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Take Back Your Power

frienemyHi Chump Lady.

I was wondering if you could write an article on ways to take your power back? I’m guilty of giving my recent ex kibbles even when I try not to. I wish I could go no contact with him entirely but we have a young child together. He keeps treating me like everything is okay and that we can be friends. He even had the audacity to ask me to pick him up from the hospital after a surgery he had. Sadly, I did this and now I’m kicking myself. I really just need some ideas of “actions” rather than words to show that I’m getting on with it — “Fake it til you make it, right?”

JF

Dear JF,

When your cheating ex calls to be picked up from the hospital after surgery, here’s the action:

Don’t.

Here are the words:

“Hey, why don’t you call your fuck buddy? I’m sure she’d be delighted to give you a lift and hear the details of your colonoscopy.”

Or

“I’m sorry, I’m busy shaving my calluses that day.”

Or

“The volunteer service organization formerly known as Your Wife is now under new management. Sorry, but we don’t extend credit.”

How do you take back your power?

1. Trust that he sucks. Once you really internalize who he is, what he did, and why you’re divorced, you’ll see that your ex isn’t your friend — he is just someone who is still trying to extract value from you. Takers take. Are you doing him a favor because you think that will grease the wheels for him to do something for you some day? Don’t. He doesn’t do reciprocity. He doesn’t respect you (his cheating demonstrates that). And you need to find new people to invest in and lean on when it comes time for favors.

Are you doing him a favor because you think by playing nice he’ll treat your young child better? He should treat his child well because he has a responsibility to be a good parent. You don’t control his relationship with your child. You just have to abide by the terms of your custody agreement. “Rides home from surgery” aren’t under your obligations.

He’s playing you for kibbles because he can. He’s using you because he can. And there is absolutely NOTHING in it for you.

2. Consider your values. Chumps tell themselves, well, I gave him a ride to the airport, because That’s Just The Kind of Person I Am! Chumps pride themselves on their chumpiness. The cheater doesn’t have to return the favor, I’m the bigger person here! It’s nice to know we can All Get Along.

Cheaters play you exactly because you have these values. And when you do something that goes against your Nice Code, it feels uncomfortable, and you’ll cave. They’re banking on that.

How about strengthening a new set of values that values yourself? Your time, your resources, your precious love. Why waste those things on a cheating fuckwit? Only people deserving of you get your time. Be choosey. Know your worth.

3. Make a new life. You really are too busy shaving your calluses. If you aren’t busy, get busy. I don’t care if you do the most mundane things — it’s all a start. When your new life fills in, the old life gets eclipsed. The more you keep this jerk central, the less time you have for that new life.

If your 8th-grade science lab partner called for a ride, you’d have an easier time turning him down, wouldn’t you? You haven’t heard from that person in 25 years, they’re peripheral to your life, and you’d wonder “Don’t you have anyone else to call?” Make your ex peripheral to your life.

Every time you invest in that new life you are taking back your power. It’s as simple as directing that power from him back to yourself. That’s it.

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.
  • This reminds me of when I sold my couch to my ex (stbx at that time). I already knew she was cheating on and had been doing so for months. After selling her the couch, she wanted–nay, expected–me to load it for her. I said, “No.” Left it as HER own problem. Felt good to set that boundary. I was saying in that response that I refused to be used anymore. Sure, I was able and would do such a thing for a friend. But she was not my friend anymore. Friends do not cheat on and lie to their friends. They need to know things have changed and consequences be coming.

  • I have to agree with Chump Lady. When I finally got fed up with being a chump, I called my STBX out on his cheating behavior AND told him he couldn’t walk all over me anymore, his entire attitude changed. He isn’t talking to me at all (YAY!) but he no longer asks for favors or expects me to do anything for him.

  • It’s hard to switch brain pathways to what CL is talking about but she’s right and it is possible. Actions, when aligned with feelings and thoughts, result in integrity, hence your feelings of “kicking” yourself as you expressed this misalignment. Instead of beating yourself up, however, tell yourself, “I am working on this.” Then take back your power (evident in recognizing this and writing in). When in doubt in your head (especially those times when we revert to old behaviors as in doing for the ex), stick to your actions as in “Don’t,” (per CL and CN), even if your feelings and thoughts dictate otherwise. Getting to acceptance, “trusting that he sucks” is a process. In the past, our narc/exes filled our heads; it’s a new thing to focus on ourselves, which is what I believe we are all trying to do here and what I believe is possible.

    • “in the past, our narc/exes filled our heads; it’s a new thing to focus on ourselves, which is what I believe we are all trying to do here and what I believe is possible.”

      Amen, ChumpB!

    • YES! Every day for the past 3 years has been spent dealing with the shit storm he created. Some days have been more intense than others, but even on a good day there’s an undercurrent of doubt, regret, shame, fear, etc. He’s moved out now, and it feels great!!! My energy has increased, I’m sleeping better, and finding a new groove… one that doesn’t include him.

  • It is hard to stop being chumpy. I am still being used as a storage unit for him. My kids act like I am a big meany for wanting to get his stuff out. Like the X is under so much stress with no responsibilities, must be hard to hang out with his new GF, and go to Hawaii with her before signing the divorce papers, but he doesn’t have time to move his hoarding crap out. All the while I stay at home, take care of the kids, the dog, try to fix the construction mess in the house that he left me, and get the house ready to sell so I can pay him off to go away.
    I did try to be friends with him, but it is obvious that I couldn’t be friends with someone that only cared about himself. That isn’t friendship. We shouldn’t be punished because we are nice caring people.

    • ChumpedtotheMax, you are not a meany! How dare he go to Hawaii with OW shirking responsibilities! I tried to be friends too, what a joke that was.

    • Ha! My cheater fck face went to Hawaii last year with his sub as well (with his jiu jitsu club, allegedly) but no, it was him being free-to-be-me with his OW, three months after d-day and still insisting that they were just friends. The gall…

      • What is it with Hawaii? My stbxh jusi took Schmoopie to Hawaii, while not paying the mortgage, not paying attorneys for ongoing civil lawsuit, not paying utilities nor credit card bills that are held jointly (i have closed CC accounts), and bouncing checks!!!! I can’t fathom any of it, he’s lost his mind….or is this the definition of narcissism? The legal noose is tightening. (I’m tempted to alert Schmoopie to when he is testifying in court on the business fraud charges against him, as I’m sure she has no clue about it) I hope Schmoopie will see through his lies sooner rather than later, but he’s had a lot of practice and lying and leading a double serial cheater life. It took me nearly 4 decades! I’m still reeling.

    • Chumpedtothemax, maybe you could hire a moving company to deposit the stuff on his doorstep along with their invoice?

    • ChumpedtotheMax, My stbx is the same. Using me as a free storage unit. I gave him a timeline to get his shit out of the house then told him to either pick it up or it’s going in the garbage. Mind you, I was chumping along still trying to be nice when my neighbours’ said – “why? get it out!”. I’m going to sell what is left behind so I can to get money for groceries for the kids.

    • Put that crap on the street, tell him you have a date for Salvation Army, goodwill, epilepsy foundation or big garbage day pick up thru your sanitation department! First come first served! Fuck him!!!

    • I think even the kids perceive which parent is “capable” and which one is the giant child. And they empathize with the Giant Child Parent, understanding that the GCP can’t or won’t take care of themselves, and they don’t understand why the Capable Parent is suddenly refusing to take care of the GCP. So it’s not even that they think that the Capable Parent is mean, but they’re desperately trying to realign the family dynamic to an alignment they understand.

      • Agreed PucksMuse. Why am I the bad guy for wanting cheating scum out of my life, because I’ve always been the one to handle everything, the one who makes stuff happen, the “capable” one.

    • ChumpedtotheMax:

      I too, was used as a storage unit and a pet sitter…2 months after he moved out, I put his beloved cat outside- he has been with us about as long as we were together— I put him out in the storage closet on our back porch. He came by to return our daughter and asked where did I move his litter box to which I answered, “Outside- along with his food, water and him!!!” Two days later he came by to get his “F*cking cat!” and took him back to his slut-shack. He had the NERVE to say to me after in a text: (among other things) “…at least now I’m not the only one you made feel alone!!!…I told you I would get [the cat] when I found a flea comb to remove his fleas and that I couldn’t have pets in my slut-shack- whether it’s been 2 months or 6- I would have gotten him eventually…you just threw him out like an abandoned child!!! (to which I replied, “OH! Like you abandoned ME!!!”)…”

      As far as the storage unit, he had the nerve to ask to come get the mower he left behind so he could cut his slut-shack’s yard. I told him that since he hadn’t given me any money to pay my bills for the house our child lives in 95% of the time, I had to have a yard sale and sold it…he tried to leave behind some boxes of garbage- unwanted items of his that his fat lazy ass didn’t feel like putting out in the garbage…he came by to get his daughter, I walked out to his truck with the shit and put it in the back of his truck.

      • Mine did this too. Pawed through his personal belongings, that I had gathered up and placed in garage, got rid of anything that reminded him of his discarded family, his “previous life” don’tcha know (ie calendars that had our best times recorded, love letters, pictures of his children, and me), and left that crap piled up in a trash bag in the garage for me to see and dispose of. Entitled Narc POS. His skank is so deserving of the person he now is.

  • While it might feel good (in the moment) to use the zingers Chump Lady devised, sometimes being overtly mean is giving the cheater kibbles because they’re still getting an emotional response from you. Furthermore, you’re giving the cheater insight into your thoughts, which he is no longer entitled to.

    JF, the word “No” is a complete sentence. Saying “no”, by itself, is an act of reclaiming your power. Practice saying no, not just to you ex, but to other people and in other circumstances in your life.

    Do you have an annoying acquaintance that’s always asking you for coffee and you go because you don’t want to hurt her feelings? Say no.

    Does a lazy co-worker want you to cover for him at work? Say no.

    Does your neighbor always ask to borrow your vacuum but takes a week to return it? Say no.

    Ex: Will you pick me up after my surgery?

    You: No.

    Ex: Why not?

    You: I don’t want to.

    Ex: But I need you to.

    You: No.

    Trust me, after doing this just once, you’ll feel so much better about yourself… much more so than if you tried to be a good person by acquiescing or, alternately, trying to hit him below the belt.

    • Lulu, I was being snarky for effect, but while I advocate for being indifferent toward cheaters and not feeding them kibbles, I’m not above the occasional zinger. “I’m busy shaving my calluses” is “below the belt”? That’s going to hurt their sad sausage feelings?

      I think it says “Here’s an absurd answer to match your absurd question.”

      • Believe me, Chump Lady, I absolutely love your zingers and there are time when they are certainly appropriate and much deserved. But as my grandfather used to say, “Sometimes the best word is the one you don’t say.” The intent behind that was to never let anyone you don’t trust have even a hint of what your true thoughts or feelings are.

        I’m not at all concerned about sparing sad sausage feelings. I think that, for the most part, cheaters lack the capacity for feeling beyond self pity. They are toddlers smearing poo on the walls and enjoying the attention of getting yelled at.

        • Ooh. This is a good point. I think this is why (though I LOVE zingers and have to resist the temptation to dole them out) I use zingers sparingly and relegate conversation to “yes,” “no,” “see you back here at 8pm” or whatever. It’s the only way to defuse a narc.

          • I personally love zingers like, “Oh you need a ride? Have your other MOM (insert OW name) pick you up, I just took the garbage out and need a shower”.

            • I think zingers are usually for us. C,mon, sometimes it just puts some humor in a really awful situation. I know when I lob one at him, my girlfriends and I laugh about it for days. I don’t care what he gets out if it or not. Most of the time I just keep it brief but once in a while he gets snark and boy is it fun.

