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Why No Contact Works

ncYesterday’s post was a frightening look at narcissistic rage, the kind of crazy that happens when a chump asserts him or herself. Can’t have the chumps getting uppity, can we? Must. Exert. CONTROL.

So, what does the narc do? The three channel flip between charm, self-pity, and rage.

Rage is usually a good sign you’re emancipating. They just hate it. Sure, they get ugly to keep you in your place, but it’s also an indication that the mask is slipping and they’re losing their shit. That ugly is really who they are.

You see the advice given here a lot, and on the forums, “Go no contact!” I thought today I’d do a refresher course on why no contact is so effective.

First a caveat about what no contact is NOT. It’s not the 180. It’s not some passive-aggressive silent treatment to get your wingnut to behave. Fine! Harrumph! I’m not going to speak to you! Just watch me not care! Are you watching? Are you? Huh?

No. No contact is willing yourself to not engage with crazy.

Your unhappiness is not my responsibility.

I am not going to try and convince you.

I am not going to appease you.

I am not going to try and achieve consensus with you.

I am not going to be vulnerable with you.

No contact means being DONE. Even if you don’t feel done, it’s practicing the self-discipline of done until your heart catches up with your head. It’s realizing that no good can come from engaging.

When you go no contact, some powerful things start to happen.

1. Your head clears. The longer you stay away from the mindfuck, the weaker it becomes. The spell is broken. Not right away, but gradually and often very painfully. Almost like kicking a drug, you give up the drama, the futility, the hopium highs. Instead you start settling into peace and quiet. You get out of the crouching, cowering defensive posture and regain your sense of agency and self. You remember who you are, and given enough time and distance — you wonder WTF you ever saw in that idiot.

2. Your cheater works harder to exert control. No contact is cutting your freak off cold from kibbles. And that cannot be tolerated. So they will up their game to gain control and centrality again. They might make some “charming” Hail Mary plays. (Bootie call, anyone?) More likely, they’ll punish and rage. Anything to open that shut door.

Why do they do this? Why is no contact so essential?

Because it deprives disordered people of their ability to manipulate you. They need a portal into your head, and when you go no contact, you deprive them of that portal.

When you sob and grieve and implore them to Do the Right Things, and express your litany of hurts? They take notes. Ah, there’s the button to push! There’s a vulnerability to exploit! There’s a fear I must capitalize on!

You’re not a freak, so you don’t think like this. But they’re unencumbered by empathy. They’re detached from you. They just want what they want, and are strategizing how to get it.

If a narc wants your kibbles, you’re still of use to them. Some of them just walk — they abandon. You don’t have to go NC on them, because they did it to you first. That’s a blessing. I know it doesn’t feel that way, but it is. They’re not going to toy with you, they’ve either sized you up as too much of a challenge to be worth the bother, or they’ve focused on a new kibble source/victim and can’t trifle with you. Good.

But most of them are sloppier, pathetic users who need many kibble sources. They will test your resolve, see how much you still “care.” They will punish you for your disobedience and their narcissistic injury.

Don’t take it. Don’t engage. If they fuck with you, forward it to your lawyer. If they really fuck with you, get a protection order. Even if you have children with them, you can reduce your contact to the barest minimum. Do it. Your sanity will thank you.

 

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  • This is great advice..even with kids the deranged still like to fuck with us utilizing that pea brain of theirs …

    I got confirmation today that our daughter has all her teachers signatures required now for graduation this week. Considering this was news my ex should know I fired off a quick text to tell her the paper is signed and K is all set. I get some text back that “you just needed to have faith in our daughter”….my blood immediately started percolating as I looked back at this year and what transpired. My only response was “well it’s been a hard year for her I’m just glad it’s over” and left it at that…but oh no, she had to lob another text over the bow …”well you do realize all four years of high school were hard for her not just this year”….and I’m thinking to myself as my blood pressure has now reached Defcon 2 ..you really don’t fucking get it do you? You’re really gonna compare her first 3 years of high school with her last year when her mom bailed out of the house while fucking our daughters boyfriend’s father, when our daughter had to deal with her favorite grandmother dying a few months later who lived only 2 miles away that she visited all the time for support…2 months after that K came home to her dog who died who she had since she was 6…a month after that her boyfriend of a couple years dumped her and left the state…and on and on and on…..but my brain dead ex is going to make her graduation about herself somehow..just like her mother always did. She’s morphed into her selfish mother. Her mother actually screwed my ex’s fiancé before they were married…so yeah…runs in the family. Anyways I ignored her last statement…no response was best. Had to get this down in my journal though. And I am proud of my daughter and I’m not gonna engage with my psycho ex. She can sit there with that stupid grin on her face for the rest of her life. I told K’s teachers and counselor and everyone else at the school what she pulled during this difficult year and they all summed it up nicely in one word..”ICK”

    • I’m sorry. She sucks. In future encounters (oh, she’ll pull this Me Shit again) — DO NOT TAKE THE BAIT. At the first percolation of insult DO NOT REPLY. Let it DROP.

      Your reaction was kibbles. Antagonism counts. Getting someone to listen to the Me Shit counts.

      Also, I’d really weigh if she needs to know who signed what. Maybe she does. Maybe she can ask if she cares.

      • Thanks Tracy you’re right. I’m getting there though…much better these last 5-6 months after 15 months post split. Love your site!

        • Yeah that’s a beautiful, slick lure .. “You just needed to have faith in our daughter”. This is the kind of shit my Xhusband used to pull. If you answer? They dig down further and draw you closer to engage and fuck you up. If you don’t answer? It supposedly makes you look like the idiot: not acknowledging somehow means you admit to whatever they accuse you of.

          What you have to do is start creating a history of NOT responding to shit like that; and, ONLY communicate with them about PRACTICAL matters such as, what time do I pick her up? DO NOT go into detail about anything. For instance if your daughter’s graduation was in question? I would have made the simple statement => X is graduating on Thursday. Only answer questions that are PRACTICAL, and, only give yes/no answers or as little detail that would be necessary. *** AND ONLY COMMUNICATE IN WRITING ***.

          What happened in my case is I started doing the above. The bullshit communication got worse for a time (and more wingnut). As soon as he realized I wasn’t responding, he pretty much stopped. What I had then was a load of evidence of what an asshole he truly is.

          • Great advice! Next time I will let K tell her anything she may need to know. I feel so much better never communicating with her. It’s like she intentionally has to make some stupid point instead of just some adult response. But that’s my fault cracking the vault door open.

            • It takes some practice – but one day it will come to you totally and it’s such a good feeling ….

              • I agree that it is hard, especially when the silence is used as an admission of guilt or a form of tacit agreement, and then reported to your children or others as such. But eventually, as onthehill says, it feels natural. And the silence comes to mean something else entirely; it becomes a symbol of your integrity.

            • Yes. On the hill is correct. It does take practice. You will slip up at first and when you do don’t best yourself up

          • I took me two years to completely disengage from ex’s new wife. You learn that you are feeding energy that is sick and unhealthy. The first couple years my response to the five paragraph diatribe text messages were either okay or thank you. It was very difficult. I would run the real response in my head. Oh I’m crazy but you can’t hold down a job. I’m a gold digger but I signed away every single cent- even child support- to stop her abuse. I have every mental disorder known to man but you stalked me online for years. I know because she can’t control herself so she has to throw what she “discovered” in my face.

            But something happened where it just became a normal response. You realize the person is sick and cannot control them self. The words turn to dust. My family can’t understand how I do not engage. The truth is have other priorities and I’m busy with work. Frankly, I’m indifferent to her and my ex. Completely, utterly indifferent and you don’t get angry without emotion.

            Take their control away!!!

          • My x of 12years tex too tell me he is going nc after seesring at me and being j imself i give up on trying too figure thedr nuts out it is not morally good for anyone he is f crazy in the head lile mommy dearest im done eith the drama

      • I’ve been separated for 2 years and trying desperately to get things in order to file for divorce this summer. My STBX hangs over my head the threat of a meeting between my son and his “friend”. IT KILLS ME! I can’t lie. I can’t have that person in my son’s life. He’s only 7. It kills me to think that the 3 of them will be doing things that I was supposed to be doing as a family. I have no love for my Ex. If it weren’t for my son if never see him. The girl he got involved with is 20 yrs younger than us both. She knew about my son and I and didn’t care. Throughout these 2 years he has come back to me a few times and in February she saw what was really going on, dumped him, took him back. They dumped each other again and I thought she might be gone for good and the threat of my son meeting her was gone but sure enough she’s back and he can’t stop messing with me. I’ve gom no contact and every time it has made this rage worse. I wish there was some way to keep this girl from meeting my son. I’m giving him a big Bday party this Sunday and his father has threatened to have them meet this week. Back in September my Ex totaled his car and called me crying for help from the wreckage and professing love. That was said throughout the months to follow and here it is THIS week that he’s going to introduce them. Someone who wasn’t the first thought after a near death experience is good enough to meet my son??? I’m on fire in my heart. I don’t know how to handle this.

        • I’m sorry you’re feeling like this. It does burn a hole in your soul.
          I will be in your shoes soon with ex potentially introducing the kids to his “once in a lifetime” . I cannot control it from happening. You also cannot control it from happening unless you have a court order that says otherwise. Or if you withheld your child. For myself I won’t fight it, because this in a way will 1) show my oldest kids what an ass their father is 2) his new reloshit won’t last and the kids will be introduced to someone else in a few years reinforcing #1 3) this crazy merry go around he’s on will never end and my children once older and wiser will step off the crazy train on their own.

          • Yes T2F…the kids can’t be protected from the reality of who their father really is forever. It hurts us to see our kids in pain but they still have one sane parent who loves them deeply. Great advice: “once older and wiser they will step off the crazy train on their own”. I love it! Some do & some don’t. You’ve got to bitch slap (only an expression) them sometimes into reality & ask them is this what you want to be? Most kids will get it in the end.

            • T2F and renee62–I too am banking on the concept that without the kibble machine, my x will realize that his schmoopie love is false. I’m sure he will introduce kids to her, hell, my son already asked about “that lady at dad’s work”. My DD15 has already figured out the gig and calls getting money from him “daddy dollars”….that being said, I am heartbroken over what has happened to my family and kids….but I realize I can’t control it. From reading this site, I believe the odds are in my favor of my children eventually realizing how shallow and selfish their father is….I hope.

          • My CH has a long history. When we were younger…much younger, he moved out and mooch ed off his sister. He found “the one” and decided to take our preschool and toddler aged boys to meet her. I said no. But my wise friend said I should. The OW was only 20 and he was 36. I let him take them to meet her. She dumped him! Pictures of his adorable boys were not the same as his real toilet training, running, screaming real life family. Like a fool, l let him move back in.

        • Michelle, I’m going to be annoyingly positive here, bear with me. Trust me, I’d rather go all in on how unfair this meeting is and so on, because it’s the truth. But we can’t control these situations and so that forces us into another, higher level of thinking. I’ve had to deal with the girlfriend being around my toddler for nearly a year now and after all the pain and frustration I’ll tell you what good I can find in it. You’ll eventually find some good too…you’ll be forced to.

          So here they are:
          -girlfriend is a woman and I think she’s more nurturing by nature than my disordered shithead ex
          -him trying to impress the girlfriend with his superdad facade forces him to behave like a “real dad”, thus benefitting my daughter
          -this girlfriend is intelligent and makes good money and she has a chump personality (she has to to buy into his shit) so that means my daughter gets all the benefits she has to offer
          -even if this girlfriend ends up bailing, I believe my daughter will benefit from the experience in some way

          Those are a few I’ve come up with out of necessity. You’ll have to find some too, infortunately. Sorry you’re going through this, I swear it can get better if you focus on whatever positive you can unearth.

          • I have those thoughts, and my DD is a teenage woman, so my positives are a little counter-intuitive, because as kids get older, they see right through the narkles.

            1-Dad will show off and be generous when kiddo is around-as she puts it, “Chaching!” She’ll get music, games, etc. All the fun stuff. But she knows I get her the real stuff she needs.

            2-DD is learning how NOT to be a woman. The Downgrade was our ex sister in law. But it is Tawoo Wuv!DD’s comment, “She must have been thinking with her ********. Or desperate. Or both.”

            3-Karma. Apparently, ‘Dad now lives like when you first got together’. Yeah….in our TWENTIES, with no responsibilities, kids, ageing parents or jobs. Actually, Downgrade is perennially unemployed. But HE has to support that lifestyle for them both now…

            Long and short, the kids figure it out in the end, and like as not, will vote with their feet. Sorry you have a long way to go, but if Chump Nation has your back.

            x-Meh

            • Ah … The kids small or grown its difficult no matter what age they are. I haven’t gone nc with his shitness yet but I no longer let him treat me like he did when we lived together treated me well and as an equal partner til the whore and then treated me like shit for about six months until after I came out of the initial daze told him flat out I will not be spoken to or treated in this matter anymore. Told him flat out take your frustration and anger home to your whore. Threw him off the property many times. See his business is here with me, he refuses to move it. My lawyer tells me differently and the judge Will tell him differently as well. Should be sewn up by the end of the year then he will pay rent until house is sold. Fucker. He is miserable, unhappy, unhealthy and his job and stress is slowly doing him in. Not my fault I didn’t cause this twas all him. But my heart breaks for the kids and his sister. He all but ignores them except for thanksgiving and Christmas and damn near forgot their birthdays. I had to remind him did it for them not him. They both calk and text him he gives very short terse answers and will not ask personal questions and never calls them back ever. Why do cheaters do this Traci? His kids and sister did nothing. They were always close to me and now he’s driven them closer. They no longer engage in trying very much and his sister just does holidays and birthday and not all holidays. My son is very imature and only calls for money or when in trouble. Every other month or so my daughter tries he’s short and none verbal to her. When she came home to visit two months after he moved in with the whore he couldn’t wait to show off beautiful daughter and play heap big daddy and then when she left to go home nothing. The other woman gives not one fuck about his kids or family just wants to be Facebook friends with them so she can brag without actually having to deal with them. The kids and his sister have refused her friend requests. I will go no contact with him very soon and be better off for it but I can’t say that to them. I told all of them either have a relationship ditacted by him on his terms or let it go. The care he shows to them or lack of hurts them more and more. Why do they do this to their own kids, their family. But he is what he is, a cheating shithead.

              • Kar Marie … i think it’s proof positive that ‘it’s not you. It’s him’. I think they decide they want a reboot in life and all and everything that went before is simply collateral damage for pressing the ‘redo’ button. Perhaps, in allowing himself to stop loving you, he found he could do that and so now he’s allowing himself not to love his own daughter. What can you expect from a narc? There is no other reality but their own fabulousness …. we, as chumps, are expert spacklers but, by God, these guys are masters at believing their ‘fabulousness’ is they only thing on God’s earth. They are so enamoured they don’t even see how other’s fabulousness makes their own lives beautiful … if that makes sense. One hopes a day will come …..

              • Thanks Jayne, took me a long while to know its him not me. Still it breaks my heart when my daughter knows her grown daughters are calling him dad and he likes it and pays so little attention to her. And his sister, they both cry to me sometimes in pain for the neglect. I told him a thousand times don’t punish them for your actions they did nothing!!! I gave up over a year ago asking him to call them pay attention to them even just a little bit before you lose more than you know! Fell upon deaf ears. Give me up fine! I get it! But this to them and the whore helps him to forget!! Brutal bastards both of them and she’s reaping the shit of his health and anger now! Good you wanted him you got him!!! I have my daughter, both my sons and my sister in law s love and care. Thanks Jayne.

        • Let the young Harlett spend the day with a 7 year old boy and his NARC Father trying to be the “fun parent.” She’ll run!

