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My Cheater, My House

mortgage-default-move-cahabitate-thinking-of-you-ecard-someecardsContinuing from yesterday’s home improvement/Hilary discussion, there seems to be some consensus that cheaters are often pretty lousy at home care, as well as marital care.

I mean, it makes a certain sense. If you’re prone to boredom, need instant gratification, can’t foresee consequences, live in a cloud of entitlement, and are frequently absent, you probably can’t commit to a houseplant much less a spouse. (For all I know cheaters suck at houseplants too.)

Home ownership, gardening, child-rearing needs a lot of commitment and stick-to-it-tiveness. There can be a lot of pride that comes from this work, but it’s not often immediately gratifying. The sewer pipe collapses. The kid flunks his driver’s test for the umpteenth time. The garden is consumed by an infestation of bindweed. Who you gonna call? A chump. Chumps get shit done. Cheaters not so much.

So today, draw some parallels between your cheater and your home. Was your cheater all flash? Marble foyer, rats in the basement? Was your cheater all half-assed? Seven years with a gutted bathroom? Was your cheater all acquisition? Hoarder mentality, all the acquisition, none of the responsibility?

And the corollary — if you left a cheater, what’s your home like now? I bet the houseplants are thriving. 🙂

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • CL, OMG…where do I start. He puts up a wooden fence, no gates for four years. He paints the front of the house, only, I had to hire a painter to finish a year and a half later. Our sprinklers are broken since 2004 and he is a former sprinkler installer. There is an entire room in our house that he gutted in 1999 and it’s still that way! Wow, you hit a nerve!

    • CL…WOW….My words fail me. It is all true…this fucktard neglected to maintain the house we live in together for 7 years and just recently I came to find out was saving up so he can secretly buy a big house, in Mexico….and yes he was stupid enough because we are not even divorced yet…so guess what….I will make sure that he agrees to my negotiations about doing the overdue maintenance of this house or I will make him sell that new house and I will get half!!!!!!

      • Fuck it. Do both!
        Stupid fuck needs to realise that marital property = half yours.

    • Oh, hell. JUST like your dipshit, the list of undone projects is long for the f-tard I wasted 23 years on:
      – Baseboards & doorframe of master bath out since 2005
      – Baseboards & tile job in kitchen/pantry/coat closet undone since 2004
      – Kitchen counter projecct left unfinished since 2004
      – Simple transition strips for all flooring projects he’s left undone, STILL also undone since 2004


      Hmmm. That’s weird, because since 2004 I was self-motivated enough to: coach our daughter’s soccer teams each fall and spring, earn a national accreditation in my industry, volunteer in multiple professional organizations as an officer, volunteer in my church, AND earn my masters degree from a Big 12 University. He offered NO help, LITTLE encouragement (only if I begged it out of him) and ZERO inspiration. That all came from within myself.

      Him? Just earned himself multiple EAs and PAs, thus leading to me divorcing his stupidass. Fucktard.

      BUT, what’s worse for me is that I spent immeasureable hours helping that fucker with tiling, painting, texturing and blowing my paychecks and credit on his FAILED rental property idea over 12 years. Yeah, all the family distruction, failied business ideas, and his failed 23-year commitment, loyalty & marriage he got from me is MY fault. Couldn’t possibly be his serial cheating, and fucking a married ho-worker for a year before I busted them?? Nah.

      Whatever helps you look in the mirror and sleep at night, fucker. I’m free of your lame ass.

      Since he abandonded me and our daughter 14 mos ago, I’ve redone my kitchen cabinets by hand, redone two rooms (paint, carpet), and am working on his undone flooring projects. Ummm…how can that be when I’M the great motivation thief?!

  • I guess mine is all half-assed. My stbx also would discount what I said we needed to do, but if a friend of his or his brother told him we needed or should do something I had already said, my stbx would then be on board with it. My stbx would not want to put in the required work. There have been a few times where I threatened to call in a pro if he didn’t finish like he should. My stbx screwed up every home project he did. He also didn’t want any input from me and wouldn’t consider what I wanted unless I made “noise” about it.

    • Yeah, what is it about *completion* of a project that so narc-averse?

      • EXACTLY my XHusband’s problem. And it is ANY project – including from his business!!! I can’t tell you how many projects went unfinished, and therefore UNPAID!!!

        • Mine blasted all the paint of the bathroom door then just left it like that for several years. He liked to be untidy to annoy me and provoke a reaction…passive aggression.

  • The two things she did do around the house were her excuse to never do anything else. What a waste of space she was.

  • Yep yep yep. And noticed during our marriage. Like you CL, I love gardening, I’m a big fan of edible gardens and love to watch things grow, I’m a nurturer. My ex was an environmental scientist, he used to chase me around the house switching off lights to save energy. He loved hiking and camping. We had a huge sunny terrace after we married. I planted it out with lettuce, tomatoes and other veges in a modular garden. He didn’t get involved in it at all. No investment whatsoever. He spent more time cycling, going to the pub, wanting to go out. I couldn’t understand it. This man that made his career to look after the environment, wasn’t actually interested in investing in making his home wonderful. When we bought a home, he never wanted to work on it to maintain it. No interest, too much hard work. Same went for our marriage and our kids 🙁

    • Mine was totally a lighting control freak! If I left a room and the light was still on oh the crap I’d get! Even if I planned to go back into that room. At night he would only allow us to turn on the lights in the rooms we occupied, so only the living room lights would be on if we watched TV, no kitchen, no hallway, no stairs.

      Unfortunately he was also a sprinkler control freak and killed my garden year after year. I’d prep the garden, plant and he was to set up the sprinkler timer and would start out with daily then would switch to once every week (we live where it is HOT and dry) so everything would die. My fault, of course. Sprinkler gaslighting, seriously. Of course being a chump I eventually started putting in xeriscaping and hand watering the garden when he was not home.

      • “Sprinkler Gaslighting…” Too funny & 2 words rarely seen together!

  • I don’t think it naturally follows. My exWW was house proud and made every effort to keep the house nice, as did I. She found it particularly important to present a tidy and well groomed appearance for any visitor. I didn’t judge that as a mask for her character or such thing. Other than having no friends, and being selfish in bed (on the rare occasion we had sex), I was totally hoodwinked as to the narc personality and twisted sociopath she was underneath. It’s what keeps my in shock and bewilderment. I still can’t quite believe it.

    • Oh Matt, your exWW and my STBX sound similar. Cheater always picked up around the house and helped with the routine chores without issue (laundry, yard work, etc.). But when something more than routine came up, it was all my responsibility with his criticism.

      I knew he was negative, selfish (in bed and otherwise), and avoided responsibility but like you, “I was totally hoodwinked as to the narc personality and twisted sociopath she was underneath. It’s what keeps my in shock and bewilderment. I still can’t quite believe it.”

      • My ex was very handy around the house & yard. He build picket fences on both sides of our property & the neighbors loved them. He built a few arbors & a fantastic grape vine covered pergola. We loved to garden – he veggies, me perennial beds. When I was trying to spackle after dday (didn’t know the definition of that at the time), I reminded him of the joys of our yard. His response was that it was such a chore. WTF? This was a man who planted over 200 bulbs 2 months before dday – bulbs are for the future – why spend the time if you are going to run away long before they emerge & bloom?

        Also his dday spew included that he did most of the housework (folding laundry & doing the dishes). Depression, relapse of his sobriety, OWhore or a combo. I now own the house & the gorgeous gardens.

        • My exH was an avid gardener too. He planted vines on our silver wedding anniversary, they were a gift from my mother. He harvested the grapes and made wine… our anniversary wine. I never tasted it, he took it all with him when he left and shared it with his OW.
          I hope they both choked.

          • Besides leaving us behind, isn’t just boggling that what was so enjoyable to them often for decades can go completely by the wayside? I will never understand the pull or draw to connect/fuck with someone else knowing that the life you thought was so complete can & most often will disappear as if it never was. Thank goodness Chump Nation keeps me on the right track about the suckness of it all.

            • I second that verity. I’m so sorry and l’m sure your mom made sure it didn’t taste that good.

        • I can relate about the “too much work.” I always kept a VERY tidy house. My exH would often complain that I kept it TOO clean. He spent most of his time in the family room in the basement. That’s where “his” bathroom was at and that’s where he slept. His bathroom was always a mess. When he would clean it he would do such a sloppy job. I would leave his basement area alone for several weeks until it was so unbearable that I would go down and clean it thoroughly (since he clearly didn’t know how). For example, He would never clean his bathroom mirror. Just let the toothpaste splatters build up.
          After Dday, we were in marriage counseling. The marriage counselor told me I was “too much work” for my exH. He went on to explain that he meant that in a good way. I had standards and expectations; but all my exH was looki for was easy sex. He didn’t want to put the effort into maintaining a relationship with me because I expected him to be considerate and kind. Since he was not naturally those things, he had to work at being kind. It takes a lot of effort to pretend to be someone you ARENT.
          Now that he is gone, I find I am more relaxed about the house being so clean. I put so much effort into keeping everything perfect so he would have less things to rage at me about. I didn’t want to give him any reason to complain. Does any of that make sense? My house is just more peaceful now

    • Matt, I think it does. Follow me on this for a second.

      My XH loved the nice house. He didn’t see any reason to go out and get a JOB in order to HAVE the nice house, buy all of the top end appliances and electronics, nice furniture–but when I went out and purchased them, he took good care of them. He was CONSTANTLY worried about appearances, because his mother is “a freak of nature” (his words) about the cleanliness/orderliness of her own home. She literally could not do ANYTHING ELSE other than snoop/control her kids’ lives and clean that house. It’s a CONTROL thing.

      He also was bragging (constantly) about how the neighbors would applaud his “perfect lawn lines”–as if mowing takes a degree in rocket fucking science. Again, it’s a control thing.

      Hoarding all of his toys. All shoved into the two car garage, no room for CARS, but only his shit.

      The “occasional sex” and being selfish. Again…mine too. Control. If YOU want sex, they withhold and deny and have every excuse why not. If THEY get that “itch”–you must comply, BUT with just the right balance of resistance and compliance. If I was TOO eager, I got insulted as a “sex maniac” that was “going to kill him” with my demands. If I was TOO resistant, he said he felt like he was “masturbating with my body”.

      In other words, cannot win. Don’t even try. It’s all a game to see how far they can push you, to see what you’ll do for them. And it is never good enough, bad enough, clean enough, dirty enough, white enough, black enough…you get my gyst. They are EXTREMISTS—in every sense of the word, down to the way they part their hair.

      • Overtly not caring about the house and caring enough but just for appearances both stem from the same problem – no genuine caring in action. Control? Yes. Desire to keep up a certain persona? Yes. But nothing genuine the reflects a true loving heart and mature commitment. This reflects my favorite wisdom truth that is almost always borne out if you look deeply enough: *How you do anything is how you do everything.* Watch how people do anything. What is their motivation? Where does the energy come from? What’s the goal? There are ALWAYS signs if the person has character and personality disorders, even if they’re subtle ones. If we’d learn to discern them while dating, we’d be much better at weeding out the creeps.

      • Sphinxmoth,
        I totally agree. The house proud personality fed her kibbles because everyone (parents, my friends, visitors) would comment and compliment her. Keeping up a good outward appearance was like a façade or mask. Her mum and dad were the same. They always looked down their noses at everyone. If someone had more success or money than them they would always find something to belittle them or say they were lucky.
        She would never go outside without making herself look presentable, even to the hardware store. I interpreted that as someone who took pride. I didn’t see it as a red flag at the time. She also used to go out for a run every now and then. She admitted to me that she always chose a main route, but not because of being safe, but because she liked the attention she got from men beeping their horns as they went past. Again, I didn’t see it as a red flag. It’s nice to get external validation that you are still attractive. Who doesn’t like to be flirted with?

        She did control sex completely in exactly the way you say. If I asked for it more than once a month I was branded a pervert and obsessed. I admit I would start to get horny and request it more often than she wanted it, especially if it had been a while. But when she wanted it I had to deliver. As much as I wanted to say no sometimes, I didn’t want to look a gift-horse in the mouth, so to speak so she got her way with me. On the rare occasion I did say no she was quite annoyed. I never saw it as a red flag. I thought that women want it less than men. I was conditioned to think that way. My libido was high and hers wasn’t, I assumed. If she wanted a new car or a the bathroom remodelled sex was available in abundance. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

        However, she worked hard (when she wasn’t banging her boss) and we spent good quality time together as a family at weekends. I did all the organising of our social calendar, looked after bills and finances, maintained the house and vehicles and did a third of the household chores. I thought we were a normal family unit with normal quibbles. A man asking his wife for sex is normal, right?

        • Matt, I would say it depends on how you “ask”. Normal, healthy couples have sex as a part of a relationship. Depending on what each of them are doing, the frequency will vary. Maybe more time for fun on vacation, and less time for fun when you are 9 months pregnant or have just delivered a beautiful baby. More time for fun when you are young and have less responsibilities, less time when you are both working full time and have kids with priority needs. That’s normal. It should be a mutual attraction, pleasure for both parties. It should not be a “chore”. I went on vacation with a couple once, where the man expected to be “serviced” every day — no matter what. If his wife ever begged off, he would pout and make her life miserable. She confided to me that she just “gave in” because it was easier and quicker that way, but it numbed her and took all the joy out of the experience. He expected her to produce even though their children were in the bed beside theirs in the normal double hotel room. That is ridiculous IMO.

          Most women I know, myself included, like to be “courted.” We want to be talked to, treated with courtesy and consideration. As far as I am concerned, sex starts in the head, not in the pants. If my man makes me feel like I am valued and sexy, odds are he will be a happy man. Demanding some type of sex, or the same type of sex over and over and over, and “sweet talking” me with a rude approach, like, “how about sex,” — the man will probably be very lonely and may even have to have body parts amputated due to the frostbite. Blaming me for all his problems, not being the least bit trustworthy, or taking any responsibility for his own actions? Time to call the lawyer.

          Anyone over the age of 13 ought to be able to spot BS that cheaters spew forth. When a man uses that tired old line, “my wife doesn’t understand me, she’s frigid, …Blah, Blah, Blah” I automatically think “Jerk”. First of all, if you are married, or are supposed to be in a committed relationship, you should not be talking about your sexual relationship with anyone but your spouse or a marriage counselor. Certainly NOT the babysitter or a howorker. If your partner is always selfish, thinking only of personal gratification, and paying no attention to the emotions and need for intimacy that are an integral part of sex — you have the wrong partner. Time to burn that dance card and look for another partner. But be straightforward about it — don’t continue to dance a half-hearted dance until you find a new partner, and then bolt. I resent the lies even more than the cheating — and I resent the cheating a lot!

          I am not saying you did any of this, and I assume you were chumped yourself. But you did ask a very good open ended question, and I just couldn’t resist. I’m just feeling chatty today for some reason — Maybe because its April Fools Day, and I’m feeling a bit foolish?????

          • Matt,
            She must have seen sex as a power card and not something that happens naturally with a couple. That’s sad for both of you. When sex is just a natural part of your life it’s a really nice thing that brings two people together. In my relationship, sex was not something that was asked for, it just happened on a regular basis. In the heat of the moment, he did ask me to try two things I was not interested in that he learned with the OW. Anal and choking. I turned them down and was fine with it, but he did go elsewhere. Those two acts seem to be about power as well. It wasn’t that I didn’t want him to have some power, I just didn’t want to die or poop on him.

            If she was banging her boss, that might have been her power card at work. Try not to take the rejection too personally. She already had everything she wanted from you, so she was saving her currency.

          • Portia,
            I hear you. I get that. In my sitch, she was the one who preferred perfunctory sex. She didn’t want foreplay or slow, intimate sex. She used t berate anyone and laugh about it when she saw romantic scenes on the TV. I was the one who wanted to make a romantic evening with dinner and candles, foreplay, teasing and intimacy. She never kissed. She was a wham bam kind of girl. She will have switched on her best moves for lover boy, just as she did when we met but I can guarantee that she has reverted to her original M.O. now that the shine has worn off her new relationship.
            It’s been so refreshing to meet real women who enjoy kissing and all the foreplay. Sex is much improved and not used as a currency. I spent 19 years without passionate kisses and any romance was from me. Never received. Bitch

            • That sounds like “professional” behavior to me. It is sad that intimacy and affection are just too much to ask for! Without those aspects, perfunctory sex seems like porn — a business transaction. Insert credit card or cash here, thanks. Insert body part here, or here, or here. You have two minutes. So sorry, your time is up! Have a nice day.

              Pretty sad. Even sadder that this is what the disordered prefer instead of intimacy. I don’t think romance has to be scripted like some of the big love scenes in movies, or tv. Sometimes it is the little things — like bringing home your favorite candy bar, because I saw it in the store when I was getting something else, and I knew you would love it. Just the thoughtfulness, the caring enough to know your partner’s preferences. Doing something out of the norm, just because you know it will make life easier for your partner. Why is this so hard for some people to understand?

              • Because you are a “thing” to them?
                I think that’s what it is. And it’s very hard, if not impossible, to fix!

      • The sex issue still confounds me. For the duration of our marriage he had little to no interest and was very harsh in turning me down – less I’m not in the mood and more, “What is wrong with you?!?” Trying sending the kids to a friends house, making an excellent dinner, watching a hot movie and once my clothes are off and kissing him suddenly he stops, “WTF are you doing? What has gotten into you?” I’m not talking every night, every week or even every month. Then when I confront him about his affair(s) he says we did not have enough sex and he thought I was not interested.

        • my STBX was the opposite – he wanted sex all the time but he way only which was no intimacy, just him getting off without a care for meeting my needs at all. That was a turn off for me and I tried to talk about it with him. His response was to blame me – I was expecting too much, sex is just sex, I must not like sex, etc. At 19, I wasn’t experienced at all so my chump status kicked in!

        • I spent most of my marriage in a sexual deadzone. He began the rejection on our engagement and he blamed “mother issues”. His FOO was riddled with secrets and lies.
          It seemed that he preferred his sex to be forbidden and hidden away – great affair material.
          Maybe he and OW are at it like rabbits now they are cohabiting but I doubt it somehow.

        • Ca-Chump; Look up Somatic Narcissist. The book I read about it was saying that they use sex to to lure you, may even be very into working out & becoming “Adonis” (or the female edition), but after marriage their interest wanes and they will be as described by you. Disinterested, aloof, making you feel crazy for wanting normal closeness etc. Mine was not like this, but I think my brother is married to the female version. She was a size two & all googly-eyed when they got married, fast forward to 100 pounds overweight and bossing him around. I always marvel that he goes so far out of his way to please her! She is super demanding & condescending. He has a PhD (so does she) but really! I would tell her to get off her ass! Most of the stuff she insists he do, is because she is on the couch with a bag of chips ordering him around. My brother still looks great, has a good sense of humor, and does 80% of the housework, etc. If I am on the phone with him & we are laughing or having fun, she will call him in for some duty so he has to get off the phone. She wnts to make sure he has no “fun” connections to the outside. They have friends, but SHE will choose them, thank you very much!!
          My X was very regimented with chores and was far from lazy. In fact, if he had Wednesday set aside for the yard, lawn, etc., he would be mowing the lawn in the rain with the flu because that was “lawn” day. I thought it was weird, but at least it got done. If anybody was a slacker it was me. But I guess anyone is a slacker compared to him!

    • My ex cheater was/is quite a high energy achievement machine, and quite a nester and transformer of living spaces. I can only respect that side of her and it would all be perfectly amazing if she weren’t a cruel & charismatic narcissist.

    • Matt,
      Your exWW and mine are the same person (if you can label them as such). We were the model couple in the model house. It was all a lie. When I was no longer needed for what she wanted, the mask was dropped and I saw the real monster inside. I will always wonder how these sub-humans can act so normal but really be so disordered.

  • I was constantly in a no win situation. I had to pay most of the bills and let him use the nicer car because he had ‘sacrificed’ moving into my paid-for house from his shitty apartment and had a longer commute. I had to pay for and do most of the house repairs and lawn because ‘he’d prefer an apartment with no repairs and no garden.’ When my nice car was suitably worn from his commute, he bought himself a new one with all he’d saved in rent.

    He was quite fond, however, of stating out loud chores and repairs that needed doing that he had no intention of doing. “We should really _____…” and then toddle back to the couch or computer.

    And the kicker is that after years of teaching myself to perform herculean feats of landscaping, carpentry and plumbing, his devaluing salvos were that I was ‘too independent’ and ‘too interested in manly things.’


