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Remarry Your Ex?

weddingplansThis weekend the New York Times featured a story on remarrying exes, “You Married Them Once, But What About Twice?” — an idea most of us would find as repellent as plucking our eyes out with a plastic spork.

But no, in this era of Conscious Uncoupling, why not stay friends and later admit that you miss the ol’ bugger?

“Many people don’t ever account for the fact that after the intensity of the separation and divorce dies down, there will come a time when they’ll actually miss their spouse,” said Michele Weiner-Davis, a marriage therapist and director of the Divorce Busting Center in Boulder, Colo. “And they think, what could I have done differently? That’s when they begin to wonder whether they made a mistake.”

Weiner-Davis, as you’ll recall, is the infidelity genius who gave us the “180.” Perhaps if you perfect #18 — “Do not be nasty, angry or even cold – just pull back and wait to see if spouse notices and, more important, realize what she will be missing” — you can win them back! Wouldn’t that be awesome?

“People really can change through loss,” said Wendy Paris, author of “Splitopia: Dispatches From Today’s Good Divorce and How to Part Well.” “They don’t change through criticism in a contentious marriage.”

“After divorce, your ex still has your words in her head,” Ms. Paris said. “She could change into someone you get along with a lot better. Also, you might change. You could become more confident and reconnected to important parts of yourself once you’re no longer locked in the adversarial position-taking that often develops in a bad marriage. That confidence or clarity can translate into being more generous and magnanimous of spirit, more accepting.”

Ms. Weiner-Davis concurs, saying, “Very often they come to the relationship with a new maturity and a willingness to learn how things got in disrepair to begin with, and they’re more willing to take a look at what each person can do differently so that they don’t find themselves in the same position again.”

I wonder if these shrinks ever wonder what creates a “contentious marriage”? Could it be that there is actual validity to one’s criticisms?

Look, unless you’re a vapid Hollywood creature (of the sort profiled in this article), you’ve probably divorced for very painful, deal-killing reasons — like infidelity, untreated mental illness, or addiction, to name but a few.

The undercurrent of this How to Part Well narrative is that your divorce reasons were frivolous and immature. You were overly critical and head-strong! You lacked confidence and self-assuredness! You needed artistic space!

Moreover, this narrative of the mysterious Contentious Marriage is that both parties are equally at fault. You both have to be “more willing to take a look at what each person can do differently.” Oh hey Michele, you know what I started doing differently? I stopped being a chump.

Thank goodness for the voice of sanity in this article:

“Very, very few try to start over again,” said Nancy Kalish, a former psychology professor at California State University, Sacramento, who has been studying divorced couples for decades.

Most divorced people “don’t ever want to speak to each other again, and some struggle to do so for the good of their children,” she said.

It’s nice that these misguided older people decided that living in Sedona wasn’t as important as reconnecting with a Hollywood producer who lives in a 10,000 square-foot building in Manhattan. I mean, that could happen to any of us.

If these folks are happier for reconnecting decades later? God bless. If you’re able to do that, and have the raw materials to work with (i.e., a nice person who just leaves his shoes in the hall), I wonder why you didn’t have the strength of character to stick it out in the first place.

You grew, you evolved, you reassessed? You wanted someone age appropriate? That’s remarkable. And aspirational.

And has absolutely no bearing on 99.9 percent of the rest of us. Most people want to bond. For someone who is committed, it takes a tremendous amount of distress and trauma to sever marital bonds.

If you divorced because someone didn’t understand your artistic vision, or you wanted to be “more” than a wife and mother? Glad you grew up. The truly disordered never do.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I had a wonderful therapist. In the early days of questioning, “what could I have done differently????” his response, “leave”.

    My only regret is that I didn’t leave sooner. Now I try to be grateful for having gotten out.

    • Same here Freedom. I knew the first D-day I should have listen to my inner voice and leave the bastard. I also recall someone asked me if the ex could ask me to get back together would I and without even thinking about it I said NO to her and fast. Still makes me feel dirty that I was with him for almost 20 years or so. Gross man and his ow now wife!!!!

    • Oh, Freedom I love the ‘leave’ comment from your therapist. Such insight came many years later for me when I finally found a therapist who was honest and blunt. Such truth is needed.

  • Marry asswipe again. NEVER!! I will never marry again. Relationships are great til they aint. Im 60 and too old for this shit.

      • Agreed. I’m 40 and after a disastrous marriage, and dating a whole lot of douche bags I am DONE. I can’t even bring myself to date anymore. To me a fun night involves a bubble bath, good wine and a book. More than happy to become a little old cat lady.

          • I wish I felt the same way, you guys. I like men and I miss having one around. Maybe the “pug lady” thing will evolve over time. It’s been 18 months without any significant male contact and I’m not happy about it.

            • Fifi,
              Like you, I don’t fall into the camp that wants to be partnerless forever (‘done with men’). I miss the company of a Significant Other. Two weeks after boyfriend/friend of 30 years (so I thought) dumped me without warning, I am too demolished to feel like dating anyone. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want a loyal, long-term Significant Other.

              • I hear that. I think perhaps our inner state rather than arbitrary time passage is the best barometer of whether we’re ready to date again. But that being said, you are only two weeks out from a major body blow from someone you thought you could trust. Of course you’re demolished; you’ve been run over by a mack truck and left for dead. But (middle finger to him) you’re not dead. After a time possibilities for happines will start to appear like the crocuses and paperwhites that are popping up from the ground in my area of the world. Why is it that the bastards have someone else in the time it takes for us to say WTF? and we don’t, and some of us never will? Say what you like about how much better it is to have “space for personal growth,” it’s not fair and I think it stinks. Oh well, we play the hand we’re dealt. I do hope there is a lovely man in your future and in mine (not the same one, of course…)

      • I am throwing my hat into the “i don’t see it happening again” camp. At 44 and 2 years out of the whole mess; i consider myself too old for this shit too. Bring on the cats…. oh or my current case dog!!

        • 44 is way too young to throw in the towel. You’ll have plenty of time to regroup, but having a dog cannot be beat.

    • Cohabitate; maybe. Marry; NOPE… No more bound by a legal contract/common law crap to cohabitate for me… Seems a chance for WAY too much to lose and nothing to gain. Eff a piece of paper that binds me financially to another, for this 49 Y/O retired dude who wants no more kids. I like not having to work, and nothing is going to jeopardize this fantastic situation. My .02.

      • I might be able to sometime in the future being exclusive but i wont even cohabitate. That way if we get on each others nerves we each have a place to go. Live with a man again uh no.

  • From 18th Century English lexicographer Samuel Johnson’s DICTIONARY. Second Marriage: “The triumph of hope over experience.”

  • its old shoe syndrome. Everybody has a pair. That go to pair of shoes. You try on some new shoes… Get a blister…. Popped the old shoes back on. You hang onto them and say stuff like’ i can use them for yard work’ You are just an old shoe.
    12 billion people on the planet…. Dont be a fucking old shoe.

    Oh… And as I said before… ‘ not only would you have to hold a gun to my head to go back… You would have to unload the the clip’

  • I would rather put thumbtacks in my eyes and walk into on-coming traffic before I remarry my un-educated, self-centered, entitled, ungrateful, thoughtless, selfish, narcissistic (I can go on here) x-wife.

    I paid 46k in attorney fees to divorce her because she was trying to take everything by trying to put me in jail for crimes I never committed (accused me of abuse, sexual abuse of both her and our daughter and all accusations were proven false and I won them in separate trials).

    And I finally cut the last of the cord and terminated Alimony this month because she is engaged and bought a house with her long (OM) person she was dating while still married and living with me. She figured as long as they did not get married that I would keep paying alimony. She obviously never read the divorce documents.

    No fucking way would I ever go back to that. I rather hit spencer’s and pick up a blow up doll and spend the rest of my life with it.

    • Lothos–congrats on the no further alimony to cheaterchick. Ditto on the blow up doll for me. (On that theme, ever seen Lars and the Real Girl? charming movie about a man who has such a relationship)

  • When Mr. Sparkles and I sat down to attempt to discuss the divorce papers I had drafted, he stopped and looked misty-eyed (could’ve been a bug)… and said, “Wouldn’t it be romantic if after the divorce we find our way back to loving each other again.”

    Hmm… I’m not the one who got lost in #4’s thighs, sweetheart… nor am I the one still cruising AFF.

    As the penguins say in Madagascar… “Smile and wave, boys… smile and wave.”

    • You reminded me of what my ex said, “we can get back together someday, maybe in a couple years, as long as you don’t sleep with anybody else.” I loled right in his face at that one.

      • Asswipe wants the whore he lives with his harem and me on the string but the girls have to be faithful or he will dump them. What an asshole always eas a do what i say not as i do kind of person. Idiot.

      • OMG….I can’t stop laughing at that one, “as long as you don’t sleep with anyone else!!!”””

      • This is actually a pretty common statement from the cheater. The OW in my case said the same thing to her now ex. She said “Who knows – maybe we’ll get married again!” as she was moving out to be with my now ex.

        These fuckers are amazing.

      • Lol! Of course they said that. They can sleep with whoever they want whenever they want, but if you do then trouble. Because that is logical

        While we were going through wreckonciliation (which thankfully only lasted about a month before I saw the light) I was told the same thing. We were only engaged, had broken it off, and seeing a counsellor. He of course saw us as single and told me I had best not see anyone else or it would be too difficult. Only to discover my intuition was true and he was sleeping with someone 15 years younger while he said that. But of course because in his mine he must spread his love, be free, and try to still have cake. I wonder if to them that is truly logical.

        • They don’t want you to have sex with anyone else because you will see how sorry they (the cheater ) is in bed, lol.

          • Good point Anita. I actually wondered if I was asexual or something because he was my first real sex partner and I didn’t enjoy sex with him. After we split I had a new partner and realized ex had just not been good at it.

            • I think the whole business about how “affair sex” is so great is a lie, cause most of the cheaters are selfish, lazy lovers. I think they just don’t want to admit it’s about the same as any other sex, lol. Probably even worse.

      • What a fucking asshole. I heard similar from my POS x-wife, talking to my daughter:

        “I don’t care if he finds someone, as long as she is not as pretty as me, just kidding”

        Yeah, fucking right, just kidding. Jesus, are these cheaters a mess of self centered, hypocritical, dog shit.

        • ‘The Great I Am’s sister is also a cheater who finally found an OM she would rather be with than the man she was married to for 27 years. After some time, he went on to have a relationship with a woman he’d known when he was at school (and had dated for a while). Mutual friends told cheater XSIL that the new girlfriend looked like her – and XSIL was delighted – laughing about how this showed he still wanted her. It never entered her head (or my xBIL – until I pointed it out) – that no, it showed that XSIL LOOKED like the new girlfriend – given he’d met her first. Yep, egotistical, hypocritical.

    • Xopath gave me the same speech on DD. Something along the lines of we’d get a d, be besties forever, he’d intro OW as ‘new’ gf, they’d eventually break up & we’d get remaried.
      In the interim, I could dance my ass off waiting like a good good until I won jive ass motherfucker (my fave pet name for xhole) back. Unicorns! Glitter! Cupcakes for all! Dumbass.

  • I missed my ex for about five minutes after he left. That was when I was still under delusion that our marriage had been real at some point and that he was a partner to some degree. Then when I started to gain clarity and noticed how much more time I had on my hands, I realized the truth. I had been doing all the work in the relationship, including taking care of him like he was one of the children. Actually, prioritizing his wants over the children’s needs because he insisted on it. My poor kids :(. No, I will not be remarrying him.

    • THIS: “Then when I started to gain clarity and noticed how much more time I had on my hands, I realized the truth. I had been doing all the work in the relationship, including taking care of him like he was one of the children.”

      Exactly, JBaby. Even in the depths of grief and rage, I was amazed at how much lighter my workload was and how peaceful life had become. He really behaved like a spoiled child in the relationship — everything was about his wants and needs.

    • Same here, JBaby! My EH left my house in Nov, 2013. I was upset for exactly one week after he left my house, and after that week, I felt lighter and less stressed and realized then, “I’ll never allow him to step foot back in this house ever again”. Fast fwd to Tax Day, April 2014 and he’s blowing up my phone saying he “broke it off with AP and wants to come home”. I responded, “You’re not coming back to my house, I don’t care who you’ve broken up with”. I think it took him 6 min to get back together with the AP. He’s now living with her, unemployed for going on almost 2 years, the AP is paying for everything and doing all the work. If he was the last man on Earth, I wouldn’t take him back. Even being the last man on Earth, he’d create drama and turmoil I’m not interested in!