              • Well with my X you can’t get snarky. He is the KING of snark; and he’s lightning fast. So if you try, you’ll just get caught up in his web of one-ups-manship.

        • Totally get where you’re coming from on this, Lulu. It may depend on the cheater’s personality, because my soon to be ex also would love that kind of zinger– he’d view it as sparring/entanglement, say something snarky in return, and ultimately he’d walk away from the encounter thrilled that we’d both played on his level. Conversely, he’d be genuinely bothered by an unembellished no. So it probably depends on cheater personality. But for me the word no, on its own– that’s power.

      • Over at Etiquette Hell, the typical response to a ridiculous request is just saying, “That won’t be possible.” Nothing elaborate. No room to argue. Just tell them it’s outside the realm of things that will happen.

      • I never use zingers for exactly the reason Lulu mentions. Jusr yesterday, my first XW asked if she could take me and my girlfriend to dinner as an expression of gratitude for my taking care of my son who just relapsed and started shooting up again. I have exhsusted almost my entire 401k now.
        i simply said “no, that is not a good idea.”
        My girlfriend had met my XW just a week prior and my XW tried to charm her.
        Gf, also a bs, was having none of it.
        Anyway, I am sure the terse, no explanation response bothers XW more than if I zinged her.
        Of course, all typed of zingers run through my brain, but it would just sttoke XW’s ego to go to the trouble of hitting her with one. I had pretty much tne same philosophy as regards pummeling the OM. No sense having her see two guys fighting over her. Instead, I shook his hand and thanked him. Told him I was grateful for his taking her off my hands.

  • Good for you DM for setting boundries. When my stbx walked away from a 16 year marriage with 2 kids he acted like nothing happened. We would still be ‘friends’. I don’t know if he is insane or what?!? He even went as far as to say “when I get my new place I will give you keys to come as you please SO I should still be able to have keys to your home as well”. WTF?

    • sara,

      Yeah, it does not register in their cheater-brains that they have dynamited the relationship. They want the benefits of the relationship without the responsibilities of repairing what they destroyed. Just crazy.

      DM

      • THIS DM, his Schmoopie wants to off load her “lover boy” who is terminal now like a defective item she purchased online! NO RETURNS HONEY! You bought him lock, stock and barrel!

      • DM, “they want the benefits of the relationship without the responsibilities of repairing what they have destroyed” – thank you for that. I cannot wrap my brain around this madness 🙁

        • Sara, bonus! We don’t have to wrap our brains around “crazy”! We get away clean and get a good life! Ain’t it grand? Yes, yes it is! They get mired down in their avarice! Walk away and let them have at it. You have better things to do!

          • Roberta,

            Thanks for that. Some days though, it seems like I was a speed bump in the way of his “great life” which seems to continue endlessly. I don’t need a karma bus, I need a karma train and it’s late pulling into the station 🙁

            • Sara, it’s there. You just can’t see it yet. There are patterns to crap behavior. As much as I’d like to say one day ex was _______, and the next day he was gone, the truth is there were little warning signs all along. His actions told me what I needed to know, I just wasn’t looking at the bigger picture. It wasn’t immediately noticeable and there was a lot of time (28 years) where he was acting beautifully, but he usually fell apart on things that mattered. Family, morals, hard decisions. He was Sparkly, probably much like yours. Thing is as the years grew I felt he loved me (or himself) less and less. I grew stronger. When you can see what your life is like away from disordered (it’s a bit like a drug, loving someone incapable of loving you back) you will begin to see how much beauty there is. We doubt it when we are with them. We spackle. We make excuses for their crap behavior, long hours, personal choices. I knew I loved him more. I look back and see it now. I always had this nagging feeling, that feeling of wanting what others had, of looking into a window at a family that appreciated what they had, and my life looked perfect. Ex was inauthentic though and it affected everything I did. I, like many Chumps here, am worthy, competent, generous, loyal, intelligent, but in my marriage Ex always made me feel less than. I don’t need Karma to know his life isn’t better. .People don’t all of a sudden grow character. That right there is reason enough to move forward. It really is all about us living well. And Life is so much better without a Cheating SO.

            • The best karma is positive karma that happens for you. Forget the rest. Mine has taken a huge turn for the better. God, or some force, has set me up for a great life, and my daughters love and respect me. I can’t ask for anything better.

    • They so don’t get it. I always tell people my stbx acts like we went “steady” for a year in high school instead of having a 20 year marriage with 2 wonderful kids. He keeps telling me and our boys that he just doesn’t understand why this is such a big deal. We roll our eyes and walk away.

      • Oh I get this only all so well. I’m am separated but hubby still waltzes into our life. Just can’t understand why things can’t be the same for me as the are for him. I have managed to put my anger & rage behind me, because it almost took my life. It took me a long time to realize it was me hurting me.

        I can’t D for reasons, so I’m stuck w separation…can’t do legal because my state doesn’t recognize separation, goes straight to D.
        So he still feels he can just come in and out of my life & home at random.

        Everyday I just wish he were to find someone else.

        • “Can’t” divorce and the state doesnt recognize legal separation? Wow what a horrible situation to be in, Eileen! So if he would find someone else or you would, then you still “can’t” divorce? How long does that particular torture go on? How can the state make it so that you “can’t” divorce?

        • Change the locks. You have no reason why this fuckwit needs to be in your life, non-legal separation or otherwise.

    • Oh, yes – it reallly is about “taking your power back.” I work in PR. One of the things we do is prepare the messages in advance (fact-based), and STAY ON MESSAGE. I guess I must have done this in my head a million times in the year since I filed and finally got divorces from the x-douchebag because when his fantasy world crumbled two weeks ago and he called ME from county jail, it went like this:

      Computer: An inmate is attempting to call you. Press 1 if you accept this call.
      Me: Hello?
      Douchebag: I need you to find my lawyer’s number for me. The one who did the divorce. (Seriously?!)
      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. (LIAR. My lawyer got the Protective Order filed by his “soulmate.” He broke into her house and beat up her NEW soulmate/lover)
      Me: Why don’t you call your soulmate WHORE to find it for you? (Sooo glad my message was prepared. Rolls off the toungue when ready.)
      Him: We broke up a long time ago (A week earlier)
      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)

      This, along with my 10 mos of complete no contact made for a peaceful, restful night. I wasn’t put out, and I’m not his PR agent anymore.

      (((HUGS to all you Chumpy peeps today!!))) =D

      • PR agent!! That’s what I was. Great analogy KibbleFree! I’m over it now, but I can’t tell you how many times I ran damage control trying to preserve his image. Silly me, worried that he would create a mess so big that he’d never recover from it when he finally came to his senses. He’s on his own now, and will soon figure out how important PR is. He’ll have to surround himself with people of a different ilk if he wants to be respected. Many of my family members have told me they try to avoid seeing him because the sight of him makes them sick/sorry/angry… how sad, to lose the respect of so many good people.

      • You can do one better and not accept collect calls from him. Don’t know where you live but look at your phone bill. In my state those calls aren’t cheap. It sounds like he is close to hitting rock bottom. Good!

        • Hey, Let go – you’re exactly right, but if I hadn’t picked up, I would never have known what he did, and wouldn’t have started the ball rolling on sole custody, visitation at child’s discression only, etc. I think this is how he still has a job: no one knows until they find out somehow. Liars lie, so his dumb ass calling me created the window of opportunity for me to insulate my teen from his chaos.

          Now that I think about it, we have (as most states likely do) an online database of court records. I’d encourage all Chumps to look up the x-douchebag’s legal name about every 3-4 mos while you have minor children.

          • Oh! And I looked up that call on my cell bill. Says I had a $0 charge. Huh – I wonder if different jails use different calling centers? Not sure, but great point!

    • My STBX wanted us to have dinner together once a week “as a family.” What a freak show that would have been. “If we get divorced we can still be a family, right?” Puke.

      • Almost Single Guy, I actually let mine come over twice for family dinner. The first time, he plopped on the couch in front of the tv and did nothing to help fix dinner or clean up. I told him he couldn’t come again unless he helped. The 2nd time, he put the steaks on the grill and stood glued to the tv until the steaks had burned. I made him leave right then.

        • Good one, ByeByeCheater! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only chump who tried family dinners for the sake of our youngest still at home and others home from school, but now I realize it was just one big kibble fest for him and I’ve stopped doing it. When he would come to my house he would walk around the living room with his hands behind his back (his favorite silent judgment body language) and then bend over to scrutinize anything new that I’d bought to register his disapproval, just dying for me to ask him what he thought. At least I didn’t give him that satisfaction (which I would have not too long ago), just pretended not to notice and left the room.

  • Maybe this is because of my sales background… or because of my hardass, saleswoman-turned-accountant mother? lol

    Learn to say “No” and nothing more. “No” is enough. Offer no excuse or explanation. Excuses and explanations can be argued or overcome. You really need to just say “No” and let the following silence linger in the air. They’re waiting for you to excuse or explain it. Let them wait. If they are rude enough to challenge your solid No, you should feel zero guilt about then saying, “‘No’ is enough.”

    Do not offer alternate suggestions. It’s their circus and their monkeys… and they have to figure it out, not have you do it for them. If you still have inner guilt, assuage it with the fact that they’ll be learning a life skill, in figuring out the solution to their own problem *themselves.*

    “No” is enough.

    • Insistonhonesty is 100% right. They’ll take any explanation and use that as a way to change our chumpy hearts and minds. Any reason for the ‘No’ is seen as inferior to them (even though the reason is important to us) and it undermines our power. Just plain ‘No’ is the best.

      • I’m not even a fan of zingers, for me personally… because they always end up biting me in the ass when what I’ve said has been relayed to others, usually with an embellished twist, for sympathy. “Can you believe she actually said… ?!! What a bitch!” It opens up the door to snarky responses in return. To pissiness and conjecture, by others, about the hurt feelingses you MUST be harboring. “She’s just so BITTER.”

        Nope. Just “No” will do. It leaves them powerless. What are they going to say? “She just said ‘NO’?!!! Can you BELIEVE that?!” Uhh, yeah. So?

        And when/if some story comes back to you and the asshole has made up a whole, flaming, liarpants story about it, you can honestly react with, “What? All I said, literally, was “No.’ And when he asked why, I told him that ‘No’ was a clear answer, on its own.”

          • That’s the sales part, I think. When you WANT a client to keep talking, you only ask open-ended questions… nothing they can answer Yes or No to. They usually talk themselves into buying right before my eyes OR tell me how to convince them that they want what I’m selling.

            And if you flip that logic around – being on the receiving end – you can just end it with a “No.” Then let that silence hang awkwardly in the air until they accept it or continue. Open-ended questions are again answered with “No. I said ‘No.” And then you cut them off.

            Like when cashiers ask you “What’s your telephone number/email address?” instead of “Can I have your…?” I still say No.

            “But we’re not going to sell it.” No.

            “It’s totally private!” No. I said No.

            “You don’t like to save money?!” (I’ve had this pushed at me at an Eddie Bauer outlet, by a real little shit of a dude. Asked a close-ended question to attempt making me appear stupid. The thing is? I’m not.)

            And then I repeated my refusal more forcefully: “Tom? I’ve said ‘NO’ repeatedly. How transactions work is that I give you money and in exchange, I get to leave with this shirt. And that is the END of the transaction. I will pay for this shirt and then leave. You are not entitled to any more from me than that. Okay, Tom? This tank is on clearance for $6, NOT $6 and my phone number and/or email address. I’m pretty sure that refusing payment from customers for merchandise is not what you’re supposed to be doing; is it, Tom?” My step-MIL (didn’t know the story, at the time, that she was a MOW who got my minister-FIL to leave his wife of 24 years, 2 children, and ministry for her) was SO embarrassed by my “behavior.” I complained to corporate and received a $25 GC. I’ve not seen Tom there since. (FIL died so I don’t have to deal with her anymore in any capacity.)