    • Never could figure out the “we” thing because it was always “just me” doing all the work. X never so much as changed a light bulb. I don’t think he knew how to start a lawn mower and loved to brag about his lack of domestic skills. Granted, he had the money to pay people to do that work for him and was never stingy about it, but I think it was such a poor example for our children and reflected his lack of involvement in our lives. When he was in full blown affair mode, he would walk through the house pointing out all the things that “weren’t his”, calculating how easy it would be to walk out the door. Yet, he woud always brag to others about how beautiful our home was and always encouraged me to tackle all the big projects alone. Wouldn’t help select paint because he claimed to be color blind, never, ever wanted to shop for furniture, kitchen supplies, or things to keep the household running. Wouldn’t know how to start a washing machine if his life depended on it. Looking back, it seems as if he was a ghost in his own lfe, a one dimensional figure, who cared only about his professional accomplishments and we, his family, were just bit players in his life’s narrative. Sad, so sad.

      • “X never so much as changed a light bulb.”

        Maybe it’s time for a “How Many Cheaters Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?” contest or cartoon!

    • Bingo!!!
      I also HAD to learn to- mow, paint, plumb a shower, tile, clean out the garage, etc, etc -even roof the house! And on and on. He never verbalized that I was too accomplished in so-called manly persuits, but his AP is very helpless, needy, and regularly has emotional breakdowns!
      I met a female Electrician last summer, and I was so impressed! She didn’t give a crap what people thought, she was just realizing her dream.
      Now that I’m away from X, I get exhausted even thinking about the load of work I was carrying, while he took lots of naps, or hung out drinking with anybody and everybody! Ugh, live, and hopefully learn.

    • After you learned how to do all those “manly” chores, did your ex ever compete with you to see who could caulk the damn tub surround better? Sometimes I think that these cheaters are all about competing with their chumps. Once you do something better you lose major points with them. Craziness from all sides.

      • No, he is the laziest man on Earth, so no. What he did was ridicule and criticize me. Other people were amazed at what I could do, and I made our house gorgeous, but he ALWAYS found something to make fun of! I didn’t know til I came here, about the One-Down position. The day I read that here, I was slapping my forehead for sure!! He just wanted me to feel so inadequate, so I’d never leave and he could lie to me and eat lots of cake!
        He was a serial cheater for 30 years, and I was so wupped, I believed his lies!

        • My ex is so Narcissistic that he liked to believe he would have done better, but never lifted a finger to see, It’s part of the whole fantasy narrative of thwarted greatness that he tells himself to cope with his actual mediocrity. He tells people he was an engineer back home- he had a high school education. Which would be fine IF he didn’t imply otherwise.

          He liked to tell me that I did things too quickly for him to have input. Dude, there is a fucking saggy subfloor mess and hole in the bathroom floor. You repair the leak and replace the floor. It doesn’t require a fake engineering degree.

  • If something needed a repair Saddam would tell me he would fix it. He’d go buy the stuff required. He never fixed anything. After he was out of the house I started clearing out shit – I found 8 pairs of pliers, all the same exact pliers, just in different bags of stuff for different projects. The last few years he lived here, he trashed the house constantly, I couldn’t keep up. He would do such fucked up things. Unwrap smokes and drop the plastic on the floor by the trashcan. Spill stuff and just leave it for me to clean up. Sometimes it would take me a couple of hours to get the kitchen clean enough to cook in, then he’d come home and totally trash it all over again making something before I could use it. I only realized later this was a way to keep me isolated – he knew I was embarrassed to have anyone over with the so house messed up.

      • He also bought a circular saw for a project and never used it even once. I sold it to a neighbor. Giant chainsaw, used once, sold it. All kinds of duplicate tools, the pliers were just the most prolific, heh

        • My experience was pretty much same same, Dat, except it was screwdrivers……

          • With mine it was caulk! He never caulked a damn thing, but we must have found 20 tubes of caulk! Unreal!

            • I’ve read that NPDs keep caulk in abundance because they want to use it to spackle their rotting souls. It is like an unofficial marker of the disorder.

              • Mine became addicted to bidding for stuff on ebay. The postman would arrive almost daily with packages containing rucksacks and camping stuff…all pretty much identical.
                He would just rip of the paper and drop it where he stood. I tried not picking it up and it just stayed there.
                I think that he wanted to irk me into criticising him so it could be all my fault and he treated the house like a tip because he resented being there.
                He and OW are sharing his tiny rental along with her elderly cat and she is one of those cleaning fanatics who insists on shoes off at the door.
                She had 3 bathrooms in her house and now they share a small shower and one toilet. His bowel habits were not a prelude to romance so I wish them luck with that and hope that his passive aggressive untidiness is behind him now.

        • My XH thought he was awesome that he owned a circular saw. He use to use it to cut up cheap firewood. LMAO as he cut through the power cord twice. Pitty he didn’t electrocute himself.

    • Oh my goodness I was forever cleaning up after too. What used to get me the most is when he usually wet the bed or pissed all over the bathroom floor toilet after a drunken night out. I’d have to sort it out. I used to weep silently when he pissed the bed with my in it. So devastating to have a drunk come in, watch porn then be further insulted by waking up to warm wet feeling creeping all over you.
      Not to mention the everyday mess he created.

      • the last couple of months before I got the PO, Saddam pissed on the floor in front of the toilet so I would step in it. I kept asking him to use his own bathroom, not do it. Yes he was drunk every day but I believe he did it on purpose.

        • Mine came home blind drunk one night talking more stupidity than usual and I told him to go to bed, please. In the middle of the night our kids awoke to the sound of him pissing in the hallway in a basket of homeschool books. That night ended in his physically assaulting me and my 12 year old (at the time) daughter calling the police. This was after his first DUI, and another one followed about a year before D-day. Dealing with cheaters is bad enough, but drunkass cheaters are the worst — blameshift drinking AND cheating. So glad to be drunkass-free!

      • Isn’t wetting the bed a sign of a sociopath?

        My x and I both put away a fair amount of alcohol, but neither of us ever wet the bed.

        • Jen I wouldn’t be surprised! He has shown himself to be one in every other aspect. Gaslighting Jen that’s all I can say. It was always somehow my fault. He was so good at it that I didn’t know what was normal. I believed that deep down everyone was decent and was just waiting for him to realise what he was jeopardising and how he was hurting me. I never knew crazy could live so close.

            • I think you are right but I never wanted to believe that. Too humiliating. I wanted to believe that he had a problem he didn’t want to deal with which isn’t much better right?!!

          • Chapterphoenix- that’s a true quote- “I never knew crazy could live so close”. I felt early on in my marriage- before the cheating but after porn, EAs etc that I had allowed a wild non-house trained animal into my home. I didn’t feel safe and there was always mess somewhere to be cleaned up. Of course he said I was neurotic- ‘always cleaning’…

            As for the bed wetting- XH didn’t do it (although he broke his AA sobriety) but it is common amongst heavy drinkers/alcoholics. It’s not intentional (to piss you off- ha ha) they just don’t have any control because they get so drunk. Not of course that you should put up with it or clean up after them. In fact it’s another scenario where facing consequences is important. Unfortunately, as in my case, alcoholic cheaters do not face up to consequences but run away (with someone else).

        • I vote yes on the symptom of crazy – and they really are so similar, aren’t they? My crazy exH used to piss the bed quite frequently the year before he left. Only did it once or twice in the 8 years prior. Didn’t drink that I knew of; claimed to be having nightmares – and he did have some night terrors from what I could see. That last year, he did it like ten times and then raged at me and the little ones. That is one f’ed up batch of crazy that I sure do not miss; waking up to that warm, wet bed and him screaming and punching himself and the walls; then trying to stay out of his way, change the bed, comfort the kids; being afraid to fall asleep – only to have him wake up in the morning all chirpy and happy and pretending like nothing happened. Gain a life indeed.

            • On the final night before he moved out I was not there. When I got home I found a fragment of shit stained toilet paper in the bed as a parting gift.
              He later said that he had “nervous diahorrea” about leaving me and had to keep getting up all night and a piece of paper must have stuck to his ass. Sorry to be so lavatorial but cheaters are crap to live with in every sense!

          • Wonder if the OWhore has ever been awakened by piss in the bed? Probably not on her wish list for her “dream” man.

          • Aaaaaggghhh. ReDefiningMe that ‘waking up all chirpy and pretending like nothing happened’ that is what used to kill me. Thought I was going insane. Pretty impossible to make someone who oscillates between ‘it’s all your fault, and nothing happened no big deal’.

            • Isn’t is crazy how alike they all are? And when you’re in the middle of it, it’s almost normal, and now we can all compare our “unbelievable to anyone who hasn’t lived it” stories and know, for sure, that it wasn’t US?

              Yes, the new OW/OM must love the wet bed surprise; they’re all yours folks! And the crazy morning afters with the happy chirpy one? That used to really mess with my head. In the years when my kids were little and not sleeping well (which meant I wasn’t sleeping), I remember thinking, “maybe it was just a dream” more than once. And then I’d find his torn PJ’s in the trash, or see the hole in the door or the dent in the wall, or the wet sheet in the washer…nope, not a dream, a f’ing nightmare. Isn’t it fun to wake up now?

              I am so very blessed by all of you 🙂

        • My ex-H who is a N/P/S, was a “renter” in every way in life. No commitment to the marriage, the family, or to the house we paid a mortgage for. He mowed the grass on the riding mower, but only after the grass grew at least a foot high. Never edged, so it looked awful. I’d pull that by hand. Weedeater was broken. I put in the pavers, and did the gardening, planting, etc. And inside as well. When he did do a project, it was done poorly. After separation, I discovered how the roaches were getting inside! His repair of the drain in our shower left the gasket and seal above the shower floor. It looked awful. For years, the whole thing sat raised up above floor-level, so the water couldn’t drain completely…. yet it did somehow. The remainder dripped under the drain to the space under the house. And the roaches walked up the pipe and crawled right through! I fixed it myself, and many other things!

      • Seriously Phoenix?!?! He would piss in the bed? Wow. That is messed up!!!!

        • I was so ashamed for putting up with it that I told no one. He just carried on. Sometimes two three times in one week for nearly 15 years.
          Got to hand it to him. He really messed up my head and sense of self worth.

          • He had such a full resume of fuckedup behaviour I didn’t know which issue to deal with first.

    • Data, I laugh out loud every time I remember you call your ex Saddam. That’s so funny. I changed the name of my ex to “Teacher” in my phone, but I like Saddam better.

    • Mine would do a job, leave all the tools where he finished with them, then blame me for “hiding” or “getting rid of” his stuff. I found a screwdriver on the window sill beneath the drapes he installed. A hammer in a bedroom where he’d hung up pictures. The measuring tape and level in the attic where he’d installed some insulation. Yet is was always MY fault that stuff went missing.

      • What is up with that? I got accused of hiding and getting rid of stuff too. Every day I come here, I realize just how disordered he was/is and how disordered I became for putting up with it.

        • When ex ran away he took very few things: clothes, dresser, guest bed, chair & all the shitty dishware and pots/pans I could no longer stand. 2 1/2 years later & one day after the ink was dry on the divorce decree he came to get all his tools, work benches, tool chest and every single screw, nut, bolt, nail, etc. Funny thing is he had a shit-hole fuck pad over a dollar store. Can’t imagine where all that crapped ended up. Oh, the day before he came, I selected a few choice tools to keep because it was now my house & I needed them. He never said a word.

          • I did the same, I picked out the good tools and garden bits and pieces, bought a huge padlock and put them in the 2nd (my) shed. The day he came to clear out his crap I saw him gazing wistfully through that shed window. Still makes me laugh even now.

        • “Every day I come here, I realize just how disordered he was/is and how disordered I became for putting up with it.”

          That is why I come here…to understand better what the hell that was and figure out why I stayed. I not only stayed, I begged him to stay every time he threatened to divorce me. My hope and optimism were so terribly placed…I always thought “If he understood how badly he hurts me when he says such awful things, he will surely change his ways” and he never did…and even though his death freed me from his tyranny I have to figure out why I submitted to it for so long.

          A few years into my reconciliation, I would have advised new chumps to hold out hope but I wouldnt do that anymore…if a person says they dont want to be with you or they demonstrate that they dont want to be with you then cut ties. That “fog” we see in them…the fog didnt cause the adultery, the adultery caused the fog.

    • Dat, so funny with the pliers! With my cheater, it was screws and nails. If he needed a screw or nail for a project, he would go to the store and buy a new box of them in the size he needed. He wouldn’t look to see if had some already he would just buy a new box. There’s a drawer in the garage that is completely full of nails and screws with multiples of the same ones. Another garage drawer is completely full of his old t-shirts because he might need a cloth to wipe something with. I kid you not, there has to be at least 50 white t-shirts in there which have never been used to wipe up something. I’m planning a spring cleaning of the garage soon!

      • Haha mine kept the laundry cupboard full of old clothes for “work clothes” which was ironic because depite having the best “work wardrobe” on the planet he didn’t do any work!!!!! Mowed the lawn maybe 3 times a year. No gardening or yard work. The ceiling was falling down in the garage and the lounge room but that was just something to look at. Or we had plaster cornices sitting on the floor for years which he claimed would be no problem to put up but in the end wouldn’t even call a plasterer to put up. The bloody phone call was even too much trouble for him.

        He did keep the bathroom clean but would walk past a piece of rubbish on the floor without it occurring to him to pick it up. Hell he wouldn’t even open mail that was addressed to him so we would have piles of unopened envelopes all over the house. He would shop…..and hide stuff all over the house unopened too. Yep tools, guitar equipment ($350 worth) shoved in drawers but didn’t play guitar, expensive cycling gear but in 18 years he never got on his bike!

        Life is so much simpler these days!

    • My STBXH does the same thing – leaves garbage and dirty plates all over the house…paper cheese wrappers on the counter, stains from dry drink mix everywhere, hairs from shaving in the sink, you name it. “We live like pigs” according to him yet he never does one eff-ing thing to help out! I finally broke him of one habit – standing there and saying, “this is garbage” then dropping a ratty pair of sneakers on the floor, for example. There’s a trash can, put YOUR garbage in it! He’s a home remodeling contractor who has not done shit around our home for several years, starting about the time his first affair began, from what I can tell. There’s a huge mound of trash in our back yard that he’s going to burn this weekend, can’t wait for that.

    • OMG – my experience was almost identical. I would do all of the cleaning, child care, cooking, laundry, dishes, dirty diapers, feedings, etc. And because I had little kids, the house always was a mess, because you just can’t keep with when there’s little boys running around. My kids would follow me as I cleaned and dump boxes of toys in the spot I had just cleaned. So, the EH would NEVER do anything to help, and would actively sabotage efforts, like throwing McDonald’s wrappers on the carpet and declaring, “This place is a shit-pit”. Or I’d have the entire kitchen cleaned when I went to bed at 11pm, only to wake up at 5am and see he had gotten up in the middle of the night and cooked himself omelets, bacon, sausage, etc. So I’d have a stove and sink full of dirty dishes to clean while I was getting myself ready to go to work , changing diapers and getting my older son off to make his bus.

      The EH was handy, but couldn’t finish projects either. He ripped out a bathroom once, and it stayed looking like a Crack house until I hired a professional to finish it 3 years later. And because EH was handy, he had no problems destroying things, with the caveat, “I can break anything in this house because I know how to fix it!!”” As a result, I had doors and plaster and drywall filled with holes because he’d punch the walls in anger. By the end, I would scream, “Yes, you may have the TECHNICAL know-how to fix things, but it doesn’t matter because you DON’T fix them!!”

  • “Chumps get shit done.” Oh sweet Jesus, yes.

    To his credit, he did always pay the mortgage (props there) but he also always bought houses just a teensy bit more expensive than we could really afford. I worked 12 hr night shifts to fix the budgetary shortfall but he told the children that I worked because I was selfish.

    When the weekend hit, he was ready to go have fun ! He was perpetually angry at me for reminding him that we could have fun but first we needed to X, Y & Z in the house. Killjoy I am.

    Once the yard sprinkler blew a wild Niagra Falls style leak…we went inside to watch football and pretended he wasnt home leaving me and a helpful neighbor to fix it. Fixing things they own is for those OTHER people, he was special.

    The hardest thing was him forever wanting to have 2 mutually exclusive things then getting mad at me when I couldn’t pull magic out of my ass to make it all work.

    He always wanted to own his own business and that was possible, but rather than pare down expenses and focus energy, he bought us a HUGE house and 3 new cars when we had 2 kids in college then telling me that he was going to start a business. I told him that if we had stayed in our smaller house and kept the old cars we could afford it but he spent money like Corporate Joe and that is what he chose. <– all my fault

    • “HE” went inside when the sprinkler blew, not “we” I stayed outside and fixed it.

  • Omg yes yes yes! Our house was unfinished for years. He began an affair with our neighbor. I moved out and he lost the house to foreclosure before it could be sold (no one wanted to buy a partially finished house). He’s now bankrupt and living in his “girlfriend’s” (OW) parents house.

  • I did it all. Gardening, painting, project management of three major building jobs, sourcing materials driving around builders depots, sorting out repairs myself or getting someone in. Cleaning you name it I did it. Making sure the bills were paid. Now he has forced a sale wants 50% leaving me and two young children unable to buy. All I did was make a beautiful family home and forgive his crap and now he passes go and collects all the fruits of my labour as well as earning 3/4 times my pay. I wish to God I had not bothered. Being kind does not pay.

  • My wife would say that “we” were working on a huge home improvement project. Like “we” are building a midcentury modern shed in the yard or “we” are taking down the central wall in the house and installing a set of built-in shelves, or “we” are putting hardwoods in the basement. Then she would drink coffee and watch me do it. If I wasn’t really fast and prompt at getting the thing done she would get annoyed – — “why not just get it finished!”

    It always cost way more money than we budgeted for and she seemed completely ignorant of that fact. Come to think of it, she was clueless about money for the entire 16 years we were married. She just seemed to think it grew in your wallet. That might have been the most stressful aspect of our marriage. I felt like I was a dad who had to say “yes” or “no” to her requests for stuff. She could never just restrain her desires on her own — like a baby who wants stuff ALL THE TIME.

    • Charles (and Matt above),

      As a fellow chump, my story is similar to yours. My wife did manage to keep a very nice home. She was an expert at finding expensive linens, window treatments, fabrics, throw pillows, sheets and the like. She was very good at selecting paint colors and had a good landscaping eye. She was determined to have a nice home. And occasionally, she would even clean. However, she had no concept of money and we quickly burned through our Line of Credit, I did all the manual labor (painting, landscaping), and she showered me with contempt when I would say we couldn’t afford house cleaners, even though she was mostly a SAHM with kids in daycare.

      I was sometimes guilty of letting the garage get too messy, or not completing a repair in a timely fashion, but each weekend, my list of todo items, in retrospect 100% controlled by her, prevented me from completing many of these tasks, plus each weekend, I pretty much watched the kids 100% of the time while she biked, ran, yoga’d and shopped.

      As a side note, in five years, I painted one room in our home four times (that’s five different colors in five years), and two rooms in our home three times and two rooms in our home twice, I haven’t painted since.

      • Buddy,

        I have had the exact same experience. I can’t tell you how many times I have painted one bathroom. I also redid the same bathroom cabinets three times. It’s bizarre how the aesthetic of our house seems/seemed to affect my wife. She would decide on an idea for some sort of major change, and that idea would then dominate every aspect of her thought until it was accomplished (by me). For a while I thought if I did projects I would be rewarded with more sex — but nope! That wasn’t part of the deal. 🙂

        • Yeah Charles, I am also guilty of thinking that if I provided for her, supported her, and “met her needs” that she would also naturally want to me my needs, including sex. Robert Glover’s No More Mr. Nice Guy explains the phenomenon fairly accurately.

          Also, I think I confused her “OCD” with entitlement/narcissism. Maybe she did have OCD, maybe she didn’t. But now I know she has personality disorders.

          I do now wonder if she ever loved me, or if all along I just represented other things: a good husband, father and service provider simply to enhance her reputation and support her entitled lifestyle? Tough to swallow. But it reached a point where her toxicity and cheating ways rendered that question moot.

          • SAHM with kids in daycare is a major redflag for a cheater. Let me guess, she didn’t want the kids to cramp her style?

            • Yeah, taking care of kids was too stressful for her. She could only do it for a few hours before succumbing to the hardships of being a parent. So many red flags, so little time. Hopefully I know better now.

