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Dear Chump Lady, Can you please stop me begging for my marriage?

breakupDear Chump Lady

Can you please help me stop begging? I can’t even believe I wrote that out loud. Everything he has done to me and our family is beyond despicable, and now he doesn’t even want to pretend like he is going to change anymore.

I know nothing good will come from him EVER. But the fact that although I’ve never done anything to him, he is the one that doesn’t want to try anymore. He just wants out. And I am again heart broken.

Again, I’m surprised. All I want is to stop loving him. Just see it for what it is. I know it was all a lie. Everything ever spoken from him. But still I want us and he doesn’t. I caught myself begging him to please let’s try. And I realize how low I am. How ashamed of myself I am. I can’t even look my kids in their eyes. Please tell me how to stop begging. The pain is too much for me to bear. I tell myself I KNOW it’s for the best, for it to be over, but then night falls and he hasn’t come home or called and I can’t sleep. Please help me help myself.

ForcingChange

Dear FC,

You’re grieving. It’s going to hurt like a motherfucker, but the pain is finite. I swear to God, you will get over this cheating asshole. He is central right now not just because you love him. He’s central because he’s blown up your family’s world. This crisis (that he created) confers Power on him. It’s totally natural that you’d do anything at all to save your family — including abject groveling. But you must stop it.

The pain can be borne (ask us all how we know…), but you will bear a lot less of it if you start to get angry and protect yourself.

When you stop giving him Power, and start reclaiming your life on YOUR terms, then you start to heal.

I’m sorry FC, it’s a process and it hurts and hurts and hurts and hurts until one day (it’s a Tuesday) the pain stops.

Please help me help myself.

Okay. For starters recognize that “he doesn’t even want to pretend like he is going to change anymore” is a blessingDo you really want a PRETEND husband? As you suffer one heart-shattering fake reconciliation after the next? Keep that creep around, and you’ll become one of those poor hopium-addicted souls with “14 D-Days” under her Reconciliation profile and the tag line “I believe in unicorns!”

Spare yourself. The finality is a good thing. You know he’s not capable of real change (so you wrote “pretend change.”) You just miss the Lie — the person he pretended to be, the life you thought you were going to have, the identity you invested in, the intact family you wanted your children to grow up in. Realizing you’ve been conned is devastating, but you cannot wish for the con back. You must dream new dreams and rebuild.

I realize how low I am. How ashamed of myself I am. I can’t even look my kids in their eyes. 

FC, you have absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of. It’s not your failure that brought down this marriage — it’s his cheating. You didn’t break up your children’s family because you didn’t try hard enough. HE broke it up because he wouldn’t try at all, and because he doesn’t have the raw materials to be a decent human being. That’s not on YOU. That’s on HIM. So don’t wear the shame.

You tried to love someone and save your marriage in the face of betrayal — it’s not just fear that makes chumps do that — it’s tremendous love. Misdirected love, underserved love, but love all the same. It takes a big heart to try. Don’t hate yourself for that.

Please love yourself. You know how you look your children in the eyes? With self respect. I’m a loving, faithful woman who tried. My efforts were rebuffed, and now I’m a strong, competent woman who is going to kick ass. If your children try to blameshift this mess on to you? (What did you do to drive Daddy away?) Don’t accept that. Don’t accept blameshifting from your cheater, and don’t accept it from your kids. Just do your job — raise those kids. He’s probably checked out for Schmoopie — your kids need you to be the Sane Parent. Hold it together for them.

Is that unjust? Yes, it’s a great big shit sandwich. The aftertaste lingers through about 18 years of coparenting with a fuckwit. But I promise you, your family is not Less Than. It’s still intact, just minus the fuckwit. You’re going to be fine.

What you need to do right now is PROTECT YOURSELF. Even though your heart’s not in it, even though you can’t muster up the proper anger right now, protect yourself. See a lawyer. Gather your financials. Know how much debt you have and what kind of support you’re entitled to. Revamp your resume. There are a thousand big and little actions you can take right now to begin that new life. Do NOT go into it with a shit settlement because you were too sad to fight.

Finally, FC, when night falls and you don’t know where he is — I’ll tell you where he is — fucking around on you with his latest affair partner.

Say goodbye to all that. And say hello to your new-improved life without him.

(((Hugs))) You can DO THIS.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • The problem that I think all of us Chumps face early is that we believe we are still in love with the person and are willing to do anything to try and save the marriage.

    The truth (at least for me) was that I was technically still in love with my X (when I did try to reconcile) but I was more in love with the vision of what marriage should be and not what it was. I’ve come to realize that what I was fighting for was a dream that was never real at any point in our marriage. I was hopping that if we reconciled that maybe in the future it will become a reality.

    The problem is that it never will be.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that people who have a pre-defined vision of what love is and what marriage is are doomed to fail because of their pre-defined notions. What I have realized is love and marriage is about moving forward in life together. It is not about the pre-defined white picket fence and the Jacuzzi in the back yard of which neither item was ever purchased due to lack of money (being sarcastic here) so the marriage failed.

    The real love/marriage connection is when the two have no pre-definition and simply live and make decisions together. If the two want the Jacuzzi then the two talk together and figure out how to save the money for it so they can get it together.

    I wish I had learned this distinction many years ago. It would have saved me 10 years of wasted time with my former x-wife.

    • Same truth for me too, Lothos. Mourning the loss of what we could have been was nearly unbearable.

      FC, I hope you can hear what CL is saying. It’s all true. Especially, “Your family is not Less Than.” And yes, we do know that the pain can be borne, and that the kind you’re suffering from now is finite. Keep forcing the change until one Tuesday you don’t have to anymore. Hugs to you!

      • Agree, RB! My family is more than better now that we’ve excised the pus-filled scumbag from our home! You will be amazed at the serenity you have when you no longer deal with someone who is already checked out and using you for bed and breakfast.

        • Very true that! The “Poor Me, What Did I Do To The Universe For Being Stuck With You When I Could Be With The Angelic Being Instead As I So Deserve To Be ” sourpuss eating your food, having sex with you, wearing the clothes you laundered…But klunk klunk klunk the karma bus cometh, if they only saw how everyone relaxes and enjoy their holidays muey bueno when their sorry me-me-me asses are no longer around. If they only knew what people actually think of them several years down the road…

    • Wow agree totally. My new relationship is just this. We look forward to facing the unknown together without predefined views. We shape it based on our interaction with each other. Its a journey and its so much more fun than clinging to a predefined view of what it should be like. In fact I almost broke up with him early on because I still held some view of what a relationship should be like… debris from the crappy marriage I guess. Once I let go and started to focus on me then WE as a couple worked. This is one way to know you are in a mutually respectful relationship. And yes there was a discussion about the jacuzzi!

  • Guys, I know I owe you Cheater Freak Christmas. Still working my way through it — I’m looking at a Tuesday or Wednesday announcement. Bear with me! Thanks!

    • Do you have any info on the number of pre-orders for your new book? I’ve already done my part, & I’m hoping the pre-orders are through the roof. Your message needs to be heard. Thank you for all you do.

        • Cool about the #1 thing. Hoping the CN message soon occupies a large place in the dialogue surround infidelity and divorce.

          • Me too!
            I would have tried, and tried, and tried…. without CN. Everyone here held the candle and showed me the way out. It’s nice now to have actual self-respect!

        • I pre-ordered my copy as a Christmas present to myself. 🙂 Without ChumpLady and the mighty ChumpNation, I think I would still be doing the “pick-me” dance!!!

          • Me too. And if any of my friends or family ever find themselves in this position I’m gonna buy them their own copy as well.

            • I shared the link on my Facebook page and encouraged all my friends and family to buy a copy- I will preach on the mightiness of chump lady and chump nation until the day I die!!!

  • FC, I never tried to save the marriage after I found out third d day. Asswipe couldn’t make up his mind who or what he wanted he still doesnt but didn’t want to wonder forever what life would have been like with her. So I kicked him out and said go. Three days later he moved in with her. I never asked him to come back never talked about all we had or our perceived future. Just let him go. Apparently both of them had no problem breaking up a long term marriage and she was in competition with me for him. That was a game I didn’t play. She wanted a man who would just walk away from his life, wife and family for her. Yep, a real prize. Fast forward two years he came back to me, and asshole chump I am, let him. Blessing actually, opened my eyes. She went on a rampage to get him back, took her six months but she WON! he went back unwillingly and her idea not his. Now she is the boss calling all the shots. But he still wants to have sex and be around me. Real true love there. It isn’t easy letting go. And I still hurt deeply. But it does get better. Divorced now three weeks and she is pouring on the if we don’t get married we are done rant. Hahahahaha! I will hopefully be moving very soon from here and I know it will hurt but I also know I will feel better when I can go completely no contact. Its really hard but you can do it! Big giant hugs to you!

    • Almost the same story here, kar marie!!! I had one D-Day, confronted the crazy-ass-Albatross ( The Evil One, he was more of weight tied around my neck) about a week later- after he went through my Facebook messages and saw that I was on to him, dammit — I was still plotting/planning to kick him out!!!

      Anyway, I asked him if he wanted to do counseling, or a trial separation, etc. – I didn’t cry, beg, or threaten- just put it out there, he refused all options, said he was “done” with our almost-13 years together, moved out about a month later, met Schmoopieless than a month later after that, then spent the next two or three months coming back and forth to me, all the while he had filed for divorce, was giving in to all my demands, and was paying his attorney for the divorce, within less than 5 months after he moved out, we were divorced and he married his Schmoopie 60 days after our divorce was final.

      Once he was gone, hell yes I slept like a rock!!!! No more sitting up all night waiting for him to come home, staring at my phone praying and pleading to God for a text response or phone call those first few months, doing the “pick-me” dance- once our divorce was final, that was it- no more being “nice” so not to jinx it, even though he was a lying, cheating,stealing bastard, I still had to play “nice” so not to trip my self a yard before the goal-line.

      FC, listen to Chump Lady/Tracy!!! We are all here for you, and we’ve all been there from one degree to the other.

      You will get to MEH, I promise- get proactive, be mghty!!!

      • We didn’t live together but we’re together for 10 years. He called everynight, VERY LATE, from day one. (If I only knew then!)
        But then towards the end when the stripper was the better choice, (before I knew), he would sometimes not call at all or call at 3-5am! I never slept a lick, had the nagging feeling something was going on (duh!) and what I remember most is my heart pounding out of my chest. It pounded so hard I thought it was gonna explode; this was most every night. It’s sickening to me now and all part of the many meany reasons (oh yea, besides the wonderful STD he gave me) that I HATE the mother fucker. Don’t think that part will go away; but I’m good with it. Better than feeling doomed, devastated and heartbroken.

        • that I HATE the mother fucker. Don’t think that part will go away; but I’m good with it. Better than feeling doomed, devastated and heartbroken.

          ^^^^^THIS^^^^^

          I HATE that damn bastard too!!! He stole more than money from me— he sto!e almost 13/ years of my life, my dignity, self-respect, etc. I am so glad that Albatross is gone from around my neck, and I am free, happy that he is gone, but I will never forgive him or forget the way he made me feel all those months.

          I couldn’t eat — survived literally on protein shakes and cereal those early days, spent many many nights just stewing and angry, could barely sleep long periods of time, spent most days on the couch or in the bed…I survived, and once the divorce was finall, i could finally relax and breathe again.

        • I’m sorry. Mine left me with a disease too (high risk hpv). I found out because I started having dysplasia (pre-cancer) that kept coming back. I had to have a hysterectomy to get my body to stop creating severely pre-cancerous cells.

  • I couldn’t sleep either, in the beginning. It’s because he would say he’d be back later and then every noise I heard in the house made me anxious. I was waiting for him to come home, just because he said he would. Kinda funny now. Then as soon as he was out of the house I slept better than I had in years. Try it (kicking him out)! It worked wonders for me 🙂

    • Oh my God, me too! I slept so much better once he left. I had never been alone before, went from my Mother’s home to our marriage, and it was one of the things that scared me about separating, “how am I going to sleep alone in the house when kids would be gone?” The peace in knowing that I deserved to be loved again someday was what I needed.

      • I sleep better alone too. Some kids stole some things out of my neighbors car and she totally overreacted which made me all nervous. So, I got an alarm system and a gun. I can live alone and sleep like a baby.

    • Even though Narkles the Clown constantly traveled I have to say I have never slept better than I do now knowing he can’t come back. I feel healthier than I have been in years too. I can’t believe the change.

      • Narkles the Clown! I LOVE it! Friends of mine told me later what an idiot they thought my narc was, because he used to complain publicly about having to put the toilet seat down for me. Why did he have to put it down? Why didn’t I put it UP for HIM? (Oh… right… because 1/4 of the toileting in the house was done standing up so therefore that should be the default position).

        My friends told me they were sharing that story with their male friends, and their male friends were giggling uncontrollably. They told her, “It’s a freaking toilet seat. Who cares?”

        Mine became known as Toilet Boy after that. Since it is really where the piece of shit belonged, it was rather appropriate.

    • You know what, I cannot describe the excellent sleep I get since my cheating STBXW left the house. I have not slept this well in as long as I can remember! Part of it is not having her snoring face next to me all night, I think, but more importantly I have a cleat conscience about filing for a divorce, and I sleep like a log because of it.

  • This is a case where feeding your anger–which is righteous–is wise. Dr. David Clarke speaks to this matter in his book (I DON”T LOVE YOU ANYMORE). You need that energy to carry you through the steps you need to take to protect yourself. Anger is a good gift in such situations.

    Write out what makes you angry with him in this situation. He goes out all night and leaves you to wonder who he is with? That’s not considerate. It is awful. He treats your kind and gracious offer to rebuild your marriage with contempt?! Well, you probably didn’t expect to marry a quitter. You get the idea…

    -DM

    • I highly recommend “The Dance of Anger,” by Harriet Lerner:

      “Thus, we too learn to fear our own anger, not only because it brings about the disapproval of others, but also because it signals the necessity for change. We may begin to ask ourselves questions that serve to block or invalidate our own experience of anger: ‘Is my anger legitimate?’ ‘Do I have a right to be angry?’ ‘What’s the use of my getting angry?’ ‘What good will it do?’ These questions can be excellent ways of silencing ourselves and shutting off our anger.’ “

      • I put all 3 of her books in my Amazon cart this past week- I’m gonna order soon as I get the cash up!!!! Thanks for sharing about these- all the Amazon reviews are very positive!

    • Great advice DM! Righteous anger is the key to move past being sad and to empowerment and as Dr. Clarke says anger is the only key to turning your spouse around as well. When I finally got really angry, my depression started to disappear and I started to see my husband’s behavior for what it really was- evil. FC, it is time to get REALLY angry- it will get you to a better place and will help you see things clearer. May hugs and prayers!

        • I’ve not felt much anger but I’m from the Bible Belt so maybe that’s why? Too much social conditioning maybe? The RIC’s are begging me to divorce so that hasn’t been an issue, but EVERYBODY says “you know that could happen to anybody”. Like adultery is the equivalent of getting lost in Albequerque. I’ve been worried about feeling little anger. My friend who got treated very abusively by her spouse felt no anger until she remarried and then took it all out on her new husband. I don’t want that to be me.

          • No, I don’t think it’s the Bible Belt thing. The anger comes when it comes, and when it does, it serves its purpsose. You can’t force it to come, it happens when it’s ready to.

            Hang in there, you will feel it. Just remember you have a right to that anger, and it will serve you much better than sadness.

            It could happen to anyone? Hah. Right. A friend of my ex-narc told me one day, when I was yelling at him about something, “All men cheat. Get over yourself.” That was a real aha moment for me. This particular friend had screwed a married man for years to get what money she could out of him. She had no sense of self-worth and because she didn’t respect herself, she’d never been involved with a man who respected her in any way. She was a lonely, sad person, and I think she probably wanted to see me that way. I somewhat suspect that she will latch onto my ex-narc thinking she’s getting some sort of prize. She will learn much too late that it is actually him latching on to her as some sort of stepford something.

            Ignore the idiots who tell you it could happen to anyone. It actually COULD happen to anyone because society today enables men to cheat far too easily, and far too many men have no sense of right and wrong. Next time, don’t pick one of those. Pick the ones who respect you enough to not do that to you. You will recognize them, trust me. The ones who tell you it could happen to anyone are probably having it happen to them too.

            • I can see why she would say that since she is an OW and is friends with a cheater. Truth be told, I think anyone could cheat if he or she wanted to and I’m sure anyone could find plenty of excuses for it too. However, not everyone WILL choose to cheat. I could have had the opportunity to cheat when I was married, but I didn’t. I also had the opportunity to screw a married man after becoming single, since he was scum enough to proposition me. But, I didn’t. There are men and women like me, who could make excuses to cheat, but choose not to.

          • Kay- I didn’t feel anger right away but it was when my in laws started acting like I never existed that seemed to trigger my anger. Then, once I felt anger I realized I would rather feel angry than depressed so I just made sure I directed it toward those who deserved it – my stbx and my in laws. My counselor said anger is healthy but told me to get it out so I yelled and punched a pillow and I wrote emails to my husband and in laws telling them how angry I was at them (and I even sent a few of them). I read Dr. Clarke’s book which said anger is the key to forgiveness and then I knew I was on to something. It has definitely helped me heal.

            • I found his website at 3:00 am. (Before I found CL). It’s really good. I’ll read his book. I do love this group though. It’s so supportive. And people are at such different stages. Thanks Janna G.

  • Dear ForcingChange,

    First, big, giant hugs.

    I rode the Unicorn for 7 months and it was hell. It was actually a relief to hit D-day #2 (apparently *I* was the only one in Reconciliation) and realize once and for all what piece of shit he was. I won’t reiterate everything that the Brilliant ChumpLady said, other than to add my Amen to it.

    I will add that a group of amazing on-line women who had been through, or were going through, similar journeys were life-savers. I joined a forum for betrayed spouses and eventually, some of them pulled me into their secret facebook group (so we could show our real selves to each other). They are among my best friends to this day, 5 years later. (Has it really been that long since D-day #1?)

    Go forth and be mighty!

  • Yep. Move along little doggie. Not just for cattle and herd animals. Also for bastards who are moving to ruining our lives in another fantastic way. Don’t let him. Rule your life. Cut him out.

  • Dear FC. IT IS FINITE. Just yesterday I was reading my diary entries from a year ago. I had forgotten I was so so sad. In my case he filed for divorce but thank god because I don’t know if I would still have had the guts to leave although NOW I am so much happier. If that wasn’t painful enough when I discovered the affair it was the most unbearable pain I could imagine. My daughter picked me up off the floor for 4 months. I cried and cried and it seemed like it would never stop. AND I wasn’t the one who made the decision to leave so I can’t imagine how hard it is for most of the women on this site who chose to leave and go through this willingly. In hindsight I missed the lie. I was scared of being on my own as I had lost so much of myself. I went to am amazing support group and saw others further along the path which was very helpful. And one day I didn’t cry. And it sllloowwwwllly got better.

    One of the shit sandwiches about this whole thing is that you have to be the strongest (leave and get your shit together so that you can be there for your kids and kick ass during the divorce) when you are at your weakest (because you have been in a relationship with an AssHole who has slowly beaten you down.) So yeah I know what you are going through but I PROMISE it gets better.

    Another thing you will consciously have to do is learn to see and interact with him as the “narcissistic asshole who doesn’t give a shit about you” he really is. Its a huge paradigm shift in the mind and its takes effort and guts because you will have to learn to stand up for yourself.

    During this time take care of yourself, see friends, go to a support group or therapist or both like it did!. Its time to focus on YOU! Sometimes that can be scary too. You are not alone,

    • chumplisa – hugs to you. I don’t have kids with the stbx but I also wasn’t the one to leave. On the one hand, you’re right that trying to detach when you’re not the one cheating seems devastating. On the other hand, sometimes I get so angry that I never got to at least have that power to be the one to leave—mine just left, never mentioned any dissatisfaction with anything, stayed with me until he was sure he wanted to pursue his relationship with OW. A unilateral decision that was made without ever giving me a seat at the table. I have my good days and bad days owning the fact that he’s an asshole who doesn’t care about me—actions make it obvious, but it’s so hard to swallow that after a decade of what appeared to be real happiness.

    • You have to be strongest when you’re at your weakest. So, true. For some reason, recognizing the shit sandwich helped me. One day, instead of agonizing over details of his latest bullshit, I thought “wait, this is a shit sandwich.” It helped me bundle it up and set it aside.

