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Dear Chump Lady, Please kill my hope

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i-view-each-and-every-one-of-your-glaring-iqnDear Chump Lady,

Three years ago, I found out that my husband had had a three-year affair. When I found out, he told me I was the “love of his life” and he’d made “the worst mistake of his life” and he wanted to stay married. At that time, we’d been married 15 years and had two children ages 8 and 6.

We went to counseling for a little bit. I thought he had stopped seeing her immediately. We stayed married.

Last summer, I found out that he had had an Ashley Madison and accounts during his 3-year affair—neither one had activity on it because, I think, men have to pay but he had set up his profiles (what a fun read). When I questioned him on why he had these accounts, he told me, “He wanted to see what else was out there.” Nice.

Last Sunday, I found out that he had been seeing the same woman for the past 6 months (Did it ever stop from 3 years ago? I’m not sure). They’ve been meeting at an Embassy Suites near his office (that she pays for) because he thought I might have hired a private investigator (paranoid much?). When I asked why he had re-started the affair, he told me it was because I “never got over the affair from three years ago.” He said I never gave him the forgiveness he needed. He said that he felt our marriage was doomed and that I would eventually leave him. I thought we were moving forward.

Admittedly, I was not perfect and was still hurt by his 3-year affair and then finding out during the Ashley Madison hack last summer that he’d been on that too — maybe I’m slow to heal (maybe I need some bloodwork done to see why I don’t heal faster from being repeatedly stabbed in the back…)

He’s never going to change is he? No matter how much I want to believe that and continue to drink the Koolaid, he’s never going to be different.

But, it is so hard to give up hope in the face of all his promises.

Please talk some sense to me and take away my hope.


Dear Missed,

Let’s just make a list, okay?

  1. A three-year affair. Which is really a SIX-year affair because it never ended.
  2. An Ashley Madison account.
  3. A account.
  4. Openly admits to wanting to date while married “to see what else is out there.”
  5. When busted, he blameshifts this mess on to YOU for not “forgiving him.”

Let’s take this point by point.

1.) A three-year six-year affair is not a “mistake” singular. It’s thousands upon thousands of willful decisions to deceive you. It’s sociopathic. Normal people don’t have double lives nor can they maintain them. To do that you either have to have zero empathy (as in your synapses don’t fire), huge reserves of entitlement, and super powers of manipulation.

Try to imagine being him for a DAY, doing the shit he’s been doing behind your back. You’d break out in stress rashes, wouldn’t you? You’d being dying to have a heartfelt conversation and spill your guts. You’d grind your teeth and suffer constant anxiety and second guessing. You would not CONTINUE UNBOTHERED FOR SIX YEARS.

To behave as he has behaved is deeply fucked up. And it’s who he is. He’s got a lousy character and he’s really okay with being a total fraud. Not much to work with here.

2.) Ashley Madison? Oh great, he wants to hang out with other fuckwits like himself.

3.) Oh great, he wants to deceive single people into thinking he’s single.

4.) He wants to see what else is out there? Oh, and he’d also like to stay married to you? That’s known as CAKE. He’s openly telling you he has absolutely no interest in fidelity. He’d prefer to shop. Indefinitely. (By the way, that’s your cue to do the Pick Me Dance and compete for the awesomeness of his indecision.)

5.) This is all YOUR fault? Really, you couldn’t forgive him? What does he think staying married to his sorry ass and raising his two kids is? A death sentence?

You never GAVE him forgiveness? What exactly did he do to earn it?

And let’s say that’s true. He believes you’ll never get past it. Then the honorable, sensible thing to do is END IT honestly and divorce you with a fair settlement. He didn’t do that. Because the point is CAKE.

Now, let’s look at his promises.

When I found out, he told me I was the “love of his life” and he’d made “the worst mistake of his life” and he wanted to stay married. 

Apparently being the love of his life entails tolerating his constant quests for other loves of his life. Is that okay with you?

He made the worst mistake (singular) of his life? So… what? Is he going for the gold here on catastrophic, clusterfucky, super mistakes? He just thought he’d compound those mistakes? Mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake… Until the whole mistake collapses in on itself like a black hole, sucking everything into its gravitation pull? And we’re all pulled into his wormhole of fuckupedness and spit out into an alternative mistake universe?

Worst mistake? No. The only mistake here is staying with him.

And now you’re writing to me to kill your hope. To stop believing his lame promises. Listen, Missed, you better kill your hope before your hope kills you. Think of it as a showdown at the Not-Okay Corral. Only one of us is getting out of here alive, Hope! 

Let that someone be you. If you stay with him, you stay with the knowledge of exactly who he is — a serial cheater. You’ll have a marriage with a man who looks elsewhere and blames you for it. Who subverts “forgiveness” as “free pass to do whatever the fuck I want to.” And if you object? You’re not being forgiving enough.

That’s soul death. Don’t choose it. Call a lawyer instead.

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  • This sounds like my story, but different details. “Love of his life.” Check. “Can’t forgive.” Check. Can’t trust 100% after all the lying, women “friends”, triangulation, gaslighting. Check. It’s all my fault. Check. Stabbed in the back Check. Get a fricken lawyer and dump this piece of crap. CL, is right. HE WILL NEVER CHANGE! I wish I would have moved on YEARS ago and not wasted anymore time on my ex as HE DIDN’T CHANGE. He just kept figuring out ways to hide his deception. Get a lawyer and get out of this so-called marriage. ((((((HUGS)))))) to you, MissedRedFlags.

    • OMG, this is EXACTLY what my cheater did to me! Coming to terms with the fact that they can’t and will never change – no matter what they SAY – is the hardest thing to do, but with the support of CL and CN, I am learning to accept that fact and begin moving towards a cheater-free future!

    • I stayed with a loser for 14 years after he cheated on me while I was pregnant and begged for a second chance. After 24 years, and a double life including a five year relationship revealed last year, he says, “I married the wrong person and spent 20 years making bad choices to cope with it” My fault.

      Get Out. Don’t waste another precious minute

      • I think that’s the biggest mindfuck these losers try to lay on you, and unfortunately one of the most effective. “I love the whore, wah, wah, wah.” Nah, if you ” loved” the whore, you would be with the whore, no matter what. You LOVE the fucking cake. Not the low rent easy lay whore you bang on the side. When you try throwing one of these mother fuckers out of your house, see what happens. They don’t want to go. That surely is True Love.

          • My XH POS cheated the first time (had 1st Ddy) when married 7 years. I forgave, powered on through it and moved on with the marriage. Two years ago DDy #2 exploded (think 4th of July fireworks finale) and over the next 6 months information rolled out that was unbelievable!! The divorce was filed and complete at 6 months as well. The marriage was at the 46 year marker, but honest to God, I couldn’t fathom another minute as his wife. He lived a second life of serial cheating. I don’t have a clue who the man is. The behaviors continue and worsen as they age. My message to all is do NOT waste another minute on these FREAKS. If they cheated once, there is a VERY HIGH probability it will happen again….like 90 plus percent.

            • Blown Away – same timeline with a serial cheater with a double life. “I don’t have a clue who this man is.” No kidding, WTF happened to them? Well, not my monkey, not my circus anymore, thanks goodness.

              • I ran into X’s long-time hair-stylist today and we talked about X.
                Yep, he had not only changed his personality, but his looks had exploded and not in a good way.
                She said, as I had noticed, his hair became really weird, and he had a lot of it – like he’d been electrocuted…and he wound up in her chair and just wanted a small trim. I didn’t know who he became then, but very unkempt. And, this was a fastidious man by nature.

                The lady told me came in and it was obvious to her he had been drinking. This is at 2pm.
                And, she said – he just wasn’t ‘right’.
                I remember him having a martini after work every night – as his office closes at 2pm but you don’t drink and go get your hairdresser to cut your hair when you’re drunk and not listen to her? He didn’t listen so she trimmed it, like he wanted. Still electric hair.

                I dunno why this made me feel a little better today, but to have somebody else validate what I was seeing with my own eyes, that was a practical stranger, point this out to me….I know I wasn’t mentally unstable. He was. Most people won’t tell you anything about what they thought of your X, and sometimes I’m dying to hear. The important things….he’d been going to her for 21 yrs. So, I trusted what she said and she said he was acting weird. Go figure! But I did – I KNEW he was getting very weird. Now it makes me wonder why he was drinking so early in the day. She said she couldn’t smell the vodka martinis on him but she knew he was drunk.

                Just wow – I guess I overlooked all that but he was up to 3 martinis before he ate, every night. But, who was counting?

                The one thing I didn’t want to hear from a ‘friend’ was…..’I’m not surprised you’re divorced, I’m just surprised it took you so long”.
                I dunno but – so Long ‘friend’.
                Bad thing to say, for some reason.

        • ““I love the whore, wah, wah, wah.” Nah, if you ” loved” the whore, you would be with the whore, no matter what. You LOVE the fucking cake.” – this is completely true.
          Now (5 years after the event), narcissist is saying ‘it meant absolutely nothing’. Tell that to my broken heart. How can something SO damaging, ‘mean nothing’???
          I lived his infatuation to her. I lived his adulterous monogamy, and his rejection and contempt. I lived his saying ‘I am treating you this way because you are a terrible wife’ (whilst knowing exactly what he was doing). His saying to me ‘I don’t know what I want’.

          Now, it meant nothing???? As deep as a teaspoon, these people.

          Best not in your life, for your own sanity.

      • My ex cheated on me, too, when I was pregnant with our second child. Only a crappy, disordered, sociopathic, narcissistic, jerk would cheat when his wife was pregnant with his child and they also had another beautiful one year-old child together.

    • I got the same story too. The AP even asked him, and he relayed to me; “is awakening dreamer ever going to forgive you”.

      So, so unfair. And the trust wordsalad I got when he was gaslighting me. I’ve actually forgotten. The specifics of what he said at the time because my memory is still recovering from the trauma of the last year/15years.

    • Yesterday was the three year anniversary my x woke up after 28 years and didn’t want to be married anymore. You guys know the drill, I paid for the divorce, I did the pick me, etc etc. it was REALLY REALLY ugly.
      Yesterday he had his first round of radiation. 3 years to the day.

    • Missed RedFlags I Totally understand your issues same story for me but mine had a 20 year relationship with someone he met while I was pregnant with his son the kicker is i met her too he met this person while playing recreational tennis and little did I know this same person he had this long time relationship with. After he all of a sudden cant take this she decides to Bow out after all this time?? I have heard the gamit of things they were made for each other , we just got along, she got me i got her, soulmates?? the thing is was their only thing in common was drinking & sex oh he provided a job for her and supported her very well all the while i was doing my motherly & wife duties all along plus he used work & his soccer sport to take her away many many times . It too me 6 years to discover all this 9 months of therapy which im still in to try to figure this out, he says he wants to give our marriage a try ?? i can identify with everything said here 🙁 the entire situation has at times made me hopeless. Its awful to be purposely hurt betrayed and just deceived i hope you find the strength to pull yourself away sweetie (((((((((HUGS)))))))))

  • It is hard, if not impossible, to forgive someone actively still wronging you. As CL points out, this is not the real problem here. It is blame shifting and a way for him to distract you from the real problems…his cheating and lying. Not much to work with here.

    • Here is my favorite Chump Nation sentence for today: “It is hard, if not impossible, to forgive someone actively still wronging you.”

      If someone has wronged you, that person should be focused like a laser beam on restoring your trust. And that mean no blame shifting, no denial, no gaslighting, no lying, no cheating. And it means listening to the chump until the chump doesn’t need to talk any more. Most of these cheaters can’t do real remorse or make true amends. That’s the very best reason for not giving them a second chance while you live with them. If they move out and then shape up and show they have 1) become responsible adults and 2) figured out how to engage in reciprocity and 3) demonstrate a changed character over time, then maybe I’d buy their remorse.

      Missed, the “biggest mistake of his life” was getting caught. You know that because he didn’t stop the affair for good. And of course he want to stay married. That’s preserving CAKE. Sex at home, sex with Schmoopie. Access to kids and the marital home. No need to divide assets. He has the image of the family man along with the fun of cheating. He gets to be central to two (or more) women. The Schmoopie is paying for the hotel. Not a consequence for this dirtbag in sight.

      Get your ducks in a row. That means keep your head down until you have copies of all financial transactions, bank accounts,mortgage papers, home deed, etc., stowed in a safe place (at work, at the house of someone you trust) so you can get them no matter what happens. Make sure you have the originals of the yours and the kids’ birth certificates, social security numbers, passports etc. Gradually put precious heirlooms in safe locations if you think you will want or need to move. Make sure you have photos, copies of photos, and jpeg files. Run a credit check on both of you to see if there is debt you don’t know about. Then do the research to find the best possible family law attorneys in your area. Often you can get a free or low cost first consultation and listen hard. You need an advocate. You should also find a good therapist who understands disordered people.

      Get your support system together. Who can you count on to help you? What things in your life comfort and sustain you in hard times? Are you in good physical health?–because betrayal is terribly hard on the body. In my view, the man you are married to is your enemy. He shows not one sign of caring for your physical, emotional or psychological well-being. I can’t kill your hope. But I am not sure what you are hoping for.

      Stop listening to what this guy says. Look at his actions. What do they tell you?

      • LAJ – did you just lift “LASER FOCUS” from Penguins coach Mike Sullivan? That’s one of his go-to cliches, ha ha. 🙂

        So many of us yinzer chumps out there, as we saw yesterday. Maybe there’s something about our region, culturally, something in our heritage that breeds codependency and chumpdom. I know I learned it at home…and my mom learned it in HER home… all immigrants of eastern European descent, my grandfathers were typical mill/mine hunkies (and abusers/alcoholics), etc. Just thinking out loud. LGP

        • Ha ha, maybe. I read a lot of sports coverage. And of course–Pens fan. We need a yinzer meet up.

          • I have never posted a comment before, however I’ve been reading daily for about a year and a half. I would totally be in for a Pgh meet up!

  • This guy is too disgusting to even comment about. Please just leave this turd and move on to your life without him in it.

    • Man oh Man oh Man. Let’s have a retreat and I want to hear CL talk for hours. She just yanks you right back to the BLASTED TRUTH. I just exercised, and the whole time as my dogs sniffed and peed….my sick mind was going…an email…just to see how he is. Is he alive? (Day 21 of No Contact).

      And I came back and found this brilliant, brutal, beautiful gem…just waiting for me….like the antibiotic I needed to stop this bacterial sickness of not accepting the truth about THE CHARACTER OF CHEATERS.


      Say it out loud. Write it on your forehead with a Sharpie. I have my pen out now.

      • 21 days? You’re just a pup. Please hold on. It gets much better. It still hurts (2 years out NC), but I truly have no desire to even think of her and would despise hearing from her. Be strong.

        • Thank you Marked711~ Boy, who are you telling. I have tried to go NC at least 20 times? 30 times? This is the best I have ever done! I hope it gets better.
          I am white knuckling it right now.
          Taking it moment to moment! I am staying strong. Thank you for the encouragement.

          • Whenever you are wanting to break contact, write down in a journal what you want to say. Pour your heart out and spare nothing. Keep writing until there is nothing left inside. It needs to come out, but don’t break contact for your emotional needs. He doesn’t care about your emotions, your pain, or your loneliness. He cares only about himself and engaging with him on this level will only feed his ego.

            I read what I wrote last June and I feel sad for the grieving woman I was and when I read from last month I am proud of the self-sufficient woman I am learning to be. I still get sad, lonely, and feel the loss of what I thought I had, but each day it is less sad, less lonely and I am grateful for what I do have. I am more than I thought I was and he is less, so much less, than he should have been.

            Stay mighty. You can do this.

