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Dear Chump Lady, How do they flip so fast?

sacredbedHi CL,

I’m guessing by now you’ve heard it all but here’s my story:

My soon-to-be-exhusband and I have a one-year old together, we never had any marital problems and he was actually one of the most caring, involved fathers I’ve ever met. Then we found out he was deploying (military) and he said “well if we’re going to have our kids be close in age we better start trying now.” We did. And I became pregnant very soon after.

This pregnancy was so different, I could tell he just didn’t want to care for me like the first time. I blew it off. The week before he went to pre-deployment training he wanted very little to do with me. During his time away he was extremely distant and when he returned three weeks later he was a robot.

I confronted him and he texted me at work to say he was going to the house to get his things and he was going to stay at a friend’s for the night to think about things. I was two months pregnant. A few hours later I told him to never come back. Not sure how I knew at that early point, but my instincts knew that things were royally f’ed.

The next day we met to talk. He greeted me with an awkward kiss then began to tell me we had grown apart, he had been unhappy “for a while”, and he wanted a divorce. He was very clear that he was not leaving me for another woman. Ironically he moved in with another woman that day! (Unknown to me at the time). I took him at his word and filed the divorce papers ASAP that Monday.

The only truth I know now is that he spent those three weeks telling some OW (who has enjoyed multiple other men in his squadron) how unhappy he is. She was his “sounding board.”

Since then he has attempted to gaslight, lie, manipulate, and mindfuck me 24/7. It is really quite tiring when you are pregnant and caring for a one-year old on your own. He actually put me into labor through all of this and tried to rub my back as my doctor told me that my body was trying to reject the pregnancy, it just couldn’t handle it.

He has since deployed and probably doesn’t tell anyone the truth. I let him skype our son but have had to go to another room during it because he tries to reel me in to conversations. Before I started leaving the room he would say things like “Are you wearing your belly support band? I’d like you to wear it so you don’t get hurt.” Really.

His attorney sent me a draft parenting plan — he wants to come over for weekly dinners. Are you effing kidding me?! Pass the rolls please, how’s your girlfriend? Would she like some leftovers?

How do they flip so fast? He told me he thought about leaving for 2-3 weeks. Wow! It only took you weeks to decide to dump your family and shit on your pregnant wife??? This chick must have a magical p@$$&…..

Chumped by a very sad sausage,


Dear Jackie,

You’re asking me to explain how someone can walk out on his pregnant wife and one-year-old son? Someone who gave entire weeks of consideration to this abandonment? And then concluded, after much deep thought, that this was an excellent course of action?

Explain that?

He has an empty elevator shaft where his soul should be.

IMO, people like this disconnect so quickly and easily because they don’t connect very deeply to begin with. They feign the “caring” and sustain “involvement” until they don’t. Something gets challenging (Did a baby barf in your hair, poor sausage? Keep you awake at night?), they get bored, you didn’t sparkle brightly enough — whatever it is, they determine that They Deserve More.

You, the little people, the provider of kibbles, you can deal with the leaky tits, stretch marks, and childcare. He Is Destined For Greater Things. His suffering is unjust. Yours is beside the point.

I think people like this just play act at life. He did the role of Supportive Husband and now, for an encore, he’ll spout a few lines like an old hack playing King Lear. “Remember your belly band, Jackie!”  Husband Who Cares was one of his many starring roles — give a round of applause! Then he goes back stage, wipes off the greasepaint, and fucks the OW.

He’d like to do some encore production numbers for your son on Skype in Daddy Who Cares! But children aren’t stupid. Your son will grow up knowing who is THERE for him and who is a superficial waste of space. It’s your job to maintain boundaries and not let your kids get confused by cake.

He doesn’t get to play Happy Family Guy in your life. He walked out on you. He doesn’t get to enjoy the perks of marriage and the care-free single life. Get a lawyer, tell his lawyer to go fuck himself, and say no to the weekly dinner absurdity.

Your only obligation to him now is to abide by the court ordered custody agreement. You need to lawyer up so those boundaries are crystal clear — what’s your time, what’s his time. Don’t let him swan into your life and play Family Man when he feels like it. He chose a separate life — give it to him.

You’re facing the hugest challenge of your life, being a single mom, so be kind to yourself. You’re just at the start of parenthood. It takes some serious mightiness to parent without support, but you’re not alone. Unfortunately, many of us too have bred with the soulless empty-elevator-shafts, but hey, we survived — and you will too.

You’re going kick ass at motherhood. You’ve got great instincts — you dumped the fuckwit. (((((Big hugs))))))))

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Hell to the yes, you are mighty Jackie. He sounds like a special kind of asshole and super huge piece of shit. Who walks out on their pregnant wife and one year old son??

    CL is right, as always…soulless….get a good lawyer and tell his lawyer (and STBX) to go fuck himself.

  • Jackie you are mighty. Much mightier than me. My exh cheated on me during my pregnancy too, but I stayed for ten more years. I didn’t think I could hack being a single mom of 3 (especially with one being a newborn). I admire you a lot and wish I had been as strong. You will find happiness. Huge hugs!!!

  • Jackie, you are in the right place. Through help and support from family, friends and this site you will grow stronger. I know this is what you will be hearing every time you share your story, but the honest truth is that you will get through it. My heart and best wishes go out to you, your son and your yet to be born gift.

    • I agree, you will grow stronger. If they are safe with him,offer as much time to your ex as he wants to spend with your little ones without you. Like most chumps, I was the point parent 24/7 pre-divorce, and was exhausted even before DDay.

      Thanks to CN, I trusted that he sucks early on, and I chose to go along my STBX’s preference for a 50/50 custody arrangement. While our kid is with her dad, I am very diligent about doing fun things for myself, see friends, get a massage, write, learn salsa dancing, and do all the social things I used to do before becoming a mom. This helps me restore my energy and make the most out of my time with my kid.

      I was not surprised to hear our kid grumble about “time with dad” being mostly “screen time and wishing that dad would spend more time with me.” Not my circus, not my monkeys… I empathize with our kid, and then move on to doing something fun during our time together.

      I hope you can carve out as much restorative time as possible. And document any evidence of his infidelity it might count in his military record and might lead you to better settlement terms.

      Big hugs.

  • Hi Jackie,

    So much of what you have written rings true for what I have and am going through with my cheater as well. Slowly and surely, my boundaries have risen high up in front of him, and now, he mostly leaves me alone. My kids were four, two and 11months when he told me he wanted out.

    The kids are now 18months older and occasionally reminisce about out old house and when their mum and dad used to be married. They do have weekly contact with him. It hurts less with time (as everyone is probably advising you right now, right?) plus, there’s a great degree of satisfaction that I get from being a single parent. Truly. No one really willingly chooses to raise three little children without support from another parent, but it is a situation and a slow realisation that so many of us are so familiar with.

    I’m proud to admit that now, I’m a better mum, now that I am free of ex’s arse. I’m a better and improved version of myself and I can parent unconditionally, how I wish to do so; with love and plenty of good organising.

  • My ex also had switch sort of change while on a trip. He got to know her on the trip, so the whole decision (from meeting her to leaving me) was less than a month. Probably about a week or possibly even less time (judging by the change in communication from him) for him to decide he wanted to be in a romantic relationship with OW and leave me. Then he was gone for good.

    Chump Lady’s explanation seems to fit for my ex too. And when my ex had first left, my therapist tried to tell me the same thing, that he must have been only very shallowly connected. But that idea seemed absolutely unbelieveable to me. It was easier to believe that he had somehow drastically changed than to think he was NEVER very connected. But as time has given me a different perspective, I suspect that it is true: he was never more than superficially connected. I just believed he was deeply connected because I was.

    • I’m still struggling through the same process. I think of the person who seemingly cared for me during an illness and then the person who suddenly flipped and was gone. I have days when it seems glaringly obvious that she was the problem and then I’ll trip up and blame myself again. I keep forgetting that she doesn’t see the world and interact with it the same way that I do.

      • Same here. I keep falling back to remembering who I thought she was. But I do know my xw is incapable of truly connecting with anyone. I’m still coming to that realization. The empty shaft were a soul should be is a great analogy.

        • I do the same thing. This post, overall, has been helpful. Absence make the heart forget the douchebaggery… But then I see him (I have a young guy so sometimes it happens) and the anger and disbelief comes back and so then I try not to engage, stay in my car, look and the many more important things on my phone, anything else… Thanks CL and CN for helping me get further down the path to meh…

      • I guess it helps to think that the Stbx was only superficially connected- but it’s still difficult to comprehend

    • Same here too. X-hole met OWhore at a bodybuilding competion the day before we left for vacation. Two weeks after we return I catch them messaging each other and knew they were playing virtual footsies. I confront…he cries…”boohoohoo I’m so f’d up, let’s go to counseling” I bite, but I keep policing and they are still at it. He planned a trip to go meet up with her the next weekend and that was it….he (they) was magically head over heals in TWU WUV. I was a SAHM so I was STUCK. He continued the affair for the next two months while living in our house, God only knows how long he would have continued that??? Once I was disgnosed with breast cancer and he STILL kept it up…I finally told him what a sorry piece of selfish shit he was and he bolted. Couldn’t handle the truth.

      They are THE lowest of the low.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, seeing him detach from and almost completely abandon our beautiful son just proves that he is disordered, not redeemable and truly not a “loving” person. If he were truly capable of connecting…he could not have given up his relationship with his son, and he did so….willingly. Our son is 8.

      He and OWhore call each other as much as 20 times a day and talk for 6-8 hours a day (they live 4 hours away from each other)….he calls our son about once every 3-4 days for 2 minutes and gets him every other weekend when he has his other kids and doesn’t even ask or try to spend more time with him.

      I will never forgive him for hurting my son.

      • “I will never forgive him for hurting my son.”

        This, right here. You want to hurt me? Fine, I can handle it. I’m a big girl. You want to fuck with my kid? It’s on.

        I too, will not forget what asshole did to my kids. Ever.

        • Yep. I still struggle with what “truth” and “how” to explain the questions with my son because he is so young. It pisses me off that he cops out on the “your Mom and I couldn’t get along”. He said this again last night and I could feel my blood start to boil.

          I am as honest as I can be without telling him things a 2nd grader doesn’t need to know. I struggle with not wanting to cause more damage. His dad is a selfish asshole who doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself. He doesn’t give one fat shit about the damage he has caused, he doesn’t bother looking back at the destruction.

      • I too will NEVER forgive him what he did to our daughter, now 16. I feel the same way – You want to hurt me, well I am an adult and can look after myself. You want to hurt my kid – the gloves are off. Momma grizzley bear has entered the room. He blew up our lives a little over 2 years ago and moved in with OW. I immediately went and got a lawyer. If it had just been me I woud have been sucked into the whole wait and hope for reconcilliation garbage. But because of my child and that he tossed her like garbage too – that is what opened my eyes wide and made me lawyer up.

        This summer he evidently married OW, but never actually told our daughter or invited her to the wedding, although in fairness he did save the lives of innocent trees because she would have never gone. She gets a self pitty text message a few weeks ago about how much he loves her and wants her to be a part of his life. Then he launches into how he never loved me ( her mother), that we were just friends in our 24 year marriage and that he never actually had an affaire – ever. He seems to have forgotten that he had admitted to having multiple affaires shortly after he left and that he immediately moved into the house of the OW.

