Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Dear Chump Lady, I’m wondering if I did the right thing divorcing him?

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on pocket
Share on print
Share on email

unicorn_limboDear Chump Lady,

I have been separated since late April last year and in process of divorcing. My STBX gave all the appearances of cheating: no wedding ring, weight loss, manic exercise, overly protective of passcode for phone, preening etc. what got me though was for some years prior he’d been emotionally withdrawing. Very little conjugal relations (!) and limited input. He spent most of his time pursuing his hobbies and I was truly neglected.

I’d basically had enough and throwing his stuff out came across a letter to another woman. It was clear he was smitten. He never sent it obviously, but I felt everything at that point added up.

To cut a long story short, I invited him over last weekend. Don’t ask me why. Validation? To see if he was remorseful. Terror of being on my own. Probably all the above. I asked him repeatedly whether he’d slept with OW and he denied it. I said if I’d been him I’d have asked her to verify nothing had happened. So after 13 months that’s what he did and whilst she was clearly unimpressed, she acknowledged nothing improper had happened and they’d not been intimate.

The whole mess has set me back. I know I shouldn’t have contacted him. But he appears to innocent. I now feel guilty as I’ve maligned him so. His kids have disowned him as his first wife says he cheated on her etc. so collateral damage is major.

I’m wondering if I did the right thing. He looks terrible. Is clearly remorseful, but I don’t get why after this time he’s finally cleared his name so to speak.

Any advice would be appreciated as I’m 2 weeks from divorce finally got a buyer for the house and have been looking for somewhere else to live etc. the pain is never ending.

Lotusblossom

Dear Lotusblossom,

You wrote: Validation? To see if he was remorseful. Terror of being on my own. 

Translated: I still seek his validation. I still care if he’s sorry. I am terrified of being on my own.

All of those things have clouded your ability to assess the situation. You use them as reasons why you broke no contact with him, but they’re the same reasons why you’re now doubting your divorce.

You invite him “over for the weekend,” presumably because you’re lonely. And you want to know if he slept with the OW. (That might dissuade you from being intimate with him?)

He doesn’t volunteer anything. You ask that he confirm his “innocence” with the OW. Why would you believe what the OW says? What interest is it of hers to confirm an affair? You could use that against her. If she has a partner, you could inform that person. If you’re still working out your divorce settlement and she wants him, she has an interest in denying this.

In my experience, the only time OW tell you they’ve slept with your husband is if a) the husband dumped them to maintain the marriage. Or b) they didn’t know he was married, have a conscience, and wish to inform you what he’s up to. Otherwise, it’s not in their interest to tell you jack.

So, in short — you don’t really know anything about his innocence. (Except that you want to believe it. See validation above.) But you do have a ton of circumstantial evidence, plus a history of cheating, plus his very real neglect.

 I don’t get why after this time he’s finally cleared his name so to speak.

Because you insisted on it. If he had a name to clear, he would’ve moved heaven and earth to be transparent with you from the start. He wasn’t. He wouldn’t give you the passcode to his phone. There were no actions to indicate remorse. But you state that he is remorseful now. Based on WHAT? He got the heady sniff of cake? Because he looks terrible?

I think you’re mistaking poor sausage-dom for sorry.

My advice is, move ahead with the divorce. If he’s truly sorry, that won’t change if you divorce him. If his sorry is contingent on halting the consequences? Keep going, he’s not sorry.

Neglect, secrecy, no sex life, separate life — what about that marriage did you want to save?

If you’re trying to stave off the terror of being alone? Face it. You were already alone. Now you’ve got a chance to build an authentic new life. Stay strong!

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on pocket
Share on print
Share on email

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Lotus…. Where there is smoke …. There is fire. Get yourself a can of gas…. A match …. And light that motherfucker up.
    No brain…. No headache.

    • Lotus. Chump Lady is giving you the truth, here, STBX and OW are giving you truthiness. Fact| I was always alone in my marriage, and when confronted with that truth, I was horrifed. No wonder you feel stuck-the reality shift is total. But you need to reckon with the fact that he checked out (Cheater or not) as being emotionally abusive. And Mr Fab is a piece of work. So is OW. Of course you want what you thought you had, but you will NEVER find it with him. Marriage police is no fun.

      Lots of anger, pain, grief, but three years out, I have a kickass job, my kid is thriving, and I am a looooooooong way away from Mr Fab and the Downgrade. The upshot, and the upside is that you don’t have to take care of him any more!!! You get to be you, now. It may not feel like it, but it is blossoming time. Find a home by, of, and for yourself. You will love it.

      It sucks NOW, Chump Nation gets it, so do yourself a favor and look to us for validation, and not your abuser.
      x-Meh

      • ^^^This! ^^^ My stbxh has been with the OW since I Iearned of her. Both STILL deny anything because we’ve been trying to work out a settlement agreement since October 2013. I have pictures of them together on sexcations all over US and the Bahamas. But they are too cowardly to admit it as then they would publically suffer the consequences of their actions. So like CL said, it’s in their best interest to deny at least until the divorce is final. I have come to trust that he sucks and realize he will NEVER tell me the truth. Except maybe in court.

        • Just remember, it ain’t slander if it is true…..and thanks for kind words. Took a long while to get to this point, and I couldn’t have done it without Chump Nation.

    • @ The Clip…. entertaining as always… LOVE it!!! “Get yourself a can of gas…. A match …. And light that motherfucker up.” SO true 😀

  • “Neglect, secrecy, no sex life, separate life — what about that marriage did you want to save?”
    That sentence right there is what I am leaning on this morning as the process server is en route to the STBX. We all have that deep down feeling of “Am I doing the right thing?” After all it’s why most of us are here, to seek the support when the seed of doubt start to sprout. I too am scared of being alone, trying to figure out the finances, and wondering if I’ll ever be able to trust again. Join me as I repeat the mantra “trust that they suck” and keep moving forward Lotusblossom.

    • Yes AOoK,

      “Am I doing the right thing?” is why I am here too. I’ve struggled mightily with this. I’m trying to proceed, persevere, but I still have one foot in the door of [false] reconciliation (I won’t go into the details or drama, but rest assured it is all very guilt inducing).

      In my case, my wife has wanted me to reassure her: that she’ll have financial security, that I’ll still desire her sexually, that I’ll still be committed to the marriage. Somehow she changed the narrative from her fighting for the marriage to inducing guilt in me if I were to cast her helpless soul out onto the street.

      I think that rings true with CL’s “If her sorry is contingent on halting the consequences? Keep going, she’s not sorry.”

      • Isn’t that amazing — the cheater wants you to reassure her. Even though she is the lying backstabbing one! Mine did the same thing. Instead of reassuring me he wanted me to call him all the time and tell him how great he’s doing.

        • When you treat people badly, don’t you expect them to offer you all sorts of reassurances about how much they like/want/need you so that you will stay in their lives?

          lol – manipulative people are experts at flipping the script, that’s for sure. It’s like a finely honed instinct or something.

          • They truly are experts at flipping…. mine has repeatedly said to me “you can’t treat people like shit and expect them to love you!!” and I assure you that while I was not perfect and without fault I NEVER treated him like shit….. other way around…. crazy disordered asshole.

              • Countless times…. “you don’t appreciate me…. you don’t appreciate a f*cking thing” best was last week “I gave you everything you ever asked for and you never appreciated it one f*cking bit!” Everything is quite dramatic…. but I never asked for anything lol…. they are CRAZY!!

        • Where is the accountability for their actions? Financial security means they want what you have or they had. IMHO they are thinking of themselves only as usual. The sex talk is just blame shifting. They suddenly want intamacy? Bullshit. I went through this for years. The day they cheated should be a deal breaker.

          • Brings to mind that twilight zone episode (the original) With billy mumy. Your doing a good job billy that’s good billy that’s good or get zapped into the cornfield. I went in the chump zone and twilight zone at the same time. I’ve come out of twilight zone I put him there rather he put himself there and while I’m still a chump not in that zone anymore either. Where these cheaters get their ego and entitlement issues from is beyond me. Hmmmppfff!

      • Your wife should be eternally gratefuk that you are willing to extend grace and mercy. As my counselor says, ” He broke the covenant, you have no obligation to stay. It is your choice.” She has to want to be a better person, and that should not be contingent upon whether you stay with her.

        • I do think she wants to be a better person, but I don’t think, for whatever skein-untangling reason, she has the capability or capacity to be a better spouse. She has trouble with the empathy thing and the reciprocity thing. Perhaps good intentions, but they don’t translate into providing much of value for me or the kids. Sad, really.

          My counselor thinks the best thing I could do for her is to impose consequences once and for all. My counselor has been extremely supportive of me and doesn’t think she is capably of changing.

          • Same here. I would love to believe/think that STBXH will “get it” or grow up at least and realize that it is not all about him 24/7!!!

            But, alas, he doesn’t and I don’t think he ever will…sad, really. He loves to jab his finger at my EXH#! and rant about all the wrongs he did to me, but he’s doing almost the same exact things!!! The huge difference is that with EXH#!, he told me all about his indiscretions- the other women he was building relationships with- for when our divorce was final, the many/separate account, etc. Meanwhile, this one just denies, lies, and is shady as all hell…

          • Buddy, that is what I am realizing about my cheater. He is not as bad as many of the stories on here, but is clearly lacking in empathy and reciprocity. I can see that, for whatever reason, he just does not have the capability to be a true supportive partner. I kept hoping, like UnsinkableMollyX, that through MC and IC he would finally “get it”, the lightbulb would go on, etc. That hasn’t even come close to happening, so now I am steeling myself for the next step…

          • Buddy, I hate to break it to you. But that “change” and “remorse” you’re seeing? It’s non-sustainable. Not long term at all. Cheaters do that so they can get the chump where they want them – under their thumb. Once the marriage appears to be on track and the chump relaxes their conditions? Their loins will go looking for the next best thing that ever happened to them BS. I know. I went through two false reconciliations over a period of 20 years. Break the patter, Buddy. Time to take care of yourself. Don’t be like me who stayed around only to deal with a third affair. The third one (or whatever number it actually was) doesn’t hurt any less so might as well cut your losses now.

