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A Trust That They Suck Refresher Course

valentine“Trust that they suck” is a mantra that bears repeating. It’s so easy to fall for the propaganda. You see your ex, tagged in some mutual friend’s Facebook page laughing uproariously at a party. The children come back with tales of Shiny New Things. People who were your family for decades now exclude you. It sucks. It’s hard to remember the suck belongs to them and there’s not something wrong with you.

“I get the nagging feeling that he and the OW have a fulfilling fairy tale relationship.  So please, please beat me over the head with a refresher on ‘trust that they suck.'”

Trust your senses, chumps — they suck! Some pointers:

1. All that shitty stuff they did? The affairs, the gaslighting, the character assassination after the fact, the denial, the neglect? THEY DID IT. Yes, pinch yourself, it really and truly happened.

2. Connect the dots. If all that truly happened… you don’t want this person in your life, right? It doesn’t matter how wide screen their television is, or how fabulous their vacation pictures on Facebook, how sparkly they seem — YOU DON’T WANT THAT, remember?

For the affair partner to get the goodies, they have to endure — or will soon — the cheater’s true nature. That’s not going away. Your cheater didn’t get a character transplant. All that entitlement, all those crappy life skills — they’re still there. It’s a package deal.

If there’s been a binge of shiny new thing shopping it’s generally to salt the mines. You know, make a commodity appear more valuable than it really is. Crappy people need hooks. Cheaters are to sparkles what Bernie Madoff is to promised dividends. Any “reward” of their company comes with a very steep price tag, eventually.

3. Let’s say for the sake of argument, that they did have a character transplant, they are magically no longer their crappy selves, the affair partner brings out their very best self. They are now 100% sparkle, no filler.

They still cheated, abused, and gaslighted you. They still destroyed your trust. They still destroyed that relationship. This isn’t a person you can feel safe with. Maybe someone who never knew the old them will be able to do that, but you will remember. Those things happened, which caused the relationship to END because of their infidelity. Their new life is no longer your concern. YOUR new life is your concern. Treat their success as you would a stranger’s. This person has no connection to you.

4. You don’t share the same values. If you feel like the break up was forced on you, that you didn’t want it, that there is something to miss — change your focus. You can’t be with your cheater because you aren’t a good match. You don’t share the same ideas about love, family, and relationships. To be with them would be squelching a fundamental part of yourself — the person who demands reciprocity, honesty, and fidelity in marriage. In a way, it’s nothing personal. You are just two people who have nothing in common except shared history.

Let ’em go, chumps. Trust that they suck.

This column ran previously. Feel free to comment!

Ask Chump Lady

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    • This is an excellent reminder. I don’t want this life anyway, for me or my kids. I think sometimes we get stuck on believing in our hopes, without seeing our reality for what it is. I continued to HOPE he would be the man I wanted him to be…and basically this was just a colossal waste of time. His need for supply, for kibbles, for cake-for whatever…continues to be all about him, all the time. It is better to move on and be without him, but occasionally that fantasy vision of what could have been clouds my reality and I need CL to shake me into the here an now. Thanks, CL!

        • I wasted almost 6 years. Was engaged and we were going to buy a house. No real issues other than not being able to come by after work every day. My ex suddenly broke up with me and got engaged to his co -worker whom he started cheating on me with. He stopped calling me and wouldn’t answer my calls a few weeks after we talked about what was bothering him. They’ve been together about 2-3 years now. Unknown if he actually married her yet.

          • Update….They’re married and he bought the house that he and I had looked at. Oh well.

    • Sadly I needed That reminder. I have been havinG dreams about how happy they are. It makes me sick….

  • Wise words! A tiger does not change its stripes. My ex cheated on me and got another woman pregnant. To see her social media posts and online activity, you’d think he was the “most awesomest”, “best boyfriend ever”! (gag) She thinks he’s “amazing” because he brings home a bottle of vodka and a cheesecake.

    I struggled when we split, because I thought he was going to magically morph into a good person since they had a child together. One of his main complaints is my lack of desire for children. As if somehow he’d give her all the things he didn’t give me- like love, honesty, respect. Lo and behold, he still cheats. And, now, it’s not just her he cheats on. He cheats on his kid too.

    A bottle of liquor and some junk food doesn’t make up for cheating.

    • Much Better, some of the texts I saw between my ex and the OW I caught him with was her telling him what a great father he was. Gag. Me. He was busy texting her during our daughter’s birthday party sleepover while I was entertaining, feeding and managing the chaos of all the girls. He was giving her the play-by-play like he was actually doing something other than sitting on his ass texting her. Guess why she was eating it up? She had 5 kids and wanted a new daddy for them. She cheated on her ex, he kicked her out but eventually gave her partial custody of the kids. When my daughter was learning to drive, he jumped in the back seat so he could text her about HIM teaching our daughter to drive while I was forced to sit in the front and actually teach her. So your ex’s OW may think things are peachy now but his true nature will show at some point simply because he. can’t. hide. it. for too long.

      • My ex and the whore spent a lot of time praising each other for being such good parents. She was such a wonderful mother!!! That’s why he offered to pay for a Boot Camp for her carousing, out of control, flunking out of school brat.

      • OMG! YES! ByeBye, I had this same phenomenon happen to me! I saw those texts that the OW sent proclaiming my STBX the Daddy of the Year. She even went so far as to make a little collage of pictures that she took of my children at a 5K event that she signed up for knowing I would be there with my children, and then photoshopped them all together with a “Keep calm and Daddy On” graphic superimposed over the collage of my children’s photos she took. Creeper….

        Here I am, taking care of our two toddlers, and the STBX’s son from before we got married, while he said he was “working.” By “working,” he meant “getting another woman pregnant after a concert.” On our child’s second birthday. When she had the chicken pox. Daddy on, indeed…

        The OW actually gave the STBX an ultimatum to cut me off financially or she was going to break up with him. And, he did it. I was a SAHM, and he stopped paying the mortgage, utilities, car note. Everything. And they both admitted to it in our depositions during the divorce prep.

        The OW is a single mom of two. One of the fathers of her children is dead, and the other one is in jail. So, I guess she was looking for a payday. Either way, he cheated on her, and is on to the next one now.

        So, seriously, trust that they suck.

      • BBC-

        His true nature wasn’t hidden for long! The glitter wore off the turd and his baby mama found out he was cheating on her just after their kid was born. If she hadn’t referred to me as “crazy”, I might have told her the truth about who he is. But, now, she can figure it out like I had to.

        In a strange turns of events, I have become acquaintances with another of his OW (she didn’t know about me when they were dating). We have a shared disdain for him.

    • Wait til he brings home the Clap; OW will be singing a new tune on Facebook.

  • “…nothing in common except shared history”.

    I need to internalize this perspective.

    • Yes, and even so, the cheater has their own revisionist version of it. They do suck. Let them suck somewhere else!

      • Muse – isn’t that the truth. Our ‘shared history’ includes me cheating 15 years ago, wearing sexy lingerie for my (disgusting) boss, taking a road trip with a friend to whore myself out, neglecting my husband for SOOOO many years, becoming a prude…. That is my stbx’s ‘version’ of our history. Mine is a little different. My version includes his FACTUAL CELL PHONE that my son found – however, that doesn’t seem to come up when stbx talks about our ‘history.’ Huh. Oh wait – yes it does! STBX has mentioned that when people have approached him and asked “Did you really have another cell phone line?” He actually speaks the TRUTH and says yes – because OMG I was so neglected 15 years ago….I kept it all to myself…..I never talked to anyone about my problems… Ya so according to fuck face – the blame turns on ME and they say “Oh you poor thing! She was that bad to you for that long and YOU NEVER TOLD A SOUL?” Poor Poor Jason….
        Fucking Puke.

        • Was your ex a Borderline Personality Disorder? I got shit like that from my ex all the time, and he was a real mental case.

      • I now have my own version of revisionist history; all those years of seemingly happy family vacations, and dinners out with X, and entertaining friends–ALL tainted once I realized he was screwing students and part of the city population in between family events. I am so disconnected from vacation photos of the past 8 years that it’s like viewing someone else’s family vacations.

        • Yes… the “happy family vacation” photos are a bitch. My husband was sucking cock on business trips before having sex with me on vacations. They really are cold blooded reptiles. Now that the Boys Scouts allow gay leaders I guess he doesn’t have to hide his latent homosexuality. He’s just stuck on the “moral” and ‘clean” part of the oath.

          • Fully Trust that he Sucks-Hey I wonder if our ex’s ever met up?? Mine is straight, but was soliciting ‘bears’ on Craig’s List to role play some sort of older man rape fantasy. Having all the pieces now I look at photos in a whole new light. The day we brought our son home from the hospital, he was so tired and had to go to bed. He left me with our newborn downstairs while he went up to text and read Craig’s List ads!
            Really needed this article today!!

        • I hear you, Tempest. When I decamped, I took every trace of me. Unfortunately, a lot of old photos also depict the ex. So, I’ve been sorting through them again (18 years later) to remove that stain, and will ship that box off to his family so they will have those nice memories of the dearly departed crapweasel to enjoy. I’d hate to waste any space in the local landfill on him.

        • Survivor,
          Good idea, thank you. That will be my next step. Went to the dr. today to order blood tests to make sure the stbx did not pass anything on to me. I’m fighting severe feelings of humiliation today:(

          • I did that as well. Just said to test me for every untoward thing to be sure the bastard I was divorcing did not harm or kill me. The doctor was a bit shocked but did it. There is no humiliation in taking inventory after you’ve been burglarized.

            • Ush, sara, it sucks.

              But the all-clear will be one less thing to fret over.

              HIV negative is a win. Damn him to Hell for putting you through this.

        • I’m feeling the same Tempest, remembering the moments over the last 4 years that STBX was screwing around on me with a co-worker. I was extremely suspicious of something going on between them in 2012 and he flat out denied it and continued on with her for another 2 years, busted his ass in Sept 2014. Yes all those years are tainted now. I left his ass btw, best decision I ever made for myself! Looking out for a pool boy now to have me some fun for a while lol, he at least I don’t LIE!

        • That’s how it feels to me, Tempest. I look at the pictures, and I know it was me – us – there, but I’m so distanced from it that I can’t make the images register. They do take away the narrative for years of your life. I quit trying to figure out “what it all meant” years ago. Now when I think of him, hear about him, or run across a picture, it’s just empty. I finally got that lobotomy I guess, because there’s a total lack of connection to the whole thing. It’s a strange, strange feeling.

          • He bemoaned that our wedding photo was missing while all along he was flirting with women, looking at porn, taking women out, and asking around from other employees to get him in touch with former female employees. I tore up any “couples” photos of us (putting my image portion of the photo to the side) and any individual ones of him and flushed them down the toilet!!! That’s where turds belong!

    • Perfectly said LDL. The timing of this article is perfect today. It has been over a year since I was dumped for the OW and while last summer was a blur, this summer is so much better. But periodically hear things from people that are still FB friends with the ex and it almost makes me sick to hear about their “happy” posts. I have to continually tell myself that we really did have “nothing in common except shared history.” And….what he put me through with the lying, cheating and abuse….well glad that’s over. Life is definitely better!

      • I hear you Jules.

        I seriously want to know why people think they should keep us updated on our ex’s Facebook posts? I recently had a very good friend tell me that she was “stalking the Owife’s Facebook page” and “What did I want to know?”

        I said “Nothing thanks. Not my circus, not my monkeys anymore.”

        She apologized and said she understood but I can’t wrap my head around why she thought I’d want an update at all. I can’t see the OWife’s page on Facebook because I block her. That’s actually how I found out that she became the Owife-because as I was adding some folks to my blocked list, I scrolled by her name and noticed it changed to the one I had been fighting tooth and nail to drop like it was hot!

        People don’t post their real lives on Facebook; they put the ‘imaged control’ version of their lives. How could knowing anything about their fake awesome lives help me heal?? People just don’t think sometimes.

        • Cheatersuck – I love the comment you made about people not putting their real lives on FB. I’ve got to be honest, I was getting pretty jealous of people. Even my massage therapist said she had to get off facebook because she would have gotten divorced. She explained it like this: She would say to her husband – “Now, why don’t WE ever do anything like that – why don’t WE ever go there? Why don’t YOU ever buy me flowers?” She said it was making her crazy and she had to get off.

          My experience was with a particularly vocal “friend”, always saying how things are wonderful, kids, husband is super fantastic, blah blah blah… And it was bothering me too, so I un-followed her. It’s much better now – but my daughter is friends with their daughter and told me – “Mom, don’t think things are all roses over there – the kids are a mess, the husband’s an alcoholic, and the mom’s not working and constantly on his butt – people don’t put bad stuff for everyone to see you know”. Smart Kid!

          I immediately felt bad for being jealous and felt bad for my “friend”. I never want to see anyone suffer like that. Hell, I have a good life now. It’s stress free – I don’t have anyone to answer to – I can make my own decisions and go where I want to go without question or to be made felt guilty. I don’t have to inconvenience myself, or live with constant disappointment anymore and I have a job and a roof over my head. The only think I don’t have is someone to share it with, but right now…meh – I don’t want to share. I “over gave” too much already! There’s way too much good now that outweighs what it was like being in a relationship.

          Trust that they suck – rings very true to me and I sort of needed that reminder today – Thanks CL and CN for being there and all the support!

        • cheaterssuck, good point about FB. I admit, I found myself FB stalking in the beginning. It made me feel like crap, pictures of them together in the apartment I had picked out. I had to block them!!

    • Always remind yourself that your ex is just someone you used to know.

      • Reminds me of the song by Gotye – Somebody I used to know. So, so true. Listen to it ladies on you tube.

      • Uniquelyme and Maree – True, true and true. These are people that we all used to know, and we’re better without them.

