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Financial Infidelity

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chump-money People who will screw around on you, will often screw you over financially as well. Are you in the dark about their affairs? You’re probably also in the dark about their credit card bills, secret bank account, and P.O. boxes. The entitlement thinking that cheaters are prone to often extends to who controls the money.

Even in a marriage in which the finances are fairly transparent, the cheater may feel quite entitled to spend the lion’s share of income on him or herself. This might even be something you tolerated or supported. (He works so hard, I suppose he’s entitled to his toys…or the princess mentality in which she “needs” a lot of trinkets to be “happy.”)

To pull off a double life for any duration, a cheater needs to control some cash. That’s why I often advise folks to insist on a credit report from their cheating spouse. Refusal to provide one is a pretty good indication there are things there they’d rather you not know about. If divorcing, your lawyer can also demand financial records. Running a credit check may reveal a whole host of skeletons — the debts they carry, P.O. boxes they send their other credit card statements and cell phone bills to, those “other” credit cards… This is useful information to give your attorney. Or if you can afford it, hire a forensic accountant. Monies spent on an affair are marital assets you can ask for back in a divorce.

Another way cheating and financial defrauding go hand in hand is CONTROL. Cheaters may want to control the bill paying, or insist on keeping the finances separated. There’s a concerted effort to control the flow of information around money. They are the gatekeepers. And if you ask, you’ll get flutter, defensiveness, or diversionary tactics thrown back at you. Folks eventually give up asking, and live with the chaos. Or the facade that everything is kosher (perhaps you have enough discretionary income to absorb their losses) and they’re minding the till just fine.

People are rightly afraid of the financial losses inherent in divorce, especially stay at home moms. But here’s what a lot of people don’t tell you — in the long run, you’re going to be much better off because YOU are captaining your ship. What income you have will be yours and yours alone. You won’t be tethered to some agent of chaos trying to ruin what you’re creating. I’m not trying to make light of the financial injustice — but you CAN and WILL recover. If you’d stayed with that wingnut? You’d be a lot less secure emotionally and financially. Can you imagine growing old with them, when times got lean or there were health problems and then they behaved selfishly? You’re so much better off without them. Get the best settlement you can get, and REBUILD. You’ll be amazed at how great autonomy feels.

Also consider you may not always be alone. If you partner up again, I trust you’ll be much wiser and will choose a healthier relationship based on honesty and reciprocity. Discuss your finances straight up. Look at each other’s financial profile before you recommit! When my husband and I married, we got a pre-nup. We have a joint checking account, and what monies that are separate (his business, my inheritance) we both know about and can view at any time. Like anybody, we’ve weathered financial down turns, but I can’t tell you how much different it is to go through such challenges with someone who is a full partner.

I used to be a total chump when it came to money. My first husband went on personal strike, wouldn’t pay for jack, and I paid our mortgage and all my own bills. He paid whatever he felt like paying. I tolerated this until I realized I was already living like a single parent and I divorced him. (Part of his miserliness was his OCD, but a bigger part of it was he’s a total creep.) My second brief marriage to a serial cheater, his finances were a total secret to me. He was a patent attorney and he lived large. From that marriage, I realized that more income does not equal greater financial security — whatever he earned, he spent, and then some. I only discovered his actual debts when I ran a credit check on him. Something I wish I had asked for before I married him.

My point is, when it comes to money — don’t be a chump! Protect yourself and enjoy that newfound autonomy. Oh, and treat yourself to something nice too. God knows you’ve earned it.

This column ran previously. Feel free to comment!

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • He was a CPA with his own accounting practice. What a sweet setup for him. All the bills came to his office. He could make up a tax return to show me. He could hire “staff”. I took care of him through terminal cancer and it was only after he was gone that I discovered the nearly $100,000 in debt, the Social Security report that showed his true income (i.e., I supported him our whole marriage), the thousands spent for online Viagra, and the naked pictures of the secretary. On the plus side, “no contact” is going well.

    • I can think of a couple of incidences related to the above topic:

      1. A friend of my sister who was office manager to her medical doctor husband refused to sign the joint tax returns with her husband. Since so little matched, she first assumed that her husband had a gambling addiction. I forget how she found out he had a mistress addiction. On one of their outings, the mistress fell and broke both of her legs. So Karma does drop in sometimes.

      2. The other incident has to do with a late friend from high school. He was living with an accountant. although he and his wife had divorced becasue she wanted children and he didn’t, by the time the second child came round with the second woman, he decided to marry her. Somehow, she knew that she could take his name off the title of the house while keeping hers on ; but also, that she could take her name off the mortgage whil keeping his on.

      He was engaged to take the kids to Disney Land, she emptied out the accounts and well, the rest is history. It took him down to a deep depression.

    • Yes, Cheryl…my dead husband has also been much easier to get along with lately. How have you handled your anger about what you learned without becoming a bitter person?

      I found shit from OW in my house after he died and I was pissed as shit and I wasnt in debt nor were the OW photos naked. I did find a CD of photos…she had her clothes on. I had a “come to Jesus” moment of forgiving him and I was OK then I found more stuff. Even though the stuff was old, the discovery was new to me and made it all feel like a new round of betrayal. I didnt forgive again, I just got mad.

      • Hey, UNICORNOMORE.
        You’re so right, the anger is terrible. There were days I wished I could bring him back to life just so I could kill him. I’m lucky because I have a couple of close friends who let me vent (and vent, and vent) and gave me love and support. I’ve found I have to be careful about what I say to whom. Most people don’t want to hear a chump’s story anyway, but they really don’t want to hear bad things about someone who died. I found a great book that helped. It talks about acceptance vs forgiveness, how each works, and the idea that it’s YOUR choice about how you respond to great injury. Forgiveness is not required to become whole again. The book is “How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To” by Janis Abrahams Spring.
        OK, one more thing (and I’ve never told this to anyone!) There was so much to do with all the legal and financial mess he left behind. That meant lawyers, accountants, courts, taxes, etc., etc. I would look at the list of phone calls I had to make and the information I had to find and organize and send out and would become paralyzed and just couldn’t do. Right before Halloween a couple of years ago I was in the store and saw a display of costumes. Remember that crown/tiara thing that Wonder Woman wears? They had one in cherry red sequins. I bought it, took it home and whenever I had to do something hard I put it on and said “I can do this!” I keep it on a shelf above my desk. What’s that saying? – “It’s my journey, don’t judge me” 

        • LOL! Cheryl, I love the Tiara! I think what we all go through is such a shock to us, it is such a BETRAYAL, that it behooves us to use any strength we have just to MOVE forward. My ex’s abandonment was such a clusterfuck on top of everything else I had handled previously that for two years it was all I could do just to go to work every day (and negotiate a settlement with a worthless lawyer). To those new Chumps, be kind to yourself. Do something for yourself every day that reminds you that you deserve better, anger in those early years will propel you forward. I too am often overwhelmed by what needs to be done but it is a lot easier when I am healthy. So walking has been empowering. For those things I still need to get done (I am selling all the stuff ex abandoned just to make ends meet, who needs a boat, right!?!?), I am going out to buy a green tiara!

        • I think the tiara is fantastic! No Judging here. We not only have to survive this, but we have to thrive as a result of it. Whatever it takes to give you strength and belief in yourself is a win win in my book!

        • Cheryl that tiara move is inspirational! I have a pair of Wonder Woman comic print panties (please don’t judge me!) that I love and that make me smile whenever I wear them. I’m going to seek out a tiara too as it sounds great to have on hand in time of need.

          • Cheryl, you totally rock…wonder woman tiarra…I bow to your awesomeness.

            I would have done something massively bitchy with the naked secretary photos…the universe would have gotten mad at me over it Im sure…likely good thing I didn’t have that chance.

            Yea, the world doesn’t want to hear a chumpy story and everyone thought my deadhusband was a “great guy” and in many ways he was, he was great to everyone but me. He was from an ethnic group that historically treats wives rather shitty but he was born in the US and acted as American as Apple pie…I thought he got the whole “be nice to the wife” thing but his dad never got that memo and neither did he – his dad was a great guy who was a shitty husband.

            He was always perched to react when the day came that I made a disparaging ethnic comment about him…he was so ready …and I never did. He was mean, abusive, filled with rage and acted like a huge asshole and I never gave him the satisfaction of losing my temper and saying anything to him 1/3 as nasty as the shit he said to me. It was as if I spent my life being punished in advance for that awful thing he was just sure was around the next bend. Im sure that was fun to explain to God.

            And it wasnt until it was over and he was dead before I was able to really see it with clarity. He sucked and I spackled – I mean I literally spackled his blunders and shittiness…his acting out left literal holes in the wall and I fixed them.

            I know that Im fortunate that with his death, I got $…I have internally battled with myself if that should just “make it all better”. Im very appreciative of the security, but I was never for sale. I didnt marry for money and I was a devoted and committed wife and money cant buy that…no, a life insurance policy doesnt wipe out 26 years of abuse.

            “There were days I wished I could bring him back to life just so I could kill him.” Yes, there were days when I screamed into the emptiness “You better freaking be glad you are dead !!”

            • Ahhh, those pictures. I admit that I fantasized about having a few thousand copies made and hiring someone to fly them over town and release them. Never did that . . . but I’ve never deleted the file either. The good news? She went on this big diet and lost a lot of weight – and I have the before pictures. I get way too much satisfaction from that so I’m not claiming good karma yet. 🙂

              • Just to be clear (and so you don’t think I’m a perv!) I’ve never actually LOOKED at the pictures since I first discovered them.

                Can I ask about the end? Did he know he was dying? Did he show any remorse? Mine never acknowledged a single wrong-doing and never expressed any appreciation for our life together (36 years, two children) or the tiniest bit of gratitude for anything I had done.

              • He didn’t know he was dying…probably didn’t until he saw the light…he dropped dead in our house and I found him cold on the floor face down …it was truly traumatic. I was a unicorn, you see and everything was going to be great because he was someday going to understand and then he would quit being so mean. The loss of my hope was maybe the biggest loss.

                I had begged him to renew our vows (since he told me many times – especially during the cheating – that our vows were invalid) and he flatly refused. Doing it would have taken him 15 minutes on a tuesday and cost no money but he seemed to want to keep his “get out of jail free” card that our Catholic vows were invalid (based in his claim that he was so reluctant that he never gave full consent to marry). You would have thought I had a gun to his head at the wedding.

                Appreciation. No, he had no gratitude for anything about life. I think God had bigger cause to be mad about that than I did. God gave him SO many wonderful blessings and he cursed his own existence over and over. 9 days before he died, he told me he wanted to move away to get a cool job..the ones near us were too tedious. Never mind I had a house he chose to buy (that was worth less than we paid for it and unsellable at the time) and 3 kids (a young teen and 2 dependent sons with bad chronic depression) and my sons baby momma and the baby…but he was going to move away because there was something more fun to do. yea.

                No, he had no appreciation for the life we lived together or the fact that I kept his family together (and didn’t divorce him) when he went insane. He did acknowledge some wrongdoing…imagine he admitted to / apologized for something the size of a golfball but what he DID was inflict pain, destruction and misery the size of a basketball – so I got a cursory apology but when he returned home and pretended like it never happened, it all hurt 90% as much as when he inflicted the pain in the first place.

                The fact that he kept mementos from OW in my house was such a profound affront to me, but the kicker was that he maintained to his last breath that it was an EA. He concocted wild stories to convince me of it and (partially based on the fact that he was so odd, he was just strange enough to do as he claimed). I asked him about it numerous times and for the 7 years of my unicorniness, I mostly believed him. When I found proof that all that was a pile of lies, well my love died on that pile of paper about 11 months after he died.

                He was sort of a Jesus cheater but I was also a Jesus unicorn. I was convinced that God would restore our marriage (there wasnt much to restore, it kind of sucked from the start). Knowing his cranky miserable rage filled narc self, I think God knew he needed the most worthy of helpmates for him to have any chance at all to get to heaven. I dont criticize anyone who ever left an abuser …I think God leads the Chumped and abused out bad situations all the time and I would not use religion to compel them to stay, but I honestly felt in my situation that without my presence, H would have fallen into irretrievably into darkness without me. Its a very long story, but Im absolutely sure that he did not go to hell and Im glad of that. I want him in heaven, but I also have no desire to see him when I get there.

                Please don’t see me as a sad deluded victimized Jesus unicorn though…God has restored the years the locusts ate. I dated a man 30 years ago who was very nice and very kind but I didnt have the sense to value who he was or what he had to offer and I chose my latehusband over him. He was later chumped and left by a cranky narc wife who saw green grass on the far horizon. That same man in back in my life and were going to marry and have the BEST life ever. We have some of our youth left, were healthy and have enough resources to live however and where ever we like. The future I have right in front of me is wonderful and i see it as a huge blessing that I might never have appreciated without the experience I had.

  • I can’t even begin to say how true this has been for me.

    XH and I were both pretty chumpy about money. We had a vehicle repossessed, we ignored bills and ruined our credit ratings, we paid our rent late and got branded “bad renters.” Finding landlords that would rent to us became an ordeal. It only took a few years of living in that nightmare for me to say, “No more.”

    I’m much better about money now, and getting better. My credit is repaired to the extent that I got into my current apartment with the lowest security deposit possible based on good credit. I’m not a complete Dave Ramsey disciple, but Financial Peace University was generally helpful. Most of my debts are repaid (minus student loan debt because government student loan forgiveness) and I have a small emergency fund in place.

    In dating, the financial habits of my potential partners matter a lot more to me, too. I recently went on a date with a handsome guy who I had such great chemistry with, but he was candid enough to mention that his credit rating is in the 400s and he has a bad rent history. That killed my good feelings about the match pretty quickly.

    My cheating XH is still a dope about money. While I was irresponsible while we were married, he would do things like spend our rent money on work expenses and not tell me about it. He stole money from my bank account to pay for a work party when I was 9 months pregnant and, during our separation, once stole my debit card and removed $1k from my checking account to “punish” me for something I’d said about him.

    Now his parents pay for his cell phone, his health insurance, and recently paid out $4k-$5k in car repairs for him. He’ll never change and I’m glad I’m no longer tethered to THAT.

    • The whole debit-card stealing thing is a prime reason why so many people said (in the post last week) that you shouldn’t allow XH in your living space (although I understand that he might not have stolen it from your house). He’s not just a pregnant wife and child abandoner; he’s not just a serial cheater; he’s not just an underemployed whiny baby; he’s a thief. The great thing about this site is that over time CL writes posts that make us all look at what we didn’t see before because we were speckling or just didn’t know better. You’ve done such a good job to untangle from him legally and financially. All you need to do now is kick him out of your head (harder than it sound like, I know) and keep his sticky fingers out of your apartment.

      • I had asked for a divorce 5 months earlier. We were married and living together (but not sleeping together). Our finances were loosely separated, but we had but one I-Pass Tollway account for both of our cars, and that account was paid through his bank account. He picked up my debit card and said he was going to take it and withdraw some money “for the I-Pass.” I said okay.

        He took it and withdrew $1000, which was the daily maximum the ATM would allow. When I confronted him about it, he said he was angry that I had insulted him in front of our daughter. I agree I shouldn’t have done that, but to “punish” me by stealing money from my account was disturbing. He also said that he was entitled to half of our $7000+ tax refund. I said, “Great, which half of the bills do you want?” We had pretty much maxed out our credit cards to survive his previous year of low earnings, so our entire tax refund was going to pay for that. I had already given him $400 dollars of the refund so that he could buy dance shoes and hadn’t spent any of it on forwarding my career, but the idiot still felt like he should get half of the tax refund to spend on whatever he wanted. I didn’t give it to him.

        After much arguing and threatening to contact his Mormon bishop, he returned $800 of the money to me. I changed my debit card PIN and told him if he ever made any unauthorized charges to any of my cards, I would report the charges as credit card fraud and have him prosecuted. Haven’t had any problems since.

        Dropped the kids off at his place for all of last week and it went great. My brother (who lives with me) and I agree that it feels good not having him eating our food and making messes for us to clean up.

        • Well, good for you! You took another step toward your great new life. And maybe your brother can help you with reducing contact…

      • LovedAJackass, getting him out of my head is what I struggle with the most. I am doing fine and even met someone I thought was nice last night and then I’m a fucking mess again. I know it takes a lot of time but I WANT the to stop having thoughts about him. And they are not good thoughts.

    • Rarity, my story is somewhat similar.

      My X was, to put it nicely,,, a spendthrift. I watched money FLY out the door. When debit cards were introduced, that was NOT a good thing for me. My X would withdraw cash WITHOUT regard to what was written against the account!!

      One time I had paid a bill. My X did an ATM transaction, and the check bounced. Of course it was MY fault. We got in a fight about it and loudly insisted that HE would take over the bill paying. I said, “Fine!” For the next 3+ months I literally watched a pile of unopened bills mount on his desk. He TOTALLY ignored them. I wanted to see how long it would take him to DO something. If I mentioned the pile, he’d land on me. Finally into the 4th month, I grabbed all the bills and began paying them.

