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Dear Chump Lady, What made her so special?

notspecialDear Chump Lady,

Eleven months ago, I found out that my husband of 20 years and two children had been having an affair with a co-worker for the past two and a half years. During the time of their affair he moved our family to the same town where she lives so he would have better access to her and he got her pregnant three times that ended in miscarriage. I hung around for six weeks in a mixture of fog and reconciliation while being smart enough to get my ducks in a row. I took the kids and left him. I didn’t want anything to do with the new house or that stupid little town.

The kids and I went back to our hometown and moved in with my parents. It has been a hard road emotionally, but I kicked ass! I got my job back, built a little house beside my parents and the divorce should be final in October! Best of all, I found a fellow chump who is adorable and kind who I’m now seeing.

My problem is that yesterday when my STBX came to drop off the kids, he told me that he’s “talking” to the OW again. This has put me in a low place. I thought I was at meh! I know that they deserve each other and I hope she becomes as “happy” as I was with that narc-ass, but I just can’t help but feel like I’m not all that she probably is. What made her so special that he risked his family for her? He only sees his children every other weekend now because of her and now he’s seeing her again? This just blows my mind!

Chump Lady, can you please explain why he did all of this, and why I can’t just do as Elsa says and “Let it go”?

April

Dear April,

Why can you let it go? Because you’re not through it yet. Your whole world has been topsy-turvy for 11 months. D-Day was less than a year ago, your divorce isn’t final, you’ve moved again, taken back your job, and built a house, and started dating. That’s a LOT of change in less than a year. This was a 20-year marriage. Just because your ex is a colossal asshole doesn’t mean you can speed grieve.

The fact that you’re still bothered that your ex is “talking” to the OW tells me you probably aren’t emotionally available for dating. I totally understand how the validation from a good relationship can be healing when you’re going through this crap. And I don’t object on the grounds that you’re still technically married (others may disagree with this). If you’ve filed, have never been a cake-eater, and are physically separated, I don’t have a problem. However, most people are still very wobbly at this stage. That means a) you may get attached before you’ve fixed that picker and b) it’s not fair to the person you’re dating that you’re hung up on your ex.

If I was dating my husband (a chump) and he ever wondered out loud what made that troll priest so “special” that he lost his ex? I’d run for the hills.

Would you really mourn someone who would fuck a troll priest?

I’d feel like, hey, I’m a million times better than a person who has the dubious judgement to fuck a troll priest. Can’t you see that? I’d have no patience for a man who would unfavorably compare himself to a troll priest.

So, April, why are you comparing yourself to a troll priest?

Okay, your OW isn’t a troll priest (maybe she is, I haven’t met her), but seriously? You think she’s special? To be an OW just means you’re dim and available. That’s it.

He didn’t chuck his family because of her. He chucked his family because that is who he IS. A person who can abandon a family. A person who can lie and cheat and blithely knock another woman up three times. He’s a guy who will move his wife and children and upturn their lives just so he can eat cake.

She doesn’t have superpowers to make him do that. He’s just that much of a fucktard.

And so what if he thinks she’s special? Hitler liked kitschy art. People can have bad taste.

April, what matters here is if you think YOU are special. The woman who kicked ass, filed for divorce, and field marshaled that new life thought so. Keep being that woman and forget about your ex.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Excellent response CL!

    April, I too often go to the “why is this OW special”. She’s not particularly beautiful (at least not as beautiful as I think I am), she’s not particularly smart (in fact, she’s kind of dim- as ChumpLady so brilliantly puts it), and she’s not a mother (not the mother of his kids, the woman who stays up with stomach flus, nursed babies), she’s not some super hero, in fact, she’s kind of trash. WHY would he risk our good life, our beautiful family, our future, the futures of our beloved kids, WHY??? I go down this rabbit hole.

    But CL is right. Because it’s who he is. The OW isn’t special. She’s just available- and willing. And CL has it right, any woman (or man) who would lower themselves to knowingly involve themselves with someone who is MARRIED with KIDS is a complete loser. I feel some degree of sympathy for the APs who don’t KNOW the cheater is married, but it doesn’t sound like that is the case with your OW. An affair that lasts several years certainly couldn’t have that dynamic.

    Think of it this way.. your stupid STBX can’t GET ANYONE BETTER than that dimwitted slut. That’s as GOOD as he will EVER do. That’s why he’s still talking to her- what quality woman would have anything to do with him? He traded WAY down, and his future doesn’t look that bright. You on the other hand, have a marvelous future ahead. You are mighty, you took control, got yourself situated, have made new friends, and built your own life. THAT is what makes YOU special. YOU are the prize, a diamond. He is stuck with coal because coal is what HE IS WORTH.

    When I went down this rabbit hole with a friend a few weeks back, she said.. Newchumpatl- the OW is your H’s level. She is actually what he is worth. Water seeks it’s level. You were actually way above his level all along. So he sought someone who is more his “speed”. Once you think of it this way, you can come to pity both of them. Losers. People with no morals, values or direction in life. Very sad. And it almost always fails to end well.

    You are mighty April, I am in your awe. Carry on with your awesomeness.

      • So many of you speak my truth. It’s so great to be here. ^This.

        Here here CL and Newchumpatl!! It’s so comforting to check in with all of you here in Chump Nation. You each bring me pespective that I haven’t been fortunate enough to get from anywhere else. I’m in such a different boat to everyone I know in the flesh who has small children and sometimes it’s a tad lonely, as they’ve all got trusting/trusted partners and they don’t exactly “get” the gravity of being left for an OW, carrying the load of raising three under six… But here in Chump Nation, I’m amongst company. And it’s a club that speaks my words, words I can’t often articulate on any given day.

        Posts such as this one and all of your responses give me a voice; it’s a voice that may attach to my gut feelings about the ex and that I may run along with.

        The ex is trying to act all noble and shit. He’s apparently got no true sense of the damage he’s done to his own reputation. It’s quite remarkable how ignorant a person can choose to be.

        • ChocLemonGelato…I relate strongly to the world you live in. I was left with zero warning when our babies were one and two. By a spouse of 14 years I loved with all my heart, got along great with, and told me daily I was ‘the best wife in the world’ and a ‘blessing’ to him and our babies. For a stripper who lives on the opposite coast and has two kids of her own. Floored. Devastated. Traumatized. HORRIFIED. For a long time, friends and family just didn’t know what to say to me. So they often said nothing. It was as if I was dying of my broken heart around people who didn’t know how to help me in the slightest. Chump Nation saved my life. Being able to relate to others about this particular kind of soul rape, as Divorce Minister puts it, is the only thing that restored my sanity. My ex doesn’t comprehend that he’s damaged me or his beautiful children. Because of CL, I understand that he is an exclusive member of the ‘cluster B personality disorder’ club. Trying to explain to these disordered humans what guilt is is like trying to describe the taste of the number 7. There’s no way it can be done. They lack the ability to understand that they lack the ability to understand. And even if they could? They lack the ability to CARE that they don’t understand. So thanks to Chump Lady, I’ve stopped trying to make him ‘get it’, and am focusing my energy instead each and every day to raise healthy kids and to achieve the almighty ‘meh’. Stay strong and never forget, there ARE others who relate. And we can pull each other up and out of the crater left behind by these narcissists who’ve seen fit to firebomb our worlds…

    • I didn’t know anyone else called it “the rabbit hole” other then me. That’s what it is when you’re in self doubt mode, topped with a dollop of low self esteem over these loser, bastards we call our husbands. Such a waste of mental energy, on what, a piece of shit, lying, cheating wolf in sheeps clothing asshole. Just a side note, if I have to see that fake smile cross his face once more I I may go postal on him. The smile that says “I’m not really that bad of a guy, you can trust me again”. CHESHIRE CAT SMILE!

    • Hey I totally agree with the diamond being our fellow Chump, but the AP is nowhere near coal. Cheaters are simply “pieces of shit.” 😉

    • Newchumpatl.. you nailed it! Everything you just said is So True. My ex narc downgraded & when I think of that.. I feel almost (not really) sorry for him
      Hopefully Karma will pay them both a visit.

  • Totally agree.

    April, like CL said, the only requirements for many of these cheaters to date you is that you’re on hand & easy to manipulate. That’s who SHE is, that’s not who YOU are. And maybe you were at some point, unknowingly, 20 some years ago. But you’re not now. No, you’re a strong, independent mother who stood up for herself and cheaters don’t like that.

    You’re no longer of use to him. But she is and that’s why he’s going back for more. Not that many people would be interested in dating a man like your ex with his rap sheet at this point…he’s gotta take what’s easy and available to him.

    Be glad that isn’t you! 🙂

    • Also, April, if he tries to talk about his personal life in any way I’d stop him mid-sentence and say “none of my business & not interested, thank you in advance for never involving me in your personal life again.”

      Seriously, there’s only 2 reasons he could be telling you he’s dating her again; 1. He wants to hurt you, as if he hasn’t already and/or 2. He wants to invite you to pick me dance, after all, he’s worth it to *her*…doesn’t he look sparkly?

      Opt out of all these personal interactions at first glance of them. It’ll save you much time in analyzing everything he’s told you. Keep in mind he could even be lying about the whole thing and you know what? None of your concern, you’ve got an awesome life to tend to.

      Bye cheater!

  • What I have found the hardest part about getting to “meh” is understanding why I hooked up with such an asshole in the first place. It is normal in marriage to see one’s partner as a good choice, after all, we trusted our own judgment in choosing them. We made children with them, loved them, made compromises, moved house, took out mortgages….and then found out they were lying all along.

    The worst part is that you cannot tell by looking at them what sort of creature they are, sometimes it takes years for the monster to appear.

    The only solution is to do exactly what you have done. Allow your rational self to overrule your emotions, and get the hell out of dodge at first sign of the weirdness. You did that! Great model for any chump.

    What are you doing conversing with him about the OW? If he brings her up, just put up the “tell it to the hand cause the face dont care” signal and disengage. The drama about pregnancies and affairs should be replaced in your mind with thoughts of your new life.as CL says, until you start doing that, then you may not be emotionally ready to date a nice guy. Let the ex know in no uncertain terms that you will not discuss his personal life simply because it no longer matters to you.

    In my estimation, you might prefer to look on ex’s continued contact with Schmoopie as your salvation. Heave a sigh of relief that he is occupied with her and that she can deal with his dishonesty from now on. His behaviour with her will evolve over the long term as it did with you. He’s just in that romance stage of another pathological relationship, all exciting and secretive, but I bet as soon as you no longer give a toss, he will slowly start figuring out ways to waste her as well. He’s poison!

    As for her being better? No, she’s just the next gullible customer in line. All sparkly. She must be royally f*** up o have had three miscarriages with a guy who was married with kids – if in fact that is true or just her invention to get sympathy. Who cares? These are screwed up people who deserve each other! You will gain a lot of long term satisfaction from totally ignoring their drama.

    • Agree Marci.. that was one of my biggest traumas in all this. “HOW” did I not realize this is who he was. And does this mean our marriage was a sham? He also said things like “not sure we should have gotten married” and “I haven’t been happy for 20 years”, etc. at BD. So it does make you question EVERYTHING.

      I have since learned, through this site, other research, and friends with similar experiences that bottom line is that we don’t change.. THEY do. We aren’t perfect, but no one stays married to someone for 20 years and ALL OF A SUDDEN declares they were “never happy”. Those are rationalizations, and have little to do with us, and more to do with what our Xs want. Comes down to their needs, desires and self gratification becomes more important than all else.