        • No kidding that its going to suck bad but you have no control over this. It’s just going to be that shit sandwich you have to eat over and over again. Look at it this way though, stepchildren will seriously mess up a relationship. Don’t believe, go to steptalk, the website for step parents to vent. They are the single most predicator for a relationship ending. that just might be what is needed to break them up

        • Michelle,
          I realise I’m gonna probably walk into a shitstorm with this, but fuck it.
          As far as I’m concerned – if you’re a fuckwit cheater, you have no business imparting your values onto children, and thus you relinquish all rights to parenting said kids. Plus they don’t get to instill their brand of crazy on them – nor any fuckwit they decide to play the horizontal tango with. I’m sick and tired of people playing ‘shit sandwich’ to people who would stab you in the back if they could get away with it. If he wants visitation time? He can do that with a court order. Until then, he can get fucked. You don’t have to accommodate for the disordered. If there’s no court order – you don’t have to allow any time for him to spend with his son. I see this as protecting kids from crazy – which is kind of what we’re supposed to be doing anyway.
          Don’t invite him to the birthday party – if he wants to hold something, thats for him to do.

          • He has threatened to introduce them tonight. I’ve decided that when my 7 year old asks me I’m going to be honest. My son’s memory is extremely good and he saw this girls name come up on his fathers phone constantly. He asked him if that was his girlfriend and his father lied and said no. The girls name isn’t common so as soon as the intro is made my son will know he’s a liar. I plan on being honest with my son in terms he can understand at his age. This is harder than D Day.

          • Lania,

            Totally agree. I am going through this with flying monkey right now. I am drawing out the guardian ad litem stuff and court dates. Every day that passes is another day older for my youngest and less worry for me. Worry about his abuse, his negligence. I did his job for so long. Over now.

            • The reason why my son is as well mannered as he is is because of me. He’s 7. He’s not perfect, but he’s a really nice kid. Always was and even before we split up I spent 90% of the time with him. I feel like the less time he is with his father the better. I tried to cultivate the relationship for the last 2 years and I finally realize I need him to see his father for what he is.

      • Honestly, If I were you, I get out of that “This is news my ex should know” mindset pronto. Stop trying to anticipate her, trying to fill the gaps, etc. Move on with your life and don’t talk to her, text, etc.

        • TimeHeals, I agree. There is no need to let ex know that the teacher signed a paper. (OR ANYTHING else!) There is no reason for you to tell her anything.

        • “Honestly, If I were you, I get out of that “This is news my ex should know” mindset pronto. Stop trying to anticipate her, trying to fill the gaps, etc. Move on with your life and don’t talk to her, text, etc.”

          Exactly.

          Answer if she asks. Otherwise, give her information on a need-to-know basis.

        • My children get it as he disregarded all of them. My therapist said to do nothing and predicted X would not care or interact as time went by. It happened immediately. His actions, not mine were judged. I remained sure and steady, caring about their emotional needs. X calls when he needs something from them. One of my children just the other day commented on how family mattered to me unlike dad. I finally set boundaries in my life and let them know we would not be friends because of his actions/discard. I have had no contact for four full months. They saw the games and lies throughout the divorce. I stayed out an provide my son and granddaughter with a home. X is not welcome to join our family circle during events. Chumps need to let them rely on themselves as it’s not our job to clue them in to their responsibilities. It’s not up to us to make them look good. I spent years making X look normal. This is NO LONGER MY JOB!! It is a relief. It’s painful at first and I did tell my granddaughter X is selfish. She needed a simple and truthful explanation. My life is filled with hope after one difficult year. I am doing all the things I wanted to share with the cheater by myself and children. It gets easier when we focus in ourselves and know every negative lie the cheater told no longer matters. No contact as difficult as it is in the beginning, becomes second nature. What they think, do or say no longer matters. I no longer have to prove anything and know I’m worthy of being loved and deserve an authentic life. Thanks to CN for solid honest truth and support for the better life.

          • His shitness gets jealous or angry if I know things about the family or kids that he doesn’t and demands to know why. Uh maybe because I interact with them love them talk to them listen to them and you don’t? I answer their phone calls call them back ask them how they are doing on almost a daily basis unlike dad who ignores them and refuses to chat or shoot the breeze except when necessary. They see him now for what he is. Again damn shame. Jaynes description of reboot is spot on and also a damn shame wish someone would reboot him to hell. Oh, sorry that’s what new woman is doing helping him reboot his family to hell. He’s very unhappy and I don’t feel one whit sorry for him!

      • Do not text or call. Ever. Use email and if you can, get someone to be an intermediary for the email so that you don’t even have to see this kind of thing. Also, NEVER initiate contact unless it is ABSOLUTELY necessary (like your kid is in the hospital after an accident). This signature thing was not necessary at all. When you want to contact about something, find a reason not to.

        I have an intermediary and NEVER initiate contact. Ever. There is no reason to tell him about her teachers or what she eats for dinner or anything. If he cares to know something important, he’d ask–through email. An emergency would be the only reason I would ever initiate contact. No text, no calling. Bare minimum email, hopefully filtered by someone else so you are NEVER subjected to crazy.

    • What a nutcase. My ex has realised I’m no good for it anymore and pretty well leaves me alone (nearly 3 years down the line). It’s great.

      Hard not to bite when they push your buttons.

      I think of my ex as an insane clown.

    • kb, just another example of why texting with a disordered person is a bad idea. Send an email when you want to send email. Texting allows too much “conversation” and it is VERY hard to resist the baited hook. Send an email after you’ve check all other email and then don’t look at the inevitable disgusting reply. Or block her number on your phone.

    • I realize your post is from two years ago but I can definitely relate. My ex left right before my daughter entered high school. From that point on school became a struggle. She went through anxiety, depression, talked with councilors. I would tell the ex about how she was struggling and what she was going though and would usually get nothing in return. I don’t even think he contacted her about it. The year before she graduated her favorite grandma also passed away. The grandma that while I was at work would take her and her brother to school, pick them up or attend parent conferences while I was unable to even if their dad was at home and could have done it. He just never seemed interested in being there for anyone. After her grandma died she got even worse. Would go to school only to have a panic attack and come straight home. I didn’t know how to help her, I was constantly at her school on lunch breaks to talk to councilors and even took leave to go to school so I could sit with her in a quiet room so she good do work to catch up. And where was her dad? Senior year she missed almost the first half of school I was praying for an answer. One day she chose to go to school and panicked and ended up in the counselors office. Her normal one wasn’t there it was someone different she offered up a alternative school nearby my daughter who truly wanted to graduate and walk accepted they called me at work to see if I agreed I was like yes. I was worried about transportation but learned they had a bus. She was able to graduate and walk. This school was a blessing. She found other students who were going through struggles of their own and finally fit in. She is now attending a university. It’s been a struggle. I find it funny that the ex when he left said this divorce is only about us. Divorce is never just about a couple it’s about the children and all they suffer too. Divorce hits ever one. But for the narcissist their is only themselves. Never once has he told me thank you for supporting her, for being there for her through out all that. Heaven forbid they should see all the pain, hurt and struggles they put someone else through.

  • “while fucking our daughters boyfriend’s father”

    ^ this is just BEYOND fucked up. Unbelievable!

  • I needed this today. Coming off a 8month adrenaline custody battle rush I’m finding my focus is back to dealing with the aftermath of the explosion of my 16yr marriage. During the custody battle my sole attention was focused on winning and putting an end to it. Now that its finished I’m now emotionally focused on healing. And I’ve been finding myself having urges to make contact! I don’t but having the urge to make contact tells me I’m nowhere near meh. I won’t get that narcissistic asshole the satisfaction of making contact.

    • T2F–my therapist warned me the 9 month period is when most addicts relapse as the synapses get back in line & start craving that old “fix” (and let’s face it, these manipulative cheaters and their intermittent reinforcement are like some toxic, addictive drug). Tie yourself to the mast, and don’t listen to the Siren’s song! I’m at 9 months Thursday, my X sent a message through DD19 that he wouldn’t mind talking to me. But…. I am grateful my X *keeps* blame shifting his affairs, and doing stupid, controlling things–no temptation to contact him at all.

      • Ah! Maybe that explains some of my low mood right now. I was out and about this weekend and got really upset about seeing couples walking around together. I’m just shy of 10 months and I’ve had three cases of weird intermittent reinforcement, so now I’m anticipating the next one. Pavlov’s dogs got nothing on me!

      • Tempest I am post 9 months! I’ve had zero temptation to make contact and now I find myself wanting to reach out! I’ve put it down to having my focus fully on recovering as opposed to the first 8months I was on super high stress over the court case it left little room to “crave” contact.

        Wise therapist. I know I won’t make contact but it bothers me that I’m wanting to reach out. If I’m honest with myself I’m craving kibbles…whether we end up arguing or not just having communication with him. Makes me urgghhh that i m feeling like this. I’m taking your advice, tie myself to the mast!

        • I know, it becomes hard to remember that they really are complete and utter fucktards. Just remember that their “kibbles” are tainted with rat poison. Good luck T2F!!

          • Good information Tempest! I’m just over 6 months out, divorce already done and over. A couple of nights ago, I dreamt about him (nightmare, of course). Hadn’t done that for awhile. I’ve been having a 48-hour grief spasm, along with a pause from my journey to the land of Meh. What’s with that? I thought I was doing so well…

            • You’re mighty, Boudica R–it’s natural to have a step back now and again. Time to whip out that list of all the horrendous things cheater said & did to remind you that you’re grieving a fiction.

              Of course there is a reason why our memories gloss over painful times (or none of us would ever have a second child), but it works against us after divorcing a cheater. That’s why we need Cruelty flashcards, to remind us that they do indeed suck.

              • You’re spot on Tempest! I took a look at the “evidence” again, and threw up a little bit in my mouth. So disgusting how he behaved (and I’m sure is still behaving – trusting he STILL sucks). Do I miss him? NO!!! How can you miss a hologram of a person? I realize what I grieve is the story, my (former) story. The walking-into-the-sunset-holding-hands story. Of course, I’m writing a new story, and sometimes it’s exciting. However, sometimes it’s a bit scary for me.

        • I think it’s only natural to “crave”contact with an X. After all they were your family. It’s not just the breakup of a relationship. Your miss what you had, or at least thought you had. My mom died almost 2 years ago and I still find myself wanting to pick up the phone and call her. And with an X, they were your spouse, your lover, your friend, your roommate, your co-parent, everything. Even if things weren’t good, that’s a huge void that’s left. You’re missing your life.

          I’m struggling with the change of seasons. I always reminisce a little; you know how you get that feeling in the spring or fall? Only now it’s incredibly sad. Plus it’s non-stop triggers because his affair started last summer and I keep obsessing over what was happening when, and all the times I was duped. I try not to beat myself up for wanting him back sometimes, but this shit is hard.

        • I think the craving to talk to the X is natural to some extent. I reminded myself that after talking to X every day for fouryy one years it ended with a simple statement. She doesn’t want me talking to you. Wow, that pain was so hard to forgive or forget. Those words were the most painful second to ” no one will ever want you the way you are”. Just wow.! Not only was I discarded for a cheap fuck, she was calling the shots. I now understand this was all X’s narrative and typical of narcissistic serial cheaters discard phase. Once I got past this I forgave myself and finally saw X with the mask off. It was sadistic. At some point I had to decide whether or not I would define the rest if my life by his actions. I chose divirce, therapy, and a support system of people who got it. It was worth it to face the pain, grieve the loss of what I hoped would happen and detox from the sick twisted person who was sucking my soul. I’m back and know who I am. I’m loving, comoassionate, giving, and above all happy to be single.

        • I think sometimes we get used to the drama and when life starts to become peaceful and even out, we crave drama. Excitement. Doing the pick-me dance. And of course, if you are dealing with a disordered person, those moments of “intermittent reinforcement” are just designed to keep the hook in your mouth, so you will be around when kibbles are needed.

          Have a plan for when those feelings strike! Get a good music playlist that boosts your confidence. Call a friend. Go to the movies, even if it is noon! Exercise! Go for a walk. Cuddle a pet. You’ll get through it.

      • Hey Tempest! Well done on tying those mast knots tight! Oh the temptation to let rip with the unsaid words … the new insights … the overabundance of spackle everywhere! Good for you! xxx

      • Like a broken record, I’m going to say–again–that the “craving” for contact is a major reason to eliminate texting with X. One of the best things I did was put “Do Not Call or Text” as Jackass’s name–and then remove him from my contact list altogether. When I needed to give him information, I used his cheating venue, Facebook, as it went straight to him phone, but not to mine. After I got one response from him that left me so devastated I was crying in my yoga mat in public, I figured I never needed to read a word from him again. And I haven’t.

  • I was one of the abandoned ones. I feel like my ex picked me up for a while, gave me an extended evaluation period, found me lacking, and threw me back into the rubbish bin. I know that sounds horrible. I’m severely lacking in self-esteem, self-respect, and yada yada yada. I’m working on it. My therapist made the comparison yesterday to a heroin addict: I crave contact with my ex, I think about it all the time, and I project my vulnerability and hurt out into the world. I pretty much say “hi, I’m wwdsg, and I’m a victim.” If nothing else, looking at my ex as a drug addiction I can’t indulge in has helped me not to contact her with begging, though I still find myself thinking the right words could make her change her mind. D’oh!

    • WhichWay, that feeling that the right words would get him to understand and change his ways,THAT was one of the main things that kept me stuck to my ex. If I could just get him to understand how his crabbiness and criticisms affected us, if I could just get him to understand how valuable everything we had together was, if I could just get him to understand ….. And of course, occasionally he’d show a flash of insight or improve for a bit, chump rewards!!! The changes never lasted, of course, I think they came just to get me back from off the edge of leaving him.

      Took me a long time to understand that it wasn’t that he didn’t understand. He didn’t CARE.

      • That’s part of the mindfuck, isn’t it? How could the person with whom we shared so many good times not care? When I protested to my leaving ex that things were often really good, her reply was that of course they were; if they hadn’t been, she would have left sooner. I try to reconcile how happy she seemed (and I suppose “seemed” is the right word) with the person who left, and I can’t do it. I’m left with a weird sense of anticipation, a feeling that the person I knew will reappear. On a rational level I understand that that’s not going to happen, but there’s a hidden recess in the back of my brain, under some dirty clothes, that still holds on to the magical thinking that she’ll come around.

        • They are pod people–they look like real humans, sometimes even feign the behavior and emotions of real humans, but are missing a real emotional ticker.

          • ^^^THIS^^^
            My first reaction after DDay was that STBXH had been swapped by the Body Snatchers – Looked and moved and sounded just like the one I thought I knew, but was an absolutely empty and shallow pod and the only emotion I sensed from him was disdain. It was surreal.

        • WYDSG – to answer your question she went back to her own kind. Leave her there. Also I do get you miss her and that your heart sadly hasn’t caught up with your head. Its a slow process, in the mean time that hoping for the unicorn is not doing you any good. Beat that hopiecorn with a wooden spoon until it stops squirming.

        • WWDSG

          Good people love and have hope. They don’t cheat and discard. Forgiving a cheater and reconciling never worked. Taking responsibility for their actions allows them to justify their behavior without consequences. The next time it is worse. You deserved better. There is no answer to the “why”. I avoided the pain for years by staying with a cheating asshole. Why did I torture myself? I never wanted to face the unbearable pain. Avoiding the pain cost me many wasted years. Facing the pain set me free.

    • Good job not contacting her! You rock. Separation gave me withdrawals too. It is strange to try & release yourself from that chemical connection.
      It tests the soul and heart. It is like a regeneration from ground level. I cannot think of anything more humbling…

    • You aren’t alone WWDSG…. a lot of us still think we can change their minds with argument, talk, begging. I also did the dreaded pick me dance and it just about killed me. It was a waste of time.

      It occurred to me over the weekend, as I was at the pool with STBX and our kids, that he really believes that our family isn’t worth it. What could be better than a family? Apparently the whore and promises of “fun” and “excitement”. Oh he thinks being divorced won’t make any difference to the kids, it’s all rainbows and cherries on the other side of the fence. For six months I argued this, tried to tell him.. it did absolutely NO GOOD. I am looking forward to NC once he moves. It really doesn’t matter what you say.. I think in some ways, my H won’t change course because that would mean admitting he’s wrong and that is something he hates more than anything!!! He can’t hand me the upper hand in any way, shape or form. That’s why he never admitted his dalliances, he can’t admit his role in this mess. It has to be my fault.

