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Why Is No Contact So Hard?

gingerA lot of chumps falter when it comes to no contact (NC). It’s the most maddening thing — your brain will be very clear on the “dump the cheater” message, but the heart is emotionally sloppy and dimwitted. Much like my Australian Shepherd who flings herself daily at the mailman in a love/hate frenzy. Every noon she flails against the glass door, barking crucial missives that the mailman tragically ignores. How dare you step on my porch! Open this door and pet me! Can’t you see how PRETTY I am? Watch me do my pretty dance! I have a frisbee! Do you like frisbees? I LOVE frisbees! Wait! Do not walk away from me! (I am, however, pleased that you have stepped off my porch.) COME BACK!!! GO AWAY!!!

And then as the mailman retreats, she pees on the carpet, heartbroken. Unlike the schnauzer who is just full of contempt for mail carriers. And cats. And the dog next door. If someone has a treat for him, however, he’ll shelf his withering disdain for a moment. Schnauzers are mercenaries. The shepherd is a chump. She never learns that mail carriers are just there to deliver mail and really don’t give a flip about her pathos.

“Come back!”, “go away”, and also “explain yourself!” comprise the mental tape loop of limbo — that state where you’re not really in, and not really out, because you’re still engaging with the idiot. Like my shepherd, you can’t decide if this person is your enemy or your love object. Why is it so hard to go no contact? Why the flailing? Why the drama? Chump Lady has some thoughts on this:

1. This shit is addictive. Very few people just walk away and quit someone cold turkey. Even someone they know is very, very bad for them. Humans are wired to bond with each other, and un-bonding is extremely painful. Science says so — romantic love lights up the same centers of the brain as addiction. And loss of romantic love makes us temporarily deranged. They say there is an evolutionary basis to this — loss of a mate has bad consequences for reproduction of the species.

Now, combine your hard wiring to bond, with your hard-wiring to feel great distress at losing a mate, and throw in the addictive nature of unpredictable rewards on your brain. (Lots of science on that too.) What do you get? A real biological disincentive to go no contact. Kicking a cheater to the curb can feel like kicking a drug. You’ll have to sweat it out and suffer withdrawal. You’ll feel distress that is at odds with your rational brain, much like an addict who is trying to quit a bad substance. “Shit. I know cigarettes are bad for me… I just want one last smoke! Arrgh!”

2. Cheaters hoover. Just as you may have to fight off strong urges to stay no contact, the cheater often knows how to play your weakened state for ego kibbles. As mentioned above, the irregular rewards of an inconsistent love can keep you hooked. You will give those kibbles greater importance (she called! he texted to wish me happy birthday!) because they are so infrequent and unpredictable. It’s classic that just as you’re 30 days clean on the no contact, the cheater will come fishing. They’ll flatter, or cajole, act like nothing ever happened. Or they’ll do the fake remorse-ishness.Beware. You’re of use to them. They want something. (Kibbles probably, or for you to screw yourself over in the divorce). Cheaters suffer withdrawal too — withdrawal of kibbles. NOT YOU. Pay attention to the distinction. You were a good source, then you went away! Maybe they can mine that vein again…

Chumps confuse kibbles sourcing for love all the time. You don’t have to scratch very deep to realize that it’s still all about them.

3. There’s something in you that needs to keep hope alive. This goes beyond not trusting that they suck. You may have abandonment issues. Something about this drama may feel familiar to some old family or relationship drama from your past that you feel is unresolved. Okay! I’ll just try harder THIS time with THIS person and I’ll get a different outcome! (i.e., they won’t leave me.) You’re consciously, or unconsciously reliving that hurt. Fuckedup and unrequited feels normal for you at some level. You’re used to trying really, really hard for very little reward.

I’ll save you the shrinkage costs on your FOO issues. You’re not that kid anymore. You don’t have to put up with shit. You have choices. You are not powerless. You can be choosey about the people you have in your life. Learn to draw boundaries. Learn to holler NO! Learn to prioritize people who treat you right, give them your time and energy — yeah, even if it feels weird and unnatural at first. Step away from the jerk with sparkles.

4. Flubbing NC is a re-enforcing cycle. The more you stay in contact, the harder it is to go no contact. On the flip side — the longer you go no contact, the easier it gets, bit by bit, day by day. Have faith that it’s going to get easier. I promise you, you are going to get to MEH (on a Tuesday, of course). You just need to stay consistent.

So that’s four reasons why it’s so hard. Now then, why is NC so important?

Because the only way you can heal from the mindfuck is to get away from the mindfuck. The single most important thing you can do to heal from infidelity is free yourself from mental slavery. (Thank you, Bob Marley.)  It’s very hard to clear your head when your abuser is right in front of you pretending to be normal for entire minutes at a time. Or worse, arguing with you about how this is All Your Fault. The cognitive dissonance between the person you love, the mindfuck, and your common sense can make your head explode. No contact mutes the mindfuck radio and lets you think for yourself again. You will start to feel like yourself again (remember that person?)

Manipulative people cannot manipulate you if you shut them down. They need something to work with, so if you deny them access to the inside of your head, it makes it much harder for them to manipulate you. No contact is your best defense against mindfuckers and it makes you stronger. Chumps, you need every ounce of fight you’ve got. Don’t give cheaters your head and your heart.

This column ran previously. Feel free to comment. And happy leftover turkey day!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I finally went NC about a month ago. I wanted to keep my phone on because I wanted proof of what Jackass was doing. He was constantly bitch texting me, bullying me, lying to me, manipulating me, and trying to control me. He would sit and bitch-text me, then suddenly say “What are you doing tonight?” (Looking for a booty call – now if that isn’t just a mindfuck, I don’t know what is!)
    I kept all his texts as proof and would send them to my lawyer. However, she didn’t seem to give much weight to them which really pissed me off!
    The only bad thing about the NC was when we were selling the house I am living in, there was a snag in the sale. Because asswipe couldn’t get ahold of me, he was an ass to the real estate agent and calling my son telling them he was going to stop the sale of the house. Well, guess what happened? He managed to put a wrench in that and the sale fell through 2 days before I was supposed to move. So because he couldn’t control ME by engaging in conversation with me, he had to punish me once again by prolonging this divorce even longer. And involving others.
    After my son and agent told me that he was calling them to screw things up because I blocked him, I called asshole. I told him I had to block him because I was tired of the bullying. His response: “I bully YOU?” (As though I am really the bully) and he said I’d better unblock him so we can ‘talk’ about things. All his ‘talking’ is trying to convince me of crap in this divorce – then wants to get me in bed. Pathetic!

    • It is hard to explain to those that do not know what verbal and emotional abuse is, that you cannot talk to the X and that it is all about control with them.

      The X has a doctor bill for my son that he is supposed to pay and hasn’t. He is trying to force me to talk to him about it. Just another control tactic. I would rather pay the bill then talk to the jerk.

      The X blamed the prolonged divorce and costs on me, while it was him all along that made it so costly and painful. All power games.

    • Crapweasel flipped his cookies when I called him out as a bully. Made me second guess myself – for 2 seconds!

      • I actually broke NC this week to call someone out as a bully, complete with respectful language on my part and a third-party description of the behaviors. (Immediately resuming NC before they could respond.) Knowing that I actually said it to the correct person makes it “real” in my head. We’ll see whether it lasts.

        • Aaaaand…zero effect except to give them an excuse to reframe the situation with me as the aggressor, empowering them to take “appropriate measures.” They are most seriously displeased.

          I only did this to find out if it really was all in my head. I now know it wasn’t…but I also know I’m a chump who ends up feeling guilty for calling out someone else’s crap! At least I have the capacity to feel guilty, though. That’s one major difference between us: the belief that a conscience you can feel pricking you is something to be proud of, not ashamed.

    • Hang in there and remember to document and get to your attorney proof he is screwing up the house sell. When it has noy sold in a reasonable time your attorney can use the documentation to explain it to the judge.

      • Yes, I asked my real estate agent to keep all the text messages from jackass. He never talks to her over the phone (he is a text aholic) and after the house originally ‘sold,’ and there was a snag – he turned around and told her he wanted to ‘sit’ on it for a couple years. I AM THE ONE LIVING HERE! But he wants to ‘sit’ on the property? He is a dickhead. He also threatened me in the beginning that we should wait until after the divorce to sell the house! I will just tell you that the house I am living in is not exactly ‘nice.’ It is an old farm house from 1897 and needs to be gutted. It is livable, but not exactly the nicest conditions. Anybody with a brain can see this house needs A LOT of work. The 2 acres that it sits on is where the money is.

        • According to my lawyers the house is your biggest marital assets! The divorce can’t even be started until it is sold or bought out by one of the parties! 3 appraisals and my refusing to leave finally pressured him into buying it! Ex was holding out to get it half the price it was worth! Our divorce was held up 1.5 years over the house!!!

    • Wow so many of these comments are so similar to my experience with a sociopathic cheater who hovers back into my life after I have blocked him by texting me on a fak number app just to tell me how crazy and obsessed I am and then after slandering me wants to know what I’m up to tonight I am done and finally changed my number so he can never contact me again!

  • I have seen the erroneous use of the moniker “scorned woman” applied to people who have not had the freedom or ability to go NC with their spouse yet. Outsiders looking in have no understanding of the mindfuck. They conveniently fall back on the use of such a term which adds another layer of pain to the betrayed.

    • People have a hard time understanding anything that doesnt directly impact them… Starving children, Genocide, drought, war, DV, and poverty. If it aint on their door step then they have no empathy, compassion or tolerance. You are labeled, filed as a ‘ scorned woman’ or ‘ bitter’ … ‘ someone who cant move on.’ You are just another shit show. Unlike starving child and war… You must have done something to contribute to yr treatment. Yup. According to them there are two sides to every story and u must have done something to bring out this horrible behavior in your spouse. The Narc counts on your emotional response to make you look all the more unbalanced and embittered.
      Its a no win. U learn that the hard way. And you separate yourself from those people.
      If you have children the shit show continues without commercial breaks. They use children and child care issues to chum the waters hoping every parental instinct in you is raw and primitive. Take the bait! Take the bait! They will stop at nothing to engage u. YOU WILL PAY ATTENTION TO ME. I will involve my affair partner… And my parents… The school.
      Its hard to continue a game when there is only one player. So when you drop out… They will find soemthing or someone to replace you. They will do everything possibly to get you back into the game. want they dont know is you started your own game. Andits a game of patience, reinforcement and disengagement. There is no winning at this game. Its all strategy. Best part is…. U dont have to let them in on the rules.
      May the force be with you! May the odds be in your favor! Take no prisoners!
      You can dooooo it!

      • Oh… And I am a big girl now… So i dont give a shit what people call me. Bitter… Bring it! Scorned… You know it! Cant move on… I will show you the way. Fuck them and everybody that looks like them!
        I define myself.

