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Dear Chump Lady, Is this meh or did I just give up?

MEHDear Chump Lady,

Here’s my problem (and I’m sure this is due to hopium):

Three years ago I caught my cheating husband in an emotional affair with a friend of mine. Went to counseling. He used it as a sheild to continue and escalate the affair to a 2.5 year physical affair. All the time, I feel like I’m crazy.

Cut to last September: I caught them, he confessed, I exposed them to our entire community, mentally beat the shit out of him and the OW. He has done all the unicorn things: got into counseling, re-engaged in our family (we have 2 children), is totally supportive of me and my recovery, has totally cut off all communication with the OW, tells me he’s sorry (and I actually believe him), scheduled and attended MC (which until now I did not know was a no-no), and has admitted that this was compelely and totally about him, nothing to do with me or the state of our marriage. Admitted that he thought it would be fun and he would never get caught. Never considered the future or me or our kids or anything, really.

So, now we’re 9 months past D-Day. Recently, I found meh. Boy, it was painful getting to meh.

Coincidentally, there seems to be a rash of infidelity running rampant though our community. (It’s like when you’re pregnant and notice all the other pregnant women around you).

Anyway, I didn’t make any quick decisions because I wasn’t sure what to do. I thought time would give me direction. Now I don’t have anger to sustain me. Just meh.

Can you tell me what’s going on? Am I losing it? Or have I just given up and is this acceptance?


Dear Stacey,

Is Stockholm Syndrome a choice?

Look, I’m not a reconciliation blog. I came up with the term “meh” here to describe the process of healing AFTER you leave a cheater. Meh is how you feel about the cheater, not about life. Meh means “You don’t have the power to hurt me anymore.” You don’t give the cheater any more mental real estate and your new life crowds out your old life.

Stacey, you have the same old life living with your “wayward” husband. When your head is in reconciliation, you must give him mental real estate (as you would any spouse you’re living with). And, he certainly has the power to hurt you further — that’s the mental gymnastics of reconciliation — repressing exactly what he’s capable of.

Let’s review that.

I caught my cheating husband in an emotional affair with a friend of mine. Went to counseling. He used it as a sheild to continue and escalate the affair to a 2.5 year physical affair.

You caught him once in an affair with your friend. I assume you were distraught. So he took that opportunity to address your unhappiness with… a TWO AND A HALF YEAR PHYSICAL AFFAIR.

Nothing says “I care!” like that.

Okay, but it’s different now. He’s sorry. He admits it was about him, and not about you. You’re in marriage counseling! How safe did you feel in marriage counseling last time? Apparently, 2.5 years of safe.

Let me ask you something, Stacey. Can you feel safe with a guy that:

Admitted that he thought it would be fun and he would never get caught. Never considered the future or me or our kids or anything, really.

You’re upset about his EA with your friend. He registers your upset and fucks her for years because it would be fun. He’s someone who can mentally disengage from his children, disengage from his wife, and not consider their futures. For fun.

He just told you who he is. And you don’t want to believe him, why?

Because you’re waiting for direction?

Sweetheart, often the direction appears, but we’re just too scared shitless to take it. No one ever accomplished anything courageous by waiting to feel like it. What makes it courageous is doing it anyway, even though you’re scared shitless.

I’m not saying make headlong decisions based in anger. I just rationally pointed out that you don’t have a lot of material here to trust him with. He’s sorry now? He was “sorry” then. He pays attention to his kids? Bitch cookie! He goes to counseling and makes the appointments? The price of cake got higher.

Stacey, I only have two pieces of advice for folks in reconciliation — a credit report and a post-nup settlement.  You get those things, okay? If you want to reconcile and you’ve got two young children, you protect your ass financially in writing. If he won’t do those things? There’s the depth of his sorry.

Personally, I think you’re running a terrible risk. But at least indemnify yourself on the money. You can’t get back the years.

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.
  • Stacey, to be honest your meh sounds like you’ve finally run out of love for your cheater. Do you still want to feel this way in 5 years, 10 years? Isn’t there more to life? Time to make some decisions but like CL said, get your post nup sorted while you’re thinking. Good luck.

    • Chump Lady is right! I stayed 31 years after his first which was during my first pregnancy (5 years)! He made me dependent on him for 36 years …I looked away the entire time…made excuses, blamed know the story! Age 55 strolls in and I am hoping he’s to old for this shit! Nope he writes a (I haven’t been happy letter, asked me to move out our paid offf expensive home, and not to get a lawyer). He also denied there was a GF until his bowels were twisted and he ended up in the hospital! When sent for surgery he forgot to take the lock off his phone! I found his long time work wife on his messages and he wrote (When this is all over with…I will be with you to tell you how beautiful you are)! Needless to say I am 2 years post horrible contested divorce.,and still fighting him for the pensions he kept secret from me! I also found out he was never putting money in my boys college bonds like he said! I paid off the loans because he said he was waiting for them to mature! I put &30,000 dollars extra in the house so he could retire and lost it all! I am a nurse and he tried to claim he paid for my education! They told him to sign an affidavit and he backed off as I provided proof of my irrovocable trust prior to the marraige! My life is full of regrets and damage from being associated with this fraud and thief! It’s legal to rob and exploit your family!!!

      • “It’s legal to rob and exploit your family.”

        So true, Gail. I think this is what pisses me off the most about the process of divorce. It all comes down to who can afford a better attorney, and the luck of the draw as it relates to your divorce judge.

        Infidelity has no consequences in the courts anymore. No wonder why it’s so rampant.

        • Yeah, I’m really feeling this right now too, that it’s “legal to rob and exploit your family.” While my STBX was in the midst of an affair, he convinced me to spend thousands of dollars on training that would benefit his career, justifying it by saying how important it was for the “future of our family.” Imagine my surprise when finding a letter written to his schmoopie about *their* future. He was working for no pay (essentially an internship) while I worked to support the family, and when he did start making money, he funneled it secretly away for months, embezzling thousands more. He ignored our baby for the first year plus of her life, making a big deal about “being a father” only once lawyers got involved. And my lawyer says that there’s pretty much nothing we can do to keep him away as long as he isn’t physically harming the baby. Cooooool.

          • My ex and I made the decision for her to quit work and go to nursing school with money I had saved over the years. At least once she expressed gratitude that she had the opportunity due to me being good with finances. Her classmates were jealous.

            When the money was gone, so was she.

        • OMG yes. My STBX- I am filing next month!!!!- has put off paying child support for 1o months, left me paying all our household bills and groceries and debt (I just sold the house!!! Literally! Just now closed!!!). Poor sap just HAD to move in with the OW and her son…cuz he has no money. I DON’T CARE EITHER. He has been a pain in my ass since DDay. Good riddance. Moving on to the next chapter minus that damn cheater!!!!

        • Good job conniered. I am excited for your new life. I was such a chump I believed my ex when he said, “I will pay for half of our children’s expenses, let’s leave the court out of it.” And the day we were at the counter submitting the online self-made divorce packet, he failed to submit income from his second business which put the amount of child support ordered from him at $12.00/month. Yes, you read that right $12.00 per month. What a chump.

          My story is a little different because I had suspicions of my ex seeing someone and the snooping proved it but when he was confronted he did the typical: lie and deny. But more importantly, he shamed me so much for looking, twisted it, and turned the entire problem as me being a snoop, that I committed to him to never do it again. My friends were ready to conk me on the head with a mallet; but I said, “No, no, it’s wrong of me to invade his privacy, he’s just friends with her.”

          For the last year or so of our marriage, he escalated into a raging narc right up there with the best of narcs. He punched me in the stomach, screamed hideous things, called me an idiot, fat (not), ugly, every single day, goaded me, hid money, disappeared all the time without a word, would not address me with a hello, would not touch me, did I say screamed, hit, and had temper tantrums? You get the picture.

          After many ups and downs and years of this abuse, I was tormented. Tormented because I had a beautiful home, two healthy happy successful teens, a garden, a life, a role as a mother and provider. But because I spackled, because I did not want to see, because I am a chump, I did put up with the disrespect for way too long. I did not begin to see him as a narc until later because I was in so much denial (and he is sensitive, has brilliant intelligence, can sell sand to the sandman).

          So, I chose to divorce this evil monster even before I knew about the infidelity (yay me, I realized how much he had shrunk me and how damaged I was and decided to get healthy and leave). Throughout the process of mediation, it was brutal hell. I gave in to everything because all I wanted was the abuse to stop.

          Fast forward, I sell my beloved house, buy a wonderful condo in my same town, and my 16 y/o lives with me full-time and really wants nothing to do with him (oldest is at college). I am setting up the internet and because we had a shared laptop his email pops up. I know you know where this is going: love bomb after love bomb after love bomb, e.g., He: “I feel bliss when I see your car drive by; I want to be you.” MOW: “I feel bliss when I see your car drive by.” He: “I love and respect you so much you are everything to me; I love how we are together.” MOW: “I love and respect you with everything I have; you are the best thing in my life.”

          And at first it seems unreal, like most DDays are (plus what a saccharin pile of shit they way they talk to each other). I was filled with the most intense anger I have ever felt in my life (after some of the shock wore off). I screen shot the emails (hundreds and hundreds). I stay up all night filed with immeasurable righteous indignation. I call him at 5 am, “I’m coming over I have something to talk to you about.” He denies and lies to my face but I am not quite giving him enough to go on so he is really dumbfounded about how I found out.

          It all comes out; as it almost always does. I tell everyone, “Guess why he robbed me of my home, alimony, and child support?” Yes, he was manipulating it the whole time so I would give up fighting for everything because he knew if I knew, I would have fought for all of it.

          Narcs, they are so strategic and manipulative!

          Now I am fighting to modify the child support, especially since daughter has lived with me the whole time. I have had two hearings at which time he brings in OW (who he lives with and moved in with immediately after we moved our of our family home). I wonder, who goes to court with their new boyfriend to support his “fighting” having to pay child support? Honestly, who does that? I have had a hell of a ride and ex SIL who I had a fairly good relationship with says, “I just need some distance from you; your anger scares me.” And ex-ILs not one single word after 25 years of me in that family. Hurts. It just hurts.

          Sorry to go off. I needed to vent because we had a c.s. hearing yesterday and I had to sit behind OW and ex waiting our turn to go in front of the judge only for the judge to give him 30 more days to submit his discovery, which of course, was incomplete.

          I bounced back pretty quickly because of the support of CN and CL who I have found truly life saving (plus friends-tons of great friends and family). Thanks you good people. And yes, if I had to sum, Stacey, do EXACTLY what CL says: get a freaking post nup, if reconciliation is real he should have no problem with it. Period.

          • Dear CB, Sometimes I read this site and wonder if my STBX was also a polygamist. Are you sure we weren’t married to the same man? Your post made me cry. So familar. So sick.

            Hang in there. Through my way-too-long legal odyssey I’ve discovered so many people who, just at the right time, will quietly tell me they, too, were chumped. I think we’re about to get louder as a subculture and say “NO!!!”

            • Thanks Seeing Daylight, love the name by the way and appreciate your comment. I believe that CL has started that subculture!

              I hope you still have options regarding your divorce. I do want to shout from the roof tops not to settle due to wanting the emotional pain to stop. It certainly did not stop for me and I thought, “get me the hell divorced and outta here.” But now it’s about a new chapter of hell for the modification process.

              • Chump B, thank you so much for writing that – it really resonated with me. This site is the best – the only place on the planet where our feelings are always validated in their entirety. We know the truth of it.