            • Finally got around to watching “Luther.” (No spoilers. Still watching.) (Love me some Idris Elba. And Ruth Wilson from “The Affair” is in it.) Typical BBC short seasons and love the cinematography. Anyway, after comparing Match Girl’s psycho answer last week in which she accused me, among other things, of blackmail and violence, I am no longer innocent. Luther doesn’t seem that far fetched. If (when) Match Girl and Match Stick do implode, she’s triangulating and riling him up to be a weapon pointed at ME!

              Protect yourself, chumps. D-Day is just the beginning.

            • Annie Get Your Gun , you are beautiful. Your words hit a chord with me tonight. Thank you! I am more than I thought I was and he is less, so much less, than he should have been. Staying strong and trying to find me. Divorced for almost 5 months after 25 years marriage. Work in progress!

              • What I know beyond a doubt is that I would not be as far along as I am mentally and emotionally if I had not stumbled upon this web site looking for answers on why he betrayed me and checked out of our marriage. I found symptoms of mid-life crisis and how they mirrored depression and wrote them down in my journal. I look back at those symptoms and no longer care what his excuse was or why he did it. He is a true Fucktard and a sane person cannot explain fucked up retarded (In the true clinical definition of cognitive impairment and limited emotional and intellectual development) behavior.

                I was looking for help for him, and I found it for me. I am forever thankful because what I now know without a doubt is that he sucks.

        • Yes, hold on. Worry about you. Put yourself first. Sometimes I’m not sure how many years now, but I think the great 3rd Gaslighting Anniversary is late August. Jackass and Scmoopie were apart for awhile (she separated or got divorced) but there are signs things are back on. Meh. They deserve each other. I can’t even imagine what I saw in him, and that was a 30 year friendship as well as…well, whatever it was that I got involved in. Certainly not a “love affair” or romance or actual dating….Once you see the sickness of the dynamic with a disordered person, there’s no going back. It’s like eating tainted food and throwing up and having diarrhea for three days. You never touch that food again.

  • You deserve so much better MissedRedFlags…I was devastated after my wife cheated and left me after 24 years but 2 years later I am in such a better place. No more wondering what’s going on with her “weekends away with the girls” bullshit, no more stress just living with her. It’s scary to split up but it’s amazing how calming it can be after the storm passes.

    • Absolutely agree. After two years of living without that scum bag, I cannot believe that my life is so much more peaceful and calm. Why couldn’t I see it before instead of wasting all that time hoping. Give it up! Get a life! I promise you that it is there….a much better life!

      • “Give it up! Get a life! I promise you that it is there….a much better life!”
        It really is! God once you get that cancerous growth cut off and out of your life it’s amazing how much clarity you gain. You really do emerge from the fog and can see how you were played. I can almost taste meh, I’m light years ahead of where I was when the hurricane hit. My daughter still lives with me and attending college, my son is going to move back with me for a bit as his relationship is ending and it’s all ok as I’m surrounded by genuine people that love me and care about me, no a partner choosing to sleep on the couch because “she sleeps better there” with her iPhone welded to her hand 24-7. It’s a horseshit existence living with a cheater. I don’t miss her at all.

        • Yeah, my cheater did the same with the couch. Didn’t want to “wake me up” after he went to the bathroom. Funny how that iPhone was always tucked up against his private parts. Probably had it set to “vibrate” when the OW texted him. LOL. Saw him get out of bed in the middle of the night (around 1:30am) to check his phone. Asked him about it and of course he had some lame excuse about “work”, blah, blah, blah. Sorry. Work people don’t text in the middle of the night. Sooooooooooooooooooooooo happy to not have to live with the lying, etc.

          • Me three for the couch thing!!! My cheater would get up to “use the bathroom” and not come back (he would go downstairs to the couch). I thought nothing of it until our puppy (who slept upstairs with us) would get up every morning at 6 am. Every morning. Turns out thats when his skank got up and would call or text “good morning”, the buzz from the phone would wake up the pup… Phone records enlightened me to this habit, as I kept wondering why my pup had no problem sleeping in once we moved…. So unoriginal, these cheaters.

            • Even the pup gained some peace once he left lol! My ex always kept the dogs kenneled at night she had every excuse to and I just went along with her reasoning blah blah but after she left I tossed the kennels and let my cairn terrier sleep on my bed. We are both much happier lol. I got my daughter a shih tzu after her cairn terrier passed away to crash with so it really all worked out..Happier dogs and happier life!

            • Count me in on the couch thing. Before he left he used sleeping on the couch as one of his reasons for being unhappy in the relationship. This despite the fact that he chose to sleep out there every night. More twisted cheater logic.

        • Me too with the damn couch! My lying POS XH “fell asleep” on the couch every night. Sometimes he would come to bed at 4am, sometimes he would be there when I got up and went to work in the morning. I have no idea how he functioned at work. And again, cell phone and laptop glued to him at all times. Beware of the COUCH SIGN!!! Normal people sleep in a bed!

          • For myself I resorted to sleeping on the couch to get away from the ex and her cheating dramas, that’s when I gained some power back. I let her enjoy that cold cold bed, she asked me a few times if I was going to sleep in the bed again, no farkin way. Its important to know your worth. Beds are nice but I would have slept better on cold floorboards!

    • Same for me too. 28 years married, 1 day divorced (as of yesterday). Let the adventure, and the new milestone marker begin! (Ian can post a picture of sexy blonde with hands held up in a “V”for victory here and it would not break my heart)

      • Well that went off the rails quickly. Lots of blondes with the victory arms, but they’re all stock-photos with water-marks. And then I thought a blonde holding two pistols above her head. That’s when it all went bad. I guess I haven’t been single long enough to know there’s a whole “girls with guns” thing.


        Here’s a few of the better photos! (BTW, imgur has a built-in meme maker)

        She might be exercising not celebrating.

        Not sure why she’s jumping in the rain.

        I’m divorced at the beach!

        Not sure I’ll get asked back to do this again.


        This only took me fifteen minutes on a Friday night. Really.

        Her arms are making a v right?

        So happy you survived the mindfuckery shitstorm of that fuckturd you divorced, Annie! You’re mighty!

      • Yay, Annie!! I’m on day ten of FINALLY being divorced and I’m LOVIN’ IT — cue McDonald’s music. 🙂 Congrats to all of us chumps that are no longer involved with a cheater and getting a life!

        • Yeah us! I texted my sister minutes after it was final. She asked me how I felt. I replied that I wasn’t sure yet. Here is her reply, “Makes sense to me I love you. This new chapter you’re going to write will be awesome. Cant wait to see it and continue being a part of it. You are everything to me and I’m proud of you.”

          Isn’t she awesome. I’m proud of all of us chumps. It takes mightiness to drag ourselves up after such a blow. At first, it is seemingly fatal. Then we slowly stumble forward past buckling knees, nausea, and pain that is so sharp and directed it is pure torture. But we begin to walk straighter, stronger, and taller than we ever thought we could. When there’s a trigger and I falter, it’s no longer the arduous effort it was to get back up. It’s just taking a deep breath continuing on.

          • Annie!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! 😀 I am so happy for you! You deserve it!

            Oh BOY!!!! HUGS!!! AND MORE HUGS!!!!! WOOT WOOT!!!!

          • I asked my sister last night if it was bad karma that I’d just wished my sad sausage was dead (it fit into a TV show I was watching, sort of…), and she said, “No, I’ve thought about actually killing him.” I appreciated the moral reassurance from my real soul mate 🙂

            • Mine had an extreme surgery and will continue to have major cosmetic surgeries to complete his vision of self. For months I worried that he might die from it. I hope it is acceptable for me to admit here that lately I half wish he would. <— Not my usual character and so I really, really, am looking forward to Meh. Just wish I could forget about him altogether.

  • Dear Missed: 15 years and two kids, I get it. We all do. It’s super hard to believe that someone you invested that much time in, created a family with, loved and forgave is such a monumental jackass. But he is.

    I picked me danced for two years, praying that he’d “wake up” and see what he was losing. Got the same bullshit of I wasn’t forgiving enough (all while he was openly still with her…during his one sided open marriage…the condition he placed to even try to save our marriage).

    Listen, Missed, get your proof, kick him out, divorce him. Once he is gone from your life, you will be the one to wake up from the fog and realize how much shit you had to put up with. These fuckers don’t operate in a vacuum: they degrade you, guilt you, make you question your worth on a daily basis. Make you feel that there is something wrong with You, all in the name of getting their needs met. Once you have him out, you will see how small you made your needs to accommodate the Entitled One. How much your kids have done without.

    Once you realize that, and start building your own life for you and the kids, you will realize how mighty you always were. You will discover a core of strength you didn’t know you possessed and you WILL move on and be much happier for it.

    Prayers and giant hugs for you and your kids! Be an Amazon and delete that weak little Peter Pan out of your life!

    • They make you question everything and make you think you are crazy!!! TRUST ME – GET OUT NOW

    • This — “These fuckers don’t operate in a vacuum: they degrade you, guilt you, make you question your worth on a daily basis. Make you feel that there is something wrong with You, all in the name of getting their needs met. Once you have him out, you will see how small you made your needs to accommodate the Entitled One.”

  • Me. 4 years ago. Did the pick me dance…for 4 years. He separated from me. Now with ns.. He gleefully got ready for a date 3 days after the discard while staying in the office. And still wanted kisses and hugs from me even up to 3 months after. Cake eater!!! I shut that sh#t down! We are now low low contact until the house sells. Trust that he sucks and you will not win. GET. OUT.NOW.


  • This con man describes his long lasting affair as ‘a mistake’, as if it were a one time tryst. It is actually a long series of mistakes to meet her over and over again for YEARS! So much so that it becomes unavoidable to develop an intimate bond outside the marriage, they shared so much time together, make no mistake that he must have also been declaring his love for her as well!

    • Yeah a mistake. What criminal admits to their crime? Same shit. They are guilty and will never admit it.

  • He cheated again because he didn’t think your forgiveness was satisfactory? As soon as I think I’ve heard it all, I discover that I haven’t. These people are a special kind of stupid.

    • And that unsatisfactory forgiveness is based in what? Forgiveness is based on repentance! I don’t see any of that here. As I reminded my pastor post D-day, God offers forgiveness to everyone but not everyone responds with contrition, you know the often forgotten, other half of the equation. If he ever brings us forgiveness again, please ask him what contrition he has achieved.

      In second thought, why bother? Get away from this monster now and go No Contact, the path to the truth and the light! I guarantee six weeks of No Contact will CHANGE YOUR WORLD!!!!!

      • AOoK–didn’t you get your post D-day memo? Forgiveness is to be based on just how FAB the cheater is; no apology, no remorse, no contrition needed! You get to bask in the warmth of their wonderfulness for eternity (or until the discard, whichever comes first).

        • What and silly me went and divorced him? Gosh, poor me, missing out on all that fabulousness. Had I only stayed in contact I am sure I would feel the need to bask again.

          Instead I applied a liberal dose of cheater block! No Contact is the sunblock of cheater exposure. It comes as a level 8 for new chumps not sure they know what to do, moves up to a 15 for those with kids who whittle it down to email only, then up to a full coverage 30 for those who only have to handle special occaissions, and 50 for those who never have to interact with their cheater again!

          • Oh, the bliss of 50 No Contact cheater block. I will never, ever have to see his face again.

              • Moi??

                (but lest newbies get the wrong idea–I really am soft and nonviolent at heart. I rescue betta fish, for crying out loud.)

            • As attributed by the ultimate narcissist and soon to be headless Marie Antionette, “Let them eat cake.”

              • You’re so right, Kar Marie–save the betta fish and let’s put cheaters in little cups in Petco. Stamp the cups “Toxic” and allow people to use them as mosquito repellant.

    • A year ago I was in the same state of mind. Now: meh! Stbx (I filed) last week blameshifted ‘if you would have dealt with my uncertainties differently (meaning: the whole double life before and fucking around after DD), we could have made it’. I answered – from the bottom of my heart – ‘I am so so glad I didn’t. I resent fighting for a man that keeps on letting me down’. Dear MissedRedFlags, in your heart you know, it is the pain over the loss that keeps you there, let it go, the pain will go with it.

      • Grace,

        “I am so glad I didn’t.” Me too. I always struggled with this one. What kind of person does not fight for someone they love? I felt I should fight for him and our relationship. I could literally kick OW ass and leave her sniveling on the ground. At the same time, I didn’t feel that he was worth fighting for. He betrayed my trust and I wanted to kick his ass and leave him sniveling on the ground. He has me by 10 inches and 100 pounds, but a swift kick to his bad knee to take him down and another to groin would be a great start. Sorry. I just had an angry relapse.

        Ultimately, I’m glad that my wreconciliation didn’t last too long and I let him go.

  • Sounds very familiar…the only thing my staying the year after DDay, let me see that those “few” women were actually hundreds…he never stopped the entire time just went deeper under ground…my XH said, ” I thought you would leave me and I didn’t want to be alone” even though I never said that and was in counseling and thought we were actually doing good!! He ended up being a total sociopath serial cheater….still is doing it even now we’re divorced. Will not ever change, and seriously he doesn’t want too, he’s too special for just one person, I know this as I’ve read it many times in his messages to his OW, “I’m special and unique!” Not.

    • Hundreds! HOW DO THEY DO THIS. My life post-X is so quiet, calm, limited socially, deeply happy, and *fun*. But fun because it is shared with a very select few.

      Half the reason I have been NC/LC for ? A year? Almost a year? Over a year? Is that he had many triangles going on, and I didn’t want to stick around and find out at what level.

      The other half of the reason for NC/LC, has been the pure horror of potentially
      finding out someday that it wasn’t just the many I suspected, but hundreds.

      I don’t know how they live like this; I would never sleep. CL’s words today are like a wildfire for me, just pure raging truth. I’m totally ok with hope being burned away from this part of my heart.

  • Missed, do yourself the biggest favor possible and shut this crap down now. The longer you pour your efforts into a no-win situation like this, the more you are reinforcing a negative self-image, one that convinces your psyche that no matter how hard you try to do something (anything, not just “save a marriage”), you will always be ineffective and doomed to failure. Divorce Minister has labeled cheating as Soul Rape for a sound reason – by voluntarily surrendering your agency here, you are teaching your subconscious that you are a failure and not worthy of love, from others, but more importantly from yourself. The Pick-Me Dance is a tough habit to unlearn, and it invariably bleeds into other aspects of your life where self-assurance is crucial. Good luck to you.

    • Wow. +1

      Wiser, you just illuminated my understanding further with this truth. Our psyche taking a cue.

    • Wiser – This is the most important truth I have read here. Reading your post, I realized that continuing to tangle with him sapped my self-assurance in every aspect of my life – my work, health, appearance, social activities, friendships, willingness to try new things, travel and meet new people. I would counsel anyone to get that Property Settlement Agreement signed as soon as you find out. Don’t fall for wreckonciliation or do the Pick Me Dance. Don’t get sucked in when s/he panics after you file. You will just destroy yourself while s/he keeps up the same behavior. The longer there are no consequences for them, the worse they become.

  • WORDS verses ACTIONS.

    Looks at CL’s list and see if the items on it match up with him saying “he told me I was the “love of his life” and he’d made “the worst mistake of his life” and he wanted to stay married.” I don’t think so.

    However, his actions do match up with “He wanted to see what else was out there.” So stop wasting your time being the only one invested in your marriage and give him his freedom to explore his options without the baggage of a wife (that he obviously doesn’t want to be with). Your life will be hell for a while but isn’t hell now? And the additional 3 years you gave it already prove that if you stay, the next 3 likely won’t be either

    I know what I have written is tough to hear but I have been in shoes similar to yours and the sooner you realize that you have to step up and leave, the better off you will be. Take care of you – no one else will do that for you, especially your husband (he’s already proven that). Oh, and get tested for STDs ASAP and don’t have sex with him again.

