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Dear Chump Lady, What is it with cheaters and ennui?

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ennuiDear Chump Lady,

What is with the cheaters gripped by ennui? My cheater started cheating about a year ago with a co-worker. I had noticed that he was texting her a lot a few months before the affair became physical and he typically dismissed it as “a work friend”, she was “very interested” in the business, etc. When I started to get more insistent that the relationship was interfering with our home life and that it was hurtful to me, he also typically got mean and defensive.

About a month after I sensed something was really wrong, he announced out-of-the-blue that he was moving out. Except, he didn’t move out. He was just mean and kept threatening to move out. Not really understanding affairs or what was going on, I stuck my head in the sand and did the pick me dance for another month. Then, things got so unbearable living with him and his constant gaslighting and abuse that I kicked him out (this was last May).

He was sleeping out of the house for about two months (on friend’s couches, at OW’s house, wherever), but coming and going as he pleased during the day and to see our daughter. During this time, he could have gotten a place to live, but did not. He even slept at work sometimes according to co-workers. He kept constantly threatening divorce, but didn’t do it.

In July, he wanted to come back home and I let him because I desperately still wanted the marriage. This was a huge mistake. He kept working with this woman, which of course, killed me. He didn’t seem very remorseful at all.

Finally, at the end of September, I basically gave him an ultimatum to cut all ties with her or I was moving 500 miles away with our daughter to be close to my family. There was a bit of back and forth drama, but it basically ended with me kicking him out and having my mom move in with me temporarily so he couldn’t enter the house. I also went no contact with him and only communicated about our daughter through an intermediary.

I then retained an attorney to figure out the best way to move 500 miles away with my daughter. He told the attorney that he didn’t want to get a divorce, but would allow me to move my daughter if I did a post-nup with him to end our community property. He said he’d follow later to “work on the marriage.” I agreed to it in order to move, but I also still wanted to believe that he truly wanted to save the marriage and would follow us in a couple of months.

Long story short, I moved in December, but we never signed the post-nup. Why? Well, I had exposed his affair to friends and family, as well as the OW’s circle. I had done it in a very nice way, letting them know what was going on and in the context of wanting to save the marriage (like, hey, this is going on. Please help!). Well, he was mad about that and tried to insert a clause into the post-nup essentially saying that I would not say anything disparaging about him or his “friends.” Obviously, I would not sign that. He threatened to file because I wouldn’t sign, but did not.

So, after I establishing residency in my new county (it takes three months), I recently filed for divorce. I have been no contact with him for many months, so filing wasn’t so hard. He could have filed for divorce after I moved, but he did not.

What I don’t understand is his total lack of initiative in really doing anything to formally end our relationship even though he wasn’t going to do anything to actively save it. I get at the beginning he was trying to eat cake by staying at home but threatening to leave (it’s a great way to someone to play the pick me dance). However, he didn’t do anything even after I moved 500 miles away and went no contact with him for MONTHS. Was he gripped by angst? Just lazy? I don’t get it. Why hang on to someone who has not even talked to you for 6 months? Who won’t even talk about kid visitation except through a third party? There is no cake to even eat.

Any insight?

PigletWiglet

Dear PigletWiglet,

Explain cheater ennui? Well, there are several variants. First, cheaters often don’t file for divorce, despite doing everything in their power to fuck up the marriage, because of impression management. Divorcing you would make them the Bad Guy, and it’s much better if they can point the finger at you as the Quitter and all around Rotten Person.

See, he was going to come around on that “save the marriage” thing. You just rushed it! It’s only been months! He’s a delicate and broken and these things take time.

By forcing your hand and making you file for divorce, he (in his fevered mind) gets to be above reproach. He’s the Superior Person and you’re Shiva the Destroyer.

Point out that actually you’re just responding to their destructiveness, they’ll go batty on you with the cognitive dissonance. It gets ugly when you question the impression management. (I imagine a little PR firm run by Henry Ford and his goon squads, shooting labor unionists.)

In any case, I think it worked out very well for you. You got to relocate on your terms, have possession of your child, and now you can divorce him from a position of greater power. So, well played!

Second reason cheaters do ennui? They’re adept at discarding. When you see people as kibble dispensers and kibbles move out of reach, do you really want to work for those kibbles? Gosh, do I have to get up out of this comfy chair and, like, interact? Now?

You’re kind of like that mess in the corner you were going to get around to. That backpack full of last year’s school papers that needs cleaning out. But, then again, why? Just chuck it and buy another. Or shove it in a closet. Out of sight, out of mind.

These people just aren’t that deep. You’re a thing to procrastinate. You want a response? Oh, then that’s you trying to manipulate THEM into the pick me dance, and they aren’t going to do it. No sir! Sure, don’t contact them for months. Whatever.

Third reason cheaters do ennui — it’s a power move. Sure he can ignore you, but what is really delicious is that you want a divorce. So he isn’t “hanging on” to the relationship so much as he is thwarting you from getting something you want. Cheaters LOVE that shit.

It doesn’t matter if he said he wanted a divorce, or threatened it himself. He wants power. He wants cake. You’re working against him. So you want something? Agency? A life without him? Respect? Nope. He’s not cooperating. You’re Not the Boss of Me.

And you know, so long as you’re still legally tied to them, there is the possibility of cake. They might want to hoover you back if the current kibble supply doesn’t work out. If we just stay in limbo, maybe they’ll wear you down and you’ll toss some kibbles their way again! Wouldn’t that be nice?

At the end of the day, PigletWiglet, don’t over think this. You’re 500 miles away and gaining a life. Looking back at his motivations is untangling the skein. He fucks with you because he can.

Simple solution — don’t let him. Onward with that divorce. Good luck!

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  • You are brilliant, Chump Lady! At the end of PW’s letter, I was thinking, ‘yeah, why DO they do that?’ You nailed it! The ‘good guy’ in the comfy chair saying, “You’re not the boss of me.” Good luck on your new journey, PW. Wonderful things await!

  • Dealing with this very same thing. H seems uncommitted to marriage but uncommitted to divorce. Until I read this, I couldn’t figure out why… why not just leave if I make you so freaking miserable??? Seems I am supposed to just wait around for him to figure himself out.

    Cake.. oh, the ever loving supply of Cake. And these folks don’t really like to “get shit done”. Oh, they get things done they care about, like seeing OW, buying a new Car, buying new hot clothes.. but something unpleasant like a divorce? Where money is going to be lost, kibbles lost, and forced out of comfortable circumstances? Not so much.

    Take away the fork.

    • newchumpatl,

      You nailed it with “uncommitted to marriage but uncommitted to divorce”. The reason is they never really commit. Whether it is a job, children, marriage, friendship people who commit work hard to make sure things that are important to them thrive and grow. People who never really commit walk away with ease, because they were never really part of it anyway.

        • Ummmmm ….. *hand raised here*…… on the “why do they do that?” I have been going through this for the past 2 months. I am SO sick of Xhole and crickets. But from reading here for the past 6 months….. I knew this was the “why” of it….. because he can. The disordered narc’s won’t give you the satisfaction of “closure”. Dicks.

          He doesn’t want to come back (the condition is therapy… for HIM….not us) and he won’t ….. I mean WON’T…. give me ANY answers. He is such a disordered asshole…. try explaining to him that this affects our son… that I am trying to be civil and discuss options with him…. he acts like he listens and then NEVER responds. It is maddening!!! Last Thursday I got “I will respond. Just give me a little bit.” Almost a week later and I am still waiting. Idiot.

          • We could fill a stadium. Mine was. I was coming back. Apparently living with his ho-worker was temporary. so it took him buying her a house in her name of course with the kids college fund. CASH After all he did make all the money, leaving little to no money for the kids and I. So I had to file to protect whatever was left md make sure everything was disclosed. When they fuck their co workers sometimes they forget all the money they have hidden away.

      • OMG! So true! I keep asking myself how STBX could just give up on 20 years of marriage and 4 kids over and over. But I can see he was never really committed to me. He said I made him miserable but he was to lazy to leave and he won’t even file, even though he wants the divorce so he can marry OW, he is waiting for me to do it.

        • Exactly! Mine started with the ubiquitous “I love you but I am not in love with you” one Valentine’s Day about 3 years ago. I googled it and got the “signs your significant other is having an affair”. BINGO. I then communicated with my therapist and with her help, shut down the kibble machine. I did not flinch if he was late, didn’t text, email, phone or was 8 hours late to vacation plans. NOT. A. WORD. and my world got quiet. We weren’t fighting, we weren’t really communicating, but boy did his actions get loud. He didn’t come home, he would occasionally text that we was running late and would be home “in a few” which was always 3 or 4 hours later. He confirmed one night when I did “confront” him that we “are like roommates” and “I don’t know if I can’t live with you anymore”. Then he did nothing, for over a year. Right around our anniversary I figured it out, all the pieces fit. I confronted him and he said “You are imagining things OutWest” followed by “Let’s go to therapy but, I won’t talk about the accusations against me”. NOPE. I filed. And the shit hit the fan. That was over a year ago. He walked away from a 25 year old relationship with two beautiful kids. Not a single apology, no acknowledgment of his actions. And from reading here and the experiences on Chump Nation, I am resigned that I will never, ever, get an apology. SUCKS. But I am bigger than that. Now it is about making my settlement as ironclad as possible so I have recourse if he neglects to pay….

          • Are you reading my journal, because I could have written all of this, right down to the timeline of a year ago. It never ceases to amaze me how alike all of our stories are.

            • I got the speech about “we are just like room mates raising kids” Wow! Never ceases to amaze me how they all have the “book”!

              • I got the “like room mates raising kids” too.

                (although I was raising the kids, she wasn’t)

              • Got roommates, I am not in love with you, I don’t want to be with you, don’t want to come home to you…. got em all.

              • The roommates was cheater speak for I want you to pay your bills and my bills too. Oh and by the way it also fits into the BLAMESHIFT aspect of cheating because cheater was fucking multiple whores and didn’t have energy for sex. In cheater logic we are viewed as roommates. They are so limited. Poor babies.

            • Expat and all: it is totally depersonalizing because you really are at a loss for what is going down. I was in counseling at the time and had gone back to graduate school so I was able to keep my thoughts to myself and not spew emotional vomit all over him. The evidence mounted slowly and I had consulted a lawyer because one of the few confrontations we had (3 or so in one year) verged on the edge of violence and I realized I could be in deep shit if the tables turned. After filing I went NC in our house. My lawyer didn’t get that I didn’t talk to my x, couldn’t wrap her head around it…and that was bizarre for me and the kids, no talking, he’d walk in, carry on a conversation with the kids like I wasn’t even there….eventually I started camping out on the couch and just leaving shit undone, no food prep, no laundry service etc…I remember asking my lawyer if I still “had to do his laundry” and her telling me “hell no”. But what an awful year. He refused to leave the marital home even though he had a couple of options and he refused to really do any parenting. At least the kids and I are close. The one line I used several times from this forum to my kids was “Don’t judge your dad by our marriage, judge on how he is as a dad to you”. That has been equally telling, but I really do try not to “poison the water” so to speak, I look at like “emotional fracking” He’s pumping all sorts of nasty emotional chemicals down my kids lives….we’ll see what comes up….

              General question, what is the best way to keep track of a conversation thread?

              • Mine would not leave my house as well after I filed. It was not the ideal living conditions and I did find out after the divorce was final, that he did have an apartment all set up. Prick….
                The only thing that got me through was doing what you did, no contract. He lived like a fucking troll in the basement and was a ghost to me. I had no reason to speak to him. If he cared one bit, he would have left immediately and spared me any further pain. But actions speak louder than words. He chose to try and punish me for divorcing his lying, cheating, stealing pos ass.

