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Dear Chump Lady, My cheating husband won’t move out

pack-your-shitDear Chump Lady,

Were it not for your blog I would have been struggling through the “pick me dance” and following the misguided self-destructive teachings of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex. I happened upon you shortly after I discovered (after having a bad feeling) that my STB-binge drinking-XH had secured himself a “wealthy” (his own words) girlfriend.

Back in March, 2015 he had told me that he thought that we should separate; that WE weren’t getting along; that he wasn’t happy; that he felt like a failure in his career; etc. At that time, I found the Divorce Busting website, bought the books, did the 180 and paid for coaching from the staff to try and save the marriage. We would have been married 10 years this coming summer and we have two girls, ages 5 and 8.

I told him that I would give up my own career for him; that we would return to his home town (he works for his father); and that he and his career would be the priority. And we had many long talks about this; how we would plan our life; how the girls would be educated. And I truly believed that everything was going to work out between us. We had sex only once since that day in March but we still slept together and kissed and hugged and all of that. And then one morning, I threw my arm across him and felt a shudder of revulsion.

I grew uneasy and checked his phone that night — something that I never ever do. And I found all of their emails dating from February, 2015 — starting during our family ski holiday. I found trip confirmations to Rhode Island, Bermuda, Orlando, and New York City. I read intimate conversations of how they missed each other, how they looked forward to road tripping together (all car expenses on the joint credit card), and how he planned to buy a sailboat so they could sail together (he and I met sailing).

I never confronted him. There was no point as they had been together so long. All of 2015 he had been gone extensively to his hometown claiming that he had to work more there; that his presence was essential. He did not spend a single weekend at home the entire 4th quarter of 2015. I did not then realize that he was spending that year securing his relationship with this wealthy woman.

I got a lawyer right away, prepared all my documentation, and served him in his home town as soon as they got back from their New York City getaway. Right before I served him, I told my girls the bare truth. That their father had found a girlfriend and had left me so I was divorcing him. They were devastated.

I had hoped that he would remain with her if he got served in his home town. His wealthy girlfriend is divorced herself with 4 children of her own. He spent most of 2015 courting her and establishing his relationship with her and her children. So I felt that he would remain with her.

Not so. He returned to our house and refuses to leave. He is on title and his lawyer told him he has a right to be here as he has a home office here. My lawyers told me that, unfortunately, I cannot throw him out or change the locks unless he threatens me or hits me. So he comes and goes as he pleases.

I was a screaming banshee when he first returned — kept telling him to go back to her and his new family and my children were hysterical. They kept crying at me to “STOP being so mean to Daddy!!!!” So I stopped and am now civil but distant. We do meals together, but I focus conversation toward the children. I accept any help with them that he offers, but as soon as they are in bed I shut myself in what used to be our bedroom upstairs and do not engage further with him.

That being said, he comes at me over and over whether I am upstairs in my room, downstairs on an exercise machine, in the laundry room dealing with dirty/clean clothes, anywhere in the house really, badgering and harrassing me about the divorce process. On and on about the lawyers taking all our money, how we should just settle this between us.

He is fighting me for custody of the girls. Over X-mas and the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend I attempted to be reasonable and allowed him to travel to his hometown with them. Against my wishes (which were expressed to him through my lawyer’s letters on both occasions), he has taken them to his girlfriend and bolted them onto her 4 children. They are dazzled by her wealth and the lifestyle of her children. Indoor pool, arcade, high end mini-van with DVD projection system. Her children share a TV on wheels. Each one gets a turn per night. My girls share a bedroom with her 2nd oldest daughter. The wealthy girlfriend buys them things — shopkins, blankets, stuffed animals etc. So my lawyers have told him that he is no longer has my consent to travel with them until the divorce is final.

This Easter weekend, my sister and her family are coming for a visit. I plan activities with friends and schedule fun for my girls as though he is not around as I never know when he will be here. Several events are already planned with my sister’s family and with friends. He announced that he was going to be around this weekend although he knew well ahead of time that they might come.

I want to tell him that he cannot drive anywhere with me and the girls. If he wants to come along to any activities he will have to drive himself. I worry that the girls will want him to come in our car and will be very upset with me if I tell them no way — your father has a girlfriend and we do not do activities together. They are so happy when we sit down together at meal times. I grit my teeth through meals — maybe I should not be eating with him?? I am so stressed but I intend to stand my ground with them and with him. But then he could turn around and tell me that I can’t take them on the outing with their cousins as he can no longer travel with them.

I fear that this weekend will turn all ugly because he is here and my sister is coming. He is in this house only to get back at me (character disordered). He is using the girls as he knows that he can get to me through them.

My lawyers have the separation agreement ready to serve to him and his lawyer. The divorce process is moving, but I have been told by my lawyers that the home is likely one of the last things that gets settled if we cannot mediate this issue ahead of the court’s timing.

Please will you give me some guidance on how to manage this situation particularly for Easter when the girls will be with their cousins? How can I stop being forced to play Happy Family for my children? How can I make them see that his priority is his new family with his wealthy girlfriend and NOT them?

Most gratefully,

Wanting to Be on the Other Side

Dear Wanting,

I’d be a screaming banshee too if I had to live with a flamboyant cake-eating asswipe like your husband.

That said, the law takes a dim view of screaming banshees (you don’t want any protection from abuse orders placed on you), so let’s game out some other options here.

First off, accept that enforcing your boundaries of No Faux Happy Family is going to upset your daughters. That’s a boundary. When you enforce one, you have to let go of the consequences. You don’t get to control those. You only get to control you. So that means yes, your daughters may get angry, and yes, your cheater may retaliate. Still, STAY STRONG. It is imperative that you enforce boundaries now and model self-respect and resiliency to your girls. Do you want them to grow up thinking cake-eating is an acceptable lifestyle? Men get wives AND girlfriends! Eat the shit sandwich! Or do you want them to be boundary-enforcing badasses? Be the woman you want your daughters to grow up to be — a boundary-enforcing badass.

Speaking of boundaries — STOP EATING DINNER WITH HIM. He doesn’t get to share a table with you. He lost that privilege when he fucked Ms. Moneybags and told you he wanted a divorce. If he elbows his way into dinner time, tell him to leave. He sits down anyway? You leave the table. He can do the washing up, asshole. He wants to know when dinner is? Don’t tell him. Again, these are boundaries — ENFORCE THEM.

Enforcing boundaries doesn’t make you an asshole. You know what makes you an asshole? Batter-ramming other people’s boundaries. Being a cake-eater who would rather scar his children with his mindfuckery makes you an asshole. You, Wanting, are not an asshole. You are a woman in crisis. Find your inner Celtic warrior princess and ride headlong into this battle. (Imagine lopping off his head the next time he mentions lawyer expenses.)

If he’s going to insist on living with you until the bitter end, remind him every day he chose the wrong woman to fuck with.

Get a sharpie and write that on your arm, to remind you when he’s trapping you in the coat closet trying to bully you into a favorable settlement — you picked the wrong woman to fuck with, Loser.

Document every single craptacular thing he does. (Brings the kids over to the OW for overnights? I’m sure the judge will love that. Blows huge marital resources on fuckfest weekends? Awesome!) Leave the leveraging to the lawyers. (And I hope you chose some really aggressive ones versed in personality disorders.) Think of your job as anthropological researcher — you’re documenting his bullshit, not partaking of it.

I know it is incredibly difficult, but try to get emotional distance from this asshole. He is living to antagonize you now, for kibbles and centrality — and most of all, for tactical advantage. To strong arm you into accepting any settlement just to be rid of him.

My first ex-husband did this, and it was the longest 6 months of my life. But it was finite. And I did wind up throwing a ton of money at him to make him leave, which in retrospect was a mistake. A judge would’ve awarded me far more, but I was weary and had no idea how to navigate this crap. I found then pretending to go along and let him show up for dinners (like a terrible, mooching roommate) was the WRONG strategy. It just emboldened him. Being a screaming banshee in my case (and I don’t recommend that) worked better. When I started enforcing consequences — like a temporary support order — it wasn’t so much fun for him. He has to pay the mortgage? Waah! Also reminding him that all that money I was going to give him to settle, and retirement I was going to waive, and all that? Fuck it. I could spend it on suing his ass in court instead.

The disordered can sense chumpdom, but they can also sense immovable boundaries. When there are no more kibbles, when you truly don’t give a fuck anymore, when they actually fear for a moment that you’ve gone insanely Celtic warrior princess and might be a crazy bitch who lops off their head?  They tend to slunk away to chumpier pastures.

Remember — this situation is FINITE. He can’t force you to stay married to him. Do not be a party to cake eating. Here’s some pointers to get you through this nightmare meanwhile.

Don’t talk to him. Absolutely refuse to have ANY discussion with him about lawyers and settlements. Be a robot. “All those discussions must be directed to my lawyer.” He becomes a screaming banshee? Get away from him. Failing that, agree with everything he says. “You’re going to bankrupt us! You’re going to spend the children’s college funds! You’re a terrible person!” Yes. Yep. Uh-huh. No emotion. No engagement. No kibbles.

Practice your boundary scripts. Why are you being so mean to Daddy? Stay on MESSAGE. “Honey, I know it’s a sad time. Daddy and I are divorcing, because he has Ms. Moneybags, his girlfriend. You can’t have a girlfriend and a wife.” Or “Divorce means Daddy is still your daddy, but we aren’t a family any more. We don’t do Easter, birthdays, dinner together.”

Practice your boundary scripts with your cheater too. “Talk to my lawyer.” Anything else — yes, even if he’s there — you communicate via email. Document, document, document.

It’s harder to manipulate you when you don’t give him the raw materials. Be a cipher. Don’t tell him ANYTHING about your plans, your hopes, your desires — if he’s disordered, he’ll do everything to thwart you. So do NOT fill him in, unless your lawyer tells you to. And then you do it by email, and cc your attorney. (It’s always harder to fuck with chumps when a lawyer is looking.) Your Easter plans? Oh hey, you don’t know yet. It’s in flux. If he calls, writes, whatever — CRICKETS. You don’t owe him an answer. Stop being nice and agreeable — he’ll use that to fuck with you.

Get great big buffers. Your sister is coming? Awesome. Can she move in? Do you have any cousins in the mob? Any friends he particularly loathes? Keep them around you as often as you can. It will keep your freak off balance. It’s much harder to do the impression management times three or four. Harder to calculate the mindfuckery. You and the kids are harder to manipulate when there are reinforcements. Get super, super active right now and surround yourself with your support system. You’re too busy for his shit.

Get support. Glad you chucked the unicorn sites — now decolonize your head from all that lousy advice. Get yourself a good therapist who will help you enforce boundaries. Hang out on our Chump Nation forums here for 24/7 support through this. You WILL get to the other side, I promise. ((Hugs)) and hang in there.

 

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.
  • “Your sister is coming? Awesome. Can she move in? Do you have any cousins in the mob? Any friends he particularly loathes? Keep them around you as often as you can. It will keep your freak off balance.”

    Savage AF, I’m loving this advice. It centers around the fact that you need to start treating this like the battle it already is in order to protect yourself and your kids in the long term. It sucks and it’ll be hard and there will be hurt feelings, including your daughters, but it still seems like your best long-term option.

    Hang in there. Your situation is finite. His bankrupt character is not.

    • Exactly. I read something recently about how one of the key elements of predatory behavior is to isolate the victim to ensure total control. Of course you have to choose wisely in terms of ensuring the people you keep around frequently won’t just escalate things all the time, but, yes, having same people around frequently could help buffer the crap.

      • You are so right, Amiisfree. First ex, not the cheater, was abusive and jealous of every move I made. He systemically cut everyone I knew out of my life. Family, friends, co workers, church, hobbies, you name it. I had NO support system at all, and he loved that.

        • Yes, excellent advice! I also read that surrounding yourself and your children with supportive family and friends who love you is one of the best protections against parental alienation, which it sounds like your STBX is definitely attempting to do with your daughters. It will help them see you through the eyes of people who respect and care about you and provide a balance against the abusive behavior and attitudes toward you that their father is modeling.