  • Mine was useless. Our house looked like the clampets. His best skill was tidying on sat morning picking things up and piling things up not tossing anything. Never clean anything. Now his tiny apt is a filthy but tidy mess. If you asked him to do a chore or do something together he always found something to rage about effectively shutting down the activity. Then he would complain and whine at what a shit hole the house was. After he left I started these great project and he asked if he could help. Fuck no. Get the hell away from me. If you want a good measure of how far your house has come go to google maps street view and go back in time.

    • Oh–the “piling things up and not tossing anything”! Oh yes, I understand completely. Why work so hard to make orderly piles when there was maybe one thing of value in that pile? After he left I got ruthless about tossing/recycling/donating the useless/broken/not needed things around here.

      • Hoarding, withholding and narcissism seem related. They both have a lot of control issues going on.

      • Oh yeah, the control issue manifested through stuff . . . We lived in the country, so had to drive our own garbage to the dump. It never happened unless I did it. Of course, I loaded it all in the pickup myself, but he would insist on sorting through what I was taking, often pulling out items (such as empty wine bottles) and lecturing me for being so extravagant in throwing stuff away.

        After his death, I probably took 30 pick-up loads of junk to the dump. The attendant at the dump, a kind old gentleman, got to know me and my pickup pretty well.

        • Not only did he have an adversion to tossing things… he supported the kids in their natural, and developmentally appropriate hoarding nature, consequently, nothing got cleaned out. It has been 4 years now and little by little I am cleaning shit out…When I tossed stuff, you would think I was tossing the crown jewels, not my little ponies that no one had played with for 10 years. Oh I love this blog, because when ever I get down, you guys help me remember all the Shit… material shit, viscious shit, lazy shit, conniving shit, unfaithful shit, selfish shit, shit, shit, shit.

  • Mine was actually pretty good around the house. He would paint anything I asked him too and went along with however I wanted to decorate. Apparently after he left, though, he and OW collaborated to decorate his new house in western regalia. My kids tell me it looks like a cowboy museum. It’s also huge.

    I always struggled with the large properties my ex wanted, the work was overwhelming and there was never any time for socializing with other people. It got to where my ex wouldn’t go anywhere, the property came before everything else. If family wanted to visit they had to come to our place and work on the property with him. My father got tired of it and started dressing up when he visited. He would tell my ex that he forgot his work clothes. My dad recognized a one-sided relationship when he saw one (Too bad I didn’t.)

    Anyway, I love my house. It’s the perfect size for me. My dad made most of the furniture in it. I’ve still got to do some painting but am in no hurry. Just trying to do a little bit at a time.

    • re: “the property came before everything else” …

      After college, I bought a house with a friend and my friend turned out to be controlling and have some NPD issues. He would control me via house projects and chores. So I think that controlling personalities often use “the house” as a means of control.

      So to any young folks out there, if you are shacking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend and they use “the house” as a tool to control your time and schedule, then that is a red flag.

      That’s not to say a house isn’t significant work, but the process of scheduling and prioritizing should be collaborate and respect each person’s individual priorities.

      {As I side note, I have recognized the the Common Denominator in these “controlling” relationships is me, and I have been working on that with my therapist.)

    • Lyn, I’m so glad you have a new, smaller place that you love! After what he put you through, you deserve only the best.
      I live with my elderly Dad, but someday I hope to have my own little house, just big enough for me, a dog, and a sewing room!

  • My Ex was a very reluctant “helper” around our house – I handled all the cleaning, cooking, laundry, child care, yard care, etc as well as working outside the home in a very stressful profession that paid well so I stuck with it! He would grudgingly do a few chores here and there, and sulk and pout through them or act so irritable and angry afterwards that it was just not worth it. He was also quite fond of saying things like “I’ll rake the front yard IF you rake the back and give me a BJ.” Yep, I was such a chump I traded sex for help around the house – and I did it so many times that I became numb to it – it was like a chore that I had to complete to get things done that were too much for me physically to do all by myself. (BTW – for a man who lovingly would do things around the house unasked, and would treat me with respect and caring – I would happily give “favors” anytime he wanted!! But to be told I had to as the only way to get any help…Uggh…Yuck…I was such a chump.)

    • You were married to my XH? (He would always ask for a BJ before he’d do *anything*. So sometimes I’d promise him “oral gratification” and then afterwards I’d turn to him and say “thank you” [oral, get it?]. He’d blow up with a huge tantrum but it was hilarious anyway.)

  • The best description of my XH is the one used by our SIL.

    He is a white washed tomb. Looks good but is totally empty.

  • Mine was good at the things that interested him (lawn care), bad at the things that didn’t. My father taught me that there were three parts to any job: the prep work, the job, and the clean up. Well, XH was only ever interested in the action part – the job – and only until he got bored.

    Like the time he opened the shower wall in the master bath, fixed the broken pipe, replaced the drywall, and sanded everything down. Not bad, right? Except that the wall was shower on one side and clothes closet on the other, and he did all this without bothering to remove or cover any of the clothes. So I had to do that after the fact, because every piece of clothing was covered in drywall dust. $0 cost for plumber, $400 for dry cleaning and laundry.

    Or the time we bought 28 plantation shudders in October to paint and hang in our big bay window before company came for Christmas. When did they get painted? December 21st. When did they get hung? Never. It was so cold the day XH finally got around to doing the job that all the paint promptly cracked upon drying. I spent months trying to sand off all that paint – it wasn’t HIS fault, of course, since I’M the one who badgered him into painting them – before I finally threw in the towel and gave up. We ended up throwing them away when we moved – almost $700 down the drain. He referred to them as “Red’s folly.” Still burns me up to this day.

    The most annoying thing was that he’d spend 20+ hours a week on the lawn because he enjoyed it. He’d rearrange the landscaping like some people rearrange furniture, always digging up plants and flowers and putting them elsewhere. We had the most gorgeous lawn on the block…until he moved out. I’m all thumbs when it comes to plants and had to watch a YouTube video to learn how to start the lawnmower. When he’d come over to pick up the kids, he shake his head at the sorry state of the yard and say, “Why does everything you touch end up looking like this?” Nice, huh?

    So, SO MANY red flags. Hindsight’s 20/20…

  • I never made this connection before. My ex would plant her garden in the spring but become bored with it by summer. If there was any trouble (rabbits & groundhogs), she give up all together. Her roses got the same treatment. New plants got plenty attention but the older ones withered away. It was always easier just to get a new plant than care for the ones she already had. Indoor was much the same. The bedroom floor was always littered with bags upon bags of new clothes and new stuff but these would stay there for a log time because they were really needed, just wanted. Picking up and cleaning was unheard of. But, she’d critisize anyone else’s attempt.

    • ” It was always easier just to get a new plant than care for the ones she already had.”

      Sums up cheaters in one simple sentence. 🙂

  • He was into solar energy, but was unable to do any DIY and the support he bought were not adapted to our flat roof. He screwed them into the roof protection, which resulted in a large spot of water on the bedroom ceiling the first time it rained, and then he was soooo angry. Electricity is not like Lego, it can be very dangerous. I got some training for panel installation, and spent many weekends engineering a support and cabling the panels. But he wanted a higher voltage and changed the batteries, and then changed his mind again, letting me spend more weekends re-cabling the damn thing, on top of many other tasks that he couldn’t be bothered with. Until I collapsed in a burnout. After D-Day, he complained that we do not travel on weekends enough.

  • The work got done at our house because the ex had the family money to pay someone else to do it. However, he was never content to just live with what we had (and I’m not talking about a leaky roof or a termite infestation– I’m talking about the constant need to change and to upgrade). EVERY home we moved into (there were three total if you don’t count the apartment that we weren’t permitted to make any changes to, thank goodness) needed something gutted. I can’t tell you how long I lived with contractors coming in and out of my homes, rooms that were unusable for periods of time because they were being redone, the dust/debris of remodeling… if I have to have something done at my current home, I practically break out in hives because it takes me back to those constant days of home improvement. Brand new kitchen… every room repainted… an addition… and after I left, he kept going on the former martial home.

    Since I left, they have done ANOTHER round of room repainting (you know, they need to paint over all evidence of me), added another bathroom (which I blocked when I lived there– jeez, we had two; I thought that a third was a ridiculous waste of money), replaced all of the fully-functional kitchen appliances (can’t have those dated looking monsters around– I’m sure that everything is now in that annoying-to-keep-clean stainless steel finish that the ex loved), and I’m sure there’s more that my kids haven’t told me about. He’s currently having one of those moldering outbuildings redone, which I’m sure costs a small fortune. He also bought the lot across the street when it was for sale for the tune of 60,000 so that someone wouldn’t buy it, build on it, and ruin his precious, pastoral view. Wouldn’t you love to have that money to throw around?

    Okay, vent over. In contrast– my current home is half the size of my old one. When I moved in, I repainted a couple of bedrooms that I felt were really bad colors, and I replaced the dingy carpet in one. I also painted the basement floor because it was in bad shape and needed it. And… that was it. I live quite happily with the white kitchen appliances that were left here. The former owners were going to put the fully-functioning washer/dryer out on the curb because they were going to buy new, fancy ones when they moved, and I was delighted when they said they’d leave them for me. There are many imperfections around my house, and I don’t care about them. The kids and I live quite happily in our much-too-small for the ex’s standards house, and any work I have done is necessary as opposed to cosmetic, like gutter repairs and hot water tank replacement. I’m not saying that cosmetic work on a house is wrong, but my ex found fault with everything, and everything always needed to be changed. That got really old. My life isn’t perfect, but I am far more content with my imperfect house than my ex will ever be with his so-called perfect house that he continues to sink thousands of dollars into. At the end of the day, he might have the “showplace,” but it’s empty. My home is the one that is filled with happiness and love.

    • This is my stbx-
      When we purchased our home, he got the keys and went in and gutted everything. We lived in our apartment for 90 more days while he proceeded to upgrade everything-except my bathroom & that took a year. My friends jokingly called our place the Vatican because my stbx put marble EVERYWHERE. I’m surprised that I won the fight to put carpet in the bedrooms but rest assured he complains about it all the time.
      There isn’t a single space in that house that hasn’t been redone. He even did the garage. People would tell us that our home looked like a showpiece which made stbx’s head huge. People would also tell me how lucky I was because stbx did most of the work. Right, how lucky am I to have a beautiful home but live in it with a cold, loveless, lying, cheating, porn addicted asshole? He expects the house to be kept like a museum and we have a small child. I have never been able to keep the house or garage clean enough for his standards. He used to tell me that any mess in the house or garage would make him angry & not want to have sex with me. Since there wasn’t much sex anyways, what did it matter? He would just find something else to make him mad & avoid me. I tried to turn the tables on him & told him if he wanted me to do something/OCD clean that he would need to put out. Needless to say, he didn’t put out anyways so nothing changed there. He even had the nerve to tell me that he didn’t want to have sex with me because then I would want it all the time? WTF!?
      Most men would be thrilled to have a wife like that. Yup-not stbx. He wants to pay for the underage strange & watch it on his iPorn.

      My home & stbx are like a grand marble mausoleum-beautiful on the outside to look at but cold, hard, and lifeless

      • CurrentChump – you sure spoke to me just now. But instead of remodeling houses, X just wanted to keep building the biggest and biggest until he got the biggest possible. He never cared much about the inside, which 3 decorators fired him for being obnoxious as he hated their prices. Yeah, put all this money on the outside but leave the inside with 30 yr old furniture. I couldn’t figure it out and I never did get my way on a living room couch. Towards the end, I did buy myself a lavish 4-post bed that was never consummated by us on, so I am going to start with that in my new house.

        I went from 7500 sq ft to 1500, with a snap of the fingers.
        I want completely different everything. MY things – FINALLY! MY colors FINALLY!
        Everything I ever suggested to decorate he’d shoot down.
        I like to say we got divorced over bar stools in the kitchen. (final straw)

        I can’t wait to move into my little place; I’m going to make it all white and airy and roomy….enough of the stuffy museum mausolem look – went from Mediterrean to Beachy, which is where I live anyway.

        I’m going to take all the time in the world to add my little touches but I will need a new kitchen.
        Everything in it is 1974 and shows it. But, I got a good deal on it and the dogs have an awesome yard to run in.
        That was my priority.

        Wishing everbody luck on their transitions.
        When I finally accepted I had to sell this home we’ve been in for 20 yrs (so many memories), I am looking forward to making a new home just the way *I* want. And, only canines welcome for sleep overs!

        • I can’t wait to move into my little place; I’m going to make it all white and airy and roomy….enough of the stuffy museum mausolem look – went from Mediterrean to Beachy, which is where I live anyway

          Good for you SheChump!
          You are living my dream…….soon to be my reality on the road to meh!!

          I can’t wait to be rid of my “showgirl” stbx and his opera of me, me, me & look what I have

  • I’m not sure how to analyze my cheater in this situation – maybe you guys can help me out then.
    Here’s the thing, he was so so great at fixing up the house – We bought a fixer upper – and everything was changed within 2 years, floors, windows, kitchen, bathrooms, and he kept the outside yard – Looking the best in the neighborhood – Meticulous! And he would get tons of compliments on the home improvements and on the yard.

    But he did NOTHING else, I mean nothing. No laundry, no taking the kids anywhere without bitching, no cooking, no cleaning – I did all of it to perfection, while working full time. – All the man had to do was come home from work, and be a loving dad and husband.

    He fixed everything in the house – EXCEPT one room – our Master Bedroom. He started it, (now I know – right at the time that he started the affair) He did a built-in case, the day he stained it, I came home and simply said “wow that’s really dark” not in a bitchy way – just as a statement. He abruptly stopped all work in the Master Bedroom, left the built in unfinished and refused to touch anything else in the bedroom. Last time we talked, he still brought that up – because I criticized him. WTF???

    Was it the guilt of the affair – that kept him from finishing the ONE room that needed to be finished in the house? for 4 years it stayed like that – until I sold the house and finished it myself as best I could.

    Was everything else, like the perfect yard – just for outward appearances?

  • I can tell you all just really do not understand the busy, busy life of a cheater. Let me explain how time works for them while they don’t work.

    This is an average day:

    Wake up after spouse has already been up long enough to have the coffee made. Stay in pj’s and drink coffee while she gets ready for work.

    Turn on computer and open two screens — one where it appears you are reading the news, and the real one — where you are checking your online dating sites or surfing porn. You need two screens, because if she happens to come in the room, you can toggle to your “news” screen, and act like you are enriching your brain, and being a concerned citizen of the world.

    Be careful if you feel the need to masturbate before she leaves for work — she might catch you. Of course, that makes it even more exciting.

    As soon as she leaves for work, start calling any of your online prospects that have responded to your profile and provided you with a phone number. If you can’t get any new supply, go to one of your regulars. Phone sex and skype sex are a wonderful way for you to start your day. If all else fails, your porn lovelies won’t ever let you down. After all, a man has needs.

    When you are done with your “morning rounds” — proceed to the bathroom and take a long shower. Be sure to leave wet towel on the floor, dirty clothes on top of the hamper or in the floor, and remnants of toothpaste, shaving creme and cigarette ashes in the sink and on the vanity. Also, be sure to leave the seat up, and leave as much of a mess as possible for her to clean up after she comes home from work. You know she needs something else to do, and cleaning up after her adult “partner” gives her the chance to really appreciate all you do for her.

    Once you are dressed, start your daily visits. Get yourself something to eat, while you flirt with the waitress. You can tell her about all of the projects you are supposed to be doing around the house. She will be very impressed that you are such a skilled artisan, and such a busy, busy man. Then stop off at the stores you frequent, to see if there are any new things you might need there. If so, make a note to come back with the wife so that she can buy these things for you. You know this makes her feel needed. What a guy, always finding ways for her to please you. If possible, flirt with any female sales clerks or cashiers. You know they want you — they all wish they could have you. Your wife is such a lucky woman!

    If you can, work in a “date” to meet new supply and charm her with your winsome ways. Or, stop off for a nooner with one of your current OW. You have to take care of these women’s needs — so many to do, so little time.

    Come home and take a nap to rest up from your busy day so far.

    Get back on the computer and check your online sites again. Maybe make a few calls to any new supply or OW you missed earlier in the day.

    Almost time for wifey to come home? Get some of your tools out, and move around some things. Make a general mess in the area you are supposed to be working in. Make it look like you actually did accomplish something today. Make up your excuses to explain why you didn’t get more done. You poor thing — what bad luck you have that keeps you from getting more done. Those defective building materials, tools and unexpected problems you find in the construction of the home really slow you down. It is really hard to do these jobs all by yourself — but of course you are an expert and don’t really need help. What good luck for your wife that she won’t have to pay someone to help you get the job done.

    Say hello to your wife when she gets home. Tell her how sorry you are that you didn’t “have time” to make any supper. Oh yeah, you forgot to do laundry, too. Oh, the bathroom? You meant to get back in there and clean it up, but it must have slipped your mind because you were so busy doing other, important things.

    Ask wifey if she feels like giving you a BJ or a HJ, to make you feel better because of all the stress you faced that day. Point out that if she was a “loving” woman she would always want to make you happy, and if she doesn’t appreciate you, there are other women who will. Maybe tell her one of those great stories about a relationship you had in the past — what that chick would do for you in the sack. She always seems to enjoy those.

    You are such a stud! She is so lucky to have you. What a guy!

    With all of these mad skills your knight in shining armor had, is it any wonder your home stayed in such excellent repair? Just think of all the money he saved you by not working a paying job, and staying home to be your live in contractor! Besides all that — even though he is living rent and utility free, and eats off your dime, too, he will still want half the equity in the house if you sell it. After all, it is only fair considering all he has done to you. Oh, he will need all those tools you bought “for him” — after all, they were gifts, right? And that car you paid off that he drives? He’ll need that, too. I mean, seriously, you cannot expect him to walk to Schmoopie’s house, can you?

    • Portia, WHO ARE YOU?!!! Good Lord–you were married to my husband! Down to the exact routine of going shopping all day to see if he needed things and then letting me know so I could buy them for him!

      I’m stunned. Absolutely stunned. I never ever heard anybody describe what I went through with that fucking asshole in such an intimate way. Thank you for assuring me, yet again, that these jerkoffs are all the same and I am not alone.

      • I was raised by depression babies, who grew up on small family farms. There were always chores to be done, and there was never any question about what you were responsible for. I am used to being busy and have a strong work ethic. I was also chumpy enough to expect my spouse to have a strong work ethic, too. There was plenty that needed to be done. It took me a while to figure out his routine — I was suspicious and joined the marriage police. (Yet another job for ME! Yea!) That was how I found out about his routine, and why no job was ever finished. I also found out he would take building supplies I had purchased for our home, and take them to other places and do “odd” jobs for cash, and sell the supplies, but never brought home any income from those jobs.

        Yes, I was such good supply! Of all the waste and chicanery that went on, I hate the lies and the cheating the most. How disrespectful can you be to your spouse ?

        I know there is some variety to the jerks methods — and some of them do make money and bring it home to pay other people to do any work around the house that YOU cannot do, but they are always “supervising” others, and assigning their work to other subordinates. They take the credit, but don’t actually work. They chump their bosses like they chump their spouses. I’ve heard the term “Snakes in Suits” to describe this type.

        Finding out that there is much shared misery in the world is strangely comforting. You are NOT alone — there are many good hearted chumps in the world.

        I just had an urge to let loose with my dark humor today. I had to learn to laugh, because I didn’t have time to cry.

          • I just remembered when we were dating he made the comment to my mom that he was not raised to do housework including dishes. My mom looked at him and said, “neither was she.” My mom knew and I was blinded by “love?” I was the youngest with three brothers-We all cleaned and cooked well as both parents worked. That was 30 plus years ago. Shit!
            He stuck to his upbringing and never helped. Actually that was how I knew he was angry. He would slam dishes around the kitchen and it would be like lead in my heart because i knew what was coming.

        • “Wake up after spouse has already been up long enough to have the coffee made. Stay in pj’s and drink coffee while she gets ready for work.”

          Know that trick all too well. Only it extended to whenever I made snacks for the kids (and little kids are always snacky). He’d pout until I made snacks for him, too. I was serving a middle-aged man little plates of goldfish crackers, carrot sticks, banana slices with a daub of peanut butter and glasses of milk. Texting your girlfriend is a lot of work! Me hungry! His days were happy! happy! just like your jerkoff’s days though he did go to work — his favorite hunting ground. Work provides lots of excuses and you get sick and vacation days that can be used for purposes other than being sick or on vacation.

      • I agree — but which part are you ewwing and icking about? Or is it all of it????

