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Dear Chump Lady, Can I let people know he’s a fraud?

fraudfoilDear Chump Lady,

I have been married for over 30 years (two now-grown children) and lived in blissfully unaware chumpdom for most of that time. I, champion chump that I was, did not realize I was a chump until much, much more recently.

Two and a half years ago, my husband suddenly left me, claiming to be unhappy in the marriage. We’d had our ups and downs over the decades, but I was blindsided. It took me five months of total heartbreak, confusion, and attempting to save the marriage after the walkout to discover he’d had a mistress for the last year that we were together. (He slept with her for the first time four days before the two of us left on a romantic trip to the south of France that we referred to as The Vacation of a Lifetime). Then five months after THAT discovery I found evidence that he’d conceived a child with another woman he’d met on a long-ago business trip, to whom he’d been secretly paying child support secretly for 14 years.

After these astonishing revelations, I had to face the painful probability that he’d been cheating throughout our marriage. But until he finally cracked and dropped the mask, I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA about what he was doing or who he really was. Truly, a champion among chumps.

Before all this, I regularly congratulated myself on what a great guy I had married. I would have said that my husband was the most faithful guy on the planet, with the highest personal integrity and an unshakeable commitment to me and our family.

After the split, he gave me the revisionist history of our relationship: “I never really loved you,” “I only got married because you wanted to,” “I just stuck it out because of the kids,” “I was miserable for 25 years,” etc., etc. Not knowing anything about his infidelity at first, I absolutely could not understand where all this was coming from. He assured me there was no other woman involved. Life is short and he just couldn’t stand living with his devoted wife a minute longer. I believed it all.

When I later confronted him with the whole uncovered truth about his current mistress and his illegitimate child, he weirdly did an immediate 180 and expressed a sudden desire to reconcile with me even though he appeared to despise me. I, in my then-despondent state of mind, agreed. Even through my acute emotional turmoil, however, I recognized that he was just trying to keep me quiet. He desperately wanted to preserve his carefully cultivated image as a faithful husband (until I, a crazy bitch, made his life so miserable he just couldn’t take it any more), devoted father, successful businessman and generally upstanding member of the community.

Of course the fake reconciliation attempt did not work and within a couple of weeks I gave up, filed for divorce, discovered Chump Nation, and recognized myself and my situation for what it was — cheated on and chumped.

In the intervening year and a half, I have made great progress in putting this human pustule behind me. I no longer have any contact with him. I figure if I don’t talk to him, he can’t lie to me. We have a complicated divorce because we own a business together, but I am slowly but surely nudging the whole process in the right direction. I look forward to the day when all ties are severed, I can take half of everything, and never have to think about him again.

My question for you is — how do I cope with the desire to let everyone and anyone know what a fraud and a cheater and a liar this person really is?

We have lived in our smallish town for 31 years and have made many friends and acquaintances over the years. The few who really care about me know about the situation and have nothing to do with my husband any more. A few others know about the situation but still consider him a friend— I have severed ties with those people. But there are many, many others I see now and then socially who have no idea of the true situation and who still think he is the upstanding guy he pretends to be.

It’s difficult to run into old friends who talk about this spawn of the devil as if he’s a normal good guy. I want to set them straight so badly, but I don’t. My gut tells me that although these are not my secrets, taking the high road means not trashing my husband to anyone and everyone who will listen. Also, I don’t want to come across as the discarded, embittered first wife (although that’s exactly what I am).

What do I do? Will it make me feel better if our mutual connections know just how bad he really is? How do I acknowledge my truth without descending into vitriol and spite? Should I tell my extended circle the details of our split or should I remain silent? Neither seems right…


Champ Chump

Dear CC,

Everyone’s got some impression management going on here — you don’t want to “come across as the discarded, embittered first wife” and he wants to come across as “faithful husband, devoted father, successful businessman and generally upstanding member of the community.”

Only one of these people is true — you were discarded, you’re naturally angry about that, who WOULDN’T BE?, and you’re the first wife.

Your ex-husband is, in fact, a fraud.

So consider, telling people the truth, however much or as little as you care to share, is just the TRUTH. It’s not poison, it’s not being bitter (we’ll get to that in a minute), it’s just the facts.

Now, polite society discourages us from truth telling because it can be awkward and hurt other people’s feelings. We scold children who point and say “Look at that fat man!” or “Why do you have a peg-leg?” Maybe the fat man is ashamed of his peg leg.

Civility is generally a good thing. But when injustice happens, it’s harder to keep your mouth zipped. You aren’t pointing out another person’s afflictions, (“Look! Everyone point at the piebald cheater!”), you’re sharing your story. You have nothing to be ashamed of here. The story is what he did to you, how you were crushed to discover his double life, how you were discarded.

The real challenge is your vulnerability. Right now you’ve wisely shared your story with close friends you trust. Good move. And some other Switzerland sorts know. And YOU know they aren’t bothered by his double life, so you can cut them out of your life as the shallow wastes that they are. But telling other people who don’t know you very well, or him, will make them wonder why you’re slopping your drama into their lives. And they probably will not react with compassion. (Although some might and surprise you.)

All to say — you don’t know what kind of reaction you’ll get. If you’re looking for validation from strangers — I’m not crazy! He really did these things! — it’s unsettling and puts you in this defensive crouch of trying to convince a non-believer.

The better tactic is your dignity. You know the truth. You’re not afraid of how people see you. And you don’t wear the shame of his discard. You told the people who matter, and that’s enough. I promise you, those people told people. And word has spread. So now you’re left to the culling — the people who know and feign neutrality, versus the people who know and are horrified for you, and pull you closer.

If anyone asks you why you’re divorced, you can use any of the handy chump phrases like “There were three people in my marriage” or “I didn’t like his girlfriend.” “He hid his love-child from me for 14 years” should pretty much suffice.

You’re not the keeper of his image any longer. Tell or don’t tell if it suits YOU. And stop giving a flip if people don’t get it. YOU get it. And the people who matter get it. Everyone else can go blow. That doesn’t make you bitter. That makes you a person living in truth, who knows her worth.


Ask Chump Lady

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  • Such great advice.
    I will be filing papers on July 7th – and since the news of our dissolution will surprise many – the idea of giving just a short explanation is appealing.
    While I don’t necessarily care what others think – anyone who knows me would be clear that I would not want our marriage/family torn apart, and a short phrase like “I didn’t like his girlfriend” gets the point across and allows me to take the high road.
    Coincidentally – I found Chump Lady on July 7th 2015 – the day I found his car at the ho-workers house, while we were in marriage counseling, after he claimed to have broken up post January 2015 D-day. There have been many “words” of reconciliation since then, but few actions. So I have decided to no longer make him a priority, since I am clearly just an option (backup at that) to him..
    Viva Independence Day. I would have never made it without CL and CN.
    Love you all.

    • I have found that “there were 3 people in my marriage and I was the only one who didn’t know” with a smile works for me.
      The truth.
      No judgement.
      Not bitter.

      • Mine was a long time ago, but these things probably don’t change over time. And I think the decision about how much to say ends up being pretty individual.

        I lived in a small town and I chose brevity and candor. I waited until there was a need (the person asked or it came up in conversation naturally, like when a person asked how he was doing or said to say hi.) Then I would say “We are getting divorced.” When asked why, I would say “He and I have very different ideas about marriage. He’s not am honest man and he’s not a faithful man. I can’t be married to someone who lies to me and can’t be faithful to me.” If pressed for details, I’d say “The details really aren’t what’s important and I don’t want to just badmouth him. He has always been unfaithful. Now I know, so the marriage is over.”

        He, on the other hand, told multiple lies about me live on the internet for years after our divorce. You can bet your bum that this duplicitous, cruel, calculating, self-aggrandizing guy you’re divorcing is telling his bogus story high and low about you to whoever will listen. Harming you is clearly in his nature.

        You have a right to express the truth in your community as you are ready. I like CL’s advice. It doesn’t have to be ugly, and it doesn’t have to be sterilized. Facts are facts. As long as your lawyer is on board, have at it.

        • Oh… I didn’t realize I was commenting on a comment. Sorry to top-jump in the thread by commenting on the first one! And yes, TiredChump and Rebecca, exactly what you said. 🙂

      • Or in CC’s case, there were most likely multiple people in her marriage, she doesn’t really know how many.

        People often ask me details about my ex’s relationship with OW and I always tell them I don’t know the full extent of his relationships, and I’ll never know. However, I know enough.

        If they’re really close friends I whip out the manifesto he wrote about his plans to break up OW’s family, but I don’t show that to many. I had revenge fantasies of sending it to his mother, or publishing it in the local newspaper, but I decided to be the bigger person. Besides, doing something like that backfire on me since I’m sure my ex would say I made it up to get back at him.

        Anyway, looking back over our 31 year relationship I believe there were other women, but I don’t know who they were. My husband traveled all. the. time.

        Whenever I manage to tell people in a matter of fact way what happened, it makes me feel better. But whenever bitterness seeps into my voice, it makes me feel bad afterwards. Society frowns on bitter people. They say we “need to move on,” or remind us that “he never says anything bad about you.”

        That’s the really hard part, that we are expected to forgive, forget and say it’s all for the best. To “own our part in the demise of the relationship.” People don’t understand unless it’s happened to them.

        • ‘He never says anything bad about you!’, ‘yeah, that’s because I wasn’t the one doing bad stuff.’

          • Karen, I agree! I used to think, “Does a thief go around broadcasting what he’s stolen? No, he just keeps his mouth shut and hides.”

          • Why should he? You’re his wife! Who goes around badmouthing their spouse. This shouldn’t happen in the first place. He’s supposed to have your back to begin with.

          • ” I figure if I don’t talk to him, he can’t lie to me.”

            This is how I live. It infuriates him to no end. He will rant “you can’t ignore me and treat me like I don’t exist.” Uhm, that’s exactly what I can do as the ex wife to a lying, cheating idiot. You treated me and our marriage vows like they didn’t exist. Now they no longer do.

        • That “he never says anything bad about you,” sticks in my craw because I had a serial cheater (as you suspect you did, too, Lyn). What do we think they told their affair partners? That we were fabulous wives and all-around good people? No, we were heavily maligned, our marriages were said to be “dead,” etc., etc. so that the cheaters could lure new people into bed with their sad sausage “woe is me; I’m in a loveless marriage” tripe.

          The only person who told me “he only speaks well of you and feels badly about what happened,” led me to respond, “Really? Want to see his last nastygram TO me? It’s not nice, and he doesn’t feel badly at all.” LOL–no wonder I’ve lost friends, but when they are Switzerland friends, good riddance.

          • “Feels badly about what happened” really sticks in my craw, still to this very day. Passive verb tense in general pisses me off: it “happened,” not what “he did.” THAT, I might have some respect for, but instead it was like a meteor crashed through the roof –no one’s fault, it just “happened.”

            One of my less shining moments was with our former best friends (now his friends alone) who kept saying he felt really really really really bad, and one day I just unleashed a torrential vective of rage about how, if he felt so bad, he HAD his chance to step up and work for us and try to defend the “Us” of us and save our marriage, but he just threw me over for some…. I don’t really remember the rest. You can imagine, I’m sure. — The looks on their faces… so precious. At the time, infuriating, but now, … just funny.

            Some will never step up. And that’s on them. CL is right: All you can do is tell your story. How it’s received and how people respond is entirely up to you. But the truth is the truth. If that makes me “bitter,” then to hell with those people.

            • I totally agree with you about the passive language, NWB. It’s a way to avoid responsibility (Matt McGlone has some research on this among politicians who made bad decisions & then try to explain them).

              My response to the “bitter” quip [though no one has dared say that to my face] is that it is an intelligent and natural response to be bitter that someone conned you, lied to you, betrayed you, and (in my case) kept me in a marriage for 8 years I would never have stayed in it if I had known about his affair.

              I would worry if someone was NOT bitter about that.

              • So true. I will sometimes make a snarky response about crappy behavior that generates the comment, “Wow, you’re really jaded”, to which I respond, “Being jaded is a product of actual experience. I didn’t develop this point of view in a vacuum. I don’t trust people who behave that way because the people who have behaved that way around me in the past were, without exception, untrustworthy.”

                Inevitably, the other person simply agrees. What else is there to say?

      • My favorite response to why we divorced is that I was married for 36 years but my ex was only married for 18.

    • TiredChump, me too!! Chump Nation has helped me tremendously.

      My Independence Day is 7/6 and I have been telling all my friends and family that this weekend we celebrate my independence, not the country’s. haha.

      • You should read the most recent column at about Independence Day!

      • My Independence Day is a few days before yours, and while everyone celebrates the country’s independence, I also celebrate the day I officially separated from my ex. I think I always will.

        On topic, I told the people who were “my people” but went total NC on “his people”. Never said a word to his family or friends or coworkers. Didn’t blow up the latest affair, and so it resumed, officially, and with a clean, revised history. Sometimes I wish I had, but my experience telling “my people” was mixed enough, and I am sure that it would have been worse with his own people. I don’t have a chance of swaying any of them, and I didn’t want to waste energy trying.

    • Well-done, Tired Chump!!! Vote for YOU. I have followed your story from the beginning, and have been routing for your liberation and chance at a better life (which you definitely deserve)!!! Hugs.

    • Congratulations on your Independence Day.

      My rage is slowly dissipating and being replaced by very unexpected and small doses of a feeling I can’t quite identify. Relief? I’ve spent the last year reviewing other things wrong with my marriage that I put up with and convinced myself were normal or not “that bad.” After having the opportunity to be alone to think and the increasing distance to gain perspective, I’m feeling that catching him cheating may have been a blessing in disguise. I am still mad and confused about many things, and still think he’s a total Fucktard, but if I hadn’t caught him, would I have lived with him for another 28 years not knowing how unhappy I was? I’ve always been the glass is half full person, but this feeling and thought caught be totally unaware. I know that if Chump Lady hadn’t gone through what she did, we wouldn’t be here supporting each other. That’s a blessing. She’s happy, which is a bigger blessing. Surprisingly, I’m beginning to really believe I will be too.

      I will celebrate your Independence with you and hope that soon you will be free of him legally and that all of us will be free of the cheaters in our hearts and our thoughts.

      • Annie – ‘Relief? I’ve spent the last year reviewing other things wrong with my marriage that I put up with and convinced myself were normal or not “that bad.”

        Yes, a similar thing has happened to me. It’s taken awhile but it’s all coming back to me, thanks to a post yesterday (wish I could remember her name!) that said how cruel it was to withhold affection and sexual relationships. The canary in the tunnel. Thank you poster – YOU put me squarely on The Meh Pedestal.
        And, another fellow said – Fuck Him! I would have loved a wife like me? That gave me a huge amount of push to get past that he never loved me and treated me like crap. 4 yrs I’ve been on this website and all the searching I’ve done – those two posts hit me at exactly the right time.
        Thank you guys!

        I listed how many trips we went on, how much joy we felt when we burned a mortgage, how horny I was after a party and during all those trips, and just basic life, without sex. I won’t be too hard on myself because I was during those times and I still have no idea why I stayed. I loved him! I loved him! barf.

        I have been thinking about his treatment of me ever since and that’s what finally sealed the deal for me.

        I love him NO MORE!

        This is what C/L and C/N have done for me.

        And, as a ps. Andrew – please get on the forums so we can try to help you through this painful process. You are brave, my man!

  • And I neglected to say to Champ Chump – so sorry for your pain! And please don’t believe one word of his revisionist history about not being happy for 25 years. That is horse manure – and the fact they revise their history to justify their own poor character is the most damaging part of the whole horrific experience, especially for those of us duped after long marriages.

    • You’re right TC… It can never be enough… Because they are black holes! But it doesn’t make our love or our lives less real!

      Good luck on 7/7!

    • Well, to any normal person, when some one says they “were never happy” in a long term marriage (I guess statistically over about 5 to seven years) I see that as a fault on THEM. No one else. If they were so Unhappy, there is a thing called Divorce. It’s just a sub station of the psychotic Pity Channel. Most people think they are morons, never doubt that.

      • When someone says they were never happy in their marriage but stayed anyway, I say to them, well that person does not have the capacity to be happy. They weren’t happy from the time they learned the meaning of the word and they will remain unhappy until their dying breath. So yes, they weren’t happy the entirety of our marriage, and that’s on them, not me.

    • “WE HAD BEAUTIFUL FAMILIES AND CHILDREN AND GOOD TIMES. BUT BECAUSE OF THEIR WEAKNESSES – IT JUST WASNT ENOUGH.” This. THIS!!! Thank you so much TiredChump – this is just what I needed to see. Especially when it feels like I’m a line judge at the Dysfunction Olympics today.

    • Tired,
      Thanks so much for this reminder. I’d really like to think the good stuff was real!

      It’s SO WEIRD that all the cheaters follow the same script.

      Just sick and wrong.

