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Dear Chump Lady, I want them to know I know

knowsecretDear Chump Lady,

I am a chump. About 3 months ago I got into a fight with my wife and during the course of it she said she didn’t love me anymore, that she had an affair, was pregnant with the other man’s child (we have 3 of our own), and wanted a divorce (after hearing all that I didn’t just want one I demanded one). All the paperwork has been filed, just waiting for the court date now.

She left the state to move back with her family, I have the kids, but it will be 50/50 when and if she ever moves back to the state. She has never admitted fault or shown true remorse. Moreover, she blames me for the affair, I think this is a true case of an exit affair. Sure she has said she was sorry, but it is always hollow and in response to when I have found out something new. She has never told me the full truth of what happened, how long or with who she cheated with. As a result I have been tested for my own health and thank God came up clean. When she left she only packed some clothes, so I have been packing all her stuff and the stuff we agreed to split up. In doing so, I dug up a phone number and a first name. I confronted her with that and she still wouldn’t tell me anything.

Then a few weeks later she texted me that he wanted nothing to do with the baby, and I should stop searching. BULLSHIT! I never did stop searching, and while packing some more stuff I found her old phone, (we both upgraded phones about a month before this all started), and I found a few texts from her lover, but one made no sense at all. Then when I checked her other texts, I found some from her boss (she just transferred to another store in a different state). She had been asking him some work-related questions and the last one of the night wasn’t answered. Except that it was by her lover. Twenty minutes after she had asked her boss a specific question regarding numbers for the week, her lover answered that question with the numbers. Had my aha moment — it was her boss. He had a prepaid phone or something and she put that into her phone under a fake name.

Karma has struck both of them very fast — she got pregnant and now he is being investigated by the store for threatening to fire an employee (a friend of hers) if she didn’t sleep with him. I emailed their HR department and told them what was going on, but the latest word is he is now being investigated for two separate incidents and is going to be fired after he gets back from his vacation. He is probably over with my soon-to-be-ex-wife right now. Happened much quicker than I expected, and is making me quite happy. They made a deal with the devil, and now he is collecting.

My question is, I want the both of them to know that I know the truth. I want them to squirm. I know I should wait until the divorce is final so that I have less of a worry with anything to do with my kids. How should I go about informing them? After all the lies, smoke and mirrors, and deception I want to do it in the most devastating way possible and I don’t care if I get a response from either of them. Just want them to know that I figured it out.


Dear Adam,

I’m so sorry you got chumped. Take a deep breath and think this through. She abandoned you and the kids. She’s in another state. Legally, you’re in the best possible position you can be — in possession of your kids. Don’t fuck that up with some revenge scenario of watching them squirm. (And hey, if you’re going to have a revenge fantasy at least liven it up with fire ants and vats of honey or something…) Anyway, we all understand the impulse — but don’t do it.

Telling Human Resources might not have been your smartest move right now. You do NOT want this woman unemployed before your divorce settlement. That means less child support if you get full custody and it means she’s that much more unstable, which is NOT good for your kids. However, it sounds like you told them something they already know about Douche — he’s a sexual harasser/predator in the workplace. What a charmer.

Another sticky situation — you don’t know that this kid isn’t your child. Unless you haven’t had sex since she got knocked up, there’s a chance this baby is yours. She can get a paternity test while pregnant. I’d insist on it. Also — again consult your lawyer — but if you don’t get divorced before this child is born, she could put paternity on you regardless. Please get in front of this issue now.

Let your lawyer deal with what you know about the affair. If there’s any squirming to be done, your lawyer is the person you want exposing the details. Your goal right now is to get a decent settlement. Your best chances of that are letting your cheater loon think she’s got a happy ever after with Douche. (You think they’re probably over. You don’t know that.) That means SHUT UP. Let her think she’s powerful and you don’t know her secrets. Let her think she’s winning the mindfuck.

When you’re safely, legally unshackled from her? Then by all means hint at what you know if you want.

“Say hi to Fuzzysnuggles for me!” (Or whatever her stupid pet name was for him.)

Adam, you’re only three months out from D-Day. Big picture? Look ahead toward Meh. You don’t want to give this woman and her asshole boss any more mental real estate. Who cares how you cracked the code? It could’ve been written in the sky. She played you for a chump — and you didn’t tolerate that. You want her to know you’re not a chump? “I’m divorcing your ass” communicates that sentiment quite well.

If your ex is going to squirm at anything, it’s how brilliantly you survive without her. Gain a life. Go be a sane, loving, stable father to your kids. Start that beautiful new beginning without her.

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.
  • Hi Adam.Listen to CL she doesn’t deserve anymore of your precious time.The best revenge is living well.U can do better and you will do better.U will move on they can kick dust.U will meet someone 1000 times better than a person with no heart that values her private part more than her kids.Take care of yourself-new hobby,exercise,run whatever helps you improve your life.Be the stable parent your kids need right now.I know its hard since you have been kicked in the gut but use it to improve yourself.Her actions are not a reflection of who you are.Don’t internalise it.She doesn’t want to accept responsibility so she blames you.Cheaters are not that deep.The next person will appreciate it even if your spouse doesn’t.Rise fronm the ashes!

  • Adam, I feel your pain because we’ve all been there, and we’ve all fantasized getting revenge on our cheaters. In fact, pretty sure I found ChumpLady’s site Googling “how to get revenge on a cheater.” Took me to one of her articles about how the best revenge is living a good life and moving on. (Damn it, CL, why do you have to be so sensible??)

    But my cheater has seen a lot of karma in these 13 months since D-Day, and trust me, the satisfaction doesn’t last. Moving on is the only thing that really satisfies.

    • Wish I could upvote this! Karma has also affected my ex and his affair partner more solidly, thoroughly, and imaginatively than I could have ever dreamed of. 🙂

  • Welcome to the other side Adam, we promise you it’s a lot nicer over here! You’re already winning, don’t give your cheater any more centrality, read some more of Chump Lady’s posts and be happy, you’re already in a much better position than most Chumps xx

  • Best advice you gave him is to let them thing they are living a happy ever after until the divorce is final. Then the poop hits the fan and it is no longer his issue.

    Sounds very familiar with my story, I am still smiling with glee on it.

  • Yeah! Do what chumplady said – live brilliantly without her. Take care of yourself during this divorce. I am 4 months from my divorce being finalized and I am so thankful that I was able to keep my cool and get as much as I could in the settlement. It was hard to keep my mouth shut. It still is, but it does get easier and I’m sure when I get to meh I will be even happier that I didn’t say anything. When I feel weak I come to this site and read previous posts. It does give me strength. Hang in there!

  • Yes, Adam, listen to CL. She is right. I wish I had done what she is telling you to do. Best wisdom ever! And my heartfelt empathy to a terrible situation you are enduring that you did not create. I am glad that your kids, hopefully for the most part, will have you as their primary caregiver as it is very apparent that you are the sane and stable parent (as CL always says to be). Be a good father, heal, and look forward to a new life. I do understand completely a revenge fantasy; yes, it will give you a satisfying discharge in the moment but could very well be damaging in your still pre-divorce stage. The feelings are huge and powerful, but try your hardest to look to the future. You do need to rid yourself of many feelings and this is a good place. My best to you.

  • Right on, fantasize about exposing them all you like but wait at least until you have completed settlement and custody. By then you may not care so much. 50/50 you say? She moved out of state! Record date and time of her calls and visits to the kids while you wait for the court date. Go for custody of the kids, talk to your lawyer about it. There was a recent study that showed men rarely try to get more than 50/50 because they don’t think it can happen, but it can. Hell one of my guy friends got custodial parent of his boys back in the early nineties – similar story, cheating wife took off for months after he filed He had to fight, but he won custody. Jedi Hugs!