                For me though, life is so much better now. I am almost 2 years out from the divorce and everything is so much clearer.

              • Yes Casey. His dickness should have told me and been truthful and honorable. But no!!!!! More fun to torture and be sneaky and hurtful. He should have packed up his business and office left and left me alone. Refuses to move his shop and let me sell the house. More fun this way the whore even offered to give him money to move it he refused again. My lawyer tells me the judge has different ideas and will make him. End of the year i am free. Way toi much trickery not in his favor. Turns out I didn’t make enough money whore does and she loves the incredibly sick s and m sex he now wants. Wow!

          • ILYBINILWY, we’re like roommates? Yeah, those aren’t cliches.

            Honestly, don’t expect a real apology because… people who are really sorry don’t feed you cliche cheater-speak. They’re actually horrified and ashamed of their own behavior, and people that are shocked and ashamed of their own behavior don’t try to re-label you as a roommate etc to try to rationalize what they are doing.

            You had a ring-side seat to your own depersonalization.

            His loss (make sure of it as much as it is legally possible).

            • “You had a ring-side seat to your own depersonalization.”

              Insightful & struck a chord with me.

            • When I finally had enough and file for divorce, my now ex (woo hoo) actually suggested that we really be “just roomates” for financial reasons until the kids were on their own. Umm, no. Get out. Now he’s living in a trailer with his latest gf and Im in the house with the kids and life is pretty damn sweet.

            • Yes! That’s the word for it, depersonalization. Truthfully i wouldn’t have tolerated this behavior from a roommate for a week.

            • TimeHeals: yes, I had a ringside seat. I had also sat ringside at his parents marriage and ours was a mirror image up until the day I filed. They learn their trade well! Just as Chumps go through the childhood chump apprenticeship! Man did I learn that too….I’m trying really hard not to to raise chummy kids! I’m a pretty straight shooter but very conscious of not crossing the boundary between “truth” and “character assasination”. Frankly, it’s nice not to be on the floor in emotional agony anymore.

              • YES!!! STBXH’s parents have been together over 30 years— to my knowledge, FIL has stepped out in long-term relationships THREE times, and all three times MIL has taken him back…the last time was such a mind-fuck for me to witness because FIL did MIL so wrong just like my EHX1 did me wrong— all the while, I kept asking my H then, “You gonna do me wrong the same way???” He was like, “Oh, babe, NO WAY!!!” Fast forward 8 years and here we are!!!

                FIL wrote all these letters to MIL’s friends and family basically blasting out my MIL for all the “wrongs” she’d and they’d committed against him…My STBXH probably won’t write anything to my family because A) I don’t talk to very many of them; and B) They all can’t stand him anyway, and he knows I’ve told them all about his dirty little secrets and lies!!!

                Asshole. Fucking idiot!!!

          • Xhole said “I’m sorry….. I really mean it…. you just won’t accept it.” Because it is only his LYING mouth apologizing and it is complete and utter bullshit anyway. Even if they SAY “sorry” it doesn’t mean shit and they only do it because they think it makes them look like less of an asshole. They are NOT sorry.

            Watch what they DO….. not what they SAY!! Again…. Dicks.

            • Yep, my STBX has told me several times he is sorry for hurting me and the kids. I say, if your sorry stop hurting us. Sorry is just a word he uses to make himself feel better. He isn’t sorry because he truly thinks he has done nothing wrong, his affairs are true love and he only hurt us because he just wants to be happy!

      • “Difficulty committing to anything” perfectly describes Mr. Disappointment. Answers everything “I don’t know.” I went the PigletWiglet route of moving, then filing. I recommend this track for those partnered with the impression management or discarding cheater ennui. Still, I needed to see Chump Lady write “In any case, I think it worked out very well for you. You got to relocate on your terms, have possession of your child, and now you can divorce him from a position of greater power. So, well played!.” Divorce isn’t what I wanted, but what I deserved. That’s why I filed. Still struggle accepting being the easy discard. Nice to re-frame as taking tricks with the discard pile.

        • I took a different route. I kicked him out. Then I waited for months for him to do something and he wouldn’t. So my counselor advised me to put up strong boundaries and said it would force him to act so I did. I wouldn’t allow the kids to stay at his condo (they are older and didn’t want to stay with him at all), I wouldn’t pay any bills and I took all my money and put into a different bank so he couldn’t touch. It forced him to file just like my counselor said it would. I also got way ahead of his image management and let everyone who mattered know that he was a cheater and an abuser. He’s hurting and I honestly don’t care. He deserves the consequences of his behavior. I give him fully over to God at this point.

          • The last 8 months or so, I had to deal with major medical issues that resulted in me needing surgeries to correct them…the whole time I kept telling people and doctors that I knew something was seriously wrong. What did H do? Go AWOL all-nighters without even so much a text or phone call, and bitch that I couldn’t perform sexually to his liking…

            Now that we are in the end stages, he suddenly finds himself dealing with the same exact issue I had and I said to him, “Aaaaawwww, hurts doesn’t it? Don’t feel like dong shit around the house like cooking, cleaning, and sex do you? Uh-huh!!! Feel my pain!!!” It’s awesome to throw those zingers out!!!!

    • Melt the fork, preferably into a knife that severs all ties with cheater. It is the only way to mental health.

    • Newchumpatl,

      You said a mouthful here:
      “H seems uncommitted to marriage but uncommitted to divorce.”

      I agree.

      I think many of these cheaters are committed to being MARRIED. That’s WHY they are uncommitted to a divorce, whether THEY threaten to do so, or WE threaten to do so. They don’t WANT the “mess” of a divorce. As long as they stay married, they’re ‘doing their part’. If YOU initiate divorce, that means that YOU’RE the one who is ‘giving up’.

      But they also don’t want the responsibility of maintaining a *REAL* MARRIAGE. After all, once they’re married, they’re not supposed to actually WORK at it.

      • This really resonates with me. When I kicked my husband of 23 years out on Dday #3 about 10 months ago, I told him “I’m done! I give up!”. To which he replied “good”. That’s always bothered me, because I’ve wondered why he would respond with that. Good? Because he deserved it? Because he was glad I was ending it, finally? I’m still stumped.

        • Glad, don’t spend your precious time trying to understand what that meant. It was just a defensive retaliatory statement made to make it appear that he is happy about the outcome. It was meant to hurt you. Don’t let it.

          When you start asking yourself wtf “good” meant you say this to yourself: good? Good for whom? Good for ME, that’s for sure! You are right, Narc, it IS good.

          See that^^^
          You take the power right outta their hands when you turn it around to benefit you.

      • I get blamed all the time for filing the papers, calling the lawyer… even though he told me he wanted a divorce, didn’t want to come home to me, and wasn’t in love with me. What was I supposed to think????? What did he expect me to do?

        • newchumpatl, I get blamed for it all too. I got blamed for the divorce, I filed. Finalized a year ago. I now get blamed for his lawyer’s fees, because I had the audacity to hire a lawyer, since the wing nut has taken me to court twice in the last year to reduce child support(which he flat out stopped paying), and increase custody. so here is the cycle, He does something shitty, I take action, he blames me. LOL!!! Love their logic ( giant eye roll)

        • Same here…. I get blamed for “forcing” him to leave. He was PERFECTLY content living here with me & our son while continuing with his side piece, I put up with it for 3 months. I’ve said before…. once I was diagnosed with breast cancer I just couldn’t take any more…. as soon as I started verbalizing his OBVIOUS flaws and selfishness he went off the deep end and started packing “that’s IT…. you’ve pushed me TOO far!!!” Me… “okay, so are you taking your things to your Mother’s now or coming back for them??” Buhbye cheating asshole. I’m still living here and he is still paying the bills, sucks to be him!!

          ….also got blamed for not SHOWING him that I loved him…. I said it…. didn’t show it. I also got blamed for NOT EVER helping him (bahaha) and NEVER supporting him….. and blamed for NEVER appreciating ANYTHING….. and so on and so on… blah blah blah…. boo hoo bullshit.

      • X was firm about wanting a divorce, yet planned ahead for a year hiding his assets. I had to file and the rage was priceless. Guessing this was kinda like the great escape. No show for hearing. Filled out paperwork as if 12 years old. Lied on the stand in court. I have given up in cheater logic, as narcissism explains it in a more precise way. I despise when people describe the discard as a FAVOR. X wanted to take credit for the 42 pounds I lost in eight weeks. The only credit they deserve is in being assholes. And that is probably a compliment given how fucked up their actions are during the discard. I did myself a favor filing for a divorce and moving on to a cheater free life. This!

      • Gypsy: My ex actually said to me one night “Love should be easy”. Really, long term relationships take work. Screwing your subordinate is “easy”.

  • I remember 18 months before I kicked my X out, he asked me if I just wanted to “wait things out” until our son graduated high school, and then we could go our separate ways.

    I immediately said no. Even back then when my head was so fucked up, I knew that was a GIGANTIC trap that he would use to beat me down emotionally and mentally even further than I was.

    With my X, he didn’t divorce me because that would make him look like the bad guy; and, I believe he never thought I’d have the guts to divorce him ….:)

    • Yes, this is my H too. Doesn’t want to initiate the divorce because then he will be the bad guy in front of his family and our neighbors (he has no friends), but also doesn’t want to be here, and is not willing to make any effort to fix things. If I am the one who files, he will be able to shine his halo and gaslight everyone…

    • OntheHill: I think the “wait it out” is a way for them to line their ducks up. So by the time your son would have graduated your X would have had ample time to hide assets etc. Very glad you had the guts to get the job done!

    • Cheater ex had a long range plan going. He knew he wanted all the cookies in the cookie jar, including the kids. He was diligently looking for ways to make me look so bad that when either he or I filed. he could just sit back, point out how horrible I was and get everything. A few years before it all blew up, he started telling people I was a hooker. People started to snub me at church, and other places, and I had no idea why.( I found out that little gem a few years later from the detective investigating my youngest son’s homicide. He asked about my “other job”…, I calmly replied that if that were true, I would be in a lot better financial shape. He laughed, believed me, and discounted it.)

      Back to before I and the kids left……Then it was the ILYBINILVY speech where he informed me he was in love with schmoopie. He proposed he would live in the basement and the kids and I would live upstairs. We could both date others outside the marriage. AHHHHH, NO!…… In my world, a promise was and is, a promise. A marriage license is a promise and I take it seriously. Between schmoopie and his buddies in AA, his sources of how-to-break-up-a -marriage-and-get-it-all information fountain was batting a big fat zero.

      After that came intimidation….the whole “When I feel depressed I feel like getting a gun and killing you and the kids, and then killing myself.” speech. That was supposed to keep me in line. Instead, I saved my money, rented an apartment, got a restraining order, took the kids and our share of stuff, and left. He was served at work and came home to an empty house. Another big fat zero.

      And so it went, one hare brained scheme after another, each crazier than the last, all designed to make me out to be the bad guy (woman?). He quit a high(ish) paying job to become a janitor at barely above minimum wage. Plan….to avoid alimony and child support, and to ding me for alimony when either he or I filed and we went to court. Schmoopie dumped him then,because he wasn’t making enough money, to support her in a manner she would like to become accustomed to. Next he went down and signed a quit claim deed on the house, leaving me the sole owner. (Bad piece of advice that). Plan….I would lose it I just went out and got a part time job on top of my full time job and kept the house. ……Next? …….Every plan backfired or didn’t work. I just would not follow the script.