      • Buddy:
        You mention that your wife is using guilt tactics to lure you into wreckonciliation. This can either mean (a) she has convinced you that your actions led her to cheat (BULLSHIT); and/or (b) it is best for the kids to stay together. I’m calling BULLSHIT on that, too (trust me–I have career expertise in this area; kids are hurt by *conflict* in the house, including covert conflict, more than divorce).

        As fate would have it, I found an old email from my X on your very topic, and have spent the morning wondering what to do with it. Brought it with me since I have a therapy session later today, and it is SO relevant to your story.

        My X wrote a long email after I told him that making a MC appointment was the only way to possibly win me back. This is an excerpt: … “You have told me again and again…how depressed you have been. Not once have you said a single positive thing about us or me…I am aware now of things I have done wrong and I am willing to correct them. But I have no certainty that even if I try my hardest, you will come around…” blah blah blah

        Notice he wanted a guarantee that I would be loving to him AS A CONDITION of going to therapy. Letter was very very short on how his affair had made me feel. Who does that sound like? Right, your wife. Want to know what else is probably parallel? At the time my X wrote that email, I only had knowledge of a single affair from 8 years prior. Turns out he is a serial cheater for the past 8 years, and wanted to reconcile so he could continue his aura of legitimacy and stability (but he had NO intention of stopping fucking around).

        Get out, Buddy. I am 3 months post-divorce, 9 months post D-day today, and I have never been happier in my adult life. The mindfuckery of these people is so damaging that we don’t even notice how minimized we are until NC is complete for months. I would never give such definite advice if I had not read your story here and become completely convinced that you are (a) dealing with a disordered wife who will NEVER have your best interests at heart, nor even take them into account, and (b) you have a lot to offer as a man to a woman who can appreciate your attributes.

        • Thank you so much Tempest for your support and advice. I am trying to be strong and get through this. Hearing that my kids will be better off is reassuring as well.

          You are a fast actor – 9 months post D-day and already divorced. Good job. I’ve been lingering in purgatory much longer. I keep deciding to finalize it, but keep procrastinating, which is easy to do with all the work required to keep my job and raise my kids and manage debts and clean the house and cook the meals AND deal with her dramas and healthcare issues and extended family issues and her depression and her suicidal tendencies and …

          My heart feels like it is unhealthy. The stress the lumps. Death by borderline.

          Sorry for going on and on, but writing this here is therapeutic and helps keep me on course.

          I really am tired of the suffering and I really don’t want to play the role of victim. I do want to be strong and healthy, because I have been before and i will be again.

          • Buddy when your relationship with a cheater ends so does the drama. The amount of energy it takes to tolerate the toxic one can be put to better use. It is indeed soul sucking. Both you and your children are suffering. You deserve better. Take care of yourself.

          • Buddy,

            Tempest speaks true.

            I understand the procrastination .. hell, I was nowhere near as quick on the uptake as Tempest … 5 years of wreckonciliation. I didn’t want the future separation and divorce meant, I didn’t want it! Neither did I want the emotional torture D Day initiated … stuck between a rock and a hard place … you have my complete empathy. I get it!

            You need to find peace for you and your family. You know your wife well enough now to know that peace is impossible with her. She is obviously (what with the drama and the suicide threats) unhappy too. Pull up your big boy pants and make the decision she won’t make, it’s down to you I’m sorry to have to tell you. If you don’t make this decision then there is no hope for a happier, more stable life for you, your children and even her. You make that decision now and go for it then at least there is hope for all of you. Good luck Buddy, you know we are rooting for you and yours xxx

          • Your heart IS unhealthy, because the leech is still attached.

            Trust me–you’ll feel better when you relinquish the emotional parasite and can concentrate on your kids & job & hobbies.

          • Buddy:
            She’s a drama queen? That means shes a pathetic excuse of a wife – you need an equal, not a fucking drama queen who makes everything all about her and everything around her a damn train wreck. This in itself is dealbreaker enough – and thats not even getting into the cheating aspects (which are instant dealbreaker too). Run like the wind, my friend!

        • I came across this website by googling how to deal with an angry husband. Actually I didn’t state it that nicely. My husband, as far as I know, never cheated on me with another woman, but he has “cheated” on with me with alcohol. Just reading a few of the posts made me actually laugh out loud and made me feel more “normal”. My husband told I don’t think you would want to be with me even if I changed which was identical to another post. We are separated but not divorced. Every time I try to handle things in an adult way, I get blindsided and then I make the mistake of being sucked into the vortex of drama. I was under the false impression that just because you loved someone, supported him emotionally, and stood by him in hard times that counted for something. Even offered to pay for his treatment when i came into money after we separated. I gave myself a year to see if we could work toward healing the relationship but so far with his words he just moving us to the finish line.

  • There is an old joke. “Doctor, it hurts when I raise my arm like this.” The doctor says, “Then don’t raise your arm like that anymore.” Doctor, it hurts when my husband keeps secrets from me, hides his phones etc, changes his life without me, writes letters to other women, but I stand there and take it. Doctor, “Then stop standing there taking it”. Do you just miss a warm body in the bed? What exactly did you get out of the marriage? There are some people who just don’t make good marriage partners. Has he been trying for reconciliation? Is all the asking on your side? Whatever he was up to he certainly excluded you. Those were all the signs of a man cheating or trying to cheat. There are thousands of blogs out there by spouses still trying, year after year, to get over being treated like shit. Don’t be one of those. If this man loves you he will be so transparent you can see through him.

    • Yep, Let go. I mistook crumbs for true love. Until I divorced the serial cheater, I could not heal. Over two years divorced and my only regret is not leaving a lot sooner.

  • You said you found a copy of an unsent letter? Lotusblossom, that was the rough draft. He sent a better version. Of COURSE he was having an affair. He is a liar. The other woman is a liar. If their lips are moving they’re probably lying.

    If he looks terrible it’s because he hasn’t found anybody else to take your place, and the other woman may have dumped him. He was perfectly happy when he had both a wife and a girlfriend. Now he doesn’t have a wife and may not have a girlfriend either.

    • This. In any affair, remember that the faithful spouse is always Plan B.

      If they’re coming back to you, then it means that Plan A did not work out.

        • Mine too. As expected, his Plan A wasn’t as perfect and wonderful as he had thought it would be. Plan B, the kids and I, were supposed to welcome him back w/open arms (as I had after Affair #1). What a shock to him when we didn’t!

      • Mine tells me, “I am trying to find myself…” but is still telling me A) he loves me; B) there’s no one else he is chasing or chasing him, so… anywho- I’m back on his shit list, so we shall see…

        I told him last week that I refuse to be neglected/ignored/mistreated— or ever be anyone’s Plan B!!! He didn’t really respond to that, or respond in any way.

    • Elizabeth Lee,

      I was thinking same thing. LIARs always lie, you can be certain of that. Cheaters are most content and happy when they have both wife AND OW. Yep, they are studs giggling a double life, until their charade catches up to them. My STBXh lied and cheated like a PRO over our entire 30 years, I don’t think he even knows who is anymore! One time he said to me that he wanted me…….too! Asshole. That is entitlement at its best, committed only to himself and what he wanted at any given time.

      Now Im giving him what he wanted…. he is unraveling by the minute. Living a double life was easier and more natural on his ego than exposure. I finally had enough when I discovered over a year ago that he had a porn addiction since he was 10 yrs old. He is 58. WOW, its always been his first love, he fizzled out for me. I don’t want him anymore, EVER AGAIN, and I think he is more freaked out at losing the security of love and marriage than I am. Soon he will be dead to me. Had enough of him showing me who he is, permanent damage!!!!! I like watching him suffer. Mine wouldn’t file for divorce he said bc “he was a Christian man” Now that is messed up

      Take care of you EL, you don’t need his version of love.

    • X always reused his love poems and letters for his affair partners. Over the years X rewrote the draft and inserted: Linda, Donna,Sharin, Mary , Dianne, Kathy, Susan, and joanne. There were 17 in all who received the same heartfelt lies including his last whore Nancy. Most if the time there were multiple partners. This continues as I am writing. X had sexual issues to say the least. Whenever you think there is a lull and they are committed, think again. X started with one night stands, graduated to married with families and then combined both over the past 15 years. Currently he lives with OW and continues to meet up with others he meets at the casino while she works. My favorite starts with ” married but on our own”. I guess this adds to the excitement necessary for X to shift from masturbating to the APS. X admitted to calling each and every one if them a Dream Girl when in fact this worked in getting them to fuck. X admitted he was using her until something better came along. Why torture yourself and waste your life with toxic narcs. It never ends until you rid them from your life.

      • Donna I can’t even imagine how disgusting it must be to be reading his ‘lurve letter’ template. Dear God! I actually squirm on his behalf (or I could just need the loo)! 😀 x

        • Now it’s laughable Jayne. The best part is the saga continues with the other women. I’m finally divorced and happy! I just get triggered knowing all too well the cheaters game. X was a master. I despise the dance, the lies and lack if remorse. X never stopped. Here they are identifiable as they share the same script. Chumps have their own script and many of our experiences are similar. Getting off the path of disrespect and moving toward freedom is so very important. CL and CN was there every step of the way. My wish for every chump on the fence is to divorce the life of lies. Get away from the chaos.

    • You nailed it, Elizabeth Lee. I also found an “unsent” letter, and on closer inspection, it was clearly a draft.

  • Lotusblossom, considering the letter that he wrote to OW, does it even MATTER to you whether he slept with her or not? And I agree with CL that OW has no reason to tell you the truth… you mean nothing to her, sad to say. That’s one of the painful parts of being cheated on that it takes awhile to get your head around about your Cheater and the OW… they really and truly don’t give a shit about you.

