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Dear Chump Lady, Divorce is more than I can deal with

elvis-wedding-vegasDear Chump Lady,

My question is this: do you think you can achieve meh while still married to the cheater? I have been with my husband for 41 years. I now believe he has been cheating on me since the very beginning of our relationship. I have had three d-days during our relationship. The first was while I was pregnant with our first child. Right after she was born he left me for a much younger girl who had no children. I was blindsided and naïve and didn’t know why he left. When the OW contacted me we confronted him together. She didn’t know about me. I had still been seeing him the entire time we were divorced. He begged me to come back. I guess I won the pick me dance contest. We remarried and had another child. I then found out he had a girlfriend in another state and I contacted her. He begged me to stay and I did since we had two children together and co-mingled finances and it was just too exhausting to imagine going through another divorce. Also he was very convincing as these guys are and I was a chump.

Fast forward many years to the third D-day when I found an external drive with movies of him having sex with multiple women from Third World countries ( he is an international airline pilot). At that point I became psychotic. I went scorched earth. In addition to all the usual things that chumps do i.e. infidelity diet, Amazon infidelity searches, infidelity sleuthing, pick me dancing, I also unleashed the fury of hell on him. I put his fuck movies on YouTube with his name and company (until YouTube took them down), I contacted all the OW’s using Google translate since they didn’t speak English, I contacted all his co-workers and family and told them, I quit my job of 25 years due to extreme trauma (and so I could spend all my time tracking his international activities) and I destroyed his secret computer and cell phone. I also destroyed his car and tried to shoot him. And I spent his entire bonus on plastic surgery for me. To say I was crazy doesn’t begin to describe it. I even contacted the Dr. Phil Show with my story but they wanted both of us to go on the show and of course cheater wouldn’t.

During all my insanity he begged me not to leave him and professed his undying love for me. I was busy going to bars and chatting with any guy who hit on me (quite a feat since I’m nearly 60). I did file for divorce but he showed up in the middle of the night with tickets to Vegas and an Elvis wedding to renew our vows. I did it but I was still furious.

After about a year and a half of this very uncharacteristic behavior (I’m a chump so I’m usually uber responsible) on my part I just woke up one day and didn’t give a shit about what he did anymore. All the rage and sadness and insanity were gone. And I just don’t give a shit.

I got a new and better job and just went back to having my own life. We both travel extensively for work so I rarely see him. I’m actually surprisingly content with things the way they are right now. He makes a lot of money, we own a lot of property together in several states, and I just don’t want to deal with getting a divorce at this stage in my life. Starting over financially and dealing with splitting everything up (selling and moving and retirement) is just more than I can deal with.

I wish I had found your blog during my scorched earth phase because he is the epitome of all the cheaters we chumps are involved with. I just didn’t understand that people could be unredeemable but I see now that there is a huge tribe of them out there! And they’re difficult and even scary to get away from.

I would love your opinion and the opinion of Chump Nation. The only fear I have now is of my own capacity for insanity.

Thank you all! I read everything here every day. I love this blog and the site and I’m proud to be a chump.


Dear Pilotswife,

Let me get this straight — divorce and dividing assets is more than you can deal with. But going insane, broadcasting your husband’s serial cheating, quitting your job, getting plastic surgery, picking up strange men in bars, calling Dr. Phil, and attempting to shoot your husband — THAT you can deal with?

I’m really not sure what the point of your letter is. To announce you’re one of us in chump solidarity? Look, I’m glad you love the site, but the perspective here is really clear — leave a cheater, gain a life.

I encourage people here to leave and start new lives. Not numb themselves into oblivion, stay with the cheater,  and call it “meh.”

You can’t “deal with divorce” because why? You’re nearly 60? You “own a lot of property in several states”? Because you travel for work?

Chumps here leave cheaters every day under far more challenging circumstances. People older than you, younger than you, pregnant, pregnant with toddlers at home, men who lose half the time with their children and half their shit, people who caught STDs off their cheaters, women who gave up their lives to move around for their husband’s military careers, people who were jobless… THOSE PEOPLE LEFT.

If they can do it, you can too. So what’s stopping you? Fabulous Elvis weddings in Vegas?

Do you think because you gave leave of your senses for a year that you scared your husband straight? Oh, he’ll never do it again because you rained hell on him? You said he’s “unredeemable.” You know he’s a serial cheater. You’ve known this and you live with it. Why? Because he “picks” you?

It seems that you’ve come to a crossroads. Your husband is a serial cheater. That reality won’t change as you’ve discovered. So, either you can change — or you can numb yourself to that reality.

You chose numbness.

I just woke up one day and didn’t give a shit about what he did anymore. All the rage and sadness and insanity were gone. And I just don’t give a shit.

Oh, I think the insanity is still there. Did you go off the rails? Yes. But I’d say that was lucidity compared to the way you’re living now. At least the rage-filled you was fighting against something — betrayal, the injustice, the humiliation, the health risks of Mr. Pilot fucking the United Nations. The person who wrote me this letter, however, has just given up. She was bought for the price of an apology and a cheap Vegas wedding.

Hey, but it doesn’t matter because you don’t care. The separate married life with all its trappings and public coupledom and none of the difficulties of divorce — this works for you. These are your values. You are your choices.

Pilotswife, I champion self-respect here. I write for people who are breaking up with toxic people, not co-existing with them for the real estate. There are a few people who read on this site who attempt reconciliation and God bless them, I hope they have something to work with (and a post-nup). But you’ve got absolutely NOTHING to work with. The guy is telling you very clearly who he is — a man who has cheated on you from the start and shows no sign of stopping. You’re either okay with that, or you’re not.

You’ve told us you don’t care. And you want CN’s opinion? This is not a place that’s going to encourage you to stay. We’ll try and push you off that fence. Are you sure that’s what you want?

I would ask you to get real with yourself. About what your values are and how you wish to spend your remaining years. Can you imagine nursing a narcissist you don’t give one shit about? Can you imagine him doing anything for you when you’re old and sick? If you fear being alone, I think you’re already worse than alone. You live with someone you dare not care for, who you cannot risk intimacy or vulnerability with. Someone to whom you must perpetually guard your heart.

Forty-one years is a long time to have lived like this. Please get some individual therapy. Figure out why you’ve accepted this crap for all these years, and why you place such a high premium on being the “pilot’s wife” and so little value on yourself. You’re an independent woman with assets and a job. You can stand just fine on your own, if you want to.

The only fear I have now is of my own capacity for insanity.

Or self-delusion.


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • Yes very good response. We all have our reasons for staying with chumps…if I had real estate and the money that goes along with that I wouldnt be married to my cheating husband for sure. See I say the number one reason I stay is for the kids, yes i want a family for them. But it is the financial part that truly traps me. I have already gone down the filing for divorce road, coupled by his BS sincerity to be the man he should be and the fact that I would be screwed financially – I have stayed. I have real financial fear. He is self employed and that is so effing tricky to tease out acceptable alimony. Not to mention there is no child support for the children living at home going to college full time! I admit staying was an emotional choice at first, now it is a financial choice so my younger children dont get screwed. This Meh concept is new to me. But the way I see it, no you can’t get to Meh until you are totally free. I dream of Meh, I dream of just being! I honestly feel bad for this woman because i feel an emotional attachment has her in a holding pattern (no pun intended) . I agree therapy would be an excellent path to true Meh!! Best wishes:-)

  • Just wow!

    Looking forward to reading the comments. Where to begin? If I were in her shoes you can bet I would hire the best attorney, split those assets, and disengage in every way. She has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Why settle for less!

    • I agree Heather! This woman is 60 years old. Potentially 30 or more years on the planet. You can do a lot in 30 years. Seems to me dividing assets, real estate and moving are nothing when you are considering the rest of your life. This man has shown absolutely no respect for Pilotwife. Time to get to therapy and the attorney.

  • “I’m proud to be a chump”
    I’m not warming up to this coming from you Pilots Wife. There’s something about your story that is lacking for me.

    • The fact that this sick pilot is completely indifferent to his wife’s brutal revenge, maybe ? Please don’t let him crash his plane into our Alps slopes

  • I think it was your opening question about achieving Meh while knowingly being married to a serial cheater. I don’t think your anywhere near the fence. I’m not sure what your looking for here?
    You lost me with the attempted shooting and Dr Phil stories.

    • me too. I think it’s fake. People go to prison for attempted murder.

      • Not necessarily. I know someone who shot her surgeon husband in the ass when she discovered cheating. She got a couple years of home arrest.

        • HA HA HA HA!! Sorry. Shouldn’t be condoning violence. HA HA HA HA!!

          • Look, it’s not funny. It nearly ruined her life. She’s from Medellin, Columbia. She put him through medical school and raised his children. It gave her a record and tied her to him when she could’ve gotten free sooner. NOTHING good came from it.

        • Yes, of course not everyone goes to prison for all crimes; I think what I meant was it was flippantly mentioned by Pilot’s wife as is if it was just one of several self-described crazy things she did. That struck me as odd. Why didn’t her husband file charges? she didn’t even mention that. She just went on to talk about her plastic surgery.

          • I have a question. So if a Chump commits assault with a deadly weapon and either harms or kills a Cheater, that is okay…..but if a Cheater commits (or anyone else commits, because this apparently only applies to Chumps. Very exclusive exemption from the law.) The same crime….its not okay?

            Might want to think of a person who may have experienced personal violence here before excusing this behavior. Its only a day or so since the anniversary of Tessies loss, and I am more than a little disappointed in this bloodlust being shown by CN.

            • No one is saying it’s OK or excusing violence no matter who does it. I think most chumps go thru a phase where they wish something bad would happen but we’d never act on that. Gallows humor doesn’t indicate approval.

              • The comments are full of encouragement for this woman….and when all else fails, her behavior is being explained away as a result of everything the cheater did to her. She was in this knowingly from the beginning. She divorced him and dated him while being divorced from him. This started early on. She clearly had issues from very early on.

                This woman didnt wish something bad…..she DID something bad. Big difference.

              • I think if she really wanted to kill him, my guess is she would have. Cut the woman some slack – she was in intense pain and was thinking crazy. Who hasn’t in their lifetime? Lorena Bobbitt comes to mind – along with CL’s friend to shot her doctor husband in the ass. ha ha ha – I personally think that’s hilarious. You talk about DOING something bad? I think you should point the fingers at the pilot. He’s the one who did wrong – this woman freaked out – he planned and manipulated. There’s a big difference.

              • I agree with Dat. The support for the writer, and people’s jokes about wanting to put their Xs through a grain thresher (raising my hand here) are nothing more than emotional catharsis, and an indication that we hope fate will take care of justice for us (aka, the Karma bus).

                Because so few cheaters actually suffer consequences for their actions (and even if they do, they rarely suffer consequences equivalent to chumps), we revel, IN THE ABSTRACT, of a cheater suffering some pain. Take a poll–even under the worst duress of our lives, hardly any of us did ANYTHING physical to our cheating Xs–not even a single slap. That alone indicates that we, as a group, are not violent or mean or psychopaths. Instead, what many chumps are is Justice-oriented; we think the world *should* be a fair place, and some of the gallows humor is simply our frustration that the world is *not* a fair place.

        • Fortunately it was a random shot and no one got hurt and no one called the cops. I am very grateful that it wasn’t worse because he definitely is not worth going to prison for. I included that in my letter only to demonstrate how insane I was at that time. I keep forgetting that you guys don’t know me. I’m generally pretty quiet. It was totally out of character and scary and I stopped with that kind of dangerous insanity at that moment. It was awful.

          • I get it. It falls under the temporary insanity thing. I have also known other women who have stayed. Separate bedrooms, separate lives, but I think it’s dangerous for us. Is this who you want making medical decisions for you, picking out a nursing home, arranging home care? Who would he pick as a nurse…

            Talk to the top attorneys in the state and get out while you can. While you are not vulnerable and crazy. Change is hard and scary, but how is it going to be to be retired with this man? I excused a lot of things for mine when he was recovering from surgery- inappropriate behaviors/ comments with the nurses aides, etc. I put it down to the meds and anesthesia. If I had to be around that now that I know, I would end up killing him and going to prison. I can’t imagine being in a position where he was caring for me. If he hired nurses aides, it would be based on wether he thought he could get a bj off of them. He’d probably hire illegals just so he could have power over them. Think of the fun for him of getting off while your laying in a hospital bed in the next room. It’s who they are. He kissed up to keep half his stuff, and lies to women around the world about his wealth, his crazy wife, etc…

            • THIS sums up my sentiments here. As your legal husband, he will have right to declare life-altering decisions on your behalf if you should be incapable of making the decision yourself at the time. And that’s to assume he doesn’t concoct some story to try to prove you to be insane to a court anywhere along the road. This “man” will have too much potential power over you if anything should over go awry on the coming years, and you already can’t trust him with your heart; why trust him with your health?

  • Pilots Wife,

    Clearly, you are a very capable person. To rebuild a career and succeed in the way that you obviously have says as much. Really the question boils down to whether or not you WANT to be free from him via divorce. CL and CN are here generally encouraging the desire for a divorce. So, that is what I will do here as well. This guy is trouble. Are you planning on staying around long enough to catch an STD from him that he picked up from one of his sex trips? Or do you really think this character bankrupt man is a prize? I hope you find your “want” and your self-respect here, and go for the divorce. As an outsider, it sounds like you have accepted a destructive relationship for far too long.


    • No Divorce Minister I know he is anything but. I am just at a crossroads right now. OK with hanging out while having little contact and fearful of the protracted fight that a divorce would be. I don’t have a lot of money (property does NOT equal money–it equals mortgages) and I’m very scared about retirement. Its exhausting to think about.

      • PilotsChump
        You already filed once and divorced him. He travels extensively and must also have a pension. Your children are grown I assume so why not just file? I’m sure he would not jeopardize his job, therefore what exactly do you fear?
        What was his reaction to shooting a weapon and posting personal information on line?

      • I get it. You were emotionally eviscerated, you recovered, and now you just need time to regroup. You don’t feel like you have the strength or will to get yourself into another emotionally fueled war.

        Give yourself some time to recover, get rid of the loser, and live the rest of your life in peace. After what you’ve been through, I think it would be enough to have an end goal.

    • DM, what actions do you believe a cheater should take that would make a reconciliation worth the risk? If you or CL think this is inappropriate to address here I understand.

  • I wanted to comment more for other readers than the letter writer, mostly because there is something Pilot’s Wife is getting from staying married and engaging in the situation, and it isn’t property. When you usher a circus act out of your life, things get quiet, and it’s all on you with no recognition.

    The person you partner with should bring out your best and make you want to do your best. You should be proud of not only your decisions but your behavior. If remaining in a relationship compromises this, then it is not worth trading your dignity. That’s all.

    • “The person you partner with should bring out your best and make you want to do your best. You should be proud of not only your decisions but your behavior. If remaining in a relationship compromises this, then it is not worth trading your dignity. That’s all.”

      This…. wow, great insight.

    • Thank you. Thank you. I’m currently extracting myself from a narcissist -it’s like pulling feathers out of glue. Every move I make to leave I get bombed with pleading, begging…then discover a fresh lie. Your point about going quiet once the circus act departs….it’s spot on. I know now I have a dependency on the trauma he creates for me (and dealing with my being co-dependant) and that trauma and bad behavior has been the foundation to my marraige for many years. It’s typical of narcissistic abuse. It takes huge strength and I’m plagued with fear at times about it ‘all being on me’ but I’m moving forward each day. I know my value, my worth now and that knowledge gets stronger everyday as I distance myself from him. It isn’t easy, but I have CN and I’m getting closer to my new life.

      I write this for others, it took me a long, long time to understand the level of manipulation I was under and the damage it had caused my self esteem. Being with a narcissist causes damage over time… don’t realize how much until you find yourself stuck in glue. We can’t Change these sad sausages, pray for them and move far away from them. Understand that addiction to trauma/the circus act and see it for just that. The drama they create/pleading/begging is all about them. It’s not love as I deluded myself about for too long.

      • Ms. Chump you articulated my feelings exactly. Living with a narc for many years makes it very difficult to see how much they have infiltrated your thinking, behavior etc., until you can step away and look at it with clarity.
        I consider it a gift from my ex that he pointed out my weaknesses he was able to access my soul – so I can begin filling the holes! I hope Pilots wife can find the strength to remember who she was before she met her husband! Sending positive thoughts to her.

          • pilotschump, what do you think about CL’s comment about what you actually have time for and what you don’t have time for? i.e., the drama versus the difficulties of divorce? I was curious what you think about question.

        • Overcomer – much love and here’s to filling in the holes and gaining our lives (and minds) back!!! Xx

      • Exactly MsChump, I see so much more damage than I ever could have imagined now that I am trying to extract myself. The simple act of him sleeping down the hall (please God, let him leave soon) after I found out about the affair allowed me a tiny space to free myself mentally and the more I got away physically the more I could see the damage, and the more I wondered how I survived.

        • I hope he’s out soon…..stay strong. With you every step of the (glue ridden) path 🙂

    • I concur with DrICantBelieveImaChump.

      PilotsWife, you seem so ensconced in the circus act that is your marriage that you are incapable of seeing your life without it.

      Indeed, often times the cost regaining one’s dignity is extremely high. But once you get it back, you’ll find it was worth every single penny.