  • I was only 20 when I married…56 when I divorced…lived 36 years with a controlling selfish vile narc who alienated our children that I tenderly raised against me, slept with a trashy whore co worker whose children have different fathers for the 3 years I had to live with him to get half the house proceeds and fight him in court for other assets costing me over $20,000 dollars and still climbing! Is this lady kidding…I tell everyone don’t get married it’s a trap!

    • I don’t think marriage is a “trap.” It’s a wonderful blessing when you’ve got a good one. Most of the bad marriages you find here were never marriages to begin with. I wouldn’t even describe them as “bad marriages” — they were cons.

      In that sense, being in a con game (being unknowingly chumped) IS a trap. But marriage is something all together different.

      • CL, I have commented before that my sister has been married for 45 years to a great chap. They have not had an easy run but they walked together side by side all the way and supported each other in everything.
        As you stated, “being in a con game (being unknowingly chumped) IS a trap. But marriage is something all together different”. So true. My sister was and still is in a marriage and I was in the con game!!

      • Remarry Fat Bastard? Not if he were told plated and had a 50 karet diamond up his ass.

        I might glove up and go after the diamond though…

      • Yep CL, I think the hardest thing to wrap my head around is my marriage was a con. Gaslighter just did whatever he wanted to while pretending to be a loving and loyal partner. I now clearly see the way he managed down my expectations, withheld sex, the constant lies, subtle put downs, lack of empathy, mind games and intentional fights over nothing. Do these Narcissist/Sociopaths have this as their conscious plan from the beginning? Or is this just the way they operate in general? Mine was always about getting away with things… Why didn’t I put 2 & 2 together? Cognitave dissonance is a dangerous thing. Being lied to for 38 years is soul killing. It’s been 2 years since D-Day #4 (OMG) and I am slowly finding myself grateful for getting away from him. No pick me dance, Schmoopie can have him. It’s hard that my boys, 18 and 28 don’t get it yet. Society needs to learn to recognize Cluster B’s. Long term Covert Emotional abuse is a serious thing.

        • ChumpChange

          You nailed it with “Long term covert emotional abuse is serious.” When my therapist said he was a narcissist/sociopath I had trouble coming to terms with this until I researched covert narcissists and it described him to a tee. Throughout our relationship I believed he couldn’t make plans. I recall this being something I related to a previous therapist years ago. Yet living a double life with three children requires incredible planning. Personally, it I believe it speaks to their personality disorder and yes it relied on conscious planning right from the start with the Limited.

        • CC – downthread, I mention that I reviewed my journal entries from the early days. Everything you mention here was also my reality. After 13 years of the covert abuse, I wondered if I’d ever recover. I’m very impressed that you see it with such clarity when yours lasted 38 years and thank you for the articulate summary of our shared circumstances.

        • Chump change Nacrs/Sociopaths/character disordered whatever you want to call them have this as a conscious plan from the beginning AND it’s the way the act in general. It isn’t either/or. This is how they operate in the world.
          They want a marriage as a nice soft landing, a place to regroup and recharge from the world which to them is horribly complicated and a very dangerous place. They are extremely paranoid as they think everyone else operates and thinks they way they do so they’re always waiting to be abused or attacked or used. They trust no one because they think everyone is like them. Once they leave the safety of their parents home they need another place to call home and someone else who has their back the way a biological family does so he picks someone out and makes one. It’s a case of “you’ll do.” When they see others marry they think that’s the motivation behind their marriages too, they think everyone does it for a safety net, the love connection and symbolism of marriage is lost on them.
          It took me a long time to figure out that what the ex did to me wasn’t personal. He didn’t treat me in such a deranged and emotionally abusive way and treat everyone else in the world better. He treated everyone that way, his parents, his children, the other women, work colleagues everyone. Nobody has value to them.
          They robotically go through life not feeling anything and absolutely don’t understand that other people do. They just don’t feel. Asking them to feel emotions or empathy is like asking a blind man to describe the color red.
          Your treatment wasn’t about you, he will never change but once you’re away from him you will because you can heal.
          There is light at the end of the tunnel, just keep going.

          • Ninja

            While the disordered are similar in many ways the Limited was not paranoid. The belief he held as a covert narcissist was that I was the only one who he couldn’t get along with. Everyone else saw him differently. Coverts are very cunning and the Limited did not treat everyone this way. Image control is very important and this is how they maintain control for so very long, or at least in my case. I believe it is VERY personal. When someone admits it was about the thrill of the chase with a smirk after the discard I was assured he knew exactly who he was. I could write pages upon pages of just how deliberate his actions were. I used to believe he was a timid forest creature. Hmmm…not any more. While there are numerous labels we can attach to the disordered there are people who do suffer from mental illness and do not cheat. I do agree with the fact he will treat the OW the same way. The infatuation stage is over, devaluation has started..you know the drill. Next. Cheating is a decision. Leading a double life is a choice. There are no more free passes for the Limited, it was very personal.

            • Donna I hear you. Please don’t think that what I wrote in anyway is meant as an apology for these bastards or an attempt to justify their behavior. I absolutely think they are accountable for every despicable action they engage in and every degrading thing they’ve subjected us to. The fact that they don’t think like a normal person never excuses the things they chose to do.
              They may not understand things the way we do but they do understand societies rules and laws so they should still abide by them and I agree with you they are fully capable of abiding by them. They have a CHOICE.
              It is personal in that it has affected us personally and they could have chosen NOT to hurt us, I 100% agree with you there. The Limited did have a choice, he shouldn’t have done it, he’s an asshole. I guess what I was trying to say is that I don’t believe it’s personal in that he hunted YOU in particular out to marry and abuse and cheat on. He would have done it to whatever unfortunate woman married him. And he will do it to the next.
              I’m glad we’re both well out of it. They’re crazy fuckers with no place in the normal world.

              • Ninja and Donna, I agree with all your points. But Ninja, I do think they have a place in the world- somewhere else! Cheaters- do whatever kinky things you want, with all those pathetic, delusional partners, it’s your life, just don’t do it while your pretending to be a husband to me! K?
                You know how I am positive he knew exactly what he was doing? He hid it. He hid it from me, the kids, and specific friends of ours. And that takes a LOT of work. Too exhausting for me! I like an easy, honest, life, like the one I have now.

              • Thanks Ninja. I really needed this. I really really struggle with blaming myself for everything. I’m a lot better but it’s just so hard. People tell me all the time it’s not my fault, but I just really struggle believing it. I don’t know why.

              • Yes, Ninja we are so on the same page. You are so right about the victimization. I never knew what I was up against.

          • Wow. This is so powerful and so much of this resonates with me. It sounds so much like my ex. He wasn’t awful and cruel to me. He was just completely unable to see me as a real human with feelings and needs. I just just a thing to him and once I was not of use I was discarded. He is immediately marrying OW because he likes marriage. Marriage makes his life easier. She is just as disordered as him, but I don’t think it will work out, certainly not for 12 years like us. Maybe they will prove me wrong though.

            • This all resonates with me too, I remember when we were dating, not married yet and he said to his Mother “She’s a keeper”, like he was fishing and I was chosen one, the one he decided to keep. Those words haunt me today.

              I’ve watched many youtube video’s about covert narcissists and his behavior was exactly what was explained all through our marriage and there were lots of times he’d push me to far and then reel me back in like a fish with the love bombing and gifts. He also had some Malignant narcissist traits as well, he completely destroyed my self esteem over the years and the cheating (finally caught) just finished me off. I’m lucky I survived! He hurt so many people and continues on like he did nothing. My prayer is he implodes one day even though I know it’s wrong to feel that way. I just want things settled with him so I can have my own life again, he’s stolen enough of my time,

          • Wow, you are so right that they treat everyone with disregard. Mine was an only child, and when his mother died, he didn’t ever have a memorial service for her. I don’t even think he did an obiturary in the town she lived in for most of her life. I have her ashes. He has hurt business partners, involved them in lawsuits (one ongoing) and has no regard for truth. I think he was a reasonably good Dad, in that he always was at his son’s sporting events and such, but in hindsight he was not setting an example of good ethics and morals. I was the one teaching manners, morals and the importance of having good character. My boys don’t have a clue about Cluster B’s. I hope one day they will grasp what their father did to all of us. Cold hearted monsters, leaving a swath of destruction in their paths.

        • My friends don’t really get that. Emotional abuse really does a number on you. They keep asking me if I’m over it yet. No I’m not. I’m still somewhat in the what the hell happened stage

    • If i can at all possibly convince my lids not to marry. I will. In this day and age of cheating and dishonesty i personally dont think its a good idea. But that my opinion. My son is a man whore like his father and my daughter is trustworthy and decent like me. Live together and keep financials totally seperate. The ex screwed me by giving that bitch my car to drive and extending our credit and credit card to her and her family. Almost stroked out on that. I fixed it and who does that shit to a faithful partner. Marry him again. Never!!!

      • Better to teach them to take their time and really get to know their partner before making ANY kind of commitment, because in many jurisdictions, just the fact you haven’t signed any marriage documents doesn’t protect you financially. In much of Canada, 2 years living common-law OR a child together makes you married, with rights to assets purchased during the time the relationship lasted, rights to spousal support if you’ve been a stay-at-home parent, etc. And whether or not you’re married, there are always custody issues and child-support money to argue over!

        I live in Quebec, one of the last jurisdictions where there is no such common-law rule. It worked out for me, but for many people it doesn’t. It most often harms women who stay home with small children, then are screwed if their partner cheats or there’s a divorce for any other reason.

        I’m finding the book ‘How Not to Marry a Jerk’ really useful, LOTS of food for thought!

        • KarenE – I’m not so sure about the, what would appear to be perfectly rational and sane advice, take the time. ‘The Great I Am’ and I courted for 2 years then lived together for 4 years before we got married. Yes, there were some red flags (hell, I was 37 when I met him and he was 42 – you have to figure there’s going to be some baggage from both of us, which was my flavour of spackle) plus you kind of weigh the good against the bad don’t you? Unfortunately, he was a marvellous actor, an accomplished liar and a master manipulator. D Day, the grand unmasking and then the ‘gloves off’ major emotional abuse came as such a shock because of how 6 years of ‘getting to know him’ didn’t prepare me one jot for what he was really capable of.

          I honestly don’t know how I could protect myself from another narc of his ilk – other than to demand complete perfection, and I know I couldn’t give perfection (I’m not a cheater but y’know I don’t wake up looking like a supermodel, I don’t cook cordon bleu, I’m not always 100% patient and understanding etc etc) so how could I demand it from someone else? Nope, I’m not getting on the ‘relationship train’ again. I couldn’t risk going through anything like the hell ‘The Great I Am’ put me through.

          • Hi Jayne, I was the same as you, we dated for 18 months before moving in together. We were together for just over 5 years before getting married (3 1/2 years living together). I am bringing everyone I date around to one of my friends, he picked that my STBX changed about two years ago. Hopefully he can help me pick better in the future.

            • Hi kimhopes,

              My sister used to have a pitbull terrier that was a big softy and never barked at anyone – except for both my husbands (first one wasn’t a cheater but was definitely a wingnut) – true story! 😀

              Sadly, the dog has died now.

              • KarenE -“In much of Canada, 2 years living common-law OR a child together makes you married, with rights to assets purchased during the time the relationship lasted, rights to spousal support if you’ve been a stay-at-home parent, etc”

                Just FWI and sorry to highjack the thread a bit, but all my relatives live in Canada and most of the provinces call over 2 yrs a common-law marriage and, I assume, all that marriage legalities are concerned. (not sure)

                We had a guy who hired a house-mate to cook, clean and look after him. She was with him over 5 yrs when he died. The ‘housekpeeper’ contested the sizable will that, not only was she a housekeeper/caretaker but also a lover of his. (these are really old folks) and, guess what? Yup, since nobody could prove otherwise, she got all his moolah. All other relatives cut out.

                Nice job if you can get it.

          • You know I did see him with the mask off many times during our marriage to OTHER people and I would give him shit and apologize for him, with me it was covert abuse and he spent the entire marriage checking out other woman right in front of me, we fought about that too. He had me convinced I was just jealous and insecure and that he was like every other man, his favorite saying “I look at the menu, but don’t order”. This stuff happened in front of me. When I wasn’t around I am now 100% certain he was a serial cheater the entire marriage. And that mask, it came off in the end like I had seen so many times before only this time, I was directly in the line of fire.