    I, too, wrote to an old OW after discovering emails Cheater had written to her five years before the OW that caused me to break up with him. It was a huge shock to me that he’d cheated before, and I poured my heart out to her thinking woman to woman, she would write back and tell me, yes, Asshole had cheated with her too. Instead she never answered me so I tried a different email address than the one Cheater had used for her in 2008. Silence again. I realized there was no reason for her to respond. She might also have even been married when they were fucking. Or maybe she just realized my Ex was a fucked up person and she wanted nothing to do with him anymore. Who knows. I had to give it up and realize that it was ENOUGH for me to have seen the gushy romantic emails he had sent her, the sexual innuendoes he included, the “thanks for a wonderful Friday night,” which was undoubtedly a night I was sitting home in our home waiting for him after he’d lied about where he was going. It was ENOUGH of a betrayal for me to know as much as I knew already, and I did not need to hear from her.

    I’m so sorry you are going through this. Please listen to CL, and start getting yourself out… there is no way around this shit except through it… and it’s better on the other side where you at least know that you are not being abused and disrespected and used any more by the Cheater.

    • “There is no way around this shit except through it”; unfortunately, true. I’m only days away from filing for divorce, and things are so surreal. I found out about several affairs about 3 years ago. I managed to make excuses for staying until I found out he’d been fucking his secretary of 20 years. My mother always told me, “there are 10 mice for every 1 you see.” Affair partners are like mice.

      I finally asked him to leave, but he’s still living with me until his new home is finished. It’s interesting though, he’s had plenty of opportunities to at least TRY to turn this wreck around, but hasn’t. After all that happened in the past 3 years, he acts like we’re still supposed to be buddies. He’s interpreted my patience as acceptance. I know he’s going to go absolutely bonkers when I file, so I’m waiting for him to move out. I know there’s no way around it, so I’m using this time to prepare emotionally for the shit storm to come. I thought I was through the worst, but now I’m not so sure.

      • Same here. I filed after almost a year of detachment and being so secretive. I found out about the OW with evidence and filed that day, 3 weeks ago. We’re still in the same home while we negotiate and he doesn’t want to leave. Yet, he talks to me like we’re just buddies and as if this impending divorce does not phase him one bit. It’s driving me crazy. I was so scared of the shit storm when I filed, and you know what, anger got me through it. I’m sad, confused and depressed now, which I know will pass. However, just think of the hurtful things he’s done to get you through the shit storm.

        • Hugs Cheaterssuck. So sorry you are having to go through this with him actually in your home. How bloody ruthless and cold that he’s acting like the divorce is not phasing him one bit … like that’s how much your marriage means to him. Complete bastard … I wish piles the size of tangerines on him …. immediately. You stay strong and know you and your precious love were pearls before swine.

          xx

        • Channel that anger again, anger for being treated like a piece of shit.
          Don’t engage with him, and if he persists? “I don’t talk to cheating fucktards who only follow what their dick wants” and walk off.

        • WTF is it with these assholes and their “nice” and “buddy” crap? Nothing phases these people… they are the masters of pretending because they have been acting for so long. Mine has been gone for six months but in the beginning he lived here for 3 months after D-Day, continuing to have his affair, lying and pretending he wasn’t doing anything (or anything wrong) and thought I should just carry on as if nothing was happening and be “nice”. They truly have no regard for consequences or anyone other than themselves, not even their own kids.

          Being chumped sucks…. but I’d much rather be the chump than be one of these disordered assholes. No hope for them.

          • Being chumped sucks…. but I’d much rather be the chump than be one of these disordered assholes. No hope for them.

            So freaking true!

          • Yes!!! He has been acting like our marriage breaking up is no big deal….like all of his shady shit he’s done over the last year or so is OK…no admittance, no validity of my feelings and my pain means shit to him…but him?!?! Oh, I am the bad wife for constantly “pushing” him to speak the words to his so-called feelings…

            Over the last 4-5 weeks has been a fucking yo-yo, a roller coaster with him…yet, when I say to him, “Well, if so-and-so asks what the status of our relationship is right now- what do I say?” His response? “Don’t push”.

            UGH…da fuck?!?!?

            Like I said, I’m back on his shit-list and he’s gone AWOL/No contact, so whatever… I’m so over his shit!!!!

    • You are all positively right! Mine cheated on me during the entire 36 years of marraige! Went to marrige counseling when he was cheating during my first pregnancy! The Marraige counseler who was a Pyschiatric Social Worker told me straight out to leave because she said he had a problem that would require life long therapy!! 36 years later, 2 grown children and a miserable hell life I let a Narcissitic Bordeline Asshole! Spare yourself the shame, guilt, STDs and financial losses that I took! The bastard lie and steal all the time! There is always some stupid woman who the suck in to thier drama! Don’t live in denial!!!

    • Muse …. I think the reason the OW didn’t reply to you is because in doing so she’d have to acknowledge, if only to herself, that she was a cheating POS… she was involved with a married man. I’d even take her silence as proof that she knew he was married at the time. I’ve had many a lover in my life but I’ve taken pride in the fact that none of them have been involved with someone else when I was with them. If it turned out that I’d been misled (and for the first time in my sexual life, at aged 52, I’ve had to really consider that any one of them could have been lying to me when they told me they were single) and I got an email from one of their partners … believe me, I’d be replying to that mail asap. I honestly believe I would still reply even if I hadn’t experienced the purgatory that was ‘The Great I Am’. The only reason that feels right to my soul for ignoring your mail is that she can’t bear to take a good long look at who she is. x

      • Yes, I completely agree. As an honest person, if I found out I had a relationship with a married man, I would write that woman back in a heartbeat!

  • Oh, an other woman wouldn’t lie, would she? Whores always lie. They are lying the whole time they are sneaking around with someone else’s husband.

    • And just as entitled. He wont cheat on me exclaimed his vagina. Yes she’s the special one. Haha. X hasn’t stopped. It’s dumb and dumber.

  • Lotusblossom, I understand your doubts, but please move on. Your argument appears to be that you’d stay with your ex-husband if he had ONLY an emotional affair…but not a physical one. I’d argue that you should finalize divorce from anyone prone to cheating. That stain doesn’t wash out. It’s who they are, were, and ever shall be.

    Also, stop trying to know the truth. You can’t. Instead, you have to realize that you know all you need to know to make decisions about what’s best for you and the life you want.

    Oh, and don’t believe anything the OW says.

    During my wife’s affair, she claimed that nothing “inappropriate” (a word favored by cheaters for its minimizing quality) had occurred with the OM. And she specifically wrote that I could “contact OM yourself if you don’t believe me!”

    I didn’t even respond to that. As CL states, why would the OM confess to having an affair with my wife? If he actually didn’t, then he’d say so. If he did, then he would lie. Either way, the response would be “No.”

    More importantly, I’d already sacrificed my dignity in enduring an affair, in spying to try to know what’s going on, and in fighting for the “prize” of my skank wife. Contacting the OM would have destroyed what little dignity I had left, and I knew I needed that dignity to make it through. After all, the key to surviving an affair is to take care of yourSELF. My contacting the OM would not take care of myself, but instead sink myself deeper into the quicksand of their manufactured affair melodrama.

    Knowing what I know now (that the OM was cheating on his girlfriend–>finance–>wife with my wife), it’s even MORE obvious that he has poor character and would not tell me the truth if I’d ask him.

    Get away, LB, and stay away…from both of them. It’s hard in the beginning, but I assure you that it’s worth it.

    • I contacted one of my stbxh’s other women. She gave me the exact same short story that stbxh did. I guess I was supposed to believe that a 2 year affair would be summed up by two different people in the exact same terms. Now I regret that I tried to contact her because I think it gave him a hard-on… and probably her too. She closed her email with, “be kind to yourself,” which pissed me off.

      • You were kind to yourself, it’s a journey. You left two trashy whores with the chance to go at it anytime they like.

    • Yeah, I would encourage you, LB, to be strong. He didn’t disclose the clear emotional affair to you…you had to discover the letter. In other words, he has demonstrated the character of someone willing to decieve and lie to you already keeping that hidden. Plus, his ability to ask the OW to contact you begs the question:

      WHY IS HE STILL IN CONTACT WITH HER?!

      If he really was repentant, he would cut contact with the EA partner. A marriage is not a threesome.

      Finally, I will leave you with some of my thoughts on EAs here (http://www.divorceminister.com/is-it-really-just-an-emotional-affair/). I have my doubts…obviously from the title and as many have commented here…that it is “just” an EA.

      • This is good advice, Lotus. An emotional affair means that he never made it to 3rd base. But 9 times out of 10, emotional affairs are what they cop to when they can’t out and out deny that nothing happened (i.e., proof).

        Both show a complete lack of respect and total disregard for your emotional well-being. You’re doing the right thing. You’re doing the only thing.

      • DM – Thank you for that article! People don’t understand the hurt of an EA and tend to minimize it because there was ‘no sex.’ After I busted my stbx for the THIRD time on his fucking phone ‘texting’ “A friend – who happens to be a girl,” he professed “I HAVE NEVER CHEATED ON YOU!” My response “What planet do you live on asshole? What do you think you are doing?” He is ‘hiding’ his “friend – who happens to be a girl.” And wouldn’t tell me who it was – so WTF? Then has the balls to tell me it is NONE of my business WHO he is texting? I am your fucking wife – it IS MY Business! Stupid Stupid people.
        I appreciate the scripture references. I sometimes have to refer to them to remind myself that I do have the ‘ok’ to dump the SOB.

