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Dear Chump Lady, He apologized to the OW for not leaving me

serial_cheater_sharkDear Chump Lady,

Please help, I feel so lost, I don’t know what to do. Earlier today I found my husband’s email open, it was an account I didn’t recognize so at first I thought it was one of our kids. Turns out it is an account I had never heard of and he had used it to correspond with his affair partner.

He told me he stopped all communication with the OW in the spring, but I just found emails as recent as October. In the last one he sent, it’s clear they are not together and he’s not trying to get back together with her, he’s APOLOGIZING TO HER! For hurting HER feelings! For not going through with leaving me like he “promised” he would.

I’m a mess. I had to tell my family I was sick and sent the kids to my parent’s house. My husband is out of town until tomorrow so all day I’ve been reading and reading and reading. He wrote that our counseling sessions were a front, to put on the “appearance” of working on fixing our relationship (while continuing to see the OW), his explanation to her is so that it would look like he was “doing everything he could” to work on the marriage, he claimed to be doing it so that I would leave HIM and so that our kids would THINK he was doing everything he could to keep us together.

I also found the emails he said he sent to end the affair. He told me he wrote that it was over, he didn’t want to see her ever again and that the affair was a mistake. What did he actually write?!?! That he loves her, but it would be too EXPENSIVE for him to leave me. That I’m a good mother and a good person, that he does love me, but he’s not “in love with me” He said he loves our children too much to be financially diminished so he decided to be 80% happy (with me) rather than lose 50% of everything. The bitch wrote back, she said “Maybe we’ll find each other again in 5 years.” (That would be when our youngest of three children is 19.) His answer: “You won’t be single in 5 years.”

That was his response.

I don’t know what to do Chump Lady. Before I found these emails things really were starting to feel better than ever. I thought that we had found the reconciliation “unicorn” you talk about. I did. He HAS changed for the better, especially in the last few months. We are going to counseling. He started being generous and kind to me again, he’s started doing the little things, the little things that were missing from our marriage for so many years. I feel like he’s himself again, if that makes sense, I’m starting to see the man I married again. I love him, I do. He’s the only man I’ve ever been with (we went to high school together, started dating when I was 17.)

But now I don’t know what is real anymore. Is it possible for someone to say these sorts of things and then change, for the good, of their own accord? Could he say these horrible things and then actually come to his sense in the end? Could it be lies he was telling the OW? I’m afraid to confront him, I don’t feel strong enough — tomorrow is Christmas, it feels like we’ve come so far, the kids are so happy. (Last Christmas is when the affair started, the holidays were tense. They knew something was wrong. Then in the New Year he left, he told the kids he was leaving me in January. He came back a week later.) I don’t want to do that to them again.

These messages are from the past…. Do I dredge up the past?!?! The affair is over. Things are so good right now. So good up until earlier today. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m going insane.

Please help.

Devastated at Christmas AGAIN

Dear DACA,

Twice you’ve written, “I don’t know what to do.” Bullshit. You know exactly what to do. You need to stop believing in unicorns.

You don’t want to do that.

If you think Chump Lady will peddle hopium and tell you that people who are right this minute snowing you will change (poof!) for the good (fairy dust!) of their own accord (unicorn rainbow farts!), you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m the dream crusher — and that’s why you wrote to me. And that’s why you snooped in his email. Because you need your strung out, hopium-huffing ass kicked back into reality.

Look, I’m terribly sorry you found out at the holidays and had to sit through an awful, heart-breaking Christmas. I’m sorry I was off last week and not fielding letters (although I did write back to tell you to lawyer up and not confront). But Daca, better you found out this Christmas instead of wasting more of your life with this cheating asshole.

So let’s recap, okay?

He was cheating and left you last New Year for the OW. But then he returned. Oh hurray! You won the pick me dance! Were there any consequences for him? Did you make your reconciliation contingent on anything like a post-nup? Did you see a lawyer at all? (Apparently he did, because he knows how much this will cost him, so he went back to Door Number CAKE.)

Yeah, I didn’t think so. So he “breaks up” with the OW in total secrecy. You have no idea if there was a breakup, you just take it on faith that it’s over and he’s no contact. How’d that work out for you, Daca? 

It didn’t. So now you ask me in your last paragraph Do I dredge up the past?!?! The affair is over.

You don’t know that! And it’s not the PAST. October is what? 9 to 10 weeks ago? You don’t know if he has other email accounts you don’t know of, or other Other Women. All you know is that he goes to counseling and does little, nice things that were missing before. Gosh, and he’s sustained this for entire MONTHS.

That’s a nice intermittent reward of kibbles to keep you on the hook for cake. It’s absolutely ZERO indication that he has changed.

How do I know he hasn’t changed and is still the same old bastard you cannot trust?

He was still communicating with the OW when he told you he wasn’t. Ergo, he still LIES to you. Moreover, he values HER feelings over YOUR feelings. Where’s the “remorse” there? Oh, I think it’s out grazing in a field of unicorns somewhere…

Let’s put your discoveries through the Universal Bullshit Translator.

He wrote that our counseling sessions were a front, to put on the “appearance” of working on fixing our relationship (while continuing to see the OW),

So how can you ever truly know if he’s working on your relationship, of if it’s a “front”?

You don’t. You can either live with that mindfuck or you can leave him. I suggest for your sanity and self-respect that you leave him.

his explanation to her is so that it would look like he was “doing everything he could” to work on the marriage, he claimed to be doing it so that I would leave HIM and so that our kids would THINK he was doing everything he could to keep us together.

Great, so not only is he an asshole to cheat on you, he is the disordered sort of freak who wants to manipulate you into Bad Guy status. He makes your relationship completely untenable with his affair(s), but you’re the jerk for leaving him? He wins impression management with the kids?

Swell guy. What a gem.

I also found the emails he said he sent to end the affair. He told me he wrote that it was over, he didn’t want to see her ever again and that the affair was a mistake. What did he actually write?!?! That he loves her, but it would be too EXPENSIVE for him to leave me.

How’s it feel to be Plan B? Otherwise known as the Obstacle to His Happiness.

That I’m a good mother and a good person, that he does love me, but he’s not “in love with me.”

Do you want a relationship with a man who is not in love with you? But uses you to avoid financial fall out and consequences?

He said he loves our children too much to be financially diminished

If he loved his children, he wouldn’t abuse their mother and fuck around to destroy their intact home life. If he loved his children and wanted a divorce, he could have left you honestly and fairly, and not painted you as the bad guy. He likes CAKE, not children.

so he decided to be 80% happy (with me) rather than lose 50% of everything.

His values are money over people (you, the OW, the kids). How advantageous for him.

The bitch wrote back, she said “Maybe we’ll find each other again in 5 years.” (That would be when our youngest of three children is 19.) His answer: “You won’t be single in 5 years.”

UBT: You’re not the only OW. But you can always circle back for more kibbles!

Daca, please. This guy is a cheater. The “reconciliation” is a joke. He didn’t have a change of heart — he’s still the same lying, deceiving creep he was before. See a lawyer and start protecting yourself today.

And remember YOU are not “doing this” to the kids. HE did it. Start modeling mightiness, and kick the hopium. You don’t have a unicorn. You have a cheater.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Continue on like normal, and lawyer up. Print out copies of the emails. Leave the disordered asshole. You deserve way better than this. He’s not going to change.

    • I agree with Carol 100%. Please think about yourself and your kids. It will be tough on you, tough on your kids and super tough watching them go through it. However, trust me because my situation was similar to yours…worth it to leave him. The kids will eventually be happy with their “new normal”, actually better off because you will be happy. But lawyer up secretly, hit him hard before he has a chance to fight. He won’t fight fair. Get all your financial paperwork in order and fight, fight, fight. He is a textbook cheater. He will not change just change his ways in order not to get caught…and you will always be watching…no way to live your life. Good luck. We are here for you.

      • maybe’ll we’ll find each other again in 5 years.” (That would be when our youngest of three children is 19.)

        This happens often. Many divorces take place at a trigger point such as the last child leaving for college (not requiring child support).

        Wihout child support their financial hit is a lot less. Meanwhile you’ve invested another 5 years in your marriage.

        In those five years he has had time to plan a financial future independent of you by dissipating assets, hiding money etc.

        Since so much of this email is based on the financial ramifications of divorce I would suggest you get very involved in managing and monitoring all financial transactions in your home to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. Go back and review the transactions during the affair

        He’s given you a preview of the future. It’s up to you to protect yourself If it’s all about money to him, consider yourself warned.

          • Thanks Tracy

            He started being generous and kind to me again. —).

            Yea, I would want my 50 percent of those funds he was generous to the OW with. Control everything or you’ll be waiting for crumbs, again, while someone else has filet mignon. Start today.

            • I agree with chump advocate to protect yourself financially but I don’t believe that this cheaters main priority right now is finances.
              Remember don’t read this email in a non disordered way, it has been written by a serial cheater!
              He is using the finances and the kids as an explanation to the OW appliance as to why he “can’t” leave the wife appliance.
              It’s bullshit. Serial cheaters get married and stay married as a wife is the ultimate get out of jail free card. He gets to have an endless parade of side pussy for years on end and every time he gets bored with side chick he pulls the I really love you but can’t be with you because -wife.
              It’s a convenient line with which to dump side chicks he has become bored with.
              What you read (which is my opinion was purposely planted for you to find) is him not only dumping Miss No Self Esteem side pussy but setting you up for a nice juicy round of drama and upset. If he’s going to be without side pussy kibbles he needs drama kibbles. He doesn’t want her or you, he wants drama, kibbles and centrality.
              Fuck him. Sit there, say nothing, hide some money, speak to a lawyer, forget his ass.

              • Thanks Ninja you just identified why the Limited stayed. I think your 100% accurate with this. We make them look good while they get a free pass. Soon their lies catch up with them with the other woman who he can no longer keep the promise of divorcing his wife. Sorry OW you were just a side fuck. He moves on to his next victim. X was always on the prowl with 3 he would string along. First to fuck was the winner. Then next.
                Yet I have no doubt he will dump her once the children are old enough and he won’t have to pay support. It’s what serial cheaters do.
                Regardless they hide in the marriage while you dish out cake accept blame and cook dinner. Not worth it.

              • Agreed in theory. It’s probably an excuse to OW

                But I wouldn’t waste one minute trying to figure out how a disordered person’s mind works and their shifting moment to moment kibble seeking motivations. Nor would I bet my financial future on it. Who cares? The goal is to get out in tact and not focus on the cheater

                Money is a huge factor in a lot of these situations as cheaters lie and cheat about everything including money. Many people regret not focusing on the disordereds ability to deceive them on this level too as evidenced by several of the posts in the comments section on this letter.

                Hiding money is illegal in most states btw.

                You can, however, take possession of a chunk of money and disclose it in divorce proceedings.

                Understanding them is the consolation prize. Being emotionally and financially stable is first prize.

              • Donna – without a wife they would just be creepy losers who have a new girlfriend every couple of months. Plus there’s no pretending it’s thwarted twu wuv hence less Kibbley. When they are “forced” by The Situation to give up their schmoopie they also get to circle back for kibbles all the time because they didn’t chose to leave, it wasn’t their fault, they’re just so nice they can’t leave their kids.
                So even years later they can shoot off a message. I miss you so much! I’ve never forgotten you! You were the love of my life! P.s fancy a shag?
                Fuck these sad pandas.

              • Yes, he is not in love with the OW. I agree he can use this as a boiler plate email to any and all OW. NO CONFRONTATION. You know everything you need to know. You can stay or go but you have all the info you Wil ever need.

              • Sorry, but to piggyback on what Wiseoldowl said…yes, he isn’t in love with the OW, but he isn’t in love with you either. He is only “in love” with himself. Harsh, but true. At the end of the day, all of us at CN have had to face this fuckery that constituted our truth.

                Also, as much as I know that these disordered douche canoes don’t have working consciences, I still have to wonder if some part of them doesn’t get supremely exhausted after years of always angling for the next con. At some point, doesn’t all that maliciousness do a person in, even independent of the almost pop-cultural view of karma. If you are a rotting, soulless corpse underneath your skin, how are not slowly, but surely poisoned from the inside out?

              • Blerg, if my narc mother is any indication, then no, they don’t get tired of it. This is their oxygen. This is what gets their heart pumping and puts a twinkle in their eye. I think that many people around them get wise to and tired of their games, but they have spent years learning how to manipulate their loved ones and friends so they often can hold on to a few to work their voodoo on. They rely on other peoples goodness and their inability to give up trying to find the good in them. I know that the siblings of mine who are still in her web are there out of necessity, one because they need the free childcare she provides and two of them because their need to feel loved far outweighs their ability to see past her manipulations.

            • I am so sorry about what has happened to you. It’s just heartbreaking and infuriating to read.

              If you divorce (and it’s really hard to imagine another healthy choice based on what you’ve shared), I hope you do everything possible to obtain the settlement you deserve.

              Infidelity can be the basis for a disproportionate division of marital assets in some states (meaning more than the 50/50 split your husband appears to believe would be granted), so knowing the most you can about the extent of his infidelity can be valuable. I hope find a good attorney and try and find out. You might be surprised at what can happen when answers have to be given under oath, or when the AP gets noticed up for a deposition – especially if they are married.

              Again, I’m very sorry for what you and your family are going through.

              • Blerg, love it, eloquently said “at the end of the day all of us at CN have had to face this fuckery which constituted our truth,” he’s only in love with himself, truer words have never been spoken.
                I have often thought how exhausting life must be when everything you do and say is a con, then keeping up with the lies that constantly spew from your mouth.
                Rotting from the inside out, love the thought. There will come a day when no one will care about what they do for a living and no matter how charming and funny they are, they will only get pitiful looks, that’s when they will be left to sit and stew in their own shit.

          • Two lines in his email to the OW would have made me cut and run and milk him for every cent I could get out of him….
            – he decided to be 80% happy (with me) rather than lose 50% of everything.
            – he does love me, but he’s not “in love with me”
            Along with the fact that he is apologizing to her. WT FuUUUCKKKK!
            What a piece of shit.
            I’ve personally have made a million mistakes with men but with a lot of therapy and shoul searching along with being single and enjoying my life for two years, my self esteem is too high to stick around for assholes like him.
            Fuck that. I hope yours is too DACA. FUCK HIM!
            Remember, HE IS JUST NOT THAT SPECIAL. NO man is if this is how he views and treats you.

        • My friend’s husband did the exact thing you describe. He told his unsuspecting wife that he was leaving. There had been no arguments, no hints. He was blunt. He waited until the youngest was 18 so he would not have to pay child support. He actually said that. The creep then went on a dating bender for two years. Married again and then came back and told my friend it was the dumbest thing he had ever done. She was so over it. She had spent years making sure he was happy. After he left she made sure she is. She is one of my best friends and I can tell you she never looked back.

        • I completely agree with this 100%! My ex was talking to a lawyer for months before I found out he cheated again. In that time, he bought a new car and two motorcycles and gave one of the motorcycles to the OW. When I found out and we separated, my first move was to cancel the joint credit card and then transfer half the money from our joint bank account into my own savings account. I also got my own attorney. Since division of our assets was nowhere near equal (most of the crap was his), we tallied up the cost of the assets and that was factored into the amount I got when being bought out of the house. I made sure I kept the proof and demanded that BOTH motorcycles be put on that asset list. The OW meanwhile did not pay anything towards the motorcycle she was given and their relationship quickly bit the dust before our divorce was even final.

          Also, please look for and print out any proof of money he may have been spending on mistress gifts. Consult an attorney to see if you can be reimbursed for your half of those marital funds in court. A lot of attorneys offer a free consultation. So, it doesn’t hurt to go to one or to several different ones.

  • Also, when a liar leaves a damning secret email account open while gone, whether subconscious or conscious, the desire to be discovered is apparent. Why be so careful and calculating only to forget now? I think there could be intention behind this holiday “gift”.

    I am so sorry. Support to you.

      • Someone who wants to keep things secret – and who has successfully done so for so long – doesn’t just accidentally leave his email open one day when he goes out of town, leaving you unfettered access.

        Until I went No Contact, I didn’t realize that many of my discoveries were orchestrated. He would “accidentally” leave his Facebook account open, his phone unlocked, etc. It was part of the mindfuck – always just enough information to make me feel crazy while allowing him to rage about my “trust issues” when confronted. He got to feel important in a very sick way for a very long time.

        Your H set this one up, DACA. That’s my theory.

        I’m really sorry you’re going through this. I don’t have any advice to give you, since it took me a really long time to leave and it’s too fresh for me to make sense of yet. But I remember those days/nights of feeling sick to my stomach, so anxious I’d be shaking, knowing a huge blowout was coming if I confronted him on what new information I’d found. But I could never stay silent and he would be steadfast in his lies; I once had an email from one of many OW admitting to sex and he still called me crazy and denied it all. On top of it, he’d turn it all around, literally screaming about how awful I was and how much he hated me until I would relent to salvage my own shards of sanity for just that day. Then he’d punish me with distance I could never breach, no matter how much I begged. Your letter takes me back to those sad days and I’m really sorry that you had such a terrible Christmas, knowing what you faced. Just know you’re not alone.

        I also 100% understand your paralysis. Leaving three years after DDay was like chewing off my own arm – I didn’t want to do it (still don’t) and was desperate to find signs of change in his every action, even to the bitter end. It’s so counterintuitive to suddenly grow boundaries and standards after years of neglecting them, especially when we’ve been so isolated. I don’t know about you, but I spent a lot of time lying to other people about the marriage, since I knew I’d come off as unstable if they knew what I had put up with for so long. It’s too “heavy” for the good, normal people to see the inside of such a sick relationship so their typical reaction is to run. The average person doesn’t get the whole sociopath, narcissist thing – they dismiss cheating and the associated gaslighting as you being bitter, at fault, etc. You learn to stay silent and keep your distance.