  • Forcing Change – I had 3, count em, THREE D-Days with Fat Bastard. Each one is worse than the previous one. Each one took a bigger chunk of my soul with it.

    Don’t put yourself in the position of giving up pieces of your soul to a piece of shit, lying cheating son of a bitch who doesn’t deserve it.

    GET ANGRY!!!!

    He fucked you over. He fucked his kids over. He lied to you, cheated on you, emotionally abused you.

    He’s a sack of shit.

    You deserve so much better than him. So do your kids. You can raise happy, healthy, loving kids as a single parent. I know, I’ve done it and am still doing it. Better to do it as a single parent than to stay with someone who will consume you so completely that you have nothing left for your kids.

    You are Mighty – kick the shit sack to the curb and start building the life you deserve.

  • Part of the thrill for them is you grovelling and begging to let the marriage alive!!!

    That gives them a Narc Hard On. How fabulous is Mr. Fancy Pants that you will literally beg to keep his awesome self while he choses the love that will not be denied by OW!!!

    Once you stand up and fight for yourself, throw away the box of Kleenex and get rightiously pissed off – you will see the ugly Monster side of your Husband and you will be anxious for him to leave ( regardless of where he goes ).

    I think we have all been in your place. If only he could see how much pain he is causing. How much he had hurt us time and time again. How much I love him.
    He knows this but he does not care.
    Now you need to detach so that you can stop caring so very very much.

    It does get better. Not with him, but without him destroying your life and tearing you down to make himself bigger.
    You are just a kibble supply to their drama.

    Big hugs. I think you are very brave!

    • You are right. As soon as you stand up for yourself, they turn on you like a Cobra! later I realized DDay was the first time in 16 years that I *ever* even once told the entitled one that something he did was unacceptable to me, and boy did the big green monster come out! followed by the smear campaign.

      ForcingChange, your user name says it all — go ahead and force this change on your husband and divorce him ASAP, then prepare to see his true self.

    • Agreed.

      ForcingChange, when I look back on things, knowing what I now know, I can see that cheater tried to play me after I kicked him out. It was the hardest thing I had every done in my life but it turned out to be the best thing too. Of course I didn’t realize that at the time since I was a chump. He said the right things but didn’t do the right things. That had been the case all along but I didn’t realize it until I was away from him and working on me. He continued to lie, cheat, and blame me for all our problems (including his cheating) while I thought we were attempting reconciliation. His excuse was that he said I said we were done, which just showed he was still trying to manipulate me. When I finally stopped trying to fix what he broke, he stopped helping with the joint bills. I think that was his next tactic – hurt me financially and I would take him back without any work on his part. I was angry before but this forced me into action – apparently I’d let him mess with me but not with the roof over our daughter’s head. I filed and his threats began. I went no contact which drove him crazy. In the long run, it was financially worse for him to have handled things the way he did. Even when that was done, I fell apart and again, felt as if I had done something wrong.

      My point in sharing my story is that leaving a cheater is not easy at all. You will have a lot of bad days and few good days for a long time. You will hurt emotionally like you’ve never hurt before but one day, you will feel a little better. Then you’ll relapse and feel better again. The cycle repeats itself over and over, believe me. It’s been 2 1/2 years since my DDay and 6 months since my divorce was final. I have way more good days but the bad ones still occasionally happen. Your strength will be tested – take one day at a time but fight like hell for YOU!

      • It’s funny how angry they get when you finally file with the court, isn’t it? Mine was fine until it put that prospective financial burden on him… he was ready to kill me when I did that. It showed me a LOT about who he was, which was not at all who I thought!

        They really do us a favor by becoming that angry. We need to see their real stripes to know what we’re dealing with. It was MY fault I filed for divorce in court? I think not! Hmmm… I wasn’t the one disrespecting our marriage now, was I?

        • Yes, it is funny. He stopped helping with the bills and stopped contacting me at the same time. Wouldn’t return my calls or texts. I had to find him and confront him before he admitted that he wasn’t going to help with the bills anymore. Such a coward. Later after I filed and he had threatened me, he tried to say that he told me he need the money to pay his moving expenses and had planned to start helping me with the joint bills again. Such I liar – Iike I wouldn’t have remembered that from our conversation.

          None of us were the ones disrespecting the marriage or our spouses. That is all on them.

          • Mine was even worse than that… we ran a business together. I did ALL the accounting, backoffice paperwork, training of consultants, everything. He sold travel. That’s all. Of course, he always complained I never did anything right and didn’t want me in the business. In hindsight that satisfied his narc personality, and he also didn’t like me in the business because I might uncover some of his secrets that way.

            I sat at home running the business while he ran off to Thailand to see his 12 year old whore whose family’s house he was paying to build there, who he was paying to send to English School, etc. It’s amazing what a guy will do for a blow job.

            When the shit came down, he threatened to have me removed as a director of the company for neglecting my duties. WTF? I had threatened to just STOP doing all the backoffice stuff… of course, that would have cut into his f**king his whores time, which would have been… well… inconvenient for him. So his response was to threaten me into complying until we were divorced.

            So there I sat, running the business, with him claiming the business had no money left in it so he couldn’t PAY me to do that. I got some revenge though. During that time, I moved back to California, where me and my new boyfriend ran the business. He never had any idea I had help. I went out and got a contract Project Management job and made big bucks on that while my boyfriend, who was on workers comp for shoulder surgery dealt with the business’s books. He never found out about the $$ from that job!

            In the end, the courts in Sydney, Australia are very unfair. They are no-fault 50/50 like California, but he suddenly manufactured the money GIVEN to us for our house by his mother as a “gift” from her… the whole of which is returned to the family of origin under the laws of the land. In other words, nevermind how many times his mother had told me I was like the daughter she never had, and that the money for our house was for BOTH of us. Nevermind I had taken care of her through a broken ankle, while her son, my narc, was over in Thailand with his whores, nevermind the 20 years I spent financing our life and running our business. His mother’s money… he gets all the money from the house.

            I didn’t let it intimidate me. I kept after him in court and kept pushing on the $125k he had stolen in small cash amounts over the last 7 or 8 year, all of which I had documented passbook records of, and taken to Thailand to spend on his whores. Under the law, it was joint money, but you get a sympathetic judge, you never know what you’re going to get… it scared him enough and between that and a negotiation course I took just before trying to settle with him, I managed to get about 47%, despite his mother’s “gift”.

            But really, the hoops you have to jump through are insane. The law always seems to be geared to protect the man. (sorry male chumps… I swear it’s true).

            I’m now back in California, and engaged to one who is not a narc (the one who helped me with the books). My picker is well fixed. Even still, knowing how the law works, I will be protecting myself in every way I can find before marrying him!

            • ugh, that sucks! It’s not fair how hard you have to fight just to get a portion of what is yours already. I wish you well with your new guy – I hope he is very good to you!

              • Thank you. He is excellent to me always.

                I can’t even explain the subtle differences, but I have never for a moment had to have any trust issues with him. The difference between disordered and normal is just so obvious… it’s obvious when you have normal to compare to disordered. It sets everything straight in your mind! I highly recommended.

            • Tequilatamn – that’s a nightmare! but I’m struggling to call a 12 year old a whore – no matter what nationality or circumstance. Your ex is a pedophile.

              • Jayne, you are obviously not familiar with the Thai culture. The girls there are absolutely infatuated with western culture and designer clothes from a very young age and will do anything (or any fat disordered bastard, for that matter) to get whatever designer goods they can to show off. He was not taking advantage, the girl was happy to willingly do it to get whatever she wanted.

                I exaggerate slightly anyway. From all accounts the affair started when she was 16 which is (just) legal. He was 51 at the time, disgusting bastard.

                Australia takes what they call “travel solicitation” very seriously. If you can prove an Australian citizen has solicited sex from a girl under 16 in an Asian country, the Federal Police will go after them. It carries a 10 to 20 year prison sentence. I very seriously thought about turning the contents of his computer (which was a work computer, and as a director of our company I could legally backup and view the contents of to ensure he wasn’t embezzling, etc.) over to the Federal Police. But from all the digging I did he very specifically made sure she was just of-age before he penetrated, and since he was spending our money to build a house for her family, he very likely had their consent.

                (An aside, while it in some ways made it easier knowing the things he did were so despicable and pushed me to get rid of him as quickly as possible, it was SO horrendous knowing it all. He was really depraved. He would rotate young girls, get hooked up at nightclubs by pimps, and bring his 19 year old Australian skank with him to Thailand and get her to do sexual play with these Thai whores. He even took the 19 year old Aussie girlfriend to Thailand to buy her a labiaplasty, because apparently 19 year old girls think their genitala needs a facelift… She apparently had low self-esteem from being raped when she was 14… So his story goes… And nice of him to take advantage of that. And then there’s all the Thai girly-man porn (girl on top, boy on bottom) and young Thai boy porn I found on his computer. Pretty sure he was gay… Or something… But I digress…)

                By the time I got to the point of settlement, which I needed to do before trying to press charges with the police, because if we were still married when he had to defend himself, he could go through our joint assets doing it, I was in such meh, I decided karma would take care of him with either some sort of financial obligation he couldn’t get out of, or perhaps gonnorhea or syphillis… Something fair to correspond to the crimes.

                Anyway, yes he was a pedophile, but the girls were anything but innocent. They were not forced, and willingly consented. I found e-mails from his Australian girlfriend to her 22 year old bodybuilding boyfriend apologizing the she had to break up with him, but that she needed a car and plastic surgery (the labiaplasty) and finally found a guy who was willing to fork over the money to give her those things, so for now he’d have to deal with it. That was actually a moment of satisfaction for me… He obviously was spying on her e-mails, and I love to think of the look on his face when she said outright to her boyfriend she was only screwing him to get cars and plastic surgery… Especially after finding e-mails from him to his sleazy friends talking about how he’d finally found a girl who genuinely loved him for him… Lol… Right… Cause teenage girls ALWAYS love morbidly obese, smelly guys their grandfather’s age for THEM. Narcissistic, disordered, freaky, delusional, fat bastard. I wonder now how I could have put up with that for so long, then I remember how elk he hid all that and beat me down with guilt about what an awful person I was… Like others, I had some health problems, and apparently was so dramatic… How dare I?

                It’s been about a year since I’ve written any of this down, and as I write, I realize how much I could still nail his ass to the wall for the things he’s done and with all the evidence I have. But you know, it would only ruin my eternal sunshine and inner peace. I wouldn’t go back there for anything. And I don’t have to. He has dug his own grave, and karma will take care of him.

                Even being all the awful things he is and has done, I was still once in that place of sad and begging. I realize now it was shock. I never would have picked him as such a monster, and it took a long time to realize he was creating an awful me to combat all his bad and put the whole thing on me.

                Anger was pretty easy once I got my hands on the contents of his computer, though, and I fought for myself to get out.

                And I realize from the way I matter of factly tell you the details now, I’m past that and well into meh.

                D-Day was August 2013. It took a year and a half to get to meh. I hope others can use that timeframe to realize the pain doesn’t have to last too long! And life becomes the opposite of what it was when you were with them.

                I used to be so sad for losing 20 years of my life to him. Now I am thankful to have a great rest of my life to look forward to! What a wonderful thing! 5 years in this new frame of mind will make up for 40 years of bad!

      • I agree with all that has been said. I am 2 1/2 years out, since he walked out. Coming up on 2 years that the divorce was final. There will be good days and bad days. The bad days get less and less. The pain is horrible but you will get through it. I cried for months. I tried reconciliation talks but was the only one trying. I got the same crap from him. Full blown shit sandwich. To this day, I still occasionally get the passive text of Happy whatever day and when I do not respond the way he wants, then I get the aggressive shit all over again. How I killed the marriage, blah, blah, blah. The only way for me to not go stark raving mad, is to not respond. NO CONTACT. I will never make sense out of his nonsense. I refuse to have some assclown keep telling me how this is all my fault when he decided to join a dating website and got scammed. It is still a struggle to not take the bait. I have to remember that I am not the crazy one. I am done trying to beg for crumbs from an asshole who does not deserve me. He will never change. Take it one day at a time and talk to anyone who will help you through this. I thought I was going to die from the pain but I am still here. It takes a while to get angry and stop feeling sad. If I had not taken steps to protect myself and had waited for him to file (which is what he ordered), I would still be married. He did not have the resources financially after he borrowed money and took payday loans to send Western Union’s to Ghana. I had to do it all after he checked out and fell into suicidal depression after finding out he was scammed and there was no 27 year old girl. Nope, he had no remorse for leaving me and the family after 23 years. All his sadness was that he was scammed and alone. Boo fucking hoo. I have no sympathy for the shitty choices he made. When I start to feel any sort of sadness or nostalgia, I remember the horrible things he has done and said. That fuels my anger. I had someone tell me the other day that I should get over being angry because it is unhealthy. Well to bad, not going to happen. I will be angry as long as I feel like it. I prefer being angry to crying over a fat, sad old man.

        • No one has the right to tell you your anger is unhealthy. Fuck that. So his plans to fuck you over went awry? He got scammed? Karma bus riding right over. You stay strong, he didn’t give a shite for you – thems the choices thems the consequences.

        • Chrissa, so funny you should mention the passive Happy whatever day texts. I get those too. I’m No Contact but I don’t block him because of our daughter whose over 18 so no real need for us to be in contact but you never know if something was to happen. I got a Merry Christmas text from him on Christmas Day which I promptly deleted without response.

          Something I do know though is that he sends these texts to multiple women so I’m just in that group now. Prior to DDay, I wasn’t in that group though! When I suspected he was cheating, I was checking his phone regularly for confirmation of my suspicions and noticed that on Valentines Day and Mothers Day he had sent Happy messages to several women. So now, when I get those texts, I laugh and delete them knowing I’m just one of many he’s trolling that day to feed his ego and look like a caring person.

      • Thank you ByeByeCheater.

        “He said the right things but didn’t do the right things. That had been the case all along but I didn’t realize it until I was away from him and working on me. He continued to lie, cheat, and blame me for all our problems (including his cheating) while I thought we were attempting reconciliation. His excuse was that he said I said we were done, which just showed he was still trying to manipulate me”

        I’ve just had the exact same thing happen to me. My STBX has just spent yet another weekend doing you know what with the OW and used the excuse that I had said we were done to justify it. I had said no such thing. However thanks to the wonderful support from CL and CN, the divorce is proceeding full steam ahead and there is no possibility of wreckonciiation,

        Thanks everyone – you are truly mighty <3

        • Chumpella, I wish you all the best as you move forward with the divorce and hope you are able to go No Contact with him. It’s awesome!

  • You need to let it sink in that he really is a a jerk. He doesn’t love you. At. All.

    He’s not on your team, he’s not on your side. He’s not looking out for your best interests, or that of your family. At. All.

  • Forcing Change,
    I am one of the ones whose husband didn’t even try. Gleefully tromped his way through two instant families and had an Adultery Baby before the decree was dry. Landed soft by lovebombing a desperate divorcee who cheerfully rears the OW’s baby as if it’s normal to be married in June and living with her in November, and an extramarital pregnancy in between. So seven people living in a shitty apartment by the freeway is her dream come true. A literal clusterfuck.

    One would think that logic and anger would trump pain and loss, but for several months I had to teach myself to UNLOVE this person. You don’t see it now, but the gift of irrelevance in a disordered motherfucker’s mind is your freedom.

    I begged. I begged him to stay. I begged him to go to MC. I begged him not to abandon his stepdaughter and rip my stepdaughter away. It took time and reason to realize I was begging for my own destruction. Being forced to accept my own obsolescene in the pig trough of his life freed me form a situation I never would have created on my own. Hey, I might struggle to pay bills on time now. I had a shitty, distracted PTSD year at work. But I was removed from a sordid situation immediately that I never would have chosen for myself or my daughter. I have morals. I have ETHICS. Would I have helped raise the OW’s child?

    Honestly, no. I bear the baby no ill will. I just don’t have the saintly virtue one can find plentiful on the neraest daytime talk show. That is some Maury level shit sandwich croquembouche.

    I WISH I were more like kb, or LiningUpDucks. I wish I had forced more workplace and financial consequences for them both. I wish I had planned more and given up less,I wish I had done what my MMA trained nephews wanted to do- show up with a stack of empty boxes the Sunday after D-Day and forcibly pack his ass into his car and send him to Jake From State Farm’s ghetto apartment from the house he had no rights to. But I was a chump.

    I begged. All I can say is, find your anger quicker than I did. Remove the Chump Goggles and let your disgust move along the unloving. I can guarantee that once the truth is out, you will never see the mask on again, You will never see the person you loved no mater how badly you want to.

    And take your MMA trained nephews up on any and all offers to remove his cancer ass from your vicinity, if willing and legal. Even the Game of Thrones finale is on and you want things to be civil.

    Sticking one’s dick in another woman is not civil.

    • “It took time and reason to realize I was begging for my own destruction.” Ah, so true. I would have to add that you have to replace the bad with good and it doesn’t all happen as quickly as we want it to. I think that is why we read so many books and we need the support here. It fills the emptiness with knowledge and an awakening that leads to that reason.

      Also, when you are hit with so many things at once it is hard to find cover to protect yourself. Sometimes it feels like that cover is right by the one that hurt you the most. Until that one day when you realize that you don’t really like the scars, the hurt, and the constant bleeding that is the wire monkey. Especially bad when one is a flippin wire flying monkey. So glad I found the wire cutters (or sledge hammer) – just wish I could actually use them.

        • Very true Luziana, it takes time to “unlove” someone. I went straight for divorce when I found out about the cheating but that was after a false separation where he lied to just about everybody (meanwhile he was having an affair), blamed me for everything, drank in bars with losers and was an all round absent father. Looking back now, with the non-sparkly glasses, he had been a shitty husband for a long time. It really took the affair for me to see all the pieces fit together.

          I was very scared and I very much had hoped for an “intact” family. I loved him. However, I was pissed off and I lawyered up fast and got him out. I was generous in letting him have the household items I didn’t care about and could replace. And he got out! I was relieved. But then I grieved. I cried and cried for months. I could not believe this was my life but slowly and carefully I have built a new life and yes, it is better than the life I left behind. I trust my instincts and I’ve come to see my cheater for the manipulative loser he really is. I go VERY minimal contact. It’s saved my sanity. And I let him fail and fall and flop around now. It’s his life now to sort out. And what a clusterfuck his life is! No friends, AP left, new girlfriend turned out to be a shit show and so on…

          I’m almost 3 years out and yes, there are still difficult days but more better days than not. I love having my life back, and fuckwit can do whatever he wants – there is no way I’d go back to that. In all honesty I wish I’d left him sooner but the affair was my ticket out. Like CL says, I was invested. He wasn’t.

          If I can do it, anyone can do it. You can do this FC!

    • “Sticking one’s dick in another woman is not civil.”
      I think this will be my subject line next time I need to email Narkles the Clown on anything

    • “Sticking one’s dick in another woman is not civil.”

      OMG!!! My ex literally told me (after I took him for basically all of our stuff and A LOT of maintenance), “I cannot believe I trusted you to be civil.” Excuse me? I am the one expected to be civil? I wish I would have thrown this line back at him! But, good news is, I was already no-contact by then…

      • Haha! My ex says, “It’s important to be civil for our daughter.” What the hell is it with cheaters and civility? They are the least “civil” people out there, but oh God do they want to be treated with kid gloves and entitlement.

        I love that response. I’ll use it next time “civility” comes up.

        • After 24 years my ex whore gave me that same line, that NOW we can be better parents …while she was fucking our daughters boyfriends dad…delusional..anger is so much better than sadness

      • I think I’d rather have all the stuff and the maintenance than have a cheater think I’m “civil”. Lol

      • That should be on a t-shirt or a mug. It’s great. And then I can take it to work, I don’t drink coffee, but I sure as hell make a hot cup of tea with it and stretch the time it is seen in the break room. Maybe someone there will get a clue.

        • I hope I get a chance to say this line (I can never think of something this good in the middle of it). I think gallows humor about all the shit is the best way to go. The people on CL are hilarious. I’ve missed laughing so much.

    • Chump Goggles is very descriptive. I realized how little X had to work to manipulate me because I had used buckets of spackle convincing myself we had a good relationship worth saving. He was such an asshole that I finally snapped and got angry and started making decisions for myself.

  • This right here: “You just miss the Lie — the person he pretended to be”

    This is soooo true, I cannot express how true it is. It sucks that they pretend but once you realize that, you free yourself to go off in search of who you wanted in the first place.