  • Yeah, my ex’s behavior for three years preceding Dday was just so fucked up. Disengaged. Devaluing. Sex was crap. And I was pretty clueless. The guy was never home and did not attend many of our children’s activities (all in high school at the time). When he told me he wanted a divorce I finally realized Ex was having an affair. All his crap behavior though convinced me the marriage was NOT worth saving. The two years it took for our divorce to final were all about Narc abuse from ex. He just ramped up crazy. Didn’t need to convince me. Lol.
    Lotusblossom, you need to trust yourself. I did not know all the crappy details of ex’s secret life but I don’t need to. In my marriage I always felt something was missing and I felt badly about myself. He treated me poorly and still I just kept trying. I knew I was worthy and repeatedly told ex he had a great life with me, the children, etc., but bottom line my ex made poor choices every minute, every hour, every day and they were to cheat, lie, steal, and betray his family on a daily basis. Hey, maybe these fucktards thrive on crap drama. But we don’t. I was scared too but it’s so much better living with the truth.

    • A-MEN, Drew. Where there is a will, there are always two ways. And for me, thriving on crap drama is not one of them…..but I didn’t want to believe it until I had to.

  • Listen to CL. It doesn’t sound like he is repentant. Concentrate on what is right for YOU. Peace and blessings.

  • Living alone is freedom. Living alone is peace. Living alone is a permission to grasp all opportunities, to make new encounters, to live adventures, to make a ton of new friends, to read good books or create art, to volunteer for a good cause that enlightens the spirit, to dvelve into spirituality and become a wiser person.
    Yet, after years with a cheater who made a hell out of our lives, despite our precious time spent serving his/her ungrateful self, living alone appears terrifying !!!
    How does this make sense ?
    Why is our brain creating such a negative state instead of a liberating state of bliss ? In what way is this mechanism helping our survival ???
    Can’t someone invent a pill already, that would restore our chemicals on the spot ?
    Because adding months of anxiety to the years of misery with the cheater is such a waste.

      • I second that. Hardly seems fair, does it?

        But life does get SO much better. The heartbreak eventually gets replaced with a sense of peace, joy, contentment and gratitude.

    • Agree! I try and look at as I am finally getting to know who I am. And if…if….there is ever someone else in my life, then I will be an even more complete, and loving person. Looking for the blessings among this wreckage.

  • Did he really have to have an affair for you to divorce him? Any ONE of those other things you listed is reason enough to divorce.
    — Years of emotional withdrawal.
    — Very little conjugal relations. (And let’s face, how good was the little you got?)
    — Limited input. Doesn’t even care enough to participate.
    — Years of neglect. For Pete’s sake, even his hobbies come before you.
    — Preening in the mirror. God!! What woman wants to be married to a man who spends more time in front of the mirror than she does?
    Forget the affair-related evidence. Just LOOK at what you are leaving. Good riddance! There is a reason he looks terrible now. IT IS WHAT HE TRULY IS. He is a pathetic, sniveling excuse for a human being, much less a husband.

    • I love MissDeltaGirl65, she is so right! “Very little conjugal relations. (And let’s face, how good was the little you got?” – My life in a nutshell! Frankly, I’m not sure what to do with someone who is good in bed as I’ve not experienced it.

      • HAHAHAHAHAAA, me either, bepositive!!! The sad part is that at first he was great, then over the last few years, just…”Eh”

      • Hahaha. Of this I am positive unless he grew a working penis. There were so many broken parts to the aging narc. Can’t wait to find out.

    • Had to laugh at the preening in the mirror-my mother always said “never marry a man that you will have to fight over the mirror with”-while its nice when guys take care with their appearance-the ones to look out for are the ones that take way too much time & effort with their appearance

    • Absolutely–we all deserved MUCH more than we got, independent of the affairs. Crappy treatment alone was worth leaving the jackasses for. Unfortunately, this becomes evident only after we leave the cheaters & emotional abusers, and find out how much better life is without daily mindfucking.

      • Oh yes….just the absence of the relentless mindfucking…. I wish there were words to express how GOOD it feels to be away from that.

        Amen, Tempest! Amen!!!!

  • If it walks like a duck and quacks like one…you probably have a duck on your hands.

    Your first instinct was to leave. First instincts should be honored less you waste your time with someone not worthy of it.

    You’re on the right track. Stay on it and stay mighty!

    • Yes. Cheaters suck is right. You are mighty. You followed your instincts and filed. Most people would never have had the courage to do what you did.

  • What u got here is a classic serial cheater and these are dangerous.Wasn’t faithful to first wife,you or OW.Serial cheaters relapse all the time.Even if he is faithful for two years or 5 years or 10 years guess what he will still cheat.Who is going to give you those years back?Him?I think not.He has shown that he will always choose himself over you.How do you know that he will regret choosing you over this OW and punish you for it.Or maybe go back to her after sometime.The other women left my husband for a while and got back together all the while telling me they were separated.I found a text as proof.You have to ask yourself why are you letting yourself be his doormat.You are dumbing yourself down by sitting with this other woman.I’m not yet divorced but I will be damned to stay married to a cheater.I lost my virginity to him at 18,married at 22,had 2 kids,and divorcing at age 24.Never faithful to any girlfriend.Thought I was special til I saw message to TRUE love.

  • Get the divorce! Don’t second guess respecting yourself. Your STBX and his OW don’t give a damn about you or how it’s destroying you. They are and will always be fucked up semi-humans who value no one but themselves. Is that how you want to live the rest of your life? Wondering where he is and with who? We get one roll on this marble, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let my ex and his downgrade ruin my right to happiness. Believe me, they know they are scum, but they “like” the way they are. You could be Mother of the Year, Wife of the Century and they’ll still cheat! It’s their problem, not yours! Kick it to the curb and go live a great life!! They will always be fucked up! The only person who can change them is them. Drop his problem in his Schmoopies lap cause I’ll bet you 10 to one he will screw his Schmoopie over too! Good riddance. Life is too short!

  • Lotusblossom, he’s NOT innocent.

    Even if what the OW said is true (and as CL says, she has plenty of reasons to lie) the only reason he’s miserable, the only reason he didn’t fuck the OW, and the only reason HE didn’t divorce YOU and run off with her was because SHE DIDN’T WANT HIM.

    And even if he didn’t cheat or have any intentions of cheating (which clearly he did) his self-obsessiveness and neglect of you and your needs was reason enough to divorce him.

    You made the right decision, Lotusblossom. Trust in yourself.

  • Dear Lotusblossom–

    Chump Lady tells it to you straight. Read what you wrote. Here you have a man with a history of cheating, who’s refused to be transparent, who’s emotionally and physically distant–and you call that a marriage?

    Actions speak louder than words. If he were truly remorseful, he’d be walking that walk. He’d have insisted on marriage counseling, on therapy. He’d be volunteering every single email access code he has just so that you can check out his correspondence. He would reassure you not just with words, but with actions.

    You’re not getting that. Not only that, you are the one who has to initiate the conversation about remorse.

    Screw it!

    Lotusblossom, I think you nail it when you say that you are in terror at being alone.

    So many people are so afraid of being on their own that they think they’re better off with someone–anyone, even if that person treats them like shit–than they are by themselves.

    So, what to do about this fear? In the short term, consider getting a housemate (helps with rent). Or a dog. Or a couple of cats. All these options mean you don’t have to rattle around an empty house. Some other living thing will share your space.

    In the longer term, try therapy. In order to have a really healthy relationship, you need to be comfortable in your own skin. Only then will you truly know where your boundaries are, so that when they’re crossed, you feel confident enough to say so. People who respect you won’t try to cross those boundaries. If you meet the right person, they’ll share enough of the same values that they will have the same boundaries, and therefore won’t cross yours.

    But don’t get suckered in by your STBX’s Poor Sausage Ploy. If he’d really felt sorry, he’d have been the one to initiate contact. Once again, you’re managing his side of the relationship.

    Sorry.

    • I wonder if the truly remorseful cheater – the one who becomes transparent, freely attends MC that he has sought out and booked and does everything reasonably do-able to put right the damage – actually exists.
      If this person is real then I suspect that their affair was very brief and was either confessed to or over before DDay….if it was ongoing, a repeat offence, not immediately cut off without protest…then I do not trust that remorse.
      Talk is cheap and crocodile tears even cheaper. Trying to reconcile without all of the above conditions is a one way ticket to hell.
      To the writer of todays question I wish to say only this…NO CONTACTOR

      • I thought that truly remorseful cheater existed in the form of my husband, who did exactly all those things — confessed the affair before I had proof, gave me his passwords and stopped hiding his phone, booked the MC and participated in sessions willingly, apparently happily, for 2 years, was present for me and our three children, etc. Except that 2 years later (while still in counseling!) he started cheating again, manic cheating with multiple partners at once, and then left me for our daughter’s coach (herself a married mother of three, and obviously yet another psycho whore). And nearly five years after that, after an indescribable amount of individual therapy and reading and talking with friends and spending time in forums like this, I see his efforts for what they truly were: the never-ending search for kibbles.

        I thought I was his true love and that’s why he dumped the first OW and came back to me and committed to MC. Our idiot MC (who at the time I thought was a genius) encouraged and reinforced my belief. But really that first OW was a psycho whore who he quickly realized did not satisfy his need for narcissistic supply (not that he is sufficiently self-aware to call it that). The potential loss of ALL supply — her, me, kids — is what sent him running back to me and into MC. MC was a total kibble-fest for him, and he had me doing the pick-me dance something fierce. I was not his true love, though — I was just his Plan B. And I have finally internalized this message: never make someone a priority, who considers me an option.

        And life alone is freaking amazing!!!!!

  • I reread you letter.It seems as though you feel you divorced a man that only had an emotional affair.I don’t buy what they’re selling because my ex got his OW to lie that nothing happened but later I found proof through sexual texts about their encounters so don’t trust them.Why did he wait for so long for you to see her.He must have convinced her to lie.My stbxh OW worshipped him she would do anything he asked.I often wondered why would a woman who loved my husband lie for him so we could stay together.These people are disordered thats why they will sleep with your husband and break up a family.Why do we still ask them questions like they will tell the truth.My ex also took of his wedding band,started dressing smart,hiding phone.These serial cheaters cos dats what you left don’t do these things for ppl they not sleeping with.You dodged a bullet trust me.Now run don’t look back.You will not be alone forever even though it feels like it now.

