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Dear Chump Lady, I’m an ex-Marine chump

marineDear Chump Lady,

Here’s my story and I’ll try to keep it short. I married my high school sweetheart and we’ve been married for almost 20 years. We have three kids 20, 18 and 6.

Shortly after we were married and had our first kid, I joined the Marine Corps. Life was pretty good; we went places and were able to see a lot of the country. I was gone a lot once the Iraq War started, but I came home and we picked up where we left off. I went to war and she stayed home taking care of things at the home front.

I’ve always thought she was a strong woman for being able to handle everything in my absence. The war did have some emotional effects on me, but nothing that made me irrational, angry or abusive. I just became more aware of my surroundings. I always had my wife as my rock though and she helped me through everything.

Fast forward to 2015. I retired from the Marine Corps and took a government position in Washington, DC. We were here four months when things started going wrong. She took a position on a Marine Corps base and always had to work late and so on. I was the blind one who never thought that she would cheat. She hated people that cheated.

She was always on her phone and I figured that it was for work. Even at our anniversary dinner I had to ask her to put her phone down. I found out through looking at the phone records that she was having an affair with another Marine. I confronted her and of course I got the trickle truth that she only kissed him and so on. Then I found a pregnancy test (I’ve had a vasectomy).

Now she admitted after the finding that she slept with him, but the condom broke and she didn’t want to take any chances. Again more bullshit. She started taking the pill during the height of her affair because it “helped” with her cramps and so on. She still takes the pill to this day. She has said that she fucked up and can’t see her life without me.

All of this happened because she “never got to play the field” and this guy was “just a friend with benefits.” Since we’ve been married for almost 20 years, I just bought a $500K home in Northern Virginia and we have three kids, I decided to try to work things out. She says that she’s not cheating on me, saw how bad she hurt me, and doesn’t want to lose me (Cake).

I have my good days and my bad days like all the other chumps out there. I think that I’m the chump winner for my pick me dance though. She said she wanted a get away from all the responsibilities. I flew her and a friend to New Orleans to have her get away. I bought her a new diamond wedding ring because she said that she wore her old one while she was with him. I still watch the kids even though she left them with me to go have an affair. It was me that was running back and forth to the football games/practices while she was out getting laid. I give long back massages and sexually try to destroy her so she’ll think I’m the best and not stray. All of this while I’m eating the shit sandwich.

I know that you’re going to call me a jackass because I see it now too after finding your site. I’ve had plenty of chances to cheat but I never have because I couldn’t stand to look at her afterwards or myself knowing what I had done. This guy I mentioned is the one affair that I know about. She was texting another married guy all hours of the night for a month and a half too while having this affair. She even sent him a picture on the morning of our anniversary. I received one of her naked two minutes after she sent him a MMS. She said it was only about a workout though and not the naked picture that she sent me. She was also texting and calling a guy in Arizona while she was on travel there. She was hard to reach while she was gone. She said it was just a guy from class and it was nothing.

Untimely, I love this woman. I always have. I don’t want a divorce, lose 50% of my youngest child’s life, lose my home, retirement (she rates half) and be financially drained with court/lawyer fees. I didn’t do this and I’m eating the shit sandwich. I know all of this is fear and like most chumps I’m looking for that unicorn. I live in fear every day that pales in comparison to anything I did in Iraq. I’m asking for the harsh reality that I probably need to hear; I’m a chump, she sucks and leave a cheater, get a life. Hard to accept when you are in love with the person who fucked you over for selfish pleasure. The shit sandwich sucks and I’ve been eating it for 6 months now.

Thanks,
Chumpomatic

Dear Chumpomatic,

Let me put this in Marine terms you might understand: “PUT DOWN THE SHIT SANDWICH, SOLDIER! THAT’S AN ORDER!”

Chumpomatic, I’m just echoing the sensible voices in your head giving you the same damn order. You KNOW this isn’t sustainable or right and you know you don’t have a unicorn. You know that a good marriage does not require an unending diet of shit sandwiches. You want me to bitchslap some sense into you, or drop and make you do 50 pushups or something.

I’ll kick your ass in just a moment. But first, on behalf of Chump Nation, I want to give you a great big (((HUG))). You’re battling alone to save your marriage. It’s a very miserable place to be. We get it. We’ve been there. Consider us your scouts — we’re up ahead, we’ve taken mortars to our heads, and had our lives explode. RETREAT.

The problem is, Chumpomatic, you’re a good person and your values of loyalty, honor, and sacrifice — values also forged in your military service — are in conflict with your sense of self-preservation. You’ll keep waging this losing war because you feel you must. You’ll eat shit sandwich after shit sandwich, humiliate yourself and take any kind of punishment, because you’re not a quitter. And the advice I’m giving you will sound like failure. You’re a Marine. You don’t fail! You adapt and overcome!

Listen to me — you CANNOT adapt to abuse. And the only way you overcome this shit is by getting the fuck away from it.

Let me belabor the metaphor — you can’t go to war with a traitor. You think you’re in this war together (getting your marriage back, winning your cheating wife’s commitment to you and your family). You’ve thought of this woman as your partner for 20 years and you just woke up one day to find out she’s the Taliban. You don’t quite believe it and you’re spackling like hell. Oh, that’s not a trip to New Orleans incendiary device, it’s a fuzzy kitten!

Dude, she’s still cheating on you. She’s suffered ZERO consequences. And she feels entitled to KEEP cheating. You’re there. She KNOWS you don’t want to lose your children, your home, and half your pension, so she feels quite free to eat cake. She’s playing a game of chicken with you, convinced you’ll never call her bluff, convinced she can have it her way, and all she has to do is feed you some bullshit and you’ll buy it. Kibbles and cake!

Unmask her as the traitor that she is.

She said she wanted a get away from all the responsibilities. I flew her and a friend to New Orleans to have her get away.

The woman DESTROYS her marriage and what she really needs is a trip away with a “friend” (read fuckbuddy)? You’re not utterly staggered by her entitlement? You’re not wondering why, if she really needs a trip, it’s not with YOU?

Chumpomatic, if she’s not a cheater, I’m a Mardi Gras float.

I bought her a new diamond wedding ring because she said that she wore her old one while she was with him.

Lovely. She cheats and gets new bling.

What did you get? Oh, the bill? A twitch? Permanent trust issues?

I still watch the kids even though she left them with me to go have an affair.

Cake is so much nicer with a babysitter.

Read Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse until it sinks in. You don’t have a unicorn, you’ve got a traitor.

Find your courage, face your fears, and call a lawyer today. Don’t announce it to her, just DO IT. You live in a FAULT state — you are incredibly fortunate in that respect. You’re also fortunate that one of the affair partners is a Marine. You could hurt or destroy his career with proof of that affair. I want you to gather up ALL your evidence of cheating, document all the times you had the kids while she was cheating. And gather up all your financial documents. With this woman’s penchant for travel and bling, I’m going to make an educated guess that you have financial infidelity as well. Take all this evidence to a lawyer and figure out how to PROTECT yourself.

You are at war, it’s just not the one you thought you were in. Time to get clear on who the enemy is.

There is no dishonor in protecting yourself and there is nothing shameful about divorce. Get an individual therapist to help you shore up your boundaries now. We’re also here for you.

I know you don’t like your choices (eat shit sandwiches and die by a thousand cuts, or divorce and lose half). But you have nothing to work with. The only way forward is to cut your losses and build a new life. That, sir, is a battle worth waging. Good luck.

 

 

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.
  • First and foremost, thank you for your service to our country!

    Now is actually the perfect time to see a lawyer and get out. Your wife thinks you’re thoroughly chumped and all is forgiven. Get a lawyer, hire a PI and forensic accountant. Use this time she is so at ease to put together a strategy.

    Then, you hit her with divorce papers. Filing first will give you an advantage, not just in court but psychologically. She, on the otherhand, is going to have to scramble.

    Even if divorce is the furthest thing from your mind, you’ll figure out pretty quickly how remorseful she is (or isn’t) when she realizes you’re not afraid to lose her.

  • Giving half your retirement pay to someone who cheated is a ridiculous shit sandwich that is really hard to swallow.

    But it beats spending an actual retirement with her. Plus, you can always start a second career and different retirement plan after you retire from the military that she can’t touch (provided you’re divorced).

    Proving adultery in Virginia is costly (even if you have pretty blatant evidence), but it can be a good bargaining chip, especially if the affair partner is military. Just don’t let her know your cards. She doesn’t deserve to know your intentions.

    • This is very similar to my first response. It is a tragedy that you have to give up part of your future security that you are eligible to receive because you gave so much. I hate that it’s true for you. Yet, without meaning to minimize it, your life is worth more than that money and you deserve so much better.

      I also hate that it’s necessary to be sneaky to get out with one’s shorts still on, but it is. The only time I ever lied to my cheating ex was about the divorce, and I only lied to him because tipping my hand would have allowed him to ruin me financially even more than he already had.

      (One other thing about the adultery angle in such cases is that it’s important that the person in your shoes doesn’t show the world a person who can’t be construed as having moved on or used the kids in any way. Bear this in mind, especially on social media.)

      Wishing you strength and peace.

  • I should have known that I was waging a losing battle when I bought a copy of “The Art of War” after about 10 years into a 20 year marriage. We went to marriage counseling, but fast forward 10 years and I find out there was another Affair Partner (long-term) in addition to the one that we were in counseling for. He never attempted to reconcile; marriage counseling was a fraud. Lesson #1: You can’t apply your value system to someone that has proven to you that they cheat and lie. Lesson #2: If you need the Art of War to deal with a person, they are not for you.

    After D-day #3, instead of me doing the pick-me dance, I moved out of the only home that my 2 youngest babies had ever known and watched and waited to see how well he did the pick-me dance. It never happened and 4 months later we were divorced. Don’t die of a thousand cuts, just do the hard thing and cut her off.

    Chumpomatic, I am sorry for your pain and welcome to Chump Nation where you will find a community of people that will help you get to a cheater-free life.

  • Throw your cash at a good lawyer and know that you are not alone. Your life is not ending, you are getting a chance at real. Bless all that is real.

  • Chumpomatic- she’s a serial cheater. That’s never going to change, you can’t love it out of her, bribe her with pretty shinys, it’s who she is.
    This is terrible and you don’t deserve it and big big hugs to you.
    Now buck up soldier and do what needs to be done. Get tested. Line up ducks. Lawyer up.

    • Hey Brother – Chumomatic – I hope you read this. As a former Airborne Ranger Combat Veteran, World Champion Powerlifter…World Class Strength Athlete, Former UFC Fighter…From the Dark Ages…No Rules, Tournament – 3 fights in a night UFC – Let me tell you something, You mentioned it…I’m just letting you know it’s 100% True. That nothing I trained for or went through has been as rough as My wife of 33 years…having a 7 year double life affair on me. The pain was so intense it knocked me out of action for 45 days…7 months now from D-Day with the help of the Chump Nation…listening to advice from Chump Lady (Tracy) and my faith…Life is already looking up. Pain is down, future is brighter and Mr. Hind Sight helps to give you a new clear perspective on all that your Cheater did to you and all that your Cheater did not do for you. Time is your friend. The process starts with getting the lawyer and getting her out. No Contact if possible. I fought that real hard. Stubborn and didn’t know or understand enough is enough. You can’t change a Cheater. Their actions speak louder than words and their actions are all that really matters. I hope by me sharing my testosterone filled resume with you and the Chump Nation, that you will understand that you’ve not fallen short or done anything wrong. Your loyalty and desire to want to respect and trust your wife is sincere and developed over many years and life lessons from your service to your family and our country. However my friend. You are sincerely Wrong to believe that compromising your self respect and eating shit sandwiches for days, months or years, has any place or part in YOUR LIFE! No Honor from doing so and will do more harm to, not only yourself, but your kids. They are watching you. Be the Leader that you have been trained to be and make them proud of you. Not only for your service but as their Dad who was wronged and dealt with it in a manner that makes this mess your message and this test your testimony. My heart goes out to you Brother…I feel your pain. You will not only survive this – you will grow from this. NOW, You’ve got your Warning Order MARINE. Now put an Operations Order together, Gather your resources, insect your equipment and rehearse on paper and with your support network exactly how your going to execute your plan. I wish you the best and you’ll be in my prayers. Semper Fidelis – For those in the Chump Nation that don’t know – That’s Latin for “Always Faithful” or “Always Loyal” Something none of us got from our spouses. Now Go To War. RANGER’s LEAD THE WAY – Ironwarrior – a.k.a. The World’s Strongest Chump!

      • Thanks for sharing this for all of us to read, Ironwarrior. I know you wrote to Chumpomatic, but it encouraged me as well. Like most of the chumps here at CN, I did the heavy work and heavy lifting in my almost 30-year marriage. I am known as a strong woman. But the final discard brought me to my knees emotionally. The lies and betrayal and gas lighting were breathtaking in their premeditated evil. After working on the marriage and hanging on for almost three decades, self-preservation finally kicked in. It helps to know that even the mighty among us have found this shit hard to swallow. But we do rise up once again. You can’t keep a good Chump down (once they put down the hopium and keep reading this site).

        Please, Chumpomatic, for the love of all that is good and noble inside you, get to a lawyer’s office ASAP. There are joyous days coming on the other side of this shitstorm of grief and pain. So many of us are rooting for you.