      • I got one such man out of my house, for good. We were legally separated, and he still would not leave. He did all he could to torture me, and he abused me and my good name with my own family. I prayed and prayed for an out..finally, one day, I came up with the brilliant idea of WATERING THE COUCH (his bed)….I took a watering can, filled it, and watered that couch, right in front of him. He was stunned. I told him that it would be repeated, each day that he didn’t leave…..he moved that weekend…..

  • This is a familiar story except my kids are grown (Thank you Lord ). I also had one that wouldn’t leave. He did his utmost to get me out. “I will visit every day you work on yourself and maybe we’ll reconcile. Maybe we’ll even get remarried”( huh? We weren’t…and aren’t.. even legally separated). This while seeing his new supply and taking her to our cottage on weekends. He continued to ask for kisses and hugs from me which I gave until my counselor pointed out that this was sexual abuse . My lawyer said not to move so I didn’t. It didn’t last long. He spent the last 3 nights here sleeping on our trailer in the barn as I told him to restrict his conversation to business. He claimed I told him he had to stay away from me (not so-). He moved in with his girlfriend in a few short weeks. The girlfriend with a 10 year old that he supposedly met right after he separated from me (ya right can anybody say new supply set up previously?)

    • Same here, The Evil One told me he was “done” with our marriage the night before Easter Sunday 2015, a month later, he moved out then a month after that, he started dating his now OWife whom he claims he met after he moved out from me, funny thing is that he didn’t file for divorce until about 8 weeks later after meeting her, but no, she didn’t have anything to do with his decision to divorce me.

      I am ssssooooo glad he didn’t stick around longer than he did. That month was enough for me!

  • Oh and about the holiday. I would tell him he’s not welcome and make no plans that include him. Mine announced he would spend Christmas day here.he tried to do the day like always. He gave our son lovely gifts and our daughter shitty ones (she had told him she didn’t approve of his behavior so she was being punished). He did the gravy like he always did and tried to hold my hand and hug me. As before he said he was just being friendly. I wouldn’t hold his hand but hugged him for a gift which turned out to be a cheap vanilla candle (I hate vanilla-right in the garbage along with the olives he gave our daughter–she hates olives). I concluded it was likely his girlfriend picked tge gifts.I ended up in tears before dessert and he left and texted me saying he knows when he is not welcome. My son was tweeting about how terrible it was,(they are 23 and 27).I apologized to both kids saying it would not be repeated. Please allow him an hour as your kids are little but carry on with other plans that don’t include him he will ruin the day.

  • These pricks are all identical twins. I agree with everything CL said. Don’t let the monkeys run the show. Unfortunately, that includes your daughters right now. You are the adult, act in their best interests.

    Has this guy quit working? How can he suddenly be home all the time? And who is cooking the dinner he is eating? And he’s taking your daughters around some whore while married to you? All I can say is you have more self control than I do, seriously.

    This idiot only wants to make you miserable. Turn it back on him. Go War of the Roses on him, lol. As they say, You are mighty

  • Oh, he will also start blabbing about how you are “hurting your daughters” by divorcing his sorry ass. Do not accept that. He hurt them by following his dick to some whore.

    • Oh my gosh. I just got that line, “you have no regard for our daughter.” Because I want more than $500 a month from him. If I want more than $500 a month, you see, then he will not let me keep the house and I have no regard for our child. Lol. No, he had no regard for our child while he was whoring around for months being a lying cheating malicious asswipe. And he has no regard for our child taking her to his new house where his supply lives with him. He moved out 2 months ago and they got a place together a few weeks later. His supply bought our daughter her bed for her room at their house. How sweet of her. Barf
      Asswipe makes 6 figures as well as his coworker supply. Ugh

      • i’m really curious on the update of this situation. I am going thru some similar stuff right now. This b***h looks like a damn ant eater to boot. Its almost sad if it wasn’t so funny. He won’t leave though. Says he wants to work on it and he’s already been caught twice. She keeps ratting him out because he won’t leave me. I almost feel sorry for her too. lol

  • Another word of helpful advise when he comes and tries to talk to you maybe have your phone on you and record or some type of recorder and also document in great detail like a journal about these chats and let your attorney know. What he is doing is harassment.

      • I agree with you Beth that recording is a good idea — I know there are other comments with caveats about it, but if he gets violent or threatening, or a little of both under pressure, playing that recording to your lawyer will get his ass out of the house so fast his toes won’t even touch the ground.

        I was that ‘recording’ back in the 1980s during my parents’ bitter divorce. One night, quite late, I overheard my dad on the phone bragging loudly how there’s no way the house would ever become ‘hers’ and if it did, a ‘hot hurricane’ would take care of that. He laughed mockingly and repeated how there’s nothing like a ‘hot hurricane’ to ‘fix her ass’. I asked my mom the next morning what a ‘hot hurricane’ was because that’s what dad said there would be if she got the house. She went completely pale and rang her lawyer straight away. Next day I signed a paper that stated exactly word for word what I overheard, how, and when. Dad was packed up and out of there within three days. Of course what I didn’t know was that he’d threatened my mom dozens of times by then with all sorts of harm, but it was only considered ‘he said, she said’. It took an independent source (me) to hear it.

        I think to this day what the hell his sister (my ‘loving aunt’) must’ve been thinking, to hear that threat from her brother over the phone and keep it quietly to herself. Nasty bitch.

      • I think she can record it for her own purposes (perhaps to transcribe later, make notes etc. If she’s like me, she’ll be too upset to remember later on how the discushion actually went) but it is true that in some states it will not be allowed in court as evidence. She should check her state’s rules on that. In my state, you only need one party’s consent to record – and that can be the person recording the conversation unbeknownst to the other party. These are admissible in court here if the judge deems.they are relevant.

        • In many states it is a felony to record a person without their consent for ANY reason. Judges do not look kindly on such behavior in those states. It is a slippery slope that can put you at a disadvantage. Now, if the person calls and leaves a message, texts or e-mails, those messages are admissible in court so I would suggest you use those types of communications. You would be very surprised what people say even when they know the comments are being saved.

          For many of these disordered folks, the best thing you can do is ignore, ignore, ignore. This freak is loving all the drama. It makes him feel important. Quit showing him how much he is hurting you! Act as if he has already moved out. Do not let him provoke you or engage him in any way. When he walks into the room, walk out of it. Complete indifference should be the goal. Come up with a few stock phrases and use them every. single. time. Throw the kibble dispenser away. As for the house, be realistic about whether you can afford it post-divorce and remember a house is a thing. It can be replaced. Your peace of mind is far more valuable than a house, so please do not let it control the divorce process. Many women do, much to their later regret.

          • This was so true in my situation violet. Once I had let go of the idea that I had to keep my home of 30 years and moved away from satan and his constant drama I began to feel better and make better choices for myself. My healing process started once I was out of my ‘home’. There are no ‘satan’ triggers in my new home. 😀 I burned them all in my new firepit.

          • I always told cheaterpants I was recording our convo. I framed it as if there was so much info, I needed to be certain I remembered it all because PTSD really rattles your brain. I ALWAYS had it verbally recorded that I was taping him and he had to verbally agree. The recording are made to document his inconsistencies.

        • I read in a book that if you want to catch someone lying, transcribe their conversation and read it. You will see inconsistencies in writing that you don’t hear. Also, these liars change their story with every other breath. It helps reinforce that you are not crazy. They really did say that stupid shit.

          • That’s a great idea for any difficult situation for me. My brain tends to freeze up in difficult situations and then I can never quite remember what they said, what i said and it makes it way too easy to gaslight me. Thanks Anita

          • My asswipe and I have texted a lot. In reading the texts you can see how he changes his stories and crazy accusations. And I even tell him – read your text from (insert date)! He’s so all over the place with his crazy making and contradictions. The funny thing is when I stopped communicating that’s when he showed up at the door accusing me of pushing his buttons! Lol.

    • Right – so recording laws are different everywhere and you should know what the laws are in your state.

      That said – recording can have a few advantages:
      1) if can be handy to have proof of the cheater’s insanity when you find yourself trying to explain what happened to someone trying to help you. As I have worked my way through this, I have had to tell of events that when I try to explain them I think probably make me seem a little like a crazy person. It would be nice if I had a recording of when he explained to me that he needed his marriage partner to have no emotional needs of her own, he should never have to compromise, she needed to not need him to invest any time or energy into an emotional connection, she could never respond negatively to anything he said or did (i.e. not be too sensitive), know that he had to work all the time and would neglect her at times, but yet always want to have sex with him. Oh, and she needed to stay trim, attractive and young, but it’s different for men so she should find him sexy no matter what he looked like. I wish I had recorded this just to play it for people so I can say “this… this is what I’m dealing with.”

      2) There is no law against transcribing a conversation as you remember it. I was considering my options when I served STBX and I realized that I can’t record him and use it for anything. But if things got weird or tricky, I could always record and transcribe the conversation as I remember it. I work in medicine and I was always very careful and complete in my documentation. Could I submit a recording as some piece of evidence. No… probably not. Could I transcribe our conversation within 12 hours of having it and say “this is what I recall happening.”

  • He didn’t stay with Miss MoneyBags after he was served because (most likely) she wouldn’t allow him. Spoiling her little fuckboy on weekends is one thing, but supporting him day to day while he goes through a contentious divorce is quite another.

    Don’t even talk to him about anything pertaining to the divorce. If he asks you about it, tell him to tell his lawyer to call yours.

    As for the kids getting upset with you for enforcing your boundaries, please keep in mind that you’re not the one making your kids suffer, HE IS (even they don’t realize that yet). They might be upset with you now, they might even blame you for years, but when they’re old enough, they’ll appreciate that you were the “sane” parent and admire your strength.

  • MY X (yea!) and I stuck it out together in our house after we told our daughters (19 & 20 at the time) because our house was on the market as we had always planned and we didn’t want it becoming a “divorce special”. It was the worst time for me and it was before I found CL and CN because I let him get away with so much. We would have drinks together and play backgammon and watch movies as if nothing ever happened. Then he’d go to his room and I’d go to mine. Finally 4 months later the house was sold and we parted. I hadn’t realized all the stress I had been under just living those 4 months together. I slept for a week after I got resettled. So yes it is finite but I wish I had handled it differently and stuck to my guns and enforced boundaries.

    Interestingly enough, my older daughter (now 24) has been on the website TINDER. She’s dumped two guys in short order because they didn’t meet her expectations. She has learned to enforce her boundaries and I couldn’t be prouder of her! She’d rather hang out with her girlfriends then be with the wrong guy. More power to her!

    Model strong behavior to your daughters. Surround yourself with family and friends and stay busy. This will pass and you will be amazed at how strong you’ve become.

    Hugs!

  • I lived this for a year and a half. I’m sorry you are going through this hell, but it will end. You will only confuse your daughters if your actions don’t match your words. They are happy when you and daddy are together because it gives them hope. Don’t mislead them, it will only hurt them more in the end. Be consistent wit your message that you and daddy are not a family anymore, not with words but with your behavior. Take the girls out for activities, and he should have no expectation of being included.

    Stop doing anything to take care of his needs. You do the grocery shopping? Buy stuff he doesn’t like. Only buy enough for dinner for you and the girls and tell him you aren’t cooking for him any more. Better still, don’t tell him, it should be obvious. I hope you don’t do his laundry. I had taken care of hazardous waste for so long that it was a deeply ingrained habit, and I had to force myself to stop, one action at a time.

    It’s amazing how no-contact you can go while living in the same house. I stopped responding to any discussions except ones that had to do with the kids, and even then I usually texted him. Once I stopped talking, he wasn’t able to manipulate me as much. He was a master at manipulation, and proud of it, so this was one of the most important things I did. And when he started the sob story about how the kids need him in the house, I shut that down fast. It was laughable anyways because he had made all of our lives so miserable.