  • Yes!!!!
    Chumplady, how do you always know what we need to hear?
    I’m no contact as are my kids but my mother attends the same church as his affair partner and now both of them (since finding Jesus has been part of the love bomb/ impression management campaign)
    My mother does not talk to him but it’s my understanding that they tell people at church that he divorced and then they found eachother and are blissfully in love. He’s taken on her kids and I don’t think anyone there is aware that he even has any that won’t speak to him. One big happy family….
    Too bad none of them know they “found eachother” TWO years before he left me…..and hooked up 15 years ago when she was his paramedic student. It’s a sweet story if you leave out the part where he had a wife and kids and the time.
    I’m pretty meh but there are days where I want to hold a sign in front of that church saying ” My ex husband probably fucked half your congregation while we were married. Now you can have his sorry ass.

    • Girl I could not let that golden opportunity go but I’m petty like that if you have evidence I’d make some kind of flyer and post it on all the windshields while they are at church i hope your mom had told some people there!!!

    • My soon to be Ex Narcissist regularly prays for me and has asked me to open up and let God into my life more times than I can count. It is amazing how good and righteous they think they are!!!

      • My Ex was a pastor (lost his “calling” due to his cheating). The OW is a pastor (apparently she did nothing wrong). Currently, they are living together in a house that her church provides. They regularly put out prayer requests on Facebook when I’ve done something like take him to court for not paying alimony, or when I remind him that he is supposed to pay for something for our children (divorce decree). It never seems to occur to them to just be people of integrity and pay the obligations they’ve made. Yesterday, my Ex told our kids (in their early 20’s and in college) that I “am trying to make his life miserable.” Both kids know exactly what is going on and have zero faith in their father. EX and OW live in their own fantasy land and I have no desire to be a part of it.

        • It would be nice if they got a Facebook reply, “God does not answer prayers that are made from selfish hearts. If he did, you’d be burning in hell right about now.”

        • I’ve the Jesus Cheaters….How about God doesn’t send you somebody else’s husband.
          Or the God wants me to be happy….Oh did God tell you to be happy by dipping your dick in other women??? Oh….I missed that Bible verse.

      • This is too funny! My husband once told me he prays every day for me and I needed to go to church because maybe they could help me. The irony behind this is he just “discovered” church, I grew up with a strong spiritual base, he didn’t.

        I guess he really needed to be forgiven for his sins and thought walking in the door of a church would “help” him. And, I guess praying for me would absolve him from what he did to me. Will wonders ever cease!

    • Paintwidow – it never ceases to amaze me that these “Christians” carry on with this crap in the house of their lord. I’m an atheist, but I hope there is a God who will punish these soulless liars for using his house to perpetrate their fraud. Hope he’s like the soup Nazi and says “No heaven for you!”.

      • I still have a fervent desire for lightning bolts sent down from the sky to smite cheaters, perhaps on one given day.

        • I would like to see that day be Independence Day….but that’s just me.

        • Tempest, you’d think these “believers” would be scared shitless of these lightning bolts, however, me thinks the only God they truly believe in is themselves. The church, like coaching soccer or being a scout leader, is just another way to hide their slimy. Pathetic.

          • This made me laugh. My stbxh is both a soccer coach and a scout leader. He also has a porn problem and patronizes prostitutes. Just another impression management strategy to hide the slimy.

            • Yeah, I knew someone like that. He was an exemplary church goer, coached a girl’s softball team, had a beautiful wife and 3 daughters. Yet he got caught at 58 years old trying to have sex with a 14 year old. Nice huh. The worst offenders are model citizens. Now I’m very skeptical when I see these holier than though personalities.

            • Yep mine an under 19 yo football coach (voted president of exclusive football club here in Australia) and I discovered his stash of young male porn on his laptop…. Still reeling

              • Blessing, Kellia and Where is Mia – My idiot X thought himself above dealing with mere children. He was a captain of industry (gag!) and didn’t have time for such trivial matters. The good news is I coached my son’s football, basketball and soccer team and had a ball! That fool missed out on one of the best parts of my son’s life and I got to be right there on the sidelines!

    • I think what they forget is that true Christianity calls for a life of ZERO impression management and requires complete transparency. The real thing that makes me sick is not just how the narcs show up every Sunday like they’re not blatantly disregarding a very basic moral principle (because we all know they’re creepy pod people like that), but it’s everybody else who doesn’t say anything. I mean come on, it’s part of the 10 freaking Commandments right? Thou shalt not commit adultery. And they wonder why so many people think they’re such a joke and full of crap.

      • He says he’s been forgiven, he went to church and prayed on it.

        • Tell him God sent you a text to pass on to him that just says, “Nope.”

    • It was pointed out to me by my supportive brother that my Shithead and Senior Slut – now moved 80 miles away and attending a new church – are indeed feeling guilty over what they’ve done (although they’ll never admit it, even to themselves.) and are looking for absolution. As they know there will be no forgiveness coming from me, my kids, my family, and a good number of friends, they turn to God to forgive as He has to, right?

  • I told everybody and I mean it, including pizza delivery guy and the post man.
    I told three biggest gossip mothers at my kids school ( the OW’s son was in the same class as my daughter), they wonderfully did the job of spreading it further for me….
    I told his mother, his sister, my entire family and all our friends.
    I am not ashamed, I am not sorry.
    I prevented him from selling his story how we grew apart and he never loved me blah blah blah
    Till this day it makes me laugh when I remember the OW hysterically trying to feed her BS to everybody around. But it was too late… First stories always sell better…
    The only thing I would suggest here is to first sort out separating your assets/ business with him. You don’t want to deal with an angry jerk when splitting the assets.

    Then just go global with the news.
    Always the truth and calm and composed. Facts will speak for themselves!

    • I told everyone (yes, EVERYONE) for the first 2 or 3 years. His entire family as well.
      If you only tell what you know is true, if it doesn’t hurt the legal process (ask your lawyer first) and it makes you feel good, sing it from the rooftops!
      Now that I am 3 years post-divorce I stick with my one line version.
      There is a light at the end of this painful tunnel.

      • Yep, 2 years divorced this week and I’m at the one line response – “I didn’t like his girlfriend”. It makes people laugh and, well, it’s the truth.

    • Good for you, Bee! I’ve told pretty much everyone, too. I figure I’m not the one fucking my cousin so why should I feel ashamed? If he didn’t want people to know he traded in his wife of 20+ years and basically abandoned his two teenage kids for his three time arrested, gold digging whore of a cousin who’s still sleeping with her husband and sending inappropriate pictures to a neighbor then he shouldn’t have done it. Like you I am not ashamed and I am not sorry.

      • Ughhhh, so Gross fucking his cousin. Do tell everyone. Public Service Announcement there.

        • Maybe download the “Dueling Banjo’s” from Deliverance, and play it as you tell the story….or if either one of them should happen to walk by.

      • These are all fantastic suggestions! Sadly, the fact that she is his cousin is just the tip of the iceberg. The fuckedupness in this family is epic. Everyone in the family embracing her and this relationship? Check. Father-in-law is a pastor who married Harley (that’s what I call her because he told me once he should have just bought a motorcycle instead) and her husband? Check. Mother-in-law was the one who encouraged her to call him again because he was so happy? Check. He took her to a funeral to introduce her to the members of his dad’s side of the family? Check. Sister-in-law was the praise and worship leader who had an affair with the pastor of their large church, leading to its downfall? Check. Dined with a convicted murderer thanks to that family? Check. Harley’s brother-in-law cheated on her sister with my father-in-law’s first wife? Check. Both of them ended up in prison for embezzling? Check. She dumped him for someone she met in the halfway house and then my in-laws had them over for Thanksgiving dinner so I can say I spent the holiday with 2 felons? Check. I could write a book.

    • I told everybody too. I told bank tellers and the butcher and I even posted a status on facebook congratulating them on their decisions to leave their families and run away together and clean out half of our bank account. As I was moving out our neighbor came out to say he didn’t realize we were moving. I told him only i was moving because my ex was having an affair. Another ex-neighbor just emailed me asking for access to our yard and I told her that I no longer lived there, but she was welcome to ask his mistress who now lives there.

      No regrets. I manage to tell people while keeping my head held high and a sense of humor. People have been nothing but aghast and appalled at what he did. I think he was banking on me keeping quiet so they could spin their tale of how their relationship started. It pisses him off that I didn’t act as his PR agent for him. If he’s bad mouthing me, I don’t know exactly what he says. My friends and family have done an amazing job of keeping me shielded from things. I found out much later that twice my friends have run into him around town and in both instances they made him really uncomfortable. They didn’t tell me until years later. I love that anywhere he goes he risks running into a friend of mine who thinks he is worthless scum.

    • I told everybody as well. No way was he or that whore going to get to hide or lie or minimize what was going on. I told all their friends and entire family. This is not for everybody. Some people prefer to deal with things very privately, but I’ve always lived my life very open and honest because I don’t have anything to hide and he was always the coward, afraid to face anybody if he thought they would object and he’d have to have to have a confrontation. These type of people feed off of secrecy and lies. Blasting their disgusting behavior out in the open to everybody they knew was something I needed for me to be free of it. The truth is very important to me and knowing I was able to tell the truth first, that no matter what lies they told others the truth wouldn’t be able to be unheard, and that was what mattered to me.

      • Most of these cheaters are both cowards and assholes … not sure which is worse.

        • Cheating in itself is a cowardly act so they are ALL cowards. If they weren’t, they would have ended their marriages first. Why have a backup plan? I told everyone too, I wasn’t giving them a chance to come up with any alternative story. Turns out dickwad was badmouthing me behind my back for YEARS, so me putting it out there kinda evened the score. Most people want nothing to do with him, even my pastor and Bishop have wiped their hands free of him and recognize what goes down in his life now is totally on him. My divorce was made final last week after 26 months of wrangling. Yipeee!!!! Gonna have a true Independence weekend, it means so much right now!!!

          • “Turns out dickwad was badmouthing me behind my back for YEARS, so me putting it out there kinda evened the score.”

            I know!! If we got into the minds of our cheaters and actually found out what they were thinking of us, we would be able to end the relationship much much sooner. We’d probably realize how they never loved us, never cared for us, never really thought much of us and had already discarded us. But here we are, left to pick up the pieces, because of some mental decisions they made months or years ago about not wanting to be with us anymore, yet they don’t let us in on their thoughts.

            And you found out that your ex was badmouthing you behind your back. I found out about this too about my ex. Here I was telling people how he was such a sweet guy, yet he was going around talking shit behind my back to his family and others. Nice huh? Once one of his family friends repeated a statement he made about me, I relayed it to my ex and he flat out denied it all. But I knew better, and immediately dumped his ass. This family friend of his had NEVER lied to me, and I had no reason to doubt her. But dumping him was the best decision of my life, and knowing EXACTLY what he thought of me, just lead to a switch being turned off in my mind and I started hating him from that moment on and had no more feelings for him. I couldn’t stand him after that and after dumping his ass, I never looked back. Best decision ever. The key is really knowing what they are thinking of us, and chances are, it’s not very highly, I can tell you that!

        • Cowards are worse. At least you know what you can expect from an asshole. Something that can just be wiped away.

          • So well said Annie. At least assholes tell us to our face what they are thinking. Cowards do not and they are the lowest form of human beings.

  • Champ Chump, we are cut from the same cloth…and when I was filled with angst and pain and misery over his affair, I would have sworn on the lives of my children that it was his first and only affair. Granted he was mean, cranky, aloof, distant and blaming, but he told me it was because he was burdened with intelligence and ambition – unlike his brother and cousin who were “nice guys”, he even said he would have preferred to have been like them, but his great intellect came at a price, you know.

    and learning that he was a long time cheat…it was the key to a hundred locks – so many odd little things that didnt quite fit…that time he registered me and the kids into a hotel then left to go “stay in the Bachelor Officers Quarters” for some lame reason….well Uni, that doesn’t mean anything, its not like he is CHEATING!


    and one might consider my dilemma – learning the full truth after he died…so now if I tell the story (to the kids, family or anyone else) Im speaking ill of a dead man who cant defend himself.

    I don’t recommend hiding his deeds so deeply that you are ever in my spot. I have chosen to tell my full story here and to my girlfriends…if you met me at a dinner party, I might mention a late spouse but you wouldnt get the whole story.

    • Honestly, I don’t know how I’d settle with that. Did you ever get a chance to confront him about anything or did you find out everything after he died?

      • I knew he had a “too close” relationship with a coworker when he was alive, but that asshole swore to me (over and over for 7 years) that they never had sex. So after he died I found hotel reciepts that suggested otherwise (as he had told lies about that very trip, so he was hiding SOMETHING) but later I learned that there were at least 2 other affairs…plus I found some woman’s pay stub in my house.

        So he never had to look at my face and catch hell from me after being caught in a physical affair.

        Im sure he was glad to have avoided it, but I wonder if he has been doing this in a “Ghost of Christmas future” mode seeing but not being able to communicate…none of us know how this Purgatory thing work, but I doubt it is fun.

        • Hey and the good thing is No Contact is effortless! #silverlinings 🙂

  • Yes, great advice. Share if you want to. Maybe think about why you want to “set them straight so badly” after all this time. Maybe you feel the real life consequences for his actions didn’t come close to the pain and loss you had to endure. Does he seem happy and relatively unscathed? Well, he sucks. Shallow and selfish, he is a phony and a fraud whether others know it or not.

    I understand what it’s like to discover your husband who seemed great (Mine was church president and could have won Father of the Year!) is really a lying cheater with a secret, sordid life. It doesn’t feel vindictive or bitter to me to tell others the truth, but it also doesn’t feel particularly righteous either. It’s just the truth albeit a bit shocking to many (including me evidently). Most are sympathetic but don’t really know my anguish. How could they?

    I tell people, “Marriage is between two people only, and my husband didn’t seem to understand that.”

    • “Marriage is between two people only, and my husband didn’t seem to understand that.”

      Thank you so much, never!!! I have been in need of another short & sweet line for the times I do need to express why I am no longer with cheaterpants.

      Forge on, never……ForgeOn all!

  • CC… I feel your pain. I don’t run around “telling my story”… But if I’m asked, I respond with the truth. It makes some people uncomfortable, but their response is not responsibility. I lied and hid the truth for 8 years. No more.

    Where I do stumble in my conviction is with regard to the OW, #4. I am waiting patiently for my day in court to show the proof and the facts around their adultery… To show copies of the multiple personal ads he ran seeking women/couples/groups. The only pause I feel is how her two children (12 and 8) will be affected as they get older and realize their church-going, PTA-going, “looks shiny on the outside” Mom contributed to breaking up another woman’s family.

    Why can’t single people stick to dating single people? Why do they think someone else’s husband is their only chance for “twu luv”… And why don’t they believe the red flag of an adult friend finder ad when they’re shown it?!?

    Hang in there CC… You are mighty and soon you will reach Tuesday and Meh and his narrative won’t matter anymore. Hugs.

    • I, too, would hate for my kids to realize I’m a lying, cheating whore who was content to break up another woman’s marriage while I masqueraded as a perfect, shiny, church going, PTA-attending, stand up mom. That’s why I don’t mess around with married men. ICanSeeTheMehComing, all you need to do is remind yourself, “Not your circus, not your monkeys.”

      I realize that probably makes me sound like a cold-hearted bitch who doesn’t care about the children so I will add this little nugget. Chances are her kids won’t find out. She won’t be taking them to court with her if she has to testify and if she is deposed or called to testify I would be willing to bet she won’t tell her kids about it. If it ever does come up I’m sure she and the X will be able to come up with a brilliant cover story that makes you the bad guy.

      You do what’s best for you. She is the one that should be looking out for her kids; she shouldn’t be looking to you to eat a shit sandwich so her kids don’t suffer due to her actions.

    • I hear you. I’ve NEVER cheated on anyone and I have NEVER been the other woman. There’s plenty of single people out there. If I ever feel like I just need to jump someone’s bones NOW, I will find a guy who is single, like me. It’s not that difficult to find single men who are looking to get laid. Really, it’s actually quite easy. I’m sure the statistical probability of finding “tru wuv” is much higher with single people than married liars.

  • I’ve only told a few people the details. Mostly I just tell people that he checked out of the marriage and I got tired of being the only one putting in the effort. I haven’t had anyone push for more details, but your mileage may vary.

    I’ve also found that not everyone bought into his Mr. Perfect act to the extent that I thought they did. A lot of people saw his selfishness despite my spackling. You may be surprised.

    • This is an excellent point. We had friends from our son’s school who abruptly distanced themselves from us and I could never explain it. Friends who suddenly “unfriended” him (but not me). He was always the life of the party, son’s soccer coach, go-to guy if any female friends needed help. And yet…

      When I was talking to my ex-BIL about divorcing, ex-BIL told me “He’s my brother and I love him, but you can do so much better.” In fact, his whole family told me he was selfish before I’d figured it out myself.