        And thank you again to CL and CN for having my back. I lived on this site day and sleepless night for a few weeks after the final D-Day.

      • Thank you for sharing a man’s point of view, ironwarrior. It seems like some men will not admit to the incredible pain of adultery, but you were honest, open and articulate. It’s so nice to know that there really are men out there like you and Chumpomatic, men of integrity who still have values like loyalty and respect. It gives me hope that someday I might find a man like one of you. 🙂

        Like you, I was in a 33 year marriage that ended when my husband decided to cheat. He has no remorse, and has lied about the situation to his family and friends to make it look like it was my fault. The pain of this past year has been unbearable at times. But, I just received the final divorce papers yesterday, so now I can close that chapter of my life and look forward to beginning a new adventure. I don’t know what God has in store for me yet, but I know that if I trust in Him, he will carry me through.

        Best wishes to both you and Chumpomatic. I can honestly say that this website has helped me much more than the past year of counseling, so keep coming back for the support! 🙂

        • This is what I’m going through; he cheats and then makes everyone believe it is my fault…worse they believe him. This has been the source of the greatest pain I’ve ever know in my 42 years.

  • Chumpomatic, I’ve been there. Listen to Chump Lady! Find a lawyer and protect yourself and your kids. It’s difficult, I can’t lie about that, but in the end you’ll have a sense of peace about it. You can’t be a gentleman in this situation. Play hardball and get your life back. Believe me, your kids know something is going on and there will be much less tension and stress when you have stepped away from the marriage. My one regret is that I let him carry on much longer than I should have – I should have thrown him out when I first discovered his behavior. The unicorn is so bright and shiny but it isn’t real!

  • I feel your pain chumpatude. I’m a law enforcement’s wife and his job has been really hard on our family as well. He’s been successful, received awards from high up in the government and so successful he put his whole family’s lives in danger. I raised the kids alone and did a lot of stuff to help. How does he repay you might ask (or you might not since I’m on this sight)? Yep. He repays me by Cheating, lying and blaming me for all of his disgraceful behavior. I’m scared too. But man our hands are tied. What can we do? It sux for sure though and hurts like a mutha. I come here everyday. Over and over again. It helps. He told me he was filing for divorce but hasn’t yet. I hate this crap. Why do they really want to destroy so much and how can they not care?!! I swear. I don’t get it. Mine went for four months without talking to me or the kids. They are 5 and 8. They have been totally devastated by all this. It’s just a nightmare.

    • I’m so sorry, Kay. My ex was gone for work all the time too. I understand what you mean by saying “this is the thanks I get for all that sacrifice?” I used to actually daydream that one day when he retired he’d stand in front of the crowd and thank his wife and family for all the time we were alone. LOL. What a fantasy! Anyway, hang in there, it does get better with time.

    • Same here, Kay. I am now the legally separated ex wife of a law enforcement officer. Boy did the job change him, and clearly not in a good way. I supported his career change, (he started his LE career 7 years into our marriage) sacrificed, and truly was proud of him. As in your case, all of his awards and accolades came fast and furious. Too bad he was living a double life starting about 5 years into his career. I did the pick me dance, spackled, all of it. It sucks that we sacrificed and we get to eat the shit sandwich. But, I am happy to say, I came out on the other side. My life is so peaceful now that I don’t have to worry every day about what he is doing, whom is he with, is he telling the truth, etc. I left a cheater, and gained a life. It has been hard. But it is so worth it. Stay strong. Stay strong my blue wife sister.

  • You are a true prince and trust me that you have very very desirable qualities in a mate and there is a woman, a real life partner out there who will honor you and love you. Why settle when you are a catch?

    • You read my mind! This sounds like an amazing and I do not understand how a woman can jeopardize a marriage to a man with a military career, great values and character to go screw around with a bunch of losers who’ll probably drop her anyway!

  • Go covert my friend….u need to do reconnaisance and gather up info as u can. Use that chumpy Marine facade and let her think nothing is wrong. Send her on another trip…. And get your shit together. You can swing the kids? .. Do that too. Plan it all out. Dont worry about her. She has been doing very well living on your time and dime. She will figure it out. More than likely she will gravitate to the next chump who is willing to foot the bill.
    This is all gonna hurt like a mother fucker… And then it wont. You will get there.
    Trust me from one who sat waiting for her Marine to come home… Its not an easy position and I was lonely. Military life is hard one everyone and you have to be an equally strong partner to go through that alone time and keep the normal for your kids. Its not an excuse to cheat. She is a cheater, a coward and a turn coat. Period.

  • CL, I deserved and needed that bitch slap. You’re 100% spot on as always. I guess the mentality of never giving up and mission accomplishment is still ingrained in my head. Reading what I wrote here is a picture of an entirely different person than what I really am. In my Marine Corps career I was a strong leader with no fear. In my civilian position now, I’m in charge and professional. With matters of the heart it breaks someone down and gives them a completely character and problem solving skills. I needed to hear what you said here. Thank you for the previous information and slowly but surely I will find that Tuesday.

    • I just want to add — it’s okay if you still love her. Really, I know you’re going to struggle with those feelings. There is a lot of shared history there and three children. Still PROTECT yourself. Do the right actions and eventually your heart will follow.

      You lose your soul when your values and your actions don’t align. That’s what eating shit sandwiches does. You KNOW its wrong, how she’s behaving, how she is devaluing you, how she’s disrespecting her family — and part of this desire to save the marriage (and avoid scary outcomes) is to save HER.

      But her actions and her values ARE in alignment — THIS is WHO SHE IS. She values herself (and cake and kibbles) over you and her kids. Believe her actions. In this sense, she does not WANT to be “saved” — she just wants to perpetuate this incredibly unfair situation.

      She lacks the empathy that you have in spades. Love yourself more than you love her.

      And model character to your children. Don’t let them think this kind of abuse is acceptable.

      • ^^^THIS^^^… “But her actions and her values ARE in alignment — THIS is WHO SHE IS.” That’s the cognitive dissonance kicker. I look at Mr. Sparkles every day and ask myself why didn’t he love me back… then I pick up a copy of his latest AFF personal ad looking for women, couples and groups… and realize why… our values aren’t ALIGNED. Never were, never will be. I value fidelity and honesty and he doesn’t. It IS that simple.

        • As difficult as it is to believe this is who she is. Acceptance was one if not the most difficult for me.
          Sadly from my experience X continued to take advantage of my trust eventually turning the blame on me which I accepted If I had found CL I wouldn’t have been as huge of Chump, smoking the Hopium pipe while chomping on shit sandwiches. You’re fortunate to have found CL and are getting sound advice from people who speak from experience.

      • Yeah, she totally doesn’t respect you at all. That’s the end of love. Show her how mighty you are and leave her ass behind.

    • Get that exit plan started now. Don’t wait until she gives you something that AJAX won’t remove. If she doesn’t have anything now, she will soon with the sheer number of people she has feeding her. Spoken from experience my fellow chump; affair partner for my spouse has cervical cancer from HPV so look in that crystal ball and take a look at what my future looks like (and this is after 2 episodes of having to have my heart stopped and restarted, heart cath, and then heart surgery at the age of 42 while keeping up the “pick me dance”.)

      • I can relate to that one. I was tested and everything was normal/neg. Your comment about your heart is the scary part. Since all of this happened my BP has shot through the roof. Sometimes it feels like my heart is going to beat out of my chest. Sending prayers for your health and healing

        • That is situational. It will go down once you get put and calm down. Please try meditation it really does help.

        • The moment that led me to the D-Day discover was driving down the road, talking to Jackass Cheater on the phone, and thinking my heart was literally exploding as I listened to his gaslighting. Cheating is not just hard on our metaphorical emotional heart.

          • LAJ, I agree. It’s a wonder I didn’t have a heart attack too. On D-day my heart hurt so much I kept picking up things that represented connection and holding them to my heart trying to soothe it. For instance, my cell phone was a symbol of family to me and I walked around holding it to my chest. That rock in my chest was there for over a year, a very heavy feeling. It eventually morphed into an empty feeling, a physical feeling of something being cut out. I also felt completely lost and disconnected for a couple of years, having my marriage implode at the same time my children got married and moved away was a double-whammy. Every day I remind myself to be thankful I survived this horrible experience. I’ve heard of several people who ended their lives to end the pain.

        • Here’s some straight talk from Dr. Simon:

          “By far, the most common reason I’ve seen relationships fall apart is because trust has been violated in one way or another and to a significant degree. Trust violations are among the more reliable indicators of character dysfunction in your relationship partner. And the first time it happens you might be taken by surprise. But when it happens over and over again, you know you’re in for trouble. Oddly, sometimes you can become a bit desensitized to chronic trust betrayals, not affording them the importance they have. You might even dismiss minor trust breaches as simply inevitable or normal for any relationship. And you might even fault yourself for being overly sensitive or expecting too much. But there’s no bigger red flag for character disturbance and for the eventual fate of your relationship than a partner’s untrustworthiness.

          Of course, honesty is a prerequisite for trust. And as I point out in Character Disturbance, impaired characters have a big problem with the truth. They not only tend to be dishonest with others but also many times dishonest with themselves. Sometimes, they even get to believing the falsehoods they propagate day after day. But other times, as in the case of the more manipulative, covert-aggressive types I describe in In Sheep’s Clothing, they just want to pull the wool over your eyes. If you knew who they truly are and the real capacity they have for healthy loving, they might not be able to get what they want from you. So, they turn on the charm, say all the right things, do things that ostensibly bespeak positive regard for you to win you over, and you only learn how innately selfish and untrustworthy they really are (i.e. what they’re really like in character) after they’ve finished using you.”

          http://www.manipulative-people.com/trust-the-foundation-of-any-relationship/

        • Here is some wisdom from Dr. Simon (see Resources links above):

          “By far, the most common reason I’ve seen relationships fall apart is because trust has been violated in one way or another and to a significant degree. Trust violations are among the more reliable indicators of character dysfunction in your relationship partner. And the first time it happens you might be taken by surprise. But when it happens over and over again, you know you’re in for trouble. Oddly, sometimes you can become a bit desensitized to chronic trust betrayals, not affording them the importance they have. You might even dismiss minor trust breaches as simply inevitable or normal for any relationship. And you might even fault yourself for being overly sensitive or expecting too much. But there’s no bigger red flag for character disturbance and for the eventual fate of your relationship than a partner’s untrustworthiness.

          Of course, honesty is a prerequisite for trust. And as I point out in Character Disturbance, impaired characters have a big problem with the truth. They not only tend to be dishonest with others but also many times dishonest with themselves. Sometimes, they even get to believing the falsehoods they propagate day after day. But other times, as in the case of the more manipulative, covert-aggressive types I describe in In Sheep’s Clothing, they just want to pull the wool over your eyes. If you knew who they truly are and the real capacity they have for healthy loving, they might not be able to get what they want from you. So, they turn on the charm, say all the right things, do things that ostensibly bespeak positive regard for you to win you over, and you only learn how innately selfish and untrustworthy they really are (i.e. what they’re really like in character) after they’ve finished using you.”

          http://www.manipulative-people.com/trust-the-foundation-of-any-relationship/

        • I tried to link a longer quotation from Dr. Simon,but it might have broken a rule of some sort! But here is the gist: “. So, they turn on the charm, say all the right things, do things that ostensibly bespeak positive regard for you to win you over, and you only learn how innately selfish and untrustworthy they really are (i.e. what they’re really like in character) after they’ve finished using you.”

          http://www.manipulative-people.com/trust-the-foundation-of-any-relationship/

        • I was in the army and am now in law enforcement. The reason that this pain is so much more than any you’ve ever felt is that we are trained to know who are our allies and who is our enemy. CL is exactly correct when she says you’ve been living with a traitor. Nothing hurts more than to find out that the one person who should have had your back, not only betrayed you, but left you open and unprotected. It’s unimaginable. Chump Nation not only has your back, but many of these wonderful chumps have forged the path that we follow.

      • It’s these types of stories that detail the physical health repercussions that always bring it home to me you have to jettison a cheater. NOTHING is more important than our physical health. NOTHING. If we have kids, we can’t be there for them if we’re 1). Physically debilitated or 2). Dead. Truly, nothing is more important. Career, money, homes, cars, etc. Nothing is as important and/or can even be truly enjoyed or cherished, without physical health. We have one life on this Earth. ONE. Why should any of us sacrifice our one shot on this earth on these POS Cheaters?

      • Interesting that you mention the physical stress. It doesn’t ever seem so during, but in hindsight, you can’t believe you survived.
        I had all of the classic stuff and it took about 2 years to be divorced. It was horrible, complicated, expensive.
        But here – in early January (divorce was final in late December), after spending a productive week of legally changing my identity back to the name on my birth certificate, I had a TIA – mini stroke. There was no brain bleed or permanent damage, but this physical break down showed me just how bad it had been. For years. And then I decided that I was going to move forward because my life depended on it.

        • It shows just how strong-willed that chumps are, though – and why one truly feels a weight lifting off their shoulders when you get away from this crap.