        My daughter sees in every rare text message he sends what a selfish narcissictic jerk her father is. Even if I wanted to destroy his relationship with our daughter I couldnt have done as good a job as he has – every communication is “open mouth and insert foot”.

  • They play the part so well. A guy like this upends everything you thought you knew about people. So terribly painful and confusing. But you have great instincts and strength, so with a little help and information (readily available here), you will get to a good place in the end. I’m so sorry this pain has entered your life, Jackie, but I’m so very glad you have already shown him the door. It may not feel like it now, but your healing has begun. Big hugs.

  • Jackie
    You are awesome and you are handling it righteous. You said f it right away, wasn’t strung along for years like many. Yep, he was playing a role from day 1. May the karma bus run over him a multitude of times. Someday it will become obvious be was a fake from the get go. Hell no to weekly dinners and make sure you get every bit of child support coming to you.

  • I really love and thought from the start that this is a true explanation of “the switch”. I was so sick of hearing – you could have kept him if he really loved you. Or if things were good he wouldn’t have cheated. That’s crap. It was weeks with our split too. (or so it seemed) I was shocked and taken for a wild ride then. He’s now doing it with OW, her kids, and my kids. I see through your fake Supportive Husband/Father starring role. Now it’s just reminding him that he doesn’t have to call me about every little thing. You are nothing to me now, dude! Get your kibbles elsewhere!

  • Hi Jackie. Well done to you. You got rid of him quickly without dragging everything on like I did. I have been a single mum before I married. It’s really quite rewarding once you get into it. As I was always the one organising outings, they are now even more enjoyable, not having to drag around a sulky man-boy all the time. I enjoy listening to them more, helping with home work, discussing our goals (that’s a new thing I put in place, setting goals for ourselves), cooking with them and not being undermined and told I am shit parent all the time.

    It’s really quite amazing and there’s lots to look forward to xxxxxx

    • So so true.
      Better alone than doing all the hard work and trying to make a man boy husband get involved just to maintain the family unit. When you are together they get all the credit for being a tag along glued to their phones. Now my kids see who is actually fun and keen to organise days out and who is there for them in terms of their education, mental and physical health and the mundane but stabilising care which is so important to their wellbeing.

      • Absolutely true, Additional responsibility and a huge pain in the ass. it’s a constant struggle to convince man/boy to participate in family activities. I always felt like he behaved like an immature teenager, pouting and standing off on his own. Afterwards gloating and taking all the credit. Especially if it were a group/ school activity and other Mother’s were around he would suddenly come to life, charming, funny, Mr. Personality. He would do his best to be the center of attention. I found it odd that he socialized with the other moms in school/ groups, but was distant with the Dad’s, rarely if ever talking with the men. You’re making the best decision for your children, and for yourself.
        They’re dysfunctional, they aren’t healthy role models, and definitely not a positive influence on your children, He isn’t capable of loving anyone other than himself.. He will always come first.

  • OP, I am seriously impressed that you dumped him so quickly. Most of us would have waffled through a few cycles of false R first. You are on the right track.

    My XH abandoned me during my 2nd pregnancy, and our first is disabled. Life is 1000x better without that fucktard in it. ((HUGS))

    • Yup, me too. The first time I seriously suspected my XH of having an affair was during my second pregnancy, too. His response? “What? Are you crazy?”

      Apparently, yes, I was crazy because I stayed and had a third child with him. He cheated through the next 20 years.

      Good job, Jackie, for getting out of that situation so fast. No matter how rough things may get in the future, you’ve saved yourself and your kids from far worse by getting the hell out of that relationship. I wish I’d had your instincts and courage all those years ago.

      • Mine actually was cheating WHILE trying to have another baby with me including doing intense infertility treatments to do so! Would shoot me up with hormones and escape to the bathroom to text her!

        I give you SO much credit for getting out so quickly and not letting the fear get in the way of your freedom! You are a rockstar!

        • Emily,
          I can’t imagine! I went through several rounds of invasive fertility treatment. I can’t imagine dealing with infidelity while going through the physical and emotional turmoil of fertility treatment.

        • I’m sure Dante has reserved a special place in hell for this filthy subhuman excuse for a man.

        • Same here! I don’t know if he was cheating during, but it’s possible. But certainly before and after. WHO DOES THAT??? Oh, right, CL just answered that question. But I can’t quite wrap my head around going through IVF to have children, after 15 years of marriage, when you know you are a lying cheat, and will always be a lying cheat. They took so much effort and intention to conceive! He has an extra helping of entitlement.

        • Ugh. Mine was also trying to get me pregnant while cheating for years, but I kept having miscarriages. There is a special place in hell for these types of people.

  • Hi Jackie,
    There is one single word that explains that ultra quick flip these guys do…sociopath.Because their bonding is superficial and ephemeral they are able to unplug and detach with stunning,bewildering speed…ask me how I know.Keep this guy at arms length as much as you can in order to protect yourself and heal faster.Most likely you are facing a rough couple of years but accept as much help as you can from people who actually care about you.
    Engage with this turd as little as possible,only as it pertains to your children.Trust me,this will save you a lot of unnecessary grief.You seem to have very good instincts.You will get past this pain.
    Wishing you the very best.

    • Jackie,

      You sound tough and decisive. I think that you will, in many ways, prefer the divorced from jerk lifestyle.

      Regarding the weekly dinners your cheater proposes, my cheater wanted to ‘play family’ with weekly joint dinners and similar events. Virtually all attempts at ‘jointness’ led to bad things (e.g., my STBX would read my text messages without permission or harass me about something benign during or after the event, in our out of the public eye, often by calling the police or child protective services for some imaginary offense). I finally told our kids that we couldn’t do any more joint family activities (because I refuse to subject myself to any more abuse by my STBX, who wants the benefits of family without the responsibilities). I won’t let him have his cake and eat it, too, because doing so hurts me and what directly hurts me indirectly hurts our kids.

      Regarding DeeDee’s comment, Jackie’s cheater sounds like mine, who shows all the traits of Borderline Personality Disorder (as well as Antisocial Personality Disorder (sociopath), Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Paranoid Personality Disorder and some psychosis, according to the DSM, which is used by psychologists). People with BPD turn on a dime. My cheater used to tell me he wanted to reconcile when he stopped at my home and then, after turning the corner of my building, unbelievably, send me a text message saying that he no longer wanted to reconcile. I have conditioned myself to disregard whatever he says. My cheater is the boy who cried ‘reconciliation.’

      Best wishes to you, Jackie.

  • Yes – they are performers acting out a role!!!

    Mine always seemed to be performing as to what he thought he should be doing. And he needed to be in the spotlight, centre stage for everything!

    He was a musician and had spent time on stage – even doing some big theatre.
    Now he is a Minister. Figures.

    CL is correct. These people are NOT deep. You and your children are merely props in his production. He will bring you out and display you when it suits his needs – otherwise you do not exist.

    I think it was brilliant that you trusted your gut enough to kick him out.
    I wish I had listened to my gut many years ago.

    • “Yes – they are performers acting out a role!!!”

      I once asked my late husband how he could change so easily from someone he was before we got married. He tilted his head, and looked at me as if I was an idiot, while he replied, “YOU CAN’T EXPECT A GUY TO KEEP UP THE *CHARADE* forever!”

      They are calculating from the day they meet us.

      Makes me very hesitant to attempt to get into another relationship.

      • Gypsy–‘calculating from the day they meet us’–yup. That alone says it all as far as I am concerned.

        I have been searching for this perfect phrase–thank you!

  • The worst is when they hang around and try to “play daddy”, lets hope he gets deployed again soon.

    • Ooh, that phrase “play Daddy” is chilling. That is what my ex would tell the whore he was doing when he had our child to “watch.”. And apparently this slut thought this was an acceptable quality in a man. These bitches really are delusional .

      • They don’t realize that their shiny new douchebag is “playing boyfriend”. Karma’s a b.

  • Although it is hard to be a single parent, there are some rewards,, too. It was my decision to have children, and I have no doubt that my life would have been much easier to manage if I had only had to take care of myself, but that was not how I was designed. I have a strong maternal instinct, and I also “mothered” cats and dogs, and several of my children’s friends at times.

    The good thing about being the Only Parent In Sight is that you do not have to argue over “what to do” or “how to spend your resources”. You decide, that’s it. The end results of your decisions are also on you, so accept that you will make some mistakes, but you will also pay for those mistakes. Your children will learn you are not perfect. Who is? They will not be perfect either. You can all learn to be tolerant of human behavior, and how to recover when you make an error.

    There will also be moments when you know you made the right decision, and it pays off handsomely. I was the proud mother when my children played a good sporting game — I was also the mother who found the money to pay for sports needs and hauled them to practice. I was the proud mother who sat in the audience while my son’s played violin in the orchestra. I also paid for their violins and made sure they practiced. I was the proud mother who saw them graduate from high school and later, college. Every one who knew us, including their POS father, said “this is the result of your hard work and dedication”. I was lucky, of course, I had two smart, healthy, strong sons who were capable of achieving the goals we set together. But the point is, THEY knew who had raised them and supported them and at times infuriated them. They knew who was THERE for them, who they could count on. They still loved their dad, but they figured him out all by themselves, based on their own observations. They still know who they can count on, who will be there if they call. That is something he will never have, will never know. The only way to know the rewards of being a parent is to be a good one.

    The disordered personality may not value this experience, and may not understand what he/she has missed. They run from one empty experience to the next, always searching for happiness, but never truly finding it. They think success is something they can steal from others who have it — like an object they can possess. They never realize that love comes from within, and success comes from work and determination and character. They spend their lives stealing from others, using others to try to appear to be as wonderful as they would like you to believe they are. But they are empty shells, hollow, incapable of any true feeling.

    All in all, I think those who choose to be there and do the hard work necessary to be successful truly get the best end of the deal. At the end of the day, you have to decide if it was worth it. From my perspective, I am glad I made the choices I did.

    • Yes, my young sons (9 and 5) have already picked up on their father’s cowardice and ineptitude after only their first summer spending time with him 2000 miles away from me & their home. When they came back right before school started, I noticed they’ve been calling him “Captain Smek”, the cowardice antagonist from the movie “Home”.

    • Portia you are my kind of lady!!!! I too have two sons who I will work my arse off to say just those things.were a unit,we have goals,were honest,we struggle,we laugh,we do new things and we are happy!!!

  • There are children’s paddling pools with more depth than this fucktard.
    Narcs never connect to anyone, and the people who support these soul-less twits are narcs too. Why else can’t they feel the devastation of what exactly goes on, and have the gall to support the fucktard? Fact is – they are just as shallow as him.
    Go for the jugular. This bastard doesn’t deserve to be in your kids life at all, by rights. Sharing the dinner table? Is he really as stupid as he looks? Fuck him.

    • I saw a poster recently that was fashioned after the “see, hear and speak no evil monkey’s ” but it said “the narcissists family”. All I could think was “how appropriate!”

      X-holes entire family does just that…mummy and daddy bury their head in the sand and toss kibbles. .. the one’s that know the truth don’t speak up because they are ALL non-confrontational…they all like “nice” and pretending he’s not an asshole because it’s easier.

      I’ve been marked as the “negative” one because I call bullshit when it’s bullshit.