    • Grace. I think the ow like for their boyfriends to be married for several reasons. They’ve read the statistics about how their relationship will fail in the real world. 97% I believe. They know they will have to put up with their shit 24/7. They will see the true whole person and it is not a pretty sight. No more make believe. Just crappy cruel reality.

    • It’s so true. What type of woman/man would LIE so that their boyfriend/girlfriend could STAY married? What kind of POS would you have to be to do that?????? How low is that?

      Further, do you want a MAN who is low enough to encumber himself with a woman outside of marriage? Any self respecting woman would NEVER get involved with a married man.. the fact that she does makes her a total bottom feeder. Why would you want a man who was pining over a bottom feeder?

      Maybe the truth is, water seeks it’s level and that’s all he’ll ever be worth.. a bottom feeder. You are the one who is superior in character here, you settled. He outpunted his coverage and now that the mask is off, he needs a woman who has so little self esteem she would dispense kibbles to a married man on her lunch break? Fucked UP!

  • Lotus, I completely understand where you are. My X (oh, how I love to write that!) told me in October 2011 that he “didn’t like the way things were going” and had to leave to “sort things out”. He swore there was no one else, that he was just in a “fog”. The only smart thing I did was to ask him when he was leaving, and he was out of the house two months after that. He bought everything for the new place from our joint account, including a bed.

    I found out ten months later that he had immediately moved in with his OW. Everyone knew but me. Later on I found out that he had met her on Match.com long before he moved out. Which explained the indifference, the “working late”, the exercising, the preening (love that word!). I felt like a total fool, especially when I realized that I helped pay for the bed he was entertaining her on……

    We were “together” if you want to call it that for over 30 years. I have no doubt now looking back that there were many other “friends”, not that I will ever ask or that he would ever give me a straight answer. Don’t believe a word either him or his “friend” tell you. It doesn’t matter anyway. What matters is that you get away from someone who does not value you, who makes you feel like crap and does nothing to show even basic respect for you.

    Keep on with the divorce. Get it done. Forget the guilt. He looks terrible because you are finally starting to see him clearly for who he really is, as DeltaGirl says. Keep NC from here on in. The more distance you have the clearer you will be making decisions that benefit you, that make you happy, that focus on your life. Believe me I know how hard it is to train ourselves to take the focus (and kibbles) off of everyone else and finally take care of yourself, but you need to do it. It is your life and you deserve to be happy in it.

    Don’t be afraid. It may take a while to get this done but you are way further ahead than I was was and it will.be.worth.it, believe me. My kids and I are so much happier now, and I guarantee that a life lived on your own is far, far more satisfying than living with someone like this.

    My divorce was final last August, and everything finally settled in March after two more court dates. This place, Tracy’s wisdom, and Chump Nation got me through and are helping me heal a little more every day. Read, learn from the rest of us, and all the best on your road to Meh!

  • Probably most people here did similar second-guessing based on meager crumbs of what we hoped were genuine remorse.

    He has a history of cheating. He cheated on you. About the only thing he seems to be getting better at doing is creating doubt about his cheating, but he needs a chump to make that happen.

    It’s alright to be a chump up to a point. Nothing wrong with not suspecting the worst in people. Until they provide repeated examples for why trusting them when it comes to something is generally a bad idea.

    So… do you want to be married to a cheater? After two years of freedom from being gaslighted and everything that goes with that Faustian deal, I find it hard to get my head around why anybody would want that.

  • I’m so hyped because of this letter because I’m divorcing and I’m not changing my mind.I feel your pain because I was there.Its funny how we look to cheaters for validation.They can’t give it.You said he took his band off.Utter disrespect.Worked out.Hid phone,etc.For OW not you.You will never get over this.You will always be looking over your shoulder.He is untrustworthy.You felt neglected in your marriage.He never chose you or fought for the marriage that’s why you kicked him out.He can’t love you the way you want him to you need to realise this.You had to call him over he never fought for you.Again you had to beg to see OW and be degraded again.Seems sorry doesn’t mean he won’t do it again or that he loves you.If a cheater can see that you will take them back what stops them from cheating again?

  • The following is very Dr. Phil (paraphrased):
    “I would rather be awakened by a brutal truth, than be lulled to sleep by a seductive lie.”
    “The predictor of present and future behavior, is relevant past behavior.”
    “People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.”
    I know, they seem like trite sound-bites, but they DO ring true.
    If the last two would be applied to your husband as a litmus test – he would flunk them.

    But you already know that.

    Intuitively, you know, through his actions (and inaction), he already left the marriage.

    This 11th-hour remorse he’s showing looks like a Hail Mary attempt to keep the kibble pipeline flowing, or else he would have been truly transparent from the beginning – as CL has stated.

    You’re seeking validation, ANYTHING, so the trigger isn’t pulled, the shot fired, the divorced finalized. Because, if that happens, your hopes and dreams of a happy, healthy life with him are chopped up like confetti, and cast to the winds.

    You’ll be alone, and that thought is so incredibly fearful. It’s debilitating because you won’t (officially) have him to be there by your side. Also, perhaps, as is common to many Chumps, you did the pick me dance for so long, conforming to what you thought he wanted so he wouldn’t stray (again), that you may not even be certain of who you are now.

    It can be so incredibly hard for us Chumps to let go, because we have big hearts – which houses a capacity for big love.

    But that’s exactly what needs to happen for you to regain your sanity. To regain your self.

    It’s scary, heartbreaking, devastating, please-pass-the-paper-bag-because-I’m-hyperventilating-again.

    But it’s also (as CL says) FINITE.

    No more contact with him will help flush the residual Hopium from your veins, and help you see a new life that awaits.. A life devoid of subterfuge, neglect, ambivalence, etc… Replaced with: Peaceful. Gentle. Exciting.

    You’ll see – YOU. Beautiful and Mighty.

    Sending you hugs and support.

      • Yes, this. I was alone in my marriage. On my wedding day. On vacations. On visits to family, both mine and his. On birthdays, holidays, special celebrations. On days he “worked long hours.” On days he “played racquetball.” And having sex, yes, with him that felt like being alone too. (Though the more accurate word is lonely). I was lonely for what I did not have because ex was checked out and cheating. I don’t believe ex will ever be present for anyone…. I like being single, I am worthy, I am a good person, I have always known this and have enjoyed my own company (I don’t think many of our exes can be alone with themselves), and while I struggle financially I know my life is a hundred times better without the disordered ex in it.

    • Intuitively, you know, through his actions (and inaction), he already left the marriage……
      That says so much..ouch.

  • I too struggled with this for damn near two years but I finally realized that there is nothing left. He tossed me aside like an old shop rag. I thought we had a good life but apparently not to him. I’ve my ducks lined up, house for sale and plan on moving three hours from here a new life to come. Right now I’m still kinda depressed but once over and done I can get the knots from my stomache gone, the pain in my heart gone and the ghost of him out of my head. It will take time I know but meh will come! Your doing the right thing cause with a uncaring shithead there’s nothing to save. I still live in the marital home but its not my home just where i live. New adventures on the horizon and the last time i drive away from this place i will go totally no contact forever. I will be better and so will you. My small support group and chump nation tells me so. Forever his loss and he knows it. WE ARE MIGHTY!!!!

    • You sound a lot like me Kar! I too thought we had a good life, apparently I was wrong. In fact I was told I had been unhappy for a long time. Thanks for letting me know dipshit. I feel the same way about the marital home. I had left 2 years ago when I found out about the EA. I ended up going back home and it sure never felt the same. I used to love my family, my home, my husband. Overnight I hated my home and my husband and felt a sense of sorriness toward my kids. Everything was broken and it can never be fixed.
      New adventures for me as well – I am planning on moving aways away to ‘start over.’ I can no longer be here!.

      And Lotus – as far as the phone possessiveness and passcode – don’t even get me started on my feelings with that! That is ABSOLUTE deception when he hides his phone, turns it upside down, puts it on vibrate, locks it!!! They are hiding SOMETHING and that is BULLSHIT! Who wants to be married to that? I did it for a long long time and it drove me nuts the shit my stbx asshole was doing with his fucking phone. I could go on, but now I am on fire just thinking about it..

      He’s a douchbag. Yes – you are doing the right thing divorcing the jerkwad.

      • Yes lady strange he told me I was unhappy and miserable and he could name 50 people who knew me that would say the same thing. Wtf??!!! I was a little bummed about stress from my job but no…. It was him not me. I asked so called people if I seemed that way all of them said no I seemed fine but he seemed stressed and out of sorts. Not me. Him him him!!!!

          • I know! Me! Not him me! These same people noticed his anger and unhappiness not mine but then all jumped on his side! Fuckers. Some friends. I know there are good people out there for possible spouses but not for me! This girl stays single from here on. I have three beautiful children who have seen how he really is and mostly disengage themselves. He rarely bothers with them anyway. Two boys one girl and I have my best buddies three dogs 2 boys I girls better company and love any day than being with a fucking cheater. I make them happy and they make me happy. And i love my kids to death.He is not happy at all and GOOD hope he stays that way my total freedom will be my happiness, his crappiness as husband, father, brother, friend is his doom. Asshole cheaters have no idea what damage they do and what they are losing. The whore finished breaking him she can have him. The people who really always loved him are slowly giving up. Serves him right!!!!

  • Neglect, secrecy, no sex life, separate life — what about that marriage did you want to save?

    ^^^^ Think about this long and hard, is this how your marriage is now? Then get out. It took me a while and I had dday #10 last night. I came here today and saw this and felt like I had just been smacked in the face, holy shit this has been my life for 5 years! I feel like my life has just ended and now I am ready to start again. Prayers appreciated!

    • The Hopium is strong. Even if they are in therapy. Truth is they cannot change. There is zero empathy.

      You only matter to them when they measure how much attention you are lavishing upon them. Heaven forbid you remind, discuss, or point out how they, the cheaters, have knowingly and systematically imploded the family.