  • In the “Christian” world, people treat “divorce” like the WORST possible thing. They discount the possibility of remarrying the ex. Why not accept divorce as the natural moral consequence to cheating and only accept/affirm remarriage to the ex if he/she has demonstrated true repentance/change?!

    I still think it would be a miracle for an ex to really change. However, I am not closed off to that slim possibility in cases in general. But I think people are delusional if they think it is the norm or should be the norm. Like CL points out, this article just seems to be pushing chumps to remain chumps taking the blame for matters–i.e. the cheating–which was never their fault.

    • Given that the ex has made it a point to lie to spouse over and over again, how would anyone ever really know that ex had reformed? I agree that there is some possibility of it happening in some few cases, but given the many years of lies leading up to the divorce, I would never trust him again.

      • This is for the Christians here…I absolutely DO believe in the power of God…but true heart change has got to be demonstrated over YEARS and confirmed through various temptations, trials and tribulations many times over. When my X was outed for his EA (that he was trying hard to push into a PA), he KNEW the consequences were forthcoming. He moved out and filed which $aved me the hassle. But before he did that, he fasted for 30 days (water only, which was dangerous for a 63yr old man) asking for God to give him “moral purity”. When it was over, I asked him if the Lord gave him what he asked for…and he said that he simply did not know. I told him that character change did not happen with the snap of a finger…it is most often a long and painful process of self examination, brokenness, and facing his lifelong demons. So with that, we agreed that he needed to leave and make his journey alone.

        One thing that I do know…he demonstrated his desperation and “gave” God “consent” to change a lifetime of evil…years of battling against his sin nature and never being able to figure out a way to “switch it all off”. It will be years before either of us will know. Meanwhile, there is mutual no contact and I am finally at peace. The man who left cannot be the same man who returns.

        It could happen…but I am not holding my breath.

        • Sweetz

          “He knew the consequences were forthcoming.” I agree character does not come with a snap of a finger. What consequences did he have?

          • Consequences were that I could no longer consent to be in a marriage to him. I got the house, everything in it, kept my business and most importantly, got No Contact. He got his freedom…I got mine…he knew that it had to be this way given MY character. Mask fell off, game was up. I am supposing that more consequences are still forthcoming for him over time..but none of them will involve me. I am safe. If God can work with him and change his heart…it won’t be pretty or easy or quick. I only know that I am no longer able or willing to take a front row seat. If he does repent and change, I do not know that it will necessarily be of any benefit to me personally…it may be that someone else will be a better fit for him at that point. I just do not know if God can “erase” the damages that happened in ME…it is not like simply deleting a hard drive for either of us. My X has been caught up in a “Stronghold” all of his adult life. Honestly, the marriage was just the Theater that exposed another soul on his way to damnation…what I hope for is far more important than even a marriage…I hope for his salvation and my peace of mind, the marriage was just more collateral damages paid for him to finally face himself…if he does.

            • Sweetz if you commit adultery you aren’t allowed to remarry. Biblically speaking. You may either reconcile with your spouse or remain single. Some people believe if you divorce you may not remarry at all. But scripture I think allows it if you were the one who didn’t commit adultery.

              • I can think of only one couple who ‘re-married’ but I don’t think they ever divorced – and it’s a Hollywood couple at that. Danny DeVito & Rhea Perlman. Sounds like she was divorcing for neglect and he bought her back with spa packages. How nice. Wonder how long that will last?

              • That is my understanding also Kay. So if my X goes on to make our Legal Separation into a Divorce so that he can remarry someone else…then THAT is on HIM…he will be the one responsible for breaking the Vow to God as well as to me. I will remain single nevertheless, simply because I do not want to be married again at my age…not because I cannot.

              • Kay…I also think that it is very befitting that an adulterer who claims to be Christian should not be “allowed” to remarry Biblically speaking if their spouse decides to divorce them…besides, it is better than being stoned to death yes? At least they will get to live on and might give some thought to their eternal choices and consequences perhaps? They are already on VERY thin ice if they are so bold to even THINK that they automatically have some right to reconcile with their spouses after committing adultery in the first place! If the innocent spouse does not “see” any serious signs of remorse, total confession and long term repentance, then they do NOT have to take them back…which dooms the adulterer to living out the rest of their life alone. But even if they DID see repentance, it may also work out to be that they still do not want their cheater back especially if there were other mitigating reasons along with all of that too. The innocent spouse gets to call the shots regardless of what anyone says.

                But let’s face it…too many “so called” Christians who commit adultery probably do not give a rip and will do as they please after committing adultery anyway. They will likely “claim” to be forgiven by God and get quite arrogant and uppity about the innocent spouses refusal to reconcile. And the RIC as well as Christian Counselors will likely “guilt” the innocent spouse into “forgiving” the adulterer as if that is the only option that they have. But the Bible tells us to not even eat with them or greet them in the market place if they do not repent from the heart. Part of their proof of repenting will be to remain ALONE if the innocent spouse does not want them back…which is what I chose to do…to wait and “see” if my cheater is truly remorseful/repentant. If he cannot live out the earned consequences, there is no way I’d take him back.

                The Jury is still out on my Cheater…I have plenty of time to see what he will choose to do. I have plenty to do and to enjoy meanwhile either way. I love being alone at this point of my life…and I cannot begin to imagine what his remorse would even look like…it would take me years to believe it. Fool me once shame on you….

            • Wow I agree with you totally. The scriptures reveal a lot in terms of the cheater remarrying. In the old testament in some instances it is referred to as an abomination, that’s pretty serious. I too am concerned about his soul and so are his kids. We recognize he is a fallen individual lost in his sinful desires, but God in his infinite mercy has provided a way out for me. I don’t wish him any harm but there are consequences for sin. The hordes of easy potential hookups far out weigh his chances of finding a good mate. The thought of kissing so many frogs is not so sweet as he approaches retirement. And yes the cheater is not allowed to remarry until the chump does so first. Repentance is no small feat.
              Remarry the cheater, NO!

    • Sure DM, but even if on the slim chance your ex, or mine, would change, this concept of stepping back into a shared world with that person is as repulsive to me as living with the cheating, lying and deceptions. It’s unicorn thinking all over again. So let’s say she does change, does that mean you weren’t smart enough to evolve? Part of the value of what we thought we gained from a relationship is the mutual bonding, teamwork, partnership. Once that’s been severed by infidelity, it’s ludicrously hard to look at that person again and not assume at some point they’ll be weak enough to break those bonds again in the name of expediency or selfishness.

      So I totally agree with your point. It’s the natural moral course for the devastation caused. Not to get overly religious, but Judas is in hell (according to most christian traditions) for the BETRAYAL of Jesus. When someone betrays love, and ultimately seeks to destroy love, it’s a crime that is recognized as vicious and brutal. I’ll let God decide if my ex deserves punishment for her betrayal and devastation. But there’s a very strong condemnation in religions and in literature over the centuries for the actors of betrayal. Why should we make these daft revisions to our way of thinking to satisfy the moment for some quack therapist?

      In 20 years there’ll be some study showing it’s unhealthy for people to not make a clean break from their past. Move forward. That’s my motto. Keep going. Don’t stop, don’t get held up by someone’s weakness. Go live your life and move on.

      • Just because someone changes after divorce does not mean it was unwise to divorce them prior to the change. In fact, them experiencing that hard consequence might have been necessary for them to even consider changing. However, getting them to change is not the point…we are responsible for ourselves (and not for another–i.e. cheater).

        It makes sense that “too much water has gone under the bridge” to take back the cheater irregardless of the change. Biblically, that is an acceptable position as God does not give us permission to sin while HE does give us permission to divorce a cheater (without shame)–see Mt. 19:9, etc.

        I do NOT ascribe to the “must” remarry the cheater mindset/teachings.

        • God also suggests “separation” and remaining alone with the possibility of reconciliation IF the offended spouse has the withal and wants to go that route and is not loathed to do so (depending on their circumstances). Divorce is not “commanded” in the case of Adultery, but then, neither is having to instantly forgive or remain being married to a cheater either. An innocent spouse has God’s blessing to remarry in the event of adultery or abandonment. I like the freedom to choose or to even change our minds because the human soul is very complex especially in the early stages of betrayal…as it is during the trauma and recovery period. Leaving the marriage door “cracked open” is NOT for most people because usually, Chumps have already tried everything possible by the time they do decide to divorce…or the decision was take away from them by the cheater.

          I chose Legal Separation to fully protect myself on all fronts. I do NOT want to get remarried anyway at my age…but I certainly understand others who would like to, or at least, want a complete lifelong severance from their cheater even if they do choose never to remarry. If my X chooses to snag himself another woman and change our Legal Separation into a Divorce to marry her…I am fine with that too because all the preliminary paperwork is already completed and signed off by the Judge w/o further jurisdiction.

          • True, Jesus does not command divorce. But the Bible DOES command DEATH to adulterers and adulteresses! (Deut. 22:22, Lev. 20:10). Divorce is the merciful option here.

            I push back on the “not command” simply because I feel it obscures the reality of how seriously God takes adultery. It is used to guilt Christian chumps to stay in marriages that God would happily have them leave and ergo no longer tolerate such wicked, hurtful sins against them.

            • I totally AGREE DM. I was “led” by my personal relationship with God to do as I did…certainly not by the RIC or Church’s opinions (being here at CN should give you a hint that I did not go that route). We are in the “age of Grace” rather than the LAW since the Law could not do anything to truly deal with the heart issues. I have peace of mind either way that this ends for me. Given that we no longer have the lawful option to stone our cheaters to death…a divorce is the only other option (besides reconciliation IF repentance/remorse can be proven over years of time)…if squabbling in Court, shuffling children to and fro and paying Atty’s is considered “better”…it all sucks. But God is still in the business of saving sinners rather than killing them off since the days when Jesus wrote in the sand and then told the Adulteress to “go and sin no more”. 99% here did NOT have remorseful cheaters and got injured further by the RIC and the Courts.

    • Cheating is about entitlement and about crap-for-morals – so a cheater who is truly remorseful is an oxymoron.
      The ONLY time that this is an exception is when someone is an unknowing OW/OM, and then they find out they are such – and then immediately terminate the relationship right there and then. Otherwise, they have no excuse.

  • My ex husband’s dad cheated on his mom twice. They divorced after the second affair. They got back together about 5 years later, cohabitated for about another 5 years and then evenually remarried. When I was going through my Ddays and counselling and seperation, I kept saying to my friends and counsellors, that he thought divorce wouldn’t be final. And he didn’t. Since our divorce, he has become more of a respectable person instead of less. Given, it’s taken him about 3 years to metamorphis. And honestly, I believe he only changed because I imposed consequences. He’s actually doing okay, albeit a little pathetic and definitely sad sometimes. And I’m doing okay too, albeit a little lonely sometimes. Our kids still plead with me to give daddy one more chance and tell me that they wish daddy could live with us again. But it’s not even tempting. I’ve given thought to the prospect of what a reconcilliation would mean. And I know that I could never be intimate or vulnerable to this person again. I could never conduct human moments around him. I could never let my guard down enough to be myself with this person. Basically, I could never trust him. I would never feel safe with him again. I would never respect myself again. I don’t know how people do it.

    • I hear you. It’s the same with me. The thought of trusting this person again is scarey. The X has made amazing changes in three years (a lot of the changes I begged for for years), he isn’t drinking, he got a job (!), and is decent to our sons. They tell me this stuff, because I live far away now.
      To me, this is not enough. Sorry to be a hardass, but I would need some understanding of the trainwreck he turned our cool family into. He would have to admit he hurt us because his penis wanted to have fun. He would have to speak to me with love and respect, and be truly sorry for what he’s done without blaming me one iota. I don’t think he would want to do most of this, and anyway, I need much more time on my own to heal.
      We’ll see how he acts when our son has his graduation from the U in May. We’ll both be there, and if he is cordial and adult, I’ll talk to him! But, you know, they always have to be weird, so I can only hope that a 60 year old man can grow up!