      • Fuck idiots when they call you ‘negative’ – they really mean “I can’t handle your shit because I am a disordered fuckwit and must rule from the throne and OMFG YOU ARE USURPING ME, BURN THE TRAITORRRRRRRRRRRR” Think of it that way, next time it happens, and you’ll probably burst out laughing.
        I’m not responsible for any keyboards or monitors which are ruined by projectile coffee shooting out your nose, nor any death glares from disordered people after they think they are being laughed at by you. 🙁

  • Jackie

    Now is the time (hard as it may be) to be practical. First, do you have an attorney? If not, get one. Second, are you living somewhere that you want to be? If not, and you have a place that you will have support from family and friends, consult your attorney about relocating. Given his career, and the fact that he may have little control over where he goes after deployment, you should have some say in where you live. I would not agree to a geographic restriction clause unless he has one too (and he probably can’t given his military career.)

    Third, you need a labor and delivery plan that does not include him. You do not have to allow him in the delivery room at all. To have him there would be like serving him a giant cake. Don’t do it. He has foregone that right. (he may still be deployed then anyway.) Frankly, you don’t have to notify him when you are labor. Surround yourself with people who love and support you and aren’t POS.

    Tell him you won’t facilitate the Skype conversations anymore if he addresses you at all. and a one year old isn’t going to ask to call, so he needs you to make this happen. All communication to you must be in the form of emails. Let him understand clearly that you aren’t his friend.

    • Yes to all Alice said. The labor/delivery plan is important. Stress is a major contributor to birth complications, so make sure he and his ilk are not there. If he’s in town, he can see the baby after birth, without your needing to see his face.

    • For the divorce agreement, my ex and I are required to keep one another as beneficiaries on our existing life insurance policies. While I do not want him to take the money if something happens to me, as there is no guarantee the it would go to the kids, I do want the chance to use HIS life insurance money for the kids if something happens to him while they are still minors (he married the AP, and now they are expecting their second child). You might want to consider that.

      • For anyone whose X or STBX has shown ANY sign of physical aggression, I’m not sure that mutual beneficiaries on life insurance is the best thing to put into the divorce decree; it increases the likelihood of physical harm to the chump if a sociopathic X knows he/she will inherit life insurance money. (While low probability, it happens more than you might realize.)

        HOWEVER, it is possible to write into the decree that the person paying child support must keep the custodial parent as beneficiary to cover costs of child support until the children turn 18/graduate high school. That is what my lawyer recommended.

        If you are the custodial parent, and want the money to go to your children (not your X), do not set up a will; set up a Revocable Trust, with you as trustee. Then designate someone you trust as trustee in the event of your death. You can list the trust as your beneficiary, and in the Revocable Trust document, specify that the children get the money when they turn 18, or 30. The designated trustee can give money prior to that if it is needed for life- or educational-needs.

  • The asswipe told me yesterday he feels like a piece of metal between two magnets. Ha! Any man who walks away from his pregnant wife and kids is not a man at all he is a slime! Superficial. Bingo! That’s the word! And correct on the trotting out the kids to suit his needs! Bingo again! I trust that they suck.

  • This in a nutshell as CL says: “people like this disconnect so quickly and easily because they don’t connect very deeply to begin with.” I was with my Ex for 16 years, he helped me raise my kids from my first marriage. I had absolutely no clue he was cheating until a gut feeling one night and lo and behold on the phone account it was obvious. When he came home that night I confronted him and after lying, he finally admitted it then proceeded to tell me he “never loved” me, he “left me a long time ago just never told” me, and that “in 1 minute,” he went from “100% committed” to me to “100% committed to OW.” He left immediately that night after our discussion (in which he demanded I leave our house so OW could move in, and that he would “help” me find an apartment!), he immediately moved in with OW when I refused to be kicked out of my own home on a Monday night; also claimed that he had only “met” OW two weeks before they started fucking. Lies, lies and more lies. Shallow; user, pathological are other words that come to mind.

    Good luck to you Jackie, I’m sorry that you have children with this guy but listed to Chump Lady’s advice – no “family dinners” or contact with him other than child exchanges for visitations! Look up “grey rock” and “No Contact” and get the toughest lawyer you can find!

    • Gray Rock and No Contact are where its at!

      Narkles the Clown has to be out of the house tomorrow and I can’t wait to move from Gray Rock to as No Contact as possible with kids! Somebody start chilling the champagne!

      • Congrats on your impending move to NC! How much nicer that will be than Gray Rock!

        By the way, apparently I’ve been doing Gray Rock without knowing that this is what I’ve been doing. It is astounding that STBX keeps trying to engage me at regular intervals–timed, I think, with those times he’s had a fight with Schmoopie.

        Consider the bubbly raised on your behalf!

        • NC is where it’s at. I also get occasional contact attempts from my soulless XW, in which she attempts to use various emotional manipulations to invoke a response. I haven’t bothered to block her number, because I find the messages are helping to develop my immunity to her BS. Plus chuckling every time as I hit delete is proving to be rather therapeutic. Guess ‘finding herself’ didn’t go as planned. Excuse me while I do anything but give a fuck.

  • It always amazed me how fast my ExH flipped. He knew the OW a few weeks before he abandoned a 25 year marriage and a 15 year old son. A few months prior to that he basically abandoned his dying mother and refused to visit her in her last days. So I am firmly convinced he is a soul-less empty shell of a person.

    The good news is, I never had to share custody of my son. He knows that I am the parent he can count on and that I’m always there for him. He says he doesn’t even remember his dad ever living with us because he has blocked him out of his mind. But he also told me that he doesn’t really have any feelings….and that scares the crap out of me. Is he going to end up being like his dad? I pray every day that he never becomes a person like that !

    • Your son saying he doesn’t really have feelings is worrisome. Has he seen a therapist ever? Aside from concerns about depression or other things like that, it also makes me think of my stbx, who also flipped like the cheaters described in this thread. He’s not an emotionless robot—I’ve seen him cry when pets died—but he always said he didn’t get excited. Like, he was psychologically incapable of it. Very weird.

      • He won’t go to a therapist. However, I do and my therapist tries to help him through me. The thing that sucks is ExH is off playing house with OW and he has no idea the problems he’s caused my son. Sad.

  • This is the kind of thing that scares me….the great spouse who suddenly switches. Yes, there were warning signs near the end (detachment, etc), but for a good long while he was a great husband and father. Very scary. How do we avoid such characters, when their actions are so genuine for *years*? #notdatingyet

    • LUD, I also was shocked my now XH had met a Thai woman on internet just 2 weeks decided she was his soulmate and he had to divorce me to marry her. I got all the rewriting of history along with the I never was in love with you. Because he also told me I was his best friend, great wife and we had a wonderful relationship I never saw it coming. He ended up leaving me for her without ever meeting her in real life despite the language, cultural and religious differences. He threw away 20 yrs for someone he didn’t even know, I felt useless like I had no value at all. Now, like you, I wonder if I didn’t notice anything wrong in the marriage for that long, and I thought I knew my husband well as myself… how the hell am I supposed to ever try again with those kinds of doubts?

      • Wow, Spiritwoman – you really can’t make these things up. What a nutcase! Never even meeting the person first? (what if it’s not even a woman? – haha) I can imagine how shocking that must of been to have heard, just coming out of the blue like that. Of course, she only sees $$$ – many of those Thai gals are prostitutes. With families to support. You better pop yourself some corn, sit back and watch that silly show finish up in no time.

        Mine also flipped a switch during a time where I thought we couldn’t be happier together. We were traveling more and spending more time together. Then, one day – he never loved me and had never been romantically attracted to me. Snap – just like that. Good thing the curb was close by.

      • SprirtWoman: Mine met his 25 year old soon to be wife on POF. I had no clue. He had talked via texting for a month. Came home one day and said I am done. Found out within 24 hours that it was not a girl, it was a Ghana romance scam. Told him it was a scam but he chose to believe that I was trying to ruin his happiness. Oops. Sent up to 10k sent via Western Union (which he borrowed from co workers and took out a dozen or so payday loans). LMFAO. Talk about instant karma? The pictures he was showing everyone were of a porn star, Raven Riley. These pictures have been used thousands of times and bilked people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of course it is all my fault. If I had not ignored him, rejected him (WTF), he never would have had to go on a dating website. After 20 years of marriage, I got the same treatment. It was as if a light switch had been turned off and I was suddenly the evil queen. Treated with disdain, ” I never even asked you to marry me”, same bullshit. This was 2 years ago and let me tell you, the mindfuckery did a good job on me but no more. Last week he decided that it was time to take me off his health insurance but he so graciously offered to keep me on if I would stop bashing him on FB and “fix it” so he could see his step grand daughter. Um no, take me off the insurance asshole. I will not be manipulated any more and be called all kinds of names like cheap gutter trash. Then out of the blue I get pictures of the beach and that he was “thinking kind thoughts about me”. I tell you he is frickin nuts! I got half his retirement and bought a new house all my own 3 months ago. It has been a rough ride but he is no longer the person I was married to and he is not someone I wish to know.

        • Kelly -‘He does not know his oldest son anymore and the trials and tribulations of his life as a young attorney. Ex has no idea how tall his youngest son has grown or how deep his voice has become, or how he still does not show any interest in learning to drive.”

          This absolutely made me sob tonight.
          I can’t imagine how hurtful it has been to your sons, not only being abandoned by a ‘loving father’, but how he missed out on their lives.

          You are another one here who deserves huge KUDOS for bringing up YOUR children in a great, loving environment.
          I feel so bad for your boys.. 🙁

  • High Five Jackie, you recognize what he is doing during the Skype sessions and you leave the room. That speaks well of your instincts. Now keep trusting those same instincts, the ones that say WTF to family dinner! Seriously like you’re supposed to have him and the whore over for a meal, that he probably expects you to cook and clean up after. Hell No!!!!! Go invest what little money you can beg, borrow or scrape up in a good attorney.
    For what its worth I was pregnant with a one year old and I remember how exhausting it was and how downright stressful too. I remember falling asleep on the one year old’s floor blocking the door so he was in a safe room because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open some days after work. Please take care of yourself.

  • Jackie,
    You will be thankful for one thing. Your children will never know the difference. Their father will always be an image in a box talking to them. i think its much harder for children who remember ‘ the way it was’ Single motherhood is tough but u already sound mighty even though u may not feel so. Keep that fire burning.
    As for the flip switch… Well that an old magician’s trick isnt it? Now you see… Now you dont… And the rabbit appears from another prop. Your piece of shit guy is doing this. And he is hoping that you will play along so nobody catches on… he just wants to carry on and not have to explain. You are playing your part. Get off the stage. Turn the lights on and let everyone come to the own conclusions about what happened… Fuck him.

  • I’m sure the switch wasn’t as instantaneous as it might have seemed. They’ve been contemplating it but we just didn’t see it. Plus, they were never truly with us to begin with. I know this was true with my ex-wife. She never stopped thinking about her AP who was her ex-BF. I didn’t catch the hints, after all I think it’s normal to think about your exes once in a while, but not fondly and definitely not fantasizing about sex with them. Towards the end I did realize something was up as she started to talk about him a lot but I didn’t think she would cheat and take off on me.

        • Personally? There was a damn good reason for dating and I eliminated a lot of frogs. I can’t even imagine going back to one of those 30 yrs later. UGH When a relationship is over, you just don’t rekindle it over a PM. Or, I guess you do. Not my style to go back and pick discards back up again. Fools Gold. I learned something the first round, thanks very much.

          • It’s the ‘easy’ way out, that’s all. How convenient to tell them how sexy you are now at 40…blah blah..

            • My xw went trolling on FB for old high school BFs. Found one going through a divorce. Left me for him. That is 32 years later. I can only think “How pathetic”!