    Liberate yourself! Take it one day at a time.

  • It’s something I’m not proud of but can speak from experience on begging the cheater to not leave our family, to please try, why, ugh.., I went to his apartment crying asking him again. It gets worse, he listed a few things he’d like to hear me apologize for and I did. He then told me to leave… I’m cringing as I post this.
    I was pathetic, you don’t want to be like me.
    Your Cheater has made his decision to leave, it’s been decided long before you found out about it.
    It’s painful to hear but face it ASAP. He’s gone, and his decision to leave isn’t anything to do with you.
    He’s a selfish, heartless moron who doesn’t care about you. Sadly, he doesn’t care that he is shattering his children lives.., I had a difficult time realizing it had nothing to do with me. He wants out.
    Why would I want to be in the room with someone so callous? A person who is destroying his children lives for his own selfish reasons.
    He’s obviously not happy. They deserve a better life than to be living with someone miserable.
    Remember your children need you to set an example of self pride, dignity and grace.
    Not a groveling, begging, snotting wimp as I was..be strong by standing up for you and your children
    Your Cheater is your enemy.
    I know it’s all so overwhelming not what you planned, and your holing on to a shred of hope he will change his mind but he isn’ going to.
    My heart goes out to you. So much to think about, it’s overwhelming and heartbreaking,lots of emotions to get through but stay on CN site and read, Stay away from Cheater, not talking to him unless you absolutely have to. You can do this, chin up, be strong and be thankful you have your children, they need you now more than ever to show them their world is still secure and you are there for hem taking care of things.
    Cheaters are so selfish they have no regard or conscious, they do what they want, when they want and no one is going to get in their way. Remember to read everything you can on this site.. Great words of advice here and you know you are never alone.. We have all faced what we thought would never happen.

  • The thing that made me realize I needed to stop pining for my douchecanoe ex was this: In 5 years we will be long divorced. This divorce is inevitable, it is happening. I know that in 5 years I’m not going to look back and say “gee, I sure wish I sat around in my dirty pajamas and unwashed hair and cried more.” I’m going to say “I’m sure glad I hiked that mountain in Alaska/went to spin class/performed at open mic night/joined that kickball league/took that trapeze class.” Life is going to pass. Divorce is going to happen. You are grieving, and that is important, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make decisions every day that are about doing things for you. Be the person today so when you look back in 5 years and say “I’m so glad I did that!”

    • Beautiful! In the midst of my own sadness and mourning (DDay #2), when part of me felt like sobbing and begging at his feet, I had a moment of clarity: What do I really want? What would I be begging for? What I wanted was for none of it to have happened, for everything to go back to “before.” But that wasn’t possible. I knew the outcome was inevitable, and I knew the only way forward was through the pain. Never looked back.

      • Great way to look at it, and I agree… have been telling myself this phrase I read somewhere… you are riding on the horse, and it’s headed in one direction, don’t you want to turn around and be able to see where you are going? In other words your relationship was already dead when the cheating began. Visualizations really help me so whenever I’m “missing” what I thought I had, I picture myself riding on a horse and facing backwards, then I turn myself around.

        • ‘ Visualizations really help me so whenever I’m “missing” what I thought I had, I picture myself riding on a horse and facing backwards, then I turn myself around’.

          Muse – thems powerful words girl. 🙂

    • I’m having trouble, I’m starting to spiral down into the ‘I has a sad’ and I needed a good pep talk. I have made the decision to leave and not look back. To not try the wreck. But I can say that all I want until it really is a good time to pull the trigger and show him what I know. This ^^^^ is shit I need to hear. I will not sit in my jammies and sulk and think about him doing this. I will decide to care about me. To do what I want for me. And eventually it won’t be just to spite him by not thinking about him. It will be for fun and for me. Thank you

      • Creative – you got this girl! Write a list of songs you loved before you even knew this shithead existed and Youtube them. Remind yourself of who you were before he came along to devalue you. Play that Youtube list. You are more than he has the right to be smiled at, let alone think he knows. You are so much more than him and his little drama! xx

        Youtube … happy New Year xxxx

  • FC. As repeated above… Stay in tune with this site as much as you can and take heed to all the advice that everyone who has gone through this has to offer. Read chumplady’s archives. There is so much valuable information here. I know that knowing you are not alone doesn’t take away the raw and agonizing pain you are feeling. I know that knowing you are not alone doesn’t stop you from questioning your heart filled actions … do whatever you can do to remind yourself daily that you did not lie. You did not cheat. You did not steal. You did not manipulate. All of it sucks. It is the biggest betrayal of trust all around and it hurts, hurts, hurts. Just get up each day and push yourself to do whatever you can do… a little at a time if that’s all that you’ve ‘got’. I wish I had known about this site years ago… it would really have helped me understand and get through the ‘mindfuckery’ that was played by my ex. Best wishes to you.

  • FC – I also had trouble letting go. It took 2 YEARS of the “Pick Me Dance” before he chose her and moved out. Instead of celebrating our 25th anniversary – like I’d planned for DECADES – I sat home alone, looking at my divorce decree. It was devastating.

    5 years later, I’m largely over it. The sleepless nights are a thing of the past. I don’t care who he’s with or what they’re doing. The only thing that bothers me now is the kids watching their schoolmates’ intact families and wishing they had one. THAT’S hard. Mostly because XH has no interest in parenting and hasn’t seen the kids in months. But frankly, I’m okay with that. The less influence he has on them, the better…

  • FC,

    I think (OK, I know) you are going to get through this and come out the other end better. After uncovering my ex-wife’s long term affair, it did not take long to ask for a divorce and kick her out. As much as my actions were kick-ass and not chumpy, it was painful as hell.

    I was proactive and angry (most of the time) and clearly did the right thing… but guess what, I still loved her. Despite intellectually knowing how shitty she was, it took a good long time afterwards to not love her. I think that is normal (after 20 years), it sucks, but as CL said, thank goodness it is 100% finite.

    I cannot tell you how much better life is now. Best wishes to you.

  • “And I realize how low I am. How ashamed of myself I am. I can’t even look my kids in their eyes. Please tell me how to stop begging.”

    FC,

    I too begged a serial cheater to “give us another chance.” Lowest point of my life, by far. Gum-on-the-bottom-of-your-shoe low. Flattened-cockroach-stuck-on-gum-on-the-bottom-of-your-shoe low. Maybe lower.

    I still wonder what damage I did to my sons by the example I set during that conspicuously desperate time. They claim no favorites between Mom and Dad, but in the 7 years since D-day the ratio of time they’ve chosen to spend with their mother compared to me is north of 10:1. Sometimes I wonder if that’s not the result of my pathetic behavior and the fact that no none (especially teenagers) wants to identify with a loser.

    And yet, I believe my choices came from a good place, from wanting the best for my family and a willingness to do whatever I could to give that to them. And also from my (perhaps sometimes ill-advised) belief in the healing power of love. I was reminded of this when I saw a video over the weekend of an abused dog being petted for the first time, and then the pooch’s amazing progress over a few days and weeks. It’s really hard to watch at first, but in the end terribly moving:

    http://www.break.com/video/abused-dog-is-petted-for-the-first-time-2992625

    If you’re the kind of person who believes in redemptive power of love and affection, really *believes* in it like most people believe that the sun rises in the morning and ice melts above 32 degrees, then it’s not surprising that we have trouble grasping that our love cannot heal our cheaters’ hearts. We believe we can change our cheaters with forgiveness and affection just as that good person changed that abused dog with petting and cooing.

    And yet, of course, we can’t. We are helpless to change others, including our cheating spouses. And that’s true no matter how good our intentions or how exhaustive our effort. And of course if that video is an analogy for anything, the dog is most certainly not a cheater but an abused chump, howling and nearly out of its mind with fear. The person petting the dog? I think she stands for true friends, loyal family, kind souls of all kinds, and all the goodness that’s out there waiting in a post-cheater world.

    It gets better. It truly does. All partners aren’t abusive. And we all deserve a frolic among dry leaves with other happy pups.

    • nomar, I watched the video of the dog yesterday and I braced myself when I hit the play button. I can so identify with that poor little dog as I am sure all we Chumps can do. I am very sorry that your sons choose to be with their cheating mother more than their very decent father. By the way my 2 kids have chosen their sperm donor over me at 100:0. It hurts but kids will choose what they will choose. You sound like such a very good and decent man to me and you are in a very small minority I fear. All the very best for a happy future.

      • Maree – I don’t have kids so take this with whatever quantity of salt you wish. But while there are no guarantees, if you keep doing what you need to do as a parent, I think often there’s a good chance that when the kids get older they’ll eventually see the situation for what it is. It’s hard as a kid to internalize that a parent is an asshole, but I think as we get older we can see our parents as humans more clearly, including all their flaws and, in some cases, total lack of moral character.

        • stbxisgross, thank you but my kids are a daughter 36 and a son 33. They are not young kids but have chosen their sperm donor who now lives with a 23 year old prostitute and her 2 boys in S.E.Asia and they accept his behaviour as normal. I am doing really well now but I still feel like I am in someone’s life story and not my own. I had planned to have a lovely home life for our kids and I did for well over 30 years but it has been destroyed by the ex and yet I am blamed. One day maybe they will go up and see what has really happened but I don’t think so. I think my son does love me but he is ashamed and embarrassed and has moved interstate and my daughter I know despises me. I cannot do anything about that and so I let both of them be and hope that they have very happy, healthy and productive lives without the heartache I have suffered.

          • Maree….I am trying to wrap my head around how my oldest daughter can chose her father and his whore and her sons. She refuses to speak to me. We always butted heads when she was growing up. Her Dad always backed her up against me. So many times I felt like she was the other woman in my marriage. Seems I was right. It’s almost sickening the relationship they have versus the one he has with my youngest….but I see now….my youngest is so much like me in ways I never imagined.

            • Tracy, you have just described me and my daughter and her being the other woman in the marriage. I know now that my ex husband’s loyalty jumped from his mother straight to our daughter when she was born and I was nothing in the scheme of things. At 16 years of age our daughter nearly destroyed our family for her 1st love and she is married to another young man now. One night against my morals and standards, I allowed this 1st boyfriend to stay in our daughter’s room and I was not happy. I was lying in bed crying next to my then husband and the house was quiet and dark as everyone had gone to bed. The next thing I know, my daughter was standing next to me in the dark and she bent down and said quietly “why don’t you just get out of this house”. My ex husband just let it go and never came to my defence but he never did. That is that power my daughter had and still has. I won’t be seeing her again, I know that now but it is almost a relief as well. It is very sad because she was so wanted and loved but sometimes loving someone is not enough.

              • Maree – I witnessed a man doing this with his daughter. He’d ‘courted’ his wife for years (decades) and eventually married her. They had a daughter and instantly it seemed, there was an allegiance against the mother. The daughter (very young when I knew her – maybe up to aged 10?11?) had the same contemptuous attitude towards her mother as did the father. I knew nothing of Narcs then but it seemed a sick dynamic to me looking in. I never understood why the fuck he’d married his wife when his whole attitude was so contemptuous, but he did. I don’t think she did anything other than love her husband and her daughter – certainly, I can hand on heart say I never saw her do anything that warranted such disrespect.

              • Maree….I just got chills reading that. My daughter did the very same thing to me. She told me I didn’t belong in the house. She also “voted” with her father and his whore to kick out her sister from the house who had just broken her back a week before. Who does that???? It’s like those horror movies with Damien the spawn of Satan. I kept thinking what am I doing wrong….is it me??? And then once I was evicted out of the house….this same daughter stole from me and set me up to go to dinner with her where my husband would be…..he has a restraining order filed against me. We were in a restaurant of her choosing…..and 15 minutes late the police show up and escort me out. I was arrested for violating the order……he hid In a corner…I never even saw him. I find out later that my daughter finished her meal….went and spoke to her father for 2 hours…..as I sat in jail. They planned it…..while I was in jail she emptied my bank account and stole my jewelry including my wedding ring.
                I try to move past that….to say he has manipulated her….but she has always been the OW. Always. One time we had a snow storm….and I had to work that day…she did as well. My husband went out and cleaned off her car….and not mine. When I asked him he said “you can do it yourself”…….

                Ok…..I am making my own skin crawl with how this is all reading back to me. And I didn’t see it for what it was at the time……they did a great job at making me crazy.
                I sent that girl to Costa Rica…Czech Republic…Disney….Japan….all school trips. Paid her college tuition….. prom dresses…
                And she sets me up for jail with her Dad. And I’m the sad sod upset that she chose him….refuses to talk to me……
                Clearly I am still being chumped by her.

                Thanks for sharing your story. It helps. I need reminded of what they ARE….not what I WISH they were.

          • I have a similar situation with my son. My son and I were close, I was an active volunteer all through elementary school, band parent, had his involved in all kinds of activities outside of school. Meanwhile X and son did nothing together and didn’t get along. I tried everything to get X to do things with our son. X claimed they had nothing in common and he wanted to do his own thing. When X decide to leave he became friendly with our son making all sorts of promises and demonized me. In the beginning when X left my son would do things to help me out ask if he could take me out to dinner.. because he knew I had a lot on my mind. One night at dinner X called and my son was proud to tell X he was taking me out to dinner. I could hear X over the phone yelling at our son that he shouldn’t be doing anything for me, my sons face flushed red. Since then my son move out to stay with X, I rarely see him, he contacted me last spring to when he and his father weren’t getting along. I bought him clothes and helped him find a job. I heard from him a couple of times afterwards when he said he was coming over but never showed up.
            Last spring I had hoped that maybe we would have a relationship.. my heat is broken, I was a devoted wife an mother and loved my son more than anything. He was once such a thoughtful and loving young man. Today I see something much different, unfortunately he’s become more like his father.

    • “Sometimes I wonder if that’s not the result of my pathetic behavior and the fact that no none (especially teenagers) wants to identify with a loser.”

      Nomar–NO ONE, I repeat NO ONE (not even hormone-addled teenagers) could think of you as a loser. There is a strange phenomenon where abused children will often gravitate toward the abusive parent–a version of the “pick me” dance. The kids, somewhere in their unconscious brain, believe (like many of us chumps), “If I can just do this one thing… or this thing…or if I cuddle up to abusive-jerk, THEN he/she will love me!!!!”

      You are your children’s base; they KNOW they can count on you, so they’re spending time trying to curry favor with the parent who puts herself above them (and they know that). The same thing happened with my therapist–a kind, compassionate, man who raised two children only to see his daughter ask to go live with her sociopathic mother. Painful, but not a reflection on my therapist (or on you).

      • Asswipe claims he loves his kids would die for them but when one visited recently barely spent anytime at all with the kid. Hasn’t seen the kid in years but did play big daddy show off buy, buy, spend, spend, did not spend one quality moment alone with the kid who wanted time with dad. And he foisted upon the kid the same short tempered bullshit he does with everyone nowadays. He yelled at the kid move I’m doing something here as nasty as he could and berated said kid for bad life decisions. Kid screamed don’t talk to me like that and don’t tell me shit about life and fuck you and your morals look what you did to mom you fuckhead! And hes pissed because the kid doesn’t like the whore for sleeping with dad while still married to mom. Told dad that whore is talking to me about morals and how I should live my life when the two of you fucked mom over!! The two of you have no morals and are fucked up. Like me the kid doesn’t want to live anywhere near dad seen him in action once too often and how he has changed. Claimed to me that is not the father I know. They do figure it out on their own he tried his best to get the kid on his side but the kid wouldn’t budge. The kid says once or twice a year seeing him is enough.

      • Thank you, Tempest. I appreciate the kind words. Though I think I was a little sloppy in what I said. I don’t think I am pathetic or that I’m a loser. Quite the contrary, since my divorce my life has gotten immensely better by any imaginable standard. What I meant is that the way I acted during the failed reconciliation was to all outward appearances pathetic, and that in my campaign to “win back” my marriage I lost (and THANK GOODNESS for that!). Appearances shouldn’t matter–but they do. Especially with kids, I think.

        I just can’t help wondering if my sons wouldn’t have been better equipped to deal with their mother, as well as other sociopaths they may encounter in life, if I had modeled better boundaries and greater self-respect. Both boys are in their early 20s now. Further maturation of their gray matter and some life experience might bestow on them the lessons they need. I remain hopeful that they will eventually figure it out.

        • Teens have attention spans roughly equivalent to a gnat (how long does the average 9th grade romance last? Based on my daughter, about 3 days). I doubt your seeming “pathetic” while trying to reconcile has much to do with their desire to live with their mother. Hypothesis 2–most kids do want some kind of structure, but some kids secretly want to be Pippi Longstocking–no parent, a trunk full of money, cookies for breakfast, and a great treehouse. Perhaps the cheater-X is the “no parent, cookies for breakfast” type.

          • Yes, my ex-wife is definitely the house of “cool mom/frozen pizza whenever/no limits on internet use/no supervision/no curfew,” etc. And my shrink explained to me when this all went down that 99% of teens will pick the home with fewer restrictions. My only choice was to compete in a race to the bottom parentally speaking or allow them to live primarily with their mom. Painful as hell, but I don’t take it as entirely personal.

            • mulling this over all day–however sad you perceive yourself as being after D-day (that may or may not have impacted your sons), *you divorced her.* In the end, THAT is what your sons remember; you stood up for yourself and created a better life. Kids tolerate weakness and foibles and downright errors from their parents all the time. In the end, it’s the decisive *actions* they remember, and in that, you were mighty.

          • I loved Pippi Longstocking – and yeah – I probably still would love a trunk full of money, cookies for breakfast and a great treehouse. Sorry Nomar, you’re ace but …. 😉

          • Nomar, I have two children, one 31 and the other 28. The 28 yo was always close to his dad and had similar interests. The older was had interests similar to mine. For awhile after we separated my 28 yo gravitated towards his father. Later, he told me “if it wasn’t for me, Dad would have no one.” My ex’s relationship with the 31 yo is damaged but I think it’s getting better.

            Someone gave me good advice that I’ve tried hard to follow — they said the best thing you can do for your kids is be happy. After a recent visit, one of my DIL’s told me that they think I’m in a good place, but my ex seems sad and depressed. It seems to me that the kids just want both parents to be happy.

            I called the kids crying and sobbing in the beginning, which they hated. What a terrible thing to deal with when you’re getting married and launching your own life — to watch your parents’ marriage of 31 years crumble! During “the troubles” my kids avoided me, but they are starting to come back around. They see that I’ve gotten the counseling I needed, and am building a happy life for myself. It seems to help when I pull out pictures from their childhood, or otherwise remember stories about them. Maybe it reestablishes a connection to their past that’s been frayed by the trauma.

            You are a wise, compassionate and funny person. It comes through your writing, which I always enjoy. Just keep working on making yourself happy. As for myself, I finally got the nerve to tell my younger son that I felt left out of his life, and I thought I deserved better from him. Our relationship actually improved after I let him know how I felt. Sometimes I think we have to learn to stand up to our children too.

        • and let’s face it, we’re all battling the fact that our progeny have 50% of their genes from a fucktard. We can only hope our inheritance to them is dominant.

      • I agree with you Temp, I’m seen as weak, I have no power, I don’t have as much $$.
        X brags about what he does for a living and the money he makes.. X makes fun of our son when he has seen me and is full of derogatory comments.. Makes jokes at my expense.
        I fucking hate him.

  • First, what you are feeling and doing is perfectly normal. I bet most of us bargained with the in the beginning to stay (known around here as the pick me dance). What helped me accept it was over was distance and time. Send him packing now! Do not bargain on this one. He wants out tell him he has x days to find a new place. And then be firm. He will still want to come around and be buddies, etc. Tell him hell no! He wants out then sever the relationship with him. You will have to co-parent but that needs to be treated in a business manner. As mentioned by several above, you go no contact as much as possible. I believe that has to happen to move forward. Contact should be written only and you document everything. Do not speak to him. It will give him the chance to manipulate you. You have to do what’s right for you and not hearing him speak will help you. This is all a process of you detaching from him. It has to happen. Hire a lawyer asap. Get references and hire the toughest one you can find. They are the business part of the transaction. They will look out for your best interest. Your marriage end is just like mine. She wanted out and told me about the affair to get out even though it was over. It was the breaking point for me. I knew we were done and i’m sure you do too. It sucks being cheated on and rejected. Just know the rejection is not your fault. CL says this is a blessing and I believe her. There has been no attempt at reconciling by her or me. It’s best so you don’t have to deal with guilt you are ending the marriage. You shouldn’t feel guilty about any of this. You fought for your marriage every day and didn’t step out on him when things got tough. The end is 100% on him. It’s going to hurt a long time. But the pain lessens a little every day. I’m 8 months out and the hurt is significantly less. I now think more about how to build a new rewarding life more than the end of the relationship. Oh, get you a support team together. It’s helps is so many ways. Family and friends 100% loyal to you. Tell them exactly what has happened. Don’t try to protect him. I did that initially for my kids and it was a mistake. And be prepared for him to not accept that you can’t be friends. I still get text trying to draw me into a friendly conversation or asking for help/advice. I delete them! You do it too. I’m so sorry you are here. This is the best place you could end up. Read the archives here and join the forum. There is a ton of wisdom to be shared. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions. Everyone here i’ve encountered has always been helpful and some have been in much worse circumstances than you. Stay strong!