            Just say No. They are not entitled to more than that. Not an explanation of why or when or because of… just NO. Sometimes, a reinforcement of No is helpful but an *explanation* should just not be given.

            • Can you be my new best friend! I love that! I had a sales clerk lie to me about a very expensive tech gadget. I confronted her in front of many customers. Here is her exact answer…”It wasn’t really a lie”. Me…”you told me this device would do so and so and it doesn’t”. Her…”well, you don’t really need it”. I did need it so I asked her if she had told me it was part of the device and she said…….”sorta”. Guess how many times I called the parent company. She no longer works there.
              “No” gives the cheater no wiggle room. Actually I like deafening silence.

              • 🙂

                It works for everything. Pushy family members, co-workers, acquaintances, etc. Pitiful, ever-dramatic, mooching/sad sausage NEEEEDS something AGAIN? No. ::silence:: Guy asks you out every time you see him? No. ::silence:: Someone keeps inviting you to their home-sales parties? No. ::silence::

                It WILL stop if you stop offering whys and are just direct. Objections are overcome. It gives them hope that there IS a way; they just need to find it. Have them stop looking for that hope with a solid NO. Insist on holding that No out for them, every time. Don’t explain. Kill the hope. They can’t overcome your objections if they don’t know what they are. “But WHY?,” say the user-iest ones.

                Self, ::wrinkling face, quizzically:: “Didn’t I already say ‘No”?

                It.is.not.rude to do this. What’s rude is to challenge other people’s decisions for themselves, to their face no less!

                The last few years, doing this has weeded out a LOT of people I only seemed to see when they needed something from me. I didn’t realize how much until afterward. I have a lot more time to do what I should and want to be doing now.

                And my boundaries, with everyone, are very clear. Sometimes, I say yes. Other times, I AM open to being convinced and then, I’ll voice my objections… inviting them to overcome them. But sometimes, I say no. They know that the answer I give is absolutely the answer.

                The manipulators disappear on their own… I don’t give them anything to manipulate. They’ve moved along, to find other hosts.

    • Insistonhonesty – I’ve had a little quote by my desk for about 10 years. It says:

      Never explain. Your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe it anyway.
      – Elbert Hubbard

      You nailed it, girl! “Learn to say ‘No’ and nothing more. ‘No’ is enough.”

      (((hugs!)))

  • Thank You so much for this?! It is just the thing I needed to read today in light of my Ex and Schmoopie “reaching out” to me and his family for “assistance”! Funny…… They didn’t “need” me when he was screwing around with her? But now that he is sick (read terminal and NO FUN) and the shit is getting real, they suddenly believe I ought to just step on up and resume my place as his nurse maid! No thanks! Remember? You fired me from that position! Have fun you two wuv birds!

    • OMG Roberta, I can’t believe they’re asking you for help. But in another way I can. Un-f’n believable.

      • Help? Hardly! I think she just is hoping she can dump him and walk away! She now realizes he is financially a liability and he is worth zero! She’s a peach isn’t she?

        • But they were soulmates!!!

          Assholes.

          More like blacksoul mates. ALL cheaters.

          You stay strong & mighty, Roberta!! =)

    • Oh Roberta….
      Amazing isn’t it? The Karma Express is screaming down Cheaterville Mountain and picking those two up for a BIG RIDE!
      Not all of us get to witness Karma, but I think you are getting a front row seat. Enjoy the view for ALL of us here in the nation.
      Just assholes…ALL of them.

      • Bahaha “The Karma Express is screaming down Cheaterville Mountain” — I can’t. I simply can’t. I’m cracking up.

        And yes, ew, how dare they. How. Dare. They.

        • Yep! The balls on BOTH of them are unbelievable! But I’m going to leave them with this unexpected turn of events to deal with! My diagnosis of cancer didn’t even register in their “bubble” except to maybe change their fortune if I died! What a lovely couple huh?? If these fools can’t turn a situation to their advantage then you become useless to them. I’ll send them a quarter and they can call someone who might care!

          • He’s a subhuman. Gross! I have to admit when I read your post I just kept thinking, “Roberta’s ex is terminal? She is so lucky!” Can’t believe I am capable of thinking something like that. Just keeping it real.

          • Roberta

            The entitlement turns to panic when the shoe is on the other foot. How about responding with, “When I was fighting for my life I appreciated being surrounded by those who compassionately stood by me. It’s good he has you now”.

          • Roberta,

            I am so happy to have this front row seat to see divine justice in action. So many times it is such a long, drawn out process, if it occurs at all. I am amazed and almost gleeful (I know I shouldn’t be but what the hell) that you took him to the cleaners in the divorce and now get to watch as the two people who could have cared less about you when your life was hanging by a thread now experience their selfish dreams and hopes disintergrate before their eyes. As Miss Celie so aptly put it as she prepared to leave the abusive “Mister” in the Color Purple, “everything you done to me already done to you.” She said a mouthful. I have never before seen so clearly played out in real time the belief that whatever you put out into the universe comes back to you ten-fold as in the case of your EX and his Schmoopiest of Schmoops.

            God bless you Roberta and may you stay well and strong.

            • Folks, I would be less than honest if I said I wasn’t experiencing some sort of “glee” from this! I think many of us have sat around hoping the karma bus would run these assholes over! I am going to sit back and do a whole lot of nothing for the both of them! What goes around comes around. I just could not have imagined the record time it would take! Hope they have fun!

              • I worry about racking up bad karma when it comes to the tempting scenarios of revenge -imaginary, of course….when the shit bucket tips over, you needn’t be the one holding the handle…..

              • Roberta

                I can’t help wondering how your children are handling this. I can’t imagine the trauma they have had to deal with after everything they have been through. I know mine are still trying to accept the man they knew as their father discarded them also.

    • Roberta, Nicole S:

      YES!!! AMEN, Sistahs!!!

      We just signed the petition for divorce today, will be divorced in about 6-8 weeks (asshole still hasn’t finished paying his “uncontested” divorce attorney) and I will take him off my car, medical, and dental insurance IMMEDIATELY!!!

      He has many health issues, and I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. until his insurance with his employer doesn’t cover something- oh, the horror of bad insurance!!!! BWAHAHAHAHHAAAAA!!!!

      • Unsinkable Molly, congrats! You are home free! Run, be happy, grab your new cheater free life and enjoy! Feels great doesn’t it?

  • So true. Last week Handout Boy sent an email (his first contact with me) TELLING me that I will be shipping his things to him. Things he doesn’t know aren’t here anymore 🙂 I ignored. The pre-CL me would have done it to “model” nice behavior to him. And he probably would laugh at the power he still had over me and not pay me for the shipping. The last breakup 2 years ago I actually bought him his ticket home because he had no money. Then I picked him up and brought him back to the house. He then proceeded to go right back to abusing us as if no time had passed and he hadn’t learned any lessons.

    I am grateful for CL and this site for helping me to see reality and make better decisions for me and my children. I really cannot in any way have the man in my life and I’ve also learned that I can have NO contact with him.

    • My mush-for-brains Sad Sasuage had a delivery service person call me to schedule the pick up of his 3 furniture items. This call came in at 10:30 pm, on a Sunday and the guy sounded like he was strung out on drugs. Heck to the no. I told delivery guy to have his client contact me directly to schedule. What an A hole! Wanted direct contact so I could make it on my terms, time frame, etc.

  • JF, struggling with this a little everyday, but it is getting easier. It gets easier especially since we have joined the ChumpNation. The advice from Tracy and friends here TRULY helps. I have a filter now that asks, “what would the expienced Chumps do?” Sometimes we have to hear it 100 times before it sinks in, but eventually I think we get it 🙂 Learning to say “no” does not make us a bad people…. it makes us healthier people. Learning to say “yes” to reach our goals for a purpose filled life with our own validation leads us to independence that makes us whole and true to ourselves…. Tuesday is coming! Tuesday is coming!

  • Yep, it must be a shock to them when we will no longer be their chumps.

    Ex was in a big hurry for me to put the cable bill in my name. Would I meet him up the office and sign the papers? No, I would not. Part of it was because I didn’t like being treated like I wasn’t in a state of devastation/suicidal and was being treated like just an ex roommate. Part of it was I wasn’t making any financial decisions before speaking with my attorney. Partly because I wasn’t doing this new cold stranger any favours. He’d just treated me like shit and wanted a favor? Then he tried to do it illegally but that didn’t work. Then he tried to get me to do it over the telephone. No again.

    Then there was the request to file joint taxes so he wouldn’t owe the government. No deal. Then I blocked him.

    I’m so happy I didn’t give in to him. It never ever ceases to amaze me that they think there’ll be no fall out.

    That being said, I do have a big problem that I’m working on. I always expect that if I treat someone well it will be reciprocated. Actually, I think I’m pretty much over it after going through this, but I do keep it in mind just in case I catch myself falling into that trap again.

    • Lina – you sound SOOOO much stronger than a handful of months ago. I was worried about you, chickie! But you are mighty, and I can read how you are just sorting it all out, moving forward with courage, and being the amazing woman that you’ve always been. Funny how strong we actually are when all the dead weight of these douchebags don’t weigh us down. You keep on keepin’ on, girl!! Proud of you! =)

        • Thank you Kibble Free! X

          I feel stronger and less depressed so I’m starting to pull my life together. I still have my moments but it’s not a constant.

          You guys all have helped me so much. I hope meh is coming.

  • My STBX wanted to know if we could do “dinners” together and even told the kids we might be able to still take family vacations. Uh No. You can take your kids to dinner, but I will have better things to do.

    He said to me “this divorce is what we make of it”. Ie, put it on the chump to play nice, forgive, live and let live.

    You know what I’m making of it? A new life for me.

    • Unbelievable. And the worst part is that he doesn’t want to put on this nice, quiet, “conscious uncoupling” facade in order to actually be kind to you and enjoy getting along — he’s doing it to try to save face and as part of his PR machine. Gross.

      • That’s exactly right. The “friends” thing is to make them feel better about their bad behavior, and to make others feel better about their bad behavior. Has nothing to do with genuine regard for the chump.

        Favors? Yeah, right….when pigs fly.

    • Mine said, and I quote, “We aren’t leaving each others’ lives. We’ll still have lots of fun times with the boys and their lovely ladies” (their wives). Still sounds so creepy to me!

      • Isn’t it amazing, what comes out of the sociopath’s mouth? They totally give themselves away. He sounds very creepy, and slimy, and like he’s drooling over his son’s wives. They don’t even realize how they sound! I think this is part of the reason Chumps are on edge in the marriage, the spouse comes up with these gems, and our gut starts twisting…. and then we have to make excuses in our heads for them…yuk, and exhausting!

  • My experiences are so similar to CN responders above my post… thankfully, my kids nor I have suffered at the hands of any physical abuse, but ‘ere goes my response…

    JF

    Boundaries boundaries boundaries!! Oooh how my STBX cheater fuck face has little clue about boundaries! I’d have thought by now (a year on) that he’d have more of an idea about why I’ve set mine so firmly, but alas, no. He’s still seeking ego kibbles from me in the form of pics of the kids (three under six). They’re awfully cute, so why wouldn’t I want to spend my days sending him pictures of them and I playing happy families?

    Of course I don’t. I don’t have time or any interest in helping cheater ff (funny, cheater rhymes with his first name) have a happy day by seeing pictures of his kids, because he misses them so much.