    • After Ddays I kept being gaslighted and lied to for a few more months when the cheater denied everything and was again blaming my insecurities and mind games claiming that I imagined most of the things. Only I read too much in his phone to continue believing him. Then 5 months later he asmitted everything, opened up in heart-to-heart conversations revealing serial cheating and one long term AP and pleaded with me to save the family. I was still very much attracted to him (hard not to be as he has all external qualities of a sparkly narc) and really thought that since he chose to open up with me then we have a great chance now since the communication lines finally opened. I saw a 180 degrees changed person who not only said but acted differently for two whole months. So chump me gave in. Started planning a new future. He even suggested another marriage (just a renewal of vows since we have not divorced yet) and I jumped on the grand idea. Our wedding 12 years ago was pretty exotic with a 2 week adventure tourism planned for all our guests so we started planning another similar event in another country and then this crazy idea came to tatoo the wedding bands on our fingers to signify the “forever ever after.” What was I thinking?! All my friends were trying to talk some sense into me but who can convince a chump determined to save the family and confident that we’ll get stronger. Well….a little of a boring family routine and responsibilities had the cheater cracked…a few months later a new evidence of a new siren came up – now his old colleague sparkled his interest. So once I started seeing through the fog and brought up divorce, he turned it around on me. Supposedly now it’s him who wants the divorce because I spoke with him disrespectfully when I lost it after his 12th time deliberately “forgetting my birthday”. All his resolve to save the family and not hurt our son got evaporated in one conversation where I had the audacity to blame him for the continuous disregard of my needs. Oh well..live and learn…I am glad I don’t have any tatoos on my body that woukd remind me of him. I am glad I did not plan and implement yet another grandious event where he would be the shining main role player and me the back stage organizer. I am glad I did not put our son through this fars that would have blown into sparkly pieces in no time.

  • That NYT article is wretchedly written. There’s a B-story about a poor woman who had five kids from age 18-30. Then her husband left. What an ass.

    The mother-of-five I’m sure would love a swanky Manhattan chateau. Instead she’s stuck with a piece of shit formerly-ex-husband.

    They’re all higher ‘n a motherfucker on hopium.

    #NeverRemarry

  • This remarrying ex business doesn’t really tie in with my new “One Strike, You’re Out ” policy. One thing I’ve noticed on here, is that the large majority of cheaters were pieces of shit BEFORE the cheating. Mine was but I gave the benefit of the doubt. The whore chasing was just the tip of the dysfunction ice berg. Most chumps try to preserve their marriage, not because the cheater is so great, but because dissolving a marriage, especially with children, requires a complete RESTRUCTURING of your entire life. It’s not like a pissy affair breakup, which is basically like something out of high school.

  • I personally know of one case in my family where remarriage after a long time apart actually worked. However, there was no cheating or betrayal involved, just serious mental health issues that the one person went out and got help for before they got back together. My Cheating Ex had the audacity to invoke this couple when telling me that although he was “leaving me” for OW (in actuality I kicked his ass to the curb), that I should never give up hope that he would someday reunite with me. Sorry, not interested in being Plan B to a liar. What an egocentric narcissistic thing to say, on the night I found out he’d been fucking someone who was a stranger to our entire family and social circles.

    • That’s a breathtaking level of perceived centrality and entitlement. And great examples of (1) how they never want to cut off potential supply and (2) how they do not perceive other people as real.

  • I filed three times and he kept dragging his feet, even though he was with two girlfriends after we separated. He knew there was someone out there that would just love him for who he was! (Don’t miss the opportunity!) but finally he said fine he’ll divorce me, and maybe someday I would marry him again! Ummm, no! And it is true, I did gain confidence and clarity during our separation and I still treat him with respect for our child’s sake (which I think he takes that as trying to get back together with him!) but it was a long, hard road to get to where I am now. I would never go back.

  • I have an aunt who remarried and divorced her cheating ex 2 times. (Seriously, TWICE!) EX-wife also had an aunt and uncle who remarried 20 years after they divorced; their first marriage was full of alcohol abuse, arguing and cheating. Talk about doing the pick me dance and FOO issues.

    As cheater was leaving she actually said “we can get back together years from now like aunt and uncle so-and-so…after we work on our issues.” HELL FUCKING NO!! NC intact since May 2013, not a text or email or nothing.

    On a side note, I am not as dead set against the ‘180’ as you are CL. I took what worked for me, ignored what didn’t. I used it like emotional first aid, like a band aid. I had no where else to look at the time…thankfully I found CL and CN. Thanks for doing what you’re doing.

    • I want an honest partnership. XH can’t provide that. He showed me who he really was and I believe him. Once someone has devalued and discarded you, I can understand someone (never me) getting back together with them as a way to nullify the devaluing, but I think they find it doesn’t work. They are still narcissists and still cheaters. And you will always be narcissistic supply.

    • When I told my next door neighbor why I divorced, she related that her best friend had divorced her cheating husband twice, and married him 3 times. 3 times! And she’s still unhappy. Amazing what people will continue to put up with.

      • One of my colleagues heard my “I didn’t like his girlfriend” line. Her jaw dropped as she drew her head upright. She took a deep breath and said that if she understood me rightly, she had faced the same situation, and then took him back. Again!

        By the way, she’s not married now.

        • Kb, I love your line! I am going to use “I did not like his serial sex cheating and one long term love affair going for 15 years during our 12 year marriage”. Let people do some math.

  • While I was still married my time was filled. I’m in a salaried profession so my hours can be long, I went back to school for my degree (which is the reason he said he cheated, because I wasn’t there for him), accepted a promotion with more responsibilities, raised my two children and attended every function, cleaned, laundry, yard work, painted, sanded, cooked, etc. He was soooo very tired when he got home from work he didn’t want sex. Now that he’s gone I took on all his chores. Let’s see, I now take out the trash, make coffee, and feed the dogs at night. When my furnace stopped working this winter, instead of having to “nag” him to fix it, I called an HVAC guy. He came out the same day, fixed it, and I paid him. That was so much easier and less stressful.

    This weekend I was out cleaning the yard, enjoying my dogs and the fresh air. Had he been there, he would have been sitting in front of the TV. The only thing I miss is physical intimacy, but the thought of doing so with him makes my skin crawl. Take him back? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah.

  • “The truly disordered never do” (grow up).

    So true. That is why I will never get back together with my ex. And I can nearly guarantee you he will try at some point to pull me back in. Why? So he can do the Narcisstic mindfuck all over again. Not Happening.

    After I divorced him a little over a year ago, I really missed having a partner. It’s interesting though, that after a little went by and I became more self-sufficient, busy; and understood that I could actually function on my own pretty well? I am NOT looking for anyone else. If I stumble upon someone, great. But, I’m enjoying the experience of rapidly growing as a person right now.

    • Onthehill….yep, I can almost go to the bank that the douchebag will try to come back, etc. etc. I hope he stays with the c***, so I won’t have to waste another precious minute on him!!!

      • There is no doubt in my mind the Limited is devaluing his whore to my children. Coverts like ours NMSB are masters at this con. The Limited is talking about how crazy she is and how SHE manipulated him. Now he’s complaining about finances and the loss of his family because of her. At the same time he is MAKING her look crazy by having her text my children. Yes, she is crazy and mentally ill. That was obvious, lol.
        Once he leaves the whore the pity party will emerge full force. The difference for us NMBS is we are done and will keep NO CONTACT because we know the drill.

    • Get back together???? Hell to the fuck no!!! Took me too long to get away, still healing. I will NEVER put myself in that position again. I have learned to respect and care for MYSELF for a change, TYVM!!!

    • Great info! But this article is about re-marriage to ANYBODY, not to the same partner. I’m betting the potential benefits are much more rare, unless you’ve both really changed (that includes the less-disordered partner not putting up with soooooo much bullshit). I’d love to see stats on what percentage of divorced couples do end up re-marrying each other, and what the success rates are for those couples.

      • Excellent point KarenE.

        I too would love to see research on remarrying one’s ex. (gag) I fear that if a couple did remarry each other (barf) after adultery that there would be huge problems with the data because the remarried couple would be reluctant to disclose the cheating.

        I don’t know much about Weiner-Davis (and I am not interested in finding-out more) but she seems to fall somewhere on the Cheater-Chump spectrum.

        Good thing Chump Lady exists to keep us all from pick-me-dancing back into the arms of these disordered losers.

      • KarenE, I’d imagine the failure rates on remarriage to a cheater are extremely dismal. I remember a few cases on the RIC boards and I don’t think they turned out well. They cheaters are usually so narced out they will do over the top stuff to show they have “changed”. When they really haven’t changed a bit. Why bring the garbage back in the house when you have already taken it out to the garbage can ?

  • Financial reasons aside – this article assumes that both parties have taken stock, worked on their issues, MATURED, and are totally different people now. I would agree that I am now a very different person. My post divorce self would never accept the unhealthy relationship my EX would offer.

    After DD#2 a funny thing happened — I DID NOT MISS him. Sometimes I feel bad that I don’t miss anything about him or the times we spent together. Nope. My stress levels dropped. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted.

  • The Weiner strikes again! Someone please stop her before she writes anymore. First the unending pick me dance (180) and now, “Don’t fret you can remarry your spouse” routine.

    I would rather dive head first into my own vomit or be dipped in nectar and hung naked below a swarm of killer bees (those who know me, know I am deathly afraid of things that can fly and sting you so that statement is a big deal and a true one).

    We spent enough time in life together. I’m done now!

    • Yes Michelle Weiner-Davis is the biggest creator of the RIC. I was stunned that my ex left me and was crying on his mother’s shoulder (a therapist). She took me to Barnes and Noble and bought me “Divorce Busting.” I read it a billion times and tried and tried. Well, that didn’t work! Turns out the MIL knew about the affair and had told her precious son not to tell me about it. Crap! I was a pawn for a long time!
      Unfortunately, CL was not invented for a few years. I muddle through the divorce, the pain, etc. Cymbalta helped too!

  • I would compare remarrying or recommencing an intimate life with a cheater to crawling in bed with a hyena. It would be deadly to close your eyes, impossible to sleep, and your partner would be gross and unattractive.

    In my own case, I’m still learning to put my own interests at the top of my list. Boundaries are still more of a struggle than I would like–although I am much much better. I’m still learning to live with me. So I am for now very happy having a nice relationship with someone who appears to be one of the good guys. I think at some point, he had some idea about cohabitation but he too may be learning how great it is to have someone in your life and also your very own sweet and cozy home.

    • I like your “crawling into bed with a hyena” analogy. Close your eyes for a second and you could wake up headless.

      • I tried to ‘wreckoncile’ a month after separation, which occurred 1.5 years ago. I was too scared to sleep as I was afraid that STBX might physically harm me while I slept.

        Now I have trouble sleeping because I am distressed about break up with my boyfriend, among many other traumatic things. I dream that he is proposing to me in the most beautiful dream imaginable, then I wake up screaming knowing that, instead, he has left me, never to return (as a true partner or even true friend). I was just someone to ‘entertain’ him until someone he considered ‘the real deal’ came along.

        • RockStarWife, my heart absolutely aches for you. You need to give yourself plenty of time to grieve this betrayal (and that’s what it is).

          I know you would like to meet a proper partner, but you are so vulnerable right now.

          I would love to see you grow strong in yourself, recover from your PTSD, and take the time to discover who you really are, before you even stick a toe in the dating pool again.

          This is going to take a while.

          Can you do that?

          (this is from someone who felt the same need for years and who let that unfulfilled need drive all her thinking, with disastrous results. Until she found out that you can meet that need in other ways and in other activities and good friendships – genuine friendships, not pretend romances. Result? No sense of urgency about a partner. It works.)

    • Hear Hear! to that! I want my own sweet home, and BF can come over sometimes! I live with my Dad right now, to help him with his situation, but when he’s gone, my dream is a peaceful home for one. I’ve never had that, and it’s time to try it out.

      • It’s wonderful. I’m sort of a neat freak but when I feel like it, I can leave my sweats on the bathroom floor, because the cats don’t care.

  • Gah! I was 21 when I married him and 23 when I got tired of the threats of divorce and gave him one. I wondered for years if I had made a mistake. The thought that he was a cheater never crossed my mind. 25 years later we reunited. 3 years of dating and he appeared to have done a 180. It was after moving in with him the fucktard I divorced emerged. It was after I left him for the second time that his philandering came to light. Those “quirks” I now know are signs of a personality disorder. These people don’t change.

  • Ex-in-laws divorced when XH was five. Questionable OW involvement. They remarried when XMIL found out she was preggers with XBIL. XFIL is a conflict avoidant coward and his son followed in his crusty footsteps. I will not remarry my greasy XH. Marriage means nothing to him – a fact that became clear when he married whore OW and conferred the wife title on that skank.

  • I’m only 4 months out of divorce, although it’s over 3 years since Dday.