      My mother let him borrow one of her credit cards (for business expenses because we had no cards) and asked him to be careful and NOT max it out. Well you know what he did ….

      The kicker, and one of the major straws that broke our marriage was his attitude about paying the government.

      On the in-take side – he used to drive me crazy. He would let major projects go unfinished and would neglect sending his clients invoices. So we would wind up not getting paid!!!

      What a true financial fuck up.

      One more thing. During our marriage, at one point, I saw that our business was going to go into a down-turn so I wanted to get a degree to get a good job for alternate secure income. His response?? SCREAMING at me that I was abandoning him and the business, and how could I possibly do that.

      If I had to eat SPAM the rest of my life being away from him is WORTH IT. I won’t let it get that far though, lol.

  • Oh, finances. Lot of drama around this one with my ex. So glad to be remarried to a sane and stable woman this time around with Ms. Fiestypants.

    My ex would complain about money and not having enough while she was spending $90 on sushi and going to Europe on a solo trip. She needed “a break.”

    Money comes and goes. Character is forever.

    • Same here. The “need” for a new car every couple of years, a $6,000 laptop, and solo trips to distant conventions related to her hobbies (in cities where, it turns out, various F-buddies lived).

      The demand for such indulgences is often combined with a claim of pervasive unhappiness for a deadly one-two sucker punch combo.

      • A 6,000 dollar lap top? For that kind of money I hope that it threw in some free extra services like cleaning your house too! I can’t even imagine why one would need to spend that much money on something that averages a 16th of that cost and I consider THAT expensive!

        • Yeah… Seriously… I freelance in a profession where having a high-performing laptop is basically essential. (I edit videos, run Adobe PhotoShop, Captivate, certain memory-intensive programs I’ve written, etc.) I’m shopping around for a new laptop, and I’m not going to end up spending more than $1,200. For a $6,000 machine… I can only guess we’re talking about some sort of tricked-out Macbook Pro or Alienware gaming machine. The latter is only really necessary if you do game development or some other memory-hogging work.

          Whatever. They’re crazy. :-/

          • ‘ I can only guess we’re talking about some sort of tricked-out Macbook Pro or Alienware gaming machine.”

            DING! DING! DING! DING! DING!

      • Who are these effing women?!?! I spent my disposable income on my ex’s kids and my ex. Maintained an excellent credit rating and had no debt except student loans. I guess my sense of entitlement is broke.

        Since I ended up going through a mutually planned pregnancy on my own without support and unable to work I ended up with credit card debt for the first time in my life at 35. I’m suffering from such bad health a year after the birth of my baby that I still can’t work and will probably have to declare bankruptcy. And the credit card debt isn’t even that high. My ex made six figures and never once paid one of my bills. A six thousand dollar laptop?! Getting to be a stay at home mom and not have to worry about where the money for a carseat, or clothes or diapers comes from?! Shit, I’d not only be faithful (by default anyway) but effing grateful!

        Some of these spoiled twats should have to be on foodstamps. I would never agree to get pregnant again unless I had a legal agreement for support. Because the state does not care about children from second marriages. Shit, six thousand is more money than I get for a year of child support from ex’s 120k income. Sorry. Just really frustrated.

        • State doesn’t care about child support period from what I’ve seen. Myself and some other Chump friends have it set up that the state collects for us. All of us have had Xs who just refuse to pay, of if they do, pay not even a fourth of what they are ordered. Nothing has happened to any of them. They all work under the table or quit jobs so it can’t be collected.

          • I know. I’m lucky in that sense. I actually receive it, although late. His first wife gets more child support per kid with a four thousand dollar a month income than my son receives and I have no income. It’s bullshit that kids have inequal value. And I actually provided free daycare at the expense of my career for his other kids.

            I’m actually more pissed at the judge. My ex perjured himself lying about bonuses as well even though he did admit to receiving one during the hearing. Child support guidelines clearly include bonuses. Judge chose to leave that out, give my ex credit for insurance even though it didn’t cost him any extra And my kid already had insurance. And I love the assumption that despite losing one of my babies during the pregnancy, repeated fainting spells, excruciating pain and hypoglycemia, I was termed voluntarily underemployed. Same thing after the birth with two tears and what now looks like a third surgery in less than a year.

            Did I mention I was on crutches for almost three months? My kid just turned one. My ex deserves to have his balls ripped off and shoved up his ass. I’m living in subsidized housing with thyroid cancer and he’s got a house with granite countertops.

            • Anyone who doesn’t pay for their child’s well being should be jailed! Child support in this country is a national shame! You go to the local child support offices and there are an army of people who cannot seem to put teeth into any order of the court! What the hell is up with that?

          • Amen Ladies; Kat – I am so very sorry you are going through this. What a monster. I was a SAHM when ex left, and we really struggled. He took month long cruises in exotic locales and drove a brand new Mercedes SUV; our weekly grocery budget for 3 was $30. He now has paid less than $4,000 in six years; and owes almost $100,000. If it’s any consolation, the Bible is really clear on what happens to parents who choose not to support their children.

  • Jackass walked away with several thousand dollars intended for a joint business. So he ‘s not just a cheater and a liar and a manipulative gaslighting asshole. He’s a thief. One thing:he not only paid his child support obligation, he was obsessive about earning enough money to cover that and what amounted to alimony. He got into the alimony situation, however, because both he and his XW were into some sort of financial game-playing around their business. She ended up declaring bankrupt; his story is that her actions brought their house of cards down and he of course heroically cleaned up as best he could but still lost their house. He had not a shred of paperwork for the business or that house. And I of course believe him.

  • My auntie was married to a serial cheater. He was a VP of a world wide hotel chain. Putting up with his cheating provided her with diamonds, furs, and vacations. After he retired he decided to gamble their money. When he died she had to hawk the furs and diamonds to bury him. She had Zilch and ended up living with her only adult child until she passed away. I spoke to her after divorcing cheater X number 2. She said if she had to do it all over again she would divorce him. Life is short.

    • I also wanted to say Cheater X #2 had his eyes on my assets. Our finances, assets, and credit scores were on par. Told him if we were still married in 10 years we could discuss merging. The marriage didn’t last 6 months. Love yourself just 1% more ladies to look to your own best interests. If the guy loves you enough he’ll make sure you do this for yourself and any children.

  • My cheater ex husband had 3 retirement accounts. Two of them I knew about the other was hidden from me. When I asked him once what was in the accounts the response was “none of your f****** business” I found out about all of his retirement accounts after dday when I went through all of his things and made copies for myself and attorney. Relieved to have made copies of everything or he would still be hiding/lying about assets

    • My stbx cashed in his Roth 9 days after being served. He probably thought I forgot about his Roth. I didn’t. After he figured out that I knew about his little windfall – he came up with “I talked to an attorney about divorce and she told me to cash it in.” Really? What attorney is going to tell you to cash in your retirement money with the huge penalties associated with that? NONE! Especially when he has the cash to pay the retainer. He was just trying to hide money. To bad for him he will end up with only $3000 of the $11,000 he cashed in. How? Well – he has to pay me half (for the dissipation), then the tax penalty was about $2500.00 – and there was no way in hell I was paying in that penalty. So 11,000 – 5500 – 2500 = $3000. HA! So basically he did me a favor in cashing it in. Thanks idiot!

    • That’s why you have to act FAST after DDay! Good job, Carrie! You, too, LS! (Hope you were able to re-invest that money for your retirement!)

  • Liar. Theif. Forger. Hoarder. Cheater. What more need I say? These creeps have so much in common – it is continually amazing to me that they aren’t spotted sooner. Maybe they could be painted orange. On second thought, Chumpy me would probably have said, “He isn’t that orange.”

    • Reminds me of comedian Bill Engvall and his “Here’s Your Sign” routine, the one where everyone who’s not with the program should be given a sign for easy identification. It would be so, SO much easier! 😉

      • Red, i had no idea a comedian said that. My daughter believes that bad people need a sign on them! She said it would be easier to point them out. I went thru all the politically correct reasons you couldnt put a sign on bad people… Her response’ but they are bad’
        Starting to think its not such a bad idea.

    • This cheers me up so much!! To know that I’m not the only one chumped by a liar, thief and forger has been a equisite salve for my battered self esteem. Forging applications for mortgage top ups six times over five years, secret credit cards – spending a thousand on flowers etc on one day ‘because I’ve never felt so low’. Dumb enough to leave proof in his rush to leave town and move to another country – as I said when I found a single document that lead to the truth – in the end, fate favours the honest and true of heart, and for that I will be eternally grateful…

  • Before we married, exH and I had talked about money; I work in finance and need an excellent credit score to even be employable. We agreed I would pay the bills (to assure things were paid on time) but that we would share expenses. I also agreed to “support” him as he re-trained for a new career for a few years; and then he would support our family for a few years so I could be home with kids from birth to pre-school. Ha.

    I supported him indeed – a brand new car every year; over $1000/month for cigarettes and soda pop and whatever little whim caught his eye at the moment. $20k for cosmetic dental work; five NICE vacations a year (he picked the spots – yay to Vegas 4x a year…sigh). Then when kids came, I was dutifully frugal and made my needs so small as to not exist. Cut my own hair; coupons galore, no new clothes; dollar store shampoo – and he still spent like a fiend and started hiding money. When he left, I was still an at home mom; but I had made sure all the bills were paid (except his last credit card bill for an international plane ticket to fly to one OW; and new tires for a car he left with local OW). So I thought we might be ok; I was blessed to find a job almost immediately.

    Then the knocks on the door; re-po men looking for an expensive new car he’d bought just a week before leaving (hidden at local OW’s mom’s); bill collectors calling every day for multiple $20k+ credit cards that I didn’t know about; letter from the IRS and other tax agencies for non-payment; and the very best – a letter from a neighboring county’s prosecutor. They were investigating him for multiple counts of felony fraud; he’d taken over $700,000 from “investors” – people he worked with; and they wanted their money back – NOW. They told me he’d set up a whole new life with primary OW – they were both driving cars worth more than our house; vacationing around the world on exotic cruises; he’s spent over $500,000 on nothing – while I couldn’t afford meat or a box of popsicles for our two pre-schoolers. That sucked. Bad.

    It almost killed me. I was so scared, but the investigation proved that I had not know, or benefitted form one dollar of his theft. I was promoted – and the amount of my raise was – to the exact penny – the amount of the child support he has never paid. I took it as a sign from God that HE was providing for us – and that I could always count on Him. I know now that exH’s whole life with me had been a lie – but this really proved it – I knew NOTHING about who he really was. The only comfort was that the people he defrauded were also “smart” – and they’d bought into his sh** too; I certainly wasn’t the only one; he is just that good of a liar and a con man. Seven years later, I’m still afraid to answer the phone and get the mail. Someday it will all catch up with him, and I’m glad to be far away from it all. God has provided for our family in miraculous ways, and we are so very grateful. But the scars – those will always be there.

      • ReDefiningMe. I stand now and salute you. I’ve been wobbling this week as due to legal fees taking all my income I’ve not been able to buy food for the holidays and have been feeding the kids pasta. I’m alone this weekend and am sick and so will be staying in bed eating little just to conserve supplies and energy.
        Your story tells me to suck it up and have faith that even though I’ll be financially screwed my own good money habits will see me through long term.
        You are mighty.

        • CheaterPhoenix, sending hugs thru the web. I am alone( aside from the old dog) too this weekend. I have a cold. And i am surrounded by the much needed repairs that Idiot left undone. He gutted the bathroom before he left… Why? I have no clue. He it all started with the flushing mechanism in the toilet… Which was $70 dollars on line…. Instead of ordering it he pulled the $300 dollar toilet out and broke it… That lead to the floor coming up because he messed up the tile in his attempt to pull out the toilet…. That resulted in the vanity being pulled from the wall… Causing a huge whole in the plaster…so he shut off the water… And placed the vanity in front of the hole in the wall…and because the vanity was off the wall he pulled off the trim and baseboards. When he pulled off the trim the door stared to sag so he tried to fix it with shims… And it ended up in the yard… ‘ to be put back on later’ The smashed toilet ( that I originally paided for and matched the tub) was replaced by a $79 dollar box toilet. And then he left. No bathroom door… No water in the bathroom. Part of me thinks that it was his effort to have a reason to get back in here ‘to fix it’
          Thank you youtube for the online tutorials… Got the water on… Fixed the hole. Lived with no bathroom door for a year cause i couldnt afford someone to replace it and all the other repairs that would be needed prior to it being put back on… Borrowed a girls friends Lowes card so i could make payments to her. She had a no interest x one year. I had a contractor come to tell me everything i would need… I went and got it. He came after work for a couple of weekends and did the work for me. I paided in payments. It was a kraft dinner and frozen veggies kinda month… But i did it.

          • Wow. Just wow. Like a tornado he left devastation behind. Though at least a tornado is an unpredictable force of nature. He just sounds like a force of unrelenting stupidity.
            Well done you.

        • Chapter pheonix, hang in there. We have been eating a lot of eggs and pasta around here too. These days my kids aren’t into much more then Mac n cheese anyways. I also find that when my kids aren’t here I sleep a lot and lounge, eating less, and conserving my mental and physical energy. I find that when I do have my kids, as great as it is, having to be ON 24/7 with no other support gets exhausting, so when they aren’t here I get some much needed R&R in.

          Soon, we won’t be paying lawyers and we will be on our way to building our new future, one that is financially tighter, but more sound in the long run.

          • Hehidbehindamask, thanks for the encouragement. I guess i have to admit that I get really confused and stressed out when I’m just at home. I have a free therapist who I see about once a month who said not to isolate myself and to try and get out. But most times I don’t want to and prefer tv just because there is too much going on. Then I feel like I should be out there you know not wasting any more of my life (I was pretty much shut away from me the world and friends for years just running to and straight home from work and trying to maintain a family) but I haven’t got the money for travel or activities. And so I get so frustrated but I know I must prioritise the legal fees or face total ruin. Aaaggghhhh!!!!

        • You women bring tears to my eyes – you are so very mighty and brave. Hugs to you all. It will get better; the same strength and willpower that allows you to breathe and get out of bed will propel you into a better place.

          I need to figure out the other chat boards so I can leave you all with budget recipes too – black beans and rice, eggs and potatoes, and my favorite: Ethiopian Stew (cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and tumeric). Eat well on $30 a week 🙂

          What a wonderful community of support this place is. A wonderful friend in my divorce support group shared these with me; maybe you can take comfort in them … “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18). I remember thinking, “Yep, crushed sums it up.” And this one, “for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) Here’s to a hope and a future for all of us.

          • Thank you all – I wish I could thank you all enough for your kindness. And that I could share with you the MULTIPLE stories of little miracles – and big ones – that I believe God used to get my attention and to tell me that HE would be the one providing for my family. I was (and on bad days, still am) so very angry at exH for stealing 15 years of my life and my dreams; and then abandoning his children with such disdain. That anger was so toxic it was killing me, and so I’ve really struggled with moving past that so that I can live this new life that has been such a gift.

            Yes, the raise was – to the penny – the exact amount of the never paid child support. I choose to believe that was God’s way of getting my attention; I’m a numbers person, and I know that the mathematical probability of those numbers matching: not at all likely.

            One more miracle story that I pray brings hope: for the first year, I was driving my (old) car on old tires. I had just paid for new tires for exH’s car before he left, of course mine could wait :). I would drive the 20 miles to work; get air in my tires; drive home; get air in my tires…for months and months. So I was eagerly waiting for my tax return that winter to pay bills and get my new tires, which were going to be $520.

            And on the day it was supposed to be depositied, I check my account balance: no deposit. I start sobbing hysterically, and dial the 800 number to the IRS. And a PERSON answers, and I expain why I’m calling, and how desparately I need that money. And the NICE IRS AGENT (sorry, that’s just not what ususually happens; it’s the automated system, then holding for an hour) says, “it’s going to be ok ma’am. I’ll be right back.” And he comes back on the line to tell me that there was an error on my return (I’ve used turbotax for years; never had an error) IN MY FAVOR, in the amount of…$520. And that the entire amount would be deposited the next week. I remember shaking and crying and asking this poor guy if he was really an angel. And he just laughed and kindly says that he was glad he could help.

            And after 15 years with exH, the hardest part for me was believing that there really was still good in the world – that miracles and kindness are all around us – so my prayer for all of you is that you would see and experience miracles all around you too. Hugs to all. RDM

    • It really is amazing how God works like that and shows you that He is indeed taking care of you, the EXACT dollar amount, can’t be a coincidence.

    • ReDefiningMe, what happened to you is incredible, and you are mighty!

      One thing you wrote really hit home for me: “Then when kids came, I was dutifully frugal and made my needs so small as to not exist.” I did this too. I’d make meals for the kids out of next to nothing, asked for nothing, never complained. I look back now and see how it was never acknowledged or appreciated. At the time I wasn’t looking for affirmation; I am frugal by nature and it became extreme during that period when I was home with the kids. But gosh…with hindsight…all that effort and stress…it was never once acknowledged.

      • Here too, cut & dyed my own hair and spent almost nothing on myself…. if I got “gift cards” for birthdays or holidays I always shopped the clearance and bought for everyone, including his kiddo’s from his previous marriage. Love them all (even the older difficult two lol).