      • I wish they had told you this before you married him. What’s the point of letting you in on him being selfish after you’re married. You probably had children with him and then they announce to you how your husband is. I wish they had let you in on this, which would have lead you to make an informed decision about the guy who chose to marry.

        This reminds me of one of my gfs who introduced me to friends of her own boyfriend. She came up to me and said that each of her bf’s friends were train wrecks. And her boyfriend objected to those statements and quipped “Why are you telling Kellia about this?” And I got angry and said, excuse me, why wouldn’t she? And he said, “but what about if you fall in love with any of them”. And I retorted even more angrily, ” Then it will be informed love, and I will have made an informed decision to be with this person. It’s not right to hide important information when you know about it. You don’t have my best interests at heart, but your gf does. And that shut him up for the rest of the night. My gf was the bomb, but her ex, not so much.

        • My MIL did warn me before I married X, but everyone was convinced I was sooooo good for him, and made him a better person. Facepalm, indeed. I just made him better at impression management, and thus able to engage in even more debauchery than before beneath the surface.

          • OMG This!!

            “My MIL did warn me before I married X, but everyone was convinced I was sooooo good for him, and made him a better person. Facepalm, indeed. I just made him better at impression management, and thus able to engage in even more debauchery than before beneath the surface”.

            That and he was previously married & divorced to wife number #1 in less than one year before I had even come into the picture. Which he lied about because he said he was embarrassed. Facepalm #2

      • I’m amazed that his family sees this. Many times, the in-laws will think their son or daughter could never do anything wrong.

  • To echo the overall point — start with those with whom you feel safe, those who would lie down in traffic for you if you asked. If nobody fits that bill, unload in the CL forums — here you find people who have been there and “get it” and who will be more than happy to share support and advice, nearly all of it spot on.

    But I’m a firm believer that chumps do need to tell someone early on, if for no other reason than having the situation known to someone other than yourself and the fuckwit cheater.

    After that, proceed with whatever makes you comfortable, and understand that you may want the “circle of knowledge” to expand or contract over time.

    After my STBXW had a dinner with some neighbor ladies shortly after DDay, I assumed it was attempt to circle the wagons, even though neither of us had been particularly close with any of the families. My outlook was: “Who cares, let her get her narrative out there — the opinions of these people don’t matter in the long run.

    4 months later (this past weekend), I was walking the dog and one of them came out to ask how I was doing. I stuck with the generalities of how difficult it’s been, etc. when she suddenly brought up the dinner. She said: “I heard her story and was sitting across from her (my wife) at the table, and said ‘I just have to say: both my husband and I are children of divorce and have had our own share of big problems over the years. Are you seriously willing to risk throwing away everything that’s good about your marriage, and the security you’ve built, and the emotional well being of your girls, just because you’re bored with your husband?”

    When I asked what the reaction to that was, she said, “Nothing. Just a blank stare.” Which is exactly the look I got when I screamed at her after interrupting a sex date she’d planned in our home while our girls were at school.

    Point is — I don’t feel any greater need to bring this neighbor (or any of the others) any closer into the situation than she already is, but if I choose to I’ll do so because I want to, because I’m comfortable doing so, and because it will be the truth, not some painted lie designed to justify destructive behavior.

    • It’s also interesting to note that the neighbor clearly didn’t buy into your XW’s attempt at impression management, which just shows that there are always people who have seen through the cheater mask.

  • I’ve had the same situation but I only know of one OW… the one he left me for after 30 years. I too live in a small town and he’s now singing in the choir with shiny Schmoopie. I’m slowly getting over it but it’s taken nearly 3 years to finalize the divorce.

    I found my peace with my “therapy” book club and they learned the whole story and are my confidantes. However, they’ve been given the green light to spread the word if the situation arises. Now when I run into an old acquaintance and they give me that “I know” look, I mention the divorce and say I’m doing just fine. If they seem to want a little more, I give it to them. I don’t care how he looks anymore and when they see that I’m not embittered and sad, they seem to relax and wish me well. We share a laugh or two and move on. I’m getting more and more comfortable in my new skin and I think people can see that. They now tell me that when they see him, he looks older and pathetic and I love it!

    He’s no longer the most admired man in town. He’s just another cheating scumbag!

    Champ Chump — hold you head up and smile. You are the one with a wonderful new life around the corner and it might not be today, but it’s out there. Start making new friends and enjoying new things and the happiness will follow!

  • “I didn’t care for his girlfriend” works for me. That’s if people ask. I was like you CC. I told only one person at work that I was getting a divorce because I was ashamed?. A year later when I resumed my maiden name, the genie was officially out of the bottle. Some people ask, but most don’t. Usually the girlfriend line elicits a knowing smile and a congratulations. If they learn about my attempted wreckonciliation I even get a few bonus points.

    Like chump lady says, it’s not your shame. Tell your truth if people ask. You didn’t destroy his image. He did that on his own.

  • I told my story to everyone who would listen immediately after DDay #2 (I kept Dday#1 secret for 8 years for wreckonciliation ideal) part as therapy (to people I didn´t know, like taxi drivers: they give great advice by the way!) and part as removing the myth of the “perfect couple” before he blamed it on me or told people we divorced by mutual agreement.

    However, I started noticing that after a year of telling the story, the long version would drain me of my energy in a bad way (at the beginning it was liberating, like crying when you are mourning) so I started using one liners only when asked, and now two and a half years later, I use the story only when asked about my past relationships, or when in a dating situation, when I want to see how the date reacts to cheating. I have found that it makes an excellent bonding experience with fellow chumps (there are so many, of us) and it makes cheaters come out of the closet (they feel uncomfortable, or justify their own cheating).

    So if you are two years and a half from the cheater leaving you, it might not be a good time to start teling everyone you haven´t told because then it might also exhaust you and make you feel bitter if you have done work to recover. But I would recommend to give it a positive angle and when asked, use the short version to test people and once you discover a fellow chump, you might want to use the long version to bond and share healing experiences.

    • I do think some of us hit a “second round” of wanting our story told. Some friends and former colleagues are ones I may only have contact with once or twice a year, and thus had not known of my plight. I try to find a concise way to tell them what has happened. “Turns out he was leading a double life, with affairs with students, hookups from Ashley Madison and other adult websites, so I divorced him,” works quite well. Some of my motivation is to update people on my divorced status, and I admit some of it is to damage X’s reputation among distant colleagues and former friends. But it’s the truth, so damaging his reputation is completely warranted.

      • I agree with the “second round” theory. It’s common knowledge that I left but now I want to get out and if I run into MY old friends that were lost during the marriage, because he hated everyone I knew, i want my truth out there not his.

        • I’m also finding myself on the second round. X has been stuck on the rage channel since the divorce and it’s very hard not to want to hit back, especially knowing that he started a smear campaign against me as soon as I filed. So I decided to expand the circle of people who know the truth to include his professional network, which is where he is most likely to pursue his next beard. At least I might spare one more woman from getting involved with an off-the-chain narcissist who’s also in the closet. I’ve spent too much time in there with him already.

    • “However, I started noticing that after a year of telling the story, the long version would drain me of my energy in a bad way (at the beginning it was liberating, like crying when you are mourning)”

      This is so true!

  • I’m so sorry, Champ Chump. It sucks to be lied to and blindsided by infidelity, and then listen in as history is rewritten (always in their favor, of course).

    In my case, STBX had a long distance EA two years prior with the same person. The first time around I told very few people- 2 of my best friends who lived out of state and my neighbor. No one else knew.

    This time I told everyone. I told my mom; I told my brother. I told the kids. I told my closest friends and I told casual acquaintances. Hell, I’m pretty sure the neighbors know. I told the guy who poured concrete for the pool, the lady at the vet’s office, and the deputy who came out to serve him. I decided I had covered for him the first time and I wasn’t going to do it this time. Of course we had also moved only a year prior to him starting his affair and the entire time we were putting an insanely expensive inground pool in the backyard he was involved with her. Nothing like having to tell your pool contractor you can’t pay him the balance of what you owe because your husband is having an affair and you need to keep that money aside if he decides to start playing games (I’ve been a SAHM and wife for 17 years).

    I don’t go out of my way to tell my story, i.e. if the cashier ringing up my groceries asks me how I’m doing I don’t give her the full details of CF’s antics. However, because of all the big changes and all the crap he’s pulled I’ve ended up telling my story a lot- probably more than I would have if I’d remained where I was. And definitely anybody that I’m even remotely close to I’ve told. Shoot, I was just explaining my situation yet again yesterday because someone came by to help me make sure everything was running properly for the pool. I can’t afford to do the remaining electrical work or to re-sod the yard plus there was damage done to one of the valves over the winter. I’m telling the guy why none of this has been done and why I don’t have an unlimited budget to fix it.

    It’s your story, CC. Tell it if you want. I don’t think speaking the truth makes you look bitter, especially if you state the facts and leave it at that. You didn’t like his girlfriend and you really didn’t appreciate finding out you had a stepchild. If he wanted you to say kind things he should have acted better.

  • I’ve kept my mouth shut about my twat-in-tinfoil (except to the new fiance, she was blissfully unaware of the situation and thought I was the wicked witch for dumping him for ‘no reason’. She now knows and is still choosing to marry him cos he wouldn’t do that to her, right?) and apparently he now lives in the constant fear that I’ll tell everyone the truth. He knows I know. And he knows I might just tell. That’s good enough for me. The odd nugget dropped here and there, like a passive-aggressive meme dropped on Facebook occasionally so the spies can report back definitely helps. I opted to keep my dignity but it nearly kills me to do so, and I’m not saying I’ll never tell 😉

    • When I kicked him out of the house, he emailed asking what ‘we’ were going to tell people.
      Yep – he was an image-professional and I knew he wanted our story to be that we ‘grew apart’.
      Oh God, I practically squealed, WE are not WE anymore, asshole.
      And, I proceeded to tell everybody in our small town, including mailmen, taxi drivers etc, every family member on both sides, all the the gory details.
      Looking back, getting my narrative out there first was a big coup.
      He left town completely, with a shining Scarlett Red X on his forehead and he’s never contacted anybody in this town again.
      A true coward, heading out of town on a figurative bicycle like the Wicked Witch of the West kidnapping the dog.
      Only, he had all our gold he stole from the house in his run-down van.
      Scurrying out of town as fast as he could.

      This was a man who was one of the highest respected people in our town.
      No more.

      Ha Ha Ha

      • Now that I’ve hit meh, I really don’t want any new people I know to know my past life, but I’m happy to share if they want.
        There is something nice about not having my life contaminated by what he did to me in the past, now that I’m building my new life without the pond scum.

        • Nitwit said to me so this is a mutual decision…as if that was the story he was running with already. I said actually no it is not because you made the decision not me.

  • Other than friends and family, including select people in his family, I tell people who contact me and ask how I am doing. Recently an unknowing friend from out of town asked me how house renovations were coming along. I said “well my husband’s girlfriend apparently is not very handy with a hammer so I am divorcing him. He was too busy traipsing around the country with her and sleeping with a number of other women at the same time to get much done.” I deleted the part about slut puppets biggest talent is not hammering, it’s getting nailed. To crass. This buddy, who is a guy I have known for years, reminded me that my hubby was super jealous of him and wouldn’t “let me” meet him for lunch or invite him over to our parties. And believe me, there would never be anything going on there, but cheater assumes everyone shares his lack of character.
    He could have 100s of girlfriends but I couldn’t have any male friends. Red flag.

  • I have been dealing with a similar situation with my Narcissist soon to be ex (D-Day is 7/6!!!!).

    Everyone aside from those closest to me think that the man walks on water. He is sooooo charming and sooooo handsome and soooooo perfect. It literally sends me into a rage. I started my blog because I wanted to heal through my process and I sent the link to the girl I knew that he was love-bombing and sleeping with. She read the blog, realized the signs and changed her phone number (after filling me in on all the details).

    Now the Narcissist is claiming that I am defaming his character and ruining his reputation when he is just upset that I ruined things for him and the new girl. If I could tattoo “Warning: Narcissist” on his forehead to warn every potential next woman I would!!!

    • Same.Same.
      Ex is consultant and viewed as a demi-god in the hospital.Had a smorgasbord of pussy on the go for years while posing as devoted father and husband.His irregular working hours provided the perfect cover.He even chaired the hospital’s ethics committee.
      He had the audacity to tell me that if what happened to me happened to him ,he’d be bitter too.
      Note the use of the passive voice.It didn’t just happen to me,it was done to me….by him.
      In the early days I shared my story a lot but I think eventually,when you get to meh,you just don’t want to give it enegy anymore and you don’t care who thinks what.It’s like….whatever.
      He’s a dangerous man with a personality disorder who should have a TOXIC sign tatooed on his bald pate,but thankfully,no longer my problem.OW can find out for herself.She’s welcome to him.

      • Oh, Deedee.

        Some similarities between your situation and mine, then. Hospitals are very small places, with their own communities, aren’t they? I made sure I told a few people in and out of the hospital who would tell the gossip at the hospital, and from there it just spread like wildfire. Well, and I also had him served by the sheriff at the hospital (he’d begged me not to–shoulda thought about that when he was booking the Motel 6 for his lover, then bragging about it to me….)

        I remember watching my xH at a kids’ sporting event, chatting up a local hottie. When I realized who it was–a fellow chump, and a nurse at the hospital–I made a bee-line for her when my (at the time stb)X had ended the conversation. She said that he’d told her we were “splitting up.” He didn’t say why. She was sad about that, and told him so, and really encouraged him to try hard to work it out, for the sake of the kids. Well, he shrieked at her in a way that really shocked her! Said he would NEVER get back together with me. He seemed really HURT! She assumed, looking at me, all skinny and in my sun dress, that I must have cheated on him! I asked her if he’d admitted what he’d done, and she said that he hadn’t. When I told her that he’d met an xGF on Facebook and was having an affair and leaving the family for her, she was shocked! And she LOVES to gossip, and SHE told all the nurses at work, and they told other people, and, well…. Apparently now, 5 years later, he’s a bit of a mess, and a continued subject of gossip. Kinda sad, actually. That would suck!

        I always kept it short. Nobody wants to be burdened with your tragedy, but human nature dictates that people love a juicy bit of gossip. I always bore in mind that whatever I said would make me look bitter. I definitely invested in reputation management of my own, always trying to look presentable, and I smiled a lot. Everyone knew that my kids lived with ME. xH’s reputation as dad/coach of the decade didn’t withstand the end. All that did was to fuel the shock that people had that our family was another casualty of what seemed like an epidemic of cheating.

        I made it my goal to make people wonder what in the HELL he was thinking cheating on me. I smile, I volunteer, I laugh and make others laugh, I dress in flattering clothes, I generally act in a dignified way. OW is VERY pretty, but I do think he’s ashamed of her. He should be ashamed of HIMSELF.

        I say TELL people, but keep it SHORT. It’s NOT your shame. If you refuse to carry SHAME, it’s much harder for people to pin it on you. It’s really true that you teach people how to treat you. Refuse to be responsible for for a cheater’s poor character. If ANYONE tries to admonish you to take responsibility for “your part?” Give them a look and a smirk that says otherwise. I DO NOT take responsibility for a coward’s cheating. Period. That’s on him, and it will be for the rest of his life. Sucks to suck, I say.

        • The universality of cheater behaviour never ceases to amaze me.
          Sociopaths seem to operate similarly the world over.I’ m on the other side of the Atlantic and it’s gobsmacking to hear so many stories similar to mine.

          • Stephanie – I am now at that ‘smile-when-you-tell-someone-stage’ but at first, I was shaking so badly and crying when I told the story, I must have sounded a bit crazy but I think it got the point across that I was extremely hurt. I just couldn’t help myself.
            Looking back, I hardly recognize the wreck I was.
            It’s amazing how far you can come.

            Now, I smirk-when-I-tell.

            • HE used to love to smirk when he told me a detail!

              Fucker – it all comes back to ya, doesn’t it.

            • I used to be so afraid that I would cry if I ever saw xH and OW together in my town. I knew that I would shake and cry and that they would be smug and self-satisfied. Then I realized it was ok to show real emotion–they’d REALLY hurt me. And if they took satisfaction in watching me writhe in pain? Well, how ugly did it make them???

              Luckily I never had to round a corner at the grocery store and run into the two of them.

              I have only seen them together IRL once, driving by, she sitting in my old spot in the family car. It totally freaked me out. But now I’m mostly over it.

              Hah–the other day I did nearly run into him at the grocery store. That almost never happens. I was in my yoga pants, albeit sweaty from a workout, picking up dinner fixings for my new boyfriend and me. xH looked drab and sallow and sad. Ironically, my divorce attorney was there, too. Such a weird convergence. I thanked her again–she was worth every penny….

              • Even in the early days when I told people who wanted to know, that I was divorcing my cheating husband, I would erupt into fits of giggles because he was SUCH a fucking cliche! Yeah! I was married to THAT guy–guy who finds his ex GF on FACEBOOK and leaves his family for that type of woman.