      Trust that she sucks….. I know, harder to say than to do… but every time my H is nice to me, I think about the lies he’s told and the disrespect. Then I feel stronger.

      • I totally relate to the not admitting being wrong. It was always a joke with the ex and I that she had a blame deflector that went up whenever her behavior was questioned. It was only funny to me because I thought she recognized it as a problem and was working on it. I’m no longer laughing.

        I don’t know how you managed to be at a social gathering with your (stb?)x. Impressive. Most impressive.

        • Yep, I clung on to finding the magic phrase that will knock some sense into STBX for awhile too.
          No such thing…they’d rather hear you say “I’d like to remain with you while ignoring all my needs and my sole responsibility in life being feeding your ego”

          And even at that, they’d enjoy rejecting your offer too much to even consider all its benefits.

        • I don’t have any choice really. He refuses to leave the house until the settlement is “done” thinking if he leaves it will hurt his custody desires. As if that matters really. It’s all about him, what he wants. He can’t bow out gracefully and let his kids have the summer to adjust. NOOOO… it’s all about HIM.

    • WWDSG, I was abandoned too. Looking back on DDay and that following week, I think he was testing me…would I do the pick-me dance?? On DDay I told him to get out and went upstairs to pack some things….and started up the washing machine. I was stunned. What the hell? I told him he didn’t have time to wash clothes. I needed to cry my eyes out and washing clothes takes at least an hour and a half! That following week, he called every afternoon…to talk to my son. I answered the phone every day raying he would talk to me and show some love or something towards me. Nope. He would say, “Hey. How are you?” and I thought he meant it, like he really wanted to know. He didn’t. He was f’ing with me. And he asked to talk to our son. By the next week, I got smart. I’d check the caller ID and if it was him, I’d just hand the phone to my son. My heart couldn’t take it. 10 months later, he doesn’t call at all during the week. Ever.

      He still expects me to be compassionate towards him but I am seeing the gentle manipulation now. He wants me to forgive the child support arears. Hell no. He found money owed to US from a previous property we owned together. I am sure his OW whore put him up to it. He didn’t have to tell me but he is hoping I will have a soft heart for him. I’m not. I told him that I have to pay for a divorce and that takes priority over his little financial situation.

      I’ve seen him rage just once. He signed over the house to me and I gave him the title to the car he is driving (everything is in my name damn it) and then I cancelled the insurance on the car and dropped him from my policy. He was PISSED!!!! After that, I emailed him and told him that I no longer wanted him to come in the house on pick up/drop off days. Nope. Done. He will NOT be raging in MY house!!!

      Slowly getting to Meh.

    • WWDSG, the big, unexpected discard is very hard. You go from “He/she loves me” to nothing, without discussion or explanation. For me it was the most painful period in my life. The only way out is through. What helped me was this board and reading everything I could about the discard phase of being with a narcissist. If you start re-training your brain, your heart will eventually catch up. It also helped me to know that recovery from a narcissist’s discard is considered to be very difficult. I have a great therapist who helped me get through that period. After 21 months, though, I still think about “what would I do if Jackass sent a letter, an email or knocked on my door. But now I can push that thought aside like I push aside my craving for brownies. I’ve worked too hard to let myself go down that road again. So it will take time and commitment, but you can get your mind and heart back.

  • It’s funny, but I have always leaned toward No Contact with anyone that I don’t like, even when i was a kid. I’ve always joked that you can always tell who i don’t like by the fact that I will avoid them and never talk to them. For example, when ex MIL pissed me off, I never voluntarily contacted her again. But having children with an ex keeps them in your life when ordinarily you can forget they ever existed.

    • Not Juliet…that’s my reaction too. If I don’t like you or your behavior, I avoid you like the plague. I went No Contact with my POS H before I knew it was the thing I should do to relieve the stress. Your body does know what is good for it. We just need to listen to our body signals & avoid triggers of stress. Hard to forget they ever existed but the pain lessens with no contact and time. Still waiting for my ‘meh’ to arrive.

  • It’s hard KBChump because we assume that they are a normal loving parent. And a normal loving parent would be interested in a child’s academic progress and Thank You for sharing.

    It has taken me a long time to realize that I am a very very VERY different kind of person from my X.
    In fact, I think I projected my ideals onto him ( who I needed him to be – good provider, solid life partner, Father figure).
    Looking back, he really floundered in all of those areas – but I kept spackling like crazy because I needed him to be those things and could not handle that maybe he just wasn’t.

    That’s hard for us to swallow – it makes me want to force him to “man up”, but ultimately going NC as much as I can while co-parenting our kids had helped me reach CL’s state if MEH.

    She’s a shitty person and a shitty Mother. That’s not your fault. You cannot change or or make her understand. Stop trying. You are the solid parent in your kid’s life and you deserve a gold star for that!

    • Thanks for that, and yes a “thanks for sharing” was what I was expecting, not a damn lecture on what a terrific parent she was …before she bailed out.

  • I’m pretty sure he is with her right now. I went to the beach with my sister, kids are at camp, and he won’t answer the phone. He says he loves me and wants to come home, but I know he is with her today.

    • mine did that, crying on saying its you i love and want and i just want things back to normal, all the time still seeing ow but would never admit to it even though i knew he was as she kept making fake FB accounts to tell me about all the lies he was telling her and me, then next time how happy their were, both NARC arseholes

    • Fill your day with activities, Twitching, and block his calls so that he can’t contact you with his mindfuckery.

    • Boy I know that feeling.. that nagging stomach gut feeling. Don’t ignore it. You have instincts for a reason. Watch what he does not what he says.

    • Having “phone problems” and not taking calls is a universal warning – mine loved me and wanted to come home too. He would be making plans with me for next day then come back from the bathroom vague and back tracking because he had just been texting her in there.
      What it usually means is that he is telling you one story and her another – probably all lies.

  • You all know I wrote in almost 2.5 months ago, and that was when I really began to implement NC with my XH. NC (and not having my XH over at my apartment anymore) has been glorious. I love not having his fucked-up-ness in my life.

    He still tries, mostly “pity me” plays. He has no money for gas and he’s walking to work. He’s getting evicted from his apartment. He got caught driving without insurance 6 months ago and blew off his court date so his license was suspended, and then he got caught driving on a suspended license, so his car was impounded. He doesn’t think he’s a good father (um, he’s not!). He thinks the only reason I’m demanding past-due child support is to hurt him and that I’m not asking for it nicely enough.

    I just ignore him. I remind him that these things are not my problem. I tell him to ask the EA partner or his ex-OW for help. And I move on.

    He really, really cannot seem to wrap his mind around a world where I just don’t care about him or his problems and want only to be left alone. A world that he isn’t the center of. A world where he doesn’t matter.

    Life’s better here.

    • “He really, really cannot seem to wrap his mind around a world where I just don’t care about him or his problems and want only to be left alone.”

      I know how he feels, and I was the one who was left. My ex accused me of taking her for granted, of thinking that she’d never leave me. She acted as if I was abusing her with the mistaken belief that she was resigned to suffering whatever I threw at her. And then I read cases like yours, where your ex really was taking you for granted, and I think, WTF? I can neither understand someone treating another person the way your ex did and then on top of that expecting you to accept it, nor how my ex could think I was taking advantage of her, especially compared to asshats like yours.

      And good for you for your teflon approach to his pity plays.

      • It really amazes me how similar all these cheaters are? On our court date where I was awarded full physical custody of our 4 kids, after he manipulated and tried his best to get my kids to hate me. Through his tears and after hugging our sons for extremely long uncomfortable moments for everyone especially them. He gets in my face and tells me that I took him for granted and I was going to fail.
        What good parent wants their kids to have to live in any kind of failure?
        Sad thing is at the time I believed it. I felt so bad about it and I lived with that in my head for a long time, that I took having him to help me parent for granted so that is why he picked his secretary over me and his family.
        These cheaters are master manipulators and know how to make us chumps feel the pain they are incapable of feeling because they don’t let themselves see the truth.
        Honestly, I have a hard time with NC mostly because I want to share with someone the joys and hardships of parenting. But, he made his choice and with that he chooses to only be a dad every other weekend.
        I’m getting better, but it’s still an everyday struggle. I had to sit with him with our youngest in between us while our oldest graduated this past weekend. He was texting his “new” love of his life the whole time his new GF of 3 months that was wearing a “promise” ring the first time he introduces our kids to her.
        Sometimes I wonder how I didn’t see what a douche he really is???? I made him into the dad I wanted him to be, he obliviously has no clue without my guidance.
        I did slip and email him to tell him what I thought about the introduction, it backfired on me and now he is in damage control and all the kids are fine with his new chump and her 4 kids.
        I learned my lesson, I have to let him screw up and own it. I’m not there to fix it anymore.

        • I totally agree with you. They all do the same thing. I heard of a book called “The Script” and it’s about how everyone who’s been caught cheating has the same response. I’m convinced there are “Them” and then there is “Us”. I’m going to try so hard to let my son see his father for the egomaniacal jerk he is. I’ve tried so hard to protect my son from it for the last 2 years that I’m feeling like it may backfire on me. It stinks, but my son will be better off seeing it rather than the facade that’s put up. It pisses me off how one person can mess with so many lives.

  • i was no contact with my ex, for a month now and wasn’t even that fussed about contacting hm, as i knew he would start the games or ignore me, he has sent me a few emails but i ignored them, till today, i only need to contact him about the house as he is agreeing to sign it over to me, but its taking longer than i thought and the cost. he asked me first and i replied, kept it all business like, but i was shaking and feeling sick when i wrote it and waited for his reply. well back to no contact and i was doing so good

  • It’s not the 180. It’s not some passive-aggressive silent treatment to get your wingnut to behave.

    I don’t agree with the above. And there are some relationships that you cannot completely cut off. That would include the other parent of your children and other relatives.

    I have learned to minimise contact with my mother and the results have been positive for me.

    • I conduct all business about the children with my X by email or text–no actual contact, and it is much better for me emotionally.

      • I only use texts to discuss the kids. I do not utter a word at pick up or drop off. I ignore many of his texts as well. I only answer what needs to be answered and it do it when it suits me, not on the time schedule he tries to impose.

    • I’m saying don’t do “no contact” to get a reaction from your cheater, with the hopes that they’ll miss you or change. You do it to protect your sanity.

      Yes, of course there are relationships you can only minimize but not NC. (Like if you have to co-parent with your ex.) Boundaries are a wonderful thing.

      • I’m the chump who’s husband of 6 months cheated and blamed me for pushing him away. Oh did I mention I was 4.5 months pregnant, currently 6.5 month. Against the advice of this site I’ve been in contact with my STBX for the sole purpose of getting him off my properties (that he does not own nor has he ever paid a cent for but since we were married 6 months he is entitled to?). I also thought for the child sake I should have a relationship with the father. I felt if I made things too difficult for the ex he wouldn’t come around and always blame me when his child asked where was he all his life. The last 2 months I have been strung along, we have agreed to financial and property issues only for him to re-nag, we agreed no lawyers to which he then hired a 400hr lawyer, Ive been threatened, insulted and accused of various things. Now in the process of getting my own lawyer cause I’m really not sure what his endgame could possibly be.
        So I get it, no Contact and I am currently practicing NC. Life is good with NC. I want to continue NC. I understand that no matter what I do he will always find a way to blame me so I need to stop the worry. My question is, with a child how much is too much NC. he just text me ‘how is our baby??’,, usually I get a text every 2 week asking ‘how is THE baby??’ but since NC it has suddenly turned into OUR baby- like he is trying to remind me half is his and I’m not allowed to ignore his stupid questions. I have 10 weeks before this baby is born. In the meantime ours lawyers will be doing the communicating. What will happen when the babe comes? How can he visit the child without me there. I was reading another article here, where a woman said her ex was watching her kids at her home while she was working and you advised that is not a great idea. And for her it hadn’t been. I guess in my mind I thought if he really wanted to be a part of babe life he could watch him 3 days a week (his days off) while i went to work. This would happen in my home cause I could pop in to breast feed as I work close to home. The thought of my ex in my home is now making me sick. In fact the thought of him and his narc mother around at delivery time also make me sick. Does anyone have any ideas on how to do this with an infant?? This is my first child. Trying to figure out some healthy boundaries.
        Bear7656

        • Hi! It’s very difficult when it comes to kids involved. My STBX “babysits” our son while I’m at work in the home we own together, but only my son and I live in. I did that originally for my son’s sake because when we separated my son was 5 and starting kindergarten. He took the split very hard and I wanted my son to be comfortable in his home. It’s going to be coming to an end because I’m getting ready to file papers and change the locks. If I could give you one piece of advice on this its to set yourself and your baby up where you don’t need the father of possible. I wish I’d left when my son was younger. My staying only made it harder on my little boy because he’d had the facade of normalcy to make him feel secure. Things are better now but it’s been hard. Keep things as separate as possible. My heart goes out to you because my jerk cheated when I just had my baby. All I wanted was to make things go back to what I thought was happy, so I spackled my way through years and still ended up here. But here is better than I thought. You will get through this. It will be you and your baby against the world! Don’t believe a word he says. You can work out all the details however you want with your attorney. Go that route. Keep it separate!

  • There is one downside; they get to walk away without any repercussions. Totally pain free from their perspective. I mean, how lucky are they that their chump didn’t even demand answers, ask for explanations or give them a hard time? The chump just went quiet in order to lick their wounds.

    This is what I struggle with. I haven’t had a single apology (even a fake one) and she’s free to live her life without hearing from me (except for children)

    • It does suck, Matt. However, letting them walk away without repercussions means you get to walk away, too. Nothing you say to these cheaters is going to cause them pain; they aren’t capable of guilt or empathy.

    • Matt, the repercussions are you’re not in their life. You are no longer of use — even if that’s as their favorite whipping boy. Or their number one fan. Or their object of blameshifting.

      You’ve ceased to be kibbles.

      The worst injury to a narc is NC. A lack of centrality.

      They don’t love it when you stop demanding answers. Oh! I’m off scott free! Sure, you annoy and upset them, but your attention is still CENTRALITY, which they LOVE.

      You’re trying to shame them, hold them to some accountability. That’s never going to work. They just hear KIBBLES!

      When you stop engaging, they notice.

      And as Tempest points out — it’s better for your sanity this way.

      • Matt – that downside is just the upside flipped over. As long as you ask questions, demand apologies, berate them and try to understand their shit you are giving them power over you. They could explain, tell you why, be honest and set the record straight but it will not happen and, even if it did, would be of little help.
        I have learned slowly and painfully not to go there – I have had the occasional lapse – this has done me the favour of reminding me just what I am not missing about having this guy poking in and out of my life as the mood takes him.
        I no longer want to win as I have quit playing. I am polite and civil when necessary. I stick to practical matters. I treat it like a business arrangement. I no longer do emotion with this guy.
        Whether he is happy, sad or indifferent is his business – maybe he is full of unspoken regret – maybe he is loving every minute of his new life. The goal of getting to meh is that it matters less and less to you what this person thinks, feels, says and does. Closing that door can free you up.

      • I think chumps have a sense of justice, and fair play and empathy — all of these otherwise wonderful attributes only make you vulnerable to the manipulations of the Disordered Ones.

        Look at NC not as them getting away with anything, but as you receiving a Get Out of Jail Free card. You no longer have to listen to lies, they never really are sorry about anything (except maybe that they got caught) anyway, so why waste more of your time listening to them lie again? You are not responsible for their actions, or their duplicity. You are legally free of any association with them.

        If they have a problem, so what? It is not your problem.