          • ChumpB – stay strong. You’re mighty, because you have something that your ex will never have: integrity!

            • Thank you so much Sephage. I always feel helped by your posts and look forward to them. What a funny world to be connected by computers about such an intimate topic. I am grateful everyday for CN.

      • So sorry for you Gail. I’m fighting my stbx right now for proper Child Support. You are so right about it being legal to destroy your wife financially. You still have a beautiful beginning ahead of you without that fraud!!! My Mom is 65, beautiful, single and very happy. Don’t give up!!! Hugs!!

        • Yes, so true about the legal system regarding divorce. I’m so disgusted with it all now that I know how it “works”. It cost me $8000.00 in attorney fees for a divorce I didn’t even want. My whole savings at that point.

          If they cheat and walk out they should get nothing IMO. No fifty fifty, nothing, nada.

          • I have my hands up in agreement.

            Adultery, criminal conversation/alienation of affection is still criminal in many states but lawyers don’t’ want to do that type of litigation anymore. It’s boring and tedious I guess. Cheaters DO get a free pass…by those who ignore the law, by society as a whole….it’s really up to US betrayed survivors to stand up and say HELL NO and tell the truth about the abandonment and abuse and gaslighting, financial ruin, STDs, etc.

          • Chump Lady has proven it’s possible to become “meh” about the ex and still be a strong advocate for others going through similar circumstances. People who have been abused and have reached a certain point of healing often feel empowered and want to make a difference for others. Who knows what will come or what laws might change, but I think Chump Nation is just going to get louder (Thanks, Tracy!)

              • I meant that I thought very few states allow alienation of affection suits. Not sure how many states have adultery as a crime on the books. This was in response to coniered’s post above.

      • I’m sorry you have to go through this Gail. It sucks!

        Why do so many of them ask not to involve lawyers? Does that actually work on some chumps? I have two kids (and so does he) who need to be protected legally, that’s my priority, not saving his reputation or money, asshats! all of them asshats!

        And, yes, I’m bitter 🙂

        • Yes, they think we’re that dumb. Or maybe because we’re nice people. Mine thought he was going to get me in mediation and rush through an amicable settlement before I found the money he wanted to hide. The same person who always told me that I didn’t miss a trick. Problem is, I wasn’t feeling very amicable after being emotionally abused and cheated on. And I don’t miss many tricks.

            • Mine wanted to buy the house across the street and move bimbo and her fucked up family in. That way, he could use the tools from our home and wouldn’t have to pay child support.

              • Holly Cow ChutesandLadders. They just don’t let go of trying to work things out in their favor.

          • Mine hid money, cash from his business. Bragged about it. I filed a modification of child support in September 2014, sent him two packets of the info (not certified, gawd, what is wrong with me) and a letter stating that he needed to submit. He stood up in front of the judge looking innocent and said, “I never received any notifications of anything.” REALLY? Because the post office in our small town did not do as I asked and simply put it in your p.o. box???? Arghhhh!!! So, check it out, it’s July 2015 and the judge gives him 30 more days to submit his discovery “because yes, what you submitted is pretty spotty.” And icing on the cake: it was agreed in the divorce decree that I would use the kids as tax deduction on even years and he would get odd years but being a narc who is special and does not need to abide by the rules, he uses the deduction. I can’t wait to call the IRS as it is in direct violation of the divorce decree.

            How do these assholes get away with it? And in case anyone didn’t hear my post above because I could sure use some support, what kind of woman goes with her new boyfriend to help him fight paying child support? Honestly, CN, I just cannot wrap my head around that.

            • ChumpB, according to my CPA, whoever files first is in the best position with the IRS. Check on it, file first then it’s up to the asshole to prove he’s done the right thing. Jedi hugs!

              • Excellent! I did file first. In February the minute I got everything. Plus it states it explicitly in the divorce decree.

            • @ChumpB and the OW at court…. So friend is going through classic divorce from hell. He picked a fight, had his cop friend on standby, got friend arrested for DUI (she’d had a glass of wine right before and left to avoid further arguing). THEN filed domestic violence charge against her. Took 2 years to go to trial, she was restrained from even getting her shampoo out of her house. OW moves in about a week after she’d left. OW sat at the CRIMINAL trial every day smirking and “supporting her man”. (Note that divorce was on hold until criminal trial done because … no support of any kind likely if criminal domestic felony proved. ) He lied, and the jury saw through it. … anyway point was OW was there for him every day! And friend was found innocent… So three years later divorce is still processing, but creep H and OW moved into a different house together about 6 months ago. Leaving her beautiful house trashed. It was HER house because he was always gone, and not working much of it. But they split cleaning fee and of course all the appreciation. Next up… child support (2 of the 3 kids lived with her most of the time) Still one minor child to go. disordered doesn’t even come close.

              But in your case, PIG woman had a vested interest because won’t SHE be getting the money NOT “wasted” on child support? Right?

            • What type of woman supports a man that is hell bent on not paying for his own kids? The type your cheater ex truly belongs with, a piece of trash. I love it when these types find each other and leave decent people alone.
              I know a woman that went thru a divorce from hell, she was married to a certified sociopath. Of course for years he hid behind the mask, very charming, upstanding guy in the community, hands on Dad that coached his kids’ sports teams, etc. The woman (always held a job) became consumed with taking care of her ailing parents for a few years and did not focus on bills, finances and other home matters, he handled it all. After her parents died she started paying attention, especially after getting the mail where he had set up a PO Box, as he could not trust the mail being delivered properly to their home you see. He always insisted on picking up the mail but she got a key to the box. IRS, credit card, utility and the bank (S) that held mortgages on their home were in pursuit. Plus he scammed clients and they were banging on the door as he would take large contractor deposits and never show up again. Other women, illegal pills, viagra hidden in his nightstand, cars being repossessed, insurance cancelled, taking out student loans in his kids names, illegal pills being mailed to the PO Box, you name it. When she finally confronted him, he really tried to kill her. Iced the steps, hooked up the home illegally to the town gas lines, just incredible. She took a fall on the iced steps and was out of commission for some time with a broken ankle/leg. Her therapist and doctor both told her to get the hell away from him, NOW. Get this, her therapist (also marriage counselor) felt so bad about not initially diagnosing him properly he waived all the fees. Okay so fast forward a little over a year after the divorce he marries some dingbat (not the OW and from a different town) and she believes all his lies about his ex wife. He told everyone that his ex had a drug problem, had mental issues, etc. The dingbat is more than happy to spread the lies as well. Funny a few months after they were married dingbat had an accident and she is now recuperating from her injuries and has told friends that she is so out of it that she has no recollection of applying for new credit cards and also charging up a storm as packages from Amazon keep coming to the house. Oh and she bought her new husband a brand new truck that he so wanted and deserved for a wedding gift since he has bad credit due to his (eye roll) ex wife. To sum it up she was and is a desperate woman, not very attractive and this “charming guy” is the man of her dreams. She will do anything for him and he is already screwing her over and looking for his next hook up. This is exactly the type of woman that will support a man that screws over his kids.

              • Awesome post..mine tried to kill me..cut my loses and left with my life!! Not looking back!!!

              • Oh Gail wow. I barely skimmed the surface of this story but know this woman had a tough time wrapping her head around the fact that he wanted her dead. She finally had his number, confronted him, stopped contributing to the household and his schemes, therefore she was of no use to him. She walked away with nothing as the house had umpteen mortgages and was going into foreclosure. She had thought it was nearly paid off. The company she had worked at for years sold and she also lost her job, not a good time. However, within a year she landed a great job (she’s in her 50’s) lives in a desirable area (although with her widowed sister), her kids are thriving young adults and she is slowly getting her footing back. Still has a bit of PTSD but all things considered is doing rather well. I have known her for a little over a year and at first she was so quiet and serious, now she is laughing, vivacious and seems to be quite happy. I love a good ending:)

    • Yes, you must be in denial. This was a massive trauma and can immobilize a person. Sounds like you may be coming out of it and are now ready to divorce, which is the right way to go, imo.
      your husband’s behavior is clear proof that he is a sociopath or NPD.

  • Stacey,
    You have numbed your perception of emotions. To make the present situation bearable. Because this hell is opposite to your values.
    Emotional Intelligence is just the reverse: feeling emotions and managing them, to make the best decisions.
    When cut fom your emotions, you lose guidance, you are at risk of doing things that your normal self would totally reject. This leads to confusion, not being able to tell right from wrong. You may wait for directions in vain, because the source of directions is blocked from reaching your thoughts.
    This is not meh, this is numbing.

    • ^^^^this^^^^
      “This hell is opposite to your values”
      That is what I could not reconcile with: living opposite to my values. I could not forgive him, and therefore I could not remain married to him. I could not forget what happened and therefore I could not repress my anger. I could not ignore what I learned to be true about him and therefore I had to act to protect myself, care for myself, and be true to myself. I’m a long long way from meh, but happiness pops up in all sorts of new interesting places now. Stacey, be mighty!

      • And, Arlo, you are completely normal,despite what “experts” say about forgiving and having a”stronger better marriage”. Normal, decent, forgiving folks ,simply do not let this go and get over it.
        I am normally very forgiving, too much so many friends tell me. But the depth of the trauma the egregiuos nature of this offense is way to much for ne to forgive.

        • Arnold

          The truth is they could care less about forgiveness. Every shred of empathy and caring were destroyed over the past year. Each time i doubted my perceptions of him thinking there might be a chance to be on speaking terms the mask vanished. For example, he manipulated my son into selling something on my property and I found out. X lied to my daughter about the divorce agreement to make himself look good and then made demands. Yesterday, he once again broke into my home when my son and I were working. He lost big time. I have no regrets divorcing the disordered asshole. There is no longing for the life I had before. The trauma I felt is subsiding daily. Some day they will be an afterthought to our happiness.

          • I do not recommend trying to forgive these folks. I think forgiving them is damaging to your mental health. keep them at bay and never forget what evil assholes they are. Not, exactly new age/evolved, eh?
            Well, who the fuck cares. I am not Ghandi .

            • Thank god you are not Gandhi, Arnold. Gandhi (as impressive as his non-cooperation movement idea was) was a self confessed wife beater who could not n would not respect his wife. As he aged, in order to prove how asexual he was, he slept with young women In the same bed. Everyone applauded him because of how important he was to the political scene but the young women did not get married… Given how Indian soceity works, it’s not a stretch of imagination for folks to believe the women were actually soiled goods, despite publicly proclaiming anything but.

              I could given you many more examples… So pls be glad you are not Gandhi.

            • The only person I am forgiving is myself. I need to forgive myself for being human, for trying, for believing. And that is the trick for me not to become bitter. My x is doing or has done all of the above. Hiding money, threatening, verbally abusive, ‘above it all’ . Yeah, it really fucking sucks. But at the end of the day, I don’t have time to waste on bitterness or him. I’m just moving on.

            • One of the most freeing moments I had in the early, dark days was when I said to my then-therapist, “‘I feel like I might not get to a place where I’m able to forgive him,” and she said, “Why would you?” Not mean-spirited or holding on to victim status… more in the nature of not spending my energy trying to find a way to be okay with a crushing betrayal. I still get so much comfort from that simple concept. It was like permission to focus on my own healing (a novel idea to me) rather than focusing on how I could get past his conduct.