                What an idiot he is.

              • Stephanie, so glad I didn’t have to worry about running into ‘them’ in my town.
                He wouldn’t be seen in public with her so he moved to a completely different state.

                Like I say, he skedalled out of town quicker than if Clint Eastwood had of been after him.
                What a coward!

                If I had that fear of running into them if they were in the same town….well, it sounds more juicy to me.

                I would hope I wouldn’t humiliate or somehow shame myself and I’ve never really thought of what my reaction would be like.
                I’m a testy person and rather tough in my own little way.
                I’m not catty but I can make wise cracks.
                You are making me fantasize now….

                Let’s see….If they were together shopping, I would probably be stalking them and use my time to run my cart into them, just when I opened a bleach bottle to smell it. Oops.
                Or, my cart would run accidentally into their car in the parking lot.
                Or, I would slither by with a big smirk. The fucking smirk I’d like to perfect like- ~ooooo~ I’ve got something on you, baby. Half his income, 1/2 his retirement, and alimony the rest of my life. Well, it’s worth a smirk.
                And, I know she’s afraid of me. Her and I used to be BFF’s.
                I won’t humiliate myself but I’m not afraid of expressing myself and too bad I have such a loud voice that many people around me can hear.

                Hey, oh Sorry, Kimmie-Darling, I didn’t mean to knock the can of beans and weiners out of your hand.
                My rib-eyes were just so big and clumsy to hold.
                So sorry, the lid on my soda just came off as I was coming to say hello just behind you. The carts must have collided.

                I cannot WAIT until I run into that low-class whore – and I know she will run.
                She may be Irish, but I’m Canadian, and we’re a lot tougher being challengers to dead-beats.

                Beware, Kimmy-Dahling!

    • I know!! I wanted “Danger” tattooed to my X’s forehead as part of the decree, but state law didn’t permit it.

      • I’ll take care of that for you, free of charge. I have one of those old wood burning kits my kids left behind.

          • You Tattoo Dragon Ladies! rofl

            Please tape him up first and use lasers on him.
            Or, of course, a razor blade…

  • Completely true… can tell people, but don’t expect them to agree right away. Remember, it took you years to realize what a douche he is, and you were living with the man.

  • I agree with the one-liners. Particularly: “He has a 14 year old love child I knew nothing about.”

    I had a casual friend years ago whose husband was a serial cheater. When she decided it was time to open up about it, she gave everyone the simple truth. A few acted like she had the plague, but most rallied around her.

    • Yes, “He has a 14 year old love child I knew nothing about.” It’s a jaw-dropper. I also like adding one additional line: “That was only part of his secret life.” With a little smile and a shudder….let their minds go to work on that.

      • And then change the subject to what you are doing now with your great big cheater-free life.

        • i would not call it a ‘love’ child. “He fathered a child with another woman 15 years ago and didn’t bother to tell me”. I only found out when I discovered he was having an affair last year”

  • CC – THIS: “I figure if I don’t talk to him, he can’t lie to me.” One sentence that completely sums up how important No Contact is.

    Sing like Adele if it makes you feel better. Most of these cheating assholes get to walk away relatively unscathed because they married chumps who actually consider the consequences of their actions prior to acting on them. They expect us to want to shield the children, the extending family, the social circle from the truth. They need to deal with the repercussions of people finding out what a bullshit facade their lives really are. I, myself, did a wonderful impression of the ubiquitous Whitney Houston.

    When the shit hit the fan in my marriage, the X said he was going to move away (from his child) because he didn’t want to deal with me talking shit about him in our small town. I told him telling the truth isn’t talking shit – it’s HIS truth and if it smells like shit, well, those were his choices. I also let him know that his stench would follow him wherever he went because geography wasn’t the problem. HE was the problem.

    • “…telling the truth isn’t talking shit – it’s HIS truth and if it smells like shit, well, those were his choices. I also let him know that his stench would follow him wherever he went because geography wasn’t the problem. HE was the problem.”

      ^^^ This. A thousand times over. That’s why I have no fear of telling people because I stick to telling them the actual FACTS and keeping the “woe is me” side comments minimal.

  • I simply said I objected to his girlfriend. We are divorced. Those who wanted more, I elaborate. Most people don’t ask for more. He’s a long time in the rear view mirror.

  • I totally agree about the one-liners . You are not supposed to have a wife and a girlfriend at the same time – worked for me !

  • So sorry Champ Chump for what you’re going through. I can really relate. My husband also has the reputation of being a “Great Guy” but the truth is he’s a total fraud. Despite many red flags I chose to believe the lip service he gave to his image. I still struggle with who to tell and how much. I made the mistake of telling my own Mother a small part of what he had been doing in our marriage and she turned on me. She took his side and said “It’s unloving to expect other people to live up to your standards”. What??!! I replied that it was unloving of him to lie to me for 21 years about who he was and what he was doing. I was dumbfounded that she totally ignored how his actions had deeply wounded me (Hmm, perhaps being raised by a disordered person set me up to marry one). She piled on more comments that were very hurtful and insensitive. I’m careful about who I tell now. I ask myself if they are a safe person to tell? Do they really care about me or are they just looking for the dirt? I also ask myself why do I want to tell. Am I looking for validation? If so it’s better for me to come here and get validation from people who have been there and understand. It also helps me to have a therapist to open up to. Some days I think I should warn people so he can’t harm anyone else. I realize, unfortunately, that if someone had warned me I wouldn’t have believed them.

    • Disillusioned. You make a great point and your Mother was totally out of line! I can’t imagine any family member saying that to me, blaming ME! and, if my mother were alive, she would have been heart-broken for me. Yes, she sounds disordered and without your best interest at heart, I’m sorry.

      I couldn’t help NOT telling people when d-day hit!
      I don’t even remember much but I was raged and crying and needing to go grocery shopping and, I’d run into people I knew or didn’t know, and it just all came tumbling out of me, while I’m shedding tears (but not crying, not hysterically) and shaking so bad I couldn’t hold a handful of walnuts without dropping them everywhere.

      Thank goodness I’m out of that stage but I guess we all handle it differently.
      I was so gob-smacked (as the English like to say and I love the word) and in shock, I just had no control.

      • Thank you Shechump, It helps to know I’m not the only one who thinks my Mother is out of line. So sorry for what you went through. I raged and cried too but it was to my STBX. Bizarrely I looked to him for comfort even though he was the one who hurt me. I know better now.

    • Disillusioned, My mother and father basically did the same thing to me. I had not spoken to my parents in about two years and I meet up with him at a store parking lot. I felt compelled to speak to him and the first thing that he asks me is “what did you do?”. Hmmm. this is my parent, shouldn’t he be on my side, at least until he finds out what is going on? Anyway, don’t let your mother turn you inside out. It’s hard but we are adults now and we don’t need to cowtow to the crazy, even if it is from our own families.

      • Thank you flutterby. I’m slowly learning to not let her opinions hurt me, it’s hard. You’re right, we don’t need them to survive. So sorry you didn’t get the support you deserved.

  • I think we all want to tell the unvarnished ugly truth to everyone and I did. I had for warned my cheater that I would not lie to anyone about his piss poor treatment of me and his adultery. But now, after the fact, I learned that my silence and self respect and dignity had more of an effect on Ex and Schmoopie than I thought possible! Schmoopie, I’m guessing, couldn’t stand the fact that I never contacted him or her after the divorce. I had marginalized her and she couldn’t stand being ignored. She was also aware of the fact that she would never be welcomed into his family. This caused her to become envious and curious of me post divorce. Her curiosity came off as an obsession and made her look insecure. My own Ex said he got sick of listening to her questions about if her cooking was better than mine, or out of the blue she would ask him if he was worried about me or thought about me. Plus she would occasionally email some nasty little message to try to raise my ire, but that’s what “trash and delete” are created for on your computer. My advice, don’t justify yourself. You don’t need to do that. Just hold your head up high, smile, enjoy your life. That will drive your Ex and the OW/OM crazy. And trust me, if you have already told people what he really did then that word will get around. Living well is the best revenge cause it drives the cheaters nuts and your friends will see you so happy without the cheater that they will know who was burying the marriage! Bonus round is that cheater and OW/OM will never find true happiness!

    • “Schmoopie, I’m guessing, couldn’t stand the fact that I never contacted him or her after the divorce. I had marginalized her and she couldn’t stand being ignored.” I’m convinced that in some cases removing ourselves altogether from them and their doings really, really spoils the fun. So many of these cheaters and APs love secrecy, love competing with a unknowing chump, love the triangulation, love the superior feeling they get from betrayal. Once we go “no contact,” all they’re left with is an ordinary relationship. No third party, no thrilling secrets, no sneaking around….guess what will happen next?

      And for the cheaters like Jackass who are very big on impression management, the threat of exposure was all it took to torpedo the love fest with the MOW. In an email clearing up the last business item, I told him I had heard stirrings of gossip from people in AP’s circle. He has been in a panic about me contacting MOW’s spouse (“You better not say anything!!”) on DDay. So I told him the road runs in two directions and he better tell Schmoopie to shut her mouth if he wanted “discretion” on my part. And I made sure that I blocked both of them on social media so all they could do was imagine my happy life. We know, remember, how we chumps tend to glamorize the cheaters’ sparkly lives. Cheaters hate secrets when they aren’t they ones keeping them. So–live your happy life! Have your one-liners ready for the public and for Cheaterpants and Schmoopie if you have to run into them. Go no contact! Lock down their capacity to know anything other than what kids or acquaintances might say. And don’t look back.

      • LAJ, I must admit I was a hot mess while still married and Ex was carrying on with Schmoopie. The final divorce forced me to start moving forward, I had no choice. But you are right, she and he loved the triangulation. Her husband divorced her a year before when he discovered her cheating and her Ex remarried two months later leaving her in the dust. No fun there cause he didn’t have time for an old whore! So I became her project I suppose. Not only did they end up in an “ordinary” relationship, she found out he was very, very ill and decided to contact his adult kids (our children) to see if they would run to his and her aid. They flatly refused if she was going to be around. They told their father that they did not want to battle his AP on every decision that would have to be made. They also let her know they were not interested in being around her at all! This happened one month after they moved in together. She knew there was no way anyone was ever going to help her or accept their relationship. A mere four months later they parted company! But they drove me nuts with their “epic love” for three years! Both of them destroyed their good lives, homes, finances and he was unemployed. She realized in the end she was going to be a nurse and a purse!

  • One of the things I love (but also find horrifying) about this blog is how many souls are out there that have gone through the same terrible experience. To think that there are so many folks who have been cheated on for decades while they themselves were happy and devoting themselves to their family. Not to suggest that being treated so badly for “only” x number of years is any better, of course. It all sucks.

    I am now 2 months from learning my husband cheated on me for 30 years with another man. I immediately told my own family and closest friends … I needed their support for my own sanity and survival. My desire was to shout it from the rooftop or purchase a billboard or SOMETHING because it made me so angry that he would walk away still be viewed as “a great guy” who really, really tried to save his marriage but his wife just wouldn’t agree to marriage counseling for some unidentified vague problem in the marriage … which is what he is telling everyone. But I am just letting it go, particularly now that I am still attempting to get a good settlement signed.

    I did tell his mother that the reason I was seeking to divorce her son was because he had done something so against my values that there was no other option and I said that it was far more serious than just occasional “straying” (a term still in use by octogenarians!) I decided that if I told her the truth, she would not believe it and decide I was lying. But if I was vague and seemingly discrete and non-vindictive, she was more likely to believe it. And of course, she is the “matriarch of gossip” in his huge family, so I think my work there is done.

    I look forward to the day when my desire to tell fades. The short “I didn’t like his boyfriend” (when I am a woman) requires a few more moments of thought, but probably will be quite effective.

    • It may be that people in his family have some idea about his sexual orientation, simply because they have known him since childhood, but put those thoughts, but figured they were wrong because of the long marriage he had with you. Your very discrete statement will likely open up those thoughts. And indeed, reading here every day is truly an education in both the worst (cheaters) and best (resilient chumps) in human nature.

    • So funny that my elderly MIL uses antiquated terms, too. She said, “He should not be stepping out on you.” She is so sweet but seriously spackles for the boys in the family. It’s a huge family with some good men for sure, but it’s just too much for her to face that there is a convicted sex offender, a promiscuous bisexual, a pornography addict, and a cheater who married the babysitter. And that’s just what I know of!

      In fact, my SIL shared with her that it wasn’t just one OW but that he was taking off his ring and picking up random women in bars, and my 84 year old MIL started to have heart palpitations!! I had not chosen not to share the more disgusting details with his mother, but my SIL had no problem with it.

  • I think the whole screwing someone before (and after) your big trip and the Secret Adulterous Child for 14 years pretty much speaks for itself.

    I consider telling the truth about this stuff and these type of people a Public Service Announcement. He is unethical, most likely in all dealings with everyone. I personally want to know about a psychopath roaming in my world.

  • I didn’t tell anyone but my closet friends. Other people were only interested in gossip and I’m not going there. He has blasted me on Facebook, to his family and anyone who will listen. At first I wanted to defend myself then realized it’s not worth the trouble. He was very brave about parading his gf around so people can figure it out. He runs around like a bitter old fool, I put on my happy face and get on with it. It’s been over a year and the locals are tired of his story having figured it all out. His behavior has sunk him. He currently only has three friends left and some out of state internet nuts that buy his shit. At this point I’m done with it and when I meet someone who wants to bring it up I just change the subject and they get the hint. I don’t want this to be my story for the rest of my life

    • Yes–parading around the AP while trashing his spouse on FB is pretty much a douchebag move. I lose respect for people who do that. On the other hand, I give a lot of leeway to people who get their lives blown up by someone else (I have a lot of broken-hearted college kids on my feed).

    • That would make another good one-liner. “What he did to me was horrifically painful, but I would never let that be the story of my life.” Then change the subject.

  • Champ Chump–spill. Find some flip or breezy way to do it to people you don’t know well (I felt fabulous when the post office guy, after finding out I was divorced, asked, “Was he so bad?” and I responded, “I didn’t like his Ashley Madison account.” ) To people you do know better, provide more details, including how horrific it was for you.

    Be prepared that not everyone will swing your way; some will avoid you afterwards or keep conversations superficial. But you will find support in odd ways. Example–one of my students who is doing research on infidelity with me happened to talk with a shop clerk, who let out one nugget about being recently divorced. My student related that she was working on a project on divorce. The shop clerk related a tale of horror of being saddled with her cheating husband’s debts, reeling from his multiple affairs, etc. The shopwoman felt better, my student was a sympathetic listener (and the student then had new insights about our project because of the conversation).

    When you find validation for your pain from other people, sometimes near-strangers, it is soothing and therapeutic. It may only happen one out of 3 people you tell, but connection and validation and learning to accept kindness is an important part of healing.

    • This! In the devastating stupor of early days, I had breakdowns at the mall and at the oil change place. Both times, the 20-year-old guys were so sweet, gracious, and caring that I wept for the simple kindness in the world. Heck, what 45-year-old woman doesn’t like having a 20-something guy tell her that her ex must be blind and retarded?

        • Tempest – this is it.
          ‘It may only happen one out of 3 people you tell, but connection and validation and learning to accept kindness is an important part of healing.’

          I remembering pouring out my guts one day to a friend working in the produce section.
          Another woman heard me….she came over – a complete stranger – and gave me a huge hug.
          She’d been there before too, obviously.

          I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that genuine hug that day.

          I will do the same if I eavesdrop on somebody like that woman did me.
          My voice is so loud I’m sure the entire store could hear me.

          It’s amazing the wonderful people around you when you share.
          I think they outweigh the Switzerland (phony) friends, especially when we’re facing a Viagra invasion late in life.

          Oh, and speaking of that, off topic – did you hear today that insurance pays for Viagra for men, no questions asked.
          And, insurance refuses to insure some new ‘women viagra’ – Called Addryl or something.
          A woman needs one or two psychiatrists to get approval for the drug.
          They say there is something wrong with women’ brains?
          Well, that’s great.

          Talk about a double standard!!

  • Good point, Dixie Chump–sometimes telling a person most likely to pass on the news within a family or set of friends gets the job done for you ; ).

    • Tempest, yup! Told his mother. She is the world’s biggest gossip. Made my life easier. 🙂

      • And the mother may defend him to the greater public but might flay the skin off him in private and to the family.

      • And the gossip’s outrage on your behalf is not perceived of as bitterness!!