          Though, at the time, it feels like everything is caving in all at once. In my particular case, I had an abusive partner who would routinely stonewall me to the point where I would be watching VERY carefully what I said – to the point where I didn’t say much – then I was accused of being ‘boring’. I suspect he was cheating, but never had any proof. Then, on the other front – my job: having a covert narcissist as a manager, and an enabler immediate supervisor who stood by and watched this woman nearly destroy me (and who would routinely get other coworkers to pull their own brand of shit while they sat back and let it all unfold).
          Being told by a doctor in the ER (when I had a full-blown panic attack) that if I didn’t immediately stop my stressors, I would be dead by my 40th birthday.
          That day (in the ER) was a turning point. It was the moment where I realised “This has got to stop. Now”.
          I found CL probably a day or two later, and that very same day, I received a phone call from a workplace I had always wanted to work at, but they never had any job offerings – giving a job offer.
          Its almost 2 years to the day since that happened, and two years on, life is pretty damn awesome.

    • Chumpomatic,

      Given your service background and what’s at stake I’m not surprised why you’ve stayed and tried as hard as you have – it’s very honourable. It was one of the same reasons I stayed and tried. But as others have said, staying is only going to hurt you more. You can’t adapt to abuse as Chump Lady said – it just wears you down till you lose yourself.

      It’s not that you’ve failed. You’ve been presented a no win scenario (we don’t always train for those in the military) with a serial cheater. Nothing you could have done / can do would have changed / will change the outcome. She’ll always be an entitled, selfish serial cheater looking for a chump to abuse – don’t let it keep being you!

      It’s going to be painful but it does get better in the long run. Definitely get your ducks in a row covertly as suggested by others. Your new life starts today.

      Semper Fi

    • Wow…. my wife of 20 plus years also used the… I missed out excuse for having her fuck friends…. I also just purchased her dream home…. I was the guy at home while she traveled that made all the kids events… Then I found out she was hanging out at the bars with people 20 years younger…. chasing an old boyfriend and found she had a 26yr old fuck friend…. the hard truth is, they don’t love us! We are stability and a pay check! Nothing more. I cant wrap my head around how can she sit at church with a pastor doing marriage counseling and lie to him about her affairs? It was just a cover up…. Only thing I can see to do is run! The PTSD or visuals never go away…. every time I see her all I can see is boy toy humping her! RUN! That’s what I am going to do!

    • Hey Brother – Chumpomatic – I hope you read this. As a former Airborne Ranger Combat Veteran, World Champion Powerlifter…World Class Strength Athlete, Former UFC Fighter…From the Dark Ages…No Rules, Tournament – 3 fights in a night UFC – Let me tell you something, You mentioned it…I’m just letting you know it’s 100% True. That nothing I trained for or went through has been as rough as My wife of 33 years…having a 7 year double life affair on me. The pain was so intense it knocked me out of action for 45 days…7 months now from D-Day with the help of the Chump Nation…listening to advice from Chump Lady (Tracy) and my faith…Life is already looking up. Pain is down, future is brighter and Mr. Hind Sight helps to give you a new clear perspective on all that your Cheater did to you and all that your Cheater did not do for you. Time is your friend. The process starts with getting the lawyer and getting her out. No Contact if possible. I fought that real hard. Stubborn and didn’t know or understand enough is enough. You can’t change a Cheater. Their actions speak louder than words and their actions are all that really matters. I hope by me sharing my testosterone filled resume with you and the Chump Nation, that you will understand that you’ve not fallen short or done anything wrong. Your loyalty and desire to want to respect and trust your wife is sincere and developed over many years and life lessons from your service to your family and our country. However my friend. You are sincerely Wrong to believe that compromising your self respect and eating shit sandwiches for days, months or years, has any place or part in YOUR LIFE! No Honor from doing so and will do more harm to, not only yourself, but your kids. They are watching you. Be the Leader that you have been trained to be and make them proud of you. Not only for your service but as their Dad who was wronged and dealt with it in a manner that makes this mess your message and this test your testimony. My heart goes out to you Brother…I feel your pain. You will not only survive this – you will grow from this. NOW, You’ve got your Warning Order MARINE. Now put an Operations Order together, Gather your resources, inspect your equipment and rehearse on paper and with your support network exactly how your going to execute your plan. I wish you the best and you’ll be in my prayers. Semper Fidelis – For those in the Chump Nation that don’t know – That’s Latin for “Always Faithful” or “Always Loyal” Something none of us got from our spouses. Now Go To War. RANGER’s LEAD THE WAY – Ironwarrior – a.k.a. The World’s Strongest Chump!

      • I was an army cop, now a ranking civilian cop. It’s my job to find the truth and I know the signs of deception. On D-day, I was blown over. All I kept saying was, “What the Fuck!” I couldn’t believe that I didn’t see it, or maybe I didn’t want to see it, or maybe I just had to trust someone and thought I could trust him. CL was right. They are traitors. It was like being shot by another soldier or another cop, but so much worse. What the Fuck!

    • You love the woman you thought you had. Or possibly the woman you believe this one has the potential to become. You don’t have that woman, and never will. It’s okay to mourn what you’ve lost, but don’t let what you currently have hurt you any longer.

  • Chumpomatic-You’re reading here and you sent a letter to the chump lady. Whether you know it or not you’ve already taken the first, dark scary step into the abyss of the unknown. It’s that place where your future is uncertain and gasp, different from what you have now. Different isn’t always bad. I can tell you the thing that isn’t uncertain however. With your cheater ex out of the picture, your life will become full of authenticity and some new possibilities.

    I get the financial sunk costs and the years invested sunk costs. There’s no sugar coating that part of it sucks but as some others have suggested, get your ducks in a row, get some evidence, document, document, document and see a lawyer immediately!

    Read the articles about genuine imitation Naugahyde remorse until you’ve memorized them. Honestly those articles literally propelled me to finally end my 27 year marriage. I knew without a doubt I didn’t have true reconciliation or one of those remorseful unicorns that the RIC tries to make us all believe exist. I had your typical cheater and if I stayed with him my reward would’ve surely been another dday.

    I wish you luck. Nobody deserves this!

    • I am so sorry Chumpomatic that you have to go through this!

      CL is right on. Your wife defected to the cheater side, her affair(s) is/are a declaration of war against your self-respect and your ability to trust. And you gave her new bling??

      Get a great PI to prove adultery, then divorce her, not only to regain your self-respect and be the sane parent to your kids.

    • From what I understand, if you have your attorney retain the PI – then the investigation is legal. Also, the PI’s records cannot be used against you by the opposition when you go to court – it is the “Work Product Rule”.

      Work product rule : Notes, documents, reports and research materials and the like gathered by a PI in an investigation are confidential information that may disclose the attorneys trial strategy. Attorney work product privilege is one of the five privileges in exemption 5 of the Freedom of Information act, 5 USC 552 (b) (5).

      • This = good advice. And would be a good investment, I’d think. Chumpomatic will want to retain as much of his assets as possible, and to possibly get costodial rights. A good attorney and PI is the best chance of that.

  • Chumpomatic – I echo Lulu… thank you for your service to our country.

    Now it is time for you to serve yourself and your children. Gather intelligence, get a lawyer, and develop your war plan.

    Your eldest kids are smart enough to know what Mommy Dearest is up to – is this the moral code you want them to think is acceptable? Is money (1/2 of whatever) more valuable than honor, integrity and truth? You can always earn more money. Earning back respect, well, that’s a whole lot tougher.

    As for the time-share situation you’d have to suffer with your youngest – that is a shit sandwich. I’m living it myself with my 10yo son… but it is a FINITE shit sandwich. Kids grow up and make their own choices. (Unfortunately, given your wife’s history of broken condoms, you may want to consider if you have an even bigger shit sandwich on your hands there.)

    You obviously have love (and great sex) to give a woman… find someone deserving of it.. once the battle is over and the future is clear. You’re surrounded by foot soldiers here at Chump Nation who are waging the same war along side you. Forge on. Live a bold and courageous life. Semper Fi.

  • Chumpomatic–your story makes me want to weep; no matter how noble, how self-sacrificing, how compassionate a person is, they may still be the victim of a remorseless, entitled, serial cheater. Deep down, I still want to believe there is justice in the world, but these cheaters certainly upend any real hope that is the case.

    The problem is, it’s tough to make a move while you are still having daily contact with your cheater (and BTW–serial cheaters NEVER change. Ever. They simply go undercover better.). You do have to line up your ducks, copy documents, get a credit report pronto, squirrel away her texts, etc. as evidence. Do this asap, then ask wife to leave for a trial separation.or send her on another trip. Why? Because this time when she’s gone, you can disengage more. With disengagement comes clarity. It is tough to go from 0-60 in a short time span, but if you mentally, emotionally, and physically remove yourself, and remove her from the marital home temporarily, the big picture will come into focus better. With increased clarity, you will find it easier to know what you need to do, which is to divorce this horrible woman who has caused you more trauma than being in a real-world war zone. Big hugs; this whole process is gut-wrenching.

    • Tempest, thank you for this.

      I’m a chump struggling to leave both logistically (the house is in my name only, so leaving would be costly to me) and emotionally. For a while now Ive seen I need distance from my cheater to pull the plug. I’m just too damn attached. Im thinking of waiting it out until he wants to go overseas to visit family, and staying home. Of course, serving papers then brcomes an issue, but your comment helped reiterate for me why it’s space I need in order to get clarity.

      • I so feel for you Chumperella and all the chumps in the “lining up ducks” stage.

        I did not have the fortitude to do so, I was moved out and on my own in 3 weeks post-DDay. I was so pulverized I just knew I needed to get out. Fortunately, I had great friends that told me to take copies of all financials, and good friends to recommend a great lawyer.

        As I was muddling through my divorce proceedings, I found CN and also two books that were super helpful in my recovery:
        Patrick Carnes’ “The Betrayal Bond”, and
        Lundy Bancroft’s “Why does he do that?”

        The more I learned about behavioral patterns that mirrored my own experience, the better I became at distancing myself from the ongoing mindfuckery and at seeing my X for the person he is (not for the person I had hoped he was).

        Please give us updates as you forge on, CN is here for you!

        • Thank you, Chuptitude. I have read both books. Patricia Evans’ “Controlling People” is another good one.

          Ive been focusing on me (instead of obsessing about him) for nearly a year now. Thought I had built up my strength, reversed some patterns, etc. but we had a discussion not too long ago, and I found myself, once again, completely derailed by his pity play.

          It is truly discouraging to do the inner work and still throw oneself under the bus.

          That’s why I think I really need to be away from his presence to find clarity and break free of the hold he still seems to have on me.

          Thank you for sharing your story. ❤️

      • You’re not alone! I am the breadwinner, and I had made a clear decision to cut the ties this week- it’s crap timing but my mental health and the need to just be away from the Ho Hubbis pretty strong. Incredibly strong. but… A new research avenue has uncovered just how much I would be on the hook for support and I just… Can’t afford it. I will be in a much better position once he has a nurse job instead of shitty retail job. So… Onward I tread, in limbo and incognito, waiting for him to have a job.

  • You can do this! End the buffet of shit sandwiches by no longer patronizing the Cheater Cafe. Take your business elsewhere.

  • Dear Chumpomatic

    Very sorry – you don’t deserve this treatment. Your wife is not worthy of you.

    Please read the private blogs – Chumpano2 has a chilling tale of a wreckoncillation that got twisted back on HIM! Go covert and gather your evidence. Even if you cannot prove the affair to satisfy a civilian divorce court, she might back off the pension if you have evidence to expose her partner. My ex, who is a civilian contractor with a clearance, backed off my pension – I have evidence of financial misdeeds as well as infidelity. I think guilt and fear motivated him to get away from me and the shitstorm he would face if it all came to light. Use that while its fresh.

    Semper Fidelis From the Chump Nation.

    • Wow, that’s a hell of a blog on the forums, Champano (Under General, Titled ‘Reconciliation – warning tale’), and I would definitely love to see it on C/L’s daily someday.
      I think it’s a lesson here, and not to be gender specific here, because this could happen easily to both sides.
      But, I think it would be especially a good read for men, because, they do have more issues with defending abuse charges than women do. Thanks for posting that Chumpfor21.

  • Even someone who has been a Marine sent to Iraq under the harsh demanding conditions that this implies, is vulnerable to the horrible actions of a cheater.
    I had never thought about this. I have felt shame all along, for being so “weak” that I still feel pain and doubt and regrets months after the breakup with my cheater. And I have thought, this is such a first world problem, maybe I should go to a war-torn area and then I would know what real distress is like, and my hearbreak would look so minuscule in comparison.
    Apparently not.
    Logically, I don’t understand why.

  • “I live in fear every day that pales in comparison to anything I did in Iraq.”

    This single sentence sums up the emotional impact of infidelity. We Chumps often talk about our ‘lives being blown apart’ when we are cheated upon. It’s not used in jest or to take away the horror of war. It’s how we experience the trauma. We’re just collateral damage to our Xs as they win new territory. Wishing you well, Chumpomatic in your fightback campaign.

    • x2. I found trauma of infidelity and emotional abuse much worse than anything I experienced in Afghanistan.

  • Chumpomatic–

    First, let me give you thanks for your service.

    Second, do not look at divorce as “giving up.” Also, you did not “lose” your wife to OM. Giving up and losing are antithetical to Marine values, and many civilian Chumps get hung up on all of this as well.