        So then you’re left with having to muster incredible, super-human strength at your lowest point with nowhere to turn anymore. You have to dust off the boundaries and self-worth you perhaps never even had in the first place in a really isolated place, giving up everything you know to leave someone you still love. You have to call lawyers, fight over assets, move, sell the house, explain to children and loved ones, all while struggling to keep a job and not simply roll over and die. Then you have to weather life alone and suddenly have to do everything you’d previously shared responsibility for, even it if was with a total asshole, alone – from carrying groceries and sharing bills to decorating the Christmas tree and planning for retirement. It’s fucking brutal and breathtaking in its pain. And as the final act of cruelty, you get to watch your former spouse, the person who had promised to love you forever, skip into the sunset with their true love while you contemplate spending life alone. You realize you probably never really meant anything to your X anyway and all your suffering was for nothing – they just picked up and soldiered on to their next target(s) with their laserbeam of sparkles in tow, like the past decade or two meant nothing.

        I don’t have any answers for you but there are many people on this site who have been through all of that and have come out the other side.Their mightiness and clarity is what keeps me coming back to CN. Today is six weeks of No Contact for me. It’s sick and counterproductive but I still check out his social media and am heartbroken with every stupid Instagram picture of him having fun in his new fabulous life, each eliciting dozens of “likes” from his followers. Yup, I’ll just eat my oatmeal alone this morning in my tiny apartment with nowhere to be and no one to see.

        All that being said, one thing I think about on my better days, and it may help you, is that staying meant I would never have been OK – ever. As CL says, this pain is finite. I’d still be waking up at 3 a.m. in a panic, knowing I had to get out. The devil I knew was still the devil. I’d still be engaged in the battle for remorse and change, trying to extract love from someone who had none for me. I’d still be begging for affection (literally), trying to convince him I was worth loving through years of fruitless efforts – I think we saw four therapists in the past decade, maybe more. Nothing worked – not therapy, or vacations, or new lingerie. I couldn’t love him out of it, I couldn’t hate him out of it, I couldn’t cry him out of it, or beg enough, or try hard enough, or pull another 360, or dye my hair a different colour, or lose weight, or get a better job, or find more friends, or wear better clothes, fein indifference, pretend it never happened, pretend to be cool with it, and on and on. I kept getting angrier and older, farther down the rabbit hole. And he was OK with it all. He was, frankly, very Meh about me, as long as I didn’t encroach too much on his space with my expectations. He was OK watching me slowly wither and die.

        Eventually, I faced a decision. It was like that movie, 127 Hours: cut off my own arm (my H) to save my life or die stuck. I definitely wish I didn’t have to make it. But I have my dignity and a second chance now. It’s up to me to make something of it.

        You’re me in 2012, 2013, 2014 and most of 2015. Regardless of what you choose, DACA, you have my support and understanding.

        • Oh SAD, that is fucking horrible, I’m so glad you found the courage to get out.

        • You explain the pain so well. Pain getting head over heel into love with a narcissist, pain getting out. I too am still in love, but am very strong in my boundaries. I still have this sick hope that he will prove to me in more than words that he has changed, but he doesn’t. The holidays were hard alone. You are so correct in saying that at least the pain away is finite. If we stay the pain, the hope, the disappointment, the trashed self-esteem go on forever. I too sit and eat oatmeal with nowhere to go and no one to see. However, I stay the hell away from social media! On top of all of this, I have 5 year old to try to fake happiness for, who wants all of my attention and I sometimes resent doing it alone too.

          Good luck to us all and here’s to a better New Year (even if all we can muster is “slightly” better)

        • Sad. I’m a few weeks behind you but this speaks to my core. I’m on the other coast and feel your pain. Wish I could give you a hug. Your words are inspirational to me. I wish you nothing but strength.

        • Sad, you are me. I am seven months past my last discovery of a secret cell phone for the girlfriend he finally left me for. After five years of coming and go, false reconciliation, hoping he would change, being constantly criticized and belittled and still I was trying, trying so hard to get him to love me. Instead, I heard about how wonderful the girlfriend was. And yes- the discovery of the cell phone was most probably the chicken’s way to get me to kick him out. I loved what you said: trying to extract love from someone who didn’t have any for you. Me too. I knew something was horribly wrong and I hid it from friends and family. We went to three different marriage counselors and he lied to every one of them. And yes, he ran off into the sunset with the OW and left me with all the bills. So even though I am left for dead, at least no one is lying to me anymore. Will the pain pass? I don’t know. I am sure it will lessen. But I spent five years fighting for cake and now I am just fighting to keep the roof over my head. I can’t get those five years back but I can look ahead to a better life. What kind of life is it to be married to someone who is killing your soul? A real marriage is stable. You watch each other’s back. You trust each other. You tell the truth and you stick, no matter what happens. Like you, I am heartbroken. My friends and family didn’t and don’t understand why I continued to take the treatment I didn’t deserve. But when you are with someone who is crazy it makes you crazy. DACA, if you don’t pull the trigger now you will be like me, and will have lost another five years, ten years, whatever. He has a dream of the OW that he won’t let go. Let him go and let her have to deal with his shit. Get some peace. In five minutes, he will turn from nice into angry and vindictive, as my stbx has. He has shown you who he is. Pay attention.

            • Sad, you are me over the past 4 years. You are recovering from a trauma bond. The gaslighting, disrespect, secret accounts, sending OW money. Telling others we are separated to manage his image, but not telling us. With occasional kibbles for us, like flowers, sex or a card. It reinforces the bond. You have a form of PTSD. A therapist specializing in this area may help. You did the right thing to stop the madness. I’m at about 10 days of NC. It is like withdrawing from a drug.

          • Lostandfound, that is the most succinct explanation of what chumps go through that I’ve read in a long time. Big hugs to you and DACA, LISTEN.

            • Sad in Seattle. That was the most eloquent expression of what it feels like to go through this shit that I have ever read. Thank you for giving a voice to our pain.

              Also “What kind of life is it to be married to someone who is killing your soul?” should be carved in stone somewhere.

              • My H during this time was totally ruining my health and I knew it. He was toxic and I was getting sick.
                Emotionally, nervously and anxiety sick.
                I pulled the plugged a kicked him out. Another set of emotions.

                Boy, but do those HARD decisions hurt.
                To save your health, I knew I had to remove myself.

                And, no need to repeat this, but please, put the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then save the children and get the hell away from the plane crash.

                It’s not easy, you are burned badly, but you WILL recover.
                I wish you strength.

          • Sad and lost, your words reflect everything I have been through too. Word for word. Thank you for sharing.

        • Sad — you are UNBELIEVABLY MIGHTY! Your having come as far as you have, and being able to process and express your feelings and experience as you have done here, leaves me no doubt you will be happy someday. Truly, peacefully, happy. Keep on your track. It’s still early days for you. One word of advice — No Contact includes No Social Media Stalking. Stop that now for your peace of mind.

          DACA, listen to Sad please, and everyone one else here. As for your children . . . The best thing you can do for them is model healthy, genuine living. Your husband is the furthest thing from either healthy or genuine. The less contact they have with them, the more likely they can lead healthy, genuine lives themselves.

          I know all this for sure. I was where you both are now, in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, with three children. I am really Happy Now, and so are they. And when we witness how disordered their father is, we know it’s HIM, not us. We know how to spot it, and avoid it, and refuse to accept it, in orhers.

        • You put into words my experience exactly. Thank God for my kids, my family & the few friends who actually stuck around after-they keep me going and give me reasons to smile. I’m still working on finding my own happiness outside of others-almost a year out now, but it is soooooo much better than the alternative hell I lived in for over 2 years. I too told no one until he was on his way out the door. It was & still is a lonely lonely road, but you will find that you are stronger than you ever thought possible. And the abuse won’t just end once he’s out…he’ll turn the tables real quick & everything you do & say will be wrong. The gaslighting will continue, the blame shifting will be constant. But the difference is you have stopped dancing. Those of us w/ children can’t go no contact and it sucks! So you just have to cut him off emotionally-make it all business. Don’t feed into his attention seeking behavior. I had it written in to our divorce decree that we meet at a half way point when he drops off our son. So I never have to go to his new love nest-one of the best things I did! And it drives him crazy-he still tries to convince me to pick him up there, that I’m sending my son a bad message by refusing. The message I’m sending my son is that there are consequences for bad behavior and I will not compromise my values because he has compromised his. Once a cheater always a cheater. I truly believe this. Especially if you stick around after – then he knows he can cheat & you will still be there. No consequences. Cheaters are 100% selfish-it’s all about then in the end. His affair partner will get hers eventually. Or even better she will cheat in him- she left her boyfriend of 15 years for my Ex-a match made in heaven! They started their relationship cheating, they’ll end it that way. That’s Karma. And I will continue to take care of my children & myself and maybe, just maybe I’ll find a good guy.

        • Thank you SAD for expressing OUR story so well. I empathize with just about everything you wrote; even eating oatmeal alone in the kitchen. I didn’t believe in the concept of cheaters wanting to get caught until I started following CL. I first found out about my STBX’s affair when he was texting her, while sitting six inches away from me on an airplane. I was in denial for months, refusing to believe that he couldn’t be stupid enough to be having an affair and texting his whore while sitting next to me. Now, looking back, I can name dozens of similar incidents that were equally “in my face.”

          • It’s the in the face aspect that makes it so ugly. Mines been calling the whore for hours right in front of our kids. He uses his native language which they don’t speak. Daughter just realized it and is disgusted.

        • Wow SAD, this explains the pain exactly. I don’t think I’ve ever read such an accurate description of how it feels. I’m so sorry you are going through this but very happy for you that you are on the road to freedom. Stay mighty

        • Sad in Seattle – I can identify so well with your post, you explain it so well. I hope you continue with NC and heal. I’ll just say try to stop looking at his social media, I know it’s hard, block them – not for them, but for you. It’s process and you’ll get there when you’re ready!

        • SAD, like Valerie says, thanks for sharing OUR story. It is very difficult to make people understand about the blameshifting and the gaslighting and all the lies that we spackled over to “be able” to have an “intact family”. I’m two years out and this is my third set of holidays. It does get better over time. I had my “intact family” with me for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I finally came to the conclusion that I had had my intact family with me all along. My intact family had always consisted of my children and myself. x was just a spectator in our lives, I just didn’t see it at the time.

        • Sad…were you married to satan also??!!! Wow.

          I know it ripped your heart out to write that but thank you! Every word expressed my experience exactly.

          …unfortunately everything you said is exactly right…run DACA, run quickly away from him and the abuse you are suffering. You are worth more than his intact bank account and assets. Run for your life.

          satan was watching me die also…and enjoying the show.

          • Oh yes, Jeep. I too was married to Satan. Very successful and sparkly, kind of like Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate.

            For those of us suffering, I really wish for a better 2016. And I’m glad my experience resonated. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone. Thank you, CN.

            • SAD, what you wrote gave me chills. It’s that echoing loneliness that gnaws at the heart. When I look back now, I was just as lonely when my marriage was intact, though I couldn’t name it. I think it’s worse to feel that loneliness when they are sitting right across from you. You have you, and that all you’ll ever need. Wishing you happiness and peace in the coming year.

              • Thank you, UEB. You too!

                I was pretty lonely in my marriage too. But I also felt angry a lot. I remember how X would refuse to sleep in the bed, instead camping out on the couch for several years, withholding affection. Beds during vacations were a struggle too. We went to Salem last year and it was like antiquing with a great aunt.

                It was lonely and I’d feel so angry that he could be so heartless, knowing how much I loved and needed him. But that was the fun part for him – denying me. It would have been such a simple thing – sleep in the comfortable bed with his wife – but the game of keep-away gave him all the thrills he needed, especially when I’d confront him every few month, crying and begging. Then he could huff and puff and tell me how awful I was, turn it all around, and say it was my fault all along that he didn’t want to sleep beside me or with me.

                Aside from being a narcissist, I’ve had a good friend, who is also a therapist, and who has know him for years too, tell me she thinks X is gay, as does her husband and numerous acquaintances through the years. Probably explains a lot. He came from a very religious family. His frenetic woman chasing, punctuated with the odd transsexual prostitute, adds up to something other than vanilla anyway. I’ve heard narcissists also withhold sex to punish. But there were a lot of weird things with him – lights always off, no kissing, etc. Don’t care either way about someone’s sexuality – just don’t hurt other people because you can’t face who you are.

                When I get weepy, my good friend tells me to be happy it will be some other sucker from now on who gets to have a terrible, puzzling sex life with the psycho. Still miss hearing him sneeze in the morning, making his coffee, walking around. Miss having a buddy to hang out with on NYE.

              • Wow, SIS. You are NOT alone. We never had intercourse before we were married – no big deal, as I was getting him off and his ‘religious upbringing’ said, no intercourse. When we married, I thought I made the biggest mistake of my life. The guy didn’t care for fucking SEX! I can’t tell you how I tried to keep my body in shape during those 20’s, 30’s & 40’s and he never really paid attention. Actually, NEVER!

                OK, so I settled with this for 35 yrs.
                I brought it up a few times and he always said, he was different. And, at least I’m not like my Uncles side of the family (who all cheated). And, oh – btw, he’s ready to shoot his head off cuz he’s such a ‘failure’. Yeah, that’s good.

                Well, I always thought he was gay. I mean, you don’t even like to insert a finger in your wive’s vagina? And, say, it’s because you remind him of his mother and it feels dirty to him. No bag rubs or back tickles? Yanno – anything, something?

                I figured I was the only one who could ever put up with a sexless marriage and his idiosyncracies and, boy, was I wrong. The town byclist got hold of him – probably with a b/j, and the rest is history.

                I swear, he is no better in the sack with her and I do think he prefers men to this day.

                I’ll never know but it pisses me off sacrificing 35 of my sexual years.
                That’s on me.
                Not sure if I’ll ever get it back.

              • I wanted to add that my X insisted on separate bedroom from the very start. He was a light sleeper and I was a heavy sleeper. He said I kept him awake and his work was too important. Yep, holidays were hard, we had to get adjoining motel rooms so he’d have his own ‘space’. We built a dream home on the coast and he built me an adjoining room to the master bedroom with the view, that he added major sound proofing iron to, or something. No windows in it. I slept in it once and said, forget it, and moved to the guest room. It was SO hard to explain that ‘steel room’ to people visiting. I said it was for possibly a future nursery – hah. We never had sex, how could we have a kid. I tore it out shortly after.

                Long story short, he purposely denied me the most intimate of emotions of all…making love. I wanted to make love in every room of our new house…I was absolutely going crazy.

                But, when he was gone, and the hurt started to subside, I realized….I was in one hell of a lonely, unhappy marriage. And, really glad *I* wasn’t the one that cheated because of our issues.

                Nah, he took the exit easy route out.

                Hope he finds what he’s looking for with his new sports car.

              • Now you guys have got me wondering as well. There was never a preamble – like back rubs, little intimate touches, a kiss on the neck. In fact, when he did touch me outside of the bedroom (which was very seldom) it never conveyed love or lust. If he did put his arm across my shoulders, it would just lay there. More like when you put your arm around someone you don’t know very well. My son once said to me, “Mom, you hug with your heart. Dad hugs with just his arms.” I was gobsmacked! That was a perfect description.

                The sex? Eh. In the dark, terrible kisser, same exact moves EVERY time. I felt like he was using my body to masterbate instead of him making love to me. Thought it was because he was a narc and there were no feelings involved, which was true for him. But now I’m really wondering about his sexuality. He was a complete metrosexual, had more shoes and clothes than me, always has a variety of different scented lotions on his counter to choose from, several different shampoos and conditioners in his shower. Hell, he was using Estée Lauder products when I met him!

                I, too, mourn the fact that I accepted lukewarm sex and absolutely no emotional intimacy for so long. That is on me. My fault for not thinking I deserved more. I tried discussing it with him numerous times and he would just shut down.

                I don’t really believe he had an affair for sex. He did it because he needed someone who didn’t know him very well to tell him he was a great guy. Which he wasn’t.

              • “I don’t really believe he had an affair for sex. He did it because he needed someone who didn’t know him very well to tell him he was a great guy. Which he wasn’t.”

                Wow, for us in a sexless marriage, this is the best thing I’ve read in a long time.
                Makes a lot of sense.

                It bugged me a lot because I thought we had a ‘deal’ – yanno, I give you h/j, b/j’s once a week and you stay faithful. Unspoken of course, but I always felt I satisfied him….but never got anything in return.

                Makes me a little bitter today, but it IS my fault. I get that.

              • I’ve also read that sex with narcissists is very similar – emotionless, shallow, selfish, like you might as well be a plastic doll. So it’s a tough one.

                I never got anything in return either. And, like you, he had a closet full of expensive suits, more shoes than me, an enormous tie collection, and so on.

                Who knows. All I know is, that God he’s gone.

        • Sad, of all the things I did early on, blocking the MOW on Facebook was crucial. And once Jackass started actually using his FB account for something other than a messaging conduit for his affair with MOW, I blocked him too. I was already in so much pain that blocking them didn’t ease it–it was just a way to stop the cycle of obsessing over what they were doing. 2 years and 3 months out, I don’t care what either of them do. But blocking them kept me from the temptation of looking at the fictional version of their lives. It kept me focused on my own. I put more of my energy into Pinterest, which for me was far more private and a good tool for “visioning” my own life. You are only 6 weeks “no contact” and at the height of the pain–when it seems endless. But there will be a day when you are outside in the sun, in the middle of doing something you love, and you will think “I am happy” and “life is good.”