      • this what I think happened to my marriage… I think he took liberties… That started small and then morphed. Like a drug or a fix… He got away with one little thing… Or pressure me into something that at the time i thought was annoying and not really relevant… He absolutely needed that cross bow a week before christmas. Its slow and steady… Until u start to maybe complain… Or ask him to wait for that shiny new truck… Cause your kid need braces and the washing machine is about to blow… When you ask them to delay any form of gratification you become ‘ the nag’ the ‘ ball and chain’ and your relationship starts to turn into a parent child relationship where they are testing boundaries. Next thing you know he aint’ happy’
        I did what i thought would support and nuture my family… I did not fail my marriage. He had an agenda and when the world stopped revolving around him… He found ways to make it so.

        • DING DING DING. My H actually TOLD me I was a huge nag and not “fun” anymore. Not “spontaneous” and too “tight with money”. Well that’s because someone has to be the ADULT. He buys what he wants WHEN he wants it, he always did that but I think in the early years I moderated him some, and he moderated me some and I stupidly thought we were a good match that way. But over time, my practicality got on his nerves. It “stifled” him and he feels like he “missed out” on things because of me. During this “crisis” he leased a REALLY expensive car that we really can’t afford. Did it anyway. Didn’t even ASK me. You aren’t the BOSS of me newchumpatl!

          The Owhore is all sparkly and fun and likes to ride in the new car. Of course, she doesn’t have to pay for it. Or figure out how to put two kids through college when he refuses to save money… but I digress….

          • Newchumpatl, this is my experience EXACTLY! He buys what he wants when he wants, and if I object, I am not “spontaneous” and I am “old before my time.” Oh, and mine bought a Porsche as “commuter car”…

            • Mine too! Buys what he wants when he wants. He hid the credit card bills from me. We are nearly $100,000 in deep secret debt and now have the IRS after us. There is no end to how screwed up he is. I’m just waiting for the next surprise. I, too, struggle with the fact that I picked such a weirdo and stayed with him for 20 years but he was smart, ambitious, fun, came from a good family, and was good to me for many years. I don’t think it was a sham, I think he just slowly declined into an internal world of narcissism and spiritual void. He probably needs an exorcism. That definitely was not my fault.

              • Sweet heavens how many narcissistic ex husband clones are out there?

                It’s like some cult of misfit ex husbands all drinking the same cool aide.

                Is there some playbook they order from late night television? “How to have it all…Kibbles, Pick me dance and your whore on the side”

              • Mine used to smugly joke that I shouldn’t bother to buy him Christmas or birthday presents because when he wants something, he buys it. Then he had me convinced that one of the strengths of our marriage was that neither of us tried to control the other person’s spending . . . no secret where this is going. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card debt I had no idea we even had plus unpaid taxes stocks I also didn’t know we had and a penalty from the IRS. Worse, when we had to fill out a report for the court outlining monthly expenses, it was pathetic–Daddy Warbucks with $150 a month for his personal Starbucks expense account alone and another $250 in walking around cash (even though he has a debit card of course), me with no personal spending at all beyond a few hundred dollars a year for haircuts and clothes or the occasional movie or dinner with friends.

              • Get a tax attorney, or a CPA ASAP. If the IRS is after you, you probably qualify for “innocent spouse relief”. God bless you!

          • Ermmmmm are you certain we haven’ t got the same ex? Lol. Why are their stories so the same? Mine said he was with miss 30 years younger because she was such a joy! Well try being a joy when you have lost two parents, three friends, two adoptive kids…very disruptive in their teens but now joyful adults. He never saved, bought a new car, Rolex etc. without discussing with me.

            He got cancer, I stood by him

            He continued to lie and I kicked the bastard out.

            I have house in my name now but not yet divorced( long story but obeying lawyer who is cunning and wise)

            I am still gut wrenched but hey I have the kids the house and he lives with his very witchy mother.

        • And the OW(s) …. She is a child. He had a few on the hook. Tweeny doesnt know that. She aint anymore special than anyone else. He chose her over his other women because he knew she would believe the story. He found the one who would be most receptive and pliable. And she is. She will learn. Hopefully. At 21 i dont think she knows her ass from her elbow. And what does that say about him? What reflection is it on him… Anyone with half a brain in their vault can put it together. And now that he has chosen her he has to prove to everyone it was the right decision… He must make them believe that. He cant lose face. She will be the best thing since sliced bread. And thats ok. He never had to prove that about me. He had to try and prove all of a sudden I was all wrong…. After 14 years… All of a sudden he had to prove I was all wrong and he is still trying. Thats the funny part.

          • The sad thing is my H’s OW is over 40. She really ought to know better. The fact that she buys his BS makes her a special kind of stupid. A 21 year old kid, I can almost pity because she’s just so young, she has NO idea what life is all about and knows even LESS about men. She’s headed for pure heartbreak and a REALLY tough life lesson. She’s a POS, but you are right, it reflects more on your H than her.

            My OW is old enough to know better, should be smart enough to read BS, KNOWS me so should know not only how WRONG it is what she’s doing, but she ought to be able to smell his BS. The fact that she doesn’t means she’s not only an idiot, but weak, and likely with absolutely no self esteem. What woman would settle for a man who would dump a FAMILY????? It defies logic and reason. All kinds of red flags for her, but she ignores them. That’s her problem. Unlike your OW, the Karma bus is going to hit her hard and she’s a hell of a lot older. She won’t recover as easily. Sucks to be her.

            • New ChumpAtl, this sounds a lot like my ex’s OW! She WAS married to a wealthy, hardworking man! Money out his ass kind of guy! Mine…. Not so much! Anyone who is retired military then goes to work at a Community college is NOT pulling down the big bucks, but that’s what she traded down to! What a damn idiot she is! Her ex paid her off in cash and now she is spending it on my ex! And he’s taking it hand over fist from her because almost his entire paycheck comes to me and half of his military retirement! I OWN him! This foolish OW is in her early 50’s and has to be dumber than a box of rocks! But that’s the draw for my ex! She is stupid, gullible, ready and willing! Ah, sounds like Twu Schmoopie wuv to me…. Until her money runs out! Piece of Karma cake anyone! Jokes on them!

              • Mine’s H is not an earner, so I am sure she sees my H as an upgrade. I guess so, but that depends on your perspective, doesn’t it?

              • Absolutely, Newchumpatl. To a vulture, day-old rat meat is a step up from three-day old rat meat (but I myself wouldn’t want to eat either).

            • The OM my wife moved in with is 60. She is 50. Stupidity and lack of morals knows no boundaries. My ex was convinced that our boys would be close friends with the OM’s boy. They’re all idiots!

              • ChumpDad

                They are delusional in the way they think your children will somehow ignore the train wreck. X believed his adult children would accept the whore with an arrest record he picked up at a casino. It’s been 13 months since I threw him out and they have no interest in her. because of her behavior. She is NOT all there.

            • ^^^Same^^^

              His Schmoopie doesn’t think she’s the OW! At first I wondered how she could do this to another family, since she had just been through the same and wasn’t divorced yet. He must have really told her a good story which she thoroughly bought. My girls phoned her and she still didn’t get it. Now, I’d love to catch some of their bedtime conversation as to why it’s taken him over two years to divorce. She thinks he’s got money and there’s nothing but debt on his end! Can’t wait for the karma bus to hit these two!

          • In order to cheat they have to be looking. These are the cheater attributes that explain exactly what they end up with.

            Cheating
            Undermining
            Narcissistic
            Toxic

            This is what we pass on when they are finally out the door. Keep in mind the playbook many follow is to first lure the OW in and make sure she swallows first and then separate. Move out, and disengage through criticism, and blame shifting. This was X pattern. Yes he “tricked” a few women who would not have got involved if they knew the truth. They were duped and didn’t deserve to be another victim. Yet there’s a special place for the OW who knowingly get involved with a married man or woman, sleep in THEIR bed, get pregnant,and taunt the mother of X’s children. The special place is right next to the cheater. They match and are equals. Let them go to live with that. April, he led a double life. Make yours single and stand up to this prick with NC and a kickass attorney. Make him pay and take back your power.

        • Yes, yes, yes, New Clip. That is exactly how my marriage devolved. Being married to a narcissist with “crap life skills” is a no-win in a relationship. Because as my cheater said to me in an unguarded moment, “I’ll ALWAYS do what *I* want.” It’s all about their fun, their fantasy, their image, how are they being served in their lives,…. Trying to bring them back to any kind of reality, even in the kindliest, least threatening way still earns you the title of shrew or nag. And who wants to be thought of that way, especially as a naive, people pleasing new wife? So the boundaries continue to drop and then one day you realize you have spent your life walking on eggshells.

      • Yes, I am finding this difficult as well. How did I miss the signs 20 years ago? Because there were small signs of the things to come. And yet I thought he was so great! Now I wonder WTF I was thinking. And my husband also said he had not been happy for the past 10 years. Really? News to me…

        • Sausalito

          Ten years? Do they pull this shit out of their asses or is that magic number reflect how long they have been cheating? I think chumps should make a list of their own. Mine would be lengthy without the cheating aspects.

          I was disappointed when you bought me a fucking coffee pot for Christmas.
          I was disappointed you couldn’t appreciate the fact that I was a devoted loving wife and mother.
          Fuck them.

      • Here is the thing, though – if they were so unhappy for so long, and “never should have gotten married,” then why the hell did they waste their time? Don’t they have anything else better to do? We stuck around because we did not know, but if they knew for so long, then why did they do something else better with their lives? This is why that answer is such bullshit, sometimes as stupid as they are, and how terrible their lives usually become, I really do not think they had anything better to do with their time.

        • I agree. It’s hard to motivate yourself when you have to masturbate in the basement. I swear he touched himself more than he ever touched me. Now there’s a cheaters ” selfie”.

    • “What I have found the hardest part about getting to “meh” is understanding why I hooked up with such an asshole in the first place.”

      This bugged me as well, for a long time.

      I think it’s because they only present their “good” side at first and it takes a while for the mask to slip. By that time it was too late, we were invested and we were hooked. My exH was always politically correct and I believed him to be a sensible and rational person. I now know that this was just a cover for all the turbulent irrational thoughts that were swilling around in his head.

      I also thought my exH was just a ‘quiet’ person, he was sulky and moody and I blamed this on his shift-work and stress of the job.

      Then I found this ;

      http://www.heartlessbitches.com/rants/manipulator/WarningSignsoftheEmotionallyDistantAbuser.shtml

      and my blood ran cold. I thought “that’s him” !!!!

      I bought into his statements that I was “too emotional”, “too sensitive” and other put downs.

      However, I take comfort in the fact that he’s now treating her the same and she’s been hospitalised for depression more than once.

      She really is “special”. She must be, because she’s got a greater capacity for accepting crap than I had. (Sarcasm)

  • April,
    When my ex left me to be with her married workmate schmoopie, she even TOLD me that he wsn’t so special…and I later found that to be true. He was just another vehicle on her BPD Crazy Bumper Car ride through life.
    THIS bumper car, on the other hand, escaped her crazy fairgrounds, smoothed out the dents, polished the paint, and am now cruising the smooth highway of nf Normal!
    Sounds like you are too April. Get that Car Wreck of a marriage out of your mind…and pay no heed to who he’s “driving crazy”now!

  • You’re still feeling rejected. Understandable. Even when you know the OW is a troll with bad character and your STBX is a loser, it *still* sucks to be rejected.