    What is the goal? To live a good life with a strong family. Right now, your family isn’t strong because your wife is actively undermining that family. Divorce is the tactical device that allows you to accomplish the strategic goal. Once you are free of a woman who lies and manipulates you, you are able to find a woman who shares your same values of loyalty, commitment, service, and family. Those women are out there, and you need to be free to partner with one of them if the occasion arises.

    CL is right; this is not a battle for your wife’s affections that you can win or lose. It’s more of an issue of dealing with the sleeper agent. You can’t win those kinds of encounters in a traditional sense. Instead, you need to disengage as much as possible (especially since you have children together, you will not be able to cut off all contact), and deal with her at arm’s length, since you know she is an accomplished liar.

    Strategically, you need to think about the best outcome you can achieve under the current circumstances. That outcome includes a favorable custody agreement, minimal financial losses, etc. You will achieve these objectives if you do not tip your hand to your wife during the process.

    Retain a very good lawyer with a track record of success regarding paternal custody arrangements. Find a good forensic accountant, and get a divorce financial analyst on your team as well. Talk to your lawyer about the evidence necessary to prove adultery. Since this kind of evidence is likely to reveal the identity of her affair partner(s), and since she seems to have a penchant for military men (you all get deployed–lots of time for her to play around without any of you knowing about it!), that may prove sufficient leverage for her to concede some ground without a fight.

    Again, don’t reveal your intentions to her. You are now playing the long game with a specific goal in mind. In a very real sense, your wife is your enemy, which is extremely sad, but also true.

    You need to free her from marriage so she can go play the field a bit more in her middle years. You? You need to be free to find a woman who shares your values.

    Please keep us posted via the forums!

  • I use to tell my ex-wife that she was like a mine field. One false step and BOOM! Back then I was literally sleeping with the enemy.

    Chumpomatic, I’ve been where you’ve been and it sucks. You know what you got to and you know it’s going to hurt. You’ve also know it’s the right thing to do. It’s like that dude who had to make a choice – cut off his arm or die stuck under a rock. It’s an awful place to be. But it’s also a defining moment. It’s time to make a command decision. There is nothing personal anymore. It’s all business from here on out. The sooner you make the move the sooner you can heal. It’s going to hurt like a mofo but your heart will eventually catch up with your head. You’re going to have to suck it up.

    Sorry man for what you’re going through. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

    • Ooooh! I like that analogy. Leaving your spouse, even when you know they did you wrong, is like deciding- Yep, I have to cut my arm off to live!
      You loved that arm, you’ve had it with you forever! How can life go on, knowing you cut that arm off? But you have to do it, to survive.
      I never thought I could be happy again, without cheater X in my life, but I am! Life itself is beautiful, and worth everything. You will fill your life with other lovely people, Chumpomatic, And, a guy with values like yours is a damn fine catch, in the dating world, so someday you’ll be with someone that matches how fantastic you are! Right now, it’s going to hurt, to toss her out, but I bet you’ll find that time and distance will make you see- she wasn’t that great! Sorry, but she just wasn’t good enough for you!
      Best of luck, we’ve all been there. I adored my Cheater, but he was slowly killing me with disrespect and humiliation. I had to turn my love towards myself, to save my own life.
      Hang in there, and thank you for all your service to our country!

  • I hope you have told your family and friends. The cheaters want you to keep the secret. It keeps the sex exciting because they have “one over” on the adult at home. Your older children might help you too! I know mine really gave me strength. Good Luck! Keep reading CL!!!

  • Chumpomatic, first, thank you for serving our country. And I wish so much you had come home to the kind of loyalty you demonstrated.

    I’m going to say the hard thing first: you love someone who doesn’t exist. You love the loyal woman who took care of things while you were deployed, the woman with whom you had the kids, picked out the house, etc. You know only the aspects she showed you, and what she kept hidden was her deep personality disorder. If you’ve read here at all–and I highly recommend you study the archives as well as the resource links–you know that most of the cheaters we talk about here are on the Cluster B spectrum. I won’t presume to diagnose your wife, but having multiple affair partners simultaneously is a big symptom of “fucked up.” The lies, the gaslighting, the sexting, the addiction to the phone, the bogus trip and jewelry when she should be making amends to you–all signs of disorder. So get to therapist that knows about personality disorders. You need support and knowledge. To piggyback on CL’s analogy, you need to know what you are up against. Right now, you think it’s cheating. But cheating is just a manifestation of a much bigger problem in terms of how she sees you, the kids, the rest of the world. Until you grasp that she is not what you thought she was, you will struggle with the idea of divorce. And please–remember that she is modeling terrible, terrible things– about marriage, about honesty, about parenting–or your kids. So as a great dad, you need to fight for those kids, fight to bring them up right and represent the honorable life. It’s very very hard to do this work, but most of us have walked the road and are much better for it. If you have to cohabit ate with her while you line up your ducks, stop listening to what she says. Really. Look at what she does. Observe. Don’t be afraid to look at what’s behind the mask. You need to see her for what she is, not what you took her to be.

    Second, and related: fight for your life with your kids. Get custody. You will be a tremendously sympathetic figure in court. She will not. Now that you are retired, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have primary custody. And don’t fall for the 50/50 crap. You don’t want your kids raised by a succession of affair partners. And while you are at it, fight for the house. No reason your life should be thrown up in the air because she is what she is. Get the kids into counseling if you see signs that they need it. If she was cheating while you were deployed, that would have been a terrible thing for them to see.

    Third: Get that forensic accountant. Find out what else she’s lying about. Make sure you aren’t paying all the bills while her money is discretionary and in her control. Require reciprocity while you still cohabit. I’d also give thought to a PI and do some digging into what she was up to while your were gone.

    Fourth: Build your support system. Family, friends. Get a dog or cat for yourself! A therapist. A chaplain. Your medical doctor–get tested for STDs ASAP. Let the pros know–and maybe someone close to you– what you are up against. My team includes my fitness trainers, yoga instructors, my priest, my best friend, another spiritual advisor, and my therapist. And two cats. It helps.

    If you end up losing 1/2 your pension, that is truly awful. Is that always true in cases of adultery? If she is working for the Marine Corps, and having an affair with another Marine, could she lose her job? It may be that she will want to avoid a scandal. Or she may be just unhinged enough to expect that everyone will fall in line and just give her what she wants. Which is pretty much how it’s been for her thus far.

    Wishing you good luck and the fortitude to go after a cheater-free life.

  • Chumpomatic,
    My heart goes to you– I also married my high school sweetheart, and was blindsided by him not wanting to be married anymore after 23 yrs together (18 married) and two kids. The affairs trickle truthed out later after false marital counseling, though he only confessed to one (the last one wasn’t an affair, ya know, cuz the marriage was long over!). I am sure there were more, but I have no evidence.

    It truly is a shit sandwich to be the only one fighting for the marriage. My H was so enamored with his new life and OW, I was the one who had to file for divorce, find a mediator, and find him a place to live that would work for our kids ( they were 9 and 12).
    You are lucky you found CL pretty early on, I found the blog a year later, just after my divorce was finalized. But it has helped me heal, as I can see all the things exH said and did are standard cheater lines and actions, and I have been able to gauge his comments and actions from an outside lens.

    My exH truly sucks. He endangered my life by having unprotected sex, he blames me for our daughter’s suicide attempt and her alienation from him… The list goes on… Sharing custody also is a tough pill to swallow. My exH moved away with the OWife, and has started a new family. He insisted on full custody during the summer, which I successfully fought because my kids did not want that. But it sucks that I only have 3 weeks with the youngest during the summer. I could have had different career tracks, but chose education so I could have time to travel and explore with the kids.

    Anyway, this has gotten long.
    Know that we at CN have your back. We have lived your experiences. Follow the advice here, gather data quietly and then spring it on the STBX.
    Know that you upheld your part of the marriage, and you are not a quitter, though it feels that way. Your wife changed the rules of the game, so game over. Focus on you and the kids, and keep in mind that there are good partners out there, and you will love again if you choose to do so.

    Jedi hugs.

    • Zyx glad you are in the road to healing. So sorry you had to go through all this. Reading over and over again all the selfishness is just appalling. I just cannot get used to it.

  • You so don’t deserve this. You are still in the fig of an abused partner, conditioned to accept he unacceptable. Mine took his AP to our cottage, requesting that I make a roast beef dinner fir subday which I did and then he denied requesting it and refused to eat it. My counselor was agog that I did it. They have us so turned around we will do just about anything to avoid the pain of the separation/divorce. You will have to rip that bandaid off or the wound will never heal. Trust that it won’t get better and probably will get worse. My heart goes out to you, we have all been there.

  • Chumpomatic,

    Thank you for your service, sir.

    “She hated people who cheated,” you write. Mine too. I think it was her own cognitive dissonance. Perhaps they have repressed this part of themselves. They hate themselves. It’s a pretty ugly thought. But it explains a lot.

    You got this man. It’s gonna hurt though. Thanks for your letter.

    • Yeah, mine hated cheating too. I think it’s purely to keep you from thinking they would ever do it because they just detest it so much. I brought up Narkles totally shredding people we knew who cheated during our two visits to the MC and I got “Well, that’s different.” Of course, I admit, my reply was expletive filled and condescending.

      • Well, sure, they hate when OTHER people cheat. Other people should follow the rules and be trustworthy, or how else is the cheater supposed to take advantage of them?

        That ‘hatred’ is also often overstated by a cheater to throw you off their case.

    • My XH used to say that cheating was a big red flag. His father was a cheater and he had a seething anger for his father at what XH perceived as abandonment of the family when his younger brother was still quite young.

      Funny how the sons both emulated the father.

      Anyway, while normal people would look at the two positions of “cheating is wrong” and “it’s okay for me to fuck around on my spouse” as irreconcilable, cheaters operate from a position of entitlement, as Chumpomatic’s wife clearly shows.

      For Chumpomatic’s cheater, the rationale goes like this: cheating is wrong, BUT I didn’t have the opportunity to play the field when I was younger. Therefore, I am entitled to play the field now, Since I’m entitled, that means I have a right to do this, and that’s not really cheating. I am a good person.

      For other cheaters, the rationale might look like this: cheating is wrong, BUT I need to feel more alive. Therefore, I’m entitle to fuck the soccer coach. Since I’m entitled to feel alive, that means I have a right to fuck the soccer coach. It’s not really cheating. I am a good person.

      Cheater logic. Normal people don’t think this way.

      • Spot on. Blah blah blah blah…I am a good person.
        I HAVE to be a good person, and besides, I came home every day, (well, except that one time), I helped raise the kids (after all, they are little reflections of ME and my wonderfulness!), and I was faithfull for months at a time (when my Ho got mad at me, and I was looking for another one). Do I get credit for all that? I was a good Partner!
        You are so mean and judgemental!

  • Dear Chumpomatic,
    I implore you to do what so many others will…..THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
    I will ask you to do it for a different reason. Your kids have seen you taken advantage of in a big way and for them this is normal. You need to stand up to your cheater and declare that this abuse is not OK. You need for your kids to see and understand this concept because right now they think this is normal. They will feel like its OK to abuse or be abused because this is what they have known. You don’t know what they saw and experienced while you were away. It might be time to sit down and ask the older children that question. It might be difficult to hear but you need to know if their mother was bringing other people into their lives in your absence. Hopefully in the future you can find a way to model a healthy, trusting relationship so they can see and learn what that is.

    By all means I also think you should not give her everything just to get her to leave. Fight for the kids, fight for the house, fight for your retirement. There is no reason you should make things easy on the person who has abused you. Also, get in touch with your anger and remember No Contact is the one true path to progress.

    Good luck and remember we’re here to help whether you need a hug or a 2 by 4 upside the head.

  • So sorry for what you’re going through. It’s impossible to understand and you’ll probably never be able to make sense of it because you are an honest guy with upstanding character. Your wife is simply hard wired differently than you and all of us chumps. You’re getting great advice here brother. Take it from a chumped dad who put up with this kind of emotional abuse for 5 years, it never gets better. My STBXW went through 3 different guys that I know of and finally left me for the 4th. Walked out on 18 years of marriage and 4 kids, 2 of them special needs, to go live with a guy who’s been in biker clubs his whole life, smokes pot like it’s going out of style, and makes a whopping $11/hour at 48 years old. Just a few days ago I had my karma moment and she asked to move back home after being gone for a year, since life in the double wide isn’t going so great.

    She told me she feels like a “room mate” instead of a lover, which funny enough is the same story I got when she moved out. I took that opportunity to tell her sorry, but I was currently seeing a very nice woman and had no interest in being her “room mate” again. Amazing how quickly the tears turned to anger. I’ll be divorced in 2 weeks and looking forward to an amazing new cheater free life. I’ve got primary custody of all my kids and while it’s been a huge challenge, we’ve all adjusted and are doing just fine. There will be a lot of hard days ahead, but you and your kids really do deserve so much better. There is life on the other side of this. My heart goes out to you.

    • That’s awesome, DOF: “Life in the double wide isn’t going so great”. Love it! Good job on reclaiming a cheater – free life and ALL of your kids! !

    • DOF

      The lLimited lived for the infatuation stage until predictably he shifted to devaluation. I was told we were living like roommates every spring when he went in the prowl to fulfill his need to screw strange when his business slowed down. The discard was always right before the summer.
      Double wide, lol.