    It’s horrible getting stuck in the same house with a cheater, but use the time to separate from him mentally. You will have a big headstart when he finally leaves. Good luck!

    • Absolutely, quicksilver. And I will add to this that in some states, you may not be considered legally “separated” while living under the same roof unless you are living separate and apart under that roof. Which doesn’t just mean not sleeping in the same room — it means no shared meals (some legal sites specifically say this), no doing each others’ laundry, etc. Just google something like “separate and apart under same roof” to see what I mean. You have a legit, legal reason not to include him in your life. Please make sure you’re keeping a daily spreadsheet or journal of everything that’s happening, and that your lawyer has access to it and can encourage you and bring up concerns where necessary.

      And from an emotional perspective, you gotta go “gray rock” / “no contact” on him. Just like CL says, keep it all to yes/no answers and bare bones communication. As a narcissist he feeds off of seeing you squirm. So just stare right through him. My ex stayed in the house for a couple of months in a similar manner, citing that he “owned” the house too so I could not technically kick him out. How disgusting a person has to be to want to stay in the same house with someone who just dumped them is a whole other issue, but yes, technically they can force you to live with them. It’s utter b.s. and it just rewards the aggressor in the relationship for their bad behavior.

      The faster you can show them that they have no power over you and you don’t even really “see” them anymore, the sooner they’ll feel invisible and therefore go elsewhere for their kibbles. Good luck and I’m sorry you’re going through this right now.

      • I live in one of those wonderful states requiring one year of legal separation before you can get divorced. In NC, you have to be living under separate houses for full year and one day before you can file for divorce. Once you file, it’s at least another 30 days before you are officially able to divorce. In that year of separation, your estranged spouse can do a lot of emotional, physical, and financial damage because, technically, you are still married. I was lucky in that, of all the things my ex did, he didn’t ruin my credit in that year. He is not paying child support currently, so that ruined credit may be forth-coming, in an indirect way, but I digress…

        There needs to be some reform on that one-year separation law. It’s there to allow couples time to make sure they’re sure about divorce with the ridiculous theory that this will bring divorce rates down. Because that’s what matters in life: a silly, meaningless statistic. They should keep the statistics on happy couples and families, be they married or otherwise. That’d paint a more accurate picture of the state of things in the family structure.

        • North Carolina is one of six U.S. states that still have an Alienation of Affection law. Drag the OM/OW into court as a corespondent. Wish I had that option.

          There’s also “criminal conversation” and “IIED” sometimes. Good Times!!!

          1. Hawaii
          2. Mississippi
          3. New Mexico
          4. North Carolina
          5. South Dakota
          6. Utah

          • Yes, I’m aware of the Alienation of Affection law. I considered it. Sadly, it is way too hard to prove and actually get any sort of restitution. Plus, ONE of the other women was actually my sister. Another was my cousin. So, unlike suing for AOA, winning, and parting ways, I’d have still had to see these people on occasion and it was just more drama than I wanted in my life. My family is aware of the goings-on, but they were not all put in the midst of any legal battle.

            • Hey Dani,

              I gathered that you were done with the divorce. Sorry if it seemed like I was giving unwanted advice. I’m still in the punishing-fist-of-justice phase and daydreaming revenge.

              So sorry about your sister. You’re mighty. They suck-diddly-uk.

              • Oh, no. No worries. It is sound advice in many cases. I’m a lover of peace, though, and I really just wanted to escape with as much dignity as I had left. I did escape with my house, our children, and my dignity. The end goal was accomplished and the things I gave up in that process were small compared to that victory.

                Yes, I’m post-divorce, though now we’re in a messy battle over our already court-ordered custody/visitation/support agreement. Long story short, he sued me for more time with “his” kids because I had the nerve to sue him for not paying his agreed-upon child support. With some time and distance and some mightiness obtained through those means, as well as my single-motherhood, I am standing my ground and hope for an out of court settlement that benefits our children.

              • I’d be like “Sister? What Sister? I don’t have a sister.” That is totally disgusting behavior on her part. And your ex’s part as well.

  • THIS IS SO TIMELY!

    So fuckwit announced that he is checking into a big Manhattan hospital for 10 days for special surgery! Yup, just exactly the time that the whore is flying in for her “dreamtime” vacation from their home country. He’s so fucking dumb he doesn’t even realize that as the health insurance is mine and I’ve always handled all of his health affairs I would know. Credit where credit is due, he did visit a NY doctor and try to get him to do a cath but that is a 1 day procedure and it wasn’t approved. Moron.

    He’s such a shit, he told that story to our daughter and she was in a panic about his health. I told her the truth. She’s 14 and already knows about the whore as she overheard conversations we had and I don’t need her panicking about her father maybe dying ( unless I kill him). The kids want me to divorce him.

    I’ve spent 3.5 months in limbo, in the same house. He tried playing happy families, I’ve been ignoring him, unsure of whether it was some hopium, fear, inertia or all of the above. When he made his announcement, I told him to pack his bags and never come back. Which I repeated twice and which he essentially ignored by taking only enough for a NYC sleepover. I actually think the time spent around him watching him as he really is, rather than the spackled version while painful has been helpful. I really just can’t stand being around him now. He’s beyond an entitled cake-eater, truly believing he is entitled to a double life.

    I’m more concerned with the animosity the kids have for him and whether he can claim I’m turning them against him by telling them the truth. It’s a fine line. They know he is a liar, manipulative and abusive all on their own but doesn’t mean he can’t milk the situation. I actually hope that if we end up before a judge his lying about health issues to his kids will work against him.

    So, off to call the lawyer and hopefully high tail it to meh.

    • Actually feel like I should apologise, this whole post is me, me, me – had a bit of a crisis this morning.

      Should say – feel very sorry for what you are going through and I can appreciated exactly what it is and how stressful. Hold strong and take the advice of others – don’t play happy families as it just feeds his ego and wants and get support in there if possible.
      Good luck.

      • Although I’m not “Wanting”, I’m confident I speak for most when I say no apology necessary—there’s so much value in knowing that other folks are going through (have gone through) the EXACT same shit that we are (and for the same reasons). Identifying your situation with ours isn’t “me me me”, it’s “us us us”.

    • FinallyAwake–get the cake-eater out of the house by any means necessary (per your lawyer’s advice). No one can live like that. While he’s in NYC getting an intestinal cleansing, or whatever he signed up for, put all his crap in boxes in the garage. See if your lawyer recommends changing the locks. If not, and you have to let him back in, pull every dorm prank known to humankind–vaseline on his door handles, spilled rice on the floor of the bathroom he uses, arsenic in his toothpaste (okay, maybe not the last one). You can do this!

  • Dear Wanting, God, I am so sorry for what you’re going through! I can’t imagine the horrible stress you’re going through with an ex that won’t leave the house but won’t stop seeing the OW either. And to use your kids for leverage in his plans is just sick. It makes me so thankful that my kids were grown and gone from home on D-day.

    My ex told me he’d filed for divorce, then said he was going to spend the night in a hotel. The next morning he emailed and said he wanted to talk to me that afternoon to tell me “how this could all go down.” I said, “Stay the hell away from me.” So he managed to travel and stay gone for about a week. He would come home during the day and get his things and go somewhere else when I was there. About a week of this and he got all blustery and said “I am coming home tomorrow, I can’t stay away any longer.” I told him, “Well, you can come home, but just know that I am full of rage towards you, but and also love, and that will probably be as unpleasant for you as it is for me. If you insist on living here I will find someplace else to live and it will cost more.” This sufficiently scared him enough that he moved in with a male friend for awhile. He stayed away for about 2 months until I could pack my things and move out.

    In some states they tell you not to vacate the marital home, but in my case I knew there was no way I could maintain a large farm by myself, and I didn’t want to. I checked with my lawyer before moving in with a friend and made sure it wouldn’t affect the settlement in any way. My ex tried to make me pay a certain amount towards the mortgage in order to “get my equity out of it,” but my lawyer called his bluff and said he was lucky that I was living with a friend and not paying $1,000 a month for an apartment. She told him she could go to the judge and make him pay ME. After that my ex just backed off. I would never recommend going through a divorce without a lawyer, because I was so devastated I could barely function and so used to being dominated that I was tempted to give in to his demands.

    Anyway, I’m just telling my story in case anyone else is in a similar situation or has a cheater trying to insist on living with them.

    Dear Wanting, I will pray for you to find the strength to enforce boundaries with your horrible, cheating ex. Chumplady has much more experience with the type of cheater you’re living with, so I hope you find some help in her advice and with other Chumps who’ve had similar experiences. My heart goes out to you!

    • This statement is so important: “I would never recommend going through a divorce without a lawyer, because I was so devastated I could barely function and so used to being dominated that I was tempted to give in to his demands.” Even those of us who are strong and confident in the professional world often find ourselves “used to being dominated” at home–and so give in when we should stand strong and know where our boundaries are.

  • My ex also intended to stay in the house as we worked on the divorce ourselves. The thing that made him leave to move into the OW’s house sooner than he liked was when I got a lawyer. I couldn’t believe how outraged my ex was about that, but I had never agreed not to retain one, so screw him. He made it like I’d betrayed him. HA!

    • Cheater Dictionary:

      Love: finding true reciprocal love with another, not letting an old boring marriage get in the way of one’s entitled search for true love, even if it means harming your children and spending marital resources

      Betrayal: when one’s spouse tells someone else about your authentic search for true love and then hires a lawyer. How dare they!!!

  • If the house is really the last keystone of contention?? Put the damn thing up for sale. I would imagine the sale price will be split. Find yourself a nice quaint condo. You will lose more money in the end if the two of you dig in your heels on who gets the house; and, more stomach distress for you and your kids.

    You MAY be entitled to more than 50% of it if you have solid proof of all the bullshit you’ve been through. But let me tell you – dragging a divorce out is a NO NO. That will render you nothing but MUCHO $$ off to the lawyers, and a lot less money in your pocket.

    • The house decision is a tough one. I decided to stay in my house because
      – i didn’t want to fork over another $25K in 6% closing costs
      – keeping the house provided additional stability for the kids
      – the tax deductible interest made the house payment not that much more than renting

      I suppose the advantage of selling now is that the closing costs are equally shared between the two, whereas if you keep the house and sell it later, then the whole 6% closing cost is on you.

      I would also imagine the husband would have to agree to put it up for sale.

      But if you have sufficient equity to afford the closing costs and have a >20% down payment on a cheaper, smaller replacement, then yeah it might be a good path.

  • Hi Wanting- I used to summon up my inner Boudicca – who wreaked revenge against the Romans; standing high on her chariot, hair flying, sword in hand…..

    But first I had to accept I was dealing with an enemy. It took a while, and even now I find it hard to comprehend the inner workings of these cake – eating aliens.

    My XH’s head was spun by a ‘wealthier’ supply. She owned a nice property (with her partner!) and had more disposable income than we had (and I’d had to put tight financial boundaries in place). So the minute she appeared and started to pay for him- first the dates, and then his business- he was off like a greyhound after a rabbit. And of course she adored him.

    I KNEW what his game plan was back then- now nearly three years ago. He even told me and said ‘But she’ll suffer more than you ever have’, which I guess now I have read about NPD was his foretelling of some future discard.

    Mercifully I got away and divorced him but he’s still hanging on with her because I don’t think he’s quite managed to get himself on the title deeds yet, though I think the poor partner has been kicked out, and she’s still subbing the business.

    But even with his new sexy, financier, he whined about the divorce, slowed it up and kept trying to contact me up to two years after I left – and that was without any shared assets (phew) or children!

    So I guess when there’s more at stake, materially and reputation wise (the adoring/adored Daddy) they fight harder. So as CL has outlined you have to do likewise. Go get a chariot and defeat your invader.