      • ChutesandLadders and DrICantBelieveImaChump the marriage WAS a circus act after the third d-day but it isn’t anymore. I rarely interact with him. I am working hard and focusing on my career right now. Pushing 60 and trying to maintain an IT consulting career is fraught with minefields. I found out the hard way that no one wants to hire an “old gal” no matter how competent and experienced. My new job was hard won and I plan to keep it.

        • Also an IT consultant here and yes, just 5 years away from it I’ve had a terrible time getting interviews. How do you convince them you understand the technology when you’ve been out of it for so long? Having to take low paying temp assignments is what I’m doing right now.

          • I’m taking contract work which pays incredibly well but is very scary when the contract runs out or when the company gets sold which happened to me when I first went back to work. But I’m working so I’m grateful.

          • TheLadyisaChump, see if you can volunteer at a local school or other organization running their systems. That will give you something on your resume that is current. Jedi Hugs!!!

        • Pilotschump
          You hang in there and take care of you. I hear you. I get what you’re saying. I get the crazy and I am not going to judge you. Get to a therapist and a good lawyer. Find out what your legal rights are and division of assets. I truly think you are suffering from a some kind of Stockholm Syndrome.

          I hope you are NOT sleeping with him and that you have a bedroom door you can lock. I guess you could almost look at this living arrangement as a business agreement. But I do think you should at least start making escape plans. He has left you no choice. Yeah so you own properties. Big deal and if they are mortgaged so what again. You are lucky it’s a good time to sell. Start looking for a little place for just you.

          I do not think you can get to MEH living with him. This guy has a power over you. I would start stashing money, selling things off (that he doesn’t notice), getting appraisals etc. For all you know he could be one step ahead of you in this regard.

          Congrats on having a good job. You are lucky. We are the same age and I bought into the SAHM and let my college degree and skill set slide. So as the poster above I’d be relegated to retail or temp jobs. It sucks. So keep that job and do well. No the hiring world is NOT crazy about hiring we “old girls”. I hope you will listen to what a lot of experienced well meaning people have to say here. Good luck to you.

        • Someone who went “scorched earth” can blaze her own path.

    • Agree!!!!! I took the first step in my divorce processes yesterday. Finally after 2 years!!!
      I thought of not going through the process would be financially easier on both of us. But just recently I have had a negative MRI test result back and all I thought about was if this mass they have found is fatal then I rather lay on my death bed knowing I am a free woman and not married to this sorry excuse for a human being.

  • You don’t have financial security, not as long as you’re married. He can decide to spend “your” money and conceal it from you. Sexual cheating often goes hand in hand with financial cheating. As us chumps how we know.

    More tough love: Considering your public tirade about cheater’s behavior to all your friends and family, THEY ALL KNOW he’s a cheater and that you’re staying with him anyhow. Have some pride. He doesn’t respect you at all, and doesn’t love you, and *everyone* in your *life* knows it except for you. I bet your true friends are praying right now that you get your self-esteem back before it’s too late.

    • This.

      My rule of thumb is never to threaten if I’m not willing to follow through. As soon as you go public, you have to follow through or look like a jackass.

      Pilotswife, you need therapy yesterday. You’re not at “meh.” You’re at numb. There’s a difference. I suspect that you’ve been the victim of emotional abuse for years. You exploded in rage, but now you’re back to numb. You look at your life and figure that it’s not that bad.

      Oh yes it is!

      You have a successful career. Hire a bigshot attorney, a real pitbull of a family law specialist experienced in high-conflict divorce. Figure out the settlement that works well with your goals (get a divorce financial planner on your team) and FILE! Do NOT wait for your husband to drop dead or contract some kind of fatal STD.

      This would be what my late MiL did. Her cheating husband had a mistress for over 20 years. He lived and worked in another city, coming to visit only on weekends. She had a job that paid okay, but she lacked education and options. He was career military, and she looked at his pension. They worked out a financial arrangement (the old post-nupt) in which he agreed to take care of household expenses, education for their younger son (older son was already over 21), etc.

      SInce he came home only on weekends and slept on the reclining chair, she thought that this was okay, and not so bad. The problem? She still lived her life around him.

      And you know what? She died 5 years before he did. Life’s unfair like that. I’m sure that she thought she’d outlast him, and get his retirement, the pension, the insurance. Nope. Nothing.

      Don’t be my late mother-in-law. Go to therapy and figure out why you’re okay with living a lie. Hire a damn good lawyer and a divorce financial planner.

      Kick that man to the curb and get yourself a life!

      • Hi. I am a divorce financial planner, a CFP and I’d like to add a couple of things.

        KB makes great points. Besides getting a post nupt there are all of the cross over issues of estate and retirement planning.

        Does your living trust have a durable healthcare power of attorney? Do you want your husband making decisions on your health care? ‘Hey I’ve got a date , I think this is a good time to pull the plug. ‘.

        Seriously many states allow you make changes on right of survivorship on joint tenancy issues. Are you sure if something happens to him you will still own all of that property or just one half?

        Have your assets been ”gifted’ to someone else ? Does anyone have enough income to allow that? Shelley Sterling was worth 100’s of millions and she disputed gifting and won her case against V Stivano

        Marriage is about love, divorce is about money — and self respect. It takes a team approach to look at the domino effect of a complex property situation. If you can not remove yourself from the marriage, protect your assets in all areas including estate and retirement.

        A CFP specializing in divorce and taxation is trained to identify all areas for you.

  • Wait, so there’s an airline out there who won’t fire one of its pilots with sex videos all over Youtube? And all the coworkers have been told what is going on? Still this guy didn’t get the boot?

    I don’t mean to be unsympathetic, but that sounds pret-ty unlikely. Talk about flying the friendly skies!

      • Yes its true and I do not regret doing that one bit. Youtube took it down pretty quickly and his company didn’t have time to see it although he was pretty scared for a little while. His pilot friends are apparently all cheaters too so they weren’t fazed and they already knew. I’ve heard they have a saying “wheels up, wedding rings off.”

    • Eh–pilots are notorious And she came off as crazy. (TOTALLY understandable, btw. I went crazy myself–not to the degree that she did, but for me, it was crazy.) So, no need to fire. And, it’s possible he is self-employed now?

  • Fully agree with CL! Getting to “meh” is not staying with a these cheaters. There is no way you will ever get any peace in your life with him. Also I would recommend you to look into intense therapy. With the experience I had and from what I have read about these Cluster B Personality Disorders we victims deal with severe depression, PSTD, and with what you have written above. Looks like that is what is happening in your life.

    I would highly recommend looking at what you really want from your life and to get the mental help you need. This guy is no good at all. It will never get any better. Sadly these people don’t care about us. This type of behaviour is not love. They cannot love. They don’t love anyone and also they don’t love their selves. You will never be able to make he stop what he is doing. You cannot control what he does. Why have such a toxic and evil person in your life? He just doesn’t care. He never has and never will. All he is doing is a level of playing mind games or gaslightening you to keep you in this mental “fog”state you are in. None of this is good for you.

    Pilotswife please listen to CL. My heart goes out to you it really does. My main concern for you is your mental state is now and for your future. This cheater you call a “husband” could get you placed into a mental ward and you will never be able to get out with your past reactions with his cheating. Is he worth him taking your freedom of choice of just leaving him and living life on your terms? Sorry but no one is worth that in my life.

    It is time for you to take your life back. Yes, it has been 41 years but that is the past and we cannot do anything about the past. However, we can look at the past and learn from it. His actions speak louder than words. It is time for you to walk out and look at the future. The future is uncertain and that is the most exciting thing about it. Why you ask? Because it will be on your terms. Leave a cheater, Gain a life future. You have so much to bring to the world. I look at it this way when I am on my death bed I want to remember the good times and there are loads of them since I left the ex and went full NO CONTACT and got my head on straight. That is what you need to do.

    You cannot and will never ever be able to control this loser. He is going to do what he wants. Why you ask? Simple because he can. Stop letting this fool take control of your life is not about him. You need to take your life in control. Like CL writes….LEAVE a cheater and GAIN a life.

    A wonderful life that is on your terms. There is no way you will get to “meh” being with this loser. Getting to “meh” takes years and time and you have to do that and yes it is hard work but that is what it is about. Getting to “meh” is learning about yourself, learning what good heathy boundaries are, and learning the soft skills that we all need to understand how evil these cheaters are and so much more. Yes, what you have had to deal with is just painful but really why continue with this madness? He will never ever change. The only person that you can control and change is yourself.

    If you are not getting professional therapy now I would highly recommend it. Looking back at my situation with the ex I should have checked myself into a rehab clinic for severe depression. I mean severe depression and I also was dealing with PSTD. I would not be surprised you are dealing with both. I’m not a professional in the mental health profession but from my experience and from your letter above you are dealing with severe depression and PSTD. It is very common for us chumps to deal with such levels of mental health issues. It is ok to admit that and get the help you need. It is not about him. It is about you at the end of the day. If is very hard to learn these things without getting the professional help you need especially dealing with 41 years of abuse. That is what he is doing he is abusing you. We the victims don’t see this until we are away from these individuals. If you divorced him once you can do it again. All the stuff you are scared about really you cannot take when it is the end of your time on this planet. Ask yourself how do you want the rest of your life to be or the true peace it can be without this loser? I know what I chose and it has been great. Yes, it was hard but good things are not easy to gain in your life. You are much stronger than you are you just need to gain these skills to know it and do it.

    You can only control yourself Pilotswife. Stop the your madness go full NO Contact and get some help. We are here for you also. Just remember this Leave the cheater, gain a wonderful peaceful life!!!!!

  • I know it seems like the biggest hassle in the world to actually make the decision and proceed with a divorce. I know it feels like you will lose stability and that you will be worse off. But do NOT believe that! Seriously, do not believe it for a second. You don’t realize how much time, energy, and money you’re wasting on him and what a huge toll it’s taking on you, until you finally free yourself from him and suddenly all that energy-suck is gone. It is worth it. Yes, there will be a ton of logistics to deal with. Yes, it will require time and focus. But you’re not the first person to get divorced with extensive property and money. You can handle it. When you are on the other side, you will kick yourself for not doing it sooner.

    Right now it seems like you’re thinking “We have all this stuff / money, so why split that in half and own less?” But just for simplicity’s sake, let’s say you have $100k. Owning $50k *on your own* totally independent of him, to invest and do with what you please and get prepared for your own future, is WAY better than owning $100k with a shyster. Salvage the situation, take control of what you can, and get the heck out of there. You have to trust that it will be better. I know it looks bad from inside the situation but believe us, it will be better. You could live another 30 years, and you don’t want to be sitting there saying “Ugh I wish I had left him when I was 60.” You can have a vibrant life, just reach out and take it!

    • Both Beth, Chumptastic, and all the others from CN who have posted encouragement to you are spot on. I don’t believe it’s about the financial and material assets you would have to wade through if you divorced. After 40+ years of your tolerating this abuse (and his pathological behavior IS abuse), it appears like traumatic bonding IMO. Yes, please get lots of counseling from someone who specializes in relational/domestic abuse – along with PTSD (no Reconciliation Bozos). Screen your Counselor before you agree to continuing therapy to make sure it’s a good fit. Your triggering and numbing is so unhealthy. Going and sticking with NC is going to be difficult. Facing your fears and processing grief harder still. Academically, you already know that a final, everlasting divorce is your best option on your road to healing. It’s scary, but look at the long term goal: a happier, healthier you. I write this as a woman in your age bracket, disabled, alone, on a limited income – and I’m happier now than if I had stayed with my financially sound, but pathologically-lying, serial-cheating husband in our big home in the country. Ditch the drama, Take back your life. Peace-of-mind is truly beautiful.

      • Chump-tastic and Boudica Reborn I believe you’re both spot on. Don’t know what is holding me back except that I know that I have to be able to walk away without a backward glance and be willing to lose everything in the fight. I don’t know that I am there yet.

        • You won’t lose everything, especially if you still have the videos. I don’t know what I would have done if the scum had kissed ass in my rage stage, so I have no judgement. I am still at pissed. Just remember to not let him know of any plans, do forensics on the accounting, and think about having to take care of him- is this someone whose ass you literally want to wipe? Especially after you find out about his other family in the Phillipines… (or Thailand- they seem to have one somewhere). Then you get in trouble for abuse because you let him sit in his shit and piss… eck.

          The subtle abuse that gets us to stay and keeps us from seeing their behavior gets into out subconscious mind. The crazy rage filled reaction further undermines our faith in ourselves. Just make plans. I think the divorce financial consultant post above had the best info. Line up the ducks, then spread your wings.

          • Have to point out a few things… 1) she took a shot at him 2) she purposely posted private video footage in attempts to ruin his career ( defamation) 3) she total his car ….. She has done enough crazy and violent acts to have a restarining order or perceived by the courts as a threat to him. He could get a settlement stating she was off her rocker and a threat.
            She would have a lot and I mean a lot of trouble proving to the court that his infedelity drove her to these acts. The court doesnt care if your husband stuck his dick in a thousand dirty holes…. But they certainly will care that u attempted to shoot him, destroy property and post private video with the purpose of defamation.
            Odds are way against her in a court of law.

            • Depends how she got access to the videos, wether it’s defamation. He didn’t file a report about the gun incident at the time, so that’s probably off the table, and he did the whole married again thing. He brings up anything, she brings up something. It will end up 50/50 after 40 years.

  • Pilotswife equals troll having some fun here.
    Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think so.

    • SC, you should see my mail…

      You know, even if this isn’t for real — the situation of staying because it’s what you know and you’re wealthy with sunk costs is a COMMON one. So, someone can use the advice. We often live with so much drama and yet fear the divorce decision.

      As sad as it is, I think many people stay in these kind of numb, I don’t give a shit marriages.

      • – CL, your mail! Omg, ok, so my first thought was troll – but troll, or no troll, your point about the issue is great. -Right on.

        My sadness about the letter is no mention of the kids other than having them – their drama must be off the charts.

        Also, it really puts some things into perspective – as broken as I feel… sanity is a blessing.

        • I am definitely NOT a troll!! I have been reading here every single day for six months and I have learned a lot from you guys. I understand why you think that since what I wrote to CL is pretty dramatic but I am neither a drama queen nor am I happy that this is the way my life has gone. And the scathing criticism from some of you hurts, a lot, even though I expected it. And there is a lot more to it than what I wrote. I do value your opinions very much.

          I was very naive at 17 when I met cheater pilot (who wasn’t a pilot then) and have not been able to find a way to disentangle. It was not easy to figure out what he was doing or maybe I just believed so much in fidelity and mutual respect that I could not imagine this is the turn my life would take. I was mired in “this doesn’t happen to people like me.” Until it did.

          My first discovery was after 13 years of marriage and a small baby. I was 30 years old and definitely not a child. Before that I didn’t have a clue and after divorce and the unicorn of reconciliation, another child and yet another discovery I just didn’t have the energy to fight him again. Fighting is an understatement. Scorched earth with two children, working 80 hours a week and dealing with his BS was not something I felt capable of handling. I already knew how he would use the children to get back at me (his father did the same with him) so I made a deal with the devil. Or so I thought. Am I depressed? Yes. Am I foolish? Obviously based on the scathing feedback here. Did I make a huge mistake? Yep.

          My kids were grown when the third d-day happened but it still hurt them tremendously when I went off the rails. Terrible toll all around. And yes, they do have some terrible problems of their own.

          I have been through tons of therapy–all kinds from psychiatrists to psychologists to marriage counselors and family therapists, pastors, and 12 step programs. I can quote the jargon but this site is the first place I have found that really resonates with me.

          No one tells the truth about these people! I was always left hopeful that he would somehow change and become nice if he could just work out his issues. NOT! I truly, truly did not realize that some people cannot be redeemed.

          It is a process to get away from someone like cheater pilot who will stop at nothing to win no matter the human cost. You all have taught me that. I am NOT attached to the property we have, and believe me there is no community status being married to a pilot nor do I need to be anybody’s wife for recognition. Actually being a pilot’s wife is horrible all the way around until you get to the point where you’re just happy when he leaves. Cheater pilot is only home maybe five days a month and I’m gone nearly every week with my job so I really do not have to interact much which is a blessing.

          But I do not like the idea of giving up half my retirement that I worked for and I am financially cautious having been badly burned during the recession. I did explore my options with a competent attorney and because I live in a community property state and have a good job I don’t get any breaks just because he’s a dirt bag. I really feel like financially my options really suck and I’m so tired I just can’t stand the idea of working for the rest of my life and that is what will happen.

          Not defending anything I’ve done because it is indefensible. I’m just putting it out there because I think no one understands this better than the people here. I am not determined to stay forever. I just don’t know how to do this without being completely destroyed in the process.

          • I understand not wanting to work for the rest of your life, I lost too much to the cheater and that is likely what I will have to do, it sucks. Do get a second opinion from another lawyer, seems to me if you are in a community property state you won’t end up bereft of cash/retirement. You should also talk to a financial person who specializes in divorce, a chump above mentioned it. If you only live together 5 days a week why don’t you both simply agree to live apart completely? Sign a contract that defines your relationship as platonic, that you have no responsibilities to one another and allows both of you to see others. Cutting it cleanly is better IMO but hell, there are other ways to get away I suppose.

          • I understand the financial situation, as the only one in my marriage with any retirement savings I know I’m going to have to work a very long time to make up for the loss of it, but I want my life back bad enough to do that.