              • No shit – Marked. That’s why our language made up the word..Pathetic.

                Not to blather on, but, he was quite close to his HS Reunions. We went to his 10th, 13th and 15th. (very boring for a spouse, btw, who doesn’t know a soul there)

                On the 2nd reunion, I came to his brothers, where we were sleeping and hubby didn’t show up until 5:30am. I couldn’t sleep all night, thinking he was killed – no cell phones back then and he had been drinking.
                He finally comes in – strips off his clothes and immediately falls asleep for 8 hrs.

                I pick up his clothes to wash them, and, he’s missing his under shorts.
                When he wakes up, I laugh and kind of question him about what the heck he was doing til 5:30. He said, making eggs for a group of 12 at some guys house. So, I said, what happened to your shorts? He mumbled something about having to throw them away after eating eggs. So, that was the story he told his mom and siblings the next day and I just wished I’d checked it out with the supposed “Host’ of this huge omelet dinner at 4am.

                Well, I bought up that story in my head (which I forgot about) another 20 yrs later when things were suspicious then and guess what? He was missing a pair of undershorts here (I’m an OCD counter of socks and underwear) and he was not only missing a pair of shorts, but there were extra panties I found in our bed and accidentally washed. (hmm..7 days, 7 panties..and here’s an 8th pair – cheap, fraying lace – so low class)

                And, the rest is history. Those panties were the only solid clue I had about the affair. And, missing shorts at at HS reunion, where all the girls were mooning all over him….man, I sure didn’t see it but I think he’s been cheating on my more than I ever knew..

    • Asshat is always feeling sorry for people and also loves sparkly people and their fascinating stories. So I was mildly irritated by all the stories about Florence but I just never did worry enough. In hindsight, he really was gushing about her from the time she started working in his clinic but I have yet to learn if he actually knew her before that. And I really wonder if he didn’t meet her when we were first separated bc he started working here and I was staying back east to pack and let Little Elf finish the school year. He abruptly got super shitty with me at times but his reactions to things are usually disproportionate to the situation so I chalked it up to the stress of moving and a new employer. He sees fewer patients here by far and things are much more relaxed. Yet somehow he managed to blame me for everything under the sun.

      I definitely didn’t think he would cheat and try to take off on me without telling me he was cheating (bc it was twu wuv so you’d think that would be important enough to brag about) 🙁

  • Jackie, I think we all understand how traumatizing it is to see that the person you most trusted and loved enough to marry and bear their children can betray you with a stranger who does not care about him (if she really did, would she contribute to break up his family?). In any case, don´t waste your time trying to figure this out , but use your time to love yourself and your kids more. In a way, you are lucky that it happened now and not when your kids are old enough to understand and feel betrayed themselves. But do tell them the truth, in an age appropriate way, when they start asking about why you don´t live with Daddy. I have several friends who were chumped during pregnancy or their kids first years and they have all raised amazing kids on their own without the pressure of an asshole dictating how to educate your kid, while he is cheating on you. For the kids, their life as children of divorced parents is “normal” because they never experienced anything different, but they know that their mom is really the only reliable parent. I think you got an angel´s warning and you were smart to pay attention to it and not try to reconcile or understand him. I received one when my second child was a year old, but I didn´t pay attention to it and stayed for ten more years. The divorce and knowing that Dad cheated on me is still difficult for my kids to handle and understand…so I wish that I had listened to my gut (and divine protectors) earlier like you did. You already are an awesome mom by handling everything the way you have! Congratulations!

  • The sad sausage left a 35 yr marriage, 2 yrs from retirement. and a plan to buy a lake house. I should say he was kicked out. He left for a 25 yr old (he’s 65) that he had followed around from job to job and had been f***ing for who knows how long. He cut all contact with his adult children and the grandchildren. My adult daughter is devastated. But I look back and can see the total superficial idiot that he was playing the role of model suburban wasband/father. Even his bump on the lips (his “kiss”) was superficial. His soul is indeed an empty elevator shaft in an old rusty broken down building. With a limp chimney, if u know what I mean. Good riddance to that eyesore! You will prevail. It’s a journey. Good luck and remember NO is a complete sentence.

    • Happily Never After, my dad completely abandoned me, too. What is your daughter doing to heal? I am his only child, but he has completely ignored me for about five years. He didn’t want to come see me when a business trip took me to within an hour of where he lived (we were 11 states apart at that time, now we are 20 states apart). He refused to let me call him, and he would not call me. I would get pompous emails where he would blame me for being a burden or asking too much – for wanting to talk to him (he said he was too busy growing old in America to have any energy for my drama. At the time he told me that – well, emailed me that -I was a single mom of three (2, 3 and 4) working full time and in university full time, getting bachelors and masters degrees, with the goal of being able to support my kids without public assistance). His excuse? That I was “grown.” I still need my parents, even though I am grown, for advice, family support, family ties, etc. I couldn’t believe I had to explain any of this to him. He refused to come to my wedding – 9 days before the date. I had already paid for his and my stepmother’s meals, because I didn’t want to risk him showing up and going without food. For years, our only contact was FaceBook. Now he has unfriended me. He blames me for the lack of contact, btw – because I don’t email. I don’t email because he never responds. His stepdaughters can call their mom whenever they want, why do I have to email? That whole group, Dad, step-mom, her three daughters, all have labeled me as “toxic.” It hurts. Like a son of a bitch. However, my oldest three have a bio-Dad that ignores them, so when they are crying they miss their Dad, I can cry with them because I understand.

      • Susannah – I can’t begin to understand what this is like for you. But I do have one piece of advice: Go check out the Reddit group “raised by narcissists.” I think you may be in good company and have specific sources of support there relevant to your situation. Hugs.

  • Fuck him and his weekly “family” dinners.

    Seriously. If he wanted to have family dinners, he should’t have blown up his family. If he wanted the Narc supply of feeling like the big family man, at the head of the table, while his beautiful wife serves him a home-cooked meal and the babies babble in their high chairs, he should have actually BEEN a family man, who put his family before the needs of his dick.

    Nor does he get the kibbles of doing Skype chats with the family he blew up. If he wants to talk to his son, great, make that available to him. But you are entirely correct in leaving the room. Asshole. He probably sees all of the other guys video chatting with his family and he wants a) that same supply, feeling like he’s some vital part of a family that loves and misses him and b) the appearance of being a vital part of a family that loves and misses him. And while maintaining the appearance of a family man, he must give you his “loving” bullshit advice.If he was really worried about you being hurt, he probably should have put his family before the needs of his dick.

    Good for you for calling him on his bullshit and filing for divorce so quickly. I doubt VERY much that he expected that! I’m going to guess he expected you to fall at his feet and beg for him to stay. It’s sick, but I would be willing to bet that trying for a baby was all part of cheater-fuckhead timeline. Trap you with a pregnancy so you’re super-vulnerable to his manipulations and abandonment. But no, you were mighty and dropped him on his cheating ass, so now he has to scramble to get control over you again.

    I would prepare for him to immediately switch when the “family man” role no longer suits his needs. He will take on the “poor pitiful victim” role. Poor lonely cheater, whose wife is divorcing him while he’s deployed. Or whatever role gets him the most kibbles.

    And completely agree with Alice, he lost the right to feel like a proud expectant father. Call him when labor is over and YOU feel up to letting him into the maternity ward.

    • I agree with PucksMuse regarding adulterers playing the ‘poor pitiful victim.’ I got from my STBX, the ‘put yourself in my shoes’ lament when he found out that he was not going to have our kids overnight for several weeks (as he travels for work, on the rather rare occasion that he now works). (I neither filed for divorce nor set the custody schedule; this situation was all Cheater’s doing.) I felt like saying, along with ‘YOU made this mess,’ ‘I really don’t want to put myself in your shoes because I don’t want to know what it is like to repeatedly commit adultery, pay prostitutes for sex (using money that was supposed to go to our kids), illegally use narcotic drugs, take my spouse to court on false allegations, and violate all the laws and vows you’ve broken. Your shoes are full of #*!@’

  • I’m seeing a trend of being cheated on when pregnant. Why why why??? He went to prostitutes when I was pregnant for the baby he desperately wanted. Said he thinks he had a midlife crisis. Dday was 2 months ago and I’m still a mess but still here-he swears it’ll never happen again. Help 🙁

    • Bel –

      Read everything you can on this site. Read and re-read the false remorse section. You are with a cheater. That is a fact. We are here to support you. Please take care of yourself and your baby while you make an action plan to move out and move on.

      • Bel—everyone else’s comments to your post are spot on. I only have this to offer: Mid life crisis means in cheater speak “I have a serious lack of character, no remorse nor self control.”

    • I’m so sorry this is happening to you. Do you know what YOU want out of this? Never mind what he says or wants or demands. What do YOU want? When you picture your life in five years, do you see him in it? Do you believe in your heart it will be different or will you be dealing with more of the same? What do you want your baby’s childhood to be?

      This is an instance where you need to be selfish. Yes, you have a baby to think of, but I think your husband has demonstrated that he can’t be counted on to care for you or your baby. So you’re all that baby has to count on. So you’re going to have take care of yourself first, set yourself up as a stable, solid source of care for your kiddo, before you take that selfish man’s needs or wants into account.

      Either way, you need to let yourself grieve. Just take a day off, away from him and mourn for the family and marriage you thought you were getting. Even if it means checking into a hotel for the day and sitting in the tub and crying. Take that time to leech the poison out of your system. So you can think clearly for the steps ahead.

      If those steps mean staying married, which frankly, I hope it doesn’t, you need to sit down and figure out what else you’re willing to tolerate. What are your boundaries? What is going to be required of your husband if he wants this marriage to stay intact? Counseling? No more prostitutes? What do you want from him?

      If you think that means parenting alone, you’ve got some serious shit to get done. Work quickly and quietly. You have to be a pregnant ninja. This is not a time for transparency. You don’t owe that man honesty after what he’s done. Do not give him extra time to counter your plans or throw up road blocks. Go out and find the best lawyer you can and start amassing all of the financial resources you can (legally) put together. Ask your lawyer about where you should live, whether you should move out of the marital home. If you work, talk to your boss about the changes in your situation. Find a daycare you’re comfortable with. If you don’t have a job, find a job. Because you don’t want to depend on this man for financial support. Talk to friends and family and see who might be willing to lend you some extra support. Make a medical care plan with your doctor to accommodate for all of the extra stress you’re going through and a delivery plan that excludes your husband.

      Either way, you need to make appointments with a doctor and a counselor if you haven’t already. You need to be checked for STDs as soon as possible. He has exposed you and your baby to SO MUCH danger and you need to address that ASAP. Also, you need to talk to someone who can help you work through the stress and anger and pain that any normal cheating situation involves, with the added strain of your hormones being all out of sorts.

      Good luck. Chump Nation is with you.

      • That is one kick ass and excellent reply. I hope Bel reads it very, very carefully. It’s all about taking care of yourself and your baby, Bel. Focus on that.

      • I’ve been seeing a psycologist for postpartum when this bomb was dropped on me. Baby was 2 months old when I found out and I checked out. Funny thing is he’s wonderful with her and has pretty much been her caregiver since.
        I’m trying so hard to get stronger but every day is a struggle. I can’t deal with this.
        If/when I leave, I’ll be walking away from my house and moving back in with my parents…something’s gotta give.
        Thank you for the support. This is the first time I’ve reached out online. I hope this is all anonymous ?