      Eventually his family pushed him into filing after I told him I would when I could afford to. They paid for his lawyer and court costs. My guess is that he scammed them for a whole lot more money than just those costs. An equal opportunity thief. Everyone was fair game.Glad he is no longer around, although the cost of him checking out was far too high. Evil twit.

  • I am convinced that cheaters like to have a “stable” of cake dispensers. It is important for us chumps to make a “stable” break. We are not a Plan B or C or …. We are human beings. Glad to hear, PW, you are rebuilding and not accepting the Plan B position your stbxh seems to want to assign to you!

    • Exactly DM! My KOTD (King Of The Dipshits) was all about moving out, getting that swingin’ bach pad when he had a couple of women on the line (Thanks, Match!). He even told me that he always had a plan B, C, D… Until the (granted, lied to) women figured him out & dropped him. He now lives a very lonely life, no friends, no women, poor health… Bi-polar alcoholics aren’t in great demand, come to find out.
      Karma 🙂

      • My XH a year before D’day referred to me as plan B when asked were did we meet. I took it as a joke at the time. Now I laugh because by calculating what he confessed to XH’s current GF would be plan X.

        Priceless.

      • HAHAHAAHAA @ Swingin’ bach pad!!!! Same here– I finally got to see his new place and was like, “Hhhhmmmm…” If I was a single woman being brought to that shit hole, I would walk right out the door!!! He’s got like, no furniture, no utilities on (yet), developing health problems, and acting like a spoiled brat because all of his selfies he’s posting of himself on his Facebook page aren’t getting any “likes”!!!

        Fucking idiot!

        • I was “deleted” or “unfriended”…. BAHAHAHAH. Such an asshole lol!!! The disordered idiot….. I can still see his “friends” though and he has been diligently adding a plethora of female friends….. porn stars & models from Serbia, Australia, Norway, Brazil…… wtf?? Acts like he is 15…. he is 46.

          Fucking idiot also!!

    • It definitely sucks to be plan B! I have been STBX’s backup for a long time. He “falls in love”, makes plans to leave, his OW leaves and he comes back to me. I have finally decided I deserve better and I don’t want to be plan B anymore! If his latest OW leaves him he will have to be alone, because I am not taking him back!

  • The third reason “power move” really resonates with me. When I look at all of her BS regarding stalling the divorce it makes sense. Going to court today (I was served yesterday) for temporary spousal support (WTF she left a year ago) apparently she got fired and her AP boyfriend (roommate in court documents) doesn’t like the idea of having to pay all of the bills. I keep telling myself that this BS will end one day.

    • willm, around here if you’re living w/a person who could potentially be your romantic partner, it’s assumed they are your romantic partner, and NO spousal support, temporary or otherwise. Might be worth setting a PI on them to show who this AP actually is.

      • I agree. You might already have the evidence you need. And if you can show that she is co-habitating,and stalling the divorce, she isn’t likely to get spousal support. You might also find out if she was fired for cause. Adults who were employed at separation and employable are expected to support themselves. One good thing–asking for support really gets the clock on the divorce moving in most states.

    • Thanks for the input Karen, LAJ, Roberta I will ask my lawyer today. BTW the AP works at her old work so im wondering if she was fired for cause, too much drama at work?

  • This letter answers questions. I could not figure out over the last 18mths why cheaterpants has never DONE anything about the stuff I have requested of him. His apathy, in my eyes, is really control, impression management and the like.

    One thing is certain, I continue to do the heavy lifting in getting the shit sorted out. And because of that, the ducks are aligned in my favor. So fuck him.

    • ANC, I agree that my ex having an affair and saying he wanted a divorce, then ME having to push for him to sign the papers was all about control. Right when I found a house and was trying to get everything wrapped up, he threw in a few more “I changed my minds” on things we’d previously agreed to. I really hated him at that moment. I finally “get a life” and he decides to use the pressure I’m feeling to sign the papers for the house to get more advantages for himself. In the end I “played nice” to get the damn divorce over with. It was so infuriating. I kept telling myself that I only had to suck up to him one more time and then I’d never have to do it again! The more important thing was being free of his manipulation and control.

      • My 1st ex, the one I was actually married to, did this repeatedly. He’d make a suggestion for a financial settlement between us, I’d agree to it, and he’d change his mind. Then he started asking for perfectly ridiculous stuff, hoping it would lead to fighting (KIBBLES!). I agreed even to that!

        When we went to sign, my lawyer made a big point of saying, in front of him and his lawyer; ‘As your legal counsel, I just want to make sure you understand that by signing this agreement as it is, you are consenting to being robbed.’ I said ‘I consent to that!’. And I could see that my ex knew I was happily losing money, as the price to pay for getting HIM out of my life for once and for all! I could see the burn!

        (No kids at that point, and I was young and had a good career, so this WAS totally worth it!)

  • Wayfarer over at IHG has a similar (and similarly excellent) take on this at http://www.infidelityhelpgroup.com/2015/05/12/cheater-confusion/

    I look at it this way:

    Good people do not cheat. Bad people cheat.

    When bad people cheat, they have an opportunity to become a good person in crisis, by taking responsibility, doing the right things, and realizing “holy crap, I am becoming a bad person, I need to turn this around NOW!” and actually taking positive action to help those they have harmed, change their negative internal dialog, make amends, and change their actions.

    Bad people stay bad people when they do not do those things.

    Therefore, ennui in this situation is further evidence that the cheater is a bad person. Ennui means that the cheater sucks. Divorce the cheater and regain your sanity.

  • What you see as indecision is really a conscious risk management strategy.

    Doing nothing (and doing what he can to ensure that you too, do nothing) is his way of keeping his safety net installed. While he’s doing the One Knee Hang from the exhilarating flying trapeze act he’s doing (aka his affair) he’s pretty damn sure that you’re going to catch him if he falls.

    Cheater’s aren’t gripped by angst – they’re gripped by their sense of entitlement and self-preservation. They want the opportunity to go and find new shinies, but they want to be assured that they get more from their new shiny than they do from the tarnished, lack-luster one.

    This isn’t indecision – on the contrary, it’s a positive decision deliberately intended to manage and control the outcome in his favor. It’s trying a new life on for size while keeping the old one to hand, just in case.

    If he wants to be a modern day Jules Léotard, so be it. While he sets up a full twisting double, simply get down from the trapeze rig. And take your chalk with you. And maybe that locking pin that secures the trapeze bar (for sentimental reasons, or course 😀 ).

    Don’t let yourself be set up as his catcher – whatever his motivations, it will be for his own agenda and ends, not for your good or well-being. No matter how much he tries to keep a safety net in place, life will probably throw him a curve ball … after all, the daredevil Léotard died of smallpox. Not so glam in the end.

    Cheaters and affairs – the whole thing really is a few clowns short of a damn circus.

    • Absolutely! I filed over a year ago. Thus far, I’ve spent $10K and have: filed, & received an emergency order for maintenance & child support. That’s it. I don’t even have a parenting plan. Why? Because he just refuses to work with his lawyer. Granted, until Jan 18, 2015, STBX was in a constant state of intoxication, so hopefully since his stint in rehab we can get this moving.
      Although he did come back hoping to “put our family back”. As my friend said; when a drunk asshole gets sober, he’s still an asshole. I also told my parents that unless he got a character transplant, he was still a bi-polar narc who’s a pathological liar. No way I trust a word that comes out of his mouth. Well, maybe pronouns, & those would have to be verified. Looking forward to my Tuesday!!!

      • whodathunk in the state I live in there is a law that requires that divorces are completed within 1 year of filing … is there a law like that where you are? Might be worth a look see.

      • You’re married to my ex? Truly, who da thunk? (J/K)

        I went through almost 18 months of hell with a drunken procrastinator. He had autism thrown in with the bipolar alcoholism. Finally, the judge pulled me, my lawyer and him (his lawyer recused herself when he got too uncooperative) into chambers and told him to cut his crap out. The judge literally shook his finger at Ex and said, “You’d be divorced by now if you’d just quit stalling. There is *nothing* wrong or unfair with this settlement!”. Wouldn’t you know that we still had to go to trial (with a new judge) to settle the house. Thee controllz? Ya, thez gotz them. /cheeseburger speak

        Not only will your Tuesday come, you’ll start smirking at his pronouncements and what he’s going to do because you are so mean and this is so unfair and – and – and —– nothing will come of it because he’s all talk and no action. Twelve years out, he still occasionally threatens me with a bout or two of court. I just calmly reply, “Go to the court house and file a motion.” Will never happen. The delicious irony? He works less than a mile (like, I dunno, four blocks?) from the county court house.

    • Wayfarer, thank you! At this very moment my cheater is attempting to groom me to be his catcher yet again. You described it perfectly! He even has a date in mind that we can Try Again. When she moves and his vacation is over.

      Why wouldn’t I be thrilled to have this tanned Adonis back? He loves me, after all. And he needs a sweet launching pad for his next adventure. I am the lucky chosen one! No contact has just begun.

      Thank you Tracy and Chump Nation. This has been a long journey to get here.

    • This is my experience in a nutshell, when Jackass kept me dangling with talk of “I have so many pressures right now…I have to take care of my mother….maybe soon I’ll get my life back”–all the while carrying on with MOW: “This isn’t indecision – on the contrary, it’s a positive decision deliberately intended to manage and control the outcome in his favor. It’s trying a new life on for size while keeping the old one to hand, just in case.” This one goes in my Chump Nation file.

    • Yes, I think image management comes into play. My STBX has deactivated his Facebook profile (I learned this from a friend of his who has no idea we’re divorcing). He doesn’t want to have his Schmoopie posting on his Facebook page before he’s ready.

      He has told only his brother that he’s divorcing, and that he’s met someone. I don’t think he told his brother that he’s been cheating on me for years!

      I think that if I had not filed, he’d be fine with the status quo until the day one of us died!

      • KB I agree his supreme dickness would keep me in our marital home where his business is ( he won’t move it we will see what the judge says about that) and he lives with the whore 15 mins away until he retires or dies. Hes content with the way things are although incrediably unhappy with the new ho. Not gonna happen. Aww poor baby. One good thing about all this two actually. She pays for everything there and he pays for everything here. Gives her no money none! Second I finally live a way more peaceful life. Get this house fixed up a bit and sell it moving three hours from here. That upsets him wants me to stay close by in case I need him! Really? Seriously!? WTF! CAKE! CAKE AND MORE CAKE!!!

        • In my case, though, STBX is funding OW because she’s a Damsel in Distress and he is her Knight in Shining Armor! I am expecting him to ask me for help with some household expense (like the mortgage) because Schmoopie just came back from a week in Florida. I think he probably told her he’d go on vacation with her, and then backed out at the last minute (this is normal for him, by the way, to say yes to do something, and then say no at the last minute). But he probably paid for a good chunk of it.

          Now his bills are coming due.

  • With my ex (I love just being able to say “ex” now and not “stbxw”, btw) it was really about impression management. She was NOT a “bad person”! Ha! All through the false reconcilliation MC sessions she would say how mean and controlling I was and how her affairs were really her response to my “abusiveness.” Wish I’d said this then, “No, response to abusiveness is DIVORCE, leaving. Your affairs were attempts to keep the “happy family” image and have fuckbuddies on the side.” I had to file, I basically had to do everything to move our divorce along, even while her MOM #4 was going through his divorce. Disordered.