    The life you wanted for your kids, the intact family. Rejected. Ask me how i know this feeling. Ugh. It’s no fun, and I’m working through it myself as well. Logically, I know that I can kick-ass when I set my mind to it, and I have skills, and am relatively easy on the eyes, but I still feel a big sense of rejection of my Ex choosing another woman over me, another family over mine, another house over the one we built together, another friend over me. And loss. Big loss.

    It’s a tendency to internalize this kind of thing, but CL is right, just keeping telling yourself the truth, admit the loss, and move past it. You are mighty, you just need to get back to who you were before you met this ass-clown, self-esteem intact. Your heart will heal, time helps a lot, to that I can attest.

    • You’ve summed it all up, LiningUpDucks! It’s the sense of rejection of not only me, but our children’s intact family.

      • Yes, good ‘ol rejection. It’s the way we feel because of the actions of our POS’s and we perceive that they think we’re ugly, over (under) weight, blah blah blah.
        GOOD NEWS all………it is THEY WHO SUCK. It just takes a minute for our up and down emotions from the trauma to line up properly with our brains!
        Now get back in line! 🙂

        • Definitely. Learning about abandonment and rejection has helped me speed up recovery tremendously. I had a bazillion “aha!” moments during the months of reading & watching youtube vids about rejection and how to overcome the effects. I recommend looking into that for anyone who has been betrayed.

  • She’s not special , She’s just easy. Just as easy as the 4 to 6 other affair partners he’s more than likely had that you don’t know about. (There’s always more)

    • ^^^So true. I’m sure I’d be stuck in the same place as April if I hadn’t discovered numerous other affairs; worried about what it was I did wrong. How did I not measure up? What makes other woman so special?

      In my efforts to makes sense of it all I turned marriage detective. Although my findings left me extremely depressed and disoriented, they also reinforced that “it’s not me, its him”. Now I know without a doubt he’s irreparably broken. It had nothing to do with me. He would have done it to anybody, and will do it to his next girlfriend or spouse.

      April, it’s not you; it’s him. Like K, I also believe he’s probably got lots of skeletons you haven’t discovered yet. He didn’t wake up one morning 2 years ago and decide to throw his morals out the window. It’s who he is. You just didn’t see it.

      • While in the grieving stage, looking back I remembered a lot of red flags I spackled over. There were at least two that I know of before the current one. I’m just glad I didn’t catch anything! The hoes can have him!

        • Be glad you didn’t catch anything April. I wasn’t as lucky.Constant Porn which only got worse with the smart phones as did the web site Ashley Madison, oh and let’s not forget classmates.com where he connected with one of the latest whores in Tucson and several other affair partners. Carrie E , Michelle K, Brandy ?, and other unknown prostitutes (all of this was only discovered after dday) I was diagnosed with HPV 16, & later …cervical cancer. All this after 22 years of what I thought was a good marriage. Did I see the red flags ? Yes . Did I spackle ? Yes. April , never second guess your gut again. It may just end up killing you by doing so. As it may with me.

  • Who does that?!! What giant turd hauls his wife and kids across the country to chase a piece of tail?! I think that explains everything you need to know about leaving his ass in the dust. That is all I have to say other than I hope like hell you get to meh ASAP. He sounds like a terrible human being. He must have worn enough glitter and sparkle that he fooled you all those years. Now that shit has fallen off him and you can see who he really is. It is not a pretty sight!

    • I actually think mine did this too.. thinking back. I have no proof of this, but his MOWhore has been in the sphere for some time, “friends” for a long time, and coincidentally, we moved to a neighborhood close to this MOW’s home. At the time I was so knee deep in baby I didn’t even realize it. But looking back, coincidence? Maybe not.

      • He convinced me because at the time, my job was very stressful and his job was about an hour away from our home. The made the new place sound wonderful. We could downsize so I wouldn’t have to work, it was 15 minutes from his job so we could have lunch together (never did), and the schools there provided more opportunities for our children than the small school they were currently attending. I was so gullible!

        • Not gullible. Just a decent person who believed her partner in good faith. That is what separates you April from him. You are a decent woman who wanted your kids to be in good schools, wanted to improve your life by having H nearby, etc. All seem like good reasons!

          Mine actually worked for the MOW when we moved out here, his “dream” job.. which of course I supported, good faith you see. That job didn’t last long.. position “eliminated”, which was always ODD to me, but even more odd that he remained FRIENDS with this tramp after that. Its possible my H’s affair has gone on for years. Possible the job elimination had something to do with it, although there is no proof of that. He has yet to admit it. Despite damning evidence. He continues to maintain they are “friends”. Continues to gaslight me. It’s sad. Just remember, you didn’t cause this, can’t control it, and you can’t cure it. It’s all on HIM.

          • My partner was OW’s musical director on a UK tour. She was was having marital difficulties as her husband was ill with lukemia. He had the nerve to ask my advice as to whether he should send her home or let her continue ( as she very much wanted). Chumpy me thought she should work if she was up,to it – if only I’d known !!!

  • April I applaude your strength in kickin ass and getting back on track…. Largely for your two children. I would say your new love interest concerns me. Your kids have had to deal with a number of changes and while kids who supported can and will be resilient…. I worry that you new partner is just another thing that your kids have to absorb. In 11 months? Would it have been easy for me to find someone to take my mind off of the pain of my marriage(I wont call it failed any more because i didnt fail it) ? Sure. Its super easy …. And I will repeat that… Its super easy to find someone to fill the gaps. People whould need fillers … Well , find fillers. My guess is this man that you have met is also wounded and is equally trying to mend something by patching up the wholes in his life. I dont know his story… Its just an assumption. So you two have found eachother and you are not divorced and having emotional reactions to your spouse… Can he is yr spouse… To his pursuits of the other woman… But you are sucking face with the new guy? There is so much rebounding here its like a trampoline nigtmare.
    I encourage you to make a final decision about your marriage. And consider letting new guy go. Or at arms length until you can really deal with your emotions. For the new guy…. Your situation should be ringing ‘ Warning! Warning! ‘ and if its not then he has some issues as well.
    I am not old school but i do believe in closure. And it sounds like your door is still a little a jar.

  • April, I remember telling my husband that it wasn’t right to interfere in another man’s family, to try to come between his wife and children like he was trying to do. I don’t care what universe you live in, that’s just wrong. If looks could kill, I’d be dead, because his eyes were shooting daggers at me when I said that.

    Whether my ex was happy with me or not is beside the point, it’s wrong to get involved with a married coworker and plot to break up her family, to ingratiate himself with her kids, to move in with her parents after we separated. It doesn’t matter what kind of person the OW is. It matters what kind of person your husband is, and it’s pretty clear he’s not a good one.

    Sometimes I still struggle with the “I wasn’t good enough for him” feelings, the rejection and abandonment issues. But when I really stop and think about it, I understand that I’m not the kind of person who would ever do what my ex did. You aren’t that kind of person either.

    • Lyn, like my Dad used to say,” you can’t make a wrong a right.” I never understood that until DD! And I let my ex know that no matter how much he thought Schmoopie and he were “meant to be” it was WRONG! Destroyed two marriages just for their own selfishness! It’s God awful!

      • I think the success rate for relationships that start in infidelity is in the single digits. Marriage even lower. Most never make it to marriage, and those that do, by and large don’t last. Those that do last, are RARE and forever hold the scars of how they began.

        The odds are, if your R started as an affair, it’s going to crash and burn. Numbers don’t lie, and by and large, you don’t create happiness by stepping over the bodies of those you are supposed to love and protect. You might be happy temporarily, but not long term.

        And the other thing most cheaters don’t get is, happiness isn’t your spouse’s (or AP’s) responsibility. It’s your responsibility. It can’t be bought, and it can’t come from kibbles. It comes from within. This is a lesson it took me 40 years to learn.. but it’s a valuable one. Don’t look to others to fulfill you. Fulfill yourself.

        • Newchumpatl, THIS! My ex told me, “She makes me happy.” I told him his thinking was fucked up cause no one can provide you happiness! Besides, happiness is a fleeting moment, a slice of time, Not a 24/7 condition. People confuse “happy” with “joy”. Big difference! They are immature, that’s all!

          • No excuse here for the disgusting behaviors they have but they are really just very empty souls. Pathological people with black hole in their souls, sucking everyone around them up. Neither will the OW or OM be able to fill the emptiness or have their own emptiness filled. It’s sad that they pull the people around them down so much. Wish my STBXH would have left 15 years ago but he found a selfish and shitty way around it by lying and manipulating and abusing my trust and loyalty to him and bringing constant drama into the family. But regardless, I learned a lot in the process and I can honestly say I am thankful to the Asshole for helping me to grow and understand myself. I am a much stronger and clearer person. I had no idea how to set boundaries and you should see me no. BAMM !!! My big girl pants grew from a XS to a XL. Working on the next size up.

        • Well, well. That Karma bus sometimes comes in the form of a 10,000 ton freight train. It happened MUCH sooner than I thought it would, considering he yelled at me on DDay: I LOVE HER!! SHE’S MY BEST FRIEND!! (10 years younger; 2 small kids, while ours are grown & one in high school)

          Karma Train? The x douchebag was arrested and thrown in jail YESTERDAY for 1) assualt & battery that they charged as a felony (not a misd.) and 2) burglary in the 1st degree. Not sure how this will play out since it’s a first time offense, but each of these could carry anywhere from 5-20 years depending on the bodily damage done to the person he bashed. My daughter is 15. I’m hoping that takes care of the visitation BS that is forced on her for the next 3 years.

          So when punkass has his lie-world crash in by his own doing, who the hell you do think he called for help while he’s sitting there in county jail?? ME!! I’ve gone NC since I filed a year ago. Divorce was final in Dec. WHY he called me? First, b/c he knows I kick ass when it comes to helping people I love. Second, b/c he’s not capable of making good decisions or think, hmmm – she’s likely the last person to help me at this point. Third, it would have made way too much sense to ask for a phone book.

          Oh, but we know now there’s always more to the story…

          Computer: An inmate is attempting to call you. Press 1 if you accept this call.
          Me: Hello?
          Him: I need you to find my lawyer’s number for me. The one who did the divorce. (WTF??)
          Me: Why are you in jail??
          Him: I beat up someone. Will you just get me his number?
          Me: Why did you do that, and how old are you? (about to be 42)
          Him: He was in my house and came at me. (Lie! He really thinks I buy his crap. He works out nonstop & takes steroids. Roid rage much??)
          Me: Well, why don’t you call your soulmate whore to find it for you? (The one he blew up our family for from 2012-13)
          Him: We broke up a long time ago (LIE)
          Me: I’m not even home to find that, and… you know what?? This isn’t my problem! You need to GROW UP and figure it out on your own.
          *Click!* (I hung up)

          I did some simple county online searches and got his mug shot and inmate intake form, and it turns out that his soulmate-whoreworker, whom the xdouchbag threw away 23 years, 2 kids and 1 grandchild for, FILED A PROTECTIVE ORDER against his dumbass yesterday, too! Guess she found someone new and kicked the X douchebag out, and maybe the new soulmate was there to defend the whore’s faux “honor,” but none of them knew the X douchebag is NUTS.

          She’s a predatory whore who works in their HR office (LOL!). With her PO against the X douchebag in place now, someone won’t have a job, and faces jail time, fines, homelessness, and more. I’m going to my lawyer this week to push to re-open the custody decree and smash the “joint” custody BS, and requirie that he goes through many hours of counseling and anger mgmt classes before he can see my daughter. Hopefully she’ll be 18 by the time he’s done.

          Guess it was ALL worth it, huh? Don’t worry, Chumps. The chances of self-absorbed whores really getting their “forever” with one another are massively slim-to-none.