      • Dear chumplady’ I have had three lower back surgeries nerve damage stinoisus degenerative disc disease my husband denied me going pain management ‘ haven’t worked in almost 16yrs . back in June2015 he asked for divorce ‘ right before our 28th was Dday he is trying to make me work . I can’t but point is this SOB denied me going pain management now could possibly be denied SSD because of this .. he had money take his MOM out lunch n dinners clothing TV ECT ” and four his sister .. now he moved out to his sister n her family. pays all bills her n give ‘s me hundred $$ week for maintenance .. or is he with skank AP .. worried all the time sorry for my blog just feel I am getting short end of stick I still can’t afford pain management . this is suppose to be someone who loved me for better or worse he is extremely selfish him his family always came before any of my needs . love to hear back from you

    • Great point. When the court considers the children’s best interest for custody purposes, a big factor is what has become the norm. Showing that you have provided a stable environment for the kids while your flaky soon to be ex has packed her tent and fled the state, effectively abandoning them, will speak volumes.

  • Great advice as usual CL. Listen to her Adam. I’m in the same boat. I have all the info & I want to retaliate so he knows I’m not a chump any longer BUT while he’s distracted with the OW I have a better chance of doing what’s right for the children. Think of your family first 🙂

  • Adam’s can get a paternity test while she’s pregnant, but there is a potential risk for miscarriage, so she can’t be forced to get one done until after birth.

    Adam, regardless of whether or not the child is yours, most states presume paternity is the husband. Your lawyer can best advise you as to how to keep your name off the birth certificate pending the outcome of a postnatal paternity test.

    • I would 3rd that to Lulu’s post. With all the ammo, texts, documented convo’s that you have as her husband I would think your wife could be required to do a postnatal paternity test to name the child on the birth Cert. That’s a big piece.

      Add your DNA sample to the “to do” list.

      FYI – Your emotional response and impulse is so very understandable but chump lady’s advice is really right on.. Also, it was not until I saw a lawyer did I see how important the impartial voice, and course of action was to my benefit.

    • Actually in the past several years they have developed non-invasive paternity testing based on dna detected in the mothers blood. Since this carries no risk of miscarriage, I dont see why the courts couldnt compel. You definitely need to stay on top of this, because in most states the husband is legally held to be the father of any children born while the marriage is valid.

      • Marezy is correct. It’s actually called NIPT for Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing. Genetic abnormalities can be detected (i.e. down syndrome) but also paternity testing. It’s been a long known fact that mom’s blood also carries circulating cell free fetal DNA-not only of the baby she’s carrying but pretty much any baby she’s carried in the past 20 years.

        It was very hard to isolate that small amount of genetic material but there is technology available today that makes it possible. Whereas before it could only be determined from and amnioticentesis or a Chorionic Villi Sample which takes villi from the outer embryonic membrane. Both techniques are very invasive and carry a risk of miscarriage so the law couldn’t enforce it for paternity.

        It’s kind of cost prohibitive ($1,700) versus the much lower cost of getting a cheek swab tested after the baby is born but if I were a dad I would think that would be preferable to paying child for a child that’s not biologically his and came about because of his wife’s affair!

        In a lot of states by virtue of being married, the spouse is automatically put on the birth certificate which is ludicrous in cases of infidelity.

        I would look into this Adam.

        • In general, if you want to disclaim paternity as part of a divorce action–which is what Adam absolutely needs to do–you have to do a paternity test through the court at a court-licensed facility for the test to be admissible. Adam can request that it be done prenatally, but the court is under no obligation to grant this request, and the court isn’t going to care about a test he did privately. So save your money and ask your lawyer.

  • I would second that. It’s hard to walk away from (the revenge scenario) but take it from those of us who have survived…it’s a hell of a lot better if you do. Not to mention some day you will be waaaaay beyond all of this and will look back and cringe (or not) at how you handled it. Better to not. Best of luck and ((((hugs)))).

    • I hope I’m not the only one who cringes, at least a bit, at a few things I did along the way. 🙂

      • You aren’t, Nord. I’m sure we’ve all done a cringeworthy thing or two before our anger steered us toward more productive action.

      • Nord, my biggest regret during the whole divorce process was thinking they would try to understand my feelings and wishes. I also regret trying to rationally respond to his lie-laden email rants, even though I came up with some absolute, drop mic zingers! X can twist anything into something tawdry and cheap, just like him and his skank.

        The best thing I did during divorce was to go no contact short of brief information about our children on a need to know basis. Losing complete control over the wife and family he destroyed put him into wackadoo zone and gave me some leverage during the settlement.

        • heh…you gotta love those ‘drop mic’ moments, even though in retrospect they probably weren’t the best idea.

      • Nord
        Cringed, then smiled.
        In his case he has to playboy cool. Right now he’s sit thin in the drivers seat.

  • Oh and another thing while we are in pain who can do foolish things that hurt our credibility.Never ever give a cheater ammunition against you-emails,texts or even conversations.They are revisionists-they change things around to make you look bad.See that’s why I cheated and some people will believe them.No contact helps you heal quicker even though you want justice,validility,to be heard,acknowledged,vindicated,for her to feel remorse and regret,closure for your situation.It aint going to happen with cheater.All she thinks is he still wants me and the discard pain feels worse.Even though she ripped your family apart I believe God can still heal you and your kids.Your soon to be ex wife cannot is not needed for that healing because she is destructive.The worse has already happened you have nothing to fear.One day you might be happy that you are no longer with her because disordered people are selfish.Nothing good can come from engaging with her cut the cord fast.

    • I do think that there was a small sense of disappointment from my ex that I didn’t make a huge scene with repeated dramatics to get her back. I over-reacted once and I was done, followed almost immediately by NC.

      It’s over a year later now and I still can’t let go of the pain caused by realizing that I simply didn’t matter to her. I would never have imagined this ending, yet here I am. It’s a constant struggle to remember that she doesn’t see the world the way I do.

      • Whichway, it helps a little bit to cope with the pain of the rejection/betrayal to realize that it could and would have been ANYBODY if it weren’t us. In other words, that idea that you didn’t matter to her, odd as it sounds you feel better if you don’t take it personally because no matter who she married, she would have treated that guy with the same lack of respect she treated you.

        • That’s the way I feel, too. Anybody who lives with and loves these creatures gets devalued. It’s a given. We respect, love, and help our partner, they do the opposite. Why? I sure don’t know! Most of them go on to regret it, at least mine has.

        • Thanks, Muse. There are days when I’m comfortable knowing that I’m just another statistic in her Tazmanian Devil approach to life, and then there are days when I want to bang my head against the wall because I get caught up in remembering how genuine she seemed, and then I convince myself that she was genuine and I fucked up and drove her away. It’s a vicious cycle.

          I browsed an online dating site today hoping to find at least one woman I might possibly find attractive and be compatible with. I had no intention to contact anyone, I just wanted some hope that when I’m ready things will go my way. I should have known better; looking always drags me down and leaves me feeling like I’ll never have another chance at love. Bah humbug!

  • Cl is right. The best thing you can do to make her squirm is to get custody of those kids. If she left the state without them, then that’s a big plus for you, legally. You definitely have a chance. Go for it.

  • I love it! I love hearing stories of your knowledge about something that they don’t know you know :-)! BUT keep your mouth shut right now. I have proof of my stbx’s lies….but I am saving that for court. He has NO idea I have these documents and he probably doesn’t remember they even exist. I kept everything through our marriage and thank god I did. I’m not sure if the settlement will be much better, but at least I have proof he is a liar and therefore things should side with me more.
    Good luck – keep it to yourself for now. Then expose the bitch.