    • Lostntx, Good advice, I’d like to add, when X comes around or calls wanting to be “Buddies,”
      don’t buy into it, as tempting as it will be to think he cares.., he wants something from you.
      Once he gets what he wants he’s going to treat you like something he needs to scrape off the bottom of his shoe.. unfortunately, I’ve experienced it and read the same story over and over on this site and others.
      It’s as if they all have studied from the same text book. I agree with Lostntx, don’t cover for him, so he won’t look bad. Everyone deserves to hear the truth. Your X has probably already started a smear campaign against you. Nothing ever is their fault, in their eyes they will do and say anything to maintain their image.
      We’re easy targets, at the time (without this site) we don’t know what has hit us, we feel numb, in a fog, still hopeful it will all go away, making excuses for X. I thought I was taking the high road buy not talking about what was going on. In the back of my mind I also thought that X would notice that I didn’t say anything about him and come to his senses and coming running back to me.. No, he only took advantage of my ignorance.
      X’s imagination came alive, he told so many ridiculous stories about me. X told anyone he ran into he had to leave because I was unstable. He also told people he was concerned about my mental stability, to keep an eye one me, all while shedding a few tears, he just couldn’t living with me any longer… the things he said would make anyone afraid to get near me.. don’t trust him.
      Take care of yourself..,

      • Yea. The mental I instability ploy. New to me as no one had ever called me that but apparently very played out for cheaters. He claimed he feared for the children s well being as i was for sure unstable….yet he never tried to take the children away from such an unhealthy environment. Yet he told me he thought he was bi- polar. Later he said he only told me that because he thought it was what I wanted to hear. Well I said…we know who is the crazy one here.

  • Yes, it hurts like a motherf**er when you love someone and they don’t love you back. There is nothing you can do to change someone….ever.

    I keep clearly hearing the words of someone so very wise saying “You can love someone but that doesn’t mean you can make a life with someone”.

    I echo kdrotar. Your marriage is done. You can take your life back now or in 25 years. You choose.

    Please don’t be like me. I wasted too much time re-investing in a relationship that was done after my EX’s first affair. At DD#1 I was frozen and didn’t know what to do. (This was in the days long before CL and CN.) So I stayed and I waited and it got better and then it got worse and then it was hell. I could have had kids if I had ended it after DD#1…instead I wasted my childbearing years on a fucktard hoping….

    It is scary but you can do it. We are here for you.

    Hugs

    • Moving forward … I too wasted my childbearing years on a fucktard – (not a cheater, but a fucktard nevertheless) – wish I could find a tardis and go have a word with the me then!

      • And I married a fucktard because I desperately wanted children.

        Lesson to all of us–there are ways to have children as a single parent, and frankly, if you’re conscientious, they can turn out better with a single mother/father than living in a dysfunctional home.

        • I married a FUT (f*&king useless twit) because I felt like I was being left behind by life and wanted to have a child so my dying mother would have the joy of a grandchild.

          Despite being almost 7 years out, I still beat myself up for breeding with a f*&ktard. All the pain in my kids eyes makes me wish I had made a much better choice BUT I don’t regret tossing FUT’s ass out.

  • FC, listen to all these wise people here. You will survive this, you will not only survive this, you will thrive!

    I also begged him to make it work one time, we had another stupid fight – over a senseless thing, and he went ape shit and wanted us to separate, I begged him to give ME a try again, how pathetic I must of seem to him – except I didn’t know at the time that he was already in an affair with one our “friends” .

    Please don’t be ashamed. It is NOT your shame to carry. You can turn this around starting today, you are stronger than you think. Yes, we agree it is very scary to make a move – but isn’t it scarier to live like this for the rest of your life? Isn’t it scarier to live with a man that does not love you, or does not love you ENOUGH? You can do this!

    • I was the most wonderful wife and mother til I wasn’t. And that happened when he met the whore. Instantly I became unwanted and terrible. I refuse to be with anyone who treats me like shit and blames me for his shortcomings. The bitch can have him he will do it to her. He already has. I don’t want to be with anyone who doesn’t want to be with me, hold me in value, is not honest and doesn’t have my back. I’m better off on my own, I no longer care what happens to him. Not my circus not my monkeys.

  • Even though you now see the truth about him, it is fear of the unknown life without him that keeps you clinging on — it’s not love of him. It’s losing your sense of security. The rug was pulled out from beneath you. You are fully cable of living and functioning without him! You do not need him in your life to survive. Anything you don’t know how to do you can learn. He does NOT define you as a person! Without him you are free to live and do as you please!! No more walking on eggshells and worrying about where he is or what he is doing. Your life will begin to improve immensely once you get him out of it. (((Hugs)))

    • This is terrific advice. We don’t need them. We miss the loss of what we thought was real. And we thought it was real because they misrepresented themselves. If they were a used car, we could call the Better Business Bureau.

      I think it helps to de-personalize the situation to remember that they couldn’t behave any differently to anyone else. It’s just who they are. And it’s okay to call them out. They are shit heads. SHIT HEADS.

      It does suck that not everybody sees them for who they really are.

      • Exactly! The sooner you can realize and accept that it wasn’t about YOU — something you did or didn’t do — that brought about your spouse’s cheating and crappy treatment of you, the sooner you will be able to find peace and clarity in your life. There’s something inherently wrong with him (or her) and he would have done (and likely will do) the same thing to someone else. When we continue to obsess and carry the pain around with us, whether it’s being perpetually sad or angry or whatever, it holds us prisoner and keeps us from having peace. It interferes with all aspects of our lives and other relationships and is like a poison making us sick. That person is no longer in my life — no longer part of the package — not my problem anymore. I am at peace about my former relationship and have accepted an apology I never got. There comes a point when you have to draw that line in the sand and say, “No more.”

  • I needed this post. So bad. ……My daughter got to move some things out of our house yesterday. I will be closing on the buyout soon. My daughter hasn’t spoken to or seen him or her sister for months. Guess we divided up the children 50/50 just fine…. She went in, straight to her room, began packing. Mind you….he already moved his whore and her 3 sons into our house 1 1/2 years ago. My daughter was kicked out to make room for the new sons. I’m not allowed near the property…..so she went with a friend and friends mother.
    She held her own…..
    But he told her “For the record I love and miss you”….she replied….”yea…whatever”
    His whore….offered her a TACO as she was leaving. Hey…I imploded your life and had you removed from your Dad’s life…would you like a Taco with that Happy Meal……
    I’m in tears today. Crying over God only knows. Things I should not be…it’s been 3 years…..it’s not at “Meh….waiting for that Tuesday to show up and take this heartbreaking pain away.
    There was no pick me dance…..he never did or was going to pick me. He threw me out as fast as he could.
    Now he lives in my former home…with his new family and one of my children…….
    talk about shit sandwich.
    I am usually very strong….and have been healing. As I read the deed papers, a sick feeling comes over me…. this is really over…and my dreams are really shattered….and I really didn’t ask for this…..yet someone else is living the life I had. It sucks….it mother fucking sucks.

    • Yes, My ex-douchecanoe (I’m going to start referring to him as that) also lives in our marital home with his mistress and her daughter. (Extra shitty cherry on top of the shit sundae is that my name is still on the mortgage since they are underwater on the house. He has to attempt to refinance each year, but until he can…it’s still technically my house and is still on my credit.)

      But you know what, I take slight comfort in knowing that HAS to bother them. I know my ex hated our house. It is small, and not the best layout. It was too small for just me and him, and knowing that it’s him, his mistress, our daughter and her daughter, plus the ghost of our marriage haunting the place probably makes things pretty damn tight. I told our neighbors about him cheating before I moved, too, so the neighbors all know who she is. I know that they have the house because they are stuck there, not necessarily because they want it. I know the mortgage is waaaay too expensive for what it is. I know that even if they wanted to leave they couldn’t.

      • Why don’t you sell it and really make them suffer? I’d prefer my home be sold. I don’t want to live in it with the memories and I’d prefer he loses his dream.
        Plus personally I never like the house anyway, it was just my first home purchase so that brings a little twinge.

        • Are you asking me?

          We are underwater on the house. The mortgage owed on it is greater than the current value of it. So if it was sold it would cost $10-20K to get rid of, which I so not have.

          In the divorce he got the house. I wanted him to be forced to sell it, but given that we are underwater on it they weren’t going to force it to be sold.

          So while he is living in the house, and it is “his” according to the divorce agreeemnt, according to the mortgage and deed, it is still also mine. So in the event of his death the house will go back to me. Once he refinances in just his name this will no longer be the case and my name will be off the deed and morgage.

          You can’t just get your name off a mortgage, you have to refinance and if the numbers don’t crunch the way they are supposed to it won’t work.

          • Got it. I’d be worried about him not paying the mortgage and ending up with ruined credit. Do you have something written into the divorce to prevent that?

            • Believe me, I am too! I mean, yes, we have written into the divorce that the house is his/his residence and he must pay the mortgage, taxes, fees, associated. But if he doesn’t then the bank can legally come after me. Then I’d have to sue my ex, which would recover the $$ for the house but of course not my credit. It is very scary, but unfortunately it is the situation and there was nothing we could do about it.

              • My attorney wrote in a clause that he had to refinance within 90 days to get my name off of the mortgage or else it would go into forced sale. Is there anyway you could still do something like that?

      • My ex ditched me, his wife of twenty years, the children (cause those kibble dispensers really get in the way of a “new life”), and the dream house we had on twenty acres to marry his POS OW. Who DOES this!?!? Crap people, that’s who. They are zombies and look like the real thing but aren’t. I miss the fantasy, the man I believed he could be. In reality he’s the guy who stole my savings and the kids college funds, who lied to me every day for three years, who went psycho during our divorce, who ditched three young adults physically and mentally, who vandalized our home after it foreclosed, who got an extra job with the local family court to learn how to screw me over, and so much else, and …there’s the truth. Crap people NEVER change. If I had paid attention to my gut and those reoccurring red flags… He was, at best, disengaged most of our relationship. I did the hard work, Chumps are good at this!,and when life threw us curveballs he bounced. Best thing ever. Yes, it hurt. Like getting off drugs. I was angry for three years and used that to move forward (be kind to yourself on rough days, Chumpy hearts need to grieve). The best part is that his poor choices finally freed me to LIVE. To get out in the world and share my gifts. To be in relationships where love is returned. Know your worth, FC, and kick that mirage to the curb.

        • Your life mirrors mine…. he just refinanced our farm to live happily ever after with his whore and her 3 sons. His whore told me….I gave him something you never could…..SONS……
          He takes them hunting….fishing….4 wheeling. Things he refused to do with our daughters.
          The whore is 21 years younger….my ex is almost 60. Karma should be fun to watch when he just keeps getting older…..and older.

          • “I gave him something you never could…..SONS……” Is she living in 2000 BC, in her disordered mind ?

          • My ex spent more time at the racquet club (where he eventually met his “true love”–snort!) than he ever did at home, and even more time “at work.” So a high functioning Cheater. One of our daughters commented that she (and her siblings) should have been a pros with a father who spent so much time at the club “working out.” Even she recognizes how compartmentalized her father’s life was, and how much our family was “separate” from it. I was always very independent and took care of the kids, the house, the yard, and myself. Never thought I couldn’t do it all because I did. I hope my children choose better and only invite those into their lives who put in equal effort. I always had everything except an engaged loving spouse, I was content with crumbs of affection and speckled mightily on why he couldn’t be present. Hard to have a successful marriage with a disordered fuckwit.

    • Oh Tracy … that’s so sad, for you and for your daughter. What a horrible thing for your daughter to have had to do. Tracy, I think you already know it – but a, I hesitate to call him, man who would put his daughter through that is scum of the earth. Clearly, the life you had that someone else is living involved a complete arsehole, so actually she pretty much got what was coming to her didn’t she? You at least get a new life minus that shithead.

      Please accept a cyber-hug [ xxx ]

      • Jayne….Hug accepted!!!! It’s that you know that you know…..I knew he was an asshole….but gee willerkers..he was my asshole. I see now that it was me who did the work…me who raised the girls….and me who got chumped.
        We ARE better off…..I know….but it still hurts. I hurt for my kids…. and there are days when I wish I didnt.

        • ‘I knew he was an asshole….but gee willerkers..he was my asshole’.

          Ack – Well I guess we all need an asshole, fortunately God designed us one each – the other one was just full of sewage!

    • Your story hurts my heart. How can a father dump one of his kids…and replace her with his mistresses kids…as if he were replacing a light bulb? Its awful enough that he kicked you out of your home and life…and let her and her kids move in and take over! Your daughter must be confused and devastated…as you must be as well. After so many years and hard work you cant even enjoy the fruits of your labor. so sorry…so sorry. What kind of man is he? Is he human? Did he come out of a womans womb…or out of a pod? (remember that movie…the bodysnatchers?)He is heartless.

      • My stbx is telling his son he can’t help with his college expenses orhelp me buy a car because I gave mine to our son while he supports his whore(literally as he met her on an escort service website and she’s got a mugshot for a prior arrest for solicitation of another woman for a threesome) rents her a new cadillac and pays her child support payments for her(another oddity).We read his emails so we know tgese things.He calls his own children “mercenary pricks”because they resent this.

      • He did come out of a woman’s womb…..but she is the Mother of Satan. My MI is beyond evil. She has not seen my daughter in 2 years. When my daughter fell and broke her back at the marital property….never called…texted…or sent a card….nothing. BUT I just saw a photo on Instagram where she went to the Whores sons football game. WOW…..yup….. but completely ignores her own Granddaughter with a broken spine.
        My husband is clearly the crazy one…..because if I wrote everything down he has done….your head would spin.
        He planted a gun in my car….then told police I came on the property and took it to kill my daughter….. it had my fingerprints on it…… I went to jail….. I only got out because I had a text message from before we separated of me asking him why there is a gun in my car…..he gave some lame excuse. AND I BELIEVED HIM…..

        I have been living a Lifetime movie….they thought I’d drive myself crazy and kill myself….or do something to him to land in jail…..they never planned on divorcing me. THEY…..meaning him….his whore….and my daughter.
        Me and my youngest got out…..alive….
        We are building back up….but she has seen more at 21 in the last 3 years than any one young person should see.

        • I wonder how you kept your sanity. What he did was pure evil. He tried to FRAME you? Drive you to insanity or suicide? He is cold blooded. There is no telling what he is capable of. Good thing you escaped. Congratulations to you for unloading that horrible man and his “mother”. Ugh

  • I have to say, I am so glad that I never begged. I am so glad I played the pick me dance for only about one week. I pretty much said: “are we going to try at this or not?” He told me that he “didn’t want to be married anymore, but was worried about the consequences of divorce.” He also told me: “I never truly loved you.” These things were my fuel. I told him I was filing the following Monday. I gave up so much for him, I made so many compromises. We had just bought our first home together 1 month before d-day. And in the end-for what?

    Take any shitty things he says to you, that he does to you, and use them as fuel. Get pissed. Get righteously angry. Find a pitbull attorney. You didn’t do this-he did. You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of-he does. This has nothing to do with you! You are not unlovable, he is incapable of true love. And keep in mind, that at the end of the day this asshole has to live with himself for the rest of his life. He has to go from one sparkly, superficial partner to the next without really knowing what love is. You get to go into a brand new life where you can meet moral and good people who share your ideals and values. This guy was a fake. The man you married, he’s dead. I am sorry to say this, but he’s never coming back. Grieve him. Grieve the relationship you thought you had. You have to. However, don’t forget that the man who you happen to be married to now, he sucks.

    You will get there! Sending virtual hugs!

    • No they have no idea what love really is. None or they wouldn’t inflict the pain they do. He acts like he hates me when I really think he hates himself. The man I married is dead never coming back I will still mourn awhile I’m sure but I look forward to the future of a new life and decent honest friends. Not the bullshit and drama Ideal with now. He has turned from a loving caring ooptimistic guy to a snarling, bad tempered, always in pain pestamistic grouchy nasty bastard and the whore is more than welcome to him. She helped create this shit she can suffer now.

      • That is absolutely the spirit, kar marie! Let the whore have him. She can see what an asshole he is. Plus, the thrill of having sex with a married man doesn’t last long after the wife ceases to care.

        For my story at least, both he and the ho-worker lost their jobs at the law firm shortly after they revealed their relationship to HR (turns out you are supposed to be moral when you’re a lawyer?) He also lost her about 3 months after d-day. Not sure who dumped whom, but ultimately I don’t care. I seriously so do not care what he does or what happens to him. If he got hit by a bus? Meh. He wins the lottery? Meh. Do I get a bit of schadenfreude from his misfortune? Sure. But, I also recognize that stupid people who make stupid decisions are going to continue to have stupid things happen to them. No surprises there.

        Meh happens. My cycle went: Mourn (pretty brief)>Anger>Clean-up Social Network (cut a lot of Switzerland friends)>Meh. The thing that helped me most was going no-contact with him, his family, and the Switzerland friends. For the record, we didn’t have children. I blocked him on virtually every communication tool. Haven’t talked to him since late August when he called me pathetic and said I should be ashamed of myself for not leaving him half the dishes. I replied “please don’t contact me again.” The next day he sent me a message to let me know that he worries about my healing and he prays for me daily. Sociopath much? It was clear to me that he was trying anything to get me to speak with him. I didn’t take the bait. And you know what? I know that not speaking with him accelerated my journey to meh.

        • Half the dishes? Seriously?! Never ceases to amaze me what they do. The whore bragged on Facebook about her amazing man! Yes, amazing alright to the depths of his cheating. Assholes the both of them.

  • Hey FC!

    I don’t think anyone has yet helped you specifically with the problem at hand. Yes, kick him out. Be done with it.

    But to do that you have to feel like you want to do that. To do that, you need to get angry at the way he is treating you with total disregard. You are sad at this point, not angry.

    I think it is the one piece of advice I got from a therapist that was ever of any value, so I pass it along.

    Think about what he’s done. He wouldn’t treat a dog as poorly as he is treating his family. Get angry about that.

    One strategy for removing that veil of sadness and trading it for the anger it deserves is to try and see it as an outsider. If a close friend came to you about her husband and told you the things he had done… The things your husband has done to you… and how he has behaved, how would you feel on her behalf? What advice would you give her? I’ll bet you’d be angry at the blatant way he was mistreating her and her family and you would tell her to drop his sorry ass immediately?

    Think of it from an outsider viewpoint. What advice would you give? Follow that advice!

    Good luck. Stay strong. Yes. The pain ends, and the happiness picks up momentum as you go. The turnaround can be much quicker than you think. Hang in there. Get your ducks lined up. Move ahead. You will find a much better life than you ever dreamed possible waiting right on the other side!

  • FC, my heart goes out to you. I remember this hell. Please start channeling Medusa. You should be utterly infuriated, for you, for your children. Turning off love isn’t easy for us non-disordered folks – we’re just not that shallow. He is though. Hate him for it. Hate him for his broken promises. Hate him for not loving his children enough not to destroy their home. Hate him for not having any respect for you – the woman who promised her life to him, the mother of his children.

    In time (I promise) you will be able to sleep in peace. You will actually look back and be a little disgusted with yourself for begging him to stay (he’ll not acknowledge the mightiness of you doing all you could – including begging – to save the ‘intact family’ for his children, no, he’ll be getting a thrill thinking he was so fabulous you begged him to come back). One day (I promise) you’ll look at that deadbeat and wonder what the hell you were thinking!