    • Also, line up a job. Look into some sort of education/certification. Many degrees are available online. Coding, accounting, nursing, cosmetology, child care, military support, or transcribing will see you through the toughest times. If you already have a job, keep a foot in that door.

  • My ex said and did most of the exact same things as in this letter. He claims he cheated (over and over) because he “didn’t think I would ever forgive him”, because I “said awful things to him” (I did compare him to my cheaterpants father. Once.)”, because I was “going to graduate school and didn’t pay attention to him”, because, because, because…

    “A three-year six-year affair is not a “mistake” singular. It’s thousands upon thousands of willful decisions to deceive you. It’s sociopathic. Normal people don’t have double lives nor can they maintain them.” <– This. All of this.

    It doesn't matter his "reason" for cheating. If he was invested in your marriage, he would have cared enough to work through and address any *actual* problems you both may have had.

    Listen. The Pope himself wouldn't have enough "forgiveness" to offer your cheater. Cut your losses, get a good, supportive therapist and a bulldog divorce attorney. Later on, you can find someone who loves you and for whom there wouldn't be any "reason" good enough in this world to cheat on you.

    • The cheater handbook.”You are the love of my life.” and “I knew you would never forgive me.” Check and check. Still can’t figure out how I was supposed to forgive him when he was still cheating! Words, just words, all designed to keep confuse, deceive and deflect.

      • I heard the same things. The other thing I heard was my limbic system screaming “Danger! Danger!” every time I saw mine after D-day. My limbic system was more convincing.

    • Yes, Chumplady, thank you for breaking down what a multi-year affair is. It is not a lapse, not simply a mistake, or “I could not help it” (as my ex said), it is an astounding series of thousands of lies to maintain. It is one of those times where you cannot separate the behavior from the person because it takes some sort of “unique” personality in order to pull it off.

  • Oh, and another thing. I was dancing the Pick Me Dance for our entire relationship, but didn’t know it. Now I’m doing the Fuck You Dance and enjoying partnering with myself and gaining a life!

    • I love the Fuck You Dance!!!!
      And I’ve come to realize, I’m really good at it! Perhaps we need a Chump Nation Fuck You Dance Off?

    • Martha, you slay me! Allow me to suggest some other dance steps:
      You Suck Salsa
      No More Cakewalk
      Ta Ta Cha Cha
      Bye Bye Boogie
      Out of Limbo
      Table for One-Step
      She’s a Hora
      Twist in the Wind Asshole!

    • I was also doing the “pick me Dance” throughout our entire marriage and now Im doing the “Fuck You” dance…the day I learned he was a serial cheater, I called a few specific people I knew he would never want to know his darkest secret just because I knew if he were alive it would piss him off. That day I also took the last photo of him off the wall (cursing all the way to the basement with that fucking photograph). When he comes to mind, I often just say or think “fucker”…and I probably WAS the love of his life and he is still a “fucker”.

    • Awesome Martha – I propose the Chump Slide as a version of the “Fuck you” Dance (to the Cha Cha Slide Melody):

      This is somethin’ new
      The Chump Slide part 1
      And this time we’re do the dumping
      Everybody clap your hands
      Clap clap clap clap your hands
      Clap clap clap clap your hands

      Alright we gonna do the basic steps
      File to the left
      File to the right
      Don’t take it back now

      One lawyer this time
      Right foot lets stomp
      Left foot lets stomp
      Cha cha real smooth
      Now turn it out

      To the left
      Take it up to the court
      One hop this time
      Right foot lets stomp
      Left foot lets stomp
      Cha cha now y’all
      Now it’s time to get judgy

      To the right
      To the left
      Let your lawyer take it now y’all
      One motion this time, one motion this time
      Right foot two stomps
      Left foot two stomps
      Slide to the left
      Slide to the right
      Criss cross, criss cross
      Cha cha real smooth

      Lets go to court
      To the left
      Take it back now y’all
      Two motions this time, two motions this time
      Right foot two stomps
      Left foot two stomps
      Hands on your knees, hands on your knees

      How low can your cheater go
      All the way to the floor
      Like s/he’s never never stopped

      But you bring it to the top
      Cuz’ you’ll never never stopped
      Get judgy with it
      Ooooooooh yeah (come on)
      Cha cha now y’all
      Turn it out
      To the left
      You won’t take it back now

      Five motions this time
      Right foot lets stomp
      Left foot lets stomp
      Right foot again
      Left foot again
      Right foot lets stomp
      Left foot lets stomp


  • It always leaves me somewhat aghast how these idiots can say, without a shred of irony, that they can’t get past feeling unforgiven.

    In reality, they have already been given HUGE second chances (third, fourth, etc.) by their chumps that they have taken completely for granted.

    The fact that you didn’t put everything he cared about on the front lawn, apply accelerant, toss the match, and dance wildly around the bonfire after hearing about his total horse shit was a GIGANTIC favor. The fact that you didn’t throw him out on his sorry ass before he could say “Ashley I’m a Pathetic Loser Madison” was an incredible gift.

    If he wasn’t begging for your forgiveness after said horse shit, then he is a complete douche. Mere entitlement wishes it could take lessons from this kind of evil.

    Couldn’t forgive, my ass. You already gave him way more second chance than he deserved and he took it all for granted, like the entitled jackass he is.

        • Dusting off my shoulder. Thankfully, I found C/L immediately after I suspected something off.
          And, I did almost just that, except I’m not an arsonist.

          But, I’ll never forget reading Joan Dideon’s awesome book called, The Year of Magical Thinking, which I’d read a few years earlier and gave to many widows afterwards. I was so touched by how much she and her husband connected, emotionally and through their years of writing across a desk from each other.

          One of her most poignant pieces was how she couldn’t throw out his shoes, because it meant he’d never be coming back, and she so wished this. I remember thinking how much I’d feel the same way when my beloved husband died. I was heartsick over her heartsick.

          When I kicked him out – I had wardrobe boxes (lucky him, no wimpy green bags) and I looked at his fancy polished shoes, his tuxedo shoes, his work shoes, his running shoes, his fancy cowboy boots – and I gleefully – totally GLEEFULLY, threw them into the bottom of the wardrobe box and hairy-scary, hoping I’d scuff them all up….also, he’d have to dig for them thru a 6’ft high box. BWAAAHAHAA.

          Fucker. No sweet memories of his shoes for me!

        • The first time I found STBX had an active online dating site (he lied to me when I found it and said he didn’t know what it was), I was beyond pissed. I took all of his suits, dunked them in the toilet and threw them out the second story window.

          I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made him leave the key, if I’d know for just one second he’d back to cheat on me. (while we are all dancing…..)

    • Amiisfree- It really isn’t about her not forgiving him, it’s about making her wrong about everything. I guarantee you had she forgiven him, then he would have made her wrong about something else. The goal post would have moved. He couldn’t care less if she had forgiven him or not, it wouldn’t have stopped him from cheating and he would still blame her for everything. His real motive behind his statement is to ensure he finds *something* anything to make her wrong. That’s where he’s coming from, not seeking her forgiveness. That’s like asking someone why they lied to you, and then retort: Why are you talking to me in such an angry way? The anger isn’t the real reason, it’s a cover up for the real motive, which is to turn the blame on you. Which is what this guy’s tactic is, to turn the blame on her.

      • “That’s like asking someone why they lied to you, and then retort: Why are you talking to me in such an angry way?”

        This ^ happened to me. Word for word. Several times. Ha ha ha!

        • Kellia – I love your posts! They make a lot of sense.
          This is exactly what is in the cheater-handbook of tactics.
          I’ll never forget, in the heat of the battle, that he said I was mentally unstable.
          That really got my goat.
          HE was the one that was unstable!
          And, I went on to prove it without a doubt.

          In all the bottom of hell I was going through, I had enough wisdom and, I guess self-preservation (is that a good thing?) to protect myself and my family of dogs at all costs. And, he was the one off the deep end and made many many mistakes in his stupidity. For such a ‘smart guy’, it surprised everybody, including his own family who idolized him, how he did so many stupid stupid things.
          (like threaten me and steal a bunch of money from me and even threw me on the ground – I could have had him arrested)
          Btw – he signed all the allegations I made against him when I filed for divorce, so it’s all public record.
          Didn’t protest one word I accused him of.

          All those years he made me feel inferior intellectually to him….he, who didn’t believe in the internet, while I was busy making it my hobby once I had to give up my job for him, and I ‘won’ at the end, if you will.
          I used all my technology to catch him red-handed and he didn’t have a clue….HE, who thought I was wasting my time on a computer when I grew up with Linux in my career. He, who needed me to set his entire offices up with dial-up while we were in remote spots of Montana and traveling in a motorhome.

          He, who never appreciated any of that.
          At least, he never said so.
          I helped him make the money he was so fucking proud to make.

            • You’re so welcome Shechump! That’s a nice compliment you paid me. And now it’s my turn to tell you, that this guy didn’t stand a chance against you. You were smarter, savvier and he knew it. No wonder he made you feel intellectually inferior, he resented you for it. He’s such an insecure coward. And I love how you proved him wrong with evidence. He will never be able to deny that, when it’s written in black and white. Ha ha, the fool, he didn’t know who he was dealing with. I’m glad you got justice. All this should show you how strong minded you are and oh so mighty! Go Shechump!

              • Those labels are made to destroy our credibility. If someone is insane or unstable, then what they say and do isn’t valid or even believable right? Would you believe a crazy person who said they saw aliens. Same here, cheaters are insinuating that we don’t know what they heck we’re talking about when we accuse them of cheating, etc. So if we’re crazy or unstable, then *our accusations* calling the cheaters on their crap are not valid. We’re crazy to think they’re cheaters, how dare we! We’re insane to think they are having an affair, it’s all in our minds and we’re mentally unstable. It’s all designed to deny us the right to defend ourselves and so they can remain entirely blameless. Hope I answered your question.

    • The ONLY reason I didn’t do some serious property damage is I’ve always been one of those people who thinks about consequences of their actions and I didn’t want to be fired from my job for having been arrested on a few felony charges. I would still love me a front yard bonfire, but the momentary pleasure it would give me would not be worth the cost. I’ve always been the “If it feels good to say or do something at the time, it’s the wrong thing to do.”

      Now that I read what I just wrote, I guess that’s why I’m not a cheater.

  • Dear Missed, sorry you are going through this. My STBXH had left a letter he wrote to a Ukrainian woman on the spare bed, and so I went through the looking glass and started investigating. Those two dating sites are the ones you know about. I found my future ex-husband had been on 23 dating/hook up sites. You have for a limited time the upper hand, you are asking for help and have realised he is not there for you and your family. So, for the future, please document everything; get passwords, copy paperwork, take note of all financials.

    You can’t forgive him because a true apology consists of I’m sorry, I take full responsibility for my actions, how can I make amends? He has not apologised, has taken no responsibility and has not done the most basic thing you asked which was to stop screwing other women! This is like being in a sinking ship where you are bailing water while he is pouring it in. He has shown you who he is with his actions, you have tried to save this marriage but one person can’t do a two person job. Rescue yourself and your children, get to a safe haven. Good luck.

    • “You have for a limited time the upper hand, you are asking for help and have realised he is not there for you and your family. So, for the future, please document everything; get passwords, copy paperwork, take note of all financials.”

      THIS. Get all of this documented, browsing histories, screen shots, print as PDFs with headers showing, save to flash drive. It’s horrible but get it all in case you need it in any legal action.

      Do it fast, like ripping off the band-aid. And don’t let on how much you know, or how.

      Sorry you are going through this. I swear there’s healing and peace on the other side of it, for you.

  • If you stay with him, you stay with the knowledge of exactly who he is — a serial cheater. You’ll have a marriage with a man who looks elsewhere and blames you for it. Who subverts “forgiveness” as “free pass to do whatever the fuck I want to.” And if you object? You’re not being forgiving enough.

    ^^^^^this was my fait till I stood my ground found perspective and got out^^^^^
    those who have read my posts can testify as to my brokenness when I first found CL, I had lived in a sense of endless hope for years, believing that if I just tried harder, worked on my issue, gave him enough freedom, support, love. That eventually he would re-engage with me and we would have the marriage that I envisioned we could have. I was even desperate enough to believe if I just engaged with him more sexually, things would change, they never did and it just left me feeling lonely and empty and when those feelings got the better of me I became sullen and grumpy. in his view “a bitch”.

    At what point do we choose to get off the hamster wheel? Following D’Day it was not a case of if I stayed with him knowing what he had done, it was expected that I stay with him knowing what he had done, it was my duty as a submissive christian wife. My choosing to leave was his get out of jail free card, he and his supporters blamed it all on me, gave him absolution and supported his pursuit and marriage to a very needy chump(not affair partner) who married him knowing what he has done. I can clearly see that he has not changed as I know his tells. Trust me when I tell you, they do not change no matter what comes out of their mouths.

    Trust in only one thing……other than he sucks. Trust in you.

    big hugs.

  • This is my story too but I was married 11 years, and he cheated for TEN of them. And I was completely clueless until I accidentally discovered his double life. When asked how he could have possibly done this for so long he said, “I thought it would eventually end.” Huh? Like asking: “Honey, why did you keep stabbing me in the back?” and he answers, “Well, the knife was there and I thought you’d eventually die.” OMFG. I have no idea how disordered people get this way but it takes a really cold, calculating sociopathic personality to be able to look his wife and children (two of them) in the face every day and feel no remorse, no guilt, nothing other than smug satisfaction with how easy it is to con them. When I first found out I was truly spooked to the very core. What I thought I knew and what I discovered were so polar opposite – I almost felt like I was in physical danger. I did the pick me dance for exactly ten days before I kicked him out, changed the locks and retained a lawyer. Stop playing this rigged game and call a lawyer, Missed!

  • Never ever allow yourself to be manipulated into thinking you somehow caused the cheater to stray. They are pros at blameshifting, and chumps are pros at somehow trying to blame themselves, because we do not want to believe someone we fell in love with sucks. Chumps need to realize they were tricked by a loser and move on. Once I realized my marriage was doomed to fail, because my XW lacks character and could only pull off her charade for so long. Although I have my moments, I am so much happier to have a drama-free life without someone who has no respect for me as a spouse or human being with feelings for that matter.

  • Missed – if you were emotionally deaf, if you couldn’t hear the words he’s used to mitigate his behavior, if you only had your eyes to watch his behavior, you’d be horrified by what you’ve seen. Normal people like yourself assume that when people say things they actually mean them. A person like you couldn’t imagine looking your loved one in the eye and and constantly spew lie upon lie upon lie. Your husband is not normal. He’s not to be trusted. He’s capable of the worst kind of betrayal in intimidate relationships.

    And the sickest thing is he blames YOU for continuing to be a grade-A douche bag. With that, he is saying he refuses to control himself and take responsibility for HIS actions. I’m certain that in his teeny, tiny mind he blames the OW for throwing herself at him and for relentlessly pursuing him. He tells himself he is a constant victim of female manipulation.

    When it comes to infidelity, hope is just another four letter word. You can’t hope your husband into being a man with character. You either have character or you don’t. I’m of the belief that character development occurs very early in life and it’s not something you can acquire after you’ve been wired to be an entitled asshole. The way your husband has behaved is not just behavior – it’s who he is at his core. Even if he never cheated again, the entitlement would continue to show up in a myriad of ways. If he never cheated again, you would be forever blamed for “keeping him on a short leash”. That’s no way to live your one and only life, Missed.

    Your husband is a lemon. He like a crappy car that breaks down in the worst neighborhoods and leaves you stranded and in danger. He’s not reliable to get you safely where you want to go. You need to sell him to the OW who is pathetic enough to actually CHOOSE to be stranded by him for six years. He’s never going to be a nice safe SUV for you and your children.