      • Yep did my own hair, was too afraid even to buy a mascara.

        He resented every penny he contributed to the joint bills account so what did he do? Huge credit card bills, huge over draft, any thing he bought for the house he had to get the cash back, he had no money days after payday and I would lend him money even though I put 90% of my part time pay into the joint account and spent the other 10% on food shopping for the family, unknown to me he had payday loans too all while I tried to keep our credit in good shape! I had no chance!

        I had cheese sandwiches (literally cheddar and bread and water from the dispenser at work) for packed lunch meanwhile he was taking out his ho worker to fine dining lunches and he had the cheek to tell me all about their special bond! He literally played out his emotional affair in my face as if I was so stupid as not to see all the signs of an actual affair. I was in such a confused state all I could say was the relationship is inappropriate. I guess in my fucked up mental state he’d at least moved up at least from prostitutes.

        • This reminds me, x would make a huge deal about having to spend 4$ a month on a magazine I liked. Guess he was saving to take ho’s to ho blow hotels. Memories.

          • “Making my needs so small”…..everyday I would bring my lunch to work in my bag and eat in the lunch room while many ate lunch out. I was only to find out that twice a week HE bought ALL the employees lunch!! I could go on and on about my small needs and his wide open wallet! The bigger picture here though is that $$$ was his hook for sex…I will give you a handout if you “pay me back!” My whole story is incredible.

      • Thank you all – I wish I could thank you all enough for your kindness. And that I could share with you the MULTIPLE stories of little miracles – and big ones – that I believe God used to get my attention and to tell me that HE would be the one providing for my family. I was (and on bad days, still am) so very angry at exH for stealing 15 years of my life and my dreams; and then abandoning his children with such disdain. That anger was so toxic it was killing me, and so I’ve really struggled with moving past that so that I can live this new life that has been such a gift.

        Yes, the raise was – to the penny – the exact amount of the never paid child support. I choose to believe that was God’s way of getting my attention; I’m a numbers person, and I know that the mathematical probability of those numbers matching: not at all likely.

        One more miracle story that I pray brings hope: for the first year, I was driving my (old) car on old tires. I had just paid for new tires for exH’s car before he left, of course mine could wait :). I would drive the 20 miles to work; get air in my tires; drive home; get air in my tires…for months and months. So I was eagerly waiting for my tax return that winter to pay bills and get my new tires, which were going to be $520.

        And on the day it was supposed to be depositied, I check my account balance: no deposit. I start sobbing hysterically, and dial the 800 number to the IRS. And a PERSON answers, and I expain why I’m calling, and how desparately I need that money. And the NICE IRS AGENT (sorry, that’s just not what ususually happens; it’s the automated system, then holding for an hour) says, “it’s going to be ok ma’am. I’ll be right back.” And he comes back on the line to tell me that there was an error on my return (I’ve used turbotax for years; never had an error) IN MY FAVOR, in the amount of…$520. And that the entire amount would be deposited the next week. I remember shaking and crying and asking this poor guy if he was really an angel. And he just laughed and kindly says that he was glad he could help.

        And after 15 years with exH, the hardest part for me was believing that there really was still good in the world – that miracles and kindness are all around us – so my prayer for all of you is that you would see and experience miracles all around you too. Hugs to all. RDM

  • I think this is the ONLY thing I’ve not had to worry about. He loathes papers and banking. My mother (she married when I was 10 so it was just the two of us for a LONG time) was a forensic accountant for the county, for fraud and criminal activity. (I’d like to add that my bio-father was gobsmacked how she always followed him, even when he started using his deceased brother’s SS# and identity to avoid paying taxes on his businesses and paying child support.) She’s amazing.

    When I became a SAHM, she told me that I needed to take up all the finances, which I was glad to do. It was my only security if anything happened. I’d know where everything is, how much of it there was, and how to clean it all out. How to hold it all keep a certain amount in reserve for when I needed to hand it over.

    Cheater spent a total of $57.25 over the course of 10 years, on OWs. That’s it. And $50 of it was a GC I knew about, as a thank you for carpooling. HA! That $50 makes me mad. But after hearing other women’s stories – all the ENORMOUS amounts? I’m grateful for that bit of advice.

      • Yes, she is! But, as with many (goodness, “most;” it’s probably MOST) strong women, there’s a reason.

        She was chumped HARD at 20 years old, in her senior year of college. Her fiance (my father) had been divorced (even so far as annulled by the RCC, even though my mother was agnostic and wouldn’t care) for several years and moved back from OK to NY. They were planning the wedding with his family when she found out she was pregnant. It would be fine… they’d just get married sooner.

        Except that he wasn’t divorced after all (annulment was an extra-pretty lie, apparently), only legally separated. OH! And btw, he had a pregnant girlfriend who’s 6 months ahead. AND ANOTHER woman he was planning a life with… that one, he did eventually marry and have children with. (You know – after she left and divorced her first husband, bringing their son along with her.)

        She absolutely EARNED every.single.twinge of her mightiness!

  • My STBX came into the marriage with basically the clothes on his back. I recall one day how he said to me, “What good is that high credit rating if you don’t use it?” I mean, talk about clueless about money.

    A huge red flag about what sort of person he was happened a year or so into our relationship and we weren’t even married. Just remembering it causes me pain. We had been fighting and he had been sleeping in the spare bedroom. One day I get up and go about my business and wondered why, even by his standards, he was sleeping so late. But I kept quiet — I never made a lot of noise when he was sleeping. The hours ticked by, and finally at 5 p.m. I knocked and went into the room and he and his suitcases were gone. I stood there in disbelief. No note, nothing.

    I wish so much I had been happy that he was gone but I screamed and cried and called my parents. Many hours later I get a phone call from him. He’s returned to London and guess what? Used one of my credit cards to buy his ticket but swore he’d pay me back. Oh, and he left me a note in a drawer downstairs.

    He actually did pay me back within a few days (his parents did, I should say). But over the next several weeks we made up and decided I would move there to London. The fact was, a.) he was gutless and snuck out in the middle of the night, and b.) he used my money to do it. And I was so insecure and such a mess that I still wanted him back.

    So after that we married in London and he continued to spend all my money until it was gone. The month it ran out he met Heather Ann and threw me to the curb.

    I had to declare bankruptcy, but he didn’t since all the debt was in my name. And now, at 57 I am job hunting and rebuilding my credit.

    It’s sometimes hard to fathom how stupid I was and that I really did believe that somehow we’d survive our horrible financial troubles because we loved one another.

    • MovingLiquid, I hope an awesome job comes your way. We had a very expensive school of hard knocks. Betrayal sucks. I hope that crazy Brit falls out of his lofty nest and gets trampled.

        • Saddam came with his clothes, a twin bed and a pillow, that was it. I used the twin bed for my Great Dane when he got to old to get on our bed. I made sure to put an old stained twin pillow in one of the boxes when the movers came to get his couch and lamp after settlement. I know it wasn’t the original one but symbolic for me. I have no idea if he recalled the significance of the pillow or not.

    • ML, you will get that great career going. You deserve more than a job. You deserve a job on a happiness path–a career.

  • Mine wanted to live the good life, but didn’t want to save the slow, chumpy way to get there. Instead wanted to invest in rental property (when we couldn’t keep up with repairs on our own house) and margin trading. He did the bills until our water was shut off for nonpayment, not because we didn’t have the money, but because he couldn’t be bothered to pay it. I found this out in August at the end of a very long, hot day when I just wanted a shower before bed.

    I took over bill paying. As he was checking out, he told me that I was too controlling with money and didn’t trust him because of one tiny mistake. (all our other bills were often late too when he paid them). They don’t generally shut off utilities after ONE missed payment, dude!

    Somehow 4 people are now getting by on less than half of what 5 people did. No expensive suits for him, vacations, or fancy meals out (admittedly, I miss a couple of my favorite upscale restaurants but not in the budget now) but you know, we’re doing OK.

    One classic story about our different attitudes towards money — we’re on our last family trip together to Italy. He bought himself a $2000 full length cashmere coat. Didn’t blink, didn’t think about it. I actually put it on my credit card because he was at his limit. I got an $80 handcrafted shawl; had to agonize over spending the money for a day and then go back to the shop.

    • I think that when a marriage has this kind of financial imbalance–the $2000 cashmere coat vs. the agonized over $89 shawl, that’s a very bad sign that Cashmere Boy is a narcissist.

  • This post deserves to be repeated. The insight here is so, so good. When I kicked my husband out last summer, my counselor told me to get my husband’s credit report while I still had access to it. I thought there was no way I was going to find any financial infidelity. Wrong! I found about $47,000 in secret debt. That was just the beginning. Now that he has to disclose his finances for the divorce, I have discovered closer to $100,000 in secret debt. I have no idea what he spent it on and I can now see he has been taking money out of his 401K to pay off these credit cards. I’m in complete agreement that I’m lucky to be getting away from this. There is still a very significant amount in his 401K and pension and I will get half of that. If I would have spent another 20 years with him, I’m sure he would have had us in bankruptcy and his 401K would be completely gone. BTW, his degree and job is in finance- ah the irony.

    I was a teacher, then a stay at home mom and now work in education again (no huge money there) and I fully trusted this man to take care of me, our kids and to fill the holes of my retirement for the time I stayed home. He makes good money but spends every cent and then some. He has bought me nice gifts during our marriage but now I realize he did this because he can’t actually connect with me or anyone else so he uses money instead. He paid our bills but spent every thing else pretty much on himself. I’m frugal to the core. I grew up on a farm/ranch where we were lucky to have new shoes, so it is easy for me to be careful with money and tell myself no. So, while I was clipping coupons and buying used clothing, he was doing whatever he wanted with our money and credit cards and telling me there was barely anything on our credit cards. It’s sad that my knight in shining armor turned out to be a jester in rhinestones.

    Thank you for the reminder that we can rebuild. At 44 it is scary but I think it can be done and I look forward to being in control of my finances and finding peace in this area. I can live without material things but I will be focusing on my security with health insurance, retirement and saving to take my kids on small vacations. It’s time to be mighty!

  • Separate finances at his request. He “gave” me a certain amount a week towards household and (as I posted the other day) it never changed in 23 years. And it wasn’t a lot. I was putting it towards groceries, steaks for him, a fortune on gallons of the green soda he was addicted to, fresh fruits for his lunch, bags of snacks he’d eat in one go, etc. And he seemed to think I was spending about $50.00 a week. He paid the mortgage, which was very reasonable, and cable because that was all that mattered to him; tv and Internet. No other utilities, taxes, water bill, etc. If he wanted a new car he just bought one. Expensive gym membership, $100.00 + sneakers. Income tax returns were his. He might “give” me a few bucks of it. Never bought furniture. We had my parents old bedroom set. It was lovely. He ruined it. Chump that I was I never even saw his pay check but I knew he made very good money. He had to either be scoffing money away or gambling or spending it on OW.

    I’ve posted this before but in the divorce he perjured himself by lying on his financial statement, stating his pension was approx. $200,000 less than it’s actual value. Luckily he didn’t get away with it. Karma bit his ass in the form of the pension appraisal firm who outed him. That extra money kept me from ending up homeless. I have PTSD from the realisation that the man I thought loved and cared for me and was my best friend was willing to leave me to starve on the street. The one I made homemade bread pudding and baked apples for. Homemade pie, peanut butter cookies, popcorn. One of his parting shots to me as I cried and questioned him was to tell me to shut up because I sounded like a “retard”. Nice.

    • Lina,
      If it makes you feel any better, mine said nothing when he was outed.
      I was the one who cursed him out and it didn’t make me feel better or worse.
      It doesn’t matter what they say or don’t say…nothing helps except holding your head up high and taking one step forward at a time.
      You have your memories of doing lovely things for others. You win because that is how normal people behave.
      There is a lot to be said for the comfort of knowing you wont be homeless.

    • Lina,

      I am so sorry. It will get better. You have the strength and wisdom to live frugally and well – that is an amazing gift.

      My exH lied to – had himself declared indigent to have his child support (which he has never paid anyways) lowered, despite being very wealthy and having a good (non-provable) income. Oh, and threatened to kill me if I tried to convince the courts that he wasn’t indigent. By that point, peace was worth more than money that he’ll never pay anyway – and I do believe it will catch up with him someday.

      Live well and be at peace – the things that truly matter often don’t cost a thing. That peace is priceless. Hugs to you.

    • Lina–that final comment alone tells you all you need to know about your fucktard’s character. He’s not fit to polish your shoes. He is a complete and utter a**hole without a shred of dignity or compassion. You are so far above him as to warrant a law saying he should exit the room backwards so as never to show his rear side to you (a la Queen Elizabeth).

      I know his verbal abuse hurt, but he would have said it to ANYone–it has nothing to do with you It has to do with HIM and his black hole of a heart. Once you fully embrace this, a weight will be lifted.

      • Jen I hate that word too. His using it was another indication of his immaturity and ignorance.

        Thank you Tempest. It’s the whole head over heart thing I struggle with. He unmasked so abruptly. It shocked me to the core. He had his ways but I thought I did too and that no one is perfect. But not being perfect is one thing, being a cruel hateful POS is another.

  • A warning about LLCs to those still in the divorce process.
    While you will not be able to find out who owns an LLC or the amount of the investment, one should search through all the credit card receipts for any charges in Delaware. They will be very low amounts (less than $50.00) and may be on 2 separate charge cards. There will be 2 separate charges on the same day or at about the same time.
    If the AP did the filing, it may be impossible to find.
    While the owner or amount can not be proven, the information can be used by your lawyers as a bargaining chip.
    I handled all the finances throughout our marriage except for his work credit cards. He was still able to hide lots of money.
    Even if your spouse refuses to do a credit check…if you know their SS number and can guess at the questions asked by the online credit bureaus, you can probably still get a credit report. I did for both of them (knew the AP well enough to know her SS number).
    Unfortunately, you will only find information by doing A LOT of digging at a time when you are emotionally battered. Google is a great tool – type in first name, last name + last name, first name + their email addresses, phone numbers, SS numbers and anything else you can think of.

  • Chumpy me. One would think I would have learned from my mother’s mistakes. My father was a lying cheat, ran the family business into the ground, and left my mother on the hook with the IRS, etc. She lost the business, and things went downhill from there.

    I should have kept up with the bill paying, etc, after my mother’s experience. But over time, ex did more and more with the money; I permitted that to happen. My ex and I had decent salaries, but when we divorced, there was only $30,000 in savings. In hindsight, there should have been more, but I chose not to dig too deeply. Who knows where it went, ex just bought whatever he wanted, and we took family trips at least 2x per year. Cars were paid off, so that was good. I am convinced a big chunk went to dinners with OW.

    I will teach my kids to remain financially independent, and to not be complacent.

  • where do I begin 2 mortgages..hers hasn’t been paid in nearly three years. I didn’t know until 9 months had passed. She hasn’t paid income or stare taxes in at least 4 years…perhaps 6. Credit cards…lol she hasn’t made a payment in a year or more at least. I could go on but why

    • Wow…. just WOW…..it seems that the tax evasion thing is an epidemic with these assholes. Credit cards too, he’d buy things and then default on the cards.

      • Even the government isn’t the boss of them…they are special. Tax law? The IRS? pphhhttt…..

        • Indeed. Mine cheated on the last two years of taxes and other government programs. If they’ll cheat their spouses, who’s off limits? No one !!!

        • “Even the government isn’t the boss of them…they are special. Tax law? The IRS? pphhhttt…..”

          My X right along with yours.

  • “Even in a marriage in which the finances are fairly transparent, the cheater may feel quite entitled to spend the lion’s share of income on him or herself. This might even be something you tolerated or supported.” (He works so hard, I suppose he’s entitled to his toys…or the princess mentality in which she “needs” a lot of trinkets to be “happy.”)

    ^^^GUILTY^^^ To the point of embarrassment!!!! He totally sold me on this bullshit…. he trumped the “I work SO hard” line and I followed right along like a good chump. I tolerated his selfish spending because I knew he worked hard… and he was the only one earning. Eventually it became inexcusable, his self indulgence over the past 2 years with his bodybuilding and the amounts of money he was spending was ridiculous all while the rent, utilities & child support were always delinquent. He blamed his stress about “lack” of money on me….. truth is he made great money he just spent it all on himself and spent more than he made. If I had gotten a job to pay bills it would have just freed up more of his money for spending on himself.

    To sum up the last 8 years, first he lost his house (2 months in and found I was pregnant, palm to forehead), 3 months later he gets DWI (lawyer got him out of that & he didn’t pay lawyer), soon afterwards SUV is repossessed (no car for me), he is paying ex-wife CASH in hand for child support when he was supposed to be paying through the state (he has done this the entire 8 years) and eventually they sent account statements showing he was $70,000.00 in arrears (it was actually $15,000.00). Rent…. NEVER paid on time, always delinquent (3 different properties), we were basically evicted from the last rental but i worked out a deal with the landlord myself. Basically NOTHING has ever been paid “on time” or “regularly”…. child support to ex, rent, cell phones, cable, electric, gas, sewer, water…. he constantly had to borrow money from MY adult daughter that lived at home until he got his next check. The COLOSSAL kicker….. he has been working for himself for the past TEN years and hasn’t FILED or PAID any income taxes (WHAT.THE.FUCK?) Any days he took off of work he spent playing golf, treating his oldest (ungrateful) son or meeting up with his best friend (who I also suspect is a cheater pants). At least TWO golf “trips” a year for him, but no trips for us, he could always come up with money for his wants/needs.