    Until that day … get your ducks in a row, get the best legal team you can afford and have them help you get the best settlement and child support possible. Most of all, be kind to yourself. Take absolutely none of the blame-shifting and know, deep in your heart, that this too, shall pass.

    Wishing you strength xxx

  • FC. I feel your pain, I really do. I’m only 6 weeks after Dday and it hurts.

    Just know that it isn’t you. You did nothing wrong. You are loving, loyal and caring and that is what he is using against you – the good stuff, and you can’t just turn it off without grieving.
    Your whole world just turned upside down. You’ve lost your unrealized future and all of the past that now feels so unsure and fake. All of the time feels wasted. Then there’s the guilt (they like guilty, responsible people), wondering what you did, could have done differently. They put it all on you.

    I’ve focused on all of the shitty things I’ve seen him do to strangers, friends who’ve displeased him, his parents and siblings and also his kids. It reminds me that this isn’t about me, it’s about his own entitlement, selfishness and dysfunction and I don’t own that. I focus on all of the things I never liked about him or that I ignored or spackled over (he steals). He’s grumpy, whiny, needy and argumentative. He’s spiteful, a bully and a name caller and blamer with no sense of personal responsibility. The big eyed sad face is just a con. He manipulates, surrounding himself with broken people he can use. Functional people are kept at arms length. And he’s good at it.

    Think about the things you always wanted to do but were ruined by him or put off because he wasn’t interested. I want to get a cat, he hates cats. I want a manageable property, he always wanted space which I busted my ass to maintain. I like neighbors, he’s alienated most of our except for the useful ones.

    Good luck and you’ve found the right place. This site has been a lifesaver for me.

  • I think one of the things that makes us so resistant to accepting that our dysfunctional partner cannot change is the whole concept of regret and redemption. If it is a part of your basic religious belief, it becomes even more difficult. For years people who care for me told me I must learn to forgive and forget. I couldn’t manage what I thought was forgiveness, because I couldn’t condone the heinous crimes. I will never forget. So I was screwed, right?

    It took me a long, long time to figure out how the forgiveness was not connected to the actions, or even him as a person, but had to do with finding some type of peace and reconciliation in my own soul. I had to let go of the bitter stone of hatred, or it was going to take me down. I had to have peace in my life. So I figured out how to stop caring about what he did, because he could no longer hurt me. I insulated myself in the knowledge that he could no longer hurt me because I knew the truth, and the truth did set me free. I could go to MEH because of that freedom. I no longer have to forgive myself for spackling and believing, because I no longer believe. Just because he cannot change, just because he is depraved, that does not mean I cannot change, and does not mean I am in some way depraved because I tried to believe that he wanted to change and be better, and that he actually believed he had made a mistake. One can only be redeemed if one truly believes he has done the wrong thing, and if he truly wants to change. I have changed my own actions, and a change occurred in me. His lack of redemption had nothing to do with mine.

    Just because he claims to want to “work on us” — doesn’t mean it is true. He will say ANYTHING to achieve his own goals. YOU don’t have to listen, YOU don’t have to believe. You don’t have to do a damn thing for “us” anymore, because “us” doesn’t exist. He killed “us”. You are not a bad person because you wanted what you were promised. You are not a bad person because you do not believe he actually wants to redeem himself and live the life he originally promised to live. It is ok for you to want a better life — you just have to accept that you can have one without him in your life. Take him out of the picture — because he is already gone. You are attempting to build a finite dream around a ghost. That is an impossible task — so change your dream, and stop counting on the ghost. When you focus your energy on positive things, your life will change in a positive way. You will be proud of yourself because you have attained an achievable goal. It will happen on a Tuesday, and you will awake in Meh. Good Luck, and stay strong!

    • Portia, you are really wise and I always enjoy reading your comments but I don’t think FC needs to be worrying about forgiveness just yet. In fact I think , up to this point, trying to find forgiveness has been working against her. I honestly think she needs to get good and mad right now! Yes, later … when she’s purged this man from her heart, she’ll be detached enough to ‘forgive’ him, but right now – as CL has said in posts about forgiveness – ‘he’s alive isn’t he’? – just right now that’s all the forgiveness she should be concerned about.

      That said … everything else you say is, again really wise and compassionate and spot on!

      Happy 2016 to you 🙂 x

      • Thanks — I agree. It is NOT about forgiving him. He can continue down his own path to Hell. It is about finding a way to see that what he says and does (and did) do not matter any more to her own happiness. He is the past. She has a future. She needs to quit longing for the past, quit believing he will somehow change and she can have the future he promised. That option is gone. I found out the hard way that all the talk I had heard about forgiving others only applied if there was true regret and remorse and an active desire to change on their part. My desire for them to change was beside the point. She is begging to have her dream back — her dream was destroyed. She does not have to abandon all dreams — just the one with this jerk in it. There is nothing wrong with the rest of the dream — she just has to get the bad actor out of the part of husband. Change his title, change his status, change her outlook. Anger is a great motivator. I think she is feeling like she “should” be able to “get over it”. That is a common misconception in our society. You do not have to “get over” whatever he has done to feel better, but you do have to get over groveling and begging and feeling paralyzed by HIS actions. Those are his problem, not hers. She is in pain, she is hurt — she has to patch up her wounds and stop the bleeding, or she won’t get better. Cutting that dead weight of “could have been, should have been” away from her heart keeps her from damaging herself over and over and opening up the wound again. That is the hard thing to do. That is the only thing that will save her, in my opinion.

    • I agree with Jayne; there is a huge difference between “getting to indifference” and forgiveness. Hatred for a while is actually therapeutic, IMHO. Eventually, you have to ‘let your new life crowd out the old’ (including the hatred; nod to Mehbound for that quip). Then, the negative feelings which keep a chump fixated on the cheater and his/her abuses will start to give way to indifference.

      Forgiveness–whether you view it as a pardon or as absolution–is not the same. I will eventually come around to indifference, but I will *never* forgive X for what he did to me, our marriage, and our family. In fact, I hope I maintain enough anger to my death bed to be at least cognitively indignant at his (and at all cheaters’) treatment. Aristotle maintained that virtuous anger SHOULD be our response to tyranny or injustice.

      Over and Out (on a CL blog last week) also posted a citation to a psychology article about the push to forgiveness being harmful (instead of therapeutic), and I agree. [For those interested, there was a forum thread on forgiveness several weeks ago that I’ll try to move up with a new comment, after I finish some additional reading on the topic from philosophers & psychologists.]

      • And another Hear! Hear! to Tempest! 😀 And I just LOVE it when revered philosophers are referenced! Good old Aristotle – always knew I liked him for good reason 😉 xxx

        • You’ll drive yourself INSANE hoping for a genuine, remorseful apology from a narc… They don’t ever truly feel sorry for what they did as their actions are justified in their minds. I never “forgave” my ex for what he did. I finally “got it” that he wasn’t ever committed to me as I was to him. It was all about what I could do FOR him. The wedding vows meant nothing more than a license to his entitlement. There was no real gift of love or gratitude from him — he EXPECTED me to make him happy. I could never quite reach the bar. All the big talk of hopes and dreams of the life we would have together somehow shifted when we got married. His wants dominated mine and if I spoke up, I paid the price because in his mind I owed it to him as his wife. He didn’t owe me anything because I wasn’t measuring up. When I discovered his cheating I finally FINALLY realized nothing I did would ever change the dynamic of our relationship. It was one-sided. Period. I decided, however, that in order for me to move forward in my cheater-free life I had to stop allowing him to occupy any more head-space. I basically accepted the fact that he was and still is a royal ass, and forgave myself for hanging on as long as I did. Won’t make that mistake again.

          • ‘The wedding vows meant nothing more than a license to his entitlement. There was no real gift of love or gratitude from him’.

            On D Day I discovered ‘The Great I Am’ had been pursuing OW 5 months after we got married (the marriage he pushed me into) and less than one month after we’d finished honeymooning (long story – we had 3 holidays after wedding… New England / Thailand / Portugal).

            I asked him if he’d got his vows from a ‘lucky bag’ (don’t know if you have equivalent in US – here they are/were cheap paper bags with candy and a cheap plastic toy).

            • The equivalent here would be a box of Cracker Jacks… My ex, during our divorce, admitted that he married me because he knew I would be a good wife and mother. He didn’t speak of loving me. I was a commodity.

              • Mine asked me to marry him (and subsequently married me) only because he didn’t want to move half-way across the country by himself and knew I wouldn’t quit my job for a bf. He always was a child. Mommy is probably very happy to have her baby back…

              • Mine told the whore I was an angel like medicine and still loves me very much and wants to be there for me if I need him. He would drop what ever he was doing if I called for help. Lying asshole. Medicine! That’s me. The whore is now needed for money and sick sick demented bondage sex and she worships at his feet. Good she can have his crabby controlling sick fuck ass. She won’t last either hes cheating on her already.

              • @Over and Out … ah, the famed ‘Wife Appliance’ … I was an appliance too! I think I was a sex appliance, but I was also a wife appliance and a secretary appliance. I might have even been a female friend appliance. Unluckily for him, the appliances revolted!

          • You and must be married to the same guy. This was my life and it will never happen again. I will remain single past death.

      • I will never ever forgive that stinking cheater. Never! He doesn’t even think what he did was wrong only sorry he got caught. I’m hanging on to my anger and using it to propel myself forward. Fuck him and his ho. I will however find a way to forgive myself.

      • On reflection – I do think I’m at Meh (indifference) about him. I try to think of scenarios with him involved to see if they quicken my pulse … he’s deliriously happy with a new woman … meh, he’s fucked up his life completely and now living in a cardboard box … meh, he’s won the lottery… meh, he’s on his deathbed … meh. Nope … I couldn’t give a shit.

        What I’m not at Meh about is the abuse I suffered. How he screwed my life over. How I really didn’t deserve how I was treated. How he hurt not only me but the people I love. How I’ve had to start all over at 52 with barely fuck all. And why? Because of love, because of trust. Yeah, can’t even see how it’s possible to get to my deathbed and look at this harsh life lesson with anything but anger. It’s shit and I didn’t deserve it.

        • Jayne…….no you didn’t deserve it. I have the same type of feelings now as the ones you mentioned. Could give a shit less about anything in regard to him but am full of anger for what he did to me that I didn’t deserve.
          I hear ya!

      • I look forward to your post — Forgiveness is the most difficult concept I struggle with. I have had several Narcissists in my life — starting with my dad. I have been shocked and disgusted by the research I have done about how these disordered ones live and what they are willing to do. I never imagined, even though I lived with them, what they were fully capable of. I find myself unable to forgive many of the actions — I just won’t allow myself to personally care about anything the Narc’s do or say, and I refuse to let them control me or my actions. The most useful tool is no contact — but when I absolutely have to be present for a family event or a business meeting — I steel myself to maintain a calm exterior, and I will not interact. My biggest Achilles heel is my sons welfare — I cannot stay in MEH when they are involved, but I have gotten better. Most of the time I live my life in a state of appreciation — I do what I want to do, and rarely have to deal with these problems anymore.

        However — there still is the matter of Anger. I will never be able to condone, or forget the actions of these Narcs — they were too personal and too harmful to me and to my children. I was under their influence until I was in my mid life, too — and left with two children to finish raising, and my material well being was harmed. I have also suffered at the hands of Narc’s at large — at work and in the world. They are everywhere, and their malignant actions cause all chumps harm. They are the forces that deny reward or recognition in the workplace, because they take credit for your work or the lions share of any bonus available. They are the leaders who accept an award for making a company profitable by laying off thousands of employees, or avoid taking responsibility for ruining an environment by ignoring safety regulations or deny workers promised benefits and retirement funds by squandering or hiding company assets. They are the ones who selfishly and gleefully impoverish all of us by manipulating the stock market or the housing industry. I wonder where our Anger goes when we look at a political system that seems to reward those who are deceitful enough to get elected, and then care for no one’s interest but their own? There is a place for constructive ANGER — and I don’t want to be told that I should forgive and forget all the use and abuse that we all endure because we live in this world. I do not know what to do with my Anger about these issues, and while I understand that the Anger may have a negative impact on my health — I feel I also suffer a negative impact on my economic well being by enduring the abuse. What can we do with this Anger, and what can we do to resolve these issues? Is there forgiveness, or MEH when the abuse appears to have no end? Will we get to a point where we say, (to quote Network, a movie) “I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” ??? Your opinions on what to do with unresolved and seemingly unresolvable anger are of great interest to me.

        • To me, it’s not a matter exactly of forgiving THEM. It’s more about forgiving the situation. You made a mistake. You let someone into your life who was not worthy of being in your life. You need to let it go. It’s about letting all the baggage go, and not hanging onto any of that!

        • Portia … Thank you for the question. I contemplated it in the bath instead of reading a book (as is my wont). I say, we start here, where we have started. We add our voices to the message that CL puts out … say ‘no’ to the abuse. where better to speak up than in the smallest unit of society; the family. We do what we are doing – we call it out for what it is and we say it is not acceptable and we encourage others to see it is not acceptable.

          This is probably where I lose any credibility I might have, but I think I’m a communist. Capitalism is completely FUBARed. It is the Narc’s Charter. A system totally based on fucking over everybody… it utterly celebrates and rewards entitlement and the exploitation of others. Is it any wonder Chumps struggle through the fog when marriage is a communist ideal based on equality, trying to exist in a capitalist society based on predatory values?

          I remember during the noughties being bombarded by Oprah and Blair with ‘Education, Education, Education’ and thinking then ‘but we can’t all be at the top of the tree’! and what about the people who aren’t blessed with brains? Are the ‘simple folk’ who maybe never would … no matter how many years of tuition … be leaders of industry, so utterly dispensable? Is it just that they should spend their lives living from hand to mouth simply because of genetics / opportunity / aptitude? Isn’t this just predatory narc thinking? And anyway, you could be a fine, fine politician / financier / scientist / lawyer but if you didn’t have someone to mash your poo up for you, clear the garbage bags from your door, schlepp food to your face and nanny your children, you’d be of no bloody use … so how come you are worth over 1000% more than your bin man?

          Well, here we are in the tweenies and hey, ‘Education, Education, Education’ Mr (wanted war criminal) Blair there’s a hell of lot of well educated McDonald’s Operatives out there now – just possibly even more disillusioned. While a disabled man in the UK can have an enormous proportion of his meagre benefits stopped because it is deemed his extra bedroom isn’t actually needed for his 24 hour carer, a shitface, narc politician can claim £230 for a taxi (or a moat clean, or a bath plug) and can look forward to earning 150k for a bit of after dinner speaking once they’ve finished pretending to be a civil servant … can’t they Mr Blair?

          Sorry Portia …. that was a bit of a rant. Back to your question … what to do with the anger and the social injustice. Start small (like here). Sign the petitions. Join the anti-austerity marches … stand up with the protesters at the G8 summits. Continue to witness and let it be known you witness. Other than that … (shrugs shoulders). xx

          • I petered out a bit there, didn’t I? I’m very disillusioned with how effective my own personal, political protest can be. There are good people in the world (let’s hear it for Steve Jobs and his wife). There does feel like there’s a groundswell going on with environmental lobbyists – and to make any difference at all we, as a society, have to question the social framework we are living under right now … that’s Capitalism and all the word salad (carbon-trading – WTF) and all that shite. We lowly fuckers are encouraged to wear extra sweaters and not flush the loo so much – but for goodness sakes! (It makes me think of England in WW2 – cutting down the garden railings for ‘the war effort’ – did fuck all, other than made Mr and Mrs Jones feel like they’d done their bit)!

            I guess all we can do is continue to feel angry at the injustice in a society built for narcs to thrive. In truth, I don’t know how, as humans, we can build a society that wouldn’t nurture the narcs amongst us. Certainly communism has failed in its every attempt because Narcs exist, so they get to say ‘everyone is equal, except me’. All we can do, Portia, is go on a ‘Where’s Wally’ pursuit and then push the alert button when we find them.

            Sorry I have no better resolution. Wish Aristotle was here!

  • Yes, it is indeed finite. In your current state of such intense pain, I know it’s hard to believe.

    Your grief is a process, stick with this community, get angry when it hits you, fight for yours and your children’s rights and one day, you’ll realize it’s Tuesday. I can attest to this.
    And being ashamed because you begged to keep your family intact? Fuck that noise. Seriously. Stop that in it’s tracks. You’re doing that because of your big heart, because you invested so many years and you’re trying to protect your family. Don’t be hard on yourself – you’re in a state of intense grief, your life has been blown up, Mama Bear instincts are full on and you’re missing the person that actually doesn’t exist. If he ever did, it was a projection to keep you and his life intact.

    When CL says his actions are a blessing, believe that it is, because no matter how hard it is to wrap your brain around that one, pure simple truth is, she’s right.
    I was with Mr. Cheaterpants for 31 years – 2nd Dday I asked for a separation. He refused initially, (he was still on various sites) I went ahead with it and moved out. Deep down, I was still hoping he would wake up and change. A week after I moved out, he met a woman and I ceased to exist. Just like that.
    I try not to cringe at how I begged – I remember feeling ashamed – I moved out after all – and I thought I was dying inside. Couldn’t sleep, lost too much weight – weighed 117 lbs (from 135), I had no family in this hemisphere, and there was no CL or CN then. I begged and wrote heartfelt letters. (Cringe).
    He filed for divorce within 4 months (I thought the pain would kill me) and he was furious when I retained a lawyer. He thought I would play dead. When I didn’t, he was beyond furious. He eventually tried to offer me a pittance for a year in spousal support and was actually nice to me during that one phone call. He started stalling the divorce, saying there was no rush or need for it ( things weren’t going so well with the new little woman).
    By then my anger took over thank heavens and the divorce finally went through 3 years later – he stalled that long and it cost me in lawyer fees.
    Since then, I don’t exist as far as he is concerned. He doesn’t acknowledge me at all, refuses to greet me. He looks right through me if he ever sees me which is seldom. Pays my spousal support though.
    The shame is not on me FC. I was a faithful loving wife, a good mother and I fought for my family. My kids respect me and they don’t see their father too often anymore. They have no no respect for him, they say he has no idea how he blew his family up, he has moved on ( now engaged to little woman #4) and they accept him for what he is.
    If he hadn’t done the total discard, I would have continued loving that person he projected because I loved him and I am a chump.
    I do see this as a blessing and I found peace. I woke up one day and it was TUESDAY!!!!!!!!!! I am at meh, it took me a long time and I think I would have reached the state of meh sooner if I had CL to spell it out for me.
    Stick with us, we have your back.
    <<<<<>>>>>

  • Thus, we too learn to fear our own anger, not only because it brings about the disapproval of others, but also because it signals the necessity for change. We may begin to ask ourselves questions that serve to block or invalidate our own experience of anger: ‘Is my anger legitimate?’ ‘Do I have a right to be angry?’ ‘What’s the use of my getting angry?’ ‘What good will it do?’ These questions can be excellent ways of silencing ourselves and shutting off our anger.’

    ^ THIS! ^

    Everyone commenting about the power of our own anger is absolutely correct. Anger is the appropriate response – the “normal” response. Anger directed at the cheating piece-of-shit is the secret sauce that knocks the good sense back into our own heads.

    Anger protects you from accepting the constant shit sandwiches served out of the narcissist’s deli – not Kosher. Anger helps you see things for what they really ARE despite the evil bullshit coming out of your narcissist’s mouth.

    It’s okay to get angry.

    • “It’s okay to get angry.”
      The anger is the fuel. It is what got me from d-day to divorce in just under five months.
      After he moved out I found myself less angry. No contact, or the best you can with kids, added to the finality of the relationship will do two things, let you see more clearly than ever and allow you to get angry but not live in the anger.
      I still get stark raving angry on the inside when I learn new things Narkles the Clown has done or bizarre things he has said about me to my children but all it does is prove that he is a disordered coward who wants to manipulate me and no longer has the ability so he is manipulating our children who are forced to spend time with him. The difference is now I realize that he can’t hurt me anymore. My anger subsides.

    • BetrayedNoMore – I totally agree about the anger stage – GET IT OUT. But, as best you can.
      Eventually, 6 mos after D-day, my sister called me The Exorcist (yes, she listened to me that long) and then, I knew I was getting out of hand.
      I had a brand new dictionary of words for both Him and His Whore.
      She told me to go back onto the antidepressants.

      By then, I started to get better by knowing I was wearing out my closest of family and friends.
      I was on my own with my anger – and C/N, until it changed a little to Pity for the Ass.
      Yeah – he IS pathetic. Leaving me for my best friend..

