In each case the men cheated on were/are nice men. They did not deserve being chumped. How do we, as a society, make it harder to marry? And what lies do we tell ourselves that makes us believe if we don’t marry we aren’t worth anything.

    • Just me, but,frankly, I think marriage is a piss poor way to live. Too much arguing, silent treatments, and very little sex.
      a friend of mi e ( whose wife cheated on him btw), keeps asking ” if the Catholic Church is so insistent on celibacy for its priests, why not let them get married?”.

  • This is why the whole affair (no pun intended) is such a shit sandwich. You want to save your family, you want to give your partner another chance, you want to believe they are capable of remorse, sorrow and healing. But so much of the evidence says otherwise. But maybe there is some evidence that they are capable of giving, of reciprocating, of empathy, of healthy sacrifice and compromise (as oppose to the unhealthy brand of sacrifice and compromise us chumps tend to practice). In the end, a total shit sandwich, but you have to make a decision. So I agree with CL that the post-nup is a good course of action if you choose reconciliation.

    Reconciliation is hard work, especially for the cheater. What happens if the next potential suitor is more attractive, wealthier, more available, more willing to marry, and more kibbly than the last AP? Is your cheater going to stay the course with the reconciliation and have no temptation to stray? Get the post-nup.

    • Thing is that if they were actually capable of all the lying and gas lighting and abuse attendant to an affair, how could they possibly have the capacity for empathy?. Think Michael Vick really has any humanity.

  • A wise friend of mine was chumped and said simply ” once they have done it the first time they almost always do it again”. How sad and how true.

  • CL: Wanted to mention that tonight the only way I could click through to leave a comment was to click on the title of the blog, not the “comment” or “reply” areas. (or on the person who is sending a comment does not work either) Maybe I am the only one experiencing this? I do like the new format by the way, I know you had to go to considerable trouble for us-thanks!!

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