      • I find all of this very interesting. Not just about my divorce from a crapweasel, but here –
        My ExH sister was brutally murdered in her home right after Christmas 2010. She had two daughters, and ex-husband recently remarried. His new wife said n-o to having two teenage girls. As a passive NPD, he was a mess.
        The older daughter was a junior in HS and elected to stay with his brothers fam and complete HS there. The little one came to me.
        She is doing good, graduated HS 2nd in class, now college full time, part time job, weekly therapy. She is my child and since everything shattered, she, my daughter, me, our barn staff are FAMILY.
        HERE’s the interesting part – her sister who I think may be BPD and rarely visits ( disdain of farm life and home cooking) came for Thanksgiving dinner last night with her boyfriend as ‘they have nowhere else to go’.
        Ok. Come here to the farm you can’t stand! Open invite, any time! Little sis was freaked by this, didn’t want her here, but bucked up and set her own boundaries. Big sis was a demanding mess, needing to eat as soon as she arrived, needing Advil, water, crackers, whatever, even though dinner was not for 2 hours. Bitched at and twirled little sis around, who in turn held her own – admirably.
        Me? I guess I’m fixing my picker. Aside from hello and goodbye hugs, I did not engage with this troubled young woman. The old me would have said yes to everything requested; the new me says, “I refuse to engage with a nut. I cannot help this girl by pacifying her.

      • I periodically see an IC therapist, and she basically underscored exactly what The Clip has stated about people generally not understanding because it’s not happened to them (that they know if, anyway).

        So, we have to make a judgment call: is this person simply ill-informed, or do they possibly have a deeper issue that will prevent them from seeing the truth? If the latter, you don’t need to figure out what that issue is, you just need to put them on the Disengage List and not really communicate with them anymore (or, only communicate about the most mundane and necessary things possible, and never anything that opens the door of your personal life or inner feelings to them).

    • SeeTheLight & TheClip………the XPOS said to me several times ‘I get that you’re scorned’. WOW! Really?
      Such a fucked up word replacement for discarded, humiliated, chumped, fucked, duped, mindfucked, etc etc.
      That word makes it sound like you’re the problem.
      The other bitch I have is the fact that most of us want to tell the world and shout it out ugly detail by ugly detail but yet it makes it look like we’re the messed up ones. Very infuriating when all it really is is just being able to let it out for healing sake.
      And sucks too that NC thing (I get it, kinda). But why do I have to just shut up and swallow it when I have soooooo much I want to let out to that POS!! Each and every day all I want to do is let out all my hatred to him; let him know what a big piece of cowardly shit he is! UGGGHHHH!!!!!!!

      • I hear you!
        I think that is a huge part of the value of CL. We can tell all the unbelievable, hideous details of what was done to us, and all the shit we figured out later (I was conned! WTF?). No one here will give us the sideways look, or doubt us. We understand all to well, that the gross shit is TRUE.
        My X to this day, 2 yrs post divorce, pretends he just ‘got a little too close, and made a mistake’. Yeah, he’s a sweet innocent guy, MmmmHmm.
        They try to make our friends and family think we are delusional, it’s the final stab in the back.
        So, let it out here, I think it’s a safer place to do it, and we believe you!

      • IHaveHate – the only response to that is, “I get that you have to tell yourself that I am ‘scorned’.” The end.

  • Perfect timing for a no contact reminder. I have been going no contact for a few months, my head and heart are getting used to peace and joy again. Then the X sends me a photo and a text for Thanksgiving. I know I should be no contact, no matter what, but the nice side of me thinks I should wish him a happy Thanksgiving, like I am mean if I don’t. But I know if I do, he will think I still care.

    This is the jerk who lied for over 20 years, abused me and my kids, and made sure he got his fair share of my savings and retirement in the divorce. He doesn’t love me, why do I care if I am nice to him or not?

    I have not answered his text btw.

    • Don’t feel like you need to send him a Happy anything text. You are not being mean, you are being real. I thought I needed to do that too because it was the “Christian” thing to do. Baloney! The Christian thing to do is to get evil out of your life and no contact is one way to do it.

        • Perfect verses for this! I’ve used them many times this past year and half. I especially love the part that you shouldn’t even eat with these types of people. In more modern terms, it my be appropriate to say don’t even text with these people.

      • I like the old adage….TREAT PEOPLE THE WAY THEY TREAT YOU….PERIOD…NO YOU dont have to be an ass like they are….we’re normal however………..do not let anyone drain you emotionally……………get far away from anyone like that……….hell I have 0 problem telling anyone where to go and how to get there….my father taught me title means nothing you take no ones shit

    • Good job. Stay steady. He’s hoovering. Don’t get sucked in.

      Quell the hope that he’s suddenly a nice guy, who misses you, who is willing to be civil from now on.

      What he did took very little effort. I’m sure he thinks about you, but not in the way you’d like to be thought of. He’s not thoughtFUL. He’s a selfish prick who is trying to manipulate you or use you.

      • Agreed.

        I can attest to this from personal experience. I periodically get texts from my cheating STBXW, sometimes pictures of our daughter (usually with STBX’s family members who I can confirm via email screenprints were saying one thing to my face, and saying backstabbing, affair-supporting garbage behind my back).

        I do NOT respond.

        Like me, you might also every so often receive a co-parenting text that turns into some kind of argument/kibble-trolling. A recent example: I got a text from STBX telling me some details about daughter’s transportation that I already knew. So my response was “yes I know.” 3 words, that was it. Got a mini-tirade back with a sarcastic mock apology for STBXW trying to confirm that I knew daughter’s details, etc. Basically reading WAAAAY too much into those 3 words.

        My response: nada.

        Do not take the bait, do not feed the troll, do not grab the hook, do not take on ANY responsibility for helping to make a cheater feel as though they are actually a good person. It’s not your job/circus/monkey-herding.

    • Good for you. Don’t answer it. Holiday well wishes are for family and friends. He is neither. He gave up family holidays when he threw away his family.

      • Carmella that’s it exactly! My X married the tramp lat December, 10 days after our divorce was final and 7 days after his Dad died. Go spend the holidays with the new faux family and leave the kids alone! He texted my 3 (20,22,24) Thanksgiving morning and invited them to watch the football game at 730 pm. Not for dinner but football, which none of them are big fans of. Furthermore, he lives with the ho and her three teenagers about 45 mins away. We have one car which is mine and only one of them is insured on because i cant afford to keep all of them on it. They all ignored him! We had a great time at my sisters with their real aunts , uncles, cousins followed by a movie and dinner out yesterday with their flesh and blood family. Not a bunch of lying, cheating, fake morons who want the Hallmark holiday that began with two selfish asses who broke up two marriages and hurt 6 kids. Uggghh how do these scum buckets live with themselves? I wouldn’t hurt my dog or anyone else’s child. Evil and plain disgusting.

    • I learned of Ex’s schmoopie end of January 1997 and let him know I was going to divorce his sorry self. 2 weeks later was Valentine’s Day. He came home after I was in bed; in the morning there was a flower box on the kitchen island. I thought “if there is a note apologizing, I’ll give him another chance. If not, no.” All the card said was “Love,his name”. I put the card back in the box and let it sit. For 3 days. He finally angrily told me there were flowers for me in the kitchen,they’ll be dead by now and I should throw them out. I told him “I didn’t ask for flowers from you, I don’t want flowers from you, you brought them in the house and you can damn well throw them out yourself.” No wishing him a HV Day from me, he can kiss my ass.

      • Sorry, this is not referring to NC but reading your post about the flower delivery just reminded me of when STBXH would bring flowers home sometimes, usually red roses. He would put them on the table without a word. Never would look me in the eyes or hand them over to me saying something personal or nice, they were always just placed. (Probably really just meant as a present to himself for his NARC self love and being such an awesome guy). One time I came home early from a trip and the flowers he had put on the kitchen table on Friday before I left were gone on Sunday afternoon, I am pretty sure they had not rotten in two days and he had given them to OW over the weekend. ASSHOLE !!!

  • The NC is really difficult for me. I have a daughter with my X and she has special needs and is non verbal. I have more contact with my cheater then I probably would if my daughter was “normal.” I did get the stone cold abandonment cheater but every once in a while he flexs his muscles exercising control because my daughter can’t speak. Does anyone have any suggestions? It is definitely slowing the healing down.

    • I got the stone cold abandonment as well and with kids. I don’t talk to her except by text if I can help it and only for things having to do with the kids. Wish I had some advise for you cause even the little contact I do have makes me want to puke. NC is so much harder with kids but I guess we just have to push on for our kids to make sure that they have at least one sane parent. Hope thing settle and get better for you.

      • Thanks for the response, accbonded. Yes, it’s definitely harder with kids and that’s why I want healed up – to be the sane one. We do a lot of emails (documentation for court purposes), but I’m hoping once that’s done, there will be even less contact. What sucks is the booklet for school that my daughter has. It travels with her and X and OW enjoy writing notes in it. Pisses me off. Gotta keep that triangle going. Argh!

        • I dont know if I have suggestions…its very hard when you child has special needs. My does as well but she can and does communicate with me… When he allows her to use her phone.
          If in your heart you know he would not do anything to harm her then there has to be some acceptance from you that he ( your ex) has his own way of spending time with your daughter. It might not be the best way. Most therapeutic or engaging time for her but if she is not at risk for harm or abuse then I say you will have to learn thats good enough. Now if there is any wiff of neglect or abuse then you persue it with the courts.
          I never thought that my child could be as resilient as she is but they learn pretty quick how to act at mom or dads. She has developed her own set coping skills. When she tells me something that raises the mamma bear I ask her how she handle it… I am forever astounded by her ability to self protect. Now is it what I want her to do? No. I would rather she challenge her father and set her own boundaries but them I remember what he is capable of and her limited skill set.
          I am sorry that you are going thru this. I imagine you spend his days of visitation in a nervous knot. I am there too. I try to keep busy. I try not to imagine the worst. I breath a sigh of relief when she opens the car door and says ‘ Hiiiiiiiiiii Mama! ‘ throwing her little scrawny arms around me, so glad to see me, so glad to go home.
          4 and 1/2 more years to go.

    • Our daughter is Autistic/Developmentally Delayed. Since TEO abandoned us, he only sees her every other weekend, and now has his Schmoopie/fiancé and her two “normal” kids living with him in his house. DD is verbal to an extent, but doesn’t “talk” as far as, “I did this with daddy, I did that…”

      He was never much of an involved father to begin with so since he abandonment nothing much has changed. Supposedly, he contacts her school directly to get daily reports of her behavior and such, and for the most part he and I stay NC except for every other weekend.

      He contacts me, I do not contact him, ever. I stick to the issue and be done with it.

  • Then why is it easy for some cheaters to abandon their kids, old life etc. He has dismissed us all and his family.