    So he bombs me every now and again with smses like this;

    Cheater fuck face: “It’s fairly important that you check your messages in a timely fashion. 23 hours is a very long time, especially when I had sent a msg to the kids yesterday before lunch, about last night. I know you’d hate to not see your messages not read and passed on.”

    (I had in fact, read his hello message out aloud to the kids. They had nothing to say in return. Oh well. Plus, he does this all of the time… “I bet you’d hate to…” blah blah blah)

    Cheater ff (continued): “Now, tonight, where are they headed, so they can be dressed appropriately for it?”

    (I’d smsed him specific instructions two days earlier. Nothing since. Read your text messages first before asking me again!!!)

    Me: “I’m not engaging with you and your assumptions (cheater ff) and won’t be told off by you because of them, so you may back off. I have already explained to you (cheater ff) that I would like the kids dressed in pyjamas when I collect them at 5.30pm. Thank you.”

    Cheater ff: “Well let me rephrase then.
    I was sad that my msg didn’t get through to the kids. I was under the impression that we both needed to stay contactable and this ap was the method.”

    Me: no reply to him

    My reaction: “Poor sausage (yes, I’ve been reading this site avidly and all of the discourse for the past twelve months and I’ve come a very long way)! Diddums. Oh you feel sad? Well, tell that to your sub (otherwise known as OW who is now going along with his now free-to-be-me bdsm lifestyle because after bearing three kids with him, I couldn’t ‘give him what he wanted any more’…). She’ll give you the ego stroking that you seek. It’s not my responsibility to make you feel whole or like a loving father. You asked for this subconsciously when you left me hanging fifteen months ago. When you said to me that “I can’t do this any more” and “you can’t give me what I want”, I made the decision that I wouldn’t either and that I won’t.

    Boundaries. They take a little while to erect JF, but one they’re up they’re as strong as steel. I agree with everything you posted Tracey. And I thank you JF for presenting this issue as I absolutely know that CN will weigh in heavily on this one.

    (Hugs!)

    • Choc,

      God it’s so SIMILAR. Do these guys/gals use the SAME PLAYBOOKS?? Me too, 18 years, after bearing 2 children (and losing two to miscarriage).. I also was unable to “give him what he wanted” and his “feelings for me changed” and he’s not sure he was “ever happy” he wants “passion and excitement”. Despite several years PRIOR to kids, and 8 years BETWEEN our two kids. In all that time, he couldn’t speak up and say he wasn’t happy???? Who lives miserable for that long?

      ORRRRRR.. perhaps it was the OW that changed his tune, but so much easier to mindfuck me rather than own up to being a liar.

      Want comfort.. see the whore. And when she treats you the way lying, duplicitous despicable people treat each other (a matter of time), don’t come crying to me!!!

      • Hi newchumpatl. I have been following your comments for some time now, because so many things that you write on here could have been typed by me. It’s uncanny the number of similarities…

        Yes, it’s absolute bullshit what they say about wanting to be happy, not being their job to make us happy, having not been happy for so long…

        Want to know what is so ironic for me? Cheater ff is the person who first told me about the term of gaslighting. Little did he seem to realise, is that he became quite proficient at it.

        • To this DAY mine hasn’t owned up to relationship with whore. Still insists they are friends and “not dating nor will we ever”.

          He plays the sad sausage/victim role pretty well. He’s a big victim of a mass conspiracy!!! Married men have close female friends all the time.. hang out at their apartments (lie to their wives about it).. call/text them daily.. go to great lengths to hide the relationships from their wives. Sure, that’s totally normal.

          Whatever! The worst part is the lying. I’d rather him just be straight with me. The gaslighting, blameshifting and lying is worse almost than the act itself.

          • I guess it’s an opportunity for us chumps. If they do or they don’t admit to the affair, nevertheless leap in to your own plans… get yourself organised and fly solo. I’m sure that you already have and are well on the way to doing this newchumpatl (and anyone out there brand new to this site, trust that it does get better with the word ‘No’, with rock-hard boundaries and with your diary open and your pen in hand.

            Get organised. Use that anger and disgust that you feel to propel yourself forward. Make the plans you want to make. He can’t control anything that you think, say or do. Your plans are yours. If he thinks he’s fooling everyone by lying about his affair partner, then it sucks to be him. Because everyone around you will know the reality of the situation and form a judgement. Just like you have. Judge away. Your judgements are your own!!

            • OHMIGOSH, ChocLemonGelato (luv the name!) & newchumpatl!! Yes – You BOTH are writing my story! 23 years (17 married) wasted on someone who “wasn’t happy,” or said (not kidding…) “we didn’t know each other,” or said we were “not a good match.” REALLY?! Douchebag?? You couldn’t speak up about your daily torture in the 23 WASTED years of my youth, loyalty and love whilst you serial cheated your ass off?! Asswipes – all of them!!

              However, I guess there is one good thing that happens when all the irresistable whores drag these whore-boys off with them. It sets us free to be the mighty Moms (or Dads)/women/professionals/daughters/sisters/friends that we had to hold back because the CONSTANT kibble famine happening in our homes. We’re finally free to choose EVERYTHING all over again. And – we can look in the mirror with integrity knowing that we didn’t have to do a damn selfish thing to get here.

              (((Hugs, ladies!!)))

              • Mine also said we were “too young” and “didn’t know each other well”, etc. He said all those same things.

                Yeah, I wish he’d have clued me in that he was miserable before I wasted my youth, life, career time, etc on HIM.

                The thing is though, I’d go back and do it all over again to have my boys, one born just 4 years back. I would do it again for them. It’s worth it. But my life will be my own now.

                I hope the whore enjoys the “prize” as it were.

              • Cheers KibbleFree and newchumpatl. Posting here because the thread has run out…. I shake my head at the similarities… and those I that read almost daily from the rest of you out there.

                My cheater ff announced “I can’t do this any more” one weeknight, after work, before dinner whilst I held my 11-month old on my hip and the two and four year olds were running laps around me as I was about to get dinner served up.

                That one fact on it’s own has me still shaking my head…

                Yes newchumpatl, I feel the same sentiment about doing it over because your boys are worth it… same way I feel about my three.

                Never any ownership of his affair at that time, when I asked him more later that night (as I was pleading with him to reconsider his MAJOR move), he fed me the same bullshit about not being happy for ten years (together 12, married 8 at the time)… so I was then led to ask him: “So why did you ask me to marry me then?”. His response “because you are a good person” and then some other shit like “I’m not without hurt” – seeking yet another ego stroke from me on the couch, at 10pm on D-day!!

                He then left the house, to go and sleep. Somewhere – at a friend’s. The OW.

                The realisation about the OW took a couple of months to truly sink in and was then verified by some evidence I stumbled across. That evidence was by that stage a confirmation of what I had finally come to allow myself to realise. The emotional fall-out was the most hurtful and deeply insulting thing that I have ever encountered and nothing I would wish upon anybody. You see, whilst I was still under the illusion of marriage, nothing that I did after I gave birth to these three awesome kids could satisfy or please him. But since my 3rd came along, I copped criticism about my timing priorities and my weight and rejection of my company and efforts… and kept right on dancing, because I thought that’s what you do. The few times that I had stood up to him about how much time her was spending with HER (OW) his best friend at training and on weekends, he deflected and shut me down by saying that it was just the same as me having a day-time cup of coffee with my mum friends with same age children once in a while. Yeah. Right.

                So right before D-day, I created a menu, cooked and hosted a meal for eight people that I organised for his 40th birthday…

                As a good friend of his, OW came. The night went relatively smoothly. Something was off when OW said “goodnight/goodbye” to me (can’t quite remember), and then she turned and walked away. It appeared to be so final. But I didn’t think about it much until much later. My boobs hurt and I desperately needed to go and express breast milk at the end of a busy day of cooking and logisitcs to do with other people child-minding my lot.

                There was no further conversation with cheater ff and we went to bed, with no birthday-shag. Four days later…… boom.

                In the weeks afterward, when I was dancing and raising kids and abusing him and not sleeping and not eating and playing with my kids and punching bags at the gym and putting kids to bed with stories and then dancing some more… all the while getting my ducks lined up… he proposed the absurdly mental notions of “still a family” and going on “holidays as a family” and having “regular dinners as a family” and doing it all “for the kids”.

                Uuughhh.

                What an exhausting, emotional time in my life. It must have sucked to be sitting on the sidelines for those couple of months of me processing the fallout, watching my emotional state unfurl… (poor dear friends of mine)

                However, six months in, kids and I had moved out and settled into a new place, with the full support of my mum and my mother-in-law (she’s awesome and cheater ff can’t bring himself to speak with her at all)… I organised the sale and settlement of my family house and drew up a parenting plan calendar and had it accepted by him with little contest. He gets a little more than every second weekend with the kids and I get a well-earned break. He receives no government benefits (i.e. percentage of time with me means I receive the lot) and he pays the support to me – as he should. I’m saving money at a rate of knots… funny that. The kids and I run by our own rules, have created new routines with my eldest now in primary school. We have so much fun out together (although, sometimes I wish that I was an octopus!) and I am creating new traditions with them and my family, without him. When they ask why daddy and I are not married any more, I tell them the truth. I explain that it’s okay to be sad about it, but it’s also okay to be happy with things that are new also. My youngest son will never know any different.

                When they are older, I plan to take them out of school for a term and travel and camp around Australia. I have always wanted to do that – my whole life – and the cheater ff hated camping. So I can reawaken my old dreams, and gawd, that feels good.

                It’s been fifteen months and the divorce will be final in three weeks. I applied the moment I was legally permitted to (after 12 months separation). My friends and colleagues have all tentatively said “congratulations…?” and I’ve replied “absolutely.” 🙂

                Right now, repartnering is not a priority for me. Not that I am meeting anyone new these days anyhow… but I really like not needing to negotiate these big decisions with anyone else. Everything is on my and the kids’ terms. I tell cheater ff how it is, and he’s too complacent and disorganised to object. He’s still too caught up in playing with his new sub and scaling the ladder of coloured belts in jiujitsu, no doubt. Don’t get me wrong, each to their own, that’s fine with me… but OW is these days consenting to being the sub (I’m told that she’s now completely new to the scene and that’s due to him introducing her), I suspect that he’s now subconsciously preying on her vulnerability. She wuvs him soooo much. Yes, I am sure that she feels that she has her “prize”. She’s even managed to have cheater ff appreciate her two small bum-licking dogs (he always told me that he preferred big dogs and HATED small dogs). And that is actually kind of funny.

                It’s a bit of a shit-sandwich when the kids go to him and talk about the OW, but I am now loving the occasional and scheduled solitude that brings.

                You can tell that I haven’t really gotten this off my chest much, can’t you? I hope that I haven’t broken the CL website. Cheers.

          • My stbx will not admit his affair either. He just kept saying they were friends even after I kicked him out of the house for being abusive to me and one of our kids. I even tracked his phone and he stayed at her condo one night. I confronted him about it and he said that he slept on her couch because he was too drunk to drive. Yeah right. I’m pretty sure he abandoned us to show her he was serious about her. I think she enjoyed the attention but it seems she has moved on from him. Poor sausage.

            • I don’t get any sense that my STBX’s whore is permanent either, in fact, I think she may have dumped him. He was all hot to move out a few months back, then pulled back, then I think she sucked him back in.. then he started stalling again. Until I finally called it quits. I am not plan B. He would have languished in limbo forever probably.

              Sad he’s letting some two bit tramp dictate decisions that he will likely regret years down the road. Oh well, not my problem. Not my monkey, not my circus. I don’t want a man who lies so easily. Honesty is everything to me.