        Also, I do not think they get away with anything, really. They may steal a few possessions, and waste a lot of your time — but I have seen Narcissists age, and it is not pretty. They lie so much they even lie to themselves, and they cannot acknowledge that they are not the Splendid Person they believe themselves to be. I have witnessed aging Romeo’s being told to get lost by pretty young girls. I saw one in a department store the other day trying to pick up the saleswoman, and when that failed, a customer, and he told the customer all about how wonderful he was and how virile, even at his age (possibly 90?) and how he had been turned down by several women who told him he was too old. He couldn’t believe it! He was oblivious to the laughter of other customers and nearby staff members. He smiled while he was flirting and talking and showed off all seven and a half teeth. He was totally serious about how wonderful he was. I think if you disconnect from reality that much, it is really a sad condition to be in. They are actually their own worst enemy, because they drive off anyone who could have loved them and made a commitment to them, and in the end they are the most alone people in the world.

        You did not deserve to be hurt and used in the manner you were hurt and used. But you have your integrity, honor, and a soul. From where I sit, you are the winner.

        • Portia, that’s what I call a Granny Whore, lol. Applies to both sexes. Nothing grosser, especially to young folks. There is nothing wrong with age, and that is what they just don’t get.

          • The worst part about it (I’m guessing here) is that he flirts with women who are far too young for him, like the saleswoman and the customer who were maybe 30 and 40. I think it is because he perceives any age appropriate woman to be too old for him. He could attend any church in our area and find women in their 70’s and 80’s who are widows and who are lonely, and may want companionship, even if he is still 10 or 20 years older than they are. But he thinks he is VIRILE!! If you’ve been in any nursing homes the few old men are treated like prize roosters in the henhouse because there are more women there, usually. But many of the old coots want to flirt with the young nurses and nurses aids. They have no sense of what they look like, or what they can actually do. It can be a really lonely time of life if you do not know how to both be and find a good companion to share your time with. I’ve heard some of the nurses talk about the old guys trying to catch them or pinch them, or expose themselves. How sad is that?

            • My last image of the X before DDay was of him leaning on a rail as my granddaughter and I were acting silly. Instead of taking a picture with us he was looking at two teenagers crotches. The girls were young and looked back with disgust. What a fucking pig. An aging narc is a pathetic dick.

    • Yes, I struggle with this too. It’s as if a crime has been committed and no one is going to pay for it. Except me and my kids. Tempest is right though.. you can’t make someone see things rationally. You can’t expect rational behavior from irrational people. At some point, you have to just move on. I know, I struggle with this too.. the injustice of it all.

      • ^^^ Yes, this! It has taken me 1.5 years to realize Cheater will never see the light. I kept hoping the right words, or marriage counselor, or individual counselor, or book, or… something, would make him realize what a jerk he is and what damage he has done. But instead I saw the light of the reality that he is who he is, and will never be able to feel empathy.

        • I used to send ex links to articles instructing one how to apologize in nice bullet points, thinking, “he’ll get it, he’ll get it.” Everyone is so right on this thread about the injustice and our need to right the injustice. This is something I struggled with greatly (and still do but only in my head now). I thought that if I wrote them both eloquent letters explaining what fucktards they were, how they robbed me of my house, life, family, hurt my children, that they would see the light. I guess I thought, “If I explain it thoroughly enough, they will get it.” Instead, AP, filed a civil stalking injunction against ME for 1 sound and reasonable letter, 1 nasty letter (as they did not respond so I escalated), a few texts (mostly imploring his new enabler to please get ex to take care of bills he agreed to pay that I was being hounded for), and 2 VMs. Turns out my teenage daughter (who I told the truth to (appropriately) and who lives with me full-time) had found an app that hid her number which she used to send some choice texts to AP (about a dozen and all very scathing). I was unaware of the texts, which came out in our court hearing (me there defending my minimal contact and arguing that it was not stalking). AP and ex there, arguing it caused her “emotional distress.”

          The judge was on my side and changed the 3 year request for no contact to 6 months, but said that because AP argued “emotional distress” he had to run with that. AP utilized a big time lawyer and they tried to charge me $5k for legal fees, which they later withdrew. Ex was there, watching, and now I realize probably soaking up the kibbles (his ex and his new “fighting” over him). Makes me sick when I think of it. I was scared shitless, defending myself, unaware of my daughter’s texts. I read a speech I had prepared about the impacts of their cheating and in that there was a grain of poetic justice, but, the moral of this story is be careful, watch your words and reactions carefully, utilize your integrity, get help to manage the dysregulated emotions they cause, focus on yourself and healing rather than pouring energy into what you cannot control, e.g., getting some kind of justice. It took me a long long time to realize I will never get justice, I need to just heal. No contact is the best thing I could have ever done. The addiction to it seems to be dwindling and I actually have some good days.

    • Matt

      Initially I wanted to see X suffer the pain I felt. Now I focus on all the things that have always mattered to me personally. This takes time. I have solid loving relationships with friends and family. My home is peaceful and there is laughter. I redecorated my home and love my job. I walk two miles along the ocean to work and back home. I go hiking with my son and I’m spending the week with my granddaughter and her friend. X sat alone at my granddaughters graduation. They get themselves when they exit. They take the lies, cheating, complaints,and live in a fantacy world of lust and disregard for all we deem important. We get to live better.

      • Donna–your posts always conjure up healing images for me–laughter in the house, granddaughter singing, new decorations that fit you. I am also warped enough, or justice-oriented enough, that the image of poor sad wittle cheater sitting all awone at graduation is satisfying!

    • Matt, after reading CL I have come to the conclusion that I will never get an apology from my x. I’m not holding my breath for one. I also have developed the view that for me, ‘meh’ will come when I can forgive myself for becoming involved with him…I won’t forgive him, but I deserve peace that comes with forgiving me….and at this point, I won’t ever speak with him again. He doesn’t deserve the time of day!

  • “I am not going to try and achieve consensus with you.” My ex craved this…and was REALLY angry when I denied it after our divorce as in “I won’t meet up with you to mess with my head.” I think it is SO tempting as a chump because I wanted to know what actually happened to piece together a narrative with the truth instead of only having swiss cheese for a narrative. But there comes a time when enough info is enough to pass a wise judgment in leaving the madness and moral bankrupt partner for good.

    • I think my H is desperate for me to say “divorce is okay with me, it’s going to be okay and I am fine with it”. Wants me to validate this choice of his, to bail on our family, to cheat, and to lie. I can’t do that. I can go NC, I can protect myself, but I can’t tell him it’s okay and I can’t be his friend. I can’t buy into his lies. I can’t believe his explanations. I can’t validate he’s the good guy and I am responsible. He wants so much to believe that narrative… desperately wants to, but I won’t validate it. It drives him nuts.

      I also got swiss cheese, less actually, mine has never admitted to fault despite mountains of evidence. At one point I even said to him “You know what’s going on, and it will eat and you until you come to grips with it”.. if that doesn’t make a person come clean, what will?

      He’s not capable of admitting fault.

      • Mine is still denying an affair to our daughter that he ADMITTED to me. I’m not sure if they try to convince themselves with repetition, just don’t want us to “win” or deliberately mindfuck us for sheer pleasure. With NC, you come to not give a damn. Have at your tawdry life, cheater.

        • I am starting to think mine believes his own lies. He has his version of the truth and it won’t ever match mine. And it doesn’t even matter.

          • Of course he does. Mine too. They can’t be honest with themselves about what they really are, hence the blameshifting and rewriting history.

  • There were some business and custody matters that I had to discuss with dumbass. He thought this was an invitation to keep telling me what to do and how wrong I am in addition to playing the “bitter” card. I simply told him to refrain from making judgements of me unless they were in haiku or iambic pentameter form. That shut him up for now. I’m sure he’s going to cycle again.

    • Lol, perhaps I’ll use that next time my ex tries to start the banter with me: “excuse me, Gollum. All judgments and criticism should be written in haiku form from this point on. Otherwise they will be rendered null and void.”

      I know it’s a bad idea to poke at them but sometimes it’s so tempting.

  • Thank you for this post today CL, it is a great reminder about one of the tools that helps speed up the healing process. To be able to have the strength to not contact when all you want to do is contact, especially at the beginning, is a great way to rebuild self-esteem. Just last week my ex husband said that he thought that we do not communicate enough. My first thought was to ask about what areas he wanted more communication about (thinking it is probably about the kids) but my response ended up as “communication will change as more time passes.” My ex-husband has another ex-wife who was way more communicative after the divorce, even listening to details about his personal life and trips that were going to be taken, etc. To me that was just way too painful, so I put a stop to that kind of communication, letting him know that I did not want to hear anything about his personal life. For me it is our kids and finances only. Any hint of more just throws me into a temporary emotional tailspin.

  • Hi CN, I received this email yesterday from my stbx. Our youngest son “tells me he needs $8 for school for the movie during his Class trip. I see he has $18 for ” the theme park. “Is correct he needs $8?” My response, “He wants to get a regular sized popcorn & drink at the movies, which costs $8.00.” “So why is it up to me to pay when he is on your parenting time??” Our youngest son was told, by myself, to ask his dad for popcorn money. Stbx was supposedly going on his class trip b/c he knew I wanted to go. Stbx has stopped paying for what he was ordered to last summer. I know it is all about CONTROL. I rarely respond to him and felt this time I should b/c it was for our son, even though I knew he would have something to say. CL is right when she calls it, “ego kibbles”. I am approximately 20 months out & I get continuous ramblings from him, I send the majority of them to my lawyer. In the beginning, i would respond immediately because I thought it would make me look bad in the courts. I learned very quickly that this was providing him with his much needed “ego kibbles”. NC is a learned must in my life. I find it difficult to understand, I know I never will, why he needs”ego kibbles” from me when he is the happiest he has ever been with his OW.

    • My ex HAD to text me to tell me she gave our daughter 10 DOLLARS to cover her extra graduation tickets she’s picking up on Wednesday….Ok…? Thanks??? Breaking news there..

      • Yep, I get celebration texts when my ex does something so totally normal. He literally took a picture of his creepy little hobbit hand holding a Flinstones Gummy Vitamins bottle to declare that he’s begun giving her those on his 1.5 days a week.

        Super, dude. Someone give this man an award.

      • The disordered discarded our lovely teenaged grandaughter who we have had half time since birth. I had to cut back on buying her clothes and gifts for her friends birthday parties. We made It through the winter months keeping the heat on 50 degrees. I can’t afford her dance lessons either. Instead we joined a gym and word out and swim laps at the pool. I have her friends over on weekends and we play cards. I will be taking them to a different beach every week and they are going to make crafts. As I hear her singing in her bedroom every weekend I am reminded of what is important in life. My children encouraged me to start dating. This is my celebration of life.

        It’s really about what we value. I wouldn’t trade this for anything.

        I am no longer the same person I was a year ago when I was discarded. I really thought my life was over. It’s just beginning.

    • Beverly, I’m so sorry. My son’s creeptacular father was exactly like that. (Worse even, he’d bum money off other parents on the school field trips.) Just give your kid the money BEFORE he goes to Dad’s. Pad the amount for extras. The $18 is worth not dealing with his disordered ass, or putting your child in the middle of his crazy.

      Now, for the bigger issues of child support? Oh document that shit and have the courts enforce it, ASAP. Keep that boot heavy on his neck. The state is the baddie there, not you. It’s your child’s money. Get that shit enforced.

      For the smaller stuff, as GALLING as it is, let it go. It’s just kibbles to them to fight over it. Yes it’s unjust. (I have a giant folder of medical bills mine never paid half of, let alone school expenses.)

      • It’s so true, CL. It’s nearing the end of the school year here and it’s the time all parents are bleeding $5 here and $20 there for the end-of-year extras. I’ve been covering everything without comment to the ex, but then I made the mistake of having him contribute a little cash for my daughter’s book fair. My punishment for this was high drama, as he decided he’d get offended that my daughter didn’t immediately report what she’d purchased with the cash and give him the proper homage.

        Lesson learned!

      • One thing I don’t understand, and I will ask my lawyer this, but doesn’t the Court order child support to be taken out of their paycheck? In my state it is a set formula of x percentage per kid, rather than a set dollar amount. I like that because presumably it would save you from going to court every time they get a raise, and if they get overtime, cp is more too. Does it not work like that?

      • My ex refused to pay his half of the $5K it cost to get our son desperately needed braces because his picking son up for 2x weekly dinner visitation, then driving son home afterwards, counted for his share of the money, according to him. Ex lived one mile away at the time.

      • XH#1 when we went to 50/50 custody that we would split all agreed upon expenses 50/50. Little did I know at the time that if he didn’t respond to a request, like Driver’s Ed, a Car, Insurance, medical bills, sports, clothes, etc.etc.etc, that he didn’t have to pay his half as he “hadn’t agreed to it”. So, just a tip for any of you that are still dealing with that. The “agreed upon” was the issue. So, I made sure that my son had everything he needed in spite of his dad.

    • Lori, looks you’re doing such a good job with the minimal contact that all he’s got left is to poke you over an $8 expense. These fools will use even the most trivial matters and act like it’s something that needs a joint parenting decision. Can you imagine if we went running to text or email every time our kids needed cash for a school project or event?

  • Going NC is the best thing I ever did. I am starting to heal and his threats and manipulations just seem petty.

    The problem is he is still manipulating my youngest son. Every bad choice he makes my son gives me some excuse like, “he is just tired mom. He isn’t sleeping.” Not my problem, his choice. He ran straight into a parked car yesterday and wrecked his only working vehicle. My son happened to drive by after it happened. The kid is freaked out and worried about his dad of course, but then tells me it was because he was so tired. OK, but whose fault is it he is not sleeping?

    The X moved out over a year ago and just now decided to work night and day to fix his home because his parents are visiting, his choice. Not my problem, but somehow I have to explain this to my son. It is my fault my son is quick with the excuses, he watched me do the same thing all of his life.

    • I heard the same stupid excuses from my adult children. “Dad is putting in a lot of overtime lately.” Are you kidding me? They have ‘shut down’ twice a year otherwise that man WOULD NEVER put in overtime. I would just like to ring my kids’ necks and say – HE IS AT THE BAR YOU IDIOTS! (Flirting with the bar tenders and patrons I’m sure….He did that right in front of me so what is stopping him from doing it when I am not there?) Deep down I think they know that – they just can’t admit he is an alcoholic cheater, liar, manipulating asshole.

    • This is one of my absolute favorite break up songs! And to think I discovered it at about the same time as I first met my STBXH! Oh the irony!

    • “I’d rather have my blood sucked out by leeches (leeches)
      Shove an icepick under a toenail or two
      I’d rather clean all the bathroom in Grand Central Station with my tongue
      Than spend one more minute with you”

  • “No contact means being DONE. Even if you don’t feel done, it’s practicing the self-discipline of done until your heart catches up with your head. It’s realizing that no good can come from engaging.”

    Agreed! It was like being in detox but over time, my head cleared and my heart caught up. NC is not in effect at the moment because we’re selling the house but as soon as that is done, I’ll be back to NC. He has one item that he was supposed to return to me in March but he keeps making excuses as to why he hasn’t. My plan is to ask one more time, then wait till the house closes and have my attorney send him a letter requesting that it be dropped off at her office. I need to get through the house closing first, hopefully without issues from him.

    • I agree, ByeByeCheater. After cutting off contact with my ex I understood how very painful it is for addicts to go through withdrawal. Luckily a friend told me “whenever you feel like calling him, call me.” It was really hard to stop communicating with the person who’d been central to my life for 36 years, but I finally did it.

  • No contact is really the ONLY thing that works. And you have to make it happen which was easier said than done in a lot of cases for me. I started to ask myself when I was starting to take the “bait”, “does he really care?, answer to that is: he didn’t care about screwing me and my kids over for some bitch at work so of course he doesn’t care what I say or how I feel…it’s just fuel.

    I love being able to do this with full confidence now. It’s liberating! Oh, you, ex mil, and new whore will be at graduation? Great! See you all there 🙂 I didn’t think the rages would ever stop and saw my life as a neverending, no light in sight of getting rid of this toxic, but once I started practicing no contact it got so much better!