  • Hoo boy. I needed this today. How is it possible to forget that they suck the way I always do? Maybe it’s grief telling me the grass is greener. Anyway, hope my broken brain starts to get it eventually. Until then, I will be a loyal member of CN!

    • I needed it as well, I think I need a pet fish or rock or lint or something to come home to so I can talk to it. At least it won’t run away with the shit down the street.

  • Thank you much for this reminder:)))
    A year out of the divorce and cheater Ex introduces smoopie of 3 years as the new girlfriend to my daughters.
    They both cheated and left their spouses.
    She brings her daughter of 7 around that calls my Ex Dad, and my kids have to endure this…. Grrrr. And she is so nice and friendly, loves a bargain, so organized and makes good money.
    My ex mother in law kisses her ass so much is not even funny and is all over her daughter, hugging her and playing with her, and she just met that little girl.
    His parents don’t talk to me anymore, and they where the ones I first told about their Sons cheating and who with…
    Well right now things look all happy and rodie over there!!!
    I hope they all self-destruct!!!!

    • Wow33, I could’ve copied and pasted your exact experience to my own life, it’s almost scary.

    • OMG..I have been divorced for a month but separated for a year and a half, and I am almost sure after the summer is over Mr Cheaterpants will try to introduce the OW of three years as a new girlfriend. Fortunately,I prepared my daughters because I was sick and tired of him lying to them, saying that he wanted to get back with me, that he loved me and made a mistake (something he never told me). so I prepared them and told them her name and who she was and that she has a daughter around the same age as my youngest. My girls already dislike her but I am sure that both will be on their best behaviour when the OW is introduced as new. I told them that I am judging her based on my experience and that is why I will never like her, even if she seems to be apparently nice. She was a chump before she became an OW but has never told her daughter the reason why she divorced her husband BUT she lets her Ex cheater husband sleep over when he visits her daughter from another city. I am so hoping that she gets pregnant from my Ex so that he will have to deal with twice as many complications with her as he did with me! He SUCKS big time and always will…but thanks CL for the reminder!

    • Wow33 and Freebird: same, not one word from cheater’s family in 1 year 1 month, not one. A family I shared for 25 years. When I found out about the cheating I called MIL and the first thing out of her mouth was: “How did you find out.” Not, “wow, how terrible.” When I think of them I need to trust that they suck too because they really did: cold, distant, kids to be seen and not heard, disconnected. So, while there is a rub about THEIR no contact with me, I need to remember they all suck and really needed this post today!

  • You can never outrun your own character–or lack thereof. Remember, too, these people major in putting up appearances; hence, they were able to cheat for x period of time before getting caught. Some are better at that “game” than others. However, like the fake facade in old Western store fronts, there’s nothing behind the appearance. It is all for show. They STILL lack character. Their empty “backs” will eventually show. And even if they do not, you know the truth.

    • So true, DM. Their punishment is that cheater guys and gals will *never* be happy. They are like crows always searching for the next shiny object (except that crows are smart and have a more highly evolved theory-of-mind). Since there is no substance beneath their shallow selves, there is no bedrock for happiness. They need the next “fix” of a mirror or sparkly object/person, ad infinitum. Even if they DO stay with their affair partner, their inner discontent is a permanent fixture.

      Our task is to make sure we use *our* integrity as the bedrock for happiness, and to carve out a life of substance, sans cheater.

    • Yes, DM and Tempest! Can you permanently install your wisdom in my head?

  • Thank you for this. My biggest struggle.

    I don’t think about what he’s doing now. The killer for me is the things from the past. The little gifts, sharing special places and things, the animal drawings he did for me. The man who was by my side during my cancer surgery. The one who cried when my Mom was dying. It all hurts my heart and I still don’t get it.

    Of course he then with-held intimacy after my surgery for the rest of our marriage. Howorker comes into the picture. Abuse and cruelty. He didn’t care about my Dad and talked about him dying so coldly. Tried to leave me homeless and in poverty. Cut off my car insurance without telling me. Etc, etc.

    Yesterday I discovered that the EZ pass he took off with is still in my name and linked to my debit card. I cancelled the account and reported it stolen. If he uses it again he gets a huge violation. Please let it be soon. I don’t need this shit. My Dad is failing and it’s a horrible thing to go through.

    I do believe he sucks but that he had possibilities if that makes sense. It makes me sad over such a waste.

    • Lina, so sorry for all you have been through. Big Hugs.

      I completely relate to your post. I feel Exactly the same way. Last night, falling asleep thinking of all the things we HAD.. a long happy relationship (I thought), two kids, a beautiful home, stable economics. I think of our history.. the births of our kids, the time we spent when we were young before kids, college when we met, the travels, the love and friendship. I go down the rabbit hole of HOW someone could seemingly love me all those years then just TURN on me on a dime. That’s really how it felt. One day he was a loving husband (we had a great holiday season just before BD) then the next he was all of a sudden unhappy and frustrated. By the time he told me, it was a game I was going to lose. MOW had firmly planted herself in his life. And there you have it. I had no chance.

      But you know, in the end, I have to do as Chump Lady says and trust he sucks. Trust MOW sucks too.. she must be pretty dim to buy his lines, not to mention void of any decency. Did he always suck? No. I married him and had two kids with him, so he didn’t always suck. I probably spackled some things, but overall the pros outweighed the cons. I would have stayed with him forever. But he didn’t honor that same loyalty to me. I have several cons, but I figure my pros outweigh them. I am not a sum of my faults. No one is. I am basically the same person I’ve always been. He’s the one who decided all of a sudden after two decades it didn’t work. He broke his vows to me, allowed himself to get sucked into some two bit trash whore and left his family (my kids are very young). So he sucks. He sucks NOW. And that’s what you have to remember. It’s hard when you go down memory lane but think of that guy as someone else. Someone who is dead. You can mourn him, but he doesn’t exist anymore.

      You don’t even have to hate your X, just realize he has different values from you. You wouldn’t do this to someone and they CAN do it. So would you date this guy now? Knowing what you know? Not a chance. You might have to deal with him (if there are kids), like you might deal with a coworker or business associate, but you don’t have to “like” him anymore.

      Hugs Lina, you aren’t alone.

      • The thing with narcissists is that they are happy (in their own way of course) or content with you until someone else comes along. Never believe the “oh I was not happy for years crap”. The new person is like a new toy or gadget and has their attention until another new toy or gadget comes along. Could be months, could be years till the next opportunity enters their life and poof, they are gone on to the new. A bit off track here but I know a very dysfunctional couple (not sure of what the diagnosis would be but pathological lying and delusions of grandeur are a definite issue) where the wife, in the 18 years I have known her has changed personas at least 3 different times. When I first met her they were trying to come off like they were the Trumps and tried several business ventures that failed miserably or never even got off the ground. Then she became a political and environmental activist. Okay, but why throw your old tires in the woods and there were town complaints issued to them a few times for illegal dumping. She would go on and tell me what a wonderful marriage (looking her nose down at mine) she had but had several affairs and definitely was in pursuit of any man that would give her the time of day. Her husband was and is a lazy loser that writes poetry when it doesn’t interfere with his naps. He’s retired, from what I am not sure, but he’s retired. So now that they have nothing (owe everyone & their credit card debt is well into the six figures) and cannot even fake it anymore, she has decided she is a hippie. She goes on & on how she has always been a hippie and lives a simple life eating nothing but organic food and is a vegetarian except you know when she eats pork ribs and hamburgers. She also despises rich people as they are all evil. Whatever. This couple has been a source of entertainment for me for years, the stories I could tell and the antics are unbelievable.

        • The couple in your story illustrates that a lot of people simply never learn from their mistakes. They just keep repeating them, keep reinventing themselves, changing the narrative to support whatever they are doing. It’s a form of serious denial, and being able to compartmentalize. It is very narcissistic and emotionally immature.

          I hope my STBX will learn from his mistakes but it’s hard to learn from things when you won’t acknowledge them. I know I made mistakes in the marriage, I admitted all of them to him and really tried to work on them. I felt terrible that he felt unloved and unappreciated and really wanted to fix those things because they weren’t reflective of my feelings. It was a legitimate complaint that I felt I could have worked on. I knew it was over when he said (after many months of pick me dancing, pretzeling, acquiescing) “You never really tried”. Then proceeded to pick apart my efforts to address the things he was upset about. You can’t win with someone like that. The cake eating was for his benefit, he had no intention of giving up his sparkly new “whore” or “grass greener” or whatever it is he thinks he’s looking for. I struggle with how he kept the mask on so LONG but maybe in fairness I did enable it. I probably saw what I wanted to see. Love is blind.

          He will likely keep reinventing himself too and that’s okay. No longer my monkey, not my circus.

          • So sorry you are going through this but I would not count on your ex learning from his mistakes and trust he will continue to make even bigger mistakes because you will not be in his life to buffer. You are also correct that you could not possibly turn things around because he had already moved on and just wanted to focus on your faults in the marriage to justify his affair. His feeling “unloved or unappreciated” is rather text book by the way. Pretty slick when they make YOU feel guilty when they cheat or decide to leave the marriage. I hope you get to the point (maybe you are there already) of where you hear stories about your ex and just breathe a sigh of relief that you are no longer part of his life. Narcs & sociopaths always repeat bad behavior and tend to get worse once they are on a roll. Wishing you all the best.

          • OMG!!! My hubby said the same thing!!! I was furious !!! When mine went into his man midlife crises, & his livelihood was being shaken… I stood beside him. I searched jobs for him, ((& found them)) I was willing to take my middle school son out of a New England U.S. school & move to the country of Qatar, away from all of his friends, was willing to move to Singapore, hubby wanted to live on a boat, and I found that for him… ((Amsterdam or Fla)) Traveled w him as often as I feel well, suffering greatly from menopause, caring for 2 90+ parents…this is just a few examples…

            …and whenever we get to this his answer is always the same, ” you gave up on me…I tried to come to you. You got tried of hearing about it. You never really tried!”

            So he just started to talk w “a friend,” …”she was going through a bad time, her hubby just cheated on her…”

            • Wow, cheaters are so similar!…The Cheater Handbook is a bestseller, obviously.

            • Eileen–they are bottomless pits. Your marriage was doomed from the outset because you could NEVER supply everything he needed. Ever. Ask me how I know.

            • So true SAME STORY, different players. All of our joint family and friends are totally baffled by him. Of course his schmoopie and all his new friends he’s made me out to be the wicked witch of the west too probably think he’s grand.

              So it’s not just me his discards. He discards others too. Anyone who doesn’t believe the bullshit. Discard/Replace.

      • Great post, newchumpatl. The rabbit hole you mentioned is probably the hardest thing right now for me to come to grips with.

        The only thing I can add is that when I do this I look back on the relationship and realize that I was probably spackling more than I realized during the course of the marriage. I think back many years and there were times she would say or do something off the wall, and I would say to myself, “Just…Wow. She is literally a bit crazy/warped in her thinking.” But then you spackle and move on. Who wants to go back to that?

        • Yes, so familiar with the rabbit holes. I am also a very “fair” person and I want so much to be fair to my STBX even though he’s cheated me. For a long time, I looked for EVERY OTHER possible explanation to OW.. and it is possible he never slept with her, I won’t ever know that.. but I do know enough to conclude the relationship was not appropriate- and he lied about it. At MINIMUM, it didn’t help our marriage. He also checked out, and treated me TOTALLY differently from how he had in the past. So that much I knew.

          But as you think back, you do recognize things that you probably spackled out of love. I think we all do that. I am sure he spackled some of my faults. But in all those years, I didn’t feel he was “distant” from me, I thought we were a team, I thought we were raising kids, working jobs, doing the “suburban life” thing. I really didn’t know he was having this internal crisis. He never came to me and said “I am having these weird feelings and I feel like we aren’t connected”.. if he had, I would have acted on it. He claims he “talked” to me about this stuff but I honestly don’t recall it. And given how PROMPTLY I descended into the pick me dancing after BD.. if he had talked to me about it prior, I would have acted.

          I think a lot of what comes after BD and discovery of cheating is “justification”. It’s hard because we take it personally but I think it actually isn’t personal. It’s really not about us at all.

          • I don’t think they want to reconnect, and it isn’t really about us. If they were normal, they would do what you suggested, talk to you about it; and in a caring way, both parties would try to find the way back. But if they told you honestly what was “wrong”, it wouldn’t hold water and they know it. They know that their excuses are weak; it’s about image management. And if they talked honestly to you, then they might lose their excuse to cheat, which is really what it’s all about. And it’s a lot more exciting to do the cheating thing than it is to try to do the work of reconnecting with your partner. Particularly when they were the one who did the disconnecting for no good reason. Hang in, and stay out of those rabbit holes!

            • For sure!!! I think once the mask slips for good and they realize they can’t really lie to us the same way anymore, it all changes. We’ve “seen too much”. Our kibbles become too expensive, too hard to maintain. We know they did these terrible things.. gaslighting us is less effective and we become stronger. Reconciling with someone who is strong, smart, and who has expectations is a whole lot tougher than a schmoopie who is hot to trot and not putting up any such road blocks. Cheap Kibbles!!!!!

              The problem is, of course, once the “cheating” is no longer “sneaking around” but ordinary day to day life (with kid visits, bills, child support payments, etc).. the boredom sets in again. I think this cycle is faster and faster too.. once they get away with it once, they keep doing it. Also the warts on the AP partner also start to surface. Schmoopie will eventually have some expectations. All of a sudden sparkles aren’t so sparkly. Then cheater is back where they started, with someone yapping at them about commitment and a reciprocal relationship. These schmoopies are mostly so dim that they actually THINK they can build real relationships with these cheaters. When the kibbles become more expensive again- well, you know the rest of the story.