  • “I live in fear every day that pales in comparison to anything I did in Iraq.”

    Isn’t that amazing? That really puts into perspective just how deeply painful it is to be betrayed by the person who pledged to stand by you until death do you part. What is it about those words in the marriage ceremony that cheaters don’t understand? Oh yeah, the rules don’t apply to them.

    Chumpomatic, you sound like you have gone above and beyond in trying to win her back, it’s shocking to me that she’d ask to have a new wedding ring because she wore the other one when she was with him. She should be tripping all over herself to prove that she’s worth keeping and not the other way around.

    In your letter I sense your confusion, you know about one affair but you’re not sure about the others. Throughout my marriage I felt unsure of my suspicions, he always had a plausible explanation and I didn’t want to go through divorce, or lose my home, or half the time with my children either. That’s the still the part that hurts the most, not getting to see my kids and grandkids as much as I would have if we were still together.

    I wonder if it would help for you to hire a PI to get hard evidence for you? If you could gain clarity over the extent of her extra-curricular activity, it might help you to pull the trigger. I can understand how you think, “it was just one time,” but now you’re suspicious of everything she does. This is exactly where I was in my marriage and it sucks. Living with that fear and suspicion kills a marriage, and you’re NOT the one who caused it.

    In my opinion there are some people who feel they missed out on “playing the field.” My ex never said this but I felt it in his attitude, we met at 16 and 17 and married at 20.

    There are people who put themselves first, and there are people who put other people first. You are the latter, you’ve been taught to sacrifice yourself for the common good.

    I can tell you it does feel really good to live an authentic life where you aren’t hiding crappy behavior by your spouse from your family and friends. It feels good to not be constantly suspicious and wondering whether she’s telling the truth or not. There’s a peacefulness that comes from not living in that type of environment.

    Best of luck to you, and thank you for your service to our country.

    • If you have a mantra of “Whatever shitty thing you think s/he did, they most likely did do” and just assume that they got up to everything possibly imaginable, and leave it at that – while its painful as anything, it doesn’t surprise you one bit if you do find out in the end. Plus you have less tendency to care to find out.
      Cheaters are pricks, end of story.

  • Asswipe husband marine married 27 years. Faithful to the corp his dick and his wallet. Me no. Thank you for your service. My advice walk away dont look back.

  • No doubt you are in absolute SHOCK. You just cannot believe your reality. Your chin is on the ground and so heavy you cannot get it back up. You will feel this shock and horror for a while. So, you have to act mechanically by side with the horrific horrors you are facing and do everything CL said to do. Just do it, leave your thoughts at the door and trust all that she is telling you. Learn about grieving and how to care for yourself as you go through it. As soon as your affairs are in order or getting there, go NO CONTACT. You can read all about how to do that with children. Yes, you will loose her financially and every which way there is to, but you have absolutely no choice, do you? Now, it is time to love yourself, stand tall and proud and all the courage of a Marine to save yourself and provide your children with the most possible stable life and have them be so proud of you. Let them see your compassion for her but let them see your strength and self respect, you will never regret it.

  • Chumpomatic,

    Now is the time to do for yourself and children what you have done for your country. Service and protect.

    You have a squadron of chumps who are here, just for you.

  • After all those years of service to your country, for being a HERO, your wife thanks you by cheating on you. And with 3 kids, she destroys her very own family at that. I’d be completely disgusted with this woman.

  • You’re on the right track, coming to CL and CN! All good advice here – you deserve better, start taking more steps to rid the canker from your life for the sake of you and your children. You’ll be better off in the end, trust me. And thank you for your service to our nation.

  • I say use everything civilian and military legal to hold over her head to get her ” extracted” from your life! If she works and travels for the Marine Corps she no doubt uses the credit card they give her for expenses. Check out what she is charging to see if she is using government funds to finance her “business trips?” If she is defrauding the government then you have a “weapon” in your Arsenal. As far as your retirement division, I suppose she could get no more than 50% according to the law, but you can get her to “voluntarily” relinquish any SBP, as far as her medical coverage she can pay her own premiums for Tricare, or get insurance through her government job. Dental is NOT an entitlement so she will have to obtain her own. Get a great lawyer in NVa. Who has extensive experience with military divorces. There are tons of them! Thank You so, so much for your service Sir! As a former spouse of a retired Marine I have recently been through his cheating so I strongly advise you to “go stealth”, gather hard evidence, get a great lawyer and kick her to the curb! It’s now about business and survival for you. Take the emotion out of this mess, she is using that against you and it is powerful and will keep you “stuck”!

  • Ughhhh, I’d say the “wife” has been cheating the entire marriage. If she is doing all this while the husband is around, imagine what she was doing while she was gone. Slimy.

  • Chumpomatic, I can’t add much to what everyone has already said. I thank you for your service to our country, and I welcome you to the club nobody wants to join. I am cutting and pasting ChumpLady’s advice because I want to emphasize and second and third it. In the midst of our feelings of hurt and confusion, we must nevertheless take action. I hope you will. You will find life on the other side of this. Believe this: there’s a loving woman out there who is looking for someone just like you and who will “get” you, and you’ll wonder why you took so long to divorce that lying cheater’s ass. Good luck to you.

    So here’s that CL paragraph again: Find your courage, face your fears, and call a lawyer today. Don’t announce it to her, just DO IT. You live in a FAULT state — you are incredibly fortunate in that respect. You’re also fortunate that one of the affair partners is a Marine. You could hurt or destroy his career with proof of that affair. I want you to gather up ALL your evidence of cheating, document all the times you had the kids while she was cheating. And gather up all your financial documents. With this woman’s penchant for travel and bling, I’m going to make an educated guess that you have financial infidelity as well. Take all this evidence to a lawyer and figure out how to PROTECT yourself.

  • And BIG P.S. Marine! She WILL be back after she realizes the grass isn’t greener on the other side! I promise you that much. The so-called relationships she is forging with these men will soon earn her quite a reputation and she will find none of these opportunists will consider her anything but a convenient booty call! It’s a very sad life for them.

  • Get rid of the $500 thou house. Get out of the expensive area where you live. You have been a Marine so you know how to pare down and live sparingly. What you have had is a brotherhood, people who would sacrifice their lives for you. You extrapolated that to your private life. And there she is. This is a new world for you. No loyalty when loyalty was what protected you.
    Who knows what makes cheaters. They use every excuse on the planet. Hers is that she married so young she did not get a chance to raise hell. A bunch of Chumps have heard that one. That was my sister-in-law’s excuse. Bullshit. She is the worst of the worst……serial cheating on a soldier and his children. CL is ALWAYS right. Please pay attention. Lawyer up and get out. Btw, your children might choose you.

  • I had a couple of friends from high school who got married at 21. I was very close with them for the first 10 years of their marriage, and I kept up with them ever since. She told him they had gotten together too young. She started sleeping her way through our group of friends. I asked my buddy what he was going to do. He said that he understood the way she felt. He admitted he had slept with someone else while they were married.

    Then it became a race to the bottom. Neither of them seemed to have the ability to get angry enough at the other to put a stop to the madness. They had a couple of kids and stopped banging other people for a while.

    Then one day I saw her out with another guy. I went back to my friend and told him about the other man. He reacted to the news like I had just told him one of the tires on his car seemed a little low on air.

    They soldiered on for about another year, and finally she filed for divorce. Sure they have to coparent, but they are so damaged it seems like they walk around in full-on PTSD mode.

    Getting married young has its own set of difficulties. But this isn’t just about the adultery Chumpomatic. I’m not in any way implying your story is similar to my friend’s. I’m saying that this is a marriage CONTRACT.

    Your wife chose to marry you. And after that, she chose to have two more children with you. She knew exactly what she was signing up for.

    She has become the enemy. She is now only in it for the money. You can win this battle. But like someone else said, this is a long-term war. Employ the strategies discussed here. Spend as much money as you have to. ($150,000 + if you’re lucky.) It’s worth every cent to show your kids how to live well. And it will give you back your sense of pride.

  • Ummm, I could be wrong, but, there’s a darn good possibility that your lovely wife would not be entitled to all you think she is due to her shenanigans – especially because you are BOTH Marines.

    My advice, if it already hasn’t been given? Go see a JAG (is that what they call Military lawyers???) I’d see a Marine lawyer before a private one, so that you can get a FULL appreciation for what your rights are as far as the Military goes. They might even be able to give you a referral to a civilian attorney who was in the service (even Marines) at one time.

    You need to do this. You’ll kill yourself from the inside out if you keep on with this bullshit.

    • I don’t think they’re both marines. I think his wife is a civilian who works on a military base.

    • Onthehill,
      I could be wrong, but based on what I read, I am fairly certain that the cheating wife is a civilian, perhaps, a civil servant, working on a military base. Thus, military law does not apply to her. Also, based on my experience in the military, I don’t think that even military personnel cheaters are often prosecuted/penalized for infidelity.

      • My late, and now ex-, father-in-law wasn’t prosecuted at all.

        He was a career Army man, with over 40 years of service, twenty years living in a city about 2.5 hours drive from his wife and sons. He was an old Warrant 4, back when that was the highest WO grade you could earn. The OW in his case was the wife of an officer.

        When he died, it came out that everyone who worked with him knew that he had both a wife and a mistress, and that he had two sons. They apparently were after him to have his sons visit him so that the two families could meet. While I’m not sure that would have been a good idea (hey boys! Meet the family that your dad prefers spending time with 5 days out of the week while you get him for exactly 48 hours on the weekends!), it shows that at least a lot of the military colleagues know what he was up to.

  • Relating to the soldier theme, abusive relationships are a lot like an honorable soldier trying to survive as a POW under a malicious enemy…

    You are at their mercy (lack thereof)
    They can lie to you…isolate you…humiliate you…torture you…brainwash you…gas you
    Force you to do prison labor for them, sunrise to sunset
    Conduct hideous experiments on you and see how you fare for amusement
    You must survive in a freezing (or scorching), infested cell on morsels and crumbs
    The trauma builds until you lose your health, vitality, reason and will to live
    There is no escape, don’t try to escape or you will die

    …………………….wait…..you made a plan, dug a tunnel and crawled out from under that wretched enemy and nightmare of a forsaken place…..you are free!

  • As so many have already said, but it can’t be said enough….Thank you for your service Chumpomatic.

    The level of betrayal, deceit and selfishness that your wife has exhibited is astounding. CL is right….this is who she REALLY is. Do not be fooled by her manipulation and unicorn remorse as it is only a ploy to further her own agenda. She can only continue to to do this bullshit if you continue to allow it.

    This shit is HARD, but you are not alone. We have all been there and we certainly understand your pain. Kick her cheating ass to the curb and put an end to her mindf*ckery and abuse.

    These people have shit for character, they lack substance and boundaries. They don’t invest deeply and they are disordered.

  • Chumpomatic,
    I don’t have any advice to add. I am writing to you as a (female) veteran who came from a long line of veterans. Having dated many fellow servicemen, I can tell you that a lot of my fellow officers (including my last boyfriend) were less than honest. When I think of ‘A Few Good Men,’ I think of men like you and my father who married the first girl they dated and stuck with her through thick and thin for decades. I appreciate your stellar example. For years, I dreamed of marrying someone with your character. As a late middle-aged woman with young kids, I don’t think that that dream will ever materialize, but I’m glad that great men like you exist.
    I also know what it’s like to be separated from one’s spouse for months as I was married to a civilian entertainer who cheated on me for much of our marriage. The more I acquiesced to his demands and tried to placate him, the more he abused me. With spouses like yours and mine, unfortunately, the relationship won’t get better. Like you, I didn’t want to lose time with my kids, so I hung in as long as humanly possible. My STBX still ended up leaving any way. If I had it to do over again, I would not have repeatedly tried to hang on to what some call one’s Better Half but in my case was a gangrenous leg. Had I amputated sooner and more decisively, perhaps I could have saved $100k in legal fees and saved my relationship with my last boyfriend/friend of 30 years, who I think left partly because he got tired of the drama and all the challenges of a hostile divorce. Good luck in your journey.

    • RockStarWife, this so perfectly sums up how I feel: “For years, I dreamed of marrying someone with your character. As a late middle-aged woman with young kids, I don’t think that that dream will ever materialize, but I’m glad that great men like you exist.”

      Yep. How did we get stuck with the assholes instead of the good ones?

    • RS: If your chump ex-boyfriend can’t handle the fact that you’re going through a very very stressful situation, he’s not worth pissing on if he was on fire. Real friends support each other through thick and thin – they do NOT bugger off when the chips are down! Its only one step away from your fuckwit cheater.

      • Lania, what you said brings me great comfort. I shouldn’t have leaned on my boyfriend quite so much, but what normal, feeling person wouldn’t feel distressed by many around him or her dying or suffering chronic disability and strife due to unfortunate circumstances? Ex-boyfriend told me he couldn’t fix all my family’s problems. I told him that I didn’t expect him or anyone else to do that, the impossible. Just wish that he had stayed around to hold my hand. I feel as though my fellow officer (my ex-boyfriend) deserted me in the heat of battle. Perhaps just as well. Better to see true colors late rather than very late. Beside, I used to tell him after I hadn’t seen him for almost a week that I missed him. His response was not, ‘I miss you, too,’ or ‘That’s sweet,’ or ‘Thank you,’ but ‘It hasn’t been that long.’ I told him that saying that made me feel as though he was invalidating my feelings. Did the guy known as ‘Nice M’ change his tune? No. A couple weeks later, same context, he repeated the same unnecessary and hurtful line! Lots of red flags.