    Wishing you the strength you’ll need to get through this.

    • Wow, one of the best replies I’ve ever seen. Thank you!! I’m out 4 months NC, doing well. You said everything I needed to hear when any doubts creep in-this was all about his choices, his wants, him being evil. I was told also that I was his “soul mate” and he was a “horrible person and would never do evil again!”. Well, he did it for a solid 6 years non-stop with a low life criminal. To “Missed Red Flags”, please let him go, he is not worth one more day of your misery. I wasted too much time and don’t want to see anyone else do that. They do NOT change. Have a great life and know that he never will. Once the fog clears, you will be happier, calmer and feel so much lighter inside, knowing you left darkness behind you.

    • The “Lemon” analogy is perfect! Sometimes the car seems to run, but it leaks oil everywhere and never gives you confidence. And you dread the next time it leaves you stranded and alone when it was supposed to be available when you really need it.

      • Yes but you love that old clunker of a car. You just can’t detach. Sure it has left you stranded on the side of the road too many times to count and it has cost you a bucket load of money to keep in going, but you’re used to it and it seems like a comfortable fit. Then, when enough is enough, you visit the dealership and trade in that old crappy Pinto and get yourself a Jaguar.

    • ” I’m certain that in his teeny, tiny mind he blames the OW for throwing herself at him and for relentlessly pursuing him. He tells himself he is a constant victim of female manipulation.”

      uneffing,this was one of the lines I got on d-day… and I’ve often referred back to it, that Cheaterpants was COMPLETELY blameless. The part of his cheating that was not MY fault, was entirely OW’s fault. You see, “she was all over me like a train wreck.” No. Consequences. Ever. for these mofos. They will NEVER own their shit. As a rule.

    • “Even if he never cheated again, the entitlement would continue to show up in a myriad of ways. If he never cheated again, you would be forever blamed for “keeping him on a short leash”.”

      Uneffingbelievable – This sentence hit me like a ton of bricks!!! You are so right! That’s what happened with an ex of mine. He didn’t cheat on me, but he was showing signs of bad behavior. And whenever I’d tell him to stop the behavior, he’d stop it, but his entitlement would cause him to say resentful comments to me like this, or that I was controlling him. You just made me realize what was going on and I’m so glad I’m out of that relationship. Thank you for enlightening me. You made my day!

  • Try to imagine being him for a DAY, doing the shit he’s been doing behind your back. You’d break out in stress rashes, wouldn’t you? You’d being dying to have a heartfelt conversation and spill your guts. You’d grind your teeth and suffer constant anxiety and second guessing. You would not CONTINUE UNBOTHERED FOR SIX YEARS.

    ^This ^

    How a human being can do such a thing for so long is beyond my comprehension. X had a long term affair for at least three years and I wondered why he was treating his family like crap. When I discovered it, I was so scared that I had been sleeping with the enemy for so long – scared for my very life. My brain knows not to have hopium, but my heart and emotions need to catch up.
    One absolutely cannot reason with such disordered people. There is nothing to work with there. No Thing. End the mindfuckery now. You control this now. Get out.
    Let her have the cheating, lying thief. She deserves him. They deserve each other.


      Excellent point.
      Mine must have had some kind of conscious because:

      1) He kept it totally hidden from me for 3 yrs (feeling guilty, were ya? Too much to have to hide it?)

      2) He started to physically go downhill about year 2. I didn’t know what was wrong with him, but he started getting fat.
      He was getting increasingly more angry at me. He quit exercising the dogs with me and altogether quit exercising and we had nice big lap pool – and he started eating a LOT.
      He quit shaving and wouldn’t brush his teeth (he had perfect teeth he said, and he was actually right), but he stunk.
      He let his hair go like the scientist in Back to the Future.
      People said, he was aging badly.

      3) He would sleep all the time! I wondered about that. On a weekend, he’d have 10 hrs of sleep, wake up tired, and take naps all day. I mean, that is not normal for healthy active people. I’ve since learned that they exhaust themselves so much with their double lives that they are very short of sleep. Can you imagine how much brain power it takes to hide all that! No, you’re right, it’s not about the affair sex at all, it’s about the cost of the deceit.

      4) And finally, I think the toll came in on him when he got the divorce papers the same day he found out he had to have his entire prostate removed because of cancer.

      Oh, whoa is me. Or, him – more likely.

  • Thanks, Chump Lady.
    And thanks for all the supportive replies from everyone else.
    He came home last night angry and told me this affair is one I have “driven him to” because I just couldn’t “move on” and I need to change if I want him to stay. I don’t.

    I can’t understand how the decisions of my life have lead me here….to apparently developing the superpower of controlling my husband’s fidelity with my behavior. Funny thing—3 years ago, he told me his affair started because he “resented my weight loss and resented my lack of exercise” and that devastated me and my self esteem–him telling me this affair was due to my lack of forgiveness isn’t as painful as a personal attack on my appearance. Sadly, I have become someone who accepts the very least amount of love and respect as my due and it needs to stop.
    I’m going to pull myself up and move forward with the divorce.


    • Sorry—he told me he , “resented my weight gain.” not loss 3 years ago. I was an Earth shuddering size 6 three years ago and, now, I’ve whittled myself down to a size 0 in an effort during the past three years to “win” his love. I’d go eat something now but I’ve lost my appetite.

      • Jedi Hugs MissedRedFlags! You don’t need to tell the POS you are filing for divorce just yet. Line up your ducks, get copies of all the financial docs to a safe place. Make sure you have the rather large retainer lawyers require. You can get advice on the forums too. From what he’s done I’m betting he’s one of the cheaters who will fight a divorce and try to leave you with nothing. Expect the worse from him and plan accordingly. If he surprises you by being fair, great, but don’t count on it at all. You are mighty, you can do this.

        • I agree, do NOT count on him being fair in the divorce, they are NEVER fair!! Don’t be fooled if, when you tell him you want a divorce, and he seems ‘amicable’. It’s a show and it buys him time to figure out his next move, which is making sure you get nothing. You filing is a kick to their ego and they will fight to the death to get what they feel is theirs….and then some!!

          To those with husbands who own businesses, do not do what I did and settle because the settlement seems ‘fair’, it’s not. My twatwaffle hid assets, retirement accounts, a house, a boat, a snowmobile, all of which I knew nothing about. in hindsight I wish I had hired a forensic accountant, had all the women he cheated on me with, deposed, and made him sell every last nut and goddamn bolt he had and split it down the middle. I’m in an equitable distribution state and I served my sentence with this jerk off for 15 years married. And I helped him build his business, in fact he had me stop working!! SMH

          MissedRedflags, he screwed you over by cheating all these years, he will not turn in to Prince Charming with the divorce. Arm yourself with information, documentation , and if it goes to court, depose the bitch he’s been sleeping with. You are Might and you got this!!

          • Same… that’s my biggest regret… I didn’t go for a forensic accountant.

            Ex hid everything. Disclosed nothing. Oh yes he took his own sweet time “choosing” between the Secretary & me.

            All the while secretary was helping him plan my whole screw—–over.
            I lost so much besides my marriage. I’m damn near broke. They’re living the high life. With her taking over the business that I helped my ex build.

            Cruises, ATV’s, Property, Vehicles, Cash, Disney Dad, it all magically appeared after our divorce. Waiting to see what else they have to show for their hard earned destruction.

            Now they both have My kids 40% of my life, (as a matter of fact my kids finally met OW today. I’m completely horrified by that shit sandwhich) the liars both have My savings, My in-laws, My church. Etc. Etc. Etc. They literally have My future everything. I was a chump until the very end.

            Missedredflags- Don’t fall for his lies! Ever again.

            Beware: One cheater actually said that he forced his chump to file (He just couldn’t do it. He just couldn’t choose yet, He had the sadz) He held on just long enough that his chump couldn’t take the dancing any longer.

            He did this knowing full well that his strategy was that if the divorce was “chumps idea” then she’s more likely to agree to a “kind settlement” It worked. He won big time.

            The way these cheaters work our heart & soul is sick. The entire time you’re being patient- YOUR cheater is more than likely preparing his future with schmoopie. He’ll NEVER have your best interest at heart. If you don’t stand up for yourself you’re toast. Get out.

            • Cut N Run, yours is a true horror story. But he didn’t get YOU, the real prize. He got a cheater OW and a bunch of stuff. You got a chance to build a life based on truth and self-respect. The harder you work on that, the faster your kids will see the truth about Disney Dad. It sucks but you’re on the better path. And thanks for the warning to others that getting out ahead of the cheater’s financial machinations is to their long-term advantage.

      • Missed Red Flags,

        So sorry you have to endure this pain, really I am. You have been confronted to have to pick of the lesser of the 2 evils (to divorce or to not divorce). Your decision to divorce will be your first step to KNOWING that you are deserving of love and respect from someone other than your STBX.

        As for the personal attack on your appearance, which left you devastated and killed your self-esteem, please KNOW that your size had nothing to do with his cheating. He cheated on you when you were a size 6 and he cheated on you when you were a size 0 – he is a fuckwit!

        I remember when my now ex-wife put on some pounds especially after 3 pregnancies, and I can honestly say, that she looked so cute, she was glowing – I loved her no matter what – whether she was a size 1 or size 6. I didn’t cheat. Your STBX has proven to be a characterless, selfish, entitled and unempathetic ass clown who never has or never will have the capacity feel what love and marriage is really about.

        • “I can honestly say, that she looked so cute, she was glowing – I loved her no matter what – whether she was a size 1 or size 6.”

          On behalf of pregnant and formerly pregnant women everywhere, I’m thankful for your saying this. You can’t imagine how many of us went through pregnancy with zero appreciation for those changes in our bodies. I had my one child late in life and it feels very sad that there wasn’t a good man loving me through it.

          Thank you for being one of the good ones.

      • Oh MRF….the ridiculous “list” of reasons they give for what they do (which oddly enough ALL point directly at you while THEY were boinking bimbos) such utter crap!!!

        Please dont buy into any of these stupid excuses…just see what he has done –> lied, cheated, betrayed and then blamed you for your own pain.

        I am a cautionary tale…I wreckonciled with my cheater for 7 years ..I dont think he cheated again but he deeply resented me and was ready to leave again when instead he dropped dead. Please dont lose any more of your life with a person who is THIS disordered

      • MissRedFlags, Your comment about your weight gain reminded me once again what crappy people they are! I was 120 when we got married (5’4″). I’d say I was “normal.” I gained a whopping ten pounds after two pregnancies. I went thru a stressful period where I dropped back down to about 118. Cheater said to me, “Well, now that you dropped a few pounds, I’ll have sex with you.” He made me feel like he thought I was the biggest pig in the world at 130 pounds. He withheld sex from me, because he said it was “easier and quicker to masturbate” instead of taking the time to have foreplay with me in order to “warm” me up, if you get what I’m saying. I cannot believe I put up with his crap. You deserve better than this and I’m happy you realize it! Listen to the advice about getting your ducks in the row, etc. (((Hugs)))) to you!

        • My ex left me shortly after I gave birth. He thought that I was disgustingly overweight. Afterward I found out that he was having an affair. I went through the ringer.

          I dropped 30 lbs. Rapidly. Not healthy in anyway. I could NOT eat. At all. It was one more precious thing that his cheating took from me. I could no longer breastfeed my baby. I lost my milk supply. I’ll never get that opportunity back. I…was…devistated…

          BUT— my cheater ex thought that my suffering was awesome!!! He thought that I was finally looking great. I must really be taking care good of myself!

          He said that NOW after my big transformation he’s afraid of losing me.
          Now? He wants me now? He’s rethinking his choice to leave me for another woman now?
          Cheater with his sad sausage voice referring to how much I’ve changed:”I’m afraid that I’ll miss out on it”

          They’re all superficial psychos!
          And, the cheater is missing out alright. Divorce is now final! Yay!

          • Good for you, Cut and Run, for not going back to him! I totally get what you are saying about not being able to eat. I would actually gag when I tried to eat something; only was able to drink whole milk in order to get some calories. Yay! about your divorce!! You are mighty!

        • My XH the substance abuser told me (after months of no interest in sex or physical affection with me) that if I lost a few more pounds he “might be interested.” He thought that was a compliment. Should have left him then and there.

          • I lost 220 pound. It’s called divorce and the weight loss has improved my health tremendously.

      • Missed Red Flags,

        He’s an ass. I know this hurts like hell, but you did absolutely nothing to cause his failure as a human being. The best thing you can do is remain quietly under the radar while you contact a lawyer that specializes in family law. They can help you with a game plan. This is going to be hard, very hard, but there is life on the other side. Also get your support system in place and don’t tell anyone any thing unless you absolutely trust them (like a parent or sibling). Just let me repeat one more time, He’s an ass. You are mighty and can do this. Hugs

    • Trust that he sucks. You have just given yourself a life-time policy on that–insurance on the truth. We all wish you strength and courage though the next steps. You are mighty to make the decision. We are here for you.

    • Missed,

      I can completely relate to your story. I have a 15 year marriage, wife had a 3-6 year affair, 2 kids about the same ages as yours, I was blamed for the affair, etc. My wife’s said that I’m not attractive enough for her too (but that I have “empirically attractive traits that somebody else might find attractive”). D-day was about 18 months ago and she’s mad that I’m not getting over it fast enough (“I’m not going to let you lord this over me for the rest of my life”) – even though she’s still hanging out with the AP to this day. How exactly are you supposed to get over something that isn’t over?

      CL’s right, there is NO shot at reconciliation in a LTA. A ONS….maybe….just maybe. But not a LTA. Just think about how your husband (and my wife) had to lie and play pretend with us in order to pull that off, day after day, week after week, year after year. I think about it every day and it’s absolutely mind boggling. I would have had a mental breakdown years ago if I was my wife. It tires me out just thinking about it.

      And that’s my fuel, just thinking about what it took for my wife to live that kind of double life for years. She would have to have absolutely no regard for me or anyone else (kids, OM’s wife). It’s not just a mistake, it’s a special kind of selfishness that normal people just can’t relate to. And the same is true for your husband. If you have any doubts about what you should do, just think about what it took inside of him for him to be able to do what he’s been doing.

      I’ve been at the Not-OK Corral with “Hope” for about a year and a half. It’s been miserable. I filed for divorce last week and I think my wife will get served today. I think if you spend some time considering what your husband has done, what he’s capable of doing, and what he is still doing! — you’ll ultimately reach the same conclusion that I have. You know that you can never trust him ever again.

      I wish you the best, as I know that it’s absolutely one of the most difficult decisions of your life.

      • @lost2015 good luck. Know that you made the right choice Finally! a year and a half and she is the same. You fight for those kids!

      • “empirically attractive traits that somebody else might find attractive” barf.
        these Narcissists are all the same. That’s a disgusting comment. You are so better off w/o this cheater in your life.

      • Lost2015–Congratulations on filing & taking the first step to rid yourself of that odious woman.

        Not attractive enough for her, eh? Attractive cheaters always remind me of that opening scene in Blue Velvet (about 1:30 into this clip) where there is a gorgeous, well-manicured lawn. Then the camera pans down to the cheater soul–the lawn’s underbelly, where there are hissing, disgusting bugs:

        • Cheaters remind me of the Jack Russell Terrier. The chump is down on the ground in pain, a toddler is nearby, and the JRT is bouncing up on him for more water (cake).

      • Congrats, Lost2015, on filing. What a horrible thing she said about your appearance. She sucks and she’s a liar, so she’s lying about your appearance, too.

      • Lost in 2015,

        Congratulations on filing. I know how hard that was. When I filed I held it together until I got home and then sobbed for hours. It seemed like such a no-brainer decision, but it was very difficult.