          • I hope that happens, Loved. Right now, the pain does seem endless and devastating.

            I like what you said about social media: it is his fake life. He uses it for “likes” and to look like the silly, stand up guy he pretends to be. It’s kind of pathetic, really, for a 44 year old. His Instagram is full of puppies, work, and him doing funny poses that are intended to portray him as a lovable goofball. And it seems to be working. His ignorant followers appear to be eating it up. Even our (my former, now his) friends. I want to scream, “Do you not know who this asshole really is? It’s not real! The emperor has no clothes!”

            I have a feeling he’s playing sad sausage and probably has been for a really long time. I come out looking like the crazy one and he gets the support he doesn’t deserve.

            • Sad you pretty much summed up my entire marriage- constant little bombshells left for me to find, just enough to keep me off kilter so he could claim I had trust issues from my last marriage, that it wasn’t him it was ME. And it was all gaslightibg and bullshit.

              These people are sick, they get off on our pain. They need to be shed from our lives as completely as possible as soon as possible.

              • Thank you, Gepster. It’s so heartening to hear that from you and everyone. Today, unlike most days, I don’t feel alone. We’re all in this together. Thank you thank you thank you.

              • Yes, SAD…. you summarized my entire story. Same shit different people. It is unfortunate that she is in shock and denial with her senses in background. She has to leave and hooefully she does and conrols the outcome. I hope.. 23 years and I was blindsided given 5 days to leave… i ended up in apt on air mstress for over a year. So painful the process but I truly never been more at peace.

            • SAD, ask yourself before you look at his Facebook page whether it will help you or hurt you. If you’re honest, the answer will be “it will hurt me” every time. Then choose to do the thing that will help you. Call a friend, take a walk, go dancing, whatever makes you feel better. This helped me to break the desire to look at what my ex was doing and was instrumental in healing. It is like kicking an addiction. I never had empathy for what people go through to kick a drug habit, but going NC with a man who was in my life daily for 36 years certainly opened my eyes to how hard it can be. Best of luck to you, it really does get better. You will be happy again.

              • Thank you, Lyn. I stopped looking till Christmas Day then started again. Some of it, I think, was sadness for him, hoping he had a dinner to go to and people to eat it with, and some was that I missed him.

                I had stopped for a whole week before that, after his lawyer got in touch with mine. It felt so final at that moment. I thought he may reach out, tell me we should talk and stop with the lawyers – but no, didn’t happen. I think that was the worst pain that I ever felt.

                When I look at his social media, I feel like I’m seeing something that I have no part of anymore, like I’m backward or a stalker. He is so flirtatious but it’s not for me, it’s for his new target, it’s impression management.

                I think the desire is diminishing anyway.

        • Wow. That is exactly how I described it to my STBX…I had to chew off my own arm to save my life. I can’t imagine ever going through more pain than that.

        • Sad in Seattle, thank you. You have written my post-apocalyptic story, too. It’s especially glaring around the holidays. I thought I was living in Bedford Falls. Turns out it was Pottersville all along.

          X didn’t skip a beat; Skanky eagerly slithered right into my place for all of our traditional family gatherings.

          I’m lonely now, but no longer feel worthless or diminished. I’d rather eat crackers and fluff out of the jar on Christmas Eve alone than still be married to that asshole. I hold no illusions that our traditional family gatherings were anything more than a really bad act.

          I still believe I will have a wonderful life.

          • I love that movie, Chutes. I think you will have a wonderful life, as will I and all of us on CN, eventually.

            The message I take away when I watch it every Christmas Eve is a wonderful life is built from love, hard work, sacrifice and kindness. (I get goosebumps every time he prays, “I want to live, God, let me live.”)

            The movie is so powerful because it’s not one of those sugar-coated holiday flicks, imo. George wasn’t sparkly, just steadfast and good. And his life meant something because of it.

            • Sad-I am so sorry for what you have endured. For about a year after Dday 2, I often found myself clenching my fists to the point where my fingers would ache when thinking about or talking about my ex. I thought it was out of anger, but my therapist told me it was actually a protective reaction and was a result of PTSD. I didn’t want to believe him when he suggested that. Although, when I really sat down with the feeling, and allowed myself to try to breathe through it, I realized he was exactly right. What I thought was my anger was really anxiety and the psychological fight (of the fight or flight fame 😉 ) at the thought that the pain would come rushing to the surface again. It was almost too much for me to bear.

              That being said, I sometimes wonder if I loved my ex more because his fake persona was so “lovable” to everyone, or because there was some part of me that was drawn to righting the fact that I was the only one that could never seem to fully please Mr. Fraudulent Predator. Like all of us chumps, it was probably a mix of both.

              Sad-please, please, please do not allow yourself to live too long in feelings of sorrow for that POS who ripped your heart out and gleefully stared at you as you watched him squeeze it in his hands. I always used to say that I stayed at first, because I loved him so much, but that is BS. Love can be described in a myriad of ways by different people…friendship, passion, loyalty, respect, etc., but I am positive that no one worth having in your life would describe it as power, control, abusive or destruction.

              Your pain will lessen. Truthfully, it may never end completely, but it will get to the point where it’s like stepping on a rock, instead of having a knife shoved in your gut. That is progress!

        • Sad, you are MIGHTY! Your eloquent post brought me to tears thinking of the pain we’ve all been through. You are strong and smart and it does get better.
          Daca, please know you deserve better. CN is here for you. Love and healing to all.

        • Mine was a little different. It wasn’t that he wanted to get caught. It was that he was cheating so frequently for so many years that this behavior, in his own mind, became normal. He started out deleting every text and hiding every email, but after 9 years of never getting busted, he was just so used to it, he stopped being careful or paranoid. He stopped deleting his text messages. I finally caught him when I went to use his computer one day, and his secret email account was open on the screen. He had actually convinced himself that “I must have known,” because he was so far down the rabbit hole, and he so often forgot to lock his phone, and I’d never said anything. Of course I never knew. I just never rifled through his phone or email because, well, why would I?

          • Same here–after at least 8 years of massive cheating, mine got sloppy and forgot he’d left his notes about his sexual harassment appointment in the pocket of his computer bag, & sent me there to check if he’d left his wallet in the pocket.

            • As they say, first liar doesn’t stand a chance. X brought in all of MY clothes out our motorhome one day. I was shocked. Why? He said – thought you needed them. This was a home we used 1/2 the year – they were my m/h traveling clothes. He was so fucking bold about all this shit. And, I had no clue what was going on.

              Since he was fucking his whore in my house (as well as our motorhome), who moved in while I was at dog shows, he made so many stupid mistakes. Always changing our bedding JUST as I arrived home. doh – like wha? He’d never washed our sheets in our married life – and here he is, almost bragging, that he’s washing the sheets on our bed.

              When I saw he put the garbage out one day early, I was really curious but couldn’t bring myself to go thru the bag. He claimed he’d had Cioppino – I’m like wha?? We’ve never had that dish…anyway, said the seafood shells stunk so he put the garbage out early. Yup, I dug a little into the bag and found an entire pack of butts from smokes the Trollop smoked – Camels, with a brown filter. (she was my best friend at the time)
              I absolutely couldn’t put my head into the pig-slop after that.

              Anyway, all his stupid tricks added up.
              I have more.

              But, WHO did he think he was kidding, anyway?

              What a stupid jerk and I hear his health is failing.

        • Sad, it’s true. It took me ages to stop looking at his Facebook. I’m not sure exactly what I was clinging to or what good I thought it could possibly do.

          At some point though, I just stopped cold turkey, and it was easiest that way.

          We have no kids and he’s in another country, so once the divorce was finalI was able to go completely NC and never look back.

          Divorce was final last July. The other day, my mom, who is a nosy gossip and rather vindictive, said she had looked on his Facebook page through her link to his mother’s page that was still active with her, and maybe I wanted to see his latest pictures because he looked old.

          I just stared at her in disbelief and asked why she was even bringing up his name, and no, I had no interest in even knowing he still existed, much less in seeing anything about his social media, and that in the future I would appreciate it if she didn’t ever mention that again!

          Trust me Sad… There will cone a day very soon when you realize how productive it is to let all that go, and how hurtful it is to go back there, and you will just stop. And then you will smile for realizing how far you’ve come!

          One day when you are feeling particularly strong, I suggest getting it set in your mind that you will never look again. Unfriend him if you haven’t. And JUST.DON’T. GO. BACK. THERE. Ever again.

          Hang in there. Be strong.

    • Yup-he wants out and left the e-mail open deliberately. He’s a pig. Run, don’t walk to a lawyer and get out. Also, enough of protecting the kids, they should know that their Dad is a pig. They may still love him, but I don’t believe keeping the truth from your kids is protecting them at all.

      • yep- my ex left his phone out. The same one he’d never leave alone for months. No password lock or anything. He wanted to get caught. Zero balls. Print everything out and hide it and lawyer up. You deserve better!

        • Yup, that was deliberate on his part. Mine left a flash drive full of crotch shots, sects with other women and porn next to the computer knowing I was going to be at the computer and that I look through the flash drives.

          He’s manuvering you into being the one to end the marriage. Just this once you should oblige him. He’s a bastard and he’s using you and your kids. Fuck him.

          • DACA, I am so sorry to hear that you dealt with this over the holiday. He wanted you to read those email. He wants you to be the “bad guy” so he can save his image. It all comes out and people will see him for what he really is; the mask will slide away. It has been 14 months for me since D-DAY and 3 months since my divorce was final. Every day is another breath of fresh air without the lying, manipulation gas lighting, projection and constant “marriage policing” that caused me to lose 48 pounds and my hair. =( I was the one who filed because as others have already pointed out with their cheaters, my ex was a coward and wanted to be the victim. You are in the right place. This group of strong individuals will always support you. Hugs!

        • They are all spineless cowards. Don’t tell the truth to hide everything and hurt you less by at least being honest. Just keep the emotional abuse going until you are ready to die from the pain. Big string alpha male my ex claims to be but scared of me my wrath, my tears my pain but only interested in how bad he hurt his girlfriend. And extremely sad cause I hate her and she didn’t do anything and wants to be my friend. Right so they can both feel better about what they’ve done. Destroy my family cause she was on the prowl. Just as much her fault as his. What I want to be her friend so she can sleep with my next guy if I have one. All three of her husbands cheated on her so she does it to another woman without thought of the damage. Fuck both of them. Big fat ugly cowards the lot of them.

          • “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”

            – William Shakespeare

            Cowards they will always be, as they unknowingly wait for the Karma Bus to arrive. And when that happens – surprise, Gutless Wonders! Let the ass-kicking begin!

            DACA, he has checked out of your marriage, and he did it a long time ago. Does it matter if you’re the one to leave? Honestly? Then he can recite the bullshit mantra of so many cheaters: “I tried everything I could to save my marriage/relationship..” ad nauseum.

            That’s what mine did when I moved out, and I didn’t give a rat’s ass. I still don’t.

            As the saying goes, the one with the microphone gets to tell the story. But you know the truth. Walk in it – away from him.

            If mutual friends/family members ask you what happened, tell them that truth, and it doesn’t hurt to show them a few emails/texts from him and the OW if they’re incredulous.

            Sending you hugs as you go through this.

            • Standing O Bodica!!! LOL!!

              Cowards they will always be, as they unknowingly wait for the Karma Bus to arrive. And when that happens – surprise, Gutless Wonders! Let the ass-kicking begin!

              I think the bus arrives as soon as we walk out the door! 😀

            • Absolutely tell people the truth. His shame is not yours! Don’t hide it. Do it with dignity and keep your head held high.

            • The XPOS I was with kept saying to me that he is NOT a coward. That he would face me and tell me the truth if he wanted out. What a LYING COWARD!!!!!!!!!!

    • 100% agree! He left that account open so she would find it. He wants her to know that he is gaming her. During my brief attempt at reconciliation, X “accidentally” left a throw away phone on the front seat of his car on a day he knew I would be in it with him. I will always believe he wanted me to find that damn thing, despite his loud protestations to the contrary. When he threw it out the window as we were driving, despite claiming he had only used it a “couple of times”, I knew it contained enough information to show me all his so-called work on our marriage was a sham.

      • It’s no fun to game someone without their realizing it….the fun for him is her pain on discovery she’s been gamed.

    • I agree. My experience was similar. My ex left his phone visible while he had been texting the OW. I was pregnant and had low blood sugar the evening he left me to go see her. I discovered he had seen her when she sent the text at 3 AM stating she understood why he couldn’t stay out.

      On another occassion, days after Mother’s Day and my grandmother’s death he left his phone with another message from OW.

      This same individual waited until my birthday to sign the divorce decree. I politely thanked him for
      Giving me”the best gift ever.”

      Your husband probably chooses Christmas for a reason. It’s characteristic of those with unhealthy levels of narcissism to wait until momentous occasions to “pull the trigger.”

      Lawyer up and keep smiling. I wished that I’d done that even haven been given the advice to do so. Unfortunately while I was nursing my newborn , grieving both my mothers and grandmother’s death, and chasing a toddler he was destroying evidence of physical abuse , all the while going to counseling with me and seeing the OW.

      I share my story to say that yes they can go to three different counsellors and chri h groups eye-we went to them all- but it always comes down to money.

    • Me too. He “accidentally” left open an email to a divorce attorney. I now don’t believe it was accidental no matter how much he lied. I don’t think he expected me to show up at his job to confront and embarrass him a half hour later though. They are sneaky cowards.

    • I don’t agree that they want to get caught. They’re lying all the time. They get comfortable with it, and it makes them lazy and complacent.

      This ass is a garden variety player. He’s lying to all his mistresses and his wife. They’re all getting used.

      • Well, you may be right. I did have a theory of him planning to sneakily find out what the financial damage would be before pulling the trigger.

        • However, he knew what he was planning was going to devastate me and he was probably too cowardly to face me.

          Who can figure them out.

  • I hate to say it, but continue as you are while YOU see a lawyer in secret and line up your ducks. He already met with a lawyer. My ex did the same damn thing, was seeing OW the entire wreckconciliation. Jedi Hugs LW!

    • Well said. It feels weird to lie. But they lie all the time. Oscar worthy performance coming up! Stage left. Do this and survive.

  • CL you put it pretty succinctly, although with less cursing than I would have used. DACA please take her advise and leave his ass, contact a lawyer today and get your ducks in a row and all that jazz. Something that is really bothering me is the “left open” email, from your description of his emails I think it’s not only possible but probable that he left that email open on purpose to get you to dump him. He wants out but is too much of a fucking coward to do it. I don’t think he has ended the affair at all, like CL says he doesn’t care about people he cares about money and himself. You and the kids don’t factor into the equation, proceed cautiously and get a pit bull lawyer to pull this all apart. Something just doesn’t smell right with an email being left open this time, I know it happens and maybe that is what this is just some luck on your part for finding it but I suspect something far more nefarious. All that and I only used one curse word, ok I retract my previous statement about not using more curse words. Fuck that asshole, fuck that slunty whore, and I hope you take his ass to the cleaners, and make him eat some big Ole shit sandwhiches, aww that’s better.

    • That didn’t occur to me, but you’re so right! It does sound like he could have wanted DACA to find out. My ShiTBoX was similarly cowardly.

      I still think DACA should keep quiet for now though. If he notices any change of behaviour in her, put in down to ‘holiday exhaustion’ or something.

      • No I agree that she should keep it under her hat for now, by leaving I meant eventually after she files and has evidence and such. I’m just a bit of a hot head and don’t think or type clearly when I’m pissed off (yea another curse word)

  • DACA- please listen to Chump Lady. I feel terrible for you. The pain you must be going through. But you must take charge of the situation. Listen to your gut, not your wounded heart.

    Two of my biggest regrets are not listening to / ignoring my gut feelings and confronting my ShiTBoX as soon as I found out I was a chump (and telling him everything I knew) rather than trying to be intelligent about the situation and getting professional advice first.

    So my advice to you would be to do the opposite of me- listen to your gut (which is probably telling you the relationship is effectively over) and don’t tell him what you’ve found, but get advice pronto.

    I would give you a big hug if I could. I feel your pain. Go and tell one of your best mates everything and get a massive hug. Xxxx

    • We chumps need to get together locally and in groups. It is so healing and helpful here. Wish I could hug all of you at least the local ones. I wouldn’t be here if not for chump nation.

      • I so would. Will there be wine? Have some hugs, maybe some tears. Then swap some cheater slating stories – and hopefully eventually turn those tears to laughter (I’m sure we’ve all got some stupid stories as well as sad ones).

        Hugs and giggles.

  • Daca,

    He’s lying; he lied to you in the past, and he is either lying to you right now, or to the OW. Either way, he’s a liar. Is that what you want in your life? A liar who is indirectly teaching your family that lying is somehow ok?

    I hope not.

    • That’s true, either way he is a liar. After D-Day, my cheater told me how he enjoyed the idea of taking advantage of OW; in his distorted mind, I was supposed to be amused. I was not. My reaction was, if he can do this to her, he can do this to me.

      • I have a friend that is a chump but she fell for this “idea of taking advantage of the OW… and I think that she fell for the “I was supposed to be amused” part too, which makes me feel actually icky typing this. But she will not be one of those “bitter, divorced” women, who have bad attitudes about people who are fighting to save their marriages. I shake my head at her ideas, plus she is mean to other people and always has to “win”. If she could only see that the husband she is fighting for is a turd, and he’s not at all sparkly even. Like someone else said in another reply, when you live with crazy they make you crazy.