          Sad, though. With his self-distruction being this huge, I don’t feel the least bit happy about it. I don’t feel “justice” has happened; I feel more “meh” about it. What a waste.

          • KFMM – I’m so glad you hung up on him! It wouldn’t surprise me that she put in a PO, because he’s hit her also – good luck with the lawyer and changing the custody around. You are mighty girl!

            • Thx, Kimberly. One thing that is weird/hard to process is that, yes, over our 23 years together I’ve seen him freak out and hit walls, but he never put a finger on me while upset or mad. Never.

              THIS behavior is crazy!! What’s worse, he has a professional boxing license. He’s in so much trouble. Toast.

  • When I think of the OW it hurts because she knew him in college and he sought her out once he learned she was divorcing. Now that he’s dumped us for her, he says he has always loved her and is engaged to be married as soon as the ink dries on the divorce papers (2 years to finalize!). WTF was I doing with him for the past 30 years???? That’s what keeps me up at night. That she would have so much sway over him that when she was available he went running to her side. I need to move on from this to finally reach meh…

    • At a certain age, some men (and women too) are looking for something, anything, to escape their life, even when they have a very good life. They feel they are getting old. Nostalgia turns people they knew during their youth into magnets. They want to return there. They convince themselves that this is the true real road to happiness. It is just an illusion. They cannot be young again. And when the damage is done, they have to try even harder to believe that this was the right move, because if they turn back, they will face a reconciliation that cannot work, plus a very angry person-of-their-youth who is forever lost.

      I invited an old friend of 30 years and his family at our vacation house. I never EVER fancied him, his looks were totally opposite of what attracts me, he used to have poor hygiene, bad taste, etc. but he had good humor and an interesting conversation, so I used to hang out a lot with his group when I was 19, and we always kept in touch. Now guess what. His 10 year-old son said he really liked me. That triggered something. After the holiday, he wrote aggressive emails to me, complaining that I did not want him when we were at school. I was shocked, it was terrible behavior. He sent old pictures with nasty comments, and got gradually angry that I still did not want him now ( urgh, no way !). He was behaving as if his family was a granted extension of himself, and as if my boyfriend did not exist. So weird.
      I went no contact. A 30 year friendship died.

      • So true, ChumoFromF. In a rare moment of truthfulness, ex called his Whore from 20 years ago “the path of least resistance.”. He was actually too lazy to go trolling for New Strange, lol. They appear to revert to the maturity level they had when the first knew the other cheater. He also said ” it made him FEEL young ” and “took him back to his youth” which to my knowledge wasn’t that fucking great the first time around. P.s. your ass is still over 50, no matter how you FEEL loser

      • I simply have a different outlook on life, I guess. When I said “I want to grow old with you,” I meant it. I know that aging is part of life, and really the only thing one can do for it is to take care of oneself and try to be positive and make the best of things. I figured the journey of life would be better with someone I believed was my best friend.

        I still do not fear aging, and what has happened to me is becoming simply another chapter in my life, from which I turn the page to the next and keep making my story, perhaps only glancing back every now and then to re-read something important.

        • Tony, I like this! 🙂 I think growing old well, taking care of yourself physically and mentally is not something Cheaters do. They are after that elusive fountain of youth and are afraid of dying. I think better people make healthy righteous choices. They honor faith. They honor those they love. We are true to our spouses, to our family, and to our friends. We age well and don’t need others’ validation to know we “matter.” I think this is what Cheaters lack. The knowledge that good things matter. Good legacies matter.

    • Susan, it’s all delusional behavior. They idealize the past and the person. They suddenly believe only the good memories from that past relationship and forget all the reasons it didn’t work out! It will indeed fail yet again! These sorts of fantasies that cheaters ruin their lives for soon reveal themselves and they will again be left with nothing except regret over their foolishness! They deserve any and all bad breaks they get in life! They captained their own ship straight into the rocks! It’s on them totally! Don’t sit and question anything you did or did not do in your marriage because it honestly has not a damn thing to do with the marriage and everything to do with a self deluded, mental midget! You are great! Move on to a better life, you deserve that!

      • Thank you Roberta!!! And he even cheated on her when they were in college so I can’t wait to see how this plays out!

        • There are some people who are incapable of being happy, so they fantasize and romanticize. There’s a big whole in him that she won’t be able to fill up either.

          I can see the karma bus from here.

      • A wise person once told me, “You can never go back.” A truth. As adults we do move on. Friends come and go, and if we are lucky we may have a few rare friends that grow with us. Though my values have remained the same, I am not the same person I was so many years ago, and I wouldn’t presume to believe an old friend would be the same or a better choice than the one I had married. Life challenges you. I think Cheaters want to push rewind because they have not lived their truth. I also suspect that Cheaters believe their own lies. The one that says “I am the only thing that matters…” The one that says, “I deserve to be happy…even if it’s at the expense of others.” The one that says, “Life is dull.” And the one that says, “And now I can live happily ever after….” My ex married his AP the moment our divorce became final. Twenty eight years together and bam! right into that second “marriage.” I don’t believe for one minute that he will be “happier” with her. New spouse, new problems. He won’t all of a sudden have great coping skills and communicate better. His problem is that he hasn’t evolved, he just believes he can start over. How can Cheaters be happy with themselves when they profess they have never been happy? New is not going to change the mistakes he made. New is not going to make him a better person. New is not going to give him a better life. New is not going to change his past.

        • Drew, wow, so well said and I totally agree! He may have changed his partner and his address, but he is still the same person who whined about not being happy, blah, blah, blah! He can’t become a whole different person, that rancid, selfish attitude is intrinsic to his core! He can only fake it for so long. I feel certain that Schmoopie is probably not the happiest person right now. She’s probably feeling dooped by this idiot and wondering why she blew up her life for this sad sack. I’m just tickled pink picturing her waiting on this pompous ass 24/7 and running all of his errands daily. He’s a clown and hopefully she’ll dump him when she finds out he NEVER intends to do a damn thing for her or anyone else! Meanwhile I get a much needed rest after 40 years of his shit! I wish her luck!

    • My xH left me for Jr. H.S girlfriend, she was divorced & found him thru mutual friends. She knew he was married & begged him to come & see her 2 & 1/2 years ago & he started a relationship with Her. He left me 2 mths later,
      We divorced in October I walked away with nothing. He told some friends last year he was with the love of his life, the
      One he always thought about. Broke my heart, I was with him for 34 years, married 23. He told his sister in May they weren’t together anymore !
      Didn’t ask any ? . His mother & sister flew across the country for our daughters graduation . Our daughter refused to let him come to it & his mother did not want to see him .
      Talked to him yesterday, hadn’t had any communication in a while. He has no $, no job & is living in a house with no a/c in FL & no water . I asked if he could help with some bills and he texted & said He wouldn’t be a failure forever & would try & help me.
      Was that all worth it, to loose your family & 2 business? All to be in love with someone you went out with when you were 14.
      Agree with you they totally revert to that maturity level & believe everything is going to be great. Eventually, reality sets in for them.
      Hang in there it will get better!

      • Wow, Trish. Your STBX is significantly impaired at cost-benefit analysis (yes, they all are, but a girlfriend from when you were 14? Seriously?)

        • Seriously, Tempest. All he ever said was our family is everything to me! He was my kids hero, a very smart guy to smart for his own good!

          • He doesn’t sound too smart to me, just sayin’.

            Fill in the blank, “You know you’re an assh*le when __________.” both your daughter and mother don’t want to see you.

            • Tempest, LOL! I like this A.LOT. (Cue Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber) I also like the “You know you’re an asshole when…” Gosh, now, couldn’t we all have fun with this!?!?!

              • Wow, Trish, how heart wrenching. It’s hard to wrap any understanding around that, except labeling it significantly disordered. I am so sorry for your pain and loss.

  • You know April – my situation was different by similar in some ways and all I can say is this, I kicked ass too and I felt down and out thinking “what is it about me” or “what’s so special about her” ….and all along everyone I met or knew kept telling me how incredibly strong and amazing I was for walking away. Was it what I wanted? No – but I know it’s what I needed to do.

    I’m 2 years out of the relationship and I divorced him last October. I’m still not 100% to “meh” but I’m getting there – and every so often I get what people are saying…how many people would have done what I did…and walked away with as much grace and dignity as I could have (emphasis on “as I could have”). I moved, I changed my number, I threw out his clothes, I never spoke to him again after D Day…and with a broken heart I walked away, I went no contact and I continue to rebuild.

    People who can just walk away from their family etc, I feel like they will never be happy…doesn’t matter who they are with or who they aren’t with. Best to you

    • “People who can just walk away from their family etc, I feel like they will never be happy…doesn’t matter who they are with or who they aren’t with.” I agree Chicago. I think it’s a way NOT to deal with life. Not the challenges, but not the good things either. My ex was so disengaged that I don’t believe my ex ever knew how good he had it. His best friend (I had grown up with him too) used to call me (as ex was never home, lol) and was shocked when he discovered ex wasn’t spending more time with me. I thought ex was “working.” Or at the club. BF was happily married and didn’t understand why ex was never home. He was one of the first to question my ex’s actions and to bring it to my attention. Not that I was listening.

  • The best thing to do is NOT focus on the other person. I don’t care if she’s a saint or a whore, ugly or pretty, stupid or smart. It doesn’t matter. If he didn’t fuck you over with her, it would have been someone else. She’s not special; no one is.

    It’s really easy to compare yourself to someone else, but that’s toxic thinking. You don’t need to do that to yourself. You are clearly, kicking ass. Keep doing that. Keep focusing on that.

    I’ve done the same thing myself. I’m in a relationship now, but I still would let these little thoughts creep in my head. Why did he pick her, why is she better, blah blah blah. Don’t do that. Instead, I fill my head with what I want. What I picture for myself 2 or 5 years down the road. How nice it is to not lay down with a snake at night. How freeing it is to know I survived this bullshit. How grateful I am for what I’ve got.

    And like everyone else said, when he talks to you about shit like this, ignore it. Don’t get hurt or pissed, give him the same level of interest you would to the meter reader in your backyard. You’re awesome!!!

    • Bingo. The hard part for me (and is to some degree. emotional abuse doesn’t just disappear, but that is no long about him, it’s about me.)—was hearing “She’s not special. If it hadn’t been this OW, it would have been some other.”

      Know what that translated to in my head? Well, if that’s true, then I also was not special. It was me because of what….was I the low hanging fruit at the time? Possibly. **shrug** I have to get over that idea. It may be true. In retrospect, he really is NOT “different” than he was, he is just bringing his A-game for someone else, when I became too familiar.

      I knew where all the bodies were buried. I knew all of the weirdness and quirks. At first, it was cute. Then it was compromise. Then it was irritating and the immaturity needed to be discussed. THAT was when I was no longer “low hanging fruit”—-I didn’t think his wanting to do NOTHING ALL DAY but sit on the internet and obsess over home defense shit (Never Know When The Bad Guys Are Coming!! Gotta be paranoid and prepared! That may mean not working a day in my life, but I will keep you safe! HA!)—was cute or admirable or even tolerable. When I started saying—hey, it might be nice to go and get a job now that our kids are in school and you’re basically spending money like it’s water on your toys.

      Uh Oh.

      So yeah. Maybe I was low hanging fruit too when I met him. Maybe I chased a little too much or made myself too available or excused too much bad behavior. That’s on me. I’ll fix that and put up the boundaries/barriers so that I never, ever experience that again.

      Still doesn’t make it hurt less, does it. It was so nice when we are the object of the A-Game.