    • Good plan, LadyStrange. Destroying a liar’s credibility in court is the best revenge, particularly if they never see it coming.

      • Yes – and it is sooooo hard to bite my tongue right now, but I know once he knows what I know – he will come up with some lame ass story and twist it somehow….

        • Lady Strange, you’re on target with this as usual. You can present irrefutable evidence, and cheaters will do their level best to turn it around. Some sound credible, others not so much, but ALL cheaters, and manipulators of every putrid flavor are avid students in the art of the spin. Some are masters at it. Adam, CL and everyone at CN has your back when they are telling you to keep it under wraps for now, despite how much you want to let her/them know you’re not the fool they mistake you for. Hopefully, the court can look through the smoke your STBX is blowing, and give you all you ask for. When all is said and done, you may be so far on your journey to the land of Meh, you won’t even care. Hugs to you!

    • LadyStrange, you are mighty! I think my head will explode if I don’t get to make a complete assclown of Asshat and Florence soon. She broke a federal law and violated my privacy. I only wanted to know if she had been snooping in my business. Unfortunately for her, she got her stupid ass fired. Oops. I am itching for Asshat to bring it up so I can just act innocent but him knowingly allowing the infractions to continue is my only ace in the hole for the big D. It isn’t much but it’s all I have so far. It will be pretty satisfying when you get to ream him in court. I really think sometimes they think they are too smart for this to come back and bite them. They are so wrong.

      • Florence got fired? I hadn’t heard the outcome of that yet! Yay!!! Happy for you Chumpy 🙂

        • Thanks, I posted a few weeks ago about the Karma Express in the forums…. I actually don’t know 100% but I was told an employee scurried out of the building ten minutes after a team swooped in to speak to her. I didn’t want to put the employee who told me on the spot so I never named names. I know it will look like I am a crazy, jealous witch when mediation/trial time comes but it was never my intent and I made that clear to the powers that be. The scary thing is, I still think she is in town and no one I know has info. Asshat probably does but he has said nothing about her leaving. I am still scared she is stalking me. I have taken down license plate numbers of people who ‘looked’ like they were following me, lol. I don’t know what she drives bc he was still protecting her when she came back with threats. Sigh. So now she may be vengeful AND unemployed. I don’t see how that helps me. I just wanted her to go far away from us.

    • you know, about the proofs. I made the mistake and contacted one of his (I thought was our) friend. Told her what is going on, she called me crazy. Then I said that I have proof.
      Guess what? Now he is obsessed with the “proof”. In one email he mentioned proof about 4 times.

      I’m gonna keep the proof for when my son will grow big enough to understand. When the hell will be over, I’ll tell everyone what he has done, but I’ll stop at defensiveness. No need to prove it. I divorced him, that should suffice. Let him squirm about proofs. I know it, my son will know it too.

  • Adam

    The impulse to “get” them back IS to live better. I’m all for seeking full custody. The less you interact with her the better. Believe she will spin the narrative. Protect yourself and you children by letting your lawyer do the talking.

  • I completely know that feeling. Sometimes I was more insulted that my ex thought he got one (okay, a lot) over me when in fact he didn’t.

    But I never revealed what I knew. Why bother? He’s a dillweed and his opinion of me or anything else is irrelevant.

    There is a lot of power in quiet refrain.

  • At first, I wanted them both to suffer the same humiliation I did, but that was never going to happen. Why? Because disordered people don’t think like we do. Something is not put together right and they are never going to own their shit. I am so thankful I did not let my anger get the best of me because I was able to plan my future, and that of my children, in a calculated way which ultimately gave me control of my finances. I never have to be ashamed or apologize for my conduct and my kids learned from me how to deal with things beyond their control. Recently, I saw my oldest son model my behavior and it made me so proud.

    Did I do everything right? Hell no! I was so angry for so long and I gave the cheaters way more time in my head than I should have, time I will never get back. But whenever I wanted to do something impulsive, I repeated Bob Marley’s line to myself – “Let the wicked slay themselves.” In fact, I carried that saying in my purse (still do). I refuse to let two people I have no respect for dictate my conduct or turn me in to an angry person. And guess what? Because I took the high road, every time the OW tried to portray herself as the victim, people basically laughed in her face. Her own daughter will have nothing to do with her. X never even tries to justify his conduct, instead he constantly tells people how badly he screwed up. Too bad he blew up our marriage before he came to that realization…Doesn’t matter what he does, though; I am focusing on being the best person I can be and that is what is important. Living well is the best revenge.

    • So what? You know. Big whoop. Adam, the real sh*t sandwich is that — she/he/they DO NOT CARE.

      It is one of those terrible realizations you have after DDay. Followed closely by the understanding that it didn’t just happen, but was intentional/deliberate/planned.

      You have 2 choices here: 1) stay at their level and launch your attack with the intent to hurt back, or 2) put on your big boy pants and rise above.

      I can say definitively that there is nothing you can do that will hurt these people – even in your wildest fantasies. Look at what is right in front of your eyes. Your EX abandoned her kids. This is the kind of person she is.

      I am sorry that this is like tough love but I am long past the 3 month mark. Yes, you have every right to unravel – but you will be judged by the things you do right now – especially if those things are emails/texts/public. Get a therapist. Have a good bitch session with a close friend. But keep everything above board, so to speak.

      And please listen to all of the great advice from CL and the Chump Nation.

      • Yes, I once attempted to research how to hurt a narcissist or sociopath– bottom line, you’d love to think you can hurt them but you really can’t. You will just keep hurting yourself by trying (playing into their warped narrative that YOU are crazy, unstable, etc etc.

        Love the Bob Marley quote –“Let the wicked slay themselves”. Or as the Bible says, “Let the dead bury their own dead.”

        • Kelly

          It’s best to get ghem out if your life. How to hurt a narcissist? Use their need to maintain their image. Worked in court for me.

          • How to hurt a narcissist? Ignore them completely. It drives them batshit crazy.

    • That Bob Marley line is great! It’s going on the fridge.

      Props to you Violet – great pointers on the fruits of restraint – actions have a ripple effect and kids witness all of it.

      Yup – “Let the wicked slay themselves.”

  • Knowing the truth is it’s own reward.

    Disordered people wouldn’t know the truth if it kicked them in the ass.

    Don’t bother, it won’t matter. You know and, sadly, that will have to be reward enough.

    The best revenge truly is living well. As long as she’s a disordered train-wreck, she cannot live well. That must be sufficient reward. Take care of yourself and your kiddos.

    • It’s really true about the truth being its own reward. I may be mad as hell, but I am no longer blind, confused, being actively chumped, lied to, taken advantage of, humiliated, and unloved.

      And oh sure, the aha moments of a finer tuned intuition based in reality is clarifying so many things outside of the affairs, too.

      I roll out the red carpet so these pieces of my former life can sashay and fade away as this process is playing on like some kind of epic box office failure at a movie theater near me!

      The good thing about being a spectator to the deceivers is that I can leave these horrible memories behind when I am ready. –Walk out of the theater in my mind with my soul intact.

      • I remember the peace about a dozen years ago when I got the truth.

        I suspected, based on the e-mails I had. But nothing solid. Then, while in the hospital, recovering from hernia surgery, I got a call from “his wife.”

        Home phone was forwarded to my cell, so the call came to me and I spoke with “Bernice.”

        Except it wasn’t OM’s wife, it was co-workers of my ex-wife outing her.