      Your feelings will never matter. Your children’s feelings will never matter. Only making them feel bad matters to them combined with the loss of facade to their kids, family, community and co workers.

      Stay strong. The truth is vile, but it’s better than Hopium.

      • At first I wanted to know how to stop loving a toxic cheater. Now just the thought of him disgusts me to the core. No contact and the truth shines.

        • Yes, that was me then too! PRAYING to stop loving him, because it hurt so much. Now, he sickens me. Yuck. Prayers answered!

    • Thoughts and prayers, BTDT. 10 D-days? Like having been struck by lightning 10 days, I tend to think. With a past like that, your future can’t help but be immeasurably better. Good luck!

    • Sorry you’ve had to come here beentheredonethat, but welcome to the fold. DDay #10???? Jeez – you poor love! Stay strong! The one thing about hitting rock bottom is there’s only one way left … and that’s up! Please, please, please … take back your own precious life and make sure you are not there for D day #11! What a shithead he is!

      Love, hugs and prayers,

      Jayne xx

      • Amen. Praying for all us Chumps to find the peace & love we all deserve. So sorry BTDT that you’ve endured so much. (((hugs)))

  • “People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.” The elusive, changing phone passcode; it’s the one thing my stbxh can’t let go of, and I know it’s because he has something to hide. Stay the course Lotusblossom. He’s not pining for you, or he would be completely transparent. Do you really want what you had? I’m sure that’s what he wants… kibbles. Kibbles AND cake.

  • The cheaters see us not as wind beneath their wings but the dirt beneath their feet to be brushed off and swept away. My feelings anyway. Karma bus hitting the fucker in a huge way and more to come. What what what consequences for his actions and bad decisions?! Gee that never happened before! Best revenge living well, I indeed to and big old karma bus keep on rolling!!! Fucker hope he gets the life he so justly deserves.

  • Lotus, I’m so sorry that you ever contacted him in the first place. Now, your 5 steps backward, but you can forge ahead. Listen to what CL says. She’s right – what do you want to go back to? Build a new happy life for yourself and move forward. There’s no way at this point that you could ever go back, and you don’t really want to anyway. You’ll be ok. It’s hard, but it really does get better.

  • Lotus Blossom, he will only change if you apply consequences and he feels “uncomfortable”. But generally these fools can always find someone who will put up with their crap. That’s fine if that’s how he wants to live. Let him have that! Your obligation is to YOU! Decide what you need now and divorce him. If he really and truly values what he had then and only then will he take the steps to “unscrew” his head. But even if that happens and he returns later with his hat in his hand, do you really want someone in your life who kicked you in the slats so horrifically??? I personally would say, HELL NO! Move on, create an authentic life for yourself! Trust me, it’s worth it!

  • Lotus…….It all comes down to you loving yourself and your children enough to to leave your “wasband” behind. He doesn’t place any value on you and his kids.

    I am living proof that you can make it to the other side and not just survive but thrive!!!!!!!!!

  • You must go and reread your letter.He rarely slept with you spent time with you.Took care of his body for OW.Ask yourself if you are Ok with this?This is a grown man who clearly enjoys falling in love.Losing a wife and kids hasn’t changed him.You think you will?Ask anyone here the oldest serial cheater they know and how many times their husbands cheated on them.Whatever made it ok for him to cheat is still there in him.You not with him every minute of everyday or in his head.You don’t know what he thinks when he at looks other women and how many he has slept with.And if you had find out what was in that brain of his you would be shocked.He didn’t care when he was hurting you by not making you feel important.His pain matters not yours.Remember its about his pain what he’s going through not yours.If it pains him not having a woman that he wants he will hate you.

  • Lotus, it’s normal to be terrified and full of self doubt right before the divorce goes down. Totally normal. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right thing to do. Everything you wrote indicates a man who was cheating, or at least strongly drifting in that direction. Forget about what the supposed OW wrote, she has no reason to be honest. IMHO, if a spouse has a strong gut feeling that their partner is cheating, that’s because they are.

    At any rate, you can always remarry your STBX if he truly has a character transplant and magically turns into the person you want him to be. And if not, at least you’ll be free to find a new man who isn’t a cheater. I vote for the second option, but that’s up to you.

  • I love this site You people are the best and we all deserve so much better!

    Lotus-you did the right thing! It all comes down to kibbles and in normal healthy relationships the kibbles are not given to make up for cheating, lying, self absorption, and deception. The real kibbles are just because your spouse loves and respects you.

    What we all know about our STBX’s is I’m sure just a tiny tip of the awful iceberg.

    I’m holding on to the hope that there are decent people out there and that better things are coming. I’m sad for my kids and how this will affect them but for me? It was never going to be okay and has to be over. Hang In there…

  • Asking a cheater if they cheated is not an useful method for discerning the truth ever!!! Deceitful people lie and they usually lie with great ease, skill and are often cunningly manipulative.

    An innocent person that is being ask about cheating will move heaven and earth to prove their innocence and will be completely and totally transparent because they will have nothing to hide.
    Cheaters and liars often lack a normal healthy conscience and empathy and this is difficult for normal people that do have a conscience to wrap their head around.

    My bet is out of all the people ever honestly suspected of cheating by an intuitive spouse, only about .00001 percent of these people are not cheating. The rest are cheating or lying about something.

    Non-guilty persons will not passively aggressively deny and refuse to give you the password to their phone.

    One of the biggest lesson I have learned from being in a relationship with a passive aggressive narcissistic man that deceived, denied and gas lighted me for a long time is to never never never under any circumstances ever doubt or ignore my own inner intuitive knowing.

    When I look back over the years of confusing manipulative behaviors there was not one time ever that my intuitive hunch was incorrect. In fact it was consistently very correct and spot on.I may not of had all of the specifics or details but the overall gut feeling and intuitive hunch about what was going on has consistently been profoundly correct and very accurate!!!

    I no longer ever question my intuition. I do not flinch when I get an intuitive hit about anything. I act on any intuitive knowing immediately with out hesitating. This has worked out very well for me.

    Do not doubt yourself. You know what you know. Do not question it, over think it or doubt it. Just know it.

    • “. . . there was not one time ever that my intuitive hunch was incorrect.”

      You got that right. I pay very close attention to what my gut tells me now.

    • Totally agree with you Martha. My gut instinct NEVER LET ME DOWN. Sadly, I wasted years and was emotionally abused for years because I LET MY GUT INSTINCT DOWN. Never, ever again will I doubt myself. My initial doubts started over something really, really small and, on the face of it, totally inconsequential and daft, but my goodness! was I on the button! Over 5 years of wreckonciliation and I look at emails we sent each other and I had the measure of the man precisely … all down to gut instinct and my own perceptions. What a fool I was to let him make me doubt what my own intuition knew …. never again! never, ever again!

    • Read Blink by Malcom Gladwell, its about gut instinct. I think this book should be on the list of reference books. It is a must read if you have doubts especially dealing with gaslighting.

      • willm999 Yes, My lawyer actually told me about this book Blink by Malcom Gladwell when we had a quick discussion regarding intuition, gut instinct, and why wasting our time and energy pondering or asking questions about “why” someone does something is useless because why hardly ever matters. The first question she ask me was” when had I first doubted my own instincts?”… It is a great book that contains the antidote to gas-lighting. Anyone that works in legal system usually sees a high percentage of cunning narcissistic individuals and my bet is if you don’t learn quickly to see right through their antics then you are not effective. Gas lighting requires the ability of the person being gas lighted to doubt and question what they know. It often is a subtle slow kill tactic. I agree this book is a must read for anyone dealing with gas lighting.

  • Lotus stop second guessing yourself.Over 13 months ago you ex chose himself today it ‘looks’ like he chose you up until the point where u divorced him.He let it get that far.My guess is that he must have had you as a back up plan.Of course he would never come out and tell you that.Its fake.The thing about cheaters as that they live double lives.Tomorrow he’s choosing himself,then OW,then you,No wait it was himself,then you,then OW,no then another OW,then you.You get the message.Cheaters always rewrite history my ex always did this.He could never make up his mind.But the bottom line is all his choices hurt me and were in his best interest.

  • Don’t second guess yourself. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s probably trying to fuck the neighbor. At least that’s how I think it goes . . .

    To this day, I always say I was blindsided with the explosion of my marriage. But that’s not entirely true. I was blindsided, but its not like my gut wasn’t screaming at me SO MANY times that I really should have paid attention to it. Let’s see, there was his phone suddenly password protected, there was a credit card in his name that came in the mail that went missing, it was him wanting to remove himself from our family cell phone plan and move it to his corporate account so “work would pay for it.”.

    I have literally a hundred little things prior to these mentioned that happened years ago that should have clued me in. The most important was “rumors” of him cheating on his first wife. He denied and I believed him. Even his friends denied it, but guess what . . . they all cheat on their wives too. (Ducks of a feather . . . )

    I’m in a relationship now, and there has been a few things that caused me concern. But I think the trick is to not be paranoid, but to look rationally at the possible evidence as it’s presented. For example, me and new boyfriend both have our cell phones locked. But I don’t flip out because mine is too, and I don’t want my shit available if I lose the thing. Also, I have correspondence between other friends that is my business. Now, If he were constantly texting and hiding what he was writing from me, I’d have an issue with that.

    So keep trudging ahead. Even if you were wrong, which I highly doubt you were, you don’t sound like you were happy.

    And another thing, when you said the OW sounded “unimpressed” but acknowledged nothing improper had happened, is it possible that something did happen and it didn’t quite work out for them? It just sounds weird to me. Be wary of the skein though . . . at this point who really cares what happened.

    Good Luck!!

  • Tonight I built a chronology, using bits I have stored here and there: snapshots of his conversations on Google+, hotels reservations, attitudes, things he said to me, photos posted by OW in public mode, photos we took during weekends and vacation, texts sent on the phone, etc.
    I have assembled the puzzle and can show the whole picture to the lawyer tomorrow.