    • Because they never bonded with you! They are not capable of it. As CL says, there’s a lot of science behind it. Their brains are wired in such a way that they don’t even know that they can’t bond. Like my color vision problem, there are certain colors I never experience and don’t even know exist. It doesn’t bother me because I live my life the way I think is normal. My XW walked away from 30 years of life together as if it never existed. She never loved me (bonded) and was able to just abandone me. Not a word since. The only thing she bonds to is money (gold digger).

      • my3sons- read up on attachment disorder in adults. They never learned how to bond or they learned bonding was emotionally unsafe at a very young age (before the age of 5) and they are unable to bond. I think some of them realize this about themselves and some don’t but many are intelligent enough to know how to appear “normal.” It is a really chilling fact to learn about these type of people but it also helps us not take it so personally. They could leave anyone very easily. The kids and I were abandoned without a second thought. I don’t think he realizes he has an attachment disorder but his own brother told me he knew something was wrong with him at a young age.

        • My cheater wasn’t attached to his parents or family either. I thought it was odd but believed that he was attached to me. Haha. Not so. He’s really not attached to anything or anyone. He puts up a front like he is, but only if that person serves to make him “look better”, otherwise he’s cold and dismissive. It’s scary really.

          • I got a stone cold cheater as well. I needed to read this. I thought no one could ever love our babies as he did but I’m way wrong. It hurts so much. I bond easily so I’m way invested and it’s so hard for me to turn it off. I should have known. My husband can be so cold but there I am, just spackling away. “He’s so tired, he’s been working so hard for our family. ” lol. He’s walked away. Who could not return a crying 4 year’s phone call I ask you? I’m working on becoming mighty. I suck at it. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 8 years. My husband controls everything and it’s still not enough. I’m trying my best to figure it all out. I feel so stupid to have trusted him. I’m doubting so much right now. What job to get, can I ever know who to trust again?

            • Me too. Ex appeared charming and loving adoring to me and our children. We appeared to “have it all.” Then when caught, ex’s mask fell off and I was staring into the eyes of a stone cold sociopath. I was stunned, couldn’t believe it, did he have a brain tumor? Cancer?

              Ex abandoned me and our children without a second glance, with glee actually. It was and continues to be a bit surreal. I keep waiting for the “real” him to surface, but it never does. He has now married one of his long-term AP’s (who he had waiting in the wings) and moved 5 states away thank goodness, Has not seen even his youngest son (now 16) since D-Day 4 years ago. Never even asks how he is. Does. Not. Care. Oddly, he continues to wholeheartedly believe he is a fabulous human being.

              • Their level of self-awareness is sometimes as poor as their awareness of other people’s feelings. And yet they become practiced enough at charm and social niceties to fool us. It’s a rude awakening.

      • I think this is so vital to understand about these pathological people. I am convinced xH never bonded with me, and absolutely could not. He was damaged before I ever met him.
        Poor guy, really. But not my problem any more. Life is so much better, too.

        • Being in a relationship with my STBX and the attachment disorder he came delivered with, has left me so incredible exhausted from trying to connect with him at times that I thought I would go insane. It took me way too long to figure him out, but I have gained some control back and the only thing that has helped me was “gray stone”. We are still living in the same house and parenting our two children. NC as much as possible is my daily mantra and has given me strength and clarity back. I am almost at “Meh” even with having Beardsplitter physically around.

      • Great analogy Marked711. One of my boys is color-blind, and we’re always curious about how he perceives things. He’s got his own way of seeing the world, and it seems impossible for either of us to understand the other’s perspective. You’re right… trying to get a disordered, cheating, narc to appreciate their spouse and family is like trying to describe colors to somebody who’s color-blind.

        P.S. As a result of sensory compensation he is gifted in the area of pattern recognition… and you probably have some unique gifts as well!

  • I needed this, this morning. I was going to write you a question about something similar and here is almost everything I probably wouldn’t gotten as advice.

    I won’t deny yesterday was hard. I’ve remained NC for almost three months. I have a pact with friends and family, do not discuss him with me. At all. A relative had a bit too much to drink last night and started. Saying how good it was to see me moving on and she wished (ex-husband) would do the same. She said he calls her constantly and never stops talking about me, he loves me, cannot stop regretting all he did, says I’m the love of his life. I stayed strong and said, next time he goes on and on about missing me and how much he loves me still, tell him you don’t do what you did to someone you love.

    • My X also used “the love of my life” line on me and it was so difficult not to respond, because I thought he was the love of my life. Now, I’m not sure I believe such thing exists outside of romantic comedies. I do know that I was not treated as the love of his life. i was treated like a bit player in the saga that was his drama! I had to keep reminding myself that someone who loves me does not intentionally disregard my feelings or do the things X did.

      NC is definitely the way to go. It stops the continuous loop of thinking about how I could have done things differently or what my life could have been…Sometimes, my kids will ask my advice about how to deal with X and I do try to offer them guidance, but they know that I do not want to hear details about X’s current life. During the holidays, I keep myself super busy so I do not fall into this self-defeating cycle of what ifs. This year has been especially hard because of the recent deaths of my dad and niece. I remind myself that my dad would not want me to be unhappy and I try to do things which would make him proud of me.

      I do think cheaters have a way of pulling folks into their circle of crazy and it is very important to be aware of ways we are being manipulated. I truly believe these folks thrive on drama. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter so long as they are the center of attention. That is why it is so important to keep them at arm’s length.

    • Fleur
      Sounds like he found the one person who he knew he could manipulate and deliver the message. Thats all. She took his bait… Listened. Empathized and gave him some kibbles. So use the messenger to convey… ‘ I dont give a fuck’ Lets see how she delivers that.

    • Fleur, I hear you. Yesterday was hard for me too. Not enough distractions. My son spent his first Thanksgiving with his Dad and the OW at their house. I hate that. I had invited a fellow single dad going through divorce but when he left, it was quiet. Everyone else went about their business. I decided to sit with my emotions for a bit. I find it helpful. It’s OK to feel melancholy, sadness, grief, loss….all those feelings we hide.

      It gets easier. I feel that. Getting closer to Meh all the time.

    • He wants your relative to report these conversations to you, to weaken you and have you fall for it again Fleur. Good for you that you did not fall for it!

  • I went no contact a month ago. It has been hard but my God my head is so much clearer. I feel like ive just come out from a very thick toxic fog and i can finally breathe. I sleep better, my skin has cleared up. My ex was one of those vicky victims, who had been cheated on (allegedly). And sucked me into his vortex of dysfunction. I say allegedly because he was secretly still texting and God knows what with ex his. Which didnt make any sense, because i want nothing to do with exes who cheated on me. The point is he is now hoovering, even though ive blocked him everywhere, he is sending emails (im still trying to figure out how to block his emails). I dont read them my sister does and decides if it’s worth telling me or not. He claims i got a delivery note. I dont believe him. And whatever it was that i ordered can be replaced, my dignity and sanity isnt.

    He was an abuser and a lair who took advantage of my vulnerability and tried to break my spirit everytime i resisted his control and insisted he faced the consequences of his bad behaviour.

    Im staying strong and staying the course. What a waste of my time! Im not giving him another second of my life

  • Why do I let him come over and walk my dogs ? Because the more I date, the more disgusted I am at what I can find out there as potential partners.
    Went to a jazz club, people did not show up but a fortysomething man. There were only the two of us, he could have attempted conversation. He chose to leave instead. I felt sorry for myself. I would never do that to someone who is obviously vulnerable.
    Went to a tech meeting, my date had promised to meet me there and take me to the restaurant. 40mn prior, he texted that he had to dismantle a piece of furniture “urgently” and could not see me. Lamest excuse ever.
    I seem to be crossing a desert. People are so horrible, that my cheater in comparison looks like merely an awkward person with little empathy.
    I never wanted kids or dramatic commitment, I only wanted a nice guy to live with me, and it seems even that was too much to ask !
    The only man who had a crush on me since my breakup, now pressures me to go live with him and his son. He is discouraged and may resume dating, because I am in the process of buying my ex’s share of my home, located 45mn away. It would be wonderful to have a family, but I don’t know him enough to move to his place that early, besides he is very much in debt, and my workplace is too far. However I like him and I am scared that all others will be dirty old men like the ones suggested by the dating site.
    So right now I am in this dysfunctional triangle, a part-time lover with little hope, and a zombie that looks like my ex.

      • Maybe you just need some time with you. My daughter dated a guy that turned out to be awful. She decided to take a break from dating and didn’t date at all for over a year. When the right guy came along, she was in a great place emotionally and physically. She couldn’t be happier and I think the guy is great. Perhaps a break from dating give you a different perspective. There is no need to settle! I think many of those dating sites create an anxiety about finding the “right one” that makes it difficult to make good decisions about what you want in a partner.

        • This is an excellent remark. I would love to be able to stop dating for a while. There is a voice inside me that says “You’re not getting any younger, you may not find anyone in a couple of years”. But then again, this voice was already there when I was 20.

          • ChumpFromF, I hear that voice too. I’m 52 now. I’m battling wrinkles, weight gain, the drop in estrogen which makes one get old, empty nest. I gave him the absolute best years of my life. And then he dumped me. Nope, not getting any younger. And he’s getting laid.

      • Chump from F – consider your ass kicked !
        It’s a funny thing, but I found that as soon as I started dating again, (after a nasty divorce from a cheater), that all I seemed to get was oddball guys. I began to wonder where all the “nice” guys were. After about 10 years of this I decided I’d had enough.
        “Like attracts like” as they say, so I decided to change ME.
        I got therapy, I did lifestyle changes – I joined the gym and quite smoking – I travelled and expanded my horizons both physically and intellectually – I made new friends and most of all – I stopped letting that cheating, lying, POS I used to be married to be a role model for the new guy I wanted in my life.
        And hey guess what? As soon as he was truly out of my life (and mind) I started attracting a better type of guy, guys who were on my wavelength and wanted the same things as I did.
        I think, sometimes, we just need to go “cold turkey” and find our true selves – and once we’ve done that and got back our self respect, then the good things start to come our way.

        • Got my ass kicking boots on too! Stop! Seriously, just stop. Why do u feel u need someone? You are throwing out the ‘ needy’ vibe…. I would run from you. Cut them loose! Get a vibrator. Seriously. You dont need to expain anything to yr vibrator. Nothing.
          Need someone to talk to… Get a dog. Need somewhere to go… Volunteer… Execise… Develop a new hobby.
          Invest in you.

        • A really inspiring story Ellie. Like you I found that I needed to change myself also. Met all sorts of interesting people, some who are still my friends, and my future wife. Thirty years married next year.