        The details really don’t matter, but it would make a decent short story if not being shared by an engineer. What matters is the peace of finally knowing the truth. After the lies, the deceit, the not really knowing, the truth was out there. I had called her and explained Bernice called and said her husband Frank was having an affair with my wife and it was time for her to come clean.

        I knew what was going on.

        I had a few more months where I tried all the MRI industry had. But after almost a year of her being out of the home and discovering more and more truth about her and her family, and comparing notes with the real Bernice, I was pretty much done.

        I had observed the truth. The truth about her and her family. And it was liberating. I actually began to feel better about not seeing her, not having her in my day to day life.

        Why would I want to be connected to a woman and her family, who thought a valid solution to unhappiness is to have an affair and to welcome their daughter’s paramour into their home?

        Good riddance to bad rubbish.

        • For sure – that is short story material, in the hospital, no less! – Oh what a tangled web they weave…

          And yes, it is very “liberating to know” the truth. Moving through the disillusionment that follows is rough, scary, angry, sorrowful, and filled with uncertainty – but I am beginning to feel a difference (better) now nine months out, and four months no contact. The good days are neck and neck with the bad days instead lagging way behind. The absolute shock over feeling dragged into his unbelievable mess is subsiding. Same with the big scary dreams. I am not beating myself up for caring for and about him and all we built together for 15 years. The truth, bad as it is, does set you free. And, I am starting to feel like I can trust that I’ll be ok.

          “Good riddance to bad rubbish”! Another great phrase! This group is so great with the phrases to fill up the fridge. Gets me through the day, sometimes.

          Chump Lady and Chump Nation phrases would make great fortune cookies. -As insider gifts, and to those in the know… For the warped and disordered OMs, OWs, OMM, OMW, and their families, maybe gifts of apropos Grinchy phrase-wrapped coal!

  • Wow….thanks to you all for your responses……..I can apply this to my own situation…that is still shrowded in mystery, still don’t understand anything and he says I am responsible for everything, including why he left which was a lie. I knew what lies were……but had never experienced anything quite to this degree. It is truly devilish. I guess this is where when people say to move on and ……..this is what they meant because the lies will come out eventually. I hate this immigration fraud and it’s deception created by a sham-husband. I appreciate your words and advice!

  • Oldest trick in the book, putting the Whore’s name in their phone under a fake name. Of the sex opposite of what they are. Brilliant, lol. Not.

    • Anita, mine did it too. Used a man’s name, initials, or even the name of an acquaintance to make them look realistic but the content of the messages clearly gave them away. I blocked my number and called some of them just to see who answered or listen to the voice mail to get their names. A’hole cheaters think they are so smart.

    • Yep, my ex did that as well. A similar name but the male version of it. Which confused me for about five seconds.

      • 5 seconds? Chuckle. Yep – mine did that too. It was Bob/Amanda but Bob already had his own number…. So it was really just Amanda. Ya – that confused me for about 5 seconds too. Assholes.

        • Interesting that you all actually saw their phones. Mine would take a bullet for his, so it never left his side, even while he slept (he’s an extremely light sleeper, so no checking then) and went to the bathroom. If I was in the room with him, he would turn the phone in the opposite direction so I couldn’t read the names that came up.

          Even though I eventually found other evidence, his ridiculously obvious fear of me seeing his phone told me all I needed to know about what he was up to, but to this day he has no idea that the phone was my first tip-off to the fact that he really was cheating. As others here have said, the truth in itself (and realizing that no, you weren’t imagining things and yes, they truly do suck) is its own reward.

          • His phone was never guarded like Fort Knox until one day it was. He gave some lame excuse about important work information on his phone…aka texts to and from howorker. I never felt the need to look at or check anything on his phone until it became the most important thing in his life. That raised my suspicions, but I never got a chance to check it. But dumb-ass didn’t think about the phone bill which I did see!! Those phone bills told quite the story!

            • I have to laugh now, at some of the STOOPID things he and AP did. LOL
              She was hotly flirting with him all that summer they met, and his phone was still set to display the incoming texts. Here’s what she sent him at 11 PM, while I was sitting right there- Voulez vous couche avec moi, ce soir?
              He said it was just a game they played, to name that song! I’m proud I did NOT fall for that, don’t insult my common sense, please. Now, I just think they are both fools.

    • OMG, this made me realize something! During bogus reconciliation, ex was getting texts from someone he claimed was a friend of the OW. Supposedly the OW’s husband made her block my ex on her phone, so the friend was transmitting messages between my ex and the OW. I thought it was bizarre and told him to block this “friend.” He said that he did, and that he no longer had any type of contact with the OW. Holy crap, you guys just made me realize that the “friend” was of course the OW herself. Damn, I was and still am so gullible. He had the friend under the name “sunshine” or something like that. Sheesh.

      • Fucked up the lengths they go to isn’t it? And if I don’t miss my guess that is only the tip of the liars icebergs that you will uncover

    • Oh yeah! hand raised here too! Name shortened to a man’s name with the company he worked for as a tag so it looked like a work content. Until it showed up they were talking about “his” menstrual cycle. Busted.

      • Definitely men talk about their periods with each other. Probably over beers and a sports game.

  • It is hard — but the important thing is the children. You need to determine the father of the unborn child. The children are the ones who have to live with the consequences of their mother’s poor choices. You may feel justified or vindicated, but anything you do to punish their mother will probably not mean much to her, and will make you look vindictive. Anything you do which causes a reduction to the quality of life your children have when they are with her will hurt your children. No matter who she had the affair with, or how many affairs she had, the custody of the children will be decided by the court, and chances are she is going to spend time with them — she is still their mother, and as long as she is not endangering their lives, the courts generally feel a parent is entitled to spend time with a child.

    My advice is to focus on building the best life you can for yourself and for your children. If she is disordered, or if she has just made some bad life choices — she will have to deal with those consequences. If she is disordered, she will not think about things the way you do, or feel things the way you do. It is a totally different mind set.

    If you find your way to MEH, you will realize that it really did not matter who she had the affair(s) with — the important thing is the marriage is over and you are free to move on. Take advantage of your chance to make a better choice in your life, and be grateful you are no longer chained to someone who thought so little of you or her commitment to the marriage or the children. Cheaters tend to think only in the moment, and only about their immediate gratification. They don’t make good decisions because they don’t believe, at the moment, that they will ever have consequences. They do not have the capacity to restrain their impulses or delay their gratification. They must have everything NOW — building a strong foundation for the future, or keeping a commitment is not what they think about

    Seeking revenge is a dangerous move — you run the risk of hurting someone you did not intend to hurt. You may find your actions hard to justify to your children at some point in the future. Children tend to love their parents, even if they realize they are flawed. They see their parent’s divorce in terms of how it affects their lives. If the parents have ugly fights and spend their time trying to inflict pain on each other — the children will wonder why that time is not better spent on loving them and providing them a good environment. It is not their fight — and it is setting a very bad example for them as a way to live their life or how to engage in a relationship. You may not respect your wife — and you may have excellent reasons not to respect her. But you need to respect her position as the mother of your children and you need to get along with her well enough to co-parent with her.

    • In a perfect world that last bit of advice would work but I can say that in my case there is no getting along and there is no co-parenting, mainly because ex refuses to speak to me. He will text angrily but that is it. No way am I going to bend over backwards to ‘get along’ with someone who remains an asshole after more than four years. Sometimes there is no possibility of dealing with the other parent in any reasonable way. It sucks but it has to be accepted if that’s the case.