              • I really relate to this newchumpatl. Mine wanted to do limbo for a long time too (and still does) but I said no way. At this point I’ve caught him in so many lies, I just desperately need away from him. I’m still sad about my kids’ broken family but they will be ok. It’s funny because I really thought honesty was huge to most everyone but that’s just not the case, is it?

    • Choc, I think ‘I did read out your message. They had no reply’ is just perfect! Stupid twat. He loved his kids so much he doesn’t live with them.

      • Yeah, ha! I agree Patsy. But do I tell him that… or do I not tell him…? I’m referencing the quote way way up above contributed by Lulu which was “Sometimes the best word is the one you don’t say.”

        No, he loves his johnson and his beloved muscles and getting to training seven days a week waaay more than he loves spending time with his kids. I’m occasionally told that he posts FB photos of his naked upper body quite regularly.

        uughh…

  • Hmmm… In my case I would give him the ride. Because I don’t mind. Because his family is far up North and he moved to the South to be with me. Yes, he cheated, but only during the last years, and surgery justifies some help.
    My cheater was not horrible enough for me to abandon him to his fate if he had surgery.
    If he had walked out on me while pregnant, or left me with young children, or in financial distress, or in serious health condition, then I would tell him to go to hell. But my bruised ego doesn’t match up with surgery, even if I include the hellish pick-me danse.

    • ChumpFromF, Im sorry to say I wouldn’t have minded it either…but that is because we are kind, caring people… BUT I WILL NOT ALLOW him to walk all over me anymore….WE ARE WORTH MORE than being a door mat. No family, where is smoochie? she/he cant, CALL A CAB. hang in there, you are worth so much more than to be at that Fucktarts beck and call…. hugs!!!!

      • Nah, no schmoopie to drive him to and from hospital if the need arises.
        Russian Smoochie #1 dumped him. He felt sooo distressed that he lost his twu luv that nothing mattered any more (she chose another prospect when she discovered my existence, these women always maintain several in parallel).
        Poutinesque Schmoopie #2 was a platonic relationship, but secretive enough for me to call it quits.
        He is in a serious relationship with … his telephone. I’m glad that I gave it to him as a Valentine’s present. So much potential in these social networks.
        Potential seems more precious than his actual life. He had a good one, though. All gone now. Can’t help but feel sorry for his foolishness.

    • ChumpFromF, How do you feel after doing something like that (ex. going out of your way to do your ex a favor usually done by a wife)? Does it leave you kicking yourself, or perhaps anxious, or conflicted? Proud of being a kind person, yet something still feels off?

      I am also on relatively good terms with my ex, and I’m finding that in the big picture spending time with him (for kids events) makes my anxiety go through the roof. I don’t always realize it at the time, but looking back on the days following an interaction I can see that there is a pattern of my feeling like shit afterwards. I do better when I don’t treat him like a friend, because he really doesn’t reciprocate when it matters. You said your ex cheated for years? Living a double life like that usually is a sign of being disordered, as my ex is as well. We have to be careful, that’s all I’m saying.

        • Thanks had-it and chump-tastic. I think I want to reach total Meh while still keeping once-in-a-while contact with him. I can do it.

      • Good point LiningUpDucks. There is sometimes anxiety afterwards. That day I made the mistake to accept having lunch with him, made the rest of the weekend miserable. But right now I am in a good mood because I had a wonderful meal with a group of perfect strangers last night (thank you leisure-oriented website) and I laughed so hard that I still smile today, and would give a ride to just anybody.
        By the way, these random people had quite a history themselves. There was a charming 31 year-old engineer who got kicked out with his 2 year-old baby. There was a 37 year-old notary clerk who received the termination letter of his civil partnership contract on December 23rd, while totally unaware. Etc. etc. Tragic personal stories made hilarious by the way they were told. And the food was great. We’re going to do it again.

      • This post brings up the hardest lesson to learn for my chumpy-self even though I try to justify any decisions of helping the cheater because it will benefit my kids. This summer is the best example we are vacationing together but staying apart so we can share the costs of camp and responsibilities, we celebrated one of our daughters birthdays together last week, and yesterday I went shopping with my oldest so I could get her nice things that her cheater-Dad would be too stupid or stingy to buy (we will share the costs). I even bought our daughters nice sheets to use for cheater´s apartment (that he will pay) so they will sleep on cotton instead of cheap polyester that he would buy them. I also offered to find a ride for all of us to the airport next week. But like LiningUpDucks says, none of these actions made me feel better and they always backfire. For example, after getting the sheets for my daughters cheater asks “why didnt you get sheets for me?” The nerve! As if I would buy him nice sheets so he can screw his fuckbuddy´s on them like he probably did when we were married. CL is right. I really have to stop this pseudo friend thing.Its not helping me, and cheater gets free kibbles from it. I am sure my kids can survive on polyester without me trying to make things better for them…

        • No, you are right to take very good care of your children. And have him pay. Ignore him though. Enjoy your new life with your kids. His importance in your life left the same moment he walked out.

  • This is so RIGHT ON for me today!!!! Been in a funk every sense I heard I was going to be a Grandma for the 1st time… why, because that wasn’t the way it was suppose to be…. my husband of 36 years and I were to be Grandparents together…that was my life, that was my……dream…. But the light bulb went off (Finally) Saturday after Fucktart sent a text saying he was concerned about my health after he opened some of my mail he got “by mistake”.. told him I was fine, Got a Thanks as I worry about you, to many years doing so…. I told him DONT. Got back a poor me text on “how he was trying be “civil” and show he still “cares” about me”… THAT DID IT!!!! I fired back a text that started with How dare he try to ease his guilty conscience…. where was his “concern” while he was fucking that tramp in our bed in our house? Where was his worry about me while he was texting her numerous times a day about how he loved her, drive safe its raining, its cold so im buying you a new stocking cap, miss you…. and he was texting me how broken and numb he was, he threw me out after 36 years without a thought, he didnt give a shit about me….it was ALL about her….. I CALLED BULLSHIT!!!! i am taking BACK MY POWER!!!! i AM GOING TO BE AN AWESOME GLAMMA!!!! FUCK HIM!!! Feels good !!!!!! Have a great day all my chumps!!! WE DESERVE IT!!!!!

    • Good for you Had-it. I hear you. I’m expecting a grand baby too, and the story is not playing out as I had imagined it would. No mind though… We’re gonna be great grammas, and show our kids and grand kids what strength and resilience is all about! ((hugs))

      • Oh its, so sorry it’s not playing out as you hoped! Maybe it will turn around??? Prayers your way!!!!

  • Rides after surgery hits home with me. Three months after D-Day, after having been diagnosed with breast cancer, I had to go in for surgery. I had made arrangements to have my friend drive me. Cheater demanded that HE be the one to drive me. Why was this???? Because his friends and family knew about my condition and he had to make it look like he was a good guy to them.That was a turning point for me. Sick, sick… He never gave me that ride and soon after I went no contact, got out of there and got divorced. He had been seeing streetwalkers and strippers for a few years before and I was just his cover up to make him look “normal and like a nice guy.” I was being used up until the very end. Trust they suck and EVERYTHING they do is only for their advantage and gain.

  • I wake up every morning in a good mood, open my bedroom door to the rest of the house and have to repeat the mantra “trust that they suck” before I see his face. I live for the day I can get him out of my house and go as no contact as possible with kids. I go over my new boundaries to be in my mind daily. Try it, just write them down, or repeat them or act them out in interpretive dance, but make sure you embrace them whole heartedly and drill them into your skull. Until he leaves I know I have to continue to play the chump because I really don’t want to set him off, but in my mind I am constantly going over my boundaries, which include don’t ask for help with anything not child related and don’t give any help for anything not child related, also known as pretend he is dead and you have to get a task accomplished, how would you do that?

  • My cheater, in the days after d-day, on which I summarily kicked him to the curb, must have been having nightmares about the gravy train having ground to a halt. The day he left, I packed up every single thing I had bought for him, and stuffed it in the charity bin. I had the rest…all his scabby clothes he brought with him…delivered to his office building in garbage bags.

    The OW emailed me repeatedly to say how mean I was to not be amicable about it and “just get over myself”. So I replied with a “hey, I feel amicable as hell…I saved him a trip over here. Now make sure you keep him and don’t let him come back!”

    The karma bus has been hitting them on a regular basis. She blogs about how they are deep in debt, how the govt caught them for benefits cheating, how they “lost” their rental house over it, and how her Ma and Pa are getting tiree of them (aged 34 and 42) living in the basement. Such a circus! On d-day I never imagined what a barrel of laughs these two would being to my life.

  • This is a great response JF. Listen to CL-she knows what she’s talking about! I stayed “friends” with the exhole for about 2 months after I moved out.During that time he sent me emails three times a week to ‘edit’ before he sent them out to his colleagues. He was embarrassed about his grammatical faux pas. Nothing that a good second read wouldn’t have cured but he was lazy about such matters plus he had Mrs. Chumpy McChumperson and he thought he had her for life.

    He invited me out to celebrate our defunct anniversary; which had become defunct almost exactly a month prior when we went to court and something inside me snapped. I knew he was dating someone else so the invitation seemed absurd but I knew he was only doing it to try to ‘grease the wheels’, to keep using me like he was. I was also helping him by making a 60 mile trek to his house to feed the dogs while he was in school two times a week.

    One of the nights I went there, he left his credit card bill on top of my mail so I thought it was mine and was angry that he opened it. When I realized it was his, I was angry at him because I could see purchases on there made for another woman; possibly the other woman since they wound up getting married. I figured he did it on purpose to hurt me.

    Whatever his motives, I thought I got lucky because I used that bill to start an argument so I could cut him off from my chumpy services. I didn’t want to help him anymore but I didn’t know how to say no. I thought it was some awesome intervention from the universe but the reality was that it was just one more way I didn’t understand my worth.

    I used that bill as my “excuse” because I didn’t value my worth enough to realize I didn’t need an excuse. Just tell him no! You don’t need a reason. Don’t bother trying to explain it to him either because he’s incapable of that type of understanding.

    It takes a while but you’ll get there. I was lucky. As soon as I told exhole I wouldn’t be his chump he stopped talking to me at all. No phone calls, no emails, no texts. I can’t tell you how wonderful its been.

  • Shouldn’t the Schmoopies/soulmates/whores be stepping in to take over these responsibilities? You want my man. Take his ass, and all the shit that goes along with him. Playtime is over, Bitches. Have fun.

  • Back when I finally told my exH that I wanted a divorce and he moved out, I stopped with the chumpiness and I stood up for myself and I said NO a lot, and guess what……….he didn’t know what was happening. On one particular day we were arguing over the phone about our asset division and he said “You are NOT the same person! What happened to you?? You need to go back to therapy! Divorcing you is the best thing I have ever done”!!!!! LOL He was totally confused!!!!! Oh and…….I was the one wanting the divorce…..not him!

    • LOL, I also started saying NO to my husband’s ridiculous requests, like when he asked if he could transfer his debt to a credit card in my name because it had a lower interest rate. Yeah, buddy, I really want to have $16K of debt on my credit rating just to help you out. It felt so good to say “No, I don’t think so.” I think my ex was surprised too.

      • Ha! Transfer a debt onto your credit card? Gee, what a swell idea! This absurd request from your H’s request Lyn, reminds me of the time soon after d-day, when my cheater ff listened to me tell him the steps I was about to start taking to draw up a parenting calendar and book in financial mediation sessions and filing for a divorce from him, and he goes “you’ll have to fill me in on what do do next sometime…”. He looked a little hurt and surprised that I called him an ass hat.