      • After a truly mindfucking 7 year relationship, my friend ashley found herself out of work as a nanny (no unemployment insurance from that… ) single, homeless (they lived in his grandmas house so no damage deposit back)… Utterly wrecked. Her brother moved her into his house- rent free for a year and said – fix your life, fix your picker (he didn’t use those words but basically pointed out that the rockstar bad boy thing kind of ruined her) … And she then took 3 months off people. Found a basic job- because anything is better than none. Then she started dating, and instead of falling into her habit of perpetual monogamy with whatever asshat she found, she set up dates 2 or 3 weeks in advance with many guys- and I questioned that at first, but her reasoning was impeccable: ‘ I do not do alone well, and so I convince myself that the first nice guy is actually the ‘right’ guy. By having another date set up two weeks later, I keep myself ‘dating’ and not falling into a relationship with whoever shows up. It also makes me see that there’s lots of guys who are nice the first time out… And if I like them, I set up another date. And if I don’t, coffee is just coffee and I leave after 20 minutes. I also stopped saying no to everyone who seemed ‘boring’ or ‘not my type’ because I obviously am an idiot and my type is terrible… So I go. And if they’re nice, and kind, and they are gentlemen… I will say yes again. And I find out they are different. Boring just means quiet, or that his interests are something I never thought about- but it turns out I like mountain biking! … And then this list starts to develop based off the good people I am meeting and the people who aren’t so good are lacking…: passionate about something (even if it’s something I don’t LOVE) and stable, earning, and balanced life ideas, good family life where they care about their folks or siblings, they keep in touch with me- (not just about booty), they keep their commitments (no stand ups)… She fixed her picker by dating the rounds. She ended up narrowing to two or three every once in awhile- and had some hilarious experiences, but developed this great shield of bullshit detection from it- the guy who she had a date with every Monday, suddenly was unavailable… And stopped talking to her. Pulled the ‘terrible illness’ card… If she mattered, he would have told her, or bitched that he was feeling ill… And he didn’t… So nope. Or one- who had an amazing relationship with his family, and was a very wealthy contractor, constantly cancelled to be his family’s saviour. Not really the point either. She realized she wNted to be ‘in’ their life… Not periphery. But they had to also have their shit together. And this one ‘boring’ guy… He texted or phoned regularly. He sometimes picked up little gifts when she had mentioned she liked something one time.. He came up with cool dates for them since their interests were a bit different. He was a firefighter AND ran his own side business, and had great family relationships AnD made time for her. The more she was with him, the more he was suddenly… Her type. (A good guy)….

        I went to their wedding last month. Her rationale, her assertive mindset about dating, her absolutely almost sciencey way of attacking her own issues… I am hopeful I can do the same when it’s time. Because I feel like I have some of the same flaws. And I will not repeat this mess… I WILL find my happy. I AM WORTH more. WORTH someone who has WORTH.

        • I love this!!! So very hopeful….and sciency! This suits my personality very much. When I’m ready. I ain’t ready right now. But hope endures!

    • Consider your ass ‘kicked’! I’m 1.5 years out from abandonment. The online sites suck (trust they suck :). I’ve only met women that scare the heck out of me. I’m sure it’s the same for finding a man. I’m much better off just working on finding new friends.
      Get away from the ex and be strong. Time and NC does work. A good person will come forward, it just may take a while. Good luck and hugs.

      • My view is that on-line dating sites create a “consumer” mentality about relationships–“damn, I have the MacBook air 13″, but the person next to me has the 15″ screen! I want it!”

        I know they work for some people, in the way that putting a Bonobo chimp in front of a typewriter will eventually result in a word. Not for me.

        • Screen envy! I have phone envy. I have caught myself gawking at another person texting… I am sure they thought I was nuts or trying to read their texts… I could not break my gaze from the large curved screen… Gold tint… It was super sexy. I felt like I had the soccer mom car and they had a Porsche. Sigh. That phone would have made me feel sexy… For five mins anyway!!!

        • Oh Tempest!!! Love that!!!!!

          And TheClip!!!!

          WE ALL ROCK!!!! LOL!!!!

          It is hard to see where we are all going…but it is easy to see where we have been and how lucky we are to be OUT OF THAT HELL!!! We WILL MAKE IT TO MEH!!!!!

          …I am going out today with a ‘nice’ man…to a birthday party for his grandson,,,you know I am scared and shaking…but…I’m gonna go just go do it and see what happens…

          Beau is mad at me cause he can’t go…but…he knows I WILL RETURN and that I love him. He is my rock and I am his.

    • Don’t give up your life and livelihood to go live with someone in a lot of debt, and certainly not with someone you don’t know that well who might want you to mother his child, whom you also do not know well.
      I would consider not dating for a while. You seem to be looking for a man to validate you. You need to find that within yourself, first. I would recommend that you spend a good deal of time figuring out who YOU want to be for YOURSELF, before offering yourself desperately to men who fail to rescue you from loneliness. These men don’t even know you. But are you giving off a vibe of neediness? Then you must fix that by spending enough time alone to work on yourself–your health, your space, your hobbies, your friendships. Get yourself good and grounded and busy with what you love to do, and with people you love and who love you back. Then you will be ready to date.
      Stop allowing the ex to invade your space and your head. Walk your own dogs. Take it from me, that is very therapeutic. I spent miles and miles with my dogs, getting my head right. You can, too. Don’t allow the ex to control you like he can. He IS a bad person. He HURT you on purpose. That’s toxic to you.

      You can DO it!

    • Chumpfromf,
      You aren’t in a good place right now. Stay here and keep listening to CL. She is wonderful. Read empowering women sites.

      I’m 4 yrs out and it’s been a rough ride myself, but stop and look around… You are far from alone. That was a huge lesson for me. It’s something that “happened” to me, it’s not “who” I am. Doesn’t “define” me, but boy did it take a long time for me “to get” it. Don’t let it do this to you.

      Remember Poo Bear and Christopher Robbin’s conversation, “You’re stronger than you think…”

  • I discovered No Contact on accident. A few weeks after I had asked my stbx to move out of the house I was in the middle of that deep, awful un-bonding pain and my ex went out of town for business for a week then several more days for a scuba trip. I realized that when he was out of town I felt so much better, much stronger, less nervous, just happier. That’s when I went very little contact (kids only) and never looked back. It sped up my healing for sure. It really bothered him too so that was a bonus that I didn’t expect.

    Remember the old Huey Lewis and the News song “I want a new drug, one that won’t make me sick, one that won’t make me crash my car or make me feel three feet thick….”? That is what no contact is all about- getting away from that old toxic drug that makes you feel bad and not think straight. Once you go no contact and break the habit, you get a new “drug” called real living and it consists of a healthy dose of self worth, self respect and clear thinking.

    • You are so right Nicole. LOVE the Huey Lewis analogy. When this divorce is over, I can probably go complete NC. A year out, it is getting easier to think about leaving him in the dust. Sometimes I even think it’s Tuesday. As much NC as possible has definitely helped.

    • LOL, the analogy doesn’t hold up if you listen the rest of the lyrics, the ones where he says he wants a drug that makes him feel good like when he’s alone with “you”. But I get you, we’ll forget that part of the song 🙂

  • This whole nightmare began January 2009. When she moved out and shacked up with him.
    I immediately began NC. Between 2009 and 2013 I must have asked her a dozen times to stop contacting me. I NEVER answered any of her phone calls. I would simply send her an email asking her to stop contacting me!
    Our wedding song was “Always &Forever”by the band Heatwave. When I set up my Verizon voicemail to answer with a ringback tone of “Always & Forever”she finally stopped calling me!
    We were married for 30 years! I’m 60 now and have no desire to play the dating game.I would like very much to have a lover/companion to share the remainder of my life, but I still love her and always will! I hear through the grapevine that the grass isn’t as green as she thought it would be, so I continue to pray that he leaves permanently so I can at least communicate with her again. I know what your thinking! King of the chumps! Yup you’re right! But at least I’ve been able to maintain NC for almost 7 years now!

  • So much harder when kids are in the mix, I try only communicate via text and with what has to do with the kids. If we had no kids I would have just packed up and moved to Alaska, I would still like to do that but I will wait until my kids are grown before doing something like that. I find myself starting to reach the point where I don’t think about this shit as much, not MEH so to speak but perhaps another step on the way there. I would very much like to have NC totally, it would help with the anger and everything else. I know I will never forget the pain and the betrayal but if I didn’t have to focus on it so much it would surely help.

    • Thank you for this CL. No contact is the way.

      I have a child too and I do my very best to communicate via text or email to my ex cheater – it works 99% of the time. Every now and again he will show up at the door to collect our daughter. I’m civil and once I asked him how he was, etc. nothing personal. He texted me back a day or so later thanking me for that and saying it meant a lot to him, blah blah blah. I didn’t respond back and it was a good reminder to stay no contact, no conversation if at all possible because these cheater types ALWAYS make it about them and try to engage you back if their “supply” is running low.

      It’s interesting because at the beginning of our split he would go days without responding to me about our child or practical matters via text or email. It was ridiculous. Now, he gets back to me pronto because I don’t engage him AT ALL about how long it takes for him to respond and all those stupid mind games he likes to play. He’s childish and small. And frankly, to a narcissist the worst thing you can do to them is ignore them. Abusers and bullies of all types move on to new sources of hurt and vulnerability when they can no longer torment you.

      • Yes, exactly. The best answer is silence to these disordered narcs!!!!

        You are so right, they ALWAYS make communication about them. Thanksgiving night he texted asking about our daughter’s Thanksgiving. I answered simply, “good” and did not return his “happy Thanksgiving” message…he then asked what she ate, I replied, he then responded with “yep, just like her daddy!” (What she ate)…I didn’t respond…I should have ignored the follow-up message, but whatever…

  • My ex wants to “be my friend”, because actually all of my friends cheat on me and say everything is my fault and treat me like shit.

    Anyways, I always knew I had to go No Contact, but it has been pretty hard. In this past week I have both lost a dear friend of the family, one of my bike tires punctured leaving me stranded, and I was in car crash (I was a passenger in my friends car and someone front swiped her, everyone was okay, and I just have minor back and neck pain from the whiplash). I have kept the No Contact, even though it would be very easy to call him for any of this reasons. He likes to play Knight in Shining Armour so he would have LOVE to come help me. But I didn’t instead I:

    1) talked to my friends and CN about my grief
    2) picked up my damn bike and carries it for a mile to the nearest bike shop (I did have friends willing to help, but I got a rush of “darn it I will do this myself”)
    3) called other non asshole friends to help us.

    There is a part of me that wishes that I could just have my friend back, because losing my best friend was hard. Then I remember that he was never really my friend he was always a Jerk that knew when to sparkle and I just speckled everything else.

    I keep an addiction counter of my phone to keep track of my No Contact period. I reset it when I break No Contact (which I did almost 2 weeks ago and it was a really bad experience). My first time trying No Contact was 2 months ago, that was the hardest and I whenver I felt the urge to write him, I would open the app Clean Counter and just see the seconds tick by until the urge subsided. Sometimes I would write random friends instead or write in the forums. The app has space for you to write an inspirational message, I wrote four things:

    1) He was always an asshole
    2) Trust that he sucks
    3) You deserve so much better
    4) You are allowed to want what you want.