  • Oh, and I wanted to say I think the idea of asking a sister, friend, or some family member to move in with Wanting is a great idea. A witness could really put a blanket on crappy behavior and could act as a buffer. It would take a special person who wouldn’t join in the fray, but had strong boundaries, though. Someone who is cheerful and positive and not sensitive to a lot of stress. Might be good for the kids too, and would probably discourage your STBX. I can’t imagine how confusing it is for your kids to understand that you all aren’t a family any more since he’s still there trying to act like you are.

  • Ditto the inviting your friends and family over. Nothing cows a cheater like the glare of hatred and frosty condescension of a pissed off in-law.

    And for crying out loud stop eating with this POS. You two are not a family. STOP acting like it.

    And please please do not be doing housework for him. Let the POS or his GF do his own cooking, cleaning and laundry. Repeat DO NOT DO HIS LAUNDRY!!!!!! Some of this might be hard as he is free to roam the house. By the way get a really good lock on your bedroom door to keep him out when you are gone (ask your lawyer if you need to do any specifics ie. jettison his personal belongings) He might be a typical narcissist and leave clutter and dishes around. Take a page from my son at uni … gathered all the dirty dishes and empties and unloaded them on the room mate’s bed.

    Repeat this mantra to yourself and your children. Daddy decided WE ARE no longer a family. Daddy and Mommy can no longer do things together as parents with you girls. You will eat a meal with one parent or the other. You will go on outings (the pool or playground) with just Mom or just Dad.

    Enforce your boundaries. Enforce your new reality. Family for your girls is now you and your girls and all your assorted buddies and your extended family which does not include their father. When they are with Daddy it’s Dad and all his friends and his extended family excluding Mommy.

    Listen to CL. Enforce boundaries. No communication other than necessary comments for childcare etc. Lean on good friends and family. You will get through this!

  • I can relate.
    It wasn’t until STBX was caught smoking pot in the basement that I could get his sorry ass out of the house. I took photos of everything and sent copies to my lawyer and therapist.
    Stay strong!

    • Good going, Solange. My Fucktard ex wouldn’t leave either, but decided to terrorize me instead. He put a lock on his office door and started taking everything of mine he could lay his hands on and locking it away. I came home one night with my dry cleaning and he snatched it from me and ran off to go lock it up. BUT in his haste, he sliced open my hand with a wire coat hanger. I went straight to the police station with my hand dripping blood and reported his attack. He was immediately arrested for domestic violence, and I received a lovely restraining order that put him off the property. I changed the locks. I was hoping for a miracle and the Fucktard gave it to me on a silver platter.

  • Why is it they just wonrt quite go AWAY! kibbles kibbles kibbles. Im so indifferent to asswipe and he atill lurks about. Hey he fired me for someone else. Cant wait till this house goes and im far out of lurking distance. It really is all about image control isnt it? The fact asswipe is not keeping his distance from me is driving whore juice insane! Haha! Let her suffer! Effing bastards and bitches!

  • My Ex had a home office as well – so he came and went – while we were briefly separated aka was living with OW#2. It was super weird because he would also come back everyday to change his clothes and have a shower…..Listen, it is total mindfuckery. I mean why would someone take a lover, reject everything about you but still want to live with you and play happy family, right?

    My advice is to really see your STBX for what he is – an evil bully. Don’t try to figure out his motivations. He just is an evil bully.

    Once you start setting and reinforcing your boundaries, your stress level will decrease.

    And start acting like you are divorced with the kids. So this means – you get them during the day and he gets them in the afternoon — but you are not with them together.

    Have you asked your lawyers what would happen if you and the kids move out? If you have the money and it doesn’t affect the separation agreement/divorce then I would move out. This situation is way to stressful on you and the kids.

    • I have a different situation:- my wife cheated, I am trying to leave but she won’t agree final terms and is holding out on last few points with kids (she just won’t fucking engage on them….). She also wants to act like we’re friends in front of the kids, is making nice (cooking dinner, offering to take clothes to dry cleaners, etc). Each of she, our MC and my lawyer said telling the kids that “she hurt Daddy, and now Daddy is moving out” was the wrong thing to do (kids musn’t feel like they have to blame or side with one parent).

      Any thoughts on how to move things forward with a wife in obstruction mode, even though I am ready to go? I can’t tell kids on my own before I go and am worried about inviting hostility into co-parenting.

      Once gone, I am going as NC as I can, but in the mean time getting her to engage is proving difficult.

      • Ask your lawyers for a four-way mediation on the final points. You both sit across the table from each other and hammer out a damn settlement. She’s doing the I Fail to Understand Your Hostility impression management mindfuck. Full court press with the lawyers. Remember, this crap is finite. She’s enjoying her power. Let her pay a lawyer in 6 minute intervals for the privilege.

        • Thanks for the advice. I did ask for a four way and her lawyers wouldn’t agree to it. They seem to be in on the game as they have had an offer from me for 4 months and have failed to provide even one substantial offer in reply, other than a “gambit” they mentioned during a phone call to my lawyer. During the same call, they said this wouldn’t be settled by negotiation (after I offered her 60% of assets in my first offer), so not likely we’ll get this done soon.

          I am fine going to court as she is basically asking for 80% of assets, so is effectively paying for 80% of court costs, but can’t do that until they put an offer back to us or exhaust their queries. Her lawyer seems to be obsessed with the idea that I am hiding assets, so we’re getting an endless stream of requests about anything and everything. Really painful as we respond immediately and fully and they take weeks each time to come back.

          Thoughts on how to deal with wife in front of kids?

          • It never ceases to amaze me the number of whores out there willing to take on some LOSER… just to have a man. I mean, that bitch has to poach another family’s father/husband? What a seriously delusional POS. Moneybags or not, she’s a bankrupt piece of shit as is your STBX.

            Unbelievable these stores.

          • What does your lawyer say about you moving out? (Can you crash with a friend for a few months?)

            Besides keeping you sane, it can 1) stop the feeding the kibbles and the drama 2) increase your STBX’s household workload 3) start the process of transition for your kids and 4) show your STBX you are serious. The entitled really hate to do all of the heavy lifting.

            Remember her lawyers have been briefed by her — in other words she may be telling them tall tales/manipulating them. 80% wow!

            Regarding your kids, they only need to hear that you are getting a divorce. They need reassurance that you still love no mater where they live. Do things with them alone as much as possible.

          • Hi FSTL – My thoughts on “how to deal with wife” in front of kiddos:

            GRAY ROCK

            Yes it will feel life someone is stuffing a shit sandwich down your throat but you must remain civil in front of kids. Do not compromise your integrity on this!

            The other thing,..,80% is ludicrous , 60% is almost as ludicrous. Not sure about your relationship with your attorney and why he/she would be OK with this extortion? Take this shit to court, she is stepping all over you. FTSL, how can we help – to make you mighty?

          • FSTL, I’ve been in the same spot as you. Heading towards a year since filing. My lawyer solved the problem by scheduling a court date for the final divorce. It’s on the court docket now so they have to do something. Unfortunately, the courts are so backed up here it was a 4 month wait. And we still couldn’t settle in that 4 months. I’m letting the judge decide and since it’s going to court, i’m asking for everything 1/2 of everything. If she would’ve just settled, i was just going to walk away from the house and let her have everything. Now, I want 1/2 of the value of the house contents and 1/2 equity in her car ( mine is worth about $1,500). You have to quit being the good person sometimes. It’s time to fight and you need to take the fight to her. She is being unreasonable and is well aware of it. Good luck!

          • FSTL – I am so sorry you are going through this!

            I feel your pain as my X went to amazing lengths to stall and halt the divorce process. Bill Eddy’s work at the High Conflict Institute (http://www.highconflictinstitute.com/) was helpful to put a negotiation strategy together. Read the suggestions on his site, and have your lawyer do so as well. You might need to hire another lawyer depending on his/her reaction to reading more about High Conflict Personalities and divorce, trust your gut on this.

            My advice is for you to set a number of meetings you are willing to have within a certain time frame to show your willingness to settle divorce terms outside of court. I would start with parenting terms, then go for financial terms.

            At the end of each negotiation meeting, require that all agreed upon terms be turned into notarized “agreements to be relied upon.” I learned this after my X would agree to something in a meeting and then backtrack, driving costs and time wasted in the process. By the end of our divorce negotiations, my lawyer, who had 30+ years experience in divorce settlements, believed I might hold the record of “agreements to be relied upon” in my state.

            Keep your word in terms of time line and number of meetings you will allow and commit to going to court as a plaintiff with whatever cannot be agreed upon outside of court within the time frame and number of meetings you set.

            Don’t blink and keep going. My X imploded in a major display of rage during our last meeting, and that gave me resolution and a final divorce decree I can live with.

            Don’t let her and her lawyer drive the conversation, regain control of the process, she is a cheater and is going to be afraid of being exposed as such, use this to your advantage.

            Good luck FSTL and please give us updates, CN is rooting for you!

          • I’d start interviewing other lawyers to see if one issue might be that your lawyer is too passive. On the other hand, I have no idea of the laws in your state regarding the process, so it may be that your lawyer’s hands are tied.

            However, I will ask this: are you really seeing a Marriage Counselor? That’s someone to see if your marriage is salvageable. Once you realize you’re divorcing, there’s no marriage to counsel. Try seeing an individual therapist, and get one for the kids, too.

            For the most part, the consensus is that children do need the truth behind the divorce, but in an age-appropriate manner. Telling them the truth ensures that they won’t blame themselves for the divorce. The idea is to be non-judgemental and age-appropriate. The kids will make up their minds over time, and they’ll also figure out their relationships with each parent.

            I would build in time with the kids that’s between you and them. My parents were married for over 50 years before my father’s death, and my dad was a very involved parent. He would carve out time with each of us, and in fact, my younger sister still remembers how he took her to a local family restaurant and how special that made her feel. Get in the habit of doing something small but meaningful with your kids on a regular basis throughout this process, and keep it up post-divorce. Your goal isn’t to bribe the kids to like you, but rather to establish a time and activity in which all of you can bond. You’ll need to find something that’s affordable and enjoyable for all of you so that you have a constant line of communication, and your kids know that even if they don’t see you every day, they are still important to you.

            Best of luck!

  • Wanting– sending Jedi hugs your way. I cannot even imagine what you are going through. My H was living away from home (supposedly) for a temp job when he announced that “he did not want to end of like his parents.” Could not even say the word divorce. So, I found him a place to live, and his parents helped move him out when I was at work one day.

    I echo everyone here:
    a) boundaries: no chores, no family meals
    b) kids- are they in therapy? If not, consider it. They might think you are being mean to daddy, so an outsider might help explain things to them
    c) rally the troops- great suggestion from others– have friends and family over frequently. Do not involve STBX in family activities and outings. If he wants to do something alone with the kids, ok. And document whenever they visit with the OW.

    I can empathize about the pain of the end of marriage. I know you are in the midst of it, and it feels unending, but things will get better. I am 4 years out of “DDay”, and 3 years divorced– some days I find myself randomly humming walking down the halls at work.

    I have friends, family, my two kids (they live with me, ex moved away) and a career I love. Life is sweet.

  • My ex husband refused to leave our home after I found out about the MOW. He stayed with her most of the week and would come back to do his laundry. He stated that his attorney said he had every right to be there. I tried to list the house but his attorney threatened legal action with my real estate broker if I listed the house. His attorney also presented a nesting arrangement in court so that I would not be able to sell the property. Luckily the judge did not agree with this. In the end the kids and I ended up leaving the home and the OW moved in. At our final divorce hearing the judge lashed out at both attorneys wanting to know why the house had not been listed and or sold. The home sold about 6 weeks later. I was very happy to see the OW move her shit out and get an apartment. I was a “banshee” after I found out about my xs affairs. He secretly taped me on his phone and presented it to everyone he could stating I was crazy and this is why he had affairs. I would not recommend showing any emotion around the cheater. Let the attorneys handle everything.

  • I know my cheater thinks I’m hanging out in the home too long, but I’m also awaiting the property equalization payment. Once I get that, by decree, I’m to be out within 30 days. I’ll be able to be out within a couple of weeks.