  • I had one instance of telling the truth that stands out to this day, but not necessarily for the reasons you’d think. My Ex left me the day before Valentine’s Day in 2014. Apparently he had already ordered the roses for me. The delivery guy delivered a beautiful arrangement of 24 red roses in a vase. I accepted the delivery and said, “I wonder what his GF got?” Poor guy seemed flustered. I immediately went into his account for his florist and took a look at what he had ordered. Laughed my ass off when I saw he had spent a good chunk of change on my roses and had ordered her an extremely teeny, tiny bouquet of what looked like wild, weed flowers. Knowing she and he were in a local hotel room together, I immediately took several pictures of the bouquet of roses and a picture of the syrupy sweet card he had left on the counter telling me what a lucky man he was to be married to me, signed “love always, cheater.” I thanked him in the text for the lovely arrangements and the card, but I queried him as to who he was lying to. In his next text to me he denies sending me the flowers or the card! I’m sure she saw it and that was all the truth I needed to dish out to her! Very satisfying moment for me!

  • THIS, exactly this is my life. He walks around like nothing he did was wrong – multiple affairs, one main AP for 2.5 years, vile double life and D-Day 1 kicked him out the door. He remarried right away and is IMAGE MANAGEMENT overtime – just a matter of time until the cracks show again although took 9 years and the AP partner ratting him out for me to dig for the truth. Would have sworn up until the day before I had won the lottery on husbands – the revisionist BS and the fake reconciliation efforts on his part for months until I filed for divorce are a joke. The whole town and more feels pity for the new Chump – hard not to shout from the rooftops but, despite the mountains of solid digital evidence experience shows he’d talk his way out of it all just like he did with me. The court ordered anger managment and the restraining order the first ex slapped on him were all “her” fault – had an explanation for everything and in retrospect don’t have a clue how I fell for his shit. Move somewhere else far away if you can – that would be my advice and exactly what I would do if my kids were grown.

    • Yes … move away if you can. I am waiting for my child to finish school but already have a beautiful place picked out that is four states away. I cannot afford it yet I have promised myself that I will find.a.way. This dream is what keeps me going some days. Cheater is living an hour away across the state line and no one in this new town (we had just moved before Dday) knows either one of us. I want to move to get away from this house and all the joint memories and triggers.

    • Truth,
      I have an active protective order against X. Judge ordered mandatory anger management counseling and batterer’s intervention program for him. I have sole custody of minor son, with very limited, public visitation. Divorce was final last September and he is getting married in October to unknown woman (not AP).

      I would like to warn her but suspect she, too, has fallen for his shit, and anything I say will be chalked up to crazy, bitter ex-wife. I just hope she’s not planning on giving my kids a half-sibling!

      • There’s a good argument for always doing a thorough background check when you get involved with someone who doesn’t move in your circles but was married before. Here’s another thing to think about how important it is to know the truth about previous marriages: Jackass had a sad sausage story about his divorce settlement and visitation (no overnights). He said his XW fought for no introductions to other women but lost. (I never met his daughter, by my choice). I wanted to have things more settled and am so glad I did, given the outcome). He had a lot of stories about draconian constraints imposed on him, etc. because XW threatened to have DD11 testify in court at the hearing and he threw in the towel to protect her. I suggested he pull out the final document and he sort of had to produce it, given my horror at this story. The divorce settlement said no such thing. He had twice a week visitation and the only constraint was not to take DD over state lines without permission, which seems totally reasonable to me. There was no overnight visitation, however. But his story and the document didn’t match. At all. Later on, I found letters from XW talking about her efforts to help his reconcile with his daughter. All this to say that under the most ordinary level of scrutiny, Jackass’s story fell apart. (Cue SPACKLE session.) Now don’t get me wrong; his XW was a champion at playing him for money and using every legal trick in the book (she works as staff in a domestic legal practice and beat a bunch of his lawyers pro se) but now I wonder if even that behavior was the result of horrific chumping.

        Because I had “known” him and liked him for years, and because we kept the relationship out of his arena because of DD11 (although she and XW were aware he was dating someone), it took a long time for me to catch on to how false his whole life is. Looking back, nothing added up. He said she was the one who had affairs. But she’s the one who bought a house on her own and raised a child 6.5 days per week. He didn’t even bother with his Wednesday visitation because of “time issues” and “work” and ‘DD doesn’t want to.

        All this to say that I was too eager to be in a relationship and so “believed” and “speckled.” I believed the thoroughly ridiculous story that he had never read the divorce settlement. You can’t con someone whose eyes are wide open and who expect someone’s story to reflect reality. This caution is needed both for people we meet on dating sites or at work as well as people we think we “know.” It’s one thing for people to have work to do on themselves; when we meet them, we can see that they reflect, think, and change in response to what they learn in life. It’s another when someone has a sad story about being chumped (yes, Jackass went THERE) when all of the real-world evidence points the other way. You can tell a chump. The story, often horrific, adds up.

      • Eve, no point in telling her, as LovedaJackass can attest. Hell, I wanted to warn the OW after Saddam pulled a gun on me but I realized that was useless, she helped him do it by believing his bullshit about my being abusive. She knew what he told her, she egged him on that I was some horrible being so he would come to her. When I got the protective order after the gun shit, he went to him Momma, when his Momma saw he was still drinking, only then did he move in with his OW. She knew I had the PO, didn’t matter. He opened an Ashley Madison account and flew to NYC for a fuckfest the same month he moved in with her. I’m sure he told her what he told me the first time he cheated “I need a vacation where I can learn how to be on my own a little and gain confidence”. I fell for that the first time he was fucking around, but damn given what she knew of him, I was surprised she fell for it. Lastly, you cannot make this shit up and get anything more pathetic! The most ridiculous thing is that 6 months after moving in with her she took out a protective order on him for attacking her and used what he’d done to me as evidence he was violent. Then she took him back, I realized they deserve one another. Only wish they’d found each other long before he found me.

  • When any of them said anything to me (usually about the car or the house as Exhole was VERY bitter about not geting to keep my car from before we were married and the house we rented from my mother..) I would simply tell them “That house/car is as much his as those kids are.”

    Yeah, he spent the entire time telling everyone, his own family especially, that the whole reason he was seeing her was because her 3 and 5 year old were his. (We had dated 8 years and had been married almost a year when he started seeing the mistress) Sonow everyone thought I was a total bitter bitch about him cheating on me 3 times with her and not letting him see the kids. Pfft. Those kids were hers from a previous marriage and she told everybody who asked.

    But yeah, it burned me up to be made to look like that. But I stayed away from starting drama with that simple sentence that, nonetheless, made everyone question EVERYTHING about his relationship with OW.

    • OK–the people who believed his cracked story were dumber than a box of rocks. But your one-liner was perfect.

  • It’s been almost two years since D-day, but if I have one area of life where I’m still not where I want to be, it’s in dealing with the PR campaign my ex has very successfully waged. I have no idea what lies she’s told people, but I get dirty looks and even angry comments all the time. I dread going to school functions because there will be at least one useful idiot there who feels the need to strike a blow for justice against the evil chump.

    • You need one person to help you turn it around. Scope out someone who might be in the know but who treats you respectfully. And then ask, “Why are so many people nasty to me? I don’t get it. XW is the one who had the affair. I’m worried that my kid(s) will hear things from other kids that aren’t true. What can I do to turn this around?” And then see what happens.

      You also need a well-crafted response to those who “[feel] the need to strike a blow for justice against the evil chump”: “May I ask you a question? Why someone as honest as you say X when that isn’t true?” And then stop talking. See what that person says.

    • I agree with LAJ–find someone who can be your PR person. I’d also be tempted to directly confront someone who seems reasonable, and ask sincerely, “Why is everyone shunning me when X is the one who cheated on me?”

    • You might want to go on the forums and let people know what kind of comments you are getting. Pretty sure chumps can piece it together and help you fix that shit.

  • My Ex was/is the typical uber charming, smooth, oh-so-friendly narcissist. We were both well-known in our community and attended a very large church where we were both prominently involved in ministry. I was so blindsided by the discovery of his infidelity after he basically abandoned me and our two boys (both physically and financially) and was so deep in blaming myself for his “unhappiness” and bending over backwards trying to find a way to make him happy again that I didn’t get on top of the narrative! He was able to spread to friends, church members, family and anyone who would listen that we just “drifted apart”…”had never been happy”…”were in therapy and the therapist suggested we separate”…”he just wanted ME to be able to find happiness”…and so on. (These are actual lies he spread far and wide that trickled back to me over a few months time.) When I discovered the truth about the OW, I was furious! I started telling family, close friends, and others what he had done…but he had gotten to them first. I know now that I definitely came across as the bitter, scorned ex…slightly unhinged and very, very angry. Who wouldn’t want to leave a woman like that!? It was a bitter pill to swallow to realize that he had “won” that round. I had to step back and be quiet for a while. I left our church and focused on my children, work, and digging my way out of the financial ruin he left behind. I trained to become a DivoreCare leader and counseled women through the same awful situation. I did have a few close friends who saw the truth and believed me (esp. when he was suddenly in a serious, open relationship with the OW and was basically living with her immediately). However, it was hard to accept that even my family didn’t believe me at first as he had secretly written all of them a letter “explaining” the situation. But slowly, over time, the truth began to trickle out. I crafted a simple response to people who I ran into – “we are in the process of getting a divorce because he left to start a new life with his girlfriend.” Short, sweet and to the point. It has been 4 years since D-day, and I have moved on in wonderful and positive ways including remarrying a few months ago to a wonderful, kind man who has helped heal my soul. My point in all this is TELL YOUR TRUTH as soon as you know all the facts! Don’t allow the narc to get ahead of the story. Don’t embellish or go into a lot of detail – just a simple “I am choosing to divorce rather than share my husband with another woman” sums up nicely the entire situation and does not come across as bitter or angry. It’s just a calm statement of fact. Then smile and move the conversation on to something positive!

    • Nicole–I”m sorry you were dealt a big invalidation sandwich from so many people because X went on a smear campaign first. I’m glad your family and others know now, but sometimes friends are lost because they continue to believe the cheater’s lies. It feels like a second betrayal, IMHO, and one that has taken me some time to recover from.

      • Thanks! It really is a second betrayal to discover that friends and family simply don’t believe that such a “fine upstanding man” would abandon his wife and kids for an OW. I have found over time that the cheaters actions begin to speak louder than their words and people slowly begin to see the truth. My oldest son who is now in college recently spent his first night at my ex’s apartment in 4 years. Says a lot about what he thinks of his dad without me having to say a word! Also my ex and the OWife moved into separate apartments a year ago because her daughter refused to live with him – she even attempted suicide and was placed in a therapeutic home for almost 6 months and came home after they moved to separate places My younger son (age 15) has just in the last year agreed to spend one night a week at his dad’s since he no longer has to be around the OW. These kids (sadly and tragically) are saying loud and clear with their actions what no words from me could ever convey.

  • Traveling The World, To Hell with the useful idiots. Let them get suckered in to her version of the truth. Funny thing about Truth, it has a nasty way of coming out! You cannot control what other people say, do or think, but you do have complete control of how you react and carry yourself! Do so with pride. Stay the course on the high road. All the crap lies these folks tell has a way of unraveling after awhile. It’s none of your business what other people think of you! It’s your business to conduct your life in a way that satisfies you and brings value to you. Those sneering pods have no vested interest in your life other than gossip! Ignor them!

    • This is how I see it.

      I lost a lot of friends at the time who bought his version. He kept the cash, the stuff and just replaced me with his slut. Most people didn’t care and didn’t follow me. There we are. It hurt like crazy at the time. Now, five years on, I see it as a necessary spring cleaning of my life so that those who were not to form part of my future got swept on their way. I am sad for some of the losses but my life is now so much more “me”. Those people were not interested in the real me. She hadn’t been seen for years anyway as i had become so hidden after all the years of dancing round his preciousness.

      Not many people are truly invested in others so we must be sure to treasure those who are.

      I thought I had hundreds of friends. Turns out I had a handful. Each one worth the world to me.

  • I WILL TELL THE TRUTH. Just ask me. No projecting, no gaslighting, no blameshifting like asshole hub. After DDAY (Dec 16, 2015) I told everyone. Whether you wanted to know or not. If you sat next to me or made any kind of eye contact, you knew all the sordid details. In airports, at the grocery store, the post office, Complete strangers, neighbors, family, friends. When you break into tears in the cookie aisle at Trader Joes, the truth sorta spills out, you know? I think he told people the “we have grown apart and are separating” BS like it was mutual, but I tell the TRUTH. After 25 years, I was discarded and had NO IDEA. My once (I thought) wonderful hub turned into a stranger. The man who was always there, who always could be counted on, who espoused honesty and integrity–abandoned me for a slunt he had only known for a handful of weeks. But he loved BOTH OF US and couldnt’ understand why I wouldn’t consider a “temporary” polyamory situation so the could figure out who he really loved. HE SAID THAT! Emailed it. And denied it, even though I have it in writing that he said it!!! He told me he had to leave because my tears UPSET HIM, he was no longer to be considered my source of comfort, and I needed to make my own life decisions. But when I actually did just that and filed for divorce to save assets from the 4 times married violent toxic manipulative whore who’s also broken up 3 marriages (and counting), he went into a nasty narcissistic rage. I WILL TELL THE TRUTH. I’m working on myself to cut this toxic crap from my life, but it’s HARD. He was my whole world for 25 years. Oh, and PS not one single family member EVER contacted me to see how I’ve been dealing with this tragedy. NOT ONE. They offered him a place to live and closed ranks.

    • xH’s family never asked me if I was ok. I was admonished to NOT bad-mouth him (I didn’t–certainly didn’t need to, as he did a good enough job of making himself look like a jackass.) And I was told that I needed to accept my role in the demise of my marriage (I don’t. I was married to a cheater, remember?) xSIL is proud of the once-OW who is now the wife.

      Good riddance to the lot of them. Good to know how insecure they are, how little they think of me.

      Adieu, crappy people!

  • I’m going to send that Knight in Shinie Armor photo to ex and OW. Too funny. And too true.

  • I told who ever asked me. I didn’t care. I found stating, “He was fucking another dude’s wife for the last year” was succinct enough.

    • Rumblekitty tells it like it is! The truth is the truth is the truth – why sugar coat it for the offender? My brother said he was proud of me that I told the truth from the very beginning, he was impressed that I wasn’t ashamed. I said I had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, with the slight exception of marrying a humongous horses ass. My bad. I do cop to that.

  • I say sing like a f$%&ing canary!!!!! Do and say whatever makes you feel better!

    I did and am not ashamed one bit for it. He asked me when the public shaming would stop and I told him when I have told everyone.

    I didn’t put my feelings into it. It was matter of fact. Look what happened to me.

    • LOL, I love how you said you’d stop when you’ve told everyone. Awesome!

  • Great advice as usual CL. Having a go-to zinger is a easy way to enlighten the uninformed.

    I usually go with “We had a sharing problem. She didn’t like to share her thoughts or desires. I didn’t like sharing her with three different guys.”

  • This has been a recent personal struggle for me. I was isolated and after leaving in Sept of 14 I have kept to myself with the exception of a few friends and family. We did not have any mutual friends but I did know a guy that works for him and another that only knows his fake side. He had the first supervise me when I got my things. My problem is that I replay over and over what I want to say to them about my side and show my evidence. I know my abuser immediately began spreading his nasty lies to anyone who would listen. Poor Me card. I just plastered a smile on my face when I saw his friend to portray that I am okay. But, i decided when he brings the remainder of my things that I will tell him my facts and he is big on gossip.
    However, I did realize at 4:00am that all of my mental conversations to them are coming from a place of defensiveness. I have to get over wanting to defend my decision to leave an abuser and that they are fine being around him and get on with my life. Their opinion does not matter and they do not know the situation, really know him, or care about me and the kids. You would think knowing we left in the middle of the night, have been no contact for a majority of the time and the things he spread,would speak volumes that it was anything but a normal divorce. He plays and pulls as many people into his web that he can.
    Actually he had the second guy that really does not know HIM call me yesterday with a message about signing to sell the property. WTF? Could he not have texted or let a voicemail himself? My answer is they love an audience! I think when I didn’t say anything to him that inside I realized I would be defending myself to a person who does not matter. I guess if you know someone cares and asks then you speak your truth. Not either of those people asked how we are or what happened. They have his sick version of his truth.

    • I would say, “Why has he involved you in his mess? That’s so bizarre. Please don’t let him suck you into this again. He can email me or my attorney any time he needs to leave me a message. But I’m glad he has a good friend who will stick by him no matter what he does. Have a good day.”

      • Narcs are such entitled players. Ex thought with all his charm that he could get my boss (a woman) to hand me the divorce papers. (I had paid attention to my gut here and waited for him to file first; he was acting scary and unpredictable, looking back probably saved me.) Uh…..No. So Mr. Peace Officer tried to deliver them himself, like that was even… legal. He was threatening me at the time like most Narcs and had stopped paying the mortgage. I sent him to the neighbor. Do IT Right, right!?!? This after letting me know that he was going to fight me every step of the way, saying I deserved “nothing” after 28 years together. Even poor I realize my life is so much better. What a fucktard!