    The picture is not pretty, it is even ridiculous, and shows the last five years on a completely different light. While I was doing my best and taking care of everything, he has been creating drama with foreign women on line, completely detached from his responsibilities. He expected me to help him, never reciprocating. And when emotions got high with OWs, he would behave strange right in front of me, no shame whatsoever, pathetic excuses, total entilement with no second thought and no empathy. He looks like a fool, and a sociopath.

    Doubts are gone. It is not prettier when we know the truth, it is uglier. In my case it is so ridiculous that I find it hard to grieve anything. Cool thing: Meetic has just sent a free three-month subscription.

    • I stopped trying to assemble the timeline after I found things going back to 2012. I just couldn’t dig any further without losing it. The puzzle is so big I’m choosing to focus on the 3 years I have and seek half the money spent on the affair, all the hotel rooms, and plane tickets and flowers. Not sure how big your puzzle is ChumpoFromF but mine is bigger than I can handle. It really is uglier when we learn the truth, not just the acts committed but the whole “how much of my life was a lie?” part of it. I also find it hard to grieve anything. I find myself looking forward to breathing again.

      • Oh God, how I know that “how much of my life was a lie?” feeling 🙁 Hugs, AllOutofKibble … it’s horrendous. Hold onto to the reality that, if nothing else, you were true. How you felt, who you were ,,,, that wasn’t a lie. Him? sadly … a complete lie.

        So sorry x

      • Nothing of YOUR life was a lie – because you’re an authentic person. And never let anyone take that from you
        His life? All lies.
        If you think about it that way, its less soul-crushing.

      • Actually I do not ask the question “how much of my life was a lie”. My life was sincere. Even his part was sincere: a nice comfortable home, kind relatives, family events, vacations… he enjoyed it for real. He truly loved me.
        BUT he had to ADD a second life to it, and keep it secret, to “enrich” his normal life. My logical mind sees his second life as ridiculous, but his emotional self truly knows the place as a sparkly Pussyland where he is the male hero desired by many women, and he is totally addicted to it.

        His emotional highs and lows in second life would interfere with his normal life. If a lady in Pussyland turned him down, he would become crazy and obsessed, that’s when I had to bear his bad mood and cold shoulder, but I wasn’t aware of what was going on. It had nothing to do with me !

        I feel pity for him, the addiction is like alcoholism or drugs, and I have been codependent. My emotional state would vary with his. Reading about codependency triggered a change in me: the “not my circus” attitude began to sink in.

        I am thrilled because every time I think about something I would like to do, there is a realization that I am free to do it, when I want, without the need to negociate or combine dates. Saturday night I will have a drink at the pub with a bunch of people I don’t know yet. Sunday I will hike with another bunch in the morning, and I will snorkle all afternoon with a third bunch. I can’t wait ! 🙂

    • ChumpFromF,

      You are not alone. I feel your pain as you feel it, for I have experienced the same thing, and I have responded the same way.

      I often try to describe the emotion and I haven’t yet found the emotion: it’s not just anger, hurt, rejection, sadness, or even disbelief or bewilderment. I suppose it is some intense combination of all those emotions.

      I guess I still haven’t fully accepted the notion that my wife actually did these horrible things to me. I guess I am still somewhat in denial even though everyday I examine the truth with as much lucidity that I can muster.

      Stay strong CfF!!!

      • The emotion could be disbelief, distress and anxiety. Our human basic needs for love and trust, understanding, empathy, honesty, respect and support have been denied.
        The person did not “do this to us” in his/her mind. The person wanted more than we could offer, and ruthlessly helped himself/herself, and since they know that the actions they chose to take are wrong by common consensus, they did their best to gaslight us.
        The person has a spiritual void, is painfully bored with normalcy, is looking for emotional highs that we cannot provide because we are the everyday routine.
        In contrast, we enjoy our everyday routine. We enjoy the peace, we find purpose in taking care of things and people and animals around us.
        We have far more aptitude to happiness than them. They will never get what they are chasing after. By definition, emotional highs are instable situations. I used to like them when I was in my twenties but today I appreciate the peace and flee the drama.

        • Yes, this is so very accurate! They are ‘bored with normalcy’. The way I also think of it is – they like the dark side of life, the underbelly of human behavior, the sneaking ‘I’ve got a secret’ is their baseline, and they just take it worse from there. Is this what’s called dancing with the devil? Some people are drawn to that. “Oh, look how edgy I am!’ (and you’re not, you spouse I’m stuck with) Maybe that’s the deal – someone to compare to. Personally, I have my set of values, I try to live them, and if being responsible, fair, and trusting is boring, I’ll take that insult!

    • I do too!!! I so needed to read this today!!! Thank God for ChumpLady and the Mighty Chump Nation!!!!

  • I think this is what makes me convinced to divorce.I saw him flirting to openly with other women on facebook,talking a different language,shaving his private part,making me do oral knowing he was sleeping with someone else,giving her money,KNOWING there were other SECRETS that I would never know,using money to control me,buying this women gifts,etc.I saw too much.It could never be like how it was.My life would have been fake and unhappy.Its not my job to repair his relationship with his kids or his family.He chose to be a cheater so he must have consequences.Lotus your cheater cheated on his kids mother before you came along stop trying to repair their relationship.Instead of all these hobbies with himself and writing filthy letters to a woman that wasn’t his wife why couldn’t he repair his relationship with his kids.All his time he wastes on crap should have been spent on people that matter.Oh that’s right the kids or you didn’t matter but other woman did.You think he has changed.I honestly believe that if you had to take him back you would see he hasn’t.

  • OMG, LotusBlossom— except for the part about him having a 1stW, I could have written this Same.Exact.Letter. THIS is my letter too—

    EVERYTHING yours had/has done, my STBXH has done- weight loss, super-secret-phone, Blocked me from seeing his Facebook pages/FB friends, AWOL-nights with no accountability/verification from him (i.e. “Call XYZ and ask him if I was at his house all night?!?!”) … I could go on and on, but I applaud you for going with your gut and divorcing him…like TheClip said, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…” for months now I have been questioning my decision to throw him out/planning a divorce for the same reasons— he will not admit to anything, but when you look at all the stuff he’s done, it’s really hard not to make that conclusion…

    He told me recently that no one wants him, poor sausage…the scripture I have been claiming over this situation has been, “…the plans of the wicked shall not prosper…” and apparently his best-laid (pardon the pun) plans, ideas he’s had that once he moved out, he’d be free as a bird to pursue all the strange he could ask for— for some reason, he can’t find any takers… poor sausage…

    I SO needed to read this today!!!! It’s my STBXH’s birthday and he told me yesterday he didn’t “expect” anything for his birthday from me, which is good because I wasn’t planning on doing anything for him or giving him anything— actually, I bought him a birthday/Father’s Day present months ago, even though a month later he did NOTHING for me for my birthday or Mother’s Day—

    So anyway, he came over today to see me (I guess) and he discovered my calendar book and saw where I had been documenting each day contact with him- he only saw one or two days, but it was enough for him to leave– silently steaming…apparently I have done something wrong…SMH…

    • Oh my gosh, you just reminded me of a time where I was marking on the calendar when my ex would not come home after work and be out all night. The calendar was full of marks. I had forgotten that until just now. When I’m feeling a bit sad about everything, things like this just remind me of how much better off I am without him in my life. Whew! I must have a lot of stuff just lost in my head. I should probably write it down for my own sake LOL.

      • Yep!!! He showed up at our daughter’s day care today- for her birthday “celebration”(although I wanted them to have the same birthday, thank God they are a day apart !!!) …afterwards he tells me to make a list of “things [daughter] needs for the next two weeks” because he wasn’t giving me any money like he said he was going to today…OF COURSE!!!

        Then he goes on today that I “cement[ed]” our split since I was “doing what [he] ‘taught’ me to do with my EXH#1 and documenting his visits with our daughter for the courts”…like I (emphasis on I) have done something terrible/criminal/evil to him!!! … like an idiot, I tried to explain/justify it by saying my counselor recommended that I do that- to which he responded, “Well, you just do what your counselor tells you to do” …

        So now even though it’s our child’s birthday, he went N/C — I knew he would it’s his payday/my weekend, so he’s out an about on the prowl acting like a player…he is such an asshole!!!!

      • OMG, I forgot to tell you the part when he came by yesterday– his birthday– and I was telling him that a friend had invited me to go out with her yesterday. He gets pissed practically yelling at me, “You made plans on MY BIRTHDAY!?!?!?!”

        But it’s OK for him to do NOTHING for me for my birthday- EVER. Every fucking holiday, special occasion ever created by man has been a fucking dismal disappointment, a total failure…so looking forward wo not having to make holidays/special occasions “happy” for him!!!!

  • Dear Lotusblossom,

    I confronted OW when I discovered the phone records detailing their daily contact for 18 months. She adamantly denied there was anything going on. Told me she wouldn’t ‘touch him with a barge pole’, he was not ‘her type’, he ‘looked like a mad professor’. The Great I Am was denying the evidence too …. that went on for two years, then suddenly, God knows why, he decided to ‘fess up’. So, two years after BOTH of them were insisting they were being impugned by my accusations … turns out I was right and they were both lying through their teeth! As CL says, why on earth would OW ‘confess’? even to give her a generous benefit of the doubt, it could be she sees it as a ‘fling’ and not work the price (divorce for him).

    The bottom line is; you had him withdrawing from the marriage, pursuing a single life, you discovered a love letter, or at least, him expressing romantic feelings towards this OW … at the very least an emotional affair … if it went no further it wasn’t because he hadn’t wanted it to. The emotional withdrawal, without any adult discussion about how your partnership was under threat, this is enough of a dealbreaker.