        • Exactly. And its just red flags of another flavour, which is something you don’t deserve or need to be stressed about.
          You’re welcome, by the way. Its what us chumps are here to do – help each other through the shitstorm. Hugs.

  • Dear Chumpomatic,
    I’ve read a lot of sucky stories on Chump Lady but for some reason, yours really made me tear up. Maybe its because of the New Orleans “get away” (yep – my cheater went there too, to fuck a bartender who he later called his Soul Mate), maybe its the DC references (mine worked as a gov’t contractor ton and tons of DC “business trips” – they were all about drinking and whores… its some kind of sick culture down there). Maybe it was the two big kids and one little one (same as me), the big house, etc. Your story really hit me.

    I am so, so sorry. She is a terrible person who doesn’t love you. I understand that you feel like you love her, but (and I struggle a lot with this too), maybe the love you feel is about how much you depended on her all those years to take care of things while you were getting shot at. Of course you feel grateful she took care of the kids and your home and all that, but she also took advantage of you in your absence, while you were fighting for your country. So selfish!

    She seems to be showing no remorse, and it looks like she has a lengthy track record. I really wanted to puke about needing a new ring…what she needs is to have her ring finger chopped off James Woods-style.

    If I had a good man like you, I’d be loving the fuck out of you every day. There are many women who would be proud to have a man like you and would never cheat – myself included. Don’t settle because you don’t want to give up “half” – half of what? A house of lies? The big kids are either in college or about to be in college, sell that big house, get a nice condo and share custody with bitch face for the little one. Show the little one this is NOT how you treat people. You’ve been a great Dad, you will get at least 50% custody and with the Fault state you live in, you might get more. 50% of your wonderful child time is better than 100% of some Cheater Fuck Wife’s time.

    Your child is young, they will adjust.

    The war didn’t kill you, don’t let this bitch kill you instead. I stayed 8 more years after the first incident, and it just got worse and worse and worse. It doesn’t end. Once they know they can cheat and get away with it, they keep doing it and make less of an effort to hide it. It will be in your face every day. Its humiliating, its depressing, its eats away at you.

    You are a strong man, you can do it. You lived up to your honor, she didn’t. Please take care of yourself.

    P.S. If you can document the financial infidelity as well, she will not get half of your pension. The courts take a very dim view of financial abuse. She is also working now, and 2/3 of the kids are grown, she’s going to get a lot less than you fear. And your soul isn’t worth the small amount of money she will get. Talk to a lawyer, get the facts… gather your papers and file. Keep us posted, we are here for you.

    • CKOL, I think this is why we’re all crying over Chumpomatic’s letter: “If I had a good man like you, I’d be loving the fuck out of you every day. There are many women who would be proud to have a man like you and would never cheat – myself included.”

      All we lacked for our happily-ever-afters was a partner with strength of character.

  • Chumpomatic, your letter made me so sad. Even though the details of my situation are totally different, the basic emotions are always the same. I so understand your desperation, your fear, your disbelief, your hope, and most of all, the sinking, sick feeling in the pit of your gut that tells you the truth you don’t want to hear.

    Chump Lady and Chump Nation are right. You need to cut your losses and get out. Your wife is never going to change, unless it’s a change for the worse. Like all of the disordered types, she feels completely entitled to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants it and with whomever she pleases. Now that she knows you will keep her even after knowing she’s a cheater, she feels complete contempt for you and also feels secure to continue cheating, knowing you won’t take action.

    Call her bluff. Talk to a pitbull attorney as soon as possible. Show every scrap of evidence of her cheating, and fight for the most custody you can possibly get. You deserve so much more than a buffet of shit sandwiches, and that’s all she’s ever going to feed you.

    And thank you, sir, for your service.

  • Run! Not from home but to a lawyer. I too followed your path. 20 years married, cheating wife while I was away working. I too know that sinking feeling when I found a pregnancy test, had a “V” too. They suck!!
    I am waiting (months by the way) for her to finish signing her papers.
    You will feel so much better after you cut ties. Go no contact! Not to be mean, but to save your sanity, it helps.
    My kids are 21,19, and 16. We get along soo much better after this shit was placed on the table. Otherwise she will lie, blame, and steal. They will lose respect for you too.
    End this now! I know it stings, but it will get better. you will realize there is a soul in you that can sing again, and the music is so much clearer and sweet when not being disrespected.
    I’d give you a bro hug and a slug on the shoulder if I could. Fuck Her, Dig in and fight! You and your kids are worth it.

    • Almost forgot. I got an vasectomy, and I found her “conveniently forgotten” pregnancy test. Fucking dirty cumdumpster sluts. Another in the list of Cheater Playbook maneuvers.

      Get mad bro. Aaaaaarrrrrrggghhhh!

      • Chumpomatic,

        Now that the jig is up, she could be lawyering up for all you know (she’s slippery that one). Even if you feel like you can’t yet pull the trigger, go find out what you may reasonably expect in a divorce. From the sounds of Chump Nation, the real picture doesn’t sound as dismal as you believe it to be.

        I’ve read too many Chump stories of folks who fought for their marriages and were left high and dry years later. Don’t let this b*tch f#ck you over any more than she already has. And get that goddamned ring back, even if you have to take her finger with it!

        ((hugs for your service and for your shitty situation. It’s finite. I swear.))

  • Having lived in a military town my entire life, I see the wives who cheat alot. Makes me utterly sick. To have a guy with values, faithful and reward this guy by cheating? Its enough to make me vomit.

    The money will be the least of your worries. Cut her loose.

    You will not be alone. Try to keep the kids. She doesn’t deserve to have them after what she has done.

    Prayers and a Big Red/White/Blue Hug to you. Thank you for your service but it doesn’t extend to continuing to be a chump to this selfish bitch.

    You only know of the recent cheats. There are probably a lot more. The kids may even know.

    Assemble your support team: lawyer, counselor and friends. Ambush her with papers and move on. You are already Mighty. You will be Mightier.

  • The true honorable thing to do here is remove yourself from the situation. We are conditioned to believe that we must sacrifice, forgive, tolerate the intolerable, ANYTHING to “keep the marriage together” and to not fail at marriage. But the reality is, your marriage ended when your wife opened her legs to her first affair partner, which I guaran-damn-tee you started much longer ago than you realize and was likely going on the whole time you were overseas. If not, she was thinking about it. Serial cheaters don’t just suddenly become serial cheaters late in life. They are cheaters from very early on, and their cheating crosses all areas, not just sex. And even if she hadn’t been cheating? She just sounds like a selfish, irresponsible bitch. She might as well have been cheating as she does not sound like “partner” material. “Quitting” on the marriage feels you are betraying your commitment to your spouse. You are not. You are honoring your spouse by accepting her as she is. She wants strange. You are honoring that by giving her the freedom and your blessing to get all the strange she wants. She is a liar and a cheater. You accept that. You are not asking her to change. You are simply saying that’s fine, but not on my time. It sucks to “lose” so much of what you have worked for (house, savings, pension, etc.) but you will be gaining your sanity and a new life. You will be modeling for your children that having standards and boundaries, and being able to walk away from individuals or situations who violate those boundaries, is a crucial life skill and essential to long-term happiness. There are times when cutting your losses is honorable. Don’t let anyone tell you anything different. There is a new – sane – life waiting for you on the other end of this. I promise. In my case: My husband is a veteran and his cheating wife ran off with her high school sweetheart after a decade together. My husband traded me in for the secretary one week after our second child was born (and after 18 years together as a couple). We just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary after 10 years together as a couple. Our children are happy and stable in spite of the divorce because WE provided that stability and that foundation as the sane parents. I believe my kids are much better off than if I had stayed married to my ex, and they believe it too. Our sane, healthy household provided the contrast my kids needed to be able to tell the difference between the unhealthy and the healthy. When we grow up only in the unhealthy situation, that becomes normal to us (like in my case with my cheater dad and chump mom) and we accept unacceptable things later in our own adulthoods. The best part: my kids can smell a narcissist from a mile away. They are unafraid and unashamed to set healthy boundaries, and speak up or take action when those boundaries are pushed or violated. They are quick to remove themselves from a relationship or a situation if they feel it is unhealthy or imbalanced in any way. They are going into adulthood so much better prepared than I did.

  • You gave her a new wedding ring because she wore it with the OM? Umm…isn’t the original a symbol of your union to each other? What are you saying?!

    Maybe this is too simplistic, but it helps remove the emotion… Marine, you’ve been traveling on a one-way road heading west. Now you’ve come to an unexpected three-way stop that wasn’t on the map. If you stop you will die.

    I know it sucks. She changed the rules and you weren’t consulted.

    Now you need to decide what you want and what kind of life you want. I can tell you that staying out of paralysis (did that really happen? am I really seeing this?) is just paralysis. It doesn’t get better.

    There is life after a 20 year marriage. It is just different than what you envisioned, but it is still good!

    • I did buy her a new wedding ring because she wore it with the OM. I couldn’t stand the thought of her wedding ring touching any part of him when they were together and it was killing me to see/think of it. Yea, I’m an idiot. In my defense, we do crazy things that make no sense when our hearts are ripped out.

      • Yep, we all did stupid shit in the pick me dance, wreckonciliation phase. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It actually would make a funny CL post one day (similar to the post about a year ago on “what books we bought once DDAY happened”) about “what crazy shit we bought our Cheaters during the pick me dance phase”. Only a few of us Chumps out there walked away immediately after D-DAY. Most of us (myself included), bought them stupid shit, too. I bought mine a customized, official New England Patriots jersey with his name emblazoned on the back, and he wanted the number “69” embossed. (I know, right??). But, I got tons of pleasure a year after my divorce was final, once I saw him STILL wearing it, telling the OW that I bought and paid for that jersey. This was just one of several stupid things I bought during that awful, awful period. I laugh about it now. You will, too, soon in your future!

      • Chumpomatic, the thought was there. You wanted to erase the stain of her deception. But apparently, your wife only saw that ripping your heart out = shiny new gifts. When you finally find your righteous anger, you should consider more meaningful gifts, like divorce papers.

        If my dog poops on my carpet, I don’t give him cookies. I take him outside and show him where his shit belongs. When your wife poops on your marriage, she shouldn’t be rewarded either. And here is where it gets hard. She seems to think you should be supportive of her, as always, while she does her heart-ripping number on you. It’s going to be up to you to decide that you’ve had enough. I think maybe you already have if you are here. And have no doubt that Chump Nation has your back.

      • Well I know the feeling…. the stupid shit one does when they figure the cheating out…. None of it makes sense when you look back… I for one cant believe that was me!!! Seems to be a normal response. I know it cant be changed but I still find myself beating myself up for being weak or stupid or something!

      • Don’t beat yourself up about buying her a new ring. As Chris mentioned most of us chumps hung around for a little (or a lot) of post dday torture. I stayed with the ex for 3 years and I am often mortified by the things I did or put up with during that most humiliating pick me dance stage of my life. Blechhhh!

        Just focus on moving forward, hopefully without your cheating ex!

        • I did that pick me dance too. I just have more time away from that than many of you. My “what to do?” time was twenty years ago. It was a wild and totally unhappy time. If you have a blatantly narcissistic A-hole, who thinks you should take their crap and understand how you are to blame for your spouse running all over town trying to reclaim his or her youth by humping everything that doesn’t run away, well, you are not alone. When it finally gets found out and they put it in your face, what they are saying is that they are okay with hurting you. And, they are hoping you’ll still wash their socks while they continue to act badly. That is a turning point. It requires a lot of spine and grit and fortitude to say, Hell NO. But that is the correct answer.

  • Well, when I’m ready to date again, I’m going to go find myself a chump Marine. 🙂

    Seriously though, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I cried reading your letter. Since the last D-Day, I’ve felt so naive and “old-fashioned” living in this world seemingly full of cheaters. But Chump Nation is populated by people who also value honor and loyalty and commitment so it gives me hope.

    Your wife is not who you thought she was.

    That was one of the hardest things to swallow about my STBX. We got together in college, so I don’t have a lot of exciting love affairs to look back on and I didn’t “play the field” or “sow my wild oats” or whatever other shitty excuse your wife comes up with. I made a choice. I fell in love with the person who was my best friend, who I thought was my soul mate. I made a commitment to him. For a lot of years we supported and encouraged each other, enriched each other’s lives, and had each other’s backs. I never felt I missed out on anything by not screwing a bunch of other guys.

    And then he changed. (Or he never got caught before. That’s the thing about liars and broken trust. You’ll never again know what’s real and what’s a lie.)

    He’d always had a streak of arrogance and entitlement and he began making choices that intensified those character traits and killed the humility that had always held him in check, that had allowed him to be a good partner. I clung to our marriage for ten more years, mostly because of the children but also because I loved him so utterly and completely that it was simply unfathomable he could be treating me the way he actually was. I’m the queen of Denial. And after the final D-Day when I finally kicked him out, I went into shock for another eight months — during which time he came back twice and dumped me twice for reasons like needing to “see what else is out there” and needing “validation from other women.” Around the eighth-month mark, I went into the deepest depression and grief I’d ever felt. A month later, I woke up angry–and stayed that way.