    Nope. Not interested in getting back together from someone I just managed to separate myself from. Besides, he’s now engaged to Schmoopie, and after she ruins him financially, I’d be a fool to take him back.

  • My sister remarried her ex, but there were no mental health or fidelity issues. Mainly immaturity. Both grew up during the 15 years (at least) they were apart. Neither remarried others. They had six children.

    Not sure how the kids feel.

    I fall under Anita’s lament: “One thing I’ve noticed on here, is that the large majority of cheaters were pieces of shit BEFORE the cheating.”

    Since reading this forum, any left over injuries from previous relationships has healed. I didn’t realize the depth of some of them.

    I look at my exes like someone I used to know.

    Remarriage. Nope. Why? Because I wouldn’t look at them twice knowing their history.

    • ^^^THIS^^^ “I wouldn’t look at them twice after knowing their history.”

      YES! I went back into Mr. Sparkles history and the pattern of “overlapping” is dumbfounding… he fathered twin boys with #1 – but didn’t marry her… instead he left her for #2, married and fathered a son and a daughter… he left her for me #3, married and fathered a son… and he left me for “on deck #4” who is 10 years younger, divorced with two young kids (and a rich Daddy).

      He has a history (and a future) of seeking friends with benefits online and in hotel bars (women, couples, groups – step right up, he’s not picky).

      It’s been 17 months since D-day 972 (slight exaggeration)… and the divorce verdict is in sight.

      Go back for more? Nah, thanks… I’m good.

      • Yeah, I could go back further, but all I have to do is look in the mirror and know their history with women.

  • The one thing I see in this that is truer than true “people change through loss.”
    And I did, I got stronger, smarter and more independent.
    Part of that is knowing there is not a chance in the world I would ever remarry Narkels the Clown. I won’t even talk to him, much less be in the same room with him by choice. If protecting myself from my abuser is immature on my part then so be it.

    As for getting married again, I’m still less than a year from D-day so my current philosophy is to laugh loudly at that idea. Loving again yes, living with someone maybe someday but marriage, I can’t even fathom a human being so awesome that I would want to do that again, but I also realize that my outlook could change as time goes on and I get some distance from the abuse I survived.

    • Jackie, I was told the Limited would circle back. It could be years down the road. For this reason I have to guard myself from ever slipping back into the selfless, giver, fixer I was in our relationship if you could even call it that. I would reword “change through loss” to “change through recognizing abuse”. Loss is an understatement and suggests the old ‘growing apart’ to me. Abuse is having your world blown apart maliciously.

      And I do not believe it is immature to set the boundaries to never talking to the abuser, AllOutofKibbles. Its self preservation to protect yourself. The amount of work we have to do to detach from toxicity takes years. Yet we bond and they cannot. I have no doubt if I gave him one ounce of my time, he would attempt to dismantle everything I’ve done to heal. That opportunity will never take place.

  • When I was in the chump-fog a few weeks after Dday I said something to my cheater-ex like “well, maybe you can be with the OW for a while and see if you really should be together, and get it out of your system…and then once you realize she is not for you, we can maybe get back together…but I don´t guarantee I will still be there…” I know, I know..it was a pick me dance and I was desperate to try to understand my “soulmate” because I just couldn´t get how he could betray me, after alomost twenty years together, two kids and what I thought was a great life. Fast forward two years later, and six months after divorce, knowing that he had other OWs and that he lied to me for so many years.. His new live-in-girlfriend (after a month of knowing her) is my exact opposite. So what was I thinking? His faults are many, even without the cheating, and they are not fixable. He never invested much in the marriage, was always thinking of how I was doing things wrong but never admitted to his bad behaviours, and I know it is a matter of time that his new relationship will implode because narcs never change, (and his new girlfriend has already married four times and cheated on all her husbands). Why would I ever want to remarry a man who couldn´t appreciate me the first time around, who had a life full of chances for us to be happy, but preferred to throw it all away and chose to be with downgrades?

    I have to say, however, that I am not against marrying a second time (but with another person). CL gives us hope as two timed chump, who finally found someone that gets her, respects her and makes her happy. I am OK alone, but I still feel young and have so much to offer and would love to share life´s adventures with a faithful someone. However, I would probably not live with him (I love the idea of LAP couples – Living Apart Together) and if we got married, I would probably get a pre-nup so there would be no financial problems in case anything went wrong.

  • Right after the discard I was willing to stay married because the Limited needed health insurance and my lawyer suggested that I could go through with the divorce, maintain him on my coverage and not file the final divorce decree. She stated I could submit it any time in the future if necessary. When I passed this by Mr. I can fuck anything with a vagina, he bluntly stated, no I want a divorce. Yet he never filed, was dumped by his lawyer for unethical lies and abuse.

    It turned out he would be able to continue with my insurance under the continuation act for health coverage in my state which stated he would pay the difference in the single to married plan. The cost was 600.00 for amazing benefits. No, he argued that I should pay the 600.00 or he would hire a lawyer after not paying a dime for the divorce he so wanted. I settled to get the asshole out of my life once and for all.

    During this process he was spinning his narrative to my daughter stating he didn’t understand the language. He got caught in his lies and the mask dropped. My children are appalled by his behavior given the deceptive lies and arrogance.

    What could I possibly ever gain remarrying a perverted, serial cheating sociopath? More of the same.
    For better or worse? I was the better. He was the worst. Tolerating THAT shit makes me set my bar so very fucking high I would rather be single.

    I have set a new criteria for a spouse if I chose to remarry in my lifetime. He will have to be a chump, who understands infidelity and the impact it has on a relationship, be authentic, and have the ability to bond and share true intimacy. I sincerely can’t imagine ever trusting another partner and would have a prenup to protect myself because frankly I’m too old to get fucked over again.

    He will lose his health benefits when he needs them the most. The Limited is taking vacations, buying new vehicles and getting drunk and high while I am scraping by to support my son and granddaughter. Clarity is freeing.

    • “For better or worse? I was the better. He was the worst. Tolerating THAT shit makes me set my bar so very fucking high I would rather be single.”

      ^^^^^^That right there is spot on!! Keeping that quote as a reminder. Personally, I like being single right now, it is a welcome change after what I’ve been through.

      Well said Donna, very well said!

    • Donna,
      Sounds as though you’ve got a good plan and helpful criteria for a prospective spouse. I thought that devoting myself to someone who I had met over half a lifetime ago and was a fellow chump would appreciate my efforts to please him. My criteria were too few. I should have included, ‘must be able to emotionally bond and commit to me.’ Sadly, for decades, I’ve settled for crumbs. I am now trying to save a shred of self-respect by avoiding contact with my ex-boyfriend. I don’t know what I’ll do when I run into his new lover or find out he is marrying and having kids with someone else. (Unlike me, he has many options in terms of good partners.) Wish that I could avoid interacting with and never know what (and who) my STBX and ex-boyfriend were doing without losing contact with the relatives (children) and friends I love.

      • RockStarWife

        My picker was set on asshole for 41 years. I had two opportunities I passed on because I wasn’t ready. The first had just published a book and I was attracted to his kindness and intelligence. He was my type. This in itself scared me. What the hell was my type? The second was a cute guy I met at the beach when I was with my daughter.
        Looking back I know I couldn’t handle a relationship emotionally. I was way too hard on myself. Just an ounce of rejection or a hint of being used would have set me back.

        I don’t give a fuck about taking care of anyone’s needs but my own, lol. That’s my bad ass.

        One of my theories about long term abuse is that at some point the abuse becomes so central to our being and thought processes it shifts to self abuse. In his absence I tortured myself.

        Please don’t be so hard on yourself. Know what your needs are and nurture each and every one. Develop your interests whatever they are.

        I was able to sleep better when I put pillows on the other side of the bed and weighted myself with comforters.

        • In my book he had the option of having a good partner and rather than appreciate you he abused you to the point of making you feel like less than.

          Knock the assholes off the pedistal. Stop giving them your power in their absence. You are a NewStar. Change the narrative with positive statements about yourself. This helped me with focusing on myself.

  • The old ‘devil you know’ ploy mentioned in the article is absolutely ridiculous. This kind of thinking keeps chumps stuck. The devil you know? RUN and never look back!

    • Yeah see, that’s exactly the problem: I KNOW that devil. Why the hell would I sign up for round 2?! It’s much better to be alone than to be with any devil at all.

  • I think these articles prey on the weak and STUPID. They prey on folks that have not healed yet and believe me they are SELLING you something. Keep you dandling for hope of unicorns, keep you addicted, keep you a chump and they keep you buying something. Maybe even just enough clicks to sell their ads. OR maybe the author needs some dechumping himself.

    Remarry…. why did you part to begin with. MOST part from infidelity… from the sick relationship between Narc and Chump. Chumps heal, Narcs DONT. So remarry.. what because Narc got old and no more supply left and Chump never did the work of self healing. Most of these remarriages if deemed successful would be only because one dies before declared another failure.

    Love is love. If you divorced, there was a reason. And that reason is more than likely one was an asswipe.

  • The whole “we can remarry” line of bullshit is to convince the chump that the cheater somehow still cares (usually to gain some advantage in the divorce settlement). And to keep the chump available as Plan B while the cheater test drives his or her new life for an indefinite period of time. The correct answer is no.

    • I think you are right survivor. I was told after the divorce we could start dating and being seen out in public again because a lot of people get back together after divorce. But then when he didn’t like what I believed to be fair in the divorce, he threatened me with “If you take everything away from me, then we won’t ever get back together.” So I’m supposed to just LET him have everything in hopes of someday getting back together? I can’t take that chance. I haven’t budged on my original proposal from over 2 years ago – I’m still asking for the same settlement. And unless he gets help for his alcoholism….he will never change back to the guy I married, so no chance in ‘dating’ Judas anyway….

      • Right you are, LadyStrange. Your POS wants to leave with all the marbles, then let you start from square one with the pick me dance to reclaim what he’s taken from you. And “dating” doesn’t involve any commitment on his part, so he can have endless cake and kibbles while he grooms you to accept even less of a relationship than you had before. Feel free to reject that offer and pay no attention if he moves on to the “you’ll never find anyone who treats you as well as I do” mantra. You already have, and that person is you.

      • Lady Strange, I got six months of the same nonsense.. “if you play your cards right, Muse, you might just get a second chance!” and “no one knows what the future holds, Muse, people do get back together after many years.” It worked for about six months till I realized he was still heavily working OW to be his new supply. Then I went (and remain to this day) full NC. The best medicine for that gaslighting shit!

        • Good going, Muse. “If you play your cards right?” Who did he think he was? Humphrey Bogart or Cary Grant?

          • It’s laughable now … he also, at one point after spending a couple hours removing yet more of his stuff out of our house, stood in the garage and looked at me, cocked his head to one side and smiled and said, “It’s all over, kiddo!”

            So many of the things he said did sound like lines from movies, especially B movies LOL. I think he did fancy himself a dapper rake or roué of some sort. I just see him as a World Class Ass.

            i believe “playing my cards right” mean giving him a huge settlement check to assist him in cementing his new life with OWhore. It didn’t happen. He ended up with about 1/5 of what he thought he was entitled to. I’m sure OW must have been disappointed, that is, if he’s even told her how much his “big check” from Muse ended up being.

            • “Sometimes, kid, life is just not angled in your direction.” That’s all you need to think as you ride off into the sunset with a future in your saddlebag and a glint in your eye. Fade to alldone.

    • Survivor,
      To add to what you have already eloquently explained, I feel as though cheaters and insensitive, selfish, emotionally unavailable partners, upon separation will hold out ‘We can always re-marry,’ or ‘We can be friends after things cool down’ as a pseudo-consolation prize (like a box of mac and cheese) that does the hurt part no good, costs the damage-inducing partner nothing, and might even help the selfish partner’s public image. (‘Oh, isn’t he such a nice guy–he wants to be friends with his ex!’) I think that my hairstylist, who works on both my ex-boyfriend and me and is friends with both of us, might go back to trying to romantically set up my ex-boyfriend now that he is free again. If that happens I will feel betrayed by my hairstylist as well as my former partners.

      • Rockstar, How much do you like your hair stylist? If it’s a lot, take him or her aside and explain that you won’t be in the middle of a gossip triangle. You can’t be talking as a friend and have info passed through the otherwise impervious barrier to someone you need to be away from. And vice versa. You may need a referral to a new person, or your ex will need one. Overlapping people can so complicate a clean getaway. No hard feeling, but hey, it could be that anything you say will be relayed. Some here can agree.