      • Ummmmm…Your ex is despicable ChumpFromF. That is incredibly misogynistic and appalling (most of the male cheaters are of course though). Not only do they enjoy taking advantage of the OW, but they like taking advantage of us too. Maybe either situation is equally appalling to some, but I think I would be able to stomach my idiot cheater legitimately thinking he was “in love” (he did) over reveling in blatantly taking advantage of an OW for sport, whilst knowing it could destroy his relationship/family. Depraved. *Shiver*

  • Do not confront or even hint. Get your exit strategy in order. He is a ticking time bomb. Get yourself and your kids out of the way before it blows.

  • DACA, get the hell out. I’m being harsh because I was you for 23 years. I finally left after the known 3rd affair. You cannot change reality just to suit your needs. You’re not the only story teller here, unfortunately. You don’t get to spin your story your way because there’s an asshole using you. And you are letting him. In my multiple reconciliations in the past, I truly thought my cheating ex had changed. Yeah, we were “happy” for a few years until he went on the prowl again. It’s been 3 years since the final affair and my only wish is that I listened to my gut years ago rather than silencing it. Your gut is telling you something. Honor it.

    • DACA,
      This article helped me to understand why I was not able to immediately dump my serial cheater:

      I have had a couple of therapists, including the an MC tell me I am NOT classically codependent. However, conditioning by my abuser had resulted in me becoming co dependent on my cheater. In fact my serial cheater makes a big deal out of why he selected me as a target. It was because I was independent. 20+yrs with a narcissist will kill your independence, sense of self and self worth, and make you emotionally stuck to them.

      I can 100% relate to your story and Sad’s and most other’s as well. I was threatened with the “if you don’t fix this, I will leave when the youngest children are out of high school”. The worst part being married and in long term relationships with people like our spouses is validating you were abused. You have been conditioned slowly and for a long time to be “happy” with a crappy, one way marriage. You ARE being abused. If this were one of your children, what would you tell them to do? I would tell mine to GTFO.

      Get all of your finances together. Collect all cc receipts, loyalty point statements (mine liked to hide flights and expensive hotel on this method), document all of the times he is gone “for work”, screen shoot those emails, open up your own bank account and transfer $ to it. Open a safe deposit box and put all of the documents you are collecting in it. Try to do this concurrently with finding a very good attorney who has expertise in spousal abuse, narcissism, etc. Find a good therapist to help you heal your self and ideally work with your kids to overcome this situation.

  • I second everything said here – I also found out at Christmas & had to fake it through — I truly know how you feel — one additional word of advice —watch out for him spying on you through emails !! My ex had “mirrored” my email – receiving copies of everything I sent or received !!!

      • Mine read my emails (he got off on my pain) and also had control of the phone account so he saw when I contacted a tough lawyer & not the collaborative one he had wrapped around his finger!!! Guard your cell activity!

    • What is “mirroring emails” and how would we know if it was being done to us?

  • Eight years…
    That’s how long I journeyed through STBX’s relationship with another woman. Eight years that included high school and college graduations, a son’s enlistment, a 25th anniversary that included a party for 150 friends, and a second honeymoon. Eight years of wonderful, beautiful family moments, thoughtful gifts, and events and vacations with friends.
    Eight years punctuated with his gravitation back to the OW, complete with a cycle of promises to let her go.
    From my experience I can tell you, if his remorse and hurt are about her, he is not yours. And you deserve so much more. You deserve to be someone’s 100%! You deserve someone who has no room to even consider the heart of another woman. You deserve someone who will protect YOUR heart.
    It took me five years to put my foot down, only to be told I was hard to live with and OW was right for him. And that he knew for years our marriage was bad. It took me three more years to get out. And while I thought we were reconciling, he was lining up ducks. And OW was too by selling her home and divorcing her husband. Then he pushed me out of our home and painted me as the bad guy.
    None of us can tell you how to feel, but I hope you have the strength and courage to protect yourself now…financially and emotionally.

    • These assholes are cold. Don’t put anything past him, including lining up ducks. Mine saw a lawyer in January 2014 – almost a full year before we separated.

      And during the final wreckonciliation, I remember getting some iffy test results from my doctor. He just couldn’t hide it – his eyes lit up when he thought I might have some serious illness (I didn’t).

    • Man how do you even find someone like that. My picker is so broken. I’m going to therapy, but the thought of being lonely for forever is icky and finding a new someone is icky. I’m not divorced yet so I can’t date (and let me tell you I’m so glad I don’t have a new person lined up!!) but I hope to date someday.

    • These doucheblossoms are all the same. Similar story with my STBXW in terms of rewriting history, etc.

      It’s the same old bullshit with all of them. They need a villain in their distorted, disordered tales of justification, and they (secretly, and cowardly) nominated you, the faithful spouse.

      Serve them divorce papers. As zmichelle stated so well above, you deserve to be someone’s 100%!

    • Zm

      There is no real remorse for his wife or the OW. He’s spinning the tale for both of them. Remorse requires being sorry for your actions. He not demonstrating remorse to the OW he’s saying it will cost him money. And using your children to dump the OW is laughable. He’s a narc and is weighing his options on how it impacts him, no one else.

    • Zmichelle- omg. My timing and story exactly. Eight years of on and off with the other woman. Back and forth with promises he was done with her. Only to be told at the end that it was never good between us. And he was worried all the time he was hurting her. The same story down to the last detail. I thought we were trying to reconcile while pos and ow were buying a house together in Florida and he was not bringing home any money, stashing it for their love nest. Even so I had to file and that brought the wrath of the permanent silent treatment because I finally stood up and filed for a divorce I don’t want.

      • Lost and found m, whenever I feel soft about my stbx, I will think about this! 8 years is tough. I’m so sorry. Mine has been 1 year and that’s been nuts. Don’t feel bad about the silent treatment though. My husband is filing and because of that I’m getting the silent treatment. I’ve been ridiculously kind but it’s not enough. It’s never enough. I do break the cardinal rule of narcissists though and I expose. That’s why mine is so mad lol.

  • Daca, I think Chump Lady pretty much covered it. At first I thought I was dealing with one or two affairs. Maybe we could get past it. The thought that helped me clarify things is, “What do I think life will be like 5 years from now if I stay?” And I just had to take my best guess. It wasn’t pretty. Because the bottom line was that I couldn’t trust him with my life and my happiness anymore. Reconciliation was just plugging the dam. Eventually, I believe, it would have all happened again. Or he would leave first when I was vulnerable. Or…there are so many more bad scenarios. Because he didn’t respect me, and he wasn’t likely to respect me more for staying. Sometimes it’s too overwhelming to make a decision about what’s going on right now. Look forward. Act. It’s hard, but frankly the options in this situation are never good ones. Take charge of your life, walk through the fire, and one day we will all end up on the other side with a life full of people who care about us and we can trust.

    • I should add that one or two affairs ended up being a whole marriage of lies and deceit. Sometimes there’s a lot more going on, but I’m not going speculate about your husband. In the end all you need to know is that he’s deceitful and can’t be trusted.

      • It’s like Dr. Phil says: You see one rat, there are 30 more hiding in the walls.

        • That’s a good one! I used to say that the ugly on the inside is showing on the outside. These cheaters are deceitful across the board.

    • Done now you’re so right. It’s incredibly hard to file for divorce from someone you still love but their actions cause it. You have the pain of being dumped plus the guilt of being the dumper.
      Sadly the mental freedom only comes a after the separation so you have to dig really deep to follow through. It’s hard but worth it.

  • Please dont waste any more precious years with this selfish, manipulative liar!Even if he is being “nice” now, you cant be sure if he is being sincere (unlikely) or is just manipulating you again. That is not a marriage. If you stay with him, you will always wonder…always feel unsure…because you cant trust him.

  • I’ve said this before: Even when you think you’re reconciling, you actually are not.

    • I agree Uniquelyme. The last time my stbx came back, he was even more cold and distant than usual. I now know that he was using that time to plot with the other woman to put money aside for when they started their ‘new’ life together. He wanted ‘a fresh start’. Apparently I didn’t figure into that scenario except for my financial assets.

    • “Even when you think you are reconciling, you are actually not,” SO true, Uniquelyme!!

      During the reconciliation phase, I later found out that the Xh was still spending money on jewelry, hotels, and other toys for the married howorker. They were still meeting up when the traveled for “work”, and the phone bill was reams of paper with calls and texts between them. I also found out he was getting finances in order, contacting a lawyer, looking for apartments in howorker’s town, and helping howorker with her divorce (isn’t that sweet!!). Whew…he was a very busy “repentant” fucker.

      I am so sorry I spent one minute in reconciliation. I wish I had the wisdom of Chump Nation at that time…as soon as you know, get your ducks lined up and hit that fucker where it hurts. Reconciliation is a sham!!!

  • When you are driving down a highway and a sign reads, “Road Closure Ahead”, you know to merge out of that lane. The road that is closed may lead you to where you thought you needed to drive, but you need to find another way. It’s frightening to drive to other exits not knowing where they will lead you, but you have no choice, your exit is closed.

    Whatever the reason for seeing the email you have seen it. You can’t unknow that you have read. Quietly seek the counsel of an attorney and figure out your exit. Staying in this lane with this man will only lead your family to a very bad place in the future.

  • Devastated, I know exactly how you feel. My ex and I worked REALLY HARD at counseling for a year after I discovered the first affair (which had been going on for two and a half years by then), and I celebrated our success at beating the odds and saving our marriage…only to discover that he had been faking me out throughout the entire process becase he didn’t want to give up his standard of lIving (I was primary earner). I did file for divorce, but was absolutely sick about the destruction *I* was causing our family and my inability to forgive…until I discovered Chump Lady. Reading all her past posts helped me grasp that HE was a disordered fuck wit narcissist who thought of absolutely no one but himself. He had no qualms about saying whatever was required to get the counselor to congratulate him for his ever-growing insight into his role in “our” problems, and all the while he was grooming his next crop of OWs.
    File for divorce, go no contact, and don’t even think about looking back. There is no hope for a marriage in which you are being so thoroughly lied to, both to your face and behind your back. It will suck, because you love him. But he doesn’t love you, and that knowledge is what will allow you to recover and find the mighty you within!

  • DACA, I’m sorry you had such a rough holiday (again!). I agree with the others. Bite your tongue and act like you are still on the same path as before you read those emails. I also agree he probably left it open on purpose. Get a lawyer and don’t forget to explain how you managed to read his emails. I just read last night on my attorney’s blog about knowingly reading someone else’s texts/emails being a computer crime. Obviously, that’s in my state but he was cautioning people to know the first. Best case scenario is it is legal where you are or it becomes inadmissible evidence. One of the many things I expect some day, is a ream of similar messages of this kind that Florence will be unable to resist sending me. The difference is, I already know Asshat is never going to change and if she does send me that kind of trash, I will pass it along to my lawyer.

    Your husband is a liar and a complete asshole. It’s hard to act like everything is okay (I have been doing it nearly eleven months) but you need to protect yourself and your children from the monster. He is not your friend and he is definitely not a good father or husband.

    • Reading an e-mail on a shared computer is not a computer crime. Hacking into an e-mail account is a different story. Sometimes those lawyer blogs paint with a broad bush. Given the amount of actual computer fraud out there, I would not be too concerned about reading open e-mails. Where a lot of people get in trouble is recording their partner’s conversations without consent; that is a felony in many states and is frequently prosecuted.

      • Yeah, I wasn’t very specific. My lawyer posted and explained the State Code regarding email/digital correspondence and tracking/recording. He always wants to make it clear that judges will see things differently. Reading, using, accessing etc someone’s email *can* be a misdemeanor here. I definitely come across as paranoid and overly law abiding (it’s the Canuck in me) 🙂

        • ….make it clear that DIFFERENT judges will see things differently. So where one would completely ignore it, some might choose to uphold the law.

  • Well Christmas Day sucked. (We’re Jewish so that isn’t what it would be to some people).

    Having previously confronted the Hobbit twice and him denying ( I had screenshots of their sexting unbeknownst to him) I have been both talking to a therapist and a lawyer. He is flying out on New Years Eve to his home country to visit her (claiming to be visiting friends) and I wanted to confront him before hand. Of course a little hopium remained and a small part of me wanted him to decide not to go although I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

    So I get the kids in the car to go on our annual NYC day trip (he never goes) and go back inside to confront. I wanted to be cold but of course emotions boiled over. He’d found on my phone some of the screenshots day before which I hadn’t wiped and Had been waiting to see what I would do after wiping them. I asked him if he ever gave a damn about his family and he was stone cold “of course I think about the effects of my actions”.. No apology no shock no emotion at all. Told him his actions were destroying his family and he insisted they weren’t.

    Then he got into the screenshots and I stupidly admitted I have other copies and he got nasty. Told me we could do this the easy way and he’d support me and the kids or the hard way where he would take everything I have and he’d leave me destitute. Insisted SHE didn’t deserve to be hurt or have anything happen that could ruin her poor whore. Insisted he’d let me snoop to get over my hurt feelings (I found the stuff by digging hard and he hid it pretty quickly when he realized there was a mistake) as if he’d been honest with me. Obviously painting himself as a better class of cheater.

    Wh had a blowout fight that turned into its all my fault. I suck. My low self esteem from the beginning doomed us. I’m selfish sexually. I stayed home with the kids when they were young. I put on weight after my second. I don’t make enough money. I made too much money and it humiliated him. I kept a big brown cushion he didn’t like. (Really). It devolved into self serving babble. Just nuts. Self pitying nuts.

    I spent the whole day fearful (he’s a vengeful and vindictive bastard) and talking things through with my awesome kids. It’s sad when your 14 year old has to tell you that your not crazy and yes Dad is difficult.

    Bizarrely he’s acting normal. He asked if the kids knew he was going away for the 10 days and then asked if we wanted to do it together like this was some prearranged mutual thing. I walked out. Of course he lied to the kids.

    I’m playing along and using the opportunity to get my ducks in a row. I told him I would file, obviously he wants me to be the bad guy but I don’t think he believes I’ll really do it. Maybe I’ve been a doormat so long that his expectation isn’t so surprising. I feel like such a chump. I am such a chump. Worse a chump to a whiny needy bastard.

    I used to wonder if his behavior and mood swings were depression. Then when I started to realize the emotional abuse BPD, quickly got to NPD and now I’m wondering if he’s a full on sociopath. He really seems to have nothing inside at all.

    • Sorry to read about what you’ve been through, It is the strangest, mind-fuckery thing when cheaters don’t show remorse, isn’t it? I just can’t understand it. There is something a bit inhuman about them, isn’t there? My ShiTboX (STBX) asks what my expectations are for remorseful behaviour. How creepy is that?! He doesn’t even know what remorseful behaviour looks like! Creepy.

    • Brown cushions? Really? Geez. Let the bastard go on his “trip.” You lawyer up and prepare all the financials. And gather that evidence. Please file. Nothing here to save. He’s an abusive fuckwit. I’m sorry.

      • Mine was, I threw away a filthy 30 dollar microwave when we moved in. Really. He did not mourn losing me or his stepdaughter, but Man, he sure did love that shitty WalMart microwave.

      • Yup. A big brown floor cushion that’s in the basement and supposedly stops the kids from plying down there. I asked him if his used cans of gum cutter, beer bottles and car batteries littering the property were grounds for me to fool around. Got the dead fish eyes.

        I’m letting him go on his trip. I do work and manage the money as he is too lazy and doesn’t like responsibility so I can get the financials in order. Evidence in safe place but lawyer says with disordered types it’s better to file irreconcilable differences and focus on not poking the sleeping dragon with a big stick. She’s great, very practical and goal oriented. Hard as it is it might be in my best interest to just convince him that he really wants to be with OW and to let him go. Let him feel all magnanimous and keep up the show in order to be free and clear with minimal fuss. We’ll see. I think he will turn.

        This blog is a life saver. I think you’ve put me forward years. Thank you.

    • This sounds like a total mind fuck. What a terrible experience. Be strong. You’re doing the right thing.

    • While he’s gone, copy EVERYTHING financial (including past tax returns, credit card showing costs of his affair, etc.), and run a credit report while you’re still married (run it on both of you). I did this after throwing my cheater out of the house and it meant I actually kept 50% of the marital assets (as opposed to the 10% he was offering).

      • p.s. That includes retirement statements from when you were first married; anything in the accounts between then and now is community property.

    • So sorry! My ex said a bunch of crap too. Even this one coworker was more fun to be around than me, he had doubts about marrying me because of my shyness but thought he could change me, if he would have lived with me first he never would have married me, sex is so much better with the OW, and I’m not normal.

      I decided that just about anyone else was more fun to be around than him, that I definitely would not have married him had I lived with him and that sex is better with my vibrator than with him. And while I’m not promiscuous enough to test the theory, I’m sure sex would be better with the vast majority of men than with my ex. There are reasons why I had my shell up with him and there are reasons why it was difficult to feel passionate in bed with him. (Mostly because he thinks it is okay to be rude and untrustworthy). That is the problem, cheaters contribute so much to marital problems. While we might try to be better to fix the problems, if they don’t try, it is hard to be the same healthy person around them. Instead of blaming ourselves, it is much better to spend our time around people who actually try to be healthy and kind.

  • So sorry this is happening to you DACA. Just another voice in the chump chorus here. My ex left her phone lying around for me to find not once, but twice with her AP’s email open. I mean, she was always kind of careless, but she wanted me to find it because, just like accubonded says, she was too much of a fucking coward and too worried about being seen as the “bad guy” to divorce me honestly and fairly. I hope the best for you in the new year.

    • I agree that if you weren’t meant to read the email, it wouldn’t have been left open. What hasn’t been raised is the possibility that there may have been more recent items deleted, leaving the jerk with the option of sticking with his story that OW is a thing of the past. It’s all about image management. An “overreacting” chump really helps that sick narrative.