    • Congrat’s TD on divorcing my ExW…oops…I mean your ExW!!! Same here though, for Sparkles it was all about image control and not losing social status…Multiple affairs over many years, and she said she wanted the divorce once she got OM #3 or 4 on the hook…Thanks to the financial infidelity there was no money for lawyers, so I DID THE WHOLE DIVORCE. It was easy in my no fault state were everything gets split 50/50 and there was nothing left to split but hidden debt!… That and she may very well be the laziest person on earth, I did everything at home and worked while she dabbled as a clerk in a boutique and Zumba instructor….ugh the wasted years, still got two great kids out of it!

    • TwinsDad – Sounds like our cheaters are twins, as well :). I got the exact same treatment while STBXW lied throughout (very expensive) couples therapy. She claimed she wanted divorce, yet did nothing; no reconciliation, no filing, nothing. I got a lot of “my feelings haven’t changed, I still want out of this relationship!” and “you are trying to manipulate me!” and generally her wanting me to “let her go” (from what exactly, I am not sure).

      I filed after I felt I’d done enough to be able to look my daughter in the eyes and truthfully tell her that I gave mommy all the chances that I could to keep the family together. After I filed, she moved out while I was away on business, taking whatever property she wanted (a “total bitch move” according to my lawyer), and then blamed me for giving her an ultimatum upon which I actually followed through (never mind that those aggressive actions seemed to be in retaliation for what she claimed she wanted!).

    • I agree with you, TD: my divorce was recently finalized too, and I am LOVING every chance I get to refer to the “ex” instead of the “stbx.” Congrats!!

  • My ex didn’t want to divorce. He wanted to continue with the kibble supply from both his whore and me. As long as we didn’t divorce he MIGHT be able to come back to me and we could pick up right where we left off. PLUS…….he wouldn’t have to realize the PRICE for his poor choices. It sucks when those consequences come into play doesn’t it!?

    • Except the disordered never truly recognize the consequences. Daughter attempting suicide and going NC with her father…. That’s my fault. Has nothing to do with his actions, no way that can be a consequence of his behavior…

      • Ugh. My sympathies zyx321, my DD’s situation is similar, and yep, it is all my fault……but the kid being alive to grow and learn from the whole horrid experience is better than the alternative.

        Jedi hugs.

        -Meh.

        • Meh, thanks, and agreed! Coincidentally of the night before daughter went back to the hospital for the second time, a friend told me– your job is to get her to adulthood alive. School, etc, do not matter. Those words have helped me go through this most recent situation.

          • My XH last year tried to get me into trouble with the school because she had so much time off and I wasn’t pushing her to do her school work at home or at the hospital. He totally disregarded that our kid was on high diesels of chemo. He just wanted to justify his claims that I was unfit. I just thank God I constantly worked with the hospital and school staff who went through the motions with my XH just to shut him up.

            If we don’t love our kids who will.

          • zyx321, I do hope that your daughter is doing better now. I worry so much about my s16. I have been able to keep him “stable” for years with homeschooling, support, a good therapist and I still worry every single day. I beat myself up because we are behind in schoolwork. I had a friend tell me the same thing about schoolwork. She said schoolwork doesn’t matter if there is no one to do it. What matters most? Flying monkey hasn’t seen or even acknowledged his son in over a year. Just when things are settling in to a routine, flying monkey starts the legal threatening. He doesn’t get it and doesn’t care, but we have to pick up the shattered souls. I know I am in for the long battle and it is day by day.

          • zyx321, I have had to make similar types of adjustments in my mommy mind. I used to try to provide wonderful experiences and opportunities for my daughter. Now every night I can go to sleep knowing where she is and fairly certain that she isn’t pregnant or addicted is a pretty good day. Thanks for sharing. Hope your daughter figures some things out about her precious life and figures out how to thrive. Jedi/Mommy Hugs

  • Himself never even brought it up. Never asked for a divorce never talks about it. Won’t even discuss it. Only comment from him was “if that’s what you want.” Fucker put it all on me. My fault I’ll be the bad guy. See she divorced me she’s no good and he living with the other whore over a year now. I also think I could be wrong is why the fuck would any woman want someone who refuses to divorce his wife! She must be nuts. I think he lies to her so she won’t make him marry him. After all he’s married. End if this year my freedom be. Everyone knows the truth he has no power there and knows me well enough to know he’s lying. Fucker!

    • Kar Marie:’ I filed, and forced him, crying and wailing, to submit his paperwork. His friends saw the poor hurt puppy at first, who never wanted the divorce, had done EVERYthing (naugahyde) to try and work things out. Aaaawwww……Then I went on the impression management warpath–made sure everyone not only knew about the affairs, but about the emotional abuse before D-day. I told people things I had never told anyone before about cruel things he did. Sang like a canary. It did help that most people had thought he was an asshole for years, anyway. End result in the public relations war: Tempest 1, Hannibal Lecher 0.

      • X also is all about impression management. Plus he’s a pathological liar, so I anticipated he’d make up a lot of bullshit stories about me to make me the bad person. Well, I (with the help of my good friends @ FB) got out in front of that, and I made sure everyone knew the truth. No name calling, just the truth. Believe me, this burned his ass, which made it so worth it.

        Tempest, just like your X, most people don’t like my X at all. I happen to be a nice person, but people in our circles really didn’t know that until after D-Day, when I started to go places without him. Many people actually came up to me and told me they didn’t speak with me previously since I was with X all the time, X is a jerk, and they assumed I was like him. I have lots more friends now.

        NC for months now. Life really is better on the other side.

        • STBX is being a total ass at his new place of employment. I think that once the divorce is final and he has to come clean about being divorced, people will see that he’s a liar. Right now, his assholeness is manifesting itself at his workplace, where he exudes entitlement. The management knows nothing and sits on their asses. He’s out in the trenches, saving their business! He’s a goddam White Knight, and they have NO IDEA of what he’s doing.

          Of course, management reprimanded him for his lack of communication. He may be out to save the business, but he’s not telling anyone what he’s doing!

          I think this divorce could be finalized in about 2 weeks. I am sooooo ready.

      • Ugh, I too had a “poor hurt puppy.” Yes, he was so sad and dejected over the end of the marriage, it just about broke my heart…NOT.

    • My ex could not even say the words “I want a divorce.” Lots of euphemisms: don’t want to end up like my parents, I am content in the direction things are going, etc.” Ugh. I basically dragged the word divorce out of him in MC.
      And then I did all the work– mediator, filed, find him a place to live. Entitled, lazy, coward.

      • His supreme dickness is the same way. Cannot say the word. Protecting his stuff and business. The house and other assets don’t come close to what his business is worth. If he doesn’t give me what I deserve I will release the fire breathing dragon and haul the whore and her entire family to court. He mixed assets for awhile there. Big mistake. Lawyers words. He just doesn’t want to lose both worlds and he is unhappy with her now he’s found out what a gorgon she is. Ha! Too late now.

    • The ticket is: do not care what other people think. Act to save yourself and your kids, if you have them. Act so that you have a great, big happy life. Act so that you aren’t being abused by a lying, cheating con artist. All the angst about who files, etc., is largely about impression management for them. It doesn’t have to be about impression management for us. And when we get their need for impression management, we have a tool to use in our own negotiations.

      • Completely agree, LAJ. I would have divorced the jerk even if it cost me all my friends (and it threatened to cost me many friends, as they were mostly his colleagues).

        But….if you can win a public relations war afterwards, do it. ; )

  • Trust me! They are just not that invested in you. I figured that out once I packed up my ex husbands belongings. We were married for 40 years. He wanted his clothes, shoes, stamp collection and his military memorabilia! I looked at the pitiful pile of boxes in the garage and told my daughter that he was never that invested in the marriage! And judging from what he wanted I could tell who he was most “in love” with… Himself!! He walks away with little or nothing of any worth! It’s really pathetic actually! I filed for divorce because he was like PW’s spouse! Screw that, let him go and get everything you can! You have to secure a good life for your child and yourself! These fucktards will be fine. They will find a new victim to suck the life out of in an instant. Get divorced, get away, get healed and step away from the shit! Minimize him in your life cause trust me, he minimized you since day one!

    • Same here. After 28 years together, x only wanted things related to his accomplishments. In all our time together, he never so much as picked out a piece of furniture for the home where we raised 4 children. During the awful limbo days before discovery, he would walk around the house talking about how he could leave with just one suitcase. Well, he was right about that one! The money we had saved for our retirement was another matter because ow truly was a gold digger, but I figured I had earned those funds by staying in a shitty marriage so long. Our long ago estate planning was my ace in the hole and I used it without hesitation. I basically control everything and x gets a monthly allowance through a trust. He robbed me of my faith in people; I wasn’t going to let him rob me of financial security in my old age!

      • Me too Violet! His whore has to support him now! I cleaned him out! He is 60 years old, sick and stupid and has no more than 20,000.00 left in his name. When you add up all he owes though, he has no net worth at all! Oh those damn consequences suck!

        • Lol, Roberta–reminds me of that line by Dean Wormer from Animal House. Adapted for your situtation, “=Middle-aged, sick and stupid is no way to go through life!”

          • You pegged it Tempest, but dumbass really believes his Schmoopie wuvs him sooooo much that she is his retirement plan! I told him our 18 year old niece has more going for him financially than he does! He just put his head down and stared at the floor! I cannot believe how much he has buried his head in the sand! He’s a true idiot!

    • I believe my ex was completely future oriented. He never seemed to grieve for his beloved grandparents when they passed away. I asked him once if he missed them and he said “no.” I couldn’t believe it because I still think about my grandmother all the time. People would tell me my ex would regret what he’s done some day, but I’d always say “I doubt it.” I’m in the past and he’s onto bigger and better things. He’s never satisfied with where he is, and he’s always looking to do bigger and better things.

      • Yep, I agree, Lyn. I don’t think my EX will ever regret a thing. I don’t think he’s happy, I just think he is incapable of regretting anything but his present discomfort. His inability to see how his own actions contribute to (and replicate) his discomfort is a central part of the problem.

        I don’t think narcissists know how to reflect or regret. They re-narrate. And since they are always the hero or victim in any story, they never feel the need to reflect or regret.

        • THIS! ⬆️Narcissists dont reflect, they re- narrate. Mine is stalling the divorce process, pretending not to receive communications from my atty, and we are now ready to sopoena all the documents, bank and employer records immediately to get the show on the road. Now my stbx tries to act like HE has been the one trying to reach my atty all this time! His lying would be funny if it wasnt so ridiculous! I shut that bs right down, informing him that I have a record of (and legal bill for) every phone call, voice message, email sent and received in this proceeding. He had documents to them the next day, but of course incomplete…
          I have not been able to figure out why he is stalling. He is living with Schmoopie, still paying the expenses for our property, though often late. We are in serious a business lawsuit because of his shady ethics. I should not be involved at all, but he made me Chief Financial Officer of his company without my knowledge, so I am in the thick of it. He is now responsible for paying his litigator, my new litigator because We can no longer share council, my divorce atty, plus a hefty a settlement from another lawsuit he lost. He has so much consumer debt, and owes other lawyers from the previous suit. He will never grt out of debt and has nothing to show for his life except our two wonderful sons. He even reframing the cheating timeline to our youngest …. What a dick!
          My theory is that if he is finally divorced, then he will be under pressure to marry Schmoopie. He has to be filling her head with lies, he is a narcissistic sociopath who believes his own stories. He is a 66 year old alcoholic, con man, pathological lier, and the legal noose is tightening. I gotta get out so he doesnt take me down with him.