  • My father was an abusive alcoholic narc, my mother married him twice. The 2nd marriage was not long after the first divorce and I can remember as a young girl asking her “why in the f#ck would you marry him again?” Back in that time people believed that if you had children it would change things. Stupid. Although if she hadn’t fallen for that crock of shit I wouldn’t be here.

    As for my X-hole, I could never go back, I can barely stand the fact that he’s still breathing the same air. As unforgiving as the cheating and discard was, it’s the abandonment of our son and the damage and hurt he has caused him that fuels my hatred and disgust for him. Anyone who is capable of this level of selfishness and entitlement is not someone I want in my life. Period.

    • I know I have stated it previously, however the discard of his children and the damage it has caused is unforgivable. My adult children have been traumatized by his indifference. They so want to hold on to the good father they believed he was despite his actions. Its painful to watch. They too suffer from trauma.

      Sometimes I believe my lack of indifference is a stumbling block to achieving true Meh. If by chance he stumbled into a hole and was rendered unconscious as the worker was looking at a hottie passing by as the cement filled the hole I might have poetic justice, lol.

        • Jackie

          Sending you the cement. Bonus points if the slunt falls in with as she’s distracted by the hot cement pourer.

          • Donna and Jayne, heck out the video from “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” by Train. In one scene, his ex is upside-down in cement. You’ll love what happens to her after that.

            • Haha – that was great! 😀 His head used as a football in a game of soccer? If it could also score the crucial goal against his beloved football team – hurrah! 😀

              • Oh wouldn’t that be great, Jayne? The video inspired me to make up my own story: “Yes, sadly, he’s dead. He ate a bad pizza and his stomach exploded. He died in agony in the arms of his doughy little cumbucket, who was understandably bereft at the sudden disintegration of her source of income. Mercifully, she died soon after. One of her six ex-husbands went batshit crazypants and strangled her with one of her own frizzy red hairs.” Guess I’m still a teeny bit angry…

      • I would definitely say, “Fuck, no!!” to Hannibal should he re-appear. My worry is also that my picker is permanently screwed (dated 3 narcs in a row before marrying Hannibal). A recent episode with my latest dog rescue confirmed this: I adopted a dog from the shelter who was headed toward being euthanized for aggression. The dog is an asshole–bullies the other dogs, steals their bones, snarls if he doesn’t get his way. He’s made lots of progress, but the other day he refused to leave the dining room, and sat there looking sad. I went & reassured him, offered him treats, and he still wouldn’t come out of the dining room. I realized he was scared by the Mylar balloon I had tied to the stairs for my daughter’s birthday. I moved the balloon, and then reassured him, and petted him until he felt safer. A metaphor: I chose a gorgeous, but asshole dog, who is adept at the poor sausage routine. What does that sound like?

        • Yep – sounds like the dog has got your number Tempest! Oh dear, perhaps you need the Dog Whisperer in? Watched a program about rescue dogs being trained to fly a plane – what’s that she said? – yep, fly a plane!!! Some great dogs, but some of them needing to learn about being ‘polite’. Basically, a Gentle Teaching strategy where no attention is given for ‘bad behaviour’ but lots of attention given for ‘good behaviour’. Dare I say, you should let sad sausage stay sad sausage – but give loads of praise and treats for even the slightest sign of doing what you want? I’m sure you know all this though, oh you of the 4 dog household 😀

            • Rescue dogs are the best. Love, love, love my rescue pup, even if he got us up at 4:15 this morning when the thunder and lightning came overhead and he dove under the covers on the bed he isn’t allowed to sleep on (he has three beds of his own). There is no better dog than the dog that chooses you because you ask them if they will do that. My sweet pup is probably nine years old now, and came to his forever home 7 1/2 years ago, on the day we buried my Mom. We got lucky. That sad little lost pup was in foster care close to the National Cemetery, which is nowhere near where we’d be ordinarily, but we were there and stopped in to meet the problem child who needed removal from his situation because he was inconsolable and upsetting all of the others. Then we scooped him up and brought him home and loved him into a really fantastic dog.

              **Don’t think this can happen with a “timid forest creature.” They should be left in a crate at the vet.

    • Seriously I can’t take many more of these visuals. First the cement mixer now the sport….

  • Hi, this is my first time posting…I love CL and this group of people!

    The only reason I would ever think to try to reconcile would be for my kids. We are 10 months out from D-Day, and my 11 year old with autism (medium-functioning) is freaking out in so many ways, it’s scaring me. If there were some “business arrangement” of living together that I could figure out with STBX to calm my son, stop his meltdowns, his aggressive behavior at school, his depression, his sadness, I would try it. It will never happen, though. STBX is a true narcissist, selfish to the core, found an escape for his issues instead of dealing with them, has no interest in being with me, continued his relationship with OW (who also broke up her family) after I found out about the affair. Introduced the kids to her, which totally upset my son and worsened his behavior. He can barely accept the separation and divorce, let alone another woman!

    How someone could be so utterly selfish to do this to his family, especially a child that would obviously not take to change well, needs routine, is beyond me. Having a special needs child puts a HUGE strain on a marriage and a family, but I was truly in the dark, blindsided, thought things were fine. Not great, of course…daily meltdowns and tantrums do not make for a very romantic household! But we got along well, I thought, were still best friends, still talked constantly and very rarely fought. I had even stepped up my game towards the end because he had been so grumpy the last few years of our marriage…I thought it was the kids, autism, work, his family issues…never for a second did I think he was unhappy with ME. He was the true passive-aggressive who made his statement by having a year-long affair. Who knows how long we would’ve continued if I hadn’t found out?

    So I’m the weirdo that might be willing to try reconciliation…because I’m a true Chumpy Martyr. It would terrify me though, since I can’t trust anything about him anymore. I was treated horribly for years by him, but just accepted it as part of my life, was loyal and committed to him. I knew we had to stay together for the sake of our kids…we needed to be a team to ensure the best outcome for our son. Now, as I predicted when we separated, our kids are falling apart.

    Now…how to pick myself up and move on? Life was already so difficult, now it’s just a big messy pile of even more difficulties and sadness.

    • Hello Blindsided Chump and welcome to the club no one wanted to join. I’m so glad you’ve found us.

      I really am very sorry your ex put you through all of that. I haven’t children myself but I have supported people with special needs and you are right, change can be very difficult and distressing for some. It’s even harder to take when their father, who knows them, would voluntarily choose to cause them such pain and distress.

      I tried wreckonciliation with ‘The Great I Am’ for 4 years. It was absolute hell. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. After all that time of gulping down shit sandwiches and trying my best to ‘get over it’ he ended the marriage via email (by that time I’d gone from wife. to girlfriend to weekend booty call) because I was asking for time before I signed over my Company to him (he wanted it NOW and I wanted to get my tax return done first – well, turns out not signing over my Company was more heinous than cheating, lying, back-stabbing etc etc).

      We have a few fellow Chumps in Chump Nation who have autistic children and I’m hoping they’ll weigh-in with some practical advice for you.

      You are well away from him. Losing the trust is an absolute killer and he’s shown you his wants are more important to him than you or the children.

      Stay strong and wishing you peace and love x

      • Hi Jayne! Thanks for your comments. Yes, the trust issue I could never get over. And the fact that my children have to be raised part of the time by someone with bad morals just kills me! I feel like I got the “foot-long sub” version of the shit sandwich, LOL!

    • Blindsided Chump… you’re in the right place… and good for you for sharing! This is YOUR safe place.

      For sure, you have your hands full and you’re eyeballs deep in the drama right now. I imagine your maternal instinct is to protect your child from all of this… but remember, just like on an airplane… put your oxygen mask on first… then you can help those around you.

      Get a plan in place that allows you to detach, go as NC as possible, and focus on developing healthy coping mechanisms… ready CL daily is highly recommended. Get your ducks in a row, protect your family.

      My 10yo son is very empathetic… so I know I need to limit my meltdowns in front of him (in the beginning he saw my tears, now I keep them for the shower and the weekends he is with Mr. Sparkles, #4 and her kids.) I talk to him honestly (and age appropriately) about what is happening and what I’m feeling and what he’s feeling… or sometimes we just sit on the couch and watch Teen Titans together… but we are there for each other. It’s taken time to get here, but he and I are figuring out the “life without Mr. Sparkles” together.

      Be the sane parent. Be the person whom your child will learn to feel safe with again – you’re not leaving… you just need to get MIGHTY. You can do it… and your child will be better for it in time.

    • BlindsidedChump

      No…..You are worth so much more. Your son’s behavior will improve over time. Change is difficult for him right now. Seek out advice from others who are raising a child with Autism and how they deal with the upset. Never stay with a narcissist for your child. During the adjustment phase you will slowly gain strength by taking back your power and control. Do not sacrifice yourself. DO NOT. Thinks will get better once you detach and realize you are the advocate for your son and always have been.

    • Blindsided Chump,
      One of my kids, who is approx the same age as your child with special needs, has special needs, too. I can relate. (My ‘family situation,’ (moderate) special needs child and hostile STBX, may have convinced my ex-boyfriend to run away and pursue younger, richer, less-encumbered women.)

  • I started dating a man last November. He told me that he married very young, cheated and they divorced. After about 2 years, that marriage collapsed and eventually he and wife #1 remarried. They remained married for 45 years until her death from cancer about 2 years ago.

    I am 99% sure he was a philanderer during that marriage. There is NO way a man who had been dedicated to a woman for 45 years could have been as ‘smooth’ as this guy was. Far too suave and practiced at the art of love bombing/manipulation (both of which I resisted–I ain’t no dummy!) He claimed he was happy with how things were going, he was really into me, he understood I had some issues to overcome. He said he had interest in only dating me, he had no interest in any other women. I had no reason (or the energy) to date anyone else so we agreed we would close our dating profiles.

    It lasted 7 weeks until I absent mindedly clicked on OKCupid instead of the intended ‘Okie…..’. There he was on OKC, it appeared his profile was active and he was online trawling at that very moment. I clicked on his profile to confirm that he was indeed online. OKC has an immediate pop up that tells you when someone views your profile so he knew he was caught.

    I sent him a ‘you don’t belong in my life’ email. He wanted to continue seeing each other as ‘friends’….NOPE.

    Just shows you his character. Also shows that they don’t stop being players once they reach their late 60’s.

  • This blog entry prompted me to look at the notes I took during my separation and divorce, just to review the many reasons I would never, ever re-marry “bundy the cluster B clusterfuck”. My notes from that time in my life serve as documentation that “this really happened” and “he sucks.” (It also reminded me of stuff I had forgotten about, thanks goodness.) I highly recommend journaling so that, down the road, you can take stock and pat yourself on the back for how far you’ve come. And to make sure that you could never entertain the notion of re-marrying the sparkly turd (Lord, how could someone knowingly walk back into that snake pit?!)

    My timeline, btw: DDay was Aug. 2011, I moved out in May 2012 and the divorce was final in April 2013.

  • My Ex, actually said (with a tear in his eye – in front of my 12 yr Daughter, before he finally left, “Maybe someday I’ll come back and fight for Mom” uhhhhr – it pisses me off every time I think about that!! And I like chump that I was at the time, took that as Hope, and said nothing, like fight for me NOW asshole!

    No, no way would I ever remarry him. I would loose all respect for myself. It took me so long to get where I am, no way in hell!!

  • Entangle myself to take a chance at being abused again, NO THANK YOU! I’d be willing to have a friendship with benefits but the first sign of trouble, I would clap my hands in the air and say “Good Bye!”

    • I was just reading posts on here and came by mine I did while at work today, it’s looks like I meant my soon X, but I didn’t, what I meant is I would be afraid to take the plunge again with someone else, but would consider a new friendship only. That’s how I feel right now anyways.

  • It’s not about my soon to be ex changing, its about the change in me, that’s the reason I would never take him back. I’m stronger then I ever thought and realize that I need to surround myself with people that are giver’s not takers. When my world exploded I quickly found out who had my back and who didn’t, I weeded out all the takers, Switzerland friends and his flying monkeys. My circle is small and some days I’m the only one in it, and it’s peaceful place to be. To reunite with such a toxic douche would only benefit him (as usual ) not myself or my children, I haven’t seen him in 2 yrs (by my choice and almost NC because of kids age… Being a hopeless romantic at heart I haven’t given up on love and I have taken the last 2 yrs to work on me, I will never remarry or have a man in my personal space but I do miss holding someones hand and companionship….but I am hopeful 🙂

  • Auto-enucleation! Just like Oedipus.