            It is hard to disentangle, very, very hard. If I only saw my STBX 5 days a month I think it would be easier to leave. (but i have the twisted fucktard who gas lights and obfuscates) I think your numbness may be part of PTSD. I consider my periods of numbness a gift of sorts so I can get the hard work of combing through financials and figuring out how to pay for the house on my own without becoming a complete wreck. Maybe you just need to use the feelings you have in a different way, to push you to change either the relationship situation or the legal situation. I have a friend whose husband cheated, she is in the process of designing her post-nup as part of her reconciliation package. It can be done but its a decision you need to make.

            • Thank you AllOutofKibble. Periods of numbness are a great gift. I was so very grateful when I woke up and didn’t care anymore. It was a weight lifted and to me it was nothing short of a miracle. That’s when I was able to think about getting another job (not as easy as I thought it would be) and putting my life back together. I’ve managed to some degree but I’m still gobsmacked. Otherwise I would never have found Chump Lady. I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I feel like I’ve gotten an education.

          • Pilotswife
            Hi it’s me again 🙂 I think maybe part of the gap in communications with some of the posters her and their responses is maybe age? I don’t think you’re a troll but your store is pretty incredible 🙂

            We were raised in a different time. Heck when we graduated high school women went to college and got degrees in Home Ec!!! It IS hard to get away for MANY reasons. But it seems to me he being gone all the time and you being gone all the time you guys don’t necessarily have to divorce. You’re surly not wanting to marry again are you?? He’s obviously doing what he wants why can’t you? You could keep the marital contract and live totally separate lives apart from each other?? How does YOUR retirement figure into this? He’s a pilot, he makes a good living, surly he has his own retirement.

            I know exactly what you are trying to express. I also think there are very smart people here on this blog. Egads I also think I will be raked over the coals as well. I hope not because I respect so many of you here.

            Good Luck Pilotswife. I feel for you.

            • Leave a cheater gain a life. It’s a choice. If you have been following CN for six months, you are aware of the abuse chumps have suffered. With the history you have with your pilot your reactions strike me as odd. This is not a criticism, rather an observation. Now he has upped the anti with videos and you put them on the internet? Ok use your energy and resubmit the paperwork you filed before Vegas. That takes little effort.

          • pilotschump-

            I’m glad you chimed in – I believe you.

            I am new to this blog and group, too (about 6 months reading and first post a few weeks ago). Strangely, I find myself feeling really protective, ready to defend the good nature and support of all those here who are so kind and supportive, especially to newbies. .

            So my question is: what if they (this group) was duped by a really good creative writer? Your story DOES have some wild elements. So, in my protective mode – I call out “troll”!. But as Chump Lady points out- it doesn’t necessarily matter. The message is important. And she is right on.

            Still, pilotschump, you are obviously a real person behind your story – and yes, there are some who just have way more drama in our stories. But, what I have noticed are the feelings of betrayal, sadness, anxiety, and anger, –all of these emotions are universal. And, the acknowledgement of those very real feelings is what keeps me coming back here – to read, to learn, and to identify with.

            The feeling of being so lost is something I never thought I would experience in this way – that someone could be so OK “to deceive someone they claim (ed) to love” is beyond the pale, to me. Even though time is just a number, when I read of those who have been married for so long -30-50 years and are dealing with separation much later in life, I feel extra sadness. I really think it presents different issues from financial to health, and everything in-between. -As younger with small children presents another set of issues of (omg) ongoing, never ending co-parenting issues.

            So, in the journey, as I find myself so lost, unable to decide, and without a certain confidence I always relied on, and sadder than I’ve ever been.I have found that this feeling encompasses all experiences, across all socioeconomic lines.

            There is great comfort, support, and paths to MEH to follow – if we choose, And, for that I am really grateful to CL and CN.

            Hang in there, pilotschump, and keep sharing!

            • Chump4

              Your right chump4 it doesn’t really matter. What I was wondering about originally was related to her original question regarding Meh and staying married. Sometimes it’s difficult to provide answers when the question is unclear. What is clear to anyone who has followed this site for six months is that it is about LEAVING a cheater. I realize there are chumps here who regardless of their circumstances are unable to leave due to health or financial reasons such as DM. My heart goes out to anyone given these circumstances. However, there are sometimes red flags given someone’s emotional state when they speak of violence toward a cheater. That speaks more of mental health issues which need to be addressed ASAP.

          • I empathize with you..

            I agree, I wouldn’t want to give up 1/2 of what little I have earned/saved in 401 K..I can’t live off of 1/2 of my pension, that would amount to only $ 650 a month..If I find myself drawing from my 1/2 of my 401 K to occasionally make ends meet, it would be gone within a year or two..

            My biggest problem is that I do not have the resource of health / stamina for doing full time work..

            That is why I retired from my previous job..A job I worked for 30 years, in the same location, same company..

            We live in a community property state too..

            Readjustment to life after divorce with a large amount of my pension and savings taken away or having an alimony obligation in place would be inhumanely difficult for me..

            If my WH left my pension and savings alone ( NOT GONNA HAPPEN), I would still need to un retire to be able to afford life in a small apartment on my own…

            I am prepared to go back to work for sure..I just want some freedom and enough financial leeway to allow me to find a job that meets my housing/utilities/personal needs by working fewer hours, a job that is less stressful for me physically/mentally..One that is more pleasurable and easy to keep..

            Having sucky options definitely resonates with me..

          • My opinion is this: If you feel you would get mortally fucked over in a divorce, don’t do it. But ensure that any and all debts he racks up, are in his name, and that has has zero access to any of your money or assets. This works doubly well if you have no intentions of ever ‘finding someone new’ again, to be honest. The kicker is when he dies you get his stuff too, if you’re still married and you’re still around, so its not all bad.
            There’s no fucking way that I’d hand over any of my money or assets to a cheater. No fucking way.
            Use your common sense with this, really.

      • Agreed, CL! It seems that so many people put the emphasis on being *married* instead of having a *marriage*. Just because we can be *married* for 41 years, doesn’t mean we have a successful *marriage*. It’s EASY to stay *married* until “death do us part”. Just turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to infidelity and abuse and VOILA! But having a *marriage* isn’t so easy (am I getting through to “you” with all of my *’s?)

        Divorcing this many won’t make you a loser; it’ll make you SMART. OP, if your really, really good friend had written your letter, what advice would YOU give her?

        Once you know that answer, apply it to your own situation! BE a really, really good friend to YOURSELF!

          • I don’t know why it is so hard. Financially it would SUCK but I know it shouldn’t matter. I just hate to have worked as hard as I have and be left with not enough to live on as I get older. And I’m scared as all get out. Scorched earth does not begin to describe what this man will do when challenged. The law is no protection from someone like this. My life has been enough of a Lifetime movie already (without the requisite happy ending).

            • Pilotschump …. you’ve divorced this man twice already haven’t you (or was it once and an ‘almost’)? … did he go ‘scorched earth’ then? Why are you so sure you would lose everything? You’ve 41 years invested (just as he has, I guess) surely a minimum of 50% is most likely? Do pilots get paid very poorly? Just because he’ll throw a narc tantrum doesn’t mean he’ll automatically get everything his own way, especially if you hire a good team of lawyers … talking of which … while yes, I agree, divorce takes it toll on mental energy, a good legal team behind you should be able to handle a lot of that for you.

              Please, take it from one who was utterly, utterly fucked over financially by a complete narcissistic, psychopathic fuckface because I couldn’t afford anything like a competent legal team, pull out the stops. Hire as good a team as you can possibly afford (and consider raising the money from your equity) and show him, once and for all, that it’s not the crazy in you he should be worried about, but the sane, clear-headed ‘not with my one and only precious life, you don’t’ Amazon Warrior you really are!

              I’m 52, and there are a lot of us chumps here in our 50’s / 60’s … God help us, but life can’t be done for us now … don’t you remember feeling old in your 30’s, in your 40’s, in your 50’s? You’re not going to let another decade go by where you could have found true love and happiness elsewhere, are you? Of course you’re not!

              Put some loud ‘kick-arse’ music on and remember, while none of us could have predicted the shit we’ve been through, we also couldn’t have predicted the joys we’ve had too … wouldn’t it be better to embrace your future (tomorrow, the next day, month, year, decade) financially stable because you DO KNOW where you stand and not waiting for the other shoe to drop when mrflymetothemoon brings his next drama home?

              Wishing you well, and strength and a great big pair of big girl pants 🙂 x

      • I stayed in my marriage for years – 10 years, until I got my children raised. I told my ex that if he cheated once after they were raised I would divorce him – and I did. Now that I’m on my own and recently divorced (2 months in) I often wonder if I could have just stayed with him and lived a separate life. I see him with the other woman and it breaks my heart. I remind myself that I deserve more and better. I only have one life and I want it to be the very best.

        Thanks for encouraging us chumps to make the best decision – the one where we value ourselves first. I truly believe that my life will be better over time. You help me recognize how poorly I was treated with no excuses. It is better already in that I don’t have to question someone about where they have been and what they have been doing. I don’t have that in my life any more and it feels great.

        • Phoeb

          So happy for you! Staying is the hard road. Now for an authentic life!

      • I want to jump in here because I too am a pilot’s wife. You have no idea some of the stories out there in the airline industry! It is totally unreal!

        When I found out about my hubby affair in my 28 yr of marriage I went thurough so much that op wrote. It has taken me 4 yrs to get to where I can even now be calm and accepting of the affair. I never worked only traveled the world w hubby. When traveling w him, I would see so much behind the scenes once the crew buses pick up the crews. Even walking the airports w hubby Ild learn so much about crew members.
        Crews get together for dinners, often w cocktails, outings in cities, in nice hotels…. They overnight on some of the nicest beaches together, and if they want, they can work there scheduled to work w each other and no one really ever knows. I was on one trip w my hubby when we went to the beach and the crew was already there playing topless volley ball on a topless beach !

        We have a life time built together. We now live separately but are still in 24/7 contact. I too now don’t care what pilot hubby does, but there is things that I am not willing to become the new poor yet over… I completely get where op is coming from…

        I want to learn from op mistakes, I look back and wonder where all those years too not real?

        I don’t know how old pilots wife was when he first cheated or where she was at that point in her life either, but I do know this, rarely does a marriage work again after infidelity.

        • Susan, I’m so glad that you were able to share with us today – I feel like many are going in the direction of judging this poor woman and I too can truly relate to what she’s going through. Although I wasn’t with a pilot, I was with a serial cheater for 30 years of my life before he decided to leave and file for divorce. He found a “sugar momma” and didn’t want any more responsibilities. He left his devoted wife and kids.

          We didn’t have any money, but I was scared shitless and I have a good job! Fear is a huge factor as well as conditioning that happens throughout the years. I completely understand that you don’t want to experience “the new poor” as you put it. I had to file bankruptcy, just so I could keep the house with an underwater mortgage so I wouldn’t have to move my girls and disrupt their lives anymore than they already were. But I managed.

          Ultimately FEAR is a huge driver in practically everything – but 41 year marriage – seems to me it’s very understandable how she can get to the place that she’s in with so much abuse. She’s probably got little to no self esteem anymore and is most likely suffering from both PTSD and depression. She’s basically given up.

          I can totally understand it. If my ex hadn’t left, I’d probably still be with him to this day. So he very well could pull the same thing on her!

          What I can share is that there is a freedom after you work through the fear and the anger and start focusing on yourself instead of the cheating ex. It’s liberating to say the least, but it takes time to get there. 41 years – basically she’s got at least 6-8 years of healing till she feels like that girl she was before she married that man, but just an older wiser one. It’s totally discouraging to say the least.

          I hope that Pilot’s wife can take away from today’s comments what resonates with her and let her leave the rest. I hope she does what is right for her and I applaud her for reaching out like she did. It took some courage and a need for help to write in today.

      • Exactly CL. Hillary Clinton springs to mind as one of the most famous of this sort.

        • Agree 100%, Cheaterssuck! I wonder how much more likable and respected she would be had she kicked Slick Willy to the curb when it was clear he was a scumbag.

    • I think this is an actual person. At my age, I know alot of women exactly like Pilot’s Wife. Hell, but for the grace of the universe, this could be me. PW is suffering from PTSD, she has all the classic symptoms. What she needs is therapy on an intensive level. She is frozen and needs someone to hep her process what she has been through. She isn’t emotionally ready to divorce and won’t be until she “unfreezes” herself. What concerns me is that all that rage is festering just below the surface and, like a volcano, is going to one day blow. Then what? Life in prison for killing her husband? This lady needs psychiatric help-immediately! The consequences of not doing so are potentially horrific.

  • If this was me I would be hoping the bastards’ next flight went down! I imagine he has a great life insurance policy given his line of work! Aside from that, happiness at ANY age is possible. Starting life over, at ANY age is possible. You only have to WANT it! Pilots Wife, you are smart and clearly a strong woman, dare yourself to begin again. It is never too late! I took a heavy hit financially in my divorce. I was worried I couldn’t make it. I am not just surviving…..I am thriving! I have never been so happy! Walking away from crazy is peaceful! And you can’t put a prize on that! YOU DESERVE BETTER!

    • Kimmy, yes, this! Pilotswife, 41 years is a long time but don’t let fear stop you from pursuing an authentic life; living a lie is soul destroying. Think hard about what you are modeling to your children and family. Think hard about your legacy. First thing, get tested for STDs, next, go find a lawyer and have them walk you through the settlement. You know what you own, divide it in half. You are in a great position to start over. I would much rather live alone than with someone who daily chooses to betray me. Cheaters don’t change and sometimes they are way ahead on making assets disappear. He travels internationally so my guess is he may very well have accounts and property there. Ex set up scorched earth for two years before I became aware of his OW and financial deceit. I agree wholeheartedly with Kimmy here. There is a whole new sane world waiting and it’s a hundred times better than the one you are living.

  • I may be reading too much into it but could it be that the OP lacks identity? After all she identifies herself as “pilot’s wife” and is “…proud to be a chump.” Almost sounds like she wants to belong to something even if it drives her insane. She’s been in this madness for 41 years and may not know who she is without it.

    • Sooooo true about losing one’s self after 41 yrs. I myself 33 yrs. Who am I ? I never worked, I too a pilots wife so I could travel the world, & travel I did.

      I too am at the retirement age,and no don’t kid your self that you have another 30 yrs left. Anyone who has gone thur their parent aging know that it’s not always like that. Some might have 10 good yr,some maybe 7 some 15 or some 25. My hubby will have 90 % of the income if I D now and I live in 10% . I will get no “maintenance” as my lawyer explained I’ve already have been paid the past 33 yrs of not working. 50% of what we own? Ha! After lawyer fee’s, taxes, and all else that needs paid out, I’ll end up w 24% of our asset while he’ll be able to go on to earn still a 6 fugure income overseas…

      Another screwed pilots wife

  • I think this:

    “If you fear being alone, I think you’re already worse than alone. You live with someone you dare not care for, who you cannot risk intimacy or vulnerability with. Someone to whom you must perpetually guard your heart.”

    — just might be the most profound thing CL’s ever written. And that is why we leave — to gain a life.

    Pilotswife, I’m 58 and not the oldest chump in Chump Nation. It’s an especially hard road to Meh for us because we risk being alone for the rest of our lives, but have chosen dignity and a genuine life over whatever you want to call life with a cheater is.

    And you haven’t even been ruined financially like many of us. I’ve just reentered the job market after 10 years of not working outside the home, and, yes, I had to declare bankruptcy because he cleaned me out and left me holding all the debt. I’m trying desperately to save for a home — I really, really want a home of my own.

    As challenging and as uncertain as things are for me now, I’d rather be living this life, than pretending my life with a cheater is any life at all.

    I think you wrote to CL because you need a push to leave him and forge your new life.


  • I have alluded to this before….just because a person was chumped, doesn’t make them good people, sane people, normal in any way…and it isnt the cheating that is the origin of that mental illness or character deficiency. Pilotswife, you have serious issues of your own…you dont want help, you wanted to tell everyone what you did to this guy. You have no plan for leaving and you like the life money buys, and morality is nowhere in your reperoire. Coming here and crowing about what you did to this guy….is a sickneas all its own.

    You attempted to murder another human being. That alone should have you in prison. This guy putting up with your bullshit and you putting up with HIS…..FOR MONEY….is sick and twisted, on both your parts.

    This letter made me ill. There ARE chumped spouses like this out there, Nation. Remember that when anyone decides to ‘help’ a chump who just can never seem to leave, never have realistic reasons why they stay…and always blocks attempts at facilitating a solution. But….but…..but…..but……whatever. when i hear the buts stars, my attention is already looking at your actions. Pilotswife you are a cheater enabler and you need serious professional help yourself.

    • I agree with your statement “just because a person was chumped, doesn’t make them good people, sane people, normal in any way”.

      Something about this writer’s perspective was very off to me. I don’t necessarily think it’s fake, I just don’t think this person is a chump in the way many of us are. While I would not presume to define “chump”, to me it means that the person is destroyed in some way by the cheater and the cheating. But look at this letter. There isn’t one word about how she feels/felt about all this, about the painful emotional process we’ve all been through. She seems to have known about this for most of the 41 year marriage, has made the decision multiple times to remarry or renew vows, and is in general concentrating much more on the material aspects of the marriage.