      And, that’s when I went N/C – it took me 2 full years because I had to tell him a year after the divorce how fucked up our sex life was. And, all the other anger I’d bottled up. Yep, made me feel good, even tho he didn’t answer me, but that was the last of the anger for me. I got it all out to him on email!

      NOW I can move on.

      And, I wish you all the mightiness you need going through all these steps, but Anger, yes – that’s the one that actually propels you further and lets you see what POS you were putting your faith into.

      Best of Luck to you LC!

  • I had a freak cheater like this. As long as I was dancing pretty in the pick me dance, he would allow me to bask in his glittery glow. Of course, that was before I found out about the other women.

    In January, 2014, he left. No note. No see ya later. I just came home to an empty house and saw that his toothbrush and a suitcase were gone. That’s how I knew we were separated. We had a huge fight over money. And, he just left. I never even thought he might have had other women on the side. Never occurred to me.

    When I realized he had left, and wasn’t coming home until “things changed,” I got scared. That’s when I started the pick me dance. At that stage, I would have done anything to get him to come home. I, too, was desperate. I begged and pleaded. I bawled and squalled. And, he would come home. Once or twice a week. Never on weekends–always during the week. Always after the kids, then 1 and 2, were asleep. Always for one thing. And, since I was pick me dancing, I encouraged this abuse.

    I didn’t find out about the other women until April, 2014. He had come home stumbling drunk and smelling like a homeless person at 3am. He crashed on the couch. But, his phone started buzzing. That’s when I saw the text messages, sonogram pictures from where he had gotten one of the OW pregnant. I saw text messages where another of his OW was taking an EPT. There were two more OW in the rotation. How he found the time for all of this, I will never know.

    I filed for divorce a week later.

    It was extremely hard at first. It’s like kicking the most addictive drug cold turkey. My brain couldn’t seem to reconcile the person I *thought* he was with the person he was proving himself to be through his actions. The only way that I was able to get through it, and you WILL get through it, is to tell myself each and every time that he sucked. If he called, before I answered, I would tell myself he was a liar. I asked to switch to text or email communication only so that I could hide my initial reactions. He got calm, level-headed responses, while I had time to process, run the situation by my step mom, who happens to be my lawyer, and then respond to whatever idiotic twatiness he was pulling.

    Other than that, I kept BUSY. I went back to work full time after being a stay at home mom. I went back to school to get my MBA. I started re-decorating my house, room by room. I mowed my own yard. I joined a few volunteer projects. I started meeting my friends for a standing Wednesday night happy hour date. I did anything and everything I could to keep as busy as possible.

    Eventually, with the help of an amazing therapist, I was able to work through most of the hurt and anger. It’s been almost 2 years. Yes, absolutely, he can still push my buttons. It’s part of the never ending punishment of breeding with an idiotic twat. But, now, I’m not angry at him. I don’t hate him anymore. He doesn’t take up nearly as much of my mental real estate as he used to. My main problem now is that he refuses to pay child support that was ordered to be garnished out of his check. Stuff like that hacks me off, but other than that, my ex is like the poor, pitiful Voldemort at the very end of the Harry Potter series that is pathetic, malignantly narcissistic, grasping, and whom everyone else knows is going to lose.

    BIG HUGS. You’ll get there!

    • I thoroughly appreciate all references to Voldemort – sad, pathetic, no understanding of what love is. For a long time I hoped my STBX was more like Darth Vader (that there might still be some good in him) but I’ve come to realize that he’s a lot closer to Voldemort. And like Harry feeling sorry for Voldemort, I feel sorry for my STBX because he will never know what love is – despite the quickly revolving door of Internet fuck buddies who he claims to love.

      • EXACTLY!!!!! So true. The ex is on his 4th or 5th live in girlfriend. I’ve lost count, but he’s only had his own place for about 1.5 years. He’s gone from 50/50 custody to supervised visitation of our girls every other weekend. No overnights. He has 4 children by 3 different women, and the oldest is in 1st grade. He sells used cars because he can no longer get a job in his field (organ procurement) due to his drinking and screwing his employees. It’s a small community and he’s been fired from 2 different offices of only 54 in the nation.

        Yet, he thinks birds sing when he walks into a room. Seriously delusional. Not pop culture delusional.

        He does things like this:

        He had the children until 11am on Christmas morning (supervised at his grandmother’s house). He knew it. I knew it. The judge was very clear because the ex hauled me into court to try to stop me from taking the girls on a family vacation with my parents over thanksgiving. So, he knew what his visitation time was.

        On Christmas Eve, he sent a text message asking me what time to bring the children home that day–a day early. I just said he could bring them home anytime. He was up to something, but I didn’t know what yet. We *only* communicate via text, and *only* regarding kid logistics, ie “I’m running 15 minute late.”

        His next question was what time the papers said the children had to be returned. Then, I knew. He asked if it was 3pm on Christmas Eve knowing damn well it wasn’t. I told him that was a question for his attorney.

        Well, of course, I didn’t fall for his trap of trying to get me to “deceive him” into bringing the kids home early, so charm goes to anger. He says that he was hoping we could discuss it like adults.

        I respond with, “you’re not an adult. You owe me $5400 in back child support. And don’t know when to drop off the kids.”

        So, that pissed him off because it rendered the whole conversation useless. He prints out our text conversations and gets his lawyer to send my lawyer letters saying things like “she refuses to give the specific travel information…” When I said I didn’t know what time our cruise left port.

        I digress.

        So, after the adult comment, he immediately sends back, “I’ll see you tomorrow at 11.”

        This is the crap I have to deal with. He thinks he’s going to “catch me” doing something. I have sole custody. In a considered judgement. That’s next to impossible to overturn. I’d have to turn into a drug-addict or prostitute. Not happening.

        But in his little idiotic twatty little mind, if I were to mislead him into bring the children home early, I would lose custody.

        See? Totally Voldemort. But not powerful, scary Voldemort. More “Give up dude, you’re gonna lose” Voldemort.

        ::end rant::

        • I too have thought of Voldemort. Lol. I do believe in unicorns but like Voldemort, in order to really repent you really have to feel all the pain you’ve caused. Most of them would rather die. Seriously. And the fact that mine is “happy” doesn’t bug me too much. Ted Bundy was “happy” raping and murdering coeds. Happy is as happy does.

  • I begged four times for him to come back and four times he came back. In between, we would have these terrible fights where he stonewalled me and wouldn’t talk, and then he would walk out, saying I was nagging him, badgering him. He said he was an abused spouse. I was like a dog, waiting by the window, hoping he would come back. I would drive through the streets looking for him, begging him to come back. He went back and forth between me and the girlfriend, someone he knew from high school. It took five years until he finally left me for good. Each time I prayed for him to come back and each time he came back, he made less effort in the marriage and gave me less and less. It was like he was all bullshit. Not even a real person. No plans or commitment for the future even though we had been together 35 years. He continued to lie to the MC. He said I had to help him get over the girlfriend. He felt sorry for her. He hurt her too because he left her to come home to me. He had lied to her too. And then, after he finally left, the smoke began to clear. None of the things he had said about me over these past 35 years were true. I didn’t spend all the money. I didn’t ruin the marriage. It wasn’t all my fault. I can be strong and stand on my own. I have had to. He stopped paying anything the day he walked out. I wasn’t the person without morals. I wasn’t the person who disappointed my child. Yes, he did get to run off with schmoopie into the sunset. But, you know what? She will get what she deserves. A lying, cheating person with no morals, no connections to anyone, a dead soul. I am going through the divorce now and, after all he has done to me, ruined my life really, he is not talking to me and he blames me for everything and refuses to pay anything. So he has physically and financially abandoned me. I will be fine. Better to be alone than be tortured. And that’s what you are really saying, FC, you are being tortured by this man. So, what do you love? What did I love? An illusion. The last MC we went to gave up a check off list of things you want from a relationship. The last (and maybe only) honest thing my stbx said was: “I am not giving you any of those things.” No, he wasn’t. I still care about who I though he was but I will get over it. Now it’s his girlfriend’s turn to deal with his shit. I hope she gets everything she deserves. You will be happier. I will be happier. Even though it hurts to be dumped (as I was) and to beg, he is doing you a favor. I promise. You will see that. Maybe the nicest thing he ever did for you.

    • Mine used to do the guilt trip stuff.
      He was whining about how he had to work two jobs, how staying at home with the kids forced him to suffer the indignity of work, like I am some blood sucker.
      He did work a second job for a year. The money didn’t go to the family, he used it to buy himself a $55,000 truck, trailer and quad. I’d forgoton that. He always had expensive hobbies.

      Yes he works, and plenty of hours but a lot of that went towards funding stuff for him, not me and not the kids. No reason for my guilt, it’s just built into me and he used that against me.

      • OMG – lostandfound. This is pathetic response maybe but I just have no words… It’s all SO cruel! I just cannot imagine staying with anybody that has another Plan but I admire your mightiness. You will teach your child great things, and I just know it.

        • Thanks shechump. It’s hard for even me to read what I wrote but it’s all true. It still hurts but Iam getting better. I trusted him even when he no longer deserved it. I wanted comfort from the person who was hurting me. I didn’t get it. I still want an apology but I know I will never get it.

    • lostandfound — sounds a lot like Diablo. i kicked him out many times and begged him back. he never seemed to get better. he never seemed to understand that it was because of HIS actions that i kicked him out. but he always came back. well, he came back physically. i am not sure he was ever there emotionally or mental. at the end, when he was staying out all night and not answering my calls or texts, i literally would sit on the window seat and look out the window, crying and wondering/wishing he would come home. i think he really wanted me to beg for him to come home with this last one, the oompa loompa hood rat. she was the 2 nd that i knew of but i suspect much more. but i was done with chasing him down, dragging him home and fighting all the street rats who thought they deserved my husband and would treat him better then i did.

      i loved him so much and it did not matter to him. i dont know how many times i explained to him how his actions hurt me and the children. how it was not ok for him to do something or to have to explain it by asking him how he would feel if i did that to him….it was like talking to a stupid child. it wasnt until i started reading chumplady that it finally occurred to me that you DO NOT Have to explain how to be a DECENT human being to an ADULT. and it wasnt that he DIDNT understand it was that he DID NOT CARE!!!

      diablo worked many hours and worked hard. he would volunteer for overtime and/or work side jobs at home. but i never saw a penny of any of it. he was barely helping me pay the bills. he would get all pissy when i sent him for groceries. he actually told me a number of time that i make him broke after going grocery shopping with him. that i spend all his money…WTF…. and he was ALWAY BROKE. if i ever needed anything extra, he was broke. he might had gotten paid on friday and it was monday but he was broke. i have no idea what he spent his money on but it wasnt on the bills and for the family.

      of course when he left, he swears all his money went to buying me and the kids things but we were never happen. and of course he bought all this *sweeps hand toward everything in the yard* (which is a fat lie) and afterwards he tried to tell me that he WORKED 6 JOBS FOR ALL THIS…. he got really pissy when i was like huh? 6 jobs? you mean all together? he stutters, YES ALL TODAY, ALL AT ONCE…. but then starts stuttering about all the side jobs and this and that…i just looked at him….whatever dude. i never saw a penny of that money.. (i have also added up everything i knew he was doing and still only come up with 3. his regular job, occasionally fixing up someones car, scrapping metal….unless he was counting scrapping copper as separate then metal, and counting his overtime as another one instead of his reg job. and then maybe selling drugs, which he would never admit to me.)

      and yes he used that against me.

      and yes, the fog is finally clearing in my head. i might not be doing as well financially as he is now. and i might not be as happy as he is now, and i damn sure am not getting laid like he is now. but at least i dont have anyone fucking with my head the way he was doing. i seriously thought i was going crazy because nothing added up and i just couldnt make sense of what he was doing vs what he was saying. i would much rather live an authentic life then a make believe one. he wants to pretend that he is a good man when he knows in his heart that he is not. he drinks and possible does drugs to dull the pain and drown the guilt. he keeps buying more shit trying to fill the emptiness inside him. he is never happy for long with what he has. i might be sad. i might be broken. but i am honest and real. he never will be.

      • Same story Mrs. Vain. I explained over and over to him about how he hurt me and my son yet he did it again and again. It seemed like he was stupid. But it was me. You shouldn’t have to keep explaining to your husband what a decent person would do. He knew he was behaving like a shit. He just wanted a little cake before the final discard. And he didn’t care at all that he hurt me and our son so deeply. We didn’t matter at all. It was always this same woman over and over again. I hope they end up hating each other. I am not at meh yet. Maybe when we are finally divorced.

        • Wanted to add that he was a workaholic. Had alcoholic binges and then didn’t drink at all. Had drug issues years ago. Apparently the affair was just more addictive behavior because he is now addicted to OW.

          • Asswipe has addicted behavior too. Every affair proved this. He’s still addicted to my cake. Sorry pal. Its over.

  • Do NOT be ashamed that you poured out your broken heart to your spouse. That is what they are there for. It is to his shame that he both created the grief, and did nothing to alleviate it!!

    I myself did a minimal amount of begging. My attempt to save some face by writing all of my anguish in a journal became a nightmare when, before walking out on me to move in with his Schmoopie, my ex announced he had READ IT!!

    I was humiliated. And instead of compassion, I could only see disgust in his eyes. It killed me…

    …and then I got angry. He could have all of his secrets yet I couldn’t have my private thoughts?

    I believe that disorder is called Being A Douche.

        • I guess that’s why I’ve never wanted to write a journal with my most personal thoughts. I think journals are for somebody to find and read, and I would hate that. So, I keep a journal in my rather simple head, but I do forget far too many details I wish I had written down. Or not.

    • i remember that i would tell him things about other people like the way most normal people do. like when you go visit someone maybe your aunt edna or cousin earl. you are nice and polite but in truth you cant wait for the visit to be over. and on the way home you talk about how disgusting the house was and how you cant stand that aunt edna is always whining about this or that and how cousin earl is a loser. and you share that with your spouse because you think he will not use it against you.

      well diablo ended up holding all that against me. he would think that i thought i was too good for everyone. he even told me how i thought i was better then everyone else and that i thought i was the shit. he ended up resenting me for the way i thought about his family (who were a bunch of losers) but he seems to forget that i thought and felt that way because of the way they treated HIM…. and that there were people in my own family that i thought and felt the same way. convent how he forgot that part. he only remembers that i hated his family.

      i never thought that sharing my thoughts would be held against me and that MY HUSBAND woulld think that i was a bad person because i thought that way. it wasnt like i ever TOLD aunt edna or cousin earl what i thought. they were STILL family and i still loved them even thou i didnt agree with how they lived. i would never want to hurt their feelings or make them feel bad. just like i did with his family also. the things i told him were only told to him as my husband, my friend. but he just couldnt understand. i figured that out pretty quickly and stopped telling him shit. i wonder how long it will take his street rat to figure it out.

  • Like others are saying, it’s totally normal to want to preserve and fight for your marriage and the life you’ve built, and to believe that your partner is just going through something that you can deal with. My opportunity for the Pick Me Dance was brief, since he left me abruptly and only even acknowledged his affair after some prodding from me since his rationale made no effing sense. But even so, I cringe when I think of some of the things I said in an effort to get him to open his eyes (newsflash: they’re perfectly open. He’s just a turd.) but also have to remind myself that I was trying, and that’s admirable. He didn’t try, and that’s arguably (for me, in my situation at least), more hurtful than the cheating itself. After he told me that he just wasn’t attracted to me and never had been (could’ve fooled me after tellling me he loved me, wanting to move in together, proposing to me, and then marrying me), I spackled the hell out of it, feeling sorry for him and for me, that he just couldn’t identify the problem until now, that maybe we could be friends, that maybe we could still be in each other’s lives!

    Ick. It bugs me that, since shortly after I went essentially no-contact, THAT was what I left him with, and that potentially he still thinks I feel that way. Blah.

    At any rate, like CL and everyone else is saying—you begged because your instinct was to fight to keep your family together and to give the benefit of the doubt to the person you loved and thought was committed to you, which is noble, and YOU (and me) get to say that you did try, which is something that your ex and my stbx will never, ever be able to say.

  • Some things I learned first from reading this amazing blog and then learned “for real” when I observed it with my STBX:
    *They are narcissists
    *Every interaction, good or bad, is just narcissistic supply to them
    *They truly don’t care – and never did
    *Narcissists pretend to be normal
    *It’s a back-handed compliment that they chose us because of our capacity to love – but like leeches, they used up our love until they didn’t want it anymore
    *Our feelings of grief (including sadness, disbelief, anger) prove we are loving people AND that grief is the normal response to loss
    *They don’t feel loss anymore than we feel loss when the milk carton is empty. Time for new milk!
    *It sucks
    *The pain doesn’t last forever. It’s been helpful to me to think of my pain as a physical wound and to trust the “doctors” of Chump Nation when they diagnose this ailment. They also provide healing medicine and therapy. And 100% cure rate – because once the disease is out of our lives, we are healthier than ever.

    I’m only two months since D-Day but have gone from feeling suicidal to feeling excited about the new possibilities.

    My STBX is fat and stupid and delusional. It’s okay to acknowledge that they suck. They really do.

    You’re a good person who has a big heart and tolerance – you gave him the best years of his life. We all did. Our time was well-spent because we were coming from love and commitment. Those are important values. Unbelievably we just got connected to assholes. Lucky them. Our turn is next.

    Hang in there. It really does get better. You matter.

      • Roaring – Standing Ovation. You have come a long way and I love how positive you are. Keep up the great work!

    • Roaring, you’ve got it going!!! Two months? Awesome bullet points! I reread what you wrote and thought how slow, sluggish I was to come to those conclusions! Yes, I got out and away fast but spent endless time trying to figure what, who I actually was married to!

      Yes! 100% cure rate. I like that. Also open to new possibilities. You’re right on about the world of chumps being who we are!!

      • I appreciate this – just got back from a settlement hearing that didn’t go well. Because I earn a decent living he is entitled to half my pension. (I live in Seattle, a community-property state) which he wants to use to buy me out of the equity in my house. He spent all of our savings on his dick and he gets the money I earned? Karma? I need some help…

        • Yep – Roaring. This is the way it is in no-fault states. Sorry – it’s often not fair.
          I told the X that had *I* been the one cheating on him, and upending his entire life; because he makes more money that me –I would STILL get 1/2 of everything-which I deserved, as a married partner for over 10 yrs. HE would still have to pay me, if I was the one having an affair. I can’t imagine taking alimony from somebody, however, if I was the one who committed adultery.

          I feel lucky to be on this other side, where *I* did not cheat.
          And, as his wife for 35 yrs, I deserved and got Spousal Support for the rest of my life, even if I re-marry.
          It’s just the law.

          And, for the cheated on – it feels good since you gave up your career for his and lost your own income and identity that income you gave up for the sake of Spouses career. (the courts DO look at that now).

  • FC,
    Everyone here knows how tough it is to be the only one working on the relationship. You did what you could, now time to move on. I also begged for marital counseling, as ex just wanted to walk away. In some ways, I wish he had held firm to no MC, as it would have saved me 4 months of hell… but it was only during MC that he finally admitted to the cheating. Otherwise he would have been able to simply say the marriage ended because “we grew apart.”
    Jedi hugs.

  • FC,

    OMG, I. Am. You. AGAIN!! My first D-Day was in August of 2014 during the time we have a basically dying newborn baby!! The AP was married with two kids as well! Her husband finally tired of the BS and divorced her in November of 2014. The affair last until May of 2015……I begged nearly daily for the entire time. I was relentless with it. I was the biggest chump in chumpville ever. It was horrible. Then suddenly in June 2015 my love dumped the AP (on her ass and broke her heart) and asked me out. Moved back the same day. I was filled with relief and happiness. Giddy. Got us into MC bc I was still shaky from the affair…..you know, the one that I had caused. When she (i am a lesbian) came home she told me she was “giving me a second chance”. But guess what???? I blew it bc I caused her to have another affair with a different married woman……D-Day #2 in October 2015 with my insecurities and smothering her. Imagine that??? I again begged for about the first month. But stopped bc she said that was just pushing her further away. And I must at once stop digging to find out who she is “talking to” bc I am causing unwanted drama with all my snooping. I wanted to know bc she brought this woman into our home for sex and played house with my two very young sons (2 & 4). Want to know what my prize is IF I can manage to play by all the rules???? I get a chance at a fresh start in about a year……she is guessing that is the amount of time she needs to “get a much needed break” from our marriage and to “get her head right”. The worst part of it??? I am stuck. Playing by the rules……how high should I jump??. Walking on eggshells bc everything makes her furious. I can’t will myself to move forward bc I am sitting here praying that she comes back the person I married 5.5 years ago instead of this monster. I too am stagnant. Under the power of someone that is intoxicating at her best and totally void emotion/full of disdain at her worst. I don’t beg daily but I remind her every few days about “our desire to meet the common goal” of bringing our family back together. All the while she has a gf (that just left her husband) and they “love each other”. She says she doesn’t love her but is “just having fun” and “using it as a distraction”. I feel your pain and your emotions…..I am as big of if not bigger or even the biggest idiotic chump here. And I don’t know where to turn…I need a tow truck to pull me out apparently.