    As I write this the rent here is delinquent 3 months, as is his child support. He has not responded to one phone call from our landlord since he left here five months ago, it is so childish it is bizarre… he leaves checks with me and I have to call the man myself. While NOT paying his child support or the rent here…. he has taken at least 3 out of state trips (2 of them flying and renting cars) to Miami, Tampa & Columbus for bodybuilding events and I suspect that every other weekend he is traveling to OWhore 4 hours away and paying for gas to travel back and forth and weekend hotel stays for the two of them. Three months ago his transmission went out… somehow he coughed up $3,000 to pay for that AND a rental car for himself for the week & weekend (had to get to OWhore). What do I hear “My life is SO hard, my life SUCKS, you have always had the misconception that my life is easy.” No… stupid I haven’t…. but…. “you DO this to YOURSELF by making STUPID decisions and spending money you can’t AFFORD and don’t HAVE. It is self INFLICTED!!!!!” The most disgusting part of this is that he refuses to SEE how his selfish bullshit affects everyone else, that while he is so “deservedly” spending on himself it is his CHILDREN that he is shitting all over. no DECENT parent spends as much as he can on himself while their children do without. He has NO conscience or remorse PERIOD!! Stupid asshole can’t get out of his own way and he has an excuse for everything.

    My saving grace…… we NEVER married!! Used to wreck me that he never went through with it…. NOW I consider this a blessing in disguise!! His utter financial destruction is ALL his…. just like his cheating OWhore. None of that shit can reflect on me because my name is on NOTHING but the lease to this house and I can submit a termination of lease and my name is off that bitch in 30 days!! Woo hoo!!!

    • Realizing that all of this ridiculousness indicates that I might be a complete MORON for tolerating so much of this crap…. let me say that I knew it was all bad juju. I made excuses the first few years because he drank, I had planned to leave him and then he quit drinking. There was “improvement” over the next 2 years and then he found a new addiction and it all went back to being complete shit again. i stupidly wanted to believe that I could somehow save us all. I tried, he wouldn’t let me. His shit show is no longer my problem.

  • A bit of advice to chumps – it may be different in your state, but in general
    – You can request a copy of your tax return directly from the IRS if you filed jointly. Don’t believe the “I don’t know where the returns are”. Be sure it was filed; and that the copy you have is the one that was actually submitted. Don’t forget state, local, and school district taxes too. Investigate and document.

    – Even if a divorce court rules that the other spouse is repsonsible for a joint debt, if you signed it, you are still obligated. The only way to change that is to refinance, and in many cases, since the value of real estate has depreciated, that is very hard to do. Same thing with credit cards and car loans; if you signed it, you still have to pay it if the other spouse doesnt’. It sucks, but that’s the sad truth. Make refinancing or selling the asset mandatory, as soon as possible.

    – Go to annualcreditreport.com and get a report (free) every four months. Run each bureau once a year, and you can see what’s out there in your name. Monitor it and know the truth. Not sure legally about getting a spouse’s report; I think you can while you’re still married but not sure – be careful.

    – I was fortunate on exH’s secret credit cards – they were in his name only. But depending on the state, you can get stuck with marital debt if it was incurred during the marraige. Ask your attorney; and don’t let bill collectors threaten you into paying what you’re not obligated to owe – they will try.

    – Document your expenses. I had to prove to investigators that I had not benefitted from exH’s fraud. That’s a lot easier to do (if you have a chump who embezzeled or cheated others financially) if your fianances are transparent. Be able to show what you spent and on what. It will also help in court for support type issues.

    Hope this helps…

    • My ex’s mom signed off on joint tax returns, KNOWING her at-the-time-husband was not declaring some insurance money he’d received. Then she was all shocked and felt it was so unfair when she had to pay half the extra taxes + penalties, when it got caught after they split. She’s pretty narcky herself, the ‘I’m such a poor sausage’ kind. Also bought a brand new car after leaving her ex, but before any legal separation or financial agreement had been reached, then was horrified that he had the right to ask for half the value of that car.

      Entitlement, entitlement! And then self-pity when it comes back to bite them,

      • Chump parents needs to educate their kids about taxes. Even if a spouse is an accountant, it is well worth spending $100-150 to have an outside expert file the taxes, because they go through the return line for line. Even if two people are in a happy marriage, both parties needs to pay attention to taxes and to credit. That will prevent a lot of surprises in the event of separation, divorce, or death.

        When I divorced my first husband, our home was under a sales agreement and he let the new buyer gut the place before the final papers were signed. At the same time, I found out that he had forged my name on the tax return check. That was back in the days when they sent a paper check. I called a lawyer and threatened to kill the house deal and ask the court for relief since I had not agreed to the new buyer’s actions. I got the tax refund back and he agreed to take all liability on the property until it was sold. It pays to pay attention. And today, when tax refunds are sent to bank accounts, chumps should make sure that there is a signed agreement re: the refund and have it sent to the CHUMP account. The other possibility is to file married but separately, which I have done, also.

  • I paid on the bills and had a good handle on the finances thank heavens. My ex and Schmoopie decided to open a joint account in Fla. Where she lives. On the paperwork she listed herself as his spouse and they ran our credit to get her a credit card! I hit the roof! I was surely set to bring her, my husband and the bank that allowed this to happen into court. Long story short, she cleaned out the account, took the money and closed it down! I told him she is a gold digging shark, but in the end he left me for her. Hope she screws him financially!

    • The nerve of these cheaters. Not just content to break up your marriage, she takes advantage of your credit. A total parasite.

  • We both came into the marriage with very little money since we were so young. We worked hard to save and not spend more than we could afford. And we sat down weekly to pay bills together and balance our accounts. Somewhere along the line that changed….I assumed busy lives, work, kids, family, etc. just made it harder but now I’m thinking it was part of the shift to put responsibility for everything on me. So I was the one that handled all of the finances. I never saw anything that looked odd with the exception of times that I noticed cheater withdrew money from the ATM multiple times a week. If I asked him about it, he would get mad and say I was too controlling, he couldn’t do anything, blah, blah, blah. What I know now is that he’s been skimming money from work in addition to using cash from our accounts for his women and prostitutes. When I kicked him out, I moved all the money into my name only, dropped the limit on our credit cards to $1000, blocked our equity line, etc. so he couldn’t ‘take’ anything without me knowing about it.

    Interestingly, his paycheck had been direct deposited into our joint account forever. About a month before I kicked him out, it didn’t auto deposit. When I asked him about this, he said he checked with his HR dept. and they had a glitch so they wrote him a check. He gave the check to me and I deposited it. He said they fixed the glitch and the check would deposit fine next time. Well, it didn’t and I never saw that check because I kicked him out on the day he was supposed to get paid. I don’t know if something was up or if it really was a glitch and it doesn’t matter now but it was questionable at the time.

    He also refused to provide any financial details prior to mediation. My attorney was livid but I didn’t want to delay mediation. Cheater kept saying that I had access to our accounts and he didn’t so he couldn’t produce anything (lazy, blame shifting, etc.). My attorney told him over and over that we just wanted him to provide info on whatever was in his name only. He and his attorney played dumb. Not sure if he has something hidden (probably the money he’s skimming from his employer) but my attorney made him list his accounts and balances at mediation and sign saying it was all he has in his name.

  • Since my cheater let me do all the bookkeeping for our Stateside businesses, I knew exactly what was coming and going, his credit card statements, everything. I had some of a handle of what was going on in the businesses in the other country because I audited their books (one was a partnership, thus the need for auditing, and the other he just started before DDay last fall). We have ALWAYS had separate bank accounts, except for the fact that he trusted me so much I had access to all his accounts, which was a super bonus when I found out what was going on. I had all the accounts frozen immediately (excluding day-to-day business activity sanctioned by the court), including any possible wire transfers to the other country. Since I had a bank account for my business that he did not have access to, I jsut started to deposit all the other nightly deposits in that account in case he tried any funny business. I was completely transparent with my lawyer and the court. He choose not to retain a lawyer. What a maroon!

    • My X was also moron, he hired a lawyer and wouldn’t produce documents and she withdrew because first he was abusive to her and secondly he told her he hid money. Set his own lying ass up and never hired anyone else. Limp dick may end up in prison since he wrote down his income as 0 on the court document and then testified that he made 62000. She raised her eyebrows. Can’t get any dumber than that.

  • All this sounds familiar. Always plenty of cash for anything, no matter how ridiculous it is, for their own pleasure and nothing for you or the kids! I used to remind him that Christmas and birthdays come around once a year! The dates don’t change so plan for them. But lo and behold, every holiday and birthday would be a bitch fest about how all we wanted was his money! WTF? Funny how once I took over all the financial affairs the “problem” with lack of funds, late payment, no payment disappeared! He is financially handicapped in this way and his wants far out weigh his needs. His Schmoopie seems to be the same. Good luck assholes! I can see the explosion coming. As a matter of fact, the reason I opted for the mediation he wanted so badly was to dump him before the tax season. He hasn’t paid his tax bill from 2013 yet! He’s an idiot! But now he is Schmoopies idiot!

    • I relate, Roberta. My STBX and I never had money to buy one another gifts at xmas. I bought him a really nice dinner when his birthday came around, but he never did for me. Nothing for anniversaries. One year, on a particularly broke Christmas, his mother sent him about $500. Did he buy me anything with part of it? Did he buy his daughters a gift with it? No. He bought himself an electric keyboard because he is an artist and needs to “feed his soul.”

      His soul.

      Asshole.

  • I was a stay at home mom. My Ex manufactured goods in China. We had 3 forensic accountants (his brother and business partner was divorcing at the same time). We never got bank statements from the brothers, only spreadsheets they made up themselves. We knew they were hiding tons of money but unless we went to court and took the chance and risked our sanity and what little money we had, we couldn’t prove or find the money trail. Two months after the divorce was final, the brother died, making my ex 100% owner of their business. Less then 2 years later the business sold. My ex owns 3 homes. drives a car that is worth more then my home and is currently in the Bahamas moving his yacht to the states.

    Like Chumplady says, know where the money is. Ask questions. I trusted, bad idea. Which of course sucks because you should trust the person you are married to. I got a safe settlement and I can go back to court but at this time in my life, the aggravation isn’t worth it. He has hidden everything there is to know about him. I can’t prove he was negotiating the sale during the divorce but my intuition told me then and tells me still. I want him out of my life and for him to pay alimony for the long life I hope he has. On the other hand, I want to be free of him. It’s a conundrum.

    The worst ones are the divorces where this happens and there is no settlement. I can’t imagine. For anyone who reads this before it all goes down, find the money before you divorce. Know where the assets are. Get what you deserve, which is half (but the laws don’t always make it half).

    As a side note, the man I am dating now opened his books and showed my everything when we became serious. It made me really uncomfortable! But as he said “if we are in a relationship, we should know what we are both coming in with.” Makes perfect sense when you are in a relationship with a normal person. Be normal, find out what you need to know.

  • BTW, I am a huge Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace fan. I would suggest this to anyone who needs solid answers and top notch hints on getting out of debt, budgeting and avoiding everyday pitfalls of finances. You can find the book in almost any bookstore and I know, if you are like me, once you read it, it will become the most coveted book on your shelf. I can attest to the fact that until I found Dave our financial life was poop. And thank heavens I had followed the book for so many years because once this divorce hit me I was prepared. My attorney was so impressed and said she wished all of her clients were so knowledgable about details of their finances. Because once you are in the chaos of paperwork, it’s great to be able to put your hands on everything your attorney needs in minutes. Takes some of the stress off of you!

    • Also a big fan of Financial Peace. If it hadn’t been for following those principals for the five years before Dday, I would have been completely sunk. It was very rough going for the first two years, but we survived, and I was able to keep the house and car. Great advice.

      • ReDefiningMe, I am a 12 year plus Ramsey fan and it saved my sanity during this divorce. Also it’s the only reason we had assets! Met with my financial planner today and found out my assets will last me into my late 80’s! Thank you Dave Ramsey! My husband dumped the whole mess on me many years ago when he had a job that kept him in another state for 6 months. I remember walking into the home office, which was his domain, and it looked as if we had been robbed and ransacked! I stayed up all night long paying bills once I found them! I did, however, forget to pay the water bill and it got turned off. But in my defense, I haven’t found that bill to this day, but I’ve never been late on a bill since. Seems no matter why my ex left the house or when, he always left a mess to deal with! Typhoon Cheater! Glad he’s gone!

  • WTF is it with these fucktards ?!?!?!?! I swear we all married clones! 2 repossessed cars, water and electric shut off, boiling water in the stove to bathe my 3 babies because the water heater was broken and we could not afford another. 23,000$ in back taxes for a business that he bankrupted and did not file or pay the taxes on. 10,000$ judgement against me for a business credit card in my name that he never paid. I had to use all my inheritance money to keep us afloat. I used 2 of my 3 IRA accounts to pay bills and keep us going. Food stamps, WIC, Medicaid on and off the whole marriage because he could not keep a job. I remember laying on the floor sobbing because as a single mom before I married him, I had worked so hard to build my credit. It only took him 5 years to ruin me.

    And then there was the little problem of sex addiction. What a fucking mess. I was a stay at home mom, with 4 kids 6 and under. Homeschooling, living hand to mouth the entire marriage. Assclown up all night downloading porn, trying to find that perfect image to masturbate to.

    The last two personal income tax returns he has filed, he funneled the entire amount into a separate account that….wait for it…..I HAD NO IDEA HE HAD!!! It was 18,000$ total. No shit. My son, deployed in Afghanistan, had to wire me money to pay my house payment. I had to have my family send money to pay bills and keep us going while going through this divorce. But he had that money,and spent every dime.

    But…..I am FREE!!! Divorce was final March 20th. And I got everything I asked for. Now on to my financial hearing May 8th.

    Hang in there, all of you. Meh and the karma bus are just around the corner.

    • Oh my!! Me too Irish! I had forgotten that little gem…. our gas was shut off because of non-payment and I won’t even ADMIT to how long I boiled water for bathing… it’s fucking embarrassing. My family HATES him. My Momma calls him NG (no good).

    • Another hand raised here to boiling water due to no heat. Wow. What losers .Congrats on your settlement. I am almost at my 1 year anniversary of D (April 24) and it feels great!

  • Oh Irish! Just know that your life will be infinitely better without this idiot albatross around your neck! Good Luck!

    • Thanks for the well wishes! I was so shell shocked after the hearing, I seriously could not believe I had won, and won big. I felt out of body. I could not wrap my head around it. I felt like being happy would be gloating and tempt the karma bus to turn around and run ME over.

      I got custody of my 4 kids, the house, all proceeds from the sale, and permission to leave the state. Good child support, but because he is woefully underemployed, no alimony even though I am entitled to it. That’s ok, I’m studying to recertify in my field and will have a large pool of employment to choose from. I’m a little scared, but a good scared. 🙂

      We are going to be ok. This Phoenix rises from the ashes again!!!!!

      • Hey Irish. I hope you see this. Can you please offer some advice as to how to fight and win in court. STBX is threatening he will lose his job due to ‘stress’ if I don’t settle before court. He has gone on a financial meltdown rollercoaster over the past 16 months and now is blaming me for his broke ass situation. Do judges/ courts see through this crap? How did you do it? I’m at a loss.

        Well done to you though. You sound pretty awesome.

        • I don’t know what state you live in chapterphoenix…. but when my X’s previous wife divorced him he had just gotten fired from an awesome paying job and they went by the previous year tax return. NOT his “earnings” at the time of the divorce. By the way, in 8 years the stupid idiot has never had his child support revisited…. why??? as stated elsewhere in this thread he hasn’t “filed” taxes in a decade and can’t prove his income. Disordered asshole.

          • NCStevie I’m in the UK but things seem pretty similar. I’m just really worried that his financial bad behaviour will count for nothing in court and that I will be further screwed over in the settlement. He has already made it impossible for me and the children to stay in the house by building up debts.

        • Chapterphoenix, document document document. You did not say if you have children or not. My X made some huge tactical errors which the judge saw immediately. Stay calm, follow the rules even if they don’t. The judge will see that. Your stbx may lose his job, but I don’t think using stress that he caused will go in his favor. Best advice I can give is do not get soft. Do not try to be fair. Fight for what you are entitled to no more, no less. Give no quarter. Don’t be fair. Our chumpy selves want so badly to be fair, but it always bites us in the ass when dealing with fucktards.

          You can do this. Be tough. Be reasonable. They can’t be reasonable and judges see that. Stay calm, have a plan to tell the judge, don’t sound vindictive, but put it to him in a calm,planned out manner.