      • I am glad that my son is past 18 now, so I only had a few years of “co parenting” with my ex. In reality, there was no possibility of co anything with him, because he is so severely disordered. I did the parenting and tried to minimize the damage he caused our son, that was pretty much it.

        Ex still tries to pretend that he is father of the year, and also still pretends that he wishes me well. Hell, he just sent me a bag of sunflower seeds recently, I don’t know what it is about him and the odd gifts of food he sends me every year or two. But like everything with the disordered, it’s all about image control and using others to make themselves look good.

        • You can put the sunflower seeds next to your half-eaten box of Cream of Wheat. 🙂 God, your ex makes the best copy.

          • Glad,

            Sunflower seeds and cream of wheat, there’s a pattern here somehow…foodstuffs? Poisoned?

            Anyhow my ex left and has no contact whatsoever with the kids or me. At first it seemed awful, but now we just pretend he died. Sometimes I catch myself actually saying to someone something like: “after their father died…” before I realize. No worries, maybe one day sooner than he would hope reality will catch up to our perception.

          • Ha, and the box of Wheatena he offered to mail me. I threw out the Cream of Wheat, but I did eat the sunflower seeds. As he well knows, I really like them. It was weird though, like everything about him.

      • You are so right – there are people who are impossible to deal with. They love the drama and want to fight. In my case, he wanted to do image control, and when he found out I was not going to try to “punish” him by ruining his business or making him sell assets for pennies on the dollar, he realized that it was in his best interest to get along. I also did not try to block his spending time with the boys — and I let him know when their school and athletic events were, or their concerts were, so that he could attend if he wanted to, and could not tell them I didn’t let him know. I usually had them call him with the information so that he could not say he didn’t know — that way, they knew he chose not to come if he did not show up. My boys were smart enough to figure out the facts — and they knew their dad was not dependable. But they loved him anyway, because he was their dad.

        As time went on, they needed him less, and he did not show up as often. Since I offered no complaint, or objection it was not fun to make a scene. My sons would tell him not to bring some of the OW they had met and they considered inappropriate for their dad. THEY told him how ridiculous he looked with the young dim witted ones, and asked their dad if he realized these were “gold-diggers” and were only interested in his money? My oldest son pointed out to his dad that one of them was closer to his age than his dad’s age — and told his dad he might ask her out after she dumped his dad. He was laughing when he said this — but I think his dad figured out there wasn’t much real humor there.

        At any rate – this method worked out well for me. It would have cost a great deal of time and money for me to fight with my X, and I would have gained very little. I effectively got him out of my head, and stopped worrying about what he did a lot faster. My only concern was my children, ad their welfare. I knew I could take care of myself. I knew I had nothing to be embarrassed about. I believed my sons were smart enough to figure their dad out — and they did.

  • I’m six years out post D day now. I got my revenge. I got her fired but mailing off to her boss all the evidence I had about them having schmoopie fest in her office after hours and all the sex talk on her University public record email. I gave all my evidence to her husband. But mine…. I left alone. I didn’t get him fired and I could have. Because of what Chump Lady said and she’s right. You don’t want them dividing up child support based on your great income and her having NONE cause you got her fired.

    • I’m waiting for finalization before I make a public records request for The Flying Whore’s emails with Narkles The Clown. Do university employees not realize all their emails are public record? Her state also has an anonymous fraud and money wasting reporting system online. But alas, yes it will have to wait until the divorce is final, which is my point. Holding off is hard. If nothing else I want The Flying Whore’s husband to know. I feel so bad that he might be a chump too. Not telling him is the hardest part. Sure there is a small chance they have an open marriage or that he cheats too, but even if it’s a one in a million chance that he’s one of us I feel compelled to tell him.

  • Adam your biggest challenge is yet to come. When she finds out her luvy duvvy is in the slammer, she may try to return to her role as Mom. You will need to be so strong at that point, especially since you know she will play the emotional/its for the kids card.

    I got the OW fired for harassing me via her work email address, but that didnt interfere with any child support claims. To be honest, it was sweet revenge at the time, but I played innocent and let the cops take the blame for exposing her…in case there was retribution. She was a crazy beotch. Sounds like your wife’s schmoopie could be a little bent himself.

    Your revenge will come in spades as you raise your children, perhaps find a new partner, live a non-stressful existence. That was the best part for me – realising how much stress the cheater put me under, and how sweet it was when he finally disappeared.

    This bit about letting them know you know…where is the victory in that? So what! Better to use that knowledge as ammo in court. I knew all sorts of juicy things about my cheaters, but just the head-shaking grossness of it all was really nothing more than a sad source of chuckles.

  • Great advice!

    Adam, I’m so sorry that you’ve been chumped. Now is the time to go for self-preservation and to watch out for your children’s best interests–not time for revenge!

    Remember 1) living well is the best revenge and 2) revenge is a dish best served cold.

    So, with that in mind:

    * Lawyer up!–A good lawyer will fight for sole custody of those kids. A bad lawyer will tell you to roll over, that the courts won’t give you custody even though their mother abandoned the children. A good lawyer will help you act to protect your financial assets and recover those your STBX spent on her affair. A good lawyer will seek legal means to impose barriers on the communication you must have with your STBX. For example, your STBX has the right to speak with her children, but she may need to talk to them at pre-scheduled times. Also, check out paternity testing for that unborn child.

    * Seek therapy!–You’ve been horribly betrayed, and your children’s lives have been torn apart. You and your kids all need therapy. You need support. Your other family and friends may be supportive, but there’s a lot of hurt, and they have their own lives. A therapist can help you put your life back together and work through the anger. A good therapist will help you rebuild your picker, and help you establish good parenting behaviors with your children, since living with Ms. Crazy will have had an impact on parenting in your household, whether or not you’re aware of it.

    * Go No Contact as much as possible!–You can never go completely No Contact if there are children in the picture, but you can refuse to engage with your Cheater. You’re vulnerable right now, and your cheater would love to have you lash out in rage so that she can use that against you. Practice restraint–something that cheaters don’t understand–and refuse to engage. That’s why you want to have pre-scheduled phone talks between the STBX and the kids. You can let the other messages go to voicemail. Emails? Send them to the special STBX folder. Anything with the kids you answer. Crazy threats are forwarded to your lawyer. Other stuff gets deleted.

    * Talk with your children’s school!–You can let your children’s school counselors and teachers know that the mother has left. This is very important. First, the school can let you know if there are behavioral changes in your children. These changes could be either positive or negative. It may be that the children have better focus now that the source of crazy has removed herself from their lives, after all. Second, the school is on the alert that if the mom wants to pick up the kids, she might be trying to abscond with them.

    You are mighty! And you deserve much better than a woman who’s trickle-truthed you about her affair.

    • Once you’re living well and cheater-free, you’ll have your revenge, as you’ll no longer be part of the crazy. She’ll show up every now and then to try to stir up drama, but you can laugh and refuse to engage. That’s revenge served cold. Enjoy!

  • Yeah, first order of business has got to be protecting yourself and your kids and your finances until this divorce is final.

    You want to plan an Act II wherein Evil-X gets some comeuppance, fine (though I doubt you will care once the relief of “safety” kicks in). You’ve already taken on additional risk. Stop while you are behind there.

    • Right on Time Heals!

      Adam – I am so sorry you have been chumped, it sucks and hurts so badly there are no words for that kind of devastation.

      Remember that you have 3 kids with your STBX. Think about your divorce process, and your post-divorce life as a long-term poker game. Don’t show your best cards, and DON’T BLINK. I had evidence that I did not give my STBX any indications I had until the moment was right, and that got me leverage to go from him wanting to leave me with as little as possible to divorce terms I can live with.