          Thank god Schmoopie took out the garbage for me.

          Getting to MEH!

          • Chump change similar boat as you. Made decisions I knew nothing about yet I’m involved. His stinking business which I helped build sacrificed for money poured into it while my house fell apart. I couldn’t paint my kitchen cost 9.50 why it might make me happy!!! Bastard pays all bills here and extra money for house fixing. He’s gonna get his in spades his schmoopie and his business put him 70,000.00 in the hole. Judge will award me the house. Fixing to sell it. He thinks I will stay long enough for him to buy it. In my state adultery does count if you are sincerely fucking over the fucked over. Ssssshhhh!

          • I feel ya, Chump Change. Mine refused to answer his atty’s calls or return her email messages, which delayed our “easy” divorce for months and months. All the while, he kept this crazy innocent act going and he accused me and my atty of stalling. It was complete fiction. Complete fiction! It took the threat of seriously amping up the legal repercussions before he complied.

            Though the details in my situation are different, my ex is also living with the final OW. He has also screwed himself over six ways to Sunday in almost every aspect of life. I think he dragged his feet throughout the divorce in order to perpetuate his status as a victim. There’s nothing he enjoys more than crying out to anyone who will listen about how poorly he’s being treated.

            Best of luck to you that you can get things wrapped up! It will feel so great when you are finally free. 🙂

    • X just wanted a new identity, out with the familiar in with the twisted life with a whore. X was a soul sucking pathologically lying serial cheater narcissist. When I was in the depths of unwavering pain I used to pray every morning and night that he would die. Now my wish for him is to live a long agonizing life with his disordered ugly whore. I made a choice to get stronger and have more control over my emotions. X recently offered to take the granddaughter to see me at my winter residence (a ride). I declined. I will not offer an ounce of kibbles in polishing the image of the disordered. Over the past year thanks to CN I have found my independence and feel stronger than ever in my conviction to never be used as a dispenser. I have built stronger relationships with friends and family. Whatever my future brings I will embrace it with the knowledge I never have to tolerate abuse from the X. Life does get better.

  • My XH didn’t want kibbles, didn’t want to reconcile, didn’t want to move out BUT did want to divorce, did want to marry his soulmate, did want to have ow live in my home. He was long done and gone from our marriage and eagerly awaiting to start his new marriage. Yet, my XH was lazy, procrastinate, irresponsible, and just didn’t want to deal with the legal aspects of divorce.

    I was left to handle it all even having to take days off work to tend to matters, many miles and time spent also trying to dismantle our entire lives. He did absolutely nothing except sign on the dotted line. I hated that he destroyed what we had but his forcing me to take the reigns, to end a marriage that I never wanted divorce, was pure cowardice.

    I did finally realize that because I took control my future was in my own hands and at least I knew that I was getting what was financially fair even if the emotional turmoil never would be fair. While I was trying to mend a broken heart and soul, and trying to survive the realities of life, my XH was out playing, not working, no bills or responsibilities, living with ow.

    My XH told my best friend that he didn’t think I would make it a year without him, she told him I wasn’t a quitter. Well I can say that the last two years I proved him wrong, he greatly under estimated me. You’d think he would have known me better after 22yrs, but then again I once thought I knew him better.

    • “You’d think he would have known me better after 22yrs, but then again I once thought I knew him better.”

      I can so relate to this statement. One of the saddest things to me was realizing after 36 years we never really knew each other at all.

      • Yep, after 36 years I realize I never knew him at all. I just drank the damn Kool Aide. Finding out way too late he was a serial cheater and unethical businessman, my whole life with him wasnt real. Its weird mourning a man who never was, and a past that was to a large degree, fiction.

        It’s been close to 18 months sice DDay #? And with a lot of therapy and deep spiritual work with energy and theta healers, I am closer to Meh by the day. Feeling more and more relieved to be rid of this toxic, damaged man. Its so sad, but i can hold my head up high. I’m only guilty of loving and trusting my spouse. My bad.

    • Spiritwoman, one of the biggest mistakes these cheaters make is under estimating how intelligent we are! Mine sure did and now he’s paying for it in aces! Serves him right!

      • Roberta, but we know how dumb they are when they think with their pecker. We have such similar experiences it is uncanny. X lost everything in the divorce and the day he realizes this I am planning on changing my phone number. I call this my post divorce plan B. It is to never look back when the whinny limp dick misses supply, is broke, has no friends, and is living in someone’s basement. By the time consequences catch up to him I will be at Meh.

    • I’m told that my X asks people how I’m doing all the time. I originally thought this was some kind of hoovering technique, but both my Mom and my best friend saw through it immediately: he’s waiting for me to fail without him.

      Well, fuck him. I took care of myself just fine for many years before I met him, and I’m doing just fine now. (And of course, I took care of myself completely during the years I was with him, since he really didn’t do shit.) If he’s waiting for me to fall apart, he’s wasting his time. Of course, while he’s waiting around, the karma bus may stop for him………

      • GettingOverIt, their ego is so big they think we are just waiting around. Fuck them is right. Suddenly they are concerned? Missed that boat.

      • GettingOverIt–yeah, I don’t that happening. You sound pretty strong to me. They’re so convinced we can’t live without them, and yet most of us were taking care of ourselves, without any help, long before they left.

  • Mine didn’t want a divorce either, but yet continued to ‘sext’ on his phone. I don’t think he ‘wanted’ a divorce because he didn’t want to have to pay for anything. At first we tried to do it on our own, but it was amazing how worthless all his stuff became. AND he didn’t think I could take half his pension. I got a lawyer and I WILL be getting half of that assholes pension and half the differnce between our 401K’s and half of the Roth he so brilliantly cashed in last year after getting served. He just thought I would take ‘my stuff’ and he would get ‘his stuff.’ Well – my ‘stuff’ includes 1 2000 vehicle. His ‘stuff’ includes a brand new truck, sports car, boat, motorcycle, dirt bike, guns, pool sticks, pool tables, etc…… and he didn’t think I should ask for HALF because I wasn’t the one who buys the crap? It also gave him time to put money in a shoe box somewhere because after all “It is HIS money, It is HIS name on the paycheck, therefore he can do WHATEVER he pleases!” Dick.

    • Oh, I can relate. My “stuff” is one vehicle, his is two sports cars, truck, two trailers, boat, hot tub, two expensive bikes, a kayak, and a huge garage full of expensive tools used only a few times. But he neeeeeeded all that stuff! Really! And I will be asking for 1/2 the value of all of it…

      • This makes me laugh. One of his tactics to stall the divorce was to threaten me about how I’d get nothing as it was all his from before we married. We used his family lawyer and when x started running his mouth the lawyer told him to shut up or he’d refer me to another lawyer who would fight for me to get it all. I think I felt his butt hole pucker from across the room. I didn’t want anything but out but I gladly cashed the checked for half the equity the house earned in 3 years.

    • My ex was fond of telling me “You haven’t contributed to the bottom line in 14 years”. Yep. Half of everything came my direction.

  • Ennui. A new word for me. Why has it taken me this long to find one word that describes the state stbx is in? 3 years post Dday and I finally asked him for a divorce. He was shocked. Shocked! I asked him why he was so shocked, after all we’ve been living in this strange limbo land where he still protects his phone and passwords, and is VERY secretive about his whereabouts, but appear married to outsiders.
    His response? “I thought I had another 3 years.” Ennui.

    • I lived in that strange, uncomfortable limbo land too for over a year. Same thing – would leave without saying goodbye (which I detest!), carries his phone as his lifeline, secretive about the phone and laptop. Pathetic. He probably wanted to keep me around because he doesn’t know how to use a broom or a vacuum and thought he could just do whatever he fucking pleased now since I was so beaten down and unhappy. Don’t wanna ruin his fun drinking life just because I’m depressed. Dick.

  • Mine has been stalling since January to agree to a financial settlement and the sale of our family home. Which has led to my having to take him to court. Yet this whole time he has been parading his new relationship all over town.
    We have been divorced since March and yes the ending of our marriage is all on me. So XH believes everything should be 50/50.
    He complies with no requests from my solicitor and to date has not even complied with submitting his financial statements and we go to court at the end of next week. In February stated he would only agree to put the house on the market if I allowed him unrestricted access to come and go as he please and advise me on how to prep the property for sale. When that didn’t work he ignored me and the process, so in Mid April my solicitor sent a letter of demand and 3 days after the specified deadline he had his solicitor advise in writing (one lousy paragraph) stating what agent he wanted the house listed with and that in return to agreeing to the sale I should agree to his solicitor acting as the conveyancer and giving him 40% up front because he needs to relocate from his mothers. When he knows that we are seeking a 70/30 split because I have full care of all three children and have had to give up my job to care for our youngest.
    There idiots are beyond dysfunctional at time. Thank you CL for today’s post.

  • I’m dealing with this same exact thing right now. He’s also hovering…
    I had been No Contact (except kids and $$) for 9 months – waiting for him to file, only because I didn’t want to be the one to pay the court/lawyer fees to get it started. I finally got $$ together and file, and get him served at work. 5 minutes later – I get a text “I was going to talk to you, but I guess nothing to talk about now” Yeap, I said nothing to talk about. A few days later, shows up at my place and wants to talk. I let him talk, but he hasn’t changed, he misses me, he can’t move on because I am all he thinks about, blah blah… what happened for the last 9 months, why didn’t you have the cojones to come and talk with me then?

    It’s like what your said PigletWiglet – “What I don’t understand is his total lack of initiative in really doing anything to formally end our relationship even though he wasn’t going to do anything to actively save it.”
    It makes no sense??

    I’m getting divorced that’s for sure.. but meanwhile, it’s convenient for me financially, for him not to contest anything in the divorce complaint – I have 10 more days until I can tell him to go back to his bed warmer(s) and to leave me alone.

    • I know everyone says they need texts to communicate because of kids–but it is like knowing there’s a burglar in the neighborhood and leaving the door wide open.

  • CL’s explanation is consistent with what I experienced.

    My ex spoke of “needing time” and “being more stable soon” as a way to delay any action by me. Both when I left her the first time, and when I left her the second time (and filed for divorce a week later) she insisted that she intended to “slow this train down.” She was upset that I had taken my power back.

    So, she said I was “giving up” and that I “couldn’t deal with problems.” To friends and family, she said, “It’s a fight or flight response, and given JC doesn’t like confrontation, he ran away.”

    It never occurred to her that a cheating wife is not something to fight for. It’s something to discard…like a used tissue.

    Even when our divorce was almost finished, my ex said that she “never intended to end the marriage” and heavily implied that I was somehow at fault. I think it made her feel better to say that, yes, “mistakes were made” (by her), but I was the unreasonable one who filed for divorce after 6 months of cheating. Clearly, I should have kept waiting for her to be faithful again (or, through my superhero powers that override her free will, MAKE her faithful again).

    Nice job, PW, on moving on and building a new life.

    • “It’s a fight or flight response, and given JC doesn’t like confrontation, he ran away.” WOW… just Wow. But I love your reaction to it… “it never occurred to her that a cheating wife is not something to fight for.” Good for you JC. These disordered narcs can really mess with your head. Stay strong!

    • I just had this conversation with my kids last weekend. I told them that fighting for a cheating wife is like crawling through glass to put out a fire. Not worth the price of admission.

  • I think the explanation is much more simple: He’s cheap and he’s lazy. Filing for divorce takes money and effort. Why should he lift a finger if you’ll do it for him?