  • Stacey
    Meh is you’ve got him back to how he is supposed to act & treat you and your children. But, you can’t trust him now & a piece of you is missing. You accepted his behavior (he jumped through a few hoops to regain the status quo) but he’ll do it again (affair) then you will start the pick me dance. I’ve been there. Get your ducks in order for you & your children so you will be prepared. This is not a marriage or a partnership. He has no respect or human decency.

  • Stacey I could have wrote what you wrote, my story is so close to yours with my cheater STBXH! I’m leaving as soon as our house sells and I’m doing absolutely everything I can to make that happen (I doing an open house all this coming weekend for 3 days and I’ll do it until it’s gone). They don’t LOVE US to do what they’ve done, it would still be going on TODAY had we not caught them! I don’t know how your anger could have left you so soon and I’m betting it didn’t deep down, just picture them together doing the nasty. I would never settle for this kind of life, it would kill me. Fuck I just can’t stand even looking at my STBX, can’t wait till he’s in my review mirror the day I leave for good. I know mey is still far away for me, it will happen when my new life takes over and that’s what I’m focused on building now, making myself a new life.

    Just FYI, I suspected his howorker back in 2012 and confronted him back then, he denied it to death, caught him finally in September 2014, same howorker. In fact he now confessed it started in 2010!!!! 4 freaking years! He disgusts me now! Hope you come to see it like I did and get the hell out. All the best.

    • At least yours admitted it. I wish mine would. Just give me that final consideration after 20 years of being his wife.. 2 kids.. all the ups and downs. I feel like I at least deserve the truth but I won’t get it. It can matter in our state for one thing, plus he’s a coward. He has to be the good guy and this all has to be MY fault. He’s lied to everyone.. me, friends, family. But like you.. mine started a relationship with Howorker YEARS ago, at work, before our last baby was born… it goes WAY back. At one point he worked FOR her and his job was suspiciously eliminated…. which always seemed ODD. Think it reached critical mass when whore finally separated from her H… and she became available.. I slipped into Plan B and stayed there until it wasn’t enough for me.

      Kudos to you Kate! You are mighty! You inspire me.

      • Oh newchumpati, mine didn’t admit to much, said all he did was kissing one night while taking her home in is work truck 4 years ago in 2010 and that nothing else ever happened between them. But his cell phone bills were loading with her number, he took her 4 times on 3 day business trips over the years, she called him to meet her at a hotel and I intervened the call, made him put it on speaker for me to hear, he freaked on her and said I was right there. Ugh, the lies were never ending from both of them. I am so done now, I can’t wait to MOVE for good and change my phone number so I never hear from him again in my life. Hate brought me to mighty lol. Thanks 🙂

        • Because ‘kissing’ is ever so more appropriate when you’re fucking married.
          Jesus fuck these pricks disgust me.

      • I cannot really understand what good it does these cheaters to maintain denials after one has concrete evidence.

        • I had so much evidence too, that hotel call was in Sept 2014, the kissing thing was 2010, he was her boss at work btw, talk about an abuse of power. When he denied it, I just looked at him and said “now you’ve insulted my intelligence”. The final straw that broke the camels back right there. Good riddance POS!!!

          • I read my wife’s notes where she specifically wrote” I want to stop my destructive habits, smoking, drinking, SEX WITH STRANGERS.” I tracked her nights out. She once woke me up to describe he body of the man she had been with one night. 2 weeks after my dad died, she announced she was flying to Chicago for the weekend with a man from her AA group to “visit museums”.
            I had so much evidence it was nuts. Yet, to this day she tells me that things never went physical and she merely had ” inappropriate relationships where the chemistry became sexualized”.
            I have disclosed the fact that I have this and other evidence, specifically listing it.
            As the disordered seem to do with aplomb, somehow, these things are never addressed and the conversation is either immediately shut down or diverted. You can not pin these folks down and if you persist, they start crying abuse, even if you are merely just asking them things in a normal voice in a non threatening manner.

    • Kate. My ex had pursued his secretary, I should say they pursued each other for 15 years. Now they are together and happy I.know I that i know the truth but it hurts so bad knowing I had been lied to for so many years. AM I stupid or what? I hope Meg comes.soon.

  • Stacey, I’m 2.5 yrs in reconciliation and I’m sorry to say you have a long way to go to get to meh, because I’m still no where near there! You probably are now at the stage where you are taking a deep breath at the top of the hill you just climbed, but the roller coaster of emotions is about to start soon. Almost the entire second year of my reconciliation was anger. When you have sex with your husband, she is there in your head. When you are driving, you constantly look for her car, when you see her somewhere you die with pain, only now can I say, I am a little less thinking about her and have moments when I don’t think about the affair that last about a 1/2 a day. I will say the post up is essential to allowing you to completely be yourself so you can get that anger out! Im a very nice kind person, but I really wanted to hurt both of them for a long while, and still that anger has a few embers that I have to put out at times. He is only 1 yr out, and trust me, he’s not over her either, he’s just made a logical choice. That’s what hurts! It was HIS choice to have that FUN at your expense, and it was HIS choice to make the logical decision to stay with his family. When you reconcile you lose YOUR choice …… to leave a cheater and gain a new life. We unicorns have our old lives with new scars caused by the one person we trusted with all our heart. There probably is no meh for we unicorns, just longer periods of time that we don’t think about her and what he did to me.

    • I think most people who reconcile will say that either way, the old marriage is dead. The way of life before, the way things were, it’s gone. If you decide to rebuild, you rebuild from scratch, and in many ways, it’s harder than starting a new relationship because you have all the old baggage, old feelings, old hurts. I think it can work, with a partner that’s remorseful and also committed to R… but many of us didn’t have that.

      I would have reconciled with my H had he been willing to do the BARE minimum work. But he wasn’t. He couldn’t even do the bare minimum. I realized that I had accepted the bare minimum from him a lot. While he accused me of being inattentive to him. (which in some ways might have been fair).. the always pushed the limit with me too. He did the bare minimum a lot.

      Sad, because my children will suffer for this. A family blown apart. All because he couldn’t be an adult and realize that commitments and family are worth more than some new whore. It is what it is.

      • “I realized that I had accepted the bare minimum from him a lot.” The further out I get, the more I realize that too. And I was happy with the vare minimum because I loved ex. But now? Now I am dating someone (dday was over two years ago), and I am seeing the differences in how this guy treats me and deals with things (difficult conversations, the boring tasks of life, etc.) and how my ex was. It’s eye-opening, to say the least.

    • Whiskeysour,
      You are the very reason it doesn’t work. They do the crime, we suffer the consequences…

      I could not R a 30 yr marriage, as all I saw was her in our everyday life. You can really try hard to forgive, but you never forget.

      I’m over 4 yrs out…

    • WhiskeySour

      Having years if Reconciliation experience (unfortunately) these are the things I know. Initially, cheaters start their game with one nighters. You were more than likely unaware unless they gave you a STD or came home with crabs. They come home from work smelling of alcohol and later than usual. Then they graduate to hotels, your home, or OW home to fuck. They will talk about other men who cheat with disgust. You still think he’s a good guy until the first discovery of an affair. Be assured this is the first long term affair and that is why he got caught. Then the fun begins where you dance and he blames it on HER as if his dick is a separate entity. Yup. He cried remorse fully and blames a lack of attention. Once he gains your trust you know he’s going to cheat again and again. Yes you know it. They did it with ease. They will do it again. It can’t be undone and there’s no amount of love or forgiveness that will change someone with a lack of respect or integrity. It’s who they are. Opportunities will always present themselves for a cheater. It gets worse and they up the thrill of the chase. Yes, it’s thrilling to meet up with the OW while your together at a party or out with friends. It’s constant. It sucks marring a pig. It’s a relief to know your better than this and NEVER have to tolerate abuse.

      • “They will talk about other men who cheat with disgust.”

        That was my cheater-ex. He traveled for work & told me about a few co-workers cheating. I told him that I would never socialize with them ever because they chose to cheat on their spouses. How could I know it was my cheater-ex in disguise?

        • Mine didn’t have any longterm affairs that I know of. It was mostly sex with hookers, random strangers and the odd fling with a co-worker. Longterm would have been too intimate.

          He also had a major problem with porn. I found a huge DVD collection of some really sick shit. And, true to form, this was after he said “porn is stupid. I don’t watch it.” Not that I care about porn. It’s more about the lying and impression management that was the problem. Don’t think I ever really knew him, even after 11 years.

    • He’s not over her still? Why are you still with this swine?
      If I heard my partner say he was pining over an old OR current girlfriend, I’d be pulling the choke chain hard – and kicking him out.
      He’s still fucking her, Whiskey. Sorry.

  • Cheaters don’t change. Of course he’s doing all the right things right now. He wants his cake! Do you really want to play marriage police for the next umpteen years? Personally, I think you’re numb, not meh. 9 months is not enough time to heal (IMO) and you can’t get honest perspective while he love bombs you and makes his promises. What would you say to a friend if she was in your situation? Be honest with yourself and you’ll find the answers. *hugs*

  • Stacey,

    Like CL said: get a postnup, run a credit check.

    If he won’t do those things, he isn’t sorry.

    Chump Nation will be here for you when/if he cheats on you again. Best of luck to you.

  • I get where you are at. It’s not “meh”, it’s a place of utter numbness!!

    I lived it for a long time. Miss Piggy was his BFF, Work Wife, Justafriend for over 3 years. She was by his side every waking moment, in my house with my H, in our car, in our lives with her H and kids ( he usually had to work – lucky bastard). I have no idea how I survived this except to say I went completely numb.

    I have now been out of my marriage for 3 years. I am back to my normal weight, I smile and I have started to reconnect with myself. I got angry. It saved my sanity eventually.

    You cannot stay like a dear in the headlights. You will be numb forever if you do. And the next time a bit of fun comes his way, he will do the same thing ( he has shown you who he is ).

    He will go more underground next time. Or you will be too numb to care.
    Either way – this is no way to live.

    It took me a while to realize that I deserved a whole lot more in life. There are worse things than being alone.

    • “There are worse things than being alone.”
      Definitely worse ! Much to my surprise, I actually enjoy being alone and view it as a luxury. I can do whatever I please whenever I please. I do not have to worry one more minute about what he will like/dislike ; I do not waste time and money shopping for groceries every other day. I meet new people when I feel like going out, there are so many sites these day that help with organizing leisure time. I can think about positive stuff: vacation, landscapes, friends, good books. I am free to go on a cruise, or wherever I please, without painfully searching for a destination that both of us will like. I am not afraid of hurdles, because on my own I know I can always manage. The negative, the worries, left with him. I used to be scared of dating again, but now I don’t even feel like trying, it’s going to happen naturally, if it has to. Right now I enjoy the freedom.
      I think I was able to let go at last, when I realized that it was not my responsibility to make him happy. The deal was broken when he chose to cheat on me, but I had made it a habit to consider myself responsible of his well being. I read about codependency and was set free.
      Some days I feel a bit of sadness, but it is nothing compared to the hell of reconciliation.

    • I am this woman not really..but change the name to mine. Same thing husband becomes the best husband being attentive and a good father. My take on this is 1. We (children and I)were subjected to soo much sh*t behavior during the affair that this feels/looks great in comparison. 2. Some cheaters try and smooth things over to save face and keep their cake eating going. Or they leave their spouse to pursue other whores. Either way same outcome. 3. I think you have finally accepted who he is. You no longer have hope. You have run out of gas so to speak. I feel nothing as well. Not sadness nor anger most of the time. Its like defeat. I lived in the hot water so long i know longer realize im boiling to death. I now know my husband is a serial cheater. Its like something needs to jar us. Maybe we need to see them screwing ow or something ,literally. Reality is is gone and they are capable of some horrific deception and lies. Hoping this will change for you and me and all others with crappy cheating spouses.