    It is not a perfect system, and I’m hoping one day I won’t need it, and I not even have the urge to break No Contact. But while I wait for Meh, and Tuesday, I simply take it one day at a time, and sometimes one hour, one minute or one second at a time.

  • I had the opposite problem – my exWH went NC with me pretty much immediately. He moved out about a week after D-day and blocked my phone number, removed half the money from the joint bank account, insisted all communication go through lawyers. We had a 2 year old daughter at the time and owned a house together. There was a metric crap-ton of logistics that needed to get sorted out along with the emotional whirlwind I was going through being totally blindsided. I ended up spending $18K in lawyer fees when it could have been much cheaper if he would simply talk to me and work some crap out. He still blocks my phone number/hangs up on me/doesn’t respond to emails if he doesn’t feel like addressing the topic.

    • Trust me, it would have cost you more and taken longer if he did talk to you. They only talk to you if they want something, during a divorce they want to fuck you over. The fact he didn’t talk to you means he realized he couldn’t fuck with you. If it makes you feel better it cost me over $30K in lawyer fees because he wanted to work things out in email and be amicable. No he wanted to stall and get more shit from me. For the record, this was with no children and we were not rich.

      • Kim – I can so relate. It’s been over a year since our D and there is no no fucking NO reason for me to email and ask him what he’s doing for T-day?
        Now, why in the hell did I do that??
        He answered me – have a nice Thanksgiving SheChump.

        I’m DONE WITH any contact or palleeese KICK MY ASS. I hate him.

        What in the world did I want.
        He’s trying to be totally N/C with me, except we have house business to complete.
        And, no need to be personal at all.

        WHY WHY WHY did I lower myself after this long?

        • SheChump–next time you’re tempted to email him ANYthing, mention it here first and we’ll hit with you the needed 2 x 4. Now forgive yourself and go back to NC.

      • My story too DatDam. Enormous legal bills because he wants to ‘work things out between us’ when all he is trying to do is convince me how much more I am getting. HAHAHAHA. And the stalling tactics. Lets change our mind about EVERYTHING. We’ll cancel court, mediations, auctions… and now look – the values on all the vehicles that he is getting have gone down so much, we need to re-value them now. And oh – I’ve quit putting money in my 401K while you continued to put money in yours so we will have to re-value that too. Such bullshit! And the courts allow this shit to happen.

  • Kim. This reads much like my story. Stone cold abandonment cheater went NC right away. He sometimes doesn’t even respond to my phone calls from the hospital when our daughter is having an epileptic seizure. Total as**ole.

    • It made me feel crazy. Was I the crazy one? Was I the narcissist? I have email threads where I will ask him a simple, direct question about our daughter. No response for a week or 10 days. I will send another polite, businesslike email following up. No response. 5 days later send another follow up. No response. 5 days later send an email with a mean comment about how shitty he is at communicating. Immediate response “See, you are so hostile with me. This is why I can’t communicate with you, you make it so impossible! Waahhhhh!”

      • You simply must stop communication with him-apparently he does not give a damn about you or your child. It sounds like (please correct me if I am wrong) you are trying to force a relationship between him and your kid. If so please stop for the child’s sake, no child should go through that sort of rejection. Plus he just figures you are using the child as an excuse to contact him and in his eyes that make you desperate.

        • You are misunderstanding. It’s things like her health insurance. He lost his job, but he is the one who covered her health insurance. So I needed info from him about that if he needed me to get her on my healtg insurance and there is a finite time to get this completed. I’m not chit chatting about irrelevant shit. It’s really important business-like things.

          • I had read a later post that you have 50/50 custody-so of course there has to be ongoing dialogue, you have no choice. This must be torture for you and I am so sorry you have to deal with his nonsense. However in his warped mind, you contacting him, even with relevant issues in regard to your child, is just an excuse to contact him. He is deliberately setting you up to look like a desperate harasser. Again this is narc spin 101. Very frustrating.

  • My ex husband went No Contact with a Restraining order against me. I was so blind sided by it….that’s how he handled me funding out about his girlfriend….a Sheriff at my door….with a piece of paper that puts me in jail if I contact him. He protected himself from any accountability for his actions. I called him once when our daughter got rushed to the ER at college….his first words were “You aren’t allowed to call me it’s in the PFA”….
    Then he texted me the whole time asking about her.
    That PFA has landed me in jail….he shows up at my church with his whore and I am not allowed to say anything…. I think not.
    Yet…..he wanted to meet with our daughter who lives with me when she posted suicide threats on fb. He was willing to ignore PFA mandates then…. it was a set up.
    NC…..is hard….because I didn’t see what was about to blindside me. I needed answers….I needed to understand how I could be destroyed by someone I trusted and loved.
    It’s been a lesson in self preservation.
    I trust he sucks ..I trust he is a liar and cheat and nothing he could ever say will ever give me peace or closure.

    • Tracy – My ex tried to get a protection order against me too! He was granted an ex-parte (emergency. temporary one) and then proceeded to text/email me all week. I didn’t respond or take the bait. I had to get get my daughter during that time and nothing in the order prevented me from picking up our daughter so I had the police escort me to his house to get our daughter because I wanted them there in case my ex tried to claim I did anything to violate the order. He tried arguing with the police, slammed the door in their face, stayed inside for 10 minutes. They even had to call for backup. When I went to court to see if he would be granted the full order of protection he only had to tell his side of the story, I didn’t even need to defend myself and the judge said “no, you don’t get an order of protection. She’s done nothing wrong.” Still, a totally humiliating experience. My lawyer at the hearing did get my ex to admit in court under oath that he was cheating on me in our marriage so he was worth every penny for that alone. The experience did help me to see what kind of a fucktard I am dealing with and I will remember it anytime I am feeling soft. NOPE. This asshat tried to get a protection order against you. NOPE.

      • My ex did the stone-cold abandonment too. Moved in with Schmoopie, but never told me that as he said he couldn’t trust me in my “anger”. Mind you, I’ve never been abusive. He also told me to communicate through his attorney and got a PO on me when I texted him about his lies – after his SIL sent a pic of whore hanging on ex at XILs 3 weeks after our divorce was final (70 days start to finish). It’s a whole different level of mindfuckery when the abused is painted as the abuser.

  • I needed this today CL. I had a bad day yesterday with this very subject. The interesting thing in my case is that my ex husband and 2 adult kids went NC almost immediately with me a few years back, so if I become the crazy hag I have been called, then I suppose them going NC is the right thing for them to do. I see a reflection of myself in the mirror so I know I do exist and yet to my ‘immediate’ family I don’t exist at all after the hard yards but I seem to be nothing but a burden to them that needs to be off loaded. Yesterday I actually came to the realisation that they are happy without me in their lives which crushes my heart to dust but I must accept this and go NC myself and stop grieving and hoping things will change one day and I only mean with my 2 kids not the ex. That day will never come so I must accept the NC from them because that is how they want it. I will just let it be now. I know I do not love my ex husband anymore and I do not want to ever see him again or hear his voice and yet I still do wonder how after 46 years he can walk away without even looking back for one moment but I suppose his 23 year girl will make the old bloke forget many things. I couldn’t do that and yet I know I have to now to save my sanity.

  • Marie, I know that it might hurt. I do not know your story but must likely your kids got a little bit of “narc DNA”. Unfortunately your kids will call when karma bus arrives for your ex & the faithful “girlfriend” decides not to change cheater’s diapers. Your kids will call asking for advise or just “to let you know”. Be in peace with yourself find a hobby or work for charity. Trust me they will regret it.

    • FicoChump, thank you. I will be honest with you and state that my kids will never contact me ever again. Not even if something happens to their sire. They are living their lives and appear to be very happy without me around. I have to respect that. However, I do feel a tremendous amount of hurt and resentment but they are nearly middle aged adults now and have made up their minds to exclude me from their lives. It is hard to believe or understand. You would think that I was a mass murder with the lack of support I have received from them.

      • My best friend’s son completely excised her from his and her grandsons’ lives after the death of her husband. Her husband had spoiled the son rotten and had mortgaged property just before his death so the son could live the high life. I watched as my friend suffered the pain of his exclusion for years. She is finally at a place of peace about it all because she has decided to live a full life, recognizing there is not a damn thing she can do about her son’s attitude. It’s his loss, as she is an incredible human being, who has been like a second mother to my children. It sounds like you may be in the same situation as my friend. As difficult as it is to let go, it may be best to recognize that they are not worth your time or heartache.

  • My x won’t give me no contact. It’s so much worst when I go this route as I’ve been married 30 yrs. He just won’t let go. I’m tied $ too much as we are both so close to retiring & I’ve never worked.

    I try to keep all contact brief, pretend I’m still ℅ parenting and only speak of family stuff. It’s really tough when one spends a life time w someone, and even thou there is still love between us, it’s never gonna work again…

    Sadly I think the only way we will ever now get no contact is when one of us passes on…

    • I can relate, Susan. My best friend was with me 36 yrs…and suddenly he’s gone and doesn’t want to look back. It’s very hard to take after that long. It takes a mind a long time to un-love a best friend, a confident, a solid marriage and extended family…into just POOF. We were also close to retiring and we are going to live a completely different life than we had planned. But, I suppose his train ran off on the wrong tracks. He’s lost so much family and doesn’t give a hoot about me. He’s opposite of yours – mine want’s N/C if it involves anything personal.

      Maree – I KNOW your kids will come back some day. But, I am good friends with a woman this happened to. She loves them one moment and hates them the next for abandoning her. And, it sounds like she was a great mother. She still doesn’t know what went wrong with her 3 kids…and there was no adultery involved. Her and her husband we married over 50 yrs and he just died recently. She’s 86.
      And, kids nowhere in sight.

      I just cannot make sense of that. I still cry out every night for my Mum.

      • Shechump, what an awful story about your friend. I am hearing more and more of these stories now that it has happened to me. I will be 64 in a month’s time and to tell you the honest truth, I don’t want to live to be 86. That will be too many years without my kids and they were my life. I love them too much to ever hate them, however there are times when the pain could tip me over the edge but it doesn’t. My love and best wishes to your dear friend. So, so sad.

  • I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about my ex a lot yesterday. I didn’t think the holidays would have that effect on me but it did. While I didn’t think about her fondly, and any thoughts of her really just makes me mad, I couldn’t help but wonder what she was doing, if she misses me, if she is still with him, if they’re having a good time. I’ve been NC for about 6 months now and divorced for that long. I have no desire to contact her but I can’t help these thoughts. They suck. Can’t wait till the day I suddenly realize I haven’t thought about her for a while. Still think about her daily.

    • I think it’s only normal to think about your ex on a holiday. I mean you spent how many years with her? My parents are both gone now and I was thinking about them a lot yesterday. As Christmas nears, I think about my own family or when the kids were little. The holidays are a time for reflection. It just sucks the first year or two of chumpdom.