              It’s sad, because innocent kids get caught up in this. I struggle because my STBX and I were married 18 years. I wonder if he was doing this all along, how long with this schmoopie specifically.. or other schmoopies. It makes me feel kind of dumb, or naive. It’s a terrible feeling to think your life is not what you thought it was.

              But hey, better now than 10 years from now, right Chump Guy! We are all going to be okay.

      • NewChumpAtl, I relate so much to your post.

        Thank you and (((hugs))) to you.

    • Makes total sense to me. My cheater and I did share a lot of fond memories, and for many years I was under the impression that she was a giving, loving, empathetic person.

      So the deep sadness is there, whether I had something tangible with her that I lost, or whether none of it was real. It still hurts. And the affair, the destruction of a marriage – it doesn’t make sense.

      But then also it does. When I replay our relationship history, I do see the selfishness, the lack of empathy, the lack of reciprocity, the mind games, the need to control, the gas-lighting, the financial abuse, the emotional abuse, the emotional withdrawal, the dominance of time, the inability to consider my needs, the difficulties with just simple parenting, the drama, the need for image control, the need to keep up with the Jones, the eating disorder, the resistance to common sense and leadership, the rejection of my gifts, the sexual rejection, and the narcissism.

      Somewhere in there, I still somehow think she is a good person with good intentions – but maybe that’s just the chump talking. I still want her to have a good life and to not suffer. I still want my children to be able to have a good relationship with their mother.

      But yeah, I have to remember that she disrespected and abused me thoroughly and completely.

      • I understand exactly how you feel.

        You put up with a lot Buddy, as I did. Mine never ever supported the things that were important to me. He wanted me to give up everything I enjoyed and were important to me. But then there were the other things. I considered it a trade off. But for both of us I guess it was way too one sided.

        • Yeah propped up his self indulgent,negative discontented arse for 16 years.ruined my health and then career.then during my bad times he fucks off with some skanky,drunk old Trollope from work.she leaves her 3 daughters and husband of 24 years and he leaves 2 beautiful sons and me.i just know he never deserved me.what ever story rewriting shit he comes out with.i wish them nothing but miseru and pain.fuck the nasty pair of bastards

        • Lina and Buddy thanks for your post…i needed that today. I am trying to remove material items from my home that trigger anxiety. Kind of hard. I have a house full of children and the photos and gifts are part of them too. I have lied to my kids – I told them its time for remodeling the house. LOL they went with it and have pintrest plans for every room! (I havent pulled the trigger on the divorce paperwork for finacial and safety reasons so even in this post I feel i should be vague) Anyhow I wanted to express I feel the same way about my STBX…he isnt 100% evil, LOL hes more like 60% evil. The other 40% was pretty damn good. He is an idiot. In lucid moments he agrees he is an idiot.
          I have to dig deep and not drag myself into deep depression from regretting I stayed with him for so long. Hooray it’s a new day! All of you chumps kick butt today:-)

      • I see this story repeated by chumps like you and I. Did the jerk truly love us? Not likely in the way that you and I love someone. Did they have fun along the way. I’m sure they did. So, if we had a good time on that trip to the beach, so be it. It was fun. The difference is in perspective I think. We are not perfect, but we expect others to treat us with love and concern. Just like how we would treat them. And in most cases the chump was the one managing, helping, caring. At least until we started to wake up to the fact that nothing was coming back to us.
        We did not learn to recognize and did not expect someone we fell in love with to be missing the empathy gene. To be so willing to totally betray and lie to the one they professed to love. Even put their physical health and their children’s future at risk. But to the cheating crowd, they need a constant supply of externally applied ego booster. Widely available at workplaces, bars, and clubs everywhere.

      • A lot of this is very familiar. I thought W and I had a very deep and rich life and relationship over several decades. I look back and there are objectively good memories, but strangely, they are all tainted by what she did to my family and I, just because she felt like it and just because she could. I’ll think about something really special we did together, and how we talked about how lucky we were to have each other and our son. But whenever I start to have more than a fleeting warm, happy memory, the cheater elephant comes back in the room and crowds it out.

        The “good” part of me sincerely wants her to have a productive, happy rest of her life and success in the new career she is trying to build. Even with what she did, she is a human being that shared a long life with me and had my back for a long time (as I did hers). But there is another “bad” part of me, that says “To Hell with her, not my problem any more, and it wouldn’t break my heart if she did hit rock bottom. No more than she deserves.” And the fact that I can feel this way about someone I recently cherished is not a good feeling.

        The ambivalence and conflicting feelings are strange to deal with. I try not to dwell on any of it and just keep my focus on all the good things in my life. And I do trust that she revealed her real self when she cheated and that her underlying character has a giant emptiness in it. That is the key. All part of the difficult journey to “Meh”.

        Thanks for the reminder, CL.

        • i have experienced a very similar “strangeness” trying to reconcile what my life really was… with what I thought it was. i am 4 years post DDay, 2 years divorced.

          i used to wish the Men in Black would arrive at my door and reset my brain to delete any memory of XH. sigh. instead, i found a real reset.

          i decided to keep every memory i created with XH by focusing on the love, trust, joy, and hard work I BROUGHT to the experiences. this is mine to keep! he did not take that. his deceit does not cancel out my honesty or loyalty. or the joy of twenty seven years of moments.

          the pain and sadness associated with this surreal juxtaposition is lessening… as i focus on MY joy in the memories that i created. (does that make sense?). i even surprisingly sometimes find myself saying to my adult daughters (who are still slogging through their own trauma about discovering their father’s real personality), “Remember when….?” with a fond chuckle. Once after my daughter and I saw our favorite family van (same exact color too) at a stop light, my daughter and I looked at each other, paused, and without planning, in unison said “That was real for me..”

          • Chumpette, it makes perfect sense. That is what I have done. The good memories I have are real and valid, that reality cannot be changed because of what ex did, or even what he may have been doing without my knowledge at the time. Pretty cool you have your kid to further validate that for you

            • good for you too, Dat!

              anwhen we saw “our van” it was a turning point in reclaiming family memories. actually, it was a starting point 🙂

              • Chumpette – yes, this. During the hardest time after discovery, when my brain refused to process the depths of the x-douchebag’s betrayal, and I couldn’t make sense of what was “real” anymore, my counselor told me that there are two realities, both running on the same time line, but on very different tracks.

                One reality is mine and the kids’ track. It is and was real for us because of our love, joy, sadness, trials, happiness, and memories (good and bad) that we made as our honest selves.

                The second reality track is the x-douchebag’s. It is and was full of deceit, possibly some goodness here and there, but that’s not for me to worry about anymore. Even if I cut him out of 23 years of photos, I’d remain with my kids, and the reality of what WE made out of those times. He’s have to own who he was and what mask he wore in each of those times. Who even knows anymore. I’m closer to meh every day.

          • Yes, it makes sense. In fact that is the ONLY way I can handle the sixteen years of memories. To think of myself, and the joy, love, trust and generosity that I willingly gave. That I still gave my kids a great life, a safe home, and I have forgiven myself for exposing them to the abusive boyfriend for sixteen years.

            • yes, you did all that Muse. and all that is not a chump, that is a good mom 🙂

              in fact, when i look back at the memories now, i am reconnecting with all my goodness, rather than the embarrassment of being chumped. besides, HE is the one who is the embarrassment!

          • Chumpette, deadH had a pathologic capacity to wipe out (disassociate) memory after he did something awful to me. I used to tell him I wish he ha da blinky thing like the MIBs to wipe my memory out too, but I was not so fortunate.

            He was a difficult H all along but I loved him…the last I remember him being decent and interested in me was 1996…I guess that his serial cheating started in about 1997. As far as Im concerned, the whole damn thing went up in flames, good memories with the bad all mixed together in a swath of destruction.

        • Chump guy,
          Oh I hear at! Every step of the way. R u trying to R or have u D?

          The big white elephant never leaves the room…

          Mine just doesn’t get what he did, as he tells me often, ” you can ride the white elephant right out towards a safari w me, ((married almost 30 yrs)) or you can ride the white elephant alone.

          Mine was a good marriage and so much that in this written by CL, I need to work on whenever I start to feel guilty.

          The forgiveness part I’m still really struggling w…

          • Susan, not divorced yet, but no reconciliation in the cards. Most of the time I’m too busy to really think much about her and could care less, but every once in a while, it just hits me, “My God, what we have lost, and for what? How could you?”

            • Yep. I just try to breathe through those moments. It’s a hallmark (symptom) of having high empathy and emotional intelligence. It hasn’t stopped for me yet, but each bounce-back gets a little easier, and more graceful.

              “Tuesday ahead. Keep Walking.”


      • Buddy, this is word for word my situation and my feeling. I still love who I thought she was. She was just a dream. Great memories, but the reality sucked. Unlike you, I would like to see the karma bus come to her door. I’ll be patient.
        Thanks for the perfect description of my situation as well.

        • Folks, if you have access to the cheater’s family or old acquaintances or can do any historical research on them, I think you are likely to find that the person you thought he or she was never really existed.
          I was fortunate in that my both my XWs families stayed in contact with me and came forward after they cheated and we divorced. Also , old friends of theirs that I had met and liked came forward with stories of past infidelities, past instances of dishonesty etc.
          Many of us , I think , believe we discovered their only affair. But, studies show that almost all affairs go undetected forever. So, if you found one, odds are that there were more that you never found out about. The cheating was not so specific to us, as it is a lifestyle for many cheaters, even those who present as Betty Crocker or Ward Cleaver.
          Look into their pasts if you so desire and I bet in many , if not the majority of cases, you will find evidence of prior cheating in some capacity, perhaps as an OW or OM.
          I would advise designer dad to do this as with someone capable of such a long term affair as his wife, there are bound to be past indiscretions.

          • I agree with Arnold that these users and abusers very often have been their evil selves for most, if not all, of their lives. Their character just wasn’t apparent to us when we met these disordered, malignant people. After ten years with my STBX, I learned that STBX had been doing malicious, unhealthy, illegal things for several decades. He was able to lie about and hide this history for a decade.

            A year past my initial discovery of his infidelity to me and ten months since his taking me to court to divorce me and wrest physical custody from me by falsely accusing me of heinous acts I did not commit. I am forever thankful to him for giving me the gift I would never give myself–freedom.

            It’s not difficult for me to ‘trust that he sucks’ as he harasses me several times a week. I go to court approximately once a month, often to defend myself from his false allegations. Right now, he is working extra hard to make my life very difficult (trying to prevent me from taking vacation by withholding information about his work schedule and thus our custody schedule, among many other things) in large part because he realizes that I am happier now with my new partner, although I have neither flaunted my private life nor done anything dishonorable. Hell hath no fury as a man who has scorned his wife and then realizes that she is healthier and happier without him.

          • I think you’re right. I found out all sorts of lovely tidbits of information about the person I considered the “love of my life”. Truth has a way of shaking out eventually. I don’t feel as bad about my divorce now, because I know he was never the person I thought he was.

            Over last summer, I was ran into a friend who works at the same company my X does. We went through the normal pleasantries, that she was sorry my marriage fell apart blah-blah-blah, typical stuff. Then she says, ” I can’t believe he left you for Lisa. She’s a skank!” Well guess what, he didn’t leave me for Lisa, who works at his company too; he left me for someone else. Whoops!

            So there you go. Cheaters gonna cheat, and liars are gonna lie. One day, the new Mrs. will figure out who she hitched her wagon to. Enjoy!

      • Buddy, that summary describes my marriage to a T. I have no idea what purpose I served in her life. Was I just someone to help her have kids? Someone to help get her out of debt? Just a glorified roommate to share expenses with?

        I gave her kids (that I love more than anything), got her out of debt, helped her establish herself, and now I am just being discarded. And looking back, I see all of those things you described.

        It’s becoming clear that that’s just who these folks are. It’s nothing personal, they don’t seem to know any better or how else to act. They just suck.

        • You’ve all hit the nail on the head, here. I was never a wife, I was a nanny, concierge, butler and fuckpuppet. Being used eclipses all those potentially good memories, and has made serious dents in my capacity to trust.

          What save me is this thought-The good part was YOU.

          Trusting that they suck is, I guess, like having to stick to the 12 steps. That is the nature of trust-having it means letting go of all the crimes they committed. Sounds cheesy, but I think I finally turned Mehwards when I started to identify as a survivor rather than a victim.

          We’re all veterans of a war we didn’t know we were fighting. Meh is walking off the battlefield and never looking back. Tricky if you are raising kids, and having to recognize that they need to get to that point, too.


          • Yes, “the good part was you”…when I remember a good memory, I also now remember that I was the one who usually did all the planning, put up the money for it and made it happen (like trips or birthday parties). Cheater was the one who was usually tried to ruin it for us with his stinginess, rages, and controlling ways.

            I am sure that if you all think back, you will find that they were never different. They sucked from the very beginning, but we were always to chumpy to believe it. Remember, these people do not love anyone but themselves, and they feel pleasure from hurting others as much as they do from feeling loved and admired. They need attention permanently, negative or positive.

            • I love what you said Susan! I was the one paying, planning, organizing, running things.

          • “I was never a wife, I was a nanny, concierge, butler and fuckpuppet.”

            Yes, this.

            I decided that I still believed in marriage …I kept joking that I “want to give it a try sometime” (the charade I was in for 26 years was no “marriage”). I trust my new H, but if he turns out to be a bad guy, that will be it for me, I would seriously move to a cottage and get a pink sofa, VW bug and a dog.

    • Lina,
      I felt the sadness part, too. Cheaters make some poor choices and eventually they do regret what they’ve lost even when they don’t admit it.

      Let the sadness wash over you, it’s part of grieving the loss, but then, count your blessings as to why you are now better off with him out of the picture.

      Well done cancelling the EZ pass. I did a similar thing with my Ex about three years ago, and not long ago his Schmoopie on her blog made a cryptic comment about “vengeful ex’s”. I chuckled that he must have had a run-in with someone over the cancelled privileges I visited on him! Yes the Karma bus sometimes runs late but it always arrives.