      Keep your evidence to yourself, AND dedicate the time you are wasting on revenge thoughts to
      (1) researching divorce terms and proceedings in your state/country, and
      (2) identifying a good lawyer that has a track record of winning custody for dads.

      After the divorce is final, give yourself a few months to truly assess where you want to go, and how any possible revenge plans can help you get there faster. If revenge still makes sense by then, talk to your therapist and your lawyer to double check if any of your actions could damage your reputation or could serve as a trigger for her to bring you back to court about the divorce terms.

      Throughout the whole legal hell you are about to face, please please please, live your legacy. Give your kids the gift of not doing anything that might embarrass them about you now or as they grow up. This is so very important especially given how much they already will have to process and come to terms with because of their mother’s poor character.


  • CL is right, spot on.

    I have been doing a lot of thinking about ‘mental real estate’. My adult children have contact with OW and bring me stories of her stewpidity, selfishness and all other negative behavior. It really makes me feel bad that ex has so little self esteem he lets himself be humiliated by this troll in front of our adult children.

    But he chose her. So there is no unraveling this f’ed up ball of wire.

    What it leaves me with is these two idiots occupying my mental real estate, when I should be planning my post D trip to Hawaii, doing stuff around my house, working on various hobbies I love and spending time with people I love.

    So do not invite that strife into your life for the sake of momentary satisfaction. You want to move on as quickly as possible toward happiness and peace.

    You are the role model for recovery behavior for your kids. That is the most important thing, right now and getting the best settlement possible. Getting momentary satisfaction from their ugly behavior isn’t real satisfaction. it will taint you. Run the opposite direction.

    Best of luck. Good things are coming your way now that the skank is moving on and out.

  • For sure – that is short story material, in the hospital, no less! – Oh what a tangled web they weave…

    And yes, it is very “liberating to know” the truth. Moving through the disillusionment that follows is rough, scary, angry, sorrowful, and filled with uncertainty – but I am beginning to feel a difference (better) now nine months out, and four months no contact. The good days are neck and neck with the bad days instead lagging way behind. The absolute shock over feeling dragged into his unbelievable mess is subsiding. Same with the big scary dreams. I am not beating myself up for caring for and about him and all we built together for 15 years. The truth, bad as it is, does set you free. And, I am starting to feel like I can trust that I’ll be ok.

    “Good riddance to bad rubbish”! Another great phrase! This group is so great with the phrases to fill up the fridge. Gets me through the day, sometimes.

    Chump Lady and Chump Nation phrases would make great fortune cookies. -As insider gifts, and to those in the know… For the warped and disordered OMs, OWs, OMM, OMW, and their families, maybe gifts of apropos Grinchy phrase-wrapped coal!

  • Dear Adam,

    I suspected that my XH had gone back to his affair partner fairly soon after we separated. The number of trips he made to another state left me very suspicious. That was all ok because his relationship with Slunty was gobsmacking but had always been gobsmacking. I just figured out, he could pork her with very little effort, because she is just that kind of gal. So I held my tongue. My daughter was with me.. the settlement was going in my direction. There was nothing I would do to rock that boat. So now, he has moved to Buttfuckistan to live with Slunty… my kid is here with me. My two olders got the shock of their lives, when they learned about Slunty… and me… I am making a life that I can survive and thrive in. Him…he is stuck in Buttfuckistan with a doorknob, and whose main skill is stucking the chrome off a door nob. My point, do not poke hornets nest. You have it all, take it. It is yours to loose at this point.

  • Yo, this is Adam of the above letter . Wow! Didn’t expect all of this great advise and caring people. But I guess it takes a chump to know what another chump is going through. First of all thank you to everybody, this means much more to me than I can express. 2nd I thought I would address a few of the questions and concerns. Yes I do have a lawyer and am listening to his advise. Yes I am 100% sure I am not the father, it had been months before this all started that we had any sexual relations and when she told me she was only 1 month along. And it is in the divorce papers that I am not the father. I do see the futility and dangers in confronting either of them before the divorce is final, and maybe just holding onto the revenge fantasy helps just a bit. As far as my kiddos go everything is so much harder by yourself, but so worth it. When my youngest just this weekend stopped asking for her mother when she was crying and now runs to me and says “I want daddy” (she’s only 3) I can’t even describe the joy it brings me. I will get through this, I will be a better man and the best dad there is. I will just plain be a better human being. I believe this so much that I made I WILL my new motto and had it tattooed on my bicep on what would have been our 11 year anniversary. Sorta a permanent fuck you to her. Thank you all again for the support, this is so much more than I ever expected.

    • Hey, welcome Adam! So glad you posted and caught us up. Love the tattoo idea. 🙂 One thing I wanted to add to my response is — start researching personality disorders. And I agree with the other chumps on the therapy for everyone advice too. It is totally fucked up for any parent to walk out on their children. Deeply, deeply fucked up. Your kids are so lucky to have you, and so I WILL be the sane parent is the guiding light.

      Your poor kids. Most parents are freaking out when separated from a PRESCHOOLER, even with the best of care, even if you trust the other parent implicitly. But to just walk out? That’s just ice, ice cold.

        • Thanks for the link, Chump Lady–just when I think I can’t learn more about PDs, I find something new here. It was a lightbulb moment reading that there is actually a word for one of STBX’s most disordered habits, one I could never quite get a read on or articulate–catastrophizing. Seeing the worst-case scenario in the littlest of things . . . wow. STBX to a tee.

          Adam, if you haven’t seen this list yet I’m sure you will find plenty to describe what you’ve been dealing with. Chaos Manufacturing might be one of them, based on what you’ve written. I’m still in the Cs and can’t believe how much of it rings true.

    • I know you’re a dude, but I saw a quote that resonated with me: “Above all be the heroine of your own life, not the victim.” You could just switch it to hero instead of heroine.

    • Good for you. I also got a “permanent fuck you to her” tattoo which reminds me every day that I will survive. A Phoenix over my heart. You will rise from the ashes every time. Welcome to the club no one ever wants to join.

      • Same here…got my first tattoo as an FU to the exH…a set of rising stars (symbolizing my daughters and I) coming from my lower back to the upper right side of my rib cage. It was my oldest daughter’s idea, she designed it and I just ran with it! It just gives it so much more meaning.

        Her dad happened to call her while we were at the tattoo parlor getting it done and oh my, what I would have done to be a fly on the wall!!! She told him “Mom’s getting a tattoo, gotta go.”

        We will all rise, no matter what!

  • If you find yourself needing support, don’t forget the forums, there are many chumps there who will respond to issues, whether emotional or otherwise. And it sounds like you are doing well single fathering! Jedi Hugs Accubonded!

  • Adam, unfortunately the real “revenge” scenario will play out exactly like this:

    You: I know EVERYTHING.

    Cheaterpants: How dare you invade my privacy! You’re a horrible person for spying! Your lack of trust made me cheat! Etc., etc, etc.

    These people will NEVER own their responsibility. You’re better off keeping mum, lawyering up, getting a great settlement & full custody. Then, after the settlement and decree, feel free to tell her to give your regards to Boss Buttface.

  • Adam and all chumps – keep in mind that the property settlement is only as good as the cheater’s character and mental health in a legal system that is not always fair or correct.

    my legal advice is make sure to do mediation with certified mediators, file divorce on fault grounds, and if cheater does not have a lawyer get him/her to provide a notarized document waiving representation and stating competence to sign property settlement agreement (PSA). i will spare you details. but if i had made sure all of the above happened, i would be spared this new round of trauma-blameshifting-gas lighting migraine.

    i was enjoying my progress towards Meh until XH decided to challenge the PSA. i have hired a bulldog lawyer for this round…the same lawyer i initially saw when i started filing a fault divorce. but then husband talked me out of it…with a generous PSA (yep, me a chump) which he is now fighting to renig.

    i gave him the divorce and he is with his Twu Wuv. sheesh. let me be!