      To be frank, she sounds like a cheater in spirit. Her letter is not really asking whether she can get to “meh” and still say married. It seems to be asking permission from CL and CN to eat her own cake; the drama cake, the convenience cake, the material benefits cake. She appears to want condemnation of her cheater, to “proudly” wear the mantle of chump, forgiveness for her irrational and illegal behavior, and to continue getting all of the benefits of her marriage while doing whatever she pleases (dating, etc.)

      I’m sympathetic to all chumps, and I understand how crazy-making the cheater’s behavior is, and this guy sounds like a doozy. But there is something really off about the tone of this letter. I don’t think she’s looking for a push to leave, I think she’s looking for permission to stay and validation that she can do whatever she wants.

      • The OP wrote: “Fast forward many years to the third D-day when I found an external drive with movies of him having sex with multiple women from Third World countries ( he is an international airline pilot). At that point I became psychotic.” And honestly if she is trying to find a third way, to stay but disconnect, it’s not for me to judge. It appears to me that she tried to cram a very long story into as short a letter as she could. Obviously one can’t distill 41 years into a single letter. I’ll take her at face value until she proves otherwise. She has clarified above some of her statements, including the gun incident. I do not absolve her for that regardless, I suffer from PTSD because my ex nearly shot me. OTH, I’m not able to determine her motives or desires from a letter, neither are you.

    • I dunno – I’d probably do much of the same she did if someone ever cheated on me again and was a smartarse prick about it, to be frank.
      You’re stupid enough to try and fuck up my life – I fuck up yours. Its really quite simple. And given that there’s not really justice for cheating fucktards a good amount of the time, and all…

  • I was a chump but I gained a life out of many things but pride being one of them. I was never going to give the excuse of why I stayed, there was not one excuse good enough – kids, money, job that could not cover the bills, lack of retirement money, fear of being alone or an unsure future.

    He was an anchor. Holding me back from true peace of mind.

    Gain some self respect and go. Go happily!!!

  • Lately , I’ve been thinking about how Bill Cosbys wife is still with him? Your husband doesn’t sound any different than him. Living such a deceptive life and needing the Wifey at home to keep his happy home.

    • ^^^^ Yes, talk about a “serial something” ^^^^ -Really at the lowest end of humanity on all sides – and a wife’s acceptance of this, for 40-50 years? Finding it hard to believe she knew nothing about it… Yet, was it really fame, prestige, power, & money that made her turn a blind eye? Wonder how she feels now.

      • Cosby went to great lengths to hide what he did from his wife, I’ve read everything on this topic. Do not go the “blame the chump” route. Dude had money, power and easy access to women.

  • I agree Ghf.. Attempted murder? She is in the front seat of the crazy train.

    • Thank you, nancy. What is chapping my ass about the sympathetic responses here trying to convince pilotswife that she is worthy…she has no remorse about anything. She is desciring this as if it is just some normal day for her.

      She attempted to murder him. I dont give a shit what anybody says, she had no right to do that. Anybody who poisons, drugs (wasnt there someone here who drugged their husband saying that they ‘had no choice’ but to do it….and is still with they guy to this day.) Or attempts to murder their spouse for any reason other than they were defending themselves……is MENTALLY ILL.

      PTSD doesnt cover that, when you can calmly sit down and write…..I know I ruined his professional life on youtube, and i know all our family and friends are just appalled at what we arendoing to each other, and i know i tried to shoot him……but The Money is just so good! That, my friends is NOT PTSD. Look up that disorder….does she talk about flashba ks and nightmares or anxiety so bad she seeks a physians help for sleep aids? Does she feel unsafe with him? NO.

      And yes, i say that this is all about being truthful with yourself as to why you stay. If you want to sit there and say….but i cant divorce because i dont want to scrimp or sacrifice…..then fucking be Honest about it and stop complaining to everyone how put ipon you are and how mean your cheater is to you.

      You chose money. You chose the easy path of comfort and looking the other way. Stop acting like you arent a particpant in your own degradation.

      This really hit a nerve with me. A family member is the same way. Bitches incessantly how bad her marriage is to everyone, cheats on her husband….but wont do jack shit about it. Just because she is family, doesnt make her a good person, and i cut her out of my life.

      • ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

        Yup. I agree with you 100%. In fact, every point you’ve made is exactly how I interpreted this letter, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you.

        There’s a certain amount of responsibility one must take with his/her own life – one can’t forever play the victim.

      • There is responsibility we must take. I stayed for 41 years of cheating. I was never happy and finally filed. It was through the support I received here that got me through the unbearable pain. No one wants to be judged when they are struggling to rid their life of toxicity. Yet, sometimes we need more than CN. I feel strongly about getting the right kind if support from a mental health professional and or medication when necessary. This in my opinion is the case with PilotsWife. I don’t believe it is about just finances. It’s about betrayal and the ease cheaters have with multiple affairs. When we stay they up the anti. And to see videos? It’s the ultimate suffering.

      • Until you’ve been in that mindset where you literally see red and are so enraged you want to kill the person in front of you who enraged you to that point – I suggest, quite bluntly, to shut your mouth about this being “mental illness”, GHF.
        I’ve been in that very situation myself – and I’m not mentally ill at all, nor was I ‘playing the victim’. In fact, it was a situation where if I didn’t do something, I probably would have been on the receiving end of serious harm.
        There’s only so much abuse you can take from someone, and then decide to stop fucking pussyfooting around.
        Of course, there are far more productive ways to deal with this – but when you’re working on pure instinct in a moment of rage – you’re not thinking rationally.

  • Pilot’s wife, I feel bad for you too..

    I am at a point where I would love to get out of my 40 year marriage and I AM PLANNING TO as we speak..

    I am getting my ducks in a row..

    Some of my planning involves waiting to become old enough to be eligible for government services/assistance…

    I am the same age as you

    In my case a divorce would split my only monthly income stream which is my pension..

    In addition I may have to draw from what would be left of my 401 K from time to time..

    Goes without saying I would have to un-retire to keep afloat..

    I don’t have the health and stamina to keep another job like the one I retired from..

    My husband was one of those chronically unemployed folks who didn’t accumulate a savings or pension..

    If we split our assets which is inevitable, I won’t have enough to get by on my own..

    I honestly don’t think we can afford to legally separate/divorce at the moment..

    So right now I can’t afford the self dignity and respect that a divorce would give me 🙁

    To those who say they would rather live in a box than bide their time, I say try it..

    Easier said than done..

    If my WH were wealthy or even had his own pension, Hell to the yes, I would get out NOW…

    Your chances at having a sustainable single life living in a pretty condo/house/apt within a safe neighborhood seem to be within reach, from what I read..

    Keep in mind that your WH’s foolish decisions may break both of you one day..Financially…Legally..

    And then your ways out will vanish one by one..

    • I think Pilot´s wife should contact you dogmama, and both get out of your marriages together. Maybe Pilotswife can assist you somehow in return for you advising her on what you have already researched and know what to do. Did you ever see the movie “First Wives Club”? Well, not the revenge thing, but the helping each other out part since you share a similar age and length of marriage. Pilotswife is clearly addicted to her narc and she needs lots of support to get out of the prison she help built for herself…

    • dogmama

      – I agree, these are very real issues at a certain age – I know, I’ll be 60 next year and I do feel really lucky for an uncomplicated separation – and I was able to buy out & stay in my house. And even though I really don’t know how I feel about this house on my own, it is not a box, & is mine to sell.

      At this age – the finances can get precarious, too young to draw on savings, social security, too old to compete (with stamina) in certain job markets. -A catch 22. –Even on a small scale – it is a major impact.

      Sometimes it is a “pick your sanity” situation. I would say were my circumstances a little different, and our house a little larger, I might have gone for the more classically European arrangement, autonomy, separate lives, & protection of assets while deciding the best options and timing to move on.

      At this point in my life – these things are on the table anyway – where do I want to live in my retirement years, etc? Bottom line – I would not even be remotely concerned about these things in my late 30’s, early 40’s. So, age and timing are very key factors in how some would choose, or have to by necessity, handle such sad and difficult decisions and situations.

      Hang in there 🙂

    • Dogmama, if you are the only one with income, I would assume the payments come thru direct deposit or a check made out to you. You control the finances. I would make off that I am spending like a drunken sailor, pretend to have a bad gambling habit, cash out the 401k, siphon monies and place in a safety deposit box or dig a hole in my back yard for crying out loud. Let cheater live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He can’t get what you don’t have and I’m not sure he can sue you for making “bad or irresponsible financial choices”. If you have to sell your home and split the proceeds that will stink but better than him using your hard earned money on his whores. You may luck out and he’ll move in with the other woman.

        • and cashing out the 401K would loose 40% of the value…it isn’t easy and dogmama hasn’t got any thing to spare.

  • Haven’t read CL’s response yet but I had to get on this right away! Wow! The first half of your letter I was throwing my thumbs up in the air all over the place! Yaaay for you, Pilots wife! I envisioned myself doing the same.
    Then from the Vegas point on it kinda went downhill. A high then a low. 🙁 I could only say that you seem overwhelmed now rather than at meh.
    I hope the best for you. I don’t care how old you are or think you are, you deserve happiness. Please treat yourself with kindness. You deserve it!

  • For me and maybe for you too I had to answer the question, “Who am I really? What do I stand for? Why am I staying?” The rest of your story seems like the drama surrounding someone living a life inconsistent with their values and needs.

    • Chumpinator, you are assuming she has the same high values as normal people do. Her values may be the same as his.

  • I have so much I’d like to say but I figure the other members will cover it all.

    The thing that sticks out to me is your obvious attachment to your husband. Your own CHOSEN username is “Pilotswife”, not “IndependentWoman” or “41YearsTooLong” or “LadyWhoWentOffTheDeepEnd”….no, you’ve literally enmeshed yourself so deeply with your cheater that you “don’t give a shit about him” yet define yourself with his very image.

    I have sympathy for you, and you need to seek out therapy. It sounds like you need to focus on healing yourself. You need to learn some self respect because that’s the common them here: remaining in a useless marriage, accepting infidelity as your marriages legacy, getting taken to Vegas for a shit-show wedding when you didn’t want to go, going off the deep end and disrespecting your mind, body & soul…you have no respect for yourself. You’re a welcoming doormat….you even let YOU degrade yourself.

    I’m not meaning to be harsh and critical here but rather, real. Change your focus and your name to “BeingTheBestVersionOfMe” and get the hell out of this toxic cycle you’re in.

      • BetterJamie, you are the Bestest Jamie. I agree…..pilotswife, whether troll or not, I think you do need a new moniker….you are pretty fecking enmeshed, still. We get it. Your abusive partner has gaslighted you to the point where you don’t inow who the hell you are anymore. Lundy Bandroft’s book, “why does he do that?” is a godsend.

        You have every right to your anger, but you cannot descend to his level, and therapy is definitely in order, whether you end up codependent, BPD, schizophrenic, those are just labels. My revenge fantasies would make HP Lovecraft blush, and Aleister Crowley might lose his lunch were he to tune in to my head, but the Beast did have one good point, “Do as ye will, and harm no other. That in itself is all of the law.” This dude has demonstrably harmed you. Fair play on the retaliation fuckup, you gave it 100% effort, but that is a quick route to an orange jumpsuit or a straightjacket.

        But how, if I even catch myself thinking about how medieval I could go on Mr Fab and the Downgrade’s asses, I remind myself of the example we all set for each other here in the Nation, and Mehphista bites her mental tongue. I don’t get to drive the karma bus, but it will likely hit them. I have better things to do now. Much to learn. Deprogramming yourself is not easy. It only starts to work if and when you can reclaim your own mental real estate.

        I walked away, after two years of trying to coparent with a vindictive, callous bastard, who lied through his teeth to me and our kid, and more lies emerge every day, and no doubt will in years to come. The kiddo respects neither, despises the Downgrade, and I am making the best life possible for myself and her. I am knocking on 50s door, my kid will need college in a few years (Law and Psychology) and what was supposed to be her college fund went up their noses, most likely. Or they drank it. It’s all on me, unless she sues him. I am terrified and financially speaking, I am 18 again. Seriously, I had my last twenty bucks in my pocket the day I started my job.

        Pilotswife, once you are away from your personal hell of a shitbag husband, it will clear up. You will grow a spine. Your core self is there-I got with mine when I was 24, so yes, there is a lot of formative experience to undo. I won’t promise the nightmares and the banshee howling will stop, but they slow, and it is easier to stand up again each time. Fear of the unknown is what is driving you, so let me ask-how can you fear what you don’t know when what you DO know (your Flyboy) is a complete shitshow? There are plenty of IT jobs about there, get off your arse and look. You might find yourself there, in your competencies. Yep, it might be a godawful fight about money, but this guy will either kill you by attrition, or you will kill him. Or you will kill yourself, with all the stress….there is another way.

        Choose freedom, and integrity, and get a life. You might have to build it out of pipecleaners and bottlecaps, but it will be YOURS.

        love to Chump Nation.

  • It’s clear your’re nowhere near meh. I think because you hardly ever see him now, you have a bit of a buffer between you and the insanity. Imagine the peace that full on no contact would bring.

    Most of us here who were/are on the fence about leaving versus reconciliation struggled with the unknown. Will he do it again? Is she truly sorry? Has he really changed? It’s a gamble. Your struggle began when you were pregnant with your first child. It’s now 41 years later. You know the answers. You don’t have to guess the future; the future is here. I’m sorry Pilot’s wife, but you’ve already lost the gamble.

  • I don’t support pilot’s wife for not leaving..I repeat, I am leaving my cheater even though post divorce life for me will be financially difficult and unpleasant..At my age I can’t afford to shoot myself in the food by being impatient though..I plan on applying for and winning disability before divorce.. From what I have read, I seem to qualify for full disability..

    • Like Pilot’s wife, there is a buffer between the WH and I that makes daily life doable for the moment..Meaning when we are in the house at the same time, we stay in different rooms, avoid each other..We are in house separated..If we were in each other’s faces each day, if we entertained friends here at the house, etc, etc, neither of us would tolerate this current living situation… We would have to reassess..

  • Handout Boy is chronically unemployed and underemployed. I have a college degree and would be making 6 figures if I had not quit years ago to homeschool (my decision). That being said, I’m going back to work. I’m very concerned about having to share money with this loser so I will have to go through the courts to protect myself financially. I can file in October so I’m keeping quiet and am no contact.

    Some people like the victim identity that being with an abuser provides them. It’s a way to not focus on their own crazy.

  • Dear Pilotswife, If I can do it, you can do it!!! No, Meh is not attainable while staying with a cheater. Pure exhaustion that is disguised as Meh is most likely what you’re experiencing.

    Divorce is not for the faint of heart. During the 13 month process, I truly didn’t know if I would survive, but I did. Divorcing a man (cheater man) that makes a lot of money is hard. Finding comfort in the simpler things takes digging deep into what really matters. Giving up shopping to cover feelings of dealing with a cheater takes discipline. I’ve done both. Not easy, but doable and so rewarding.

    I wanted so desperately to believe that recovery was real and that cheater would change. Gave him 5 more years of “wreckonciliation” to wake up to more escort sites on his phone. They DO NOT change.

    You won’t even realize the pressure and anxiety you’ve been living with until you leave. Healing for you will not be quick, but so worth it. It’s been three years since I’ve left, and I’m just now finding a new, happy, cheater-free groove. Keep reading CL and coming to Chump Nation for support. I also joined a therapist run support group for wives (now all ex-wives) of sex addicts, which has been life saving.

    Remember….. YOU ARE MIGHTY!!!!!!

  • I have never made 6 figures but I have some college education..I enjoyed my work until my health/mobility took a nosedive..Which is why I am getting certain ducks in a row before I leave within the next year..

    Health and stamina both mental and physical, are important resources in helping people to cope and recover from what life dishes out for them… Protect your health in every which way that you can..

  • I hope you have a really air tight post nupt. You might need it sometime.

    It sounds like you are banking on that you might never have to slug it out in court, but stranger things have happened. He could be the one to find someone anyone else and file.

    My definition of True Meh includes protecting yourself financially.

  • Run a credit check on both of you. Gather as much information as you can about joint and separate assets–in sleuth mode. Are there safety deposit boxes? Go through the mail, his check stubs–where are the deposits going? Get copies of the tax returns going way back. Then hire a real estate attorney and a forensic accountant. Go make appointments with a few of the nastiest attorneys in town to interview them. You can go with a nice attorney if you want, but at least visit with the horrible ones.

    It’s time for you to be queen of your very own empire, my dear. You’ve reached that age where it’s not necessary, not admirable, not interesting to be married to a pig. Kick him off and become your own woman. You might find friendship or more with a man who admires you for taking care of business.

  • If this story is factual, and Pilot is still married to Pilotswife, he has some strong motivation some where. Most likely financial, like every one else has said. My advice is research, hire an accountant and lawyer, get the hell out, and go complete no contact .

    • I think the explanation is much simpler: Pilot and Pilotswife are people who are addicted to drama. They get off on the big blow ups, followed by the tears and heart-felt reunions. The fact that Pilotswife would actually feel compelled to kill him and go through other such extreme measures to get revenge just confirms to Pilot what a fabulous person he is.

  • Pilotswife, I don’t think you can seriously call yourself a chump anymore. You’ve have the resources and numerous opportunities to move on with your life, but you’ve chosen to say your terrible marriage. I don’t think you even love your husband… I think you’re just obsessed with him and you’re addicted to the high-stakes drama of this relationship.