        • that part would be most of it, the porn, the cigarette ashes, the messes, the flirting, the asking for a handjob after laming out all day, etc.

          • You bet! What a guy, right? Who wouldn’t want a chance at living with that guy! Lucky, lucky me! When I started paying attention to all the red flags I wondered how I had spackled for so long.

    • Kill myself laughing!! Portia, every single word you wrote sounds like it came from my diary. You are amazing!!

  • My cheater hardly ever attempted to do anything as far as repairs. And when he did somehow he fucked it up. Because of that I learned how to do everything. I’ve replaced toilets, installed ceramic tile, fixed the boiler, stained the deck, built furniture, etc. Once I figured out how to do it all he decided to just “let me do it because his way would never be right”. That became the metaphor for our marriage. He couldn’t fix it, so it was up to me to figure it out. Never saw the pattern until just now. Lord, I was stupid. Handy, but stupid!

  • I could go on and on about this as well. My ex was very handy and could pretty much fix anything. He just didn’t really want to. I would be forced to ask multiple times for something to get fixed. He eventually would do it with protest. Our wood deck was it pretty bad shape. He wanted to get a hot tub to put on it. The deck was not sturdy enough to support it. He tore down the old deck and built a new one! It looked fabulous except…….he didn’t finish it! Once he got the hot tub on it……he was done. No stairs!!!

    We had a water softener in the basement. He hated going to Lowes to get the salt. We would go weeks without salt in the softener. You couldn’t drink the water it tasted so bad. He told me to buy bottled water at the grocery store. Then he would get me the salt and he would leave it the garage. I was PREGNANT and carrying 50 lb bags of salt to the basement to put in the softener!!!! At the end of my pregnancy I was putting the bags of salt in my laundry basket and sliding the bags down the stairs because I was afraid to lift them!

    Yard work!!!!! He hated it! He mowed the grass. That was it. And we had a riding mower and I had to ask him MANY times to do it. By the time he got to it he would leave huge clumps of weeds all over the yard because it had grown so tall. I did all of the mulching of the flower beds. I would order 10 yards of mulch. He would use his fathers tractor to haul it around the yard to various flower beds. He would sit on the tractor and watch me spread it all.

    Just typing this makes me so friggin’ mad!!!!!!!

    • LOL – they are all alike. Had to laugh about the big clumps of grass because they couldn’t figure out that the yard needed to be mowed when the grass grew (or the real reason, they were just waiting for us to do it). And being a Good Chump, I did everything; I didn’t want to be a nag, so I had an “ask twice” rule (with a smile) and then I’d just do it – cut the grass, all the yard work, all the housework, all the errands, car care, kid care, cooking, cleaning. The only time I didn’t mow was at the very end of my (high-risk) pregnancy, and you would of thought he had invented electricity. Cuting the grass like four times in ten years makes you a superhero, don’t cha know…

      His one household task – taking out the garbage. He went outside 100 times a day anyhow to smoke; would have taken NO effort. And guess who always left the garbage til it overflowed? Or until Chump Wife took it out…one guess? Blech.

  • The best $300 I spent after the divorce was for a rolloff dumpster to fill with all the worthless crap left by her and her family in the home.

    Keeping the house came with the price of keeping the crap she left there.

    So $300 for that 20 yard dumpster dropped at the house for a week was money well spent.

  • My parents always had a big wonderful home. So I was living in a fantasy, where things get done only once and then stay perfect forever.
    The reality of house maintenance hit me in the face after we bought our first home. But I enjoyed making concrete, building walls, spackling, painting, building shelves, buying curtains and furniture, buying plants and working in the yard. I was proud I could do it all, and quite energetic. I paid for all of it. After a decade though, I got tired more quickly, and started to resent the fact that He would either sit at the computer, or lie on the bed to watch TV, while I was doing whatever maintenance was needed. If ever I complained that I was tired, his answer would be “stop, then, and get some rest !”, but there was never an offer to do his part of the work.
    After D-Day, he does nothing except iron his own clothes. He complains if I spend time on weekends working around the house. He complains if I hire somebody because it costs money. He complains that the place is untidy if nothing gets done.
    And to my utter amazement, when he undresses, he leaves all his clothes on the spot, underwear inside out in his pants. It looks like he vanished into thin air. Lovely.

    • I’m still trying to get over the solar panel story. Great googly moogly, you are one awesome mighty chump! Now, based solely on the present tense verbs above–are you still with this crazy, cheating moron? You are already doing all the work, including frickin’ solar panels, and paying for it. Once you get this guy out of your way, the sky is the limit for you.

      • Thanks for the compliment ! The answer to the question is yes and no. He is at home only on weekends, calls me with Skype every evening of the week, and is sometimes very nice. My main problem is that our house is in a quiet village populated by people in their seventies, and he did not like the few friends I managed to make, my family is not supportive, at work I was the new wolf in a pack at the time D-Day happened, so I am quite isolated and have nobody to turn to for advice. Except expensive therapists who excuse him. If only some Chump Nation people who contribute to this forum were leaving nearby, it would be so much fun, and I believe I would have let him walk away.

        • ChumpoFromF, you can walk away without someone nearby. I was almost completely isolated when I did it. If the therapists you are seeing are now helping you, interview new ones. Find one that will help you, there are alot of shitty therapists out there. I went through a few myself before I found a couple of good ones.

  • My ex actually did chores and other handy stuff, when I asked. He rarely did things on his own. I was the one interested in making the house nice, improving things and the yard, etc. I did all the yard work, but he would help dig big holes for trees, etc.
    At the end, in his revisionist history, he told daughter to not do what is expected of you, that will not make you happy. He did what everyone else wanted him to do, and was miserable/drowned in unhappiness.
    But, he let me keep the house without asking for equity (we would have sold it for maybe $20k over loan after realtor commissions, fix up projects, etc, not much there!)…. Though is now using that as a part of his ploy for not increasing child support (see what a great person I am, blah blah blah.

    • YOu were lucky… with mine, I had this thing called a ‘3 week think’… I would lay out the case for what needed to be done or decided in a completely non judgemental way… I would slowly add evidence over the next couple of weeks as to what might need to happen and why, and then 3 weeks later, Dr. Demento would come up with the brilliant idea of what to do on his ‘own’ and then most of the time he would give me permission to go and do it. Maddening…and everyone spackles for these losers… he doesn’t mental capability to do this… his brain function doesn’t work that way…I want to scream, How fucking hard is it to decide to call the fucking plumber. God help me… I lost a two year old when he packed up his shit and left.

  • Oh how could I have forgotten this story ?!

    We had moved into a house that was quite a disappointment, but being one to not want my guy to feel like a failure, I went into full on chump-achiever mode to redo our master bath beautifully on nearly no money but a lot of sweat equity…it really was beautiful, I made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

    But he was annoyed by the 3 days it took me to finish. I needed another coat of paint on the floor but I was informed that if my little project was not done by X hour then he would go into the bathroom and destroy it…and he meant that shit.

  • Hit this one out of the ball park. Cheaters were never invested in their marriage therefore the home and kids were neglected while they got their jollies (not just sex but self-absorbed activity that did not include their families).

    When my kids were in elementary school x ripped the toilet in the MBR off the flange and left it sitting to the side with a rag stuffed in the hole for half a year. My father was visiting after a round of chemo and offered to replace the o ring and reseat the toilet for me and miraculously x found the time to fix it. I would have done it but he kept yelling he’d do it (I have replaced o rings before and since but always needed another person to reseat the toilet because short people find it awkward to lift the thing back onto the bolts – yay for tall teenage sons). The ass found plenty of time to help his classmate paint the interior of her house during this time.

    Later when my kids were in high school x noticed the tile in the shower/bathtub was lifting in the main bathroom. So he pulled half of it off and didn’t replace it. Then he tried to replace the bathtub drain unsuccessfully. So for over a year we had a bathtub that was not only without a drain it was yanked off kilter and the tile and drywall was smashed up around the shower enclosure. He paid somebody to fix it after my mother and sons had to farther damage the wall to retrieve our cat. Again the ass had plenty of time to help his friend drywall his basement and stain his deck but nothing in our house. I had not contracted anybody or attempted to fix it myself because of the constant “Don’t do it; I’ll get to it”

    The hot water heater blew up while he was on a short business trip. I shut off the water; made sure the water had drained properly and called a plumber asap. He complained that I had paid so much to get the heater replaced and should have waited for him to install it. WTF, go without hot water so we can wait six months for x to get to it. Oh yeah this time he would have had it done quickly to have HIS lengthy hot showers.

    After the hot water heater I ignored his handyman claims and just did it myself or hired somebody. Replaced a radiant heater myself in the living room. Replaced a bathroom fan. Got somebody in to fix our irrigation system. Repainted two bedrooms and the main bathroom. He complained incessantly about the cost or that he could do it himself.

    x was home for weeks on end (worked weeks away as a consultant and then spent time at home) and never spent time with us or did any “chores” The kids mowed the lawn. I brought the cars (including his) in for servicing. He wanted us to raise banners and cheer when he deigned to take the garbage to the curb. The laundry, meals, cleaning was done by me (with the kids’ help) whilst working 40 hours a week while x sat around 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. He never cooked a meal, never attempted to help in any way. Had plenty of time to go out with his friends and help them out including frequent meals away. Networking is so important for a consultant dontcha know.

    When the washer went on the fritz, he was home. Never called the repairman, never helped to load all of our clothes into the car so that my kid and I could take them to the the laundromat. He loaded a bunch of only HIS clothes into a basket several days later and took it to the laundromat by himself when the repairman had to delay the fix because the wrong part came in. Complained incessantly about how I had screwed up and he had to wash HIS clothes at the laundromat. The ass did not take anything but his stuff for washing.

    Looking back I always had thought he was a nice guy. But he never engaged with his kids once they stopped being cute and adorable (around 8 or 10). He had plenty of time to help friends or colleagues but no time to do basic home maintenance for his own family. Funny how looking back I can remember the incredible selfishness but at the time never really noticed.

    What a waste of skin.

  • This is a big topic for me.

    1. He never, and I mean never, finished a project. Bathroom remodel? Took 3 years but there was no door on the cabinet. The Deck? In 15 years, he never completed the railing. He never reinstalled switch plates or caulked. It drive me nuts. The house was a total mess – I was always embarrassed to have anyone over because of the unfinished work. My good friend always called him the “Master Crapsman”.
    2. He bought tools – oh yeah. Like six rakes, 12 shovels, countless wood whittling tools (never used), power saws, sanders, and gadgets. Never used. Don’t get me started on the project cars, tools and parts.
    3. The kicker – the man never paid a bill. I don’t know what mental problem he has, but when he took the bills over because I commuted 3 hours each day – suddenly the mortgage didn’t get paid. We faced foreclosure three times before it finally was too late and the court sale was done. He always chose to tell me about 3 days before these events so it was terrible trying to save that place. We made really good money but he just couldn’t pay a bill. I found medical bills on my credit report that he never paid for…$18.00.

    It amazes me what I put up with but never nagged him or criticized him because of his oh so frail ego.

    • Chumpfor21 – Interestingly, my wife had some similar issues. Projects at her row house (before we were married) never got done. She hoarded a bit, and was awful at money and bills.

    • My chump friend’s STBX has had a half finished bathroom project for 12 years now. They bought the foreclosure home they live in 12 years ago and he did most of the work himself…crooked bathroom tile; terrible drywall; and our personal favorite – knocking out a weight-bearing wall to “open up” the living room. So my friend notices after a few years that the ceiling is drooping quite a bit, and discreetly gets estimates to have it repaired. She’s going to pay for everything, because STBX is unemployed, a drunk, a cheater, and pretty angry about everything. So when the guys show up to fix the ceiling, STBX meets them at the door in his underwear, drunk at 8am on a Monday morning (friend and kids are at school), with a shotgun. Yep. So, 12 years in, the ceiling is working a pretty excellent droop, and my exhausted friend’s only comment is that she and the kids (who will be out of the house in a few months) just want to get out before the whole f’ing things caves in on cheater’s head.

      And no, we don’t really visit there. And same STBX hasn’t paid back student loans for over 35 years; or taxes either. Unbelieveable how crazy it gets. And how it just becomes normal.

    • This is crazy! Each post makes my head nod with yes, yes,yes! We built a master bedroom with a covered deck top as the roof because he said tying into the existing roof would be too expensive. (He turned around and spent $35000 to refurbish a camper) this was after dday and contributed to my feelings of worthlessness. Didn’t we deserve a real roof on our home? Plus we have always had to bring water into the home. There was a tiny portion in master bath never painted. I always had to reach under to open the closet because handles were not installed.
      The interior door was our sliding door to the deck- now master bedroom- the screen portion was never removed. The other door exited outside. I had to go through there to get to the grill or backyard. When his coworker or friends would come in, they entered through my bedroom. Maddening! I could never lay in bed because people could walk through.
      I asked for a door and deck off the kitchen but he always said electrical work made it impossible. A friend of his suggested the same arrangement and i gave him stbx’s reasoning. He said that is nothing that can’t be changed. I knew that but also knew it would never happen unless he wanted it done.

    • This is actually a very common theme with the disordered/NPD set. Particularly bills related to services – doctor bills, accountants, lawyers. Narcs think these people should work for free for them. During my own divorce last fall, I turned to EH’s lawyer and said, “I hope for your sake he’s paid you, as that’s the last money you’ll ever see from him!” His lawyer got so red in the face, he looked like a tomato.

  • Ex was not much help around the house. Sure he would chip in on the rare occasion when he felt like it but day to day tasks, forget about it. He would do the “big projects” like the new roof (he did that as a profession when he was younger) or built a deck. What I have come to realize is that he did the stuff that people can see. It was an image thing for him. A “look what I did” type of thing.

    I have come to find out that the little stuff that he did do was all done half assed. The great part is that my kids see this as well.

    I did the laundry, mowed the yard, cleaned the gutters, picked up the dog shit in the backyard, snow removal, dishes, child care, paid bills, managed the family for the simple reason that he chose not to, prepared meals, general house work, you name it. All while working a full time job and caring for the children. The responsibilites were all on me. I didn’t want him to be burdoned with stuff because he needed to get his sleep and be alert for his job on the sheriff’s department. You know he carries a gun… (eyes rolling…..)

    When he would help out, I was always praising him for the job he did…honey the house looks great, thank you for doing it. But no, rarely did I ever get any appreciation. He could hardly must up the words I’m sorry.

    Recently, my teenage son and I were in the garage and he was working on our edger. Ex would edge the sidewalks maybe once a year and make a HUGE production out of it. Last year, I did it maybe every other month and it was no big deal. My son made the comment that yeah, he is my father and all, but it was ridiculous what a production he made out of doing the sidewalks.

    He would only do stuff when it made him look better or more attractive to other people. He didn’t do it because he wanted to help. He wanted the praise. Things don’t change much…He was and always will be a very shallow person. There is no depth to his soul.

    Since I did most everythng when he was there, my house doesn’t look much different with the exception that the nastiness has been removed. The soul of my house has been cleansed. I have maintained my house well and it looks great plus it is cheater free. 😉

  • Cheater found this house which was a dump and supposed to be temporary. We, or I, started locating service people to begin immediate repairs to the home and yard.

    When we found out about our surprise twins, I told cheater I wanted a slightly larger house. The dump is a true three bedroom two bath on well and septic in the area *I*found which has awesome schools. Well, after viewing a bunch of homes that were also plug and play but needed some updates, cheater did nothing and refused. So we stuck our oldest, 8 yrs old at the time in the basement because staying put in the dump while leading a second life was MORE important than keeping all the kids on one floor in a tiny ranch home. I was pretty defeated mentally at that point in the marriage and physically overwhelmed by a twin preg. in my late 30’s.

    I am still busted up by abandoning my oldest to the fucking basement and not having the mental strength at that time to be the advocate I needed to be for him.

    So me being the awesome spackler I am, and not knowing about the second wife at all, I worked on the fucking dump alone. I found and hired people to help. I painted. I did the yard work and landscaping. I cleaned the home. I did this work to save money for our family. I did not know that these savings were being used to entertain fuckbuddies all over the US and Canada.

    So I still live in the renovated dump. Even though second wife has visited and called it’s style (MY style) her “dream”, I need to keep reminding myself that it is a financial ASSET.

    This place looks great from the outside. Inside there are somethings to work on, but overall it’s pretty put together. The landscaping looks great. The location is worth more than the home. The schools are ranked No.1/2 in the nation. It’s an asset. But the way I was dumped here along with the kids and abandoned still sucks.

  • Well, the sinkhole in the back yard (collapsed sewage crib from 50 years ago) was the big one, with a need to completely restructure (aka, dig out) the backyard & side yard, tree roots & all; then replant grass, etc. Of course, it was I who did the whole thing (except the bulldozer part): the raking, the leveling, the tamping, the crowbar-and-Sawzall eviction of a 6″ diameter 10-foot long cottonwood root which had wrapped itself around the house’s foundation… while he was off pouring wine in his fancy restaurant & $300 jeans. The kicker (esp in hindsight) was that he actually had the nerve to comment one morning over breakfast as he assessed the progress of the project, “Y’know, it sure would be nice to pick out the dandelions while the new lawn is going in — and maybe pick out all those rocks [I live 100 feet from a river bed], as well,” and I was chumpy enough to do it!

    But my favorite “fail” was when we had three large cottonwood trees cut down years before and the stumps & roots shredded, left a HUGE pile of chippings, to which I’m highly allergic (like hospital-asthma) — the tree company asked if we wanted to pay to haul away the chippings and I *TOLD* XH that *I* couldn’t do it, so it was him or pay the guys. — I don’t have to tell you what happened next: XH refused to pay “for something we can do ourselves,” (my money, so I don’t know why I didn’t just pay the guys — chump), the chippings stayed, XH did not shovel even one shovel-full, and over the winter they packed down & cemented there such that shoveling was no longer possible. Cue the backhoe — much more expensive, AND I loaded up on steroids and did it myself. The scale at the dump registered 2300 pounds of debris I moved, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow.

    Nowadays? With no XH? It’s easy: Shit.Gets.Done.

    • This story reminds me of one fall/winter when we lived in New England and had to rake and bag 100 Home Depot tall recyclable brown leaf bags. EH HATED raking leaves. Well, he hated doing any and all work of any kind, but the leaves he’d literally jump up and down on the lawn whining like a two year old. Neither of my children pulled off any sort of tantrum as their middle age, 6′ 2″ father when they were each two. So, every year he’d do the temper tantrum dance, but I’d ignore him as best as I could and just gut through the day to get it done. One year, it snowed a LOT in early Nov, and we never got the leaves up, the snow stayed until April. When by now, the leaves were a rotted, matted mess, covered with the sand the road crews used on the snow covered roads for traction. I had to use a pitchfork instead of a rake to collect them. Horrible, back breaking work. The EH? He was inside claiming, “I have the flu and can’t help”. Of course when the job was complete, no recognition that it looked great or thanking me for getting it done. Ugh. So glad to be away from these disordered freaks!!!!

    • NWB he was thoughtless and had no regard for you. What a jerk. Good riddance.

      • Thanks, cj. A good friend reminded me the other day that giant hole in my backyard (easy enough to dispose of a body… or two) occurred exactly one year too early! 😉

  • My ex was very neat… and he used his complaints about my housekeeping as an excuse to cheat on me. He even had controlling, personality-disordered mother come into the home when it was messy so she could feel sorry for him and help him clean up.

    Nevermind the fact that I was working full time and going to to school full time, paying most of the bills and all of our health care. Nevermind the fact that I cooked him beautiful meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and hosted holidays for his huge, ungrateful family. None of that counts because I sometimes left panties on the bedroom floor.

    I think the big wake-up call came when we were in our first and last therapy session. I was sobbing into a wad of tissues and one accidentally dropped. He turned to the therapist and shouted, “You see what a slob she is?!”

    The therapist, an older gentleman and a deacon, said nothing but gave my ex a stern look of disappointment. Then, he picked up the tissue, gently dabbed my tears and told me I was good, kind woman, not a slob. This tiny gesture was more courtesy and tenderness than I received from my husband since we were dating. That’s when I knew there was no turning back.

    The funny thing is, ex was a “Jesus Cheater” who insisted on a Catholic therapist because he thought a faith-based marriage counselor would take his side and tell me I needed to reconcile with him or go to hell… not really thinking through the fact that the Church has a very definitive stance on adultery.

  • This is an odd one for me.