      • I do hope he lives to regret. Not very meh but ….

        The thing is, he never wanted that EZ pass. Acted like I was stupid for suggesting it. I went and got it and guess who ended up loving it? In all the shitstorm I’d forgotten I was the one who signed up for it. Got a letter in the mail asking me to update my card on the account. I knew he’d taken it but forgot it was in my name. I found out at the office that he’d just used it in May, the day before his birthday. May this pay him back for what he did with my car insurance. All he had to do was notify me. I didn’t expect him to pay it but he could have let me know so I didn’t just get a cancellation notice. If I’d hit someone without insurance I could have lost everything.

    • Lina, so sorry about your father. My heart goes out to you. I took care of my father during the last 10 months of his life and it was a terribly sad time for me because he and I were always close. I was daddy’s girl growing up – I followed him everywhere and learned so much from him. He instilled the quiet confidence in me that he had and I wish could be half as wise as he was. As hard as it is for you now taking care of him, you will later be glad that you did and realize that you wouldn’t have had it any other way. Stay strong and love him through this. Hugs to you!

    • So sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my father in June and it has been difficult, to say the least. My dad was my rock, my biggest fan and one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Losing him has thrown me into a weird state. Most days, I feel like I am swimming in amber and I don’t want to do anything but come home from work and sleep. I will be driving in my car and burst into tears when I hear a sad song on the radio. It’s just very tough to know I will never see him again,but he was suffering so much and now he is not. The only advice I have is to take very good care of your physical health, avoid folks who aren’t there to help, and take all kind offers of assistance. It is a tough thing to lose a parent, as it seems that there is no one who loves you in the same way. Then you have to deal with so many (mostly) well-meaning people in the days after he dies. My X sat next to me at the funeral and it wasn’t awful, thanks to some great words of advice I received here. I wish your father a pain free passing and you peace as you enter what is surely one of the most difficult goodbyes of all.

  • They suck like my Dyson vacuum…. They get into everycrack and crevice and suck the life right out of u… You can see yr life floating around in that bagless container… They dont stop and say … Ooops lets get that outa there… It must have fallen between the cracks of the sofa. Most of them give the container a good shake… A la Darla in Finding Nemo….to get the bits to fall to the bottom… Walk over to the trash and press the button….
    You served your purpose… U are disgarded. Trust that they suck donkey dick.

    • Funny you mention sucking… mine once told me I “sucked his soul out”. Projection?

      • Projection. Yep.

        Mine made me so unhappy by being out of the house away from me and my three babies so much of the time, and then said to me “I can’t make you happy “….

        Mine also loved our Dyson. He got that in the division… Dyson makes him happy

  • I am not in a position to feel threatened by ex-cheater’s apparent success. Rather the contrary. He looks so pitiful that the saviour in me is tempted to consolate him or do things for him. Stangely, he seems to have at the same time a very high and very low opinion of himself. He finds faults in everybody, yet is unable to use his own personal qualities to ameliorate his situation. If I had his physique and intelligence, I would hide my shitty character and I would at least make this summer a blast. He lives on the French Riviera and available women are all over the place in short shorts and minidresses. I just have to imagine that as soon as the door is closed, after I heard no “goodbye” or “thank you” for the furniture I transported, he is back on Skype, giggling with one of his many Russian “friends”, to make my internal savior turn away and mind its own business.

    • (Anyway, why do I feel sorry for him, when he didn’t feel one bit sorry for me at the time he wanted out ?)

      • Because you are a good person, who has a hard time understanding bad behavior. I have the same savior instinct with my X, who is now very sick. After 35 years together, I can’t just turn off my feelings, so I try to direct them in a positive way. My X did not end up with OW and most of his family is long gone, so the burden to care for him falls on my kids, who dearly love their dad. I do what I can to help them and under the very favorable (to me) terms of a trust, I pay for his care. What I don’t do is allow him to invade my thinking or manipulate his way back into my life. I am not going to stop being a caring person to spite him because, if I did, the only person I would be damaging is myself.

        • You are right, Violet, absolutely so.

          ChumpfromF, please don’t take this two by four as anything but a loving one, but either he made you codependent or you already were and he played on it. Because he sucks. I totally get the saviour syndrome, I have it in spades. What third child of a narcissist WASP raised Quaker wouldn’t? We don’t USE people, that is the fundamental difference between Chumps and Cheaters.

          What helped me was learning that there are codepndency triggers to be overcome (just like the PTSD ones) around needing to be needed, and it is,possible to get yourself doing a sort of ‘stop, drop and roll’ when they cry wolf for the eightybajillionteenth time.

          I am not there yet, but looking forward to amazing myself when I apply that caretaking energy where it belongs!


          • You are right, Mephista. I was codependent. I was deeply convinced that I was responsible for his well being, I had never even thought about it all these years ! It’s a friend who uttered that word, and the few articles that I researched, that gave me the “Aha!” moment that set me free. I realized that I was not responsible, and that he was always unhappy with everything and everybody anyway, which made the situation exhausting. Needing to be needed resonates strongly with me. But this trait also helped me make a lot of good friends for life, I believe that the rewards exceed what I gave. What Violet says is very true, we have to keep them at arms length to avoid being used, but we can still act lovingly according to our nature. We feel good about ourselves when we’ve done the right thing, no matter who it is.

  • I do know and trust that he sucks. In the past few months, if we have had to be near each other for more than the drop off/pickup of our son, I start to feel drained and icky. It’s just too much time in his presence and I need to go. When I was selling my house, I had a to-do list of items that needed to be addressed…handyman stuff. STBXH built the house and I asked him to help me. He did. But it was a lot of time spent in close proximity. I start to remember all the gaslighting, ignoring our son to text/call OW, the lack of remorse. I never romanticize our marriage. It’s just toxic to me to me in near him for too long. I trust that he sucks.

    • I’ve been so busy with my own life, I forgot the most recent reminder that he sucks. He moved moved in with the OW and her son. He did this the same weekend that I moved out of our marital home…and told me after the fact. I was not surprised. I knew he would do that. I just didn’t expect him to do it before we finalized our divorce. See, we agreed that we would not introduce significant others to our 8 yo son until it was final. It’s in a legally-binding agreement. Um, hello? Cheaterpants. You do realize that you can not have your son over for sleepovers until the divorce is final right??? I know he didn’t expect me to allow it. What a douche bag. THEN, he calls my bro-in-law and complains about paying child support and that’s why he had to move in with her. I wonder if she knows that. She’s just convenient. Now he can mooch off her. They actually downgraded to rent a home cheaper than what she had to afford their life. I guess that’s what his new sparkly “happiness” looks like.

      • They do not think the ‘Legally binding’ agreement relates to them. After my STBX signed the mediated agreement that said “no new mates overnight with the kids in the house” I found out that STBX planned to move the pregnant girlfriend into his place. Our two kids would have had to suck it up as I planned to be away for an extended work trip, and would not have had anyplace to go.
        She miscarried, and did not move in. 8 months later, they married, welcomed a preemie, and moved out of state.

  • “Trust that they suck”…and always will. They can smile and laugh. Others can believe that they are wonderful…but the suck will come out. Always does!!!! I just hope I am around to watch it. I love karma.

  • I need this right now! I had a dream of her last night and all I can remember is balling my eyes out. She was looking to reconcile. It was so real. I KNOW she sucks. I just have to get that message into my soul. Thank you for this timely post.

    • (((hugs)))

      I have those dreams too. And I bawled like a baby when I heard Pedro Martinez was going into the hall of fame. He was our favorite pitcher. I couldn’t even watch the ceremony where they retired his number at Fenway because I’m tired of crying.

      • OMG you guys, I dreamed about my ex too, together like we used to be. The dream conveniently skipped over how we got from scorched earth to happy-again. But I still knew in the back of my dream mind what had happened, so there was an undercurrent of unease to our surface happiness. It still doesn’t take much to set off the tears. Like you, Lina, I’m tired of crying. Marked711, the person you cry for doesn’t exist, if that helps. It’s a complete illusion, a wisp of smoke. Sometimes, when this idealized-ex phantom comes to haunt me, I take a line from The Wizard of Oz and say, out loud with feeling, “Begone! You have no power here.” It works, most of the time.

      • I made a very concerted effort to reclaim things I thought we shared…I claimed them for my own after The Troubles. I went to the places and said “this is mine”.
        This included favorite restaurants, vacation destinations, and just this week, Pedro Martinez. Mine.

      • Lina, Pedro Martinez is the schizz! I love every single player in this year’s HOF group.

        • Absolutely! I was lucky enough to see him pitch in person several times. Once when he was in Montreal.

          Doop, good for you!

          • Remember that All Star game at Fenway? OMG!

            And the time he struck out 17 Yankees?

    • I dream about my husband almost every night (when I can sleep at all)- it sucks. I know in my rational mind that he sucks and I’ll never forgive him or want him back, but I guess all the emotional stuff has to leak out somewhere. It hasnt been very long, so I just hope it fades soon enough.

      • DOn´t worry Anna, it will….I cried for a year everyday and had dreams. But I retrained my brain and I have no space for him anymore. I am filling it with new memories that are good and when I revisit the old ones, I reclaim them as mine and don´t let him interfere…It does take time though, be patient and do stuff that helps your brain (exercise, yoga, art…etc).

        • Thank you! I do need to do more of those good things now that the crisis is over, and retrain my brain as you said.

    • Yes, the dreams/nightmares. The OW shows up in them too, in one I punched her in the face… that one I woke up smiling from.

  • Perfect timing for this posting. Just saw the new GF on facebook in her skinny bikini with her big fake boobs talking about the in-laws like they are her family now, with my kids in the picture too…I gotta’ admit, it gave me a twinge of pain…yes he is a lying, cheating, hoarding, abusive dirt bag with a really beautiful flat stomached GF, but I have peace of mind and my joy back

  • There are sometimes I want to remember the good things and forget the bad things. Sometimes I even surprise myself when I write what happened and then read it back, because it sounds so crazy. I want to think of the man I loved instead, who was a funny, bright, hardworking professor that inspired others. I don’t want to remember the cheater who lied to and gaslighted me for years.

    Yesterday I was reading that when kids are abused by their parents they tend to dissociate the “good parent” from the “bad parent” in their mind. They are dependent, and can’t make the decision to leave, so they focus on the “good parent” to survive. That’s what I did when I was growing up, we all do this to some extent but when you live in a dysfunctional environment you get really good at it. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to believe in the sucky side of my ex.

    Anyway, yesterday there was a lot of discussion about anger and when it crosses over the line. Here’s a great article about anger:

    Also, check out Lisa Arends’ course. She made the shocking discovery after her husband suddenly abandoned her that he was also married to someone else. She has some excellent advice on how to move forward. There are a few free previews:

    • Thanks, Lyn. I really enjoyed reading that blog as it offered alot of practical insight into the dance of anger.

  • It’s hard for me to fully internalize “trust that they suck” because my ex-wife abandoned and went back to an ex-boyfriend. Something in me wants to think they belong together since she did this after marrying me and after two years. I know it’s silly but I keep thinking the cliche “if you let them go and they come back it’s true love” (twu wuv). Then another part of me knows that he’s probably just more of a chump than I am since she abandoned him the same way to be with me. I was the other man but didn’t know it until recently – after 2 years of marriage. So I’m struggling to make heads or tails. I know what I know largely because of CL and Dr Simon but something in my head hasn’t reconciled.

    • Hugs Michael. Trust that she sucks. She clearly doesn’t know what she wants and what she wants probably changes with the wind. She sucks. She won’t ever be a good partner. Even if it “looks” that way with OM now.. how will it look when she shifts again?

      You are a great person and will recover.

      • Hugs back newchumpatl and thanks. Funny you should say she doesn’t know what she wants because those exact words came out of her mouth but I took it as cheater-speak. But there might be truth to her statement, in a very tossed-in-wind, cheater, self-centered sort of way.

        • Michael, it helped me to understand a lot about my XWs to start researching Cluster b personality disorders. If she cheated on that guy to be with you , I bet she has done this a ton of times to others. I bet she has many of the traits of the disordered.

        • I think when they allude to being screwed up.. that’s probably the closest, most honest answer you are going to get to what’s going on with them. Not sure how old your xwife is.. but my cheater is mid 40’s. If you don’t know what you want and how to be emotionally mature by the time you are mid 40’s, will you ever? Sure, there are times I think I want a different job, or to take up a different hobby.. I don’t mean that kind of stuff.. but “throwing away family and young kids” wouldn’t have ever been something I would have considered. Craziness.

          • “I think when they allude to being screwed up.. that’s probably the closest, most honest answer you are going to get to what’s going on with them. ”

            About the most honest thing she said to me during my ordeal was “I’m no good for you.”

    • Oh yeah, she sucks. Like my husband’s ex-gf, who had a supposedly EX-husband on the other end of the country. She lied, lied, lied. Finally took her two daughters, for whom my guy had served as a father figure for a few years, and went back to her former home to take care of some “family business”. And then she went back to her ex-husband (except he had no idea he was an ‘ex’)! My husband was never married to her, but he was also an unknowing other man. But a phone call clued him in. And then after a few weeks, she wanted to come back to her dependable boyfriend who had learned enough and come to his senses enough to say “No, just stay there.”

      Which worked out well for me. I met him a couple of years later, and we’ve been together ever since. And it turns out I had gone to classes with the ex-gf’s sister, who was happy to back up what I had been told. Her sister was a predatory narc who had not actually bothered to divorce her husband before she changed her hunting ground.

      Yes, they suck. And chump’s can make great partners for each other. Twenty-five years come April. (Which is no guarantee of happy ever after, I know. And if things ever get weird, I know where to turn!)