  • Daca,

    I am sorry that you have had to deal with this at Christmas. Been there. It sucks and then it becomes a bad narrative of Christmases to come.

    OK. After everything I have gone through so far I would see a few attorneys, read here, read some books about divorce in your state and really understand the process. Learn about the financials that are required. Learn what the minimum is that you will get and work to get the maximum. Then, if I could do it over, I would get everything I wanted now before I even filed. You wanted to go on a trip to Italy? Or China? Do it now. If you can stomach him, he goes to (part of reconciliation). I’m just saying that the financial mess sucks.

    If you are working you will be much better off. I would get the kids protected. Make sure money is given to them for their college funds of whatever. If there are marital assets that you don’t want, sell them now with his approval (remember he doesn’t know that you are leaving) and then use the money for something else. Later it becomes 50-50 or worse. Put money aside. Protect assets.

    Really start thinking about what it brings. I am a little slow catching on to the mastermind of flying monkey’s antics. I will lose pretty much everything I saved for over the last 25 years. Do not tell him you know no matter how much you want to. If there is any abuse in the relationship start documenting it and if it gets bad make sure you are the one to call. Document. Continue counseling. Get all your medical stuff done. Make lists of what you have to do. You may decide that it is better for you to hang on for 5 years, too, just so that you can protect yourself and the kids. For some of us the financial devastation is just too much. Make sure taxes are in order.

    I agree with DoneNow, where do you see yourself in 5 years. I am an older mom going through this stuff with 3 kids. If I could have prevented the emotional and financial tsunami until they were older, I would have. Sort of like preparing the emergency basement shelter before the tornado hit. BUT if I had been in a good position financially and I wasn’t worried about abuse to my youngest I would have walked or rather run. Make a plan. If it is a 2 year plan then work on it. Join some groups. Start meeting other people. Expand your circle. Change your way of thinking – from him, to you.

    Your mind is racing right now and you really want to confront. Don’t do it. Again, I am so sorry. But everyone here understands. The people here have picked me up so many times when I am down. Much better than any counselor I have seen. Hugs.

    And sorry for typos!

    • This is fantastic advice! It’s important to go about your business quietly. Do not let the cheater see your plan. What they will hate the most is being outsmarted & they will get revenge. Get individual credit right now. Get your own separate bank account because believe me, the cheater has secret accounts that you are already paying for. Do not leave any open emails!!! Use the phone at work to call your divorce attorney. Make copies of all important papers & put them someplace they have no access to.

      • Yes! I got a separate savings and checking account and my own credit card and was glad I did! If you do not want to use the phone at work, then you could buy a cheap cell phone with prepaid cell phone cards. I think tracfone is the cheapest one. Keep the phone hidden at work or at a trusted family members house or in a safety deposit box or a locker at the gym… Anywhere your ex would never have access. Make calls on the cell phone from your car or from work. Depending on the cell phone, you could even use it to access the internet and check email. You can even get a new free email account like gmail or hotmail or yahoo that he doesn’t need to ever know about.

        I would avoid using your personal computer at home to access any bank accounts or emails that you don’t want him to know about. Feel free to change passwords on the accounts from a safe computer as well. He may be too busy to even think about installing a keylogger program, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If you accessed this site on your computer, please at least clear the history. I discovered what my ex was up to by using a keylogger program. The keylogger program allowed me to see what he was up to on the computer remotely from a different computer. I was able to see what passwords he typed into email accounts and websites. It allowed me to get ALL the information I ever wanted.

        • Oh my God – my spine is tingling reading all this SueB.
          Never once did I think X could be GPS’ing me like I was him.
          Let alone attaching mirrors to emails..

          Thank goodness he’s computer illiterate and I was the one who knew all the tricks of Keyloggers, etc.

          The GPS was good enough. Caught him pretty quick and filed quick.
          So glad I never read (or wanted to read) any texts between them.
          Bad enough knowing what they did was haunting enough to last a lifetime.

  • Ex never said anything about anything. Went on the prowl found whore juice and went to live with her six weeks later. He has cheated on her with his bondage bitches. Ho doesn’t know. And she’s a master manipulator who got him the first time and convinced him to come back. I know it hurts like hell. I’ve been hurting for over two years divorce finalized and he still won’t quite leave me alone. I’m sure he would be perfectly happy to marry her and date me his ex wife on the side. And I know its still gonna hurt me for a long time to come but I will not rise to the bait. I am leaving the area as quick as I can to live my own life and heal myself he is furious about it and treats me accordingly. I will always love and miss the guy I married but he’s changed a lot and I don’t want any relationship or friendship with him at all. Who needs friends like that. divorce his ass and move on to a better life without him he’s just not that invested. Ex will go on and cheat on this one again and fuck that up to that’s what he does and who he is. Me I’m going out of the line of fire. I know how hard it is I kept hoping he’d wake up he didn’t he got worse and now back with the ho the relationship will change its tainted and ho face will never completely trust him no matter what she says. His nasty old man persona is hers now let her deal with it. Me I long for the drama free peaceful life.

    • I had to hear for months how badly he hurt her. Me no big deal. I’m blocking his phone and text. We have children all grown so if a needs grows to communicate about them for some reason he can email me and will have to come from him I will not initiate with him at all. He can kiss my ass. He as a rotten human being is dead to me now. I will move and never ever look back. Ever.

      • ^^^ “I had to hear for months how badly he hurt her. Me no big deal.” ^^^

        Yup – me too. These assholes are all the same.

        A year after we were married, totally unbeknownst to me, he reached out to one OW, inviting her for dinner. When I later discovered that email, he explained it by saying he had wanted to apologize to her in person for his behaviour. And what did he want to apologize for? He just happened to not return a few of her emails after three dates. Piece of shit.

        Holy fucking shit! If only I had merited that type of remorse!

        I’m not stupid; I recognize his real intention was to get her back on the hook, btw.

      • “I’m sure he would be perfectly happy to marry her and date me his ex wife on the side.”

        That was my ex’s game plan as well. The correct answer is NO. Stay strong, Kar Marie. That drama free peaceful life will be yours.

        • Exactly NO, NO, NO AND HELL NO!! he is not understanding the meaning of get away from me, leave me alone, never want to see you again, go fuck yourself, I WILL NEVER BE YOUR DAMN FRIEND!!!! Why don’t they get this! Claims he will keep trying to talk to me, give me a few days, weeks or months to calm down and decide to still see him. He still loves me, still cares deeply for me, still in love with me, can’t imagine me not in his life somehow. Should have thoutgh about that before he started to troll for strange. Its all about him and what he wants not what I want. I gave him what he wanted divorce to go be with his WHORE!!!! arrrrghhhhh! What the hell is wrong with these fuckheads I don’t give two shits he wants to feel better about himself I want to feel better for me. Stupid selfish asshole fucking bastard! Enough already you wanted, different, you wanted new, you wanted money get lost already!!!!

          • What’s wrong with these fuckheads is just that. It’s all about them. They want what they want and they get what they want. They don’t actually value what they have, but they don’t want to give it up either. To them, you are property they own. You need to protect yourself because they never change. Go no contact and stay no contact. Don’t answer the phone when he calls, don’t open your door if he knocks, don’t respond to his emails. Leaving the area is best. He’s forfeited the right to call you friend or have you “in his life somehow.” And no, he will never understand that because he is a disordered fuckwit.

            • Thanks survivor, I am no ccontact as much as possible. My answers are one word. Till I’m out of the area I have to have some minimal contact. But at my descretion. Its all about him feeling good about himself not me. See kar Marie still smiles at me she’s my friend what I did wasn’t so bad! What an asshole. My new place to live will be about six hours from here. Yippee! Asshole can’t sit in the car longer than two hours cause of his rapidly falling apart in his late 50s body. But he will give me “time” to come to his senses in case Ineed him. Need him for what, daily dose of lying and bullshit instead of inspirational quotes. Total disordered fuckheads the lot of them. In denial and delusional. I hear its not going so well with whore juice. Big giant belly laugh! The wheels on the karma bus go round and round right over your cheating head!!!

              • I found that too. My X had acquaintances, never anyone he really got close to. There was no one he could depend on or any meaningful friendships. Just the odd co-worker or ho-worker who he could entertain with his sparkles. No one knows the real him.

                However, that never stopped him from telling anyone who’d listen about how awful I was and how he never really loved me. Gee, I wish he’d shared that with me before we were married (he did say it – just not to me).

                He’s 44 now, 45 this year, and has a whole gaggle of new “friends” of about 30. One is recently divorced after his wife cheated. I sure wonder how this new friend would feel to learn the wolf in sheep’s clothing in his midst.

              • They don’t have friends, but they may have flying monkeys who love to be in the presence of their Wonderfulness and will do their bidding. Those people are duped as well, but may never discover that. Steer clear of them.

  • DACA- I’m so sorry you are going through this. This type of emotional abuse is absolutely soul crushing. Your husband doesn’t love you or the kids because he doesn’t know how to love. There is a book called, “I Don’t Love You Anymore” by Dr. David Clarke that explains very succinctly what real reconciliation looks like (yes it includes a prenup). It is a Christian based book but it is a very real, no nonsense way of looking at cheaters. If your husband is willing to do everything on Dr. Clarke’s list then you might have something, but if not, then you need to get out or you will be abused for the rest of your marriage.

    Since your kids are older, one of the steps is that he must tell the kids exactly (no gross details of course) what he has done with no blame shifting or other bull. If he won’t do this, PLEASE tell your kids exactly what he has done from beginning to end in a matter of fact way. They deserve to know, it breaks the cycle of continuing lies, and it teaches them to face problems with resilience.

    No one is saying this is going to be easy. It took every mighty molecule in my body to kick my husband out after the mind games he was playing. I cried my eyes out for days and it felt like someone had kicked me hard in the stomach for months afterward. I promise it slowly gets better and your kids slowly heal too, but a life full of truth and goodness is worth this pain. Prayers and hugs to you!

    • I agree, Nicole S. However, I wonder at this juncture if he has destroyed too much for even Dr. Clarke’s guidance to work. Either way, the road forward is going to be hard…no good options left thanks to the cheater!

      • Agreed DM, there may be too much damage done already for this to help save the marriage. But this book really helped me to accept that I had done everything possible to save my kids’ family and put me in a much more peaceful, mighty and honest place and I hope it may help DACA is this way too. I also felt Dr. Clarke’s words were so supportive and loving to those spouses who just felt overwhelmed and confused by their situation. He gives clear steps on how to get through this with a lot of dignity at a time when you just want to pull the covers over your head and never come out.

  • Dear DACA –

    I feel your pain. I love my cheating husband, despite the affair. I love our family and our children and the life we have built together over the past 33 years. I DON’T WANT THINGS TO CHANGE. But I also have come to realize that my pattern of putting everyone else before myself, and “fixing” their problems, often comes at my expense.

    Like me, you have become the frog in boiling water. If a frog is in a pot, and the water is brought to a boil, he doesn’t jump out – because the temperature changes gradually, and he gets used to getting hotter. Conversely, if the frog is just dropped into a pot of boiling water, he jumps straight out to save himself. You ( and I, this is not a criticism, it is an explanation) have gotten so used to our situations that what is completely abnormal now feels “not that bad.” BUT IT IS NOT NORMAL.

    Imagine if a friend told you the facts you shared with us – that her husband had an affair, she found out, they went to counseling, it seemed better, but then she learned 12 mos later that he was still seeing the OW, still declaring love for the OW and had written emails indicating he was only staying in marriage to keep his lifestyle finances in tact. You would tell her your friend – GET OUT! YOU DESERVE BETTER!

    Instead, you have gotten so used to the hot water, you are just thinking, its getting a little hotter, but not too bad. In other words, you are accepting things that only seem normal because they are better than before. E.g. it seems better that he may not have seen her for 9 weeks/since October (but normal would be a husband that is not having an AFFAIR), it seems better that you made it through Christmas without him leaving (but normal would be enjoying Christmas with your family, reveling in the accomplishments of the past year, or selecting meaningful gifts for each other), it seems better that he is willing to stay in the marriage and be only 80% happy and that your finances will be in tact (but normal would be a husband who valued family over money!). etc. etc.

    I am so sorry you are going through this – my situation is parallel. And the greatest risk, is that you may know seems crazy to your kids and family – because they do not know you are being driven crazy.

    So…I would follow CL’s advice and set some boundaries – postnup, stop seeing the OW, husband should see counselor why he can’t/won’t stop affair, and and most important HUSBAND NEEDS TO STOP LYING TO YOU ASAP. That is the worst.

    Postnup should be a deal breaker. Your husband’s willingness to go this route will say a lot about his commitment to working on things/ helping you feel secure. If he won’t do it – and it sounds like he loves his money – that will say a lot. If he will do it, you will be calmer knowing what things will look like if you split, and also being in a position for things to be .

    Try to find one word to get you through 2016. And promise yourself -as I have – that you will not be in this position a year from know.

    Tired Chump

    • Yes I run to save myself and go where the bastard can never lie or hurt me again. Save myself every morning and every night I save save yourself girl save yourself.

  • Correction:..And the greatest risk is that YOU MAY NOW SEEM crazy to your kids and family – because they do not know you are being driven crazy.

    Also, last sentence, you will not be in this position a year from NOW!!!


  • The whole “in five years” comment made my skin crawl. They’ve obviously talked about being together after the kids are out of the house. She may not be single in five years, but there are plenty of other women who will be. His skank is not so splendiferous that if she’s not available he will be faithful to you, DACA. He is an entitled asshole. He is not the man you are in love with. That man doesn’t exist – he’s telling you that loud and clear.

    • I found a spreadsheet my husband had made – for the next 20 years, columns were: husbands age, OWs age (she is 26 years younger), Kid #1 age , Kid #2 age, State they would live in, Sex Life (e.g good or great), whether OW was working, Need for Nanny etc.. I could not make this up!

      • Two can play. I have a spreadsheet too. My spreadsheet is of his phone records. They’re colour coded- spouse, family, friend, escorts/bathhouses/Craigslist gang bangs. There’s also a column for showing when I was out of town.

        I hate and love my spreadsheet. Fuels me and depresses me at the same time.

        • I, too, have a spreadsheet.

          It’s of the copious amount of financial credits that I am demanding in settlement, with links to all of the supporting documentation in a private online storage area accessible by me and my attorney. Line by line, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of credits. 🙂

          • Oh. Yeh. If mine had a real fucking job and not a retail dumbass ‘pays for Cheetos’ job, I bet I could have one too.

          • My lawyer had a lovely spreadsheet that guaranteed X had to give me 50% of the marital assets, instead of the fraction he was proposing.

            • If you are in a no fault/50/50 state, the laws are clear.
              You get 50% of everything.
              As far as I know in these states, there is no negotiating the split of assets.
              In my case, this also included Attorney Fees.

              But, of course, with sly assholes like mine, they can hide money pretty quickly, and he’d been doing this for about 2 yrs behind my back.

              That’s where you need to spend a little more on forensic accountants – btw, just the mention of this made my X cough up everything he was hiding and he was hiding a lot of accounts. It would have affected his work if it became public that he was hiding these things and he was very very afraid of paying his very expensive attorney too much money to defend my accusations.

              It was a sweet day when he finally showed me all OUR assets on paper and I got 1/2. As it should be!

              Since he’s a money guy and that’s the most important thing in his life, I know he did himself damage by having to write me a big fat check every month for the rest of his life.

              I wonder if the fuck was worth it?

              • In some community property states, you can negotiate splitting of assets within a few percentage points (e.g., on the basis of both infidelity, and that I gave up a higher paying job so X could have his dream job, my lawyer said I could probably get 52-53% of the assets. Since I took virtually all the house contents, I left the $$ split at 50/50).

      • Spreadsheets… I do not know what to say. That is so hurtful and immediately made me think “premeditated murder.” They are making their timeline based on what they want their future to be, having already “killed” the marriage. Entitled, selfish people. Ultimately, how blessed all of us are to not be them…empty and soulless.

        • I have absolutely no doubt, that at one point my X wanted to kill me.
          This was a gentle soul who turned into the devil overnight.
          Not only did I not trust him with fidelity issues, I truly thought he would kill me given the chance.
          At one point during the Divorce when he learned I’d be getting 1/2 of everything.
          Guess he hadn’t thought about any of that – smart College fella with 2 degrees – Idiot.

          I was scared shitless for a long time.
          But, I had far more street smarts that he did.

          It really became a battle of wits at the end, and the delicious part was going thru Mediation and I got my ‘victims statement’ in. It was classic. Wish I had it recorded.

          It was a fair settlement after that.
          Do Not Back Down.

      • Wow… a spreadsheet. No one could make this crap up. If anything it is fasinating to see this perdon we love(d) go idiot monster when their masks fall off.

  • Two can play THAT game. Since your plan B do not let on you know!!! Not only should you gather evidence, check your credit score, look at all your bank statements and start putting money away for yourself. You have the advantage here. Time is on your side. Who cares what he wants, know what you deserve. I wish I had a five year notice. Buy clothes with your debit card and return them for cash…no paoer trail. Put documentation in a safe place, not in your house. While married you have access to all financial doccuments. Gather and take his ass to the cleaners. And give him all the Naugahyde and appliances. Fuck him and make him plan C.