    • SouthernShine74, First (((Hugs)))! Now, Woman, you deserve better than to be wasting your one precious life with a person who Cheats, who doesn’t treat you well, that doesn’t understand that life is short and that you should make every memory a good one with those you love. Who reciprocates. This woman you love is incapable. Are you happy!?!? Is this relationship what you want!?! My best advice? Leave that shit behind. Never be plan B. (Also think of your babies! you need to model healthy relationships to your children.) Think of the legacy you are leaving the world. The longer you stay in this the more of yourself you will be wasting. That’s tragic, especially when there are good people out there, waiting for you, to be free.

    • Tow truck on its way….SouthernShine–read what you just wrote. Does it sound as if (a) cheater is working toward bringing the family together? (b) showing you ANY respect at all, (c) you have any single reason to think things will change in the future?

      no, no, and no. Get angry and get out.

      • Can I be Tow truck no 2? You gotta get away from this. She is playing you and you really don’t deserve to be played (I don’t care what she says you’ve done to justify her shite – you don’t deserve this. You have loved and been her friend for all this time, for this, if nothing else, you deserve respect). Stand up and so ‘No’ – and mean it. If she won’t be your best friend, then I guess you have to be your own best friend.

        Wishing you strength xxx

    • It wont take a tow truck. One day something will happen.. click.. and u will be done. If u dont get self aware she will do it for u in the most mind blowing way or u can do it for u with dignity. I am a chump, he got to do it.

  • FC – if you liken your man to a gangrenous arm you will do one of two things: 1) hang onto it as long as possible until you are really sick or 2) go in for the amputation.
    The ampuation will be traumatic and you will have to learn a whole new skill set…challenging yes…but healthier. Hang on to that decaying arm and you will rot…..physically,emotionally and spiritually.
    The clean cut of an amputation will leave you with grief,anger and phantom pains but you will preserve your health by making the decision to make the cut versus keeping a unless rotting appendage out of fear and habit.
    Make the cut my dear. Save yourself.

  • FC, don’t feel bad about begging. I was practically on the floor at my husband’s feet begging him to remember his vows and to think of our family. You are in shock and denial and it’s a hard place to be. I remember family members being really upset that I wasn’t outraged and furious, but I was too shell shocked to feel much of anything but bottomless grief. Like you, I also felt tremendous shame.

    I just want you to know that 4 years past D-day and I no longer feel shame, I feel like a survivor of a terrible catastrophe! You are going through a grief process and it’s gut wrenching, but it will get better. CL is right in that the shame belongs to your husband. He might not might feel it, he might have transferred it to you by telling you it’s all your fault. Put it back on him where it belongs.

    How to get through the nights — it’s brutal in the beginning. A friend of mine gave me a good tip. She suggested I get an iPod and put uplifting and encouraging podcasts on it. When I went to bed at night I listened to it until I fell asleep to stop the circular thoughts in my head. If I woke up in the middle of the night, I started listening to podcasts again. There are many sermons out there to help people going through tremendous grief and change, and they are a lot more helpful than the voices in your head that are tearing you apart.

    It takes time to come to grips with what happened, to even accept it. During the holidays it’s still hard for me not to long for the reconciliation of our family. But recently I went back and read a journal that I kept many years ago and realized how truly miserable and lonely I was in my marriage. I don’t feel like that any more. I’m so much happier now, it really is a blessing to be free of a toxic relationship.

    Think of it this way — you’re not being pushed out of your marriage, you’re being delivered from it. You deserve love, and you can learn to love yourself better than he ever did. You are not alone.

    Please reach out for help to friends, family, a pastor, a counselor. Surround yourself with people who care about you and love you. Don’t focus on the one person who rejected you, but the ones you are still there. Get a gratitude journal and write down how grateful you are for every little thing someone does to help you. You can train your brain to focus on what’s good, even in the midst of suffering. Hang in there! It will get better.

    • Yes, I pretty much begged, too. When he told me about the OW, he was sitting in a chair, and I was on the floor, changing our infant baby. I literally was beneath him, imploring him to stop the affair. It was a shitty, helpless feeling.

      Not anything I planned, and not how I imaged I would have handled such a situation. But it’s how it happened, in the moment, and that’s how I felt, too….I would have done anything to save my marriage. It wasn’t until I realized he was still lying that I knew what a supreme jerk he really was, and was able to move on. After that, I didn’t want to save the marriage any more. there wasn’t anything left to save. What marriage?

      • Oh LiningUpDucks … you were changing your baby and he told you about the OW? Oh God, that’s horrible. I’m so sorry. I’m glad you know him for the clueless jerk he is, and I’m so glad you realised you didn’t want that marriage.

        Happy 2016 to you xx

    • Lyn, the shame is something I experienced too…until it occurred to me that STBX is the one who is guilty. He should be ashamed.

      Then I realized that STBX is not normal.

      Normal people don’t do things like this. Horrible people do. And horrible people do not feel guilty (which is probably the most important feature of being horrible).

      I did not cause any of this Shit Show. I’m not taking any responsibility for it.

      I’m enjoying getting angry, telling people my story, feeling powerful and important. It’s new for me, these feelings. I love ’em.

      I’m kicking “shame” to the curb, along with STBX.

      • I LOVED telling my story. The only thing not good about that was how some people would go “How could you not have known? You had to have known and you were letting it happen.” It was always my tendency to believe that these were the people who were probably also chumps and afraid to admit it.

        But you certainly figure out your allegiances through this stuff. Anyone who has the nerve to kick you when you’re down like that is no better than the cheater narc is!

  • Hang in there. The nights will get easier and the days will have more clarity. I promise! After more than two year of begging — yes, prostrate on the floor, heaving in the toilet, sobbing, 2 a.m. phone calls, screaming and yelling and pleading and apologizing for being a bad wife — I finally walked away. It was hell. But you know what? Every month I see that I am doing better than the month before.

    If he says he is done, believe him. This may be the first honest thing he has done for you in a long time. Grieve the life you lost, the life you had hoped for, but know that the man you were married to is dead. Not the real, physical person who treated you like shit, but the man you thought you were married to.

    Some of the days are going to suck. But there are moments coming when you are not really going to like him as much as you do now. And I know that’s hard, because you feel like you are hurting him by not liking him and as loving partners we are just not geared to hurt our spouses. We are still in “wife” mode and still want to protect our husbands. But I promise it does get better, but it takes time.

    In the meantime, do the things you have to do. Get a lawyer, get your own bank account, make sure your job is secure, start saving your own money, make sure you know everything you need to about life insurance and bills and retirement plans. Do the stuff that is just about numbers and documents, even if you have to tell yourself it’s “just in case.” Get your poop in a group, because there will be a day that you will be ready to fight for yourself instead of fighting for him.

  • I have the problem that my husband and I also have a business together–a business that I love. I have not only felt that I am fighting for my marriage and family–but also the business that is such a big part of my life. By the way–I am new here and so glad I found this!

    • Oh Gosh I Am Strong, you have all your eggs in one basket, don’t you? (I did to, I worked for ‘The Great I Am’ and the business was based from our home). If he’s cheating, you seriously need to rethink ‘fighting for my marriage’. Got to face it … he decided already that the marriage and family was worth risking, so too the business. You really need some expert advice, even if you decide to try to fight for the marriage (rule number one – just because you are willing to fight for everything, doesn’t mean he is – and, again … none of it was more important than access to new pussy). Get an appointment with a solicitor as soon as you can. The business, is it PLC? How do you assess it’s ‘worth’? Can you buy him out? Can he buy you out? What about your client base? These are exhausting topics to even contemplate but … he cheated … he already had one foot out the door .. he may well have already checked out the answers to these questions. Don’t let your shock paralyze you. Make an appointment to speak with some legal advice … NOW.

      Good luck x

  • This is what pisses me off. Innocent people who did nothing wrong feel shame, while cheating whores do not.

    I’ve been in a bad mood this morning. It’s stupid. It pisses me off that the worthless no count whore who snuck around with my ex thinks I was jealous of her. News flash. If I wasn’t “jealous” before I knew about the whoring, I wasn’t jealous after. The nasty bitch is nothing I want to be, and has nothing I want to have. This is what society’s idealization of these sluts leads to. They think you are Jealous of them. SMDH.

    • Anita, this is EXACTLY how I feel. My STBX fucked prostitutes and his hand (via webcam porn) but still thinks I want to be with him.

      In the few conversations I’ve had with him, he keeps telling me “I don’t want to get your hopes up” – What?

      It’s NO ONE’S “hope” to be involved with an asshole, narcissistic, entitled, fat, drunken, stupid, cheating, misogynist.

      They really seem to believe they are special.

      At this point, I’m just embarrassed that I was EVER involved with him, much less loved him, and wanted him!

      • It is disgusting, isn’t it, Roaring. How either of the cheaters think they are tolerable, much less Great, is beyond me. They are delusional, at best.

      • I’m sure mine (who thinks he is fab–why wouldn’t any woman want him?) is certain I will do what his previous wife did–divorced him, then called 1/2 year later to see if they could “try again, but on her terms.” hahahaha. If he’s waiting for that call from me, he’s got an eternal wait. I’d rather devour shards of anthrax-laced glass than go back to him.

          • The X turned 60 recently. He’s aged a lot. His hair looked like The Doc on Back to the Future, so he shaved it off…then he got really fat, the last time I saw him. And, he’s been completely neutered so I doubt the trashy slut is still with him. (she’s 10 yrs younger and waaay horny)

            But, yanno – I choose not to laugh too much about any of that. It took me a long time to finally ‘un-love’ him because I loved him with all my heart. Then you look and see what you have – nah, not such a great catch after all.

            As they say, I got the Best Years.

      • And they’re all FAT bastards too, aren’t they? What’s that about? Does the fat destroy their brains? Or do they just lack any discernable self-esteem so they are big balls of fat? I don’t get that. But I should have known if he had no respect for his own body, why would he have any respect for anything?

        • My cheater wasn’t fat. He spent all his free time on fitness. Skiing, cycling, yoga, getting up at 4 every morning to go to fitness boot camp. Then had the audacity, upon leaving me for another woman, to complain that I didn’t spend enough time with him. The only thing fat about him were the big fat lies he likely told the OW about what a horrible person I was.

          • Hey Karma Express 🙂 😀 Nah – ‘The Great I Am’ wasn’t fat either – except for his ego of course … and his vacuum-pumped blue knob!!!!

            Happy, happy 2016 to you darlin! 😀 xxxx

            • Hi Jayne! It’s been a while. I don’t recall hearing about The Great I Am’s mechanical enhancements. Guess he had money for that, eh? Happy 2016 to you, too!

              • Och -in the grand scheme of things his 2 hour vacuum pumping his knob every day was merely a blip in the ‘maniac-o-meter’ 😀

  • This post could have been written by me and is definitely written for me. 100%. I ask myself everyday how to stop being so freaking pathetic!!! I do good and feel strong for a few days and then I get what I now call withdrawal symptoms. I start freaking out and getting all upset. Craving his presence and affection. It’s sick. I need help to stop. This is just not healthy and I know it. I wish I were more eloquent in writing my thoughts but god damn this hurts. He’s a professional serial cheater and I can only imagine what he has been up to. On the upside, Was visiting my SIL and had a thoroughly cathartic time there punching out my frustrations on a punching bag. My son and nephews were shocked at my pent up anger. 😉 they had a good laugh. I think I am buying one of those soon.

    • Good for you willowchump 🙂 (I had a cat called Willow – she was lovely … ahhh, I miss her). Get you a punchbag and a list of songs you loved before you even knew that shit existed and have at it…. ! 😀

    • WillowChump
      Loving a serial cheater sounds so fucking pathetic, I know as I did it for 41 years. YOU HAVE TO FACE THE PAIN. Please, face the pain. It compounds annually and each time it becomes more painful as you lose a little bit more of yourself. Let it go. I know exactly what your going through. No Contact. Stay strong and soon you realize loving yourself is SO much better. What you have is not love.

    • Willowchump–just express ordered a box of “kick the fucker to the curb” rat poison your way. GET OUT!! How many D-days do you want to have? Mine was a serial cheater, too, and ain’t no fucking way I was giving him a chance to first emotionally abuse me, play on my sympathies and sense of family loyalty, AND then leave me for some ho. TAKE CHARGE; we have your back. You can do this!!

      TheClip–you need to get WillowChumps’s address; immediate intervention by the Chump Squad is necessary. Bring required ammunition.

  • FC, you can’t see some important things from the pit of misery that is living with a cheater: 1. That you have abandoned big chunks of your own Self, your own power, in order to stay in a relationship with someone who doesn’t value you. That relationship requires YOU not to value yourself. Once you have got to the other side of the worst of the pain, you will at some point be surprised by how much more you like yourself. 2. Begging for what you are contractually entitled to is response to abuse. You are in a marriage. You should EXPECT to be treated with kindness and respect. I’m still waiting for the marriage ceremony where the Chumps is asked to faithful, true, and honor the partner in sickness and in health but the other person promises to lie, cheat, abuse, and neglect the partner. “I promise to lie, cheat, and treat you like you are worthless” is not what we sign up for. There’s a reason people make the same promises in a marriage ceremony. 3. It is OK and normal to wonder if you will ever feel like eating again or if you will be able to sleep through the night or when you will not spend half your waking hours plotting to get the jackass back. But CL is giving you the best advice. See a lawyer. Get into therapy or counseling with someone who is clear that the marriage is over. Figure out who has your back. If you have 2 or 3 people who are totally in your corner, you are rich in friendship. If you have neglected those relationships because you’ve been pick-me dancing with your cheater, start working on your friendships. Get to the Y or a gym or find an old DVD and Sweat to the Oldies with Richard Simmons. Walk with the kids and the dog, if you have one, but walk, even in the cold. Start designing the life you want to live. I used Pinterest for that but there are lots of ways to do it (keep a journal, do a scrapbook, make a vision board, make lists, whatever works). Figure out a playlist of songs to help you through specific low point– music to relax you at night, your “Fight Song” playlist, your upbeat/feel better playlist. Same with movies, books, TV shows. Find what comforts and inspires.

    You are in a battle for your Self. And that is also a battle to be a strong, healthy mom to your kids. Get into Warrior Queen mode. You can do it.

    • Great advice LAJ. I’m pretty much at Meh about ‘The Great I Am’ (but not the abuse … as I said in post above)… but I do have a list of kickass songs I play whenever I’m feeling low. What I also found helped was making a list of songs I used to love before I even knew him and I Youtube them … that’s a great one for reminding you who you are!

      Happy 2016 to you xxx

  • CL congrats on the #1 – that’s awesome news. You deserve it.

    FC, I stayed in my marriage way too long. Mine was a serial cheat too and I busted my butt to keep my family together. Do you know what it did? It ate away at my self esteem, self worth and dignity so much I didn’t even know who I was anymore. Like you I was terrified and begged mine as well countless times.

    Then he left and I was in the limboland of HOPE for about 6 months. That’s a hell I wouldn’t wish on anyone and one that I will never be in again. I envy the gals who said – you want out? You’ve got it! I just didn’t have it in me and I was ashamed and humiliated, like I failed somehow.

    After the 6 months of Hope – I found CL and CNation and it helped me tremendously.

    You will heal, noone ever died from getting divorced. Believe me when I say after you fight to get what’s yours and to protect your children – you will come out of this experience a much happier and wiser person. I always said “God did for me, what I couldn’t do myself” when my ex left – and I have been at peace and very happy for 4 years now. I was married for 30.

    I know it doesn’t sound like much, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will survive and you will be sooooo much better off without that man. You’ll see. It takes time, work and faith in yourself – but you deserve more than what you have been given. Listen to CL – please take her advice. File for divorce from that POS.

  • I think chumps draw strength from keeping everything together, and its completely disorienting to suddenly find yourself in the position of having to take apart or relinquish everything you fought for. It feels like weakness, but when you get a little foothold on it (and anger is the best foothold of all), you can turn and see what strength it takes to unmake yourself as a wife/husband and remake yourself as your own independent person. I think the overwhelming sentiment here from people who are far enough thru the process, is they wouldn’t trade that knowledge and strength for any amount of unicorns. Your anger is the ticket to that knowledge and your eventual freedom. Your anger is your first glimpse of that new face of your strength until you rebuild yourself.

    Gonna fly my nerd flag for a minute – its like when Frodo tries to give the Ring to Galadriel, and she fills herself with the knowledge of its power and destruction “All shall love me and despair!” but then she turns from it and says “I will diminish and go into the West and remain Galadriel.” She had to know the truth of that power and then turn from it willingly in order to remain herself and be free. Grab hold of that anger while it serves you, then put it down when you have accomplished your truth, and remain yourself.

    But drop the shame- its not yours and it serves nothing.

    • Excellent reference. Love how great literature and art and music and everything deals with these BIG issues. makes me feel part of the Human Story.

      • Yes, great reference. Does life follow art? The age old question.
        Very well said, Arlo.

        This is very good – ‘Your anger is your first glimpse of that new face of your strength until you rebuild yourself.’

        When my anger finally left – and hell, it took a LONG freaking time – I was finally at peace. I only held it for about 4 yrs…lol – is that too long? I’m So much better off without the liar, cheater and thief and his stupid mask. 1-1/2 yrs divorced now.

  • Forcing Change

    What you are describing is an inability to detatch. How do I know? I loved my abuser regardless of everything he did to me. I wanted him back and swore I could never love anyone else.
    Many told me I didn’t want to be alone. You know the truth as you have always been alone in your marriage. How do you stop loving your abuser? It’s recognizing he has psychologically abused you. You feeling of being helpless and so low are strong indicators. You think you can’t survive without him and that’s untrue. You’ve been conditioned to believe this. And those tidbits of kindness make you doubt your own perceptions. Your support system of friends has probably dwindled. ABUSERS isolate their prey to suck you dry of your energy which leaves you feeling defeated. No doubt you have taken responsibility and find fault with yourself. If you look hard into your children’s eyes they are aware and WANT you to be strong so you can focus your energies into their needs instead. They pray every night you can leave him so they don’t have to see you cry. The abuser pretends. You beg.
    My childhood was spent crying myself to sleep praying my father would die so my mother wouldn’t have to suffer. I was given the responsibility of protecting her and I never could because she stayed.
    My abuser was also a sociopath. He was a covert narcussust. I became my mother. He cheated at least 17 times and I still loved him. At the age of 57 like you I recognized just how sick I was to still love someone who clearly couldn’t possibly love me. Save yourself. These are the steps I took.
    1. Find a therapist who understands narcissistic abuse in relationships and Stockholm Syndrome. Tell him you WANT to stop loving this monster.
    2. File for a divorce.
    3. Go no contact immediately.
    4. Detox. Make lists of everything he did.
    5. Know he disrespects you, cannot live anyone
    6. Get STD testing.
    7. Come here daily for support.
    8. Face the pain as it’s the only way out.
    9. Find a support system, a friend, family or a group.

    YOU WILL GAIN A LIFE!! Everything I read about people like me who stayed too long report the unlikelihood of surviving. That was my mother who died in my arms. I fucking fought through the pain and vowed to survive. I did it for me first. I did it for my daughters. And i did it for my mother. Forcing Change choose life, fight for you and yor children. Fight and don’t stop. Make this the time you’ve had ENOUGH!! I have faith in you and I’m proud to say I too was that low and live better. Today is your day.