  • Adam, so far you rocked it! I so understand how you feel. I, too, wanted him to know I figured some things out and couldn’t wait to to tell him, the pure personal satisfaction of proof and absolute knowing. Couldn’t wait to hear the stunned silence over the phone (you don’t care about a reaction, good for you! trampling the usual slow road with a monster truck). Over the phone because he moved out of state, and in with her, but continued with the “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” His policy? Deny, Deny, Deny. He’s never admitted to anything. Nothing. So, I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut every time I stumbled upon bills for secret phones, etc., I now had undeniable proof FOR ME, Proof of Infidelity, of Deviant Sexual Behavior and the Lies that come with it. I felt like I’d won a battle every time, couldn’t wait to tell him to shove his story up his ass.

    To friends, he’d marked me as a jealous, insecure, on and off-line stalker type – but, I could hardly run around with a ready-made show and tell file, could I? No one wants to see that. It’d only serve him, proving his ‘she’s not right in the head” story.Still, I so I wanted those people to know the champion gaslighter | royal mindfucker that is Asshat.

    Online social pics read “edited” after being posted, word spreading to delete his name – circle the wagons, hey, do you know The Asshat? So cool – chivalrous (!?), that funny, laid-back, available man with a job and sort of a dick – he has to hide from his wife and they’re SEPARATED, poor guy, he’s not allowed to have a good time. Aspen is none of her business! (His family’s meals, provided by food stamps alone was none of their business, apparently.)

    Anywaaaaaay, it didn’t take long to realize (thank you CL and CN) the high of him knowing that I knew was short circuited by the hole I’d shot in my foot. He didn’t give a shit that “I knew.” Period. He’d find away around it, though he needs no forewarning for a brilliant excuse. Fuck that. I loved CL’s cartoon and suggestions. I’m pretty sure you’re going to follow that sage advice after I read your most excellent actions thus far, but I know know know that burning desire. Hang in there. All the best to you.

  • Read Romans 12:19 and then sit back with a bowl of popcorn and watch the show. May take a while, but it will be worth the wait.

  • Adam–here is why you (and most of us) want to reveal what we know about the cheater: Knowledge is power. Pathological liars maintain their power by withholding information you want, or by telling falsehoods which alter your decisions about your life. We went to equalize the playing field by showing them that we KNOW what they did; their deception did not work; they do not have power over us any more.

    However, doing so now, before you have a divorce and settlement, tips your hand. Your opponent knows your poker hand and will try to use it against you, or minimize its impact should you go to court (and if you head to court, make sure you have everything you have discovered documented).

    I fully understand your need to tell your cheater that you KNOW. I am post-divorce and in the same boat. I now have much more info about my X’s serial cheating than I did when I divorced him on the basis of a single affair. Should the opportunity present itself, I will tell him that I know how savagely he brutalized me and our marriage. But there’s the rub–I can’t create that opportunity because (a) it would involve breaking no contact, and (b) it would let him know he still has power over me because I created an opportunity to tell him something. Should I ever see him at an event for our daughters, and should he approach me, then I will tell him in no uncertain terms how I feel about him and why, based on the new information. But I will not allow him to influence me one iota by contacting him.

  • Totally agree with a point made much earlier in the thread… your cheater is **very** distracted with her shmoopie at the moment. This gives you alot of breathing room to tend to business at hand while remaining under her radar. That’s a very good place to be, so use it to your advantage. If you tip your hand about what you know, you are no longer under her radar… it will most likely trigger lots of rage and blame and other nasty countermeasures. You don’t want that kind of attention from cheater!

  • Adam, the best advice I got two days after Dday (when my cheater went on a trip with his OW) from a lawyer was to act stupid, gather as much information as possible and be patient. This all helped very much and I was able to negotiate the best deal for me and having the information on the cheating (I found all his emails and skype chats) allowed me to realize what a lier and manipulator he really was. Though it nearly destroyed me to know how much he could lie, it also kept me concentrated on my final goal which was to get a divorce with the best conditions for my kids and I.

    However,after the divorce papers were finalized I made two huge revenge mistakes (though they were satisfying for a second) The first one was to meet with the OW and tell her that she couldn´t see my children at least for a year after the divorce because the cheater had agreed to this and the second was to tell my cheater that I knew he was lying to me all the time because I had everything to document this. None of this made me feel better except for that instant, but later they both used this against me to show that I was just as sneaky as they were and couldn´t trust me. My ex was furious and said that he always thought the best of me but that he now knew now what I was capable of doing. Long story short, if I just had kept my mouth shut I would have come out the better person and these disordered idiots would have nothing they could use against me or in front of my children. So, just trust Karma, and keep on being an awesome dad. Don´t do what I did!

  • I think it may actually drive STBX a little crazy if I pretend not to know about OW. Divorcing in a no-fault, community property state, I don’t need to give him a reason at all.

    I think it’s gotten to the point he wants to brag about the newer younger model… and I’m not giving him the chance. NOT letting him know I’ve been devastated may be the best revenge.

    I say that now, but we’ll see if I can make it through the process with little enough contact to avoid being baited into the question of why…

  • Adam,

    The first few weeks following D-Day #1, I wanted to know all of the details of my STBX’s affair. At D-Day #2, I was just numb and thus didn’t care about names, details, etc. Now, 1.5 years after D-Day #1, I don’t care what STBX or any of his sexual partners is doing because I am fully occupied with my new life and love of the people who love me. By observing calmly, quietly and mindfully, I have gotten much more satisfaction than I could have had I sought revenge. I suspect that my narcissistic STBX is more annoyed by my lack of interest in his life than any probing of his life I could ever do. I now think of him as a ‘babysitter’ who sometimes pays me support. I don’t know whether living well is the best revenge. I am more inclined to think that just sitting back and letting jerks shoot themselves in the foot is the best form of revenge. In my case, which involves STBX repeatedly abusing me, I could never get revenge, and I have the feeling that even if I could, the revenge would not make me feel better. I just feel better and more relaxed not seeking revenge. I know some friends who have gotten wrapped up in petty fights with obnoxious, disordered STBXs/exes and tried to exact revenge upon them. It’s easy to get sucked into conflicts with these jerks. These friends who engaged the enemy just ended up looking petty and immature and likely got no or very little satisfaction from their minor ‘acts of revenge.’

    A lot of people both in and out of court knew that my STBX was abusing me in many ways and cheating on me and knew who STBX was cheating with–but didn’t care! I don’t think that my STBX and his affair partners cared whether or not I knew, and I don’t think that informing my STBX or his affair partners that I knew who was ‘doing’ who would have affected STBX’s or his affair partners’ emotions, thoughts or behavior at all. All that really matters to me in terms of my STBX’s cheating was that my husband (now STBX) had sex with someone other than me. There were only two categories of partners of my STBX: the wife (me) and everyone else. Who cares who Everyone Else is? (As long as Everyone Else is not harming my children, I don’t care.)

    You will probably be best served by focusing on getting as much money as you legally can for you and your kids instead of downing your STBX and her affair partner. Based on what I have observed (having spent many hours in court in my own hearings as well as others’) and what I have read regarding the legal system, I highly doubt that the timing of ‘outing’ your STBX’s affair partner/telling your STBX that you know ‘who she did last summer’ will affect the outcome of your divorce.