        As far as your wife making that comment about your looks, I just want to say, “That Fucking Bitch!” I am so very pissed off for you right now I just want to use the shovel I’ve been saving for my ex’s bald head and bash her on good time. I don’t care if you look like Brad Pitt or Frankenstein, someone needs to knock some manners in her. Not only did she fuck another dude, but she has the audacity to project her hateful and ugly-ass soulless opinions on the man she vowed to love, honor and cherish? You looked good enough for her when she married you so don’t believe a word that comes out of her stupid mouth. She’s not worthy of you. Not worthy of one more moment of your heartache. I’m ending my written rant my friend, but be rest assured, I’m still steamed. I’m leaving for target shooting in about 15 minutes, I’ll use this energy.

    • He wants to destroy your self esteem to make sure you are too weak to move on. You need to build up your self-worth so that you can be free of this manipulative toxic mess. You can’t do that if you’re allowing him to continue to dump garbage in your head. You don’t need to figure out your life decisions that lead you to this point, you need to figure out when in life you decided it’s tolerable to have your needs go unmet. YOU DESERVE TO HAVE YOUR NEEDS MET. This whole affair is still about his centrality, me, me, me. Take your power back, shift perspective to yourself, & start healing your mind & heart. Find a therapist who specializes in trauma recovery post narcopath (narcissistic sociopath). Do your own research on narcissism and sociopaths (hint, there is no hope with these people). And be sure to read CL’s book, especially when you are feeling weak. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it. Best wishes.

      • This- he told me I was fat. I weighed 45 kilos. He damaged me so much I was unable to eat after that. His slags weighed twice as much. But I was of use?

    • Good luck with everything, MissedRedFlags! You have given it your very best shot. You’ve shown tremendous forgiveness, given him the benefit of the doubt and even lost weight in the hope that would help. None of it has worked. It’s time to move on and try and build your life as best you can without him so far as that his possible. I am really sorry but not one bit of this your fault. The truth of the matter is that your marriage died a long time ago in his eyes and you’ve done your best to keep it alive by giving it a million shots of the defibrillator. It’s now the time to stop that and note the time of death.

      I feel certain that your life will get better – not quickly but soon and you will begin to really appreciate you being your own person again. Without feeling that you have to audition for the part of your husband’s next wife.That’s got to be some sort of relief hasn’t it?

      • Loved your analogy of the defibrillator. Wow, that captures it. So glad I stopped trying to revive my dead marriage. Hopium sure blocks your ability to see the corpse. Cheater-free and feeling quite blissful. Coming up on one-year anniversary of divorce. What a difference a year makes!

    • Omg. That is called self-annihilation. Live and eat. You need some power. You need some food. Size zero is too small. Protein, carbs, vegetables, fruit, milk. Eat. Eat three meals a day. You need your strength. Grrrr

    • Dear Missed, Hope you were able to find strength to move forward with the divorce. As Chump Lady has stated this was not a 6 month affair but a 6 year affair. What type of person can separate himself from the person he spent 6 years with, talking about you to, telling her all of your faults, talking about your most intimate marital details. If you are staying because of the kids, because you don’t want them to come from a broken home (because you would prefer for them to know it is okay to stay married even if your husband cheats on them- just as long as he promises it will never happen again), staying because he wants to stay married because he doesnt want a divorce, because you want to keep your financial lifestyle, because it is easier to stay, because he has “ended” the affair this time, because he promises he will change, because he says he loves you, because he is being transparent, because its different this time, because for so many reasons called “hope” this will never happen again, you shouldn’t. I recently read a post of a BS 10 years after 2 DDays- 10 years later he did it again- now she is 55- now the children are gone, she is 55 and 10 years later she is dealing with infidelity again- he never changed. Don’t be lulled into the false hope that he will change “forever” and will “never” cheat again. Today he tells you what you want to hear, but the day before he was whispering sweet nothings in her ear, the day before he was in her bed, maybe he has ended the affair, maybe he hasn’t, maybe he will start another affair if not next month, next year, maybe you will have to be the marriage police for the next 10 years, maybe after the kids have gone and you are 55 he will see no reason to be faithful – yes a lot of maybes but with his track record it is more probable than not. What you need to understand is that he only loves himself and his self-preservation is the status quo- the family guy – if he loved you he would not have cheated for 6 plus years, he would not have lied to you for 6 plus years. Consider the character of the person who you are choosing to stay with – is this the person you would want to make your life or death decision when hooked up to life support. Yes divorce is difficult, yes sharing custody is difficult, but what is more difficult- staying with someone who hated you, disrespected you, did not love you, lied to you, and no matter how many promises he makes – will highly probable do it again and but for being caught the second or third time would not stop, but for the threat of a divorce would not stop. Why would you want to live like that using divorce as a tool to make someone “love”you, use divorce as a tool to “make” someone stop mistreating you. Why would you want to stay in a marriage held together by threats. I bet you didn’t see any red flags this time around. SNAP OUT OF IT. He is a leopard.

      • I agree leopards do not change their spots Missed I know exactly where you are I am in the same position instead of 6 it was on & off for 20 years its devastated me Funny Girl You Hit every point right 🙁

    • What do you need to know to proceed with the divorce? Or does it not even matter to you because no matter what you will never divorce. Would it matter if he called you names, would it matter when they had sex, on your birthday on his birthday on your wedding anniversary, when you were away, would it matter where they had sex- at your house, in your bed, on your coach, in your kitchen, on your dining room table, with the kids in the next room, at the vacation house, would it matter that it never ended, would it matter if he told her he was leaving you, would it matter if he was looking for another place, would it matter that he shared intimate details about you, would it matter if he is still lying to you, would it matter if he had sex with her on the same day he told you he loved you and wanted to stay married to you. If all of those events don’t matter to you and you want to stay married then you know exactly what you are getting- he has shown you in Vegas neon lights who he is, and will again – if you stay your choice is made with your eyes wide open- and you can’t blame him- if he again shows you his true nature. You were aware of who he was from the first dday, and yet you were surprised with the second dday and probably the third dday, but why would you be surprised from when he told you on the first dday who he was – you just didn’t want to believe him. He has again shown you who he is from the second dday and probably third dday but you still dont want to believe him. And he has probably made those promises again that he will never cheat again, that you are the love of his life, that he does not love her, that cheating for the past 6 years was the biggest mistake of his life, that he will never speak to her again, and he probably said it with crocodile tears running down his face. And even though you want to believe him because you have invested so many years into this marriage, 2 kids, a dog and a white picket fence, you know that he chased her, he kept going back to her, he wanted to be with her, he loved her, but he is spineless. And unfortunately although you pretend to have the bitch boots on- in reality you are too faint-hearted to leave. Instead you prefer to stay, “work it out” put the ball and chain on him, and call it a marriage- you say its for the kids but in reality its for you because you would prefer the safety of a marriage as f’ed up as it may be versus being single. The hope you should be seeking is the hope to recognize that you have been cheated on for six years, and that you have the courage to wear those bitch boots proudly and kick your cheater to the curb. Hope for courage not to stay but to leave. Six years girl, all over your house, really and you are staying. SMH

    • What if she was not the first AP- would that make a difference? Or will you continue to stay and not follow through with the divorce.

  • In one of my most pathetic moments – I was crying alone because Cheater EX made me feel guilty that “I would never forgive him” and my then 13 yr old daughter heard me and wanted to comfort me (yes I know, like I said pathetic moment) and I said “I’m supposed to forgive him” and you know what my daughter said? “You can still forgive him, but divorce him first”

    Best thing I ever did, divorce his ass. He was one of those that believed that I would never divorce him, because he knew how much I loved him, and I did. But by divorcing him, I learned to love myself.

  • Dear Red Flag,

    I have so much empathy and compassion for you. I know how…..gutted, raw, and disconnected you feel. My cockroach had a match profile as well. This was in the midst of being “in love”, SMOKING HOT sex and him calling me 10-15 times a day. How do we make sense of it?

    Pay close attention to CL’s analysis about how YOU would feel if you were living the life your Maggot Husband is. Imagine having so little concern for truth and honesty that you could live with such duplicity…..such pathological DAILY lying…right to your fucking face. Could you do it?

    Your husband can. That is his character. He lives in lies, darkness, and betrayal, and it causes him no more concern than us removing our makeup at night. AND HE THINKS YOU ARE WRONG. He blames you. Think about that for a while. Metaphorically, he is beating you and then scolding you for bleeding on the rug.

    It is so hard to believe that someone we love is evil. That our feelings are no more to them than 3 day old McDonalds to them, rotting in a garbage can.

    I think that is why we cling to hope. Because we loved them. And they do not love us back.

    But…here is what has helped me. Remember, you did nothing wrong to believe in love. YOU ARE NORMAL.
    You have feelings and attachment…your synapses are firing, as CL aptly stated.

    You got tangled up with a person who is not constricted by any moral stop signs. Everywhere he looks, he sees a green light….whatever makes him happy, he is going for it.

    You cannot trust this person with your life. You cannot protect your heart from such *RECKLESS DISREGARD FOR YOUR WELL BEING*


    Do you feel sick right now? Imagine if you stay with him, and you are 85 and he has done this to you FOR DECADES and this will be your life story? This brief time we have here, wasted on a cheating lying maggot?

    I know, for certain, that CL’s advice about saving your own life is right on the money.

    He will not change. He does not care about you. You have to escape.

    Go see a physician and see if you can get some chemical help to get through the initial no contact ,if you don’t think you can do it. IT IS TREMENDOUSLY HARD. Just warning you…it is a death. You have to grieve. I told my GP and he was incredibly helpful prescribing an anti depressant and sedative. Your brain has been traumatized, and you may need some help with the chemical tricks your mind can play. You will feel panicked and want to scurry back to him at times. It could be the difference between going back and STAYING MIGHTY.


    Just act and the feelings will follow.

    • I was hiking last weekend and there was a rattlesnake just off the trail. It buzzed its rattle and everyone on the trail gave it a lot of room and left it alone. No one was hurt. Honest creatures, rattlesnakes. Very different from cheaters!

      • You are right! I hate to insult an animal and compare to a cheater. Snakes just want to be left alone. Dangerous as a vat of anthrax.

        Also Missed Red Flags:
        Don’t worry about your weight. Cheating has NOTHING to do with looks, yours, theirs or the people who cheat with them.

        When I saw the woman the Maggot was with…(this is petty) but I was relieved in a sense. She was repulsive. It was bizarre. He was just saying that to hurt you and keep you down.

        • Sociopathic narcissists love to use comments about our looks to hit our self-esteem at the core, even better if they can take a jab at a physical trait you hadn’t previously been insecure about. Mine did that. His predecessor (I am a slow learner) loved to tell me that my body would be “perfect” if I just lost five pounds.

          I was a size four at the time, finally content with my body after years of struggling with an eating disorder (which of course he knew about) and trying to maintain a size zero. These people are pure evil, please listen to CL and the other posters and get your divorce on ASAP.

          • Other Kat,
            I must have been engaged to your Freak’s brother from another mother.

            You wrote: Sociopathic narcissists love to use comments about our looks to hit our self-esteem at the core, even better if they can take a jab at a physical trait you hadn’t previously been insecure about

            Maggot said a few days, after I had playfully flashed him out in the garage (raising my shirt)

            “My baby’s got itty bitty titties.”…..???? I just stood there…I was paralyzed.

            I don’t. I did not think I did. I remember all the air leaving my lungs. I thought…all the times he has seen me in bed..he had these critical thoughts of my body?

            When I melted down, HE BECOME DEPRESSED. THEN ANGRY

            “I never say the right thing. I don’t know why I said it. They are perfect for YOUR BODY.”

            But he said it. I HAD NEVER EVER NEVER had those thoughts before. I thought my breasts were good.

            No man has ever said something so disparaging about my body before.

            It may sound insignificant, but I never took off my shirt or nightgown around him again.

            What a prince!!! And I still turn it over and over in my mind…Did he say that just to be cruel?


            • They say things to fill airspace and to get a rise out of anyone. Mine wanted me to get a boob job; I told him “sure, as long as YOU pay for it”. He never did so I never did, which is fine, I’m happy with what God made in me.

              Try EMDR if you haven’t already. It may help you let go of some of the terrible shit this clown said or did to you.

              And stay happy within your own skin. Rest assured that down the road, after some healing, there is a person out there who will cup you in his hands and almost cry at how beautiful you are.

              • And stay happy within your own skin. Rest assured that down the road, after some healing, there is a person out there who will cup you in his hands and almost cry at how beautiful you are.

                This made me cry.

              • Me too! It is a beautiful and kind response! Thank you, Lucky! I was a bit embarrassed after I wrote it, but it happened. I have NEVER met someone who said such cruel things as he did. And he always kept that…Who me? Awww …shucks demeanor. Like was Andy Griffith or something. (Andy Griffith on Meth).

            • SabineSavoy–I’m sorry, and you were so right to interpret that comment as a horrible, cruel statement.

              I think serial cheaters are engaged in a constant comparison of their partner to their affair partners. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. My X actually said to his previous wife after a session of sex, “Why are you so bad?” I know there were constant comparisons of my performance to his fuckbuddies after I had suffered from a decade of insidious criticism and emotional abuse (and thus gone from gung-ho about sex to tepid because I no longer felt emotionally safe with him). I’m sure my X then used that as further justification for cheating.

              The biggest eye opener in this whole infidelity debacle has been that there are people who appear normal, but have no intention of even trying to be kind or fair.

            • I put on quite a bit of weight over years of IVF treatments, anti-depressants, foot surgery (no walking!) and an endless parade of back problems. Oh, and abrupt menopause due to the removal of a tumor. Good times!

              Crapweasel’s response was to say to me, “you are so fat I can’t bring myself to touch you. You’re disgusting.”

              I was large, but not … well … no buts, here. Nobody, under any circumstances, deserves to have a remark like that addressed to them. Ever.

              Even though I understand intellectually that it really reflects so terribly badly on what a horrible person he is, I don’t know if I will ever be able to overcome the shame and the pain that this caused me.

              This in a nutshell is what I think of cheaters: people who cause you to feel irrevocably damaged, worthless, crummy. Every moment of every day. I’m fighting it, but oh, boy.

              Monsters, they are monsters.

              • You wrote:
                “This in a nutshell is what I think of cheaters: people who cause you to feel irrevocably damaged, worthless, crummy. Every moment of every day. I’m fighting it, but oh, boy.”

                That is better than I could say it. Let’s say you ballooned to 700 lbs. Like the poor people that they have to remove walls for to get them out for medical treatment. If someone loved you, they would not say something so breath takingly cruel. You might make healthy suggestions, provide motivation, but would never say something so horrible.

                And who are they? Are they Viggo Mortensen?

                The Maggot’s arrogance always shocked me. He had NO SELF AWARENESS. As he drug use escalated, he looked worse- haggard, thin, dirty. But he strutted his stuff.

                Because I am not a sociopath, I never said anything but would marvel at this….sheer cockiness. HE ACTS LIKE HE IS A STUD. He looks like a boy starving. (Meth addicts do not eat).

                It goes back to their fundamental nature: They are just different. They are the scorpion on the little frog’s back, stinging him out of sheer meanness…because it is THEIR NATURE.

                NfV, I don’t know how much you weigh and I don’t care. I think our society is INSANE over weight. Extremely thin women (like Jolie-Pitt) actually repulse me.

                But know this: Do not listen to him. You can overcome the shame because you have to think of his words as the ramblings of an insane person, lying in his own waste, babbling under a park bench, eating booger and giggling at the trash can. If you weighed 100 lbs, he would find some other reason to disparage you.

                When Maggot told me I had “itty bitty titties”….I wear a D Cup! When I wear a bra (I hate them.) It was just to hurt me….to gut me. And it worked. I understand.