    • Donna

      I have no idea if my husband has cheated on me. Which who knows (who cares) . . . maybe he has. Maybe it would be a contributing factor for his behavior. An explination instead of dismissive “I don’t know.” Anyway, I have been reading this entire post mentally switching the word “cheater” with “abuser” (tit for tat) and it helps puts things in perspective so much! Esp. this article. Specifically your comments. I have been living through so much abuse, refusing to the face the pain, playing the pick me dance with an abuser. Therapy for over a year. Reading and reading. Unable to move forward from the begging. Begging for love, begging for respect, begging for the f’n “why.” You describing your childhood. . . WOW. It is a message that I have been waiting to hear. Thank you so much! I hope I can tap into the same strength that you have. I try everyday.

  • FC…Believe it or not the pain is finite. I didn’t believe it either at first. I think we were all there at Dday. None of has had a Plan B. No one thinks this could ever happen to us. I had nursed my husband through a terrible life threatening illness and he was so happy with me he insisted we renew our vows on our wedding anniversary and four short months later he was in a sleazy motel with Skank Woman and then promptly left me for her. I never saw it coming and was beyond devastated and stayed that way for too long.

    I wish I would have known then what I know today. That someday I would meet a fellow chump and fall in love again. That I would be fine …more than fine! That I would find a better job and keep my house. That all those tears for a cheating lying POS were for nothing! Good luck FC…you can do it!

  • Staying in an abusive situation, and wanting to SAVE it, only continues to feed your fear that it could be worse. Yes, it could be worse. Begging to stay is the “could be worse”. You have reached the bottom of the barrel with that man. There is no “marriage”. You are begging to save an abusive person you mated.

    It starts with the word, enough. You will hear silent cheers from your children and family who lay witness to the abuse on a daily basis.

    If you can’t save yourself, because you don’t believe YOU are worth it, save the children. I hope you believe THEY are worth it.

    We are all here to guide you step by step. We are not leaving or going away. We promise we will not judge.
    We are here to heal the incredible pain you are in, currently. You can write every day on a forum blog, just for you and Chump Nation will respond.

    Come on over, we’ll leave the light on.

  • FC, I’m one of those whose cheater ex kept coming back for over 20 years. I know you don’t see it now but it is a huge blessing that he wants out. I kept taking back the cheater (chump queen here) until I didn’t. Even after being divorced and living with the OW, he still tried to come back. He married OW, and still tried to maintain contact with me via emails. Finally, after being divorced for over 2 years, the emails stopped. Whew. And by the way, I wasn’t even responding to his emails. If I had a do over, I would have left him 25 years ago when he cheated on me while I was pregnant. Cheater ex was one of those who “I will do anything to win you back” liar. Sure, he would be a nice, faithful husband for a few years, and then he went on the prowl once again. He could not sustain monogamy.

    Like everyone here has said, leaving a cheater hurts like crazy but staying will hurt even more. I know that based on my experience. It will get better, I promise, even though you don’t believe it. I didn’t either until I got to “meh” and my only regret now is not leaving sooner.

    You matter. Your children matter. Your pond scum cheater husband does not. He is irrelevant. Give yourself the gift of a great life going forward without the jerk. He doesn’t deserve you.

  • “You tried to love someone and save your marriage in the face of betrayal — it’s not just fear that makes chumps do that — it’s tremendous love. Misdirected love, undeserved love, but love all the same. It takes a big heart to try. Don’t hate yourself for that.”

    This ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    CL, just when I thought that you could not possibly cut straight to my heart one more time, here are just the words I needed to hear today!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  • FC,

    Ungodly pain. It is a process. There is no fast forward. Begging is part of the denial and shock. It is part of wanting the pain to just stop.

    I know you here all the advise and I know it wont penetrate.

    So… If you can love you just yet then love him enough to let him go. He cannot ever undo with you. It may be two years before you are on other side of this to realize as much as you don’t want any of this and love him you wont want him.

    The only chance you have is with you. He is who he is. Set him free because you love him. Then when you love you you won’t care.

  • Chumpella, Kudos to you for not falling for that poor, sad sausage. How dare you not go along with his narrative of you saying “we were done” to justify his screwing another woman. Like you, his mate, were going to be ok with him doing that. It just blows the mind, once you start to see the blameshifting and gaslighting for what it is, just plain bull sh*t. Hang in there and don’t take anymore sparkly turd lies.

    • DeeL – I’ll never forget when X said, ‘we’ve had problems for years’. I’m like, wha? we did? News to me. I’m sure 80% of us can say that.

    • Thanks DeeL. There has definitely been a lot of blameshifting and gaslighting. When I start to feel weak and doubt myself, I come here and read what CL and the good folks of CN have to say and it strengthens my resolve that I can get through this, I won’t take any more of his “sparkly turd lies” (thanks for that – I will keep that in mind if we have to have divorce related contact).

  • I want to thank ChumpLady for responding to my email.

    The details of the madness I have dealt with is really too much for me to even start with. I am exhausted by life right now but just wanted to say a thank you.

  • brit, Your Cheater is your enemy. This is on point, once you can internalize this in your mind and then with more difficulty in your heart, you see What you were dealing with. A “person” who does not give one f*ck about the other people in their lives, spouse, partner or children.

    Don’t be embarrassed by the begging, we’ve all done it in one way or the other. We were trying to be fair, to be forgiving, to save our intact families. All good things, but all things that we lost so long ago, way, way before we ever learned about the cheating. The x’s were already done with us, so long before we ever found out about the infidelity, that it wasn’t even on your radar at the time. It’s not your fault ever, you were never given the facts that you needed to make a decision on your life. So by the time we do find out about all the messed up things, we are trying to salvage a totally dead relationship, we were just never given enough “facts” to make an informed decision. Just keep going forward. That’s all we can do.

    • DeeL – well said! We never had a chance. In my case, he’d been plotting for months – if not years. Hiding money and being a total jerk. I don’t need to repeat that I had no clue what was going on. Suddenly, your life changes in an instant. I think we were all horrified finding out. I know FC needs to catch her breath and hope we haven’t overwhelmed her, but I think she hit a nerve here.

      Forcing Change – please don’t try to absorb all these posts at once.
      They can be depressing and overwhelming. Take your time but, you have received excellent advice from so many people that have been through this exactly like you are experiencing.

      I wish you Super Woman Strength right now and I know you’ve got it in yourself.

      We’ve ALL got your back – and big Hugs from the Planet of C/N.

  • FC,
    I am so sorry for what you’re going through. I can related to so much of what you and others have said here. I too was practically at my cheating husband’s feet begging him to stay. In my case, though I suspected he was cheating with his married boss, I was in denial and believed all the horrible things he told me about myself— that this was all my fault, that I’d had too many health and emotional problems in recent years (I’d just gone through two pregnancies, two c-sections and breastfed two babies past a year old.). God, he was so mean! And now I know what I’ve read here many times before is true— he had to make me into this awful person in order to justify his behavior.

    I am still struggling, but I can assure you it’s going to be OK. Just when I’m feeling like I’ll never laugh or smile again, my toddler does something silly or cute and I’m cracking up, grinning from ear to ear and basking in the comfort of receiving joy from the things that really matter in our lives— not a lying cheater.

    While money is tight, I’ve allowed myself to have distractions wherever possible. Sometimes it’s just little things that get you through. I’ve binge watched some of my favorite old TV shows and sitcoms— just something lighthearted to look forward to at the end of a very long ay or when I’m feeling sad. I’ve discovered audiobooks and love having them in the background while I’m doing things around the house. Sometimes it’s nice to get caught up in a really good story. Nora Ephron’s books are my favorite.

    Hang in there. This is a good group and I’m so glad I found it, even if it took me months before I actually believed I needed to be here.

    • Mystique, this is so true (“he had to make me into this awful person in order to justify his behavior”) and it is what hurts the most.

      • Mystique – I also love all Norah Ephron books and movies. I know I was totally stuck with nothing but confusion for over 2 years, because something was off in my marriage. I couldn’t concentrate on a movie or a book for almost 3 yrs. I knew I was healed when I finally started bingeing on movies and books! It’s a good sign your concentration isn’t on all the destruction. It’s a real sign of moving on~

        Good for you!

      • Roaring take your ‘awful’ straight to court and make the fucker eat his words. The day I drop the asshole off my health insurance I will remind him of just how ‘awful’ he had it.

        • You are so right. HE is awful. I am so tired of feeling like a failure, goddamnit. My own head is driving me crazy.

  • You don’t have to stop loving him. You just have to realize that the man you love isn’t the one in front of you who looks just like him. That man is his evil twin and he is taking advantage of your love for the absent good one. Start with that, and mightiness will follow.

    • I KNEW there was a reason the X loved the Stephen King book, The Dark Half.
      He read it 3 times.

      He even admitted he had a dark half. I had no clue what he was talking about.

      Well, I guess he DID tell me who he was after all. Pay attention when they tell you and show you who they really ARE.

      • Ahhhhh…….one of my favortie Maya Angelou quotes….“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”

    • As my daughter said shortly after D-Day: “My father is dead. There is a man out there who looks like my father, but it’s not him.”

  • Human beings are adaptable – we may not like unwanted change but it is usually survivable.
    We can do it the hard way – hold on for dear life, weep, plead, pray…..I did all of that and then some. We think that we cannot manage without that man or that marriage. Even if the marriage was mediocre/lousy for most of its duration we cling to life as we know it and some of us sell our very souls in the process.
    Mealwhile, our cheater feasts on cake and throws a few crumbs now and then just to keep us begging. This sets the footwork for the good old pick me dance while we smoke our hopium pipes and try to bag that unicorn.
    Anyone who has done this will testify to the sheer crazy making hellishness it creates….somewhere in the history of time the chump must have been rewarded with a truly reformed cheater, a stronger and better marriage and years of happiness as the couple who made it through.
    Do you know a couple like that? No….well they probably exist somewhere or maybe we can be that couple if only we do not give up the fight.
    When in fake reconciliation I genuinely believed that we were a special case and somehow it would all come good…that did not happen.
    If what we resist persists then we end up with a series of DDays, broken promises and a repeat prescription for strong tranquillisers in our purse.
    The good news is that we can adapt and survive and be just as happy as before…often happier! But we do have to let go of the sinking wreckage and learn to swim.
    6 years on I still have sad days – or more likely sad moments – but I know that my long marriage is over and that the life I lost no longer exists. I have gained many things in that 6 years. I survived. So can you.

    • I wonder about the same thing, Mary. Years before my own D-day, my cheater’s best friend (and my friend) was absolutely DEVASTATED after he discovered his wife’s infidelity. They hadn’t been married long and they had one child at the time. Fast forward a few years later, they are still married and made 3 more babies together. Soon after my own D-day, this BF called me on behalf of my husband! He kindly insisted that the “pain and anger will subside”, that the cheating spouse is “hurting and embarrassed” and “is frightened of telling the whole truth”. I couldn’t believe it! This couple had everyone thinking that they were the couple that “made it through” with a “better and stronger” marriage. BUT….no one sees what I can see. And that is that our friend was never the same after his wife’s affair. He used to laugh, joke around….smile. (I used to love his company!!) Now he hardly does any of those things at all. I’ve felt so badly for our friend for years. It’s like a piece of him died when he resigned himself to the fact that he was going to remain married to someone who threw him away. He is now a POD PERSON for the sake of keeping his family “intact”. So, we could say that these marriages do exist…but not without the chump giving up a piece of their soul.

  • As usual…..this post came at the right time….with the right words I needed to hear. I am very close to finalizing my divorce….he is buying me out of our house….that his whore and kids live in. My daughter and I haven’t even taken our clothes out of the closets….he refused to let us in to remove personal belongings. So the last month….especially with the holidays has been an emotional roller coaster. The whore put up MY tree with MY ornaments…he refused to let me have anything until final settlement. I have 30 bins of decorations….more than enough for both of us….I wasn’t allowed one. Control Freak??? Understatement.
    During the last week his whore tested me on a fake # thru an app so I couldn’t trace it. She sent Memes. How I as the wife need to realize he has Upgraded…. how my Vagina looks like 5 lbs of chewed gum…… and the best….how I need to stay out of people’s relationships. She texted me at midnight on News Eve…… Me….
    I sent her a picture of a guy sleeping on the couch drooling with his hand down his pants sleeping….I said “and to think you swallowed to get this….clap…clap….clap”
    I know what she got….and she can have it. He has ruined our daughters futures…..
    whored thru their college tuitions…..it will be a struggle…BUT….as I couldn’t sleep and read all the comments here…I am reminded I am not alone….I can finish this…and I will be just fine.
    And…..that if your husband’s Whore texts you on New Years Eve….she has a girl crush and she is going to miss me when I am no longer his wife….I was the fun one….he is so boring…and old…and haggered….and limp.
    I was the most excitement she was getting on NYE.

    Keep on keeping on CN…..

    • Tracy you’re living well, and that’s the worst revenge you can take against her, against them. At a time when she’s supposed to be happy and content (because it was ALL about her and his happiness), how can she be so angry and bitter when she supposedly ‘won’ the grand prize? I’ll tell you how. Because she has buyer’s remorse!

  • I begged. I cajoled and talked him into staying.

    He was an odd one in that he was not strong enough to leave on his own behest. He had a terrible problem with making major life decisions – he ALWAYS made sure he asked for my input just enough to make it seem like he was including me in decisions but it was really just to have me to blame later. In the decision to leave for OW, I REFUSED to encourage or tell him to leave and in the end, he didnt have the strength to go over this hump totally on his own power.

    So we wreckonciled. A marriage where I thought there had been one really bad EA…had no idea it was a sham of a marriage where there had been a series of PAs.

    I lost 7 years of my life…my mid 40s …burned into black dreary cinders. I didnt win, I lost.

  • FC, know this:

    Your cheating spouse did not cheat and did not decide to reconcile because you were not somehow special enough.

    Your cheating spouse lacks character, was hiding it for a long, long time, and could no longer hang with your awesomeness.

    Make like Lando and wave that doucheblossom goodbye, and start to actualize your awesomeness without that cheating, lying anchor weighing your life down!

    http://mediafiles.cineplex.com/Central/Film/Posters/24446_320_470.jpg

  • FC-all of us who experienced the pain you are experiencing would literally run like hell if we saw it potentially heading in our direction again. Honey, there is no way to get around it. Right now you are so mentally exhausted that you are in no condition to have clarity on any issue. I hope he stays busy long enough to give you time to get your feet under you where you are able to consider yourself first and foremost to make the best possible decisions for your future. You have a long, tortuous road ahead of you. Every night I layed my head down on the pillow, I said “one day closer.” I’m on my 6th month. The pain has receded. I still have bad days but overall nothing like at first. You just have to pull the strength from somewhere inside you (or from God if that applies). If you have been abused by a narcissist, then I already know you have the strength to move forward. You HAVE to survive these early months, however you possibly can. Go no contact with him. It is a huge help because when you interact with his disordered crazy bullshit it’s like self inflicted stabbing to your soul over and over and over again. YOU CAN CONTROL this area of your grief. At least for the time being. Address what you need to when your more stable and stronger. My opinion is that we are great loving, moral, compassionate people. We believe everyone else is too. In reality, we are the exception and not the rule. There are many people out there (my ridiculous EX is one of them) who truly have no concept what good character is. They only understand it’s a good idea to fake it in society to appear normal. CL says “know your worth.” This is excellent advice. Truly, does he deserve what you have to offer? Nope. He is more mentally in tune with his AP, who no doubt is as deceitful and ridiculous as he is. I think they feel better in the company of other disordered people. Literally we are too good for them. I know myself that I knew my EX was an asshole, but I really and truly believed he had a lot of potential. After all this happened, it dawned on me that he absolutely has no potential to be on my level of mentality. He doesn’t understand it, and never will. He doesn’t understand why I have no desire to sit in a bar and get shitfaced everyday, or why I prefer my home to jail, or my inability to lie or character assassinate anyone more successful than me. I’m far enough along in this journey to never go back. He did me a huge favor. After the last creature AP, I let him go. Didn’t beg, nothing. I love the look on his face now. He never thought I would serve him his walking papers. When I look at the creature he was fucking, I want to vomit. He chose this thing over me. That tells me all I need to know. What pisses me off is he had the audacity to EVER judge me based on his choice of cum dumpster. They are so beneath me intellectually and character wise I can’t even register they exist. Someday neither will you. Take it slow, the anger will come and will be a blessing when it does. I don’t envy your position. Somehow, someway, you have to plow thru it, even if it’s only inches a day. I distinctly remember spending all last summer in my hammock with my dog. I considered suicide, and I am so not that kind of person. I finally quit fighting the inevitable pain. There were days I would do nothing but let it wash over me just to get it over with. I WILL NEVER HAVE TO DO THAT AGAIN UNLESS I CHOSE TO. I love that he can no longer cause me pain. Ever. You will get past the pain.

  • Tracy is so accurate in her answer, as per her typical she gets it right on the nose, e.v.e.r.y t.i.m.e. Listen to her, forcingchange, please do for your own good. I was where you are now 18 months ago ( and still is once in a while especially during holidays…) ChumpLady knows her shit and she is very, very insightful. Her site saved my sanity, a whole lot more than putting myself into the hand of a YouAreOkayIAmOkayHe’sAVictImTooYouKnow type of therapist would have done, believe me.

    ( In fact, I am very grateful than even now as she has moved on big time from her pain and wouldn’t need to speak to us, ChumpLady still take the time to take care of us sisters. I dread the day when/if life gets in the way and she needs to call it quit..) Please read and reread her words to you, for your own sake, they are the correct ones

  • Forcing Change,

    I begged my now-STBX to stay married to me after D-Day #1. At a desperate point, I even ‘offered’ to let him have ‘partners on the side’ as long as he stayed married to me, mainly out of fear of what he would do to our children if he were left alone with them, as he inevitably would, should we separate. (I tried to act as a human shield to my young children.) A few months later, my abusive, cheating ‘wasband’ filed for divorce on the day he took me to court on false allegations of the worst kind (just short of the claim of me killing him–guess he didn’t think the Court would believe him). I still remember offering to reconcile with my STBX (even a month after that horrible event) at his suggestion, I think that I was experiencing Stockholm Syndrome. Nearly 1.5 years later, I wouldn’t dream of offering anyone that deal! I also remember, shortly after separation, crying looking out at the window at my STBX in the street one night (as he had just moved across the street), because even though he was so physically close to me, he was lost to me forever. (I felt tortured. Now I’m glad!) This change in perspective didn’t come through any planned action on my part. One day, after months of near-sleepless nights, punctuated with nightmares, I quit caring. Life got a lot easier that Tuesday. I had more energy and enthusiasm for almost everything, even though I became a middle-aged, unemployed mother of young children! I don’t believe that Time heals all wounds, but I have found that mindful living (recognizing and acknowledging one’s feelings and thoughts, even unpleasant ones) makes living a lot easier. I think that one day, without trying to force yourself to feel one way or another, you will feel, overall, much more serene and content.

    • We should create something called “Meh Tuesday”. I really like that! And on it each Tuesday, we can recognize all the chumps who have achieved Meh that week! 🙂

    • I also shielded my kids from the pain with my presence….I never told them of his shenanigans then he died and I learned it was worse. I cant NOW tell my daughter that her dad was a serial cheater, so she thinks I am ambivalent (rather than grieving) because Im a jerk. Bad idea

  • Once it’s really over, it’s the calm after the storm. Or really, the calm after the crazy. After all the lying, after hearing over and again how the end of the marriage was my fault- I got fat, I spent all the money- it was all bad from the beginning. It’s a sad peace now as even in the proposed divorce agreement, there are stabs of nastiness- still trying to get my jewelry while he stashes cash, moved in with the OW and gets all the money from his business. But the truth is- there is a peace that comes when the chaos clears. When it’s finally over. He has gone total silent treatment since the last time I caught him (May 2015) but there is a peace with that too even though I know it was meant as a punishment for nothing I did except stand by and continue to take it. No more gaslighting. No more criticism. No more lying. No more blaming me for everything. And slowly, I feel the real me coming back again. Not the beaten down me. Not the me who cried in bed every night because he had every excuse in the world not to touch me. Not the me who went every week to MC and told the truth, and he totally fooled the counselor, who blamed me for nagging. My house will be my house. My roof will be my responsibility and my sanctuary. Him and his girlfriend did not succeed in kicking me to the street. I will never understand why he treated me like this. I can only think that he did it because he wanted to. I don’t feel I have to forgive but I am working on letting go. Get out of that mess. Start healing. I still love him (the person I thought he was) but I will get over it. I think about the poor sad battered me from five years ago (when I first found out he was cheating) and I want to tell myself that I will be okay, because I will be. And so will you.

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