    Then one day, I woke up and I wasn’t in love with him anymore. I suddenly saw him for who he is now. He’s The Entitled One. An emotionally immature, self-centered asshole who destroyed his family for a series of cheap fucks. The man I loved doesn’t exist anymore — if he ever did. Just like your wife.

    So I’m ten months out from where you are now. I’m angry a lot. I still get nostalgic and wish things were different. I’m trying to find a way to choke down the shit sandwich of losing my kids half the time for no better reason than The Entitled One decided he wanted to fuck other women. I’m working to reframe this situation so that I’ll accept this is the way it has to be before he comes back a third time. Like…this is the best choice for my kids because modeling a woman (or man) living in an abusive situation (and I believe serial infidelity is abuse) is not something I want to teach them.

    • The anger stage is so hard, I was often afraid of how deeply furious I felt. I’d never experienced that kind of emotion before, maybe from training myself to stuff it for so many years. Once I got good and angry, I found the emotion really propelled me forward towards my new life. Hope it does the same for you Better Days!

    • This is the best description I’ve read yet: “An emotionally immature, self-centered asshole who destroyed his family for a series of cheap fucks. “

  • Firstly, thank you for your service to your country.

    I know this is extremely painful, but I must chime in here and agree with everyone else here…get your ducks in a row, and get out. It will be painful emotionally and financially, but get out. I here have the kids, and I stand to lose about 100k in assets, but at the end of the day, it’s just money. And if you live long enough, you learn that money ones, and money goes and you can always rebuild.

    And as much as you love her, go on contact except for the kids. She is just using you as her soft landing pan, her home base. She is a serial cheater, hence a cake eater. She will still try to come back to you at some point….No Contact!!! Please!! You will get through this…

  • Chumpomatic, I echo what the others say — get out and get out now. Save yourself from this unholy mess and you’ll be saving your kids too by being the one sane and steadfast mature parent in control of situations.

    It’ll hurt like a dagger to the heart for a few months, there’s no getting away from that. But it will get better with each week and month that passes. In six months time you will not believe how much better you’re feeling compared to how you are now. Another six months from there, you will feel even healthier and will start to wonder how you endured the abuse. As you go along there may be a few dagger moments now and then, a few slips backwards, but you will always be healing, always progressing, always repairing. You will be fine. And you will want to thank the Chumpomatic of March 2016 for doing the right thing and choosing YOU.

    • This: “Another six months from there, you will feel even healthier and will start to wonder how you endured the abuse.”

      I’ve finally gotten this point. When I look back now, I wonder how I put up with being treated like shit for so long.

  • Hi I commented earlier. Just wanted to add: demand to have the new ring back. Sell it and use the money to go on a vacation with the kids without her stupid ass.

    • Great point. I just took my two boys back to Disney World 3 weeks ago. I took them 2.5 years, and that was the week I finally obtained proof of Cheater’s latest affair. It was so great to bring my kids back to Disney World without Cheater ‘ s drama and histrionics. We all had a great time. You’ll love vacationing with your kids without the Cheater Wife.

  • Chumpomatic – Just like everyone else, I want to thank you for your service and sacrifice. I also want you to know (as everyone else on here is already telling you), you did not deserve this. Yesterday’s blog post was the dissection (or UBT) of an apology email from my cheater (which can also be interpreted as whether an apology is even necessary when you know it’s not authentic). Nonetheless, I felt the mightiest I’ve felt in 4 weeks and 5 days after reading other chump’s comments, experiences, advice, and overall support. I have not slept so soundly in weeks. And I woke up this morning feeling validated – something I haven’t felt in a long, long time (even way before D-day). Today is YOUR day, Chumpomatic. Read every comment and soak it all in… and then read every comment again. This whole situation sucks– it really, really does. And it’s so antithetical to whom you are – a U.S. Marine, a man with honor and character. But you must leave that cheater and gain the life you deserve, as Chump Lady tells us. You are beyond mighty. And everyone here at CN has your back!

    • aka, I’m so happy to hear that you slept well. It really helps to have your feelings validated instead of denied, doesn’t it? Glad your spirits have been lifted. 😉

    • Thanks, Lyn and Chumptitude. It’s amazing what a little recognition and validation does for the soul and one’s spirit…

    • He is active and that’s something that Im looking at. He can be charged with Article 134 under the UCMJ. Usually once something like this happens a command will try to keep it at the lowest level though. Might not be anymore than a page 11 and maybe a remark on his FITREP.

      • Do it anyway. Make it a scarlet A. X wanted to have adultery taken off the decree. It was but not before I told that lawyer to go f*ck herself.

  • So much good advice here, but especially about using all of the considerable leverage you have (which many of us chumps can only dream of), both living in a fault state and knowing that at least one of your wife’s APs is a Marine who could stand to lose a lot if he were to get exposed. From what you’ve posted, it sounds like you’re still in the beginning stages of coming to terms with the possibility of divorce–if you haven’t already, I hope you will consider posting in the private forums for more advice and support as you move forward. You will find lots more of it there.

    As others have said, your wife is obviously on the Cluster B spectrum, most likely a narcissist, and often the mere threat of exposure is enough to trigger their image-management paranoia and give you a leg up during negotiations on custody and maintenance. Which doesn’t even address the point that your wife deserves neither–please use everything you have at your disposal to minimize her chances of ending up with a 50/50 settlement. You have a lot of ammunition on that front.

    And as the Mom of a Marine grunt, I want to personally welcome you to the club no one wants to join–I’m very sorry you’re here, but you’re in good company. Semper Fi.

  • I’m almost 5 yrs out from d-day, ((may)), & I’m still not 100% recovered. I was married 30 yrs. My whole world exploded unexpectedly! I then had to deal w a cheater that became the victim & “I just didn’t understand, nor how I could not forgive, or love him, or that a life time together meant nothing.” ((He could never
    figure it out it meant everything to me ?))

    To this day, both of our lives have changed so much thur this life changing event that even under the very best circumstances it is one of the most difficult things to get thur. Especially in LTM’s.

    We have so much invested w/in each other, & in my case, as I’m the women who never worked, I become the new poor, and must find a minimum wage job when most of my friends are enjoying the empty nest world together.

    After our investment are split, lawyer fee’s paid, realtor fee’s paid, etc… We’ll be lucky to end up w maybe 24% of our net worth each.

    He can continue on and work as a consultant well into retirement age & earn a six-figure income, & me, I gave up the best part of my life to make our life together…and I’m left with the reality.

    • I wanted to go back to school nope hes the bread winner. I left my timevopen for kids and freeing up his time so he could do what he wanted. I never gotcthe memo after kids where grown to get a high paying job so he could play with his business. Enter whore juice tons of money and kisses the ground he walks on. Dump the now 60 year old km cause she couldnt cut it. Fuck him.

    • Equitable distribution is a division based in what is fair given the circumstances. and does not mean it’s a 50/50 split.

  • Chumpomatic, It’s time to leave the auction. The new diamond ring wasn’t a winning bid. The trip to New Orleans didn’t win either. Your entitled wife is up for grabs, literally, to the next highest bidder. Put down your betting placard, get on your feet, and move out into the sunshine and fresh air. Shake her off your ankle if you need to.

    And trust that you will feel better and stronger without that toxic person polluting your life.

  • My dad was a career Marine, and I always knew that if I told him what my now XH had said and done (cheating and lying), I’d be a widow now and not a divorcee. My brother, a Marine for over 10 years, has offered more than once to handle my XH. I took the high road and (simply!) divorced his ass after eating the shit sandwiches for almost 10 years, afraid to lose my family. I understand your feelings.

    There is a code of honor in the Marines that is hard to explain to anyone else. We trust in and rely on that code. I fully empathize with you and your situation, but I agree with Chump Lady and Chump Nation: your wife is a cheater and she has no plans to change. Like being narcissistic, it’s working for her. As much as it hurts to lose half your pension, freedom from abuse is worth it. I used adultery as a cause for my divorce because it gave me leverage, and I think you can do the same. Adultery is still a court-martial offense for her AP. You have done nothing wrong. She has probably cheated more than you even realize. Get your kids DNA tested. You’re still their father but it gives you more truth.

    I will always love the person I thought my XH was. But that person was a figment of my imagination. It is hard to learn the truth about someone or to accept that they never really loved you. I believe you are still eligible for Legal Services at Quantico or Henderson Hall. Make an appointment. Sadly, you are not the first person to experience this and you can get free legal advice to help you make the most of this truly tragic situation.

    Semper Fi!

  • I personally would not have a child’s DNA tested. Two are nearly adults and the other is six. Is the need to know worth doing this to a child? To me it is not.

    • I agree. Chumpomatic is their father in the most important sense of the word, and the only father those children have ever known.

  • I feel for you brother (in the chump war), minus the financial attributes of your relationship I had many of the same things going on in mine. Only I was the dumb one thinking I was trying to save it while my ex had been perfecting the art of subterfuge and mind fuckery. I got set up six months in advance and had no idea, don’t be that guy. If you live in a no fault state you have at least got a shot of saving your dignity. You are never going to trust her again and believe me the six year old will adapt. My daughter was six and is doing just fine (other than the house cleaning she got to witness her mom do on me in the custody proceedings), but that child will figure out the truth on its own. Get out while you can!

  • Chumpomatic,

    God bless you and congratulations on surviving your service and coming back safe and whole.

    Even with everything I have experienced, everything I’ve heard and everything I’ve read, I am always amazed and wonder where someone has to go in their head to deceive and betray anyone who risks or has risked their very life to keep others safe. There is nowhere in my value or belief system where I can go to make sense of that. I can accept that there are people who do it, but I have no way to actually feel what they feel or understand the meaning of the gibberish that they concoct to rationalize their behavior.

    Hugs to you Chumpomatic and a fist bump of total respect to you for your nobility and honor in the face of such betrayal. With that said, let me just advise you, as has everyone else, the foul piece of flotsam posing as your wife does not deserve you nor the love and care you have bestowed upon her. Get away from her – yesterday. She is not going to change. Even if she pays lip service to wanting to change, that’s all it is – words in service to her selfishness and entitlement and need to live life totally on her terms. Redirect your love, honor, commitment and nobleness of character to your children and yourself – and eventually to some truly good woman who actually deserves what you have and are willing to offer. Continue to show your hopefully soon-to-be-ex the civility due the mother of your children, but remove her from your life as much as possible. She is as toxic as nuclear waste and she will destroy you. Most of us would have given our eye teeth and right leg for a spouse who demonstrated the loyalty and commitment that you have shown to this unappreciative and undeserving bubbling bit of excrement.

    It will hurt for awhile, but you will eventually begin to heal and you will bless the day that you found Chump Lady and Chump Nation and followed their advice.

  • Chumpimatic

    When you are still in love with your abuser it takes time to detatch from the toxicity. What I never expected was hatred from my abuser. Please see a therapist who has dealt with this type of injury. Know she will become more entitled and vengeful once she knows you are no longer going to put up with abuse.

    Gather your evidence and file for full custody. Use the evidence for leverage in keeping your home. Serial cheaters are manipulative and cruel. Do not believe a word she says. Given her actions I would make every attempt to doccument her spending over the years. And do hire someone to prove she is cheating if evidence is needed for fault. It’s a tough road. We are here. Do not show her mercy as she will do everything to discredit you.

  • I like to think of myself of a tough, rational lawyer. But I wasn’t so tough when faced with repeated cheating, lying, minimizing and gaslighting. I stayed and hung in for eight years after I found out about the cheating. I put in another five years desperately unhappy, desperately trying to save the marriage. I am almost divorced now but I spent years of abject misery trying to get him to stop cheating! All the crap he said- the truth is- once the vows were broken, so was the trust. PLEASE DON’T WASTE ANYMORE TIME. During the time I wasted waiting for more abuse, my state changed from a fault state to a no fault state. Living in a fault state has HUGE financial ramifications in your favor. I wasn’t so lucky. I still love him- or the person I believed he was. These people look ‘normal’ but there is something very broken that can never be fixed. I know that now. You sound like a wonderful person and a great father. My son has begged me to not talk to his dad anymore. He can’t take his dad hurting me anymore. I am so sorry I put him through that. I didn’t realize that I was hurting my son every time I took him father back and then, caught him cheating again. Your children will understand (maybe later on) that what you did in leaving was not only for you; it will show them that you respect yourself and take care of yourself. Do what I finally did- I finally became the impartial business like lawyer i had to be. I gathered my evidence (which did me no good in my state to get any money because he had a cash business, but it enabled me to make a deal to keep my house and 401k) and I got out. Please please do the same. Good luck.

  • Fear held me back, and I tried to reconcile at all cost to keep my family intact. But you just delay the inevitable, and suffer a whole lot more mental abuse going into hyper vigilant mode. I found pregnancy tests in her cupboard…twice.

    Document. Get a lawyer and buckle up. It’s going to be a roller coaster and it’s going to be hard. But things work out sometimes in the most unexpected ways. And you’ll be better off. Be present for your kids.

    In time, you’ll find someone who deserves and wants to be with you.

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. It sucks.
    Know that the pain is finite.