                After that, when I would see him, I would instinctively cross my arms over my chest when we would talk.


                He is a disordered freak who feels better when you feel bad. I learned this the hard way, too.

                I hope you have no contact with him, but if you have to, you should find a way to work in:

                I admire the way you have overcome having a penis so small…like a runt Vienna Sausage! You have really accepted it and made it work for you. Amazing!

                I know that is petty, but let me tell you- it has the desired effect.

              • Sabine,

                You are on a roll and amazing.

                I’m right there with you. I would have never told him that I didn’t like kissing him because his breath smelled like a stagnate pond or he kissed like a carp. I never would have told him that I found his sloth-like behavior so frustrating that I wanted to hit him over the head with a shovel to see ANY reaction. I never would have said that sex that lasts for only a minute or two with a man who could not sustain a full erection left me extremely dissatisfied and just one more damn job he left undone that I had to finish myself.

                Nope. Never said any of those things because I’m just too damn sweet. ?

            • I will NEVER forget, in the depth of despair, when I realized the extent of the 3 yr affair.
              When I found her panties in our marital bedd (and even washed them before I realized-ack!), I went absolutely Ape-Shit on his medieval ass.
              He should never have fucked with me.

              He told me suddenly, I looked Old.
              Now, that hurt, but I was really really angry….and I’m looking at him at the same time and he looked super old himself, trying to defend himself.
              His hair, like electricity hit it.

              I have NEVER hit below the belt, and to call your wife OLD when she is younger than you, and takes aim at your weakness while you’re angry….well, it’s just a low-blow and I’d never lower myself to say anything like that to anybody.

              Good luck asshole in finding somebody that doesn’t look old when they have sheer anger on their face after you cheated, lied, betrayed and stole a TON of assets before I caught your ass. I hear he’s not doing so well….

      • Thank you so much! This board is the main thing keeping me Maggot Free. I am 22 days no contact after many many failed attempted and….11 changed phone numbers. I always gave in.

        It has helped he has stopped trying, as of a week ago. I imagine he is already living with some meth whore. That gets me. way down deep….but I just read this website and HOLD ON.

  • So sorry, Missed. As you move forward without this fuckwit, you’ll probably have some moments of doubt. When you do, I want you to say to yourself, “He wanted to see what else was out there.” What a horrible thing to say to someone who thinks they are in a committed, monogamous, loving relationship. (By the way, my ex’s line was, “You and the kids aren’t enough.”)

  • You are doing awesome Enchanted! It’s ok to have moments of doubt, we all have those. The important thing is that you see that they never change. And over time, you see that their tears and pleas are just crocodile tears. Meaning you see through their fake acts, fake gifts, and their shit, and that’s empowering. So good for you for going NC. For me, reading the posts here every day gives me strength and empowers me to see right through these cheaters and how they operate the same way. These cheaters may fool one person, but they can’t fool an entire chump nation!! Love live this board.

    • “Don’t even get me started about how in the beginning of this hell, he wanted me to go “polyamory” so he could figure out who he really loved.”

      WTF? who he really loved? Who does he think he is, the next messiah that you’d sit there in a holding pattern while he figured out who he really loved? The sun doesn’t shine through his ass and I’d make it easier for him and say see ya later asshole. I’m so glad you said no. He’s really stupid to have said that, because no one in their right mind would stay with such a person after that comment. He deserved to get laughed in the face and dumped. That’s like my ex who said: “I’m not having sex with other women, because you’re not *letting* me”. You know what I did, I instantaneously dumped him and told him to go fuck whoever he wanted, that I wasn’t restricting him. He was so sure I’d stay after he made that statement to me, since I had always been so nice to him and it inflated his ego to think he’s so wonderful. Not only I called him on it, but put him through hell after that. You treat me like shit, you will pay for it. I will make sure of that.

      • For a normal person, your love does make things better. But for a disordered fuckwit, nothing will make it better.

      • You have to stop: you’re not an idiot. And you weren’t one, either. This guy did all he could to deceive you. How is an honest person supposed to see through all the lies? There were and are TOO MANY.

        You’re not an idiot. Please delete that word from your thinking; you don’t deserve more punishing, especially from your own dear You.

        • That is spot on. YOU ARE NOT AN IDIOT. You were tangling with a monster.
          I was charmed by dog food. Gifts muddy the waters. It is one of their tools to keep us hooked.
          We did not know what they were until their masks slipped. He was a pod person. You were a good person who wanted attachment, love and fidelity.
          Even if it was the Hope Diamond, sitting on a truckload of Hermes bags, he would still be a cheater maggot.

      • You are not an idiot. You are a chump like us. Stay here with us and CL EVERY DAY!! We are here for you!!! 🙂

      • Dear Enchanted, you are not an idiot. I was one, I said yes to his polyamory bullshit. Even the MC told him it wasn’t polyamory because it happened before I had knowledge. I was so beaten down by him and his family. As he told me as he was leaving, ” you just kept rolling over and exposing your belly like the bitch dog you are”.

        It’s taken me almost 3 years to regain my sanity and I’m still not fully there in self esteem….but getting stronger every day. I was like you, the fixer, healer, caretaker. Funny, how I didn’t see that when I needed, I was supposed to be so strong that I didn’t need help and none was given. Keep plugging away, we deserve so much better than what we were lead to believe we deserved.

    • They’re very good at hoovering their kibble and cake sources back into their orbit once we begin to break free. That’s why it’s important to read about these character disorders to get an idea of the range of possibilities. I never had to go “No contact” because Jackass did the full discard with me–blaming me for the end of the relationship because I “accused” him. So stupid of me to speak up when I caught him; I should have just let him smirk and keep my money and wait around for a year or two or ten for him to sniff around for an old kibble supply. Anyone struggling with whether the cheater has “remorse” or has “changed” should re-read CL’s brilliant take on fake remorse (linked on the main page) and read everything on Dr. Simon’s site on character disorder. Knowledge is power.

  • Wow I’m actually leaving a comment. I’ve been much of a voyeur on this site and others. This letter and your response really hit home. I consider myself a fairly intelligent woman (Master’s degree & Licensed Social Worker) and yet I also looked for “hope” when my husband’s (of over 16 years) secret life was revealed. I wanted desperately to believe the 25 years I invested in him, in us and our family was not a mirage but the truth is the role I thought he played in it was. Facing and accepting that truth took far too many reality slaps to the face but I am thankful I finally woke up and decided to walk away for good. It took a while for my emotional IQ to catch up to the cognitive IQ but the point of agreement between the two was the need for respect, which was clearly lacking. It seems I was willing to contend with his lack of respect for me until that began to infringe upon the ability for me to respect myself. James Baldwin in The Evidence of Things Not Seen says that in order to accept a false reality one must “will themselves blind”. In choosing to hold on to the “hope” of the husband’s empty promises and self-serving statements I was willing myself blind to his actions which were speaking volumes. This situation has humbled me in many ways and whereas before I might of viewed a woman in a similar situation as a weak, dumb b!+(# I now empathize with the amount of strength it takes to choose to invest in yourself and walk away from what you thought to be love. Everyone has to come to their own realization in their own time but when that a-ha moment happens, it is glorious. All the best!

    • Midlife Wife– welcome (officially) to CN!
      I don’t know if it is always willful blindness– in my case, I simply could not fathom acting that way (cheating, lying) so when my then husband denied the affair and gaslighted me, I believed him. I believed he was the person he said he was, and the person that he acted as.
      Another reason DDay was traumatic for me– turned out I was right, only I found out 13 years later.

      And yes, life is so much better once the disordered are out of our lives!

    • Welcome, Midlife Wife! You said, “I wanted desperately to believe the 25 years I invested in him, in us and our family was not a mirage but the truth is the role I thought he played in it was. Facing and accepting that truth took far too many reality slaps to the face but I am thankful I finally woke up…….” Yeah, the mirage. I’ve stated it as that, too. I believed all his lies, so I believed in the mirage. Once I woke-up and accepted most of his words as lies, the truth of our marriage shown thru. I started looking at his ACTIONS. His daily actions said he didn’t give a fuck about me or our marriage or the family we had together. Thanks for writing today. 🙂

      • Thanks Martha! I’m still learning to come to terms with the “didn’t give a fuck about me or our marriage or the family we had together”. It’s hard, especially being someone to whom family means everything. His lessening involvement with our teenage son is killing me but I no longer try to prompt him to get involved. Adjusting to the new normal is definitely a work in progress. Thank you for the support!

    • Midlife Wife,

      Welcome. I am so glad you posted that. It was much needed. It’s hard sometimes to articulate honest emotion until you realize that others feel the exact same way and are grateful to have someone say it so well.

  • Is this guy for real? I’m sorry MissedRF, but you are so used to the abuse, that you can’t see how unacceptable all of this is. You are the mother of his children and he has no qualms about telling you that he wants to have sex with other women (i.e. I want to see what else is out there). And he went underground when he thought he’d get caught. This guy is the enemy and MissedRF, you really need to lose the fantasy. You are hoping he’ll get closer to you, yet for the last 6+ years, everything he’s done is to distance himself from you. It’s just a matter of time, before he abandons you. You should be enraged that he constantly makes you wrong for everything. Every one is exactly where they want to be, and this guy WANTS to continue fucking other women. I pray to God for your children’s sake, you dump his ass and get out of this situation.

  • Dear Missed Red Flags –
    So sorry for your pain. So glad you can learn from CL and CN that IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. Praying that you find the strength to move on.
    My husband has also been involved in a three year affair with someone 26 years younger (predatory, money-grubbing assistant) – i only found out about 18 months ago. Like you I did all the work to try to reconcile -marriage counseling, self help books, planned trips for us and for him/three kids, was cheerful and didn’t challenge his absolutely disgraceful treatment of our family. I even began to believe his BS about my not being sexy, loving, fun, skinny enough etc. A complete and total mind-fuck. Luckily, I did immediately get a post-nup after reading CL which gives me some security about what a divorce will look like.
    I am about ready to file – but waiting til July 4th – as i love the symbolism of “Independence Day” and it will always commemorate the brutal discovery by me last year that the betrayal was way more horrible than I first thought.
    Our 30th anniversary was May 31 and I spent the day sobbing in disbelief about the wreckage my cheating husband has created for all of us – myself and our kids 18-23. Youngest son just graduated from high school this week and I’ve played nice til now. But on our anniversary I came to realize that anyone who can walk away from their children — and a 30 year relationship that was happy until the affair began – has something seriously wrong with them. HE IS NOT WORTH EVEN ONE OF MY PRECIOUS TEARS.
    In the end, as much as leaving right away and going NC is correct, some of us need more time to process the unwinding of what we thought was a lifetime relationship. We can all hold our heads high that we acted honorably throughout our abuse – and that we gave our cheaters every chance to apologize, make amends and restore some authenticity to their own lives.
    And there is some upside to the fact we miss some flags, or spackled and pretended the flags were only pink or that we could launder the flags back to white – that’s what makes chumps so terrific – WE ALWAYS ARE THE BEST WE CAN BE AND EXPECT EVERYONE ELSE TO BE THE SAME SO IT TAKES A WHILE FOR US TO REALLY TRUST THAT THEY SUCK.

    So in sum — Hand me the sharpie – or better yet – maybe Ill get a tiny tattoo – TRUST THAT HE SUCKS.
    I recommend the same for you.

    XO, XO, XO


  • I am so sorry MissedRedFlags that you are going through this!

    What he did is unforgivable and blaming you for never forgiving him is, as CL and CN comments point out, a major mindfuck that adds insult to injury.

    I left after DDay #1 because I had been crystal clear with my X before marrying him that I would be out if he ever cheated on me. See I was chumped before, and I wanted to make sure he knew this was a particularly traumatic experience I never wanted to go through again… Guess what I found out after 10 years of being married to him? Rage explodes in my chest with the heat of a thousand suns just thinking about what he dared to do to me and our kiddo!

    But I cannot change his actions, I cannot change him. And since finding CL/CN over a year ago, I saw time and time again chumps wanting so badly to repair their marriage after infidelity that like you, they danced and believed lies, and more fundamentally, did not really know what real contrition looks like.

    I posted this previously, but see below 13 steps that show real contrition. These were developed by Lundy Bancroft through his decades of building and facilitating abuser recovery programs.

    Note that many cheaters can go from 1-4, but most are unlikely to move past that. It was very healing for me to realize that my X would never have been able to show real contrition, he is far too entitled to take any steps beyond #2.

    1. Admit fully to history of psychological, sexual, and physical abusiveness toward any current or past partners whom the cheater abused. No Denial and minimizing, no discrediting the chump’s memory of what happened. A cheater can’t change if s/he keeps on covering up parts of what s/he has done.

    2. Acknowledge that the cheating and other abuse was wrong, unconditionally. The cheater needs to recognize the false justifications s/he has tended to use, including blaming the chump, and to talk in details about the reasons why the cheater’s behaviors are unacceptable without slipping back into defending them.

    3. Acknowledge that the cheater’s behavior was a choice (as opposed to a loss of control). Cheaters need to recognize and fully comprehend that, during each incident, there was a moment of giving oneself permission to become abusive and a choice about how far to let him/herself go.

    4. Unconditionally recognize the effects of the cheater’s actions and abuse on the chump, on the children, and demonstrate true empathy for those. The cheater needs to talk in detail about her/his cheating’s short-and-long term impact, including loss of trust, anger, fear, and loss of freedom and other rights. This of course, has to come without a poor sausage routine of feeling sorry for her/himself or talking about how hard the experience has been for her/him.

    5. Bring to light her/his pattern of controlling behaviors and entitled attitudes. S/he needs to speak about the day-to-day tactics of abuse s/he has used to mislead the chump. Equally important, s/he must be able to articulate the underlying beliefs and values that have driven those behaviors, whether these beliefs include considering her/himself entitled to constant attention, looking down on the chump as inferior, or believing that one isn’t responsible for their actions if “provoked” by a partner.

    6. Develop respectful behaviors and attitudes that replace previously abusive (and now stopped) behaviors. Chumps will observe examples of such behaviors as improving how well s/he listens to the chump during conflicts and during more peaceful times, carrying her/his weight of household responsibilities and child care, and supporting the chump’s independent pursuits. The cheater has to show in observable manner that s/he has to come to accept the fact that the chump have rights and that the chump’s rights are at least equal, if not higher than the cheater’s at least right after the cheating is discovered.

    7. The cheater shows observable signs that s/he has reevaluated and changed his distorted image of the chump, replacing her/his previous distorted view with a more positive and empathetic view. The cheater starting to show appreciation for the chump and pay attention to the chump’s strengths and abilities are signs that the cheater is starting to recognize her/his previous habits of exaggerating her/his grievances against the chump and her/his distorted view of the chump’s perceived weaknesses. Note that this is extremely hard to assess when dealing with a cluster B with sociopathic tendencies.

    8. The cheater has to make amends for the damage s/he has done. The cheater recognizes that s/he has a debt to you and to your children as a result of his/her entitlement and abusiveness. S/he can make amends by becoming consistently supportive and kind, and by putting her/his own needs on the back burner for a few years. S/he can also make amends by talking with people whom s/he has mislead about the cheating and the underlying or blatant abuse, and admit to them that s/he lied. Making amends also includes spontaneously paying for objects that s/he has damaged. Note that, at the same time, the cheater needs to understand and accept that making amends is not equivalent to wiping the slate clean, that all the amends being made still lead the cheater to a place where s/he might never fully compensate the chump and other important persons who have been hurt by her/his behavior.

    9. Fully accept the full weight of the consequences of her/his chosen course of actions. No whining about, or blaming the chump for problems that are the result of her/his cheating or other abuse (e.g. the chump’s loss of desire to be sexual with the cheater, the children’s tendency to prefer the chump, or the fact that s/he is on probation).