    The marriage contract is between two people, both need to want and be willing to make the contract work. If he was checking out and ‘fantasising’ about lurve with A.N.Other … he wasn’t paying due dilligence to his marriage contract. In choosing to pursue his ‘fantasy life’ (he’s single, he’s in lurve with another woman’ then he began divorce proceedings just as surely as you going to your lawyer and actually filing). That you had more courage than he did (in filing) doesn’t mean that you ‘initiated’ this shit. He did! Any other contract .. i.e. in the business world, would be considered broken if one party broke the conditions of the contract and, from what you say, at some point he’d chosen to behave as though he hadn’t made a contract of life partnership. He had other choices, not least was the choice to talk with you like an adult with regard to whatever was causing him to withdraw emotionally and sexually. It wasn’t on you to second guess him on his ‘unhappiness’, it was up to him to address his unhappiness. He chose to address his ‘unhappiness’ by leading a single life … da da … emotional divorce. His choice, and BTW … odds on he did have an affair … it wasn’t for lack of desire on his part if it wasn’t actually consummated (I reckon it was … rule number one A of fight club … trust your gut …. it’ll NEVER LET YOU DOWN)!

    Stay strong Lotusblossom. If he did actually have an affair then you made the right choice, if it never actually got that far but you have proof he was fantasising about it, then you made the right choice. If he was emotionally checked out but hadn’t bothered to bring this to your attention, then you made the right choice. Listen, you hear of couples ‘re-marrying’. If, at the slim tiniest chance, you’ve acted hastily and wrongly accused him, well … if he really loves you and really wants to be with you, then he can do the hard work and think about what environment he’d created to make you a) feel insecure b) want to divorce him. If he truly wants you back he’ll finally address his emotional neglect. Bottom line, you’ve drawn your lines …. emotional neglect is a dealbreaker. Fantasising about twu lurve with A.N.Other is a dealbreaker. You are not being unreasonable, I don’t recall an allowance for emotional withdrawal or falling in love with some one else being mentioned in the marriage vows.

    Stay strong xxxx

  • I think we all second guess ourselves because we remember them when they were fully engaged with us before the betrayal. But I think that this is who they truly are now and if their current downgrade believes they are so wonderful then let them have him! If the whore wants my leftovers then go ahead and dumpster dive for them! I had pizza last night, does she want my leftovers from that too? What we are seeing now is the real “base” person! Laying in another woman’s bed is their priority now! I don’t envy them, I pity them. Kick them out, file for divorce, get a pitbull attorney to clean the asshole out and move on to better things! Let the two super sexed assholes have each other! That’s what they deserve, YOU deserve better!

  • I get so righteously pissed off.This man has never once put his kids above his interest.He can’t show a daughter how a man should treat a woman or a son how to be a man.He let them them down by destroying their mother and you their step mom who they have grown to love.He’s worried about his image.Not you.His worried about being disowned.Did he ever once call to see or acknowledge the pain you were in.Oh ja how convenient his in pain.Still all about him.Don’t forget he was hiding his phone so you don’t know who he has been talking to.He has all the power.Remorse my ass.You have to think he was innocent because you don’t have proof to know what or who he was doing the last 13 months.Bingo his not guilty.My ex is doing the same thing.Hiding cellphone saying his not with her.Ja right.

  • Lotusblossom, to use an analogy that Tracy gave in one of her posts, you are now right at the door to open the door to get out of a burning building. Why in heaven’s name do you want to turn back? To subject yourself to more neglect, secrecy, more affairs and a sexless marriage? What you need to do is run FASTER to get out quicker. You can only truly rebuild a new life if you get out.

  • My divorce was finalized today (hooray!). After everything I’ve been through over the last 4 years, I hope I never doubt my decision to leave the cheater. I have a small collection of emails he sent in his pursuit of “happiness” and notes I wrote him (pick me letters) to remind myself what a fucktard he is.

    Mowed MY yard today and started changing my beneficiaries. Feeling MIGHTY!

    • Congratulations! Doesn’t it feel nice to leave all that toxicity behind? Life suddenly feels “clean”, doesn’t it?

    • Oh,Qwerty3.14 I am so happy for you!
      My goal is to be where you are someday, hopefully in the next 6 months.
      Thanks for giving me hope.

  • A story about the second OW. I confronted her via a conference call with my ex. I asked her if they were having an affair. She said yes and cheater ex said they weren’t, An argument ensued. I hang up. I filed for divorce but chumpy me didn’t go through with it since cheater ex was so remorseful. All I did was postpone the inevitable. Learn from me, chumps, learn from me. That way you regain your life a lot sooner.

  • Let’s assume for a moment he is completely innocent of cheat on you and he was merely infatuated with this woman. Do you really want to stay in a marriage of emotional neglect, secrecy, and distance? Even if he is not a cheater you wouldn’t be wrong to divorce him.

  • “If you’re trying to stave off the terror of being alone? Face it. You were already alone.”

    Just wanted to second this great piece of advice and add a little bit more, for what it’s worth.

    “Neglect, secrecy, no sex life, separate life”

    If you believe he’s innocent, try to imagine a non-affair scenario in which this phrase would describe your marriage. Is he just bored and off leading an exciting, celibate, double life alone or with some mysterious platonic friends? Do you know anyone who’s ever done that?

    Honest people who want to enrich their lives, whilst staying true to their partner, are open about what they’re up to. Maybe they join some social groups with a common interest, or take up a new hobby, or change careers, or whatever. If there was nothing to hide then you’d know all about it.

    So, there is something to hide. Is he involved in drugs or crime? Do you have evidence of that?

    You do have evidence of at least one past affair and a whole lot of suspicious circumstances that suggest there’s another one going on right now. Assuming the OW isn’t lying about a physical affair (she is, if you ask me), what does it matter? You know there’s been an emotional affair and these things will always turn physical. Adults have sex.

    Don’t stay tied to this wuss.

  • It’s hard to leave a cheater. Despite everything we want to believe. However the truth really will set you free. This is not a person that has your back. He just doesn’t. He might be a narcissist or a common asshole but he’s shown you that he is not trustworthy and it’s your job now to believe him

    I’m 2 years out and it really does get better. I can’t believe that I was so hopeful that he’d be sorry. He wasn’t and has not shown any remorse.

    Now my life is much more peaceful. It still hurts but not as much. I have freedom now and I realize I am not crazy. I am healing.

    Stay away from this jerk. You can heal. If he loves you then he will do the work to rebuild. If not then you have your answer.

    Wishing you the best

  • So much of your letter points to issues which, in themselves alone, are dealbreakers (And thats EXCLUDING the cheating – which hes engaged in (And yes, he’s cheating. Sorry). This sort of secrecy is because he is up to no good, another dealbreaker).
    You need to run like hell and not debase yourself of a pathetic man-child who doesn’t even have enough self-respect to be honest in his dealings with you.
    He’s still lying through his teeth because this is someone who gains nothing by being honest – in fact, it would give you the ammunition to forge forward with what you’re doing (and what he knows you’re doing) and that is BAD for poor sausage him! No more kibbles and the potential to get fucked over – he’ll avoid that at any cost.
    As for the OW – they lie. They are the scum of the earth – why would you expect normal healthy behaviour such as honesty to EVER come from their mouths? It just simply doesn’t.
    Use this to fuel anger at being betrayed, to cull the beast for what he is, cleave it in half, and walk through the fire to a new (and better) life. Being ‘alone’ has a LOT of benefits – you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, with no demands on your time. You’re never truly ‘alone’ though – if you don’t have a support base in real life, you at least have us guys having your back. You don’t ‘need’ someone else to complete you – you should be complete in yourself and not need to throw your dignity at the floor for a lying thief.

  • I second this Lania! Get rid of these toxic assholes and truly live. Sitting around worrying about what they are up to constantly is just a waste of our time! I can assure everyone who has been betrayed in this way that they aren’t sitting around wringing their hands over what we are doing! They don’t give a shit about us and we need to do the same. Give them the gate and don’t give them another minute of your precious time!

  • Lotusblossom,
    Stop second guessing. If this person was truly worthy of you he would be fighting tooth and nail to regain your marriage. He would not passively sit and let the divorce complete. He’d be asking for a reprieve, talking with counsellors (I know the whole RIC thing is just a hoax but occasionally we all hope that elusive unicorn exists for somebody).
    Do NOT think that some passive aggressive narcy-boy is ever going to step up and be the illusive man you thought you married. He killed that man. He killed your marriage.
    Just say goodbye.
    And you will survive as we all have here in CN. Some of us will not get a fairy tale ending, will not get a knight in shining armour but it’s a heck of a lot better than the lying self-absorbed asshole that morphed from your supposed loving husband.

  • I dunno, this sounds like a letter written by an AP or the cheater, I think it’s this bit that bothers me the most.

    “I asked him repeatedly whether he’d slept with OW and he denied it. I said if I’d been him I’d have asked her to verify nothing had happened. So after 13 months that’s what he did and whilst she was clearly unimpressed, she acknowledged nothing improper had happened and they’d not been intimate.”

    Something about that last line really bugs me “clearly unimpressed”, doesn’t sound like a heartbroken chump trying to see a unicorn. Perhaps I’m too suspicious.

  • “no wedding ring, weight loss, manic exercise, overly protective of passcode for phone, preening etc. what got me though was for some years prior he’d been emotionally withdrawing. Very little conjugal relations (!) and limited input. He spent most of his time pursuing his hobbies and I was truly neglected”

    Dear Lotusblossom,

    No need to suffer more for your divorce. I promise that your life will be similar to when you were married : no sex (with you ) neglect, and no time for you, Life will be so much better because you will not have the stress or the gaslighting.

    Best of luck!

    • Guess what? My ex cheating husband and the ow also aligned their stories, and she too told me that they were “just friends” and there was nothing going on. Guess what? There WAS something going on, and it was a full-blown affair.

      They are not to be trusted.

      I promise you, your soon to be ex has been cheating on you for a while, and he most certainly had sex with this recent ow.

  • Dear All. I’ve re read the postings here and sincerely want to thank you fir giving me such helpful advice and taking the time to write. Always amazed at the intelligence and wholehearted support at CN. Thanks again. Massively helpful.

  • >