    I keep wondering why CheaterX is hanging around in the house. I know his Schmoopie wants me gone so she can move out of her house and into the marital home. My suspicion is that she’s underwater with her mortgage–what a surprise. NOT!

    However, CheaterX stayed with her for about 6 weeks in the new year, and wow! Did I feel a lot less stressed-out! I have no idea why he’s back. I mean, if my new home were habitable (needs some work before moving in, and I lack the property payment to make that happen), I’d be there! He, at least, has a place to go.

    • Heh, I thought I was replying to a post, but it turns out not.

      To the OP–while I really hate being in the same house, I find that minimizing interaction helps a lot. Of course, we don’t have children, which makes it easier. Kids really do believe in hopium, and it’s really hard to tell them that no, mommy and daddy are NOT going to get back together.

      One of the really hard things you’ll need to do is to keep your cool when your Asshat tries to provoke a reaction from you. Remember that he WANTS you to lose it in front of the kids so they can tell you that you’re being mean to him. This gives him loads of kibble. Also, he may be documenting the times you lose it for his lawyer, and he’s using the kids in his triangulation tactics. If you shout at him, he’ll have them on “his” side–at least in his brain.

      So while you really do need to minimize interaction, follow CL’s advice to keep to the same talking points so that not only does your Cheater hear what you say, but it’s also clear to the children that this is about boundaries and consequences, not about mommy and daddy fighting.

      Cook only enough for you and the children to eat without leftovers. This sucks (I love leftovers, since that means I don’t have to cook), but you can tell him truthfully there’s not enough to go around so he’ll have to fix his own supper. If he pulls a Poor Sausage in front of the children, you can let him know that he’s fired you from having to cook for him since he has a girlfriend.

      If he sits down at the table while you eat, you can either avoid speaking to him or leave. If he makes a remark to the kids about how mean you’re being, you can say that having a girlfriend means he fired you from having dinner with him. Then leave.

      Start scheduling stuff that you want to do and do it. This gets you out of the house. Are your kids in activities? If not, then find something they’d like to do after school and be there with them while they do it. Parental participation is a big thing to kids, and the fact that you’re there for them will mean more to them than Ms. Skank Moneybag’s television sets.

      This makes your schedule less predictable for your Cheater, so he’ll not be as able to find a time to come in and try to provoke you. In time, either the divorce will go through (and either he or you will be out) or he’ll get tired of trying to get a reaction out of you, so he’ll go where he can get more kibbles.

  • A witness is good. XH exposed himself to a mutual friend I asked to attend our dividing some household items when he didn’t get my compliance on something, full on rage tantrum. And once he did it he just kept letting it fly. She was shocked, had no idea what I was living with and divorcing, the abuse. No one does until they witness it. Although he’ll probably keep it well under wraps. Creeps. Skiving creeps. I shared house with him for 4.5 months after I told him I was divorcing him, and left nearly every weekend to stay with friends. Consider getting him to stay with the kids for a weekend while you take a break. Go stay somewhere with a view.

  • I agree with CL that this is going to be a challenging period for you. I am wishing you the best and all kinds of strength.

    I disagree, however, with the advice that you should get up and move from your own table if the STBX sits down for a meal. I think you should just make it clear that he is unwelcome in every other way. Don’t tell him when dinner will be ready; cook 3 pieces of chicken, set 3 places (heck, put every other plate in the dishwasher so when he opens the cupboard to get one it is bare. Buy nothing that he particularly likes to eat. Stock the shelves as much as possible with things he does not care for. Does he love meat? Now is a great time to go nearly vegetarian, etc.

    Document everything you are doing with the kids–making their lunches, taking them to dance lessons, helping with homework, etc. Make a daily entry in a safe journal EVERY DAY. Just list the facts, no editorializing. You probably will not get full custody because the courts are loath to cut off a parent who has not physically injured a child. Besides, the STBX is still pretending to be a good dad for his “wealthy” girlfriend. However, the fact that he has de facto abandoned the girls (no weekends for 3 months with them) should give you leverage for maintaining primary custody–but only if you can prove you already are the parent who does all the parenting.

    In the long term, the custody threat is primarily B.S. I suspect that five years from now, he won’t know the names of his kids teachers and will have trouble remembering what grade they are in when he sees them one or two weekends a month. There will be different problems (especially if there are no rules or curfews at daddy’s new house, but you will cross those bridges in steel-toed boots with pitch-fork in hand when you get to them.)

    Be as distant and unhelpful as possible when STBX is in the house. His mail doesn’t get brought in. Move the stamps, the scotch tape, the spare batteries–whatever he uses should start running out and getting misplaced. If he wants the conveniences of a well-managed home, he can move in with his mistress or take care of these things himself.

    You will be miserable. Maintaining this kind of life is so very, very hard, especially when the kids don’t understand it and are torn by their love for both parents. But, it will end. And you will go on with dignity and a better life. And some day, your girls will be talking with friends about a lame 8th grade boy who is two-timing his girlfriend, and they will say, “She should kick him to the curb. Our mom taught us never to put up with crap like that.”

    • I love this advice!

      Document document document because when determining the sane parent your asshat is a major fail. Who the fuck is entitled to have BOTH a wife and a mistress and two addresses? Since they both are enjoying having you in this spot, why not call the wealthy OW in as a character witness of your douchebag’s actions? This is so harmful to your kids. And so supremely selfish of the idiot you married. It’s a clear indicator that it’s NOT about doing what’s best for your kids. It’s about him.

      Also, I wonder if wealthy OW will lose spousal support if it’s document your asshat is living with her part time? Karma if that’s the case.

  • This man is dangerous. He does not want to pay child support so he will take the kids if the court lets him. Please be a gray rock. Don’t let him drive you crazy. That is what he wants. I guarantee he has recorded you while you were falling apart. Who says you feed him. You and the kids eat before he gets home. Do not put anything in writing. If he writes anything and your sister is willing take screen shots and send them to her to save and print. His lawyers are telling him every move to make. They have told him to be charming and loving so you sound like a witch in court. Just gray rock the hell out of him.
    Wonder how long it will be before those four children get on his nerves.

  • My husband (now X, Yippeee!) wouldn’t leave either. My sister gave me some good advice. She said that legally, I couldn’t make him leave, but I could ANNOY him into going. So, no laundry (He said I was being childish?!) no dinner with the family, and every week I would add a new annoying thing to the list. It took two months to get him out. He is living with his affair partner now, and I have heard through the grapevine that she is not all that happy with him……

  • I cannot thank you enough for this wonderful advice. I will stop eating with him from today on. I will carry on in my home with my friends and children as though he is not there. I will fight to keep my children. No more “happy family with him”!! The girls and I are a family. That moneybags sow can have him.

    • Awesome! Those bitch boots fit you great 😉 stay strong – come to the forums for day to day support and venting

    • Good for you!

      The real trick is trying to minimize interaction without losing your cool. If it helps, remember that you are trying to win the war, not the battle. Victory conditions involve primary custody of the children, child support from him, etc. You will not get these things if he’s documenting that you’re losing it in front of the kids.

      The other thing to remember is that since he’s trying to goad you into losing your cool, if you go as Gray Rock as you can, he’ll be forced to up the ante. This turns the tables in the eyes of the kids. Suddenly, it’s not mommy being mean to daddy, but daddy being mean to mommy!

      Stay strong and focused!

      • KB, I also used the Lose the Battle, Win the War technique with my first husband. Once you realize you have to stay true to your primary objective (getting away from the fucker) it becomes so much easier.

    • Wanting,
      So glad you found CL! I went through the exact same thing pretty much. My ex said he didn’t love me, wouldn’t leave, was seeing a married co-worker with kids of her own and spending time with her and her kids. I went full on into the RIC, hired a db coach, had him come with me to counseling… I wish I had been lining up my ducks instead, because now my small children and I are hurting financially. But you can’t put a price on getting a cheater out of your life. She can HAVE him!

    • Good to hear!

      If your girls continue to have trouble understanding why you can’t just play along with daddy (because it makes them happy, and you why don’t you want them to be happy, right?), it’s okay to explain to them how it makes you feel, in simple non-dramatic terms. (“If/When we do X, I feel Y. That’s why I’m not going to do X.”) They can understand and empathise if you plainly and kindly and matter-of-factly describe how very sad it makes you to be around him, or that the idea of going to the zoo together would make you cry a lot, because it makes you very sad to be around him. When they get the consistent response that being around him makes you feel sad and cry, they’ll stop pressurising you because they’ll anticipate the consequence of making you feel sad and cry. Which of course they won’t want to happen. At their ages, that’s sufficient and truthful information — and it provides a bit of healthy boundary-setting for you too.

      Leave it til they’re 18 to admit that ‘makes me feel sad and cry’ was a euphemism for ‘makes me want to chop his fucking head off’!

  • Kids definitely make a divorce and property settlement harder. Usually a travelling partner who has not been a big caretaker does not know how to be a parent — and the newfound interest in sharing space and time is a ploy to reduce child support, and maintain equitable interest in the home. Something you may want to consider is to have your lawyer talk with your children to see if they can tell about their experiences when Daddy takes them to his girlfriend’s house — including what daddy calls her, where he sleeps, what her children tell them about their mommy and daddy’s divorce, etc. Loaded with this information, your lawyer can then call in the still MrsOW and depose her, as to her marital status, when they met, why she is inviting your children to her house while she is still married, whether or not she is paying substantial expenses for your spouse. Things like that just don’t play well. If she is divorcing herself, she will not want that information available for her soon to be ex spouse to use. I also wonder if her soon to be ex spouse is footing any of the bill for the playtime trips and business expenses with your soon to be XH? I am sure he would be very interested to have that information. Their entitlement is beyond belief — a little reminder that reality bites might help move things along.

    Good Time Daddy will probably continue to woo the children with “fun”. However cute this may be while they are small, and whatever fun it may be to irritate you with this behavior, soon enough those young cuties will turn into teenagers. Teens are not as easily impressed, and as they begin to date, they learn what betrayal is. You need to be sure you have established what good boundaries are for yourself, and to serve as an example for your children. You don’t have to explain what a POS their dad is, they will figure it out on their own. In all likelihood, once the settlement is done, he will start losing interest in spending time with the children anyway. The new will wear off MrsFucksAlot, and their fun filled existence may not be as fun when she is also divorced. Her financial status may change, too, and/or it may stop being so much fun to support your XH, long term. Escaping from reality may lead to a fun filled fuckfest, but it is only a vacation — we have to live in reality. As I mentioned before, reality bites!!!

    May I suggest that you eat while you are preparing a meal for your children, or at a separate time, and prepare only enough food for you to dish onto the plates for your children. Have a glass of water and talk with them while they eat. Don’t include Dad in the conversation if at all possible. He will probably be hungry, at least when you start this behavior, and he will not enjoy watching your children eat while he is obviously an unwelcome guest. Do not provide any other guest services to him at all. He is not a guest, he is a parasite. Whenever he starts talking, if at all possible plug in earphones and listen to music. You are not required to pay attention to anything he says or does anymore. You have a lawyer he can communicate with. He will not know who you are, since you have been so accommodating in the past. He won’t like the New You. Maybe he will take a hint and go away.

    Good Luck with this — it is the hardest part of the divorce process. In addition, you still have to deal with your emotional trauma and adjusting to your new life. You will have time during separation and after the divorce is final — be sure to take all you need and get help from friends and professionals if needed. You will heal, and you may end up liking your new self much better after you get used to the changes.

  • Wanting -It is horrendous that one has to live in the same home with their abuser. I know the feeling, I also lived it with my now ex-wife. Your STBXH has no comprehension on how to treat a lady.

    By living with my abuser it forced me to accept that life isn’t fair. It was like I was sentenced to jail, convicted of some crime that I didn’t commit. If that isn’t enough you then had to cohabitate with the guilty party. There is no bigger shit-sandwich that one can be served.