          Good luck, hope this helped!
          Let us know how you are doing!!!

          • I’ve taken a screen shot of your words and will read them hourly. I’ve tried to do everything by the book and can not believe the lengths he is going to to destroy me when I’ve done nothing wrong!!! It seems the system is set up in the favour of the ruthless and charming. I’m fighting for scraps for me and my sons even as he tells them its all my fault he’s broke.
            At least I don’t have to document as its all their on his bank statements but he’s trying to twist everything so he gets sympathy.

            • ChapterPhoenix, listen to Irish! Don’t get soft and don’t think in terms of “fairness” cause believe me your cheater has no sense of fairness! Follow the law and document everything! Courts are very aware of the dirty tactics these cheaters pull like quitting their jobs etc. don’t be afraid and get what you deserve!

              • ChapterPhoenix, Frame your case presentation as what is best for your children. Judges want what’s best for the kids. I know its tough not having money for your kids, assclowns love that power! But, it goes against him when that is presented to the judge. Keep records of money you had to borrow, if you had to do that. The judge was not happy that mfpos was not paying the ordered interim support. Keep records of what you spent that borrowed money on. My cousin sent gift cards and I printed out a transaction report that showed all the bills I paid with it.

                Save any and all documents pertaining to his retirement. Get your hands on as much financial information as possible. Text, don’t talk on the phone, you can screenshot what he texts. Just remember he can screen shot your text too, so don’t say anything that would make you look bad to the judge.

                But most of all, make your case about what is best for the children. I have 5, one grown and 4 still at home. I was a homeschooling SAHM for 14 years. He looked like an ass in front of the judge for not providing for the children. Not so much me, but the children. Of my 4, only 2 will have visitation as the older 2 want nothing to do with him.

                Hang in there. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You and your kiddos will survive. It’s a tough road, but you will make it! Just getting away from these sick bastards is worth the pain you are now going through.

                Good luck, and remember you are MIGHTY!!!!!

            • ChapterPhoenix, Irish is 100% right, especially; “Our chumpy selves want so badly to be fair, but it always bites us in the ass when dealing with fucktards.” and “You can do this. Be tough. Be reasonable. They can’t be reasonable and judges see that. Stay calm, have a plan to tell the judge, don’t sound vindictive, but put it to him in a calm planned out manner.”

              You go Jedi Ninja on his ass, no pity, no mercy – he has none for you or your kids.

              Jedi Hugs to you!

        • CheaterPhoenix – I second what everyone says here.

          Here in my state anyway, they can see if a guy is trying to purposefully nose-dive a business or down-size a career. When this is in evidence, the judge will impugn income to him.

        • Thanks everyone!! I really couldn’t have done it without CN. All of you kept me on track, helped me keep going when I wanted to just quit.

          I really don’t know if we all realize what support we give to each other! We are all at different places on this shitty road. But we all have so much in common. The mindfuckery runs true for all these fucktards. What a fantastic group of people here at CN. Everyone of us brings something to the table.

          Thanks Tracy for creating this place for chumps to come for support and friendship. You ROCK!

  • Oh, how I can relate to this. I knew my XH was financially irresponsible before I married him, but also knew that I could “fix” that (insert collective groan here).

    I co-dependently got him out of debt and got him an awesome credit score. I was a SAHM and handled all the money. He certainly skimmed money off of our savings for things he “needed” and whined and stomped his feet for me to agree to but the overpriced, unnecessary things he waaaaaanted.

    Of course when he started the A, he immediately got a couple of credit cards that he maxed out immediately. I didn’t find out about these until after DDay.

    Fortunately, for me XH isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree. He couldn’t wait to leave me and run into the arms of his “soulmate”. He was in such a hurry, that he gave me anything I wanted in the divorce. I negotiated a good amount of alimony in top of CS and made him take all of his debt with him. He immediately signed off on it to be with his true lurve.

    I’m still at home with my kids and back in school for a career change. All of the alimony/CS is garnished from his paycheck. It’s been two years. The lurve nest has soured and XH complains about being so poor. Poor sausage. Glad my chumpy days are over.

    • MEJ, good for you! I wish I would have struck earlier while he was still feeling the effects of the afterglow of Schmoopies Twu wuv! But I did okay I think. Just something we chumps should think about while the “new love” feel is still warping their lil pea brains.

  • Yes it is a red flag when they open accounts you have no access to. Since hers was an on and off event, there was no real money involved. Mostly occurred at his house. Drive by sex. Guess that part is a good thing! Didnt cost me money! And she didnt even spend money on condoms!

  • My X was good with money. Totally transparent and responsible. However, he told me after D-day that he gave her $100.00 because she was crying about money. That was enough to make me hit the roof. It wasn’t the amount, it was the principle. It still burns me up.

  • Here here!

    My cheater didn’t play fast-and-loose with money to finance her affair. But, as soon as I moved out, I took her off our joint credit card and otherwise split out finances. She said it was a drastic step, and that I was moving too quickly toward divorce.

    My response was that (1) I never thought my wife would cheat, and yet here we are, so what else did I think my wife would never do?…and (2) I will NOT finance an affair. If you cheat, do it on your own dime.

    Yes, I sacrificed being able to “track” her spending. But seriously, if you’re “tracking” your spouse…you should accept that it’s already over. Realize that you have a new life now, and get a lawyer.

  • XH was in huge debt when we met. There was financial infidelity early in the marriage, i.e., we agreed on a budget and to discuss loans (bail outs) to his family before acting. he lied hid and broke this promise many times. two big ones started my distrust of his character. he expressed remorse. i forgave. (now see this was also spackle). when he opened a separate credit card during his (secret) affair years i did not suspect it was for his adultery. he said he wanted a separate card for business expenses.

    had no idea irresponsibility and financial infidelity behaviors are associated with marital infidelity.

    for future reference, i know now.

    • // , It sort of breaks the stereotype so frequently tossed out of men losing their financial autonomy upon marriage. Most of what I read here has to do with the times that men take advantage of unbalanced gender expectations to ruin.

      • AC–the whole point of marriage is that both individuals are forming a lifetime financial partnership, so both parties lose “financial autonomy.” If one spouse runs up debt, the other one is legally obligated to pay. So I am not sure who “tosses out” a stereotype that men are disadvantaged by marriage. Unless you are referring to the fact that many WOMEN give up career advancement to carry, give birth to, and raise small children–and at that point, the male partner may be responsible for supporting the family. But as you can see hear, this kind of financial infidelity is not a male/female thing. It’s a “disordered cheater”/chump thing.

  • My ex controlled all of the finances and I was not welcomed to actively participate. I was, however, invited to pay him directly for things like insurance and “depreciation money” on a paid off car that he refused to title in my name. Our house was a constant shuffle of electronics, computers, and cars. The cars were the worst. I love cars and enjoyed them, but I was never a part of the purchasing process. He would set his sights on one, bring it home, and within a month or two, it was being listed for sale without any discussion.

    I never knew anything about his salary, bonuses, or sales earned on items he sold. KInd of like everything else in our marriage.

  • We were young when xh and I married. Young enough that neither of us had any money because we were getting our college educations and were poor students. Fast forward and years later we both have good jobs and decent incomes. We should have been doing well financially, but…

    Being the chump I am, I let xh take care of the finances. I was always assured that we were doing just “fine”…saving for the future and taking care of the present. (HUGE chump!!) What I didn’t know was that “fine” for xh was very little retirement money, no savings, and basically using each check to make it to the next check.

    We both worked hard. The problem was xh had no sense of financial responsibility and/or maybe he just didn’t care. He always bought whatever he wanted anytime he wanted it. Want a new computer? Sure. Want to take up an expensive hobby? Why not? Want a garage full of equipment that you never use? Keep buying!! Tired of your car because it has some miles on it? Get the loan. No need to worry about the future…we can worry about that when we are older. WHATEVER!!

    I was the one who was always worried about spending ANY money on myself. Need a new pair of shoes? The pair you have will make it another year. Need a haircut? Maybe you can stretch it for another month. Need a computer or phone? Here, you can have my old one. THANKS, idiot.

    When the affair with howorker was discovered, I found out that he had been spending money on her from our account. So now we can add thief to his list of names. I am not sure how much more money would have been spent if I had not discovered the affair and gotten the financial order from the court.

    I will never let another person have control of my money. It doesn’t matter. That is non-negotiable. If that is a problem IF I ever meet someone again, then I will have to say bye-bye and good luck. Like CL said in the post, financial autonomy is amazing. Although I might not have much on my salary, it is MINE!

  • I managed all the money, so knew where it all went. The best thing I did was to grab all of the tax returns and hide them. I don’t have my antiques from my grandmother, but he can’t hide money. GRAB ALL OF THE FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS ON THE WAY OUT THE DOOR AND HIDE THEM!!!! Best thing I ever did for the divorce.

    • I did this, too. I grabbed all the tax returns and stored them in my office at work. Made it so much easier to prove to the court how much money EH had made the prior three years, even though during the divorce he was “unemployed” and told the judge he couldn’t find any job that paid even close to 30% of his salary the prior 3 years. The judge just rolled his eyes, and because he’d probably seen this game SCORES of times, basically gave me everything I wanted. If you have to rent a safe deposit box to store those puppies for safekeeping, do so!

  • He didn’t spend a lot of money, he lost his drivers license to a second DUI. His mother tried to help him out of that financially, but he didn’t really want help. He didn’t drive for nine years. Then finally, the lawyer she paid got him off the hook, he never could get through the classes because they test urine.

    When he finally got his license back she bought him a car and paid his insurance. He was such a hostile driver. It really surprised me because I thought he was so laid back, but he hated everyone on the road. Didn’t learn it was easier to go around a slow driver than climb up on their ass and get angry.

  • My ex probably still makes good money. He paid just about all the bills because he had the bigger salary. My job provided us with groceries, dry cleaning, vet visits, gifts for friends/family, minor home repairs, take-out dinners, etc. It also provided me the flexibility to do all those things. I figured it was my responsibility because I had the time and it wouldn’t cut into our together-time. In the end that wasn’t good enough because I “had a job, not a career.” I work at a dentist office (across the street from my house -never have to spent $$ on gas, parking or lunches out like ex did). Prior to that I worked for the chair of humanities at a local university – left 6 years prior to dday to settle my out of town mother’s estate which in the end benefited us just under 100K. I guess saying that his wife worked for a university was more prestigious that at a dentist’s office.

    On the day he moved out he said he was going to clean out our savings account so I wouldn’t take all the money. In a rare moment of clarity I told him that he was just projecting his nonsense on me because I would NEVER, EVER do that.

  • Ah yes, the financial infidelity. Stbx had a particularly troubling combination of avoidance plus entitlement. We never had a joint checking account because he could never keep his account balanced. He was also extremely defensive when it came to how he managed his money. The few times I brought it up in an attempt to help him–though I would use the term “us”, gag–manage the money better, he absolutely refused to admit that he couldn’t keep his checkbook balanced. He swore up and down that he always knew what was in his account. Meanwhile, this guy was bleeding hundreds of dollars in overdraft charges to the bank every month. He’d overdraw his account by spending $4.27 at 7-11 or some nonsense like that. Crazy. The disconnect–the absolute refusal!–to admit that he was bad at managing his bank account is/was stupefying. So, like I said, the few times I brought it up, he would get unreasonably angry. First he would refuse to admit he had a problem. After he realized I wouldn’t believe that, he’d say something like, “I overdrew the account on purpose because we needed the money to get by.” That did it. It zinged right into my guilty core, because I wasn’t bringing money in at the time and I felt responsible for the fact that we lived so close to the financial edge. Never mind that I also knew, logically, that if he just stopped overdrawing his account, we’d have hundreds more in the bank every month and we could have scraped by with that. Guilt won. He shut me down.

    Even after our finances improved, I paid the lion’s share of our bills because I wanted the security of knowing the bills were getting paid. Yet even though his bill responsibilities constituted a much smaller percentage of his paycheck than what I was handling with my paycheck, he still managed to overdraw his account every damn pay period. I later found out that he was borrowing money from his parents to get those bills paid, and that he was taking money from work too. He didn’t make a huge salary, but I’m still not sure where it all went.

    The peace of mind that comes from not having to worry about this stuff anymore is wonderful.

  • Finances shouldn’t have been a problem for us since we both had job security and good incomes. He kept his business seperate with a business account, po box., and seperate credit cards. We never had anything to show for it. He hedged on buying a home and spent his money on his girlfriends, hotels, porn alcohol, pot, and a big ass drum set that filled the basement. He had limited interests, never went to a movie, new restaurant, or wanted to plan for a vacation. Basically he complained about sex, and the mundane chores. We always had seperate accounts because of his infidelity. His total assets included two junk vehicles, his drums, and the clothes on his back. He put zero effort into out relationship. He hid money in bank accounts and a safety deposit box. He was paying down his credit cards. I basically spent my life with this limp dick narcissist serial cheater. In the end mr entitled felt the need to torture me going after my retirement. He lost because basically he had a stupid agressive casino whore giving her input. I do congratulate her on exposing him as his mask was off. While there was no explanation, his actions told the story. He met her and planned his escape in the most evil and sadistic way possible. It’s nice to know someone in his life could empower the loser. Through all his lies I succeeded. I am divirced, I kept my pension, kept all the furniture, my rent controlled home, cars, and my self respect. His losses can only be measured by his stupidity. He spends his nights at bars and sits at the slot machines with a drunk whore on his lap, plugging in his cash. He has nothing. I used to be upset that he erased me from his life. My truth is I now HAVE a life

    • So glad you said pot, because I thought my jerk was the only one stupid enough to indulge in that.

      I do not know what’s wrong with me, but I can’t get high. It just doesn’t work for me. I suppose that’s why she had more appeal than me. Is it me or is pot just completely useless?

      • Jen. Is forgotten this, but my boyfriend when I turned 18 and had my first apartment was a huge pothead. I smoked it with him because he basically harassed me till I did. I never felt ANYTHING for about a year. He always accused me of lying about it. Not sure why i would lie.

        Then suddenly one time, I felt incredibly wasted, and extremely paranoid. So, no, it’s not a draw for me. I can be paranoid all on my own.

  • My cheater was a commissioned sales person so the time he spent emailing, texting , yappying, lunching, and god knows what else with the whore while we were both SUPPOSEd to be working was actively taking money away from me and my preschool age daughter. Of course, her skank ass worked at an insurance companysso was only stealing from the company, and

  • Good God…. after reading all of this today, and especially listening to myself and the financial disaster I tolerated…. I’ve firmly decided to go back to school. I’m not spending the rest of my life swinging by the seat of my pants and just getting by. I made the mistake of giving that up when I got pregnant the first time at 25 and it was the biggest mistake I ever made. No more. I have to be able to depend on myself and I don’t have the luxury of youth at this point in my life.

    • Good for you NC Stevie! You can do it!!! And being financially independent is awesome!!!!

      I thank God that I had a very marketable career in medicine long before I ever met this assclown, so going back will not be a problem. And I can support myself and my kids regardless of what he does or does not do.

    • I won’t go into details – very similar stories to everyone here.
      However, after all was said and done I was so broke assed I could not buy appliances for a year, I did go back to school.

      I now have a career that I am loving, a decent little house and a nice car.

      Life isn’t always easy but at least I have control over my own destiny now.

      XH had a habit of sabatoging my efforts in the past.

      • Good for you for controling your own destiny! You are right, it isn’t always easy. But thank God there is no more sabatoging!!

  • Cashed his expense checks & left me to figure out how to pay his credit card bills. Ended up losing his job, probably as a result of this shell game & the fact that he was wining, dining & 69ing OW on work trips.

    The topic of financial infidelity does not get enough attention. They are true assholes if for no other reason than this.

    People outside a marriage who shrug affairs off (“shit happens”) should have to deal for one week with the financial mind fucking. It’s INSANE.

  • My ex was pretty entitled about money. He spent vast quantities on music equipment for himself. Once when we were going through a financial tightspot I caught him planning to spend £4000 on completely unnecessary work on his car including, would you believe, having the chassis lowered by a quarter of an inch to give it better road handling. I mean, what sort of an eejit even thinks of doing such a pointless thing as that? Anyway, in retrospect the first sign of his plan to implode our marriage was when he moved all our joint savings into an account under his own name. Fortunately he didn’t get away with it and I got my share of the marital assets back. A man who will cheat can’t be trusted with money either. I got off lightly in this regard though – respect to all the chumps on here who’ve dealt with such fraudsters. Nightmare.

  • CL, you nailed it again. I remember a year before D-Day trying to talk to ex about our finances, to get an understanding of his income. As usual he became cagey and annoyed and shut that conversation down….but I earned a lot more so we didn’t have to worry, my earnings covered a host of sins (literally). Ex gave up a good paying job a few years before our divorce, since he could not work hard enough to maintain success, and insisted he had to form his own “consulting” business (in which he could spend all day selecting the color of the border of his brochures).

    After D-Day, ex immediately bought a new flashy car, then ran out of money before the divorce was final 4 months later, and had to ask to borrow from me (I refused). On his way out, he had cleaned out the kids’ college funds, an account I had deposited $$ in to pay our property taxes, and rerouted our joint tax return. I had just paid off $20,000 of his credit card debt 2 weeks before D-Day.