    10. Fully commit to not repeating her/his abusive behaviors and walking the talk. S/he should not have an unconditional and steadfast focus on her/his values change, as well as her/his attitude and behavioral improvement. No name calling, no blameshifting, no impatience with the pace of her/his probation. If s/he does backslide, s/he cannot justify the return of her/his abusive attitude or behaviors by saying, “But I’ve done great for X months; you can’t expect me to be perfect!” No bitch cookies for displaying basic courteous behaviors!

    11. Accept the need to give up her/his privileges and do so. No more double standards, no more flirting, no more taking off with for girls/guys week-ends while the chump look after the children, and to being allowed to express anger or disappointment while the chump is not.

    12. Accept that overcoming cheating and related abusiveness is likely to be a life long process. S/he at no time can claim that her/his work is done by saying to you, “I’ve changed but you haven’t,” or complain that s/he is sick of hearing about the cheater, or abuse and control and that “it’s time to get past all that.”

    13. Be willing to be accountable for her/his actions, both past and future. Her/his attitude that s/he is special and above reproach has to be replaced by an unwavering willingness and ability to accept feedback and criticism, to be honest about any backsliding, and to be answerable for what s/he does and how it affects the chumps, their families, and especially their children.

    MissedRedFlags & Fellow chumps, cheating is a choice made by highly entitled individuals who have to dehumanize their spouse and kids so much to live with themselves that in their mind you have long become an appliance. Their actions are despicable, unforgivable given the alternate choices they have in 2016. Don’t fall for their sad sausage routine, their rage, or their charm, cheaters use those tactics to avoid further consequences of their devastating actions.

    There are unfortunately no good options for chumps, but in 2016, I believe the only dignified way to move on from being a victim of adultery is to divorce your cheater.

    Please focus on you, as CL and CN have shown time and time again, the pain is horrendous, but it is finite. Please put yourself and your kids first, go see a great trauma therapist, get all financial documents and adultery proof in a safe place, secure a lawyer, and get a divorce.


    • Here! Here! So well done. I considered copying and pasting it, and sending it to my Maggot…what a joke. He would not take the time to read the first sentence. He would not. And that says it all.

      • Thanks SabineSavoy – Your Maggot and my X are indeed not worth a molecule more of our attention, heart, and brain power, an honor to forge on to Meh in your and fellow chumps’ virtual company :)!

    • # 8 ” S/he can also make amends by talking with people whom s/he has mislead about the cheating and the underlying or blatant abuse, and admit to them that s/he lied. ” would be impossible for X. He always thought he was so right and such a good guy. Excellent list Chumpitude

      • Thanks happily ever after, and about your X:

        “He always thought he was so right and such a good guy.”

        So did Ted Bundy.

    • The problem with these listed steps, and the cheaters we’d like to apply them to do is, they do not mesh.

      A lot of chumps hope and pray their cheaters will demonstrate these steps and things will be repaired. The problem lies with the fact that people who have ZERO character, and have demonstrated for YEARS what they are and what they care about, are not ever, ever, ever going to do these steps. It’s like expecting your dog to do your laundry. It’s not going to happen. So in my mind, the whole thing is a complete waste of time and fuels more false hope.

      A person cheats on you because they just don’t give a fuck. If they did, they wouldn’t have cheated. There really is nothing to repair.

      Like you said, the only sane rational thing to do is get a lawyer and be done with it. There really is a life beyond this, but while you’re immersed in it and still struggling to try to fix things, you don’t see it. You just become more scared, more depressed, and you think your future is hopeless.

      Get a lawyer and start planning this thing out. There is no future with this man. At least not a happy one.

      • Yep Rumblekitty, the list above was to me like a baptism by fire, like oh that is what people are capable to do?

        God my X is such a sad excuse of a human being, falling short in so many ways… God he sucks!!!

        That knowledge allowed me to give myself permission to GTFU and focus on building a better, cheater-free future for our kiddo and myself.

      • Rumblekitty -“A person cheats on you because they just don’t give a fuck. If they did, they wouldn’t have cheated. There really is nothing to repair.”

        This is one of the best lines I’ve ever read about cheaters. I couldn’t agree more.

    • Fabulous, Chumptitude–that is an awesome list to have posted.

      I’m laughing because mine never even achieved stage 1–he continues to lie about his affairs (he claims “affair”), and to both minimize their relevance to the demise of the marriage and the impact they had on me & our children.

      • Tempest – Can’t wait until we meet again!! Can you imagine us doing stand up comedy about how our Xs would attempt to mindfuck us into thinking that they had done their best and took all 13 steps?? And how their ongoing issues as fathers and individuals are all due to us, their oh so mean ex-wives, because we are unable to forgive their mistake??

        • Chumptitude–I think that was a call-out to all the Yosemite folk to start practicing their Cheater impersonations of the 13 steps, amiright? I’ll think of an appropriate prize for the winner!

          • Overachiever me has three challenges for Yosemite based on today’s threads :)…

            Best Meme (because well, you know!)
            Best 13 steps Cheater Impersonation
            Best Fuck You Dance

            How does that sound?

      • 13 steps of contrition!!! Ya x couldn’t achieve 1 or 2 much less get through all 13!
        You see, he’s a great guy. None of those things things pertain to him. I was completely to blame. He just”messed up”.. I just messed up, believing he was a real person.

    • Quote” 3. Acknowledge that the cheater’s behavior was a choice (as opposed to a loss of control). Cheaters need to recognize and fully comprehend that, during each incident, there was a moment of giving oneself permission to become abusive and a choice about how far to let him/herself go.”

      This would have gone for my cheaters cheating and his rage…on some level he felt he was entitled to do both and he was wrong. My optimism for his capacity to change and be a decent partner was terribly misplaced

  • What I cannot understand is WHY the cheaters don’t just leave and go on with their own sad little lives??? Surely the unpaid “wife appliance” isn’t THAT important!

    DTFMA (Divorce The Mother F**ker’s Ass)

    • Soldiering On – I believe they leave when they have no use for us anymore. They have emotionally left the relationship, but physically they stay because they haven’t gotten their shit together yet that allows them to leave just yet. You see, they need the spouse for something in their lives but they have already checked out mentally and emotionally. They aren’t ready to leave yet, partly because their finances don’t permit it, they still need a place to stay, the OW’s place can’t accomodate him yet, they need a car, they need to look good for the community, something, etc. So for some reason, they are still dependent on their spouse and stay, because it serves a purpose for them (but it’s not emotional). But rest assured, once they have the means to leave, then they have no USE for the spouse and they hightail it out of there with no hesitation. And when do they come back, it’s because they find themselves in dyre straights, they are jobless, homeless or in financial ruin and hence the spouse -good ol’ faithful – becomes useful to them again. But it’s never for emotional reasons. It’s what I’ve observed and what I can share.

      • Kellia, what you said hit home for me. That is exactly what went on in my relationship. He had discarded me emotionally but stayed to have his wife appliance. The idiot knew how I felt about adultery, if it ever happened “Peace Out.” Tossed him out the very day I found out. I was cheated on before and he knew it, how it affected me……AND his ex had cheated on him. It told me it was the most horribly he ever felt…..yet, he did this to me? I even said that to him, knowing how painful cheating is and you do it to me? To be honest, I was not a STRONG person to toss him out, I was emotionally, mentally, physically exhausted and just needed it over. I can truly say it wasn’t and isn’t easy, but there was nothing left inside. I was the walking dead. Almost one year out on Father’s Day, I feel much more at peace. Not at Meh,yet, but I do have my Meh moments. I would rather be alone than to be lonely with him.

      • Despite not knowing if there was cheating by my ex, her process of leaving me matches what you say. She claimed to have been considering leaving me for eight months, during which time she used the health insurance I provided to get her son’s heart operation done as well as not working/going to school part-time while I paid all the bills. When the savings account was running dry, she took what she felt she was entitled to and was out the door. Unlike what a lot of you experienced, she was truly done with me. No looking back or double dipping here. I realize that is likely a good thing, but it hurts to think I wasn’t even good enough for her to be uncertain (even though I know that isn’t what coming back around is about! This stuff is so confusing!).

        • You’re looking at it wrong. For me, I had to focus on what he did to me. I also untangled quite a skein and found out lots of things about him before his year long affair that blew my mind. Once I knew what he was and REALLY accepted it, it didn’t matter that I didn’t get the back and forth treatment.

          I wouldn’t allow this person to be in any part of my life for a million dollars. He adds no value to my life. You need to boost up your own self esteem to realize this and think this way.

          It’s not about her wanting you back or wishing she was at least “uncertain”. You don’t want the bitch! Get me?

          • Rumblekitty – I agree 100%. Once we understand who they really are, we truly see them for the scumbags and losers they really are, and then we don’t want them in our lives.

        • Count yourself lucky she didn’t come back around. It would have to been to use you further. She is a charlatan. She’s out conning someone else and using them for evil motives. I found out my ex wasn’t attracted to me at all but was using me for my lifestyle. I dumped him immediately. He better not come back, as I know it’s the use me further, since he isn’t interested in me personally. If he does, he will be welcome with a shotgun pointing at him. 🙂

        • It’s not that you weren’t good enough. Think of it like a sci fi movie, where the aliens invade a planet, suck up all the resources, kill the inhabitants and the planet, and then leave because there is nothing left of value TO THEM.

          Yesterday someone posted about their therapist making the point that we expect things from disordered partners that they can’t do. Adulthood. Reciprocity. Delayed gratification. Sacrifice. A humble, empathetic spirit. Sharing. Once a narcissist or other disordered person can’t fill the black hole using us, they leave. Or they stick around and line up a couple of other sources to keep going while we pay the bills and watch the kids.

          It’s not you, Which Way. Rumblekity is steering you straight–don’t look at her and untangle her skein of fuckedupedness or measure your worth by her sociopathic actions. Look at what she did to you. Look at her actions and what they say about her. And slowly try not to think about her at all because she’s a waste of time.

        • Whichway, don’t be so hard on yourself. That thing you call the x is not a real human. You truly did get lucky with just straight up abandonment. I know it’s hard from experience, same thing happened to me. 2.5 years out and I have to speak to x about the settlement. He said to me “I messed up” I didn’t touch that with a ten foot pole. Heartfelt apology, right there, at least from his perspective. Definitely not from mine. They cannot give you what you are looking for, what you seek, remorse. They can’t. It’s a new mindf$ck of it’s own. Don’t wish this for yourself. You don’t need that at all.

      • The other thing I would like to point out is sometimes the cheater is a sadistic fuckwit who gets off on making us suffer. They really don’t care about our feelings. It makes them feel all-powerful and tingly to make us suffer. And they will go to any lengths come out on top so they can feel like top dog. The best way to ensure your safety and your continuing well-being, is to divorce their sorry asses, especially when they don’t think you will. They will try to stay engaged as long as possible just to torture you to the max.

        He is not your friend. He doesn’t care about you or the kids. I know that statement hurts like hell, but that is what his actions are demonstrating. Actions are where the truth lies. The rest is just a great big smoke screen of lies and backlighting.

        Hugs, Sweetie. Get your ducks in a row and divorce his sorry ass. It will get better.

          • Hee hee! I was wondering what backlighting meant and was envisioning light coming from the background of a smoke screen, lol… But I figured it out after a few seconds that you meant gas lighting. funny.

    • Mine didn’t want to give up his retirement accounts (as that made me a paid ex-wife appliance (instead of an unpaid wife appliance).

  • I didn’t even read any of these responses yet but………………please do yourself a favor and trust that he sucks. My story and yours are exactly alike. I clung to hope too and it got me no where. He doesn’t feel the same way as you do about your marriage. He doesn’t want to be married regardless of what he says. If he truly meant what he says his actions and words would line up. They don’t. They won’t. They can’t because you are dealing with someone with a shitty character flaw! He is a cheater.

    Most of us can never get past the very soul destroying deception of an affair. You likely won’t either. If you stay with him you more than likely will not enjoy peace and happiness in your life. You won’t ever feel special. Trust me!!!

    Divorce is scary but there is life after it and it can be full of JOY!

  • Once again, the cheater script reads the same. “I’ve slipped up again because you failed to forgive me on a level that I find acceptable, which in reality, is a level that only exists in my fucked up mind.” So buying a house, having a child and supporting your dream of going to law school didn’t constitute forgiveness? Please enlighten me on what true forgiveness looks like. I don’t bring her up. I don’t question your guys’ night outs and late night work nights. Sure it hurt like hell but I figured the first time, it was a mistake as you said. People make mistakes and deserve a second chance. Ok, I’ll give you that one. You were the one that brought her up occasionally, even lamenting at one point that you were disappointed and sad that she hadn’t been more upset that you ended the relationship. Really? What am I supposed to do with that information? You called her up after a couple of years to check on her and she was pretty much indifferent to you. You’re upset that she’s not upset? Excuse me, I can’t hear you right now because I’m experiencing hysterical deafness. I could give two shits about her indifference or your hurt feelings.

    You know why no one checked on me to see how I was doing after that first D-Day? Because I told no one about it to protect you. I swallowed that poison, put on a brave face and stood by my man. I’m sorry you feel that I didn’t forgive you enough or that you still felt shitty because of your own self-reflection. Let’s not talk about the fact that you never really did anything to ensure that I felt more secure in our relationship or understood that I might not be completely trusting after discovering my husband was involved in an emotional affair with a co-worker after gas lighting me for weeks about it. So D-Day number 2 was just your way of saying, because I don’t feel you’ve completely forgiven me I’m just going to enforce the idea that I’m a total shit and do the exact same thing because I’m a child and have no idea how to handle real feelings or real-life situations?

    The real rub here is that if I had been the one to do this to him, he would have been out the door quicker than you can snap your fingers. There would have been zero forgiveness on his part. Incredibly, he’s even used my own strength of character against me. “I can’t be with you because you’re better than me. You’ll never understand what it’s like to look at someone and see hurt and mistrust in their eyes.” Well, that’s one thing he did get right.

    • This too, “your too good for me”. And ” I don’t think you like me”. As reasons for his serial cheating. How about stepping up and being a better person? No, that’s work. He would rather live a huge double life. One of the last things he tried to see if I would go for the excuse, do you think we were equally yoked!?! WTF. No, I don’t, I have good values and a decent character. You sadly do not. He also told me if I had cheated he would have been long gone!

    • Done4good, you wrote a page out of my story!!!!! It’s unbelievable how these f$cks are so alike!!!!

  • Missed, I’m going to venture to say that what you have is not hope, but desperation. I think you’re desperate to fix the unfixable because you’re unable to deal the sunken cost. “I kept cheating because you didn’t forgive me… for cheating,” is not even a rational thought. You’re dealing with someone who doesn’t have a firm grip on reasoning, so you’re not going to reason him into anything, nonetheless being a decent husband. But that might actually work for you during your divorce.

    Like CL said, you’ve got nothing to work with. Sorry you’re going through this. And welcome to the club no one wanted to join.

    • As Michael said, welcome to the club nobody wants to join, MissingRedFlags.

      Your soon-to-be-ex husband is tossing you with word salad.

      (I went to google “word salad” and lo and behold, I found Chump Lady’s image. She’s been there. She gets us. You got this, MissingRedFlags.)

  • MRF-
    Once of my favorite sayings is “hope springs eternal.” On the one hand I can be a bit of a pessimistic, but in general I have a happy took on life.
    I was shattered when my ex FINALLY admitted to cheating on me years before, and that while he was trying to walk away from the marriage (cuz it was long over, don’tcha know) there was actually another woman, contrary to what he said.
    I accused him of cheating less than five years into our marriage, and he denied it, I was gaslighted, etc
    Turns out, yup, it was an affair. And his reason for not ‘fessing up when I dragged him to MC at that time– “I did not want to hurt you” and “I did not think you could forgive me”
    I was never given the choice whether I wanted to work things out. He cheated at least two more times; we were divorced after 18 years of marriage, 23 yrs together.