      • By the way, her daughters are fine. They contacted my husband a few years ago, who was so glad to know they don’t hate him for not taking their mom back.

      • “Her sister was a predatory narc who had not actually bothered to divorce her husband before she changed her hunting ground.”

        Sounds just like my ex.

        • Michael, (somewhat) recent scientific studies have pointed to Cluster B Personality Disorders having a genetic and congenital component. The brain/CT scans, MRI’s and other tests have shown that the Frontal Lobes, especially the Pre-Frontal Cortex, with particular focus on the Amygdala are “unique” with disordered people. If your ex sister-in-law has Narcissitic traits, well, it stands to reason. This is not to excuse your ex’s behavior. Not at all. Free will, self discipline and determination can trump genetic behavior traits. It just seems like some people choose to embrace their dark side because it serves their selfish purposes. I had to come to that conclusion with my XH. Hugs and support.

    • THIS. You just wrote my story except that we were married 28 years (together 30). Recently discovers that I was the OM too (in college). She was trolling for old boyfriends a few years back and re-connected with an old high school boyfriend. She abandoned me out of the blue to be with him. Trust she sucks. It didn’t last then, it won’t last now. Be strong.

  • They suck and, in many cases, are disordered. So even when they’re trying to not suck, they still effing suck.

  • This is my daily mantra after I get out of bed and before I open the door to the rest of the house I take a deep breath and say it – out loud. “Trust that he sucks!” Try it. Wake up every day and say it out loud. It reinforces what you already know. They suck, and I believe they will never stop sucking. No matter how pretty the picture they portray to the world (think about the picture they showed the world of themselves before you knew what was happening, it’s no different) is you know better, you lived it, they suck!

    My disappointment is that the whore won’t leave her husband for mine. I truly want her to have to experience his every day self – as punishment for her crimes.

    • Awww, your poor ickle cheaterpants, he doesn’t get the Schmoopie prize? AllOut, that will be an incredible show if her hubs finds out…..

  • Yeah its hard to see former family post pics including fucktard on Facebook, and then post comments with innuendo. I decided to Un-follow my (what would I call her, ex-step-daughter?)

    I brought up my Xhusband’s kids and when I divorced their dad, they dropped me and my son like a hot potato. I showed my son the contrast between one of the Mother’s Day cards I got from one of his girls years ago, versus a hastily-written, curt note along with returned presents me and my family gave her over the years. My son was like, “…Wow…”

    Trust they SUCK.

  • A timely re-run of one of my favorite columns. I feel a great disturbance in the Force this week, XW keeps popping up and I have this odd gut feeling like she is going to reach out to me.
    To make it worse, I almost broke 19 hard-earned months of no-contact last night for no good reason, maybe because I feel so off-kilter. (Thankfully I regained my senses)
    This is a GREAT reminder of why it’s been 19 months (AND STILL COUNTING). I guarantee she still sucks.

    • Scotty – I had the same feeling recently (and also referred to as a disturbance in the Force!) and the texts came. Prepare yourself.

  • I was just trying to remind myself of this! I’ve gone as NC as I can with him (we have two kids together that we share custody of), yet I find myself fantasizing about their relationship and if he’s happier now. I get angry at him for putting me in a position in which I do not get to see my children every day, and he has the audacity to say to me that he misses the kids when they are not with him?! I remind him that HE CHOSE this path, not I and not ‘we’ together. It burns the most when the kids come back to me and act out and tell me that this is my fault – and when I attempt to talk to their dad about it, he says they do not behave that way when they are with him. And the kids tell me that too. I’m baffled. I’m the parent that is sane. I’m the parent that is involved and engages with the children. He stays with his mother when he has the kids and SHE is the one taking care of them. He does not cook, he does not clean, he does not help them with their homework, he does not bathe them, he does not get them ready for bed. I am doing all of these things ALONE and I don’t understand why I am getting the shit end of the stick with the kids’ behavior (they are 8 and almost 10). I know the kids do not have rules or chores to follow over there and I do keep a pretty structured routine with rules and chores, which makes them think “Mom is mean.” They idolize their father because he acts like cool dad and buys them whatever they want. His sister was empathetic with me for a while, but has now turned to defending him and lashed out at me through text. We were like sisters and it kills me. It kills me that I go home to an empty house three nights a week (even if I am filling my time with friends – there are nights that no one is available), while on his nights he is snuggling happily with his ‘lady friend’ (he still wont admit that he is still seeing her and lives with her part-time) on his nights off from the kids. He doesn’t feel the loneliness. He doesn’t feel the consequences of his actions. He doesn’t think what he did was a problem. He does not think he has any problems (he only “made mistakes”). He is planning on finishing school (which I had been working and putting him through since early 2011) and creating a bigger and better life for himself that does not include me and all my evilness. He sucks. I have to trust that his true character will come out and that this period in time is just a cover up to lure the lady friend into his trap. And in the end, that is her problem. Not mine.

    • Hang tough.. the “dad buys us whatever we want” gig might work on little kids but it works less as they get older. Teenagers understand this stuff.

      You are playing the long game here. Your kids will get it. They will understand some day.

      He sucks, and his family sucks for supporting his suckiness. Not that you have to hate them.. but they still suck.

      • Whatjusthappened: so sorry! What a horrible situation to deal with; one that you did not create. That’s the part that really gets me: we were burned but we need to make all this effort to repair ourselves, to heal, while it seems like they slink off into the sunset to their new life. I know it doesn’t feel fair for one second and you are justified in every feeling that you expressed in your post. I too have a SIL who completely dropped me; she said: “Don’t contact me.” What the hell? Trust that they suck extends to family members like that too. As for your kids, continue to be the sane parent as CL says. There is a lot of wisdom and truth in that and I just have to believe that eventually your kids will see it. My 16-year-old really sees it and I didn’t think she’d ever get there but she did. She is truly a chump child who discovered his love bomb emails with MOW when she was in 6th grade and held the secret for years due to his shaming her when he caught her. Having kids, I believe, is what makes moving on and trusting that they suck difficult due to the need for interaction, as minimal as that might be.

    • WJH- I could have written your story! My hubby’s exW left him so she could have sex with other men (he’s a fellow chump, obviously). ExW stays with her parents when my stepdaughter visits, because she’s involved with a man who has been inappropriate with my SD. ExW stays in bed late, doesn’t make my SD follow ANY rules (bedtime, hygiene, manners, cleaning), so my SD thinks her mother is “so awesome”. ExW pays us ZERO dollars in support, so she always has money for concert tickets, dinners out, junk from the store, etc. While we struggle to make ends meet- we aren’t poor, just not a lot left over for fun.

      I have taken to telling my SD that I don’t care what she can or can’t do at her mother’s. She knows what we expect from her at home, plain and simple. We give her about 15-30 minutes to mentally “transition” to our house when she comes home. About a year ago, you couldn’t say anything about her mother without her getting very upset. These days, she knows her mother sucks. Her mother has broken many promises, lied to her and once left her alone on a playground for 8 hours and CPS got involved. Your ex will show his true colors and your kids will know who he really is.

      We don’t run commentary on her mother’s life, but we do tell my SD the truth. “Yes, your mother left your father because she wanted other boyfriends and you can’t have other boyfriends while married. No, she didn’t leave because of you.” “No, you can’t ever go to your mother’s house because her boyfriend is overly interested in kids and we want to keep you safe- always. Plus, the courts have said you can’t go over there and we don’t want to violate the law.” “Your mother agreed to see you 4 days (or less) per month- that’s what she asked for and wanted.” “No, your mother can’t take you out of town to go to a concert- she’s done things that have been very unsafe for you (leaving you at the park alone for 8 hours).”

      Because we have full custody and say so regarding visitation, we have restricted her visits with her mom when things have really been out of control (when her behavior is off the charts). ExW has diagnosed Borderline PD and is a poor influence on my SD’s behavior. It’s been better when she comes home from visits- she transitions more easily to home now.

    • What-your kids act up because they trust you and see you as a safe place to vent. Hard to focus on when the tantrums are happening. They will need counselling. My kiddo is at the end of the process, and will never be a Chump.

      We managed to get away-Kiddo’s choice, in the end. Very. Far. Away.

      What worked in the meantime was parallel parenting:your house, your rules.

      strength to your arm!

    • WhatJustHappend many hugs. I think this will help you out to understand really their life together is really nothing special at all. This is will explain the relationship cycle that all of these disordered people follow. Another person on here that comments stated about “Gray Rock” method and it is an idea for you that many people use if they cannot go full No contact especially if you have kids. Please look it up. Let me give you the link that I wrote above (it is a great podcast):

      Just remember you are mighty and we are here for you!!!!

    • WhatJustHappend – So, he’s “creating a bigger and better life for himself” without you, right? Yeeeeaahhh…. we’ll just see how *that* works out for him. 🙂 I’m not a betting man, but if I were, my money would NOT be on that guy coming out on top in any way/shape/form.

  • I was chatting with a friend and her mother the other day when I mentioned that I hadn’t had good barbecue in ages. The next day, her mother showed up at my house unannounced with some out-of-this world barbecue for me and the kids. She said she was shopping, saw it, and thought of me.

    I thanked her profusely and invited her in to share. She did and we had a fabulous meal.

    But you want to know what my first instinct was? To bawl like a baby.

    Because it happened to be our anniversary (should have been our 29th), and it had literally been 20 years since XH had done anything as remotely thoughtful as buying something on a whim for me.

    Why my first thoughts strayed to that, I don’t know, but the contrast between being treated with love and respect instead of annoyance and belittlement was SO stark, it brought a tear to my eye.

    Yep, his behavior is on HIM, not me.

    And yes, it really sucked.

    • It is amazing how little we got back from the cheaters after all our good will and effort, even before we found out they were cheating. Chumps deserve so much more.

    • Red, I totally get it, acts of kindness and friendship have the power to make me cry too. I got so little for so long I feel like I’m getting too much when someone just genuinely likes me and treats me well. Jedi hugs if you want em

    • I can so relate to this. About a year and a half after I found out about my husband’s affair, I started seeing a new therapist. She had a K-cup machine jn her waiting area and before my first session I used it to make a chai latte. (Surprisingly it wasn’t half bad!) The next week, I opened the door to her waiting area and she told me she just had to run to the ladies’ room… and that she’d started a chai latte K-cup for me and I should grab it and bring it in to the session room. I didn’t burst into tears, but I definitely welled up. That gesture– noticing what I liked, remembering it a week later, and voluntarily doing something nice for me– felt so completely foreign. It meant so much to me and still does, even though I’m in a much better emotional place now. Small things can really be meaningful.

  • I think one thing most Chumps can take some comfort in is that to be a cheater, one must also be a pretty damn good liar. And liars don’t really change. Once a person learns lying works for them, they often do it to everyone around them. If a person gives themselves “permission” to lie to a spouse about something big, like seeing a man/woman behind their back.. they will lie about all sorts of other things too. And if they get away with such lies with a new schmoopie.. they will also eventually lie to that schmoopie. Is it possible schmoopie is better suited to the cheater? Sure. In fact, I can see that being the case because schmoopie is also probably an entitled liar.. given he/she is willing to take up with someone married who is lying to their family.. so perhaps they are “better suited”.. but chump lady is right.. they don’t share our values.. so really, to doesn’t matter. I think in most cases though, the schmoopies are just kind of dim. People of below average intelligence and most of the time they get burned too.

    Do they have each other? Yeah. But would you have either one of them? Would a decent woman or man of good character want anything to do with a person who easily breaks up their marriage or the marriage of someone else? Possibly hurting innocent kids? Any person who would put their selfish needs over the needs of kids is a POS. Period. So as Chump Lady puts it.. Trust they Suck. Trust Schmoopie sucks too. Trust they will receive their karma in due time.. Both of them.. their karma is really having to live life as shallow soulless people who would screw over others to get what they want. What kind of life is that? Phoney.. and sad. Let them have it.

    We chumps need to claim our authentic lives.

    • Newchumpatl, you just helped me tremendously. I love everything you said and the thing is: it’s the absolute truth! This is very very hard to see at first but the process I experience here with all of you, e.g., support, really truly helps me to get there. I am so grateful to you, CL, and all the supporters here. It works!

  • “know your worth” was always my preferred CL mantra. Takes the focus off them completely, focusing on rebuilding your own awareness of how wonderful you are, independent of them.

  • Yeah, not trusting they suck just sets you back. I broke NC recently after almost a year (he contacted me a lot during that time, but I never responded unless it was a clear and short business issue).

    Emailed him to tell him that I had to put my beloved dog to sleep. I adopted her when we were still married but when I moved out, I asked him to keep her at the house until I got settled so that her life wouldn’t be so disrupted. He said if I left her he would take her to a shelter; she was an old, old mastiff and that would have killed her. So I don’t know why I bothered to let him know that she had to be put down. I guess I was just feeling nostalgic and so sad and wanted someone who had known her to know that she was passing soon.

    Big mistake. He asked to see her “one last time” (hasn’t seen her for a year and a half, since he threatened to send her to the shelter). I politely said I didn’t think I could work that out and that this was a very difficult time for me having to put her down. His raging, narc response was a rant telling me that I was bitter, cruel, mean spirited, etc. for not letting him see her. I wrote out a nasty response to him, but never sent it.

    Moral of the story, they don’t change. The facade of decency is very thin. And if you try to treat them like a normal person, they will again prove that they are the opposite of normal.

    Other moral of the story: get a dog! My girl was such a source of comfort and strength during the long moving out/divorce/healing process.

    • I’m so glad you told him no. When I started reading this post and got to the line where he wanted to see her one last time, I thought: “Don’t do it! He won’t show up. You’ll sit there in agony and he’ll show up late, if at all, and then tell you he was too upset to bear it.” And for him to go off on you in typical narc fashion—Suck! Suck! Suck!