  • Thank you for this timely post, as I too have been contemplating what and whom to tell the truth to of what my lying, cheating scumbag husband of fourty years has been doing. He has lived a double life for at least twenty years that I know of, probably our entire life together. As soon as he is served, the shit is going to hit the fan. I have decided to tell those who ask and leave it at that. I feel that the truth will be reveled to other people as time goes on. I have already told the truth to those I care about. Family, children and close friends. Nobody can believe it because he acts so “loving” towards me. Blah, what a shit load of crap. If they could only see the person I actually lived with. He has already smeared me to his people for over a year now, but I don’t care. Those people mean nothing to me. He has already been caught in lies with his own family members, so they will figure it out. Idiot.

  • I just told people that I never learned to share in kindergarten, and that I couldn’t manage to “share” my husband with his two mistresses. Said it with a sly smile on my face, and it just shut down the conversation. No need to answer awkward questions or supply details.

    Mind you, at the beginning it hurt like hell on the inside, but having a rehearsed answer made all the difference in the world.

  • My response is “He is having an affair and I threw him out.” Quick and to the point.

  • Ha! I always say “I wasn’t a big fan of his girlfriend” or “he forgot to tell me we had an open marriage.”

  • Just tell the truth calmly and matter of factly. Tell them he left for his mistress. Tell them about the child support he was secretly paying. And that you knew nothing about it until he left. Why should he get to control the narrative with his lies? The truth will set you free. You are not trashing his reputation by speaking the truth. He is trashing it with his actions. You can bet he is lying about you…blaming you for the divorce. Your SILENCE reaffirms the lies.

    • Applause for this post. I couldn’t agree more. Silence reaffirms the lies, and you bet that the cheater will be lying about the facts. If it were me, I’d be spilling the truth all the way. There really are no 3 versions of the facts, yours, mine and the truth. There really is only ONE version and that is the TRUTH.

  • My kids, 2 family members and two good friends know the truth. Everyone else gets he brought his whore into our marriage and i bowed out of the equation. If they persist but hes such a good guy! No hes not i tell them you know the mask he portrays not the real him, he breaks trusts and contracts to his wife whose is also his business partner, he lies and cheats and doesnt care who he hurts to get what he wants including his kids. And when you meet the whore remember this…. nice women dont sleep with other womens husbands, help them ro decieve her and ultimately convince them to abandon their family to satisfy her own selfish needs. The whore is trying to convince him they belong together even though she threw him out again fourth time and right now is she is buying him. Someone said here recently if you have to keep trying to convince someone that you belong together its over. Bless your heart whoever said that cause i never said those words to asswipe and by cracky its over. Fate and karma will get him, it is already. Fucker.

  • I went through an impression management stage. I still told people in my inner circle. Now, I tell everyone. When I don’t tell people, it is usually because I am too tired to go there. Pretty much the people who get it have been cheated on.
    Do be careful, On a sociopath website, I learned that sociopaths are vindictive when exposed. ‘Nice people’ suddenly pull out all the stops, poison the cat, slash your tires, hide money and brandish guns. Get ready for it.

    • I agree these disordered individuals get very vindictive when we call them on their shit. Nevermind that they betrayed us in the first place. The minute we expose them, it’s World War I and II for them. When they should be backing down and apologizing for delivering the first blow. Assholes.

    • Agreed! They go off the charts when they don’t get their way. In the beginning I came home to find my 6 birds dead. I kept them on my back deck and they were fine when I left for work. Another time found all my fish missing out of my pond. Can’t honesty say what happened but have a good idea.

      • Yes, my sociopath cheater pulled a knife on me once exposed. He was always mild mannered to the point of being passive ; never would that expected that. Best never to confront them, just make a plan and evaporate from their lives if possible. Forget about trying to figure out the why’s.

        • These people are unbelievable. We were the ones betrayed and we should be going ballistic. Yet they go nuclear. They really are mentally deranged. I really wouldn’t want to be in their shoes, as I’m sure the wiring is off in their brains. They are f-ed up.

          • Mine did some awful shit too, what gets me is when you know….have proof of the affair and they still try to deny they are having one. They seriously believe the lies they tell. Uh dude, I tracked your iPhone to the exact parking spot at the hotel you said you weren’t at….jackass.

            • Yeah they lie, because they just don’t want to deal with the fact they are having an affair. They can’t be bothered and don’t feel like talking about it. As if we’re going to drop it if they keep denying it. They figure in their teeny tiny brains that we’ll just let it go if they deny it strongly and often times. Hell no!

    • Yes indeed, I am the recipient of that rage and malice after exposing my sociopath. That is why no contact is so important.

    • I kept things low key because I was afraid. And isolated too. My car lost its wheel one day while I was driving home but I never gave it a thought till I discovered his affair. Funny thing those last few years he would arrive home and I would just feel anger emanating from him. He would deny he’d had a rough day…Double lives are difficult apparently. Looking back, signs were there. He was free to come and go. Play the good husband and Father. When he started being sketchy with money, refinancing the house to pull out equity, then buying vehicles and guns, and handing out money, I began to pay a little more attention. The disordered do like controlling the narrative. My take? The “truth will out.”

  • I’m new to this site and I must say…. wow. I have spent countless hours reading the horror stories and as much as I don’t want to admit, I have some of the same dynamics occurring in my relationship. I never ever really gave thought to narcissism until I met my current SO (he has 2 wonderful young children). SO definitely has a slew of enablers. #2,4,6 on the enabler list from yesterday’s post. The MIL and SIL know every sordid detail of our relationship, along with his hunting/fishing buddies. (I’ve asked him to keep our relationship between the two of us numerous times) They make P/A comments to me and when I confront the SO, it’s gaslight and blame-shift all the way. The most hurtful comments came at a time when I hired someone to look into his activities. Unfortunately, all I was able to find out was that he wasn’t where he said and has been changing the story every time we talk to cover his tracks. That very same weekend, MIL made the comment “The Plumbing’s fixed” and the SIL made a comment while cutting me an end piece of cake about how I didn’t deserve the end piece. (I guess that was referring to the “sidepiece” getting some before I returned from a trip) Little did they know I knew what they were referring to. Sad, huh? It’s so hurtful to me that my SO could allow other people to treat me in such a disrespectful/hateful way. What kind of world do we live in? I have such a hard time because right now, I’m still in the denial stage that he may be a serial cheater. It breaks my heart to think that I did a Britney Spears (Oops I did it again) with this guy. I have many revenge fantasies about outing him, but I need more evidence. So nervous about how to go about it since I do not want to spend any more money on a PI. So expensive! Thanks for letting me join CN and post

    • Peakyblinders–why do you need evidence of infidelity? I know many of us did, but now agree profound disrespect is itself a reason to leave a relationship. You are worthy of respect. Dump him.

      I’m pretty sure it was Ali Rose who posted this a few weeks ago in the forums, but it bears reading everyday, for all of us:

      Human Bill of Rights
      1. I have the right to be treated with respect.
      2. I have the right to say no.
      3. I have the right to make mistakes.
      4. I have the right to reject unsolicited advice or feedback.
      5. I have the right to negotiate for change.
      6. I have the right to change my mind or my plans.
      7. I have a right to change my circumstances or course of action.
      8. I have the right to have my own feelings, beliefs, opinions, preferences, etc.
      9. I have the right to protest sarcasm, destructive criticism, or unfair treatment.
      10. I have a right to feel angry and to express it non-abusively.
      11. I have a right to refuse to take responsibility for anyone else’s problems.
      12. I have a right to refuse to take responsibility for anyone’s bad behavior.
      13. I have a right to feel ambivalent and to occasionally be inconsistent.
      14. I have a right to play, waste time and not always be productive.
      15. I have a right to occasionally be childlike and immature.
      16. I have a right to complain about life’s unfairness and injustices.
      17. I have a right to occasionally be irrational in safe ways.
      18. I have a right to seek healthy and mutually supportive relationships.
      19. I have a right to ask friends for a modicum of help and emotional support.
      20. I have a right to complain and verbally ventilate in moderation.
      21. I have a right to grow, evolve and prosper.

      • OMG that is such a great set of relationship rules… I’ve been in negotiation mode with him for the last two years with only minimal progress happening now. He oscilates so much that I can’t decide which way to go…

        • What you need to ask yourself is why you would want to be with someone who is not enthusiastic to be with you, consistently?

    • From the way you worded it, you’re dating right? Or living together I assume?

      Do you have kids with him? A shared home/money? If you’re not stuck like that, why get a PI at all? Leave.

      You said you can’t trust him, he allows his family to treat you like shit, and is cagey about where he’s been. I guess I don’t see the point in staying. I don’t mean to minimize here, but it doesn’t sound like there’s anything to investigate and stick around for.

      If you’re not married, consider yourself lucky. I could have did without the cluster of sorting out our shared finances, bank accounts, lawyers, etc. If this guy doesn’t make you happy, fuck him.

      • I know that you are not intending to minimize, Rumblekitty. Thank you so much for your thoughts. He has two young children, I have none. We are living together for the last year, together for two. Nothing shared, except what belongs to me in the home. I am mourning what I am now realizing may be a dead relationship. I feel that I am just spinning my wheels. When I try to explain to him why there are some boundaries as to what is shared with others outside the relationship, particularly MIL and SIL, he says I have mommy issues and I’m asking him to choose between me and his family. The problem is they keep pouring salt on so many wounds (and creating new ones) because they have intimate knowledge, to the point that they repeat certain things word for word, and “get away with it” because it’s done passive aggressive, in the guise of another conversation. But deep down, I know they are attacking me. It’s just so sick that he feels like he needs validation from other people and he doesn’t understand how hurtful he is being. Or perhaps he does understand and really just doesn’t give a shit about my feelings. Who does that to someone they say they love and want to marry and have a future with?

        • That sounds like complete bullshit. Please don’t marry this tool. And you know why? Because how he treats you now, and how his family treats you now, will not stop after you walk down the aisle. And you really don’t want to get saddled with more kids because it’ll make it a hell of a lot harder to egress your ass from a crappy marriage.

          The main thing here, know your worth. If you aren’t being treated with respect, and it sure doesn’t sound like you are, dump him and find someone else more worthy of you. You don’t have “mommy” issues. You’re dating beneath you.

          *Sorry for the thread-jack y’all

          • No need to be sorry. You as always told Peakyblinders like it is. Let me add: pack your stuff and get out of there. Don’t look back. There is no reason to be in a relationship of any kind that requires you to fight for basic human dignity.

            • Peaky, do not waste one second more…run. This guy is not relationship material. Unless you want to spend the rest of your life trying to fix the unfixable.

        • “When I try to explain to him why there are some boundaries as to what is shared with others outside the relationship, particularly MIL and SIL, he says I have mommy issues and I’m asking him to choose between me and his family.”

          You’re not the one with the issue, he is. He’s a momma’s boy. And he needs to put up the boundaries by not sharing your personal info to his mother and sister, but he isn’t man enough. He’s very immature and when you marry a momma’s boy, the mother usually wins, because the guy let’s it be so. You’re dealing with a boy, not a real man yet. A real man, would keep things private and not share, and put his gf first. And he’s a coward because he’s blaming you for his behavior. Do you always want to come in second to his mother? He’s the one who is enabling this dynamic. And if he doesn’t understand how he’s hurting you, do you really want to continue seeing an asshole like this? This isn’t normal. The issue isn’t the MIL or SIL, it’s your boyfriend who is a momma’s boy. I wouldn’t touch a momma’s boy with a ten foot pole, because he’ll always set up the dynamic so that his mother always wins over you. Tread carefully.

        • He understands what he is doing and he doesn’t give a shit. He doesn’t respect you, and he has enlisted a team around him and positioned you as an outsider. He’s positioning you as the teams’ mutual enemy. They’re all enjoying the comraderie and the power over you. This isn’t love, and it’s not marriage material. It’s emotionally abusive. Trust that he sucks. Leave now, spare yourself more pain, more devaluation, and the slow whittling away of all your self esteem. It will be much harder to walk away after another 2-3 or more years of sunk costs, emotional investment, and with no self esteem left. Read all of Chump Ladys’ archives on ‘Cheaters Decoded’ and trust that he sucks.

        • Peakyblinders, like the others have said you need to trust that he sucks. I’m sorry; I know it’s hard to hear. What you see now is what you’re going to get from here on out. It’s not going to get better. So the real question you need to be asking yourself is: Is this how you want to live for the rest of your life? Is this acceptable to you? If the answer to either of those questions is no then only you have the power to change it.

    • “It’s so hurtful to me that my SO could allow other people to treat me in such a disrespectful/hateful way.”

      Again, why are you staying with this asshole? You know that this will get worse after you get married. Marriage usually amplifies everything, the good and especially the bad. I don’t understand how this guy is even a candidate for marriage. And you wrote that for 2 years he’s been oscillating with no progress. If the last 2 years have been without progress, what makes you think things will be different in 2 years from now? You seem to be dealing with a guy who isn’t a man at all. I can’t fathom now males like this even find women to date, when I have tons of amazing girlfriends who are still single. Why don’t you judge your future by how he’s treating you, and by the stories I read, he’s treating you like shit. Please see this.

      • Thank you for taking the time to give me the cold, hard truth… He does treat me like shit. I’ve told him that before. Funny thing is, I decided to tell my family and friends what he has been doing to me because I’ve been keeping things to myself. The reason he finds women to date is because he has money, good looks and he is generally a nice person… that is, of course, until you try to tell him that he isn’t being respectful and that he is passive aggressive and you want him to stop.

        What happened to me is…it made him worse… Then I told him recently that I was leaving him for the second time (I tried back in November and he told me not to go…puppy dog face) because he’s a jekkyl and hyde, emotionally abusive and a bully. He’s a bully because he allows other people to degrade me and talk down to me at my expense. He does it by building a narrative of him being a victim. He’s been telling people how “It’s always something”, “You never let things die”, “You’re too sensitive and analytical and grow thicker skin” “You care too much what people think, just be yourself”.

        I told him that because of his PA comments, I’m always on the defensive in my mind, a wondering and waiting for the next song he sings with a meaning intended for me or some sarcastic comment in the guise of a different conversation. These are all the things he swears are in my own head and my favorite one “Jesus, lighten up! I/We (depending on who’s chiming in) were only joking!”

        I actually tried to make him understand by going as far as making the same PA comments to him on a night out and then he told me “You’re really pissing me off” I asked him (knowing full well what I had said Passive aggressively) “What? What did I do? Tell me what I said? I have no idea what you’re talking about! He could barely find the words to explain my PA behavior. Once he told me that, I gave him the same line that he was “acting crazy”, which was something he tried telling me.

        When he first told me I was a whacko, I told him…Wow, So many years on this planet and a few relationships under my belt and I’m all of a sudden “Crazy” Funny how none of my other bf’s have ever mentioned that to me before… I told him that it’s a convenient lie you tell yourself to brush me off to the side and not take in what I’m trying to say.

        It’s been such a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I think I’m ready to get off the ride… You know the sick part was yesterday he was singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” as if my leaving him would be of no consequence. And how much better off he would be, as if he was somehow a victim of some crazy lady’s quest to drive him crazy with her constant requests for a conversation about all of the things I keep noticing as PA. It does almost make you seem crazy when PA behavior happens. That’s why it is so emotionally abusive. The gas-lighting is just unbelievable. Can I tell you that for a moment, as I was doing those PA things to him, I felt HORRIBLE. It just made me wonder how he could continue to do that to me as if it was old hat….

        Sorry this is so long, but I’m sure some of you on this site can relate to what I went through. Such a mindfuck of a situation…

  • I told everyone and I also had pics of his OW as he was into fat shaming. It left his relatives no room to spin EX’s OW were prettier, slimmer, better in some way. He cheated, lied about me and blew up his family for random vaginas. No need to embellish and it’s not my resonsibility to preserve his image.

    Facing what he has done gives him the opportunity to grow and face the consequences of his behavior. Divorce, cheating, lying – I’m not going to feather his bed, he has to deal like everyone else.

  • CC, I’m so sorry to hear about your pain, but glad to hear that you are moving forward with building your post-cheater life. CL’s advice is spot on as always, sharing the news about my X’s duplicity while he seems to have incurred hardly any consequences for his disgusting actions is a horrendously difficult and unfair situation to navigate.

    In my case, living in close proximity to my X and his live-in AP does not help. Nor does sharing custody of our kiddo. During my divorce proceedings, I was in so much pain that I said more than I wanted every time I got started. Thank goodness for CL/CN and friends, I got the validation I needed to digest the unfairness of it all.

    Now post-divorce and almost two years post-DDay, I focus on fixing my picker with my therapist, and mostly share factual information with people who ask about my divorce, something like “I found out about his adultery, and divorced him.”

    Forge on CC!

  • I occasionally have to,exchange emails with ex-Cheater, about things to do with our adult kids’ life events. He tries soooo hard to be conciliatory and respectful, as if that makes anything better. He had numerous affairs over the years, but chose his highschool sweetheart to spend his retirement with, not me, his wife of 30 years and mother of his kids.