  • I left, for the last time, May 1st. Asshole’s phone fucks must not be working out. The past 2 days he has been texting me and asking if he can bring me my mail, stop and say ‘hi,’ asking me over for dinner, asking me over for a drink. I have said NO to all of this – if I even respond. Finally – after I don’t respond to his final text – a few hours later I get “Can we be friends?” Um. NO. My response was “When you decide to get treatment (he is an alcoholic but doesn’t think he has a problem hahahaha), I will back you 100%, otherwise I do NOT wish to be ‘friends’ with someone who lies, deceives, and betrays me.” His response was (of course) “Treatment for what?” Then “Yes – I remember being lied to, deceived, and betrayed years ago – that was not a fun time in my life.” He is referring to an affair that I never had 15 years ago in which he constantly throws in my face. Back to the blame shift – everything is my fault because of this ficticious affair. I did not respond. My cousin reminded me that a loving relationship does not require 2 phone lines.

    • LadyStrange–I had to laugh at your post. Your X is like a little kid who sees a fairy in the garden and years later, at age 18, is still telling everyone he saw a fairy. What a dumbass.

        • Ah LadyStrange, the projection is always fun. Saddam was an alcoholic, but told everyone I was the alcoholic. When his rages escalated his abuse? That was me too, I abused the poor bastard for 17 YEARS. And of course he started accusing me of cheating after he gave me an STD.

          • Yes – I was told I was emotionally abusive. Baaa! I was abusive because I said ‘no’ when he would come home from the bar at 11:30 on a work night stinking like beer and cigarettes. He gave you an STD? OMG – what a piece of work. The guy I supposedly cheated on has Herpes. I don’t.

    • That’s funny my Ex accused me of cheating as well!!! How disgusting!!!
      He said that infront if my kids at the time of the divorce. My kids did not believe him, because they know me and they know my heart.

      • Mine thinks I’m cheating, MOW thinks her husband is cheating, they both think her SIL is cheating, everybody’s cheating. It’s one big fuck fest. When would I even be able to cheat? I’m a SAHM and home every night. And MOW complains that her husband doesn’t trust her. Do they even see the irony? Ass clowns.

  • I’m so glad we are discussing this, as we get new chumps on here every day I think this is an invaluable post for them to read and absorb.

    I found CL at the year mark of my separation. I wish it had been sooner. But by that time I was navigating my situation well, given the circumstances. Finding CL when I did was SO huge for me, though because I had just gone through my first Christmas holiday season with my STBX and it was a full month of pure hell. He used the holidays and scheduling as an avenue to get through that door that had been locked, he was gaining an open line of communication with me that I had shut off for months previously. I was worn out after the holidays and decided I could never go through another month like that again. Then I found CL and read everything I could on here, thank God.

    Since being here and understanding that my ex’s intimate betrayal wasn’t so much a personal offense directed right at me but the offense he would and will direct at anyone I’ve removed the personal aspect of the pain and have healed tremendously. I can say at 18 months out I no longer feel any pain when I think of him or our marriage. It’s a blessing and going no contact has been the last step to get me to indifference.

    Once I went NC some things happened for me:
    -STBX stopped bullying me because he would receive radio silence in return
    -STBX started to try to sneak in with niceness instead because the former wasn’t working. Once I put a stop to that, the bullying came out again. Proof that it’s not me.
    -I live my life freely and without the worry of what he will think of anything
    -I make the decisions concerning our daughter and inform him of its necessary, eliminating conversation
    -I’m no longer under siege all day every day
    -Harmony & peace have resumed in my life and drama & chaos has resumed in his

    Chumps who haven’t gone NC yet, consider the benefits just as you would about quitting smoking, joining a gym, eating organic or drinking more water. It’s a health risk to continue allowing toxicity in your life when you have the power to eliminate it. You’ve got to be strong, yes and dedicated. But if you can be dedicated to a sham of a marriage don’t you think you can be dedicated to self preservation? You should be!

  • Yesterdays and todays post have triggered some difficult emotions. I try to put on my warrior and kick ass attitude most days but lately my mask is slipping too. I just want to go back to a day and time( without him of course) that i didnt have to play these defense tactics to get thru the day. And just when I think he is done toying with me… He launches another assault. Its like living with Cato. And, well, my ninja skills are failing me.
    I did think at almost a year out his anger/rage would dissipate. I thought he and Tweeny would be off in Happyland having happy sex and eating happy cakes and happy hour is 24/7. Maybe its too much happy? He has to try and throw me a bone every now and then and fuck with my day… For ole times sake. See what kinda reaction he gets. Then he retreats off to Happyland.
    I do the business , customers always right approach… The threats are spit out like a pez dispenser.
    Its just bad for my brain and my soul. Uncle.

    • Hang in there, TheClip. You are kick ass but even warriors need some easy days. Treat yourself to some down time. Get a massage or do something that makes your heart sing.

    • Bad week for me, too…my dad’s funeral is this week. X will be there, probably sitting next to me. Fuck, fuck, fuck. X knew my dad for 35 years and the kids want him there, so there is no avoiding it. I just want to mourn my dad, but instead, I will be steeling myself to not be vulnerable to what I know will be his solicitous “concern.” Once again, I will put on a mask for the sake of my kids (plus I refuse to make a scene), when inside, I am a mess.

      My dad was old and sick and he was suffering. I know it is a mercy he has died, but he was one of the very few people that I could rely on. He was always my biggest cheerleader. He woud have helped me get through. But he is gone and I feel alone. I know X will make this all about him- how much he loved my dad, how close they were, etc. X is sick and in a wheelchair, so any negative reaction on my part will make me look like the wicked witch of the west. So, I get to suck it up, hide my true feelings, and probably still get labeled the cold hearted bitch. It fucking sucks!

      • Prayers for you, Violet. You can do it. You know the truth and that’s all that matters. When my first husband died, all his family had been feuding, unfortunately including me. I was very gracious, included them in the arrangements and I never regretted it. Just try to ignore him and honor the occasion and your father.

      • Twins Dad, when I was married to first husband, abuser, NOT the Cheater. I had a motto. I would repeat it in times of trouble. In other words, daily, lol. It was “Lose the battle, Win the war.”. To me, this meant You have me down today, loser, but one day you will not.

        It kept me a little safer than confronting him and I could think what I damn well pleased. I lived to see another day, and he has been in the cemetery almost 16 years. War won.

      • I’m sorry for your loss, Violet, especially since your father was a good support to you. With any luck you can see through ex’s behavior as if you were some disconnected, outside observer. You know how he’ll behave: predictably and in a disordered fashion. You know what you’re dealing with here.

        I know you don’t want to make a scene, but you are also grieving, and your X is an X for a reason. Anyone who expects you to treat your X warmly in the midst of you grieving your parent has their own warped mental issues to worry about.

        • Every time I think about it I start crying. My dad would make some hilarious joke out of it and make me see the absurdity of it all. As it is, I’ll have to deal with my crazy family (some of them are great, but a couple of them love drama) and try to navigate the whole situation. If I can focus on what is important, I’ll get through. Can’t go under it, can’t go over it. Have to go through it.

          • Echoing Lina, my heart goes out to you. I wish I had better wisdom to impart. Hang in there.

          • I lost my dad in early April so your post touched me. My ex did not attend the funeral due to distance but he did call me and sent a sympathy card to my family. I just accepted the call and card with grace but continued with NC. Its another loss Violet and bereavement is a vulnerable time so you take care.
            Hold your head high and make the priority respecting the memory of your father.

      • I hope you can find the peace to grieve your father without fear of what your X or anyone else at the funeral thinks. As your biggest cheerleader, I suspect your father would have wanted nothing less for you. Best wishes and my sympathy as you navigate this painful loss.

        • You take care of yourself. And your kids. Praying for you. I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t know how I would handle it – but definitely with less grace than you will. Grieve your dad, and don’t let anyone get in the way. That is your loss. Not his. Again – take care. Hugs.

      • Violet, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. As others have said, it’s *your* time to grieve, and in the moment I think everything else will fall away and it will be about your relationship with your dad. That’s what happened at my dad’s funeral–all the BS drama I had been so frustrated by beforehand just literally fell away. Wishing you peace of mind and heart, and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

      • Violet: I’m sorry for your loss. And I understand your kids want him at the funeral. Not clear why he has to sit next to you. Presumably you’ll be in a front seat with your ?siblings? Can’t cheater sit somewhere else, since he’s not technically part of the family?

    • Clip, yesterday triggered me too. So much so that I posted about it in the forums. Reading that letter was a tough outsider look into what I was dealing with last year.

      My ex has also been initiating some weird text & phone conversations with me recently while just moving in with his girlfriend. What’s the effing point? Oh yeah, kibbles….

      Ignore and forge on!

    • TheClip–I’m sorry. You have had a tough row to hoe with your psychopath. Does your daughter have a cell phone? She could field some of the contact about arrangements, etc. Could you answer him with only emoticons–thumbs up, wink, smiley face with braces?

      • He takes her phone and goes thru it. Like a forensic search. I wouldnt be surprised if he has put some tracking apps on it. So we communicate very little when she is there. He has erased mesaages I have sent her. I have resolved to not speaking with her because he has her begging to get her phone back …its just easier not to speak with her. Its way too much stress for her. I kiss her on sunday and tell her ‘save up all yr stories for tuesday night when yr home. ‘ and it bugsthe crap out of him that i dont call her…he wants so bad to prevent us from speaking… So i dont give him the opportunity to play games. I just dont call.
        But god forbide she doesnt answer her phone the minute he calls. He has called her phone 9 times in anrow and then will alternate between my phone and hers… Think it was 36 calls last time… And texts me ‘ u think u can keep her from me! Oh you wanna play? Lets play. Lets see if u speak with her on my time. Ya , kiss her goodbye next sunday its the last time u will see her’ and on and on…. We were at a movie… With phone off.
        I just want to wake up one morning and not have to fucking think about it.

        • He is an evil, domineering MFPOS. It’s not surprising that you have days where you feel you can’t carry that burden anymore; the stress is chronic & without respite. I can only hope that all that vitriol is clogging his arteries daily and that his heart attack, when it comes, is on the order of the Big Bang.

        • That is one sick motherfucker with some serious control issues. 36 phone calls? For a kid who’s 11? And at the movies?

          You’re right to be alarmed. I hope you can talk to someone in your life and get people involved before anything really happens. Is there a domestic abuse place? I know you’re divorced now, but there’s got to be someplace you can get this on record and get help. Does your family know? Your friends? Big hugs to you, TheClip.

          • Thanks to u both. He is malignant. Everyone is on high alert. Family and select friends know the plan. Its hard because he is brass in the department.
            I know there are chumps worse than I. Idiot needs me to keep the ‘ good ex wife persona. ‘ In his words’ i left you very comfortable’ and that is somewhat true. I didnt lose my home or have to replace anything. He even paid for the car. But again… Its all image control. I had a very understanding judge and Idiot had to keep face in court too.I have to hear how he keeps me and i should thank him. To his coworkers i am sure he looks like the good guy…. No one would suspect he is a twisted fuck. He knows how to play the game alright.
            I find solace here. And i thank everyone.

    • I totally know what you mean. I don’t love him anymore and I thought that was impossible but it wasn’t. I don’t even like him. His rage has hit so many highs throughout my FINAL NC. He’s looking for revenge because I refused to sleep with him. The newest revenge is on me is to introduce my son to his skank. I’m reeling over this and theres not much I can do about it. My friends are all telling me to let him do it because then he won’t have it to hold over my head. I’m trying to go with that but I’m still so upset. It feels like D day all over again but worse because I truly love my son. Stay strong. Once you see them for what they truly are you can’t go back.

      • Amen. Michelle, I seriously don’t think you can love someone after that cheat on you. I think you can have some emotions that can be mistaken for love, but the chance for real love is over.

        When i realized that was when I put down the hopium pipe for good. Things were actually going along pretty well superficially. But deep down I knew 1) things were not right 2) things could never be right, because 3) there was nothing that could ever be done that could make it right. Once your spouse dates someone outside your marriage it just really is all over. Glad you got away from this guy.

      • Everytime I saw mine after D-day (even when he was still in the house), the primitive part of my brain shouted, “Danger! danger!” There’s no recovery from that.

        • It’s sad because I know that feeling too. It’s PTSD. It doesn’t go away without a lot of help. I found a woman’s name on here. Melanie Tonia Evans. She helps with abuse addiction and PTSD. She and Chumplady have helped me a lot.

  • No contact is best. I don’t believe in that whole shitty let’s get along for the kids thing because frankly I want to model what it looks like to not have crazy hurtful people in my life. Boundaries, healthy boundaries, are good. As Chumps we want to believe these people are capable of empathy and that they are sorry for hurting us. Nope. Never going to happen. They are missing something and will never “get it.” My marriage was a lesson in futility. Communicating with my ex was a joke because he was *never* concerned with what I wanted. Hard to have a relationship with someone whose whole existence is all about “me, me, me.” It was never about us.

    • Totally agree! My D6 asks me why ex and I can’t be friends. I tell her that I can never be friends with someone who has treated me the way the ex has and I wouldn’t want her to be friends with someone who treats her poorly either. I am not mean or nasty to him, but I am not nice either. I say only what’s has to be said and no more.

  • No contact is the only way. I share a daughter with my ex and I communicate only by text or email.

    He only engages with me if he needs something. I try to think of what is best for my daughter and reply in kind but I always wait and think through what I need to do in that situation. He 100% knows how to push my buttons. If I don’t comply he threatens (subtly of course) financial punishment. He’s a real asshole.

    Over the past year I’ve learned no contact. I rarely and I mean rarely communicate with him now. If it’s anything of importance it goes in an email. If he dicks me around I stop responding and let him know it’s a NO. He hates that. He then goes back to the rock he slithered out from.

    And CL is right. Thankfully my ex has a girlfriend and thank goodness because that takes the pressure off of me. I know without that he’d be worse. She’s a vulnerable woman and while I’d love to warn her, I know that goes against no contact. She’ll learn as well. Oh boy will she ever.

    Peace = no contact.

  • Hi all – new here, but so glad I stumbled across this site this morning! I’ve finally realized that my cheating ex who abandoned my two children and I in January is a Narc. After endless hours researching online about his bizarre behavior – really, everything “seemed” fine between us until I caught him cheating (and he STILL DENIES, even with evidence) – I stopped and started back at the beginning, writing our history. I was a chump from the beginning and he capitalized on my misery for over 10 years. I am still being made to feel like I’m the crazy one, that there is no romance between he and this girl and that I am only emotionally reacting to him “falling out of love with me” because I’m codependent. What? His best friend just confirmed that he met the girl (I say girl, she’s 10 years younger). Everything is projected onto me, it’s my fault because I didn’t appreciate him, and he’s very “sorry” that I feel the way I do. And now he’s love bombing our children, who in the past 10 years has had NO interest in raising or paying attention. My poor babies are so confused – and he refuses to tell them that he isn’t coming back. I’m just now realizing that I need to get an attorney because trying to deal with him civilly is not an option. I’m only 5 months out from the abandonment, and up until about two weeks ago, he had been stringing me along with hopes of reconciliation. I found out about the affair a week before Thanksgiving and it’s been hell since. How do I go no contact when I have children with him? He’s currently living on his parent’s couch (when he has the kids, no one has any idea where he lives otherwise) and since his parents are there to basically supervise, it’s currently the ONLY reason I let them stay with him. And they love their dad – but they know something is not right. Any advice is helpful – this person is not the person I feel in love with, he’s a monster who pretty much lied to get me to fall in love with him, I married him because I got pregnant, and then he stopped paying attention to me and treated me like I was sub-par to his superiority (which is still pretty ironic to me considering he hasn’t done SHIT to be a man – never had a real job or any prospects while we were married, got fired from his last job in 2010 and decided to mooch off me for the past 5 years while he’s been in school for nursing – and STILL isn’t finished. Talk about a fuckwad.), cheated on me 6 weeks after our daughter was born, and been nothing but a real piece of shit since. I was so blind to all of this because I’m loyal and I love my children and family is important to me. He always knew when I started opening my eyes to his bullshit and would swoop in and love bomb me all over again. Sick games. And I certainly feel like a chump.