    All of my sympathy goes to your children; you mention them almost as an aside, as it’s clear 150% of your mental and emotional energy is dedicated to your husband. They have grown up in a toxic, volatile, unstable household. They have a cheating, absentee, sex-crazed Dad and a mother who has allowed herself to become deranged and criminally unpredictable. I hope to god that they realize that your marriage isn’t ideal or normal, and have gotten themselves therapy.

    Aside from getting a divorce, you owe your children a big apology for everything they’ve suffered.

  • First time for me to see CN be so brutal/critical to someone. I’m kinda surprised.
    We have all been at some kind of low.
    Stay kind.

    • Although LuLu is a little more direct than I was, I agree with her, and here is why…

      Yes, everyone has been at some low. Granted. But there are times when brutal honesty is required. This woman is an addict. Lets say for example she wasnt addicted to the drama, she was addicted to meth. And she neglects her kids, doesnt even acknowledge them in any meaningful way about her negative behavior on them. Then she decides to shoot you because you arent giving her money to buy meth or you deprive her of her meth in some other way.

      You feel sorry for her now? What if this woman with the murderous tendencies is a teacher at your childs school? She clearly has zero coping mechanism….but she had the wherewithall to upload vids to youtube, contact dr phil and attempt to murder this guy. And then….write into a forum which supports chumps.

      This isnt a bottomless well of enabling here. Sometimes, there is someone who really is simply mentally ill…there is not always a cheater factor in why people do what they do. She can be certifiable and still be in a marriage and still be chated on. The two are not mutually exclusive. And to continue to sit and blame/excuse every reaction, no matter how egregious (drugging? Murder? Where is the line?) On The Cheated On Me, therefore, I get a pass……is bullshit. Not afraid to say it.

      I am not a timid forest creature who wants to hide from the consequences of my behavior. I dont excuse or blameshift what i am responsible for doing to myself or to others. This woman needs to get help. Just like in drug addiction…ypu detach from these people, with love….but detach. I cant support her, because she takes absolutely no responsibility for what she does to herself, to her husband or to her kids.

      • Wow Glasshalffull – I’m pretty blown away by how you are comparing the OP to a meth addict. It’s extremely obvious that you have a bee in your bonnet over this letter to CL. Personally, I think you might be extrapolating too far.

        Despite you chiding CN earlier for ‘condoning’ the OP’s behaviour – I’ve carefully read through the previous posts and don’t actually read any serious affirmation by anyone. Perspective, I guess.

        I personally think, had CL not edited this letter (and she may not have, I don’t know) it could be perhaps too much to expect her to encapsulate every emotion, every impact on her life and on her family and children over a period of 41 years. Somehow, I expect such a missive would have been approaching book-size rather than a short letter for us to pick over. Whereas, it may well be that the OP is also disordered and more concerned with ‘the money’ than ‘her children or the emotional impact this has all had on her’, as many seem to want to point out, I, personally, think that pilotschump has made it perfectly clear that she is ‘numb’. – for the critics, an obvious sign of inhumanity, for the non-critics a perfectly understandable mental state after repeated abuse and trauma. Again. Perspective, I guess.

        One thing you have said that I agree with. Chumps can be horrible people too. I totally agree. Being chumped doesn’t bestow saintliness or godliness. People are people the world over. I’m with IHaveHate though, someone has approached us, clearly in pain and I never saw a strategy of ‘going for the jugular’ ever helped anyone when they were that low. I say, kindness is what matters – not dehumanising people when they are at their lowest.

        • Jayne, thanks for this. I haven’t read all the responses yet, but I agree with everything you just said. What PW sent CL is simply one snapshot of her life as a chump, and suddenly she’s getting lambasted for the whole photo album. Granted, it’s a pretty telling snapshot, but still, it’s a pretty big leap from her not mentioning much about her kids in her original post to assuming she doesn’t feel any responsibility for them or for her actions. She openly admitted that she was insane at the time and that the behaviour was atypical for her. I also don’t believe she ever bragged about shooting at her husband or anything else for that matter (calling Dr. Phil is just a symptom of her insanity at the time, which she freely owned up to, not grandstanding now). I don’t know about you guys, but I said and did all kinds of crazy shit in the wake of my own D-day, and although I didn’t actually resort to violence, I’m not sure I’d want to have people weighing in on whether what I’d done was right or not. I did the best I could in a horrible situation, which is pretty much what we all have done. Are we really going to rake her over the coals for getting plastic surgery? It’s just one variant on the pick-me dance, and for those of us older women whose cheaters flaked out on us with much younger women, is that choice really so hard to understand?

          I get the whole “tough love” thing, and I would hope CN would bitch-slap me back to reality if I needed it. But there is a big difference between that and grabbing a pitchfork to skewer someone whose only crime here was reaching out for help. I thought CL’s response was perfect, but some of these other replies–dang, man. PW, I’ve read your subsequent posts, and I hope you’ll accept my apologies for my earlier comment. I’m really sorry, and I hope you’ll come on the forums if you need extra support.

          • Totally agree FMT – There is a big difference between telling someone to pull up their big girl pants (or big boy pants, for that matter) and completely tearing them down to the ground.

            I’ve been around here for getting on 2 years now, and I think this is the meanest, nastiest response to a fellow chump I’ve ever seen. I don’t like it. But then, I never did like this sort of behaviour IRL either.

            If people feel the need to be this nasty they clearly have some issues they should be working on!

            • Plenty of cheaters say that their one night stand or their affair was just a snapshot and not the complete picture but you don’t excuse them, do you?

              Why does Pilotswife get a pass for engaging in insane, criminal behavior?

              • She didn’t asked for a pass, nor does she need one. We are not her judge and jury. She gave a brief synopsis of what happened to her, clearly describing her own part as insane, and not once did she frame her actions as anything other than inexcusable. It’d be different if she had written in like some kind of chump badass for pulling a gun on her husband. But she didn’t. She said she was acting in the wake of extreme trauma and called it completely insane. I’m not saying chumps aren’t to be held accountable–we are. But to put PW in the same category as her cold and calculating cheater–who most certainly did not experience a psychotic break–is unfair.

                If going through this and being on this board does not teach us humility, then I don’t know what–if anything–can. Maybe someone else can take this on. I’m gonna go watch Star Trek.

              • Lulu – you are actually one of the people I had in mind when I said ‘If people feel the need to be this nasty they clearly have some issues they should be working on’!

                You have followed every post by Glasshalffull with your own vitriol. You’ve been as keen on condemning Pilotswife and supportive CN chumps, as she was. I honestly have NO IDEA where you get the impression that non-critical chumps are giving Pilotswife’s behaviour a pass. There isn’t one voice that says ‘good for you’. Not one. I think someone, as was pointed out, expressed some gallows humour, but that’s it. There’s a hell of a lot of voices who recognise the freeze and the fear and the numb- does that constitute a ‘pass’ to you?

                If you actually read what I and FMT say here (and further on, Datdamnwuf), you might actually understand that just because we don’t want to join your gang of bullies doesn’t automatically mean we think ‘crazy’ is perfectly fine if it’s leveled at a cheater.

                It seems to me you see any POV that differs from yours as utterly polemic, and that’s an assumption you have no real basis for – not if you actually take on what is being said.

      • GlassHalfFull
        I think your past the past the point of do no harm. I think there’s a difference between being honest and brutally honest. I think some of the criticisms are helpful yet yours are overly critical and judgemental. I too stayed with a serial cheating narcissist for a lifetime. I was addicted to him. I have Stockholm syndrome and battled with this for years. It wasn’t my fault. I don’t blame myself. It’s all on the fucking cheater. Some chumps become weakened to the point where just the thought of leaving causes severe distress. Many do not escape it ever. If I stayed he would have destroyed me completely. I struggle to rebuild my life daily. Those of us who have experienced this struggle sometimes to gather an ounce of strength just to share our exoeriences. I know I feel pathetic sometimes however continue to post because someone may relate and gain the strength to recognize the toxic degrading life they live and leave.

    • IHaveHate, Chump Nation is all about holding people responsible for the choices they make that destroy relationships, families and lives.

      Why shouldn’t chumps be held the same standards? Is Pilotswife not responsible for her insane and illegal actions (and the effect those actions have had on her children and loved ones) because her husband cheated on her?

      • CN……

        Just an aside here for those apologists for PilotsWife and her rage issues.

        The insensitivity, and I am sure that it completely and assuredly UNINTENTIONAL here… Tessie’s pain is a little unsettling.

        In my opinion, ANYBODY who considers seriously or attempts to physically harm another in this way, is in the same category with a successful murderer, and deserves nothing but contempt.

        There is no excuse for this. If you excuse a Chump for shooting a Cheater, then you excuse every other vicious act perpetrated on anyone anywhere….and I do believe you understand where I am going with that.

        Tessie experienced the kind of pain that no human being should ever go thru and this discussion dismissing the evil that is attempting to murder someone is in all likelihood extremely painful for her.

        Just my thought.

        • Who is Tessie?

          And let me say, GlassHalfFull, that I’m glad there’s someone else on here who is saying PilotWife’s behavior is despicable instead of making excuses for her and telling her to look out for herself financially.

          • Tessie is the bravest woman I have ever had “seen”. It is her story to tell if she chooses to do so….but suffice it to say that her personal tragedy eclipses ANY pain I could imagine.

            Tessies XH murdered their son to get back at her. The anniversary of this horrific event was just a day or so ago.

            So please forgive me if I have a jaundiced eye when it comes to equating the pain that Tessie must feel every single day—and still somehow was able to retain her knowkedge of RIGHT and WRONG throughout–with this woman’s tale of plastic surgery, multiple affairs, dating her husband while divorced from him…….NOT EVEN CLOSE.

            This woman sees nothing wrong with attempting to shoot her husband in order to bring him to heel. Same bullshit I am in so much pain, I was just insane from it. I dont have to finish that thought in comparison with what Tessie went through, continues to endure….and HER behavior, do I?

            Just read PWs response….still no remorse. Still just could never, ever figure out any way at all, even WHEN DIVORCED from cheating fuckwit….to walk away.

            Sorry. Not buying it.

            • Oh, and PW? Since you are reading these responses… I have a couple of questions.

              You have been thru tons of therapy, pasters, counselors, etc.? What has been the advice sonce you have seen so many?

              Since you say so nonchalantly that your kids “have terrible problems all their own”….you of course will be setting aside some of your income to help them with paying for therapy, right?

              Which leads me to the last comment.

              If your husband only spent 5 days a month at home….then that means that you raised those kids basically on your own, would that be a correct assessment? That means that you didnt have his physical support much of the time.

              So this truly is about money. You speak volumes about not wanting to give up money.

              You are an IT consultant. I know one….my brother. Works from home. Not a physically demanding job, just some time.

              Seems to me that you want the same lifestyle you feel you are entitled to.

              Entitled to. Dingdingdingding. Narc radar getting pegged here.

              Do yourself a favor. Pay attention to your kids and grandkids if you have them. Knock this shit off with the cheating fuckwit….you two have done enough damage to each other and to your kids already. Grow up and start taking responsibility for yourself. See a psychiatrist and start believing what they tell you instead of doctor shop to find one who will tell you wht you want to hear.

              • GlassHalfFull, we get it that you think the OP is a terrible person. How many times do you need to comment on this? You made your point. She has some mental health issues, that is clear, she’s posted that she has been working on them. No one is saying every chump here is a fucking saint. The OP tried to condense 41 years into a single letter, if I did that I’m sure you’d rip me a new asshole too because I’d edit it down to something that would likely sound unfeeling.

                I’ve commented on other posts where a chump as done violence that it’s inexcusable unless they were defending themselves. I didn’t harp on it, nor did I tear the persons entire experience apart with implications derived from insufficient information as you are doing. Give it a break, what is your agenda in tearing the OP down anyway.

                And lastly, USING Tessie’s horrific experience to tear into someone, is in my view, inexcusable, and hurtful to her. I hope she is not reading this blog today. Leave Tessie the fuck alone.

              • The only one who gets to invoke Tessie is Tessie herself. Same goes for any of us other chumps. Our stories are our own, and as close as we are on this board, nobody has the right to speak for another or presume to interpret experience by proxy.

        • ‘The insensitivity, and I am sure that it completely and assuredly UNINTENTIONAL here… Tessie’s pain is a little unsettling’.

          Glasshalffull – that is an utterly outrageous accusation, and I take it personally.

          I said it before – and I will now say it again – no one has applauded the OP’s confession of shooting at her husband. NO ONE. And certainly not me.

          Do you realise you were told to calm it down really early on by a woman who had been threatened with a gun by her husband? And if she could offer kindly words to Pilotschump then just who the hell are you to come in here telling us how wrong we are for offering support?

          How bloody dare you try to score points here by using Tessie and her terrible tragedy.

          If Chump Nation offends you by it’s willingness to support people you deem beneath your standard of worthiness, then I for one don’t mind you using the door.

          • Jayne, thanks for this – I didn’t see it before I posted similar above.

            • thanks for yours Dat – so much more eloquently expressed than mine – (thank you – I was so angry that I’m amazed I managed more than ‘fuck.fuck, fuck, fuck,fuck)!

          • Jayne, Ihavehate, Datdamwuf, FMT, Donna-thank you for your replies to Glasshalffull as well as Lulu. They are both out of line and I cannot stand it when someone gets on their high horse to attack a vulnerable person that is writing to CL more than likely for constructive feedback and more than likely a little help. After reading their posts/replies I doubt their sincerity in being absolutely appalled by PW’s violent reaction to her cheating spouse.

        • Okay, I’ll bite.
          You know what, GHL? Fuck off.
          How DARE you try to play keyboard warrior and play fake-concern with the tragedy that Tessie went through, and claim that the disgusting (there’s so much more than words can say) act she went through, is even REMOTELY similar to the temporary insanity that a chump is going through when they have had the equivalent of a nuclear warhead dropped on their life? You don’t even know Tessie – fuck, I don’t even know who YOU are.
          I could, and I will claim that your harping on about PilotsWife’s story is mentally ill in itself, more than PilotsWife’s acts, which she herself described as ‘insane’. Go climb back in your hole that you came from.

            • Applause……I’m of the opinion that GHF & Lulu are more resentful of PW’s financial status than her acting out violently after she caught her husband cheating yet again.

              • I don’t begrudge anyone their financial success or comforts (provided their money doesn’t come by victimizing others).

                What does anger and outrage me is when people put their loved ones in real, physical danger (either by cheating or shooting at them!) and subject their children to abusive, toxic households for years on end.

                I can’t believe that this even has to be explained.

              • Mothers (Parents, to be fair) are in a double bind when it comes to the legal system-damned and criticized if they seek to prevent a demonstrably disordered person (people, in my case, my kid gets a set to contend with) from being near their kid when those who assist the abused say, “Get the Hell out.”

      • Exactly.

        Everyone, chumps included, have a responsibility as well – to themselves.

  • As CL notes, this really boils down to values. Which do you value more: real estate (and real estate here stands for all things comfortable, including a nice house, a large income, expensive car, fine clothing and jewelry, exotic travel, etc.)? Or integrity, safety, and love? It really is as simple as that. It’s never too late to make that choice. And, of course, making no choice is making a choice.

  • CL is right, I know because I have tried exactly what you’re doing now, and it’s not sustainable. But before I share my personal experience, I want to reiterate three major points that others have made that put you at serious, serious risk.

    First, he will screw you over financially if he isn’t already. No doubt he’s hiding assets as we speak, and until you file there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Second, if he has documented any of the behaviors you describe, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could try to have you declared mentally incompetent and have you committed. Third, you say so yourself that you fear your own capacity for insanity. He is still cheating and you will eventually come across evidence of a particularly outrageous example that triggers your rage. And based on what you’re telling us here, the next time you do, it could prove deadly both for you and for him.

    Get out now before one or more of these things happens. The financial abuse and ongoing cheating you’re facing are not a matter of if but when. Until you extricate yourself from this situation and focus on your own mental health, you will be looking at far worse than the headaches involved in getting a divorce and splitting assets.

  • Regarding Pilots Wife’s age, I am almost sixty myself. Actually 56. It’s as good a time as any to leave as far as I can tell. When ex cheated on me, I was over 50, with a preschooler . Any time there are no minor children involved as far as I’m concerned you are two steps ahead of the divorce game. Get all the cash you can and get free of the loser.

  • I have a relevant cautionary tale for this situation. I know a lady who married a raging narc alcoholic when she was very young. They had two kids, he was a disaster they split up. He pretty much left her alone and didn’t bother her and she never divorced him for various complicated reasons just grateful he was out of her life.
    Fast forward FORTY YEARS he dies (alcohol poisoning, he never changed, imagine that?) and he leaves half the house she paid the ENTIRE MORTGAGE on by herself which he hadn’t lived in for forty years to his latest schmoopie.
    Lawyers were consulted and as they were still married there was nothing she could do. Oh, and as garnish on the shit sandwich the wife had to pay for the funeral too.
    Pilots wife digest this as its easier to keep down than a shit sandwich – you DO NOT want to be next of kin or financially tied at all to these soul eating cock jockeys. That property you don’t want to let go of? He may leave it all to some Asian prostitot you’ve never heard of. As long as your assets are mingled you’re not safe financially. They will screw you over from the grave. Believe that and trust that they suck.