        • I can relate Michael. I woke up thinking about X and al the T-day dinners we’d put on. Lots of memories and good times. I couldn’t help but wonder where he is and what he’s up to. He will not share anything personal at all. (even tho he knows where I live and all that)
          He lives out of his m/h and will not tell me even where he is – he could be in FL or NY for all I know. Nobody knows.
          Have no idea if he’s still with his alley-cat but, why should I care?
          (because I sort of still love him, that’s why – I probably always will)

          Since I don’t think he has any family to have turkey with anymore (his family has cooled towards him), I actually cared that he had people around him to eat with.
          He didn’t care what I was doing. Never has since he left. Why should I care? And, as somebody else said earlier, they don’t deserve the Happy T Day greetings anymore because they gave up that family card.

          I can’t wait until I fill up his void with a lot better characters than him.
          Like you, so I never think of him again.

  • Another way they keep you in contact with them is the fact that, like most abusers, they have managed to isolate you from pretty much your entire support group. They want all attention on them. After you discover the whoring and are in reconciliation, all attention is on them. If they aren’t in sight every second of the day, they might call/email/text/fuck the whore. And you are embarrassed, so you keep their secret.

    When my ex’s true nature was revealed, I had just about no friends anymore. So who do you turn to? The Cheater.

  • Co parenting with the disordered has to big one of the biggest shit sandwiches a chump has to eat. I am grateful I was not in this situation. Stay mighty parent chumps!!! Your kids need you more than ever now. Follow the sage advice given by chumps who are succeeding at this.

    Chumps without children. Go no contact with that muther fucker like yesterday. Remove the temptation for further mindfuckery and delete their number. Delete the numbers of anyone associated with them who you no longer need in your life. Block all those muthers if necessary on your house phone, work phone, mobile phone and social media.

  • My ex went no contact from the get-go. I took the hint pretty quickly. But, the hardest part in accepting it is that when someone you love hurts you, you expect an apology. You expect them to right the wrong. That took me a long time to accept. He will never own up to the pain, despair, heartache he caused me. Ever.

    Yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, I spent with my family. I was supposed to spend it with my boyfriend. But he broke up with me last week. He told me to my face that he could not have a healthy relationship with me because of how he felt about my 8yo son and my parenting style. Talk about punching me in the gut. This man told me he loved me, wanted to marry me. And coming off a great weekend in the mountains. I immediately went no contact. And I haven’t heard a single word from him. Not even when I returned some of his things to his house when he wasn’t there. No “thank you”. Nothing.

    My picker is so broke. I am taking a break from dating. I hate it. I hate being alone. No morning texts from a man who cares about me. No one who says they love me and means it.

    • I’m sorry conniered. That sucks. But you know what? Better he tell you up front he can’t hack being with your son. (It’s shitty that he made it about your parenting. If he’s not sticking around, he doesn’t get a vote on your parenting style. If he’s leaving, he should keep his opinions to himself, IMO. If he’s never had kids, he should really STFU.)

      Being alone isn’t that bad. You have to wrestle that alone thing to the ground. Be OKAY with alone. It’s so much better than being with someone who doesn’t value you.

      Besides, you don’t HAVE to be alone. Go volunteer. Give of yourself. Immerse yourself in art, or church, or cooking, or whatever it is that turns you on. Figure out what makes you happy ALONE, where you excel, and go be THAT person for awhile. There are so many other ways we can add value to our lives and others that isn’t romantically.

      I think part of fixing the picker is figuring out where your best self is. Not best COUPLE self, but your best self. You want to find someone (eventually, if at all), who sees that person — and falls in love with that self-contained, cool, okay person. When we’re feeling less than, Alone, Damaged Goods, Not Terribly Lovable, I think that’s when the Picker goes bargain basement shopping for the not very into us (at best) or disordered (at worst).

      • So true. The best thing about being alone after disordered is that you get to know what you want. I too made my ex and family my life’s priority and over the years I became more and more isolated. Away from friends and family. Narcs set it up that way and I was always made to feel badly about wanting more people in our lives. Cheaters are busy enough juggling two lives, right? I think many of our exes complained about spending time with family during the holidays. Not healthy. I too recognize that I placed his wants/needs/priorities before mine because with a Narc what I wanted no longer mattered (even smart spouses get sucked in). I believe if you are happy and know yourself then you have so much more to offer a potential mate. I shy away from needy, you will work in that empty hole I need to plug people because that was my ex. He didn’t much know what he wanted either.

    • Conniered, my ex did that too. And you know what? Fuck them.

      Look in the mirror and start loving the reflection looking right back at you. Give dating a break. Take time out to get to know yourself again. Do the things that you enjoy. Have a girls night out/sleep over and get your dancing shoes on, or chill and drink wine in your pj’s. Treat yourself. You’ve been through shit – you deserve it. Cook a tasty nourishing meal for yourself and dance around the kitchen to your favourite music while you make it. Invite friends over. Visit family and friends. Surround yourself with positive people who have your back no matter what your relationship status is.

      Eventually, there will come a time when you will enjoy your own company. When you no longer feel you need a man in your life to complete you, because despite the cracks and scars, you are already whole.

    • CL and Deloris, thanks for the encouragement and advice. The boyfriend seemed to have expected my son to bond with him (like I did) within a 3 -months time period. I think that is too much to expect from an 8 yo boy who just lost his intact family. It wasn’t very compassionate or empathetic. And I walked. And it hurts my heart so damn bad.

      I’m running, going to the gym and reading. I am looking forward to Christmas with my son. I write on my blog from time to time when I feel the need. I go to to church. I’ve always done these things. I also spend time with family and friends. And I’m a single mom so I am mothering, which is good for my soul. Maybe I need to start making jewelry again. Maybe try those coloring books for adults! Honestly, my job is one of giving to others of myself (I’m a sign language interpreter) so I feel kinda “gived out” at the end of the day. I save my reserves for my son and my sister since we live with her and her family. That is a blessing. I have such a great support in her.

      I need to practice patience, trusting that God’s timing. I am in my “meantime” I think. And I need to be present in it. But I’m fighting it! I should stop. And just be. Ugh.

      Hugs.

      • Conniered, you’re welcome. Do whatever it takes. There’s only so much of yourself you can give before you start running on empty. Take precious time out for you. This will benefit you and your son. You’re a mighty, kick ass, single mom. Go girl!!!

      • Tell it! The things I treasure are found in the heart and at home. Hard to meet a man that way! But perhaps I need more time to just heal. I know who I am. I always have. I’ll keep doing me and God will work out His plan and it’ll all be good.

        • Yes, my dad often said love will find you when you aren’t looking. All those healthy activities you engage in will bring you happiness. Best of luck, conniered.

      • Conniered–What a blow right before the holidays. Others have said he did you a favor, and they are right, but it still hurts. What you now have that you didn’t have after your cheater is the wisdom to understand what is going on with the X-boyfriend, and the level of selfishness that is entailed by him trying to triangulate you with your son. You know where that was headed, and now you can avoid it. I suspect if you think back on the brief relationship with XBF, there were other indicators that your needs were never going to be paramount.

        Hugs to you!

    • conniered, someone who pulls that ‘your son doesn’t bond with me’ shit after only 3 months, and in a breakup conversation, is a shitty human being. Period. Its pretty much a red flag for ‘I demand kibbles!’
      Don’t feel bad about yourself – its not your fault.

  • CL, I just realized after being here every day for 64 days that I must tell you that your words and the responses to them have saved my life. Today’s message, like all of the others, brilliantly captures a cartoon version of my history, and for some reason I find that hilarity so comforting.

    I was the Australian Shepherd at first after DD. If I’d had a PET scan at that time the radiologists would have gathered like NASA’s Mission Control before launch.

    I started NC the day before I found your site, CN, and I made it to 65 days today!!!! I have to brag because I never thought it possible.

    Definitely possible! Thanks CL and CN. Immensely.

  • No contact was very painful for me in the beginning. This was because I loved an illusion. Facing that was more painful than the final DDay when I just couldn’t do it anymore. No more denial, just being honest with myself. This narc never loved me. At times it’s still a struggle and I’m iften tempted to text and ask if it was worth all the pain he caused to his children. I stop myself and remember he’s still an illusion.
    Medication, therapy, CN, with no contact works.

    • donna, I think we were all in love with an illusion but gee aren’t they convincing when it comes to getting people on their side so to speak. Mine did such a number on me that I walked away without one person speaking to me and that includes my kids. They have all welcomed his 23 year old ‘el cheapo’ and her 2 kids into their lives as if I never existed. I was and I assume still am a bad dream that they want to forget ever existed. I read a quote recently that said “Don’t let people live rent free in your mind”. It is time for me to take the bull by the horns and empty my head!!!

      • This is how we in fact KNOW they are disordered Maree. What normal adult parent would turn their children against their mother for purely selfish reasons. X used his children, abandoned them, and they caught him in lies. Luckily they saw the mask drop. Now he’s trying to reel them in after 18 months pure whore.
        Take that bull by the horns and live! You deserve it!

    • Oddly, I found NC soothing. I had grown so weary of his digs and criticisms and arrogance interspersed with poor-puppy-dog interludes that I realized I had not missed Hannibal for many years when he would go on his conference trips. It was a relief when he was gone. After D-day, the vascillation of “here’s what you need to do to win me back after I fucked a graduate student” and “you’re the love of my life” BS made me want to escape him that much more. My limbic system screamed, “Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!” every time he was near me once I realized he was not only emotionally abuse, but a cheater on top of it.

        • Chumptitude, I love this: “drama-driven mechanical cymbal-playing circus monkey” (and the accompanying picture)!!

          Yes, hypervigilance is soooooooo tiring. The good news is that I/we have been vaccinated against EVER staying in a hypervigilance situation again. Buh-bye.

  • My XH and I are pretty much NC but given how much he spoke during our marriage. 🙂 we were NC then too. But now he has moved to eNVy to be with Slunty, he is going NC with our kids. He didn’t call them on Thanksgiving. He doesn’t call them, emails them sometimes maybe but beyond that crickets. Part of me is so amazed that he would do that, the other part of me is Yippeee! I don’t have to mess with the mindfuckery that he would be doing to them. But life is very peaceful without him. I don’t think that my kids have really cottened on to the fact that he has gone NC with them. I think for them it will just be the new normal. They talk to their dad every six months. It is what it is. He shows up to visit every now and again. I think I win.

  • When we separated, I kept trying to appeal to his sense of fairness. I ‘thought’ he was basically a good guy. My atty kept telling me to go NC. Finally, I did. I got tired of his playing the victim, blaming me etc even though his cheating blew up our family. So I went NC and finally, PEACE.

    Best Advice ever, CL.

    All should follow this. you stop the madness.