    My STBXW (serving D papers this week, baby!) is a good mom and very decent homemaker. She’s a great cook. Even after telling her I am serving her D papers, she is meal planning and grocery shopping.

    Like a pretty house, people in the neighborhood love her; she’s involved, helps organize events, volunteers at school, etc. Additionally, she doesn’t seem to want a pick-me dance, or want an ounce of kibbles from me; I am a sort of Satan, from which she has to be rescued in some way, in her mind. Despite that, she is nice to me, so long as I do NOT mention the affair (then all hell breaks loose!). There’s an odd duplicity, as if the front of the house looks great, but it’s actually a wooden stand-in, like those old style Hollywood movie set house fronts. She enjoys, I think, the appearance of it all: the appearance of the family unit to the outside world (wearing wedding rings at our daughter’s birthday party, even the day after she railed at me in a how-DARE-you-ask-me-anything-about-the-affair-YOU-are-SO-selfish way), even months after telling me in no uncertain terms that our marriage is dead, and she wants a divorce (but she never filed…).

    I think the focus on appearance rather than substance all comes at a steep price, though. I.e., spending time on how you look (she does this more than ever now), and on feeling competent at her job, and much less time on IC (she is in therapy, but never tells me what is discussed there so I can’t speak to it). Eventually, too much focus on window dressing, and the foundation of the building – trust, integrity, self-worth, values – are eroded.

    When that happens, I think lives start to unravel if it’s not nipped in the bud. Example: she got crazy into debt in secret; when I called her out on that BS, and got upset at her not taking adult responsibility for the messes she was causing, she eventually had an affair. Rationale being that her station in life isn’t where she wanted to be, we only had one kid instead of two, she didn’t get to share enough in my publicly high-profile career (trips to wonderful places, etc.). Guess whose fault all that was? Not hers, so it must be… her husband’s!!! Not once have I noticed her saying “hey, maybe I had some responsibility for this stuff, too…” She has admitted to being immature at times, yes, but 99% of it has seemed like blame-shifting to me.

    Six months post DDay, and I think I am ready to retire the facade house and hopefully build a real one with someone else in the future. And I stand a good chance at keeping the real house that we actually line in now… :).

    • Don’t ever ask about the affair! (Sarcasm)

      Why do they get so mad, when they know they did it?

      • Jen – beats me, I am done trying to figure it all out. The bottom line is that with such little remorse demonstrated, such little acknowledgment of the pain caused to others, and such little done to voice her issues with me and the marriage prior to the affair… the bottom line is that we have a big disconnect in values and what we view as acceptable or not. That’s enough to warrant ending the marriage, in my view, and certainly enough to justify being civil (for the kid!), but never being a friend to that person again.

        I’m not trying to be bitter, I just don’t see having to offer friendship and full forgiveness under those circumstances. Maybe, years from now, my STBXW will come around enough on her own issues to want to truly say she is sorry. That’s fine, but I don’t have to try to be friends or wait around in a marriage to her for that.

        • He denied it even though I had pretty good proof. Then he got mad if I brought it up, saying things like, “we already talked about this” or “I can’t remember that was months ago.” And finally, when I figured out some things on my own, he called me a “sleuth.”

          Is it so wrong to want an apology or an explanation?

          Oh and he got mad when I figured out how to reignite the pilot light on the stove. He’s not much of a handy man.

        • Sephage….this is actually how I feel at this exact moment about my husband!! Thank you for putting it into these words!!

    • Sephage, my XH was the same. He gets his narc needs fulfilled as being the perfect guy; great father, hard worker, everyone’s go to dependable guy. This is why I married him. Little did I know that it was a mask for his broken soul. I too was told that I was not allowed to ask about anything other then the kids. Although I have a ton of evidence about his affair and the debt he wracked up when he gave her our credit card, he denied it all and made up a factious fuck buddy ( because the affair lady was a family friend and her children were in my class). He controlled me by being the social one and arranging all of our get togethers with people who were in his corner. He was the one who was friends with the neighbors. When I would walk over to join the conversation, he would end it and walk back to our house. He never put me down, but he never built me up. He was happy letting me believe that I was not as good of a person as he was, and his gaslighting became more and more overt as I became more and more broken.

      As I finally fought for my independence he started his affair. He realized he couldn’t control me anymore so he moved on. I was never given the opportunity for the pick me dance. He maintains his good guy status by only dropping me, not his kids, not his friends, not his family. He still maintains the facade of being a great father, son, brother, and friend. I still struggle with the fact that the rest of his world thinks I must be an ogre since he only walked away from me and not his kids as so many self centered people do. That they think how bad must I be for such a great guy to do something so horrible as to break up his family. For a split second he even tried to paint me as a bad mom. When it became apparent I had far too many people in my corner to refute that claim, he had to give up that line of reasoning. Not only am I a well respected mom, but it am also a well respected teacher.

      What I realized after the fact is that it is all fake fake fake. He chooses to align himself with the most influential person in the room. His best friend at work was the director of his department. He was always closer to his friends parents then his actual friends. He kissed ass to the most popular guys in his group of friends, etc. especially as his affair started, he made extra efforts to spend time with the most well respected people in his circles, so that he could come out of the other end of this smelling like roses. he acted like a great dad, but really spent all of his time on the phone with his mistress. He sent me pictures of him at the park with our kids only to be told later by the kids that he never actually played with them there, that he was on the phone the whole time.

      All this to say that I don’t think the argument totally holds true that cheaters don’t invest in their lives and are the lazy ones. My narc fulfilled his narc needs by being the awesome, go to, super handy, super friendly, reliable, good guy. So he was great at doing household chores, handy man stuff, etc.

  • My xW was fair at dealing with the house. She and her parents pushed for a shortsale even prior to filing for divorce. I called her on that. But I am glad to have no more ties to her like that.

    She was so dishonest that I had to break it to our realtor/attorney for the shortsale that we were getting divorced. That’s important info for shortsales, btw! She would just pretend that we were still happily married in those encounters. Of course, she was cheating the whole time.

    • My ex also wanted to leave our divorce out of the short sale paperwork?! He was trying very hard to keep it all under wraps because telling the world would hurt his good guy status.

      He was not very happy when I told key people in each area of our lives what was really going on. He thought he could pull the whole “we were just friends and developed deeper feelings after the divorce”. When he realized that I had blown his cover, he had to break up the relationship, because He couldn’t stand to look like the bad guy. She was a family friend and her children were in my class, she also was our daycare provider. Funny how as soon as he realized enough people knew the real story and he couldn’t pull off his lies any more, my 5 year old no longer had stories about all the time they were spending with her….

  • Hey, this looks familiar! I’m glad the idea took off!

    “Was your cheater all flash?” Yes. Waterfront home (per OK Cupid)
    “Marble foyer, rats in the basement?: Seriously. What is with the mice in the damn basement? Do they all do this?
    “Was your cheater all half-assed?” Do dogs piss on hydrants?
    “Seven years with a gutted bathroom?” Nah. He just let things go into disrepair.
    “Was your cheater all acquisition? Hoarder mentality, all the acquisition, none of the responsibility?” He switched cars more a Kardashian changes outfits.

    • ExH had 8 cars in 9 years; and they all had to factory new. Gah…..

    • 12 cars, 14 years here. 7 jobs in the same amount of time. Poor guy just kept winding up with there jerky bosses that did not appreciate his wonderfulness.

    • 12 cars in three years. I win! Chump Lady, do a riff on that. . .
      (PS: I was not invited to drive any of them.)

      • XH wasn’t a car guy, but everything was better new, per him. I actually said, out loud, in front of him (sometimes TO him) more than once, “Hey, as long as his need for ‘new’ doesn’t include the woman in his life, I’m fine with it.” Spoke too soon, I guess.

        • Ugh. I always used to say, “When are you going to trade me in? Hahahaha. . . ”

          Joke was on me!

  • Oh wow! Your cartoon hit a nerve with me today. And this -> “Chumps get shit done.” A resounding YES from me!

    Asshat and I were just about to close on a house that we had contracted to be custom built 6 months prior. Bank was calling to schedule a time to sign closing papers and we were just about to take possession when Asshat declares that he’s not “happy” and wants out of our 23 year marriage. WTH????? Without having the whole picture before me (which trickled in a little at a time from my own PI work, until I hired a professional and finally got confirmation about his affair with a 24-yr-old, half his age, howorker), I was tenacious about talking with the builder to see if he would release us from the purchase agreement that we signed. After multiple requests from me, I think the builder took pity on me and agreed. Asshat would have never put that much effort into anything. He was lucky to have me, taking care of shit as I always did. I can’t imagine the financial consequences that might have happened if the builder hadn’t released us from having to purchase that home. Asshat said that he would never keep the kids and I from living in that home. Are you fricken’ kidding me???? A single mother living in that large of house with a mortgage to pay for when the other house was already paid for… He has the name Asshat for a reason.

  • Two words sum up the stbx cheater’s house style: deferred maintenance. He was absolutely useless. He punched a hole in the bedroom wall when I told him (for the upteenth time) that I wasn’t changing my mind about the divorce. He moved out with that hole still there.

    • Deferred maintenance. Yes. Ex punched a hole in bathroom wall when baby wouldn’t stop crying. When the baby turned 12 years old, she and I moved out of the house. The hole was still there.

      • Oh my gosh, Texas Mary, you just reminded me that stbx also tried to punch a hole in the bathroom wall when DD was a baby and wouldn’t stop crying. He must have hit a stud, because all he ended up doing was really messing up his hand. At the time I remember thinking that he was a lunatic.

        I’m sure if stbx had gotten the chance to stick around, he would never have patched the hole either.

    • When my XH left, the door knob on the front door was falling off, literally the door would not stay closed.No safety at all. A great friend came over and fixed it and all the other doors, and basically told me my XH was a loser… yup, how come it took me 32 years to figure that out.

    • Punching a hole in the wall. I told him that if he ever hit me, he better sleep with one eye open. There was an Iron, right outside the room at all times, that I could use. I told him one time that if he ever hit me, I would use that damn iron on him. The iron has a cord that would be helpful. I was always looking at that damn hole in the wall. I am glad that I never had to use the damn iron because I would need bail money. But really him leaving the hole in the wall was a threat. I knew it and he knew it and it left me at a disadvantage because I now know that it was a mind fuck.

  • My XH had no interest in the house whatsoever – wouldn’t lift a finger to do anything except mow the lawn (he had a fancy mower that he would’t let me or the kids touch). If I wanted to do some home improvement, I would ask him and he would show zero interest until I actually started or finished the work. THEN he had all kinds of advice or was angry at me for not asking his opinion about a certain detail or whatever. Several years ago, I had the carpet replaced on our stairs. I had mentioned the need to replace this carpet many times and he seemed ambivalent so I went ahead and ordered the carpet. When I told him about it he was furious that I hadn’t notified him which was ridiculous because we needed it and certainly could afford it. A couple of months after getting the new carpet, I noticed it was filthy. XH had been coming home from work for lunch and walking down the stairs with his shoes on in the middle of the day! In the past, he had always removed his shoes when entering the house… Didn’t realize it at the time but now I’m convinced he did it to ruin my new carpet!

    • Passive aggression Lizzie – fucking arseholes! How DARE you do something without his permission – he’ll show you!!!! (grrrr!)

      • Mine was the same Lizzy, no interest in the house at all but I was never allowed to touch his precious tools. We had no stair carpet for 8 years… while he kept his inheritance a secret. Because that was HIS.

  • ‘The Great I Am’ and I remodeled his house and worked together on projects. So, for instance, he’d be in one room sanding the floorboards and I’d be in the other room stripping wallpaper. All well and good, but it quickly became apparent to me that, of course, his project was much more important than mine and therefore I should naturally be the gofer, for everything! The really weird thing was, he absolutely hated to ask me for anything (not that I ever complained about doing things for him) so much so that I’d tease him about it. For instance, he’d suddenly call to me (in the other room stripping wallpaper) ‘Jayne, have you got the tile cutter/ pozzy screwdriver / electric sander / pliers’? I’d go to where he was, wallpaper scraper in hand, and look down at my none existent toolbelt and go ‘er, no’. He would just look at me and say nothing more – he assumed I would go looking for this errant tool he needed and bring it to him! He did this ALL the time – not once, honestly, not once ever asking me if I would be so good as to go fetch him whatever it was that he wanted. And me being a dickhead, used to do it for him (teasing him about it made not the slightest bit of difference). What a freak, eh (that’s me and him) 😀

    • Oh, gosh Jayne, my ex was totally like this too! He would expect me to do stuff for him, want me to do it, but NEVER JUST ASK ME TO DO IT! It took a long time for me to notice he was doing this; he’d tell me the situation and I’d reach the logical conclusion a d do stuff. Or he’d hint around, or just look pathetic.

      So it was not only my job to do TONS of stuff for him, plus way more than he did in kid and house care, but I was supposed to read his mind as well! I think he found it demeaning to actually ask for anything, never mind a favour, and it would have meant taking some tiny bit of responsibility for looking after his own needs. And he was SO mad if I asked him to do anything, especially if it was to help me in any way. Why should he be expected to help me out????? Made it totally not worth my while to ask.

      The entitlement showed itself in so many ways …. Kind of shocking to look back on.

      • Karen – I definitely got that he thought it was demeaning to ask for anything, or maybe he thought he could state at some future time that he’d never asked me for anything – it was the weirdest shit – I’ve never come across anything like it before or since. Undoubtedly, he expected me to do things but somehow not actually being polite about it gave him an ‘out’ in his head. As for mind reading – ‘The Great I Am’ actually called that out as one of my great failings – bless him, eh? So hard done by, he was!

        • My STBXH also had an odd way of asking for things which I hated! Could I get a ___________? Instead is saying, would you bring me __________? Fucktard.

    • My ex had a particular phrase for asking for something. He’d say, “Do you wanna…..” Do you wanna bring me a pen? Do you wanna make me a sandwich? Do you wanna give me a little nookie?

      Umm. No, actually no I don’t. But that’s the Wrong answer! So I never dared say that. I did his bidding, but never could stand the way he asked! Hope OW is enjoying all this! Because every day without him in it is like Christmas for me!

  • My husband could do anything….as long as he had someone to help (hold his hand), pay them (for the control over them), and he chose to do it. He was totally hands off inside. My 87 yr old dad came in a few years back to put up light fixtures, door in d room, electrical plates, etc. My friend said I husband-shamed him. He was never home (also ignored his own business because he expected clients to wait until he was ready to complete a job) and It was of no benefit to him so they were easy to ignore. He would occasionally, (with help) power wash, clean gutters, mow lawn and get up leaves. I felt if he was not going to be part of our lives he could handle to outside work. He actually could have asked us and we would have gladly helped.We all jumped when he asked and walked on eggshells. Unlike his response of, ” if you want me to help then you come do my job.”
    No gardening help other than saying we need to plant a bigger one and put up the veggies which translates into YOU need to blah blah blah. The last two years I gave up the dance and nothing changed except there were no more plants, garden, his clothes were his problem after he said they were his only connection inside the house. As if we did not know that.
    He did not want to leave so the kids and I left. I miss the history of my home shared with the kids but not the tension. I have not even driven past it since I left. A friend told me he has a lot of stuff so he must have loaded the front yard with his treasures. His snarky comment was the house seems cleaner. We, as in me and the kids, kept the house clean. I was not a collector of anything and even had it professionally organized after Dday, I think because I felt I had lost control of my life and needed that extra order. We lived in that home and since my kids are homeschooled, we were there pretty much all day, everyday. He spent his days picking and choosing exactly what he wanted to do. That involved a bong, porno, prostitutes, and whatever else the hell he wanted. Anything that did not involve a family or home!

  • I would say X is one of those houses that you can tell used to be a nice looking house and everything has been left to rot. And he had a similar way with the actual house.

    When we got the house, X talked about all of the projects we’d do eventually from the easy – painting the walls a different color, to the hard – like room additions. And he did not a single thing. Didn’t even pretend to look into doing any of those things, like getting paint samples, carpet swatches, pricing things. Just, “We should do this eventually.” He is definitely a talk a big game kind of person and has zero follow through. And that’s the same approach he had on what it takes to run a house daily – the only thing he would ever do around the house was mowing/raking, and that was only after me practically begging him to because the neighbors would complain to me. He wouldn’t even pick up after himself.

    Since he’s been gone, I’ve painted several rooms in the house, and done a lot of home improvement projects with the help of several DIY family members and even the kids. One of the times he was over the kids wanted to show him what they helped to do, and he said something snarky to me about how I waited until he was gone to do the project. I guess he was waiting for me to just do all the projects he talked of doing?

  • STBX and I have very different approaches to home care and house work. In a lot of ways, we could very much complement each other’s approaches if we would be able to work together as a team. Sadly, that’s not the case.

    STBX has a very good eye for color. He picked out the paint when we bought our house, and the colors work very well. He is also enthusiastic when it comes to mowing the lawn. He likes vacuuming, and is very good at it–much more meticulous than I am.

    However, he is all about the quick fix and the superficial. I am about planning and detail. I like budgeting for repairs and maintenance. I want to plan out where the gardens go and what goes in them so that I don’t have to spend my spare time weeding. STBX completely dissed my input and plonked stuff in wherever he felt like. Our yard is frankly a mess.

    Similarly in the house, I like deep cleaning, and I have an eye to the infrastructure. We bought a house that had been subjected to some very bad DIY efforts. Several interior doors need to be replaced by someone who can hang a door. We now have a crack in the drywall at the corner of a bathroom door hung so poorly that the prior owner’s idiot relative had to scrape off a significant amount of wood from the door frame so that it would close, and even though it now closes, it sticks.

    Does STBX see this? No. He sees that there’s dog hair on the carpet. Better vacuum that sucker!

  • I lived for 12 years in an unfinished house. All household chores and yard work were my problem because I earned less money than Cheater did. But half the bills were mine too, as were my student loans. Cooking was on my list as well, but only vegetarian food was allowed (I am not a vegetarian myself). At Christmas, I’d receive bare root roses under the tree, for me to plant, nurture and prune. He’d pick up flats of veggie plants (primarily ones I detested) and drop them in the yard for me to plant while he ran off on business trips. I got to water and weed and harvest those things too. I was a serious chump.

  • This is what is helping me so much to get to the state of meh. I hired a skip on DDay and threw him and his crap out. 27 years of living in a house that was an embarrassment and I am at last having the unadulterated joy of creating a lovely home

  • I guess my cheater was an anomaly. He kept up the maintenance on the house even while we were separated.

    • Working, mine did too, some. He wanted the kids and I to stay in the house, I told him I couldn’t manage the yard work. He did the minimum possible, unless he was looking for excuses to hang around the house/us, then he found a zillion things that needed doing!

      Turns out it was all because he expected to be coming back. You know, he’d have his fun with Schmoopie, then move back in with his family and life would go on as before …..

      Delusional idiot.

  • All these stories remind me of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer(?) in, “he’s just not that into you.” She becomes obsessed with remodeling their house, it seems to be a way to fill a hole in their marriage. In the meantime he is seeing a yoga instructor.

    It seems like no how matter perfect the house will eventually be, it’s empty.

  • My X was great at fixing/cleaning/yard work, etc. Very capable and thorough. He just rarely did any of it. Only when something really needed his attention did he work on it. Lot’s of broken and neglected things around the house. I did the cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, bill-paying, taxes and yard work happily as he worked long hours. I also worked and paid half of the bills and half of the mortgage. After D-day, one of the shit sandwiches he tried to offer me was “you NEVER do anything around here! You work part time and then you go to lunch with your friends and go hiking!”. So I did the minimum until I moved out. After a few months of me gone, he said to me “It’s amazing all the things that need to be done around here! – things you used to do! I can’t keep up!”. Oh yes, I did remind him of his comment about how I “never do anything”. He denied saying it.
    He was also a hoarder and compulsive shopper (at the dollar shop) so our house slowly filled up with his piles of useless crap. I hated it and he knew it and continued to bring stuff home. I got yelled at if I moved anything. So it became harder and harder to clean.
    I have a cute little house now that I am totally in love with! I’m so happy not to have someone filling my space with their stuff. And I have tons of houseplants that I rescued from the X’s house and they are thriving! (The few plants I left with him are almost dead). Can’t wait to get started on the yard and garden!

  • My cheater got bored with our home…regularly. We lived in a 2-bedroom apartment in an expensive City (one of the bedrooms actually being our living room so we could have an appropriately-sized dinging area).