    As I sat here reading the comments, I only just realized that ex had had a secret credit card account. I accidentally found out about it when we were re-mortgaging our home some years before D-Day, and the mortgage company was reviewing all our credit accounts with us. Sigh……I was such a chump.

    Another aha moment — even though our children do not speak to ex, he “kindly” agreed to take out the Parent Plus Loan for our daughter’s senior year at Penn State (she is graduating next month). Everyone was surprised, including my counselor, since narc/sociopaths don’t tend to be so generous. It just dawned on me that he has been “skimming” and keeping thousands of dollars for himself each semester. When I asked him about it, he claimed his computer “crashed” and he lost the information. When I insisted he send what I know he owes, he said he can send only half next week!

    Last year he moved 5 hours away to live with schmoopie in a very expensive beach front home they are renting in Rhode Island, and they are getting married this summer in a big showy wedding.

    Ex was always the guy everyone thought was successful, responsible, trustworthy, good with money, etc etc.

    What I have come to realize is that in reality, he is a 53 year man who does not earn enough to support himself, whose own children do not speak to him, and who must survive as a grifter. He is left with a woman who was willing to cheat with him for over 15 years, share him with her best friend who they also had group sex with, and who immediately after my D-Day abandoned her husband and left behind her two sons to be with “the love of her life.”

    To quote Sponge Bob, “good luck with that.”

  • TRUTH. Complete mindfuckery! Its like pulling that one loose thread on a sweater and you end up with a huge ball of tangled yarn and no sweater. Assholes, every one of them.

  • In my case, the ex spent all kinds of secret money on the ow, none of which he has admitted to. What he doesn’t Elaine is that I know of all of it and have given copies to my attorney. One thing is the arrogance that these fools exhibit, like you will never get them back for anything… While he was in the beginning of his white fest, he begged me to help his parents with their house, they needed my credit in order to get a larger loan to pay out some family members.

    Eight years later, I’m divorcing his cheating behind and he is trying to get me to forget that his parents house is now made a marital asset and just pay him half of the equity in my home. By the way, i haven’t see a dollar for the mortgage in three years and because he lives with his parents, I have been actually been keeping a roof over his rotten head. Fast forward to the present, four court appearances later and the only way he can now guarantee his cut of my house is to ask the court to sell his parents house. Now that is what you call the highest of selfishness, you are willing to make your elderly parents homeless in order to gain a few bucks.

    I might add that even though he ran out chasing after the ho leaving me with all of the bills, I’m in much better shape than I was with him here…much better. Even if I have to buy him out, by the time he pays his legal fees and pays me out, he’ll have maybe 40k or so, which sounds like a lot, but when you live in NYC and have a job making less than 40k a year, have no education and have to pay 1/4 of your paycheck in child support for the next 15 years, that’ll disappear real quick. And don’t forget the homeless parents… Oh, did I mention that its a multi family property and his brother, sister and their families live their also? A lot of homeless people so he can get a few bucks! Go ahead,my brotha!

  • Word of advice to all here: lawyer up and ask your family law lawyer about how to best prove what per-marital assets you brought into the relationship. In many states, I think, you will get credit for those (in my case, they are fairly significant, so I am claiming them – every last penny!

  • Guess I was lucky Saddam got drunk so often when we were in reconciliation (false). Even then I didn’t trust him anymore. So, I made sure all the savings were in my account then got him removed from it when he was drunk. Not funny then, but funny now: I got him to sign bank documents to remove him from my account but they would not accept them, why? I had originally signed the bank docs for him because he was too busy…so the signatures didn’t match. I explained to the manager my problem and convinced her to accept his verbal agreement over the phone if he called them. I called them and handed him the phone and he agreed, A year later I thanked the manager, she smiled and said she totally understood and was glad to be of service.

    Of course later he said I took advantage of him…nope. He blew through half of the money we took from the house for repairs and HVAC by renting an apartment and buying bullshit for himself and his OW. AND didn’t pay a bill for over a year. Bastard also said my secondary retirement account was a shared investment account at divorce and he ended up with 43% of it. That’s why I cannot retire ever, I had reduced 401K contributions years ago and funneled a lot of money to that acct so we could retire early. That chaps my ass. Of course when I hear how hard financials are for so many other chumps it puts in in perspective. I’m doing fine, but it still pisses me off.

  • My Idiot loved to spend money…. Mine in particular. If I was paying… Which was the norm… We ate out at very nice restaurants… Purchsed nice gifts at Xmas and vacationed around the world. When he had to pay…. It was hamburgers…. Cheap ass gift cards and camping. Once i got wind of Tweeny I kept a watchful eye on the money… I couldnt figure out where he was getting cash to take her out…. But at 19 and unable to drink… She was happy with the dollar menu at Mickey Dees. Thank god for that small favor.
    I did a random check on our daughters savings account…. He had been siphonning money out of her account for months. Thousands. Mother fucker. I played dumb. At our court hearing he had to justify the withdrawls… Which he couldnt… Or was too embarassed to say… He then attempted to lie…. Under oath… Good policeman that he is. The judge shut that shit down. The account is on lock down… Under my name and he is forced to pay back the money.
    Since the finalization of the divorce he has threatened me by saying… Or texting rather… he was going to remove all the funds from our daughters account… Because ” HE put it in there” that I had no right to the money. I said ” its our daughters money” ” i put it in there and I will take it out if I need it” Looks like Tweenys tastes in restaurants improved.
    If mother fucker does drain her account….there are legal ramifications… I am not worried… I doubt our daughter will ever see that money for college.

    • Ca law says it is community funds for those under 18. You need to have this addressed as mine did empty college account. Hard to get money back. Freeze the account or withdraw money.

  • Dat, I hear you! It’s the principle of the thing! I remember my attorney telling me that courts don’t frown on adulterous spouses like they used to in days gone by and they wouldn’t leave him naked and homeless with a sign on him saying “I’m a cheater”. I told her that it was a shame they wouldn’t do that, but in the end he did himself in. He walked away with a crappy car, 20,000.00 in his retirement fund and some “junk” he’s collected and the clothes he has! Seems fair to me! I’d give a damn, but my give a damn is busted! Sucks to be him!

    • LoL Roberta…”my damn is busted!” Mine is too. I hope my xh ends up living in a van down by the river!

        • My Idiot said these phrases quite a bit after he discovered what he was going to be financially responsible for post divorce……laying on the pity party thick…. ” and where do you expect me to live? Am i suppose to live in the gutter where you want me? Will that make you feel better. Just leave me in the gutter. Its how you will feel better about yourself and this situation. I will only have $69 dollars at the end of the month. But if that what makes you feel better whatever. I will live in a tent”
          I said ” great, our kid loves camping”
          Ya its hard having to support your illegal girlfriend when she only qualifies for under the table jobs…. NOT MY PROBLEM.

          • Clip, he should have thought about this before he unzipped! And no, tell him to stay out of the gutter! There are laws against placing garbage in the storm sewer system! Ha! Ha! Ha!

          • ‘”But if that what makes you feel better whatever. I will live in a tent”
            I said ” great, our kid loves camping”’

            Clip, that was outstanding! lol!

    • OMG Roberta you just reminded me of all the “fair and equitable” BS my solicitor kept spouting at me. We wouldnt have had anything if it wasn’t for me. I saved his arse so many times, got him out of debt. I had to pay him out but ended up with a car loan and a mortgage and while I am so much better off now, with half the income, I don’t reckon it was fair and equitable to me and my kiDs to have to give him anything!!!!!!

      • Nat1, sounds like you are in the UK. I’m just guessing because of the term you use for lawyer. That fair and equitable BS they all spew just empowered me more! I was bound and determined to get as much as I felt he owed me! I went through Hell for at least two years and I wasn’t going to settle for less! I also knew I had him dead to rights on his infidelity and I wore that card out! Old boy just had no choice in the end! Bittersweet but I know I am going to be secure now. Him, ummmm, not so much!

  • Weird stuff, guys. Mine was really no different and a Finance undergrad to boot. This guy is the Excel master. Excellent with monetary smoke and mirrors and proceeded to “manage” our finances for the bulk of the marriage.

    After discovering his long term serial cheating crowned with his decade long second life with MOW, I began to get VERY active in our finances. As a SAHM for the past 19 yrs, I was the bill payer. So I knew about all of his CC’s…..except the corporate one. I also tracked down every withdrawal from our bank account and where he withdrew the money. So yeah, the guy had been stealing money not only from his family but also his employer to finance his fuckfest.

    Over the past 18months I have pulled a credit check, I have tracked missing sums of $ from the joint account, I have hired a smart team of women of manage the portfolio because he was knee-jerking trades for cash, I’ve found a savy CPA to help me be tax smart, I’ve updated the will and put some assets into MY trust, and have educated myself on divorce statutes in my state.

    I married a man-child with some nice sounding degrees. He has the financial maturity of a 16yo at best. He has displayed poor impulse control in all areas of his life. It is important to protect yourself. My biggest regret is losing my financial independence. That is being resolved, but I gave him my best income earning years BLINDLY. This is a lesson I am teaching my teen daughter to never repeat.

  • Ah yes…..finances, where to start. Maybe going bankrupt because he had maxed out credit cards I didn’t even know we had., I’m pretty sure he spent lots on Schmoopie ……. probably more than one judging by his behavior. You know when they start treating you like crap there is probably an OW/OM.

    Lets see….Porn, Adult bookstores with peep shows. God knows what else. Then he was shaking down his parents for money to put me through school, which I never saw a dime of. I paid for it my self by working full time nights .Of course he insisted on handling the money, would have a fit if I spent too much on “frivolous” things like groceries. Asshole.

    But in the end he screwed himself over big time. After I took the kids and left. He was always pulling some outlandish shit designed to cause me problems and it always backfired on him…. every time

    Like signing a quit claim deed on the house and then getting pissed when I wasn’t required to pay him for the half he gave up. He figured I would lose the house, but I just went out and got a second job til my salary from one job was enough to cover all the bills.

    .Like offering to sell me the meat in the freezer he left behind in the basement. I told him….Nah, I’ll buy my own meat. Well turns out he had done some remodeling in the basement and couldn’t get the freezer out through the door he had built. Didn’t occur to him to just move the meat, so I wound up keeping it.

    In the end the last Schmoopie wound up dumping him because he didn’t make enough money to suit her. She even told him that to his face. He knew better than to ask to come back to me. I made it plain before we got married that cheating was a deal breaker. Guess he chose to ignore that while chasing strange skirt.

    He was lying to me all along as to what he made, as I found out when I retired and found that the “widows” benefits I could collect on his salary was almost four hundred dollars a month more than if I used my own salary.to work from. Every month I cheerfully collect my “bonus” along with the rest of my money while mentally sticking out my tongue and serenading cheater ex with a great big razzberry. Hope he can hear me from hell.

      • Not Juliet, yes all whores are gold diggers and the one who is with my ex now is going to be digging for a long time! But the joke is on her, she’s going to find only fools gold!! Ha! Ha! Ha!

      • Tessie, I do believe in hell. And I think it is being confronted with all the evil the person did in life. So your X will spend a long time hearing you in hell.

    • What kind of low-life scum would try to sell meat that would go to his own kids anyway? Oh, right: a cheater. Tessie, I have no doubt he can hear that monthly raspberry of yours in hell.

  • I’m back after a few weeks break and needed to chirp in on this topic. Its been 3 years since d-day, I’m stuck so I will just deal with it….

    In 1995, after 4 years of marriage, I caught my ex bouncing checks, hiding the mail and finally check kiting a credit card she had. I found out when I tried to use the check card and the bank had closed our checking account and we were $4K in debt. The credit card she had kited was 3 times over its credit limit. Granted, this was the days before smartphones and we didn’t even own a home computer at the time. I had no idea of the balance on our accounts.There was something like 30 or 40 bounced checks. The chump that I was, I had to quickly go get a personal loan for the money to pay off all the checks and fees, something like $5K. I didn’t realize at the time that this was something I should file for divorce over. She had a court date for passing bad checks which she went to by herself but talked her way out of any charges. I never got the full story on that. She quit her full time job shortly there after without ever telling me, because she wanted to be a SAHM. I went out and got 2 or 3 extra jobs to try to provide for the family. I should have walked.

    For years we never even had a checking account and we always lived paycheck to paycheck for the rest of our marriage. Whenever I tried to take over the bills and finances, I would get push back from her. She would say things like I was “treating her like a child” and that it was “her money too.” We never worked together as a team at all. I finally reopened a checking account but there were always checks that would bounce. I could never pull our credit scores up, once had a vehicle repossessed and once had the electricity shut off. Ironically, we were on our way to the mall the day the electricity was shut off. She always had clothes from Victoria’s Secret, Dress Barn and DSW. She would tan and get her nails done. I enabled so much.

    Surprisingly, she always had a nice vehicle (Expedition, Odyssey) and I drove the beater. She would spend $100 a month on coffee at Starbucks and $125 a month for Blacked Salmon for her salads. Finally I got a clue when she took a loan from her 401K and spent our tax return for a $7K breast augmentation, all while the mortgage was 30 days past due. I can’t believe I was so stupid. Clearly she was cheating for a while…

    Since the divorce, I finished Financial Peace University and have an emergency fund set up. At least I have a plan now and I determine where the money goes. Just today, I was able to close on the refinance of the home and she is finally off both the mortgage and the deed. I will never again comingle my finances.

    • It’s just so hard to understand how a woman could be so thankless, soulless, selfish, out of control.

      I imagine a lot of the women’s stories here make you wonder the same thing. How could a man treat a woman like that?

      You worked so hard, thinking you had a partner who was also all-in.

      The sad thing, as you mentioned, is that we didn’t see the early signs for what they really were, and get out when the abuse first showed itself.

      Ah, well. You are wiser now.

    • Everything Miss Sunshine said, and add vapid, flighty, vain, superficial. Sounds like Lydia in Pride and Prejudice.

      So sorry, ffghtr67. I really hope you find a partner who can meet you in your place of hard work and integrity. You really deserve it!

  • Wow. My ex turned into a vindictive monster after Dday, he was that stuck on his newest love. Did feel entitled and spent a great deal of money on his “hobbies.” Financially we had it made but lived the typical middle class life, he always wanted more than we could easily afford. He often refinanced our homes pulling equity out (red flag for long term plans) which made me uncomfortable. Ex was spinning the narrative and buying off community members way before I ever figured out why. His financial infidelity is what I still struggle with. I too was frugal and worked hard to get what we had. I still miss my home, I could not afford it by myself and he had no intention of supporting his old family; moving the mistress into the county required him to go scorched earth on us. His crap life skills continue to affect my ability to get a job. For fun I apply to companies like Starbucks, WalMart, and McDonalds just so I can laugh at how many denial letters come back. Ex has (and always had) a great job, he’s a fucking peace officer, and they have all kinds of income. After our separation he purchased a new house, while I supported our three young adults. I barely make ends meet now while he still pretends to be an upstanding citizen. Alimony was a joke, though I put three kids through college on some of it. I was scared he’d get rid of me so I pretty much bailed when I could. POS makes over 100k/year (four times what I earn working full time) but spent four years (two years leading up to Dday then the following two years it took the good ol’ boy family court to grant the divorce) dissipating assets and making sure I would not be financially stable once our divorce was final. Ex stole money from our savings account, took youngest child’s college savings, dumped his 401k, and set up our house’s foreclosure. Then vandalized it moving his crap out. Too busy flying to another state to be with his old skank to appreciate paying the mortgage, and hey he wasn’t living there. Just the discarded wife and kids. Never disclosed his pay to the court. I provided them with the info but when they ruled 70./month alimony pedente lite I knew it was best just to walk away. I am in a lot of debt. Am choosing which bills to pay. Can no longer help my kids with expenses but am guaranteed half his retirement. I should say MINE. Twenty years is a long time to have wasted with the disordered. Dickhead won’t cooperate in getting QDRO done so am dealing with that. I too am flirting with returning to school because I want better. A small dream home and a good job are in my future but I will never again trust someone with my finances.

    • I think a lot of us understand where you are coming from. I did go back. I looked very deep into my soul to decide to do this.

      I wanted to do a Master’s of Education, but there are few jobs in my part of the world right now.

      I always dabbled in hair and with a background in a Fine Art it made sense.
      Where I live it is considered a trade and it takes 3 years to go to school and finish an apprenticeship. But I did it!!!

      I know work ( self employed ) at a very high end Salon with clients and staff that I love. I still keep a second job and I work like a dog some weeks, but it is so worth it!!!

      Sit down and think about what makes you happy !!!
      It’s hard for us chumps because we are programmed to always put others first.

  • Ex tanked the finances by going on a spending spree. He bragged to many people that he would rather file for bankruptcy than give me a penny.
    Idiot.
    The kids even said, “Mommy, Daddy says we don’t have any money because of you.”
    Stupid, stupid freak.