        • It is anonymous, so come back for support as often as you need. If he’s good with the baby, he can still see her. He’s not good with, or for, you. Trust me–I spent 19 years parenting against the wind with a fucktard who stressed me out and undermined me, leading me to be a less cheerful and attentive parent than I could have been. It is tough to give up material possessions, even tougher to give up your mental health and identity.

        • My opinion, they don’t realize how sparkly babies (in and out of the belly) are and that kibbles will no longer be available for them in the quantities they have come to expect. I believe they think they are creating an infinite source of kibble for themselves with children, and something that they can display as a reflection of themselves and receive kibbles that way too. When it dawns on them they are giving more than they are getting they panic. I believe that our son being the focus of our family, because he was a baby, created a lot of problems for him. Now he is the center of the universe in our son’s life when he is with ex and he is also the center of the OW life when they are together. My ex get’s so much praise for being such a great dad it is ridiculous… and he laps up every bit of it…

      • Thanks everyone, I needed the wake up call. Never in a million years did I think he’d do this to me-especially with hookers while I was pregnant and after. I have been tested and thank God I’m good. I think I’m at the point now that it doesn’t matter if he does it again…he did it and it’s unforgivable. Crazy thing is I still love him ugh. I think being away from him will help as we still live together, he thinks we can work through it and is being really nice. I don’t think he realizes he ruined everything ?
        I don’t think there’s any point getting a lawyer, I can’t afford the house and we’d make nothing selling it.

    • Bel,

      I can’t speak for everyone and cannot reasonably tell you what to do, but I can describe my situation. My cheater told me, shortly before we got engaged, that he would never again have sex with a prostitute. I believed him and decided to accept him ‘warts and all’ as I thought, ‘at least he’s honest.’ [hahaha, boy was I a sucker.] I felt uneasy for the next decade, and reasonably so. Cheater had sex with lots of prostitutes while we were married, too, and cheated on me during our engagement. The bad behavior never stopped.The only thing that never stopped was the lying and hiding of important facts like, ‘I cheat on you; I have sex with men; I am stealing your things (money, documents, etc.); I am blaming you for crimes that I have committed.’

      If you don’t see significant, continuous signs of remorse and transparency from him, I doubt that your husband has changed his wandering ways (attitude and behavior).

    • Bel–I’m sorry you have to be here. Two months out from D-day is still gut-wrenching, especially if cheater is still in the house and pleading for your forgiveness. Don’t give him forgiveness; copy the financial documents and then kick him out. This is your first D-day; there will be a second, and a third, ….and you will be in a more precarious position then because you will have had a child, become more financially entangled, and given up more of your own income and identity to stay with him.

      He is not remorseful. Anyone who cheats on a pregnant wife (when she is vulnerable) and cheats with prostitutes is too far gone to be a reliable emotional partner. They cheat because your pregnancy is getting more attention than he is. He.will.not.change. At best, he will take his cheating further underground. Furthermore, if you’re currently pregnant and sleeping with him while he is banging prostitutes (and 10:1 he is NOT using condoms), you can lose your pregnancy to an STD. I am going to scare you with this info from WebMD [], because you really need to leave him:

      Chlamydia : Chlamydia may cause an increased risk of miscarriage and preterm delivery. Newborns who are exposed can get severe eye infections and pneumonia

      Syphilis : Syphilis is most often diagnosed with a blood test, although a syphilitic skin lesion can also be tested. Syphilis is easily passed on to your unborn child. It is likely to cause a very serious infection to your baby that can be fatal. The infants are often premature. Untreated infants that survive tend to develop problems in multiple organs, including the brain, eyes, ears, heart, skin, teeth, and bones.

      Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. If a pregnant woman is infected with hepatitis B, she can transmit the infection to her baby through the placenta about 40% of the time. An infected newborn can become a lifelong carrier of hepatitis B leading to liver disease and even death. Luckily, early screening and the more widespread use of the hepatitis B vaccine can prevent infection.

      Trichomoniasis : Trichomoniasis is an infection that can cause yellow-green vaginal discharge and pain with sex or when emptying the bladder. It can increase the risk of having a preterm baby. Rarely, the new baby can get the infection during delivery and have a vaginal discharge after birth.

      • Bel, Tempest is right on two biggies.

        1 – if he had sex with prostitutes and you while you were pregnant or before then he put your life and THE LIFE OF YOUR CHILD at risk. Personally I could not handle that.

        2 – While you are only 2 months out from D-Day don’t let it stop you from getting your stuff together and making a decision. You can keep the marriage or you can seek divorce. Both are painful but only one comes with a light at the end of the tunnel free of gas lighting, mindfucks and playing marriage detective/cop 24/7. The fine folks of CN helped me make my decision very quickly. I am 4.5 months from D-Day and before the 5 month mark, my divorce will be final. the house refinanced in my name and my STBX, Narkles the Clown, out of my house.

        Find a kick ass attorney who can go over your options with you. Mine was fabulous! (and cost me half what Narkles the Clown paid his) I didn’t find out until we were signing the docs at mediation that she is a chump too.

    • Hopefully this isn’t TMI but as man I don’t understand it either. When my wife was pregnant I thought it was the sexiest thing ever. But let me tell you there is a special place in hell for men who do that.

      • Ah what I have known and wanted all along. TheFiddler, you are “a real man,” and it’s a better world when a person can look at his/her pregnant significant other and see BEAUTY. And blessings in the children you share and have brought into this world. Narcs and the disordered do not get this. I wasted three beautiful pregnancies on my POS, and trust me, what should have been great memories were NOT. Subtle digs about my weight, his aversion to my normal weight gain, and no clue re my body’s challenges were all that mattered to him. I think his whole overdone porn thing ruined him too, it is not how real people have sex (red flag here). (Cindy Gallup, Make Love Not Porn, a TED talk is quite informative). I used to jokingly accuse my ex of going through 20 different positions before he was satisfied but toward the end sex was just crap for me. No connection there, at all. I believe ex preferred the fantasy, of those perfect young (disengaged) bodies and his selfishness won out. Ex, after marriage and babies, was never that affectionate with me either. In my next life I will choose a man who really loves me, who wears it “on his sleeve,” and who can lovingly lay his hand on my pregnant belly and be proud and thankful for the blessings that have come our way. It still amazes me how my ex could so easily walk out. Good riddance, yah!

    • My best friend had small children and a husband who used prostitutes through out their marriage.

      She stayed. She has a pre-nup and a nervous twitch.

      Bel – you will never ever trust this person again. Your marriage is over as you knew it. He killed it with his selfish choices.

      Now you need to do what is best for you!

    • Bel, read up on mid-life crisis. There isn’t one, not really.

      A mid-life crisis doesn’t involve fucking prostitutes while your wife is pregnant.

      PucksMuse gave you kickass advice. Here’s my one take. It is NOT selfish to take time out to figure out what YOU want. It is self-preservation.

      Your husband has shown you who he is: a man who fucks prostitutes when his wife is pregnant. Regardless of what he tells you about his mid-life crisis, stress, etc., you need to see that he has shown you that he reaches for the “Fuck Prostitutes” coping tool.

      Do YOU want to live with that?

      PucksMuse has it right. Talk to a lawyer and find your rights. Line up your ducks. Don’t let him know that you’re thinking of divorce. Heck, in my state, you can’t get divorced if you’re pregnant. Use the time to line up the ducks and sort yourself out.

      This is so unfair to you, Bel. You should be pampered, but alas! Cheaters don’t think of anyone outside of their own needs.

      You are Mighty! You can do this!

      • and the research doesn’t support a “mid-life crisis” as a fact of life. It’s an excuse people use for bad behavior (even though they’ve probably always been exhibiting bad behavior).

        • Pesky following studies debunking models dreamed up by people with almost no data and a penchant for creating new terms and models.

        • I have found that people who tend to have a mid-life crisis have a quarter-life crisis, three-quarter-life crisis, every-few-minute crisis, but we don’t always know that these crises are occurring! Some of the most challenged people i have ever known or studied (people who were faced with great adversity) didn’t go through stereotypical mid-life crises, in spite of an abundance of severe chronic stressors.

    • Jackie

      When I was 8 months pregnant with my second child he was so happy and excited. He was always talking about Dianna. Diana said this and Diana said that. She came into the hispital room to meet me. Later, she stopped by the house to see the baby. I knew something wasn’t right and found live letters she wrote to him in his drawer in plain sight. On hindsight I now know he was cheating right from the start. It never ended. It disgusts me to think I stayed with a sociopath.

      You have made a tough, yet amazing decision to divorce. Get your support system in place and take care of you and your children. Just because we reproduce with these selfish entitled asshokes doesn’t mean it’s a life sentence.


      I found out he was cheating after my daughter was born. She had medical problems and I was sick with migraines for months and was bed ridden. I was so focused on our health problems I reconciled. He was a good father, or so I thought. He was FUCKING someone while I was pregnant!! Who does his? Entitled pricks, that’s who!! Work on your depression Bel. I feel for you. While i was asking him about baby names he was thinking about fucking his pig. He told you what he is made of, believe him. Get strong. Make a plan. The only guarantee you have that he won’t cheat is to divorce him. Don’t waste your life with simeone who doesn’t respect you. You deserve better. I wasted 41 years.

  • Oh, yes, Jackie, heed Chump Lady’s words!!!! The Evil One (my now EX-husband, hell to the yeah!!!!) First brought up custody, he wasn’t going to pay child support because he thought he was going to literally have our daughter exactly 50% of each week— he even drew up a time-table/chart to show me. Needless to say, I refused that offer flatly!!! I refused to sign his first offer of a divorce settlement, and got exactly what I wanted out of The Evil One…
    See, he left me two weeks after having major surgery, and has had a girlfriend since a month after moving out on me and our daughter…
    Brace yourself, honey…this process is going to hurt like a mother-fuck, but you WILL get through it!!! You are mighty! You are strong!

  • Oh Jackie, that is a sh*t sandwich.

    You are a brave and strong woman for listening to your gut and setting your boundaries. (I wasted too much time ignoring my instincts.) Keep doing that. Set and reinforce your boundaries – as in – NO to the proposed family dinners. Whether or not you believe it, keep repeating: He is a father who is capable of parenting his kids on his own; He is an adult capable of making his own decisions; etc.

    It sounds like your EX has some complex psychology going on. I would suspect that it is borderline personality disorder (bpd), but I am no doctor. You might want to check out some of the bpd sites. It might get you some insights on how to deal with him in the future.

    However, I would suggest that you get some counseling to help you continue to be mighty.


  • I don’t think it’s the flip of a switch at all. It was never in ‘our’ position in the first place, or it flipped slowly over time, but cleverly concealed.

    You can’t think of it as your spouse suddenly changing. It’s that you were never allowed to really know them in the first place.

  • Very well done Jackie! FWIW, since you are currently a spouse of a (dishonorable) soldier, you should have full access to legal help via the Staff Judge Advocate. I’m a former military officer, and way back then adultery was a big deal, and I hope it is still a punishable offense… I would recommend you get his commander involved, and see what sticks.

    Best of luck to you, and glad to see you are taking no shit, and ridding yourself of this trash. I would have said man, but to me the hallmark of a man is honor, and this scumbag clearly demonstrates a pathetic lack thereof. Keep kicking ass!

    • 5jumpchump, I am glad that your unit took adultery seriously. However, not all units (commanders) do. In many ways, the military is almost as varied as the civilian population. Mores vary across the military (branch, officer/enlisted, etc.)