  • Hey Shark Chump, sounds like you and I have similar experiences with our exes. Mine also had a fondness for the elicit, like prostitutes. I find not having a single OW makes it hard because there’s no ongoing relationship to point to when I get wobbly, like I am today. Did you find that at all when you were in the process of leaving?

    I have a pile of mistakes – flings, hookers, lies, interns, inappropriate emails, and unconfirmed suspicions about other activities – spanning a decade but he claims he’s a changed man. I wish he’d cheated recently with someone whose business it wasn’t to keep secrets. I feel like I may be making a mistake – what if the last time he cheated was really 2010 after all?

    Anyway, feeling super wobbly today, to the point where I’m crying at my desk at work like an idiot. The house closes in the 14th, which is when I absolutely have to be out. Ugh.

    • Hang in there Sad, things get much better when you’re into a place of your own. You’re going to make it! Better days are ahead.

    • Sad-So what if that was the last time he cheated. He still cheated. I think some of us get caught up in the “it’s okay to not forgive/forget a serial cheater, but the one time offenders need a mulligan or the ones who haven’t cheated in a while should get the benefit of the doubt.”

      First of all, it’s hardly ever just once. Second of all, so what if it was? They didn’t lie to us just once-they made a series of unilateral choices that culminated in having sex with someone that isn’t us. If they feel entitled to some strange on the side, then the quantity of times they do it shouldn’t matter. They disrespect us by cheating.

      Sure, I think serial cheaters are less likely to be sorry at all, but one time offenders don’t show true remorse a whole lot more. Hence the title of ‘unicorn’ adapted for those who truly are sorry and do all the right things without being prompted.

      Also-in my humble opinion, a one time offender is someone who only has sex outside the marriage one time. Someone who carries on for weeks, years or months with the same person is NOT a one time offender. They lie and gaslight as much as if not more than serial cheaters.

      • Cheaterstuck, I’m not intending to compare pain or to downplay yours. Mine gaslit with the best of them.

        My one point was I wish he fit more of a typical profile so I could better relate. It’s hard to explain in a single word or two paying for sex with transsexual hookers, sex tourism to impoverished countries, cheating with interns, etc.

        Please don’t downplay my pain either.

        • Maybe I’m misreading your reply, Cheaterstuck. And if so, I apologize. I’m not in a good frame of mind today.

          Mine cheated with at least a dozen people, never really was attached to any that I know of. All the while he rejected and blamed me. There was never twu wuv.

          Anyway, I think it was actually 2011 that I can confirm he last tried to screw around. I guess the dates don’t really matter. Think I’m just looking for excuses for why it shouldn’t be over when it really should.

          I’m queen of the chumps right now, making dinner for him, crying constantly, begging him to do the work, begging him to sleep in our bed. Yup, I know I’m an idiot. He’s under the impression we will stay friends and maybe even work things out. I’m hopeful my brain starts working again after a few months away from him.

          • Sad in Seattle- I was replying to this in your response “I feel like I may be making a mistake – what if the last time he cheated was really 2010 after all?”

            I was just saying that it didn’t matter when he cheated, even if it was 5 years ago, he still cheated. I was just trying to give you confidence that you made the right choice. It doesn’t matter when or with how many. That’s all I was trying to say.

            Sorry if it came across as minimizing your pain-I was not doing that at all. Just reinforcing what you did and hoping you would stop second guessing yourself if that’s what you were doing. That’s how I read it.

        • Sad in Seattle, I can tell how hurting you are because you saw Cheaterssuck as disrespecting you, when she was actually comforting you.
          You are amongst friends here, people really do ‘get’ you x.

          Cheaterssuck point is really it: the disrespect of f*ing another is grievous, no matter what or how they do it.

          • PS, and I did what you did for 5 years … keep reading Chump Lady.

            Ralph Waldo Emerson said something to the lines of, there are some prices that are too much to pay for Peace, no price is worth your self-respect.

            Good luck, and keep in touch.

    • Sad in Seattle, you are not alone. My stbx ‘only’ screwed prostitutes and never had an affair. But the thing is he gave me an std, and every year or two he would disappear for a couple of days and fuck hookers again. Every time, he said he would never do it again. But he always did.
      You see he liked going it and the best part was that he got sex without having to interact with anyone. He didn’t have to be kind or pleasant or ask her how her day was. He only had to pay her.
      When I finally realised that this was who he really was, not that guy who used to love me, well, then I told my family what had been happening (alcohol abuse, gambling too) and I kicked his ass out.
      He didn’t think he had done much wrong, I mean it’s not like it happened all the time. But all those things, plus plenty more, build up until I finally saw the real him. And as Chumplady says, he can’t unfuck those whores!
      I guess what I am saying is that even if your H hasn’t ‘fallen in love with’ anyone else, he is still a scum sucking cheater.
      Who wants to live with someone who at any stage, has preferred prostitutes?

      • Yes, Koru, you’re right. It’s pretty gross. Mine actually travelled thousands of miles to poor countries twice where prostitution is legal to bask in a week of sex with impoverished women. And he did it at home too. And he preyed on young women with less power by screwing interns at work. He didn’t really have any standards – just as long as it wasn’t me. Then it was extra fun to lie to me about it.

        Thanks to you, Koru, and everyone at CN for all your support. I wouldn’t have gotten here without you and this forum is pretty much the only place I can speak my truth right now.

  • Marci, they are clowns! Cue the circus music! A “normal” human would look around, take stock of their situation and compare and contrast the difference their affair has made in their lives! Not our cheaters! They usually jump right over the daisies and into the cow shit, but it seems they can’t smell the shit! Like I’ve said before, they wanted this so they can have it! Me? I don’t want to live in a hotel room for two years or someone’s basement. Just doesn’t sound like a dream life to me! They literally made their beds, let them lie down in them now!

  • After D-day my husband’s car broke down and he was pissed as hell. He called me and demanded that I come pick him up. I came very close to saying, “Call a taxi,” but at the time I was a bit afraid of what he might do if I said that.

    Recently my ex was in the hospital with cardiac problems. I text him and tell him I hope he’s okay and that it’s nothing serious. I keep checking with my kids to find out how he’s doing. Then I start to remember…my ex didn’t check on me when I was in the hospital. He NEVER contacts me for any reason. So I forced myself to stop caring, except for how it affects my kids. Caring is a hard habit to break. Recently, I asked both children if their dad was still doing okay. Both of them said, “We don’t know, we haven’t heard from him since he got out of the hospital.”

    What’s interesting is that there was no one to stay with my ex while he was waiting to be transported by ambulance another hospital. Not sure where his “other family” was, but they obviously weren’t there for him.

    • I had three surgeries after dday .was still living with my XW. Got ride to a d from the hospital from friends. Truthfully, if eithdr of my cheting XWs were drowning, i would not lift a finger to help.
      And, normally, I go out of my way to help anyone. Not these two fucking sociopaths.

  • I got a nasty email once from schmoopie’s sister saying I was a bitter angry person and needed a therapist. Schmoopie works at the state University. I should say worked. I got her fired. Public records request for her work emails. Hubby didn’t delete them and they went back and forth with their sexting via her work email and took pictures and videos at her office where they conducted their affair. I got the copies and turned them in to her boss and her husband. I told Schmoopie’s sister that I was seeing a therapiest and the therapist told me to take back my power and to quit being a victim and I did! That way! and it felt awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • No Wire, you should have told the sister Schmoopie got her own self fired by engaging in whorish behaviour instead of working . that’s the truth of the matter.

    • LOVE IT Nowire!!!! Good for you! If they would only take random drug tests or alcohol testing at my stbx’s work – he would have been canned a long time ago. Unfortunately he is union – therefore it takes A LOT to fire anyone who is union.

    • Nowire you are a hero! My Sad Sausage said the head lawyer at his office said he “liked” him as he didn’t need babysitting like some of the others. Oh how bad I want to send the 44 pg detail of the texting, talking, videos, and pictures to the firm!

    • Standing ovation, NoWire! I can’t wait till the ink is dry on my decree because something similar is about to happen to my husband’s twu wuv!

  • Big shocker for him I’m sure! Go figure, you get really sick and the AP and all your “new shiny friends” do a disappearing act!

  • I am taking back all my power today, I’m moving out and to a new city, my dog, two cats and I! The movers will be here within the hour, my new life will begin will I pull out of the driveway. I will be going zero contact from this day forward, my life with STBX will be in the history books of my life. Last night I watched 22/36 videos with this Dana who explains Narcissistic Personalty Disorder, there is no doubt in my mind that my XH (soon) is one after listening to these that put me to sleep. I was emotionally abused for 25 years, I see that now, but not anymore. I am taking back MY POWER!!!!!

    Here’s the video’s if they can help anyone here, they sure helped me!

    • Kate50, Oh, how exciting! Now on to better and more promising things. I didn’t realize how much of my life was held hostage with a Narc, until he blew my life up. I absolutely love being single though. I can do so much more now. Cheers to you, Kate! 🙂

      • Sorry I’m late on this one, but still: Good luck with the move, Kate50!! You are doing an amazing job caring for your sanity – way to go, girl!! (((hugs!)))

  • JF, I too was a slow learner on this one. Too many years spent being a people pleaser & a “yes” woman makes it hard to shut off that part of our personality. But practice makes perfect.

    At 2 weeks out from DDay I was sending Gollum biblical scriptures about marriage & love, 6 weeks out and I was neatly folding his clothing & gently packing his belongings in bags & boxes for him, 3 months out we were talking about “being friends for the benefit of our toddler” and I was actually EXCITED to have him want that type of relationship (GAG!), 5 months out I realized the friendship was a ploy to keep me under his thumb but I was still getting baited into debates & battles and kindly reminding him to pay that overdue car loan or please pay that delinquent parking ticket, 8 months out and I gave him $200 to put towards that months overdue car loan…you see the pattern? Then at 9 months he did something that opened my eyes to the reality of him- it was our daughters 2nd birthday and he was welcome to see her at any time, including coming to her party (although I can understand him not wanting to walk into a room full of my supporters, lol). I sent him a video of her waking up and seeing all her decorations, no response and no correspondence until 5pm after I texted his mother to see what the heck the deal was. He wrote back, said he never received the video (suuuuure you didn’t), said it was a really hard day for him and he was really struggling (read-hanging with Schmoopie) and that he was planning on FaceTiming with her before she went to bed. And then he never did. I put that little girl to bed with her asking where her father was. It hurt my heart for her.

    After that it was a gradual pulling away at the connections the held me to him and kept me being his servant. No more favors, no more excuses, no more friendly reminders of things that are no brainers, no more pretend friendship, no more lies fed to me that I had to twist my brain to believe….no more anxiety & unnecessary drama in my life.

    He’s on his own. He didn’t like my assistance enough to even be a decent husband or remain faithful to me. If he thinks Schmoopie is so much better for him then she should have full access to his failures and learn how to clean those up just the way he likes them cleaned. And if she decides that he’s too much of a job for her then maybe he will finally have to step up, be a man and manage his own life for once. All I know is that it won’t be me saving his ass anymore.

  • Don’t fake it until you make it, fake it until you become it.
    I damn near broke down this morning on figuring some stuff out for the kids, I pulled back it was me fishing on their future as much as anything else. I will ask, but I think I need to wait until school starts, let no contact ride for longer, have a separation agreement in place. Too much too fast. Fuck her, fuck him, fuck them both. What a waste of energy, what a waste of my life and time. Move on.
    Like I said fake it (I do a piss poor job), until you become it.