      • Flowergirl14, you deserve better! There is a better life out there for you that is not a life of defeat. I hope that you and Stacey and everyone else “boiling to death” will realize truly, deep down that you deserve better… You are worth it. Sending positive thoughts your way.

      • You havE only so many years of life, why would you not try to find a better way to spend them Flower? Consider leaving. Jedi hugs!

      • Flowergirl even seeing them screwing the OW isn’t always enough. My 3rd d-day was almost 4 years ago. I was cleaning and found an external drive. Before I pitched it I decided to see if something important was on it and boy was there. H had filmed himself screwing a series of OW. He’s a pilot and spends a lot of time in foreign countries and I guess has little “love affairs” with OW who don’t speak English and live in third world slums. My rage bordered on psychotic and I’m just now recovering from the shock. I will spare you the details of all the completely insane things I did but pick me dancing wasn’t among them. I was pretty typical in the Amazon hunt for answers (why, why, why what’s wrong with ME that I’m with this creep), the detective work (found his secret email addresses, Craig’s list and Ashley Madison, etc. accounts, his secret phones and computer), contacted all the OW using Google translate (they didn’t know he was married), put his fuck videos on YouTube until they took them down, told his elderly parents and all his friends, lost 30 pounds on the infidelity diet…..

        But one morning just woke up and discovered that I didn’t give a shit anymore. I really don’t. I’m not mad anymore, I just don’t care. I love this site because it’s comforting to know that all these cheaters are all exactly the same in the end. Selfish and incapable of love. He didn’t want a divorce (that was never part of his plan) and made the usual lackluster attempts to appease me but when I stopped caring none of that mattered anyway.

        I didn’t leave but I rarely see him anyway. He is only around about five days a month and I travel for work so I don’t see him much. He makes a lot of money now and frankly I’m loath to give it up since I am the one who supported his sorry ass while he did all the training and low paying jobs he had to take to get to where he is now. I’m almost 60 and I do not want to lose everything I’ve worked so hard for all these years since we live in a no fault state. I did explore my options and they aren’t good financially.

        It’s a relief now that I see him for exactly what he is because I don’t have to try to make him happy anymore. It never worked anyway but I’m a true chump and I always thought there was something else that I hadn’t figured out yet that would do the trick. Is he a disgusting pig? Oh yeah. Do I give a shit? Hell no!!

        I do what I want now, buy whatever I want, and all in all my life is pretty good. I’m not stupid, I’m sure he hasn’t given up his extracurricular activities but that’s his problem now, not mine. Now that I see him for what he is I’m certain he has been doing this during our entire 41 year relationship. I can’t change the past but I’ve accepted reality so I’m going forward with my eyes open and my heart guarded.

        Maybe meh isn’t completely possible but I feel pretty close to it. The only thing that freaks me out is retirement.

  • Kate50: “They don’t LOVE US to do what they’ve done, it would still be going on TODAY had we not caught them!”

    Justine: “to be honest your meh sounds like you’ve finally run out of love for your cheater. Do you still want to feel this way in 5 years, 10 years? Isn’t there more to life?”

    Stacey, please leave this asshole. You deserve better than this. If you stay, you’ll just limp through life. Your life has value. Share it with people who recognize that.

    You’ll never know how happy you can be until you give yourself the chance to find out.


    • “You’ll never know how happy you can be until you give yourself the chance to find out.”—> YES!!

      And, to add, “you never know just how miserable you are until you leave”…

      • Of course when you leave, you’ll question yourself at first and have a kind of separation anxiety. But when you think about the future without that cheater you’ll feel like a dark cloud has been lifted off your head and the future is bright and anything is possible.

  • Stacey, meh is not a state of being able to tolerate something because of being cut off from one’s own feelings. That feeling of not wanting to rock the boat and thinking maybe your husband is an okay guy in spite of what he did to hurt you is not what meh is. Think about what you really want in life. Remember the things in life, going way back to your childhood, that made you happy, joyful, passionate. Think about what you always wanted in your life. Having to be the the mother figure to your naughty husband and having to keep an eye on him is not really living. It would be impossible to be meh about someone in a true marriage because loving and intense feelings would be an opposite of meh, as hateful and hurting feelings are an opposite of meh.

  • You are definitely in a fog and emotionally worn down right now. First, get a post nup (you get the house, full custody of the kids, etc) and then make plans to exit the marriage. If you are currently not working, get a game plan to line up a career or decent employment. Go back to school if you must while you are still with him and let him shoulder the financial obligations. Hit the gym or take up a sport! Very, very important. This is not just for your body but for your mental well being. Let asswipe mind the kids while you workout. Is this sneaky or underhanded? You bet it is and this is what will heal you and make you smile in years to come. If you choose to stay with this guy he WILL cheat again, count on it.

    • I am 100% behind this advice. All of it.

      Stacey . . . you’re not at “Meh”. You’re fucking exhausted. Living with a person who has betrayed you is exhausting. So, get productive and use the time you have now to plan and get out of that marriage. Get your money situation solid, start consulting with a lawyer regarding the house and the kids, whatever you need to do.

      This man isn’t going to change. He’ll do it again. Believe it.

  • Two points:

    1) He hoodwinked the MC9(s?) for 2.5 years! He may be making appointments to make sure he gets another MC that he is able to hoodwink. Please keep that in mind. My xW seemed to make this play (after admission to EA and prior to my discovery of the PA).

    2) Consider the drastic lack of empathy. Who puts his wife through marriage counseling while continuing to cheat on her FOR YEARS holding up the cruel ruse that he, too, is working on the marriage? That’s pretty coldhearted. And it is calculated. Plus, it sounds like it would have continued if you had not caught him. I was married to someone like this in my first marriage. Today, I am glad I am no longer.

    • Good points. Mine also hoodwinked the MC, then hoodwinked his own IC. I kept asking myself.. why go to counseling if he was just going to continue?

      Then I realized, that’s expecting rational behavior from irrational people. They are like addicts.. addicted to schmoopie love and unlike chemical addictions, this is a consequence of really really poor character.

      #2 is also an excellent point. Who does this? The only think I can figure is my STBX was evaluating both of us. Schmoopie and me both pick me dancing- and he was loving it. Ah the centrality, the importance, look at MEEEE, I am AWESOME! Keeping up the ruse on both sides (I can’t imagine how exhausting that would be- but they seem to love it). I also think a lot of these guys (and gals) don’t want to deal with the really crappy repercussions of divorce. Losing access to kids, MONEY, leaving their nice homes to live in sad apartments, etc. What they really want is endless cake.

      Run Stacey. Run.

      • I think they enjoy the feeling of putting one over on the counselors as well. Many sociopaths like to feel that they are smarter than everyone else.

        • We went to a MC after I found out about some – ahem – kissing and inappropriate emails, which later turned out to be random hookups and an affinity for transsexual prostitutes. He lied through his teeth.

          At the time, the MC told me to stop snooping, behaved as if my insecurity was the problem. I’m glad I didn’t listen because I never would have found out the truth, albeit a couple years later.

          These assholes only cop to things for which you have indisputable evidence. And even then, that’s a generous assessment. I had an OW tell me all the details of their drunken night of intercourse while he insisted I was “crazy,” that “she dreamed it,” and finally, “it was just a blow job.” Right.

          It’s fun to gaslight a spouse, makes them feel powerful. And having a MC as an (unknowing) participant makes it all the better.

  • Stacy, the main thing is that he lied not only to you but to the therapist for 2 1/2 years. That is all you need to know. There is no taking that back.
    Meh is when you never think about him except when he has the kids. You have his time with them on the same page as your grocery list and a visit to the dentist. In fact the dentist visit causes more emotion than he does. You just don’t care. You don’t care if he has a girl friend, or 200 of them as long as your kids are ok. You don’t care if he is happy or unhappy. You just don’t care.

  • Stacey, if you wrote to CL its because you are looking for someone (or all of us) to tell you that you are not in a marriage that was improved by cheater as the reconindustry says. I would recommend to think about your numbness and imagine if you want to live like this for the next ten, twenty, thirty years? You are probably so numb that you can´t even do the marriage policing right now, because you know that he doesnt love you or else he would have never, ever had such a long affair. I thought that you can forgive a one-night stand when it was done with bad judgement (getting drunk) and “for fun”! But in my case, that one nighter that I forgave was the tip of the iceberg. 8 years more of fake reconciliation, of the numbness which was also full of the pain of betrayal, of his nagging and criticism that came back after a few months. I remember now that once in a while I would google “signs of a cheater” and many of the things he was doing would fit in the description but I just couldn´t bring myself to believe that he would be capable of such a thing after I had caught him the first time (from a supposed “emotional affair” and ONLY a one night stand) and we had gone to therapy. I couldn´t believe that he would do anything to harm our family or to risk loosing what we had built in 17 years. Then comes Dday #2 and I realized that I wasted 8 years wanting to believe him (which I never truly did again) while he had just become a better cheater….

    So, my advice is that you use your numbness to think straight, line up your ducks and get prepared for a better cheater-free life. Trust us: he is not worth it.

    PS: You mentioned another gigantic red flag: “Coincidentally, there seems to be a rash of infidelity running rampant though our community”….that is no coincidence. He is probably part of that community or will be soon and he has “community support” for the next time you catch him. The excuse will not be “I just wanted to have fun and thought I wouldnt´be caught” but it will be “I didn´t want to be the party pooper. Everybody´s doing it!”

    • (long-time lurker here .. )

      Triple thank you for posting that spot-on link .. it was amazing timing. I’m building up muscle so I can bravely get back out in the world again. This CL site and all the comments have helped me so much. Much better to not be confused – knowing the truth from the lies is power indeed. Gratefully, NMN

  • Think about this Stacey, every morning for more than 2 years (more than 700 days!) he woke up and thought “I have a secret she doesn’t know, and she’ll never know..hahahaha” he likely enjoyed having that secret. For him it was probably a form of power over you. He got off on degrading you without you knowing. Until you did know and then he got off on the fact that you stayed, that he was in control and he made you stay. At some point you have to ask yourself who is in control. From what you’ve written the answer does not appear to be Stacey.

    Find a lawyer who specializes in post-nups because they will see a lot of things you don’t. Experience has given many of them the ability to see things we’re too close to a situation to view clearly. Maybe during this time that you are numb is the best time because you won’t approach the proceedings with any emotion.

    • Well said. This was a horrible revelation for me as well: that a huge part of my ex’s secret life was the enjoyment he got out of degrading me without my knowledge, and that all the time I stayed he felt his power more and more. Sick.

  • I too could have written your letter. I just got to the point where I was “numbing” with alchol when I never was much of a drinker before. I just couldn’t repress the knowledge/fear that he could do it to me again. I’m signing the divorce papers today. I’m worn out from the past two days of mediation but I got enough $ to move on and find real love and happiness. For that I am grateful. Stacy, if he truly loved and valued you he never would have risked losing you or your family. Please move on and give yours of a chance at finding what you truly deserve.

    • Congratulations on your signing!
      May you truly enjoy your new life!