      As a former military officer, I met very honorable service members and very dishonorable ones. Sadly, sometimes the heroes got treated badly or even discharged and the dishonorable ones (ones who drove drunk and treated women like garbage) were rewarded. I knew fellow service members who would get together with their fellow service members to visit brothels. Only one guy out of several (a dozen?) turned down the opportunity. He wasn’t interested in running around, and he wanted to be loyal to his wife.

      • I hear ya RSW… Look at Gen Petraeus. He had the incredible privilege of leading US troops, a sacred, honor bound duty to always be an officer and a gentleman/gentlewoman, and always conduct himself completely above reproach setting the standard. He should have been court martialed, and sent to prison where his new title, like everyone else in the clink is “prisoner”.

        I know people hear “officer and a gentleman”, and think it some archaic code of honor, swagger sticks and fine white mounts leading a charge; it’s not. By virtue of an officers commission granted by the President of the United States for life, you are expected to conduct yourself with honor, integrity, and bearing worthy of that honor and privilege. Kinda like our version of Bushido, without Seppuku… Although ‘death before dishonor’, is an option some take, and I would probably too.

        I was branched Infantry, and it was 1000% testosterone 24/7, uber macho, and hard driving. Unfortunately, I too saw officers unworthy of wearing the uniform, and my command did a pretty good job of seeing this happen. Let’s hope Jackie can get the military community to assist her, and her scumbag cheater feel the full force of the UCMJ pressing upon him.

  • I dated an ex-marine who described having treated his wife like this early in their marriage. They now have two lovely daughters in their early twenties, raised mostly by Mom (because Dad made sure he was always either deployed or working offshore). They separated when the girls were 10 or so because Mom got tired of his AP’s calling the house having been told he was single. He was a well developed sociopath who saw women for one purpose only.

    I only continued dating the jerk for a few months long distance because I was so fascinated by his totally empty conscience. Wee had many conversations (one sided mostly because he was like a wind up doll when he started talking about himself) which revealed a man who had no ability whatever to emotionally attach…he knew all the moves to “pretend” he cared, but if anything pissed him off, he switched off and went looking for a pick up. He was good looking and charismatic so he knew he could “pull” easily.

    All I can say is, in his case, he had experienced:
    1. Brutality in early childhood from his own father
    2. Being put in foster care for long periods of time
    3. Seeing his mother having sex with a stranger in her own bedroom when he was about 9 (and wow he hated his mother to this day)
    4. Did two hears prison time for armed robbery at age 17 (claimed he used a toy gun and it was a prank…)
    5. Got into the military (despite the juvenile conviction) and was sent into combat at age 22, had to kill enemy soldiers
    6. Prided himself on his tough training and macho persona

    Looking at that list, it’s a wonder I stuck around at all.
    However, your husband’s detachment could be linked to his combat training, and to the influence of his buddies.

    You might be very fortunate if you can get away from this guy and lead a peaceful life. They don’t change once they’ve had their heads filled with the kind of psycho stuff the military does to them. Get an airtight custody arrangement, but don’t engage with him. If he harasses you, report him to his CO.

  • Jackie, you’re a very smart woman. You made me laugh with “Would she like some leftovers?” (Apparently they do, right??)

    And you had great instincts early on to realize the asshole was gone when he offered to live with a “friend,” just temporarily, of course.

    Sorry this sucks SO bad. You are handling it really well.

    Maybe I’m getting to “meh” but I was able to instantly see in your story–it’s really isn’t the OP’s who turn them sour. I mean, who would screw a nasty skank and then bail on his family?? Ohhhhh, that’s right–everyone here knows someone exactly like that. And it sure as hell ain’t you–clearly you are awesome!!

    Hang in there. You’re young and sweet and smart. You’re going to do just fine. Get some family help if you can with the kids. Tune up your picker. Keep your head high. Maintain your dignity. Get a good attorney.

    You got this.

    • Agreed Roxie!

      Jackie, say no to the family dinners. My situation was different since my daughter is much older than yours but let me fill you in on what happened. Cheater asked if we could all have dinner at the house together (no legal arrangement for this in place). I said yes. First time, I bought steaks and asked him to grill them. He came over, put the steaks on the grill and then plopped down in front of the TV. My daughter and I did everything else. We kept reminding him to check the steaks – needless to say, they were way over cooked by the time he finally did. The second time, I think I made pasta. This time, I had the TV off when he got there. He immediately turned it on and plopped down on the couch – did not help at all and did not spend time with daughter like he said he wanted to. I sent our daughter up to her room, which he didn’t notice, turned off the TV and proceeded to tell why this would be the last family meal. He rolled his eyes and acted like I was crazy. That was the last time I allowed him to come over for a family dinner. Unless you want to continue to buy the food, cook it, clean up, etc. for him, I suggest you say no from the beginning.


        Get your selfish lazy ass off MY couch, and help cook dinner. We no longer serve you, asshole. UGH!!

  • Jackie, what I wouldn’t give to have had your courage when facing my similar situation. Unfortunately, the stone bone awareness that my marriage was dead (and probably always was) was followed by the realization I was pregnant.

    I thought about just fleeing. But then I thought about raising a newborn alone, and thought about all the women I knew who were ravaged by absentee dad issues, and decided I had no right to deny my kid the right to know and have her father.

    Cue 17 years of active (successful) parental alienation on his part, and enter a kid on the verge of her majority wracked with rage at the world that denied her father his obvious (to him) supremacy. Like the chorus in a Greek tragedy, I had to watch (and wail) as the whole sad story predictably unfolded.

    … In hindsight, wish I had followed my instincts and not my intellect.

    So kudos to Jackie. Kudos to all the brave Chumps who are getting their mighty on!

  • Jackie – You are fantastic. I’m not worried about you at all. You called bullshit early and dumped this asshole. For a pregnant women with a small child, bravo. I’m seriously impressed.

    Ok, so yes this will be hard. But it’s going to be incredibly rewarding too. I was a single parent too and while it can be a challenge, it would have been with my kid’s sperm donor in the picture as well. You end up finding your normal. Life was very sweet for me and my kid. I ended up remarrying, poorly (Ha-Ha) which brought me to Chump Nation, but I survived and life is awesome again. All we can do is deal with what life throws at us.

    As for future X husband, don’t even talk to him. Get you a kick-ass lawyer, tell him to shove the “weekly dinners” up his ass, and sit back after the divorce and quietly chuckle at all the ways this idiot fucks up his life. You don’t have to do a thing.

    Get the visitation in place and the child support and consider yourself lucky to not have this dirt bag in your life. You don’t have time for that; You’re awesome.

    • Jackie, I also agree you are mighty! To have recognized the truth and accepted it so quickly is amazing. I’m so sorry for the trouble with your pregnancy due to the trauma. I hope you’re doing better now.

      Anyway, my husband told my youngest son that our divorce had been coming a long time. This was news to me, and caused endless anxiety attacks when I’d wake up in the middle of the night remembering what he said. We had been together since we were 16 (36 years). Personally I believe my ex has trouble connecting deeply to anyone. In the end he told me we had nothing in common but the kids. He’d been in love with his married coworker for years, I believe, but I’m not sure he’d even admit that to himself. He kept insisting that leaving me had nothing to do with her, which is what he told my son.

      His version of events is that we were just really different people. I agree that we were different, but it wasn’t anything that couldn’t have been overcome with communication and compromise. Those two things were just beyond his ability, though. In looking back I do believe he left me emotionally when the OW moved down the street from us. They shared mutual interests in horses. I was so glad when she moved away and had children of her own, I thought my ex’s attraction to her would end there, but it didn’t. She worked and traveled with him all the time.

      I agree that these people disconnect easily because they don’t connect that deeply to begin with. I know my ex wasn’t even deeply connected to his own parents. In fact, I believe he had an emotional deficit, possibly inherited, or maybe caused by his authoritarian father. Once he even told me he knew how to get people to do anything he wanted. I asked “What is that?” and he answered, “I just have to act like I care.” So that’s how they think. They are “acting like they care” to get what they want.

      Anyway, Jackie, I pray you surround yourself with lots of friends and family support. You’re going to need it. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help! As for weekly dinners with the ex, I’d say absolutely not. My ex kept telling me we would still do things as a family. They just don’t understand the depth of pain they’ve caused in your life, because they don’t feel that deeply. Do whatever you need to protect yourself from unnecessary pain. He fired you from the job of caring about how he feels.

      • My ex was studying to become a nurse (may be one by now; I was kicked off the ship when the money ran out) and I recall her talking about how grateful families would express their deep appreciation for her terrific care of their relatives. She thought it was amusing that they thought it was because she actually cared about the people. She felt that it was her job to pretend to care, so that’s what she did. She was quite proud of the results.

        • Funny, I’ve heard a lot of bitter nurses say this after they’ve been in the field for awhile.

  • He wants it part of the settlement that he come to dinner once a week?! EPIC balls on that one. And that lawyer is a douche, too.

  • Jackie,
    You are mighty. You will make it through this, stronger.

    My ex started affair with a co-worker when I was 4 months pregnant. She was a MOW and knew he was married and knew me, thus knew I was pregnant. The proceeded to act like nothing was going on until my son was 4 months old. He said he was depressed and considering divorce. Nahh, he just wanted to be with her. He moved out when son was 10 months old.

    That was 3 years ago and Dec 2015 I will be divorced 2 years. Sometimes it still hurts incredibly. But well on my way to Meh. Learned to set up my boundaries. There were bumps in the road like them playing fake family with her 2 kids.

    Trust that he does suck and is truly evil. I promise you it will be hell. I thought I was going crazy. Get you a good therapist. I attended a divorce group and found a true friend.

    Hugs to you, the road ahead of you will be hard.

  • Haven’t had time to read all the comments, and I’m sure others have touched on it, but clearly the question is not “How can they flip so fast?” but “How could my powers of recognition be so slow?”

    My ex-wife was a self-centered jerk all along. I loved an illusion, an illusion that was mostly of my own projection. The better I get at believing what I see and at no longer making excuses for others, the further the crazy people mysteriously fade into the periphery of my life.

    • Nomar, I do agree with you there. I spent many years in denial of what my gut suspected because I didn’t really want to know, or believe, that things were that bad.

    • You always hit the nail right on the head Nomar. Always 🙂
      I love reading everyones input and I am sure I speak for many of the female chumps on this site, that it is refreshing to have male comments such as yours and Arnold’s and any other male who is in the same boat as we girls who post here.
      By the way, I too was in love with the illusion which was mostly of my own projection.

        • Hey – STOP THAT! My X was great – not an illusion at all!! Until, he wasn’t.. I wanna know more about how this switch works. On/Off.

          Actually, since I’ve grown up a little more, my On/Off switch for certain people is definitely right on my index finger. I cannot put up with BS anymore…and here I am..trying to meet new people in my life. Switch is usually off. People are SO freaking weird!

          • i.e. 1) I have found that couples don’t treat you with the same respect as they would if your ‘decent, sparkly’ husband was with you.
            2) the odd ones try to, a) come on to you or b) obvious they want your money. c) have some kind of motive..

            It’s scary out there and I am one scared chump, but I do know people a lot better now that my naive self just 2 yrs ago. Been with somebody for over 36 yrs, so this is all new to me.

            Signed, not feeling so mighty after a big trip went all wrong with friends..