  • DACA, I had this same exact experience happen to me. CL is right that cheaters work from the exact same playbook. The extent of similar of experiences I have been through with CN is uncanny – even down to the exact words used. I experienced the fake MC to pretend he has done everything he can to save the marriage while carrying on his affair and pretend to our family and children that he really wanted to save the family but it just wasn’t possible. I was so beaten down, so dedicated to my dream of the intact family that I had reduced my requirements to only “no drugs and no cheating” – not helping with the kids, not showing up for work, staying out to 3am while I am with the kids, hanging out with freaky, arrogant, materialistic people I despised – I was willing to put up with anything to save the marriage. He said all the same things – I love you but am not in love with you, staying with you is the logical choice…. I tried very hard to reconcile – even flying to California for a 3 day emergency marriage saving trip with a high end “marraige saver” for 15K, all the while he was still carrying on his new affair – even plotting with the OW to move out shortly after we got back from CA. We must have spent close to 50K on MC just for him to say “he did everything he could to save the marriage”. What a waste. I understand your pain. The pain is terrible even when you finally decide to end it but there is pain either way – staying or going. Its just that eventually when you are on your own, the pain will end, you will be in control of your own happiness, you will feel pride for not living with that poison in your life, you will eventually feel better and free. It feels like you are being slowly killed living with the sickening realization that you are so devalued by the person who should love and honor you. Good luck. This is not easy but you will be happy again. You deserve much more. He’s slime.

    • I so agree. The pain is terrible. I literally laid flat on my bedroom floor and cried face down on the carpet the other day trying to keep it together through the Holidays. I am so worried that my kids will think I am the one who is crazy – as they have probably seen my bottles of 10 mg Celexa needed to get through this shit storm. The challenge is taking the time to work things out to your advantage and not going nuts in process. It has taken me four months to get postnup finalized but it will enable me to get a divorce in 90 days and lays out obligations about college, house, etc. I found out about 2.5 year affair on Jan 20 2015. Most recently, I realized he saw her on Dec 18 2015 and they shared their Christmas lists. It has taken me 11 mos to realize I can not accept or get over the lack of empathy and lying involved in his treatment of our family. THINGS ARE BETTER BUT NOT NORMAL. There has not been and never will be a good time to tell my children – always an upcoming graduation,holiday, semester abroad etc. But I can not wait any longer. For him, it is impossible to pull away from his 28 year old assistant (they don’t work together anymore but affair started when they did) who is totally into porn and apparently “loves anal sex.” I am a smart, capable , slightly frumpy 55 year old that has no interest in competing wit that. I hope to pull the plug in January. Happy New Year to me!

      • Not to be shallow but wait till you are well rid of your husband, you will finally start to take care of yourself and become fabulous! 55 is not old and you can find happiness again, with or without a significant other. Let him crash and burn, it will happen, count on it but will not be your problem. A 28 year old is only in it for the $$$ or is a borderline with Daddy issues. He’s pathetic and you should be telling all your relatives and friends that your dope of a husband is being strung along by a 28 year old. You control the narrative.

        • What I meant to also say is get pissed off enough to become fabulous, happy, etc. No more moping around, being depressed or a Deer caught in Headlights because he happens to be a scumbag cheater. Start moving and show him he did not win.

        • Seriously. Truth. A 28 year old who is so sexy sexy sexy as she seems to be can attract an age appropriate man. She is looking for one thing, and that is money.

          I like to joke that next time I’m marrying for money so I’m looking for an 80 year old billionaire in poor health.

      • Fuck her. I would send her parents a thank you note ‘your heartless scruple less daughter did me the favour of takin a narcissistic 250 lb half capable mainly useless husband off my hands. I hope they’re very happy together and that your grand babies can tell the difference between their similar aged grandpa and father. Cheers bitches!’

        • This Is Perfect! My 58-year old husband left me for the 28-year-old he supervised. How pleasant…I see her as BPD with Daddy issues and likes his salary…it is all about what the OW wants too. She divorced her husband after 3 1/2 months to be with mine. How nice…they are all so self-centered.

          • I, on behalf of my generation, apologize for the many who apparently don’t understand that stealing husbands is wrong. I cannot tell you how often skeezy old men think I’m ripe for picking when I am nice to them at work. Nope. Just a nice human. Move along. That some bitches fall for the ‘sugar daddy’ play… Makes me sad. What a waste.

            • My cheating stbxw is the polar opposite of you. She went for the daddy-aged town philanderer living off of his rich mother’s money, for whom she worked. Totally sad.

          • Moving-while most of us can look rather good (with a lot of work) till our early 60’s, I don’t care who you are you will age rapidly after 65. For someone in their 30’s or 40’s it is a real turn off being with an “old person”. So your ex will be dumped and hopefully she will wipe him out financially before she leaves.

      • Alleluia, TiredChump!! I am so glad you’ve decided to get out of that swamp. We have your back.

      • 28 seems to be the age. I feel sorry that any young person would want such men. Know there life cannot go anywhere good. Its all sad. But we have ourselves, our souls are good and all this hurt and shock really doesnt put a dent in it. It is all so very fasinating to watch. You could have never told me….

        • No kidding! When I was 27 and going through my divorce, I had a 61 year old married coworker who started giving me hugs. I was okay with this, because I am a hugger too. Unfortunately, he later started to move his hands down and pat me on the butt. At one point, I was convinced that he was trying to kiss me and would have had I not kept my head down when he tried to lift it up towards him. I told him he needed to knock it off. Thankfully, for his sake, he did or I would have went the the boss and he would have had to deal with the repercussions. I definitely did not share in whatever interest he seemed to have in me.

          Not only, do I not understand going after someone so much older while being that young, I honestly don’t understand why a boss would make a move on his or her assistant or secretary. The boss could be disciplined or fired for sexual harassment if the other person rejects their advances. If the assistant/secretary accepts the advances, at many jobs, they would both be fired.

  • Document, document, document, document, document…every thing he does, every thing he says, every missed appointment, every time you buy something for the house or kids he should have bought, every time you buy groceries from your paycheck. Doesn’t matter. Document it all. Even if you decide to stay, which in my opinion is a mistake, but it’s your life. Why? Because when he cheats again, and he will cheat again, you will have to establish this pattern of neglect and overall attitude. The courts don’t care that you personally were wronged, but they sure don’t like a cheater in most instances.

  • How many holidays is this man going to ruin for you?

    Maybe next Christmas there will be a new OW? An STD? A secret love child?

    Do you want to stick around long enough to find out?

  • Time to cut bait, DACA. Otherwise you WILL face this same situation over and over again. Until he finds a soft place to land or needs you to nurse him through his old age. Please listen to CL. You and your kids deserve someone who loves you and your family more than his bank balance.

  • Daca, so sorry you had to go through that pain again. There is a chance that he is simply stupid and left the email open. Ask him if he really broke up with OW when he said he did. If he sticks to his lie, you know for certain that he has no intention to tell the truth -ever! Case closed.
    My CH also apologized to the OW for not leaving me. Again, it was for money. Sadly, I am the one with the money and he still wants it. In my state we have no fault divorce. He can take half of everything including my upcoming retirement. I won’t be able to support myself and my handicapped son if he does that. I have no illusions that he would help with our son so I am stuck. It is a sad situation but I am determined to live my life to the fullest anyway. My son and I can still be happy even if CH is in the house. My goal for 2016 is to move on emotionally even if I have to see CH daily. I am praying for strength and hope for you and for myself.

    • Linda2, I hope you have consulted a good lawyer! There may be ways to set up the finances so that you and your son are protected financially. For example. If your son can’t work or needs special treatments or équipement, your ex may be required to contribute. And he may not be entitled to as much of your retirement as you fear, depending on how long you’ve been together and how much of your retirement is Social Security… Many lawyers will do a free consultation, so it’s worth checking out. Because while continuing to leave with the cheater may be possible, it sure doesn’t sound like any fun. You should be able to live in peace and respect, instead.

  • DACA-

    Your husband has continued on with this woman THROUGH MARRIAGE COUNSELING! He even kept in touch with her–thereby lying–MONTHS after saying otherwise. Those are pretty big issues. Takes a rather cold heart to do that to one’s wife of YEARS and mother of one’s children.

    If you do decide to give him another chance (probability of it working being very low), I would highly recommend that you have everything in line legally so that you don’t end up getting the short end of the stick. Like Nicole S says, Dr. David Clarke has some clear guidelines on what that looks like for it to be real reconciliation.

    Even so, do you think you could ever trust him after this? He has already made it clear that he is more concerned about money than people. How could you ever be sure if you stay if he was just there because he primarily did not want to loose wealth? Sounds like a recipe for a lifelong relationship laced with contempt (from him). Sometimes it is better to move on…even if that is really hard.


    • Divorce Minister – Why do we give second chances, and third and fourth? I’ve done that and yet, in any other area of my life, with friends or work colleagues, I would never accept such shabby treatment.
      I am pretty sure I did it to protect my kids,since my MC told us all the research says children, even young adults (mine are 18-23) are shattered by the revelation.
      Always wonder thought….I am very empathetic and actually feel bad for my husband as it would kill me to live a double life and betray others….

      • I gave asswipe three chances over thirty years, why cause I’m stupid and loved him still do. I have my self respect back and will never go near him again. What a waste of my life and time, too old for this shit. Never again.

      • Tired: I gave him four chances because I didn’t want my life to change. I didn’t want my son and my family and friends to see me as a failure. I believed he would wake up and realize what he had in me. Guess what? He didn’t!!! He chose the person who was most like him- another cheater. She knew he was married and had a family at home. He left her four times to come back to me. And yet, she took him back every time (just like I did). I found an email from her to him telling him that he better stop giving me money and then, he stopped giving money entirely.

      • Sorry to say this but your MC is an idiot. Children are not shattered by the revelation. They are hurt (not shattered) by the acts and behaviors and lies that are revealed. That’s 100% on the cheater, not on you. Truth is not shattering — it is healing. Anything else would be gaslighting.

      • TiredChump,

        The reasons are legion as to why we stick around. CL has some good stuff on being a stuck chump here. I would add that one reason to those is the community’s shaming aspect for Christians. In some circles–not all, thankfully–it seems being divorced is worse than actually committing adultery (as long as you don’t get divorced). What a backward world!

        And I agree with HappyNow, that is not a good MC who would say the revelation is the problem here. I take a dim view on any counselor or pastor who suggests lying (by omission) is a good course of action for children–especially adult children.

        Yes, it is traumatic. Adultery is soul rape. And it is a community evil as Scripture teaches (Deuteronomy 22:22). But exposing it is not the problem. Committing adultery is. A MC worth his or her salt would, therefore, say how awful it is for HIM to do this to the kids and you, and NOT shame you out of telling the kids the truth. Pathetic.


      • Sorry–stepping in as a developmental psychologist. Children 18-23 are NOT necessarily shattered by the revelation. Some will take it harder than others, but they are more injured by viewing the betrayed spouse as a doormat (and likely to model that behavior themselves if in a similar situation). Set boundaries, set a good example, and allow yourself to be the parent they need instead of someone decimated by betrayal who needs anti-anxiety to get through the day. The pain of divorce is finite; the pain of staying with a cheating bastard is infinite (need proof? Google “Shattered by my Husband’s affair” and read the blogger’s eloquent descriptions of wreckonciliation).

  • DACA, I know this isn’t any consolation, but this jerk is lying to his whore as well. He doesn’t want to be with her, she is a side dish fuck. Pure and simple. No man who loves you will tell you he won’t leave his wife because he will lose assets. That is what you call an EXCUSE. He lies to the other woman because she is stupid enough to believe he won’t. He tells her all the “love” stuff so when he gets the urge for an unexpected booty call she will welcome him with open legs. But whatever, he is a turd regardless. Dump his cheating ass.

    • Yup. He’s a liar through and through.

      Believe nothing of what he says and does.

      He’s selfish and only looking for ways to continue his lifestyle

  • Dana,

    I’ve been there……just a few months ago…almost a year into pretend reconciliation, life feeling so much more normal, then the Ashley Madison list hit our state, in an effort to save face my husband decided to share He was on the list with his companies board, before gossip hit, supposedly crying, saying it was a one off, he was lonely as I was not moved in yet for the first six weeks after he took the new job, five states away. His wife has known a year, we’re working on our marriage (reality is he serial cheated for 9 of the 12 years we were married, I can prove, he’s on four states list for Ashley Madison.) They were supportive and kind to him, how brave he was to tell his board, thinking he was wonderful…more kibble so for him.

    So thinking he is now invincible, he tells me a week later he told the guy that works directly under him, what he had done and how bad he felt about cheating on me, this man and his wife were friends of ours and we spent a lot of time doing things with them, since we had moved yet again for his career, to another state away from my family and friends. BUT, he lied. Big surprise….right? I thought he had been humbled, finally….but nope, that man went home that night and shared with his wife everything my husband had said to him….and told her to tell me!! He was willing to lose his job in order to let me know what had really been said, as he told his wife he could never live with himself if he didn’t let me know what the truth was.

    The truth was he bragged to this man about how many women he’d had….in almost every state, he bragged, he had a “just” sex mistress since the day he’d gotten there, 15 months earlier, wife of some rich guy who traveled a lot….just sex he said, amongst many others, didn’t want to to loose half his money, and “wished” I would leave HIM, so he didn’t have to make any decisions. Never once said he loved me, had ended the affairs, or was sorry for what he had done to me and my kids (all grown now). This mans wife was adamant that I needed to talk to her husband to hear the truth.

    Thank god for decent people. My husband thought this guy would think he was cool, as had our neighbor in the last state we lived in had thought. That neighbor ended up also cheating on his wife…cheated alongside my husband, makes me sick to think of how my husband felt no guilt getting other pathetic husbands to do what he did, because it made him feel better! I was shocked he would tell this man those things, after the last year….shocked and angry. How dare he humiliate me to these people we called friends, I had in my home and spent time with. How dare he make me look like a fool, all the while telling me he loved me and wanted to be married and all the cheating was just sex…..and done…how he was a changed person.

    Character doesn’t just change. If it’s shitty, it will most likely remain that way. This couple pointed out to me, painfully, that my husband LIKED being deceptive, LIKED the lifestyle he had created and would simply go further underground, be more careful….he was very good at it. Like a second job, they pointed out. I knew, my gut knew, we all seem to know on some level….but I had kept waiting….thinking maybe, just maybe it was real, we were different then all the others….no. Truth was he just hid it better, put the mask on a little tighter, gave me a few more of his Mr. Wonderful crumbs….but that would fade too, and I knew it. Seeing those peoples faces…the horror and pity of what my life truly had become, made me realize my gut and all that I had suspected was true.

    Everything you read here is true. I don’t think anyone who is capable of lying, cheating and manipulating anyone, but most importantly, the one person they are supposed to care the most about, is able to change their character just like that. The best thing any of us can do, and honestly if you do love them, you want the best for them, is let them go. My counselor, once his, now mine, told me this, it’s the best chance he’ll ever get to truly change his life…..leave him….go no contact….let him face life on his own for a bit. But, chances are slim that he will, but my staying would just enable him to continue….plus let’s face it….the risk and excitement of cheating IS the high…the kibbles they seek, a big part, but my husband told me he liked the sneaking, secrets and lying….felt people liked him that way. Also, even as a single guy, his behavior is that of a creepy player…sex with multiple people, lying, manipulating, sex with married women..creepy guy.

    I also had to come to grips with the fact that I didn’t love him….not anymore. Was I emotional, passionate, was I fighting for my marriage? Yes, but in the end, I realized it was not possible for me to love someone who could so easily destroy me, my life, my dreams, my future. Someone I would never be able to trust again. And the fight was for a dream not realized, a life no longer possible. I had to come to terms with letting go of a dream that never existed. A man that never existed. He wasn’t ever that person I fell in love with, that person was a facade.

    My 29 year old son put it very succinctly when I told him, finally, what was happening. I’m not telling you what to do, Mom. But, you may be able to get over someone cheating once, feeling remorseful and telling you everything on their own and getting help….but if someone cheats repeatedly, and lies to you about it, that’s just a fucked up person.

    • I’m grateful for honest people like that guy and his wife who insisted you needed to hear the truth!

    • What a story, Jenpen. Thank you for sharing it. I am sure there are alot of chumps who are or were in your shoes.

      My the force of chump nation be with you in the coming days. We are all here for YOU. Smart son. Great friends. Keep them close.

  • Let’s tally everything up, shall we? You’ve now had 2 shitty Christmases in a row, one where I assume you didn’t know about the latest AP, but the Cheater was distant and abusing. The 2nd (3 days ago), you discovered he has a secret email account to communicate with the AP. Even if he hasn’t communicated with her since Oct (just 2 months ago), he has KEPT this email account ALIVE and he has KEPT this correspondence with the AP. Sorry, but these are NOT the actions of a remorseful unicorn. These are “I – haven’t-changed-Cheater-actions”.

    It sounds like you’ve known about latest AP since the spring, so you’ve been looking over your shoulder for AT LEAST 8 months, but knowing, at least for 12 months that “something was wrong”. Do you want to keep living like this, until he leaves again, for this AP, or for some future AP (because there will be more, even if current AP “is not single in 5 years”).

    Don’t wait 5 more years for your youngest to go off to college. That’s 5 years looking over your shoulder. Who wants to live like that?

    Dump this Cheater.

  • “Could he say these horrible things and then actually come to his sense in the end? Could it be lies he was telling the OW?”

    Yes, DACA, he could. And did. I’m sorry to say, because it’s such a mindfuck to wrap your head around, but people can easily say one thing and do another if that’s their character. How do I know? My serial cheating ex-husband told me every day how much he loved me. I caught him cheating once, we reconciled, he did all the ‘right’ things and come to find out, about 5 years later, he had been cheating for much of our relationship. Hell, he was cheating on me and several of his mistresses!