    • and he leaves half the house she paid the ENTIRE MORTGAGE on by herself which he hadn’t lived in for forty years to his latest schmoopie—))). Excellent point. In some states if you own prop in Joint tenancy right of survivorship (JTWOS ) the survivor can be changed without consent of other tenant (owner). Meaning your cheater can leave his half of your joint property to whomever depending on how you hold title and the laws of your state.

      These are huge crossover issues that should be address even if your marriage is just starting to go south

      • Fortunately, I live in a state where married people hold property as tenants by the entirety. It can only be dissolved by divorce or the agreement of both parties. Someone I know left her husband in the marital home. They never divorced, he paid the mortgage. After he died she took possession of the house and the girlfriend had to move out.

  • This is a very sad letter. 41 years. Just wow.

    I understand your position somewhat. My whole adult life was spent with the cheating EX until DDay 2. It wasn’t 41 years, but I understand that you have operated your life in the same way forever. Do you want a trophy for being right – for being the better person?

    Maybe you can’t see that you are co-dependent. It is tough to change. BUT what if you did?

    You can be single and still have the lifestyle you listed.

    I see 2 choices: 1) Married or 2) Single (notice I didn’t say divorced).

    If you stay, no more bitching. Stand by that choice.

    I echo CL and the CN. Please go and get some counseling.

  • Sixty year old former chump here. I spent about a third as long in my marriage and even then there was a time or two with desire to kill my ex after I found out his lies, though only in imagination and not really. Since you actually tried shows you have your own strong narcissistic traits. That really stood out for me. Isn’t attempted murder a crime? Get help since you state your only fear now is your insanity. It seems you were never on your own, but married young and don’t really know how to be a separate person in your own right. A good therapist will help and it would involve delving into your growing up years, seeing what was modeled for you in your family and figuring out why you accepted being enmeshed with a man who mistreated you.

  • Pilotswife:

    At the very least, go by your self to a financial planner and a lawyer and explore what a divorce would look like financially…No harm in that. And when he pulls his next betrayal, you will be prepared.

  • I understand why you would see CN as being too brutal/critical. However, several good points were made that this “chump”:
    1) Chose the name “pilots wife” which indicates she appreciates the importance/status associated with his profession.
    2) Destroyed his car,computer,cell phone and tried to shoot him, and appears to be bragging about it.
    3) Made no mention of their children except to mention “we had two children together”.
    4) Engaged in cheater behavior, “going to bars and chatting with any guy who hit on me”.
    5) Has gone back for more… remarried the cheater, renewed vows with cheater.
    6) Is financially stable enough to leave, but states she’s “surprisingly content with the way [things] are.”

    Pilotswife stated also stated “I would love your opinion and the opinion of Chump Nation,” which pretty much opens the door to criticism. I really think CN is doing her a favor by pointing out the inconsistencies in her story. Just because she has been chumped doesn’t make her a chump. 3 years ago I discovered my husband was a serial cheater. It took me at least a year to wrap my head around the fact that “he sucked”; it wasn’t a nervous breakdown, and he would most likely do it again. He did in fact cheat in the other 2 years that we were living together, but I never considered it another “Dday” because although I was hoping he’d try a Hail Mary, I was reasonably sure he’d keep on cheating.

    Today, I’m in a similar place as Pilotswife; I’m separated, but haven’t filed for divorce yet for various reasons (for which I will seek counseling). I’m not a victim. I know what I’m dealing with. I’m trying to weigh the consequences of my next move. If I decide to stay in our marriage knowing what I know, I certainly can’t continue to consider myself chumped or victimized; it’s been my choice. Pilotswife needs counseling to determine why she’s drawn to the drama, because at this point her decisions have nothing to do with unicorns, or hopium.

  • Been there…done that…you are tricking yourself into thinking you are in control…and you are NOT. Get out while you still HAVE properties and a job. Is it a hassle? You bet. But being able to look at yourself in the mirror and know you have your dignity is priceless.
    Trust me…it’ll be worse to pull the trigger in a few years…

  • Pilots, we have a family that has been friends with us for over 50 years. My “uncle” was just like your husband (although I don’t know if he did orgies). He was a corporate pilot for a large corporation. My “aunt” ate his shit sandwiches for their whole marriage. She even found 10 years ago, that he had a first wife AND son that she never knew about … and he NEVER divorced his first wife!!!! Anyway, he made my aunt positively miserable toward the end (he lived to be 94 – and even in his 90s, he showed me a nude picture of a famous golfer’s wife!!!). My aunt is still living (there was a 15 year difference), and now resides with her daughter. She felt so much better after he died – but do YOU want to wait until you are in your 80s and nearly dysfunctional to feel better about yourself?

    There are a lot of people who live the way you do. Like CL said, it’s a choice. I know some women in similar positions. But when you make a choice to stay with someone like your husband, people are not going to have much sympathy with the choice you’ve made, when you complain about it.

    So if you’ve chosen to live with him and “enjoy” the lifestyle you have – then do it. The other side of it is the price you will continue to pay … period.

  • Hate to say it, but this sounds like a marriage that is toxic on BOTH sides. Tons of drama, crazy behavior, separating then getting back together multiple times…. I know people in marriages like this. It goes on forever, because both parties are unstable and are addicted to drama. I only feel sorry for the children, because they are the only real victims here. No way to turn out okay when you grow up in a nuthouse. I hope the kids in this marriage are old enough to be out of the house and have had good therapy.

    • GIO: Completely agree on all points. This marriage should have ended at the divorce. Done – no more drama, no more nonsense. Yet, you mention Pilots Wife, you continued to “see him” while you were divorced and that ultimately you won the “pick-me dance” in a competition with the OW. Why did you continue to see your ex-husband – why didn’t you leave him alone? Why was it crucial that you win the pick-me dance? Why didn’t you get the hell out of his life? Your drama seeking behaviour started long ago and continued through your 40 years of marriage. You’re not meh, you’re tired, cause you’re 60 and out of gas. Just reading this story makes me tired.

        • So according to you 386 she was to blame? I find your comments similar to blame shifting.

            • Criticism does not equal abuse, Donna. The narrative of the marriage was of 40 years duration. Not ageism. Fact. And remarrying a cheater open-eyed does indicate some self-delusion too. And don’t jump down my neck, we have all bloody done it! It’s never too late. I never went the full PW, but man, did the pillows get it!

              What that statement implies is that there is a lack of maturity on pw’s part. Makes sense, if she married him at 17. That is a valid observation, which I agree with, as well as the other valid comments about some people being addicted to drama. We have all been in a sick relationship of some kind with abuse through infidelity as a major theme.

              If you post something to Chump Lady, which is a public forum, then you have to be ready to get run through the Universal Bullshit Detector, too.

              Something about owning your shit….and getting a life.

              I wish every voice and character on this blog well. We have all had different experiences and thus we have different triggers. We are all on different stages of recovery on our own paths.

              And that’s okay.


              • Meh
                I appreciate your comments. What bothers me about some if the “criticism” was because it was unwarranted. Poking at someone’s vulnerabilities given her history can be damaging. Why make assumptions about her parenting skills, her age, or the decisions she obviously regrets and has to live with. It appeared to me that we have no business adding to anyone’s pain when we know there is a history of mental health issues. There are constructive ways to deliver a message without making assumptions given how little we know about someone’s daily struggled.

              • Quite, true, Donna, we all have our triggers/experiences/values. Life is variable enough without narcs in the mix. I don’t think any of us are amking assumptions, though- I think we are speaking all from our own experience, and CN is a rare, safe space for us to do that in. There have been some challenges to my statements in my three years on this site, and sometimes it hurt, but it helped. What did agloria Steinem say? ” The struth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off. ”

                The ‘getting a life’ part takes a lot of inner work and a strong commitment to being your best self. Not superwoman, just Mehphista. I was very attached to the life I had-I had bloody earned it! I can totally see where PW is coming from on that one! I miss the vacations, being able to buy books, thinking my daughter was loved by him as much as I love her. But ultimately, ‘happily married Mehphista and Mr Fab’ wasn’t ever anything more than a straw house anyway.

                We all get the Fear. And get a life anyway.

                love to ALL in Chump Nation.


  • It’s not meh. It’s somewhere between resignation and complacency. I’ve written this response several times from different angles, but it’s all been said, plus I’m nearly sixty and I’m just too tired to do it again.

  • After being with my ex for 36 years, it was extremely hard to remember who I was before I met him. We were actually high school sweethearts. After spending this kind of time with another person being the focus of your life, it’s hard to find your own center.

    PilotsWife, your choice is this:

    1. Suppress yourself and live numb in order to cope
    2. Go through the pain of divorce and live a life that’s authentic.

    Having done both, I can say living a life that’s authentic feels much better.

    If you stay, you won’t be the first one to make that decision (i.e., Hillary and Bill). I just hope you can live a life as free from his influence as possible. Maybe in another city. Just protect yourself legally and financially.

  • Sounds like this man is more than just a serial cheater. He also sounds like a sexual predator. He views women as objects to be used for his sexual perversions. Ha is also willing to pay for sex. If you stay with him for the money, assists, property…you are being purchased for sex, too. So you could add prostitution to your resume. That’s the ugly, cold, hard facts.

  • I am almost afraid to post on here as I also have been married for 41 years to a cheater. I found out he cheated for 2 years in the first 5 years we were married but I forgave him. We had 3 kids after a while and those years were really busy and child-oriented. I worked for the first 20 years and then took a package when the kids were 5, 4, and 2, as the child care equalled my paycheck. It was a mutual decision. After 20 years I learned he had cheated many many times during those years. The kids were still little so I stayed. He was a good father. … And I stayed and stayed and stayed.. through emotional and verbal abuse, through thick and thin..
    Here it is 41 years later.. we have not been intimate for the last 4 years, since he started visiting Thailand. And, yes I did get checked for STD’s. We basically live in the same house and share everything but that.
    In the last few years, I have discovered I don’t know who I am anymore, like lots of menopausal women I am sure. But I don’t feel things either.. I have no idea what I like, what I love, what i don’t like.. Because I don’t feel those emotions. Isn’t that weird? And then I read this entry in Chump Lady’s blog.
    I have never heard of traumatic bonding, so I read up on it. Just, wow..
    I have heard of PTSD but not in terms of myself. In the last few years I have started having panic attacks so bad I almost pass out.
    And that entry about “married” vs “marriage” … again, wow..
    And “You live with someone you dare not care for, who you cannot risk intimacy or vulnerability with. Someone whom you must perpetually guard your heart”.
    I have tears in my eyes right now … and feel lots of fear …
    Thank you all.

    • FrozenTime, we have forums where you can talk to other chumps if you need to, lots of good people there. I’m so sorry you are hurting and scared. Sending you Jedi Hugs!

    • Sending you some kindness, FrozenTime, and a reminder that you have worth. You deserve to feel valued! ((hugs))

        • Yikes. PTSD is tough to learn to manage, but it can be done. And it is scary, but we are with you (whatever we agree to disagree about)

    • Hugs to you Frozen, I just left finally for good, left a couple months ago for 2 months and came back after being sucked back in, NC is the only way to break free, I’m finally convinced of that. It’s scary as hell out here trying to figure out how to gain a life, but I’ll take this fear over the mental/emotional abuse I was getting from that dirt bag I was married to for 25 years. CN has our backs, I love hearing the story’s about getting through to the other side, can’t wait for the day I can say that!

  • Chumps, please remember that living as she has done has MADE her crazy. It is like being a prisoner of war. Up is down, down is up. Her brain chemistry has changed. She probably never thought of herself as violent. That period of her life was when he came back with the carrot. Then he would deliver the stick. The old trial of three rats trying to get food by pressing a lever comes to mind. One got food every time and was fine. One got food once and stopped trying. One got food sporadically and lost its mind. It never knew what to expect. Her husband sounds like a sociopath. He never lets her know what is coming next. She lost her mind and then gave up.
    PW, you need an atty who can hire a PI so you can find all the hidden assets and have them frozen. Then you need to find a place to live and get the hell out while filing for divorce. He does not love anyone but himself and you deserve better. The stupid Vegas thing was the sign of a nut job. Being alone is so much better than being lonely inside your “prison”.

  • This story is like “War of the Roses meets Gone Girl” So let me get this strait… tried to shoot him …and he stayed? You tried to shoot him ..and you stayed? Whats it gonna be next time he screws up dismemberment for him ? and plastic surgery for you…maybe that mercedes you had your eye on? Sounds like you got the tit for tat thing going on. Sounds like the two of you enjoy crazy. So carry on.

    • No, when you don’t care anymore all that stops. I can just walk away if he tries to start something and it works very well. I don’t enjoy crazy in the slightest. It was the most awful, horrible period of my life–worse even then when my father died of cancer. I guess I came off as materialistic and shallow but I don’t think I am. I was out for revenge for awhile and that is what that was about. Didn’t realize it at the time. I was just traumatized. Seeing it really brings it home.

  • I divorced my serial cheating, master of the Universe narc. He is a big Wall Street exec with a socialite mistress. He controlled all things financial in our 30 year marriage. He tried to beat me down verbally and his narc married mistress wrote me horrible letters. I just fought through the pain and held myself together for the children and yep I found strength I never knew I had. I didn’t know about CL at the time, wish I had. I just got the best lawyer and pounded out a divorce that was fair. Narc needed divorce quickly for narc socialite mistress demands, too funny!! I walked out of lawyer’s office feeling like a new person. Free from the most horrible creatures I’ve ever dealt with. Narc ex was crying as he left. Good grief. Guess dividing the money was tough on him!!! Life is fabulous now. Kids are good. I no longer have anxiety! Narc ex looks terrible!! Awwww!!!

  • “But I don’t feel things either.. I have no idea what I like, what I love, what i don’t like.. Because I don’t feel those emotions. Isn’t that weird?”

    It’s understandable. I became the same and in a shorter marriage. Lost myself though I was an independent woman before. Never again will I be in a non-reciprocal relationship or one where I feel I just have to go along in order to not be alone.

    • Thank you to everyone who posted here and especially to those of you have shared a little bit of understanding and wisdom regarding the content of my letter. I know you all don’t know me and I guess I thought I knew some of you because I have been reading this blog for several months and I felt at home. The comments from some of you have been cruel though. I didn’t come here looking for validation, but to be considered a troll (I’m not) and to be so scathingly criticized by people who seem to have had the same (if not as DRAMATIC) experiences as me really hurts. When one is married to a person who travels for work it is very hard to catch them cheating especially if they don’t leave for the affair partner. And when one is busy with caring for children and working full time it is even harder. I will cop to being dumb but some of the other things that have been put out here are really mean and I honestly didn’t expect that from what I had come to think of as a community to which I belong in some way. I guess I have made another mistake in believing that. Many of you have made it very clear that I am NOT one of you and if you bother to read this far I’m sure you will have more cruelty to offer about drama queens and feeling sorry for myself. I am just sorry period. I think you are right.

      • Pilotschump – not everyone feels that way. Try not to take it to heart. You came here for some support and help and guidance. Like I said earlier, take what resonates and leave the rest. I really do understand how you can be where you are. If my ex hadn’t left, I probably still be with him! Yes, I was that much of a chump.

      • Hi- I am sorry for your situation regardless of its origin.

        I did read your posts and responses from a financial perspective as I am a divorce financial planner.

        I understand your concerns and frustrations about living in a community property state and they’re shared by many.

        I would strongly urge you to consult w not only a family lawyer but an estate attorney as well as a retirement and pension specialist — particularly ones that are expert in divorce and post marital issues We have such specialists in CA

        You have many cross over issues here if you read my responses, such as durable medical health care powers of attorney, estate issues, and the possibility of limiting future retirement claims.

        I hope you will consider a team approach to protecting yourself in every way. It is not a perfect solution, and will not fix everything nor can I guarantee your results but you can start unraveling the financial skein now if you choose.

        Waiting will not make the financial issues lessen. See what you can do to begin protecting yourself today.

        I wish you the best of luck

      • PilotsChump,
        I am sorry for the way you have been treated her by some of the members. It even seems cruel to me. When I see it I just scan past it. Don’t read it. Take the love that was offered and leave the rest. (((Hugs)))

        • I agree with gettingbetter. Pilotschump, there are some cruel posts here and it would be easy (I know) to only really hear those voices, but, on balance, there’s a lot more supportive, understanding voices – listen to them. People who’ve been in similar situations as you, people who’ve shared the same concerns. There is great advice about taking financial guidance at least and you should do that, even if you haven’t the strength just yet to go for the divorce.

      • If you come back and read the posts again tomorrow morning I think you’ll see the responses differently, try to remember that many chumps got played by their cheaters and are hurting so it’s not surprising some don’t believe you. and while I defend you, I also have issues with some of what you did, I don’t judge it because I have no context, that doesn’t mean others won’t. Chump Nation is not a monolith, many different people with different views and in different places. You can also visit the forums if you think it will help, many people there struggling with leaving or having problems jumping off the crazy train.

        Jedi hugs!

      • Pilot,
        U are blaming people here for responding to a letter where you stated some…. Lets just say… You played the game too. I have no doubt you suffered a long time with this man… And seemingly u have made some peace with it. You peace however is reflected as a little materialistic.
        I dont retract what I said. People are throwing u a rope here… u wanna grab on and save yourself? Or hang youself with it?
        Come back to the post in a month or so… I think u will see it from a different perspective.
        Be safe. Get rid of the gun.