  • JF, this is a tough one because if you are like me you were doing everything and cheating EX was having fun and was used to stretching the boundaries. Before DDay 2 my only household request was that he take out the garbage on garbage day. He really said ‘he had too much going on and couldn’t remember!’.

    So, you are going to need to learn a new language. But start with this: he is an Adult. You owe him nothing.

    The new language of boundaries look like this: “No.” “No, thanks. I feel uncomfortable with that.” “I don’t think that is appropriate.” or “How would I know?”

    To his request for keys to my house (I had changed the locks): “I don’t think it is appropriate for you to have keys to my house.”

    To his request to find items at his summer house: “How would I know? It is your place.”

    To the friends who wanted me to join them at a party at his house (yes with him and the OW): “No thanks. I feel uncomfortable with that.”

    To his refusal to move his crap out: Well, I had the key to his place and on a long week just packed and moved his stuff out into the middle of his living room. He was stunned and couldn’t understand why. “It is your stuff and I thought you would want it.”

    To his request to have the TV from the marital home – 3 YEARS AFTER – because 3 years earlier he had no place to put it.: “No.”

    .

  • Chump Lady gives some very good suggestions, but I have an even better one: make it impossible for him to even ask you those questions. Change your number and email address. Get off social media. Have a friend pass messages along about your kids. GO NO CONTACT!!! It is possible with kids.

    • This is what I am working on. I want NO contact with him and we have a 12 and a 15 year old. I am working on getting Family Wizard or something like that so I can communicate kids stuff without direct contact. I blocked him from Facebook a while ago. Not sure I want to get a friend involved. Any other ideas?

      • Hey, Nicole S – It’s been a year since the Temp Order and almost 8 mos since the divorce was finalized. He bitched that he “wasn’t being informed enough” prior to divorce.

        I set up a new gmail account ONLY for this purpose: to have EVERYTHING on a GoogleDrive account. All my high school-aged cihld’s schedules for sports, band, money and fees due, everything goes on this. I’m a bit of a nerd, so there are folders by calendar year with each month inside for additional expenses he’s 50% responsible for. I can go in there in the app on my iPad or iPhone and make changes and additions on the fly. It’s immediate, so IF he opens the freakin’ app, he sees exactly what he owes. You can set up very simple spreadsheets, or just type in a blank Word-type document. I gave him full access to edit these expense spreadsheets on the miniscule chance that he’d want to list when he pays for things. Still waiting….

        Then I have folders by school year, listed 2014-15, etc. (fall to spring). There are only folders through when she turns 18. Then I’m DONE. These folders are where I take photos with my iPhone or iPad of the schedules and fees from band, sports, etc., and just post them into the sub-folders for “schedules” and “important info.” I’m not his freakin’ “secretary” anymore, so no, I do NOT type in the important dates into a calendar for him as I had done for years. If he wants that done, I’ve taken the photo of those important dates; he can enter them in on his personal calendar. Of course I do this for myself and child, but that’s beside the point. I don’t let him have access to modify/edit these folders or content. He can only view. I’m the one who gets them home from the child, so I push them to the folders and walk away.

        There is a also Google Calendar you get when you set up a GoogleDrive account. I use this calendar when I set up her counseling and doctor appointments. He can see them, but not modify, but then he also can’t say “he doesn’t know about them.” Then I list the co-pays in the spreadsheets so he knows which dr., the date, amount I paid, and his 1/2 that he now owes me.

        When he’s late on support and/or additional expenses paymenst, I send one email reminder from this new gmail account to his personal email. When I don’t get a response after a day or two, I forward the original email to his 3 personal emails, and his work email. I usually have payment within 24 hours.

        I don’t see him, talk to him, look at him. NO contact except for an email IF I have to. I’m lucky in that I only have a few more years of this crap, but the GoogleDrive eliminates the need to talk, text or connect. Everything is there, and all expenses are in a spreadsheet. I have my child 99.99% of the time (never made to do overnights), so this works well for me. Hope this idea might help you!

        • One more thing: if you sent up various folders, you’ll have to “share” them via his personal email account. He’ll click the “follow” or “accept” invitation to follow those folders. This shouldn’t be too hard for the pepole who used their phones and technology to blow up their families.

          Know what I’m sayin’?

          • Oh yeah! Plus – all of your “documentation” of your keeping the other informed is right there should you need it.

  • STBX piece of shit that I am dealing is backing out of every promise he made to me and his kids.. told me in email yesterday that the reconcilliation after first DDay ten years ago was a waste of time ( mind you he begged, cried, said he’s spend the rest of our lives making it up to me if I took him back) . At least 2 cheats later and now moved thousands of miles away from his kids to be with Psycho ( what he called her during our fake reconcilliation ) I can’t wait to hear about that implosion!

    He’s pissed because I’m taking him to court for emergency spousal support, domestic support, and would not cancel the hearing or court date. He asked once why we can’t be civil?? Because he is a douchebag. He blames me for losing respect of all his friends; his, mine and mutual friendships spanning 30 plus years; loss of respect from his family, my family, neighbors. He blames this all on me. I should have kept “our business” private while he whored around, was verbally and emotionally abusive. ” the kids ( young adults ) don’t need details.. they don’t need to know where I am living! ” Fucking yes I’m serious. This is his logic. I knew he could screw me over six ways from Sunday but his own kids?? Never again will that piece of shit get anything from me. Told the kids he can’t affort to pay for college. But had his brand new harley picked up to be taken to his new residence instead of selling it to help with tuition. Fuck with my kids and the gloves are off. He lies to his parents. I tell them the truth all of which I have documented from his crazy emails whereby he rants and rages and tells 10 different lies about the same situation hoping one of them will stick in my mind as the truth. I blocked his cell phone soon after 3rd Dday but kept the email open as I knew he would give me some laughs through it and evidence I could take to my attorney. They are giant baby bitches. I go mostly NC except when it’s about finances because I know he can’t remember one lie he told from the next – evidence.
    Would I ever pick him up or do him a favor? Fuck no. I did him a favor by staying married to him for 24 years. I enjoy the occasional “what a piece of shit you are” to his face on the rare occasion he picks up his kids ( never in front of them tho)

    • KMAloser, Yes make sure the financial concerns are addressed and in order. You really need to advocate for yourself now. And your children. Your future and theirs depends on how well your settlement goes. Most Cheaters run and they don’t want to support their families. These fuckers never own responsibility. So make sure you are covered. Make sure your lawyer knows what needs to be paid. I didn’t realize that when POS ex left that he would take ALL his money with him and not contribute a penny towards community bills let alone supporting his kids (in high school and college at the time). Setting boundaries was easy for me (and getting rid of all his shit in big black plastic garbage bags was extremely rewarding!) because he went scorched earth. My thought here, “Whore, You can have Him!” Too, I don’t know how many of these assholes actually get a pt job with a nearby family court so they can network and screw over their family financially, but mine did. Funny thing though after having been through all that my life has improved 100%.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_6SIAb8z10

    • KMAloser – Of course it’s all your fault for not protecting his fale image, right? the negative fallout on his reputation cannot *possibly* be a result of the crappy decisions he has made, right?!??? 😉 Holy wow! He is a giant baby bitch, indeed. Please take this guy to the cleaners in a divorce!

    • KMAloser – yeah, but see it’s just that, if you’re going to make promises of loyalty and fidelity to me in front of God, and all of our family and friends, then your lack of character, ethics and your whore-boy behavior is just as open to their approval (or otherwise), as well. You MADE this marriage available to them when you married me in front of them in such an open way.

      They’re douchebags – ALL of them.

      #SorryNotSorry

  • When my ex left our home, he left most of his things behind. When I was still trying to show I cared, I nicely packed up a lot of his stuff in boxes. When I realized I was being played, I took the remainder and donated it (including some pretty nice clothing, etc) or trashed it.

    Then, he was trying to buy a house with the OW and needed his previous tax returns from the IRS. Since the IRS sends them to the last address on file, they came to my house. I threw at least 3 sets in the trash. He kept asking; I never answered. By the way, WTF is it with cheaters “wanting to be friends”?? Mine said the same thing repeatedly.

    My hubby (also a former chump) got a call from his ExW last year after she had two accidents in her car in ONE week’s time. They’ve been split for 6 years. She actually had the nerve to ask him for money towards the deductible. When that didn’t work, her loverboy called my hubby (same loverboy she cheated on him with). My husband just about lost it. I reiterated that he better not give her a damn dime. She also asked him for money to feed their daughter when it was her visitation day. His ex works and pays us no money in support (we have full custody). I told him to take D out to the grocery store and let her pick some food to take with her, because any money would go right in the pocket of ExW.

    These a-holes have no shame.

  • OMG, this! Ex Flaming Cheaterpants phones me one night while I have guests and says he’s at a gas station and needs a ride to the hospital, because his wife (I did not know about while dating him) was taken ill at work and left the car there. Super nice me actually did it, and by way of thanks all he said was, “Now I don’t owe you any more favors.”
    Trust that they suck.

  • I’m partial to “Pick you up from the hospital? Funny coincidence, I was just thinking of how lucky you were I didn’t do something stupid to put you in the Hospital. I think it’s best we keep a safe distance from each other for now… and forever”.

    Said with a pleasant coyness and smile, of course.

  • About 10 months after DDay, cheater and I were still talking but knew we were headed for divorce. He asked if I would drive him to and from an outpatient procedure. I had to take the whole day off from work because he was going to be there most of the day. When we got to the hospital, he broke down in the car and for a moment, I thought I was going to hear true remorse from him. But instead what I got was him blubbering on about how he was so afraid he might die during this procedure (omg, it was something doctors do all the time!). Never once in his blubbering did he say anything about me or our daughter – just him. And if that’s not enough to show how selfish he is, two weeks later he told me he would no longer help with our joint bills or our daughter’s expenses. That’s when I filed and went NC – I might be chumpy when it involves just me but not my kid or our home.

    • Forgot to mention that one of the things he said in the car was that if things went wrong during the procedure, he knew I would tell them to pull the plug. Omg, he was such a drama queen!

  • I’m one of those people who has always had a problem with insults. I could hear 99 compliments throughout the day, but it would be that one nasty wisecrack that would play on a loop in my head until I fall asleep. I’m working on that.

    X is an email/text bully. As an unemployed copywriter with nothing better to do, he gets off on crafting the perfect, pissy comment. Every. Single. Exchange. I saw him in action for years, so I know he must waste HOURS on the perfect, nasty zinger.

    I’ve blocked him on my phone, and have a separate email account just for him, which I only look at when it’s time for our son’s visitation.

    It’s taken me a couple of years, but now I respond to his juvenile, boorish, demands with one word, either yes or no. And I only respond if his emails are germane to our children’s needs. When he sends me surly retorts to my direct answers, I stop responding altogether. Of course, that doesn’t stop him from getting in the last snide, hateful last word.

    Sometimes I still want to take the bait. To deliberately re-frame the situation and NOT respond in kind, I now view his words as essentially a window into the freak show going on his his limited brain. To respond would be to willingly engage with a disordered freak. Why on earth would I want to do that ever again?!

    The deeper he descends into madness each day, the happier I am that he’s all Skanky’s problem now.

    Buh Bye circus act! Hello life!

    • ChutesandLadders, LOL! I totally get this! Nothing is worse than having babies with a fucktard. Cheaters are beyond messed up, and they really don’t want to be bothered with the mundane (like providing for their children). They will however do everything they can to fuck you over. So to taking our power back and (a toast) to our “New Lives!”

  • I agree! These cluster B types can be quite dangerous if they perceive you are a threat to their Bluebird of Happiness! Just ask a few of the folks here at CN. Three of these women here can attest to the fact that getting away as far as possible is an excellent survival technique.