    I must have rearranged furniture a thousand times. I rewired the electric (illegal as a renter) so we could have a switch-operated outlet. We furnished and furnished and decorated and painted. And then when it was all done, she complained that it was time for a change.

    I’ve told this one before: right before I told her we were getting divorced because she wouldn’t stop sleeping with her coworker, she went through a major redecoration phase, hanging a bunch of pictures of my family, in cleverly-arranged frames, on the wall. Crazy!

    After the divorce was finalized, I had to pick up one more thing. I stopped by her place to pick it up, and I saw that she’d entirely redecorated! It look very nice…but I couldn’t help but thinking that my ex-wife has a problem with accepting the status quo.

    And that’s cheaters…isn’t it? Maintenance isn’t their thing. They can’t see the value in upholding the familiar. Instead, they prefer tear-downs, rebuilds, guttings, reconstructions, and demolitions.

    • “Maintenance isn’t their thing” You’re spot on there.

      My cheaters dream home was a new build – any new build. New builds are generally boring and have no character a bit like him and the OW, also they require no effort which was exactly the way he views relationships.

      No desire to spend any time or effort making something unique and have pride in, No – bland and low maintenance will do!!

  • My ex let the grass in the yard grow to three feet tall but always made sure to keep his junk perfectly bald. It would have been nice if he put his manscaping skills to use on the lawn. But I guess the lawn wasn’t expecting blow jobs.

  • The house we lived in when we were married had a stove and a fridge. He however refused to hook the stove up. It was electric and no I was not allowed to plug my wedding present into the wall. The bathroom in the marital home was attached to the house but did not have heating duct pipes in place. You had to get up and turn the space heater on in the winter to thaw the toilet. The faucet handles in the tub were locking pliers. In the winter you had to halfway fill the tub with hot water so the ice beneath would melt before you took a bath. He constantly reminded me it was HIS house so when we divorced I let him keep it. Figured I could get a better house on my own.

    His current home in a way was a step up from the house we had when we were married. It had more room and a garage as well as several sheds and a HUGE storage container. Central heat and air. No exposed lathe. However, no stove or refrigerator. Had a huge chest freezer and a dorm fridge. He had a microwave. 2 car garage but you couldn’t park a car in it. The term “hoarder” incensed him. I could write all day about this. The reason why I left, (aside from asshole behavior) was his refusal to have the septic sucked out. (Turns out the whole field had collapsed.) The conversation around this issue was the second time he insinuated another woman in the picture. Yeah, if I didn’t like it he was sure there was a woman out there who would love him enough to live like this…cuz he’s such a catch. BARF!

    It was after I left that his cheating ways came to light. His Mom’s continued reference to his lack of empathy didn’t make sense until I came here. I just thought she meant he was a bit of a jerk. Mommy got to foot the bill on the septic system and other repairs. This is a 64 year old male who is sitting on millions in guns and ammo along with an excellent government pension yet needs financial assistance from his Mom.

    Tracy and Chump Nation, I feel so blessed to have found you. I say thank you every morning.

  • Us not having a mortgage (living in a rental) was one of the reasons given for her cheating. That being said, her cheating increased as I moved closer and closer to buying her the dream home. Not really sure what that means! Papers were already signed and thousands put down on home when DDay occurred…. I say a lack of commitment on her part… not ready to give up her fun…. she says it was coincidental opportunity had nothing to do with the house. Now I am the greatest thing since sliced pie… she wants us to be together forever! She is sooo sorry! Well a bit late I say!

  • When I purchased my first home as a single lady, he lived with me, but did not have a real job. I would leave a list of things to do but more than one item was overwhelming, so I asked for 1 home chore a day while I worked my professional job. The home was lovely but I did the lion share of the work to keep harmony and accepted the less than motivated man the way he was.
    Upon the purchase of home #2, x wasband (we were long since married) was working but after several years, he quit and we did not have the money to pay people to fix the issues. I became sick and the house fell into disaster, then wasband decided we would let the home foreclose (part of his long term plan to divorce me which I thought was just a joke). I lived very sick in my home for the last year with no stove, no heat (we are in Massachusetts) and bathed with hot water from wallpaper steamers. I cooked on hotplates and toasters and tried to act normal. The next/last move was to his family abandoned home. I had to gut everything, walls, floors, kitchen, bathroom (oh and x mil was a HOARDER, so the house had to be emptied first)… x did contribute here and there but nothing consistent except for getting angrier at his sick wife for not working fast enough. In the end he thought he did everything, what a shock. Again, I went more than a year without a kitchen. The yard had not been touched for a decade plus. I had to bring my own furnace and hot water heater. Oh yes, the gourmet meals were still required with no stove or kitchen sink and the refrigerator in the basement. Yup fun and games in between abuse and surgeries and visiting nurses! After all the drama and abuse, I finally had the kitchen complete with my disability settlement (this was a dream, my granite counters and custom cabinets) and five months later, I was discarded and run off because he found my foreign replacement.
    If x wasband voluntarily worked on the home, he made a huge mess and left tools and supplies everywhere and the project usually was not finished. My taking it to the hole or cleaning up after him left him screaming that I always snowballed him and I was a controlling C%&#.
    This was a nightmare and every minute I tried to make the best of a lazy man child. I guess I am lucky that he discarded me because I surely would have died continuing to deal with this shit.
    How he lives now…. for free in his mommy’s home. He wanted to live like a monk, but most likely he still is not finishing things and it is a dirty unmaintained shambles.
    Bye bye dickhead!

    • Echo – That’s unbelievable. Your right he did you a BIG favor… living with no hot water or heat in Mass? You’d have been better off in a shelter. You are in a better place now for sure!

  • My ex FIL was a real fruit loop regarding his house. He was always doing strange stuff that didn’t need doing, like scrub the walk with a toothbrush or something. He couldn’t stay married because no one could stand to be around him. He hired cleaning services then always fired them cause he thought they were Stealing. Every time we visited, EVERYONE had to go outside to tour the yard. I later found out it was so we wouldn’t Steal while he was outside. I think his son chose halfass as a reaction to this super regimented military asshole.

  • My cheater is quite handy and is very good at home repairs. He wired our entire house and him and his family put the roof on when we were building it. He’s finished the basement by himself. It looks like a contractor did it. Very nice work.

    So, while he’s good at repairs. He never.gets.enough.accolades on what he did.

    I tell him the basement looks great and I’m so proud of him. So does everyone who gets “the tour”. Does it matter? No. He still sees the imperfections and isn’t happy with it.


    His ass kissing ho-worker is very good at doling out kibble. Her kibble must weigh more than my kibble. Maybe it’s a higher quality kibble?

    I believe this does correlate to his cheating. Anything less than perfection isn’t good enough for him. Including me.

  • “Was your cheater all half-assed? Seven years with a gutted bathroom?”

    Ummmm … yep!!!

    You should see my poor house. A LOT of half-assed projects. One in particular that I mentioned on the other thread – but it fits here best:

    My X husband decided he was going to take the wallpaper off the foyer and main hallway, then repaint it. The wallpaper was originally not put on correctly and it stuck to some of the original wallboard. When the paper came off, so did some of the wallboard finish. My X got very pissed and indignant. He threw around a lot of sarcastic comments (it’s my mother’s house) and never lifted another finger for over 5 years on it. Fortunately we never had but a handful of visitors. Fucking thing sticks out like a sore thumb.

    I am not particularly handy; and even if I were, I don’t really have the time to tackle it at this point – and certainly don’t have the money. So it’s going to sit some more. 🙁

  • One thing most cheaters seem to have in common is an obsession with APPEARANCES. Mine certainly did. If it can be seen, It’s worthy of effort. If not, it doesn’t get done.

    As an example, I became pregnant unexpectedly. It was a complicated pregnancy, and I was basically incapacitated before I even realized I was pregnant. Worked full time, but otherwise I could do nothing.

    His response to this? Paint the outside of the house. It’s brick with some siding so it didn’t look that bad. But, “someone might drive by and see the house needed painting”, and report us to the Child Services because we had a baby.

    So he did the bare minimum otherwise. Like it was some kind of burden to him. I had used the spare room as a craft room so it needed to be cleaned out for the nursery. I would ask him about it and he would put me off. It was just few days before the baby was born before I could get him to move the stuff to the basement and when he did he just basically threw things everywhere. He knew it was stressing me out because we didn’t even have a crib put up. This really should have been a foreshadowing of things to come.

  • OMG this is something that made like a huge lightbulb go off in my head. This is VERY true. People who aren’t vested in their relationship definitely aren’t vested in the upkeep of their homes. My ex initially, was pretty good, but newness wore off and like with everything else in time, it all became a CHORE… He no longer wanted to be around to mow, clean the pool, fix things or paint things or even clean things. He pretty much did nothing. Sure, he’d mow once a week, but he was out bright and early with a vodka and coke in the cup holder of our rider. Took him 2 hours to mow what takes me 1 ½. As far as other things, he’d do what he HAD to – like parent teacher night – father daughter dances – cook supper occasionally, but as far as doing laundry, vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, cleaning the bathroom, changing sheets, washing windows, grocery shopping, meal planning, paying bills and I could go on an on… I DID EVERYTHING. I was queen chump.

    All he wanted to do was be out and party… nevermind the responsible stuff. That was for suckers… namely ME…

    Now, I do everything, but honestly, it’s really no different – except that my lawn has looked the best it has in years. In fact, my neighbor actually said that to me. She said – Kim – the house looks so good – your yard looks so much better than when your ex did it. I laughed and loved it but at the same time I was pissed that I had to take that on too!!! Oh well, at least I’m healthy enough to do it and for the real bull work, I’ll hire the young ones to come and pull plants and lay mulch. It’s well worth the money to save my back.

    CL – this truly hit home with me – thanks for highlighting this comparison. I appreciate it.

  • MY XH was great around the house – obsessively great. He actually had a labeller and organized all the cupboards with internal plastic containers and labelled them all with title and number, then he would post the ‘key’ to his label system on the interior of the door. So if I needed a stapler, I could check the ‘key’ and find that it was contained in plastic container 3.4. He was over the top OCD. And controlling does not even begin to describe it. If I tried to do anything around the house it was never good enough, never to his standard. What happens over 15 years of this is that you give up and you start to live in a house that is not, in any tiny part, your own. But then he would criticise me for not taking responsibility for anything and then would criticise any effort I did make – a terrible cycle.

    He was also obsessed about food and was a vegetarian diabetic. He could only eat about 5 things. He was never happy with my cooking. He hired a professional cook to provide him his meals and over a month or two became critical of everything she cooked and so finished with that.

    I think when you are a narc – no one or nothing is quite good enough, no one rises to your standard. It keeps them in a constant state of unhappiness while still feeling superior. And their behaviour is all or nothing, no help whatsoever or so controlling that there is no room for another person in their life or home.

    He was freakishly and obsessively cleanly (vacuuming the dust before it hit the floor) but sleeping with prostitutes didn’t give him pause at all.

    • Free,
      I dated a guy like that a couple of years back. Had everything in the drawers tagged and labelled. His house was sort of tatty/worn carpets but obsessively neat, and he would follow me around straightening things that I knocked “out of place” and wiping counters even if they were not dirty.

      He liked porridge and had portions pre-measured in 2oz containers for breakfast each day. I was allowed 6 raisins in my oatmeal, but no more. Even most of the drawers and cupboards were empty and only one bedroom had any furniture.

      He was an expert carpenter with a full workshop and he made beautiful furniture. He would spend ages making something, then he’d take it and leave it at the recycling depot. So weird!

      Now this guy was fully employed, ex-military, self-confessed serial cheater. I only hung around long enough to watch him in fascination and hear him brag about cheating and throwing it back in his wife’s face. I grew to quite like his ex wife even though I never met her. She was very smart to ditch him!

      I left and went NC but he did the classic narc thing and kept trying to bait me back. Gladly I had enough understanding of narcs by then that I just stared at his messages and deleted without a second thought. It’s been a while now but I left his phone number on my phone as Joe Narc so I know whose calls to delete.

      • …6 raisins!?….you deserve a whole box of raisins…your ex is an idiot…

  • I’d be able to fill a book with Cheater’s apathy for our homes, rented or owned. He gave no shits unless I wasn’t keeping up, because IF he had a friend over without notice (all hypothetical, of course), it would embarrass him. I’d have loved to have company, even with 3 children born in 27 months – start to finish – because I had no one else to come over. It was me and them all day, every day… and we had only one vehicle (mine, from before him), which he took to work 6 days a week. A job that made so little that I was cleaning houses (and made AS MUCH AS HIM) 3 days a week, in the 2-3 hours before he had to go to work, while pregnant with our third and nursing our second (they’re only 11 months apart.)

    One year after our youngest was born, I’d found him a job making 5 times more AND commission and had saved enough to buy our first home. That didn’t please him at all – he wasn’t happy. He just went along with it. You know what he said to me the entire time? “I’ll believe it when I see it. When our stuff is in that house, then it’s real.” I’ve done everything in this house. We’ve never called anyone to fix anything… *I* always figure out how to repair, replace, or build it. And I’ve always made at least several hundred a week, doing misc. things, in addition to being a homeschooling SAHM. I get it done. I fill in all the gaps, even when the gap is just a great big nothing instead of a bit to fill.

    But GOD FORBID there are no clean towels (stop using 2/day and hoarding “dirty” ones in your room) or all we have in the cupboards and fridge are leftovers or “ingredients.” You know… as opposed to boxed mac’n’cheese, ramen, chips, snack foods, etc. I’m one of those awful people who buy INGREDIENTS to make meals. It takes 5-10 minutes to make food instead of 2 and a half.

    I was so dumb.

    • Yes – I made a salary of $252/week stretch to support 2 adults and 1-2 children without public assistance. Food budget was $100/month. That bitch of a man had the audacity to complain that we were having SOUP and buttered bread AGAIN. That it embarrassed him to bring different kinds of soup to work everyday.

      Guess what, Fucker? It embarrasses ME that my husband makes so little money that him buying a $7 Big Mac meal (knowing the balance was $5.36 – I told him to buy NOTHING as I needed to buy a $5 pack of diapers that, with tax, would come to $5.35 – but he DESERVED IT, don’t you know?) overdrew our checking account. That I diapered our daughter in dishtowels for 3 days and made him wash the dirty ones, which he felt was grossly unfair. HA!

      I WAS making 3 times more but the second pregnancy had incapacitated me from even driving or being upright for longer than 10 minutes. I’d thrown up and faint. I still didn’t quit until I passed out at my bus transfer – having just thrown up into my plastic bag with a one-way valve (no mess for anyone else!) and one of the drivers knew my route well enough to have me put on his bus, to bring me home.

      Yet – CHEATER was embarrassed by my making soup. (In front of the first ho-worker, 10 years ago.) Eggs were 59c/dozen, bananas were 17c/lb, and I FILLED our freezer with frozen turkeys to make year-round when the Thanksgiving deals brought them down to 19c/lb. That’s what you eat when you make $250/week and still have to pay all of our own bills (rent, utilities, car ins.) and have NO debts!

      You’re fucking WELCOME, Asshole.

      • We didn’t even have enough extra to have someone *over* for a cup of coffee – a 99c box of 100 teabags (twice-steeped) felt like a luxury – much less me go out for one with a friend! And I was too proud to tell anyone that… so I just let all of my friendships lapse.

        I can’t even… this is all making me so MAD. I was fucking AMAZING… but young and blind by stupid “love.” I cannot imagine putting up with this shit now.

        Talking to Younger Self: Woman – it’s not WORTH it! AT ALL! You know how you’re killing yourself, trying to make the money thing work so you can help him feel ANY worth? STOP THAT SHIT. He feels like shit because he IS shit. You could die for him and he’d use that not to appreciate your sacrifice but to show hordes of other women how much he’s worth!

      • Wow I’m impressed with that budgeting. When things became very tight, I stole toilet paper rolls from work. Not proud of that.

        • I had nowhere to steal from, if it had even occurred to me. But the moment I got our tax refund that year (moved to a new apt. with a W/D *because* it had a W/D)? I bought a cheap lot of used cloth diapers on ebay – grew up diapering my siblings with them – and made wide strips of too-worn clothing into “wipes,” which I used for myself, since the diapers were going into the wash anyway. Cloth for #1. Paper for #2, to make it last. I thought I could use them for sanitary pads too but that never happened… I found him a better job and was pregnant again and started cleaning houses. I bought a menstrual cup instead, afterward. And I went back to using toilet paper for everything.

          $637 for rent, inc. heat and HW.
          $80 for phone, cable, and internet. (SAHM with zero friends – I wasn’t giving up ALL communication – though Cheater complained that it could all be cut to make the food budget better. Um, no – can we say “This is why some mothers become murderers?” Plus, I learned HOW to keep living cheap through it and what free activities – walkable – were available.)
          $52 for auto ins.
          $35 for electricity
          $100 for food and toiletries (erm, TP and the occ. bottle of conditioner – I MADE our cleaning products from Borax, vinegar, lemon juice, and herbs I grew/discarded citrus peels.)
          $20 for gasoline (always worked only a few miles away.)

          The odd 5th week or birthday check for $25-100 made buying used clothes, car repairs, and a few gifts possible. When I found how the ridiculously large amount our tax refund would be, it was used sparingly. I never told him how much it was… but whatever I DID tell him it was, he’d go out and spend just under that… because he needed SOMETHING to feel better about himself. Jerk. Like the new Tiger Woods and $200 in GCs to buy himself new games that year. Never mind that your wife has been wiping herself with your old t-shirts, asshole… g’head, buy a new video game!

          I can just re-frame his memories of then:

          Cheater: “That selfish bitch just bought 3 cases of TP, 20 bags of flour, filled the freezer with meat, butter, and bricks of yeast, $30 in seeds, AND bought everyone new shoes! It’s time I had something FOR MYSELF!”

          • Girl you are amazing… I hope your kids see you as the wonder woman you are. Your Xh can bite me. What a douche.

            • Not xH yet… on September 3rd, it will be 10 years. I’m staying for that, while he cycles through “remorse” on his own (everything’s now in my name, no debts, and I have a signed, notarized post-nup/support/custody arrangement, which is simply the legal default) and I line up my ducks with lovely precision.

              He’s PERFECT now – if I could fashion a perfect husband, the Him-NOW would be it. The problem is? That’s not who he really is. He’s just acting like it *now.* It won’t stick. He doesn’t have the endurance to keep this up… it requires endurance that is NOT endurance when you love someone. It’s called Love and you do it because nothing else would make you happier. *I* know that; he doesn’t.

  • “Perpetual manchild” would be the best way of describing my XH.

    Housework? Wouldn’t do it. Not even when I was 9 months pregnant and working past my due date to support us.

    Bills? Household errands? “Oh, I forgot.”

    Money? “I used our rent money on a work expense and forgot to tell you about it.” “I signed up for weight training lessons for $200/month directly debited from our account and forgot to tell you about it.” I gave him several thousand dollars to get furniture for his new apartment when we separated one year ago. He spent it on dance lessons with a dance partner who ditched him less than a month later. Currently lives in an empty apartment with just a futon, a twin size mattress on the floor, and a card table w/ folding chairs for furniture.

    I got really sick of hearing the words, “Oh, I forgot,” but when I would remind him of what errands I needed, he would get irritated with me and say, “Have faith in your honey!”

    His car (which used to be our car) critically broke down less than 3 weeks after the divorce was finalized (he expedited his death by chauffeuring his ho-worker around for 3 hours a day while they were carrying on their emotional affair). He went out and signed up for a 2004 Pontiac Grand AM with 170k miles on it for $5000, $164/month payments.

    That broke down on him less than two months later, needed a new engine, $4k-$5k. So his parents stepped in and bailed him out.

    His parents are now paying for his cell phone, his health insurance, and his mother just helped him do his taxes while she was visiting last weekend. He’s been claiming 10 exemptions (both state and federal) when our Marital Separation Agreement says he doesn’t have the right to claim the children on taxes, so he hasn’t been paying federal taxes and has been paying barely any state taxes. I tried to point that out to him last year after we separated. He changed jobs in December ’14, signed up for the same number of exemptions with the new employer. He just doesn’t care.

    Oh, and his mommy also helped him clean his apartment while she was here. How nice of her.

    Finally, my least favorite ploy of his: when we would get into a disagreement, I would lay out my position on why I felt the way I felt. He would respond, “Well, then, I guess I’m just stupid!” This would effectively shut down the conversation because then I had to reassure him that he isn’t stupid and I didn’t call him that.

    Turns out he was right all along!

      • Mine used to tell me “men are pigs” all the time. Why oh why didn’t I believe him?!