      • I wasn’t being cruel; I was telling you truth.

        If you don’t want to be a victim anymore, you need to realize are in control of your own choices and actions, and taking responsibility when those choices are harmful to yourself and others.

        There are plenty of other places you can go on the Internet if you want to be coddled, get high-fived for your acts of revenge or get validation for your choice to remain with your husband.

        And there was so much in your post, PilotsChump, that reminded me of the way cheaters think and view the world. They never consider the effects their actions will have on their children or loved ones, they blame their spouse for their deplorable behavior instead of owning their mistakes and they value trappings of married life (the window dressing of a wife, properties, money, kids, etc.) without any genuine intimacy.

        I know you’re going to think I’m just being mean for the sake of it, but I’m not. This is a reality check.

      • It will be 5 yrs this may,just separated living apart, but haven’t done anything more about our lives, I truely get where your coming from…

        Another pilots wife.

  • another recent still-married-to-cheater CL letter confused Meh with “not caring anymore” about cheater husband.

    to me, Meh is this: (and it happens to be a Tuesday 😉 I got an email from XH today, read it, replied, didn’t bat an eye, and went about my lovely day.

    it was a “business question” but it was really a kibble request, hidden in a shit sandwich, because I have gone no contact. I did not bite. I did not even want to bite. Meh.

    3 years ago I was walking around with a wide-eyed stare, shell shocked and convinced I was responsible for 20+ years of his unhappiness, after years of blameshifting and gaslighting during his 4 year secret affair. i am not dating anyone, close to 60, and so in love with my life now! and very grateful to CN <3

  • I couldn’t do it. Had my life turned upside down for months twice, and I am done for life.

    I would rather live alone with my dogs and do what I want when I want without waiting for the hammer to fall again even if that’s the only other alternative.

    Living alone is nice compared to living with a cheater. But that’s kind of like saying people are great… except for the assholes.

    • TimeHeals I’m definitely a member of the Never Again club. If I can extricate myself from this situation I will be happy living with my cats.

      • See, pilotschump, I think that’s where the disconnect is. “If I can extricate myself from this situation…” You’re not coming across as someone who WANTS to extricate herself, but rather as someone who is actively CHOOSING TO STAY in her dysfunctional, toxic marriage, whatever your reasons.

        You own “several properties” which yeah, means a lot of mortgages, but it also means you’ve got the financial means and the credit rating to purchase these properties. You also are have a solid, established career on your side. You’re 60, so your children are likely grown and on their own. You don’t say in your post, but I’ll assume that neither your husband nor you are dependent on each other for health reasons. There is, as far as I can see it, no reason for you to stay in this marriage.

        Maybe you enjoy saying that you’re married to a pilot. I would imagine there’s a certain level of social status in that.

        Maybe you enjoy the money end of it. With you as an IT consultant and your husband as a pilot, I would imagine your net worth to be quite high – much, higher than it would be if you were single.

        Maybe it’s simply because you want to.

        In the end, it’s really none of our business how you want to conduct your life, pilotschump.

        Of course since you’ve been reading here for months, you are aware that ChumpLady and ChumpNation is all about leaving a cheater and gaining a life. You’re claiming to have already done that, minus the leaving a cheater part of it…so essentially you’ve downgraded your relationship with this man to roommate status, but you remain legally married to him. Your original post asks for CN’s opinion on this.

        I would like to know what kind of reaction you were hoping CN would give you.

        • I don’t know what I expected or even why I wrote except that this is the only place I felt safe to write. I’m not proud to be a pilot’s wife at all. Y’all all got that wrong. I don’t feel like I have any status from that–just the opposite. Another pilot’s wife posted about how bad they are. It sucks to be chumped by one of them and I hate it. And they don’t make much money anymore. That ship sailed in the ’90’s. It’s just another job that allows easy cheating.

          • I’ve heard that pilots’ salaries have decreased quite a bit in recent years. Which is neither her nor there, but I am glad that you are reaching out. I was once where you are, with a husband who provided what I thought was financial security–it all disappeared when I discovered a mountain of credit card debts, tax liens, hidden assets, and every form of marital dissipation you could imagine, which I would have had to pay a forensic accountant more to uncover than I could possibly hope to recover in the divorce.

            All I can do is to echo my comments above and those of other chumps here and encourage you to get out before it’s too late.

  • I don’t condone violence but I do understand it. Unfortunately. People who know me would never believe it, but I seriously considered killing my first husband. He was just so evil. An alcoholic. Abusive physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually. Always threatening to kill me, daily. I was terrified of him, and saw no way out. He died of natural causes, heart attack, but I really don’t know what would have happened otherwise. I’m not a violent person but people can push you to your limit.

    • Its understandable, Not Juliet – because I’ve been through the same thing (except it was a bully, not a husband!)
      Only people who have reached that limit really tend to understand it – lots will just say “you have issues and need to see someone about that”

      • Exactly, Lania. Our situations (of violent actions or thoughts) are Reactions to what was done to us and are actually a form of self defense. The abuser started the chain of events themself.

        It’s different than when someone just does something to another person “out of meanness.” Two totally different things. Action. Reaction.

        • Precisely. And they build up over weeks, months and even years of this shit. Thats actually how my experience occurred – it was cumulative abuse over a period of about 11 years, where teachers did fuck-all, and actually insinuated that I was the one with the problem and should see a therapist about it (instead of calling bullies out for the fuckwads they are) – using words such as “You’re making stuff up” and so forth. Yeah, because bullies are really going to do their thing right in front of you, yeah?
          Of course, my parents could only do so much – and they did do the right thing in trying to protect me (this before my father became a cheater).
          Case in point – I nearly killed a guy a lot bigger than me, with my bare hands, when he went too far. And I snapped. I don’t actually remember the whole incident because I was so enraged. And I don’t regret doing it one bit – because it sure as fuck kept anyone bully-wise the hell away from me, from that moment on. If the time came to repeat that time again, I’d react the same way. If that makes me mentally ill, then so be it – at least I’m fucking protecting myself instead of pussy-footing around!

          • That’s awful, Lania. I do think long term abuse changes you in some fundamental way. And the longer it goes on, the worse it becomes.

            I was with abusive first ex twenty years. From age 20 to age 40. Abuse starts slow, and escalates. We’d been together a few years before he ever laid a hand on me. Looking back, I can’t even believe all that happened.

            I remember when I was really young, pre abuse, I was sitting in a McDonald’s and Oprah or some talk show was on. It was about Battered Women, mostly ones you wouldn’t expect, professional types, etc. I re member thinking “how pathetic. I will never let a man treat me like that.”. But guess what. I did.

  • As someone who was married for a long time (27 yrs), I can kind of understand where you are coming from, Pilot’s wife. You’ve been with him even longer than I was-by 14 years. I found out at year 24 about the ex’s affair and I tried the reconciliation route for 3 of those years.I can tell you it was a soul sucking experience that took its toll on my sanity and my health.

    I did it because of pure unadulterated fear. It’s hard to wrap your head around untangling yourself from such a long term marriage. I get it. I also did it because like Chump Lady indicated, its a sunk cost kind of thing. You’ve spent so much of your life with this person, you’ve bought things together, you spent your youth on him. How unfair is it for us to have to start over at this point in our lives? I get all of it.

    And hey, I also understand the decrease in lifestyle one experiences after a divorce-also one of the things that kept me stuck. Before the divorce I led high middle class lives fueled by two very healthy incomes; complete with a beautiful house on water, lots of toys and lots of vacations. That house was bought at the best time too so we weren’t house poor but even with the increase in value and my decent settlement, i won’t ever be able to replace it. Maybe I’ll be able to buy a condo if I’m lucky someday.

    The ex just recently married his AP too and she is apparently Mommy Warbucks so his lifestyle didn’t change at all, in fact it got better. His 401K took a pretty big hit in the divorce but that’s about it. They are remodeling the house I used to live in and they take frequent exotic vacations apparently (according to my children). Let’s just say my vacations have become less exotic.

    All that being said, I wouldn’t trade my decision to leave him for anything. I have my career and it’s a pretty good one so I feel rather fortunate in that regard. My kids are adults so I really only have to support myself. I am much closer to my job and the most important thing is that I don’t worry about what he’s doing anymore. The amount of freedom and peace I get from that is almost immeasurable and could never be replaced by any “stuff” I had with him.

    I suppose I could’ve gotten to numb if I stayed, but there were no guarantees he wouldn’t do it again. In fact, I honestly believe the only thing staying with him would’ve gotten me was a guaranteed 2nd dday. I just wasn’t up for that again.

    Plus-and I didn’t see this until I left him, being with someone like him all those years really made me undervalue my own worth. I didn’t realize how much I undervalued it until I could see the forest through the trees. You can only do that when you have a better vantage point-like away from the offender. 27 years is a long time to have it drilled in your head that you’re not worth better treatment and 41 years is even longer. These people seek us out and the damage that they do is unbelievable.

    So yeah all of us chumps get it but escaping from that circus of horrors can be done. A lot of people here have done it and I suspect that’s why you’ve reached out to us today. It’s hard, I won’t lie but it’s worth it in the end.I sincerely hope you find your way out of that mess!

          • CS’s posts never fail to rock my world, Sass and compassion= a lethal force against evil.

    • 4th’d
      Beautiful Post, cheaterssuck – It is really hard – Being on my own now for a few months, I still feel numb & lost, but there’s progress, day by day. What you say about “I didn’t see this until I left him” really hits home. And yes, it is a whole new vantage point and I find it takes a while to take it all in and find those nuggets of truth. The further away I get from a walking on eggshell life, the more I am trusting that it will all be ok.

  • I haven’t had time to read the previous replies, so I’m most likely repeating the same thoughts and comments. First off, I’m sorry for your pain Pilotchump.

    That said, I have to say that the odds are pretty good that he is a financial cheater too. I’d be more worried at this point, as he approaches retirement, that he is lining up the new young trophy wife, and hiding funds to finance his retirement years. In the very least, it’s a no brainer he is probably spending a small fortune entertaining his side pieces…are you willing to waste another year, another decade, only for someone else to enjoy all you have built together?

    Look I get it, i do. But it’s time to come down off that cross. Your self and soul are so much more valuable. Get forensics, get a better lawyer, gain a life.

  • Thank you again to those of you who responded with kindness and good advice. To those of you to whom I came off as flip and uncaring because I write of what I did during crazy instead of my feelings or the damage done to my adult children all I can say is that the suffering is a deep well that I just don’t want to tap again. That terrible pain is what led to crazy and again, I’m just grateful for numb. My children are ok. Thankfully. They would have been damaged whether I left or not. I believe CL said something once about the consequences of breeding with a fucktard. The children are damaged either way and I don’t think that having them jerked out of daycare to go off with him unbeknownst to me because he couldn’t take them on a regular schedule due to his “very important” job is healthy either. He did that and more during divorce and I couldn’t afford to continue paying attorneys who did precious little and relying on a legal system that couldn’t care less. Much less taking time off work to deal with this when I HAD to keep my job.

    My deal was to stay with him and try to be a family with a house and sports and scouting and all the middle class stuff that was supposed to be healthy. There is no playbook for dealing with these people nor is it easy to actually get that they are really like they are. I couldn’t accept it. I didn’t know people like this actually existed outside movies and TV. My therapist said I don’t have street smarts. I guess not. I also don’t have much faith in anything anymore since there is not much real help for someone like me.

    I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m far, far beyond that. Having the energy to fight the fear and get beyond it is the goal now. And I’m not the IT person with the cushy work at home job. I’m running all over the country seeing airports and offices full of stressed out people and dealing with the airline hassles trying to keep a job and make a living (and stay healthy and not look old). It is very hard without the additional impact of having to deal with a scorched earth divorce. I’m not poor me. More like a cautionary tale. Don’t do what I did. Trust that cheaters suck and can’t be redeemed! Get out while you’re young. Being the new poor after a lifetime of hard work is a real shit sandwich and I made this one for myself by being stupid.

    And getting the shit kicked out of me here really sucks. I feel like I’ve been beaten up. Lots to think about. Thanks Chump Nation. If this is tough love (or something) I have a lot to think about. Not sure why I wrote but it’s been an interesting day.

    • PW, when you ask people for their opinion, you might not be prepared to hear what they really think.

      And that’s a GOOD thing. To the posts that challenged you? Good. I had a lot of people hit me upside the head with verbal 2x4s when I was deep in chump-mode. And yeah, I didn’t like it. But you know what? I needed it.

      Because if you choose to stay, you don’t get to complain about how unredeemable and cruel he is. You can’t have it both ways. I’m sorry.

      It would be hard to have the fucktard take your kids when they were little? I left a *mentally ill* person when my son was 4. It was HARD. But I made the right choice. I think you’re getting push back here because you seem a bit tone deaf to the struggles of others. People who have DONE those things you fear under much scarier circumstances.

      Is he scary and scorched earth? I believe you. Mine was. I had a protection from abuse order. Many people here experienced that and worse. You’ve been given VERY GOOD ADVICE about how to protect yourself and get a team to help you. Especially from Chump Advocate Vickie on the money bit.

      It sounds like you’ve sought a lot of help. And none of it helped. You know why? Because it all wants you to get out of your comfort zone. You must do the scary thing to get to healing. Instead, you stay with the scary man who is much worse, IMO, than whatever you fear.

      If he’s a pilot and has worked, I’m unclear on why you think you’d have to give him half your pension. He should be afraid of giving you half HIS pension. As it was pointed out, just because narcs want something, doesn’t mean they can get it.

      You have a lot of reasons why it’s all impossible, and IMO, not many convincing reasons to stay other than fear. The finances? As many have pointed out — staying with him is NOT security. It’s risk. Bad risk.

      Yeah, it’s hard. Things that are worth it are hard.

      Okay, so he’s a disordered freak. Again, we’ve been there. And… it does not matter how freaky he is. It really doesn’t. What matters is what are YOU going to DO about it.

      That’s it. You only control you.

      • CL, if I may, I would like to add something else. Some of these Chumps have had their spouses dump them when they got sick. Cancer! Both of you are heading into the time of chronic illnesses. Is he going to stick around? Also, I thought pilots had to retire at 60. Has that changed?

        • Yes, they now get to go until 65 and are hoping for 67. If you’ve flown lately you will notice that a large number of them are pretty old. And there are no pensions anymore. That is one of my biggest issues.

          • I love pilot Sully that saved the people on his plane. Experience does count sometimes.

            • I loved the ‘scorched earth’ line. I kinda did the same thing to my ex. When I left I took everything and left him a copy of Broke back Mountain and a promise ring he had given me when we started dating 10 years ago. He was checking out Craig’s Lust for hook ups with men and women (but he wasn’t gay!) so I figured the book might be a good read. I get the anger I really do, but no matter what you do, they don’t care. He simply labeled me ‘crazy’ and moved his girlfriend in the day I moved out.

    • I’m newish so a bit hesitant to post, but you didn’t “get the shit kicked out of” you here. You didn’t get “beat up.” You just didn’t get the unconditional validation you seemed to be seeking. And I get that you’re feeling stung by that– it’s hard to hear negative things from a supportive community– but think about what it means when an empathetic group of folks who have all been there (so we get it) reacts this way. I’m actually kinda perplexed that you’d expect CN or CL would embrace the self-congratulatory drama and repeated decisions to stay with your cheater. I’m willing to trust that you’re a perfectly lovely person and dedicated mom, but all I have to go on is your letter and posts, which went in a different direction… and that’s what folks were/are reacting to.

      Putting aside the megadrama of your self-described ‘crazy’ period, most of your posts just repeat the same core: he’s a pilot, he cheated, I can’t leave because it will affect my material comfort. I’m sorry, but that’s not a message that’s easy to get behind. I think part of the reaction is that many, many people on this site have done exactly what you repeatedly insist you can’t do or aren’t ready to do… and they’ve done it in far scarier circumstances (and with far cleaner hands). I honestly believe the negative responses are more in the nature of tough love than judgment, so please try to hear the message rather than the perceived criticism. You are not being attacked. You are being challenged to accept the consequences of your own choices if you aren’t going to make different choices. And I truly hope you find what you need. Best wishes to you.

      On a sunnier note… CL, I am laughing out loud at the Elvis wedding graphic! Too funny. Hopefully it can bring a little smile to Pilot’s Wife too.

      • Pilotswife, I remember one day I felt like my counselor “beat me up.” She pretty much chewed me out and showed me little sympathy. I went home and went straight to bed because I was so tired and depressed. But after awhile I realized she was right. I went back for more. I’m so much healthier now!

        Anyway, I do agree if you make the choice to stay, you really can’t complain. If there’s something I learned from counseling it’s that we are all responsible for our own happiness. I get the fear, I really do. Fear of knowing the truth kept me completely numb and in denial for years. My intuition finally spoke out loud as if a person was standing right next to me. I opened the door to greet my husband after one of his many business trips and he wouldn’t look me in the face. A voice as plain as day said into my ear, “there’s someone else.” I’d ignored my intuition so long that it actually had to speak out loud to get my attention! Anyway, best of luck to you in figuring everything out. It’s no picnic no matter what you do, but it is peaceful living life on your own terms.

        • I heard that voice too. It said “he’s cheating on you.” I didn’t believe it until a few days later when I found the proof. So funny to remember that after your post. I didn’t think about it being my intuition. Food for thought.