    • Yep my kids come home with that one all the time. Aged 6 and 8 now but last year my youngest used to be so angry with me when he said it the older one would just relay the words and look upset. Very difficult thing trying to explain the situation factually without badmouthing their dad but I did and I think now they know who ultimately had their backs.

  • Drew, I hate to keep promoting this, but please find a copy of Dave Ramsey’s New Money Makeover. I notice a lot of folks here at CN have mentioned how helpful it’s been to them and I myself have followed his “baby steps” for years! He is a no nonsense guide to financial fitness. Also classes are often given through churches and some are free or for a small fee. I will tell you that with his simple, easy to follow guidance though that a class is probably unnecessary. Believe me, the ex stole my credit card a few years back and managed to rack up 34,000.00 in debt and today I am debt free but my mortgage. And trust me, there was more debt that he had and hid from me and I managed to pay it off with the help given in Ramsey’s book. I even managed to build assets that luckily I got all of in the divorce. For probably less than 14.00 for the book you too can thrive and enjoy your freedom from your cheater! Don’t let this cheater beat you! Nothing pisses them off worse than seeing you do well! It’s the best revenge ever!! Not to mention giving you peace of mind! Priceless!

    • Thank you, Roberta. I know I am better off without toxic in my life but have been really struggling lately. Personally, financially. I wonder if in protecting information I am still spackling but also placing myself in harm’s way…. I am afraid to pursue that QDRO because that local court betrayed me too. I work part time, have been busting my ass for three years trying to pick up another position, and though I am highly skilled no one hires me. I make it through the entire process, get to the last interview, and then get the impression someone had the job long before I applied. When asked, not one district had contacted my professional references. So a bit frustrated. Living with my folks who are loving but critical and am dealing with my angry kids. One day life was good and now it seems it is all fucked up. We are all barely making ends meet and struggling while idiot ex is living the life! I worry about my children too as they aren’t aware of how disordered ex seems. I still feel threatened and am overwhelmed and afraid still and know I just need to ask for help when I need it. I wonder if I should not have gotten some advice re divorcing a Narc…. Sometimes I am so angry that it’s all I can do to NOT file charges against him (he illegally disippated assets) but am afraid it may affect pension division. Baby steps, right?

  • My ex let me manage the money and he spent it. And boy did he spend it. For our 10 year marriage it was walking a tightrope every month and there was no really good reason for it – except his spending habits. In fact, all of our resources went to him and if I wanted anything at all, it was over budget. So – the only way I got anything was to go over budget. It was tempting, too tempting, because he was such a dickhead, waving goodbye on his own little vacations while I stayed and worked contracts to make up the shortfall. In a moment of clarity, I accused him of keeping us financially strapped on purpose so that I could not afford to leave him. Hint: I left him anyway, giving him the choice of accepting the debt or paying me alimony. He chose wisely.

  • Ex promised I would have nothing to worry about. That didn’t last. He tried to fuck me out of everything and nearly succeeded. I ended up with very, very little but have managed to sort of rebuild. And then a mistake he made gave me a windfall, which I*m investing while I continue to rebuild my career. I live in a crappy and small flat but it’s mine and I won’t be here forever.

    • Yup ex, upon exiting, said I’d be taken care of financially – his mother even chimed in to say I shouldn’t worry about the money.. He continued to pay most of the bills because I couldn’t on my almost full-time job. About 2 months after he filed I came home for lunch to find that the water had been turned off. He decided that since he didn’t live here anymore he didn’t have to pay the bills. I went back to work in tears. One of my co-workers had a brother who worked for the water company & he came out to turn it back on. When I told him how it happened he was disgusted saying what man, divorce or no divorce, treats someone like that?

      Ex also emailed me a nasty gram saying he’d send me money every month to cover most of the bills. I could not trust him so I filed for spouse support (unbeknownst to him) & was awarded more than twice what his sorry ass wanted to give me every month. I will be financially sound when I retire but that’s 15 to 20 years from now. In the meantime I’m still searching for a job that will take me to retirement.

  • My ex took money and hid it at his mommy’s. He’s a six figure man. I am not . Stayed home with the kids . No regrets.
    My attorney said it would cost too much to research . I opted out.
    I hate the bastard. Always will.
    He put on his Facebook what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger??
    Really? He cheated and left to be with her. She dumped him when I had her dragged into court.
    He is now the victim. Poor thing.

    • Yeah, it sucks to see them putting out their impression management and trolling for kibbles. Saw Jackass chatting up a mutual FB friend yesterday. Of course it’s a woman going through a tough time. He was going on about how he always falls for women who belong to someone else…eh, that would be his MOW Schmoopie (and the MW before her.). I guess I didn’t count. Just looking at that shit made me unhappy and borderline hurt so I blocked his ass so I will never, ever have to see his name again. Just another no contact moment.

  • I got that one too, about how I shouldn’t worry and he would always take care of me! Yeah….ummmm Bullshit! But in the end I and my lovely attorney made sure he that he always will! Believe me, during my divorce he made it clear that his intentions had changed. He kept whining constantly “I have to live too!” I really don’t care if he lives in his car now because he chose this! He made every decision unilaterally to live a double life. He didn’t need my input then so he doesn’t need my help now. And Drew, I don’t know where you live, but in the U.S. If you divorce in any state then no matter where you go the divorce is recognized and the good old boy system can’t extend too far! An order on a QDRO just needs to be sent to the people who handle the pension along with any other documents required and it’s a done deal! Your ex can’t do anything about it! Sounds to me like he’s had you cowled for a while. But you have to get what is rightfully yours for you and your kids. It’s yours! The courts said so!

  • I had to think about this one. I feel quite simply that we were financially abused. He paid property taxes , gas bill,( those were in in name or his name was on them) car repairs, gave cash for Christmas presents (not participating), cash when I took the kids on vacation, gave some cash for living expenses.I felt grateful for the help. There was never a conversation on the amount needed each month so the kids and I had to juggle and listen to calls from creditors and pay some on final notices.These bills were delivered to the house each month and always on the counter with the hope he may look and realize that there was a due date and amount. I did not hide or keep them secret. My banking statement were there as well. He gave the amount he wanted any day he wanted. Every penny I had went into home and kids leaving me with no savings. We had big car and dental expenses this month which I had to borrow from family.
    He made more and spent a lot on himself. I’m not jealous and accepted him the way he was because he made it clear what was his he could do as he pleased and I accepted that. I was dumb!
    My situation sounds the same as others expressed. His new hobby is riding motorcycles at the track(not cheap) and I actually did not mind because he wasn’t doing anything else ( campers were left behind) and like a good chump was happy he had a hobby and it got him the hell away most weekends. The kids did not even notice he was gone. He went through a stage of being obsessed with remodeling campers which we were going to travel and use. We supported this and made a couple of trips out of state:yep to have some repairs done on the campers. You can see one remodel on the airstream website.I planned some side trips for the kids which were fun, because I knew they hated going. He also took the campers to a campground ACROSS from where we lived. He would stop by and visit and rarely spent the night.That got old fast. I have already mentioned he is a compulsive spender so it is not one motorcycle but five of them. Not one camper but 8 that I know of. So that is a chunk of change.
    The kicker of abuse is that his mom handled all of his money and paid all bills and deposits. All statements went to her home. He never changed his address to our home and we were together 33years. I know that I do not have any money but he has four accounts and at least two credit cards. He told me when he go the papers that he took half the money from the bank and knew there was a reason he did not trust me. I said, “what YOU don’t trust ME?” It took me a couple of days to realize that he thought I would take all the money from the account if I had access to them. I guess that is what he would have done. When I left, I did not go to any of his cash stash places and will remind him of that at mediation.
    Gosh, the money he spent on prostitutes, porno, helping his single friend pay for a place to crash and hang out all day and most nights for years, and I feel he helped or continues to help a woman that he diddled with for years and I suspect the child is his. He is cash king and cash is hard to trace cash. I am still paying his phone bill and homeowners on the house.

    • I’d say stop paying his phone bill, for sure, and keep track of any house expenses that are joint. Protect yourself!

  • Another reason why cheating should be outlawed. X had been stealing money from me and the kids for years, and now is “too poor” to financially support his kids.

    It’s scumbag enough to fuck another woman while married. Insult to injury is fucking the family over financially, too.

  • Informal, don’t ever say you were dumb! We ALL made our mistakes because we trusted them! Nothing wrong with trusting your spouse. The wrong is that they took advantage of our trust! They are dirt bags at best! Be grateful that you have learned some tough lessons from the abuse they dished out all those years and get good and mad and document the items he has. These are assets and if you aren’t divorced yet then he can just be forced to sell them to give you your share! If these shitheads want to act like they are 6′ feet tall and bullet proof then I am sure a good attorney and a judge is capable of setting them straight! It’s not a lost cause getting what you are entitled to out of 33 year marriage unless you just give up! Don’t give up, start thinking in terms of cash when you look at all the “toys” he has and stand up and fight! It’s at least 50% yours! Go for it!

  • I agree Chutes, all of a sudden they just can’t seem to pull a Nickle out of their pocket cause they are so broke! I call BS! I refused to accept that line of crap and I held fast to what I earned during our marriage and I’m not talking about just a paycheck either! I busted my ass to make sure he never had to worry about the kids or the home while he was working his way to the top! I was fully involved in helping him put his best foot forward and making him look good! Who do you think washed and ironed his clothes, fed him, made sure he was ‘t up all night with sick kids so he was “sharp” for a day of work! Ask him how many hours he spent at the pediatricians office, the orthodontists office, paying bills, maintaining our vehicles, shopping for food, clothing etc. helping with homework, going to parent/teacher conferences?? I can tell you! NEVER! I raised four kids and he never had to lift a damn finger! That my dear is worth something! Ask any life insurance person and they will give you a dollar amount on how much your “services” are worth! I say go for as much as possible! Aim high and you always hit the target!

  • And not to mention the “other” benefits they got from us! I didn’t get pregnant four times on my own! It seems that some of these guys have plenty of money to pay for sex, massages, porn etc. and I want to add that while I was taking care of home & hearth I also worked a fulltime job and at one point worked three jobs to get us out of a debt that he stupidly got us into!! I say go for the gusto! Their memories may be short, but mine are very clear!

  • I contributed more than my fair share while married to my cheating ex, but my current husband (also a former chump) really got hosed. His cheating ex spent like a drunken sailor and insisted on handling the finances. They had a nice place but had to sell it fast when the bank would no longer accept partial mortgage payments. Eventually, they were able to buy another, less nice place that was never good enough for her. They couldn’t afford anything better as she refused to give up her horses and other expensive hobbies. While he knew about the mountain of debt he had to pay off after they split up, he hit solid gold paydirt while cleaning out his house to sell it. Money orders the child’s preschool required after too many bounced checks. Large checks written to car dealerships when they hadn’t bought a new car. Cutoff notices from utilities; lots of them. Statements from hidden credit cards. And a garage filled to the rafters with brand new merchandise she had bought and hidden from him over the course of nearly twenty years. It was appalling. Batshit crazy appalling.

  • All I know is it will be snowing in Hell before I EVER join my finances with anyone! If nothing else came of this horrendous betrayal, I have learned some excellent lessons! I shudder to think about the days gone by when I thought he was so honest and smart! Makes me shiver!

  • Every adult should have a separate savings, checking, and retirement. I think a married couple or truly committed partners should also have joint accounts for household expenses and contribute proportionally. If one parent becomes SAH, the financial plan should include some payment into a retirement account. Taxes should be done by a neutral 3rd party and both partners should sit through the preparation meeting. Review of all credit reports every 6 months. And nobody gets to buy toys while the other partner buys bargain shampoo or feeds the kids cream of chicken soup on toast for dinner. This whole discussion has inspired me (and I am living alone!) to buy the Dave Ramsay book and tighten up financially.

  • LovedAJackass, I agree with you 100%. This is just sound advice. Unfortunately, we all get pulled into some very odd situations and we tend to trust too much. I’ve learned my lesson! Thank heavens it didn’t cost me everything I had worked so hard for all my life. Count me in as one of Dave Ramsey’s legion of followers. I truly believe that if I hadn’t been such a fan of his that I would have ended up with little or nothing in my divorce! I don’t hesitate for a minute to suggest that it would be beneficial to anyone to at least read his book.

  • Hi All, I am new here. Am I the only one who is frustrated with the no fault divorce states and community property with no regard for the financial abuse these liar liar pants on fire commit?

    My ex gave the OW (our daycare provider) our credit card, which she maxed out (he was very, very angry the day I closed that account, his poor schmoopie pie couldn’t rape me for more money). He also stopped paying our mortgage and was hiding money left and right the last few months before Dday. He was never good with money. I won’t go into all the details, but we would have been much better off financially if I had been in charge.

    Thankfully, I am able to walk away only owing on my own car and my student loans, but honestly, I should have much much more $$$$ in my pocket. Unfortunately, in Ca, it doesn’t matter who or what the money was spent on, we were married so we are both responsible, even though I had no clue.

    I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone, but I don’t believe in cohabitation and I am scared to death of ever marrying again and putting myself in a position for financial abuse again. Ca laws make it way too easy for your spouse to rape you financially 🙁

    • I agree with you here, HeHidBehindAMask, In California, family courts have NO enforcement powers, they are too busy pushing cases to pay attention to facts, and signing that crappy court form did not protect me from losing my house. My ex was very clever dissipating assets both before and after Dday, funny how the man you think you know blows everything about your life up just so he can get his dick wet. One thing though, I did enlist CSS when he stopped making child support payments. He was one of those guys who walked out of my life and into hers. What a fucktard. It was bad enough he had walked out on paying college/living costs for our two eldest. He made over $100k/year then. Our mortgage was $1500/ month. I interviewed four family lawyers in my county, none of the men took my case because they knew the judge was biased re SAH parents, I worked FT then but was scrambling to support my family, and they all knew ruling on alimony would be a joke. I did however refuse to pay any of his credit card debt. I paid enough for that whore.

      • It really is ridiculous. There is no child support or alimony for me or the kids. He and I make about the same and we have 60/40 custody. He feeds his narc needs by being “the good guy”, which means he can bail on his wife and still be loved by family and friends as long as he pretends to love his kids :-(.

        Thankfully, he wanted to keep the few things that had equity, his truck, our camping trailer, my old commuter car, in return he had to take on all the credit card debt he racked up. I am so happy neither you nor I had to take on any debt for the whores.

        I really, really hope that karma is real. Right now I am in the court of letting God do the judging and hoping that one day he gets what is coming to him. My other hope is that somehow I can buy a home one day on a teachers salary in Southern California. Perhaps it is a pipe dream, but one can still dream. At least I can work on not being in debt since I don’t have the financial leech attached to me anymore.

        Good luck to you Drew, hopefully there is a rainbow at the end of this storm.

        • I know it’s just hard work that will get me what I want. I do believe I will own a beautiful home again one day and I plan to build it 😉 I too am in Southern Ca. HHBAM, Good luck to you too.

  • My wife and I are both quite frugal. It has served us well over 34 years of marriage. Her frugality however ended as soon as she started cheating with the husband of one of her girlfriends that lives in a distant state. Constant air travel, but Mr. CHUMP of course didn’t connect the dots for a year. She of course had full control of our finances. When she left I didn’t even know passwords to accounts. She moved in with him on March 10 of this year…after two weeks together full time he dumped her cheating ass. Now she wants her family back.
    I’m new here….what does “gaslighting” mean???

    • Gaslighting is basically making you feel crazy by telling you something is the opposite of what you think to be true. Simple example, I used to ask my ex “so, how is dinner”. To which he would reply “I already told you it was good”. At first I believed him and thought I must not have heard him, after a few years of this I realized he was a liar and was trying to make me think I was crazy.

      Mine also controlled the finances even though he wasn’t good at it and I repeatedly asked him for us to at least share the duty so that I was in the know. He would say yes and then passive aggressively leave the bills at work when previously he had always left them at home where I could look at them. This was what finally led me to the affair, insisting on seeing a credit card statement. He refused to let me see it. I took the day off work to take the time to gain access only to realize a card that should have no balance was almost maxed out. Took my breath away as I realized he was up to something big.

      I am torn as to whether or not you are the lucky one in having a chance to take your wife back. Mine left without a backwards glance and never once showed remorse. It hurt like hell and made the rejection even worse in my opinion, but it shortened the grieving process for me as there was never any limbo time where we were “trying to work on the marriage”. You have the choice to keep your family intact, but you will always know you are with a cheater and can never fully trust her again. 🙁

      • I’m torn also. Although she seems to genuinely what her family, back she will not entertain any questions I have about the affair…it just makes her too “sad”. I already know quite a bit, more than she realizes, as I was in a lot of contact with her lover’s wife. She has managed to make herself the victim of the affair…complaining about those who have “judged” her. I of course pointed out that if she isn’t to be judged then who is? You are correct…she will always be a cheater and I doubt my ability to trust again.

        • i would personally never ever even consider taking someone back if they weren’t 110% willing and able to tell me anything I wanted to know and then some. Sounds to me like she isn’t truly remorseful if she won’t fess up.