    He has now, over the course of two years, given me three different versions of how he and OW met “after we separated” as if that is believable (since he knew her from the age of 17, he’s now 63). The truth is, he’s been farking her all along, she never married, but apparently held a torch for him all this time. She’s welcome to the old fart! I am compiling his versions, and one of these days will send them all to the happy couple with a polite request for clarification! I’ll wait until they have something to lose.

    • WTF? why didn’t he marry her then in the first frigging place?!! If he pined for her all this time, then he should have married her. No one put a gun to his head to NOT marry her, he didn’t have to marry you because of an arranged marriage. He had free will all along the way. Instead, he’s going around and trying to figure out how he met the OW nearly half a century later. This is guy is really fucked up.

      • Not sure why they never married. He did mention her occasionally over the years, but always as “my friend Pete’s high school gf”. Cheater didn’t know, but one time I met old Pete at a party and asked him if he was still in touch with his old GF. His reply “I never dated her, your husband did” was an eye opener. I am the type to watch and wait and never confront…far easier to suss them out and get the settlement I needed. Quite frankly, I knew for ages he was dipping his stick in the wrong places. I cut off our sex life (for my health) and just stayed until the kids were moved on and could understand the divorce reasons. It also gave me some time to simplify our finances so that he couldn’t hide anything. It really pissed him off when I filed and had all the financials straight.

        My life now is great, am independent, and she can change his diapers.

          • Power. Pathological liars lie to maintain their power–they have a piece of information that you want, or are curious about. They’re not going to give it. Petty, but that’s their psychology.

            • Wow. You know how you know something, but don’t really GET it, until… you do? Tempest, this pithy statement just did that for me. There’s some information my TBX has that I had asked for – at one point early on, almost begged for – and he just won’t give it. Early on I thought maybe it upset him too much (ha!), then I was thinking maybe he didn’t want to face what he’d done, but really, I think (know) it’s more this. It’s also helpful for me to really, really get this now, as we are entering the next phase in “negotiating” a settlement, sigh.

        • What a liar, telling you his friend dated her, when he was the one dating. If he lied about this simple fact, then he likely liked about so many other things. He’s a jerk. And LOL at she can change his diapers now!

  • Champ chump You could be Me! or your ex could be my husband! Married 30+ yrs. I suspect a lot of things including a love child. How in the world do I confirm my suspicion? After reading your ex paid secret child support for 14 yrs it is totally plausible that my WS is too. I have no proof but do have these hints: wanted a DNA test (supposedly for inherited genetic diseases) bought his niece six months worth of prenatal vitamins. She was not pregnant. iPhone history showed searches for baby names. He said he was considering changing his name to something easier. Plus a few more hints including: during an argument where he was trying to convince me how crazy I was; he said no-one is going to show up at my door with his son. Huh? why be gender specific?

    • OK. I think he told the truth there. The AP will not show up at the door because then he will shut her out. You need an attorney and a private investigator, right now. Don’t tip your hand. Find out. And pray with your feet.

    • Oh my goodness, Willow. I would hate to suspect but not know for sure. In my case, I never suspected a think until I discovered a file containing 14 years’ worth of child support payment records, plus legal papers from when he was sued for the child support. He paid for the support through our business accounts, not our personal ones. He ran the biz and I did not look at those records, so it was easy for him to get away with that. I also found correspondence between him and the mother on his gmail account, including pictures of the boy. I would look for a paper trail, bank records, etc., if I suspected but didn’t know where to look.

      Or, if you do decide to leave the guy, tell your lawyer and ask what he would be able to find out through the discovery process. In my state, you can ask to see just about anything, and subpoena whatever they don’t cough up.

      Good luck and HUGS!

  • Dear Champ,

    So much of your story is my story too. Long term marriage to Mr. Integrity and then BOOM! my world exploded with the first DDay. I kept quiet about EVERYTHING for two years after second DDay which came 4 years after the first DDay. No one (other than our kids) knew we were separated – I plastered a smile on my face for every get together with family and friends and pretended nothing had changed. After two years I finally woke up to the fact that he was not making the slightest effort to change or to help me heal so I told him it was over and told everyone else that we were divorcing. Ironically, one of the first things my mom said to me when I told her what was going on was that she suspected that he had a double life and probably a kid (or kids) with someone else. Maybe he does. I also suspect my ex was never faithful throughout our 30+ years together. He traveled for work and I was completely convinced of his faithfulness. It would have been easy for him. All the pieces of that scenario seem to fit.

    I’ve told many people. Many, many people. No regrets there. I try to stay factual (obsessive porn habit, VERY CREEPY Excel spreadsheet of porn star stats with lines into the thousands – if you want to know if a particular porn star is into men, women or anal, when their birthday is or where they were born, he could tell you, and a massive stripper habit (currently has a live-in stripper/fluffer GF that cost my family thousands of dollars) and deliver the facts without emotion because really, all of that mind-filth kind of speaks for itself. I make no effort to give this information to people in his world, just those in mine. As long as his spousal support obligation continues and he pays it, I will not trash him in his world. I want him to stay employed so I can stay paid. He owes me and my kids that much. We are totally no contact so I have no idea what he says about me or how he explains the divorce or the fact that his children do not speak to him. I am working really hard on my goal of proving that “living well is the best revenge” and positioning myself financially so that if he does implode as I suspect he will (he is the financial manager at a very large manufacturing facility and he is involved in a very sordid life style; that probably won’t end well) I won’t be financially impacted.

    I say do whatever feels right to you. Just remember, as my attorney told me, you don’t have to “wife” for him anymore. His reputation is his problem not yours. Tell your truth in whatever detail feels right to you. One more thought. I haven’t posted too many details of the specifics of what my ex did on social media because of my kids – they don’t need to know the really skeevy stuff. But I do post a lot of general “divorcing a cheating narcissistic fucktard ” type posts, Chump Lady posts and other things about emotional abuse, etc., and I’ve had women I never would have suspected had similar stories get in touch to tell me that they’ve been through the same wringer. That feels good. If sharing my story helps someone else, then I’m all about that.

  • Champ Chump, I had 20 years with my my cheatin’ ex wife, and lived in a small community. It’s been four years since the uncovering, and I still run into her and her affair partner/boyfriend frequently, we run in the same circles in this small fishbowl.

    I was painfully aware of not wanting to come off as a scorched earth bitter ex husband myself, also I did not want to feed her narrative that I was brittle. I was initially too tight lipped about the history, but settled into a good approach.

    Realize you have zero responsibility to manage this sociopath’s legacy. It is no longer your problem. He might as well hit you with a bat. If people asked why your skull was bandaged, mentioning the little bat attack incident might be a good idea.

    If i caught myself expending any mental energy trying to control what I said about my ex, I just relaxed, spoke the truth and focused on what happened.

    Good luck to you. Also, good luck with those fucking Switzerlands, I still struggle with what to do with them.

    • Me, too, ChumpionoftheWorld. I’ve decided to let go of the Switzerlands as friends–I heeded advice to keep them and now regret it. My sense of invalidation from them only got worse over time, and I lost the empowerment I would have had by ditching them when I first suspected their treachery.

    • I let go of all the fucking Switzerlands, I have no desire to associate with people who think it’s OK to abuse and lie to your spouse. I only want ethical people as friends. One of them was a total asshole about it and made me realize just how important it was to stay away from them. When I told her that I was not interested in being friends with someone who would continue contact with Saddam, she said I was trying to control who she should be friends with.

      I explained I wasn’t controlling her at all, I was telling her who I could be friends with, it’s called a boundary – if you prefer being friends with my abuser, enjoy. Totally her choice who she was going to be friends with. Her next response ended our 20 year “friendship”, she said “you know, I could still be in touch with him and never tell you, I’m being honest and you are trying to control who I’m a friend to. I’ve never lost a friend because I don’t judge”. When I pointed out Saddam had nearly shot me she upped her ante and said “well, I don’t know what happened, I wasn’t there”. That is not a friend, that’s an asshole. Friends trust each other, in that moment I realized, she was never my friend, she collects people and calls them friends. Sorry, not sorry, I don’t need assholes in my life, none of does.

      • Yeah. The faux friend argues like a cheater: “you’re trying to control who she should be friends with.” We’ve heard that before, all of us. And then the point that she could lie, which would never be something an honest person would say. If I told my best friend that someone had nearly shot me, I would have to restrain her from kicking his ass. Or worse. One great thing about being chumped is that you sure learn to sort out the assholes from the friends.

    • You’ve all inspired me; just unfriended the X’s relatives and “Switzerland friends”/those that are also friended to the APs. I also posted a status update saying that if you tolerate adultery and lying, unfriend me at once. We’ll see what happens; so far the feedback’s been positive and supportive. I decided I deserve better and that I don’t need anyone in my life that isn’t thrilled to be there.

  • you know, I see a pattern here. The bitchy wife whom he never loved – or some variation of that narrative. I realize now that is what was done to me. I was awful, I deserved it. When the truth was that the first one didn’t want to be a family man, a father, he’d rather belly up at the bar and drink his life away. And the second one, well he desired to enjoy a smorgasbord of pussy.

    It’s shameful that they would blame us just to get what they want. Grow a pair and leave if that’s what you want but don’t put your shit on me.

    • Oh and one more thing: CL is 100% correct. You don’t wear his shame. The truth will come out in time, it always does, rest assured.
      My ex, the one who didn’t want to be a dad? He’s never been one in the last 14 years. Everyone sees it and it has nothing to do with how “horrible” I am.

      They’ll get eventually. However you won’t care anymore by the time it eventually happens and unfortunately it doesn’t make right now any easier. Sending hugs.

      • HM – Couldn’t he have told you he didn’t want to be a dad, before he actually had unprotected sex with you and created a human being with you?? I mean, having children is usually a conscious decision. If he didn’t want to be a father, then there are multiple ways to prevent that. Why did he have a child in the first place, only to neglect him for 14 years. I will never understand people like this.

        • One of the Switzerland friends who did the most damage to me by abetting my X at my expense (while seeming to be neutral and even sympathetic to me) did exactly that. He and his first wife had agreed not to have children. She then regretted that decision, they agreed to have 2 children, but then he decided he couldn’t take it & left her for a younger woman (with 2 children under 5). I suppose the first wife can be glad she got her 2 kids, but how much better if he’d just been honest and let her have children who was going to stick around to raise them with her.

    I’m dealing with a cheater. I have all evidence and was ready to bust him. But his dad died very unexpectedly 4 weeks ago. Been together a very long time and have one 18 month old. I don’t know what to expect now. He is in shock by the death, dealing with the family stuff. I know he has been in contact with his gf, msg her right after the death, and checking in around the funeral etc, but I haven’t noticed him seeing her, I am very watchful. He isn’t at all religious, so this isn’t a matter of “dad is watching me”. I think he is just in shock, lots going on in his head. I was ready to bust him, but now I don’t know what to do or what to expect.

    Will he stop on his own due to this death?
    Will this make him stop cheating and have a change of heart in his ways?
    Will he be back to his old ways soon?
    How long do you think until he goes back to his normal?

    I had made the decision to bust him, but now this throws a huge hurdle in because what if he stops and cleans up his act?

    Any thoughts?

    • “Will he stop on his own due to this death?
      Will this make him stop cheating and have a change of heart in his ways?
      Will he be back to his old ways soon?
      How long do you think until he goes back to his normal?”

      My ex was very close to his mom when she died. he became much, much, worse.

      • did he ‘pause’ after her death? Because he appears to have somewhat ‘paused’… maybe it’s just he lacks time or is mentally distracted right now. But he seems to have paused, I wanted to bust him in person, and I havent been able to since his dad died. I know he talks to his gf, but no dates are set up. I don’t know the full extent of the relationship, but from my research they have been involved for years, and so I was ready to bust this thing open, and now…. pause…

        • Did he pause and reflect? No. He felt more justified to search for his happiness and there was someone waiting in the wings to comfort him. Your STBX is still in communication with OW, so no he has not paused. The death of his dad and her being there for him is only solidyfying their relationship bond.
          Do you have your ducks in a row? Death has a way of focusing your plans for the future. If he hasn’t slept with this woman and they are in the EA only AND this is his first tryst an old friend etc, if you make this really nasty and painful and he is repentant, this may be his wake up call. But those are a lot of ifs.

          • I have all my research and I have a plan set up for the post bust.

            He has been sleeping with this woman for years. I have hard proof. They have been involved anywhere from 2-5 years. Before pregnancy, through pregnancy, through newborn, and up to the day before his dad died. In the last 4 weeks he has stayed in touch with her, seen her once, but kept mostly to himself.

            So now I’m watching, and I just dont know what will happen, i know he is likely to shake it off and go back to normal, but when…. will it be weeks or months of pause.

            • Does it matter how soon the time frame? If you expose him now, he will say something like dad’s death has cause me to rethink how much I love you. Then more than likely he will go underground with it.

              Are you sure you want to divorce? Are you looking for some spark. It sounds as though you haven’t set YOUR limit. I wouldn’t worry about his. It’s a lot to deal with with a small baby.

              You have to know that his behavior is exposing you and your baby to whatever disease or crazy OW has. Be careful.

              • well yes, since I want to bust him in person, I guess I want an idea of what kind of time frame I’m looking at. If his dad had died 1 week later, this would have already happened

              • “I guess I want an idea of what kind of time frame I’m looking at.”

                Your STBX is still communicating with her, so he hasn’t stopped. It really doen’t matter the frequency or time between sex and to be honest you really don’t know.

    • Here’s my answers to your questions in the order that you’ve asked them:
      He already is
      He is at his normal. It just took you awhile to see it.
      See a lawyer, get you ducks in a row, and serve him.

      I know my answers seem harsh, but they are reality. I’m sorry for that.

      • Annie; his ‘normal’ is him seeing her, hence me being able to bust them in person. He isn’t seeing her right now. So that’s why I mean he isn’t at his normal.

        I’m trying to figure out, how long until he goes back to his regular dates and seeing her.

        I am shocked that his dad dying has made him back off.

        • I think you keep moving forward as best you can. Be careful in busting him unless you know you are physically safe and legally protected. I’m not surprised that his dad’s death made him back off because there will be lots of things to take care of and he will need you for that, or for emotional support, or for the facade of normal. His dad dying is probably difficult for you too. I was very close to my FIL and I imagine his death impacted me the way my own fathers will some day.

    • You asked the question so I will answer honestly. No I don’t think he will stop. He won’t change his ways. He’s in shock now which is very different than changing because you realize you’re an entitled, selfish asshat. His shock shall pass and he will revert to whatever he was doing before the shock.

      Don’t tell him what you know. Sit back and take in everything and observe him “while no one is watching.” (or so he thinks). It has been said that you “learn the most about someone’s character by what they do when no one is watching” so here is your chance to see him clearly. Your view of him is more based in reality and he believes he’s still playing you the fool. Collect evidence (if it will help your case) and just watch.

      You won’t be able to do this long so have a plan to file because I can almost guarantee you that you’re not going to like what you see.

      • That has been the plan so far. I collect evidence and I watch.

        I guess what I’m trying to figure out is how many weeks/months we figure it will be until he is back to banging his g/f on the regular.

        • Dar, I’m so sorry to hear about the g/f on the side. How did you find out and how do you continue to collect evidence? I agree with Cheaterssuck… Stay quiet until you get more…

          • His cell phone and email accounts give me a lot of info. I have become really good at tracking him. I act like I am completely unaware and he has no idea I am onto him. I’ve taken time to do extensive research, and thats how I know its been years. It was hard to not kill him on the spot, but having all the info was more beneficial. I had planned on busting him within the coming week, and his dad died completely unexpectedly.

            • I guess I don’t know how to go about snooping electronically. I have his cell pw, but I’m too afraid to spend a long time on there without him noticing.

              • are you able to use the “where is my phone” app?
                That basically gives you his location any time.

              • I put a GPS tracker on my cheater’s car. I could program it to text me whenever the car moved. I could also define geographical areas where if the car entered I’d get a text (i.e., the OW’s neighborhood). For months I tracked his every move without his knowing. The GPS tracker had a battery that lasted about a month. It was magnetic, and I would attach it to the undercarriage of his car (registered to both of us, so I had a legal right to do this). When the battery ran down I’d recharge it overnight, then put it back.

                You can get a lot of information this way, but be warned, it makes you crazy. I’d get text messages whenever his car moved, then I’d obsess over where he was going. I’d query the GPS tracker constantly. It was a relief when I finally accepted the situation and took the tracker off his car.

                The one I used was called iTrack 2.0 and it cost about $200. I had one on each of the cars he drove.

    • Dar, Jackass’s father died in the middle of the devalue and discard phase. He was worse. Much worse, because he had a new stage to perform on, the stage of “grieving son devoted to his mother.” I’m sure he was back to his old tricks although I wasn’t around to see it since he discarded me and kept my money.