    I recently received the text I so longed to receive several years ago…”do you think there is a chance we will get back together?”

    Because it was typed from the side of his dying parent’s hospital bed, I said Oh. Hell. No. as nicely as I could, and refrained from discussing snowballs in hell and the like.

    Two years prior, that text would have sent me into a serious tailspin. Even now, it after all my de-chumpification work, it tore at my heart.
    The plaintive text combined with the sad-weirdness of a former parent-in-law dying had a serious mind fuck effect on me.

    • Doop, I’m sorry to hear that happened to you. I loved my MIL like she was a second mother. It would be hard to receive a text like that for me too.

    • IMO, having made the mistake of taking him back once, I believe that once the trust is gone, it’s gone. No way would I ever volunteer for the possibility of having my heart crushed again. There were many things I admired and loved about my ex, but I would not be loving myself if I took him back. Leopards don’t change their spots.

  • Without reading any comments yet, I met a delightful woman online, about a year into my “infidelity journey” ?who divorced her cheater after a period of wreckonciliation. A while later, they started dating (WTF?!) Then remarried. I was flabbergasted. I was still in the depths of grief and she was remarrying the cheating arsehole??? Well, guess how that ended? Yep, he never gave up the OW – familiar, CL? Divorce number two (by now about 60 ish and 40 ish years invested, 4 adult kids and several grandkids.) She is now remarried AGAIN – to another chump this time – for over a year. This all in about five years – I met her during first wreckonciliation, prior to first divorce. Odd how differently we all react. I have absolutely zero desire to recouple. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

  • hesatthecurb, that sounds like the sweetest love story every, remarrying for 45 years. The word here is “sounds like” I wonder….. only the two of them really will ever know what went on behind closed doors.

  • This reminded me of the When Harry Met Sally dialogue from Harry- about dating his wife. This scene is so accurate for the whole cheater Plan B mindset. And remarriage would be the ultimate execution (all connotations) of Plan B. They stopped loving you before, they’re only back because something went wrong with Plan A. It’s a no from me too.

    Harry:Next day she said she’s thought about it, and she wants a trial separation. She just wants to try it, she says, but we can still date. Like this is supposed to cushion the blow. I mean I got married so I can stop dating. So I don’t see where we can still date is any big incentive since the last thing you want to do is date your wife, who’s suppose to love you, which is what I’m saying to you, that’s when it occurs to me that may be… she doesn’t. So I say to her, “Don’t you love me anymore?” You know what she says? “I don’t know if I’ve ever loved you.”

    • Mikky, I remember that scene. Whoever wrote those lines knew from being chumped. As his best buddy says in response, “That’s harsh.”

        • Oh yeah, I’d forgotten Nora Ephron was the writer!! Heartburn is a classic. It’s too painful for me to watch. But so cool she took that experience and parlayed it into a career. I remember reading he was mad as hell to have his pecadillos publicized. RIP Nora.

          • Boo fucking hoo to Carl; don’t want people to know you’re a colossal cheating douchebag, don’t behave like one.

  • Well…hey if my x ever reconsidered me as a life partner I would seriously think he was back on the bottle again. He made it clear on his exit speech he thinks no more of me than something he wiped off his shoe.
    Remarriage to my cheater would happen if hell froze over for both of us.
    For him I was and will always be nothing more than a facade, ATM and brood mare for his children.
    And for me he is nothing but the sperm donor for my children.

    My family has read his Ashley Madison emails and seen his credit statements and police reports proving his infidelity and incredible penchant for being a lying cheating pervert. So if by some miracle I lost my brains for a second round with my very own private Voldemort my immediate family would have me committed to the psych ward in a heartbeat!!!!

    I am well past fifty and the thought of dating let alone remarrying another person actually has no interest for me. My mother was widowed after a very good marriage and she has stated she has no intention of partnering with another person to become a housekeeper or maid in return for somebody telling her she’s a wonderful cook. BF can do his own cooking, cleaning, yardwork etc. because she has enough to do taking care of herself , her home and her dog. And frankly I agree with her.

    The rest of my life is for me. If I’m lucky to find some new friends to share activities with lovely. But never ever will I subject myself again to being the person who gets no reciprocation for emotionally or financially supporting another person.

    • Hi just another chump,

      I said upstream that there were red flags with ‘The Great I am’ – the biggest was his attitude to his previous partner (and mother of his two children). It never sat right with me – I just could not imagine why anyone would pretend at love but secretly despise the person they were with (he told me he’d never loved her). I questioned him about this many times, and of course, he told me I was different and that he really loved me, but he also said he’d never actually told her he’d never loved her because ‘that would be cruel’. My argument that staying with her, and fathering two children with her was far crueler, fell on deaf ears.

      I don’t know whether he did actually think he loved her before their relationship broke down, but narcs are incapable of love so I’m guessing not. It sounds very much like you were fucked over by a narc like ‘The Great I Am’, and while I am certain he likes the narrative that he ‘loved me but just made a mistake’ to get his jollies now, I wouldn’t put it past him to be telling folks he’d never loved me, but he was weak (his favourite ‘go to’ poor sausage excuse).

      I’m really sorry you went through that 🙁 x

      • Jayne,

        Thank you for your kind words. x did me a huge favour by dumping my unappreciated ass. It may have hurt like a bugger but it enabled me to exit the fog and review my life in painful detail and realize I am worth more than being the appendage of a lying cheating narcissist.
        Unfortunately some of us never realized what we walked into and remained mired in was a isolating unreciprocal relationship with a self absorbed person; welcome to the majority of chump marriages.
        Let’s just celebrate our escapes however they played out (left the cheater, dumped by the cheater…still means we are free of the cheater!)

        • Me too Jayne. Same story and I don’t feel in could ever be with him again. Working toward NC. I’m good now.

  • Even after 5 years, I have often missed my exH. I had thought it would be nice to meet up for a coffee and a catch up which was what he’d wanted to do all along. Maybe I’d been a little harsh, maybe he wasn’t so bad and my feelings had mellowed towards him somewhat….
    Then I overheard a phone conversation ex had with my son on my son’s birthday.
    Nope. No. Never.
    Difficult, angry, confrontational. All because we had been out to a family lunch together.
    It was like being hit with a 2×4. I suddenly remembered what it was like being married to him. And that is something I never wish to repeat!!

    • I had a similar Oh f*ck no moment. I had to see x at my daughter’s wedding. x was being civil, I was being civil and things were going well. Then my daughter asked a question about bringing the wedding cake to the location. I say to her well ask your dad if he can help with that. I wasn’t snide, I wasn’t being uncivil, I was just suggesting. The look that x gave me, like “how dare I tell him what to do”, was all I needed to know that on his part, he was just acting civil because there were people around. There is no way that I would ever want to go back to that.

  • I spent years trying to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse and ended up with just some loose thread and some pig shit. If you’re working with the same raw material, why would you think you were going to end up with a different end product? Seriously? I’m good on that.

    I’m one of those people whose Ex went totally scorched earth. He blew up the bridge and all the roads and incinerated the town. All that he left of our former relationship is some ash and smoke. Now I recognize he was cheered on and encouraged and took some ideas from his POS OW-soon-to-be-OWife. However, there is something in him that made all of the foul things he perpetrated upon me (and some on his children) look like a scathingly brilliant idea. Why would I want that back in my life?

    I hope to get to a point that one day if I pass him on the street I won’t cross to the other side. Remarry him? You can’t dip him in enough bleach or cover him in enough money for that to happen.

  • Remarry the man-child asswipe that wanted to “ride my motorcyle whenever I want”, “travel”, “get my own apartment” and who claimed “no, I’m not having an affair (he was)” ? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha NO FRIGGIN WAY EVER, EVER, EVER!!! Makes me want to throw up in my mouth.

  • i find my ex-husband sexually repulsive. I just can’t find a coward attractive. I’ll never forget the sight of him rolling around on the floor crying after he was caught screwing another woman while I was in hospital. What a turd.

  • My vision for the rest of my life at meh:

    Happy. Healthy. Dead. (That is, no long illness.)

    If I remarry the serial cheater ex:

    I’d rather be dead.

    • Remarry, no way! I am no contact, he sucks!
      Owhore, now gf 23 pregnant and letting the whole world know how happy she is.
      Guess dad, grandpa, 53 rerhinking his shit. Big boy freaked out when he found out saying “im so depressed, i want to come home.” Run forrest run! Lmao
      He is so screwed up. Divorced 1 year last month.
      16 months dday. Hope they enjoy the new family and reflect on how they got together and fell in true love. only two glorious months till birth.
      My daughter still says this is like a fantasy in a true life setting, and it wont end well.
      That freak told my daughter, i hope the baby sleeps till it turns eighteen! Really you douchebag.! Children are gifts, but this dishonorable assclown should be ashamed if himself. He should rot. Dumps a family after 27 years to start another. Losers.
      So hope he able to keep up, cause heart attack at 50, young. Now 53,starting over, amazing. Never know when the next heartattack will be.
      Maybe between the two if them, they should add depends to the baby registry for grandpa!

      • What a scene!!! A 53 y/o and 23 y/o-right, no issues there. I cannot imagine my 23 y/o self ever giving a 40 year old the time of day never mind someone over 50! Yuck!!!

      • Jeanm, my douchebag’s howorker has 2 kids, a 9 year old boy and a 14 year old girl that he is living with. He is 60 years old and starting a new stepfamily. He is a grandfather of 4 boys, one close in age to the 9 year old. This is too screwed up for me. I wish him a loooooooog life in that mess!!!

        • Asswipe was welcomed into a new family ya know cause his own family sucked. Dont know how they can do that. Give up their own for someones elses. We dont suck. He does!

  • My Narc Ex’s mother divorced his father for three years due to infidelity and then got re-married. She is 72 now and one day while baking with me said she possibly would have made a different choice. That’s a long time to wonder if you made the right choice. The good news is that they got back together and imprinted schemas on their son who in turn cheated on me our whole relationship (while pregnant too). Hey I should just have accepted his behavior right? I look at her now with such compassion ultimate chumpdome. She is the sweetest woman but also my ex’s primary enabler.

  • Good Lord. No I would not remarry x. He would need to have a lobotomy and a major upgrade on his personality, before I would give it a passing thought, all the way to Hell NO, even at that!!!!

  • I didn’t see any part of that article related to cheaters.

    A marriage that ends because of what I lump into general relationship issues, I could see the couple getting back together again if they did love each other but were too immature to manage that in a relationship. See the blog about that guy who kept leaving his dishes by the sink and his wife divorced him over that (not really /that/ but the overall disrespect).

    If they didn’t actually LIE TO YOUR FACE. Over and over again! Or go out/online and FUCK OTHER PEOPLE.

    Then there is often still a chance to address all the communication/collaboration/marriage builder/Love Language stuff that I thought my STBXH and I were working on. Except he was fucking new women in video every couple months during that time. And never really properly apologized for being that heinous a person as to do that to his wife. Honestly I don’t even think it is possible any more — I would never ever ever remarry him ever. I don’t even really *like* him anymore as a person. A person who lies and cheats. Ew.

    But I have a good friend who has more run of the mill, but mighty hurtful, marriage issues and they are making real progress in MC. Neither of them have secret side fucks (I was adamant she check a bunch of things and he came out clean). Go figure.

    • I have a dear friend who remarried her non-cheater ex after being divorced for 10 years. They’ve been remarried now for over 25 years. It worked because there was no cheating involved. This friend told me she’ll bury me alive if I even consider getting back with the cheater ex.

  • I guess this happens because I went to a graduation party for one of x’s relatives and of course there were several of his cousins there. One of them tells me “you know a lot of people get back together after being apart for a long time, maybe 15 years down the line you guys will too”. I told her, “I now know what x is capable of doing to me. I would never want to relive that horror again.” Especially not after a few years apart.: Another said to me, I know that my cousin loves you. I said, it was a damn good thing that he “loved” me when he did this to me, because I couldn’t imagine how things would have turned out if he had hated me.

    • Deel my X said to me “Nobody will ever love you like I do”, my response back, “Thank God for that because I’d be better off jumping off a cliff”. Makes me shutter still.

  • sweet jesus, what a load of crap.

    “She could change into someone you get along with a lot better.”

    no doubt. she might even be able to keep it up for a couple of weeks.