    • So true, I did everything for ex before divorce (while he took credit for it, including letting him appear successful and a high roller on MY dime!). So on D-Day, after he yawned and stepped over my prostrate body to get a hot pocket, I realized that I was yet again going to have to do everything necessary–> file for the divorce, pay the attorney, divide up the assets, pack his clothes and sundries for him, break the news to and support the children, re-mortgage the house, sell and pack up the vacation home, etc etc. That is exactly what happened. But it worked in my favor since ex never even bothered getting an attorney of his own, so I made sure it was all as beneficial as possible to me. 🙂

      • THis was me too. i did everything. every time our life got stable, he would somehow throw a monkey wrench in so i would scramble to get everything fixed again. so of course he left the divorce to me. i filled out all the paperwork and he just signed on the dotted line. of course NOW he is all pissed because i got everything, i got the house, everything in the yard and the garage, and of course full custody and zero visitation. apparently he thinks that is “Not Fair”…..i am not sure what he thought was fair, him fucking OW, him not giving me money to pay bills, him not coming home and staying out all night, him hiding and sneaking around, him lying to me about every fucking thing? HOW was that “fair”?

        i kept asking him what he wanted from the house and i would get “there is nothing here i want”….okay then it is all mine. i kept asking him if he really wanted a divorce and i would get “i guess” but of course he wouldnt, didnt and couldnt do anything to stop it. didnt think his wife and kids were worth fighting and his oompa loompa hood rat was “helping” with his divorce. And since he NEVER brought the kids, never asked if they were ok, never made sure they didnt need anything from the time i kicked him out till the time i filed the papers,plus i am sure he is using drugs and alcohol on a daily basis to get over it, i gave myself sole custody.

        now he tells everyone that i fucked him over. okay. i am willing to shoulder that because everyone he is telling i dont care about anyhow. the people who know me know me better. i gave him plenty of opportunity to take what he wanted to take. it is not my fault he took only the things that were important to him and left everything else. now i am fixing to take his name off the children i gave birth too. he left them, hasnt seen them for a year, doesnt support them in anyway, not financially, emotionally, psychically, mentally or spiritually. since i am doing all the work, they might as well have my name.

    • It’s worth remembering that marriage is very useful for cheaters who want to keep Schmoopie options open. As long as they are married, they can avoid commitment to the AP or APs. A chump and kids at home (with all family assets intact) and Scmoopie(s) on the side is a cake smorgasbord.

      • THIS. keeping things intact. and the divorce process dismantles that and then their true color shines bright and it’s a huge shit fest! I’m a suspicious one so I read the worst into every action, took notes and communicated with my lawyer and I’m sure I probably missed something….marriage is also a way to bide time and plan. For me it was about the emotion, the betrayal, but my lawyer instructed me to turn off the emotion and follow the money. She was right, everything in the back and forth was him pushing my buttons on kids, parenting time, leaving the house, etc. — and I would take my eyes off the money and he would try to slide something in….in the end, I just shut down emotionally in all legal correspondence and kept focused on the money. That caught him off guard.

      • Lovedajackass, the marriage was useful to X until number 17 in my case. Then i was completely erased and he never looked back. The last whore asked why I stayed with X if he was such a cheater. As if I owed a used vagina an explanation. The question really was why didn’t he just get a divorce if X was so utterly unhappy. Besides the supply and cake, X could never picture me with anyone else. I was his possession, an object. When he disposed of me X was confident NO ONE would ever want me. Haha! This was cheaters parting message! Wrong, as usual. I had to work hard to undo the damage loser did with power and control. Detoxing from a narcissist is difficult. With the right therapist, medication, and chump empowerment X’s words no longer have a hold. I couldn’t imagine living better at first. It is a journey well worth the energy. Freedom.

  • I recently read a study about how the divorce rate is something like 80 percent higher when a wife becomes chronically ill than when a husband becomes chronically ill. The author said that although it might seem like the husbands were abandoning their ill wives in droves, the fact that it’s almost always the (chronically ill) wife who files for divorce might suggest something else. Perhaps the sick wives were throwing out their husbands because of dissatisfaction with the husbands’ care…? Yeah, the researcher actually hypothesized that!

    Obviously, this researcher has no experience whatsoever with infidelity or chronic illness, or perhaps he has something to prove on the topic, because really this is the exact same thing CL talks about here. The husbands in the article were indeed abandoning their wives in droves. Trust me, as someone who has experienced this situation firsthand, no chronically ill wife would divorce her husband for mediocre caretaking. More likely, the wives were struggling to deal with suddenly, unexpectedly becoming totally and permanently disabled, caring for young children, remaining the best wives they could possibly be, and continuing to provide for the family, and on top of that they were suddenly also faced with a lying, cheating, piece of crap husband who thought what a perfect time to screw around.

    As CL says, for these cheaters it’s all about 1. impression management and not being the bad guy, 2. procrastination and laziness, and 3. power plays. But even a chronically ill wife, who desperately needs her husband, eventually has to cut the rope and say enough is enough. Life is so much better without the abuse, devastation, and betrayal!

    • Or the wives figure out that the chronic illness is related to the stress of being married to someone who is, in every way that matters, totally disengaged and who may be emotionally abusive as well.

        • I can definitely second this! I was abandoned more than once as he came back over and over. But lung cancer opened my eyes and I realized this POS was just doing the minimum (read NOTHING) and biding his time hoping I would die! Screw him and his Schmoopie! She’s in for a shock. Mr. Sparkles is an uncaring, emotionally stunted child who has no clue! A true loser!

            • No Donna, not amazing! I am, however, very stubborn and I wanted to survive so I could become healthy enough and strong enough to make his life a living Hell! I wasn’t going to roll over and play dead bug for that fucker!

  • My ex after pulling all his crap during our marriage and then screwing us over financially during discard just did what all the disordered do. Didn’t supply accurate financial documents, didn’t pay the mortgage, walked out on his kids, would not cooperate with the terms of the divorce, yet still believes he’s the shit. If nothing else communicates “unworkable, disordered Narcs” try divorcing these idiots. You know you were married to a jackass when… 🙂 And these fuckwads are all about impression management. Four years divorced and he still wants to fuck with me! GO AWAY Asshole.

    • and why is it that they change the story? he now apparently worked 6 JOBS!! to pay the house that i took from him (he never paid a single house payment, i paid that with my check since we bought it, he use to pay water, elec, gas, etc) and of course he NEVER cheated on me because we were separated. whatever that fucking means…..of course he doesnt own up to the shit he did that forced us to separate.

      he is gaslighting himself but it is HIS story and he is sticking to it.

      i dont give a fuck anymore. i only feel sorry for giving so much of myself to a disordered fucktard. i dont even feel sorry for the boys anymore because he is just using the children to make himself feel better. telling them lies about how he is going to buy them this and that, and how he is going to take them to his lake house (i KNOW is not his but someone he knows) and on his boat that is much better then my boat (that is also NOT his and he has never been on my boat so how would he know)……who the fuck does that to their own flesh and blood?

      so i had to learn the hard way that the boys and i are MUCH better without his crazy.

  • We’ve been in mediation for six months, going nowhere. How hard is “half?” Had to file, now he’s forced to respond. Same story as all of the above, didnt work on marriage, doesn’t want divorce.

    • didnt work on marriage, doesnt want divorce….

      but damn sure will bitch about every little fucking thing you get and he doesnt get.

      • MrsVain, x wanted nothing until whore realized he wasn’t sharing money making her pay when they went out. Suddenly moron had a brain and guess what? X got laid that was it. A cheap pig of a slut. Now I can look back and it’s sweet justice. Pick me dance has a new meaning now. There really was never a contest. It’s what they set up to keep control. Now I am in control and I’d rather have the washer, dryer, lawn mower, leather couch, and sanity. At least those things are functional. Haha! A used vagina has a shelf life of what? I have my pension and he settled for a drinking drugging ugh.

  • Tracy

    This article answers one of the most important and common questions we have:

    Why do they not respond when we entreat them in every way imaginable to say they love us and that they are wrong?

    Your explanation: “You want a response? Oh, then that’s you trying to manipulate THEM into the pick me dance, and they aren’t going to do it.”

    Exactly. This answers so many things so succintly and I can lay them to rest. They will never respond when we entreat them, because in a way we are trying to have them do the “pick me dance,” by asking them to pick us, their loving partners.

    They have a visceral “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!” reaction – they are smarter than everyone, remember? – and will never, ever do it, because in their minds they are powerful CEO’s and “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!”

    The other impediment to the betrayed spouse is that we really cannot fathom how someone we have loved and known for so many years cannot comprehend the very real consequences of their actions.

    “Do they have some ace in the hole?”
    “Are they willing to reconcile if we just give them more time?”
    “Are they playing 3-D three level chess and we are thus entering into a game we really do not understand, and must watch our steps?”

    No, they really are that stupid, and in the end, almost always suffer the consequences of their actions, sometimes ending in homelessness.
    HA!

  • Disordered people may be LEGALLY married, but they are never married in the spiritual sense. For one thing, the reasons they marry are entirely selfish — you can be more useful to them if you are married (and delusional), because your behavior will be different if you actually mean what you say when you take vows. They can lie with ease, and never have any intention of not doing exactly what they want to do whenever they want to do it. Because we are Chumps, we cannot even conceive of acting this way, and therefore we put ourselves in a perilous position because we trust, and have moral boundaries.

    Once you lose the illusion/your delusion, you want to extricate yourself from the situation. So, you might give up possessions, money, property, etc. and you might even pay for the lawyer and the divorce. More for them, less for you. They like that.

    The only reason they want to divorce is if Schmoopie offers them something you can not or will not give them. Something that is immediate gratification for them. They have found someone more useful — in some capacity. It may not make any sense to you, but remember, they do not intend to keep promises to Schmoopie either. The AP just doesn’t know it yet — the AP is believing the BS, just like you did, once upon a time.

    The disordered live a life of highs and lows. They are excited by the prospect of getting something new, or they are bored, and feel “trapped” because they cannot deal with living a real life. Reality can bite — real people know life will not always be exciting and wonderful. Real life has both good and bad things happen, and if you find a real partner, you can go through these cycles WITH someone. If not, you best be prepared to do it alone.

    The disordered don’t do alone. They need someone to provide them with adulation and something exciting and new. They are ALWAYS on the verge of being unhappy and bored. That is who they really are, and that will never change.

      • Why undulate for an unappreciative audience? I would rather read a good book, or see a good show. Gosh, for all the appreciation and reciprocation a Disordered One gives, I would rather vacuum or dust — and I HATE to do those things! As for adulation, it is an over-rated, under-appreciated spectator sport. Give me sincere and thoughtful appreciation any time, — way better than mindless adulation!

    • Portia, very well said.

      I would add that I think my stbxw’s AP was probably more disordered than her, so my stbxw was his Schmoopie that he was lying too.

      He probably found a new Schmoopie leaving me with a broken mess of a dysfunctional wife.

      • What happens when two Narcs become embroiled in an affair?

        A) They quickly find they don’t have enough mirrors in the house.
        B) They find they need someone else, to make a threesome, who will adulate them both and be useful to them both.
        C) They find they still have unmet needs, because they are Time Vampires who can never have too much attention or use people quite enough.
        D) All of the above, and then some.

        Of course the AP left your stbxw! You didn’t expect him to actually hang around and support her, or take on all the boring duties of a husband, did you? You were expected to clean up the mess, and restore her to her perceived glory. She needed all of that, so that she could find a new AP. That’s why you were so useful.