  • Stacey
    We all have comfort zones… And some stay in marriages for that very reason. Are you just comfortable? Was the work for comfort or for appearances vs really salvaging your marriage? Cause it sounds like you got him right where you wanted him… He confessed he went to counseling… He was outed to the whole community… He said alllll the right shit to the marriage counselor to make it allright for you. He got his ass handed to him. Sounds like he is a good actor. He took the hit… Said all the right things… Now he is biding his time.
    I dont think you are at Meh….i think you feel it in your gut that its forced and fabricated… it all knit well back together and Bob is back mowing your lawn…you should be a happy girl right?
    Bob is waiting for the dust to settle… Once your radar is down… Bob will be back at it. Only now he will be better at hiding it. And now that he knows the language to use with u… He will. He will regurgitate all the MC lingo and you will suck it up like a sponge. Affair number two… Or three or four… And Bob will still know what to say to make you his little stepford wife.
    Stacey u already know what the problem is… Andit aint Meh

  • Stacey,
    I am so sorry you are going through this. Your husband sucks. Do not ever trust him. I agree that D-day #2 is just around the corner. Do not waste time going to therapy with him… Spend your time and money on your future without the bastard.

  • “Is Stockholm Syndrome a choice”

    Thank you for this CL. Becoming a hostage and accustomed to abuse is not always physical. It’s always about power and control. It happens over time and was in my case was impossible to recognize for 41 years loving my abuser.

    Regarding Reconcilliation I would suggest asking yourself “Why do I love someone whose actions do not match his supposed love for me”. My abuser for all appearances was a “good guy”. I would have stayed with him for the rest of my life. Luckily, I found a therapist who identified him as a serial cheating sociopath.

    Step back and think about your options. Ask yourself why you are torturing yourself. Read about covert narcissists and Stockholm Syndrome in relationships. Stacey, we never signed up for any of this. It’s a life of disappointment living with small acts of kindness and continued deception. The person you are sleeping next to who fathered your children is an imposter. Leading a double life and expecting forgiveness are not acts of love. It’s a way if life for the disordered. You can’t fix it. Seek out a therapist who understands abusive relationships for YOURSELF. Don’t let him know about this as he will sabotage your recovery.
    Meh is not a place of tolerance of abuse. It’s freedom from abuse. Wishing you freedom.

  • I think your MEH is compartmentalization. The only way your can overcome your true core values is to numb out. Your self would leave the creep on no time flat.

    I think locking away the truth in order to continue a sham marriage would destroy those of us who simply cannot concede on our core values. It was suggested I do this by the MC,with of course the full support of my serial cheater who also had a decade long married AP, in order to have a happy “new” relationship with my cheater H.

    Living numb is not living. You will lose yourself to a soul sucking vampire. I know I did not go into marriage with the notion I wanted to be abused. Had I known that would be the outcome of my Union, I would have run for the hills.

    Spend this period getting your house in order, like KB22 wrote, and then run away. Your first stop needs to be with a very good attorney.

  • Stacey:
    I was in the same place as you. I WANTED to believe my cheater was going to stop. I wanted to keep the family in tact, I didn’t think I could live through a divorce and the aftermath. I was afraid. So staying was the “best” option, or so I thought. For five years he pretended to reconcile. He love bombed me and made all sorts of promises. I was the best thing that ever happened to him and he couldn’t live without me and the kids, blah, blah, fucking blah. All lies. Just for cake. And as those five years passed and additional ddays piled up, I got to the point where I was numb (meh?). And I no longer respected him as a human being. And when you don’t respect someone……you can’t love them! That’s just my opinion!

    If you think you will never love again ……think again. If you think the evil you know is better than the evil you don’t know…..think again. You can move on and have a better life! One filled with trust, honesty and love. I did just that and I am so much happier now than I could have ever been if I stayed!

  • If, in fact, your husband really did end the affair and cut contact with the OW, it was ONLY because the affair had run it’s course, the fun of sneaking around was over and he was going to have to go through the very not fun process of divorce. He didn’t choose to come clean to you of his own accord, he did not have an epiphany, he did not grow a conscience, he did not fall back in love with you and his children. He got caught and is doing damage control, nothing else.

    What you’re feeling isn’t meh. You might have fallen out of love with your spouse. You might be compartmentalizing. You might be accepting this because you’re afraid of change. You might be hurt or depressed to the point of numbness.

    Get yourself to an individual counselor and work on you. Don’t set foot into the office of a marriage counselor with your spouse unless you’re sure this reconciliation is actually what you want and what’s good for you.

    • I agree that the affair somehow ran its course. Either the AP broke it off or her husband grew bored. Most of these cheaters have the attention span of a gnat. It won’t be long before he is on to the next AP, its jsut what they do.

      • Or…they were busted.

        Cheaterpants would have continued indefinitely in his decade long affair. No divorce the spouse and no break up with the MOW. His declaration of love to the MOW kept her in place, and just the right amount of attention thrown at me and the kids kept us in place. This affair would never had run its course unless it was discovered. He at least admitted to that. And even post discovery, he stayed in contact with her for three months after their break up. This was contrary to the NC he told the MC and me.

    • “If, in fact, your husband really did end the affair and cut contact with the OW, it was ONLY because the affair had run it’s course”–I completely agree here as well. He would have ended it long before if any of those other explanations made sense.

  • IMHO, if you are writing a letter to Chumplady then you already know what is going to become of your marriage! Ugh! I just had to divorce my cheater! I knew he was going to become an albatross around my neck! It was exactly like trusting your unreliable teenager everytime he left the house. I became the marriage police and I was suspicious of his motives for swinging back my way each and everytime with promises of being faithful! The whole time he and Schmoopie were just running short term recon visits to size up how they could annihilate me financially! Then I got really sick and his only goal was to estimate how much he could get if I were dead! I kicked his ass out! Believe me, it hurt badly and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but it was a matter of self preservation! I knew if I couldn’t depend on him for the huge crisis I was facing at the time then I was better than doomed! I knew deep inside that he was simply not here because he suddenly “loved” me again, missed his wonderful life and was remorseful. It was and still is a hard pill to swallow. But I finally faced a slice of reality and it was butt ugly! He was/is a cold blooded, selfish snake who had only one goal by then, to destroy me so he could impress his new piece of ass! I didn’t count for shit! I was a mere obstacle to him and her! I have to agree with the prior posts. Get your post nuptial and work on yourself. If and when he does it again, and that’s if he has really stopped cause these cheaters get really good at going underground, then you can pull the trigger to a better life than being a babysitter for your naughty husband and his equally naughty Schmoopie! Good Luck!

    • thank you for this reminder Roberta…….

      {I kicked his ass out! Believe me, it hurt badly and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but it was a matter of self preservation! I knew if I couldn’t depend on him for the huge crisis I was facing at the time then I was better than doomed! I knew deep inside that he was simply not here because he suddenly “loved” me again, missed his wonderful life and was remorseful. It was and still is a hard pill to swallow. But I finally faced a slice of reality and it was butt ugly! He was/is a cold blooded, selfish snake}

  • And also, as a final note, your cheater and the cheap woman he is now abusing, LOVE being naughty! It is necessary for their very existence to basically torture the eyeballs out of you and to feel superior to you! They can’t live without some sort of drama, chaos or problem to “bind” them together the same way “normal” people need oxygen to survive! They like it that way and you cannot shame them or cure them! Get your ducks in a row and plan your new, better life today! Don’t be afraid! It’s so much better in Sanity Land!

  • Hi Everyone,

    Thank you all for taking the time to respond. A few things: we were not in MC for 2.5 years. We went a few times and I thought the situation was resolved. However, as many on this site know, my intuition was telling me differently and I shoved it as far away from me as I could. My bad.

    Second, I sent this note to CL and I really should have posted it here.

    Third, I’m realizing that no action IS action. I need to cut that shit out.

    Thank you all, I really really appreciate your candor and concern. I’ll continue to read responses and get my shit together. Ugh.


    Dear CL,

    Thank you for your response. I appreciate your candor. Is it strange that I laughed when I read Stockholm Syndrome? I really needed that.

    I know your not a reconciliation site, which is why I wrote to you. I needed clarity. Why I can’t get there myself is a mystery ($10,000 of therapy later). Your response opened my eyes.

    The overwhelming feeling of failure and sadness have stopped me in my tracks. I realize now that just taking one step in any direction will free me.

    Also, all of your wonderful commenters have helped me. Mental gymnastics have made me numb. This isn’t meh because this hasn’t ended.

    Thank you for choosing to respond to me. I truly appreciate it.

    As a side note, I am really amazed by the unending kindness I have found both in my community and on sites like this. Sadly, I know it’s because I’m not unique and this happens way more than I ever thought.


    • You’re an awesome woman, Stacey, and you deserve better than to be repeatedly lied to and to serve as your husband’s pillow after he’s enjoyed his adventures elsewhere.

      Even if he’s crying and begging for you to stay, remember that he is entitled to remain married to you. He gambled that away when he started the affair.

      I’m sending you lots of good vibes.

    • Hang in there Stacey. I languished in limbo a LONG time and even now, I still wish I could wake up from this nightmare and start over but you come to a point where you realize you are fighting a losing battle. It comes down to the type of life YOU want. What YOU are worth to yourself.

      Being the marriage police is NO fun and it’s soul sucking. I did that for months. While my STBX swore he had stopped contacting the slut, all he did was change his methods. He got more sneaky. I’d bust one method, and he’d switch to another. Lying all the way, gaslighting, making me think I was nuts. Giving me lame excuses for each time I busted something new.

      It sucked my soul out.

      Life is too short Stacey. You are a quality person who deserves a quality life. That doesn’t include keeping some man on a short leash. Who wants the trouble?

      Let the whore have him. That’s the best she can do. She’s not good enough to get a quality man on her own, all she can do is prey on someone else’s. You can do a lot better. I think- I guess the whore won but what did she win? A liar, a guy who is duplicitous, who lied and mistreated his wife, who is leaving his young children in their formative years, whose selfish desires outweigh the qualities of loyalty, decency and integrity. Enjoy whore. These people don’t change- they don’t magically become better people due to some AP’s “specialness”- she’ll be dealing with this same shit in time. And by then Stacey.. you really will be at Meh!!! And so will I! XO

    • Aw, hang in there Stacy – you’ll be ok, Continue to surround yourself with support as you seek clarity. It is a day-by-day process.

      I do know consulting an attorney helped me feel much more empowered about my choices – about the practical reality as well.

    • Stacey, CL is right on here. He has shown you who he is. Believe that.

      I was like you after DDay 1 except that I internalized it and never went to therapy. His actions weren’t made public and we sort of carried on. He promised to go to counseling, but he never does.

      In my version of the ‘meh’ you describe – I become depressed but don’t know why. My ExH becomes a real pro at lying, cheating and gas lighting. This extends beyond me where he lies to everyone including the ‘best friends’. He manages his image and creates a rationale that supports his actions. By DDay 2 there is barely anything left of me – I really thought that I was losing my mind – not only from him but almost everyone that I interact with.

      Stacey, there is nothing wrong with you. You did not deserve to be treated like this. You deserve better than this. Do what you need to do to protect yourself and your kids.

      • The most unforgivable aspect of infidelity is how much it really fucks up your mind, depression, suicidal thoughts, lowered self esteem and a non functioning brain. I still can’t read a book. It is like they want you to jump off that metaphorical cliff and then all their problems will be over. This is the unforgivable curse of betrayal.
        I am moving past all that now having belatedly taken the no contact route.