        • StevoB, this blog will be a lifesaver, it was mine. My POS ex, like HHBAM’s, one day up and left me, our twenty year marriage (28 years together), three young adults, and a dream home on twenty acres that we’d built from scratch, to be with his OW (his doubles racquetball partner). When all those puzzle pieces fell into place I never entertained the idea of taking/wanting him back. Just knowing the lengths he went to to destroy and hide his crap behavior were enough. He was classic textbook Narc. Read all you can and you will recognize that your wife is disengaged and entitled. You don’t matter enough if she won’t address any questions you may have. Welcome (shitty circumstances, I know) to Chump Nation.

        • Your wife (hopefully soon-to-be-ex-wife STBXW) would still be with the boyfriend if he hadn’t dumped her. That’s not sorry. It’s pathetic, but not sorry. And now she is only concerned with how HER selfish choices have affected HER–not you, not the kids, but her. It’s as if her mind is still on plotting something else, She wants what she wants, but she doesn’t want to be judged. Watch your back–watch your finances. I would get an attorney, if I were you, and pronto. She WILL abuse you again. (Hell, she’s abusing you now….)

          • “Your wife (hopefully soon-to-be-ex-wife STBXW) would still be with the boyfriend if he hadn’t dumped her”…this has been pointed out to me by many friends and still keeps me awake at night. I’m dealing with an odd situation as I am in the PNW (home) and she is in the SW caring for a dying parent…the lover is in the SW also…her father’s medical situation provided much cover for her constant trips there. I was recently down there with her for two weeks…it was “awkward” and didnt seem the time, or place for a confrontation. The lover and his wife are reconciling, but to me their chances are better, as it was him who ended the relationship. He also left a quite emotional voicemail on my phone apologizing for the nightmare he helped create. The only apology recieved from my wife was quickly followed up with “but i was soooo unhappy”. My wife’s last text to him, after being told to never contact him again was “please tell everyone that it was a mutal breakup”…info of course provided by her lovers wife. Yes we have two grown children…they were both quite brutal with her when learning of the affair.
            Can someone answer why so many affairs seem to be centered around “fitness”? The gym instructor, yoga instructor….in my case it started as running partners…the lover…a good friend…started out as an overwight alcoholic…stopped drinking, started excercising, lost 70lbs, with the encouragement of my wife…that encouragement included a trip to San Diego to run a half marathon…the following day they were e’ffing…what a crazy world. Thanks all for the sanity.

            • Classic blameshift. “But I was so unhappy” is just a cop-out pathetic excuse for an entitled slut.
              Also, her last text to him says wonders. Protecting her image much?
              Throw the bitch in the fire and take whats rightfully yours. No remorse or sympathy.
              PS: The reason so many affairs are about fitness is because its an image-manipulation tool, and wanting for kibbles. “Oh hey I can make myself look good so I can get kibbles from everyone else about how great I am!”

              • That and the fact that it allows two people with crap life skills and no boundaries TIME together. And new sex is so much more interesting for those who can’t appreciate what they have, because-gosh!-life is so so difficult! IMHO your wife ended your marriage the day she allowed the thought of having an affair into her tiny reptilian brain.

            • I think a lot of mid-life affairs are centered around a dreaded fear of dying–of becoming sexually irrelevant in a world that values youth. And I think a lot of mid-lifers (and younger) turn to exercise for a lot of right reasons, but also as a way of clinging to physical prowess.
              But I also think that the physicality of exercise gives sexual confidence and body awareness, raises feel-good hormones. I think working out together is a bonding experience, and I think that married people who work out with people of the sex they’re attracted to are bound to become attracted to one another. Heck, spending any intimate (non-sexual) alone time will cause a couple to become attracted to one another.
              I’ve NEVER believed that two people who could be sexually attractive/attracted to one another can ever be “just friends” and spend a lot of alone time together. It puts their primary relationships at risk. And they know it no matter how vehemently they deny it and try to make you feel stupid for objecting or being uncomfortable with the time they spend together. And if they continue to pursue the non-primary relationship, then they are knowingly putting their primary relationship at risk. They are knowingly engaging in disrespectful behavior. Then the gaslighting starts–see Loved A JackAss’s remarks for examples. And then you have someone who is abusing you.

              SteveO, you don’t need to confront your wife. You need to leave her. She is still hurting you, willfully. She is extremely guarded and self-centered. She is happy to sacrifice you and your kids for her own pursuits. I won’t call that happiness–just pursuits–because I don’t believe that chucking your family ever leads to happiness, and I don’t believe that the sort of person who could so coolly do that is capable of true happiness. I’m sure you can think of other ways she was unloving, unkind, cold, greedy. But chucked you were, and then you became Plan B, until she can come up with another Plan A. That’s revolting. That’s not the behavior of a wife, of a partner, of the one person who has your back, who would staunchly defend her family and her man. No, she fucked another dude, and then her biggest priority was to make it look like the breakup was mutual. Really? REALLY??

              There are so many good women out there–attractive inside and outside, who might even be a good example to your children, who would help you feel like a better man. Put your kids first, of course, but that shouldn’t be with a woman who abuses you. You should NOT model chumpiness to your kids. If you choose chumpiness for yourself you are also choosing it for your kids. You are choosing a path of regret, lowered self esteem, lowered expectations, lowered self respect. Prove to yourself that you deserve better in this short life.

              If your wife was showing real signs of remorse, I’d advise that you consider at the least a post-nup, and at best a divorce with plans to make a divorced reconciliation possible–necessary to protect your financial assets against a proven risk. But this woman is showing NO respect to you. She might well be a sociopath. Yes, even seemingly “nice” or “classy” people can be sociopaths. They look normal, and that’s what’s so frightening about the behavior, and how we get sucked in. That you loved her says that you have a good heart and good character. That she didn’t respect you, cherish you, honor you says nothing about YOU and EVERYTHING about HER. It’s ok to admit that you made a mistake. We’ve all had to do it. Many of us are glad we figured it out eventually, sooner rather than later. Some of us regret that we gave too many chances.

              Lots to think about. But I urge you to take your balls back and take charge of your life and stand up to bad treatment. Trust me, the hardest part is making that choice and then acting decidedly instead of passively. But then, you know what? All that is exercise, and it makes you stronger, and then suddenly you have your integrity, and you start commanding what you’re worth, because you know that you can make it happen.

              Check it out, bud. You can do it.

        • Steve, you absolutely must read CL’s posts about remorse and reconciliation. Of course she wants to come back. She got dumped. Right now, you are in the driver’s seat of your own life. Your spouse and partner has broken the commitment and the marital contract. Here are some things to think about:
          1. If she wants to come back, it’s time for her to court YOU. And that might mean a time of physical separation so you can process what goes on in marriage counseling (if you choose to do that) and how you feel during and after interacting with her. You are used to living with her and you have established patterns. It’s very likely that if you reconcile without doing the work, you will fall back into those patterns.
          2. Read Dr. Simon’s work on what cheating partners have to do to demonstrate true remorse. If your wife’s behavior doesn’t come up to that standard, she’s just preserving “cake,” as we say around here.
          3. Look for a marriage counselor who will focus on the affair and who understands who the victim is here (that would be you, not cheaterpants). It might help you to also have an individual counselor or therapist who will focus solely on what is good for you.
          4. See an attorney to learn about your rights, in terms of custody, if kids are involved, and property. Find one who is an expert in helping men in your position.
          5. Pay attention not to what she says but what she does. Is she concerned about the damage she has done to YOU? to the kids if you have them? to what in her allowed her to do this despicable thing? If not–you aren’t looking at remorse for her actions. You are looking for regret at the consequences she is currently experiencing.
          6. Reorganize those finances so that you have control and you have protected yourself.

          Just the little bit you have said about her unwillingness to talk about the affair and her actions convinces me (sadly) that you don’t have much to work with. Be strong. Fight for your future, your life. We all deserve to be respected, cherished and loved. Not betrayed.

          • Several months after dday when I was seeing the best therapist in the world, I asked about ex coming back (of course I was still delusional). She said that what I needed to do was get divorced & if he wanted to come back deal with it then. Well, he never came back, never spoke to me again & haven’t seen him in almost 3 years when he came back to get his crap from the cellar. Now that I’ve graduated from Chump University, I can see where she was coming from.

      • …so 6 months ago when I suspected the affair and flat out asked her if she was having an affair with him the response i got was a quizzical look and an “…are you kidding me?”. Sounds like “gaslighting” perhaps.

    • Steve, cheaters often gaslight about those things that lead you to suspect the cheating. “You’re imagining things.” “He’s just a friend.” “I never said that.” If you question where she was, whom she was talking to, why there is a big deduction from the checking account, why she doesn’t want to do things with you–what you get is an attack on you, your mind, your memory, your perceptions. Any time someone makes you doubt what you know to be true, and thereby makes you doubt your own perceptions, you’ve been gaslighted.

  • I had never even considered financial infidelity until I saw my exH’s financial statement during the divorce.
    Bank accounts, savings, shares, bonds, the lot and I’ll never be sure he declared everything.
    I really shouldn’t have been so surprised, he was always very protective over his financial privacy, refusing to discuss anything with me. Looking back, the giant red flag was keeping his inheritance a secret from me.
    I realise now that I never knew anything about his life, even after 30 years.
    I’m just glad I don’t have to live like that anymore.

  • Not much I can add to the comments, so much of it sounds familiar! It was a nightmare having combined finances with my STBXH from the beginning. I managed paying the bills (and made 90% of the money) over 17 years, he freely spent money as he pleased on mostly himself. This got MUCH worse as he devolved from just an asshole to a cheating asshole about 3-4 years ago. I was always the one who got of us out of financial holes, again and again while he spent money on whatever he wanted, screwed around, etc. The latest example – due to his freespending and stupidity, which includes tons of money for gas to run to see the OW, wining/dining her and her child, orders of illegal steroids for bodybuilding,etc., we’re unable to pay the mortgage one month, despite all my efforts-the money’s just not there. He was informed of this and what does he do? Spends $400 on a freaking tattoo, just a few days later! Assclown. Like many of the other commenters, I will NEVER combine my finances with anyone again.

  • I knew it was bad when my musician boyfriend (now husband) had a better job/prospects than my ex. Where to start? Ex took out an unnecessary $18k loan for grad school because he couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I told him not to–there was no reason…he was getting tuition paid by his work-study gig. But he looked at it as “free money” and took it anyway.

    After he graduated, the university hired him for real. Then we separated because of his porn/chat/sex addiction. Funnily enough, his job separated from him for the same reason. Now he works in the “wine industry” (he’s a clerk at a wine store). He agreed to refinance our condo in his name by December 2013…with intervention from my lawyer, we might see it happen this month. (His retired dad had to co-sign.)

    There were things that happened during the marriage, too, like the month where he ran up $50 in texting bills (which I was paying), and the time he bought a prepaid cell phone for some girl who probably wasn’t old enough to get one herself. But mostly, because I knew he always had some kind of sex-backup-plan, I kept most of my money to myself. After I used my savings to buy my own car, he accused me of having one foot out of the marriage financially. He had one foot (both hands, and sex organs, and mind, and heart) out of the marriage sexually, so it really didn’t bother me to be that way. Made it easier at the divorce, too…I just said, “he can keep whatever he has, all assets and debts, and I’ll keep what I have.” I got some of his junk mail the other day that suggested he’s still $18k deep on that student loan. Good riddance.

  • Cheaters are users. And users are usually tax cheats and financial abusers too. My Ex had spreadsheets for everything. Every little penny he spent “for me” got entered into the spreadsheet though I was supporting 99% of all of our other needs and now he is trying to milk me for more money to help finance his life with Schmoopie. He is self employed, actually chronically underemployed. When I was combing the hard drives after he left, looking for evidence about his affairs, I also found conclusive documentary evidence that he was fleecing a 90 year old man suffering from dementia, by charging him $50 an hour (his “contractor rate”) to not only work on the man’s house but to drive him around, take him to the diner, etc. One invoice he gave the man, said “Breakfast at Denny’s “on Cheater” (his name).” So he paid for the old man’s $8 breakfast at Denny’s but charged him $50/hr for 1.5 hours to sit in the diner with him, so a $150 breakfast, pretty slick! Makes me sick. This is the kind of person I loved, thinking he was an honorable man. There are countless other unethical practices he left evidence behind on. Like claiming some of our expenditures for home improvement on our house as tax write offs for his contracting business.

  • Wow. Just wow. I was made to feel like a horrible, selfish, ignorant bitch because I wouldn’t sign off on a scam to make money off of the BP oil spill settlement. All I heard was “Everybody’s doing it” (and in fact ALOT of people we were) but I did actually slightly better financially because of the spill because it never reached our area and people vacationed here instead of the affected area and I’m in hospitality. SO many people scoffed at me but he by far was the nastiest, afraid my not helping him might affect his chances of getting 1000’s of dollars.

    So I end up throwing him out for OW’s and of course began to get calls from lawyers demanding details from his claim because my name was on our business. What a nightmare trying to explain that I DID NOT KNOW anything factual about his dirty triple life. Finally got a call from a female lawyer and she “got it” right away and the calls stopped.

    I am so glad I stuck by my morals and did the right thing even though I was treated like shit for it, he literally begged me crying (he had moved in with one of the OW at this point) saying his life was hanging by a thread and this money was his last chance in life. I just reminded him how when he was trying to decide how to spend this imaginary money that maybe he coukd invest a very small amount in me for my fledgling business, much less actually than I had given him for his he actually laughed at me…laughed! I just hung up on him……they are all alike, say anything, do anything, for thier all important selves. Still pisses me off.

    Every single thing was a secret and all I can guess is that he hoped to be “rich” while I played wifey and catered to him while, of course, working a full time job too…

  • My ex controlled everything, financially. If I wanted money (like, for clothes or something), I had to ask for it. If she gave it to me she’d always make snide comments about me spending too much on things. This was objectively untrue.

    She spent a fortune on overseas trips, a new car, bikes (she owns over 20, the combined value of which is well above $20K), clothes, computers and pretty much whatever the fuck she felt like. All my pay went onto the mortgage and I got around in clothes that really needed to be replaced.

    All the while she was fucking her “training partner”. I stayed home, worked my job and took care of our daughter.

  • Well, IMO, financial infidelity is worse than a sexual fling.

    Chumplady.

    I know based on seeing your latest pictures that you are likely in your mid sixties, so I think that you think a lot differently than my generation. I am in my 20s.

    The peeps in my age group don’t take infidelity as heartfelt as you and some here. In our minds we separate sex from love. I do think the type and length of the affair comes into play. But just a fling. Meh. If I really loved my wife and we were compatible, it would not be such a big deal to my peers. To my mind my peers seem far more mature than yours.

    There are many things worse than an affair. Drug and alcohol addictions come to mind. Physical or mental abuse, and no, my peers don’t count a fling as mental abuse. It’s just scratching a sexual itch. Again, the relationship during the fling makes all the difference. So a person has sex with someone else. Meh, if you love them and you are compatible, what’s the big deal?

    But, I am sure I will get hammered here. Have at it.

    I am sorry you were chumped really. Your exes sound really mean, but you have to realize your part in the disaster. You picked these guys. So, they were con men. A con man is different than a cheater.

  • It sounds like the main difference is that you don’t have a lengthy relationship where you have committed yourself to with an agreement of any kind. You may consider yourself to be more mature, but I highly doubt it, just a bit less experienced. Any deceitful, dishonest, manipulative or otherwise abusive relationship is a game changer for any person. Who wants to commit anything to someone who is not similarly committed? A liar and a cheat of any sort cannot be trusted. Once trust is gone, there is no foundation on which to build anything real. I believe in your generation the bar has been lowered due probably to all the gratuitous sex on TV, in movies, porn, etc. that was not nearly as prevalent when I was your age. Cheating is now an epidemic. But if people have not agreed to be faithful sexually, then there should be no problem….you are still single. But if you want the OTHER person to be the one that is committed while you do what you want when you want, then I believe that to be selfish, arrogant and not fair to your partner.
    I would not put up with that behavior and would prefer to be alone.
    As I see it, that is immaturity, expecting to get something that you are not giving. IMO, cheating is immature.
    No one here will tell you how to live, but don’t expect to get back more out of life or a relationship than you are giving.

  • This is my first time to visit this site. I am going through a “financial infidelity” situation right now. I have been married for almost 25 years. The man I married has never helped with the household expenses. He doesn’t make as much money as I do, and I have just always taken care of the bills. We visited a financial adviser last year, as we are approaching retirement. I have been trying my best to get us out of debt by paying extra to the credit card companies and the mortgage company. I found out recently that he has been (I went back a year in the account records) spending over half his income on eating lunch and breakfast each day (while I bring a lunch). I also found out he has a credit card that I didn’t know about and it is in arrears because he hasn’t been paying it. He also opened a credit union account without my knowledge and borrowed against it. As far as i know he has never cheated on me, but he has committed financial infidelity. What should be my next step? Do I confront him? By the way, this isn’t the first time he has opened an account in his name only. I am so angry, hurt, confused…I feel like he is working against everything I am doing to get us OUT of debt, he is getting us into MORE debt!

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