  • “The only fear I have now is of my own capacity for insanity.”

    This is a healthy fear to have, pilotschump.

    Most of us here have had murderous thoughts about our cheaters that we have not acted on, but felt free to express without judgement. I don’t own a gun for this very reason. Cheating, in my humble opinion, is attempted murder of the soul of which there is no law.

    It sounds like you have settled. Pure and simple. Your feel your risks staying in a loveless marriage outweigh your benefits.

    In a strange way, you have taken on your cheaters ability to compartmentalize and justify your lifestyle with this man. When you look in the mirror, do you see him?

    Ask yourself, is this the way I want to spend the rest of my days on this planet? If I should fall ill, will a soulless man have my best interests at heart.

    Can I live a fulfilling life without him?

    Is this all there is?

    We are here to tell you, there is life on the other side. You need the faith to believe that.

  • Pilotswife – I understand how you would take many comments as cruel. For sure, these are not cruel people here. We are all hurting. I think that just lack of the full story made many jump to conclusions early on and, of course, interject their own self-admitted stupidity. Thank you for hanging in here with us and giving us more details. It certainly helps and it’s obvious that you have already done a lot of work for yourself. Many here can learn from more of your sharing. Again, please stay with us as it is an unusual story from the norm. Your point of view will be well respected and others in the same situation will chime in, hopefully (maybe bring some of the lurkers out). I wish you the strength to leave this marriage built on a house of cards.

    I am in a similar financial boat as you, but once I filed, it’s just like they say – your lifestyle IS reduced by half, by both parties. It’s just the facts.
    And, learning to live from a large home (big dogs) to a rather small one is a price I don’t mind paying for one bit for getting that destructive asshole out of my life. The freedom, once you’ve made all the difficult divorce moves, is incredible and I’m enjoying my life in so many other ways than thinking about him. Yep – I’m almost at meh. Btw-I am your age and did 36 yrs with the guy.

    Signed, Bond-TradersWife.

    • Thank you Bond-TradersWife. It has been an interesting day for sure. I was never looking for sympathy here. Just a question about meh. When I first started reading the blog I thought I was like a lot of the people here. The main difference is that I actually KNOW exactly what cheater pilot was doing. I seriously doubt he is the only one if his married cheater pilot friends are any example.

      One thing in CL’s last post really bothered me though:

      “I think you’re getting push back here because you seem a bit tone deaf to the struggles of others. People who have DONE those things you fear under much scarier circumstances”

      I certainly am not immune to the suffering and struggles of others and if I came off as tone deaf and unsympathetic I’m truly sorry. I do not believe that suffering and struggles give you a pass to be cruel. Just the opposite and when one who is still in the trenches reaches out, no matter how clumsily it comes off, to think its justifiable to post some of the harsh things I have read today makes me think I’m not in the right place after all. I have learned an awful lot from Chump Lady. I will always trust that he sucks for example and that he will not change. But after reading “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” twice I think that chumps need caring, not more shit dumped on their heads.

      I feel much worse now than when I began my day and saw my email in print (although I loved the Elvis picture). I don’t need to feel worse. I know everything that I did wrong and everything I’m doing wrong and I can point out the pros and cons and all of that. And I know the price I’ve paid and am paying and will pay for the rest of my life for falling in love with a monster in disguise. Price paid whether I stay or go. Fear is at the bottom of a lot of bottomless pits. And some people just have very low bottoms.

      I am grateful for the knowledge I’ve gained here but after today I think I’m out.


      • I am sorry you feel so down. You might consider that one price we pay living in a relationship like you’ve described is that you’re often left with no good options, no way of finding joy, contentment, or security on a daily basis. Can you imagine a life where those things are present most or all of the time? That’s the life CL talks about gaining. I found it, and so did many other folks who have spent time here.

        My own experience was that the most important advice I received after D-Day was also the most painful. About ending the marriage I entered at age 23. About paternity testing my children. About paying my cheating ex and her affair partner child support. About letting one of my kids move 2,000 miles with them when the lack of boundaries at their house proved more attractive than the structure at mine. About all the money I lost in dividing multiple houses, two office buildings, our businesses, retirement accounts, etc. That’s why we call those tough pieces of advice 2×4’s. Hearing them often feels like you’ve been hit in the temple with a big piece of wood. But people who want the best for you will tell you truth, even if that’s not easy or comfortable. The happiness I have now, 6+ years after my last D-day, was not easy or cheap, financially or emotionally.

        Sometimes it takes a while to recognize the truth you’re hearing for what it is. Maybe that will happen for you. I hope you don’t spend the precious remaining years of your life in a cold, uncaring marriage out of indifference. You deserve better. Please focus on that last sentence. If you doubt the truth of everything else you read today, please believe that.

        Wishing you strength for your journey.

      • PilotsWife

        Take time to consider your gameplan. I am hoping you know you never deserved to be abused. Cheating is abuse. We all have our reasons for staying. Regardless of why you stayed you deserve better. I too stayed for 41 years to a serial cheater. CN helped me through the pain. My story sucks too but I’m writing the last chapter. What do you really want PW. Meh is elusive unless you take back your power. Write the happy ending and file. You’ll get support along the way.

      • PilotsWife, do stay. Some have been on here a long while and may get impatient with a “newbie” feeling like it can’t be done. Also, I agree that there may be a generational component in reactions here today. There was so much change when we were young and rules and mores of relationships seemed to flip back and forth quite a bit right as we came of age. To be an independent woman could mean being lonely and alone and to be married early could mean no time for self knowledge and individuation. And it was all wide open and new and very different from our mothers’ generation. I think later generations may not understand as much the seeming inability to take action for oneself when we didn’t grow up that way, as Tessie illustrated. I wish you luck in being able to find a happy life, not just a tolerable one and it can be done at any age. I am sorry if I sounded judgmental about your crazy time.

  • I’m coming at you from a different place Pilot’s Wife….do not divorce this man. You’ve put up with his crap this long, so stick. With his life style and his age, he’s bound to die pretty soon…..then you get everything including the life insurance. All that Cialis and like drugs can be hard (pun intended) on the heart. I love basic black with pearls.

    • Betting your whole life on the death of someone is no way to live. No good karma in that. You gain a life by LEAVING a cheater, not but staying married to them and being miserable and waiting day to day wishing ill on them.

  • I’m going to throw in my two cents, for what it is worth. First of all, thank you so much to Chump Nation for you prayers and support during the last few weeks. I can’t tell you how much it has helped. You are all appreciated and I’m sending each and every one of you a virtual hug..

    Pilots Wife, I am also sending you hug. I understand how hard it is to feel picked on when you came here for help. There have been those in my life who administered a theraputic ass kicking when I was busy living in LaLa land in my life and in my head. I was pretty ticked at them at the time, but when I really thought about it, there was a germ of truth in the things I did not want to hear.

    Being 62 I understand the world we, the kids of the fifties, grew up in. There was a lot to unlearn. I can only speak for myself. Little girls were taught, (at least this former little girl was taught)….always be lady-like. Sit like a lady. Never be loud,, always be nice and polite, Don’t be pushy, defer to everyone else or you are being pushy and selfish. Your role is a “helpmeet” (Dang I hate that word!) Always be demure, you are not allowed to get angry and above all avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. Sets us up to be chumps from an early age. I grew up so angry that I had to turn it off just to survive. Unfortunately it is like sittilng on a pressure cooker that just keeps getting packed fuller and fuller. Something happens that would tick us off yet again, and we take that anger and stuff it in to the pressure cooker.. Sooner or later it’s gonna blow. When you mention that crazy year you had, consider that maybe what might have been what happened. You hit your limit and the pressure cooker blew. If I hadn’t run into an excellent book…The Angry Book, by Theodore Isacc Rubin that could have very well have been me. I was in my early twenties when i read it and I cried for three days. Then I got busy doing the work to change me.

    Seems to me you are being an opportunity for growth, my dear. I truly get being afraid of being destitute in my old age. I was laid off at 57 after many years in a very demanding profession. Never was able to find another job in that profession. I prayed to be shown my new path. I did as much of the footwork as I could and tried to be open to what it was supposed to be. (Foot work for me was filling out applications, interviews, networking etc…) I asked Spirit to be lead me where I could be a blessing, and to be able to pay my bills. I was down to literally my last 5 dollars when I was hired as a senior companion. It’s volunteer job which pays a stipend. A very small stipend. But that was enough to keep a roof over my head and allowed me and my furballs to eat. Even better than that, the ladies I get to visit are a blessing to ME!

    My lesson in all of this was to live my faith. To allow Spirit to give me what I needed, not necessarily what I wanted. Every time a bill came up that there wasn’t money to pay, the money to pay it would show up in a timely fashion. What I am simply saying, my dear is by doing the foot work, (as has been suggested) and then turning the results over to Spirit, you can lay the matrix for a miracle. There is no need for fear.

    Divorcing IS hard. Being on your own, possibly for the first time is scary, especially at our age. We all grow at our own pace and it takes time to implement changes in out lives. It takes even more time to become comfy in those changes. You will make your new beginning when you are ready. It starts with changing your mind set about one thing. Then each time you change your mind set about something, and put that new decision into practice, it will become easier. By posting here, you have taken the first step.

    Seems that Spirit is telling you its time to get going. It’s your decision to make, and your feet that have to do the walking. You are the one who will have to live with the consequences either way. I hope you opt for growth over misery………..I’m rooting for you.

    • What a sweet comment, Tessie. You are such a classy lady. I’m “older” myself, and from the South. A double nicesness whammy, lol.

    • “…then turning the results over to Spirit, you can lay the matrix for a miracle. There is no need for fear. ”

      ^^^^ Tessie ^^^^^ this is so lovely to remember, especially when bogged down in all the details. Your post is very uplifting. 🙂

  • I absolutely get this! Its sort of like defeat but there is no emotion. Then you look back at your post dday sadness and anger and think how could I have come to a point of acceptance. You probably think like I do.. whats wrong with me? Why havent I left? Why arent I demanding an authentic life? Maybe by writing this you are hoping it will spur you into action? God we need to want for better!

  • My two cents. I appreciate the great diversity in response; it is what makes this blog genuinely helpful and authentic. I made the decision to leave ex very carefully because while I recognized that his decision to cheat was a deal breaker, I also realized that he was no longer someone I knew. My gut was screaming at me to listen then. I deliberately didn’t file first and believe that was one of many things that saved me. I think the strong reaction here (re shooting) comes from those who were afraid and had good reason to be. You have only to read the news today to see how fragile life is.

  • If I had of felt either me or my dogs were in danger, I would have shot his ass off.
    When he stole my gun and said, “I have all the guns and the knowledge to use them”.
    I freaked. Reported him to attorneys and it worked in my favor.. Nuff said there.
    It’s a scary domestic time when you kick the spouse of the house.

    We don’t know the details of how the ‘shooting’ took place at PilotsHouse.

  • This has certainly brought out a varied response from CN beyond CL’s excellent reply. I don’t have anything to say about what has been said but I do have a thought… Is there a possible ulterior motive for that Elvis wedding? There are many directions to go with this but it struck me that perhaps there is more there…

    My other thought is that we assume we have time to decide based upon nothing more than further spackling based upon past dynamics. (Been there and done that…) Do you really think you can predict that box full of evil that is the disordered?!! You may think this is your decision to make but you may find out it’s not when you are served with divorce papers after your adversary has lined up ducks and fucked you over in every way. You only have control over yourself. Use this to your advantage.

  • Well, it’s taken me awhile, but I’ve read the whole thing tonight. Lots of things to consider, that’s for sure.

    I’m confused as to why folks seem to think that pilotswife/pilotschump is reaching out for help. My take on this is that she is happy with things as they are – she says so in her original post:

    “I got a new and better job and just went back to having my own life. We both travel extensively for work so I rarely see him. I’m actually surprisingly content with things the way they are right now. He makes a lot of money, we own a lot of property together in several states, and I just don’t want to deal with getting a divorce at this stage in my life. Starting over financially and dealing with splitting everything up (selling and moving and retirement) is just more than I can deal with.”

    She does not want to leave her husband.

    She simply wants to know if she can reach Meh while staying married to him and living separate lives, and then asks for CN’s thoughts on that.

    It’s not on ChumpLady or ChumpNation to convince her that she does indeed want to leave her husband. She needs to come to that herself, and when she does, we give her as much support as we can. Trying to reason with someone who does not want to be reasoned with is an exercise in futility.

    pilotswife/pilotschump, I’m sorry, I never answered your question. My answer is no, you cannot, because your life is still fully enmeshed with his and you’re not free of him. Without freedom, there is no Meh. My opinion on remaining married to a cheater is the same as that of CL, so I won’t bother rehashing that.

    In any case, I wish you well pilotswife/pilotschump. Take care.

  • Babushka is right. The prospect of unwinding a complicated financial situation is a huge impediment to divorce, and it is understandable that spackling problems is an easy avoidance choice. The OP, much like I was for 29 years, is tied to her self image as Wife of Glamour Husband, and just does not want to lose that imaginary status. I stayed married to a similar fucktard for the kids’ sake, but I did know in my heart that I would eventually leave…so years ago I started to plan it.

    Pilotswife, perhaps what you do need to consider is whether, once the two of you reach retirement age, you really want to find yourself having a lot more face time with your cheater. Retirement won’t alter his behaviour. It will only give him more spare time to fool around, and you can bet your sweet bippy he won’t age gracefully. That may be enough to trigger a repeat of your psychotic behaviour. So far, you have fought successfully to keep your man…to what end? You can’t put lipstick on a pig.

    If I were in your predicament, I would first recognize that life won’t always be filled with work and travel to take your mind off the domestic mess.
    Then, formulate a plan as to exactly the steps you will take if and when you need to divorce. Lay the foundation for the plan now by maintaining separate and private accounts that you can depend on during a divorce process. Dream about an alternate life, where you will live, who will be your emotional support, what do you love doing.

    Then if you decide to leave, the “loss” of wifedom, social status, husband-with-a-glamour job, will all fade into the past….it will anyway when retirement comes! You need to ensure a happy second life for yourself. Embrace YOUR future rather than dwelling on trying to control another person’s behaviour.

  • Pilot’s Wife, like a lot of chumps here, I stayed way too long with a serial cheater (26 years) until I couldn’t do it anymore. The obstacles from leaving that you cited are real but they are not insurmountable regardless of what you believe. You are gripped with fear right now, even though it may masquerade as “meh”. It’s no way to live. Five years from now, you’re going to be 65 no matter what you decide. But you can decide today whether you will be a 65-year old who is at peace and could feel joy again, or a 65-year old who is still numb on good days, or in pain on other days. Only you can make this choice. Best of luck to you. Please allow us to help you become who you are again.

  • Pilotswife, there is a saying among crew members when to evacuate an airplane: when the smoke is too thick, the water too deep and the fire is too hot. This saying helped me exit out of a 27 yr marriage. Now when I come home from a trip, I look forward to my own sweet home. No cheater, no disordered person to try to figure out. I am 59 and have half our assets. Its not what I pictured but I gained a life. A life that feels clean and authentic.

  • I think what troubles me most is that PilotsWife, a known chump, has chosen to justify existence in a disordered relationship, where love does not exist, for creature comforts and avoidance of a scorched divorce over living an honest one.

    A lot of us tried that. It didn’t work. It slowly ate away at our very being. Marriage was not created for intolerable living between two humans. Deep down we know this. When pilotswife gets to the point in her life where she prefers the scorched divorce and lack of creature comforts over living with a monster, then, and only then, will she jump off that miserable fence. That narrow, rickety, unstable place where many of us tried to make a home for years.

    Peace be with you, PilotsWife. By staying with someone who lacks the capability of love, you have chosen a very hard road, indeed.

  • Guys, I seriously hate moderating my site. Deleting trolls is about as far as I go. Please don’t be divisive with each other. I very much regret now answering this letter. GHF and Lulu are entitled to their opinions. Don’t let’s everyone pile on. If I put my thumb on the scale here, its’ on calling PW out on her choices. I have deep sympathy for any chump in limbo. I was there once myself. But that really isn’t the situation in this letter. PW appears to be quite okay with her choices.

    I’m proud of how welcoming and supportive this site is. Truly. But it’s not unconditional support. I believe in the healing power of 2x4s. That said — please be kind and respectful in your comments to one another.

  • Surely leaving a cheater can mean staying married if it’s in your interests to do so. I’ve thrown my husband out, we have a legal separation where we have separated our assets amicably and with separate legal advice which means that if we got divorced in the future we’d keep what we have agreed to keep. And I’m not responsible for his debts. The benefit of staying married is that our 4 children will not have their inheritance taxed as much as it would be if we divorced. (UK law). I’d rather my children received more financially than going to all the expense and effort of acquiring a piece of paper telling me what I already know, which is that my marriage is over.

  • If you have amicably and equitably separated your assets, that is brilliant! My ex argues about arithmetic itself….Meh. Except when it’s funny and he goes all Yosemite Sam.

  • Late to the game, but PilotsWife–aside from the healing power of detaching yourself from a narcissistic cheater (and I can attest to this), think about what might happen if cheater decides to start divesting your properties and bank accounts, etc. Once you file for divorce, all assets are supposed to be frozen, which means you are entitled to half of the marital assets. If he bleeds those away, you’re entitled to half of whatever is left.

    For both emotional and financial reasons, it behooves you to move quickly.

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