      Sorry. Trigger. When I had to put my cat put to sleep (liver cancer) as peaceful as it was for her, it was heart-breaking for me.

      • I’m so sorry about your kitty. It’s very hard to make that decision for a pet.

        I was NEVER going to let XH anywhere near her. Screw him. He didn’t give a shit about my dog, but he would have shown up all right, so that he could get a chance to hoover me and try to regain some footing. He’s been trying various avenues to do that for a year. Was my own fault that I cracked the door with the email to him, but it was also good to see that he is still just what I knew he was.

        • And I’m sorry about your dog. (I want to say your puppy. For some reason, to me all dogs are puppies. They just are.)

          Anyway, if ‘cracking the door’ was a good reminder, then it served it’s purpose. Hoovering is such a good term. They suck, and there’s a vacuum where a soul should be.

          • My heart breaks for the loss of your pets Prickly and Defying. I believe it is such a genuine loss to lose a pet, unlike anything really.

      • I know I was not an overly emotional person during our marriage. But I remember coming home after putting my cat down, upset. I needed comfort, she looked at me not knowing what to do with me, and then she looked at me and the kids like “Why are you being so emotional? The kids don’t need to see you like this.” This was nowhere near when the affair started, but this should have been a narc flag.
        If you really need someone, it doesn’t matter what is going through you hug them and comfort them as best as you can. After D-day, if I was bawling, she may try, but would walk away if it was finally bed time for her. If I was bawling, and she started, I’d stop and comfort her. Why do I feel like I’m the fucked up one in this situation.

        • Because you hurt, and you want a reason for why you hurt. Trust me, you’re not the f-ed up one in this scenario; it’s the unfeeling who are screwed up.

        • A couple of days after my cat died, whom I had for 16 years, I woke up one morning and broke down in tears. The ex-wife couldn’t understand why I was still sad. My cat use to know when I woke up and would come up on the bed, sit on my chest and lick my face. I missed him tremendously that day. All my ex could say was “Come on honey. You’ve got to stop this.” Like it was an inconvenience to her. Frigid. Very frigid. I knew something was wrong with her then but I didn’t realize exactly how frigid she really was.

          • Hear hear! Mine only complained about cats, so I ended up getting dogs when my last cat died. Nope, hated the dogs just as much – or maybe more – than my cats.

            I think he hates me having a source of comfort when he’s being a prick.

            I left him and am preparing for divorce right now. And thoroughly enjoying letting my dogs on the bed at night.

  • “Their new life is no longer your concern. YOUR new life is your concern.”

    Man, I so needed that reminder today. I was feeling sad last night listening to the kids talk about the XH and AP’s new adorable kitten that they spontaneously adopted. Thinking again about how great it is for him that his life is all sparkle and fun now.

    Thanks, CL, for helping me to remember that he does, indeed, suck. Deep breaths and putting the focus back on me. That’s what I need.

  • There is a line from a TV show I used to watch .One character says to another “Think of it like a bowl of peach cobbler you’ve just dropped on the floor. As good as it might have been, you just don’t want it anymore.”

    I took to thinking of cheater ex (both of them actually)……… like poison candy. Looks yummy, smells good, would taste divine for a short while, but the price I would pay would just not be worth it.

    Also the thought occurs to me that the tenure the cheater has in the marriage is directly linked to his or ability to keep the lie going for as long as possible. The better the acting skills the longer the tenure. Then when those skills begin to fail they have their brainwashing program they’ve implemented on us chumps. to fall back on. Then when they have sucked every ounce of use and good energy out of the chump and the marriage, they move on to their next :victim” or “greener pastures”…….whichever applies.

    Yeah, they do suck.

    • I love the peach cobbler/poison candy concept…that is very useful. Thank you Tessie!!


    ALL cheating stories are horror stories, you a-hole. You think cheaters “normally” stop on their own? Based on what? I’ve known dozens of cheaters in my time and that’s true of NONE of them. It’s equally untrue for the great majority of the hundreds of folks who have posted on this site about their experience with cheating partners. You should be ashamed of yourself for responding to the pain of others with arrogance and ignorance.

    Duckblind: Duck You.

  • Timely post.Thought I had reached meh but saw the ex on TV,the evening news.He’s the expert witness in his capacity as consultant in a malpractice suit.There he was posing as a pillar of society having lied,cheated,abused covertly for years.There was however something so familiar about his expression,the way he walked, that brought me back to a time when I loved him and believed he loved me.I was so overwhelmed by sadness and grief,so thrown off kilter that it felt as if I had taken many steps backward in my recovery.I guess the recovery journey is not linear and we are occasionally and unexpectedly back in the darkness of despair ?
    I am hoping this is a temporary blip….reminding myself that behind the suave veneer,he sucks.

    • I’m sorry, I know it’s hard to see the “sparkly” version out there in public, with everyone thinking that he’s such a great guy, and no one knowing the truth. My XH and I are both lawyers in the same smallish community, and everyone knows everyone. While I have spoken my truth about him to a select few who asked and whom I trust, most of our colleagues have no idea how disordered and evil he is.

      So everytime I see him in court, or something about him is in the legal news, I’m infuriated. How dare he get to continue with a decent reputation. There is truly no justice in this process. I hate that the cheating doesn’t catch up with the cheaters. It just doesn’t seem fair. Until I get past that, I don’t think I’m at meh yet.

      So I understand how you feel…I think it is a temporary blip on your radar…just take CL advice and trust that he does in fact suck no matter how he might appear or how anyone else perceives him.

      • Thank you so much for your encouraging words.Everyone thinks he’s Mr Wonderful and frquently he appears in the media….as does Schmoopie.Difficult to maintain meh in those moments.Best wishes to you on your journey to meh DefyingGravity.

        • What both of you want is justice, I understand that as I have a strong sense of justice. You have to give up on that idea and just recognize that they are like every other asshole you see in public who is pushing an agenda that sucks while pretending to be righteous, they suck and you can’t fix it, you can’t even out it without looking nuts

  • I figured out my XW sucked long before I found out about her cheating. She was mean to her stepkids ( my boys), never did her share of the household chores, was financially irresponsible( abusively so) and a bigot and all around abusive jerk. She will never change. I pity the stupid guy she is now with.
    It was a relief when she cheated as I could jettison her with a clear conscience and no judgment from others.
    I see her now, when I pick up the kids and she is a pathetic jerk, as always.

    • Arnold, I hear you! Your story is similar to mine – I found out my cheater was a jerk long before he cheated. The cheating gave me a legit reason to leave, more than just him being a huge jerk.

      • Folks understand divorcing for cheating much more easily than they accept leaving because someone is an emotional abuser.

        • Very true! For me, that was part of it. But part of it was I needed to give *myself* permission. Once the cheating happened, I felt free to go.

  • I needed this post today CL. I have struggled for a few years on my own trying to be strong and brave but it hasn’t worked. Tomorrow I will be seeing a therapist for the very 1st time and I am looking forward to what is already a very nice life but with better coping skills that I hope to learn. So thank you CL and CN.

    • Maree, excellent news, so glad you are moving forward. Just keep in mind that it might take a while to find a therapist that you work well with, so please do not get discouraged if this one is not a good fit. Keep trying!

      • zyx321, what I find interesting is that we the “Chumped” are the ones who end up needing therapy and the rats we were married to just walk off into the sunset without so much as a look back. How does someone do that after 46 years of so called friendship and 37 years married? I just can’t wrap my head around it. So therapy it is!! 🙂 What the ex husband’s tart doesn’t know is that I have forgotten more about him than she will ever know and I had the young man, not the old one.

        • Glad you are going to therapy. The cheaters don’t go because they have no self awareness and never look within, so far as they are concerned they are fine and everyone else is fucked up. Sort of like that old thing; if you are questioning your own sanity and doing something about you ARE sane. If everyone around you is questioning your sanity and you are not, maybe you need help.

  • Though no one should start to date before they’re ready, I believe the most enduring way to internalize “Trust That They Suck” is to start dating or at least hanging out with other people socially. The contrast between our cheaters (many of them narcs and sociopaths) and ordinary Good Folks is obvious and astonishing. People who are kind, polite, thoughtful, reciprocal, good humored, people who give and graciously accept compliments–after 25 years with my serial cheating wife I’d almost forgotten such souls existed. Amazing! After only a small amount of time in such company, you can’t imagine how you stuck it out for so long under such dire conditions. It’s just easier to “Trust That They Suck” when you can compare them with the people who clearly don’t suck.

    By the way, a great addition to the Chump Lady merch catalog might be one of those rubber bracelets emblazoned with “TTTS.” I’d suggest happy colors, because in the end it’s a happy thought.

    • I would agree with this too. The stark contrast was blinding. It feels soooo good to be in a relationship with someone who is good/nice/attentive/engaged/responsive/mature/intellectual/normal…there is almost nothing better.

  • “Here’s ado to lock up honesty
    and honor from th’ access of gentle visitors.”
    The Winter’s Tale (II, ii, 9-11) – William Shakespeare

    That’s from The Bard himself, to remind us that they suck. Always have. Always will.

  • I don’t need to trust that he sucks. All I do is look at everything he put us through. From the financial to the personal. There are defining moments in one’s life and he failed… I don’t believe he is capable of change. I don’t believe he is capable of love. Karma right there. He chose this. He chose to hide that HIV test, he chose to lie, he chose to engage with others, he chose to steal money, he chose to fuck over his family, he chose his life. My best memories of “our marriage” are dead now because that fucked up man pissed all over those too. I do have many many good memories of raising our children, of my family and friends through the years, and doing my own thing because, truth was, ex wasn’t present. Moving and looking forward is best.

    • Love that Drew! I remember what you did: doing my own thing, cultivating good friends. I always noticed it though – noticed the eye rolling and disrespect NOT present in my friend’s husbands. I spackled so much.

  • I was going to respond to duckduck bind but the post is gone.

    Anyway, Nomar. Do you really know dozens of cheaters? I don’t know very many. A few. My wife cheated, but it was a one off. That was eight years ago. I stuck around and I am glad I did. Really, if you know so many cheaters how can you trust anyone that you meet. Are you planning on staying single forever. Nothing wrong with that, but why so militant, or maybe you need to start finding new acquaintances, too many cheaters in your sphere.

    I am just here to give hope to those who may be trying to reconcile. A friend on another message board came here and it almost destroyed her reconciliation. She stop visiting,and now they too are happy and reconciled three years in. Yes, most of the stories here are the worst of the worst. Sorry things did not work out for some here, but that doesn’t mean things won’t work out for everyone. Also, If you guys are so piggly wiggly happy, why do you need to destroy another person’s chance at happiness. I am happy. In fact my marriage is much improved. We now communicate, and she earned her trust back. I really think it’s somewhat naive to believe a new spouse won’t cheat. If they promise they would never cheat that’s not a guarantee. My wife hated cheaters, she always told me she would never ever cheat. Guess what? She did, but we are good now.

    This is a fun site to visit, but I wouldn’t want to leave here, even if I had divorced my wife.

    With the worst of the worst stories, it is best to find a good divorce attorney and make a new life.

    • DesignerDad, One-off cheating (a one-night stand) can *sometimes* be a different story, IMHO. But rarely is it “just one time.” Usually it’s an affair that spawns many sexual experiences with the AP, and involves lying to the spouse about it, i.e., living a double life for some period of time. Those cheaters rarely change.

      Don’t mean to push, but do think that eight years constitutes success? It might be a wee bit too early to say. Many of the chumps on here reconciled and enjoyed renewed marriages for decades….until their cheaters did it again.

      • Liningupducks, you misunderstood me. By a “one off” I meant a one time affair. It lasted six months. Yes, she had to lie and to my mind the lying proves that the relationship was just sexual. She had no other interest in him.

        You know what, the affair really doesn’t bother me that much. My wife dropped the guy when I found out and we separated for a time at my request. My wife is a holistically a good person. Do I worry about her cheating again. Not much and just a much as I would worry about a new person cheating on me.

        I realize that things may be different for others and their mileage may vary. If your wife is sociopath than you have to leave, but not all people who stray are sociopaths. They are simply humans.

        Does eight years constitute success you ask? Of course not. Life is never certain. The more important thing is I am happy, and happy that I stayed. The new women I dated were no more or less trustworthy in my eyes.

        Good god, I even read on forums about people who have been cheated on and who claim to hate cheaters who remarry and end up cheating. Go figure. I think human beings are emotionally weak people who often succumb to temptations. I am realistic. Are you? Do you think a new boyfriend or husband is someone you can trust?

        • I am pretty happy divorced. My XW, in addition to cheating, was a nightmare in many areas.
          It is my opinion, after a lot of reading and talking to others, that cheaters are intrinsically bad, selfish people, many standard deviations more selfish than the typical person.
          This may not apply to someone who has a one night stand, but, think about it, Designer. Your wife was very comfortable lying for an extended period of time and she seems to have had no concerns about your mental and physical health.
          Someone that can carry on for as long as she did and still function and keep up the pretense with so many lies, simply cannot have much of a conscience, if any.
          It makes no sense to stay with someone like that. You are playing with fire and you have concrete evidence that she does not love you or find you sexually attractive, thus the replacement with another man.
          I think you are fooling yourself if you think this woman truly cares for you and I cannot understand why you do not want to upgrade to someone who will love you.
          I have found that if you look closely at the lives of people that have affairs, you will see that they lack integrity in many areas other than just sexual fidelity. I have yet to here of or meet a cheater that was not dishonest in other areas.
          Also, they all seem to lack empathy. They think so highly of themselves that they never consider that they are stealing time from the betrayed.
          Think about it. You get to the end of your life having remained faithful, forgoing all types of opportunities for your own sexual escapades. You get to the end of your life, thinking your spouse has made similar choices. then, you find out she sampled the wares of many men and lived in orgasmoland all the while you were stuck with just her.
          The type of person that would let you live without similar chances for fun and fulfillment while she cashes in on life’s opportunities, thinks that she deserves more out of this time we have here than you do.
          In your case, you have absolute proof your wife does not love you or find you attractive, despite what she may proclaim now to save her lifestyle. is your feeling of self worth so low that this does not bother you? You are her second or third or fourth choice as regards being her lover. She has made it abundantly clear to you that you are a fallback option. why would you accept this for yourself if you had any sense of worth?