  • Thankyou CL – DIY was THE red flag as far as my cheater was concerned when it came to entitlement.

    I bought us a flat to live in after we had been together a year. Until we moved in I was still on his pedestal, he was amazing and I just wanted us to live together. He was too up to his eyeballs in debt to be able to afford the rent on somewhere, and the mortgage was cheaper. I took a huge gamble and brought a property in an area I didn’t know so we could be together. Of course he promised to repay me by doing all of the DIY to get the place looking amazing. Did that happen?! – no don’t be silly!!!

    It was virtually impossible to get him to do anything around the place, he would point blank refuse to do anything on a weeknight. He would also refuse to be up early on a weekend to get stuff done, when he did finally get up he would insist on having a cooked breakfast, sometimes if we were lucky work would start at 11ish, then tools were downed again at 12.30 for him too have lunch (cooked again). He’d then down tools again to watch the football in the afternoon but before this he’d leave the house to pick up beers. Basically he’d do an hours work max, while I’d spend the entire day on the task at hand and not finish until the job was done, but the whole time I’d tiptoe round him coz if I said anything he’d pick a fight with me about how unreasonable I was and then use it as an excuse to stop work.

    I could never understand why he was like this when I’d rescued him from living in a crappy room in a house that was shared with 7 other people. He loved the house but didn’t seem to want to contribute anything towards it.

    My favourite cheater/DIY story was when I ended in A&E up with a small sliver of metal embedded in my eyeball less than a week after having eye laser surgery. I was competing a job which he was supposed to be doing, I’d told him I shouldn’t be doing it due to the previous weeks surgery but he was too busy on the couch watching the football. I had to send cheater out of the hospital room while the doctor removed the shard of metal from my eye with a needle, as he was shrieking a squealing like a girl!!

    Cheater liked to show off all the possessions that I brought for the house as though he had purchased them himself. It also turns out that he lead all his friends to believe we jointly owned both properties we lived in and he also told the OW that our final house was his too.

    But here’s were Karma was good to me, the first property I owned went up in value nearly 60% in the time 18 months I owned it, and the second one is set to do something similar. Sadly I’ve had to rent it out and move in with my parents as I’m due to give birth to cheaters baby but it will still always be mine, and the rental money will keep my head above water.

    Cheater has told my sister that he doesn’t have to help buy pram etc for the baby as his money is all tied up in the house I threw him out of. I’d like to know where? Maybe he buried it in the garden! – oh no wait!! He never lifted a finger in the garden either!!!

    • Chumpetta,
      You are a smart cookie for keeping the house away from him. I too had a freeloader on my second Chumpdom. He told the OW that the house was half his and even brought her home to sleep over when I was away on business. Imagine her shock when she found herself shacked up with him, freeloading in her one room apartment after I threw his cheating arse to the dogs.

      • Oh yes and I reported the OW for claiming single occupancy tax discount which they give here in the UK, while she was “hosting” cheater in her apartment. The lady from the municipal tax department called back and thanked me for the lead. Feels childish but I just had to pay OW back for using my house and bed to carry on her affair with my ex.

        I often wonder how these two ever got anything done. They spent their whole time sitting in beer gardens, racking up petty debts, and generally dreaming up ways to commit benefits fraud.

        • I’d like to take credit for being smart, but I wasn’t. Luckily for me his credit rating was so awful that I couldn’t put his name on anything.

          I think the OW came to my house too, one weekend I was out of town. I wondered why he’d washed the bed sheets for the first time ever. I thought maybe as I was pregnant he had decided to help me out a little – what a chump!!!

          Well done for reporting the OW I’d do the same thing if I had anything to report.

        • Nice one Marci !
          When I was divorcing my exH he went to live with Schnoopie and her mother.
          I needed some money for property repairs while the house was up for sale. I asked my solicitor to write to him and ask him for a contribution. I got a reply back saying that he couldn’t afford it as he was paying for his “lodgings”.
          So I dobbed her and her mother in to the Tax Office/Inland Revenue and sent in a copy of the letter.
          I found out months later that the Inland Revenue had contacted both of them about this because they hadn’t declared “income from property”.

  • My ex and I lived well, he had/has a great job. We purchased our first home in our early twenties (and parents of two) in a subdivision where pretty much everybody had one stay at home parent while the other spouse pursued a good paying career. Our home was an upgrade, my ex inherited money and threw that all in for a large down payment. I held down the fort while he worked and played. He helped out for the most part but I did the lion’s share of the house/yard/ and childcare (decorating, painting, mowing, planting) because I simply had the time, enjoyed it, and I believed wholeheartedly that we were a team. We put in our own backyard together. We moved to the foothills when our children were older. Purchased twenty virgin acres and worked w/a builder to put a custom home up. My dad helped us too but We did everything together. As the years passed my ex became more disengaged. When our home was finished (two years of renting and commuting) it was merely a landing spot for him. Beautiful home but by then we were all busy with school, two full time jobs, and lots of activities. My ex still left the majority of the housework to me and was gone a lot. Our home was beautiful but missing something. I think a lot of us do our best, I am a “messy kid with neat ways” and needed one room a little lived in, our bedroom. As our relationship fell apart though it reflected chaos. The other rooms were immaculate. Compensating, I guess. In the seven years we lived there the yard was left natural save for my container gardens. Every year he spent more time away from home. It almost seemed as if we were too afraid to put down roots. I don’t know how long he was unhappily married, he no longer wanted what I did. I used to feel not good enough and the last years were tough. Devalued then discarded. We were all blindsided.

  • Ha ha, mine was an engineer, but could he bring himself to fix a toilet valve? No! He said the toilets in the house were “shot” because they ran non stop, but that we douldn’t afford to replace them. I hate to think how much water was wasted on that. My old Dad finally noticed the running water, spent about $5 on parts and showed me how to fix them. Cheater finally noticed they’d been fixed and didn’t say a word when I told him of the easy fix.

    We lived in a house with forced air heating. He swore he had “cleaned out the vents” when we first moved in. So why, after hearing a mysterious buzzing, did I find a huge wasp’s nest behind the grill in our bedroom? Almost a sign of things to come!

    Now,that I’m single, i’ve had a succession of boyfriends who are tradesmen. So refreshing to meet men who are handy.

  • I thought we had it all. Nice house, home life, family, jobs, and our sex life was amazing. He told me long after dday that ‘I was the best sex he ever had.’ But he still lives with Skank Woman. I got over untangling the skein because none of it makes any sense.
    He called me on my birthday last week and as we were hanging up I swore he said ‘I love you.’ I’ll never know for sure because I wasn’t about to say ‘WHAT?!!?’ Maybe the grass wasn’t greener…..

    • Syringa, The ex explained to me that ours was AMAZING sex. (It was.) Then, he explained, “I just thought I should have more.” WHAT? Really, don’t try to untangle it. What makes sense to him would probably never make sense to you and he might have a very different concept of “love” than you do.

    • The grass was never greener for X. Now that I finally divorced the fuckwit he is stuck with it. His dream catcher whore comes with a no return clause.

  • Syringa, yesterday’s post and this one makes me think you are very lonely at present, like most of us and you keep thinking and going over the good things you/we thought we experienced but never really did. Can I suggest any contact with your ex should be restricted and I mean even birthday calls because it is keeping you hostage to the past. You have so much to give, please do not waste it on someone who could do to you what your ex has done. My thoughts are with you and all the Chumps on this awful journey.

    • Hi Maree…thanks for the kind words. A boyfriend would be awesome about now!!! ‘Spring is in the air….’ No matter what I’d never take Mr. Cocksmooch back. I know what he’s capable of.

  • Mine regularly made promises he wouldn’t keep, and I remember how he did that with the garden. Much of the time, he wasn’t an obvious laggard, but he generally didn’t do anything unless I organised and directed it while he complained and did as little as possible. There was no gung-ho in him unless it was for drinking with his buddies.

    This one day, I dug up sod and, before I could take the pile to the compost heap, he promised me he would do it for me. Nice guy! I appreciated the offer. A few days later, the pile was still there and I warned him it would grow together and be really hard to move when that happened. He assured me he’d do it. It got done – when I did it. And it was hard work, all grown together, just as predicted!

    Karma got him back when we were digging out an old railway tie: I saw a buzzing mass emerge and when my eyes focused I saw it was hornets. I threw my shovel, screamed “Hornets!”, and ran. I didn’t hear him coming and when I turned he was standing with a look that said, “Stupid woman, what are you on about?” His face changed when the first one got him. Nursing two stings later, he dared to start crabbing that I didn’t warn him properly! Couldn’t help but laugh…

  • I know I mentioned this before but X did squat around this huge house he built. He came from a farm background and I thought he’d enjoy taking care of the yard and doing some gardening, or just keep the lawn mowed. Nada nada. So, one day I came home from a trip and he was all trippy excited to show me this ‘new landscaping’ he got done while I was gone. I said, I didn’t think you knew anything about landscaping and we hadn’t even talked about this work ‘he did’ prior to the project. He said he took a course in collage – news to me. Well, I immediately recognized the new rock work and details that looked identical to my x-bff’s house. You couldn’t mistake it.
    As it turns out, she was at my house all weekend while I was gone and put up these 3 rock garden beds, that were IDENTICAL to her house.
    Back then, I didn’t put two and two together until he later admitted it was her that did the work.
    Talk about a true loser and what a bastard thing to do to me!
    What? She thought she would be moving in? Go to hell, slutfucker.

    • I like that. Slutfucker. I enjoy adding new words to my vocabulary.

    • NO WAY! I was all set to call her the chump-friend of a chump (you know – when Cheaters enlist the help of friends and family to help deliver their sparkles in more impressive quantities and/or more-concentrated doses) until I saw the end.

      “Friend” Whores to the Chump ARE THE WORST! Ugh!

      • “Friend” Whores to the Chump ARE THE WORST! Ugh!

        Absolutely the worst. I speak from experience.

  • I got the house in the US and he got the house in Belize. I have a 3/3 and 13 acres with a pool. It might be too much for me in the end, but I am comfortable and i am in the process of “de-cheatering” my house: getting rid of all the stuff that he liked and replacing it with stuff that I like. Or not, i am not much of a trinket/dust-collector type of gal

  • My STBX was pretty handy until the OW came into the picture (the lightbulb is just starting to go off as I am only 10 days since DDay.) We have unfinished remodeling and the yard went to crap. He didn’t even scoop the dog poop in the yard for months. This chump got to do it. Looking back the involvement in the home went away when the increased phone usage, hours in the bathroom/garage and hiding in the backyard started.

    I can say that the house is cleaner, the yard is mowed so far.

    Trying to clean up the years of combined stuff and he has gone “ostrich”. I guess this chump gets to handle all of that too. Maybe I was involved with one of those TFC.

    • OMG. TEN DAYS? Sweetheart. Please. Please. You aren’t even breathing right now. I don’t even remember 10 days out–nothing. You so need to take care of yourself right now WAC2015. Really, you do.

      Please take care of yourself–to hell with the yard and the house, unless it makes you feel safe to do those things. You (and your kids, if you have any) are the PRIORITY here.

      Do you have anyone with you? Is there anyone that you can confide in that you feel safe talking to?

      Oh Gosh…WAC….huge, huge hugs to you. I don’t know how you’re even writing a blog comment. Thank God you found CL right away, though—this group will help you through ANYTHING. Please take care of yourself and let us know you’re okay.

  • You know I really enjoyed doing all that stuff, Taking care of the house, I took pride in a clean house, I did everything, dinner, grocery, bills, laundry, kids, took care of the outside except cut the grass, (he doesn’t even do that anymore my boys do). I enjoyed taking care of him and kids and the house. But, I didn’t take care of him enough so he had to have his howorker do that, I was a terrible wife, didn’t do anything right, blah blah. Even my IC told me that I was a good mother and wife, his loss. Should have seen his face when I told him to start doing his own laundry after the 2nd Dday! I guess his schmoopie washing his dirty underware now!

    • MOST of the household laundry is HIS. When I started not washing it, I did a load of clothes and a load of linens once a week… and that’s me and three children, plus one additional child I watch. 5-7 ADDITIONAL loads/week have been Cheaters. It’s a dirty conspiracy against him that I’ve conjured somehow… no doubt, that’s what he thinks… like I add dirty clothes to his monstrous pile and he has somehow worn or used every item.

      No wonder I could never keep up with laundry! lol (His chief complaint.)

  • “HIMSELF” was a great guy and husband for a good portion of our marriage. A good father and great provider. But emotionally unavailable to all. Extremely stoic ( I hate that word along with …get over it… And …it is what it is…. And very closed up feeling wise. Anyway he used to help with everything around the house and fixing stuff painting the works until we moved to my present location 13 years ago. Secluded and isolated for him to jump start his business. Once he started burying himself in that and working a full time job me, the house, our social life, fun, merriment went out the window. Everything other than his work was a chore. Always excuses and anger for any help with chores. He told me get your friends to help you I’m busy!!! See he had moved us again hours away from friends and family and then complain I had no friends to keep me busy and happy. Third time he moved us!!! Then he started his affair and moved in with the skank. I was happy, I was depressed, I didn’t keep up my hair and nails, no money for hair and nails when i asked. I didn’t dress up. For what?? Never went anywhere!!! Himself never got what he wanted. Tens of thousands of dollars for his business while me and the house went into shambles!!! He is here six days a week because he can’t afford to move his business right now. He’s been living with the slut for about a year and a half. About six months in he started fixing everything around the house andletting me buy what I wanted on him. I mean shit the kitchen faucet leaked for 5 years I bought a new nice one on sale it sat there for two years til he fixed it. Now the slut pays all their bills but she stopped giving him cash and he makes decent money spends all his money on here me and his business and not a penny on her! Hides his checkbooks here in his toolbox. He has access to her finances and he won’t let her touch his. Ha!!! I’m pretty frugal I never spend beyond my needs but now since I’m long out of work seems no one wants to hire a 60 year old full time and I worked all my life!!! I’m grateful he’s generous that way. But hell to the fuck yeah!!! I’m getting hair and nails done. For less than 150.00 I painted four rooms put up new curtains making home my own and it looks a thousand percent better!! Why wouldn’t he let me paint after 13 years?? Cheap and perish the thought why it might make me happy to have a sunny yellow kitchen with white trim and only cost 9.50 for paint. Now he’s doing everything and now he let’s me buy what I really need. She pays for them including his medical bills and he pays for me. I’m slowly winding out of this mess should be clear by Dec this year. Most days I feel mighty. The mountain shook boy did it ever but did not fall. Not to men quite yet but getting there. A million million thanks to chump lady and chump nation!! Woo hoo!

  • The only thing X voluntarily did was build himself a mancave with a bar in the basement. Then he moved out of our bed when I was eight months pregnant, preferring to sleep next to his two true loves, alchohol and the mirror behind his bar.

    If he ever “fixed” anything in the house, it cost expensive trips to the hardware store, a day where he was not on responsible for helping out with our kids, lots of swearing and a pig sty in the end. Oh, and thanks to his fix, something else wouldn’t work.

    He’d leave the tools out for “the help” to fix, and never cleaned up after himself. That was my job.

    As far as our house goes, it was always falling apart because he was too cheap to hire professionals. He once got a claim covered for ice dam damage and spent the money on a trip to Hedonism. By himself.

    Now, our house is still the most run down on the block, but it’s a fucking palace compared to when he ruled. I smudged the house when he slithered out of here.

  • Oh yes!!! Never mowed a lawn, never painted, never did anything. He would cook occasionally but that was about it. Never was emotionally or physically there. Always planning his next activity or “coffee” with the newest female he had met while at work. If I asked him to be there, to help, mow a lawn, he would say he would do it when he had his next day off… his next day off came and went and he never did it. Was always too busy being special and doing his own thing.

    I have a question though… why does he seem to do this for his now OWife??? Does anybody else have this?? He has been making an effort to do things with her and her kids, do yard work but NEVER would at home…

    • Give him some time with OWife. He’s probably trying to keep up the sparkly facade for her. Once she finds out that she’s not special, and he’s cheating on her too, he’ll drop the pretenses and let the real narc out.

  • We bought our first and only home one year after he slept with his OW in our bed. I saved for a year working three jobs to get up the down payment. I was determined to have a home for my children. He made all the shit promises and quit drinking. I should have recognized back then he could never change. I had to take charge of hiring people for repairs since he was so busy. I made all the contacts for him to start up his own business and he became self employed. I quit my job because of the service end of his business. Then the drinking started, and he was back to his whores. He decided to move to florida to live his dream leaving me with no money to pay the bills. He never got a job because they required drug testing. He thought I was going to support him and I lost the house and all the money I put into it all those years. Then the crying asshole made more promises and regretted losing our home. Fast forward he was supposed to be saving for a down payment this year and repeatedly said he was making no money. He hid his assets and planned to make his exit leaving me with all the responsibilities to support my son and granddaughter while he screwed around. I now pay for two rents as I rent a cottage close to work. I am making it work and can afford it on my salary. The lazy disordered asshole has a brainless whore sitting on his lap at the casino as he feeds her drug,alcohol, and gambling addictions. Tax season left him responsible for his own taxes. Divorcing him set the wheels of the karma bus rolling in full force. I am pretty sure he will be audited because he blatantly lied about his income in court. They really reap what they sow. My house is now a home once I removed the disordered narc. I painted, redecorated and removed the negativity of a man who was never satisfied. He burned his bridges with our children because if his lies. They see me as a strong woman even though I still struggle with being discarded. There are so many positive things that have happened to me since I threw him out. My landlord wrote me a wonderful letter and reduced my rent. And next year I will be renting a beautiful Victorian home on the ocean for the same price as the cottage I was living in for years. On a final note, all the things I feared going through this process never happened. Living with someone disordered for so many years left me doubting myself daily. That disappeared with him! I have MY life now to live honestly. It really does get better.once they are out if your life

  • Oh my gosh. I never put it together, but yes, my cheater was a half-ass (the dishwasher still needs fixed), a hoarder (our basement was full – empty now), AND a project-starter-not-finisher. So many unfinished projects….

    It didn’t occur to me that these were narc behaviors.

    And, now that you brought it up, his parenting was, too. He never disciplined the kid, not once. No consequences at all, for anything. Just “talks.”

    • Yep! With mine, it was “deals” with the kids. Like you do with a business partner, only they’re small, with a tenuous grasp on English.

      You DO NOT “negotiate” with a 4 year old. You DO NOT allow a 7 year old to tell you that she doesn’t want to go to the grocery store to get our family’s weekly supplies—because she wants to sit and play “Lego Star Wars” on the playstation all day (and of course, X is right there with her, doing NOTHING all day, bragging what a great dad he is because he lets her do anything, anytime, anywhere).

      No discipline. No set bedtime. In fact, he’d camp out in my daughter’s bedroom all night, reading and talking–I’d complain that he needed to come to bed…until I saw that this is where he’d rather spend his time, instead of with me.

      Triangulation with the kids is another NPD red flag. They like to claim they’re Super Dad/Mom, until it becomes clear that it’s simply a way for you to do yet ANOTHER form of the “pick me dance”, but with a really sicko twist to it.

      Until, of course, I found out that he’d been having his daily blow jobs in the vehicle that he places my children’s car seats and totes them to soccer and school. And of course the evening he had sex on the deck with my kids asleep upstairs.

      Awesome parenting skills. But HEY! Let’s make a DEAL! If you don’t tell Mommy about you seeing me with a cellphone that’s not mine—I’ll let you play with the video games ALL DAY LONG!

      Fucking fuckwit. I hope he dies slowly, painfully and in a public place.

      • Wow – another cookie cutter narc cheater behavior. ExH was only around our kids about an hour a day. I would get up with them; he’d sleep in a bit, go smoke on the patio, sit on the crapper for 30 minutes playing with his phone (how HOT that must be to text your OW while taking a sh*&), then leave for “work”. He’d come home after they were sleeping. In the few meals a week he was at home, he would INSIST that they not be forced to eat anything they didn’t like. They were 2 and 5. So all they did was make a pout face, and he’d be all “oh, mommy; they don’t want to eat that…” And grown manchild ate a diet of pork and potatoes, so no vegies, fruit, milk…you know, that evil healthy food. Our daughter ate only nuggets and french fries when he was home. And he never once disciplined either of them. And laughed when they were naughty.

        Proud to say both kids now eat super healthy and are really decent people. And I’m hoping that his pork diet and 2+ packs a day catches up with him soon. Loser.