    What got me through “my time” was just that – time. I ESTABLISHED and ENFORCED my boundaries and NO CONTACT. That is mostly it – There was no way I was going to become the jailhouse bitch. If there were any additional shit sandwiches from the cheater, I would send those to my attorney.

    Wanting you MUST know that this is finite – There will be an end. Keep your sights on the end and stay mighty until then.

    Also, sorry for all the jailhouse talk – I have never been in jail – I just watched Shawshank Redemption last night for the 100th time! LOL

  • Yes, definitely no happy family. Show him he cannot pick and choose which parts of the marriage he wants, and share the rest with his whore. And definitely fight for the kids. These selfish brats definitely do not make great parents so since you are likely the only one who really cares about them, I say fight for sole custody if you can. I did up front and now ex is fuming because he realizes that it is much harder to use the kids against me because I call the shots. I got him to sign the papers pertaining to the kids while I yessed him to death about them. Now I tell him where to jump….

    And if you can get a posse, do so. It’s all about image management with these pricks, and they will be on their best behavior around people that are on your side. Can’t look like the asshole with witnesses…

    • I think that the cheaters pick the parts of the marriage and the affair that they want. I do not believe that XH would have asked for a divorce because I was supporting him. I think he was afraid that if he left to be with OW in a relationship in which they were each other’s primary love interests she would have to support him and she might not be on board. Dealing with that whole dynamic might put a crimp in his macho stud persona. She might actually expect him to get a job to help support her skanky ass. Reality would collide with fantasy and the super hot sizzling sex and mad love might actually cool down one degree.

  • My XH stayed for a year and a half of pure hell,after we separated. He quit his job and was 24/7 in the house. This was to tell the courts that he took care of the kids 50% of the time for the last year and a half (the courts bought it and he got the kids 50% of the time) and to reduce his income for settlement purposes (the courts didn’t buy it).

    During this period, he still went on his dates with male prostitutes (the courts didn’t care), he tried secretly filming me, he sent daily reports to his lawyers on me, he tried desperately to play happily families, got scarily, groomingly weird with our children (the social workers didn’t care), said if I told people the truth he would rubbish me to everyone, provoked me regularly to try to get me to be angry, manipulated,mgaslighted etc etc. It was like living in a horror movie every day for a year and a half.

    By the end of the year and a half my health was in tatters, my MS went way down hill and a year and a half later my health is still awful. Was living in that situation worth it – no. So Wanting, my heart goes out to you. But I would just recommend to weigh out your capacity to endure, your health, your support systems, your options. An abuser will endure and come out fine at the end, an abusee will suffer no matter what. That is their end game, to see their target suffer – to dominate and come out on top. Choose your battles wisely, stay no contact as much as you can. And please take care of yourself as much as you can.

  • “The disordered can sense chumpdom, but they can also sense immovable boundaries. When there are no more kibbles, when you truly don’t give a fuck anymore, when they actually fear for a moment that you’ve gone insanely Celtic warrior princess and might be a crazy bitch who lops off their head? They tend to slunk away to chumpier pastures.”

    I can attest that this tactic works. It did with my ex-wife even before the divorce was finalized. When it’s nothing but crickets and business they can sense the futility and that’s exactly what your action/inaction needs to communicate – futility. They don’t like that. And since effort is not the cheaters strong suit they will quickly fade to black. Be ready for them to batter-ram your boundaries with rage and self-pity and my favorite, casual conversation. Again, crickets. Stand firm. I’m convinced that my ex hasn’t try to make contact since our divorce because of this.

    • I also wanted to flag that quote, Michael, because it has been my experience as well–once X realized that my boundaries were immovable and that no amount of charm, rage, or self-pity could change them, he got bored with trying to cross them.

      As someone else pointed out, too, the more times he reacted with rage (usually the first response at bumping up on a new boundary), the more our children got to see how out-of-proportion his anger was to a simple request on my part made in a calm, matter-of-fact way.

      The key, as others have said, is to remain grey-rock and do your best to build a mental wall between the two of you, as if he is not even there. I’ve actually been surprised by how well this worked with my X during the times we ended up spending “family” time together after the separation.

  • What a douchebag, when Mrs. Moneybags dumps his ass for being a supreme douche laugh your ass off all the way to the bank. I’m a divorced father and my ex wife turned robotic psycho on me with lawyers and such (I was the chump also), but it is an effective ploy. It just gets super expensive, document everything personally send one email out per week to your lawyer. My only other bit of advice is don’t use the kids as a weapon, stay strong they will eventually figure out who is right. My eight year old daughter would love nothing more than to live with me but family court sways to women and I was pissing up wind from the get go on my custody battle. She hates it but knows I was done wrong. Miss Moneybags must be quite the slut herself to allow her boyfriend to live with his soon to be ex-wife. If he was any kind of man he would move out anyway for the sake of the kids that is a toxic environment he is forcing upon you and it’s not fair to anyone. Sorry I’m all over the place on this, stay strong sister good eventually outweighs evil!

  • I will just never understand why when they find someone else, cheaters don’t just go the fuck away. Losers

    • Even if they do go away, they are likely to come back. That last thing didn’t work out? Hey, honey, I missed you so much!!!! Be prepared. They see their partner as a possession and will go looking to reclaim them when they are between shiny new people.

      • Yes they do come back and it’s to ensure their living situation is taken care of, it’s self-serving, not because they want to be with their spouse again. They take the easier route for them, it’s the law of the least efffort.

        Hey, moving back in with the chump is easier than their other options – perhaps they can’t move into the OW’s place yet, they aren’t financially able to afford a new place, yadda yadda, whatever. But rest assured, the second they have the means to leave, they’re out of there in a nanosecond, leaving the chump baffled. They know exactly what they are doing. These cheaters can be ingenious with their words when they wish to slither into comfortable accomodations for themselves.

        • Yup. They are confusing as hell until you can see that their entitled selves feel that they should be accommodated by everyone. And if it happens to be someone who should not welcome them, better still.

  • I needed this today. I have been feeling smothered by STBX with his full on sad sausage daddy routune. He claims the temporary order doesn’t allow him enough time with the kids, so when it is not his time with them he has been lurking around, waiting at their bus stop, stopping me on the way to take the younger one to daycare, hanging outside the house when we come and go and when the kids are playing outside. He insists that I should always ask him if I need a babysitter or the kids need a ride, even though I have friends who are happy to help. I am just sick of seeing his perverted face all the damn time and I just want to be free of him. I don’t know if that is unreasonable or if I have to eat the shit sandwich. He is also playing mindfuck with the kids to get them to feel sorry for him.

    • Phoenix–put an end to his nonsense. He wants more time with the kids? Then hurry up with the divorce and see what the court says about more permanent visitation policy. He betrayed the kids, too. They will now forever be in a house with a parent who has to work twice as hard, where they are shuttled back and forth at vacations and spring break. HE DID THAT. No sympathy, and I don’t care how Oscar-worthy his sad sausage routine is. Actions have consequences. Oh yeah–and he sucks, so carry on with your life and ignore his pleas.

      • Phoenix – this would creep me out. Suddenly you open your door with the kids and he’s lurking there? Lurking here and wherever? I agree, he needs to be gone and only lurk when he comes to pick them up for supervision. In a way this reminded me of something Mrs. Doubtfire would do. But, that was a whole nuther story.

        • The problem is my next door neighbor is allowing him to live in her shed (it has a living space in it) which is right next to my garage. He can hear the garage door opening & comes out to the fence line. I am working on selling the house to get out of there but I have to wait for a court order since he won’t agree to sell.

    • Phoenix, if you have an attorney, tell him about what sounds like a kind of stalking behavior. If boundaries are today’s theme, you should not be confronted with him in places where he shouldn’t be. If there is a visitation order, he shouldn’t be pressing you for more time. But the first thing to tell him is “Cut this out right now. We are separated. You’re behaving like a stalker.Stick to the visitation schedule. If you need to contact me, use email.” My guess is he wants more time with the kids in order to reduce support in the final order. Do NOT give in to this BS. No contact, no contact, no contact. And if he approaches you, keep walking.

      • Yes, I have told my lawyer but he is doing it from my neighbor’s yard where he is living in her shed, so he has a right to be there. He is just trying to take every opportunity that I am not directly with them or where he is legally allowed to be. I am planning to move, but I have to wait for a court order to sell the house. It will be to a different town, so hopefully that will thwart a lot of this.

        • Is the living space in the neighbour’s shed council approved? Ring council and ask them….. Also has the neighbour declared extra income from tax point of view. …again….ring them and tell them…..he is playing dirty with the neighbour’s help…..do what you have to to put a stop to it

  • Haven’t read all the replies, so sorry if repeating, but more than likely Miss Moneybags is receiving hefty child support and alimony payments from her ex. Which could mean the alimony payments coming to a halt if she remarries or has a live in boyfriend. More than likely why cheater scumbag is still living at home.

    • Oh & if this is the case and OW is receiving substantial funds from her ex, have your lawyers depose her and let her ex find out she is spending a lot of money on her boyfriend as well as his kids.

  • Wow, I could feel my blood pressure shoot up when I read this. Stay strong there is an ending to this, just hang in there. You have been mighty already!

  • I heartily endorse the head-lopping image. After D-day I spent months imagining cutting my cheater’s head off with a dull, rusty axe. The ultimate revenge fantasy helps quell the anger.

  • One thing that had helped me is remembering that we, as the sane parent, are playing the long game. The kids are confused, they probably think it’s great that they get to go visit the house with the indoor pool and all the fun gifts! They don’t understand why you are begrudging them their happiness with their dad. They don’t understand the adult dynamics yet. Just know that one day they will realize how fucked up the situation is. They won’t remember specific things you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Did you make them feel like they had to pick a side, like they couldn’t tell things to you, like they were responsible for sparing your feelings? Be honest with them, but make sure they know that they are loved and supported and they can tell you anything. They’ll realize in 20 years what a douche their dad is, if not sooner. It’s touch being the bigger person, but those children will be adults before you know it and they will make up their own mind about their dad.

    My ex is getting married to OW next week. Our 4 year old daughter is the flower girl. She gets to wear a pretty dress and eat cake. I’m seething internally, but I hope my daughter doesn’t notice. She’s allowed to have a fun day, even if the whole situation is FUCKED UP. One day she’ll look back and think “what the hell??!?!?!?!” but for now, in her 4 year old brain she is having a fun day and doesn’t get it like I do.

    • I’m so sorry you are having to go through this. Hope you ex and the OW get horrible painful rashes on their honeymoon and are miserable. Or Jellyfish stings, or spider bites, or some other affliction.

    • Strawberry Jellyfish– hugs to you. My ex married the OW less than 6 months post divorce finalization. Kids had met her in person 1x. Since elder child did not want to attend (almost 13) youngest (10) did not get to attend. On the one hand I was relieved, but I was also upset on behalf of the youngest. Always lesser loved of the two children.

    • I’m so sorry, StrawberryJellyfish!!!!

      In my case, I had no clue The Evil One and the OWhore were getting married. He texted me on Veterans’ Day asking to spend some time with our Autistic daughter that Saturday (my weekend) and I asked for what. He wouldn’t tell me, so I didn’t allow it…a week after Thanksgiving (thanks to Facebook), I realized that they had gotten married just 60 days after our divorce was final. In their wedding picture that I saw, my daughter is there in the picture. One of the few times I am glad she is Autistic and doesn’t understand what was going on.

      To this day, The Evil One hasn’t told me they are married. I don’t know why, but when we meet to exchange DD, he keeps his hands in his pockets. It’s laughable actually.

      (((((((hugs))))))

  • I wonder if Ms Moneybags lives in one of the few states that still allow alienation of affection lawsuits or if you do? If she is so wealthy, you might be able to have a bit of fun with this and leverage him out of the house and perhaps force a favorable settlement for you and your kids.

    http://patch.com/georgia/alpharetta/only-a-few-states-recognize-alienation-of-affection-is-georgia-one-of-them

    As others have said, no more pretending to be a happy family. Any chance you can get temporary orders that include forcing him out?