    • My kids when they first stayed with their father had to take our camp beds with them as he had taken the second room of his mothers small two bedroom apartment and they had to sleep on the camp beds in the combined lounge/kitchen/dinning area, he then put the sofa bed in that area for them to sleep on several months later. My XH is such a pathetic dick that he did not see anything wrong with our 9yr old with IV line sticking out of her chest sleeping on camp bed on his mothers floor. And the shitty thing is we are expected to allow them access or we are seen as being unreasonable.
      Hang in their you can manage a level of NC even with kids. And if you are lucky your Ex will expose himself as being a Narc.

    • I’m sorry you have reason to be here, WJH, but keep reading here and your X’s behavior will start to make sense (or at least as much sense as a soulless asshole is capable of). And you’ll get stronger at resisting his nonsense.

    • Be glad he’s out of your house. That’s a big custody advantage…. get to a lawyer ASAP and document his crazy.. tell your lawyer everything. Big hugs. You are a chump no more! You are mighty.

    • WhatJustHappened. Can you find yourself to the Forums here and post this there. You will get many more responses.
      So sorry you are finding yourself here – a place nobody ever thought they’d find themselves at. We all have been through similar or exactly the same scenarios and can sure try to help.

  • I love Tempest’s comment that they are Pod people.
    I come to realise some time back that my XH was a mimic. He was just fine in our relationship if he had a quiet, calm happy exterior to mimic. But as I became more frustrated and suspicious of his behaviour, and I would confront him prior to d’day he would just shut down, deny and then shift it all back on to me that I must be struggling some how and should probably seek the support of someone. Which bulldozed a weak self esteem creating a vicious cycle of shame, guilt and confusion. When D’day hit and he finally admitted to what he had been doing he packed it all up and FedEx’ed to the far reaches of his brain never to be seen again. He did not like that I was angry as he did not understand why, as he stated. ” I don’t understand why you are so hurt over this, I just don’t get it” from then on he would claim he had issues he needed to work on but so did I, choosing to end the marriage was on me. He then hid behind other people refusing to discuss anything with me unless certain people were present ( church elders) because I left the church they refused this mediate between us as in their view I ” had removed myself from their authority”. Having to deal with my XH and his fuck your manner while caring for our daughter last year In hospital almost broke me. But I got through by following CL’s advise and going no contact. The joy is my XH has in a sense always been NC even when we were married. Since D’day XH will communicate with me When he wants something, but as soon as he does not get the response he wants from me he just does not engage with me, he has no concept of negotiation and he still behaves like it is my job to preempt what he might want or need and make it happen. Initially he would try to get others to negotiate for him. I have had to politely put a stop to this. So a week ago as I sat before a judge with my XH now requesting week about visitation with two of our three children. I was pleased to hear the judge ask “and how do the two parties get along”
    his solicitor “fairly well your honour”
    my solicitor ” not at all your honour” judge to XH’s solicitor ” for week about visitation to be successful the two parties need good communication, it is evident that you haven’t thought that through, have you?
    We are adjourned till October.

    Going NC gives you breathing space and allows you to look at their shit objectively. I still instantly go into fight or flight mode when I see his name come up on my phone but as time has gone on ( I am 16 months post D’day) it keeps getting easier.

  • I’m totally on board with NC and try to practice it as best I can while co-parenting with my fucktard ex. It is hard when I have to see her twice a week on transition days. I never engage in any discussion that is about anything other than our kids and their immediate needs.

    One problem that I am having is the daydreams/mind movies that keep playing in my head where I finally tell her off. I tell her, AP, her father (who is also a cheater and supports her) what I think of them and get it off my chest. This seems almost like a symptom of PTSD – flashbacks – where I do or say what I wish I would have at various times in the past. My IC suggested I write an email to my ex to do this. Haven’t tried it yet but I have written several letters like this that I never sent since it was during the divorce process and such a letter would not have helped matters then.

    A recent text from my ex read as follows:

    “I have been nothing but supportive about (your new girlfriend) when the boys have come complaining about her….I would hope in time (for the well being and best interest if the boys and their precious lives) that you could do the same about (AP).”

    I wanted to answer with something like, “I suppose the well being and best interest of our boys is what you were thinking about each time you’ve had some other dudes dick in your mouth, huh?” I’m thinking this might help to satisfy my apparent need to tell her off with reduced consequences since the divorce has been final a few months now. But I’m also worried that it will result in her taking out her rage on our children. I don’t need to unload my baggage so much that I am willing to risk negative consequences for my kids. So NC continues…

    • TwinsDad–write the letters to her, then burn them. It feels better to get out the emotions (and you can kind of trick your brain into thinking that you did tell her off, at least for purposes of relieving tension). I can’t tell you how many emails and letters I have written but never sent (and conversations where I mentally berate X when walking the dogs–neighbors all think I’m nuts!).

      • Thanks Tempest! I know exactly what you mean about the conversations while walking the dogs. I catch myself doing that while I’m mowing the grass sometimes. Hoping my neighbors haven’t seen me!

        I’ve also written lots of emails and letters over the last 5 years that I’ve never sent – to her, her father, the three APs before the straw (think camel). Never sent them. It helps for a while, but the “visions” keep coming back. Seems like her texts and emails, like the one above, always trigger it. She seems to send something like this to me about every 2-4 weeks now. I think my IC was thinking that if I address my feeling with a short, snarky reply, it might head off the visions. I’m just worried about the fallout.

        • Twinsdad, I disagree with your IC, your ex could use it against you if she ever decided to screw with custody, or say she felt threatened and make some shit up to go with your email. If YOU really think telling her off will make you feel better, go for it. If you do, take a page from the asshole cheater handbook, tell her in private and with zero witnesses. Protect yourself is what I’m saying

    • TwinsDad, I also disagree with your counselor on writing out your feelings to your ex. It would be a point in futility and could possibly be used against you. Give up the hope that you can make her understand what her decisions have cost you. She will never understand your depth of pain.

      I also had trouble with scenes that replayed through my mind. One of the more tormenting was my ex looking out the window of the door right before he walked out. With his back facing me, he said “When I look in my future, YOU’RE not in it.” That just traumatized me to death by replaying over and over in my head. Then one day I had an idea. I reimagined the scene with two people from my childhood present — my grandmothers. I envisioned a grandmother on each side of me as my ex said the horrible sentence. Then one grandmother put her arm around me and said you’re going to be okay (she was the one who’s ex abandoned her with 5 kids). Then I imagined the other grandmother saying “We will always love you” (she’s the one that I stayed with during the summers). After reimagining the scene like this several times it finally lost it’s power to traumatize me and the replays stop. I read somewhere that the brain doesn’t always understand whether something is real or imagined, you can actually overwrite memories. Anyway, hope this helps!

      • Lyn, that is such a lovely idea, it make me quite tearful! I adored my grandparents (particularly my granddad). I suddenly realised that actually, I visualise them ‘there’ really often … I just hadn’t realised it myself! The only trouble is, often these .. ah hem .. daydreams end in a brawl with my grandad (he was a Liverpool Docker) beating ‘The Great I Am’ to a bloody pulp on the floor and I have to step in to intervene …. LOL Guess ‘the girl’s got issues’! 😀 xxx
        Thanx

  • If you cannot go full NC immediately because of children, or business that must be taken care of before you are actually free — make it a goal. Every day you live through without having actual contact makes you a day closer to achieving your goal. Most things do not have to be addressed immediately. If a proposal is made — text back “I’m considering the proposal”. All you have to do is acknowledge you received the communication about your children or about your business. You do not have to respond with Yes or No or WTF.

    Children are only in your custody for a limited amount of time, anyway. The older they get, the more independent they become (hopefully). You also have to learn to trust your children’s intelligence. Sure they love both of their parents — but they probably have been communicating with each of you in a different way since early childhood — because they know how to get what they want from you, and how to get what they want from your STBX.

    My son’s still love their dad — even though they clearly see all his weaknesses. Here is an example: One Christmas their grandfather had sent some money to the boys, in care of their father. They knew their dad had their money. When they asked for it, he told them he had already spent their money on the hotel room where they were vacationing. The boys did not understand why they were paying for the room, but figured their dad must be tight on $. Then he took them to visit the new girlfriend du jour, and amazingly he presented her a gift, from a jewelry store. A gift that cost roughly the same amount of $ grandfather had sent for their gift. My boys checked it out at the mall, later that day. They were not stupid, they could add up all the clues. They knew their dad had taken their Christmas $ from grandfather, and used it to buy a gift for girlfriend du jour. They were pissed. But they still love their dad. They told me about it when they got home. There was nothing I could do about what had happened, except I did tell grandfather that if he wanted his $ to go to the boys, he needed to send it to them directly at my address, because his son had spent the $ intended for his grandsons on the girlfriend. Grandfather was not amused. Even though dear ole dad denied it, he could not tell grandfather what the boys had picked out with their Christmas $. So sad for dear old dad. I never said anything to him, because it would not have changed what happened. The fact that everyone knew he was a jerk was something I enjoyed, but it barely made an impression on him.

    You cannot tell other people what to think or who to love. I trust that my son’s will put all the pieces of the puzzle together eventually, but in the meantime, I cannot fault them for loving their father in spite of his many faults. I suspect I may have a few faults myself, and I appreciate that they still love me, too. The bonus for me is that now I can go for months at a time without even having to hear about dear old dad’s latest selfish shenanigan. As long as he is alive and as long as I am communicating with my (now, adult) children, I will hear bits and pieces. But it stopped hurting a long, long time ago. Thankfully.

    If you remove the toxin, it can no longer poison you.

    • A father spending his kids’ x-mas money – heartless. What an ass….. I can guarantee your kids will NEVER forget it either! That is one of those ‘memories’ that last a life time. Jerk!

      • OMG, Portia, your ex takes the cake — in addition to the Christmas cash. What a selfish jerk!!!!

        I thought my ex was bad expecting our son – who is 12 – to use his allowance to take dear ole dad out during visitation days. Got so bad, I would ask Jr. if he had any money on him as he walked out the door and I’d confiscate it. Nothing quite like having to explain to your tween that it’s not appropriate for him to take Daddy and newest prosty-ho to the movies on his allowance. Gah!

        • Yes — they never seem to comprehend that any money they spend on OW of the moment is money that is supposed to be spent on the spouse and family. They can make college funds disappear, as well as homes for the family. The standard of living for the ex-spouse and children is always different if you go from two incomes to one. He sporadically paid child support, and would always plead that he was waiting on a commission if the boys asked him for anything extra — but he never seemed to have a problem coming up with vacation money for himself and whoever the OW at that time was. I think he even got some of them to pay — I know one time he had earned enough mileage points traveling with his work to pay for two round-trip tickets to Italy — so he told the OW he would pay for the tickets if she would pay for the food and hotels. So his employer actually paid for the tickets (he charged them to his card and then turned in an expense report to the employer so that he could earn the points), and the OW paid the other expenses, and Mr. Cheapskate got a free vacation.

          It took a while, but the OW always caught on — eventually. I figure it is the same principle that I use for cheating — if he will cheat with you, he will cheat on you, OW. As for being a Cheapskate, if he will spend money designated for his children on gifts for the woman of the moment, he will do the same thing with her money when he gets the opportunity. Cheater/ Thief/Liar the basic lack of character permeates all aspects of their being.

    • I’m reading your comment and praying I can eventually see and feel that. My STBX is threatening to introduce his “friend” to my 7 year old son and I’m reeling in pain like I did when we first broke up. I have no love for my X, but it’s killing me that my son might have to endure someone who knew all about him and I and played a huge part in our pain. She doesn’t care about my son. Only about what she will gain from it. It’s not fair and I’m devastated. Plus this threat came out because I refused to sleep with my X 2 weeks ago. Now all the sudden this “friend” is so important to introduce our son to. The egos are unimaginable. The jerk threatened divorce when I WOULDNT sleep with him and just to see why he’d say I asked him if I slept with him would he still go for the divorce and he said NO. You can’t make this crazy shit up.

  • TwinsDad, I relate to the desire to tell off your ex and yes I would love to say the exact thing to my XH that you want to say to your XW verbatim. But I heartily agree that to do so would only cause fallout on the kids. Lately the negative repetitive loop of what I would love to say to my XH and the new (female) love of his life has gotten stuck at times so I have begun to write it down so it is out, as a result the loop has decreased greatly.
    You are doing a great job. Hang in there.

  • This is solid advice. I have to say, minimal contact during my divorce (only legal matters), and No Contact since then, have both served me well.

    After the final D-Day, I made my own arrangements to find my own place, then moved out an hour after I told her we were getting divorced. It’s VERY hard to manipulate your spouse if…
    …your spouse lives 3 miles away…
    …and only responds to e-mails (blocks your phone calls and texts)…
    …and only responds regarding legal matters and not any of the other BS you’re peddling.

    My wife used the wholly unoriginal and pathetic cheater playbook that CL cites: self-pity, charm, and rage. For example:

    –She sent me old gifts we’d given one another with sticky notes attached saying she still loved me and wanted to spend her life with me to make more memories. (She never mentioned at all considering quitting the job where she worked with her AP.)
    –She claimed a hormonal imbalance and listed symptoms (including psychosis). (She never mentioned whether men can use “hormonal imbalance” as defense for their own sh** behavior.)
    –She lashed out at me and called me immature, mocking how I was “handling” the situation, when I made simple statements, such as, “It is your fault that we are paying 2 rents; not mine. I don’t like it any more than you do.”

    And, as CL notes, it was hard. Most of the time, I didn’t take the bait. Once or twice, I did get into it with her, still trying to explain logic to a self-centered person. But overall, I stuck to the low/no-contact plan, and focused on my goal: FINISH THE DIVORCE.

    One year since my divorce was finalized (and since I’ve spoken/written to my ex), I can look back now and see that I made the right play. Looking back at that terrible year, when I was unsure of everything except that I deserved to be treated with respect and had to get away from my wife, I now see that I was hanging on by a thread, and the No Contact play was the right play…repeatedly.

    I now see that “having strength” doesn’t have to mean you have your entire future figured out. It can simply mean that you have *one* path figured out, and you follow that firm ground until other paths present themselves.

    • JC, I also had to get away from my spouse for my sanity. I truly believe getting away from him saved me. My ex kept saying he wanted to be friends and that we’d still do family stuff together. In fact he wanted to help me move out of the house, but I didn’t want to see him at all. Asked him to stay away until I was gone. Sorted through and packed up 36 years of memories by myself, hired a moving company and got myself to a friend’s house for the next year until I could figure out what to do.

      • That’s the way, Lyn. I can’t fathom why a cheating ex would want to “help” me move, but my wife did the same as your ex did — she offered to help me pack, etc. You know…because somehow it wouldn’t be painful to pack up MY life with someone who purposefully destroyed it.

        • JC, I think with my ex it was his attempt to show that he was a good guy after all. But I agree with you, the last thing I wanted to do was see him. At the time I still loved him but I hated him at the same time. I did him a favor by refusing his help. After D-day all my focus went into protecting myself, I no longer cared what he wanted. Good to know I’m not the only chump who experienced this.

  • “I’m saying don’t do “no contact” to get a reaction from your cheater, with the hopes that they’ll miss you or change. You do it to protect your sanity.” ~ CL

    No contact saved my sanity. Cleared my head. Kept me from false reconciliation. Forced me to look at my chumpiness. Fed me the the can of spinach I needed to get stronger.

    I think this is THE MOST important step in recovery.

  • I sit here right now absolutely dying to talk to him, 11 months past D-day and 14 months since he packed a duffle bag and left. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around how after 28 years together he doesn’t feel anything for me. I switch between anger and hurt constantly. I can’t seem to make it stop, why do I miss him? How do you accept that after 28 years someone doesn’t care the least bit about you and all of those years and memories together are crap, null and void.

    • I have this, too. I walk around in disbelief that the love of my life and the person I trusted with everything could do this to me and the children.
      But I can also see that the persona I was married to wasn’t real. The real persona is the one I divorced

        • I second this. I also second that it sucks.

          What’s the Internet Meme? I don’t miss you; I miss the person I thought you were.