      • This is worthy of another post by Tracy, how the cheaters undermine us with the kids. My ex used to train his daughter to do what he wanted and it would look like her free choice – if one hadn’t seen the learning curve. He was unfailingly gentle with her, never punishing, but if her sister (not his or mine) did anything – look out!

        One time, out camping with a blended family of 4 in which his daughter was the second youngest, he asked all the kids en masse what they wanted for lunch. It ended in tears. You’d think hot dogs or hamburgers or Kraft dinner would be fine but there’s no way they’d agree on one thing and it became a power struggle. It wasn’t a question of whether they liked the food or not – they all liked those things! It made lunch hell for all of us, except him apparently. They would have happily eaten any of those things if they were cooked and served, no questions asked. I was flat out exhausted after a day of him stirring up the kids for no reason.

  • Mine never wanted to discipline the kids either, was their buddy ol’ pal. Becareful with this method, they use this to make you look bad, mean etc. Mine was an expert with this method.

  • My ex was OCD, in fact it was one of our greatest sources of tension – his anger and coming home to find a house that, while pretty tidy, had the inevitable imperfections that come with a life with 2 busy school age kids. I was raised in a big family with little money where my Mother gave up trying to keep it perfect very early on. Our house was clean and the cupboards were sorted. But things weren’t perfectly straight all of the time. It was not the priority. My ex would complain about the way I cooked, organised my study you name it. He dominated all decisions about home decorating such that Over time I felt completely useless in that area – he felt fine about buying a light or sofa without consultation yet if I so much as chose a pillow case he would express disapproval with no sensitivity at all. Tidiness, or my imperfection in this area, was the source of our earliest arguments. I can feel myself feeling sick about it as I write. I spent years trying to please him in this area but nothing was ever good enough… When the children were small he would arbitrarily throw out toys because the mess of them annoyed him making no distinction between the well built expensive ones and the two dollar shop junk … Hrghhhh I’ve actually had a physical reaction to this topic it brings back so many bad memories…

  • So interesting reading all these replies and having flashbacks to all the things wasband didn’t do. Just didn’t. Refused. Not possible. Like laundry, cooking, housework, shopping, yard work, or car maintenance. Or paying household bills or assuming any responsibility for any of the above items. We both had small businesses (I had two) and we both worked full time.

    Funny too reading about narcs who wanted the house nice for when their friends came over. In the decade of our marriage, I can only remember three different people, one a relative, who ever came to see STBX, and that was for moments. STBX remains the most negative person I’ve ever met.

    (Obviously, I have removed my Chump Shades and see him as he is, not as how I believed he could be!)

    During a lukewarm attempt at reconciliation, he fixed some hinges on a cupboard which I recall clear as a bell as it was so out of character for him.

    I’m a Chump/Doer but apparently that man-shamed him, as pretty much anything I did was criticized. And looking back? I did a ton, or arranged it… paid for it… got it done… and moved on.

    He chastised me for making lists and crossing things off the lists.

    And at the time, I actually tried to figure out why that was wrong!

    So gaslit was I, after he ran off I made spreadsheets with all of the household chores and obligations I could think of or glean from online chores lists. Then I made a column for him and a column for me. I was fair and generous in filling them out, and (amazingly!) these chore spreadsheets matched almost exactly the budget spreadsheets that I also maintained.

    I did, or paid for, 80% of our life.

    There, in black and white, was the truth.

    That exercise of the spreadsheets helped me regain a realistic perspective about what I was losing, and gaining, with his exodus.

  • Cheater always had the skills, he just used them when it was to his benefit. Before DDay he suddenly decided to wash the sheets every Friday night. Thought it was because he pissed the bed. Then I noticed the blood stain on my expensive sheets. He was dating and one of his ho’s left her mark. His OW has no idea he’s is getting picked up by his latest while she’s at work. They really think they are so special. I still have no idea what he has to offer any if them. He’s not good in bed and has no real assets.

    • He’s cheating on his co cheater already? I didn’t think they did that. Snort.

      As far as what they have to offer, I have no idea either. Not much as far as I can tell.

      • Yes, I guess it’s his backup plan. His phone records show he’s calling the other, other woman while his casino whore is working. How sick is that.

        • That’s disgusting, Donna. So glad you are no longer with that creep.

          • Thanks. It is time for me to stop checking his records. After being the recipient of all the blame for so many years I needed to know it wasn’t me. That helps me heal.

  • Mine hoarded but, mainly at a factory that he has. The OW mentioned to me that he was a hoarder too!
    He was into acquisition’s & was always trolling pawn shops etc…they all new him! I was always uncomfortable if I was with him as, they are mainly used by criminals etc…for getting money on stuff they sold! He was all talk & no action!

  • One of the things I most admired about Jackass, prior to the discard phase, was that he knew everything about plumbing, electricity, construction, vehicles, etc. That was an article of faith for me. For a number of years, he lived with his aging parents supposedly in exchange for home repairs. Supposedly, he shored up the foundation and he did put in a nice powder room to help his mother. But in the one visit (surprise) I made to that house, I saw a huge hole in the hall ceiling and the kitchen had major issues. How could he live there for 8 or 9 years rent-free and not finish those jobs? And of course, his big plan to move into my house and put a shower in the basement, move the laundry, fix up the back room as a man cave, paint, put in new railroad ties in the yard, etc.–he was literally promising to do that stuff as he walked out the door. He could work very hard and do a nice job, but he didn’t want to do what it takes to keep this place up. When I moved in here, I was refurnishing every room on a tight budget, and he offered to paint a dresser for me. He did a great job, but it took a month. With spray paint. I did a full set of old wicker (5 big pieces) and 4 huge metal window boxes in three days. The thing that makes me laugh, though, is that he told me I needed to gut the bathroom or re-do the stack and tear down a shed because of structural issues. Brought a construction guy I know in here and he said that both those ideas were crazy. There’s not a thing wrong. It’s been a good exercise for me to acknowledge that he is indeed good at some things, that many times he has no idea what he is talking about, and that he is nothing special.

    Reading here today, I’m struck by how little these people contributed to their partners and families. Chumps are working full time and doing most of the work at home (if not all), and in their spare time cleaning up messes made by adult toddlers. I hope the paralyzed chumps reading today give all of what was said here a lot of thought. None of us is perfect. We all put off nasty chores or things that we hate to do, like dragging the garbage cans uphill the length of a football field). We all leave a mess in the sink once in a while or let balls of cat fur coalesce on the steps to the basement. But what strikes me is how so many stories reveal the disengagement of these cheaters from the people in their lives. DDays are what bring us here to Chump Nation for help and healing. But the disengagement and lack of reciprocity were/are huge red flags that in most cases could have predicted that a DDay or total discard, even without an AP in the mix, was coming. We are all so much better off without them.

    • Boy this brings back memories. Mine used home repairs as a cover for cheating – he was always out getting stuff from the hardware store. He’d buy maybe 10 screws when he needed 100 and that would necessitate whole afternoons away getting more. I never understood that when the hardware store was 5 minutes away. But, I was housebound with 2 babies so…

  • Some lightbulbs going off here, changed by me of course
    Stbx was never tidy. When he visited me at uni the only time I had to tidy my room was the Monday morning after he left, it was tidy more or less until the next weekend he came. I hang onto that thought in some of my dark moments when I think will I ever get sorted.
    At first he did do some stuff round the house and garden. But he rarely finished jobs off. After a Saturday when we had spent time doing something he would go off and play with his band leaving me to clear all the tools and other things out of place up.
    When I was pregnant with my first baby which is 30 years ago now, I was still working and carrying my shopping home on the train, and finding it hard so he offered to pick up shopping in his lunchtime. Now it would have been better to go after work, less of a rush, but hey whatever. Later on on putting stuff away I just commented that nice as the bacon was I was worried that it was a bit dear, at a time when we were trying to be as economical as possible. Well I never heard the end of it he was still bringing it up after he left me 2 years ago. What that meant was I never ever had any help shopping. Whether I was I’ll, had a fussy baby, I still had to go, sometimes bringing stuff home on the or am, or just carrying it, or perhaps if he did not need t he car I could use it sometimes in the evening or at the weekend. Right up to when he went. He seems to go with new woman, well I guess services rendered such as this and regular sex are cheaper than paying her rent.
    His tidiness never much improved and went downhill over the years, his leisure activities being far too important for any time to be spent clearing up After himself. His collection of accordions grew, and took up room. And sheet music, and bags of clothes from weekends and general clutter, and beekeeping gear that he never put away and that was just in the living room. His mail piled up on the dining table and more general clutter. I did the best I could around it, but I got constant criticism that it was a shithole . I had developed an allergy to bee stings, partly as a result of the clothing left around the place, but still had to do the extracting, and bottling and marketing and all the clearing up afterwards, on top of making up equipment. Wouldn’t get rid of them even though I could have a bad reaction to a sting any time.
    I learnt simple plumbing and other day skills, and he did actually nearly finish a room split so our children each had their own room.. Nearly, but not quite. Who was it said here that when things start getting worse that’s when they started checking out. Only very rarely was I allowed to have someone in to do a job. Most things he wasn’t going to pay someone for if he could do it himself, but he never did it. If I tried and had difficulties then he would not help and he would say its blacked, it was in a half finished state for ever. He would rather spend hours looking for tools or going out to buy more than do a job. In the end after he left and I had to get quotes for the house for the divorce the value was nearly 50k that is GBP not $$$, down on what it should have been. I could be here all night writing it all down
    When he went I could not use the living room for 6 months. His shit fell down on me one night when I was asleep. I have sorted so much of his stuff over the last 2 years, there is more to go. His efforts at tidying up usually involved putting stuff in boxes or bagp and cluttering somewhere else up, and never sorting it out thereafter whether it be paperwork or useful stuff. In the end I gave up as it was taking me so long to clear his stuff and I only got you never do anything all day. The only time he cleared his shit up was Christmas, and he would moan how long it took to put stuff in bags or boxes and transfer them to loft, garage or bedroom
    But even though there is still so much to do still just to get clutter under control I can clear stuff in a room and it doesn’t take days. When he finally takes the rest of his stuff and what we agree of joint stuff I can finish the job. I will get over my need to keep the kitchen etc overstocked which I had to do so that if I was I’ll or the weather was bad I had enough in. And I will go back to how I was in my student days but with no cheater to mess things up

  • Cheater would do odd and inappropriate repairs on the house.
    He put hours and $$ into useless projects like moving the fence or redoing the hardwood with fake hardwood.
    Thinking about our house and property is like thinking about the Titanic.
    … Or the Alamo. A tragedy.
    We had an earthquake in 2012 with an epicenter right under our house.
    Pretty symbolic.
    The lawyer used that to say, “You sure you want that house?”

  • My STBX left two bathrooms in disrepair and barely functional, a massive mess in the workshop and garage, and a long list of other repairs to finish before the house can be sold. As he was on the way out the door he was quite sparkle for her– “tiling her bathroom floor” and “cutting her baseboards” with tools taken from our home. Don’t those sound like euphemisms?

    • He might finish those jobs, since he’s in the courting stage. But pretty soon, she’ll have her share of half-finished project. They don’t change; they devolve.

  • I saw today that fellow Chump Cynthia Lennon passed away from cancer. Rest her soul, can you imagine finding yoko with your husband in your bed? Talk about a downgrade appearance wise. John L. is one of those people who treated others like shit but has a general martyr, peace loving reputation. Cheater? Check. Domestic abuser? Check. Child deserter? Check.

    I read an autobiography by Eric Clapton recently. Another fine piece of work. Any Other Woman who thinks she is special and that the co cheater won’t cheat on her needs to read about how Eric treated George Harrison’s wife Patty after he married her. It’s just really chilling, especially since she was supposed to be such a Great Love of his. I can’t hardly even listen to this guy’s music after reading that book.

    • I had forgotten about Cynthia Lennon, and I was too young at the time to understand the infidelity, but I remember that everyone in high school hated Yoko Ono’s guts, especially my friends who were playing Beatles songs on weekends. We all thought Yoko Ono was nasty and talentless. I remember the side B of a disk I had, it was a song called “Why”, the ugliest noise I had ever heard coming out from a human mouth. I can’t remember that she ever produced anything of value.
      It’s ironic that a guy with such a behavior could be made into an icon of peace. Must be because of his song “Imagine”.

  • It’s weird, my STBX was quite different. He usually worked overseas for weeks or months at a time so I have always been the strong, independent one. Early on in our marriage he used to do quite a bit – we did lots of repairs and painting in the first place we rented, and he was very capable. His job was very well paid so we could easily pay for maintenance or remodelling through the years. Ten years ago when we bought our current house, I found it, moved us in etc but he never seemed happy here. Someone suggested it was because it was more my house than his and he felt kind of left out… so I got him to do the painting in the laundry. He did it but it didn’t seem to help much, he just gave the impression that he had done his bit, now I should stop asking him to do all this stuff.
    When he was home from work, was on holiday so he spent all his time sleeping, watching sport on TV (or porn) or playing golf. He did cook a bit but he always said that he never did anything else because I wouldn’t like the way he did it. But if I showed him how to do something, he would seem to make a point of doing it wrong or half assed anyway… he behaved like an eight year old.
    But when I look back over the last 10 years he was never engaged with me or the kids. He never did anything he didn’t want to do. He never kicked up a fuss, withdrew from any discussion that seemed like an argument, had a blank look on his face whenever I brought up his drinking problems, gambling problems, prostitutes or porn. He was just so.. I don’t really know how to describe it.. so nothing, so apathetic, uninvolved with anything except work. He just kind of stepped back and let me do everything. Which I did of course. I was waiting for him to hit rock bottom, being the supportive wife, not ditching him when things got tough, standing by my man…. you know, all that chumpy stuff.
    But he still never took responsibility for anything so I kicked him out. My house feels so different now without all that underlying anger, the sun is shining in and everthing feels so calm and peaceful.
    Next year when my youngest finishes high school, I will sell this house and move on…

  • The furnace died. A month later (after it got cold), Doofus got quotes and scheduled installation. In order to install it, he had to hire a handyman to cut a hole in the wall. It’s an old house, and the furnace went into an awkward soace. The furnace was installed no problem; however …. Doofus never called the handyman back to replace the wall and, consequently, never paid him. So now I have a furnace-sized hole behind my refrigerator.

  • This post is hard for me. Its strolling down memory lane… And it hurts a lot. My Idiot found our home when I was 6 months pregnant. It wa sthe house and the neighborhood where our child would grow… where we would know our neighbors…where we became a family. The house was/ is small ( 1100 sq ft) and 60 years old. Sturdy. Well built and sandwhiched in a quiet understated neighborhood with hard working established families. We worked so hard to get the house ready for baby. Side by side. My belly bumping into everything. He scolding me everytime I got up on ladder or didnt drink enough water. We brought her home 4 months later. The neighbors all standing outside to meet us… a line to see the new baby on the block.
    Every dent in the floor …and chip in the paint … and ripped screen door….A story of a family. The sound of little padded feet down the hardwood hallway… Trying to sneek in our bed… To the thundering of the soccer ball bouncing off the hallways … The squeal and peels of laughter as she runs from the dog. The tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa…. They all lived here too. It was a home.
    Tonight I sit alone. Well not entirely. The dog… Now old… Waits for her too. She wont be back for another 4 days. We sit together waiting for the sound of now much bigger feet…still running down the same hall… To jump on the bed and snuggle with her old mom and old dog. The home she is not allowed to call her home anymore” its your mothers house” something she is reminded weekly. She does understand why her home is not her home anymore… Or why she has to pretend that its not. She has learned not to upset her father by not asking those questions.
    It all got blown to shit… And i still sit here in disbelief. Still.

    • I’ve read whole books that weren’t this well written. Clip, it’s so sad that they can’t feel what we feel, that they can blow it all to shit without a second thought. Hang in there.

  • Early on my cheating ex husband had a tantrum because I rearranged the furniture in the living room without his permission. I wasn’t supposed to do anything in the house without his say so. Another time he had a spectacular sulk in a department store because I wanted to buy a table runner. We lived in not a very nice flat for years because we were saving for a house and he would never allow me to buy anything or do anything to make it nicer. I was too nervous to do much about the house in case it set him off. He then ditched me for the OW during my chemotherapy, telling me in great detail on the way out about what a lovely flat she had. How she had done it up so stylishly etc. Anyway, to his amazement, within a couple of weeks of me getting my half of our savings back from him during the divorce, I had bought a gorgeous little flat. I admit, I did make him look at the estate agent’s pictures just to rub it in. His face was a picture. Since I finished my cancer treatment I’ve been doing it up and it is just starting to really come together. It really is rebuilding my confidence to be able to make a home after so long. I’m sitting right now in my sunny living room on my lovely new sofa listening to the birds singing and looking at the roses around my window coming into leaf.

  • Oh boy where do I start?
    1. Wouldn’t buy a “starter” house in the town near his work because “it wasn’t a good area”. So we bought one in the suburbs with huge commutes for both of us and a big mortgage = not much money for anything else
    2. Wouldn’t agree to getting a washing machine for 5 years, so I was going to the laundermat on a Sat morning while he stayed in bed “because he was tired”. Said we had “no money” but was quite happy to spend lots of £s and months builfing a suspended ceiling in the kitchen that we didn’t need and I didn’t want.
    3. Took a week off work to get jobs done and spent it building a bird-box ( yes, this is true! )
    4. Partially knocked a partition wall in the kitchen down and never got any further. It was finally made good 6 weeks before we moved, and I had to get a builder in (and pay) for that.
    5. Stripped the hall walls when we moved in and bought the new wallpaper. 5 years later it was still in the original packaging, despite my offers to help him do the work.
    6. Decided it was easier to wallboard the dining room rather that paper it – that job took him a year.
    7. Demolished the old timber garage ready to have a brick one built. 5 years later all we still had was a hardstanding.

    After 5 years of living in a building site I threw a strop and said I wanted him to finish these jobs. His answer was to move house and do nothing constructive there either!

    He now lives with schnoopie/slutpants in a house that hasn’t been decorated since 1996 when they moved in. It seems they prefer to spend their money on foreign holidays (which she organises).
    I saw on FB recently that she was asking anyone if they knew a good plumber. It sees he can’t even pick up a ‘phone and a copy of Yellow Pages.
    It seems they don’t change……

    • It seems you ex- was a good demolisher… and not much else. So, this is happening in Great Britain too ? Cheaters have so much in common, wherever they are from !

      • Yes, ChumpFromF – he was pretty good at wrecking stuff, including the marriage !!
        It seems to me that cheaters have the same handbook, that’s been translated into many languages !

  • The little cheater ex did around the house was grudgingly done. He did shovel snow and cut the lawn, til the boys got big enough, then it was their job, I did all the painting, papering.carpeting, tiling, etc. All that stuff was beneath him. And heaven forbid it should cost more than a pittance. (He needed every penny for schmoopie.)

    Our final little house was built in 1907 and had sturdy bones but was definitely a fixer upper.I loved it and all it’s little quirks. He thought he deserved so much better. He quit claim deeded it to me after I left, hoping I would lose it. I just got a second job and kept on stepping.

    Boy, did that piss him off. That was the house that someone (his family, I’m pretty sure.) burned down a couple of years after he took himself out along all the other drama he caused. Luckily I carried good insurance and rebuilt again, right there, and with the addition of steel doors, good locks, barred basement windows, a BIG dog, and my trusty .357 magnum. No further problems. I sold it for a fat profit just before the real estate bubble tanked and used the proceeds to buy and pay off my present place.

    You know, I can’t envision cheater ex as a house. He was more like a used car lot. One of the really sleazy ones where all the cars are polished and shiny, but fall apart the minute you drive one off the lot and you find the guarantee only extends to the edges of the lot. Worse, you can’t get your money back because of all the clauses written in invisible ink, and you find yourself having to keep paying and paying…..UGGG.

  • Oh my God, this is SO damn true!!!! We have been serial renters because of him- arguing with landlord/management about bullshit maintenance problems and wanting this fixed/replaced or wanting to have rent taken off because of seeing a roach, etc. … plus, the fighting with the neighbors– 7 moves in 10 years!!!! If and when I get a home of my own, I’m going to paint the MF’er pretty and plant every type of plant out there — including the herb garden he’s been bitching about wanting but never seemed to find the right place or the right type…

  • Mine came home one day….pissed off as all hell…a guy at work had asked him…”whatcha building today? Correction…what has your wife been building today? ha ha”….o…m…g…the envy and jealousy was outrageous…he made me pay with the silent treatment for two weeks….

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