  • Yes, my exhole went NC with me, problem is he also took my preteen daughter along with him; lied to her schools stating that I’d lost my parental rights (that was especially touching as I’m in child/adolescent mental health in this area) even went so far as to tell the judge that any emails I sent him went to ‘trash.’
    The judge stated that was heinous, but did she freaking do anything about it? I didn’t want contact with the jerk, I wanted access to my daughter which on paper I had 50/50 right to; unfortunately, sweet girl was brainwashed for a number of years as to my incompetence, my so called abuse, alcoholism, you name it. (all of this while being deprived for a long period of times of all marital funds I built a large and successful psychiatry practice from the ground up that has always been in the red; hardly possible to do were I impaired in the ways I was accused of being)
    Well, fast forward to all of those important teenage years our daughter floundered, those years she parroted all the nasty and untrue things she said about me: crazy, alcoholic, unstable, you name it while he had this poor confused kid be the ‘best man’ at his wedding to one of the AP’s and truly believed that she could not call on her very own Mother to support her. Those were very sad days and have affected her greatly.
    I admit I attempted to contact him: we were supposed to be co-parenting, and on the few instances that was attempted he consistently made an ass of himself: literally going ballistic in the lovely elegant conference room of the private girls school he yanked her from October of her junior year (with the assistance of a school counselor there, another former AP who I reported to the Board of Ed) after I’d already prepaid the entire years tuition: himself pacing, fists clenched, spitting as he talked venom and hatred, barely able to not curse at me. I had to repeatedly redirect him away from issues of divorce to issues of our child.

    One of my favorites was the day he parked himself in the waiting room of the child psychiatrist our daughter was seeing, thinking he was so *important* that of course the good doctor would interrupt his day for at least a few minutes to hear his concerns. The psychiatrist’s excellent executive assistant called me early in the day to ask if I thought dudeDad would become violent, and for the best way to handle him, and I simply said ‘Narcissists can’t bear to be ignored, so ask our daughter’s doctor how he’d like to proceed.’ Somewhere midday, the Dad broke his own NC rule to call my own office to complain about how he was being treated and I informed him that the protocol in my own office is that anyone without an appointment was asked to schedule an appointment (which he was but refused) and if they didn’t leave, I usually called the local police so in fact he was getting off easy being permitted to sit there and read old parenting magazines. He asked me if he should wait until the end of the work day, and I said that I wasn’t aware of our daughter’s doctor’s policy but that it was doubtful that he would be seen or even acknowledged, it was inappropriate for him to show up without an appointment and that inappropriate behavior was no doubt duly noted in our daughter’s record.
    He’s got many many reasons to be NC with me now: he’s lost yet another professional job due to his inappropriate behavior with the women who report to him and liberal use of expense account funds at the college he landed after the first firing for same reason, but college #2 didn’t have nearly the endowment thus he had a briefer tenure there. So after broadcasting his vast success as a consultant to the world of higher academia (ahem) he now works at Home Depot for a paltry wage, hours he doesn’t pick and choose and wears a colorful apron and a big ol’ name tag. And his wages are on the low side since he hasn’t any special skills other than b.s.
    He’s trying to get our daughter to pay him back the Parent Plus loan he took out when her tuition and fees were FREE because she attended the school where he worked at the time; this of course causes a great loyalty conflict for her which she’s struggling through.
    NC all the way, he did not co parent with me, I will co parent by supporting our daughter through the rough decisions she is facing in her life, letting her see for herself what a selfish ass her father is (BTW, through my family she has an extremely generous 529 plan that can fund her all the way through the PhD in psychology she is working towards) Dad had absolutely no reason at that time to take out any sort of parent plus loan, there were no significant expenses at the time and he still collected child support even though I didn’t have to keep paying it. I wanted to support my child in her education even though I rarely saw her and when I did at that time, it was usually unpleasant. Fortunately, those times have changed.
    I will simply give our daughter the best guidance and support that I (and my new husband and stepdaughters can)
    NC can rock out, I wouldn’t have chosen it in the beginning, but my daughter’s father made his own bed.

    • The Second Lady – I am so sorry you and your daughter had to endure that shit. What a horrible human being. I’m glad that your daughter has seen the light and knows the truth. I can only hope my kids someday see their dad as the puke he has become. He is a master manipulator and I fell for it for many many years. (Although I think he was a pretty decent person until about 6 years ago when the alcoholism finally caught up to him.) My dickwad told my oldest son “Don’t beleive everything that you hear.” Meaning – whatever your mother might tell you, I have a different version of the truth! Like – I cheated on your mom because she was withholding sex. Um yes, I was, but that was because you were coming home drunk 5 nights a week at 11:30 while I had already been asleep the past hour and a half. So yes – Jackass didn’t lie, just fails to tell the WHOLE story…..
      I’m glad you got rid of the ass…

  • Prefect article for me today:)
    My mind is always playing tricks on me, and I know better; but those are bad kibbles: false signals when your x talks.
    I love my kids (15 & 19), learning boundaries and staying in those boundaries is difficult. Her affair partner was out of town for Thanksgiving and she’s weird-ed out and taking it out on the teenagers today.

    I made it 60 days over the summer with NC: HELPED so very much!! This post made me realize I need to continue the NC to become whole again. 2016 is around the corner an I’d really like to meet a nice women to share new experiences with.

    Time to get real and really follow CL/CN advice and go NC and start 2016 with hope and possibilities:)

    • Awesome, Chris!!!! Keep up the good work!!! Don’t you love it when they have to “fall back” on their kids when AP’s/OW/OM’s aren’t available?!?!

  • No contact works until he calls from the hospital after a mild heart attack and before being flown 2 hrs. away to a better hospital. I took our son to the hospital before they took off, and stayed for 3 hrs. After that, I texted for an update. Nothing. 12 hrs. later I called the floor nurse. She said not to worry, his wife was with him. Yeah? I’m his wife, must be the latest slut. Did I have the password to get an update? Uh, no. Why would I? Does his mom? No, why would she. Something shinier so ditch the family. What else is new? Everytime, and I mean everytime, I have contact, and it has been months of NC, he slugs me. I don’t care if he’s decapitated and still talking, I’ll never rush out again. Our son will be ok. I hate myself for driving out there at 2 am, waking our son. It’s the right thing to do, right? No, not anymore. I’ll take him to the funeral, that’s it. What a douchbag.

  • I struggle so much with this. My head knows not to engage him but my heart just can’t keep up. It’s almost impossible to be NC as we have three small kids but damn it, I have still texted him and/or emailed him in the past related to my deep sadness and grief over the end of our family. Memories that just slay me. I know he doesn’t give a shit about me anymore and has moved on with her. Logically I know he is incredibly disordered to have betrayed me for 4+ years with a MOW…but to get my heart to reconcile that our 18 year friendship, 13 year marriage disintegrates/vanishes at the hands of the one I thought I loved unconditionally…Well, I can’t wrap my head around it and struggle to not voice my pain and sadness. It sucks. It just plain sucks to be abandoned in this way and have no control of all the chaos and having to grieve all the losses of a future with my nuclear family. I miss my intact family. It will be a year next month since Dday. Our divorce is still not final…And I’m not sure I’ll ever really get over losing my husband and family like this. No, I don’t want him back but I do miss the illusion I had of him. I guess I still feel like it’s not real. Ugh… I wish I was at Meh…Tuesday.

    • That’s the rub, isn’t it? The person we thought we were married to said VOWS. That’s a very serious and humbling kind of promise. They were supposed to forsake all others….like we did.

      I am so sorry your pain is still so….big. I understand. I remember feeling this way. I remember emailing my husband right after D-Day about my pain and grief and the lack of a response from him was like a slap in the face. It was then I knew it was over. He had been found out and now he didn’t have to pretend anymore. The mask was tossed aside. After the pain wore off a bit, I became scared. I realized I did not know this person at all and he was completely unpredictable. Was he an abandoner? A NPD? What was he going to do next? That terrified me.

      My divorce was final in October. No fanfare. No celebration. It was just another day. Quite the opposite of how marriages start. I am now a divorced woman. A label forced upon me by the actions of my cheating husband. It’s not what I wanted. At all. But I will endure it. I’d rather be this than with a man who absolutely does not love me. Hell. He doesn’t even respect me. LemonSqueezy, You will survive too. There is, right now, love and hope and healing taking place no matter how small. Hugs to you.

  • Conniered, your words truly resonate with me. Divorce final in October as well and struggling with the pain of the label thrust upon me by the actions of my XH. I’m trying hard to stay true to NC. Had a bit of a relapse when the anniversary of my DDay passed a week ago….couldn’t stop myself from sending a text to him commemorating the day he walked out of our life after 23 years of marriage. I quickly put the block back on my phone along with Facebook (great tool by the way!). In some ways it’s been easier for me, he left and never looked back choosing to chase his ‘happiness’ with his MOW and her 4 yr old who needed him as ‘her husband’ was supposedly cheating on her (yes, he actually said that to me). He destroyed our family, breaking our 21 and17 yr olds hearts…I felt indescribable pain in being discarded. I had spent all my years supporting him, trying to please and do damage control for this NBD steroid using man. One year later, I am well on my way of discovering my needs, setting boundaries and creating new special memories with my kids. He is the one who lost out. NC is truly the way to go in healing and moving forward. If you have a misstep, take a deep breath and start it again. I have a strong feeling 2016 will be a great year ?.

  • I think the main reason that chumps struggle with NC is simply because we think that maybe we were wrong about our partners. Pretty much assigning blame to ourselves. Its a pretty mindfucked situation.

  • I’ve been divorced almost 4 years now, with DDay happening about 5. I spent 30 years with that man so of course it’s going to take some time to feel like yourself again. Right now, I’m very happy being alone and have just started putting my toes back in the dating pool. I went on a few coffee dates, but I’m not sure my heart is really in it. I like my freedom and the ability to do whatever I choose.

    My girls still live with me, but are gone a lot. Right now they are visiting their father in FL. I miss them a bit, but not too much. I’m just happy that he tries to make the time with them interesting and fun. It’s all about their happiness to me, not what he does or doesn’t do.

    All in all, even today I still think of my ex and more so around the holidays. Not that I want him back, I don’t but I do wish that I had a better picker in my youth – I put up with many years of crap, pretty much lost myself. It was something that hurt so bad I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. But you do navigate through and get to a place that’s good. I’m ALMOST at Meh… not quite, but I’m getting there. It just takes time.

  • This post couldn’t have been more perfect with the holiday weekend.
    I have tried sometimes successfully and other times unsuccessfully to go NC. I have three children who are now at different stages of sadness with their father.
    It’s so true on the detachment – he was a doting father, involved in everything. Now, it’s all he can do to get back home to the OW and her two kids.
    I can’t block him via text- but I did set up a separate email account that is only for him. I used to get emails from him in my main account constantly. No wooing back- just bullying tactics on what a shitty mother I am, vengeful, etc. The new email account is there when I want to read it. It doesn’t ruin my day- I’m prepared to read and react.
    He also cc’s his lawyer on everything. She is a legal version of his mother. Gross.
    CN has given me the strength to push back- hard and to take on a mama bear approach when it comes to my kids. They are my #1 focus and I’ll be damned if this OW bitch and her two kids are going to take anything away from what they deserve!