    Sweetie, run. that’s the only advice I have to give you. If you’re worried about your kids now, just think how fucked they’ll be when they realise mom stuck around with an asshole who put himself above everyone else in the family because, oh, I don’t know, he wasn’t feeling the butterflies anymore. Basically, you’ve got a case of someone going underground. See a lawyer, protect your interests, be as fair as you can, and get the fuck out.

    It’ll suck for them. It will suck for you. Short-term. In the end, though, you’ll all be much better off, even when he rages and blames you for everything, including his children knowing who he is. Hopefully this will kick him in the pants and he’ll at least be a decent father to his children but don’t count on it.

  • Any man who values his money and lifestyle over LOVE is no prize. He probably does not understand or feel love the way you do. His “love” is not selfless, true love…it is conditional, “whats in it for me” counterfeit kind of “love”. If he truly loved you, he would not be romancing this other woman and lying to you.

      • Asswipe always valued money too much I thought. And when we were making good money was still pretty stingy. Since he met the ho, dick, money and living the highlife ho has money. Apparently now he’s back with the ho he’s still not happy, snappish nasty, doesn’t want to do much unless others are around then the big cheese. So happy the broken beat downcreature belongs to her now.

  • Many comments saying they felt the X’s left stuff out in the open, accidentally, on purpose.
    Waving my hand too! Though I have no proof, I felt long ago that that is what the jackoff did.

        • LOL – I loved it too. TROLLOP. I was riding back from a big snow-shoe hike with family and rode back with my very Catholic nieces husband. I told him about the Ho, and he used the word Trollop. I’ve liked it ever since. Those Cannucks!

  • My big mistake was putting up with this hell in a futile attempt to “save the marriage” when it was actually dead in the water. With the benefit of hindsight I can see that it would have been much wiser and less crazy making to accept that. He is lying to whoever won’t like the truth and will tell people whatever they want to hear if it suits his purpose.
    Protect your financial interests and sanity by putting a stop to all this, get a lawyer and shoot that unicorn before it eats you alive.

  • Okay, maybe 47 other Awesome Chumps have pointed this out already but I just madly swipped my thumbs across a tiny screen in a hurry to scroll to the comment bar. Phew!

    DACA, you are not dealing with the past. This Shit Avalanche is happening to you TODAY. You stumbled on an open email account. Think on this. This account was secret. This account was a link to at least one affair partner. And it was open for business just this week. In fact, it’s seeing so much business that he is lacksidaisical about it.

    He was using that account this week. This. Week.

    This is your today. Not your past.

    What’s your tomorrow gonna bring?

    • +1. If it was accidental, or on purpose, he was touching it today. He saved stuff from October, but had touched it this week.. Why? What’s the point? I’m thinking there’s deleted stuff from more recent. Dick bag.

      • It’s all good, I come back and re-read this a million times, so I see them. You’re awesome.

  • It certainly hurts to consider he left the email open for you to find – BUT he did. Hurts that he wrote the things that he did – BUT he did. He’s done everything to get you to be the one to end it. Become one of the 80% of women who initiate divorce. You deserve better. Get your ducks in a row and Get out!

  • Great, so not only is he an asshole to cheat on you, he is the disordered sort of freak who wants to manipulate you into Bad Guy status. He makes your relationship completely untenable with his affair(s), but you’re the jerk for leaving him? He wins impression management with the kids?



    Please listen to Tracy/Chump Lady and all of us fellow chumps— it’s over, sweetie…stand up for yourself, protect yourself and your children…

    This quote triggers me so much, BOTH my disordered fucks ex-husbands did this shit to me—- they did EVERYTHING they could to get me to throw them out so they didn’t look like the assholes they were…I refused to confront, just sat back and documented and told all my friends and family what they were doing as witnesses, and basically made them leave me—- I knew what The Evil One was doing because I had already gone through it with EXH#1, but was much smarter and wiser with TEO….

    DACA, I know you’re hurting, but for now put that hurt on the back burner… Get angry, get proactive, get him OUT!!!!!

    We are all here for you,


  • Hey, just to let you guys know I got an email back from “DACA” — here it is.

    Thank you so much for your reply – and I just read your post on CL, I’ll comment in a few days, once things are truly in motion.

    I got your email Christmas morning and I’ve been thinking about it everyday since. I took your advice – said nothing and when asked (by him) why I was acting strange I said “memories from last year,” it worked (a little too easily to be honest) Thank you for killing the imaginary unicorn. You’re right, that’s why I wrote to you, I know what I need to do, I guess I had to hear it from someone who doesn’t know me, someone who can see the facts for what they are. It feels like WWIII inside my head as I try to put down my hopium pipe. I wonder if this is what actual addictions feel like….
    I have noticed a new kind of anger growing in me, I think it is actually disgust this time. Lies on top of lies on top of lies.

    We had our Christmas, and tomorrow he’s going out of town on business again. I plan to tell my mom and dad about what I discovered Dec 24 after his plane takes off. They begged me not to take him back last year, I know they will help me kick him out this time. I need their support, I feel catatonic every time I start to think about what to say to the kids, when I google lawyers and locksmiths (my plan is to change the locks when he leaves for his trip).

    Thank you for the much needed dose of reality.
    God give me strength.

    • DACA, if you’re like I was, you’re more worried about your kids than your own well-being.

      I stayed with a very lazy, pessimistic, always-on-the-verge-of-exploding, emotionally-vacant man for 12 years more than I ever should have. I did it “for the children.” It was the worst decision I ever made.

      Now two of my sons have grown to be cynical, negative, snide and pessimistic, just like their father. They like to label me as a “bleeding-heart liberal” and a “man hater,” and make fun of me for having an opinion about something. They enjoy aggravating me for sport. Sound familiar?

      My third son explodes into a spewing, hateful rage-a-holic when things don’t go his way. He can be venomous.

      All three struggle with relationships, and resiliency, and follow-through, and tenacity.

      I seem to be constantly calling out their lack of respect for women and people with different points of view, and it’s fucking exhausting! My friends say it’s what teens do to show their independence, but I know it is exactly what they learned from watching their father’s and my relationship as to how to be a man. It’s been imprinted on them.

      Don’t stay with a man who fails to model what a good man should be. You will regret it for what it will do to your kids.

      • This is so sad, but I am so glad you’re being honest about your world. I hope they get some reality and compassion smacked into them by a good woman.

  • I wanted to add that he also “allowed” me to look through his lap-top one night so I could not only watch and read live in living color him trying to hook up with a skank on Facebook, as well as see his emails he sent out to various CraigsList whores— with a pic of himself and his cell # , and his messages to other whores on Facebook… I was LIVID when I read through it all, but rather than confront, I documented, showed all my friends, printed out what I could … The worst part of it was him asking me a week before our big talk was him KNOWING I knew (he had activated the web cam on his lap-top and WATCHED me reading through his shit!!!!). And would ask me, “You OK?!?! You seem upset. Anything wrong, honey?!?!”
    I would just tell him I was upset/worried about my upcoming hysterectomy surgery, which he moved out/left me two weeks afterwards…
    Sick, disordered fuck!!!

      • @FMT:

        Yes, ma’am, I am thankful to God every day he’s gone!!!!

    • So sorry Unsinkable!! That is one sick fucker!! Watching your pain and then baiting you with questions!? There is a special place in hell for these assholes!!

  • Devastated… I also found out my STBX was cheating on me due to him leaving open his private messages on an Escort site. I now believe it wasn’t an accident, he was just too much of a coward to ask me for a divorce before he began cheating. I gave him plenty of opportunities while enduring years of being in a sexless marriage with a “man” so addicted to porn. I asked him many times, “If you don’t want me, let me go”. He never once told me that he was unhappy, quite the opposite, he “told” me that he loved me. He just couldn’t show me. He heard my fears that he would take his porn fantasies to the next step, and he saw all the tears I shed along with all the emails and letters that I had written to him about it.

    Bottom line is, my pain didn’t mean anything to him. I didn’t really mean anything to him, and neither will any other woman. I was useful cake for him. He enjoyed the status quo of having me as his wife, cook, housekeeper, employee, maid and nurse to his mother and aunt with dementia while having his hookers on the side. I now honestly believe that there is at least one other woman out there as well because I’ve also found that he’s had profiles on regular dating sites for years, and I don’t think he’d blow up a family and risk losing over half of everything over hookers. I’ll eventually learn more of the truth as the discovery process continues through the divorce, but there was no way I could stay after he destroyed every ounce of trust I had left. Once I had proof that he cheated, there was no way I could ever be around him or have him touch me again.

    Please take CL’s advice and get out and protect yourself and your finances before there’s nothing left. I truly don’t believe pathological liars can change, it’s their character to deceive and they enjoy doing it.

    • Have you read my blog? I’m pretty sure I’m married to the exact same fucking man.

  • DACA, he sounds like a sociopath. You are a “thing” to him. So are your children and so is the ow. It is all about him. These people give me the creeps because just under the surface is someone with no conscience. They are so good at deception that they can keep the con going for years. Pay attention to these chumps. Also, be guarded against love bombing from him. He is very good at this.

  • DACA, I realize looking back that my ex waved his AP’s in front of my nose for many many years, and became bolder and bolder in his deceptions as time went on. I am not sure if he was hoping I would catch him and end the marriage first, but he certainly was too cowardly to end it himself. I was just in denial and refused to see what was in front of my face.

    So my ex ended up leading a completely double life for over 15 years, and becoming more and more disordered as those years went on. After 15-plus years of cheating, the inevitable truth still came out. But by then the length and nature of the affairs was astonishing, and as a result my ex has become a pariah to most of his friends, our community, and most importantly our children. You see, our children are older and wiser now, and fully realize the lies, the depravity and the character disorder involved in ex being able to carry on such a double life for so long.

    I often think that it would have been much kinder for ex to have simply fessed up that our life was not for him when our children were young. We each would have gone on to find romantic partners better suited for us, and our children would not despise him for the false life he allowed us all to lead. It certainly would have been a kindness to me to not waste so many years of my life. I also truly believe it would have been so much better for my ex, who would not now be scorned by almost everyone he knew, and who would not have lost his own children. And since he didn’t have the guts or the courage to do it back then, I wish I had had the guts to do it for him.

    It has been four years since my D-Day and none of our children speak to their father, he was forced to marry one of his AP’s as he had nowhere else to go, and ex’s most recent Christmas card to our youngest son (now 16) reveals that the reality that he will probably never again lay eyes on his own children is starting to hit him in the face…. but it is too late. He has already missed college and law school graduations, lacrosse tournaments, parent teacher conferences, awards and honors, goodbyes and hellos at airports, happy family holidays, beach vacations, and the everyday bustle of his children’s lives. In the days to come he will miss more graduations, weddings and will never see his own grandchildren.

    I think you know that the path you are on with your husband will not end well. Please get out of this marriage while you are relatively young and before he steals any more time from you. You and your children deserve better. And consider that you are not doing him any favors in the long run either by allowing all of you to continue down the path he has chosen. You cannot control him but you can ensure that from now on that your life is free of the lies.

    I know how awful these early days are, and I am so sorry you are going through this DACA. (((Hugs)))

    • Kelly, what a great post! I agree with you and often think about the colossal waste to all concerned, over such a long time. My Ex, like yours, lives with OW because he can’t afford to live on his own. My kids are from my first marriage and the Cheater blew a great opportunity to step up and be a real step-parent to them for the sixteen years we were together. Instead he took all the cake and also lived his sick porn-fueled narcissistic cheating double life while posing as the moral authority in our home; my kids already had a distant relationship with their real father but somehow they have turned out okay. The loss is to both of these cheating men who put themselves first and foremost, always. And as for me, 26 years of being faithful, gullible and trusting to two lying mooching douches. No third time around for me. Just want to survive into a peaceful retirement if possible, but living a truth-based, honest life.

  • DACA’s cheating husband sounds much like my STBX–what a cold, calculating manipulator!

    Sometimes chumps don’t want to leave because they are concerned about being painted as the Bad Guy. Guess what? I stayed in my marriage as devoted wife until STBX filed for divorce. Several times after separation (over a year ago), my STBX has asked me to reconcile. A couple of times I tried. A couple of days (or even minutes) later, he would dump me. Then I quit taking the bait. Now, he sometimes tells people, including our kids, that I am the Bad Guy for breaking up the marriage. You can’t convince these disordered cheaters of the truth, or the cheaters don’t care to listen, so you might as well not bend over backward trying to convince anyone of the truth–just live the truth.

  • You know what I find really sad?

    How many chumps were getting 80% ouf of their cheaters?

    How many chumps had been beaten down by the devaluation and discard phases that we’d become accustomed to 20% or less, and we danced hard (knowingly or unknowingly) for those crumbs? And still didn’t fuck around.

    I’m guessing there are a lot more in the latter camp. I know I was. Asking for more got me less. Expressing vulnerabilities just got them exploited. So I settled and settled and settled into a repressed anxious puddle of sad.

    Most people would see 80% as good – maybe could be better. Not the entitled narc fuckwits we’ve been dealing with.

    DACA – I’ll just add to the chorus of stay quiet, gather evidence, line up your ducks, and blow the smithereens out of them as soon as you can.

    I may or may not have been manipulated into my D-Day, but I think the snake was taken aback when I left, and how I left, because I left without discussing the OW with him. I knew there was no point, and it would only open me up to more gaslighting and emotional abuse, and I wasn’t going to stand for one more word of it. No scene, no argument, no ability for him to degrade me any more.

    • “Asking for more got me less. Expressing vulnerabilities just got them exploited. So I settled and settled and settled into a repressed anxious puddle of sad.”


    • Absolutely. I stuck around with just that 80%, although now it see that percentage as being much lower. How I didn’t even see it at the time, or maybe I did, I don’t even know anymore it’s so screwed up.

    • Maybe someone said this in the comments above but i would be happy with a marriage that’s 80 percent good . That is if it wasn’t with 100% liar/cheater. In fact, 80 percent is probably a pretty high satisfaction rating.

      It just shows how thoughtless, irrational and arbitrary they are. I wonder what his grading criteria is? Is it like olympic diving? That’s why i say it’s pointless to try to figure out what is going through their minds. Nothing they say means anything. I am so sorry you are experiencing this, again.

      • From what I I’ve read, the majority of cheaters are NOT unhappy in their marriages. They just like fucking easy whores on the side. It’s cheap, no commitment, a boost to their flagging egos.

        • Sorry Anita, but I don’t really care if they were unhappy or not. It is just irrelevant. Just like their motivations are irrelevant. It’s one more way that us chumps keep trying to make things “ok” by minimizing their supposed actions/thoughts. They like fucking easy whores on the side, but they like disrespecting and using us too. I am more concerned about what they do to us…

          • Yes – I think it does matter a little because, at least for me, he said he loved me deeply for 33 yrs. And showed it. But, I have learned a lot since then. He was a great husband until he met her. I don’t know how to explain it other than I think he lied to me our entire marriage. It took me a long time to figure this out. He was a real shell, a chameleon, a charmer, but very anti-intimate…and I have no idea why I stayed so long.

            It has taken me a long time to see this.
            I think we will all see their Narcism eventually and how we were used once you back out of the situation.

            Looking back, I believe he has been a very skilled cheater a few times and, this time, definitely wanted to be caught. And, I caught him all right. It didn’t go like he wanted it to. Mr Control Freak. So glad he is not part of my life. And, I’ve decided I don’t really love him at all anymore.

      • Funny, that’s the exact ratio I always told myself after yet another explosive narc rage from Cheater, over the years: that our relationship was 80% good and only his “anger management problem” made our relationship 20% bad but convinced myself I could live with that, I could cope, good little chump that I was. When I found out he was cheating on me I kicked him out of our home. Had I known all along that he was fucking other women, he would have been 100% unacceptable as a partner. I was cheated not only by his philandering but cheated out of the truth and my chance to make an informed decision on whether I wanted to be in the relationship, at all, let alone for almost 20 years. So in the end I feel my earlier spackling by percentages was just accepting chump change. When I deserved a 100% partner… not what I got. I was wiling to accept my abuse at his hands, but not his cheating. That was wrong too, and I own it.

        • I was willing to accept a lot of shit as long as I thought the love and loyalty was mutual.

          But I took far too much shit before I realized it wasn’t.

          I kept on including the illusion of 100% from the love-bombing phases in the overall average.

          Bad math, bad bad math, and I should have known better.

        • I agree. I’ve heard that cheaters like to control the flow of information. Mine told me over five years after marrying that he had doubts about marrying me but thought he could change me. We worked together for a year before he asked me out. I honestly don’t understand why he even asked me out. I think it is cruel to let me believe he loves me for me than spring that on me when he gets caught cheating again.

          • JannaG–it’s post hoc rationalization; don’t believe a word of it (except to believe it shows how disordered he is). They have no impulse control, get caught doing things they know they shouldn’t, and then make up “reasons” why they did it that involve blameshifting. Nothing more to it than that.

  • Print copies of those emails. one day you might need them for your own impression management.

  • DACA, after reading your original email and then your response, I give you this advice.

    You have a GOLDEN opportunity to strike while the iron is still hot. You have a matter of days while he is still gone on his fuck-trip to get some big things done without him knowing.

    First of all, make copies of all the emails and other evidence you can find. Make multiple copies in various forms, if you have time, and store this in a secret location.

    You need to find the nastiest lawyer you can find. Someone who will take this guy to the cleaners. He’s not remorseful, and is in fact worse than ‘ordinary cheating’ because he’s trying to paint you as the bad guy. Unfortunately for him, he won’t know what hit him, if he’s been taken to the cleaners. Sweet justice.

    You say that your parents are knowledgeable and supportive. The next step is ANY items that are dear to you, heirlooms, personal belongings and the like – to be stored at your parents house. That way, they won’t get sabotaged/broken/destroyed when the man-child comes back and rages. This is probably the only opportunity you’re going to get, to get these sorts of items into a safe place and out of his reach. You could probably also store the evidence here too, in a safe box.