    • Regarding Nomar’s comment, I was a very slow responder. I sometimes I felt like people who have no nerve endings and thus do not realize that their hands are being burned as they leave them on a hot stove. I remember my now STBX, more than once, leaving our home a couple of hours after arriving from a long business trip after weeks/months away (he did virtually all of his work out of town) because he was angry with me for some reason our kids and I never understood. He would go away for no identifiable reason and tell our kids and me neither where he was going nor when he was going to return. One of my most painful memories during the marriage was the one involving my elder child, when he was a toddler, staring at the front door and asking me where Daddy was going when the door slammed shut behind Daddy on one of his impromptu ‘get-aways.’ I never acted as though there might be anything wrong with now STBX’s behavior! I think that part of my brain couldn’t comprehend what was happening or might be happening. I hope that our kids never abandoned their families without provocation and without forwarding address!

      • RSW,
        Was your ex going to spend time with an OW and was using the “being pissed off” excuse to buy time to go to her place? Yes I’m paranoid but if he would do this regularly it makes me wonder. I suggest this because mine started “working overtime shifts” which were actually a reason to have time to stop at schmoopie’s place after work. I confirmed this when his paycheques didn’t have any overtime on them…

  • Jackie, it’s important to remember that your soon to be ex is a disordered entitled creep. Not the sort of person you want in your home. Not the sort of person you want to have to dinner or chat with about your life. And be prepared, because those sort of creatures tend to circle back around for another go at you if they have the opportunity. Just say no to all of that.

  • Jackie
    To clarify ….When I compared the flip switch to a magicians trick I was refering to the replacement of people seamlessly. They use the ” we just grew apart ” narrative to explain. The expect us to play our part in the whole show. NOBODY has to know. They want their integrity preserved. Now they dont have to explain to Grandma why schmoopie is now at the Thanksgiving dinner instead of you. Seamless. It works for them. And if you start getting all bat shit crazy…like most of do…they use that excuse to demonstrate that you are crazy….” You never saw this side of her like I did. She was always crazy. See! See!” Its a mind fuck and a game. And it wasnt overnight but what better way to set you off balance. Its a tactic in the Cheater handbook. There are many different types of Cheaters….you got the flip switch kind. Now you see you…now you dont…and here is Schmoopie….seamless.

    • Thanks TC!
      Is it worth sending a brief but honest post of the current situation to shmoopie’s family? I can’t imagine many fathers want their daughter involved in this hot mess?

      • Jackie, even if it is well intended ( you have concerns for this woman) contacting the OW family will only further the narrative that you are nuts. You have no idea what your POS husband fed her… But she bit… So … she believes him. Anything you say is going to be construed as the bitter ex wife who couldnt move on. She believes him. Its just that simple.
        I get that you are only a few months into this and have some raw feelings… Tie that into pregnancy hormones…. And caring for a one year old… My guess is you could take down a buffalo with yr bare hands. Its good to have that kind of anger it will help move you out of this situation. The release you are looking for wont be found in contacting the whore bags family. You could find yrself served with a restraining order. Trust me … Your soon to be ex will paint you up to be a raving lunatic. Be a class act and as some one said ‘ if he wants his freedom give it to him’
        Jackie all this is going to hurt like a mother fucker… That much I know is true. And there aint no way around it… Walk strait thru. Deal with it. In a years time you will be offering some sound advice to another who comes to this web site seeking solace. Take care of you. For yrself and those beautiful babies.

        • Agree 100%. Do not believe that you can talk anyone out of this mess. You only control yourself. OW’s family raised her.

  • I too believe that these cheaters (most) do not have real deep feelings for anything. My ex husband does not have deep bonds with his own parents, his brother, our children, and obviously ME. At one point during marriage counseling our therapist asked him how he felt at that moment and he said he didn’t know. She continued and told him he had to be feeling SOMETHING. He said he didn’t. He told us that he didn’t have feelings. And while I didn’t believe him then………I absolutely do now.

    My own thoughts are that he never really “touched down” in his own life. He lives on the perimeter of it. He watches his life like a spectator at a sporting event. I don’t know if I am explaining this correctly but hopefully you get the idea. Everything….people and things are there in his life but he has no real attachment to anything. If he looses people or an object he can just replace it.

    Sadly, that leaves my children wishing for a relationship that is nearly impossible. It also does not help them shape healthy relationships with boys/men in their lives. I always thought he was just shy and that was why he rarely showed emotions. I accepted that as part of his personality. I think I always wondered just how much he really loved me since I never saw emotions. Now I know that he really didn’t or couldn’t and I was just a female (different than his mom) to take care of him. And I was easily replaced.

    Very disordered!!!!!

  • My ex claimed that he had been banging his coworker for only 6 weeks when he told me he was leaving me for her. After thinking about it for a year I figured there had to be some kind of emotional affair brewing for months/years before that. There was no way he’d decide to leave me, his partner of 12 years and mother of our 2 year old daughter, after only 6 weeks. But maybe it was that easy for him after all. Maybe he was so superficially committed/attached that it was that easy for him to simply flip the switch to being with her.

    That line “an empty elevator shaft where his soul should be” is the perfect description. Gave me chills.

    • This sounds just like my life, Kim. I am sorry you had to deal with the same thing. His OW is 30 years younger and knew me-double sucker punched. Still hurts but getting easier after one year from 1st DDay.

  • I haven’t read all of the posts to be honest. My Ex found “Twu wuv” on FaceBook in August of 2012, sexting and sending pictures back and forth to a married POS HO! By January of 2013 he went to screw her for three whole days (unbeknownst to me) and he was totally in love! After checking out some of the trashy sites for cheaters I wonder if this is the “new relationship energy” these assholes yak about? Just proves Chumpladys theory, they don’t really invest or deeply attach to anyone! These are shallow ass losers who just sat around using the shit out of us and pretending to be authentic human beings! There were flags in hindsight, but I just didn’t realize it at the time! These are just evil people, truly EVIL and selfish! Fuck em and get rid of them! I don’t give a shit if you have been married a day or, like me, over 40 years! I don’t need to spend one more second with an asshole like that! All that new relation energy will wear off, then what? Not my problem, thank heavens!

  • Jackie, hats off to you and your mightiness!!! You rock!

    I agree with some others who’ve said they turned a blind eye to their ex’s fuckedupness, I know I did because I just didn’t want to see what a loser he had been.

    Ex said two things that chilled me to the bone when I (finally) said enough and started divorce proceedings:

    ‘To do this I have to hate you’ (we’d actually been relatively cordial until that statement–from then on, he did his best to make my life a living hell for the next year and a half)


    ‘You’ll never see your daughter again’ which was pretty much true; despite joint custody, he charmed a vulnerable 12 year old into having no contact whatsoever with me for years. She’ll be 25 in November and we’re just starting to heal and have a relationship and she’s learned so many Narc behaviors that I fear for her future. She is just starting to see the bizarre relationship her Dad had with her when he started doing things like taking out a huge Parent Plus college loan (she paid no undergrad tuition as he was employed at the college she went undergrad) and he is now since being fired coincident with her graduation is hounding her to PAY HIM BACK !!!!!

    Plus, made her take her own loans to pay for ‘room and board’ at his and schmoopie’s house, used her as babysitter for his new wife’s kids, just all around financial abuse, in addition to ongoing verbal and, from what my daughter says, one incident of physical. Sad thing is she feels she deserved it.

    Don’t let the door hit him in the a** on the way out, Jackie. Stay mighty as you already are

  • Wow! I sent this to CL last night and woke this morning to find the support of an awesome Chump Nation family.

    Since I didn’t want to write a book for my original post I will add some details that were left out.
    I have retained an attorney and hope she will be logical, tough, and experienced enough to get me/us what is right. Although I am sure that it will never amount to “right”.

    As for soulless douche- his family has told me to “move on with my life” and that this was all just “bad timing”. Ummm bad timing is running a yellow light. Bad timing is not getting a tattoo of your wife’s initial on your ring finger 3 months prior, willfully knocking her up, sticking your penis in another woman, then walking out on your very high risk pregnant wife and 1 year old via text while she is at work.

    As for the military aspect- I would love to blast this affair on the 6:00 news and have him destroyed by multiple UCMJs (the military’s law). Unfortunately this would no doubt affect his pay which would lower my child support. He does not deserve to be in a position of any authority. He is only a hero to his OW’s p@$$* who is fully aware that he is married and has a family (she works with him). She has been planning their wedding and, I’m guessing, her new role of “mommy” to my kids. BARF. I have thought about letting her family know of the current situation- check out your soon to be new family member’s awesome lack of a soul!
    He treated me like a princess for years and I treated him like a king. When he returns he has no place to live (although I’m sure he’ll move back in with OW as soon as their no contact order expires), no means of transportation (he sold his 1 year old truck because he plans on buying a brand new $50k truck when he returns, and no real love- not that that part means anything to him.

    My babies don’t deserve any of this. If you are going to fuck us over so badly just leave. Go start a new sparkly fucked up life and pretend we never existed PLEASE! Is that really too much to ask?

    Also, CN should know that I did the “Pick Me Dance” for a couple months so I was not as strong as I may have sounded. Life was excruciating during that time. “I know I made mistakes and I regret them” “You were an amazing father and husband, why would you throw this away?” If there is such a thing as “affair fog” I was the one eyeballs deep in it. The strong people in my life were the ones who finally woke me up and showed me my self-worth- and most importantly, that my children need their mommy and REAL love. NOT their fake, lying, soulless sperm donor who values his penis more than his children.

    I would love to hear more thoughts, encouragement, stories, and advice (especially on divorce/parenting time). Thanks for all the love and support CL and CN!

    • Good going, Jackie! You can do this. And Chump Nation will help you through it. When I divorced the cheating, lying sack of shit that was my first husband many moons ago, there was no CL. I had a really good therapist to help me muddle through the trauma, but I never really truly understood what the hell had happened. The resources here are fantastic, and the community is strong and supportive. You’re in good hands here.

      And the really good news is that once you’ve purged your life of your dirtbag (to the extent possible with kids), you will find that inner peace you’ve probably been craving. Like you, I thought I had a good life. For me, the switch flipped the minute I was on to his shenanigans and started asking for the truth. When he was gone, really gone, it was like the clouds parted and the sun shone more brightly than ever before, and I felt a tranquility that had been missing for 16 years. It’s a wonderful feeling.

      You may not want to get the military involved, but the fact that you can, should you wish, could be helpful in keeping him reasonable at settlement time. Especially if the OW is in a position to be disciplined or reassigned or whatnot. It’s time to protect you and your little ones, not the ones who placed the land mines in your living room.

      Hugs to you! I can’t say that stretch of road isn’t bumpy, but it’s navigable and you won’t be alone.

    • >>Also, CN should know that I did the “Pick Me Dance” for a couple months so I was not as strong as I may have sounded. Life was excruciating during that time.

      (((((Hugs Jackie))))) its ok you don’t have to feel bad about that. Lord knows we have all been there and we know why its hurtful to think about. But really, its another way that you are stronger than you even realize right now because you have the capacity to leap to those efforts to try and save a relationship that he was actively destroying. You cared, you were genuine and you did what normal people do when they want to help someone they love. You just have to apply your skills to yourself now!

  • Jackie, I would still hold the threat of UCMJ over his head and make him dance for me! Especially if the affair partner is active duty or another military members wife! Believe me, they DO NOT want that bell rung! Remember, this is your future and your babies futures now! He didn’t play fair and you don’t have to either! Use everything in your arsenal! Make him squirm! He’s a worm!