  • You know, ex and I could never remarry. First of all, we don’t even speak. Also, he committed so many betrayals and passive-aggressive atrocities, and lived a double life for so long, it was just horrifying. And he is now married to one of his AP’s who has her own cluster B issues and hates me (I peg her as a bunny boiler). So, our kids despise him and will have nothing to do with them. I believe ex is a true sociopath, and has discarded me as useless to him…and I have made damn sure that I will never be of use to him again, so he will never circle back around.

    In the meantime, I remarried a former chump and we are normally, unsparkly, blissfully happy. So buh-bye cheater. Ex knows we have no use or need for him so he runs in terror of us now and stays as far away as possible. Why would I ever want to go back to that dark nightmare? My world is finally sweet and real.

  • Now here’s an idea. How about we take this article as a warning not to marry the same person again – in a different disguise?

    As far as I can see, this article is a good reminder to fix your picker. Otherwise you will end up with the ‘same person’ again next time round.

    And an 100% effective way of doing that is to become YOUR REAL SELF. Too many of us pretended to be someone else to keep our relationships intact, only to find that even the pretend self, painfully maintained, wasn’t enough for the cheater.

    Imagine that the Universe appears to you and tells you, absolutely, ‘You will be single for the rest of your life’.

    Now – how are you going to live that life?

    I use this exercise to ground myself whenever I start yearning for ‘the One’, because I know that if I let that feeling take over, it will lead me to make very poor decisions about partners, and compromise too much, and be walked over, because I simply don’t want to be alone any more.

    I never, ever, want to be with any of those men I was with before, ever again. Especially not the same man in a different disguise.

  • D-day was 5 years ago. I used to fantasize about re-connecting with my ex–you know, when he finally realized what a grave mistake he’d made. Yeah… And then! He would apologize, and tell me all about it, and stuff, and he’d give me that look, and I would be loved.

    Can someone pass me a bucket? Gonna hurl

    No, but, really. It’s so nice being at Meh.

    I’m thinking maybe I’d like to marry my new guy. He’s WONDERFUL. Nothing like wonderful to REALLY make you realize the cheater was and is a pathetic coward. I almost feel sorry for him sometimes. But as the new guy says, the cheater’s loss is my new guy’s gain. And that goes for me, too.

    I’m almost ready to say I’m glad the ex ripped off the band-aid and set me free.

    Marry him again? OMG. Never.

  • Not sure what CL has against Weiner-Davis, who is also talking about WAS Walkaway Wife Syndrome. For THIS audience the idea of remarriage to the cheater is repulsive, but not everybody gets divorced that way. Some couples just argue constantly and divorce because they can’t live together. If the divorce is respectful and they don’t involve other people. Stuff those arguments were about does get forgotten by some.

    • Well, this is an infidelity site, not merely a divorce site. Thus, the question for us is whether we would want to return to a known cheater. Pretty sure a unanimous vote can be cast.

      • Point about Weiner-Davis, both CL and Weiner-Davis are helpful, but in a different way. Weiner-Davis actually helped me to OWN my shit, whereas CL is extremely helpful as far as getting to MEH goes.

        Takes two to tango, and while there are some truly disordered characters out there, oftentimes the cheater develops resentment for something you did prior to doing their thang.

        Which is why they are so charged in divorce. It is also why remarriage to the same person won’t work. The same relationship dynamics that failed will develop.
        In case of infidelity trust , once it is gone, is impossible to rebuild for most people. Hell, the reason I am on this site listening to CL is to rebuild my trust in opposite sex in general. Trust in my cheater is long gone and is unrecoverable.

        • Weiner-Davis is a psychopath. I don’t have to “own” anything. I’m not the one who fucked someone other than my spouse.

          • Absolutely right ian. I own who i am and what i am. But i own nothing to do with asswipes behavior. That is on him. I walk holding my head up i didnt screw someone outside my marriage. Hes other whores problem now and if he was better behaved to start with he will never change. Shes trying to change him but that wont work at least not for long hes pretty much back to his old boring angry ways. Me i long for my move and then up up and away!!!!!!

        • It sure does take two to tango–the cheater and a person outside the marriage. If you think that you, or me, or Ian, or Kar Marie (or anyone else who posts after this) has to own what MADE the cheater cheat, then you’e missed the main point of CL. The morally challenged and character disordered view it as their right to step outside the marriage if their partner isn’t perfect.

          Well, I’m pretty sure there is not a human on the face of the planet who is ‘perfect’ and yet 50% of people don’t cheat. Since everyone is married to an imperfect person, what separates those who cheat from those who don’t? Poor impulse control and poor character. I’m pretty sure I can’t “own” my X’s character (though goodness knows I tried to make him a better person).

          • I didn’t miss the point of CL, and you have to be disordered to view it as your right to step outside the marriage. Owning my shit helps me in a different marriage with a different woman, that is all. I understand about character flaws. X would do anything for the drug of infatuation and googly eyes. I would never let myself be in a relationship with such a person again. Of course, I hope I will not be single again any time soon. You never know thou. It’s that innocence that this stuff is for life that X took from me. I wish I never met her.

            • But Chumpman–someone gave YOU the idea that YOU have to own up to doing something to MAKE your xW WANT to cheat.

              Not so.

              Do NOT accept any part of her cheating. That’s on her.

              You want to be a better partner for your next relationship than you were in the first? Fine–that’s a noble goal. But don’t think for a second that you control anyone else’s thoughts, motivations, behaviors. All that is on them. If you want to own up to anything, then own up to having a broken (inexperienced?) picker. You, unfortunately, picked a woman last time around who is deeply flawed–entitled, deceitful, unloving. Forgive yourself for picking wrong. Learn what you did to JUSTIFY staying with an abusive person–and realize it wasn’t just the cheating. She abused and neglected you in other ways, whether financially or emotionally. Figure out what those ways were so you can recognize those traits if you ever come across them again in someone else. Then figure out why you put up with less-than. Why did you think that was the best you deserved? Fix that.

              Become your best you, according to YOUR standards. That’s all you can offer to a potential mate. Try to find someone who reciprocates your desire to be a fine partner. Learn from each other, and build together.

              Don’t bring to the partnership this idea that you cause women to cheat. You don’t. You just need to find a woman who appreciates YOU, and you continue to bring your best to the table.

              I was not a perfect wife. There are things I wish I would have done differently. But I did not cause my xH to cheat. In fact, it was likely his gaslighting and crazy-making passive-aggressive behavior that led to some of my unhappy feelings for him through the marriage. But how I behaved is on me. I was a very, very good wife and mother, something he refused to ever acknowledge. Now I am a very good girlfriend to a man who reciprocates my love, and it’s very nice. It’s good to realize that my best–the person I brought to my marriage–was and is quite good, for the right person. I hope you will realize this one day, yourself.

    • I’d love to see the “REAL” numbers of why couples divorce.. I bet 90% are because of infidelity.. 40% of those told people about it, 50% said it was because they argued…

  • My dog-reactive rescue dog, whom my Cheater was going to return to the shelter, went on to do fairly well in agility. It took a year, but he was able to function well enough around other dogs to be able to be around them if they (and he) were working.

    That dog is now about 13. I love my rescue dog(s). My two are part of the divorce settlement. I came out ahead!

  • My divorce was final on February 17. I’m relieved that it’s over. No, I will never remarry, cohabitate, or even date again. I’m done.

  • I knew of a woman who divorced her cheating husband who married the other woman between their marriages. The second marriage was far more emotionally abusive and she died a miserable woman. Their marriage was only of use to him as long as she was physically able to care for him. When the wife became ill his horrible treatment of her was intensified. At her funeral, he was escorted by his daughter of one of his OW. Don’t do it!

    • I get that. I got sick some years later and was so happy I wasn’t in a place to be told to get up and get dinner on during chemo. When the Fucktard died, people called to congratulate me. I could list my phone again. I could come online. I could live again without worrying about a crowbar prying open my doors anymore. Or any such nonsense.

  • I took him back when were dating, allowed him to sweet talk me into marriage and it bit me on the ass. 12 years, 5 kids and being an ocean away from family and friends, I find out that he had been cheating with a “family friend” while I was pregnant with baby number 5, sometimes with me and our kids in the next room. That was the least abusive thing he did to me and our kids. It didn’t stop after the separation, or divorce, he is still a fucked up abusive asshole who has the nerve to stand up in court (that he was in contempt for) and demand I apologize for accusing him of being abusive. Just based off of what he has written to me over the years, qualifies as abuse.
    No fucking way I will ever return to that! I don’t really think I can ever be in a relationship with a man. I still enjoy my one night stands, but I can’t do more than one date.
    I miss geeking out to shows but I have a feeling he was just love bombing. It was all fake.
    He did try to come back a couple of times but nope! He’d have to stop being an abusive prick and I don’t see that ever happening. I like having just five kids not six, at least my kids have a good reason to be immature and aren’t assholes.

  • Marry The Evil One again!?!?! OMG, I might as well screw myself with a cactus while sticking needles in my eyes and drink bleach.

    However, I will be 45 in two days (BOO-YAH!!), so I’m open to being in a relationship again, but living with someone again? Probably not, marry again, hell naw!!!! TEO was H#2 — I thought I had married him for love and life til death do us part, silly me!!!!

  • A friend just told me of female friend that divorced her husband for cheating/lying. Two years later she agrees to his offer for them and their daughter to attend a hockey together. He woos her back with how he’s changed and misses her, should have respected her etc. They get back together, daughter is ecstatic. A number of months later the woman discovers he is still with the mistress, and never had left her!!!!!

    True, it just happened a few months ago! And here I am trying to decide whether to take my cheater back.

  • I would never in a million years take back my ex. No contact is the best!

    My ex however decided to have an affair with his first wife that divorced him 25 years ago for another man. Ironic that she married her affair partner as soon as the ink was dry on their divorce. The usual FB reconnect, moved her across the country to be with his “twu wuv”. Love bombed his FB with their kibble fest. It was all a mistake and she’s sorry.

    As soon as our divorce was final they remarried. It took a whole 8 months for it to implode and for her to move back to the West Coast. Imagine his surprise that she cheated again and she hadn’t changed.

    He decided he wanted me back and did a version of the “you need me back manipulation dance” with a side of you made me cheat and now you shall feed me kibbles.

    As my wonderful Mother puts it “Same shit, different decade” in regards to taking back an ex.

    My response to him was “you divorced me after 20 years for someone else, I’m no one’s second choice so let me put this in terms a retired Navy vet will understand, that ship has sailed”

    Remember that when someone shows you who they really are believe them!

  • Um no.

    Just… No. All the least appealing ‘would you rather’s my teens come up with are one hundred times more appealing.

    Never marrying again, and I’d rather well… Just about anything than ever have him set foot in my home again. Were it not for the court and my kids, I’d be far from here. And even with those restrictions, I’m sure I could find a decent job that would improve our quality of life about one thousand or so miles away and the kids would be much happier as would I.

  • No. And no. And definitely no.

    I am five years down the line from the day I chucked him out when I discovered him at OW’s home not an hour after I’d left him in the marital bed in our big expensive home with a “head cold so he would lie in a while”.

    I don’t think CL was really doing her good thing at that stage. We had had enough history by then for me to have had it and to cut him off without further discussion. No contact really is the way. And for me, two years of therapy to help me get to grips with myself on coming out of a relationship/marriage I had been in for nearly 3 decades, since I was a kid.

    Now I have my own little place, real relationships with my kids where we talk about what matters, well sometimes… they are teens after all! I have friends who care for me, family I can visit without guilt, work that is blooming, time to spend in my veg patch and a new love. It isn’t sparkly all the time, but the sparkles are the ones I choose and I make happen. Money is tight, I got a poor settlement but knew my ex would destroy all of what we had rather than see me with it so i took an offer and ran.

    Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe it’s real. It’s so good. I used to feel ashamed and disconnected to everyone and everything all the time. I was always wrong. In his eyes. It was appalling . I thought I deserved it. Seems I didn’t.

    Sign up for more of that? Never. I am a fool I know that. These last few years of pain and suffering showed me how to feel. So I’m a more knowing fool now. I will never forget the lessons and go back to that half life.

    I love that saying about boiling a frog. Put a frog in a pan of hot water and it leaps straight out. Put it in a pan of cool water and keep turning up the heat and you can boil that frog no problem. I think that’s so true of these kinds of abusive marriages..it’s so incremental you don’t see it happening. Once out I see that hot pan. Even if it’s dressed up as an oasis of lush tranquility it is a hot pan. This frog isn’t playing that game anymore!

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