    • NorthLondon, that is what keep me in this hell for more than I should have….fear. Finding out about the affair gave me the strength to toss his sorry ass out! I miss the illusion, not the dickwad!!!!

  • Chumpomatic – I am so heartfully sorry for the pain this woman has caused you. I can’t add much more to everyone here. Just know that this is not the end of the world, even though it feels like it. Time will heal things and please, get your ducks in a row and seek out a good lawyer.

    As for your children, I do understand you don’t want to break up their “happy” home, but kids see more than you think and have probably caught on as to what’s going on by now. They may not fully understand it all, but I’m sure they know something. Show your children what is acceptable vs. not acceptable and take the steps you need to now before you spend another 10 years with someone who will probably end up discarding you anyway.

    Sending you much support. You have found a good place here and I commend you for having the courage to write in.

  • “I don’t want a divorce, lose 50% of my youngest child’s life, lose my home, retirement (she rates half) and be financially drained with court/lawyer fees.”

    I’m right with you there man, right there with you. I completely understand why you think you need to eat the shit sandwich.

    You take for granted that you’ll be a part of your children’s lives every day until they grow up — and then your cheater unilaterally decides that you’ll be luck to see them a few days a week. You spend your adult life trying to make enough money to retire one day — and then you lose that to the cheater. You lose your house. You lose at least half of the money you’ve saved — and yet nobody seems to care about all of the money spent by the cheater on the affair. For those that live in no-fault states (like me), you then get the ultimate insult of having to pay your cheater spousal support.

    It’s ugly, and there’s no way of getting around any of it.

    • True. And, the only thing uglier than having to pay for a cheater to leave is to pay for them to stay.

  • Chumpomatic:

    This will truly be the hardest battle/enemy your heart, mind, and soul will ever have to face.

    You have friends here, and we are all with you in spirit as you wage this battle.

    Fight the good fight. Be strong, Be merciless though- she is truly an idiot to waste such a precious gem in your life and marriage with her.

    God bless you and thank you for your service!!!

  • Chumpomatic, thank you for your service!

    Four pieces of advice:

    1) Watch your back. She will try to damage you and your reputation in all kinds of ways, once things don’t go her way.

    2) Watch out for boomerangs – these women always come back to a chump when they get dumped/hurt/in over their heads. A good-hearted man like you will be tempted to be magnanimous and ‘forgive her’ and heal all her wounds, etc.

    DON’T DO IT. This is what ChumpNation calls the karma bus. Let nature take its course. Once you start the divorce, keep ALL communication with her going via the lawyers, including her attempts to soft-soap you and appeal to you directly. Just forward these to the lawyer, and get the lawyer to reply to her for you. As soon as the divorce is over, ensure that you go No Contact and stay that way.

    Often this is what will take the most courage. The other stuff seems hard, but this one really IS hard. But you can do it. You have to do it, to save yourself and your children from this vampire.

    3) Go hard. For the sake of all those other chumped members of the armed forces, you need to make a stand. They need your rock-solid example just as much as your kids do. Model dignity to your sons, if you have them, and send a firm message to your daughter/s that their mother’s behaviour is not what you expect from a grown woman.

    4) You can be kind but firm in this process. Think of the expression ‘more in sorrow than in anger’, and use that to shape your attitude. But do not give her an inch. Not even 3/8ths of an inch. This means that the sex will have to stop sooner or later, and that may be her first warning sign that all is not well. Line up those ducks first.

    5) Get help. This kind of experience can trigger PTSD and other problems, and it’s a long and painful struggle in addition to any problems you may already been carrying from your combat service. A good professional therapist will focus on you, will NOT push you into false reconciliation, and will be a solid support to you in this trying time.

    God bless you, and fight bravely. Chump Nation has your back.

  • Chumpomatic:

    Thank you for your service to our country.

    You are in love with the character she played with the skill of an award-winning actress. After studying you, she crafted this character to charm you so that you would fall in love with her and she could manipulate you. First impressions are lasting, but this is not who she is. Studying character disorders will give you insight into who she really is. My study of character disorders confirmed to me that XH meets the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy and his behavior was textbook. As I got no validation from him, my studies and CL/CN opened my eyes to the fact that this was sadly a no-win situation that was not my fault and could not be salvaged.

    These cheaters seem to think that their immoral affair partner is so great while they take their faithful spouse for granted if not hold them in contempt.

    My mother was a narcissist and while I do not believe she ever cheated on my father, I know that she was very emotionally abusive to him and never gave him the love that he deserved. He was not in the military but was actually a psychologist at a military hospital. He was a gentle, good hard-working man, not a cheater, liar or a drinker and he stayed in the marriage to the end. He said he could not afford a divorce although he was in emotional pain. He was diagnosed with cancer in his mid-60’s despite a commitment to healthy living – healthy meals, exercise and belonging to various social groups – and died at 71. At the end, he seemed bitter. My brother told me that our father said that he never felt respected. I can see why he said that: our mother tried to turn us all against him. I was her scapegoat daughter; she also turned my brother and sister against me. As the scapegoat daughter, I had the best relationship with my father, but I think it would have been even better had my mother not been a narcissist. In my research, I learned that a child, especially a daughter can go from a narcissist mother to a narcissist husband and this is my story; I am now 9 months divorced and although I probably would have kept taking the emotional and sometimes physical abuse until the end of time, it was the heartbreak of cheating and lying that decimated my trust and prompted me to file for divorce.

    I encourage you to proceed in a manner that protects you and your children. I wish you and your children all the luck in the world.

  • Hope you are in Fairfax County, which I’m told is much more sympathetic to victims of adultery than Prince William or Arlington.

    There is a confidential support group in the DC metro area you may find helpful. Register on Meetup.com and search for the group called “Healing and Surviving from Narcissistic Relationships”. You will feel validated AND get insights into what to expect going forward, especially in court. Join us.

    There is a mandatory one year period of separation in Virginia before you can file for divorce. Once you file, the wait for a court date can be more than six months. Having a lawyer on board now will help you ensure that you are putting together the right kinds of documentation and being measured in your communication. You have a loooong wait before this is resolved.

    So very, very, very sorry.

  • “Never got to play the field” is the biggest crock of shit that has ever spewed from the mouth of anyone in general, but its generally cheaters and other disordered types who say it.
    Why do you need to play the field if you have a decent set of morals and boundaries? Fact is – you do not. These people are disgusting pieces of shit.
    Chumpomatic – you need to get the nastiest lawyer you can find and a PI. And that ring back. Pull the trigger on her and divorce her slutty self, before she decides she’s not getting her entitled needs met – and divorces you. And you lose everything with no choice in the matter.

  • There’s so much great information and support on here. As all of know this can be a truly lonely time. I want to thank CL and all of the people who offered their support and advice. I have taken all of this advice to heart and I know what I need to do. I’m grateful for the kind words. One day will be Tuesday and we just have to live it one day at a time.

    • i always reread old articles…your story was very compelling..i wanted to see how you are doing now? How did things turn out?

  • Its bad enough finding out about “one” affair. That scenario might have a chance but like you I found out about multiple sex partners. It really is eye opening. You go from thinking my spouse is trustworthy beyond anything else to oh my god they are a cheater and a serial cheater. How long has this been going on and how much don’t I know. My h and I dod counseling blah blah. He promised to never do it again. If he stopped cheating it was briefly. He is still cheating. Im financially working toward freedom! Get out so you dont have to always worry and wonder!

  • Thank you for your service, I SALUTE you!

    Sorry you had to find us chumps but glad you did. I was married to a cheater for 31 years, he was in law enforcement. Told me he had “opportunity” and that is why he did it. He was a serial cheater our entire marriage. Affair partners (long and short) pornography (addicted since 10 years old) Now keep in mind how good he led this double life. They are experts and it thrills them to get away with it!! Im not bragging but I was a great wife, mother, “forgiver” lover, friend etc. I kept myself in great shape, was independent, and the first thing most ppl said when I announced I was divorcing was “YOU” he cheated on YOU! It doesnt matter who we are, cheaters cheat. lie, steal, rob you of joy, trust, happiness and they aren’t normal nor do they ever change. Cheating is a drug, its a game, they love it and never give it up. Im living proof of eating shit sandwiches, marriage counseling etc.

    I need to mention I didn’t know anything for a long long time. And then the info trickled in and it was mostly half truths or bullshit. He was loved, respected, our 3 awesome/amazin kids admired him, both extended families looked up to him as a leader and here is the saddest attribute…EVERYONE thought he was a Godly Man. He was raised by minister parents, he sang on worship teams, he preached to his deputies about family and God (ugh) He was a Jesus Cheater who basically just a grace abuser among everything else. I stayed bc he hid his crap so well. After he retired he went back into being a contractor. That provided him MORE “opportunity” to cheat bc he traveled to build restaurants. One day a year ago, I came to my senses and trust me it was hard….. CL was instrumental (thank you Tracy) I filed, he fought me tooth and nail and I finally agreed to half his pension, my house and MY LIFE. Secrets make YOU SICK. It broke the hearts of our kids, daughter in laws, families BUT he needed consequences and I needed OUT. I have peace and there is no price on that. Tell your story, they don’t deserve the mask we have given them.

    YOU own everything that happened to you. Tell your story. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better. Best to YOU & trust that they SUCK!

  • I might play more of a long game here and try to get her to sign a post-nup giving you the assets you want if she cheats again. This could salvage you financially WHEN she cheats again (and she will, if she isn’t already).

    If she refuses to sign the post-nup, well, there’s the extent of her “sorry.”

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. Thank you for your service to our country.

    • Thanks for the meet up group info for DC. In Virginia, the one year waiting period doesn’t apply if there is adultery. With allegations of cheating – you do need some specificity about date and location – you can go straight to court. I’m told that Loudoun County is unfriendly to cheaters. We shall see. Stafford County may be sympathetic as well. I am divorcing an officer who was not a gentleman. He thought part of the Ranger Creed included: “I shall lie, cheat and steal from my family.” I thought I was marrying one like the OP; I’m glad there are still great vets who deserve better.

  • Chumpomatic, Im late to this party because I was away from the board for Lent. I was a Qtown chump who was a spouse of a 25 yr Marine Major. He was a very difficult spouse throughout our long marriage …it got worse when (18 yrs in) he had (what he claimed was) an emotional affair with a coworker. I ate world class shit sandwiches and tolerated more abuse than I ever should have. I thought if he stayed, it would get better and all the pain would be worth it when we had one of those “better than before” marriages.

    Oh how sure I was that I was a unicorn !! My delusion was so complete, I was sure that someday we would host couples retreats at Church…my hopium addiction was bad

    Our wreckinciliation lasted 7 years and he was cycling back to another major asshole stage when he dropped dead. In his papers, I found stuff that indicated that his “EA” was a full fledged long term affair …he had stuff from her in our house when he died and we had moved after the affair was supposedly over. That pissed me off enough but about 2.5 yrs later, just as I was about to remarry, I learned that he had been a serial adulterer.

    All those years, I was playing a horrible game with a deck heavily stacked against me and no one had told me the rules.

    I lost 7 MORE years of my life to that mess than I had to and I didnt leave because I was scared of all the logistics.

    Learning he was a serial adulterer was the key to a hundred locks, I used to see his behavior with the lens of “he would NEVER cheat” and now with a different lens, SO many things that were ill fitting and odd from before now look like blatant cheater. He stole SO MUCH of my life from me !!! He had at least 2 of his whores at his retirement ceremony…fucker.

    I really really suffered …badly…for a long time, but …guess what…

    Im alive and healthy. My new husband (Colonel Greatguy) is true blue (his wife ran off seeking greener grass 14 years ago, most current reports are that the grass was not greener, but she did me a huge favor), kind, and loving.

    There will be a woman who will appreciate a gem like you because so many single guys were cheaters…I TREASURE my “never cheated” husband. And all the worry about logistics…a few things like life insurance, good investing and other details have left me & Col Greatguy set for life. snap.

    but MajorCheaterpants dropping dead was a rare fluke (oddly enough, despite his cruelty, I would have never ever ever hurt him…I never even had the urge to slap his face) I shudder when I think of how much longer I would have stayed if he had lived. Please don’t make this same mistake.

  • First of all you are not an ex-Marine you are a former Marine. I also have almost the same exact story, 20years, daughters 19,17, and 12. I am also a former Marine, and just filed with my serial cheating, Bpd wife. You are not alone brother, that I can assure you. Remember all you learned when you stepped in those yellow footprints, you are going to need to dig that deep. You will.

    Semper Fi

    • Pete Walker,

      Howdy, sir. First of all, thank you for your service. You are a hero and deserve to be treated as such.

      Welcome to The Club Nobody Wants To Join. You are in good company. We know that your STBXW is a traitor and she deserves everything coming down the pike to her.

      In the top right of the page is a link to the “Forum.” You will have to register to get in (you might already be since you posted here), but in the Forum you will find other chumps struggling through this betrayal.

      The writer of this letter goes by the handle “chumpomatic.” Here is a post he made a couple of weeks ago: http://www.chumplady.com/forums/topic/confused-and-worried/ I don’t think we’ve heard from him since then so you are needed here.

      Please respond to him there so the two of you can help each other and commiserate.

      And yes, Chump Lady got the terminology wrong. It’s “former” Marine, not “ex.” Chumpomatic addresses that in the post I linked to above.

      You got this, man.

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