  • Oh and get a digital recorder and carry it on you at all times. Record all your interactions with him. You might get “lucky” as you disengage and he might threaten you. It also protects you should he try to provoke you. Get one that is small enough to fit in your pocket.

  • Wanting, I didn’t have this problem. It breaks my heart and pisses me off – the manipulation of your DD that you’re the meanie. Infuriating. Almost unbearable, I would think. Yet, there you are…bearing it and then some. I can’t add to the excellent advice above, except to say “let him wash up” the dinner dishes is a unicorn to me. Two days was as long as I could hold out (X being a filthy pig in more ways than one).

    Hang on, you’re almost there. You’re rocking it better than most. I’m cheering you on from here.

  • Regarding the Easter weekend plans . . . let it be weird. Stop trying to manage a spectacularly crappy situation as normal.

    Maybe you can plan with your sister and friends to meet at an undisclosed local motel. If he attempts to follow you, drive to the local police station parking lot and wait for him to leave. If he still doesn’t leave, go into the station and see if the police can help you. If your sister and friends are really supporters they will be happy to help you through these difficult times and will later laugh with you about the nuttiness of Easter 2016. You are no longer required to manage his disordered world as somehow being normal. The shame of his actions belongs to him, not you.

    • Excellent idea, AliRose!!!

      My birthday weekend was recently, and I just KNEW The Evil One would try to screw up my big-blow-out plans, which he didn’t thankfully, but I dreaded the weekend for almost two months thinking of all the ways he would screw it up, had all my friends on alert, etc. He did try to get attention from me, but I ignored him as always, so it ended up being a great weekend for me!!!
      @Wanting to Be on the Other Side — make plans, don’t tell him anything and have a great weekend!!!

      I admire you — you got this!!!!

      (((((hugs)))))

  • He wants to live at home, then I’d make it as uncomfortable and extermely unpleasant as possible for him. If the other woman is so wealthy, then why isn’t he living with her?! And he’s badgering you trying to settle, because he is concerned about “his” money. After all, the OW is wealthy and he’s losing money in this divorce, he must not like that his finances are dwindling compared to her. And I agree with Ali Rose, I’d let Easter and every single moment he stays in the home be extremely weird and unpleasant, bumped up to the nth degree.

  • Hi Wanting,
    Welcome and sorry you have found yourself a part of our community. I am a recent chump, luckily we were unable to have children (I never thought I would be grateful for infertility). My future ex-husband stayed in the house for over 8 weeks. He moved out last week but is coming back on Sunday with a friend to pick up big items, one day before the 10 week anniversary of D Day. What he hasn’t done is clear out all of the small items, he still has clothes in my wardrobe. Your ex, mine and everybody else’s like to try and establish control. I fully support all the brilliant advice you have received, the less interaction you have the better. Be aware that it can get scary when they go the rage route. Mine did that before he left, I texted a friend that I didn’t feel 100% safe and asked them to come over. It wouldn’t hurt for you to do the same. Emails, texts etc. are documentation of his disordered behaviour. You are being mighty. Do whatever you have to so you and your children stay safe. Good luck.

  • I did not know how prevalent this game is! We had a large 4 bedroom house and all our children were grown. He moved out (my suggestion, thinking he needed a little “freedom” since his claim was we married too young), but only went as far as his parents’ basement efficiency apartment. We dated, he came over for coffee, we had good sex. I thought it was all fun and games…until the day he changed his Facebook status to “single” and his Fuckbitchwhore went ahead and divorced her husband and put their house on the market. In all, he moved out and moved back in three times while I sucked the hopium pipe. The last time he moved in was when he talked me out of taking a lucrative job and moving to a larger city. He said he realized I needed “commitment” from him and moved his things back in one day while I was at work.

    Within one week, he was a miserable and mean SOB and I started telling close friends I was giving it one month. At the end of that month, I started packing. He said nothing as the packages arrived that contained my new cookware, bedding, towels, accent pillows and the pile of packed boxes grew larger in our den. Four months later, I walked away from the home in which I raised my boys to take a new job in that larger city, and I couldn’t be more free.

    Looking back, it was absolutely about control. In the two years after DDay, he didn’t make a single damn decision even though he was the one who wanted to make a “change.” It was passive-aggressive control all the way. By refusing to leave, refusing to plan, refusing to change, he was forcing me to do all the hard work. He’s a coward and a people-pleaser who wants to craft the story that he is the good guy and I walked away.

    Get your ducks in a row. Enforce your boundaries. Model for your children how a strong woman should be treated (I still do that with my adult boys, overcoming the lack of training from their father), give up your emotional attachment to your home and your comfort zone and your things. Start to build new options in your mind that make financial and legal sense for you. Then be willing to get out if he won’t leave. You might even enjoy the show…imagine the confusion and horror in his mind if he sees you are willing to walk away and saddle him with the house. I am now debt free with a healthy savings, retirement and nest egg and he is mortgaged to the max with an empty four-bedroom home, 120 miles from Fuckbitchwhore.

    • Good for you, zMichelle!!!! Awesome!!!!

      One good thing about The Evil One’s shitty job history — could never be approved for a mortgage, ever. We were renters through and through. When he announced he was “done” and moved out a month later, the poor sad sausage realized his new slut-shack had a gas water heater and he didn’t have the money to get hot water turned out (sob) so what does he do? Comes back with tears in his eyes telling me that he was sorry he hurt me, that he did love me…I knew it was bullshit, but I played along and let him stay with me for a couple of weeks, then I blew up on him one night challenging his claims that we “were working things out” while he still have me blocked from his social media sites, that he was still talking to toher women, pursuing the now OWife, etc. Two weeks later, I packed up what he had brought over and never let him in my house again!

      Now, almost a year later (Glory, hallelujah, I made it!!!!) he is now working TWO jobs (hahahaaaaa, could barely keep one when we were married), is remarried to the OWhore with her two young kids (he was a shitty dad to our now 8-year-old), and is whining about having to work “60 hours a week to make sure [I] pay child support every week for [our daughter]” to which I said, “Good!!!!”

      Aaaaahhhhhh, the bliss of freedom!!!!!

  • I don’t know what kind of custody schedule you want but you could start now. If you want him to have one night a week and one weekend a month then put it in a calendar. That’s his time to be caregiver and have dinner with the kids and you can be gone. Unfortunately, he can still be there all other times but hopefully you can be gone as much as possible/ not make dinner for him/ ignore him.

  • I am so glad I didn’t have to go through this kind of shit. My condolences to those of you who were forced to cohabitate with their shiny turd.

    In my case, I kicked Dummy out immediately upon finding out about his affair. A few days later he claimed that he had every right to be in the home, which he did, and I went into preservation mode. The only reason I think he wanted to come back was to fuck with me; see if he could screw me more financially and what not. I knew I couldn’t live with this idiot, and I didn’t want to leave MY house over what he did so, I talked him into signing the Quit Claim deed to the house before I had even begun the process of re-financing. See, X hubby had no idea what a quit claim deed even was, so it wasn’t that difficult. I think I told him I wanted him to hurry and sign it because it was just a divorce thing and I was so heartbroken I wanted it over with because I couldn’t bear to see him. He’s narcissistic as to actually believe me so Yay, he signed it.

    After that, he was the only one on the mortgage, and I was the only one on the deed to the house. Once I got that filed with the city, I waited till later in the day for him to tell me he was “coming home” but will “stay in the basement”. I told him to consult his lawyer first but essentially, he could go fuck himself. His lawyer advised him to stand down because I had him in quite a pickle. Then I drank big vodka/cranberry’s as I changed the locks. (I cried in there too . . . just keeping it real)

    I got it worked into our divorce agreement that I would pay that mortgage, but that I had two years to refinance. That way I could repair the damage done to my credit due to his handiwork, before refinancing the home. I’m in the middle of that process right now and it should be final in a couple weeks. Yay Divorce!!

        • 😀 You are too!!!!

          Geeze we are all such awesome people! Look at what all of us have navigated and we are surviving and thriving and using power tools and taking care of just anything that comes up and we are doing it ALONE for the most part!!!!

          Raising a glass to CHUMP NATION AND CHUMP LADY 😀

          😀 you are awesome LovedAJackass!!!! Thank you!

    • Go you! That was pretty smart. I’m amazed that he was dumb enough to sign something without consulting his lawyer or at least thoroughly reading the document. My ex never would have done that, so I moved out.

  • Fantastic Rumblekitty. One of my favorite CL success stories. I don’t remember if you mentioned–did he sign it in front of you or did you get it back in the mail? If it was in front of you, you are extra mighty for keeping the triumph off your face. I say triumph because you were clear-headed enough to take care of business and talk him into signing!

    • I left it on the back porch when I went to work. I told him I was too heartbroken to see him so I asked that he sign it while I was gone. What a dumbass . . .

  • I hate everything that’s happening to you. It’s not fair and its not right and I’m sorry. There is nothing I have experienced in my life worse than discovering my wife’s serial and long-term infidelity. This shit hurts bad enough without having to live with the person who wrecked your life and the lives of your children behaving in the manner he is. It’s pathetic and needlessly cruel.

    You are doing a lot better job than I did trying to navigate the transition out, and I can’t imagine how I would have behaved if my wife had been taking my kids over to the affair partner’s house while still living in our home. How much more pain does this asshole need to inflict? I think what you are telling your children is perfect. They are too young to understand the dynamics of what is really happening right now, but they will get it later.

    CL gives wise counsel, to be sure, and I’m glad you have her as a resource. I sure wish I had found her site before I made all the mistakes I made. You are so lucky in that regard. I put myself in the hands of the wrong people, and I paid the price.

    The people initially talking to me told me my wife’s cheating was as much my fault as hers, because if I had made her happier then she would never have cheated. They also told me that if I really loved her unconditionally and cared about her happiness that I would be happy for her that she found men she actually enjoyed having sex with during our marriage. She was telling me she was sorry and was begging me to stay in the marriage, and my “friends” were telling me that it was just my ego and my faulty belief system (the belief that she owed me duties of honesty and fidelity) that was the foundation of the entire crisis.

    I was a basket case upon learning of the cheating to begin with, and letting those people in my ear for months before finding a qualified counselor had me wondering what was wrong with me that I could not just forgive it all and go forward in the marriage. I felt defective and almost didn’t come back. I’ll never forget the last words these “enlightened” people told me when I went to find a counselor: “If you go to any counselor who tells you your feelings are valid, they are not your friend.” It’s amazing to me what bad advice you can get, and how you will grasp at anything that looks like a life preserver when you’re drowning.

    You are in the right place for sound advice. Be strong, stick to your guns (not literally), and know this will not last forever. We care about you here.

    • JK – Your post brought me to tears. It is indeed so unfair that you had to deal with your shitty wife’s infidelity AND poisonous advice from people you considered “friends”!

      You are super mighty to have gotten the strength to find an IC and see through your XW and “friends”‘ betrayals. It sounds like you have found a good IC that is helping you take good care of yourself and get to Meh/acceptance of the incredibly hurtful shit sandwiches all of us chump have to gobble down. Have you read Patrick Carnes’ “Betrayal Bonds” and Lisa Lewis’ “Restoring Hope And Trust: An Illustrated Guide To Mastering Trauma?”

      These books have been helping me process my past so it does not pollute my present nor determine my future.

      I am glad you found CN JK, and hope you are well on your way to Meh!

      • Chumptitude – Thank you for your kind remarks. The pain and disorientation were almost more than I could bear, and I was so vulnerable that I listened to some bad advice which took me a long way off course before I regained some sense of balance and composure. I look back and shake my head.

        I’m not around the bases yet by a long shot, but I have rounded second for sure and am heading for third. I have a good counselor (whose first order of business was to make sure I understood that I did not cause the serial cheating, and that my belief that she owed me a duty of fidelity and honesty was valid). My divorce will have been final one year the day after tomorrow.