        I met with some fellow chumps the other day and one thing a fab chump said sticks in my head. The cheaters punishment is that they lost their wife, it does not matter if they don’t care or feel no remorse, their karma is the loss of you. She said it was like when someone is executed and they still show no remorse and don’t care, it doesn’t matter because they are still executed. I have found this pearl lodged in my mind and it really helps. Like a salve

        Bless you all

    • A wise old woman told me one time when i was in my teens…..the secret to staying married is “You will fall in and out of love many times in a marriage. It is what you do when you are OUT of love that will make or break a marriage.”

      it has made a lot of sense to me. i am completely agree with it. Right now you are out of love with your husband, most likely due to the things he was doing and how he was treating you badly. you are numb and shell shocked right now. take some time to process the advise you have been getting, and get your ducks in a row……The thing is, you could possible and will probably Fall BACK in love with your husband. it is what chumps do, but i would like to point out while your love is honest, loyal and you learn to grow, he is incapable of it. when he fell out of love with you, he cheated. he did not believe that things would get better, so for “fun” he stuck his dick in another woman. And he truly MIGHT be remorseful, he might honestly STILL love you and feel bad for hurting you……

      But for how long is the question? as i said, you fall in and out of love many times… the next time he falls out of love, you already know what he is capable of doing. That is one of the problems with MC, even if they get to the root of the problem (which IMHO they dont), even if they pin point the issues and help with ways to deal with it….it still doesnt do any good in the future because there will be another issue, another reason, another excuse. THere is ALWAYS some bitch willing and waiting for a chance to fuck your husband, the world is full of greedy, needy, desperate woman. Your husband has no will power to turn these woman down. when life gets boring, mundane, and stale, your husband answer to fix it is to stick his dick for “FUN” into whomever is available. apparently, and hopefully…your answer to fix it means something else to you. so even if he is being honest and truthful right now, you already know what he will do in the future…..THE NEXT time he falls out of love or gets bored.

      good luck to you. i would love nothing more then your marriage to work and all the hurt you felt to be forgotten….never to occur again. but i believe that having done this once, your husband will do it again and again….

      hugs to you.

  • Under normal circumstances I would not recommend anyone go into the blogging world and look up cheaters. In the case of Chumps I think it is necessary. Type in “affair blogs” and look for Wordpress. You can also type “adultery blogs”, “infidelity blogs”, “cheating blogs”, wordpress carries a zillion OW blogs. They will give you insight into what your husbands have been telling them about you and you marriages. These women support each other and cheating men. I admit after accidently finding CL I went looking out of curiosity. It is sickening. Do yourselves a favor. Look. If you are married to someone who thinks it is ok to lie to a person who trusts them they are not worth another tear. I stay on this site because of my brother. I miss him so much and I am so, so angry at what his ex did to him and his kids. Just a note. I finally got curious enough to do some digging and she is having a great life. So much for Karma. It’s sad that my brother got to meh and I still want to hit her.

    • Let go-I wouldn’t be too sure of your ex sister-in-law having a great life. It just may appear that way. Sociopaths don’t react to karma or bad things happening to them the way the rest of us do. Remember that these are the same types of monsters that can murder one minute and go to a party like nothing happened in the next minute. Think Casey Anthony. Even if she didn’t murder her daughter, who goes out partying when your little girl is missing? They’re not real human beings, just shells that do not feel authentic happiness or joy. Her leaving your brother and children was for the best. I only hope for the kid’s sake they have no contact with the momster.

      • KB22, they have some contact but she is not their “mother”. You are right about her. I don’t think she is any deeper than a mud puddle

  • I think CL’s advice is spot on. Post-nup and credit report. But I have to say, I very much understand where Stacey has been. I’ll admit to the fear, but it is more than that. For so long I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that my now ex just didn’t care! How could she do this to our children? The ones we went through years of hell to have? How COULD she? I just couldn’t accept/understand that it was possible. It has taken me years now to believe that there are really just bad people out there. And that she was one of them. Maybe I’m wrong, Stacey. Maybe you didn’t have the same problem I did. Maybe you weren’t as naive as me. Best of luck to you.

    • TwinsDad- I went through that too. I get sad when I see families, people taking trips this summer.. my kids missing out. It pisses me off. I also can’t wrap my head around how ANYONE.. even the sparkliest schmoopie (which my H’s whore isn’t by a LOONNNGG SHOT, LOL), could be worth this outcome. It defies all logic and reason. But we aren’t dealing with logical or reasonable people, and that’s where we go wrong.

      WHO could put their kids through this? My kids are little, their formative years are going to be tainted with this. I would have done most anything to avoid it, but it came down to the fact that my STBX does what he wants.. and he doesn’t want me. Not bad enough. He might have preferred endless cake, but he doesn’t want an authentic relationship with me. If he did, his actions would have shown it. He wouldn’t have kept seeing the whore while lying about it.

      It hurts.. 20 years, two babies, two miscarriages. He was there in the hospital with me, I always though he was a great father- a dedicated husband. I never ONCE questioned his loyalty. It just sucks. This colors everything about my past a shade of gray. Make my memories like pictures in a book I can’t relate to.

      • “I never ONCE questioned his loyalty. It just sucks. This colors everything about my past a shade of gray. Make my memories like pictures in a book I can’t relate to.”

        So right! I look at photos of the 20 years before and realize that I didn’t know who that person was in the pictures standing next to me or our kids. She is really a stranger that took the place of a loving, devoted wife that I thought was there.

        • Same here! My friends and family are shocked at my STBX’s behavior! He was the “perfect” husband/fatherI too never questioned his loyalty. He was right there holding my hand during my second C-section then six weeks later saying he wasn’t happy and was thinking about divorce. Who does that??? The thing that gets me is his OW is well educated and married with four children! She knows better! When I’m having a tough day raising my kids on my own because of her (and him) and I’m feeling stressed, I can’t help but think: “How could one mother do this to another?” I’m not quite meh yet, but slowly getting there!

          • Mystique, it’s because she doesn’t care about anyone but herself. She likes the attention and could give a rats ass who she hurts in the process. I don’t know what happened to the “girl code” – but it just goes to show you there are all sorts of different people in the world.

            But all in all, in the grand scheme of things, please know that if it wasn’t her – it would have been somebody else – all of this is truly your ex’s fault and no one else. HE’s the one who took off doesn’t really matter to who.

            Either way – both of them have no integrity or morality. If people show you who they are? Believe them.


      • newchumpatl…I so understand you…I am also in a strange summer of coparenting our kids but not being able to do anything together as a family because we don´t have the money anymore because of the divorce. It also was difficult for me to even comprehend rationally and emotionally how anyone could prefer investing in some loser who showed up all of a sudden, with no problems in breaking up a family, and not in a partner who spent 20 years with him building a home, profession and family. At this moment it feels like a loose-loose situation for everyone (including the innocent kids), at least at the beginning of divorce, but of course, in the long run, I know this is so much better than living with a good-for-nothing-cheater.

        • YES!! all 3 of you are right!!

          it took me a long long time to figure out that he just didnt care. i am STILL trying to force that into my brain. that the kids and i just do not matter. that we were easily replaced by some hood rat whore who bailed out on her own marriage and abandoned her own kids. stupid facebook did some timeline thing today with pictures from 3 years ago, when my husband was at home and we were doing the family thing. looking at those pictures made me tear up because i swear to God HE LOOKS Happy!!! i still have a hard time with the “He just doesnt want you” line that his oompa loompa told me, i just cant believe that after everything i did for him, after everything that we lived thru, what his girlfriend told me was true. he really just did not want me. i was stuck on the “HOW COULD HE DO THIS” stage for a long time, even now, every now and then, it will sneak thru my logic and try to mind fuck me. There is STILL a big part of me that just does NOT want to believe it……..

          i have to constantly remind myself that it is true. that he DOES NOT want me, look at all the things he did AFTERwards. look HOW long it has been and he has not tried to CALL me once!!! no texts, no excuses, no crying or pleading for me to take him back. He is living a good life without me. HE doesnt NEED me!!! and he honestly DOES NOT WANT ME. i have to constantly tell myself that bad things happen to good people. and bad people like his oompa loompa have good things happen, even thou she is a horrible person IMHO….

          i dont feel like i “won” anything. i am the one who is struggling to pay bills while he spends money foolishly, buying new trucks with speakers, buying new shoes and clothes for HIM and HER while his sons have holes in their shoes and jeans. he is traveling all over, visiting all his family in all different cities (that he NEVER took me to) while me and the boys cant even scrap together enough to go to the movies. he is partying every night and drinking like a fish, while i stay home, clean up the messes, try to fix the dryer and floor, etc and trying to raise the boys he emotionally destroyed….

          but at least i have heart and courage to face the world. i have strength to admit that i am wrong and try to change into a better person i was yesterday. i have hope that someday life will be better for me and the boys…….all he has is his alcohol, his truck and his whore.

  • “…Went to counseling. He used it as a sheild to continue and escalate the affair to a 2.5 year physical affair. All the time, I feel like I’m crazy.”

    “…Admitted that he thought it would be fun and he would never get caught. Never considered the future or me or our kids or anything, really.”

    Stacy –
    I think you may have some answers in your own words ^^^above. To use someone as a cover for the covert is really a deal breaker for me. -Especially for that length of time. That is what resonates by my experience. And I said Buh Bye so fast it made his head spin. I am nowhere near Meh – but I am not feeling crazy either and that is a big bonus.

    To use you in MC as a shield “of appearance” to continue an affair and to think not getting caught would be fun, it’s like two giant dramas for the price of one. There is the difference between screwing up and learning from it, and using someone you claim to love over time.

    You can try accepting that for a while and see how you feel (crazy again?) –I would go straight to individual therapy to help sort it out. Make yourself #1 priority. Something compelled you to write to Chump Lady and I don’t think it is arriving at MEH.

    • How do you know he’s not lying now? He’s already demonstrated that he’s a very good liar. Why are you trying so hard to convince yourself that he’s being sincere? The fact that he would CONTINUE an affair after being discovered, all the while pretending he was on board with reconciliation, demonstrates how duplicitous he is, and how little regard he has for you.

      I could have gotten over the fact that he had sex with someone else, but it was the lying, deceit, disrespect — cruelty — that I couldn’t forgive. The worst of it delivered during our many “reconciliations”.

  • I think CL nailed it when she said Meh is how you feel about a cheater, not how you feel about life!

  • Stacey,

    Your meh is acceptance you married a betraying asshole cheater who had total disregard for his family for a cheap screw. It would have continued if he hadn’t been caught.

    Chump meh is moving on from the betraying asshole cheaters where they no longer affect our lives or mental space.

    Whatever you choose, we are here for you.

    I had a 2 and 4 year old with Diablo and with therapy chose to continue to live with him until they were older because I didn’t want to hand them over for a custody exchange at that age. It was difficult, but it would have killed me more if I had to hand them over so young to this maniac.

    Protect yourself and your children, first. He has shown you who is first with him.

  • I hate the term “exposure”. It’s so RIC. So … basically, you told people the truth instead of running an integrity-sucking cover-up campaign for them. That’s OK.

    But ;let’s examine the language:

    “Cut to last September: I caught them, he confessed, I exposed them to our entire community, mentally beat the shit out of him and the OW.

    I don’t even know what that means other than you got angry and probably said a few mean things and such, many of which were probably true, but what comes through in this narrative is “I controlled the situation, and here’s how”.