      How I like to see it now is—-I am special, just not to HIM. She is special to him, FOR NOW. When she starts getting irritated by his bullshit, she will also be not so special.

      I don’t WANT to be special to him anymore, because he’s proven to me that his feelings and loyalty are easily changed and swayed. April, you have to figure out for yourself why you want to still matter to this guy in any way, shape or form.

  • One thing that helped me understand the obsession my ex had with a ordinary middle aged tramp was something I read on Wikipedia. It is the theory called Crystallization by a guy named Stendahl. Hope I spelled that right. Anyway, it’s basically a projection/transference thing. The cheater wants certain qualities in the whore (pretty, young, sexy, moral, etc.). But he has to pick from the available pool (older hs ex, bar sluts, etc) . so he takes what is available and he projects what he wants onto that person. It doesn’t make the person have the qualities, he just pretends she does.

    • This makes sense. My ex would post on social media “my hottie,” “my soulmate,” “she saved me” kind of messages. Projecting what he needed onto her. I hear it’s not so great now that they are married…go figure.

      • I think that’s what my ex did to me. Projected all his fantasies of who I am onto me, then was disappointed that I actually was a real person, and had to keep looking for others (prostitutes and old friends) to fulfill this need in him. It’s all so weird.

        • They also do the reverse to the chump – we become the focus of all that is lacking in their life, the scapegoat to blame for every disappointment, the reason they have gained weight/ been unhappy/ never taken up handgliding. Yes chumps, all that unfulfillment is down to being saddled with YOU.
          So a man in middle age reinvents himself, slims, changes diet, gets a motorbike ( mine is on his third since we parted) and the new woman is the answer to his prayers.
          Its a mighty high pedestal to be perched on and when she falls off its a hell of a bump.

  • My Finance is still hung up on the Troll Priest
    I have been in Divorce Recovery for 5 years my fiance is three years out from a 20 year marriage. I am still helping her navigate the emotional roller coaster. I think I can see her through an objective lens. I know the kind of man her ex-husband is and I am the polar opposite. I think her problems are tied to PTSD caused by the divorce. I think the hang ups are not real, it is just a manifestation of the PTSD. I see my flawed fiance for who she is. We are working through these issues. She loves me and wants to spend the rest of her life with me. She would never want him back, she, hates his new life. The magical elixir is time.

    • Orlando–I hope your fiancee is in counseling. She’s probably suffering not only from the infidelity but years of being undermined and emotionally neglected. It does take time to get over that, but getting a professional perspective can help.

  • Why choose the trashy OW over you? Because that’s how low he had to go to find someone who could look UP to him. Take the time you need to heal and hold out for someone worthy of you.

    • Amen to this! That sums it up nicely. Water seeks it’s own level….who knew it was sewer water? Good thing we don’t have to live in the muck and mire not to mention the stench! I’ll leave that to the cheaters!

  • I see two separate issues here. First you have to get over the betrayal, and accept that the man you are talking to and worrying about is not the man you THOUGHT you married. He was someone else, entirely, not worthy of you, your children, and certainly not worth the grief you are doling out to yourself. If you can accept the premise that he is a con man and you were conned, you will see that all you have to miss is the time you wasted with him.

    Second, the OW is not special. Any woman who will allow herself to get pregnant with a married man who already has children in this day and age is either unable or unwilling to understand how birth control works, or is intentionally trying to get pregnant to use the pregnancy as a manipulation to control your evidently not so bright ex. He is also capable of using birth control, and certainly should have been all along, but especially after the first pregnancy with Ms Not Really Awesome. It sounds like Mr Wonderful will be paying child support for a long, long time, be sure to get your court order attached to his paycheck for automatic withdrawal, and be first in line. Ms Hump Like a Bunny will not take long to “secure” her special relationship with another attempt at a baby. She will have to learn the hard way that what she has done and what she is doing is not “twu luv” and will not work out well for her. I am sure that he will find another twu luv to pay special attention to him when she is tending toddlers and has become routine.

    There is nothing “Special” about someone who wants to seduce someone else’s spouse. It does not mean they have super powers, nor are they particularly beautiful or skilled, or desirable. They are “strange” — the lure is that they are doing something they are not supposed to do. Naughty, Naughty.

    Yawn.

    Please pay attention to the suggestions that you need to make sure your picker is working and you have found peace with yourself before you become involved in another relationship. Most people take at least 18 months to two years to heal from the trauma of this type of betrayal. Be sure you are not jumping into another relationship just because you are both lonely and seeking to re-establish your self esteem. He may be a good guy, and you may not want to be alone. Neither of those are good reasons to rush into a relationship.

    • I’m a little suspicious of the “three pregnancies ended in miscarriage”. I’m wondering if she claimed to be pregnant to maybe push scumbag cheater into leaving his marriage. Not that it matters much but would not put it past OW to lie about such a thing.

  • As long as your asking what made her special, you are trying to make sense and assign value through the cheater’s eyes. I don’t recommend doing that. You are worth more than that messed up and highly distorted scale will ever rate you. And you cannot trust how it rates others. It’s character is busted.

    • You are right divorce minister. Trying to make sense of it is fruitless. What I believe we are all after is acceptance. “Trust that he sucks,” is about acceptance. Once we get to acceptance, then we stop focusing on them (not that we want to focus; the focus is a symptom of trauma and one should never be blamed or shamed for that period of obsession). I am just one of those people who need to constantly repeat the mantra “Trust that he sucks,” over and over again. It is a process.

  • April, that’s one hell of a year! I am standing in my office applauding you, the leaving, the moving, the building (seriously, building a house can be an insane process) the dating. That’s a lot!

    Now stop focusing on whoever she is. By doing that you blur the lines and take your eye off the ball. He did this! No one else. Though she was a participant, it was he who made a conscious decided to cheat and a concerted effort to hide it from you for so long. She was just opportunity. He was the one who put you in this situation.

    I know it’s hard because you have to calmly engage him while dealing with the kids, you can’t cut him out like the cancer he is by going completely No Contact. But he is the problem.

  • In my case (and I’m sure this is common), the only thing that made the OW “special” was her desperation and habit of constantly kissing my ex’s ass. She fed his ego. Meanwhile, he claimed I emasculated him with my stubborn refusal to do as I was told.

    All of this was painful when I was closer to D-Day, when he made me feel like a shrew. Now it’s laughable. I’m legitimately grateful that the OW came along and took him out of my life.

  • April, CL is right: your husband’s actions say plenty about his character and nothing about you, your character, your effort in the marriage, your desirability, or your potential for happiness.

    I guess I am lucky that I never felt the OM might be an upgrade. It always seemed obvious he was a loser (cheater/liar/underachiever who two-timed a smart/pretty/faithful wife and two small kids). During false reconciliation I used this as an argument in my stupid/chumpy/doomed effort to *convince* my cheating wife that she deserved better. [ACK! SLFFT! GACK!] So when she continued to cheat, she simply convinced me that she didn’t deserve better. What she deserved was another loser. And so I wasn’t heartbroken or surprised when they eventually married. It made sense, as it still does years later.

    • Nomar, I totally get this. I was like, How DARE he!!! (He had it ALL!) then, Stupid Boy! And What a Cliche! was my next thought. My last though, They totally deserve one another (as they share a great many character traits) and Good Riddance! (Not that it didn’t break my heart, I just believed in his “potential”…lol!)

  • I once had to listen to a cruel 90 minute monologue detailing all the ways OW was better than me. It was brutally painful at the time, but once I was able to really think about it, I realized that he was telling me that she was a better victim than I was. I would stand up for myself when he was abusive, and she would placate him. I questioned his lies and she believed everything he said. That’s not a contest I wanted to win.

    She probably is better than you, but only for a lying, cheating, selfish ass.

  • Thank you CL for answering my letter and for Chump Nation for the responses, now and later.

    I found Chumplady about two weeks after D-day and read every post and comment until my eyes ached every night. Chump Nation gave me the fortitude to get through this nightmare and together with my own over achiever attitude, I’ve made those bad-assed strides. The only communication I have with the STBX is about finances and the kids so when he texted me on Sunday that he needed to talk to me about something when he dropped the kids off, I knew it was going to be a bomb. I told him that he was stupid for going back to the woman who helped him wreck his family so that he only sees his kids every other weekend and showed him the door. I was in a very low place Monday morning when I wrote to Chumplady, but by the afternoon I was happy again because I reminded myself how miserable I was with him and how wonderful my life is now without his drama and constant negativity. I also realize that the kids told him about my new friend and he wanted to get back at me. Whatever! I’m just glad he still lives way over there, far from me and my new happy life with a bright future!!!

    As far as my new guy, we met through mutual friends and we started leaning on each other for support. Now we just focus on the present and being positive. I don’t know if it will go anywhere, but I just know that we’ve been a great help to each other in many ways.

    • April,
      It sounds as though you are coping pretty well. Recovery is never in a straight line, especially when sharing child custody is necessary and you have to still encounter him.

      Five years on, I still have occasional setbacks when I see something the OW has posted on her blog, but honestly, in my case she is such a train wreck that her posts guve me a good chuckle or at least an eyeroll. She is tacky as hell.

      When feeling low, I pull out the list I originally made of why it was good he was taken off my hands. Getting to meh, your mind forgets, so it is helpful to have little reminder to ensure you never let absence make your heart grow fond. Write yourslef a little narrative of just how and why he made you feel bad…and keep that as coaching notes so you never fall off the Meh Wagon.

    • Hi April- I agree with CL “Why can you let it go? Because you’re not through it yet”.

      But you know what? You sound pretty grounded. Sounds like your kids saw some glimmers of happiness in you and told daddy. Kids can be the great equalizer – after all, they just want things to be ok, happy to see mommy happy. But daddy could not handle it and pushed all the old familiar buttons. Co-parenting children under these very trying times & circumstances is where you might be at your most vulnerable, too.

      One thing I realized when the 2nd infidelity bombshell hit was, #1; I gave it my all in forgiveness and understanding the first time around, (I loved him), and #2; his drama is not my drama the second time around. I, like you, moved and multi-tasked to change and part ways at warp speed – much faster than my emotions did. So, while physical change was swift, the emotional side of me is at a complete standstill. And that void is a scary place of self-doubt sometimes. But my mantra is: his drama is not my drama.

      Had it not been for a couple of long time “soulmate” men in my life for the last 35 & 40 years (I’m 59 yikes!), were it not for their love, friendship, and support, I might be completely flattened with no faith in the opposite sex. They are proof that there are wonderful men in this world and reassure me that someday I’ll be more than ok. I treasure their long term friendship, and am grateful for their manly take of these issues because at our ages there isn’t much we all haven’t lived through. I know I can trust them with my heart and feelings. One says he’ll marry me on demand (we are single and 2,000 miles apart) – I am SO thankful for him – he puts a giant smile on my face in the darkest of times. And I don’t think I have smiled very much at all in the last few years before D-day…

      In my darkest hours, I know I do not feel whole. I am not even concerned with dating though I might be if I were younger– it’s kind of the last thing on my mind. Perhaps it’s because I have a lovely circle of friends that goes back to childhood where I feel supported and loved, but also it’s because I know “I am not through it”. But if I do happen to meet someone before I am ready, well I’ll baby step it that’s for sure with eyes wide open…

      While I feel that marriage counseling after an affair, after long term deception is like closing the barn door after the horses have gone, I do believe individual therapy in a time of crisis can be a beacon of strength. I had a couple of great therapists in my 30’s, at a break away time in my life, and the tools for living, knowing self-awareness and self-deception, and everything in between, are remembered, forgotten, and retrieved again and again! –What I love about CN which is a recent vehicle via the internet is that the care of forming one’s thoughts, experiences, feelings and analogies as a mixed group is a very powerful therapy, too. I am not alone. I laugh, I cry, I remember. –That we are mighty, mighty. And so are you! Xoxo for that!