    Time is of the essence, my friend. Good luck.

    • Excellent advice, Lania. I read similar advice from here when X went on a 7 day ‘business trip’. It was SO painful because I wasn’t sure I could trust what I was reading on the internet about getting my ducks in a row. But, I plowed through tears of copies of every financial record I could find. It felt SO dirty. (this digging also found, in tiny writing, the place he was actually fucking the whore in, Savannah – very romantic – I was sick for days finding that online) But, gave me the anger I needed.

      Then, grabbed the ladder, and dug around the attic in his office because I knew he stored a big supply of gold coins up there. Finally found the stash. It was loosely placed up there like he threw it up without organizing it (typical of him) I told him we needed to do an inventory of it someday (yes, I knew it was up there somewhere) and he kept procrastinating. So, when I pulled out all these Safeway bags, loose coins rolled down the ladder, down the stairs, hitting the dogs in the head, and I hate ladders anyway – but dug in deep and got it all.

      Then, for the next 2 days, I sat down and organized it all, did a complete inventory with pictures and a list of how much and what. When my sister came out, I had a flash drive for her and she was stunned I had thought of even doing this. She thought there was NO way this man would steal this from the family. Anyway, I broke it all back up into Safeway bags and threw it back up in the attic the way I found it.

      You guessed it, I gave him 1 hour in the house alone while he ‘picked up some things’. I left with the dogs. When I returned an hour later, first thing I did was pull out that ladder, looked in the attic, and the entire stash was GONE! ha~ I could have had him arrested. Then I noticed he also stole my gun.

      Anyway, to make my point, DO NOT TRUST THESE PEOPLE, especially the ones who love their money too much.

      And, btw – attorneys were on his ass on both sides and when I pressed him to prove to me that the inventory his lawyer took of it was actually what was there. He was completely stunned as he had no way to prove it. (no inventory taken) Anyway, I let him off the hook by showing him the pictures and inventory I had taken and, he heaved a sigh of relief that it was all correct. What was HE thinking?

      There was over $500g’s there.

      Hey – I’m NOT SUPID, you idiot. Never was.

      But, thanks to Chump Nation! I salute you!!

      • This theft of his also allowed me to change all the locks and he has been unable to enter the house for 2 yrs.

        • btw, I had SO much fun when I finally revealed how much I knew about what he was up to. He thought he was SO smart. ha ha ha ha.
          After the divorce was when I told him I’d been following him around on his GPS for a yr and a half. Knew everywhere he’d been. I had such fun finally revealing it all – delicious.

          All he emailed back was, I never knew you worked for HLS.
          Jokes on him.

          Laughing all the way through spousal support for the rest of my life.

      • Thats right. I’m talking about pre-marital belongings, or family heirlooms of hers though. Stuff that she wouldn’t want stolen and is unlikely to get back if it was stolen, or is irreplaceable. Get it out of the house and to her parents place – thus, out of sight, out of mind for him, and thus less likely to ask about it in a divorce.
        In my personal situation: my art portfolios, which date back to when I was 9 years of age, to the present day.

        • I was appalled that he asked me for my little Mouse painting – an original from New Orleans.
          A wonderful mouse, in front of a clock waiting for it to hit 5pm, with an empty glass and a bottle of wine in front of her on a simple table.
          (I collect Mice)

          I bought that for ME! Asshole. I would have split it in half if I had to.

          Anyway, this is also a guy that wanted my wedding ring back after 35 yrs.
          So – whatever.

  • All of these post resonate with everything I went thru. The denial…the pain…the anguish…During the initial phases its impossible to believe there is another life, that you will survive and you will move past all the pain. Most of us know that there is only one way…and thats thru it. For some it takes years to get the courage and self worth to leave. I wish there was an ‘Intervention team.” You could call up a hotline and say ” my spouse is a lying sack of cheating shit and I need help.” Next thing you know a van pulls up to your place and you are given the once over by bunch of chumps in unicorn costumes …They sit you in a chair and give you the low down CL style and you dont get out of the chair until you can say ” I’m a chump .I’m a chump…I AM A CHUMP” You are given your survival packet and a list of instructions. For good measure they give you a couple of nouggies and off they go into the night. You now are primed and ready to take charge of your crumbling life and kick some cheater ass.

    • The Clip – I vote for this team to stay and dial lawyers, help pack, to call the realtor and apartment hunting. I don’t know how I did that all myself.

      • perhaps Hunger Games attire; District 12 (with Katniss’s bow & arrow in case the cheater shows up in the middle of the intervention).

        And may the odds be ever in our favor.

        • Viking shieldmaiden gear here. Fuck with me cheaters, and your head shall depart from your shoulders!

            • OMG. Is that a guillotine you have in mind?

              I personally think that is much too simple and quick than the Chinese Water Torture I’ve been through for 3 yrs now.

              Death by a thousand cuts is so inhumane….that they really don’t even deserve a good head chopping.

              I say, throw them to the dungeon and give them paper cuts the rest of their lives, but make them really deep.
              And, don’t forget to drip drip drip on their heads all day long…

              Oh gosh – I’m having far too much fun tonight.

      • I’m with you guys! And yes Tempest!!! Something more badass…ummm…Wonder Woman costumes??? Ummm…badass cowboy boots and dusters with fully loaded .357’s!!! YEAH!!!

        NO!!!! CHUMP LADY SUPER HERO GARB WITH RAINBOW CAPES!!!!! YEAH!!!!! And FORKS!!! Yeah!!! BIG FORMIDABLE FORKS!!!! Tine their little disordered, cake eating asses if they try to stop the MIGHTY transformation from ‘kibble appliance’ to FREE FROM COWARDLY NARC WOMEN AND MEN!!!!

        …ok…the guys don’t have to wear tights… 😀

      • If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood
        Who ya gonna call (cheaterbusters)
        If it’s somethin’ weird an it don’t look good
        Who ya gonna call (cheaterbusters)

        I ain’t afraid a no cheater
        I ain’t afraid a no cheater

        If you’re seein’ things runnin’ thru your head
        Who can you call (cheaternusters)
        An’ invisible man (woman) sleepin’ in your bed
        Oh who ya gonna call (cheaterbusters)

        I ain’t afraid a no cheater
        I ain’t afraid a no cheater

        Who ya gonna call (cheaterbusters)
        If you’re all alone pick up the phone
        An call (cheaterbusters)

        • These are the lyrics to Ghostbuster Theme. I just took out ghost and put in cheater.

          • LOL – LOVE it, Calamity – of course, it’s from Ghostbusters. I absolutely think we should put new music behind it and one of these chumps on here can probably sing it. Lots of drums.

        • Ok… So I guess the fuzzy unicorn onesies are out! We need warrior attire… After CJ ‘s song I was thinking maybe ‘ Men in Black ‘ style. That little mind erasing pen lite could be handy too.

  • DACA- There isn’t much more to say that hasn’t been said. It is sad how these cheaters are always trying to save face as the good guy with the OW, and appear to be the sacrificial lamb on the altar of their marriage, when in reality they are ANYTHING BUT! Same sad story here-kept one of his OW on the hook in case we divorced, lied about the date when he cut off communication, told OW he was going to stay with ME ’cause GOSH I REALLY loved him! When I confronted him on all the lies- Well he said and did what he did because it was just SO EMBARRASSING for HIM to back out of their relationship. But no worries, he had other fish in the frying pan, including me.
    I would like to believe that your H was lying to the OW in that break-up e-mail, and not to you. That he was saying what had to be said to save face, and prevent the ensuing antics of an OW bunny burner. That maybe he was faking it until he was making it with you, and now he has finally achieved a level of understanding and remorse about his infidelity that is translating to the husband you thought you were currently enjoying….

    But from personal experience, it is evident these cheats are always looking out for Number One. Their lies and deceits are their life’s blood. He most likely was tiring of that OW anyway, and/or had another 1 or 2 on the hook but he didn’t want to burn any bridges= cakes, kibbles.
    He has revealed his true creepy disordered character to you. If you were to confront him with any doubts of his fidelity, it would scratch the surface of his current exterior- the one he has adopted to keep you off-guard, and you will see the usual cycling of rage-pity-charm… Quietly gather evidence as suggested, protect yourself financially- pre-nup., etc…. Seek good counsel to find out your options since your recent enlightenment and work to get out.

  • Mine made me be the bad guy too. I loathed it at the time. Now I think of it as being the strong one. May our children see it that way someday too, like maybe after the statute of limitations runs out and I show them the proof of his affair. They don’t believe me. He denies it. Mindfuck now, pay later when his own children realize He is a liar and question everything he ever told them. It’s all impression management. Be the bad guy and find your happiness. I went from d-day to divorced in less than five months. It’s not easy with kids but the more no contact you go the more clearly you will see and the happier you will be. And yes, he will ramp up the shit show the minute you demonstrate any signs of a backbone, so get that lawyer in secret and make your moves off the grid so when it comes you are ready.

    • I remember feeling so confused when my ex would try to say I was the one who was miserable, who wanted the divorce. He even tried to get me to file first. I kept saying “Stop trying to put this on me. This is what you want, it’s not what I want.” When he said it made him very angry I read his journal, I immediately answered, “It makes me really angry you’re in love with another woman.” It’s the weirdest thing to have someone abuse you, then blame you for causing their abuse. Blaming is a way of avoiding looking into themselves. My ex kept telling me how guilty I made him feel. Duh, he was feeling guilty because what he was doing was wrong.

  • I would also like to add the narc cheaters get a delicious, malignant little thrill out of our pain when we find out about their lying and cheating. They enjoy our pain. They enjoy the power of duping and abusing us. It is proof of their centrality in our lives and a power trip to the max. There is not one shred of kindness or empathy in the black hole they have for hearts.

    …..Look how I can devastate DACA. All I have to do is manipulate her just a little bit by leaving my email out for her to see. She will question me but she doesn’t have enough information to really prove anything current. I can just say that it isn’t anything that is happening now, and how dare she snoop…and how she can’t be trusted. See, I have the power to make sure she goes totally off the rails. I can totally screw with her head. I can make her think and do anything I want her to. Even better, I can keep my side pieces and and avoid having to give anything of real value to DACA…… And I get all the kibbles…….Ahhhh sweet power. I really deserve to have everything I want, exactly the way I want it, regardless of who gets hurt. Yep, I actually am that special.

    Nicely summed up by the phrase…mind fuck. I think I need to quit channeling cheater ex before I make myself gag.

    DACA Honey, do your prep work, be stealthy about it, and leave this asshole in the dust! ..Good bye.. Good riddance. Chump Nation has your back.

    • This times a thousand Tessie. I actually saw glee in my ex’s eyes a few times when I was trying to describe how much he ripped me to shreds. It was unreal.

  • DACA, I believe you will find the strength you need, especially with your parents backing you up. You will have to dig deep but you will discover strength you never knew you had. I am so glad for you. Not for the horror and pain you’ve endured this past year. I’m so so sorry you have to endure that anguish. But for the authentic life that you will gain. God bless and good for you for taking action to save yourself and your kids.

  • Yeh. What they said. (I’ve had wine. No witty left. Just… Dump the mother fucking asshole)

  • Nice tough loving butt whooping from CL!

    “…and a good person, that he does love me…”

    Wow! If it weren’t for the bit about being a good mother, this would have been verbatim what my cheater said on my voicemail a few minutes after our divorce was finalized. These people all operate on the same channel. If only they could only find each other and leave us decent folks alone.

  • DACA,
    Your cheater seems angry and everything he does is underhanded in order to make him look good. This only leaves you feeling unstable and uncertain.
    1. Going to counseling = Make everyone feel better, make you unstable (fake counseling), make him look good, make kids think he is a good guy.
    2. Leave open email = He’s angry, wants you to end it, make you unstable/uncertain, make kids think he is a good guy (if you leave him)
    Think about this too, if she wants him after everything that he confessed that he did to you, why would either of you want him? Let her have him.
    There is something very unsettling about this much underhandedness. I hope you have a copy of the emails for the divorce proceedings and the kids. I would leave and quick to a very safe place.

  • Dear poster:

    Here’s the thing. Your reconciliation was and is real. You can judge this by the way your husband is treating you NOW. He likely feels like crap in the light of day.

    What happened was he was still wrapped in his affair fog when he spoke to his OW. He likely told her all those things to let her down gently.

    I know I know, this post will be attacked. But really you are the one who has to decide. Not the peeps here.

    Best of luck.

    • I believe the “affair fog” you speak of is real. Why? Because of the sheer foolishness and recklessness the unfaithful exhibit during their affairs. But that does not excuse him. He is still a selfish and entitled asshole. If he were not, then he wouldnt have had the affair in the first place. He is also a liar who cant be trusted. If this were not true, then he wouldnt have kept on lying to his wife! Who wants a selfish, entitled, lying asshole? Not me!

      • Aaw.. poor babies.. suffer being in an affair fog. Really? Bullcrap.. their mask fell off.

        • okay… I can sort of get it with the affair fog story. I know each time my husband was caught he was in his fog of “sorry- guilt- it is over-it meant nothing-blah blah blah” state of mind that may have been like a fog. BUT… would never fail because again there would be more emails or text messages that I would find between him and some other female that he was working on….his idea of an affair was the actual sex part……if he wasn’t having sex with anyone else then he couldn’t possibly be doing anything wrong. The fog is just a temporary state of “shit I have been found out….I will just look down and show what I think may look like remorse and she will forgive me….she is still here so I am winning already”….
          The fog is BULLSHIT…….just like everything out of their mouths they tell you!!!

  • I feel your panic DACA…I have been exactly where you are…exactly! But I didn’t know about chump nation then……and I didn’t want to believe that once a cheater always a cheater….and so I turned a blind eye….I didn’t trust any move he made and questioned every where he went…but I wanted to really believe that our reconciliation was happening. I TELL YOU NOW DACA….he will continue with his deception & betrayal….if not with this latest affair then with a different one. A cheater who gets away with it once will continue on with the challenge of getting away with it again and again. I know your chest is pounding and you want to crawl into a hole…but for the sake of your kids…get it together and keep on moving. Think first and feel later! Good Luck!

  • I have been reading the comments and can relate so well to all of you. I am 5 years out now and I can honestly say, you WILL survive this and the pain DOES go away. I never would have believed it 4 -5 years ago. I had to remind myself to blink and breath, I thought for sure a pain that bad would kill me or I could just forget to breath and die. (I tried, you can’t)
    What I can tell you is this, every year you are with him you are losing more than you realize, you have your reasons (excuses) for staying but none of them are good enough, none of them justify all you lose every day you allow him in your life. You don’t know it now, even after leaving and months of NC, it takes at least a year or more to really see clearly the whole situation and you will get to the point of total disbelief that you were ever that sick that you thought any part of the relationship was normal or worth hanging onto. After years with these sick SOB’s we get sick; you can’t help it. Dysfunctional becomes our normal, it takes getting away to see it, as long as he has any influence in your life he will do everything he can to keep you sick and hooked in his web, AND to milk ever dime he can out of you.
    my biggest regret is that I allowed him to destroy my business and leave me financially destitute, I went back and those final 2 years he spend destroying my ability to get back on my feet.
    The other thing you may not realize is this: you can die of a broken heart. It is called Broken Heart Syndrome and this stress you are under, the constant emotional roller coaster is taking its toll on you physically. I had my first heart attack within the first year of leaving him, no high blood pressure, no cholesterol, no previous heart disease, just the constant stress of having my heart broken over and over again. I live with heart failure now, my ability to work and recoup has been drastically reduced.
    Many of you have children who need their mother, Save yourselves!! for your kids.
    I am so sorry now that I wasted so much time hurting over that slimy bottom feeder. I am not even saying that out of bitterness, I really don’t give a shit about him any more, I just call it the way it is. They are such big losers and we end up so blinded by their bullshit we can’t see it, not until we leave.
    Big hugs to you all. Please believe me, there is so much more out there for you than this loser!!

    • Thank you. This has really helped me. I’m at a family thing and nobody in my family is divorced. But they aren’t snobbish about it. It still sux though. I’m not divorced yet but will be soon. Nono

  • Daca, I remember being stuck in that very spot you’re in… Stuck between freedom and a Unicorn. I can tell you exactly what will unstick you, and you really need to do it, for your own well being.

    It sounds like you are suffering in silence. TELL SOMEONE! Tell someone extremely close to you what is going on. Once you admit it to someone else, you will start to believe it is a big problem.

    I still remember the night of D-Day. I was living in Australia. I called my parents in California and told them what was happening.

    This was so difficult to do. My dad is a gentleman’s gentleman, very conservative. This sort of behavior is so foreign to him. I wasn’t sure how he would react.

    Well, firstly it is a good thing my Fat Bastard Ex was in another country, cause dad owns a gun, and I think he would have used it that night.

    Secondly, he became my conscience, my perspective, and my strongest supporter. Some of the first words he said to me: “I want you to know that there are guys who aren’t like this. I know, because I’m a guy who’s not like that.”

    He also explained that no, it was not me. That this behavior was unacceptable, and that the guy wouldn’t change and I needed to respect myself enough to get out.

    Tell someone close to you who can give you that perspective and you will start to believe it yourself.

    It’s all good to read CL and CN. We are great supporters and give good advice. But you don’t know us personally and we can sound a little (understandably) jaded at times. Tell someone you know and trust and see what perspective you gain.

    For me, it is a little like alcoholism. The first step is admitting you have a problem. Once you do that and really internalize it, you will want to fix it and you will realize that dumping his ass is really the only option.