    Yay. You won. Prize: cheater. I did that same exact thing on Dday #1. Would I ever do it again? Nope. Proof? Dday #2’s response.

  • Reading this fine website has convinced me that infidelity is as much about financial cheating as it is sexual cheating. I’m more surprised that cheaters universally con their spouses out of money–I thought my hubs was the only one doing that.

    • Sexual infidelity? No idea, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Financial trickery? You betcha.

      • OMG – TheLadyisaChump. Once they start lying, the financial infidelity is also well in place, especially if they control the money.
        Having affairs is controlling and entitled and, if they make the money in the family, it becomes even more prominent in their behavior. In a millions years, I never thought X would have tried to cheat me out of so much money and opening so many private accounts just before I discovered his affair. Lots of threads on this on CL.

    • I think financial infidelity goes right along with cheating.

      Cheaters are selfish people. So of course they think all of the marriage’s fin resources should be spent on them.

    • Character flaws flow through all aspects of their lives! I now look a people with different colored lenses, if you are dishonest in one aspect of your life, chances are you are dishonest in all aspects of your life….

  • Stacey, I think I recognize the feeling of “meh” you are describing. I believe that feeling is actually called numbing. In other words I stuffed my anger/depression/sorrow/disappointment down deep inside and went through the motions of having a stable relationship in order to maintain status quo. For years the thought of living life on my own was so overwhelming I just suppressed my feelings in order to stay. It felt like being dead inside. Is that how you’re feeling?

    • That’s how I feel. I’ve been so busy getting through every day, I didn’t pay attention because I felt so angry. Now I don’t feel angry. I am exhausted, though.

  • Stacey – you are so wise to reach out to CL and Chump Nation. I really wish I had discovered this resource while I was doing the five year “wreckonciliation” dance (borrowed that from a fellow chump). I, too, did a year of anger, followed by a period of “peace”. I think the peace was more like exhaustion from two years of individual counseling, marriage counseling, couple’s group, SA/SANON, intensive couple’s weekends. Pure exhaustion and pure hopium. I mistakingly thought the lack of anger was forgiveness. I wrote him a beautiful letter of forgiveness, even wrapped it, and gave it to Cheater X as a two year sobriety present. So foolish.

    What I wouldn’t do to have had Chump Nation open my eyes to what my meh was really about. In hindsight, I don’t believe he was ever even sober. We spent over $100,000 on treatment and counseling. I can honestly tell you that dday #2, happening within the context of recovery, was more painful and shocking than the first. It happened five years after we first entered recovery.

    In hindsight, I can’t say that I regret trying to reconcile. I loved my intact family, loved my husband, took my vows seriously, and believe it was worth fighting for. After giving Cheater X 5 years of chances to change, with him being sicker than ever, I can 100% trust that he sucks. I love CL for that phrase.

    What I wish I had known prior to signing divorce papers, is that many of these cheaters do not comply with divorce decrees. My Cheater X doesn’t pay for anything he is court ordered to pay. He left to Costa Rica with no forwarding address, so cannot be served contempt papers. Please protect yourself, get as much of your settlement in assets as you can. As other chumps have mentioned, he will most likely not want you to use an attorney. Be prepared to find the best attorney you can find.

    I am so sorry for the pain you’re living in that place of numbness and hope. It’s a hard place to be, but there is life and healing on the other side of marriage to a cheater.

    • “What I wish I had known prior to signing divorce papers, is that many of these cheaters do not comply with divorce decrees. My Cheater X doesn’t pay for anything he is court ordered to pay. ”

      God yes. My ex was willing to become an unemployed, homeless freak rather than continue to work at a good job and pay ordered support. It’s been five years and he’s still unemployed. Still a freak as well, but I guess that’s incurable.

  • Stacey,

    What would you tell your BFF if this was her story? You would probably tell her to run, fight and move on to a better place. Chump Lady and Chump Nation (all above comments are spot on) are here for you and telling you the same thing. If you chose to stay, get your ducks in order. If you chose to move on, it won’t be easy but your life (your meh) will be brighter.

  • You’re numb. And in painful denial if you think he won’t cheat again. Likely there were more OW also.

    I think you answered your own question. You’ve given up. And that’s no way to live.

  • You cannot get to meh while still married to the cheater, or even in extensive contact with the cheater. What you are is numb, or in denial, or simply at the end of your ability to eat the shit sandwiches. Every day you stay with him now is a waste. Instead, you could be spending your days on the road to recovery without him.

  • He either got bored of the OW or something else happened and it didn’t work out. If it was going good you can bet he wouldn’t have stopped.

    Dr. George Simon has an interesting concept he calls the “slot machine syndrome.” This is when someone keeps pulling at that one arm bandit either trying to win or break even because they have already invested so much and it’s hard to just walk away. But we all know that if one gambles long enough, losing it all is guaranteed. Casinos do not expand because people win money.

    When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

    Just saying.

    • Michael, I’d forgotten about the slot machine theory! Yes, I relate to that feeling of having already invested so much in the relationship and not wanting to give up because there was so much to lose. I kept thinking my husband was going to turn wake up and realize what he was doing to me and to our family. I believed in my vows, I wanted to keep our intact family together, I thought he was going through a midlife crisis. That’s how I felt until I discovered the truth.

      • Hi Lyn,

        I’m sure he knew what he was doing to you and the family. It’s just that he puts his own enjoyment ahead of those things. My ex-wife knew fully that discarding me could lead me back to substance abuse (which is didn’t) but she did it anyway. She even feigned that concern out loud. “I’m worry this is going to drive you back to drugs.” Not hardly. I’m not throw 8 years of sobriety down the tubes for a scumbag.

      • Lyn, I also languished in despair that he would wake up and smell the coffee but it never happened and it never will. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and walk away. It hurts like hell.

        • You said it, newchumpatl. Hell it is. And when you’re going through it, keep on going, as Winston Churchill said, although the temptation is there to hide under the bed and hope it all gets better.

          It’s so weird how they look so normal and generally function in society while living this secret fucked up existence. I think that’s why it’s so hard to accept. There they are, making dinner, having jobs, paying the mortgage, all the while lying and cheating. That’s why we get confused by their actions.

        • newchump -‘Sometimes you have to cut your losses and walk away. It hurts like hell.’

          That’s one thing I learned in business: Your first loss is your best loss.

          The more you try to save the loss, the more you lose.

          Cut and run from this. I did, never thought I’d reach the other side to Meh – but, when a huge vacuum occurs, you know what happens? A bunch of other stuff fills it. Vacuums never last long! And, as much as I was afraid of being alone for the first time after a 35 yr marriage, who I devoted all my time to asshole, I found a whole new world out there because he’s not here anymore.

          This has been amazing to me. Like finding the rainbow after a bloody long haul….there are people out there that actually like you and want to be friends and do things. I had no idea it would evolve this quickly. I’m 10 mos post divorce and feeling on top of the world and it’s true, (not to be a cliche) but I did hit Meh on a real Tuesday. I just did not care about him anymore. I think that is meh.

          I like my new life much better already.

          Best of luck – you will get here too.
          I really promise that.

  • A couple of things really struck me in this post:

    1) When Stacey wrote that her cheater described the affair as something that was “fun,” it made my blood run cold. That was the only explanation I ever got for my ex’s serial cheating.

    2) When CL wrote, “The price of cake got higher.” Damn. That is such a succinct and excellent way to explain what cheaters are doing when they are all of a sudden acting engaged in the marriage and family again. That’s all I was to my ex at the end of the marriage: a means to keeping his “family image” intact.

    Stacey, I’m glad you’re realizing the need for action. I stayed through several years of serial cheating as I felt more and more ashamed and got more and more stuck all the time. That “stuck” feeling dribbled over into all aspects of my life and it was paralyzing. It breaks my heart to think of anyone else stuck in that type of existence. The good news is that we all have the chance to move forward. And you will. Hugs!

  • After I found out about the affair, one of at least 6 I discovered later, I never felt loved again. It was as simple as that. Years of false reconciliation as a screen for his PA continuing with her. You sense that they are MIA. It’s all talk. Your deepest truth is that he has no empathy. He is not who you thought he was or the person you loved. Move on when you choose to!

    • “He is not who you thought he was or the person you loved.” When I first discovered he was cheating (and a couple of more d-days after that) I was still so in love with him, and was absolutely heartbroken. When I began to come to terms with who he really was, and what he was all about, the anger came. At some point it totally sank in, and my feelings for him began to fade. Now days, I’m completely indifferent.

      My point, is that you have to start ‘getting it’ (hard to see how we don’t, looking back it was pretty damn obvious) because that’s they key to breaking free.

      It’s too easy to have our own ideas about who someone is, and it keeps us from seeing who they are. Never make excuses for inexcusable behavior.

  • If it weren’t for ChumpNation I would already be trying to get back with my ex. And he’s only been gone a month. I read this site daily to keep myself focused on REALITY which is he never loved me and only used me for $$$ and cake. And he left when I cut them both off. This site and the ChumpNation are helping me to keep it real.

  • Stacey, I feel for you…. 23 years ago, 13 years into my marriage, two children ages 4 and 9… I find out my turd is having an affair with a co worker…. EA only he tells me…. when I found the condom in his truck I knew it wasn’t for me as we had been trying to get pregnant for 2 years… said he had it just in “case” it went to that level. Vowed he loved me, swore he would NEVER hurt me like that again., gave me his WORD. Went to consoling, re-engaged with his children who he didn’t know very well…always busy with “his” work and “his” hobbies. I remember one night ordering in a pizza and he started cutting a piece for our youngest, I had to tell him not to as he didn’t like pizza. Turd didn’t have a clue. Upstanding member of our small community, in the public eye. Fast forward to this year…. 36 years together….. caught him having an affair with the 29 year old fiance of one of his employees. Well, so much for “never doing that to me again”. He and I would go on vacation, just the two of us since we are empty nesters… he never wanted to do anything… just “kick back” and lounge. That is how he ‘de-stressed”. Always on Facebook or his cell phone. I just wonder now how many others were there, how big of a CHUMP could i be????? He and the heifer just got back from Florida, went fishing together. Guess he didn’t just have to “lounge” when traveling with her. Now I look back, here I am… 55 years old…. thrown away, again, not another thought…. kids too, trashed…. He has “never loved anyone like he loves her”. She is younger than our son….. Im kinda thinking the old adage “once a cheater always a cheater” is factual, No mater how much we wish them to be the person we want them to be…….. I wish you luck my friend….

  • Mine came back saying all the right things, again……. I asked why I should believe him this time, he even knew to ask for another 2nd chance. He said”Because this time I mean.” and begged for time to prove he had changed, just give him a chance, I was the only woman he had ever loved or could love. We had been apart long enough that I was kinda liking my single life. I was doing well but he was saying all the things I had wanted to hear for so long; I kinda felt obligated to give him a chance. I mean it was what I had wanted for years! He owned it all, didn’t blame me for anything, even admitted he was a narcissist or had some sort of condition and would get counseling. (that was before I knew they can’t change) My gut was screaming at me but I didn’t listen. I was suspicious all the time I told myself to give it time. He kept saying my suspicions were driving us apart. God I could not make my gut stop talking but I refused to listen. For 6 months while he was playing me like a fish he was sweet the best 6 months we ever had. He was start up his trucking business again and I was footing the bill for the fuel and such until he got things going.
    We split after 2 years because I discovered his personal ads etc and he had become far more abusive than ever before and far more blatant in his infidelity.
    As I was packing to leave I found his journal and read it. The whole time he was promising me fidelity and saying I was all the woman he would ever need and he had never loved anyone like he loved me; he was living with two other women. He had three of us in 3 different towns. He even journaled how every night he would call each of us and he compared us, the bastard. and he had the nerve to write about how we had all better be faithful while he was out of town, he hated not knowing what his woman was doing when he wasn’t around. He wrote that I was his “sure thing”, he trusted me, he knew I would be sitting waiting at home for him. Lovely. One of his entries was on Valentines day, I called and one of the other women called on the same day to ask him if he had been having sex with someone else because we both had a yeast infection. His comment in his journal was, “Wonder how that happened.”