          It’s just mind-boggling that we can be tricked (and do our own spackling!) for years into believing somebody is something he/she is not.

    • The fact that he behaves like an asshole now, does not invalidate the years spent together and the memories. Men age badly sometimes, despite our love and attention. Just like parents can’t be blamed if a nice child commits a crime as an adult, the spouse can’t be blamed if the other person turns sour. Adults have free will, they can make horrible choices, we do not control that.
      I have a friend whose dad led a double life until his death. Two homes, two sets of children. We were never aware of it when we visited. No one was. The man indeed appeared very funny and decent. We had great moments with this family, true good times, no less valid than if he had been “normal”. I guess he could do something that most people can’t (fortunately): switch instantly between two perfectly clustered lives, with no remorse, no drama, no one to suspect anything. He was sincere in both positions, as if he was a different person. Very weird. But good memories remain good memories.
      We are not to blame for our partner’s sudden poor behavior, and since we have only one life, we can view this as the opportunity to read other pages of the great book of existence, instead of reading the same page over and over. Travelling to places he didn’t like, meeting people he couldn’t stand, doing activities that bored him, owning animals he was indifferent to, etc. Venturing outside our comfort zone, and finding ourselves.
      Big hugs to you, feelingworthless.

    • feelingworthless, I was married 31 years and together with my ex 36. I understand how it feels for you to wonder how your ex could feel nothing for you after so many years. I’m 4 years out from D-day and I can tell you it does get better. After awhile you stop wondering and you start accepting so you can go on with your life. Just know that what you’re feeling is normal.

    • Feelingworthless, what ChumpfromF said is my truth. No matter what ex was feeling or doing outside my knowledge in our 17 year relationship, my memories are mine, good times and bad, that was my reality. No one can take that away from me, least of the ex. If you don’t have a therapist you should really try it, constant obsessive thighs of your ex are not good and the stress can make you sick. Jedi hugs!

      • This is so incredibly important. I wish CL would do a whole post on how to reclaim your past. Your memories and experiences CANNOT be taken from you. If you look back at an event that was genuinely happy, it was probably because YOU put the love and time into it – and maybe your ex actually did too. If you had fun vacations with the kids and great Christmases and years that were good, those events are part of you forever and the happiness they brought you will always be valid and absolutely real. The love you poured into it at the time matters, the happiness matters, the memories matter. The WORST thing you can do is let a cheater (or anybody who turns sour on you) steal your past. They can’t unless you let them because your past belongs to you.

        • Wren

          My past was with a serial cheater with multiple partners over 41 years. Knowing your past was a lie with a narcissist filled with chaos, power, and control suddenly makes the puzzle complete. Coming to terms with this was part of the grieving process. It was beyond painful.

          I planned a garden shower at my home for my daughter with a different theme for each table. After planning for months and making all the vegan food myself it was beautiful. X got drunk on the sidelines and smoked pot within view of the guests. He did nothing. Every vacation was ruined. Nothing made him happy.

          My memories with my three children were authentic. We all looked back and they know I was the keeper of normalcy in their lives.

          I did what mattered. They thank me now as adults for making them a priority.

          I stopped myself from thinking through all the times X was unable to make plans or go places because he led a double life.

          What I have now is knowledge to guide me in making a better future. This is what I can control.

          Detaching from a toxic partner requires letting go of all the support and love you provided to make it work. It was indeed a thankless wasted effort. This is why no contact is important. It took a year and I’m no longer mourning the loss. There is clarity.

          Living your life creates new memories.

        • Wren, I second that “The WORST thing you can do is let a cheater (or anybody who turns sour on you) steal your past. They can’t unless you let them because your past belongs to you.”
          I couldn’t look at pictures of our family after DDay. I thought he had robbed me of my past. But after a while I realized that my past was real. I had real happiness. His was fake. I can look at pictures of us holding each other knowing that my feelings were real. How sad that his weren’t.

          • My ex accused me of liking everything HE INTRODUCED me too including books, bands, places, and of course people. He told me to get my own life and that I’m a loser because I have no friends. His family still cares for me and my son and I let a lot of the friends go because most of them were barflies and I’m home raising our young son. We were together for 15 years and most of that stuff we found TOGETHER. Just this past Sunday he knew I was going to the city and text me to make sure we wouldn’t run into each other. I told him its NYC. It’s a big place! And I have other interests beside only going to places where a neon shamrock hangs in the window. His ego is enormous. I refuse to look back at my past with regret. There were some good times and it’s made me who I am. It’s hard most days but 15 years is too long to erase.

  • Like Portia says, it’s a goal. I can’t get mine out of the house so there he is, living in the guest room down the hall. I wake up alone and happy in my room, say good morning to the children and then *bam* there he is, like The Godfather III “they keep pulling me back in!” Like Thankful, I find writing things down decreases the work my brain is doing with the narrative. I have already accepted I won’t get a “why” or an “explanation” but my anger is still sky high. At less than a month after d-day I don’t expect to have the capacity to deal with that yet. I’m giving myself a little leeway.

  • The magical thinking that the X will someday return as a human being was squashed by his masturbating to porn (I suspect child), dating multiple victims at a time, drug/alcohol abuse, pathological lying, hiding money, and sadistic disregard (the short list) I was addicted to loving an ass-hold. This is why I filed for divorce.

    Narcissists are so very cunning and the CHARM is appealing. Their actions never match their intentions/behavior. By going NO CONTACT we model our ability to establish boundaries with the disordered for our children. We take back our power and demand respect. X continues with manipulative attempts through children/granddaughter and I in turn discuss family trips, events, hiking, and dating.

    I have established a no return policy.

  • I totally agree with the no-contact rule. The disordered due take notes and the longer you engage, the more ammo you give them.

    I had one that just walked away, but was able to rage from a distance. “ILYBINILWY”, I tell him to leave and to leave his key. That started the rage. Moves in with whore (“I’m living with a buddy, I can’t tell you where, because I don’t trust you in your anger”). Mind you, at that point, I was shattered, not even angry. Anyway, he was pissed when I made him leave his key.

    He wanted a divorce and filed. Easy split on finances…until he goes away with his whore (he denied her even when I had proof). Comes back, “I’m not sure I want to give you that, or that, or that…” “Oh, and cancel that trip we were going to take to Australia.” I tell him, “No, I’m going on that with my friend.” He looked shocked – like he received an invisible punch. The day before my 43 birthday, I’m waiting for the airport driver so I can catch my flight to Australia. He comes over to pick up the dog, 2 minutes later the door bell rings and it’s a process server, with divorce papers. He was angry because I didn’t know if I could get the Waiver of Service signed before I left (I had received it the day before, but had it signed and notarized for him when he came over and had just handed it to him). He could have told me when the doorbell rang, but he wanted to watch me get served. To say I had an out of body experience would be putting it mildly. I have never felt such anger! I screamed at him like I have never screamed at anyone. His reply was that: “I had to protect my interest.” WTF?! So, I had 21 days to respond to this service – I’m out of the county for 13 days. What about my interests? That was the last time I had seen the person I was married to for almost 17 years.

    Oh, he took notes on my reaction to process server. I had called the whore when I came back telling her to “keep off of my husband”. Didn’t work. He get’s mad about that and texted me: “I got a little angry, so I took you off of the Costco account.” (I can’t make this shit up). Our divorce went through in record time – like 70 days. He brought her home to meet XILs 3 weeks after divorce was final. Ex Brother in Law’s wife snaps a picture of her hanging on him, texted me the photo saying that “She’s ugly”. I get upset, send text to now XH about his lies and his whore – which he continued to claim was a friend Let him know I told his parents about the credit card charges to wine and dine her. They get back, she files a harassment complaint…sends a process server to my home. 10 days later, he does the same. I think I started to get PTSD when the doorbell would ring – which was often as the house was listed. At that point, I moved out and left the house vacant. I took all of my furniture and left his crap. The house looked horrible when I left with the good furnishings.

    Then the envelopes start coming to my new PO Box with just bills that he won’t pay. No note, just these ugly gold envelope with bills. This continued up to when my house sold. I hired an attorney as I wasn’t living in the home and he was responsible for half. That was a mistake because he started arguing with the attorney. Meanwhile, I’m stuck paying $400 each time he writes to her and she responds. Finally, she tells him, for someone that purports to want nothing to do with my client, you’re doing much to engage her with your financial harassment. The last bill he sent to me was sent about a month after the house closed. It was payable to our sweet landscaper. I just paid it. I realized late in the game that he was getting off on my attempts to fight him.

    Today, he doesn’t know where I live. I stay in a friend’s guest house where no process servers can legally get to me and no doorbell! He has since married the whore…

    • Cindy, I’m so sorry for what you went through. Glad you’re away from your evil ex and can live in peace now.

      • Thank you Lyn. It was so horrible. Ex husband used to be so kind. I really had no idea what was going on. Bomb drop started on the way home from scattering my mom’s ashes in Hawaii (she died suddenly just 10 months before he left me). I had no idea that he possessed such evil. He reminds me of Scott Peterson in a way – likable guy on the service – but evil underneath. I’m glad he is out of my life.

        • And what is really scary is the fact that Peterson – on the surface – had such an excellent reputation as a swell guy.

          Which means that unless they end up murdering us, people on the outside assume that WE must be the problem.

          Even with all the Petersons out there for public view, people have a hard time believing they really exist.

          • “…people on the outside assume WE must be the problem.” YES! It’s like “What did YOU do to cause him to do that?!” No one’s perfect and no marriage is perfect, but I honored my vows. I just failed at being a mind reader of a conflict avoidant, weak charactered person. I always marveled at how ex didn’t have any enemies – but the reason is he never spoke or expressed an opinion!

  • I’ve experience a whole new level of no contact this week. My kids and I are 600 miles away from the cluster b boy and I feel free. We are visiting my family in the town where I grew up and my kids seem happier too. I’m ready to move here. Has anyone had luck at moving far away and the courts allowing your kids to go?

  • I’ll never forget the look on my x’s face the day I decided no contact. Even though I was in great pain I saw that he was feeling pleasure. I could see it in his eyes. My pain fed his ego. It made him feel desired. That was just as sick as a person could get in my mind and I realized at that moment that I was allowing other things to shadow my decision making – my dreams for the future, my past investment in our relationship. I have cut people out of my life for lesser offenses; I certainly wasn’t going to be with someone who gained pleasure from my pain.

    No contact was the best thing ever. I started to gain clarity. It changed everything.

    • I know that feeling well. A week after she left me I suggested that we go to dinner as friends – I was desperate to have her in my life and was dancing. On the way to dinner she gave me tips on attracting women. After dinner she said that though she’d think it was fast, she’d be okay with me being with someone else.

      I told her that the door would always be open, and she scoffed; I think she struggled not to laugh as she asked, “what, if I change my mind?” as if that wasn’t the silliest idea ever. And she seemed gleeful that she caught me so off guard and unaware by leaving me, as if I had done something wrong by believing that she’d never just up and leave. I’m still struggling if that means I took her for granted or if that’s what trust looks like.

      We got back to the house that was ours but now mine, I started crying. She said something about how we should have stopped the conversation 20 minutes earlier (i.e. before my emotions got the better of me). She then suggested that I email her in a couple days, but I said I wouldn’t because I knew I’d be glued to the computer looking for her response. After she left I realized that if I announced my intention to go NC I’d be tempted to break it, so I decided to simply fade away with no more fight or notice. This clearly surprised her, as she mentioned the email, as if maybe I hadn’t seen it, in the letter she left on the counter when she got the last of her stuff out of the house. She also thanked me for the good times and said to PLEASE call her if I ever want to be friends, but she’d understand if I don’t. My former best friend, partner, lover, yada yada yada thanked me for the “good times.” Swell, Wally!

      • Cruel, just cruel WWDSG- you deserve so much better. For her to scoff at your heartfelt attempts to be kind to her. What a remorseless, hollow bitch (sorry if that offends you). One day you will find a woman who will appreciate you. Big Hugs.

        • She was very fond of telling me that she was the best thing that ever happened to me. I guess I didn’t agree vociferously enough, though I did agree and still might depending on how this making a new life for myself thing works out. My self-esteem has hardly ever been out of the toilet, so I’m not sure what I deserve. And the idea of someone else that I’m interested in actually wanting me seems impossible right now. I have a lot of work to do! Some days I’m up for it, some I’m not. At this point I’ll happily settle for wanting myself (if I ever get there, that is).

          Thank you for your response, and no, I wasn’t offended. I personally avoid calling anyone a bitch, but I’m not going to strain myself stopping someone else from doing it :o)

          • I am so sorry you had to go thru this…you deserve a faithful, loving, caring partner! we all do! they are out there…just look at all of us that are part of CN….it’s not impossible…it’s just the rotten, cheating, lying sicko’s out there that make it hard to believe right now…if we learn to love ourselves first…not one cheater…abuser…liar…will be able to get a hold on us again!

      • She’s playing the passive-aggressive ‘push-you-pull-me’ tactic. Sign of a disordered fuck. You DO NOT engage this. Under any circumstances.
        Block the bitch and move on with your life.

  • OK … Here’s a new take on mundfuck. In my case, the OW was the worse narc. She actually was so angry that I took the attitude “take him, he’s all yours!” and went NC.

    She sent multiple emails to me from HIS email address, begging to meet, and suggesting a time and location, so he could “apologize”. Problem was, I knew he was way too much of a chicken shit to ever do that. So, I showed the messages to the cops who originally investigated my case (being assaulted etc) and THEY showed up at the final requested meeting. I got a call from Officer Jim afterward..he was chuckling and confirmed that yep, it was the OW waiting for me at the meeting place. She did not have good intent. That’s when I got a restraining order.

    • Oh My Lord, Marci! I assume she must have absolutely needed you to ‘fight for the man’ to fit her narrative …. freakydeaky!

      • Yep, the OW is a party girl from Liverpool. Nothing else needed to say. Oh, except that after the restraining order was in place, I also got an email from OW’s mother (another scouser) ranting about how mean I was to get her daughter fired. The lovely daughter who slept in my bed, fucked my partner, wore my clothes and ate my food while I was away on business, earning a living to support HIM. Yuck yuck yuck how could I have gotten involved with THAT.

        • Oi … Oi… I’m from Liverpool and would be a party girl given half the chance and 20 years younger! 😉 xxx

          • we’re not all horrorbags from Liverpool – honest! (I know that’ll be hard for you to honestly believe right now) and I’d love to have the energy and fortitude for a party blow out right now! LOL xxx

            • Geez, I don’t know Liverpool but isn’t that where the Beatles were from?

              Same area as ‘To Sir With Love’?

  • CL, yes-this is a timely post. Not only does your head clear, but I think one starts dreaming big again…maybe not at first, but with time. And with big dreams comes a new sense of hope and confidence. Clearly, it’s not overnight, but it feels damn good when you start to look forward.

  • Reading some of these messages, it occurred to me that I now have a manager at work who displays some of this stuff…she definitely enjoys inflicting pain and distress on her underlings. The cold stare and lack of empathy is breathtaking, yet the corporate “achievement ” culture does in some ways support such behaviour.

    So, this Narc Awareness is good to develop for many aspects of our lives. PS. i took voluntary severance from my job today, so am celebrating leaving Narc Boss in my dust. Just another form of NC (and yes she was angry at my choice and called me undedicated). LOL.

    • Congratulations Marci 🙂 I raise my glass of (some strange combo of Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes) red wine to you and wish you good luck and happiness 🙂 x

      • Jayne, thanks for your thoughts. As I recall you too are in the UK. Hurray for local constables who take care of the Cheater/OW’s who deserve an ASBO. Over here, the CPS usually wimps out about charges, but the cops actually do administer some street justice to get the right result.

        My local officer went and had tea with OW’s HR director at her job, and she got let go for sending emails on company time. No need for expensive court visits….these are the same oxygen wasters who later on appeared on Jeremy Kyle, discussing their relationship problems. In their case, the karma bus is a freight train.