    I greatly sympathize and to some degree empathize with you. I remember the rage I felt upon learning that my STBX was trying to start a family with an affair partner while married to and legally ‘unseparated’ from me. One thing that has helped me stay calm (or calmer than I might be) is thinking of myself as an advocate for my kids (as if I were an attorney representing kids who were unrelated to me) rather than me representing me. I can negotiate and generally think more clearly if I can keep my emotions out of divorce court and the legal/financial facets of my divorce. In spite of dealing with several hardships due to my divorce and unfortunate events in my family unrelated to my divorce, I feel much better overall now. I think that once you are as far from D-Day (#1) as I am, you will very likely feel noticeably better, too, even without trying.

    • RockStarWife: You truly are an inspirational rock star! You have given me renewed resolve to keep my powder dry on all that I know — which is alot. My STBX works in information security, but he was too stupid to secure his own computer, leaving it here at our house when he traveled for weeks on end. While he was gone, I printed out thousands of emails from the last six months, which detail years of multiple affairs. As a true narcissist, my STBX is confident that I am the one who is too stupid to know that the extent of his lying. It takes a great deal of self-control for me to not tell him what/who I know when he talks about how he’s such a great dad and I’m such a bitch for kicking him out (he actually moved out on his own — just another historical rewrite). He has said that he wants us to sit down “like adults” and discuss what went wrong with our marriage. Using my own UBT, what he really wants to do is to lay off blame for his poor (sausage) selfish choices on me. I have too many D-days to keep a true count, but one of the most enlightening, was when he blamed me for his high cholesterol. That’s the day I stopped cooking for him. Another was when I realized that he had lied about visiting one of his APs instead of visiting his dying mother, that’s when I stopped doing his laundry. I would love to tell him why I made these changes, but I’m not sure he even noticed, as it was just added to the long list of my “failures” in his eyes.

      I have two teenage daughters, and I have tried to make pretty much all of my decisions based on what is best for my girls. I’ve told them that he has relationships (plural) outside the marriage. He wanted to sit down and “tell them together.” He lost that right when it became clear that he could no longer separate his lies from his fantasy of his perfect father/husband image he projects to the world. One of the saddest consequences is that my oldest daughter really despises him, and doesn’t want to visit him or have him stay here at our house (he moved out 6 weeks ago and has bouncing around AirB-n-Bs). She says she “doesn’t even know him.” How do you comfort a grieving 17-year-old who discovers that her father is incapable of the skills of being a good husband and father? I want him to suffer like he has made me and his daughters suffer, but I know that it will come to no good, and he will NEVER accept responsibility. I know it is better for me to use my energy to keep traveling down the high road, leading my girls to a better, saner life.

    • One thing that has helped me stay calm (or calmer than I might be) is thinking of myself as an advocate for my kids (as if I were an attorney representing kids who were unrelated to me) rather than me representing me

      That is truly brilliant, RockStar!

  • Adam, yes, you don’t need to tell these nitwits anything. Wait a year or so, once the divorce is long final, and then you probably won’t care. Trust me, cheaters — especially ones that walk out like your ex! — in general are too self-absorbed to really care whether you know the truth or not. The lies you were fed were just to make things easier for her.
    On a completely different note, after reading this comment about the “exit affair,” and yesterday’s post about it, I would like to add something on that. From what I can tell, almost all “exit affairs” are really “regular affairs” that the chump doesn’t know about and/or the cheater doesn’t want to admit to. Decent people who are leaving because they’re unhappy don’t need to go hump something just before they go. Waiting a few weeks or months isn’t going to kill them. Somewhere out there, maybe there is a good person who left a miserable relationship after trying hard to fix it, and just happened to stumble upon that perfect someone else just as he’s going out the door, but I’ve never seen that person. If someone has someone else lined up right after he’s done with a marriage, I would always bet that those relationships “overlapped” (as cheaters put it).
    Just remember that cheaters lie to other people, but they tell themselves lies, too.

  • As others have said more eloquently than me, the best revenge is in living well yourself. There is nothing you can do to a disordered person that will work the way you expect it to, because they are capable of spinning everything to make YOU the bad guy. Going for revenge simply plays right into their hands and makes it easy for them to smear you.

    Best tactic is to go as NC as possible, maintain an emotionless, business-like demeanor when you have to be in contact with them, and move on with your life.

    For me personally, I have achieved the ultimate “revenge” on my ex and that’s without even caring about him, that’s by moving on with my own life. I have a career that I started after Dday, just moved in with Nice Guy after two years of dating, provide a good home for my son. Ex is a sad sack who mostly lives with his dad when he’s not bouncing around from place to place, has no job and no real friends. So tell me, who “won” when it comes to karma? I know it burns up my ex’s ass that I moved on and am with someone new, and especially that our son is living with a good man, so that is my “revenge” and it required me to do nothing but look after myself.

    Sorry I ramble so much before caffeine. Hopefully you guys get what I’m talking about.

  • Yes, Lania, I manipulated ex into a quick divorce and good terms (financially for me) by pretending I still loved, adored and needed him despite his multiple affairs and that he no longer wanted me. He ate it up. But I have described that experience as “dancing with the devil,” which is something you cannot do long-term.

    Anyhow, Lania, my children and I do ignore ex, just as much as he ignores us, which is completely. So I don’t know that NC hurts him, I think he is a true sociopath rather than a narcissist. But it is sure good for us!!

    • Sorry, first paragraph was to Donna….and I am not sure but I think my comments are going in very strange places today!!!

  • Another good point made several times above… not reacting to cheater’s shenanigans gives cheater no kibbles, which drives cheater up the wall!

    Mine “officially” broke up with me and announced shmoopie would be coming to stay for the weekend in the same breath, and threatened to throw me out of the (his) house if I didn’t play nice while she was here (read also: spill the beans about his nasty little proclivities). Hahah, fat chance! I was already living in the spare bedroom, so putting on headphones and ignoring them the whole time was easy enough as I had been in grey rock mode for a long time already.

    Shmoopie’s weekend visit was a total disaster that I had a front row seat for… she got to see him in distress of his own making. Apparently no kibbles was not in his plans for the weekend, and he was very weird and high-strung because of it… it freaked out the dogs, who peed on the floor and Shmoopie’s shoes, so of course he had to clean it up, hero that he is, and then try to pick a fight with me about it, which also got no traction, making him sound whiny and petulant. Other daily life misadventures ensued, and it was a very entertaining weekend for me. My only wish was for popcorn… and a gas mask to filter out Shmoopie’s toxic cloud of cheap perfume.

    Funny enough, cheater went totally underground after that weekend… apparently getting no traction took all the fun out of parading Shmoopie around in front of me.

    Poor cheater, life sucks when the kibble supply dries up. Heh.

    • He brought his woman round you in the house?!? Omg. I’m shocked. Why would anyone do that?

      • Because he’s a disordered freak! Perhaps he thought I wouldn’t “play nice” and he could get some jollies out of the ensuing triangulation drama.

        When we broke up a previous time (I know… chumpx2 for taking him back!) he was all sorry and admitted he had played me off against his vast and all-consuming porn habit. I presume this time he thought he could play me off against Shmoopie. What a jackass.

        As far as I was concerned, she was the one running slower than me with the bear chasing us. Let him and his porn-induced erectile disorder have her while I made my getaway. Have fun with that, Shmoops!

  • I have recently realised that letting them know anything at all is not a good thing – at best its kibbles and at worst it is showing your hand and giving them the time and chance to screw you over some more.
    Keeping them central in your life is an obstacle to moving forward and being free of their bullshit. Who cares what they know? Its what YOU know – that they suck.

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