      Use this time to get your ducks in a row. Don’t bust him. Get evidence. Copy documents. Get your work life and child care options in order. If you aren’t married, see a lawyer and file for child support. (I take it your aren’t married to this bozo.) It doesn’t matter if the business of death caused him to miss a few sessions with his AP. The fact is he’s a cheater and he’s abusing the mother of his child. He’s putting you at risk and disrespecting you. Start valuing yourself and protect your child. Protect yourself financially. Fix your picker and find someone willing to be a true partner.

      • Married a long time. I have all evidence and everything is ready. I just need him to start banging her so I can bust it open. The plan was bust him in the act. And as stupid as it sounds, I just need to know how long that will take for him to go and bang her again!

        • Why? Do. You Want. That Image In. Your. Head?! Once it’s there it will haunt you forever. That’s one show you don’t want rattling around in your head. DON’T DO IT!

          • he has been cheating for 6 out of 13 years of marriage, before kids, during pregnancy and after son was born, right up to hours before his dad died. A mental image means nothing at this point. Saying “gotcha” and not having to hear excuses or stories is worth a lot more.

            And hopefully he starts banging her in the next month to get this going.

    • Dar, do you live where actual proof is needed for a divorce? If not then busting him is just you trying to say “gotcha”. in the US most states don’t give a rat’s ass if he is cheating. The court is going to divide property and look at child support. The chumps are saying make sure he is not hiding assets. This is no way to live. You deserve better than this. You don’t need to bust him unless it is legally required. Get out of that mess.

      • Even if she catches him with private parts in hand etc, cheater will swear she didn’t see what she saw. Another mind game.

        • That’s exactly why I Want to bust him in action. So there is no “spinning”, no excuses. Super clear cut.

          • Dar, you’ve become sick with an obsession that you need to stop. Truly, see a therapist and a lawyer this week. Stop trying to bust him, it won’t help. If proving adultery will help your divorce case because you are in a fault state, hire a PI to get evidence, your evidence is totally useless in court. No matter what, please stop letting him inside your head, letting him hurt you, hurting yourself. Get your ass to an attorney and file while he’s still looking to see if he gets money from his father’s estate and still focused on his fuck partner.

            You have a responsibility and obligation to take care of your kid. If you won’t do this for yourself, do it for the baby. I’m so sorry you are going through this but getting your share of the assets so you can raise your kids and take care of yourself will be more than enough to completely fuck with the asshole. Confrontation is HIGHLY overrated! Now go Jedi Ninja on his ass or you may find yourself in bad straights! Jedi Hugs Dar!

    • Fuck that, Dar. Let his GF console him. Line up your ducks, and don’t waste any more of your life with that cretin.

  • “He hid his love-child from me for 14 years” should pretty much suffice.”

    I absolutely hate the term “love child.” It sounds like something out of a romance novel….”and a child was born out of their love taboo,” barf. Guys like this are “baby daddy’s” because they chose to engage in some Jerry Sringer, Maury Povich bull and a kid was thrown in the mix. it also lets the cheater hide or use the kid as a shield.
    Tell it like it is

    . Either way, you aren’t my kind of person.” Two years later, I’m better off without those people.

    I did, however, always counterpoint anyone who said something like, “Oh, you guys just drifted apart, huh?” To which I replied, sweetly, either “Welllll, actually, he traded me in for a younger model,” or “He found someone else and liked her more than he liked me — one of his waitresses. She’s 25.” — You’d have to be an idiot not to connect those dots.

  • Very similar story here, minus the secret love child (that I know of…). He’s always professed to be a doting husband and father, but gradually increasing verbal and emotional mistreatment to me over the years. Last year he decides he wants out, proclaims he never really loved me, etc. I discover his current affair, plus one from 7 years prior (so what are the odds he was faithful in between??), plus a porn addiction/habit/whatever. After I confront him with everything he did the 180 and professed his undying love, desire to stay married, etc.

    I kept everything to myself except for a very very few close friends and my pastor. Oddly, my ex started telling everyone. After everything came out, I didn’t do the pick-me dance really (I’d done it most of our marriage turns out), I just sat back and gave it some time to make sure I truly did want to divorce. I made it clear to him I was considering that and leaning toward that, but I don’t think he thought I ever really would. So during that time he starts telling several people at church, work, etc. under some sort of accountability guise. It’s like he played this “I’ve been a bad boy, but I’m sorry but now she might leave me” sob story. It was weird. I had one friend he had told tell me it sounded like he was almost bragging about everything he’d done, so different people took it different ways.

    In the end, we are now divorced, as of 6 days ago. He left our church and joined a different one where he is apparently already well-loved (suckers!) and super spiritual and devoted daddy on social media. I struggle with the defensiveness when I have to tell people — especially at church — about the divorce. I don’t want to have to explain myself, but I don’t want them thinking I’m the one who screwed it up, especially with what he’s putting out there right now. But my pastor told me something that was very helpful. He said I don’t need to feel defensive, that my testimony speaks for itself as well as my ex-husband’s. He said “anyone in this church who hears that you guys divorced will KNOW it wasn’t your fault.” I’m finding out all the time he had a much worse reputation among our friends than I realized. Your character does shine through. Tell or don’t tell, I think everyone has to decide for ourselves what we’re comfortable with. Tell if keeping silent perpetuates your sense of shame. Don’t tell if talking about it causes you anxiety and keeps you wallowing in the past.

    Just like we say to watch what they *do* not what they *say* when it comes to cheaters, the same works for us. People see what we do more than what we say. If we’ve lived a consistently upstanding life of honesty, integrity, and respect for others, I believe the majority of people will know we are not to blame. The ones who don’t get that are deluding themselves and not worth our energy.

  • “The Truth is out there.”

    I know this is a corny line, from X Files I believe, but it just popped into my head while reading these comments.

    I think the thing Cheaters universally fear is the truth. They will all lie to cover it up, and guess what? It’s still out there somewhere. No matter how smart the fuckers think they are, or how Clandestine and sneaky they think they are, someone (besides you) knows.

    I think all Chumps should tell others to their level of comfort. But, you have to be careful not to become a liar yourself. Going along with the cheater’s narrative can damage your own credibility. If you told even one person, or the cheaters were seen together, or the whores bragged to their friends they will see you as less than truthful if you tell something different.

    I know it sucks but that is how I see it.

  • I like that one – I didn’t like his girlfriend. That’s a keeper

  • When I was in Wreckconciliaton, whatever was allowing me to stay when cheater just snapped one day and I literally hated everything about him. It’s like it was a hatred so intense that it consumed my mind and my soul even, and turned me into someone I wasn’t before.

    To the outside world, it was all good, I guess. Like a good little chump, I never brought up his indiscretions and we never argued. It was like It Never Even Happened. I don’t know if he was in contact with the whore cause truthfully I never checked on him. Just like before the fucking around. We were a Unicorn Success Story. I felt guilty e considering divorce cause he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

    It was so wonderful after it was over to tell people what was going on. The main reason is because they then knew it wasn’t me, it was him and the horrible no good situation his shit caused. I can now see how cheating changes other chumps when I see it.

  • If anyone asks, I just say, “There were too many people in my marriage.” No need to say anything.

  • Easy answer to comments about how great a guy he is: “Yeah well, all his mistresses thought so too. I wouldn’t trust him.”

    I believe in giving people fair warning that the man they are dealing with is a liar with no integrity.

  • I told my creditors. When I couldn’t make my payments, I told them the real reason I was a basketcase. All of them understood, banks, tax collectors, credit card companies, insurance companies. All of them put a note on my file saying I was trying my best. They stopped bugging me for payment and were happy with minimum contributions for the next while. Some even helped me through it by talking to me … one tax collector talked to me for 10 minutes on the phone about how to get control of the situation, one bank employee compared her story to mine, one man at a credit card company was very compassionate, one insurance worker said, “Yes! You’ve got it right … well remove him as your beneficiary” Two years later I still have my shitty credit rating, but I got through it alright.

    I don’t know if the above is recommended, but it worked for me. I also told everybody else I crossed paths with … you sure find out who your friends are!!! Someone said to rise above and not tell people he dumped me, that I was demeaning myself. I said fuck that … telling the truth is empowering, not demeaning. No one controls my story … it is mine to tell.

  • I am in Australia, and I have to tell you one story that I keep thinking of:

    There was a man here who was a member of parliament, who was found to have misused union funds on prostitutes and a whole pile of other stuff. A lot of hugely embarrassing testimony emerged from the prostitutes, and from one in particular.

    While this mess was going on, there were the inevitable media shots of this man doing the perp walk, him walking to court with his young and beautiful wife who was loyally standing by him and declaring his innocence, etc.

    But once I saw a media shot where the camera crew tried to interview his FIRST wife – who had been written so thoroughly out of the picture that a lot of media sources didn’t even know she existed.

    I watched it – they stood on the other side of the road from her house, and they called out questions as she walked from her front door to the car in the garage/driveway. She smiled, waved, and then ignored them and drove off.

    Since I discovered chumplady, I now understand exactly why she was smiling so broadly, and what she was thinking:


    • Yeah Lola right with you on that sleazer lol what about the disgusting mr and Mrs. Shorten cheaters both homewteckers looking all loved up on that campaign trail right before our elections in 2days yuck !!!!!

  • I did the same thing. After finding out the facts, I confronted him and simply sat back…and waited. I told him that I was in the process of deciding how “I” wanted to handle his character issues, and that I planned to give it a year to make my “decisions”.

    Apparently, the suspense became too much for him…he bolted and ran two weeks before that year was up…saving me from putting the axe to the tree myself. This worked out very well because I already KNEW that I wanted a divorce, but was lining up my ducks with a smile while he was wondering why I was doing absolutely nothing about his secret life.

  • Dear Chump Lady and The Nation: thanks so much for your words of extreme wisdom and empathy. I’m gathering the consensus as being honesty is the best policy. I will gauge my degree of forthcoming-ness by each situation, and will employ everything from the one-line response to the full divulgance, depending on who is asking and in what context.

    I should mention one other aspect that illustrates the extreme douchiness of the human pustule I was (am still) married to: fourteen years ago, he announced to me he was going in for a vasectomy. At this point in time I was 46 years old and our youngest child was 10. I had long since given up asking him to go in to get one, and had handled the birth control for years without imposing upon him. The vasectomy came out of the blue, but super-proto-chump that I was, I didn’t question it, beyond the fleeting HUH? that passed through my mind. Fourteen years later, I found my answer. The “love” child had been born, he was sued for child support, and although he had no intention of curbing his cheating ways, he also had no intention of paying any more child support (or, for that matter, ever using a condom apparently).

    My daughter (the 10 year old in question at the time of the vasectomy) now tells me that I married a chimpanzee–to all outward appearances a domesticated animal, but still capable of tearing your face off and eating your hands at any moment.

    I am so very sad and shocked that there are so many of us who have had to go through the same misery at the hands of these chimpanzees. But again, thank you all SO much for your empathy and support and words of commiseration and insight, and thank you Chump Lady for being such a font of wisdom and succor. I love you all!

    • ” I married a chimpanzee–to all outward appearances a domesticated animal, but still capable of tearing your face off and eating your hands at any moment.”

      ChampChump–you have a wise daughter. Perfect analogy.

    • You can do this. I can tell you have an inner strength you haven’t even begun to tap into. When the time comes, you’re gonna kick some serious seat cushion. Sending you long distance Jedi hugs!

      • Sunny, thanks for the kind words! I think we’re all stronger than we think. Hugs back at ya!

  • I advocate telling the truth. A simple truth is stronger than the 500 lies spoken to suppress it. I had friends, family, attorneys – police officer even – ask why xh would act/behave/talk in such a manner. “He is having an inappropriate workplace affair, they are desperately trying to cover.” pretty much answered all the weird behavior questions.

  • ChampChump – These guys seem to follow the same script. What I have learned is this – less is more everytime. Less contact. Less

    explaining to anyone who will listen. Less obsessing. Less giving a flying shit!!

    If you have kids together then they will feel defensive of their father so try to keep civil and dignified – cut loose is the way to go.

  • My response to any questions about why I’m divorced is “he wanted to date other women openly instead of behind my back …so bless his heart he’s free now”
    Even we chumps from the Great White North recognize the dis in “bless his/her heart”. You rock Jennifer Garner.

    I had always told my family that if I divorced amicably or was widowed I would keep his surname. Immediately after I found out about the infidelity I was filling out the paperwork to get my real name back. Had to get the ass to sign a form to “let” me change my name.

    My favourite comment from my oldest was after a relative from x’s side said that it was sad his mother and father drifted apart. “yeah, Dad drifted, mom was the one who actually stayed married”. I’m pretty sure his grandma got the inference.

  • I figured out my one liner: “The marriage couldn’t survive his infidelity lying and stealing” (he claimed the last ap was met after the separation but evidence and circumstances point to a different story)

  • Here is an example, ran into an old acquaintance of ex’s last summer, asked me how he was doing, said he heard about the divorce. I told him: “Ex married one of his long-term girlfriends, he moved away and the kids don’t see him.” The guy actually said: “Guess that says it all, doesn’t it.”

    For a Christmas or two after ex left, I would get cards from his old friends or business acquaintances. I wrote back a nice card from me and the children only, and then included a note that said something like: “I am sorry to have to tell you that ex decided to leave the family to pursue other interests and no longer resides here. The children and I are doing well under the circumstances, and wish you and your family the best.”

  • I would tell people all the time that asked what happened. “I didn’t like his girlfriend” Most people will say oh I am so sorry, and then I say I am not he is out of my life. Keep it short and simple and they will get the hint!

  • I told anyone and everyone- even the cashier at McDonald’s — about how and why he left…The Evil One actually said, “You’re out there spreading lies about me!” to which I replied, “NO! I tell the truth about you— and I don’t have to tell people anything, your actions speak volumes about you ; besides, if you wouldn’t lie about me, I wouldn’t have to tell the truth about you!!!”

    • I like that one for when I’m feeling particularly sarcastic..

  • I agree completely withCL’s reply. Facts are facts, and it’s OK to state those.

    However, I suspect CC’s problem is that she’s not far enough into meh to be able to state the facts without emotion.

    When I first learned of my 53 year old ex’s 19 year old girlfriend who was using him to get a car, and of his 16 year old Thai girlfriend who was using him to get English lessons, designer bags and a house for her parents, with over $125k my ex had stolen slowly from the family accounts, I wanted to tell the world, and I felt I needed everyone to be livid on my behalf. It was like they had to agree with me so I knew I was justified in feeling as indignant about it as I did. I was still seeking everyone else’s approval and not heeding my own sense of right and wrong.

    Of course, that was met with various reactions. Initially, it was pretty much the, “How could you not have known?” Variety that figured either you were ignoring it or were incredibly stupid and deserved what you got.

    Then there was the variety, mostly his female friends who were of the, “That’s how all men are, deal with it.” Variety. I suspect many of them were either screwing him at the time or enabling his infidelity and affairs. It took me awhile to realize they were unhappy people who were getting what they expected in life in the form of cheating men, since they already believed all men cheated. What a sad world where women accept that as OK.

    It took about a year, some progress on the divorce, a great new job and thus financial independence, and a new love, to get to the meh stage enough where I learned not to speak at all judgementally, and it’s truly because it doesn’t matter anymore, and quite frankly it’s kind of all absurd and distant, like it happened to someone else.

    Now, depending on who is asking, I either plainly state the facts: Stole money to buy his 16 year old girlfriend a house, yada yada, or speak jokingly about it. Now that I can speak so calmly about it, the reaction is almost always one of shock and/or horror. I think I seem calm and together, so the shock value is greater. They don’t expect from my demeanor to be so calm when telling such an horrific story.

    It’s a funny thing how others believe the truthmuch more when you can speak it without emotion. Presumably, because you are not upset, just matter-of-fact about it, it’s easier for them to accept it as truth, rather than the ramblings of a crazy person.

    So I suspect maybe cc just needs a little more time so she can speak her narrative in a matter-of-fact enough way that it is not met with judgement. It will take awhile, but that time will come. Hang in there!

  • Tequilatamm,
    People can be so insensitive sometimes… I agree with matter-of-fact when telling others and also when dealing with the cheater themselves. You absolutely cannot give them the satisfaction of knowing they “got you”. The “how could you not have known” is such a slap in the face, but I believe when people say things like that, they’ve never been cheated on before (or don’t know they’ve been cheated on), are cheaters themselves, or they must have telepathy and finally a genius IQ. 🙂 Apparently somehow through the lies, we should have known who we were dealing with right from the start…because cheaters are sooooo honest, right?
    The “that’s how men are” (even though it takes a 2nd party to cheat) is the biggest crock of crap yet again. So because we are all “animals” and it’s “human nature”, that gives people the right to cheat and LIE?!!! If that were true, then us chumps are animals too right? I guarantee if the shoe was on the other foot (either the cheater or the people who comment insensitively on your situation) they would NOT be saying that….

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