      • Chump4, I also have some long term male friends from high school that reached out to me when they heard of what happened. They called and wrote, mostly they just reached out to me to let me know there were good men in the world. It’s amazing to have those kinds of friendships that have lasted a lifetime!

        • Lyn, yes, I think those male friendships (good energy) restore faith and are more appreciated than they’ll ever know in times like this.

          Part of what it reveals to me is I just chose the wrong guy. It’s ok, because we are human – what started out as a transformational love ended in betrayal and sorrow. But the murky aura surrounds HIM. Me? I’m just picking up the pieces from the scorched earth exit… But now, I am free to dream. I just don’t think I am fully aware of how big I can dream, if I want to, yet…

          My plumber (who upgraded entire house that we renovated) who is a total sweetheart, said, when I called him with a freezing pipe crisis (in the North East) back in Feb.,’Omg, how could he? Should I bring along some wine and candles’? Lol! The good guys are out there.

          • Chump4Bolero, you sound like you are having an amazingly good time! I loved your response because it deals very honestly with all that fallout. How long were you married? I was married for a long time and it’s still scary to think about dating and I know there are good men out there. I do enjoy spending time by myself, doing what I want to do, exploring new activities, but the thought of dating just plain scares the hell out of me.

            • Thanks Drew – my significant other and I knew each other for over 20 years and we lived together for 15 years – not married, no kids together, but there were kids from his previous marriage. We know well and are liked/loved by both of our families. .

              – SO, after reading some other people’s stories here, I feel pretty lucky on the logistical side. Parting ways was relatively simple – no waiting for a divorce, my choice whether to keep the house or move. I made him move out while I took time to decide.

              What is starting to feel amazing is I didn’t realize the level of anxiety I was living with day in and day out. I suffered a complete loss of confidence in the last couple of years we were together. Any attempt to communicate was thwarted with nothing is wrong, you are great, etc. But the body tends to know otherwise and I suffered insomnia, anxiety, and felt like I was walking on eggshells but didn’t know why.

              His major character defect is about honesty. He is incapable – and I am sad about that. Makes me question ALL the years we were together. I am actually starting to feel relieved to know as much of the truth as I know! The dramatic confessions (#2) come not out of his concern for my heart and mind but because the MOW had made a decision to leave her husband. It’s SO pathetic.

              Now, I am free to live an authentic life. Omg, the thought of dating scares me too. How could I have so blind? Is love really blind? Being blind in deceit makes me wonder about my instincts which were pretty good in my youth…. I have concerns at my age that I didn’t have 20 years ago. Also, not sure I want to stay in my area either.

              I too enjoy spending spending time with myself and I am kind of relishing that right now – I feel there is no rush – or the same kind of urgency that I have felt at other times in my life. I suppose these are the gifts of age and wisdom.

              I cannot imagine the explaining, squealing, squirming, (pontificating with outbreak of eczema) to justify his life that my Ex must be going through… Wow, Ex, and I, MOW, and her Ex, are all in our 50’s & 60’s, a part of a group of friends on all sides, a part of a community…

              –I’m just letting the storm wash over me because somewhere beneath there is my balance and wisdom…

              .

              • Chump4Bolero, yes, you have this. My life has been so much more authentic (since I am not living with someone who is constantly lying) and I recognize now what I don’t want. I take my time though and am still figuring out what I want.

    • April, so happy you are feeling better, still not sure why he felt he had to tell you that. Of course you are going to be triggered in learning he is back with the woman with whom he cheated on you, so what, that’s natural and only to be expected. You wouldn’t be human if you simply did not care after such a long term marriage, children, etc.

      And good for you that you have a boyfriend and are helping each other through this. There is no hard and fast timeline of when and who you should date, no one knows what is or is not right for you. We are no longer anyone’s bitch, and it sure sounds like you’ve got it going on so I applaud you. And from personal experience I can tell you that just because you are dating your boyfriend early on does not mean it is unhealthy, or doomed to failure.

      You got this April, just keep going!

  • April, tell your ex calmly and politely: “I’m not interested in hearing about OW or anything about your personal life in general. The only thing we have to discuss is our children.” And leave it at that.

    Your ex is not your friend. Don’t chit-chat about his life or vice-versa. Every time you do, you open the door *just enough* for him to take a jab at your heart.

    I agree with CL that you need to avoid serious dating until after your divorce, you’ve had some time to process your feelings and, most importantly, fixed your people picker.

    Beyond being fair to your fellow chump (who might very well be a great guy), you owe it to yourself to be full invested in YOUR OWN happiness and recovery before making an emotional investment in another person.

  • April,

    After my D-day 18 months ago, I found out that the STBX got several–2 or 3–women pregnant. They also had “miscarriages.” Of the intentional variety.

    As a fellow chump, my policy is always to be honest about the reality another chump is *really* facing.

    I’ve had a miscarriage. It pisses me off that these cruel asshats cheapen the pain that real people with real emotions who really experience these things of which they can so casually lie. It’s truly sickening.

    So, chin up! Big hugs, sister!

    • Utterly amazing. You have to be a special kind of stupid to REPEAT getting women pregnant over and over. I mean seriously, this is 2015! Use a condom!!!!!

      I’ve also had two miscarriages and you are RIGHT!!! Cheapening that pain. No way those were really “miscarriages”. Sick!

      • The STBX has 4 children. By 3 women. Two are mine. The oldest (not mine) starts kindergarten this August.

        My 3 year old came home from her paternal genetic contributor’s house this weekend, and she told me that mommy won’t let daddy live at her house anymore because of her little brother Levi.

        Technically, yes, this is correct. He has a 7 month old child with one of the OW, and I filed for divorce when I learned he was expecting a child with another woman. And I kept the house.

        But to tell that to my 3 year old?!… Those are the days I’m all, “You say I’m crazy?… I got your crazy!”

        • How dumb is his OW? What stupid whore hooks up and has a baby with a married man??? Does she HONESTLY think he’ll stay with her? OMFG.

          Nuts.

        • Telling your THREE year old. ::googly eyes::
          I don’t know how you explain to a THREE year old that dumb dad is not supposed to make babies with other mommies while still married to Mommie. It is wrong.
          But how do you open your door to let him have your THREE year old without a vat of boiling oil I just don’t know.

    • “He didn’t chuck his family because of her. He chucked his family because that is who he IS. A person who can abandon a family. A person who can lie and cheat and blithely knock another woman up three times. He’s a guy who will move his wife and children and upturn their lives just so he can eat cake.”

      YES YES YES

      Cheaters don’t choose “over” you. They choose “instead” of you. The minute some these fuckers see the least bit of autonomy in their spouse, they began the hunt for a new source of kibble. They will show you who’s in charge if you dare have a moment of content without them.

      They control because they fear being alone. This is why there will always be someone in the shadows. Just in case.

      • YES! If you show your new man “the least bit of autonomy” by keeping your heart and body safe until you are clearly at MEH…and he cant handle giving you plenty of time or space…then run!

      • Yes, Calamity Jane–mine even admitted the 22 year-old grad whore was so “sweet” to him and I was so “harsh” because I called him out on things.

        They don’t like autonomy in spouses, unless it is a further challenge to batting you down.

        • I think for the narcissist, getting one over on you is a big part of the motivation. It’s a way to punish you (behind your back of course, because they’re cowardly like that) and get kibbles all at the same time.

        • “They don’t like autonomy in spouses, unless it is a further challenge to batting you down.”

          How very, painfully, true, Tempest.

      • Calamity Jane, you absolutely nailed it!!! SO TRUE.

        My ex remarried soon after our divorce. She was eager to latch on to him (God’s gift to women). And she was dumb enough to fall for his “poor me” lies (I guarantee she doesn’t know the real reasons I divorced him). I congratulated him on his quick remarriage. His reply was that I knew he couldn’t stand to be alone for long. Yep, he needs someone to take care of him and whom he can beat down to feed his superiority complex.

        I didn’t spend a lot of time comparing myself to the OW(s) and definitely not to his ho-hum new wife. I was far too angry at what HE did over all those long years that I dealt with his narc BS only to find out he was sneaking around and cheating as well. I figured he found some other unwitting victims to be lured into his web of lies. New wife found out fairly early that he has a forked tongue. (My kids would tell me that he made her cry often.) He also has nicely molded her into picking up where I left off — to continue the stroking of his massive ego. Good riddance, I say!!!

        After we split he fixed up one of the rental houses that we had owned and moved into it. When he remarried he moved into new wife’s house but left all of his belongings in the rental. I asked him why he wasn’t making some money by renting it out again. He said there wasn’t room in her place for 2 households of furniture and the rental was a nice man-cave for him. (Yeah, he’s still shady.) He wasted no time getting his name on her house, but the rentals are in his name… New wifey hasn’t caught on yet. IF she ever does and is smart enough to divorce him, I hope she nails his balls to the wall.

        April, I don’t fault you for finding some comfort and friendship from a man who is kind to you and understands what you are going through. It’s nice to have someone to commiserate with. 🙂 Your marriage exists only on paper. Your STBX made the unilateral decision to null and void it. You didn’t step out on the marriage, he did! The only advice I will give is to take things slow, proceed with caution and allow yourself time to go through the grieving process. Your kids, too, need time to get used to the changes in their lives. They may or may not be ready to deal with mom dating. Depends on their ages and maturity. Mine were teens when their dad and I split. They eventually urged me to start dating!

        You are SO much better off now without that lying, cheating lowlife excuse for a man. Let OW deal with his BS. She’s not really “all that” – don’t waste anymore time wondering. He’s just sniffing around her again because you were strong and brave enough to finish what he started. DON’T LOOK BACK!!

        I was married for 23 years and found out my ex was whoring around from the get-go. It started when he moved me to his stupid small hometown out in the middle of BFE…

        Good luck, April, and hang in there!!

  • The question, “what made her so special”, is an interesting one. In my case, my ex had an affair (no idea how long, but at least a few months) with a CRS (Customer Relations Specialist) in the Philippines, which loosely translates to “having relations with customers… for the right price.”

    On D-day, I did ask him if he loved her and he said he thought he did. In the lead-up, I hired a PI and was treated to photos and videos of the two of them at a beach resort. The videos revealed her sitting across from him at a restaurant, head tilted and resting on her arm, gazing at him adoringly while he was no doubt regaling her with the same old boring stories he had been telling anyone who would listen for years. I’m speculating because there was no audio, but you get the picture.

    That, in my mind, is what made her so special. A new ear to listen to his crap. A new face to look at him adoringly — while she likely had no idea that any money he gave her was from my paycheck.

    Forget him. He’s not worth the mud you scrape off your shoe. Keep your focus on what makes *you* special and you will do just fine.

  • April,
    Honey…keep your radar up in high position regarding this new fellow. Why? Because cheaters actually LOOK for vulnerable women to hook up with…and you ARE still very tender and vulnerable. This translates into being EASY PREY for ANY kind of man to zero in on.

    He “may” be a good guy, but once you start the sex with him you will “muddy the waters” and wont be able to further discern if he really is or not. You do not know enough about him or his past…have not had the time or opportunities to do a little digging around with his friends/family to know if he is not just posing as a being a victim himself. This takes time to dig deeper because you have to win the confidence of his family and friends before they will likely disclose things that you will need to know about him.