  • Jackie, you are entitled to alimony a d child support. Please do not settle for less than you and your children deserve. Remind yourself every waking moment that on your worst day you are better than the POS that you call husband. Personally I would, in a very calm way, let her family know the situation. Won’t make any difference to the cheaters, but as a parent myself I would like to know what is coming my way. Trust that his story will quite different than yours. The road ahead won’t be easy but with one step at a time, it’s doable. Keep your head up, your spine straight and kick ass.

  • What is it with these men that have to leave for “noble” causes and end up doing the lowest betrayal ?
    A young woman I know was pregnant when her husband left to do humanitarian work. Instead of coming back a few months afterwards as originally planned, he stayed with another woman that he met in the humanitarian group. I mean, the guy was there to do charitable things, to feel some joy in his soul by helping others in need, so why in the world would he do such a disgusting thing as to abandon his pregnant wife ? Jackie’s husband got deployed, this is supposed to be a life threatening work at the service of his country, he should feel the need to remain as just as possible to expect the protection from above, I don’t know, to me it’s just crazy, it’s so mean and does not make any sense at all…

    • Done. Those people are fucking pieces of work. Except – they aren’t very bright. 3 stooges, indeed!
      I’m just waiting for a profanity-laced response from one of them.

  • Jackie – you truly are amazing. Stick with those who helped you see what he really is and forget his family – they always knew he was shallow and were counting the days of your temporary marriage, believe me. Love your babies and keep him at a far enough distance so that his toxicity doesn’t put a stain on your forward march. Hugs to you and best wishes.

  • What I have realized I s that my ex had a very shallow connection with me, there was very little in there.. at least very little that was good or normal. And not just with me, he also had an extremely superficial connection with everyone else, his parents, his brother, his life long “friends,” even our children. He played a role, for a long while– adoring husband, loving family man, proud father. But what I also learned so many years later, literally after 25 years of marriage, is that THAT man was not real, THAT man did not exist. He did not disappear, he did not suddenly turn or flip, he just was never really there. THAT man was a front, a grifter. And like so many scam artists, once the jig was up, he was simply just …poof….gone.

    I suspect that for many of us, we only hear the cheater’s story, only get the trickle truth, and we only see the very last signs. When in fact, the length and breadth of the lies is much much greater than we could ever imagine, probably more horrible than our minds could possibly encompass.

    On D-day, I found out that my ex had been leading a double life for at least half of our 25 year marriage, having multiple affairs and group sex with two co-workers. For many of those years I had no clues, not even in hindsight. I did suspect something when I was pregnant with our third child (a son, now 16 years old), but ex vehemently denied at the time. (I wish I had been like Jackie and filed right then when I was in my 30’s instead of in my 50’s). But I chose to believe him when he swore he adored me and was not cheating. And then over 12 years later, all the lies came crashing down anyhow.

    My ex is one of the ones who just left. He literally has not seen our youngest in almost 4 years. He has seen the older two children only 3-r times in all that time. He has missed birthdays, college and law school graduations, a slew of sporting events. He does not know that his daughter is leaving to teach in Italy on Saturday for the next 9 months. He does not know his oldest son anymore and the trials and tribulations of his life as a young attorney. Ex has no idea how tall his youngest son has grown or how deep his voice has become, or how he still does not show any interest in learning to drive.

    It is a blessing I am certain. But I must admit that when my youngest son got a birthday card from his dad today for his 16th birthday, I was stunned all over again and wondered yet again where THAT father and husband went. And I questioned whether I should try to contact ex and yet again try to encourage him to see his children.

    But then I had to remind myself that this is a very sick man, probably a sociopath, most definitely hyper sexual, and possibly dangerous. And I had to recall that I often wonder if maybe he disappeared from even the kids’ lives because he knew that it would be better for them, because his life is really just amoral and disgusting.

    But then in the end I realize yet again the sad truth, that he just does not care. And that I will never see or talk to or hear fromTHAT man ever again.

    • It is a blessing. Being in the shoes of your son, from my point of view – I haven’t seen my cheater father since the day he walked out, which was almost exactly 9 years ago (in about a week’s time). Nor do I want to see him ever again. Life is so much better without deceit and bullshit.

      • Thanks Lania, all three of my children have come to that conclusion…actually they were way ahead of me in realizing what their father was and how damaging he could be to them.

  • Jackie

    do you have temporary orders yet? Your attorney needs to be all about protecting you financially. And protecting your babies from him. On your own, you can research what standard visitation looks like in your state for newborns and very young children. Give him nothing more than you are comfortable with. Let him know that if he fights you, you will go to his superiors.

  • Been there done that. My ex started his emotional affair when I was around three months pregnant (high risk), and took it physical when I was seven months along. I finally figured it out when the baby was a year old (I blame my stupidity on extreme sleep deprivation). I spent six months dancing before I ended it thanks to the insight of a marriage counsellor.

    No matter how hard single parenting got, I could always take a deep breath, and remind myself that it was still better than being lied to and hurt by the person who vowed to protect you the most.

  • My dearest Jackie. I am late getting to ChumpLady today but I feel compelled to comment after reading your letter. 10 years ago, my husband of 16 years did the same thing to me — only he stuck around until the baby was one week old to break the news to me. I later found out, from his mistress’s STBX, that the illicit couple’s “plan” had been for my husband to break the news to me in the hospital as soon as the baby was born safely. But when our son nearly died 3X during what turned out to be an extremely difficult labor, hubby chickened out and instead waited a week to tell me. Like you, I remember the eerie feeling that something was “off” about how he treated me during this second pregnancy, but I chalked it up to stress over the new business he was starting. One incident stands out in hindsight. I can look back to the day we went for ultrasound that would determine the baby’s gender. We met at the doctor because we both came from our respective workplaces. I got there first, and was sitting in the (very very spacious) waiting area facing the entrance. I remember seeing my husband enter the room and walk towards me. The look in his eyes and face was completely dead. And with every step he took toward me across the room, it looked as if he was wearing a lead suit and he got slower and slower the closer he got. Ten years later I can still feel him willing himself away from me and our unborn son in that waiting room. I was not able to put my finger on it at the time. It gets better. I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but him leaving you now is the biggest gift he could ever give you. My daughter was 3 and my son was one week. They never remember him living in our home. They have visitation with X, but I am the primary parent and his absence has given me the freedom to bring them up in a healthy, positive environment. Believe me, they can tell the difference between my place and his. And I never have to say a word! Added bonus, when I later found true love (with a great guy, fellow chump), they were young enough to accept their step parent and we didn’t have any of the issues that come when kids grow up with cheater parent in the house thinking that kind of behavior (assholishness) is “normal” and then resent it when chump parent attempts to have normal romance. I am so proud of you for dumping your husband’s sorry ass when he had to leave to “think about things.” I groveled and tried to do the “pick me” dance (kind of hard to do when your have milk leaking out of your breasts and post-delivery menstrual stuff going on) but now I am thankful he didn’t want me. That damn pick-me dance is one of my top 5 all time regrets of my whole life. You are my heroine. Your toddler and your unborn child are the two luckiest children in the world to have such a kick-ass mom. A mom who knows her own worth. A mom who will not be used. A mom who is not afraid to cut her losses. Damn, girl. What a great role model you are and will be for them.

    • This is perfect, MissDeltaGirl65. I have a feeling that you also now know “your own worth.” Mighty, indeed!

  • “IMO, people like this disconnect so quickly and easily because they don’t connect very deeply to begin with. They feign the “caring” and sustain “involvement” until they don’t. Something gets challenging (Did a baby barf in your hair, poor sausage? Keep you awake at night?), they get bored, you didn’t sparkle brightly enough — whatever it is, they determine that They Deserve More.”

    This describes my ex to a tee. I just moved in with Nice Guy three days ago (moving is hell! boxes everywhere and I still haven’t found my tea!) and when the movers picked up my nightstand, several pages of typed paper fell out. Turns out it was an email from my ex that I had printed out and stuffed into my nightstand five years ago shortly after Dday. I read a little bit of it, and it was textbook cheater, and much like the STBX Jackie describes. The email went on and on how ex had been bored with me, but the OW was the first woman he ever felt an emotional connection with, blah blah blah. Like Jackie’s STBX, mine had only been considering leaving a short time — probably just a month or two, but we were married 20 years. Ex wrote how he deserved to be happy, how I held him back, how he just didn’t feel anything for me. This guy was telling me he loved me right up until Dday. He was also fucking another woman even during his “soul mate” time with the main OW, but he never would admit to that.

    I have to admit, it stung for a minute looking at what he had written. Then I reminded myself I was moving in with a GOOD man THAT VERY DAY, and that my ex and his sociopathic insanity meant nothing more now than a fart in the wind. Tossed that letter in the trash and continued to move my stuff. Life is so much better without a cheater stinking it up.

  • Jackie:

    He’s in the military-infidelity is a crime and he can be brought up on charges-talk to you attorney about that as possible leverage!

    Sorry this is happening to you-disordered people suck ? but you need to use all you strength to get you and your kids away from this asshole.

    Good luck!

  • My cheater did not cheat until year 8 of marriage, but there were many “fast flips” before that. Once she realized I was 100% committed and 100% dedicated to the marriage, to our life together, to meeting her needs, she stopped reciprocating, ceased all awareness of my needs or wants, and put her sense of entitlement to work, using my hard earned resources for her gain. All the while, I blindly, happily gave and gave because I loved her and wanted her to be happy, because I wanted an intimate connection with her.

    Now, looking back, it seems so clear. The affair, the ease with which she slipped into a secret life, the sense of justification with seeking connection elsewhere, all that helped recast our history in the illuminating clarity of truth. I always knew something was amiss, but I tried to cherish (rationalize) the uniqueness of her amiss, or her personality disorder as a beautiful quirk.

    That is the silver lining of infidelity. It tells you who your cheater really is.

  • Glad for this post, and reading everyone’s stories. Who knew the sweet, geeky, Dungeons-and-Dragons playing guy I married would become a narcissistic, cheating asshole? Why didn’t I see it coming? There were no signs. One day it was painting miniatures in the basement, the next he’s working out, preening in the bathroom, and talking about other women “noticing” him. Then, he’s having unprotected sex with strangers at work conferences. WTH?!

    For a while I believed he had a brain tumor or something. This personality change was just so hard to believe! It’s been a month now, he’s moved out, we’re divorcing, and I’ve just got to accept it. He tells me he’s been “faking it” for the past 2 years of our 11 year marriage. Guess he was an asshole underneath the surface all this time. Who knew?

    I wish him broken relationships, crushing loneliness, and crabs. Meanwhile, I’m going to scrape his shit off my shoes and start again.

  • ‘I think people like this just play act at life. He did the role of Supportive Husband and now, for an encore, he’ll spout a few lines like an old hack playing King Lear. “Remember your belly band, Jackie!” Husband Who Cares was one of his many starring roles — give a round of applause! Then he goes back stage, wipes off the greasepaint, and fucks the OW.’

    This – thank you CL. It FEELS like an attempt to manipulate me into thinking he still gives a fuck. It’s all impression management and his delusion that somehow he STILL got away with everything and no-one noticed a damn thing that could ever be held against him. Delusional narcissist and I know his delusional Pet Vulture who thinks ‘God wanted them to have this affair and to be together’ will lap it up from every angle as well …

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