        • I am also UK and my cheater and OW were in the police. OW was a serving police sergeant was she ambushed my house like some sort of drugs raid.
          The great man was in there and had been fielding her calls. They brawled in my living room and her fishwife language entertained my neighbours. I sent for her colleagues and she received a warning.
          I go largely NC these days…no drama…no kibbles…but I do mean business regarding divorce settlement.

    • That makes two of us, y’know. Congratulations! In my case, I just handed in a resignation letter and told them “I’ve had enough.” (I already was working at a second job, of which I am currently still working at – of course I didn’t mention this to them, though they found out after I had left)
      Pretty much my entire last workplace was a toxic cesspool of narcissism – and I was considered essentially third class under their fuckwittery. Funny that really – at my new workplace its the polar opposite.

  • When you first go NC, a disordered person will test your resolve as much as possible. Because we have a child together, I could not go 100% NC with my ex, but I stopped responding to his texts, stopped communicating with him, blocked him on Facebook. At first he went nuts sending me texts…. and it was so obvious how he tried various means of manipulation. Sending me cute pics of our cat, the one he kept and later abandoned…. sending me angry texts, self pitying texts, hurtful texts, plain crazy texts. But very slowly, the texts dropped off. It’s been a few years now, and I pretty much only get a text from him on the rare occasions when he is sending money to the child support agency. I do not ever contact him first, and on the infrequent occasions that he sends me a text, I rarely reply.

    Disordered will go crazy on a child who dares to go NC on them as well. When our son decided to stop communicating with his dad a year ago, ex went nuts. Son was getting nonstop emotionally abusive texts, phone calls, emails not only from ex, but also from his sisters. The manipulation was unbelievable, as were the outright lies. Unfortunately, son is back in contact with his dad, but not as much as before.

    NC, or as close to it as possible, is the only way to heal from a relationship with a personality disordered partner. You simply cannot get your head out of the fog and see the abuse clearly while you are still in contact with the disordered person. They are masters of the mind fuck and manipulation, and they will keep you confused, questioning and doubting if you give them the chance.

  • I feel so sorry for those with young children and therefore no chance of being entirely NC.

    Mine was a runaway. We have adult children and he left the house while our sick daughter was asleep upstairs. Our son and daughter later found out where he was and rang him – again and again because he kept on hanging up on them. Finally he told our son ‘I don’t have to explain anything to you’ and hung up. Our son has never seen or spoken to his father again. Our daughter saw her father a couple of times because visits to her grandmother coincided. She has not seen him for 4 years. He occasionally emails but this is rare.

    As for me well he emails me from time to time – about his mother who he placed in a care home. On our wedding anniversaries I have emails about her lack of this or that. I only reply when they actually need a reply and in my own time.

    I have come to see this as luck that we haven’t had to deal with his narc (no sociopathic) character. I doubt he would kill anyone, as a character in a book I just read said, but he could walk away and just start a new life. Strange but true.

  • I love No Contact so very much. Granted, I don’t have kids, so it’s easier for me to cut my ex out of my life completely, but it was really difficult to disengage from the man with whom I had spent half my life. Checking up with him and staying connected to the madness was like heroin for me. It took a lot of work before I truly mastered it.

    I tried the 180 back in the day. It was a good baby step for me, so I can’t knock it altogether. A practice run at true No Contact. But fully-disengaged No Contact is the way to go. It’s about the chump removing him or herself from the madness, and realizing that the cheater’s actions have nothing to do the chump.

    Meh is beautiful, chumps. Come into the Meh.

  • To Kar Marie …. ran out of room to reply to your reply to me. Monstrous is not too strong a word. I get you entirely when you say you can accept he’s fallen out of love with you but there’s no reason to punish his daughter and sister, they’ve ‘done nothing’. They haven’t ‘failed him’ … like you can sort of accept you ‘must have failed his expectations of a life partner’. His sister hasn’t ‘failed’ at being ‘a sister’ and his darling daughter hasn’t ‘failed’ at being a daughter ,,,, but this is the monstrous message his ‘reboot at all costs’ sends. These are cruel, hideous ‘evaluations’ and, by God, we KNOW they are wrong, but still …. in trying to make sense of the ‘reboot’ …. it’s bloody hard not to draw these conclusions in trying to make sense of WHY they’d just turn their backs. I can understand how heartbreaking, how mindfucking it is …. why can’t he remember how beautiful she was when she was born, that day she was following him around with stars in her eyes looking at him, that time we were so distraught when she was ill and we feared she would die, the first time she said ‘daddy’ etc, etc, etc …. where did that beauty go? This is the stuff we exist for … why has he forgotten, or why doesn’t he care for it? Just the same reason all the beautiful things that are unique to us lost value, isn’t enough, holds no kudos …. because ‘Reboot’ promises a life of perfect fabulousness, drawn in the ever-changing face of whatever fabulousness looks like to them from minute to minute. It’s a Faustian deal they choose … stupid, ill-advised … costs the soul. One day, Idiot may even come to see it …. I hope so, but more, I hope you, his sister and his beautiful daughter come to see the fool’s opinion of your worth is nothing, NOTHING in the scheme of things. None of you could have loved him any better, none of you could have pleased him any more …. he has completely forgotten that LOVE is a gift … NOT a right. I pity the fool. Hold your head high Kar Marie and do all you can to help your sister-in-law and beautiful daughter do the same …. it’s not them. it’s definitely him! xxx

    • Jayne such beautiful words brought me tears I do hold my head high even when in tears. I do all I can to reassure them maybe the lights will come back on for them. He’s cruel and neglectful and not even aware of it. His huge loss. You are right. It is him not us. My daughter and his sister hold tight to me if not for them and chump nation I would not be here. All saved my life at my darkest moments. I keep hope for my daughter and his sister but after two years its grown worse not better. I think eventually they will both just give up. So sad. Cheaters just do not realize the destruction they leave in their wake and the people they cheat with are equally evil. Thank you jayne you are just what I needed today. Big giant hugs!!!!

      • You keep strong kar marie (fake it til you make it 🙂 ). One day he’ll realise ‘her’ shit no longer smells of roses … then either he’ll press ‘Reboot’ again or he’ll realise he’s very little soul left to sell for a ‘Reboot’ and will have to settle for what he finally got.

        Interestingly; the girl who was his companion when he was a child, the girl who was his companion when he grew into a man and the girl who he birthed and nurtured …. gone, rejected and, my hope, will eventually tell him to go fuck himself … (and I truly believe his SOUL knows he deserves to be told to go fuck himself, despite the artful appearance of ignorance. The Man KNOWS he’s being cruel and neglectful … take it on board … he KNOWS IT). Misogynistic much? Whatever weird psychodrama he’s playing out, ultimately, the biggest loser is going to be him. A piteous fool indeed.
        Take care KM and hugs to your SIS and daughter too 🙂 xxx

    • Just read that article, LetGo, so perfectly described my ex. I had to swallow hard a couple times. It explained so well why my ex enjoyed fooling me and why the double life went on so long, but it was very hard to read, even now years later.

  • Cheater ex’s strategy is to be “nice” by sending kind emails to this day – yeah, more than 2 years after the divorce and he’s married to the final OW. All ignored. What he doesn’t understand is that the longer I go no contact, the more repulsive he becomes to me. Absence makes the heart grow fonder doesn’t work if you were married to an asshole. Absence opened up my eyes to the BS that I went through. And boy, when I think of him nowadays, all I could do is have goose bumps and say, “Ewwww.”

    Really good post today, Tracy. Thank you.

  • I pretty much went NC after ex moved out 3 weeks after dday. I didn’t even know him anymore. I would fall to pieces when ever I’d get a nasty-gram email regarding the finances – only time he made contact with me. About a year after the divorce I received two sympathy cards from ex & former in-laws over the death of an aunt a state away( I’ll never know how they found out). The cards made me furious!! I immediately shredded them.

    Ex in-laws & the rest of his family dumped me just days after he sent divorce papers. No one in his whole family cared one iota – never called, sent a card or email not even once once I received the divorce papers & they had the nerve to send me a sympathy cards. What was his point? Testing the waters? About a month later I sent him an email telling him that he & his family “needed to stay out of my life – a beautiful life that was ruined.” I got an immediate response, “Ok, didn’t mean to upset you, was thinking about your loss, won’t happen again.” I felt tears welling up because it was a glimpse of the man I knew for over a quarter century. Good news as that was over 2 years ago & he never tried contacting me again.

    • hurt1–I just found out my cheater told his family not to have any contact me (he knows I will sing about the reason for the divorce). 25 years in the family; I made cheater closer to his family than he had been, and that is my thanks.

  • What a timely post, CL.

    Just the other day, I get an email from the XH titled “Thinking About You” – where he tells me he knows we’re no longer in touch, but he was thinking about me and my mother on this day and what a wonderful person she was, and how proud she would be of me, etc.

    Ugh. The bunny-hopping-sleeping-bag XH actually invoked my deceased mother’s memory as a means to get me to respond. Not only that, he thought he was emailing me on the anniversary of her passing — but he’s never been good with dates, and naturally, he was off by about a week. Dumbass.

    No contact. No contact. No contact. XH and I have been officially divorced for over 2.5 years, lived “separate and apart” for a year before being able to file for divorce, and when I think back to my first DDay…. that was a little over 4 years ago now… and XH STILL pops his head up every few months or so to contact me. We have NO children, NO shared property / business, nothing that would require any communication between us whatsoever, but he circles back around again to see if I’ll respond.

    Just goes to show that they never get it. It’s only about getting ego kibbles at any cost, using any bait they can think of – and their narcissistic little brains can’t conceive of the fact that you wouldn’t leap at the chance to answer their call.

    On his last attempt, he actually asked me to stop blocking him on Facebook. They will never understand boundaries. “Yeah, I know I cheated and lied and threw you under the bus countless times… but why can’t we be friends now? Why can’t we stay in touch? It’s such a shame we can’t be civil anymore – why won’t you talk to me?” Because actions have consequences. Because I’ve seen what you did to me as your wife, why in the hell would I want you around as a “friend”? Because I’ve seen who you really are and it is despicable. But since those responses would only ring in his ears as “EGO KIBBLES! I GOT HER TO RESPOND! SHE REACTS TO MEEEEE!” my only reaction is stone. cold. radio. silence.

    • BarristerBelle, Ugh. My counselor warned me that the ex would continue to try to rope me in. Not because he cares, but because he cannot fathom how I can just walk away without fighting for him. Gross. He’s still in touch with me and we’ve been divorced over two years. Like you, I ignore and ignore and ignore. You would think they would get it by now, right? Ex tells people I hate him because I refuse to be friends. Of course, I’m the “bitter” one by hating him. Boundaries mean nothing to them.

      • Uniquelyme–the “b” word. Amuses me every time. I’m pretty sure the Dalai Lama would seem “bitter” if someone did to him what these cheaters did to us.

        And I just admit to my X that I hate. For that matter, I hate your X and I haven’t even met him. Hate is a valid emotion, IMHO.

        • Tempest, yeah, I don’t particularly care for the ex. I’m sure I used to hate him. Now I despise him. 🙂

  • The more I read the Chump Lady blog, the more I realize how deranged cheaters really are.

    You can’t screw around on your spouse/kids and be normal. It’s just how far on the spectrum you are. All the way from losers like my ex, sneaking around texting, calling, most likely fucking a whore, to the discarders and deserters, to the abusers and killers. It just makes me sick.

    • What a disordered lot they are maintaining normalcy to hide their greatest fears. X can no longer wear the mask. He is exposed. It’s laughable when the are finally chained to a whore.

    • YES, Not Juliet! It totally is beyond my comprehension…THE SPECTRUM! it is so looooong of a spectrum…so many levels…it is beyond my comprehension but I am truly grateful I am not on that spectrum…I would rather be in this much pain than EVER belong on it…

  • I’m a little late to the discussion chain- the advice is priceless. My learning curve is a little steep- I am a chump after all 🙂
    I’ve learned the hard way that I am that mouse that gets batted around by the alley cat. Exhausted I try to escape, only to find my way back to the cat again.
    I have three children- NC is hard, but I have taken all of the advice here and stick to the “facts, nothing but the facts.” As soon as I waiver (I’m learning) the responses get personal, replies are longer, and the vision is a shaking finger at me like I was 10 years old again.
    I’m learning how to out smart the cheater, but it’s hard as he is a therapist. His job is to be that verbal sociopath.
    Hugs to the entire CN- I’m not sure where I would be without all of you!!!

    • Oh CRAP! a Nutcake “counseling” others..O…M…G! that is a good reason to stick with Chump Nation…I would absolutely FREAK if I was paying one of these Nuts a hundred bucks an hour to “help” me….

  • Someone mentioned the Steptalk blog and I read some of it earlier. Wow. These people, for the most part, really dislike their spouse’s kids. Over sixty percent said there is “no good age” for stepchildren. Over sixty percent said they wouldn’t marry the same person if they “knew then what they know now.” Just about all of them think the problem isn’t them or the spouse, but rather the Stepbrat.

    I wonder how many of these people started their relationship as cheaters? Or as narcs/sociopaths? Cheaters certainly don’t seem to give a damn for their kids, at least if it interferes with their crotch chase. If I were the karma god, my ex would be chained to his whore and her child for eternity. He could continue “helping her” with her daughter’s juvenile delinquency, bad grades, psychotherapy, etc. I imagine that would get old pretty quickly. Especially after the thrill of the strange piece of ass was gone. I think the real problem with her daughter was the whore’s lack of attention to her whoring with married men though, not something the child had control over. Sad.

    • Grr. I was in my stepson’s life just about everyday for 5 years, from when he was 10-15. I accepted him as much as I was allowed, as it was made clear that I wasn’t a parent to him. I tried to be a mentor of sorts, I guess, and I’m proud of the way I adjusted how I related to him when I saw that I was doing some problematic things. Didn’t matter to the ex; I doubt she even considered the kid when she decided to leave me. I didn’t even get a goodbye from him. He’s never been the sentimental type, and I’m pretty sure I know where he learned it…

      • That’s sad, WWDSG. I know there are lots of wonderful step parents out there, you usually just don’t hear much about them.

        • I’ve mentioned it before: I behaved as I did because it seemed like the right thing to do, not because I wanted rewarded. But dammit, I would have thought it would count for more. I suppose it did, since she actually told me she was leaving instead of just doing the Houdini like she had to others in the past.

          • The trouble is as much as I would love NC, our grown up children and their life events keep stopping this. The latest is my middle son’s university graduation. I have no choice but to communicate as son wants us both there. The only way I handle it is to be very precise and to the point about arrangements. However, it is still contact and I wish I didn’t have to do it. Ex makes it worse by leaving it all to me so forcing contact which is yet more control but I have to swallow it for the sake of my kids. Will it never end?

            • Your son is old enough to contact his father himself. There is no reason why you need to be involved. All you have to do is show up and let your son take care of him and what he needs to know

              • Thanks Kimberley, in many ways you are right but in reality it just doesn’t work does it? Ex knows that because he knows I will want to make it all okay for my son on his big day. I am a mother first, a chump second, so I will put up with it because that is the right thing to do.

                Really only posted to illustrate how difficult NC is in reality. I will tolerate the inconvenience and do the right thing, there by proving what a tosser my ex is and what a saint I am which is my reward, as well as making my son happy of course. It all comes out in the wash in the end.

                Just trying to say that NC is not always achievable but if there has to be contact, then keep your integrity and keep it business like. x

  • Can I just add that I was being sarcastic regarding being a saint, no person is a saint apart from my ex’s new partner who is a saint in every way according to him. Just thought I should clarify just in case anyone took me seriously.

  • Great words. It’s only been two weeks for me, I was fed up and went no contact. Less than a week after I receive a nasty voicemail, even though I blocked her number, she made some bullshit accusations of me harassing her. This was so unbelievably, as I had not contacted her. So amazing the things she could make up in her mind.I did not feed into the bait , as this has happened before and she knows I would respond to her. This time I did not. It’s been hard , but I’m connecting the dots of this whole crappy life experience. It’s been going on for three years . Staying strong. Thank you

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