    You have children whose hearts are at stake here too!

    These things take TIME. If he cannot respect you are not ready for a serious relationship (as in physical) and if he pushes (or makes everything look like it is YOUR idea when it is not) then there are red flags.

    Personally, I would tell new fellow that while I find him to be a comfort and a friend, that I will not feel safe enough with anyone to get physically intimate for at least two years after the divorce is final. See if he runs or starts looking elsewhere.

    • In my case, meeting someone new was the best thing for me. It’s good to move forward and test the waters. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not going to spend two years mulling over the pain of my divorce before I get back out in the world. I’m too old for that shit.

      Like you said, I think people who have been betrayed should be mindful in their next relationships. But don’t be so “mindful” that you never take a step forward. Of course someone else can screw you over, so what. You get past it and move on.

      Maybe I skipped over it, but I didn’t read anywhere where she said she wasn’t ready for a physical relationship or that he is pushing her to do anything. Besides which, we’re adults. Nobody is going to wait two years for a physical relationship. What’s the point? What I mean is, if I weren’t ready, I wouldn’t tell a prospective boyfriend that I wasn’t and expect him to patiently sit and stare at me in the hopes that one day he’s out of the “friend-zone.” I wouldn’t have been with him in the first place.

      And the digging from his family and friends to find out if he’s really a fellow chump? I get what you’re saying, but isn’t that a little paranoid? I’m seeing an X-chump right now. I don’t have to dig from his family and friends to get the particulars, I know he’s divorced and we’ve talked about both our situations plenty of times. I’m not going to call his mom and ask if he’s lying. And holy hell I’d be really freaked out if he did that to me.

      Come on, chumps aren’t timid little forest creatures. We’re awesome. No fear. Dating is scary. So are mortgages, death, visits to the dentist. But we do it anyway.

      • I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not going to spend two years mulling over the pain of my divorce before I get back out in the world. I’m too old for that shit.

        Amen to that. DivorceCare group says 2 years.. damn, that’s a long time. Nah. I can enjoy men.. I probably won’t right away, but I am with you. Don’t let fear hold you back, don’t jump in until you are ready and be prepared to kiss some frogs.. but it’s okay. Relationships don’t have to be long term. You learn from all of them.

        • I started dating 10 months after my divorce was final and I think it helped me immensely. Fortunately it was someone I knew for many years and trusted, we work in the same industry. He has been through divorce as well and is understanding. Because of him, some of my most traumatic memories have been overwritten with happier ones.

      • LOL RK, I hear you!
        I accepted a date request, from a man I met when I was volunteering, because he intrigued me, seemed cool, and I wanted that ego boost! It’s been fun, we go to a lot of events, and I don’t regret breaking my vow to wait two years. I guard a part of my heart, so I won’t get hurt, and I have my own place. Autonomy is important. So is having fun, and being with someone who’s interested in your growth after this infidelity beat-down! You just have to enjoy the human interaction, and stay NC with the stupid X.
        Anyway, that’s whats working for me.

      • To be honest – you tend to know when you’re ready – and like grief, everyone is different.
        With my abusive partner a few years back – one of the (few) people in my support network who helped me through the fallout is someone I’m now currently with. It didn’t happen until far later though. I look for very specific qualities in people I want to be with – and he is kind and caring.

    • Thank you for the link Dat. A good read and I have book marked it to re-read until it sinks into my thick skull. 🙂

    • Dat, check out the ‘Red Flag List’ on her site!
      You found the link for a site which made the penny drop that my ex’s behaviour was abusive.
      I think everyone from CN should look at that link too!

    • Needed that! Divorce done but custody trial coming up. Helps to remember what he is and that he won’t change.

    • I really liked that link; thanks Datdamwuf! True, “leopards don’t change their spots,” ringinonmyownbell. I need this right now and same Maree until it sticks also into my thick skull.

  • The litany of narc pity party rationalizations I got from my cheater in the early days after DDay included several statements both of the OW’s specialness AND her lack thereof… I was told she would be a better girlfriend for him because she had no children… um, mine are all grown up and the last one moved out of state 5 years before DDay, to which cheater retorted it was a pain to have to drive 375 miles several times a yr to visit them. WTF? so you cheated?

    Then in the same conversation he also told me OW was “just someone who didn’t want to be alone the rest of her life,” said snarkily. And without my even asking, “Muse, I don’t know why you assume the sex with her is really great, it’s NOT! it’s Just. Sex. OK???” said angrily. He also said that his affair “wasn’t about sex” but that “all” he’d done was to “accept an offer from someone.” And also that she “made him feel like a man,” and “saw the lost little boy inside him.”

    Crazy world salad, not making sense, saying whatever he thought I would believe. Never mind that these statements contradicted each other.

    It pained me greatly at the time, now two years later I just laugh about it and am greatly relieved that I am NOT this kind of a person who could do what he did to me. And that she did me a huge favor by removing him from my life.

    The bottom line is he was a serial cheater though it took this OW for me to finally find out he’d done it before during our 16 years together with at least two OW I know of and have conclusive proof. And only two years for him and the current OW to probably be breaking up… he wants people to believe he fell in wuv with her and then “left me,” but now friends are telling me there’s trouble in paradise and he’s moved out for awhile.

    I know she’s not special or better than me. Possibly only in that she may have seen through him in a shorter period of time, but I don’t really know. When he realized he’d been caught, he gambled and rolled the dice and decided to run off with her, because now I knew who he really was and he feared further exposure, and because she has more money than me and he thought it would be a better deal.

    What a pitiful little existence.

    April, you are hugely mighty! it hurts like hell at first but I am here to reiterate what CL and others say, that it is finite, and it does get better, and you will be so much happier and better off without this lowlife lying pondscum deceiver. Stay strong… hugs…

  • Muse, you are right. It doesn’t matter what happens to them once we give them the gate. These empty hearted, empty headed, losers will forever be chasing that elusive “happy” we heard Sooo much about when they callously discarded us! They are really just pathetic empty black holes that suck people dry and then move on to the next victim….. Er, girlfriend/boyfriend! Sad really. They just keep driving into the same ditch over and over again. A shitty life for a shitty person! Forget about what may or may not be going on in their “new” shiny life. I have seen and read enough in my 59 years to know that these relationships always fail with few exceptions!

  • “Just because your ex is a colossal asshole doesn’t mean you can speed grieve.” Laughing myself silly here, CL! Spot on! Perfectly worded as always 🙂

  • So much of this is familiar.
    I understand your pain…

    It is really really hard and excruciatingly painful to try and understand what is going on in their brains
    Narcissists pick their victims well…they pick people who are honest, idealistic, well meaning, and devoted to their families. People with priorities that include home, family, and spouse

    This will allow them to take advantage of their naivete not just once, but over and over again. That is to say, you are useful to them. Whatever it is that you provide, a home, food, adulation, all of these things are useful to them. However they are not above taking advantage of others as well. If they could take advantage of several women at the same time, all the better. They enjoy the challenge of a double life. Secret telephones, secret bank accounts, even secret children. It is all a movie for them, and they are the protagonist.

    Think of it as if they are a predator and you are prey. Prey does not need to be superior, it just needs to be available. No matter that the other women are desperate and ethically challenged. And when they get bored, and the game is no longer interesting they will let you detect their secret life so that you will get out of the way and they can move on to someone else. More often than not on their way out the door they will do everything possible to destroy your reputation with your friends and with the OW, so that you cannot even share with others your suffering. And just to feed their egos a little more they will pop back in every once in a while to watch you pick me dance see if they could have you back if they wanted to.

    No matter how hard we try to wrap our minds around the fact that we have been had, we can’t. We want to believe that the world is full of people like us, people who are sincere and who care about others. That someone could be so self-centered is beyond our ability to comprehend.

    Whoever she is, she is not “better” than you, she is simply more useful than you. Maybe she has family connections, or a bigger bank account, or a house in a neighborhood he wants to live in. Maybe she runs in a different social circle where he always wanted to be accepted. Maybe she is willing to support him so that he doesn’t have to work. Maybe she accepts his lies about you. Maybe she looks younger so he can show her off to his friends. You see she is simply a means to an end. She is a pawn, a convenient pawn. Not only is she convenient, but she is desperate enough that she is willing to gloss over his obvious flaws. He is/was a married serial cheater who led a secret life and made her go through three miscarriages while he was living with you. Wow.

    I know that all you want is your family back. I understand that. A cheater destroying his family is something so cruel that you cant help but wish, if only I could go back to that point where I didn’t know…. where my kids had a father etc. What if I am wrong about him? I am sorry you can not turn him into an ethical man and a good father no matter what you do. She is simply his next victim.
    .

      • I also think there are good odds that these miscarriages were abortions. Some of these guys have been known to slip the OW drugs to induce, if not just drive them to the clinic. Some OW have been known to fake a pregnancy to push the issue of “commitment”. You just can’t believe anything that they say.

    • That’s exactly right onward and upward. The hardest part is realizing that it actually has nothing to do with us or our children at all. It’s just who they are- liars.
      I also think a part of it is that we can grow and change. We have the ability to learn and mature. They don’t. They do the same thing over and over again.
      The scum I kicked out convinced me he was a chump, so we need to be careful of that. Of course, it will never be their fault. Everything was a lie. Since I’m not a big liar, I really don’t expect others to be liars and in reality, society can’t work if you have to question everything everyone says constantly.

  • My story is VERY parallel to yours April, 20 year married, year(s) long affair, happy to see his kids every other weekend, right around a year since d-day and waiting for the court to sign off on the divorce. Could happen any day…

    Thought I was pretty meh. Cheater would do something stupid and my most likely first response was “yeah, that sounds like him alight…”

    Then he told me something simple and BANG. I was right back and visceral pain, anger and sadness.

    it took me almost a day to realize that I was having a PTSD response. This was a big trigger. (HE just put on the shared our family wizard co-parenting calendar that he was going to NYC the next week. It was unnecessary to share. It didn’t impact his visitation at all having been arranged for one of the full weeks he doesn’t see our 9-year-olds. But had I moved to SoCal to support his career and leaving friends and family. the last time I went I only got to go one day to NYC and stayed with his parents and our kids in NJ while he was “working” in NYC. I found out later Childish Bride was with him. Now I am stranded here unless I want to be the one who takes the kids away from their father and all the friends and activities they have here.)

    I was almost equally upset to feel I had taken such a step backwards, but realizing this is helping me treat the feelings as symptoms or abuse and and gives me a direction for continuing my healing.

    Good luck to you!

    You are doing great!

  • April, I gave the serial cheater ex 23 years of my life until I finally divorced him over 2 years ago. Initially, I was like you. I often wondered about the final OW’s “specialness”. Think about it – she’s not at all special. She thinks so poorly of herself that she believes she only deserves a married man. Think of who you are – will you put up with a married man? No, right? And that’s because you are a better person than she is. Her specialness (or actually complete lack thereof) has nothing to do with you but rather your STBX’s lousy moral character. And your STBX? He will magically morph into someone wonderful. Sure, he could pretend but he will eventually default to who he really is. The OW did you a huge favor, although you may not yet believe it. Trust me, you will.

  • My cheater was a serial cheater so there wasn’t a specific OW for me to feel inferior to but I still felt (and sometimes still feel) that way but just in general.