        I would hate to have to try to measure disorder. Talk about a thankless task!

      • i used to think how can a woman want a broken down man who bails on his wife and kids like that? exhole was so so sad that his big bad horrible wife who didnt treat him good was actually divorcing him instead of fighting for him. AND that is the kind of man this idiot MOW wants? i guess she likes to control and manipulate her men, she likes them vulnerable coming from a broken marriage so she can “help” them.

        now i think….how desperate was she? how pathetic they both are. and please stay as far away from me and my kids as possible. not sure if it is contagious but i am not taking any chances.

    • Oh, Portia, you NAILED IT!!!!

      >>>>>The disordered live a life of highs and lows. They are excited by the prospect of getting something new, or they are bored, and feel “trapped” because they cannot deal with living a real life. Reality can bite — real people know life will not always be exciting and wonderful. Real life has both good and bad things happen, and if you find a real partner, you can go through these cycles WITH someone. If not, you best be prepared to do it alone.

      The disordered don’t do alone. They need someone to provide them with adulation and something exciting and new. They are ALWAYS on the verge of being unhappy and bored. That is who they really are, and that will never change.>>>>>>

      THIS ^^^^^^ OMG, yes!!!

      Since the first of April, I have been processing first the idea of him being “done” — has NEVER said the word “divorce”- ever… discussed once about specifics that I want in the divorce decree– he balked at the term, “child support” but agreed to “help” me weekly…moved out the first of May- visited our child each day, then less than 5 days later, he’s at my house crying with the words, “I’m sorry I hurt you” but STILL maintained that he has not been with anyone sexually- oral or intercourse– since we’ve been together,,, also, he doesn’t have his utilities turned on at his new shack, so me the Chump has allowed him to stay here— since then he has stayed here at my house each night- all .”..I love you’s… and hugs and kisses…”yet he has a totally different online life– Facebook has nothing listed as relationship status, has all these single female “friends”- some of whom are strippers, but says he’s never been to a strip club…oh, mind-fuckery!!!! I just want to scream at him, “Why won’t you commit to me the life you are living with me outside of “our” home?!”

      So now “we’re working things out…” yet nothing’s changed— no, wait— I have changed…I see him even more clearer now than ever…the other night, he took me on a “date” but became enraged at something stupid and began screaming at me in his truck, “I AM YOUR HUSBAND!!!”…me the Chump just sat there in stunned silence, but in my head I was screaming right back- “I AM SUPPOSED TO BE YOUR WIFE!!!”

      Sssssoooooooo, I am just watching and waiting for him to get his shit together, try to maintain my sanity- I’m fine here all by myself…I have told him several times that I don’t want anyone else right now, that I love only him- all that is true right now in this moment, but thanks to Tracy/CL & the Chump Nation, I know that MEH day will come— might be Kibbles for him to hear that, but there it is… because one of these days, he MIGHT think back on my words and think I actually meant it…

      when EXH1 divorced me, I felt like I had to prove him wrong that I “..wasn’t physically attractive, that he didn’t want me, that I was crazy, bad mom, etc.” so I went out and had hook-ups and met my now STBXH and have been with him ever since— this time around, I just want to be alone for a while once he’s gone for good…

      Since the first of April, I have been giving him a 90-day window. Come Independence Day, it will be my “shit or get off the pot” day for him…If I have to file, he will NOT like it at all, but he opened this Pandora’s Box of mind-fuckery, emotional distance, his unyielding need for ego-boosting and attention, his AWOL nights that he has sworn to everything he loves that he hasn’t been with anyone else, that there isn’t some OW out there. Maybe not, but his time, attention, and emotional-connection has been broken off long ago and I don’t see it coming back.

      Each day I log-in here to CN to get my daily dose of reality, and CL/CN NEVER disappoints!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  • “You’re kind of like that mess in the corner you were going to get around to. That backpack full of last year’s school papers that needs cleaning out. But, then again, why? Just chuck it and buy another. Or shove it in a closet. Out of sight, out of mind.”

    This was my ex. Her idea of cleaning up was to either shove everything into the closets, til you could hardly get the door shut, or just throw stuff out and get new stuff. Should have realized that when our marriage became out of fashion to her, I would get thrown into the closet(left home watching the kids while she went out with co-workers), and then when I complained that she was becoming too close to one of the male ones, it was time to throw me away for the new one. Shiny object syndrome. All the while trying to manage her image, so she wouldn’t look like the bad person.

    I am getting pretty close to Tuesday. Almost meh.

    • Indeed! If I had thought of all the barely started projects and hobbies in my EX’s life before we married and extrapolated what it would mean to marry someone with such a short attention span or sense of persistence, I’d have saved myself a lot of trouble.

  • This post was another ‘been there, done that’ for me and CL is spot on as usual. Again it all comes back to actions verses words. He was too lazy, entitled, depressed, etc. but mostly just not a stand up guy. I would probably have a little respect for him if he had been able to say he was unhappy, wanted out, and helped a little with the process. But he couldn’t/wouldn’t do that so I had to make it happen.

    Now I’m doing what I have to do to cut all the financial ties with him per our agreement. Him? Dragging his feet as usual. He’s missed deadlines on certain things and thinks it’s no big deal (can you say, entitled). I need to get the bigger item taken care of (house) so I’m not pushing him as hard on the late items. The finish line is nearing and I cannot wait to get there!

  • That was the only compliment he gave me in years and that came from his lawyer-“he said you were smart.” I think i resemble that compliment!

    • Of course, he was probably complaining about this annoying characteristic of yours at the time! It is rather presumptuous of you to be so inconveniently intelligent, you know.

  • Once I got our separation order (less than six weeks after I asked him to leave), I didn’t care about the paper/law divorce. That step only meant we could then legally marry someone else. I didn’t have Plan B on the horizon so I, unlike the rest of our “marriage”, didn’t lift one finger to file. Took him almost two years to realize that I wasn’t going to the chase the lawyer or the clerk etc down to get a divorce. Only then did he finally do something so that he could marry the Pink Cow (AP). Nevermind that they married four years later whilst he lives in one country and her another. Kids weren’t consulted, didn’t attend, weren’t even aware. Its the most BIZARRE set of circumstances for the kids.

  • From the honeymoon on he threatened divorce repeatedly. I finally got tired of it and filed. The honeymoon…for years I wondered WTF?? We are making love and he goes all psycho on me. We pack our stuff and leave. 3 hour drive home with divorce threats. Thanks to CL I finally understand what happened. Impression management. When I filed he triangulated with our married friends having them call me to get me to change my mind. He brought on the tears. The one good thing to the second chance almost 30 years later was learning it wasn’t me. He is what he is.

    • No file from him, no words from him, 99 percent of his stuff here. He hides his checkbooks and credit cards from the whore here. Grant it all in a small closet. Moves out for the love of his life and hides shit from her!!! Hmm hmm hmm. WTF! he gave her one of our joint credit cards without my knowledge and she ran it up 14 grand in five weeks. Spends every penny she can get her hands on. My ex always careful with money before let his dick do the talking this time. When I found out I froze the acct til it was paid off by her. And removed her name with a order to add no other names without my code word. He finally realized what a mistake that was. He will give me what I want in the divorce or all that fourteen thousand will cone back to me. Haha! He has no proof she paid. She gave him cash no receipt s. I have copies of all purchases on her card she signed. Lawyer says no proof he has to give it back to marital assets. I WILL GET WHAT I WANT. these cheaters are so fucking stupid. What an ass.

  • It’s like what your said PigletWiglet – “What I don’t understand is his total lack of initiative in really doing anything to formally end our relationship even though he wasn’t going to do anything to actively save it.”
    It makes no sense??

    THIS^^^^ SAYS IT ALL!!!

    H

    • Yes! Exactly! Won’t do a damn thing to save the marriage and won’t do a damn thing to end it. WTF! must like the kibbles and cake so much for themselves and the torture practices they put on us, their families. Bastards all of them. Wish there was an island of misfit boys and girls cheater could get sent to.

  • I was thinking about this last night. I think Cheaters cheat because they are bored, boring people. It takes so ooo much effort to blab about yourself, bitch about your life without doing anything about it, and get no strings attached fucks/blow jobs. That surely is true love. They don’t even show any originality in locating the fuckbuddy, just whoever makes themselves known as an easy lay. A reciprocal kibble dispenser. Bored, boring people who seek other bored, boring people to validate themselves. Losers.

    • Bored, boring people who seek other bored, boring people to validate themselves. Losers.

      Oh my giddy aunt YES!!!!

      exhole found his oompa loompa at HIS LOSER COUSINS house where he was going to drink and cry about his sad life. he didnt have to put any effort into her at all because she was already there drinking and talking about her sad life…..apparently it was just so easy to jump into bed with each other so they both felt better about their sad lives. SMH i have no idea how that is going to work out for them in the future and i dont care. as long as he stays the fuck away from me and my kids.

  • Yep, mine hooked up at the home of mutual friends of him and her. Their great bond, why it was living in the same apartments when they were in their twenties. Can’t argue with that kind of connection.

    In her forties, her ideal existence is sitting on a barstool, eating sushi, pretending she is 25. He said all she does is bitch about her job and kid. She lives for compliments about how “phat and fresh” she is, and free lunches from other people’s husbands. Pre affair, I spent two evenings in her company. I never thought my husband would pursue anyone as common, stupid, and boring as this middle aged ho bat. But I over estimated him, he is as pathetic as she is.

  • I think they don’t get a divorce because of several reasons. They are lazy. They want cake. They want image control. And, they can’t marry the OWhore if they are already married.. Very convenient.

  • When STBX first “announced” that it was over after DDay number God only knows, I asked him if he wanted a divorce. He said he might, but that he hadn’t really thought about it. A week after this he started suggesting mediation. Even though I could barely eat, crying all the time, spending most of my time in the fetal position, I told him there was no fucking way I would go to mediation with him because I wasn’t about to attempt to negotiate with a confirmed liar and cheater. He kept telling me about “all the money” we would save but I was adamant. I knew somewhere deep inside that he was only suggesting mediation because he had been told it would work in his best interests – he wanted to do it right then while he thought he had me down and unable to think.

    Instead, a couple of months later, I moved out. I suggested to him that if he wanted to divorce that we could discuss some preliminary matters ahead of time and come to some agreement so that less time would be needed when we finally retained attorneys. He knew, at that time, I really did not want a divorce, but I also told him if that was what he wanted, we could discuss it in order to try and make it as amicable as possible. Instead, about a couple of weeks after that conversation, I received a solicitation letter from an attorney offering to represent me in my divorce, alerting me that he had filed. The day after I got that letter, one of my children let me know that he had been attempting to get my exact address. That same afternoon, I made an appointment with an attorney whom I had gone to see after a prior dday, retained her, and she contacted his attorney (I pulled up the case information online) and told his attorney that she would accept service. It had been his intention to catch me completely off-guard and hurt and embarass me while I was either home alone or at work, and still reeling from the sucker punch of DDay and having to leave the marital home (it had only been a month or slightly more at that point since one of the children had told him that they were concerned that I might be suicidal). What he got was a counterclaim, telling him he could kiss my ass on his filing and here was what I wanted. When I filed the dissipation of assets claim, his narc rage was on full display. Once he recognized that not only was I more than willing to divorce his sorry ass, but that I would also not be laying down and/or playing dead, he suddenly started dragging his feet. You mean he might actually lose something (like his money that apparently someone in his brainless trust told him he would be able to hold onto) in the divorce? You mean he might actually have to work at getting divorced and holding on to his crap? Oh the horror! That’s when he brought the clean-up hitter, Mr. Passive-Aggressive, up to bat.