  • My STBXW doesn’t seem to “get” NC.

    As in, she doesn’t understand why I don’t want to talk to her. She’s not trying to win me back or anything like that, but she’s been a bit of a bitch-case (more on the minor side of it, compared to what some in CN have had to endure from their cheating exs) in terms of trying to attack me legally, and is angry that I am not communicating with her more in terms of playing nice.

    That I don’t engage her during face-to-face hand-off of our daughter really seems to get her goat. She gets upset because my daughter is asking her mother why daddy is not responding to mommy; but it never occurs to my STBXW to own the fact that she made conscious decisions to explode her kid’s family, and that maybe she ought to use the scenario as a teaching opportunity to show our kid how you take ownership when you do something wrong, and try to apologize and make amends.

    Now she want’s coparenting counseling, which I refused 1) as unnecessary since we have been coparenting since separation via email and text with no significant issues, and 2) I can prove that she lied during couples counseling (and am requesting a refund from her for the fees in settlement as a result), and I’ve no indication that she won’t continue to do so in coparenting counseling. F–k that noise.

    It’s like she doesn’t understand that if someone lies, gaslights, cheats, destroys a family, acts like a bitch, moves out and takes whatever property she wants without discussing it, etc., why I wouldn’t want to be friendly with that kind of person… after I specifically told her that if it came to splitting under those circumstances that I would not be friends with her. Just another thing to add to the long list of stuff that she just doesn’t get, and probably never will understand.

    • Well-done, Sephage. They’ve been so conditioned to being jackasses, being forgiven by us, and returning to a kibble supply, that extinction of attention-seeking behaviors takes a long time. Oh, and they can’t imagine how we can give up all their wonderfulness (eyeroll).

    • I have kids with both XWs. So, we have to communicate to some extent. Both, however, try to talk to me about other things.
      First XW tried to invite mt GF and I out to dinner.WTF?
      Second just called me yo ask for legal advice re her landlord.
      It is nuts. Neithrr has ever apologized for cheating. They act friendly and chatty, as if they never cheated and abused.

      • How do you handle your exes, Arnold? Do you insist on only communicating by text (or is that impossible because of the kids)? Do they reduce their calls if you go grey rock on them? Mine has contacted me several times the past month, and I’m curious about the best method to put a stop to it.

        • Man, it’s like they are deranged. The only way that I know to put a stop to it is to only respond to the communications that you consider appropriate (i.e., coparenting, divorce) and to ignore totally the stuff that you don’t want to discuss (everything else).

  • I almost made contact yesterday I was so frickin pissed. Thus far, five months from D-day, no contact has been easy. After 27 years of marriage, I got tired of hearing the “wha wha” (like the Charlie Brown teacher voice in my head) and welcomed not having to talk to him. Not only that, but it’s fairly easy now to tell when he’s lying…his lips are moving. I accepted an invitation for dinner at my SIL house with his entire family. Of course, he was also invited, but opted out since, as my MIL old me, “He wanted me to enjoy my Thanksgiving and not feel uncomfortable.” I told her that I had nothing to feel uncomfortable about, but whatever. I really wanted to tell her that for the past 10 years I’ve had to drag him to have dinner with his family and that he’s likely using me being there as an excuse to be with the OW. We had a nice, peaceful meal and the family made it a point to not mention him, which was kind of weird since I was the only one there who was not blood related. My youngest son was also there, he’s 21. After dinner we went back to my house and watched movies. I asked him how his Thanksgiving was. His reply was that it was okay. My mom-radar went off. I started a conversation and he then told me he hadn’t heard from his dad all day. I told him how sorry I was. I committed myself then to not accept the Christmas invitation to my SIL’s house. I will not provide him the excuse to not spend the holidays with his children. I also prevented myself from calling or texting the loser by reminding myself of the 3 C’s; I didn’t cause it, I cannot cure it, and I cannot cure it. Of course, there’s another C, if you misspell carma, so I mentally planted my boot so far up his ass he tasted leather.

    • Being angry will make you break no contact in a heartbeat. I’ve done it several times. Never feel good about it afterwards. Congrats on your restraint! My stbx comes from a large family. They “weren’t having” Thanksgiving this year, so my kids were with me all day. I think we all were relieved, but by the same token, left to wonder what he was actually doing. This is our second holiday season since D-day. Last year was immediately after. Our family holiday traditions were pretty strong and meant a lot to the kids, especially my daughter. They are still struggling with the change in dynamics and his family knows it. So what do they do? .They decide not to have Thanksgiving? Dumb.

      • I was expecting to feel lonely and sad on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I live in western New York and all my family, except my boys, live in Arizona. My IL’s are the only family I’ve spend the holidays with for 27 years. It was very kind of them to recognize this and invite me. In fact, they’ve been nothing but kind to me and very angry at my STBX. In my anticipation of my own feelings, I forgot that this is the first holiday for my boys that they wouldn’t have with both their parents. This is not my fault, but it made me realize that I need to create my own holiday traditions without the in-laws and leave them with the excuse for a human they happen to share DNA with. I will continue to contact them, call them on Christmas, birthdays, etc., but I need to let him make his excuses without using me and maybe (although I doubt it), his sons will at least see him on the holidays.

        Both the boys encouraged me to take a trip that I wanted to ring in the New Year (I wonder what they will do to my house on New Year’s Eve 🙂 ). So my sister and I will be celebrating in Puerto Rico and I will be dancing in the streets on Dec 31 down my new path toward freedom! Whoo Hoo!

  • Anne, your post made me laugh. I too practice the “C’s” and love the carmakers visual. ? These assholes are so inhuman that the last place they want to be is with family. My condolences to your son though, I have three kids who still don’t want to believe that the person they once loved no longer exists.

  • I recognize I have abandonment issues, but not in the sense that I will/would do anything to keep a man from leaving me, but it still sucks and pisses me off that he abandoned me. IWhen I get the urge to contact him, or check his FB page, I just come here to ChumpNation and get myself back in check.

  • When i feel like i am going to crumble and break my no contact- i read some ChumpLady. It dulls the urge every time. Contact is like worrying a big angry Pimple, you think its going to help, but it just makes it uglier.

    BTW “Crapweasel flipped his cookies”- is getting my vote for quote of the day- pure gold 🙂

  • This post was awesome! Have been trying to stay NC with Narcboy for over 4 years. Really hard when you work at the same place, live in the same small town, share friends and colleagues. Plus until this fall, HE would approach me, offering to help with stuff on my farm, then of course never showing up. Some other reasons are that I never was able to move on, find someone I am attracted to and compatible with, a common issue for all educated, successful women in the region. All of my family has died so yep, I am totally alone most of the time. Even the most self sufficient of us want meaningful human connection. If I leave this job, I will loose my home and my credit rating will be ruined. Jobs are hard to come by at over 50 and finding anything higher than a 50% cut in pay has been thus far impossible. At this point, I just want to enjoy life again after 9 years of frustration and nearly 5 of hell. Grow food, keep bees, date normal healthy men I can have an intelligent conversation with. Harsh reality but most chumps face similar, if not worse circumstances. Funny how the cheaters often seem to thrive whereas the cheatee loses her/his shirt. As much as many blogs criticize dating out of area/out of state, sometimes it is a good idea as you never, ever, need see them again if things fail.

  • Dear CL thank you for your blog, it is immensely helpful to me has I am unraveling our lives…in the legal process, hope to be free by late Spring. Mine is off the charts cheater with hookers and multiple side dishes. Feeling better everyday and can’t wait to be free. I am as you say feeling more and more like my old self everyday. The mindfuckery as I step away and look in….has been just incredible. Next year holidays will be so peaceful and relaxing compared to now. And I know that peace is on its way so that’s a good feeling. Have a great holiday season.

  • I think the main reason no contact is difficult is the cheater and the nature of cheating/adultery itself. My opinion is that cheating doesn’t have anything to do with love or sex, even. It’s about Rejection, I think. The cheater “rejects” the chump, even though he does it secretly. He has that delicious whore Cake waiting to make it all better, and to listen to him bitch about his spouse. When the Cheating is revealed on discovery day, a lot of chumps really up the cake diet for these losers. I know I did. Ughhhh. I call that the Ice Cream Sandwich phase. Cheater is a big old slab of yummy ice cream, surrounded on both sides by two irrelevant chocolate wafers. He is the star! The man! A sexy stud! His wife is competing with a whore for his affection. It’s probably the high point of his miserable life.

  • Anyway, when you go No Contact, you are the one doing the rejecting. You are taking a part of the ice cream sandwich. It’s just not nearly as much fun, for cheater or the whore. So they have to draw you back in. You must care about their loser ass. Be jealous of their wondrous, special soulmate LOVE. They need an audience, and the person they fucked over is the best one they can get. No one else really gives a shit.

  • I agree there is definitely a biochemical addiction going on when you are intimate with someone, but the other factors make no contact that much harder. I had a fling with someone years after divorcing my unfaithful ex-husband. I went no contact with the guy I had a fling with and it was hard at first. It was, however; nowhere near as hard or painful as divorcing my ex. This is because my ex-husband kept trying to get in contact with me to bitch at me during the time we were divorcing. It is also because my ex-husband verbally abused me and blamed everything on me. I honestly felt like there was something wrong with me and wondered, since I was “no fun” and “not normal” if I was doing a disservice to people by expecting them to hang out with me and be my friend. It took a long time for me to allow myself to get even a little bit close to friends and believe that they could like me for me. I have boundaries now and have been no contact with my ex-husband for years since he can’t honor boundaries or treat me with respect. The withdrawal from no contact does fade in time and you will find new best friends who will treat you way better. Your cheating ex is not your friend. Hang in there. I promise the withdrawal won’t last forever. In time, you’ll wonder why you ever put up with your ex.

    • I can relate SueB….the bitch texting, the verbal abuse, the accusation that everything was somehow MY fault. I too had to look at myself and wonder if it WAS me. It took me a long time to realize it isn’t me. The stories I’ve told my therapist – she has told me he definitely has some kind of personality disorder.
      It took me a long time to go NC because I so wanted an apology. A sincere apology. I never got it and doubt I ever will. So – there’s no sense listening to his nonsense and outright lies. Maybe if he ever gets sober I’ll get an apology. BUT – as his brain continues to shrink and his alcoholism increases, I’m not holding my breath.

      • I wanted a sincere apology too from my husband, but the other day I was thinking “when Hitler committed suicide, I doubt he ever felt sorry about the Holocaust”. There are some people in this world who do some evil things and they are never sorry. It’s staggering, but true. The more horrible the deed, the less the contrition.

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