    • Dont know if I am in the 3 women… But I deal with a lunatic on a weekly basis. I dont poke the bear. As much as I can word fuck him… I dont. The pleasure of the one up is not worth my life.
      I do my best to maintain firm boundaries and repeat the same information over and over again. Never reactive. Just factual and polite. He will rage and threaten. A typical text example from him would be ‘ i dont know why I fucking bother telling u we are going to be late because she is my fucking kid and I dont need to fucking check in with you, you stupid bitch. But lets follow the custody plan you dumb cunt. You are the most fucking selfish piece of shit and u fucking love living off my dime. She will be there when I get there. Deal with it’
      My reply will read like this’ if i understand u correctly, u are running late and will be showing up unannouced. ‘
      He will reply’ keep your stupid fucking comments to yourself i told u what I was doing u bitch.’
      I reply’ I just wanted to confirm that you are running late and cant give me a time of when you will be meeting to drop her off. ‘
      Eventually he just starts texting’ fuck u’ or ‘ shut the fuck up.’ And i dont reply.’
      Its a game and you learn.

      • Judges love reading this shit, The Clip. It speaks to his character, and lack of parenting skills. If he’s a cop send this to his supervisor, mark it confidential, and suggest a training on communication.

  • I think reciprocal is key here. Ask yourself, would your ex do this for you?!? You know that spouse that took full advantage of your loving Chumpy heart by Cheating, lying, and stealing? What about this is going to change? If he/she needs a ride let them get any number of people to do so and not one of them needs to be you. Power, yes! And fucking healthy common sense. Do not engage in disordered.

  • It just occurred to me that when I was seeing a counselor during all this chaos I told her I felt powerless. She looked at me and told me this, ” no, you don’t realize it but you hold all the power because you have the power of “No”! If you don’t like the terms of the divorce settlement then just simply say NO. If you don’t feel up to dealing with him then just say No.” She is right. We don’t need to justify our negative response to anyone much less a cheating spouse!

  • BTW, yes Drew, my EX, who was then my cheating spouse, proved he would not do the same for me! During my whole ordeal with Cancer he never contacted anyone to see how I was doing. It was as if we NEVER knew each other! Total blackout, crickets!

    • Roberta, that alone is a good enough reason NOT to help him now. You are right to let those consequences sink in. You are right to move forward in a life that no longer allows toxic in. A great many of us were sick when married (stress and gaslighting are related you know) or after, but it’s amazing how much healthier you become when you are away from disordered. After my surgery, and the year of hell before that, I made a remarkable recovery. Invest in eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Do what brings you joy. Surround yourself with kindred spirits. I know not to invite my ex back into my life, “Not my circus, not my monkeys!” That is one of the best quotes here! 😀

  • I do gotta say, if ‘hubster’ stands for husband/monster, it works pretty well. Otherwise, yeah, they’re a waste of DNA altogether.

  • hahahahaha, apparently you can’t find your meh meknow, doesn’t matter what name you use to troll here, you are still a fucktard.

  • Saddam checked himself into the hospital with heart issues shortly after the protective order went into effect and called me saying he just wanted to hear my voice (he sounded so bad of course). Yeah, he knew a judge would think I was an asshole if I reported a violation under that circumstance. I told him he was violating the order and he should tell his Mom to call me if he died so I could attend the funeral. The doctors didn’t find any heart issues, yes he really did pretend to have a heart attack to play me.

    He got a second DUI a while later and called me from jail, I did not pick up as I was 100% certain it was him. I was still enough of a chump to call his mother and tell her that she might want to check on Saddam because I think he’s in jail. His mothers response was priceless “if he wants my help he should have called me”. Later she berated me saying he couldn’t remember any other phone number except mine and I was cruel not to answer. I told her to fuck off.

    Then months later he actually did have a heart attack (I know because my insurance covered his helicopter medivac to the best hospital in the area, dammit!). This time his mother called me saying he really wanted to see me, he was in a very bad way and might die. I told her to let me know if he died, otherwise don’t call me again.

    If it weren’t for the PTSD I’d say I was lucky Saddam showed me he would kill me if he could get away with it. Makes it so much easier to say no.

  • First of all, when it comes to an ex / cheater asking for a favor or handout, the answer is “HELL no.” If required, followed up with “and go f*ck yourself.”

    Second of all, I defy anyone anywhere to offer a cheater rationale / retort challenging your NO that I cannot debunk immediately with a reply that clearly demonstrates the double-standard irony of their request.

    To wit:

    Cheater: “I can’t believe you won’t do that for me. You are so mean/bitter/whatever.”

    You: “So, you’re saying that I am more mean/bitter/whatever than you were when you decided to you built up so much pent up resentment that you felt justified in using your mouth to perform fellatio/cunnilingus on someone else rather than to use it to speak words to me about issues in our marriage, and propose adult solutions to them?”

    Repeat ad nausea…

    • Sephage, True Dat! So funny how mine was happy for nearly 41 years until he met Facebook Schmoopie! He never uttered a word about being unhappy! Then it was also saying, “we were never husband and wife the way it should be.” Huh…..??? We had four kids and stayed together traveling the globe just us two and our family!!! WTF???? I have NO IDEA what the Hell that mouth diarhea meant!

      • Yep.

        Here’s another one:

        Cheater: “You need to forgive!”

        Chump: “I take it that you have forgiven me for whatever transgressions you think ’caused’ you to abuse me? Please explain. Also, please give me a list of five things for which I should forgive you, along with what you think you have done to make restitution for each, so we can make sure that we are on the same page.”

        Rinse. Repeat. Once you tell them that a) you will only go for specifics instead of their extremely vague word salad, and b) you expect at a minimum equal effort/ownership/responsibility on their part, I promise you that the entire “argument” on the cheaters’ side crumbles, pretty much immediately.

  • The X wants to discuss and wants two more weeks, I already decided not to discuss at all but just to start cleaning out this weekend. Two weeks would turn into two years and next thing another 20 would pass waiting for the X to get his crap out of my house.

    • Oh Lord ChumpedToTheMax! If I were in your shoes I would opt out of this discussion! Your cheater is just buying time. I’d just file and have him served. He doesn’t want to really discuss anything. He just wants to watch you while you try to beg, console and cry! Save yourself and your dignity…. Tell him to shove it! Then hang up, walk away just RUN! I’ve been down this road, you will not win!

      • I meant “conjole”!! Ask any Chump….. They always want “two more weeks” or “just time to decide”! It means he and Schmoopie haven’t figured it all out yet on exactly how to get what they want and screw you in the process!

  • Cheater originally wanted “nothing” when he was getting ready to move in with the OW. Now she’s wised up to his cheating ways…he’s renting a house, or a room or something. Recent exchanges:

    Cheater: Can I have the food saver?
    Me: No, I’m using it.

    Cheater: Can I have the TV in the basement?
    Me: Yes, it’s in the separation agreement that you get that TV (not sure the a-hole even read the agreement).

    Cheater: Can I have the King-size bed?
    Me: You mean the futon you slept on in the spare room after I had you served?
    Cheater: No, can I have our bed?
    Me: No, I’m using it.

    What a fucktard!!

    • Ha! Mine just bought a new bed for the guest room, since the one in there bothers his back. He asked for the king size in the master suite and I said exactly that, “no, I’m using it.” I’d prefer it if he just moved the hell out!

  • I wish that deadH heard “no” from me more times than he did.

    the best I ever got to was refusing to move and setting a “I will hang up if you are mean to me on the phone” boundary and I did it a few times.

    If I werent so cheap I would have spent some of his life insurance money on pool boys and wine, but instead I married a wonderful man that H#1 would have hated.

    Be mighty fellow chumps !!!

  • When I was tempted to do something nice for the ex, I reminded myself that I was being violent to myself. Brought me back to reality in a hurry.

  • The Traditional Native way of dealing with this is to “give them your back”. Literally turn away from them. No drama just “you are beyond inappropriate and I don’t want to deal with you”. I too can’t be 100% NC with Narcboy or my former friend now his fiance. However, I don’t have to acknowledge their presence. Narcs get really frustrated with this because they sooooooo crave attention.

  • May I jusr share I discovered my proof of my husbamds affair taking him to a procedure? Had suspected for months and had phone records a few days prior and just as he went in, they came out with his work cellphone and wedding ring. He apparently forot you cant take it to surgery. Schmoopies tedt reply to his comment to her about being the most beautiful girl in the world pinged the very moment i was getting in the car to go around to get him. Best timing in the world since he had phone on lock and it was the only way i could see it was preview so i cellphone copied the text screen and looked it up later finding it a match to the phone suspicions

    Crazy me I still took him home but thought for a good two minutes in the garage about leaving him there in the wheelchair but Schmoopie was out of state (internet affair). Instead i cross examined him while he was high on morphine and got the truth. Or as much as would trickle out. We are working to reconcile its been nearly a year so perhaps I have my unicorn …time will tell.

    But had i not given Assclown-At-That-Time a ride, I would never havr known how to put a stop to it all and stayed a chump. He was kicked out after that and a strong immovable set of boundaries are now in place after being fucked up by the Marriage Builders pick me dance bullshit so our R is going well but I have CN to thank along with Baggage Reclaim, for giving me the strength to lay down the law and get back to being me again. Oddly enough he actualky seems to respect New Bitch Model Wife a lot more than the broken esteemless kibble disprnser I had become. I hope mine stays a unicorn, theyre rare. Stay strong ladies and gents!

    • “cross examined him while he was high on morphine and got the truth. ” LOL!!!!! You are a genius! Good for you! Made my day reading that!

  • The scum decided to have another back surgery a month and a half after dday, when he was doing so great until I found all his crap on his computer.
    He texts that he’s going into surgery. I reply “I’m sorry you have made that choice at this time.”
    He texts about people visiting him in the hospital. I reply “Did you show them the pictures of your favorite prostitutes from Phx.girls.com?”
    I nursed him through 3 back surgeries the year before. A month where he could not even sit up. I gave him enemas. I literally cleaned up his shit. Meanwhile, the first chance he got, he had a prostitute come to the house when I was out of town. I hope he is in a really bad nursing home where all the staff keep refusing to work with his narcissistic, manipulative, perverted ass. I hope he is sitting in his own feces somewhere right now. I hope he has another herpes outbreak on his incision site.

    He seriously thought I would tolerate his behavior. He underestimated me. I will tolerate alot, and make excuses for people, but when I know you have intentionally worked to harm me or my children- hell hath no fury… I have my moments of weakness, but they pass- I just read his messages from facebook or his “reviews” of prostitutes on The Erotic Review. I read the letters and contracts where he profited from his own daughters kidnapping by selling her pictures against her wishes. I remind myself that he is a liar and a predator, who enjoys “the fleeting look of shame” on a young prostitutes face.

  • I think everyone in Chump Nation has taken their power back. Even those that don’t know it yet. You had your power before the cheating was exposed. “I’m not going to be married to/ involved with a fucking CHEATER.”. That is your power. I knew this, and when the asswipe ex admitted to dating a whore and that he was leaving me for her nasty slut ass, that is exactly what I told him.

    But he had read the cheater manual, and expressed remorse, and he didn’t really say that, blah, blah, blah. I hooked up with the RIC somehow, and lost all my power. Treated like shit, lied to, gaslighted. Accused of being insecure, and jealous of a common two bit slimy whore. Then I realized that I still had my power. This loser didn’t want to leave and get with this whore. He wanted to sneak around with the skank and eat cake. And the person holding the entire affair shit together was ME. I had the power, just like Dorothy with the shoes, I just wasn’t using it.

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