        I have not read the books you mention, but I will. I have bought so many books on recovering from trauma, infidelity, codependency and living on purpose, etc. that it’s almost humorous. I still have a long way to go to get through them. I have not read a mindless novel in two years! Ha.

        Still, I read first the books I see recommended on this site, because I value your judgment. Thanks again for your kind words and your book recommendations. Goodnight, Chumptitude. Be well.

        • You must be a lot stronger than you think, JK, to have survived that unbelievable mind warping crap fed to you by those first “counsellors”. I’m pretty sure I would have crumbled under that kind of BS or strangled someone. No one should ever have to listen to such soul-destroying advice, particularly after the crushing trauma of infidelity. It is staggering in its cruelty and ignorance. I hope your children rise up and call you amazing some day.

        • JK, YAY on your upcoming divorsary! I hope you’ll pick up a fun mindless book as your gift for being so mighty!!

          • Thank you, Chumptitude, and I think a mindless book is a great idea. I’ll bet I can find a Clive Cussler around here somewhere:)

    • “If you go to any counselor who tells you your feelings are valid, they are not your friend.”

      Ha! Unless, of course, YOU had an affair. Then, your feelings would be put on a pedestal. Isn’t it great how the RIC works? I’ve decided there are only two ways to have your feelings count for anything when you are in a relationship with an unrepentant cheater:

      1) LEAVE
      2) Have an affair yourself (this may make other things much worse, but your feelings might actually be “valid” now)

      • It was interesting that one of the first things that happened in counseling was to validate my feelings. I really needed that, and it gave me a sense of relief. I have since read in a number of places that one of the most important needs of a person who has been traumatized is to have their feelings validated. Was true for me.

    • Uuurgggggh! I’m so sorry. Sadly, I understand, between the ex, the RIC and the ex’s co-horts, I heard many of the same things. My ex-husband changed his shtick to “I wouldn’t have done this if you’d gotten help sooner.” I was struggling with shyness, anxiety and possibly depression. (Who wouldn’t be depressed living with a spouse who keeps inflicting pain on you?). My ex also said many other hurtful things, including telling me that I’m NOT NORMAL. So, I really felt like I was defective.

      The thing that has really hurt me for years though is that I did “get help” for quite some time and I still struggle sometimes. Especially, with the crap my ex said, I had a tendency to isolate and avoided being alone with a friend as much as possible for years. I felt like I was more of a curse than a blessing on friends. I thought at least being in a group meant other people were there to mitigate me being boring and awkward. Now, that I finally have a best friend, I sometimes struggle with fear that she is going to end up thinking the same things my ex did and stop wanting to be around me because of my shyness and social awkwardness. We even had a good conversation about this that should help me feel better, but the fears still linger a little sometimes. I’m afraid that having the fears is going to make me more nervous and sort of help to create a self fulfilling prophecy. I really don’t understand why cheaters have to be so cruel.

      • That’s standard cheater drivel, JannaG. Ex told me that people think I “act weird” and nobody wanted to be around me. That’s another reason to expose this buullshit. I did act different but nobody knew why. Except him of course, and he could take that opportunity to embellish the story of how crazy I was and how saintly he was. Now when anyone else acts different all of a sudden I suspect they have been cheated on. I’m usually right.

  • “They also told me that if I really loved her unconditionally and cared about her happiness that I would be happy for her that she found men she actually enjoyed having sex with during our marriage.”

    AAARRRRGGGHHHH!!! Where’s a broadsword when you need one!? Jeezus Kee-rist!

  • Is there any way I can ask for you advise for a lawyer in my state?? I can not ask here since I am afraid of the “big brother” …. If you have a link or are able to say a name & state in one of the forum let me know.. In my case I would really need a pitbull lawyer he has done a lot of financial disasters and on top of that cheated & he uses part of my credit to keep us afloat. I amReally a chump. POS.

    • About the “Big Brother”: When I was trying to figure out what my ex was up to, I installed keylogger software on his computer. I made the mistake of telling him how I caught him. He did a factory reinstall on his computer and I was unable to track what he was doing after that. Nowadays, you can also buy a “burner phone” pretty cheap. Tracfone sells some pretty cheap smart phones and prepaid phone cards that could be used for emailing, calling, texting, etc. The phone could be kept at a trusted friends house or at the office. I also made the mistake of having my pay stubs at the house, my mother in law took them and did some math to ensure I wasn’t spending more than I should be. So, I would not have paycheck stubs, receipts, bank stubs, etc anywhere the big brother can have access to them.

      I tried to live with my ex for about 4 months into the divorce process. I finally decided the house wasn’t worth it and moved out.

  • I am struck by this statement: “I accept any help with [the girls} that he offers.” You were indeed mighty to figure out what he was up to, to get the divorce process moving, to stand up against his taking your kids to his mistress’s home. If there was a “cake eaters” entry in the cheater dictionary, this jackass would be the illustration. But take a look at this statement and you’ll see a place where you can change what you can–your own pattern of thought about him. Of course he’s fighting for custody–he can get 50/50, pay no child support and drop the kids off with the OW’s four. It’s clear by what you say above that he doesn’t take adult responsibility–he “offers help.” They are his kids. Make it clear that if he is going to live in the house, he cooks his own meals, washes his own clothes, cleans up his mess in the kitchen or bathroom, and does HIS SHARE with the kids. He’s looking for that sweet spot where he doesn’t have to pay and he doesn’t have to actually raise the kids. He doesn’t have to cook or clean. He has cake. Cake! And kibbles because he can harass you in a dozens different ways.

    As to Easter, tell him, out of earshot of the kids, that you have plans for the weekend with your family. Give him a window of time when he can have his holiday time with the kids. If he wants to go along, tell him “No.” And “no” doesn’t require elaboration. Just–NO. Of course the kids will be upset and of course they like it when he’s around for dinner with the “family.” Kids do hopium, too. The best thing you can do is get them grounded in the world as it exists when dad has a girlfriend. Be civil. Be kind. Be firm. Be gray rock.

    Give some thought to whether the house is worth what you are going through. There may be good reasons to hunker down, set boundaries and ignore him until he goes. Or it may be that cutting lose and getting the kids and yourself into a healthier environment would be worth it. You have an opportunity to observe, first hand, exactly how he manipulates you, the kids, other people. Study him like you’re an entomologist and he is a foul cockroach under the microscope. You’ll be dealing with his dysfunctional, cruel behavior until your kids are grown. This is your chance to break the patterns in your own thinking that give him power and leave you powerless.

  • “Get great big buffers. Your sister is coming? Awesome. Can she move in?”

    I was thinking the same thing! My first thought was “Hey, maybe she could move her mom in. Men are usually thrilled to have their mother-in-law move in right? hahaha He is insistent upon making her feel stressed and uncomfortable at home. Why not return the favor? Perhaps, it will make him decide to leave.

  • Mine tells me over and over he wants to come home. All he wants is his life back! Poor baby, should had thought of that before he took his trouser off.

    He feels I only focus on one thing, the affair, not everything he has done or said since. The problem is… He killed our marriage.

  • Dear Wanting,
    I’m sorry I was on vacation and just saw this. I could have written your letter! It is so close to my situation that I had to re-read it. CL has great advice. Follow it. I too had the husband who refused to leave the house until the last minute negotiated by our attorneys. We thought police involvement might be necessary to enforce his leave date. Just remember CL is right, this is finite. Your kids won’t understand and you can’t make them. There will be a point where you can explain how much their father hurt you and that self-respect is important. *big hugs* I know how hard this is.

    My biggest advice is to be as No Contact as possible, send it all to the attorney, don’t think about cost right now think about time, move this shit show along to a big finale. No Contact is the path to the truth and the light. You won’t believe what your mind does once you are free of the obfuscation and gas lighting and mind fuckery!

  • In case you’re still reading this, I would also add (not having read all the above comments): One of the hardest things for me about the whole process was making a huge mental shift from this person I had devoted so much of my life to, my heart, my love … is suddenly the enemy. Mere days previously, I would’ve been willing to lay down my life for him, and suddenly he’s someone I have to navigate around and counterparry.

    I imagine this is easier for some of us than for others, but, as CL said, put on your Celtic warrior helmet and do battle. Even if you don’t FEEL like that person, you must BE that person. You’ll have to deal with the emotional and psychological complications on your own time, because you can’t count on any help from him, the man who until recently was the center of your universe. He’s someone else now. And so must you become, as well.

    Wishing you strength and support.

  • I had rented a 3 bedroom apt near a hospital when I caught my X cheating. I worked in a prison and had been assaulted by an inmate on heroin. I was in rough shape. My husband had a drug felony on record. Most apt complexes do not allow felons with drug records. He had lied on his application. Most agencies do not check Federal Criminal data bases. They usually only check the home state records. I told my husband to pack up he was shipping out. He attempted to argue. I told him I turned his record over to the apt complex manager and they would be serving him papers to get out. He shut up and packed in 2 hours and was gone. I still didn’t trust him so I moved to another location and never put in a change of address with the courts. Just my attorney. I moved out of the city and into the country to a secure location. One of the first things I did was purchase a gun. I have been divorced since 2012 and still have a loaded pistol next to my bed. So those of us living in apts or rental homes should be aware that if their partner/spouse has a record they could be evicted by the landlord. If your on good terms with the landlord they will keep your name on the lease and evict the other party.

  • I am new to this blog-but this post is my life right now. My husband told me he needed time to decide if the OW was the one he wanted. I got a lawyer. Now he won’t leave because this is HIS HOUSE- we are both doctors but since he is a surgeon he ears3x what I do. His OW is his OR nurse (so cliche) with 3 kids under 6! He lives in the guest room and comes and goes as he pleases. He spends the night at her house and the kids ask me where he is. I say, “I don’t know”. When he is home he follows me around when I am cooking and doing laundry and tries to engage me. I have done the screaming banshee thing and now just don’t react. I have blocked him from my phone and he can only email me. I have told him I don’t want the OW in my house- which he responded that he will get a court order to not allow MY family in the house if I write that into the agreement. THIS IS HELL. I get anxiety driving home from work…will he be home? Is he at her house? Either way it is a punch in the gut. He told me the kids will LOVE her in the end because they will see how happy HE his with her and how toxic our marriage was (we have been married mostly happily for 18 years!) Our kids are 11 and14… I can’t imagine they will think this!

  • Married nearly 50 years and have put up with his cheating ways.

    But no more as in Xmas 2015 found out he was at it again this time with two woman one a close friend, which had been going on for over four years as she is now in Australia it was left to emails and texts so very heartbreaking, the betrayal broke me especially as she is the same age as one of our sons. The other one is a mystery he has refused to divulge any information and says he remembers nothing, l will not be treated like a fool any longer he has broken our family into pieces as our sons and family will now have nothing to do with him and we have two beautiful grandchildren.

    He has said for many years he wants out and would be happy in an apartment on his own so we have sold some property but now he is making no effort to go and as it was his choice l am at the end of my rope dealing with this.

    Not a great position to be in when you are 70, so humiliating.

    Any help or advice would be so very welcome.
    🐝

  • Very similar situation. My soon to be ex won’t leave the house either. He has been a drunk and verbally abusive most of our 8 year marriage but it got worse in the last 2-3 years. He will wake me up while sleeping and call me a piece of shit and a whore. He has done literally nothing for our daughter. He has never gone out of the house except to work and has no friends. He has never been to a doctor, dentist or anything for our daughter. He drinks coffee, beer and energy drinks, smokes and eats once a day. My daughter even said “why don’t you guys just spit up”. He finally started talking to a woman he met online and they “fell in love” although he has never met her in person. I found out and that was the tipping point I needed. I filed. He has ignored everything. He was served, ignored. He is currently in default. Once he found out that I filed, he became Super Daddy to our impressionable 6 year old daughter and now she wants me to try to keep our family together. It has gone back to normal, he is no longer Super Dad but she still doesn’t want him to leave and I can’t get him to go find something because he just simply has too much social anxiety to go anywhere.

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