    So here we sit, almost two years later, him on his second attorney (he changed attorneys right before we were supposed to go to trial the first time), and maybe this divorce will be finalized in a few weeks. It took 3 attempts to get his deposition and we have never had a settlement discussion because he refuses to make an offer that would bring me to the table. So we are going to court. During any of this, if he had gotten his discovery in on time (“Why do I have to give this information? Why does anyone need to see this?” – this from him after the first request to produce documents) and been less committed to figuring out a way to fuck me over and more committed to actually, you know, getting divorced, this would have been over already. Instead, he has blamed me and my lack of desire “to get a divorce” on why the entire process has taken so long.

    Him filing for divorce was supposed to be the knock-out punch that completely devastated me and allowed him to walk away with his money and his “twu, twu wuv.” It was not actually supposed to be a process in which he was going to be held accountable and during which I grew stronger (I first discovered Chump Lady and Chump Nation the week or so before I found out he had filed) and stood up to him and fought for myself. He initially filed for divorce more to hurt me than to actually divorce me. How that’s working out for him I neither know nor care. Me? I’m good and mostly free from having to deal with a toxic, entitled, disordered jackass.Yes, Virginia, there is a God.

  • I can agree with the bored/boring thing! My ex sits on his ass reading, smoking cheap cigars or watching movies over and over again! Says he won’t watch TV because only “uneducated hillbillies” enjoy TV nowadays and he says he is a learned man with his brand spanking new PHD in education! He’s a boring, smug drag of a person! Cannot and will not get off his ass and actually experience anything firsthand, but will definitely tell you he has read about it and will pontificate on it till you want to scream! In other words, an asshole!

  • After the X admitted the affair of 3 yrs (with bff) I knew I was done. It took me 4 months to process and we didn’t talk about it much, but I got a really spendy trip to Hawaii for waiting it out. (he owed me one) Once home, I filed for D immediately. It was clear he didn’t want to save the marriage – BUT – he just wanted to Separate for 6 mos….yanno – then see where ‘we’re at’. The post above somebody said, he probably was ready to hide money for those ‘6 mos’ of separation – so, dodged a bullet. He was stunned when I served him.

    (and yes, he had been hiding secret acts for the past 3 mos)

    What I am NOT getting here on this thread is why in the world would anybody NOT file for divorce after being treated like shit. For me – it gave me power to show I wasn’t a dishrag anymore and I sure didn’t want him to file first or I thought ppl would think there was something wrong with ME. Maybe I am seeing that wrong?

    I live in a 50/50 state and hired a small town attorney. When he heard I hired what I called ‘The Best Attorney in my State’, he went ape-shit bananas on me! (of course, I made up that about the Best Attorney but she was cheap, and – as it turned out – a fucking bulldog).
    He immediately went to the big city 3 hrs away and hired ‘The Best Attorney in the Big City’.
    I thought he was crazy! He was.
    We had nothing to settle. Do debt. No kids. Just a house to sell and 50/50 split of assets.

    My attorney retainer fee cost ‘us’ $3000 and was $150/hr after that.
    His attorney retainer fee cost ‘us’ $10,000 and was $500/hr after that.

    The good news is – all this was fair and equal to split those costs 50/50.
    So, for every dollar he spent on his attorney, I got half of – and that sure added up! (and vice vs only he got a pittance since my atty was so cheap)
    He about had an anal aneurysm when he figured that out.

    I THINK I came out ahead – but the costs of a divorce are equally split in a 50/50 state.
    That should NOT hold anybody back from being the first to file.
    And, definitely gives you an upper hand because you can lay all the adultery out for the records to forever show what he did – for those that want to read it. (he didn’t contest that)

    That in in itself was reason enough to take this D bull by the horns and FILE!

    I couldn’t imagine waiting around for anybody to change their mind about me.
    I’m Special! 🙂

    • SheChump, I did not file for divorce. Ex was unstable at the time and I wanted my future. The divorce took over two years, My kids and I were isolated, and lots of “sketchy” things occurred, both in and out of court. I did not realize what my ex was doing during the last few years of our marriage, dissipating assets, cheating. I think anybody who Cheats on a spouse will do a lot of other sketchy things to “win,” to be in that “new life.” A lot of people just go nuts (the Peterson case was a lesson I didn’t want to ignore) and I had a really bad gut feeling. Ex felt entitled enough to dump our house, take our savings, and left an old STD test in his desk for me to discover. That’s some of it. Scarier, ex was out front spinning narrative before I ever knew it…. Our kids were pawns to him. He continues to bully, he’s an entitled peace officer after all. When I see him my reaction is fight or flight, this four years divorced.

  • Tonight I am thinking about pride as I sit next to one of the ‘voice’ finalists grandmother. I am surrounded by a community of people who share the live of others. I am where I belong. There is hope. There are living people in the world. I have finally found life. My spirit has awakened.

  • My darling cheater stayed married to me for 3 more years so that his NYC socialite OW wouldn’t force a commitment from him. We were finally in the middle of our divorce and I received a rather telling letter from the pushy OW. She wrote to inform me to give him a divorce because I was an awful wife and mother and he didn’t love me, he loved her. It was a perfect example of projection! She was the horrible wife, lying and cheating on her husband. Plus she’s of course is childless, so what could she know about being a mother?? The amusing part was the fact OW wasn’t in the loop that her beloved was in fact in the process of divorce!! My cheater husband of 27 years tried to tell me that my best friend had sent the letter! Really? I found out lots of crazy things about this husband of mine. The weirdest and most hurtful. He told me and our daughters we couldn’t attend his father’s funeral out of state. He instead took his Ho-worker as his “date.” The “date” passed her business cards out to my husband’s family. My husband told his family we had an open marriage. This is a very proper family. I’m sure they were impressed. Ugh! I got rid of him a year ago! Life is GOOD!! I do get to laugh…my youngest daughter stayed with her Dad and his OW. She told me she woke up to OW screaming at her Dad that she thinks he’s cheating and she will not give him back his phone!! Well sometimes you get an inside account of how True Love is going!!!

    • Virginia – my ex’s father passed while we were still married, and all of it was beginning. He flew to FL and brought the OW (she lived in FL) to the funeral hotel with him and his family too! All except for the mom and the sister knew. The only reason I didn’t go with him, was because his father was being flown back to MA, to be buried, so I knew I would attend the service here and the burial. But it makes me sick to my stomach to think that he went and brought her to wait for him at the hotel, while he did all the stuff with his Mom and then go back to the hotel and drink and be with his family, with her, all the while them knowing that he was still married to me. Such disrespect at a time, where, there should have been nothing but respect. Gross. Disgusting.

      It’s all about him don’t you know?

  • SheChump, the minute a divorce is final from a cheater you are already the winner! Seeing my ex today proved that the cheater lifestyle is a sure way to unhappiness for them! But they deserve it!

  • Thanks Roberta – I sure didn’t see that at the time the final D papers came in. I was devastated beyond belief, and I filed! lol. Cried for the first time in months for hours – no awards or celebrations for me. Like the song says….Nobody wins…That was our case. Just plain sad. I wonder if he misses my belly laugh at times…I got such a kick out of his humor. And he would laugh at my laugh.

    I’m not sure I’ll find that again but I will paint my new kitchen lime-green.

  • I found something efficient. I went NC during the week (no Skype) and wrote a long letter telling our story. Reading the letter that I just wrote, the amount of spackle became very clear. Putting the story into words made me see the whole situation with the eyes of another person, and indeed, it’s not pretty. I see no reason to continue wasting my life with this person.
    By the way, I had a real estate agent make an estimate of our home yesterday, and it filled my body with joy. Quite unexpected. I thought it would be painful, but it was liberating. The unconscious part of me, the instinctive being who understands things long before my intellect starts to grasp them, told me this was the right path.

  • My ex-H told me that he didn’t file for divorce (after 3 years of separation) saying, “I don’t mind being married to you”. That’s what our relationship amounted to… not much in his eyes… like a dust bunny under the bed. I suspected his true delay was that he could cop the old “I’m still married” line on OW and other flings when they’d press him to get serious with any of them.

    • ^^^^THIS^^^^ we aren’t people, we are services. It isn’t devotion, it’s transactional. Once the hysteria over the sitch dies down, it’s pretty much biz as usual. To quote “divorce is so hard”. Easier for him to skate by, even when the cheating is over, in an inadequate relationship. Mine doesn’t love me as a woman, he told me so – he loves me as a pal. I’m his fuckbuddy. What my fuckbuddy doesn’t know is that I am methodically laying the groundwork to leave him. We all have somewhat differing approaches to recapturing our lives, mine is really evaluating and owning up to the poor choices I have made that got me here. I knew my snowflake was shallow pretty early on, but didn’t really feel what was lacking until about 15 years into the thing (way before the infidelity). I regret not having acted sooner, but didn’t realize how the poor quality of our marriage was wearing me down. I suppose my story is not unusual. Although I am still in a state of devaluation (like some obscure foreign currency) by remaining here, it feels like a reality that is necessary to experience in order to go forward with conviction. There are no expectations, I see him for who he is without the drama of the misbehavior and it has provided clarity. I was always “a dust bunny”. But his perception doesn’t define me – being secure in this has made me a great deal calmer, happier and more social. It’s interesting even though it’s sad. He means less and less to me each passing day, and thus doesn’t push my buttons anymore. Has anyone else gone through this sort of compartmentalization?

  • My cheater is the one doing the pick me dance, now.

    He dumped his OW as soon as she sent me a text to tell me of the affair.

  • Haven’t read through all of these, but I’ve been an outside observer to narc ennui and how it destroys families – my mil was married to her 2d h for 15 or so yrs until he dropped dead in the sack with her one morning (he was young, only 53). She reconnected with her first h, my fil and tells everyone he has always been the love of her life. The other guy? The one my kids also grew up with? The one my sil was so close to and adored? Dead and discarded – look at me now! Dropped jaws all around after so many rallied to help her recover from her profound grief at losing the love of her life. Wait, he wasn’t? Wait, what? My sil and her family feel like they’ve been cheated on and their feelings only mean they don’t want mil to be happy. My h learned from a real pro.

  • I drew the line in the sand Friday night- I confronted him how he’s been here the last couple of weeks staying at my house, eating my food, and contributing nothing, yet telling me he loves me, kissy-huggy, etc. yet online and once he leaves my house, he’s been a ghost- total enigma…His response??? “I’m just going to come to the house, get my stuff and go back to my house [he signed a lease, set up utilities except gas/water heater May 1st] — is that what you want???”

    To which I replied, “Clearly it’s what you want!”

    I had all of his clothes that he had here and some other stuff, he came, threw all of his stuff in his truck, burned out- literally, did a burn out in my front yard and then on the street in front of my house!!! Made a couple comments that he would never make this mistake again, and that he wasn’t going to be like his dad and be miserable…and with that, he left and I haven’t heard from him since!!!

    This has been such a mind fuck for me— I knew damn good and well he was just using me, he was lying to me face, still being shady as fuck…

    Now he’s gone and I feel bad for our daughter— but sadly she has become so used to him being gone, that she hasn’t even asked for her daddy not once these last two days…he hasn’t called or even texted to ask about her…Fucking asshole— rot in hell, bastard!!!!

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