  • Hi Everyone,

    This is Stacey.

    The above comment was meant to answer another question (what would I say to my BFF if she were in the same situation)?

    Anyway, I just want to again say thanks. I’m not sure how deep my husband’s dishonesy goes. And really, I don’t want to investigate anymore. I really feel like this whole thing broke me. The lowest I’ve ever felt was in MC and I’m never ever going to let that feeling hit me again.

    Today has been an awakening. I think I wrote to CL because I know the answer but it wasn’t sitting in my heart.

    All this stuff has been bouncing around my head for a long long time. I’m tired if keeping it there. I kept wondering when I would just get it.

    I get it.

    Life isn’t fair. I’m living it. I get it. Now I know I’ve got to get on with it. I owe it to myself and my kids to get on with it.

    Thanks Chump Nation!

    • Welcome to the club nobody wanted to join, Stacey. I can’t add anything more to what has been said, except to reiterate.

      1-This guy has shown you his true abusive nature by his actions

      2-Post-nup, credit check-if he says no, then file.

      3-If he starts the “What about the kids?” routine, please do not let that deter you. It is far far better for a kid to be with a single, sane parent than an abuser and his victim-you will chumpify them otherwise because later in life they will repeat the pattern you have the opportunity to break.

      4-Good luck. We know it sucks, but it is TONS better on the other side.


      • “It is far far better for a kid to be with a single, sane parent than an abuser and his victim-you will chumpify them otherwise because later in life they will repeat the pattern you have the opportunity to break.”

        If you want a good story about what happens to the children of a cheater and a chump by staying together, read the previous story on CHUMPLADY from the serial cheater. If that doesn’t stand your hair on end and get you the hell out of a disordered marriage, nothing will.

        • I second that! I ended up moving a looooong way away from Mr Fab and the Downgrade, like 8,000 miles, but it was at DDs request. I won’t sugar-coat it, it was a BUMPY ride, but, she hasn’t cut in over a year, is getting through the normal teenage bullshit okay, getting good grades….if we had stayed in XXXXXX, and things had continued as they were I am certain she would have been addicted, pregnant or dead by now.

          • Children understand way more about the bullshit between the parents than they ever let on and sometimes it can manifest itself in destructive behavior.

            Great news about your daughter’s recovery, Mehphista. This is a success story.

          • Great news about your daughter Mephista. My daughter only cut 1x, but has been hospitalized multiple times with self harm activities. It aches to see her in so much pain. We finally figured out the meds and found a great therapist. Onward and upward!

  • The worst thing I ever did was forgiving after the first affair. That basically gave him permission to keep on going as I had demonstrated that I would forgive. The tipping point came for me after affair number 3 (that I knew about ) when in MC he told me that he would ‘try’ not to cheat on me again but he couldn’t control what the future was. WTF?!?! Everything is a choice – regardless of the situation

  • IMHO when someone shows you WHO they are you need to believe it. Life is never going to be a fairy tale with the disordered. My Chump gut was screaming at me every time ex gaslighted my concerns (working and playing long hours), avoided serious discussions re our future (or our kids’ for that matter!), and every time we had sex. I jumped into the shower to wash the ICK factor off and wasn’t even aware of his whore for another two years. Stacey, 2.5 years of lying and fucking someone else is a hard reality to bury. Don’t. Get the fuck out. Another biggie is FINANCES. If you have been married for over ten years your Cheater will be doing everything he/she can to dissipate assets. New purchases, gifts to AP, travel (my ex flew out of state every week to visit his Schmoopie when he could have been paying the mortgage), and “solo” vacations as well as personal services (masseuse, barber, health club, etc) were big with my Cheater. The longer the marriage and the better the job, these will both factor into Cheaters’ entitlement. Know what your spouse is paid (perks in the job count too), checking accounts (separate and shared), savings, pension, kids expenses (college too) should be addressed ASAP. As should the community’s monthly bills. My ex walked out of the house and I was left to figure out how to manage on 1/5 the income. He was very well paid and in a govt job. Cheaters don’t just fuck us over personally, they will often screw us financially as well. Just be sure the lawyer you do hire addresses this at the very first hearing. Most will sit back and let you figure your settlement out. This is not what you need. And a note re QDRO. Do not finalize divorce until this is completed. A Narc will drag this out forever.

  • He stole 2.5 years of your life, why would you give him more?

    This was one of the primary reasons I refused to try and reconcile with my cheating ex. I didn’t want to waste any more of my life with her.

    • Ken_doll. That was me. I guess I found C/L soon enough once I typed in personality disorders at 60 yrs old, and she sort of popped up. I feel so good I didn’t waste one second to give him another chance and filed immediately. Loved taking him totally by surprise, but at a deep cost. I also didn’t like myself going through all the financial records, following him by gps, and all that. HE made me feel lousy by having to do that.
      I didn’t want much info – I knew enough just from tracking (and finding the panties at the bottom of my bed – only real proof). Didn’t want to know more but he was happy to confess everything. Stupid move on his part.
      I feel it did help me in Spousal Support.

      The justification for me for filing first was seeing him signing the papers where he admitted the affair and all the ugly details.
      Public record.
      This, alone, is worth filing first.
      He didn’t contest it all.

      He’s got to bear that baggage now for anybody that looks him up at the Country Records.

      • “…(and finding the panties at the bottom of my bed…” YUK !!! EWWWWW !!!

  • Hugs to you Stacey. The thought occurred to me you might be in the same boat I was with being numb.

    I came from a background where it was damn near suicidal to get angry. Over the years I just swallowed it and swallowed it. I didn’t know how to get angry and it scared the crap out of me. I felt that if I did get pissed off, either there was going to be carnage or some big horrible force was going to sweep me away and punish me forever. The solution was to numb out and it takes an enormous amount of energy to keep rage bottled up.

    This is a defense mechanism to abuse. It is a not so healthy part of our psyche trying to keep us safe. It works, but then we go through life barely there and worst of all there joy, pleasure or feelings of love either. We can’t hold one emotion down one without holding down everything. It is going through our existence half alive.

    You deserve so much better Girlfriend.

    Anger is energy. Time to get truly and thoroughly ticked. Use that energy to protect yourself and the kiddles. Go for the post nup and full financial disclosure. If cheater pants balks in any way, even just the tiniest bit, you have your answer as to whether there has been truly any change in him. I’m willing to bet it’s all smoke and mirrors. They are all excellent liars.

    Over the years I have had to do a lot of work on myself to change my dysfunctional approach to anger. A book I found early on that was very helpful was The Angry Book, by Theodore Isaac Rubin. It’s old as the hills but right on the money. When I first read it, I cried for three days and then got busy.

    Hang in there, Girlfriend, better days are coming and Chump Nation has your back.

  • “Sweetheart, often the direction appears, but we’re just too scared shitless to take it. No one ever accomplished anything courageous by waiting to feel like it. What makes it courageous is doing it anyway, even though you’re scared shitless.”

    OMG, THIS^^^^^^^

    This is EXACTLY what I’ve needed to hear. It won’t be long until I will have my show-down to sign the petition for divorce… I was scared shitless to stand up to him for all of his bullshit these last 90 days, until NOW!!!!

    I am mighty. I am strong. I have truth and proof on my side.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Chump Lady Tracy!!!!

  • Had bad day. Drained. Custody hearing. Wasn’t going well, tho I currently have full physical custody of young children with XH getting visitation. This is one area I don’t want to be meh about, but is it worth the fight?

    • Qwerty–it’s worth the fight for the kids. Sorry you have to wage it. Hold tight!

    • It’s worth the fight depending on what you are working on. Are you trying to simply keep full physical custody, or block visitation completely? The latter will be difficult.
      My ex and I went to court 2 years post divorce finalization, all so I could get a line in the agreement that daughter would not be required to visit her father until she chose to do so (she is 14). That was worth the fight. Ex thinks she is just being a teenager, and retreats when it “gets tough; she needs to be pushed when she is uncomfortable.” In reality, she is clinically depressed and has been hospitalized 2x in the past year for self harm attempts.

      • I have an infant and preschooler. Trying to maintain physical custody, with XH granted visitation, due to his varying work schedule and difficulty complying with current order. He hadn’t been involved with daily child care in the past and is pushing for a 50-50 split.

  • Stacey,

    Reaching “meh” in your marriage is not a good thing. For a marriage to truly thrive you have to be vulnerable, committed and you have to care about the person you call your spouse.

    I know this because I was you. For three wasted years I spackled and told myself I would save my marriage. In the beginning I was in the fog. It’s the only fog that truly exists after infidelity. Cheater fog is a myth. You don’t know which way is up, you want this to work out because either you don’t see or don’t want to see the damage that he’s done to your marriage. When the fog clears and you see the destruction for what it really is, you have two choices. You can get all the way out; mentally and physically, or your body can stay there while your heart disconnects from him.

    You have to do that to survive. Unless you happen to be with one of those very rare unicorns who does everything absolutely right and gets that post nup thing without question, has no expectations and is completely transparent to you without being asked…well there is a reason Tracy calls them unicorns. You don’t trust him with your heart any more and why should you? Unfortunately, this slowly but surely ensures you will stop loving him or caring about him and while you think that might sound like a reasonable solution, it’s not fair to you. Technically it’s not even fair to him but we don’t care about that.

    Look, I understand fear but I also know that just existing with someone because you think it might be easier to dance with the devil you know is absolutely no way to live.

    Strive for meh when you leave the cheater. Now you have to decide if you’re all in or not. If it’s the latter, you should probably leave.

  • There is no ‘meh’ for those who stay with their cheaters. They will always be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  • I was thinking about how dumb cheaters are and what a risk they take. Beyond stupid! Even if they are are truly remorseful and do everything
    “right” to try to make amends, it’s very likely that their cheating has killed something in their spouses that can’t be revived. The love is tainted, the respect is gone – it’s all irrevocably changed. Then of course to add insult to injury, the poor chump is made to feel guilty because “why can’t you just forgive me and get over it?”

    God, these are stupid people!

  • Stacey, please let us all know what happens when you offer a post nup and/or file, etc. If you stay, you’re betting on your situation being special and beating odds that are significantly stacked against it (look up the success rates of reconciliation; they’re not good enough to place monetary bets on, and you’ve got much more at stake here than just money).

  • BTW, Utah is one of the states where you can sue for alienation of affection. I should know, that’s where I went through my divorce! You can sue the affair partner, but my lawyer told me it’s tough to win, and quite unusual that people even try it. I had LETTERS that she wrote my X, that were mighty incriminating, and spelled out why he should leave me, and our family. Of course, he was the one to blame,but the way it works is you sue the AP for loss of love and companionship. How they attach a dollar figure to that, I don’t know! Pretty weird, and I did not want to make the divorce even harder.

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