    I initially caught him with one OW. She had 5 kids ranging from college to elementary school in age. She was divorced – I went to court house and pulled her divorce records and found out that her husband divorced her because she was a cheater. He initially had custody of the kids but they eventually ended up with a version of shared custody. She and my cheater would schedule their fu*k fests when her kids were with their dad or during the day while the kids were at school. I asked him at one point if any of the kids were his since he admitted to never using a condom but he said no. I just couldn’t comprehend what was so enticing about her – I was sure he didn’t want to help her raise 5 kids since he barely helped me with the 1 we had. Once I found out that he was a serial cheater, I became less interested in ‘why her’. I knew it wasn’t her in particular – it was anyone and everyone he could find that would spread their legs with him. He wasn’t choosy at all – he was and is simply pathetic.

  • April,

    I try not to give the ow space in my brain…but in my case, I do know the married ow knew that she was f***ing a married man. I know she is a low-life, skank cheater. So I try to reframe my thinking.

    I have…morals, integrity, values, boundaries, commitment, respect, self-control, and virtue, etc.

    She has…no morals, no integrity, no values, no boundaries, no commitment, no respect, no self-control, and no virtue, etc.

    I gained…a life.

    She gained…a cheating, narc asshole. (Good luck with that!!!)

    All of that said, it doesn’t make it easy. This crap isn’t. But please never think it is because she has something you don’t. It is about the cheater’s lack of character. Those of us with morals and character will never be able to comprehend the cheater’s behavior and that is a good thing. I hope I never understand what it takes for someone to throw away everything in search of something that will never fill that hole in their soul. Hugs to you as we walk through this journey.

    • Perfectly said One Step At a Time, straight and to the point. “She gained…a cheating, narc asshole (good luck with that!!!).” Wisely stated!!!! and very helpful for me to just go back to that thought!

  • He cheats with her, because she’ll put up with his shit. You didn’t – thats why he bailed.
    I can 100% understand the feeling of extreme stress when you have to hear about the shit in his life though. I wouldn’t say this is you becoming ‘un-meh’ though. Its your body’s way of saying ‘Danger! Danger!’ Its why you have to cut it off right there and then.

    • April,

      I didn’t go no contact with the ex right away. Huge mistake. I was still useful to him and while he was extracting whatever last bit of usefulness he could get, he let me know “he was thinking of contacting the OW again since their friendship ended so abruptly.” You seriously can’t make this shit up. Anyway, I lived with him long enough to realize that information was just code for “I already contacted her.” He certainly wanted to continue to hurt me but he wasn’t done using me so he didn’t want to let the cat totally out of the bag just yet.

      I was moved out a whole two months and divorced for 1 when he asked me if I wanted to go out and have dinner with him to celebrate our defunct anniversary??!! I figured he was going to tell me (in a restaurant so I couldn’t make a scene) that he and the OW had rekindled their “always meant to be relationship.” I declined his invitation, called him a psycho and basically told him to go fuck himself; I was done being his chump and I was going no contact.

      He went all scorched earth on me a week later with nasty texts, probably because I cut off his kibble feed. Haven’t talked to him in over a year; haven’t texted him for that long either and we’ve only exchanged less than a handful of emails because of the kids or loose ends from the divorce. As a matter of fact, I’ve blocked him from every venue except email. I had just about enough of the mistaken texts, odd butt dials and oopsy face time calls that I decided enough was enough. Of course that luxury was afforded to me because both my kids are adults so I got to side step co-parenting with that fucktard.

      Here’s the best part: The OW is now the OWife. They got married at some point. I thought it would bother me way more when I found out but I always knew he couldn’t stay single for long so I guess I was prepared.Just look at it this way. For the time your ex and the OW are together, the rest of the world is safe from them. It probably won’t last forever but they are out of your hair.

      I know it sucks; that feeling of rejection but it says nothing about you and everything about his lack of character. There is a better life for you out there and you can’t get to it with that wackadoo in your life so try to look at the bright side. His loss is definitely your gain!

  • In my case, the Schmoopie looked at the divorce settlement proposal and freaked. Actually, I think STBX freaked, and Schmoopie did, too. Gosh! They agree on something: the sex wasn’t worth it! 😛

    • LOL! I’m sure my ex hasn’t told his Schmoopie that he lost his ass in our divorce. I know 18 year olds who have more net worth than my 60 year old ex. I know for a fact he hasn’t seen her settlement. I actually had a copy of her divorce settlement and he wantsd to see it so bad that I had to sleep on the damn thing! Both of these idiots are basically broke! Hello sweet karma!

        • Divorces are a matter of public record. Schmoopie lives in Florida and they have what is known as Sunshine Laws. My attorney asked for a copy through the Clerk of Courts and paid a fee. It was useful to know exactly what the terms of her settlement were while preparing for my settlement. Her ex had actually requested a copy of my filing so he could find her named in it and then her STBX prepared to strip her of any and all he could as she was named as the paramour in my filing. These documents are not private. They are a matter of public record and as long as you have the names and the fee, you can get anyone’s divorce decree and settlement statements.

  • Having been on both sides (I was both the chump and an unwilling spectator to my ex-wife’s post-divorce destroying of her AP’s marriage), I can affirmatively say, without a doubt, the KEY reason why any spouse thinks the the Other Person is so amazing: Because the OP is not YOU.

    That’s all.

    My ex-wife was a lot of fun. A blast! And at 27, I was sold!

    Come 31 – 32, it got a little…boring, frankly. She didn’t have a personality, other than her desire to have fun. Very one-note, and not mentally stimulating. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a woman who “likes to have a good time” as much as the next man…but if that’s her personality exclusively, is this really the kind of woman to start a family with? (By then, I’d already committed and done marriage, and I chumpily believed that, yes, this WAS that kind of woman.) If so, when is she going to mature as I have been doing for the past several years?

    But now…years later (with the affair/divorce occurring in between), I understand my wife’s problem was that she got to one stage of life–mid-20s single female urban professional–and never let it go. She can’t. She’s not capable. I have former male friends who never aged beyond 18 (in their minds). So…my wife never aged beyond when we started dating, at 27 (in her mind.)

    There is NOTHING special about that for a man. The only thing special for her AP (now boyfriend) was that she was fun and childless and willing. No offense, female fellow chumps, but “fun and willing,” with our without children, is not what I look for anymore in a life partner. My bad for mistaking those characteristics with actual good character. Live and learn.

    —-

    As for my wife’s AP…let’s see:

    –He dated a colleague for 10 years and had a child with her. Then he moved to my City, while she stayed back with the child.
    –She had her baby boy, and they were together raising a child long distance…right around the time he started f****ing my then-wife.
    –After I left my wife and filed for divorce, this man proceeded to propose to his girlfriend and marry her (all the time sleeping with my then stbx). He persuaded his wife to quit her job, sell her house, and move to my city.
    –And then, less than 4 months into the marriage, he told her “whoops, my bad,” and admitted (finally) to his affair.

    __

    In case this needs a conclusion, here is it.

    I’M BETTER THAN MY EX-WIFE’S AP.
    I’M BETTER THAN MY EX-WIFE.

    And chances are very high that you’re better than your ex’s AP. Very VERY high.

  • Thank you JC! I think we all need to hear that and truly believe it. I had a theory about my ex. I think he has always known I was too good for him so he found a willing dope who he could feel superior to. Bonus: she was available and willing to have sex with him. Lucky her! Now she can put up with his crap!

  • JC and Roberta!! Yes!!! Great viewpoints here.
    April, I don’t buy into the crap that says we need to have any kind of relationship with someone who is toxic, even if it’s an ex husband who fathered children with you. My focus is on me and my children, my new life, and my future. Best decision I ever made was No Contact. Only emails re finances. No info re kids, he is their father and can figure it out, I no longer help him relate, or make excuses when he’s a total shit. Christmas? No Dad. Oh well. He needs to do the work. Our kids are older but I leave it up to them to make overtures (no longer my job, lol). IRL, I do not speak to him at all, this suits me well, I treat him like someone I dislike, see, and don’t know very well. Healthy, for me. Exchanging small talk, nope. Models for my children the appropriate response to someone who chose his behavior. I ignore any personal remarks. Walk away when he starts in on his new wonderful life (no kibbles here!) because life is too short to deal with the disordered. I don’t look at anything ex is doing (IRL or online)because frankly I don’t give a damn and I don’t want “stuck.” Concentrate on your life. Live well, and keep moving forward. And recognize there will be some days where it will still hurt (and then honor that). Hugs to All!

  • I know my ExH’s OW wasn’t special, I’d known her and her husband for 20 years. Our husbands had worked together for many years and were best friends.

    She was vulnerable and grieving after her husband’s death. She was needy and sad and probably desperately lonely. She was drinking too much and had lost a lot of weight. My heart broke for her.
    I’d talked through her worries with her during her husband’s illness, I hugged her at his funeral and sent my love every time my ex went to visit her. I was so proud of how he supported her…

    Yeah. Not so much now.

    While everyone around them shook their heads in disbelief, neither of them batted an eyelid.
    I once asked my ex how it felt sleeping in his best friend’s bed and fucking his widow.
    Blank stare.
    Like a wise friend told me. Water will always find its own level.

    They aren’t special. They are a special blend of fucked up.

  • Verity-

    Your Q as to “how does it feel to sleep in your best friend’s (a dead man’s) bed is really right on.

    You are describing my parents break up in the 70’s. Oh, my amazing mother – what I realize now is that she showed me how to fall apart and re-build. My father left my mother after a mutual couple/friends suffered a tragic death of the OW’s husband. I love and adore my father – but it has not been without hardship, a lot of therapy, and the lingering Q, is history repeating itself in my life because I am damaged? I was the trusting, going to take the middle of the road child in the midst of the devastation. That path served me well until recently… Anyway, that is a whole other area of introspection.

    The irony is, my father divorced my mother, married my stepmother 40 years ago, and my stepmother has been diagnosed with Alzheimers. My father is living in a kind of hell I wouldn’t wish on anyone. He is vibrant, works in his beloved profession in his 80’s, and cares for the shell of a woman he fell in love with. And soon, she won’t remember who he is…

    The laws of karma work in mysterious ways – An OW rescue mission on a man’s part may not end up so well…

  • Bottom line……Men who cheat are dicks and women who sleep with married men suck….Perfect for each other.

  • Sadly, nothing makes the APs special. They are just there and available. Which also means your cheater, who is the AP to the AP’s spouse, is there and available.

    What a sick triangle of two fucked up people and one faithful chump.

    That is the only fact that is relevant: they are fucked up and you’re not. Or else you’d be someone’s AP while cheating on your spouse.

    I was kind of hoping, in a weird, DDay way, that the AP in my marriage was some sort of hottie with brains. I had to rationalize something. There had to BE some sort of conclusion to draw on as to why my cheater would create a second life for a freaking decade! Then I googled her when I figured out her name. What a huge disappointment. Barely literate, emotionally stunted, OLD, fat, sells Mary Kay cosmetics for Christ sakes, Jesus cheater too. Mega barf.

  • This site is the best. I filed 3 weeks ago. No one I know could figure out why STBXH would self-destructively blow up his life by having an affair with – as friends and relatives have called her – a “skank” who looked like a “crack whore.” Now I see it articulated here in black and white. That is the level he is comfortable with. It makes him feel important and superior. He wants needy, dysfunctional people around him. I thought he wanted more from life, but all he has wanted to do is demean me. It’s painful, but freeing.

  • My H said the reason he fell for his co-worker—who is married with FOUR kids— is because she’s a “good person” and a “nice person.” Sorry I wasn’t chipper enough after waking up every night with two small children! And maybe I’m wrong, but in my book “good” people and “nice” people don’t go around starting an affair with a married man with kids, especially when you’re married and have kids yourself. I have to hand it to her though—I’m impressed she found the time!

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