          • Describes my wife to a T……I consider myself to have had a lucky escape where as the poor sod she has hooked up with……………well he’s got it all to come

        • Seriously designer Dad, you only know of a few cheaters? You need to get out more. They are all over the place.
          When I got divorced and, as usual, the floodgates of women interested in me opened 🙂 , I had to reject all kinds of women who had past experience in cheating. So many had been OWs it was not funny, and quite a few had cheated on their husbands. I would say it was upwards of 50%.

        • You think “humans are emotionally weak people who often succumb to temptation” and you think WE have a distorted view of things?? Seems to me to me that you are justifying your belief that your wife’s behavior is just par for the course. I have a much more positive view of humanity…and fidelity. By the way, cheating for 6 months is not a one off.

    • Designer Dad is a troll. Proxy IP.

      And you’re full of shit about your friend who came here and it ruined her reconciliation. My blog is only 3 years old. And she’s been happily reconciled that long? That means I managed to “ruin her reconciliation” with a few posts from April 19 to July 29.

      • If someone has decided to work on reconciliation, opinions on this website would not change that decision, unless something they read resonates with their situation.

      • And if you did destroy someone’s “reconciliation”, it probably wasn’t a genuine one anyway.

    • What’s it to you, Designer dad? What do you care?

      You write, “If you guys are so piggly wiggly happy, why do you need to destroy another person’s chance at happiness.” Where do you see anyone trying to destroy another person’s chance at happiness? Last I checked, participation here was voluntary. No one is being forced into leaving their cheater; they’re here because they want to leave their cheater.

      So your whole post is completely irrelevant. This blog isn’t for people who are trying to reconcile. It doesn’t try to destroy other people’s marriages, or prevent reconciliation. The people who are here are here because their marriage is already destroyed, and they want to move on.

      If you want to reconcile with your cheater, have at it. I don’t even have an opinion on whether that is a good idea, because I don’t know you or your situation. But you don’t know ours. Chump nation is full of people who have faced down what they consider to be intolerable circumstances. Everyone has their own breaking point. Just because you didn’t reach yours, doesn’t mean that we are wrong from reaching ours.

    • Designer(troll)Dad: I assume you meant “I wouldn’t want to LIVE here,” i.e., on the ChumpLady site.

      Well, some of us view this site as a step above DisneyWorld. More drama than 24 hours of the Lifetime channel; more humor than Statler & Waldorf in the Muppet Movies, more camaraderie than the Three Musketeers, better advice than a baker’s dozen of therapists. What’s not to love?

      • Exactly, Tempest. I have fun here ( especially when we get into the old patriarchy deal)

        • I visit this site every single day. It keeps on the road to meh, gives me a safe place to vent, and makes me lol way too much:) CL’s humor & wisdom and all the snarky, lovable chumps are my daily reminder that I’m making the best decision in divorcing fuckwit. When things get dramatic and he’s seeking kibbles once again, I pull up applicable blogs from the archives and find a bit of peace & calmness. That lower life form will not extract kibbles anymore!!!

          I found a saying recently that is quickly becoming my new mantra when he starts his shit:
          ” A queen never leaves her throne to address peasants throwing stones”

          Thanks to CN for making me a bit more mighty each day?

          • Hahaha, love it CL nod Tempest, oh my! Arnold you ain’t getting anymore of those discussions until you educate yourself, hugs anyway. And to all ya’ll responding to the troll, well done! Heh

            • I am trying, Dat. Just listened to some good female MRA speakers. Fiamengo , et al.

          • You chumps slay me as always!! So funny, wise, great commentary. I love the responses to trolls. FreedomfromCrazy, you said it perfectly and is exactly why I am here as daily as I can be.

    • What in the actual fuck – why are these self-righteous ‘wreckconciliation’ idiots hitting the posts en-masse?

  • A timely reminder!

    I am at this very moment texting amicably with STBX about preparations for selling our old house. Earlier today I went with him to view a house he is thinking of buying for him and the kids. We had a nice time, and we rounded it off with doing the grocery shopping together, like we used to. We even laughed about buying two of everything since we were restocking two households instead of one.

    The divorce won’t be final until November, and we can’t split our finances until the house is sold, so we still share all our accounts. So far he is being very, very generous. He even suggested I take his summer bonus to buy a new fridge and some other big appliances for the apartment we bought for me and the kids. We also discussed making some repairs to my car, so it will keep running until after the house is sold, and we made a schedule for some other big expenses.

    I am scared, but there is literally nothing I can do to protect myself that won’t harm my chances for a good divorce settlement. He is being rational right now, but I know for bitter experience how quickly that can change. I have no legal leverage until he starts to actually make my life “a financial hell” (his words)

    We had a nice day today, but I still trust that he sucks.

    • I hope you can stick an M-80 up his ass, once you get the financial deal finalized, Swede.

      • Oh, I won’t have to lift a finger. He is kindly arranging my revenge for me. I think he is going to marry OW!

  • Designer Dad – I hope you can continue to trust her in the years to come. Wishing you well.

    • Thank you Kimberly for the well wishes. But I don’t need them. I can trust my wife just about as much and more than I could trust a new wife.

      Most of the women I dated while separated were more interested in my wallet than in me. My wife married me when I was poor. Now that I earn a very good living, it’s amazing how easy it is to get a date compared to when I was poor.

      • But I don’t need them. I can trust my wife just about as much and more than I could trust a new wife.

        That makes literally no logical sense. No offense, but trust isn’t something that’s given, it’s EARNED. Your wife has failed to EARN trust with her behavior. Her behavior suggests she isn’t trustworthy.

        Maybe she convinced you it was a one time thing or she’s sorry, that’s okay. People do reconcile, people can forgive. I believe in forgiveness and reconciliation when it’s sincere (gotta be careful about that sincerity part- cheaters are liars and liars are hard to trust). People can make mistakes and repent- ask for forgiveness and go on to lead a rich life. I hope this is the case with you.

        But comparing your wife, someone who HAS cheated on you.. to someone who has NEVER cheated on you is faulty logic. A new woman might have other faults, but hasn’t cheated on you. That logic kind of assumes everyone is capable of cheating. This is the type of spaghetti thinking we tend to reject here at Chumplady. Not everyone is capable of cheating. Some people are loyal and trustworthy and possess good character. Cheating requires shitty character and entitlement. That is our theory.

        Good luck, I hope it works out for you.

      • Yeah, but she cheated on you when you became rich, So, maybe it is time to dump her ass.

      • Designer Dad doesn’t seem disrespectful to others here to me. I know full well I could never trust my cheater again. And you may hate me as I cheated too, in my lonely desperation at his physical and emotional absence when he indulged himself and our money on his latest selfish passion.

        I know I was flawed and I am deeply deeply ashamed of what I did. But I did cheat.

        And I can’t undo that.

        My marriage is now over and it has been a terrible struggle to own up to my own flaws and failures. To hand his back to him (in my mind, I do not communicate with him). To grieve for the part we both fucked up.

        I don’t know if that’s worse or better than being entirely innocent and chumpy. I got to cheat through chumpy though. I tried to leave him many times in the early years because I was so unhappy and alone. Even as a very young woman in early days. He then became this miraculous demi God and I fell right back in love with him. Then it started again. Thr emotional abuse and abandonment. Eventually I became a sex addict using phone sex partners to fill that empty hole. And a boozer. He drank excessively always. Crap. Crap and more crap. It’s over now, he had yet another affair and I could not take it.

        I fell in the empty hole of myself and broke completely. Stopped drinking completely three years ago with support and stayed sober. And then started two years of therapy. And started to climb out. Struggling all the time as the ex rubbed my nose in his latest affair, which carries on to this day. She is still married.

        I have started seeing a man I care for deeply. And I know and truly believe I will never ever cheat again. I would never cheat on him. There are many reasons. The key one being I would never cheat on me. I was with my ex since i was a child in sixth form college. I had to break into pieces to reform ss an adult rather than that hurt hurtful child. And I have a very honest relationship with this man. I care about him, I am emotionally intimate with him and i feel his feelings. I don’t recall ever sharing intimacy or feeling any feelings from my ex. It was all glittering public fun or bad temper in private.

        I have learned my own lesson fully from the pain and guilt and desperation of being on both sides of the cheating game. You may say I am deluded and I will cheat. I believe in myself now. I got to cheat through chump. I had no self esteem and was desperate for some connection. A shitty transformation. Now I walk my talk every day. I do believe others can too.

        You may say well I would say that. And you’re not wrong. I am in need of redemption so I have to hope others can have it too. I struggle with the pain every day of being discarded, much as it was needed, whilst the glittering roadshow that is my ex continues, with a substitution of her for me. Christ it hurts, even when I know what it is like to be in her shoes and do not want it back. Although I am not clean handed, is that pain not just as real? It is as it is. I just keep my eyes on my own feet and stay honest.

        • Both sides of it suck— I never cheated on either husband, although BOTH ironically tried to encourage me to find a fuck buddy and bring them home, etc. It was a mind-fuck for sure.

          Kudos to you though that you got therapy and sobered up. You’re right- being the chump is far worse than being a cheater. At least when you were the one cheating, you felt hot, felt wanted, desired even if it was wrong…

          Time heals most wounds. Some are still shocked that no matter how bad my EXH#1 treated me, we have healed and moved on. Would I ever get involved with him again???? Hell NO!!! At least I can look at him now and not feel the pain and regret and anger of seeing him with other women.

          STBXH now is a different story. Most of the time, I don’t care, but some days (like this one) I feel loss and sad. Then I read ChumpLady and get re-energized!!!!

        • Sorry, I submitted before finished part o tone sex, YES!!! Me TOOOOO!!!! Especially after my first divorce– I felt I had so much to prove to my first husband that there were men out there that wanted me and desired me- I was a freak, but it didn’t solve anything in the end…

          This time around, with this divorce, I am older, wiser…I will be OK in the end!!!

        • THANK YOU, Tracy!!!

          OMG, I ssssooooo needed this today!!!

          Yes, the divorce petition has been signed by the both of us, but no, the papers haven’t been filed. The Evil One hasn’t finished paying his attorney yet, so it will be about 10 more days before they will be filed, then about 4-6 weeks before we are divorced.

          Hooray for me, Yes. But BOOOOOOOOOOO to the feelings that I want someone like, NOW!!! LOL

          I know, “I don’t need it THAT bad”!!!! I know, “work on yourself for now”…I know, “you’ll meet a good guy that will love you and be good to you”…I know all these things, but today I just feel sucky!!!!

          Love you all, Chump Nation!!!!

          • You just do something good for you UnsinkableMolly! You totally rocked it this week!

            • As if I needed to be reminded of this…I got a wonderful reminder when I found a post Handout Boy made on his pipesmoking forum in which he was bragging about his purchases of that day. It was my birthday. He took himself shopping for new pipe crap on my birthday. Trust me folks–if we had not split I still would have gotten nothing from him on my birthday. He always claimed he never had money to buy me gifts. BTW, yesterday I received a Priority letter from him requesting I ship to him various things I had bought for him over the years. Isn’t he precious?

              • CL should create a post about the various precious gifts we received over the “grey area” years of the relationship. In my case, when he went on solo vacation #1 with my benediction, he didn’t think about buying a souvenir for me, at all. Too busy with the Russian cow. I was not aware of what was going on, I was a bit disappointed and suggested that next time he brings a cheap little something. After solo vacation #2 (in Venice, with Russian cow and her family), he brought back a piece of glass, a fish in a bag with two pointy corners. As in something fishy, and the two horns are a symbol of being chumped… ah the unconscious…

              • By the way, a professional social network is launching a promotion these days, and sends everybody emails with detailed information of who consulted their profile (normally available only to premium members). Much to my suprise, Russian cow was among the visitors of my profile last week. Why is she still foraging for data, I don’t know, she dumped my cheater a year ago. I suspect she is checking on me in hope of hooking up a friend with my ex. Will she get a % commission, I wonder ? 🙂

        • Stay in therapy, if you don’t see designer dads disrespect then you need more help. And one thing I know is that even if. Cheater can “go straight” there is little likelihood that will happen if the person they cheated on reconciles because there are no consequences. I wish you well on your recovery and learning empathy.

        • “I, I, I” coupled with “I’m a poooooooor sausage” and a side dish of blameshift, right?
          You’re not worth hating – you’re scum of the earth. “I couldn’t leave him”? Like hell you couldn’t.

  • I had an unexpected phone call Sunday. I thought it was my niece because the number on the caller ID was almost identical to hers. It turned out to be a friend of X. She wanted me to know he had a bad stroke and is not doing well. I told her he already contacted my niece to let me know. When I had told this woman that I thought he had cheated or was trying to replace me with another woman a year ago she couldn’t believe it. He had her and her husband convinced for years that he thought I was wonderful.A year ago she could not believe he would do something like this to me. She informed me that he told her they had a coffee date. The date lasted less than an hour and she left saying she’d contact him but never did. I was in shock hearing from this woman especially since I at first thought I was talking with my niece. Anyways, it was just more validation that he sucks. I told her he still tries contacting me even though he’s blocked. (She got my home number from him.) Sick Sick Sick. Hopefully now that he knows we have talked he will stop calling me. It’s been a triggery couple of weeks. I just want all this behind me. I have a prayer that I say when it really hurts, “God, give him everything I want for myself; health, wealth, love, and happiness and a correct relationship with You.

    It’s been a year out and I wish I was further down the healing road towards Meh.

    • Hold firm, Chumpy. You can feel badly that your X had a stroke without allowing him to use the pity-play to lure you back in.

  • I’ve never once had the urge to visit a pro-reconciliation site and tell them how much better my life is since I divorced, or talk to them in a condescending manner. Not sure why it’s so hard for the pro-R people to pay the same respect to us and our decisions.

    Maybe Goebbels was right about repeating a lie often enough and eventually believing it.

  • Same here Jules, Cheaterssuck and Kimberly. It’s the same thing with the ex and the OW that the ex married and now has kids and she is about 20 years younger than him. I have no clue what things they have in common with a 20 year difference.

    The real sad thing that they have a joint Facebook account. I’m guessing both of them don’t trust each other within eye distant of each other. I can see that they don’t have any connection between them. The pictures they have on Facebook are just a show and I know the true because I lived with that evil thing for many many years.

    I’m so proud of the life that I have rebuilt for myself. It has taken many years for me to do this. Yes, it has been hard but the good thing is that over these years and being with the ex I know 1 billion% what I don’t want in my life and I have learned that is ok to just to walk away from all of these toxic evil people and go No Contact. When I did that these types of sites like Chump Lady were not around and there was really no type of information like there is now about Personality Disorders. I was just listening to my inner voice (I guess my gut) to run and run fast. I tried everything I would think of to saved the marriage but I knew deep inside that nothing was working. I knew something was missing in his soul and he was not the person I thought he was well the image he was portraying to me and others around him. He was and still is an empty soul. I did tell him that and I did tell him he would never be happy. Also I have educated myself about Cluster B Personality Disorders for the past few years and that has been extremely helpful in my healing process. The amount of peace I have now is well peaceful.

    Now I get restful sleep now. I have been able to overcome PSTD that I had with the ex and severe depression. I was on depression meds and sleeping pills. I am off of those meds well I have been off of the meds since the divorce was final (many years now). Over the past few years I have been able to gain some soft skills to deal with the stress and anxiety being with the ex. That has been so helpful. I also have a great support system now. I had many so called friends and family that took his side. That was very upsetting for me but now since gaining the much information about Personality Disorders and learning how to look at what he is and the people around him are I’m really not bothered by it now. I understand how they think and how mental it is.

    I do trust that they suck. I must thank all of the chump nation and of course Chump Lady to tell the truth about these cheaters and the AP and their other “followers”. I have not loose a thing well I did over 220 pound cheater but I have gained a great life not perfect but much much much better life and it is on my terms.

    I love that saying “Not my circus, not my monkeys”. I’m keeping that saying.

    • Beth, if it makes you feel better, my ex who is now 63 years old and is living with a 23 year old in Cambodia and her 2 little boys. This idiot is so in love he is learning to speak the lingo and his life is now over there. There is a 40 year difference and he is as happy as a pig in mud and it appears, so is she. Must be true love!!! Our 2 adult kids of 36 and 33 accept this relationship as normal and have not batted an eyelid.

      • Maree, I can fully understand it is the same with the ex and his “followers” with the thing he married. Thankfully we didn’t have kids. I guess people like us with morals and character and ethics see the truth and that is why I love this site. We know the truth!

  • Designer Dad I’m tagging you as an uneducated troll. Also please understand this statement and take it to heart…. Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one. Also work on your and really educate yourself because you are typing like a fool.

  • Yes, Designer dad, I knew all of these things, and I did keep working – until we had a child with a severe disability.

    I know you only mean well, but you don’t think I have already kicked myself over this through the years? We all make life choices based on the information we have at the time. Looking back, I know I made the right choice for my son. Too bad I am paying such a high price for his current health.

  • As CL just said…….’let ’em go’. Bishop TD Jakes say so too……(I posted before, but worth a repeat!).

    • Forgot to add……..for me, this video is empowering. I’ve listened to it many times; I keep it on my desktop for a quickie uplift. 🙂

      • IHH, thank you. I have now saved it to my desktop for a quick uplift also.

    • Amen!!!!! Love that IHaveHate! Thank you for this. I will keep this myself. Thanks for sharing again. Very powerful! I love this guy:-)

    • IHH, Love This too. :). Saw it on a previous post here and it is inspiring! I do believe I was not meant to waste my life.

    • WOW. Never saw this before. This is wonderful and true.

      Thank you IHH for sharing, again. What a great speaker.

      I will apply this in every aspect of my life. Let them WALK AWAY **without feeling guilt**.

      I have done this in my life, but always had lingering guilt that I was somehow at fault for the breakdown in communication. I believe I have just been given permission to chuck a little more of my chumpdom.

      Yet, another monkey off my back.

  • Everyone: listen to me very, very carefully, please.

    Are you ready?

    Lean in close, because this is important…

    …closer, please…



    Look, you don’t actually need to trust that they suck, for two reasons:

    1) You already **know** that they suck, and that you couldn’t trust them farther than you could comfortably spit a large rat, so you don’t need convincing anyway, and

    2) Having to trust that they suck would mean that you’re spending time considering that maybe they didn’t / don’t actually suck. But you do NOT have time for that, because you’re doing a combination of any/all of the following things:

    – Divorcing his/her useless, cheating ass
    – Getting your life goals and dreams in order
    – Focusing on your own healing and growth
    – Getting back into the things that give you joy
    – Spending time with people you love (and who really love you back)
    – Taking care of your body, mind, and spirit
    – Being an awesome, advanced-kung-fu-level parent who will ensure that their cheating ex doesn’t f–k up the kids
    – Dating fun, caring people
    – Carving out a new life for yourself through the sheer might of your awesomeness (or the sheer awesomeness of your might, take your pick).

    Honestly, with all of that going on, do you have time to be considering that some f–k-face cheating a-hole is or isn’t sucky?


    Because you are too busy ***BEING MIGHTY***!


      • ChumpFromF – thanks for that. 🙂 It makes me feel good that I might be able to help some folks here even if in a pithy, inelegant way! 😉

    • Love your empowerment Sephage.70% of the time I’m right with you.Its just those shitty reflective moments that cause me to over analyse there ‘greener grass’

      • Thanks, all. Don’t get me wrong, I have those greener pastures moments, too. Mostly because there were times when I definitely sucked as a husband. But now, I work on me by my own measures, not my stbx’s. And she sucked waaaaaay more than I did.

  • Designer Dad you are one messed up idiot. Did you forget your yellow happy pills today? Geez. Please, please take them and also take your hormone pills also because you are acting like a 2 year old toddler. Really get some help and if you are getting help then fire that person because they have no clue in what they are doing and find someone better or even better please check yourself into the mental ward because you and your multiple personalities are coming out today. Oh yes don’t forget opinions are like assholes because everyone has one. Really dude go check yourself in the mental ward.

  • Great refresher, as was the predictable response from my cheating ex, two years from DDay and him walking out the door for OW, to the legal proceedings: endless pages of typed up lies, smears on my credibility and honesty, inflated claims of fake expenses, hatred, vitriol, unilateral decision-making, and just plain narcissistic bloviating based on his inflated sense of self worth. Suckitude. Now which one of us “hasn’t moved on?” not me, I’m fine, took 2 years but the fantasy in my head of the nice guy I lived w/for 16 years is fully replace by a snake who sucked the life and money out of me, and still wants more. Oh, and rumor is OW dumped him. So now suddenly I’m a target again.

  • Very timely! Just got XHs bank statements for child support hearing (he can’t afford it, ya know). Looks like the honeymoon may be over with his MOW – who he lives with. The Ashley Madison charges reappeared in April. Now I KNOW I can trust he sucks!

    • Same Qwerty3.14, X can’t afford child support, lives with MOW. MOW even comes with him to child support hearings. Who goes with their boyfriend to help him fight paying for his kid? Trust me, they suck!!!! Then, X asks 16 y/o “why don’t you want to live with me?” She says “because I don’t want to live with your girlfriend,” a MOW who X has never actually directly said to daughter, “Here is who I live with, this is why the family was destroyed.” No, that would be too honest and direct. Yes, they suck big time.


    Best song ever! Ain’t It Fun by Paramore in case link doesn’t work. Words are perfect for the fraudulent sub humans in the world! I blast this in my headphones at work when he crosses my mind or sends me a nonsensical email that I NEVER respond to. Cheers! Promise it does get better.

    • Me too! His sorry ass can go crying to his mama, ’cause he’s on his own? Poor sausage has to deal with reality…boohoo.
      Interestingly enough, during the “pick me” dance competition with Troll Hobbit HoWorker, I used to listen to another Paramore song non stop…Misery Business. Blah! If only I knew then what I know now…
      Seriously Google the lyrics. Total “pick me song” complete with making excuses for the betrayal (she had a body like an hourglass) and never placing blame on the guy.
      One line is right about OW though…once a whore you’re notjing more.

      • *nothing

        Such a hot topic for me so I was typing feverishly on my phone and made a typo lol.

  • Spackle Sale on Aisle 4!

    Anyone who calls himself Designer dad is too much into labels. Is it too hard to be a regular dad?

    “It was just one six month affair” is not an excuse for rug sweeping. “But she doesn’t want me for my money.” Dude. If she married you when you were poor. it is both of your money now. It’s you who do not want to lose “your” money. Enjoy the fantasy while it lasts.

  • Damn the 80s and 90s. Having a site like this would’ve save me years of heartache, and aggravation. IHH, yes I also, listen to TD Jakes Let Them Go.

  • Great post. Something I really needed to read.
    Most of the time, I am in a good place, at peace with myself and now at a quiet acceptance of the unbelievable turn my life took. Lately, I have been taking stock of my life – trying to find more balance in my life – be it physically, emotionally, socially, mentally, spiritually. And somehow, I got caught up in the conversation with myself that his life is wonderful with his new love (3rd or 4th) after I busted him and the next day that was it – POOF! I didn’t exist anymore and our 31 years together meant nothing/didn’t happen.
    Now, these conversations with myself happen periodically and I start thinking that I suck, my life sucks because I am still unattached, blah, blah, sucky me. I forget about the joy I feel in the little things and that he actually gave me a gift by cutting me off so totally and completely.( At times I still battle with that particular mind-fuck.)
    So the post today was timeous. What really hit me about this post is CL’s statement that the cheater’s new life is truly no longer our concern anymore and our only concern should be OUR new lives. It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am now and believe me, I still have those days where I think, WTF happened?? but I do think that this is such an important aspect of getting to meh.
    I am in the more fortunate position of not having young children that I have to co-parent. My admiration for all of you that have to eat that shit sandwich knows no bounds. My children are now adults and see their father occasionally and we don’t discuss him (or hardly ever) so it has become easier for me and his shiny new life is not rammed down my throat. Sometimes I see the odd post on FB through my in-laws (ex) who I am still ‘friends’ with and it still has some power to hit me in the stomach at times.
    But I do think that this is an important point Tracy has made – their new lives are really no concern of ours, and the shared history is nothing more than that – a shared history.
    So in future, when I slip into my unbalanced perception of how sucky I am and I forget to trust that he sucks, I believe if I remind myself that his life is no longer any of my business – and what am I going to do to improve mine?? – will be far more empowering.
    For me, this is one of Tracy’s gems of the truth that I need to hold close and centre myself with.
    Thank you for the great post CL!

    PS I am a Libra, so the balancing act goes on and on…………

  • I just got the ultimate reminder, when my jerk insisted he was staying to help his sick mother tonight, and me with a bad feeling drove past ow house tonight only to see his car parked right in front ………… 🙁 I am chumpion

  • This might be better put on another thread – when you break up with X and X then tries to make you the OW in his relationship with OW.

    X is working overseas. I tell him he’s moving out and staying in a hotel while he does it. He flies to see OW and presents these facts to her as a triumph – and likely as his decision, not mine. He then shows up here, I serve him with process and everyday he is supposed to be moving, he tries to seduce me. Then runs back to his hotel and doubtless calls her to show he’s not anywhere me. Lucky lady – I guess he won’t be different with her

  • Mine actually looks different to me in photos then an now. His weight hasn’t changed considerably but there’s a kindness that I think used to be present in pics from five plus years ago (when we were “happy”). So I don’t delete those pics from my screen saver file.

    Now, I can’t look him in the eye. I strongly dislike seeing him in current photos (that he takes with the kids) and he looks different. His smile appears pursed, he looks like he carries guilt, and what’s more, he’s often taking shirt-less photos and putting them on FB, I’m told. Mr Vain. Always was, sadly. The occasional photos that I do see of him leave me cold. Taken by OW or by himself; two highly disgraceful people, in my books.

  • Casey: My story is very similar to your story. The EX (I hate calling him “My” cause he ain’t mine anymore. I don’t want him) did marry the red headed whore he cheated with me on and now they have bought a house together. he swore up and down to me that he’d never get married, buy another house or have another kid. Wtf??
    Any how, the last few weeks have been tough watching all this unfold on FB. My ‘meh’ was shocked into a depression and ‘why her?’ thoughts. I don’t want him EVER but the idea of him happy makes me nauseous.

      • Confused – that’s a wedding dress? To each their own I guess. Don’t let them get into your head. They aren’t worth the real estate.

    • Hello! Well I posted a update. He’s married her and live in the house that he and I were going to buy. I did hear though that the girl is a lush who frequents the local watering holes, and is older than me (im 38 he’s 35). Just say NO to the dress!

  • Newchulpatl I identify with lots of your posts. I don’t understand why they don’t come to us and talk about their internal feelings before they start taking actions to act on them.

    I had spoken to him about swingers parties over the years and I suggested last year that we could talk about an open marriage if he wanted/ emphatic no.

    I think he was already with her at that point or just warming up. I think he didn’t want an open marriage because he was afraid I would leave him. I just don’t understand.

    And now he is in an open relationship with her????

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