    I still like the “hope springs” saying, but I guess because I view it in the light of “not giving up.” No matter what life throws at me, I will always get back up.
    Pick your metaphor– get back on the horse, the Chumbuwumba (sp?) song “I get knocked down, but I get up again..”

    Please continue to have Hope– but not for your disrespectful Cheater and this half marriage that you have– Hope for YOU and your future life where have your self respect and you know your self worth.

    • “I did not think you could forgive me.”

      Got the same passive aggressive gem from my X.

      That is correct, I have too much self-respect and steel in my spine to stay with a cheating lying coward that is willing to jeopardize our family and my health for a cheap fuck with an under-educated cumbucket.

  • Missed,

    Keep your hope. Hope is a good thing. Just stop applying it to him. Use it on yourself. Because, no, he won’t ever change. You said in your letter “I found out” several times. He never volunteered any information did he? I’m certain there’s more for you to find out, you just haven’t yet. Stop looking. Stop allowing yourself to go crazy. You don’t have to be perfect, no one is anyway. Trust your own brain and stop letting him manipulate you. Do all the things Chump Lady says, line up your ducks, get a lawyer, get all your financial information, document everything. If you’re here, you know it’s time.

    Take all the comments people have written to heart. They speak the truth. Your husband does not.

  • Dear Missed,

    Like always, the prior posters and CL have said everything you need to hear. The only additional thought I can leave you with is that for me a big component of holding on to hope was deferring the absolute crushing pain I knew was coming. As horribly painful as learning all the terrible betrayals, lies, devaluation, and on and on is, you would think that divorce would bring some emotional relief. But for the chump who has deeply loved the cheater (in my case for 32 years) and invested so much of her/himself into the marriage, being the one to pull the trigger and walk away is just one more extremely painful chapter. But putting it off won’t make it any easier and you will only have lost that much more of your life to this absolute asshole. And you know deep inside you that your only chance at true authentic happiness is on the other side of that divorce (coupled with time to heal.) Only YOU can set yourself and your children free. YOU deserve so very much more … be kind to yourself and do what needs to be done. I am so sorry for the pain you have and will continue to experience. (((hugs)))

  • Collectively, we are a huge pool of wisdom that will give us a halter jerk when we start to stray into the land of Chumpsville.

    It is so hard to see it when we are in the fog of their sociopathic spackle!

    The post was right on time.

  • This story is like mine, except that during a false “trial separation” he was out banging his whore while I was busy figuring out how to save our marriage. He came home, I’d “won.” Lucky me. Except, no. I found texts and then (finally) the sicko said he’d cheated only twice of course (right) and in our home I promptly told him to leave and got a divorce.

    He was a master of manipulation. His game was for others to think that he’d done all he could to save our marriage when in fact, he’d done nothing. He’d lied to everyone, manipulated everyone, had enablers, binged on alcohol, had unprotected sex with a vulnerable woman, and was an overall shit. And I busted him on it. He HATED that and went full on narcissistic rage.

    So, if you leave (and you should because this guy is a waste of your time and life) be careful. Plan a strategy and talk to a lawyer. Don’t tell your shitty husband what you are up to. And fight for your kids. Don’t model to them that this behaviour is ok, it’s not. I’m almost 3 years out and I’m much healthier, happier and have met all kinds of honest, kind people who’ve helped me through this ordeal. CL is spot on with her advice. This man does not love you enough (I’m sorry) and it’s time for you to love yourself more than you love the idea that he can change – he won’t. Best to you.

  • Ask yourself why you need to stay with this guy. Make a list of the reasons why you’d be better off without him.

  • I don’t mean to post too much, but I am having a hard day, too. (I HATE FRIDAYS.)

    Missed, and any one else, here is something else to know: It is sad. I think that is what was missing from my tool kit when I had so many fails at No Contact.

    To just acknowledge, with no analysis, no tough talk, no unpacking the shit is just heartbreaking, catastrophically sad when you love someone who cheats on you.

    It is sad. It is a death. You have to grieve because you lost something you believed was precious.

    So..what is the take away? (Where I messed up and I believe this is critically important):

    ~Do not mistake that sadness as an indicator that you are making a mistake on leaving him~

    You are grieving the loss of someone you deeply loved. There is no balm for that but time. (But Mae West said the best way to get over a man is get under another one… We have to try to laugh at times.)

    I would mistake my tears as evidence that I was making a mistake.

    *IT WAS JUST GRIEF BECAUSE IT IS FUCKING SAD AS HELL* I loved my fiancée like a manic. He made me feel like the woman I was born to be. We had the best sex of my life, he made me laugh and I wanted to eat him up, he was so attractive to me. We had “skin match”, as the Turkish say. You know how one person just does it for you? Just the sight of him unbuckling his pants made me weak. Other men were shadows to me. And he was cheating on me, over and over and over. And was using drugs with these whores. In hotels rooms. The self control it takes not to image what went on in those rooms. It breaks me.

    And to lose him…it was like losing my dream. We had blueprints drawn and made for a log home on 40 acres he owned. He let me design a mud room and small kitchen for my dogs! I am 44, childless, never married and I was getting ready to have a life with a man that my stomach leap. I had finally made it…no more Friday nights with my mother or dates that slept with their shoes on (true story). I would stare at him dreamily, like a mooning teenager. I would have wiped his ass if he had a stroke. We were in the 5th grade together. And it meant nothing to him.

    Let yourself be sad. You may need to send your kids to a trusted person and have an old Victorian lie in…in bed all weekend and be sad. It IS crushingly sad. But the sadness does not mean you should sacrifice yourself on the alter of his shitness.

    It is not ANY EVIDENCE that you are on the wrong path. It is the right path, and you will emerge on the other side, cleansed and able to SEE. Go ahead and cry, and be sad. I am sorry this has happened to you.
    I know it changed my life as well, and I still cannot believe it happened.

    • SabineSavoy

      Thank you so much. That is exactly how I felt about my X. I thought I had found my home. Leaving him was like gnawing off my arm. I too took the pain as an indication that I was making the wrong decision. But I knew I would die if I didn’t get out.

      • Dear Earth2Ashley,
        That is exactly it. When “he” would leave, it would take me days to recover from all of his craziness and gas lighting. And then I would ache for him to call. That is priceless…leaving him was like gnawing off my arm. Yes! I actually have had chest pain. I thought I was having a heart attack.

        CL said real love is “calm and sane.”
        That is what we have to go for. Love that does not make us feel panicked and that frantic impeding sense of loss.

        I have actually had my phone in my hand just now…..??? Can you believe it? I wrote you instead! After all my big talk. Just to hear THAT voice. Thank you.

        I wish we could all meet up and have a delicious meal with negronis and bellinis and this shit would be in the past.

        Sending you strong positive vibes…I understand on a cellular level the pain.. Sending you hugs and a virtual hand to hold onto.

        • Sabine, wow. What a powerful, insightful post. I can’t say I felt about Jackass as you did about your fiancé, but a friend who was with me at the time that when I first saw him after a long hiatus in our friendship she “saw me breathe for the first time in a long time.” What I learned from being betrayed by this friend and lover was that the magic was in me not in “Me with HIm.” The one good thing this man did for you in show you some things you want in your life. And what I set out to do was get what I wanted for myself, and I have. I also found parts of myself that I had left behind, I thought for good. Now I am not vulnerable to a man who is “love bombing” me because I love myself, and my friends love me, and my family loves me, and my cats love me. So I am able to go slow, go for the “calm and sane,” and trust me, there’s a tremendous payoff once you get there.

    • SabineSavoy,

      Your post made me tear up. Yes, it is incredibly, fucking sad! It is a death. You go through the same stages, denial, grief, etc. So many friends told me to just get over it. He’s an asshole. Why are still holding on? How could I explain to someone who hadn’t been through the worst kind of betrayal? You can’t choose who you fall in love with and painfully, and much as you may want to, you can’t choose to stop loving someone. There will probably always be a part of me that loves him. The one that made a romantic treasure hunt for our first year wedding anniversary. The one that held my hand while my cat lay dying at the vet’s office. The father of my child. But that man is gone. I’ll never understand why he did what he did, but he left me piece by piece as each OW took the best parts of him and left a shell of a man. His choice, but still, I resent those OW for not having better character and deciding he was off limits. I can’t even imagine how I would be able to get up every day with the knowledge that I was a part of destroying a family. But I guess that’s what makes me a chump.

      • Dear Done4Good,

        I went and got a spray tan so I would not look like an albino and your post made ME tear up! I may have streaks but that’s okay because our connections and support are pulling us through and means the world to me.

        Isn’t it just…..surreal?

        Your friends could not understand. They had the glib (semi glib) response of my mother. She was so exasperated with me that I kept going over and over it to anyone that would listen. I would see her face…like…We are analyzing HIM again?

        We are trying to make sense of the non sensical. We are trying to REASON our way out of this. But we are in the rabbit hole, or mirror world. Reason left the building.

        He held your hand at the vet’s while your beloved cat was dying. That felt like love, didn’t it? See, that stumps me big time, too. Maggot helped me trim dingleberries off a stray dog’s bottom. I was gagging through laughter but he was right there with me, for hours, clipping, cutting and bathing. Buying my boys (dogs) premium food. The father of YOUR CHILD, and all those moments that I know must be tender and poignant and YOUR LIFE.

        I wish I could make sense of it for us. Here is something I believe is pretty solid. (If you knew how much time I have spent analyzing this…I could have learned Arabic. It is sickening

        I think….IN THAT MOMENT…they feel something close to love (as close as they can get). IN THAT MOMENT WE ARE WITH THEM. IN THE SAME ROOM.

        I am in therapy specifically for pathological relationships. This might help some. My therapist (she ain’t got NOTHING on our CL but she has the clinical stuff down and has the charisma of a turnip) said this:

        THEY ARE LIKE BABIES PLAYING PEEK A BOO. They don’t have permanency in their minds.

        When we are in front of them, they SEE US, and perhaps are capable of a kind act, that is really charm. (Remember…to charm is A VERB…someone is DOING SOMETHING TO YOU).

        If they did not do this…we would not fall in love, right? Maggot could be down right chivalrous. Your EX and you clearly had moments of bliss and wonderment. (I am so sorry).
        If they did not do these positive, sexy things to us and for us, well, we would not be on this site. We would be trapped in grief. Because then we would not have bonded to them.

        But when we leave them, like when we cover a babies face, we are gone to them. Maybe a fleeting thought, perhaps even warm…or positive…but it is not REAL. It is does not MOVE or stop them from acting on any impulse that feels good to me. That is their high self esteem, their ultimate regard for the Ego, above all.

        We are gone…. and we only reappear to them when they need something: sex, a resource, ego stroke….kibbles.

        I don’t think that is a ham fisted analogy. I think it is real. I think it is THAT heartbreakingly…..stupid.

        So, when they are with us….remember the three emotions sociopaths/narcs mainly have: charm, pity and rage. We saw a gourmet version of the charm. Did they feel something in their alien brains like LOVE? It was something to do with making us happy and bonding them to us. BUT-

        NOT LIKE WE FEEL. I can tell by your words you would sooner roll in a fire ant mound than have cheated on him. He is wired different. He is alien. He had no moral stop signs.

        As for the OW, oh yes….the hatred. I know. This is all I know: Please God, Vishnu, Buddha, The Sky Wizard…. some body out there…please dish out some bad ass, medieval karma on these bitches. I am not joking.

        I don’t care if that is not PC, or loving or forgiving., or bathed in white light.

        I want them to S-U-F-F-E-R.

        No fooling.

        * I am sorry to anyone if I am posting to much. I am literally organizing my hair brushes to stop from calling Maggot. Day 21 must be a hard hump for me and Friday nights eating seafood with my mother and having to explain basic plots to her on movies we rent from Red Box…not exactly my dream scenario.
        I hit *67 and hung up when he answered.
        Dangerous Dialing Behavior.
        As mine is a drug addict as well, I just imaging him high at my house and making my dogs nervous.
        That helps!

        • SabineSavoy

          Keep posting as often as you need to to keep from calling him. Or start a topic in the forums, and I’ll keep you company. Be strong! You can do it.

        • Keep posting. Go over into the forums! Call a friend! Walk the dogs! Let the battery in your phone die! Go to a movie! You can do this.

        • SabineSavoy–LAJ is right–go over into the Private General forums and post. Somebody is almost always on, even at all hours of the night to give you a boost or entertain you (the cheater haiku on the second half of the FUCK!! thread is not to be missed). For many of us, the first step in “gain a life” is active participation in the CL community.

        • Warning, *67 does not (usually) block your phone number when using a cell phone. Works for most land lines, but not iPhones and many other cell phones.
          Best not to even go there……..

  • Mine claimed he was faithful – married 37 years. BUT at 31 year mark he presented me with his online profile. I wanted to rip his face off ! And called and turned him in. Then I became a private detective and found him on multiple sites – seeking a married lady ! Because it wasn’t enough to besmirch our marriage – he wanted to ruin another. Oh, don’t forget the prepaid cell phone. I stayed. But the trust gone. And yes, why couldnt I let it go he wondered ? Because I WAS faithful for 37 years and I knew what faithful looked like. He thought a solution would be to stay married and he would pay my bills but have his own life. I thought taking my half and giving him a divorce was a better idea.

  • Missed,

    I’m sure I’m just reiterating what you already know on some level, but this misapplied hope is keeping you trapped. Sometimes hope is just fear sweet-talking you into submission. People throw it around like this beautiful thing: “There’s always hope!” “Never give up hope!”

    Bullshit. Sometimes you need to cut bait and leave a situation. Declare the marriage dead and go. You will never feel safe in this marriage, and that is his doing. He will never be the person you hope he will be, and his blame-shifting his actions on you for feeling hurt is atrocious.

    Take your hope and apply it to yourself. You will be stunned by how much happier your life can be once you’ve cut ties with his craziness.

    Best of luck,

  • Missed,

    I can share a couple of thoughts with you regarding hope and knowing when to kick hope to the curb because it’s only going to cause you more pain. I believe that there are two types of cheaters, and quite possibly this blog has stated this more eloquently, but these are just my thoughts.

    The first type of cheater is the one-timer, gosh I really fudged up, feel terrible and would cross a river of fire to make it up to you for being such a shit, cheater. These are people that make a terrible decision (not mistake because cheating is a conscious decision) and sincerely want to make amends to their significant other. They take all of the responsibility for your pain and take the necessary steps in an attempt to heal the relationship and regain your trust. These are I believe the unicorns that CL talks about. They are rare and probably do exist, I’ve just never personally met any.

    The second type of cheater is I believe what most of us here are dealing with and what you are most certainly dealing with. The I did a boo-boo and deep down I know it was wrong which is why I hid it from you but instead of being a grown-up and copping to the responsibility and consequences I’m going to pelt you with lame excuses, make your pain a thousand times worse, make you question your own sanity and expect that you will accept all of this with a smile on your face and a forgiving heart. The second type is unfortunately the rule instead of the exception.

    I’m going to generalize here but based on what I’ve been reading on this blog, is probably pretty spot on. Most cheaters seem to cheat in stages. The first time it’s probably an inappropriate friendship that grows into an emotional affair that may or may not become physical. It’s like dipping your foot into a pool to check the temperature. They’re testing the water to see how their bodies will react. Once a person crosses the fidelity line they either decide it’s not where they want to be or it becomes much easier the second, third, fourth, etc. and the justifications for cheating become more and more out of touch with reality. Once a person reaches this stage, I don’t believe there’s much hope of going back for them.

    A person feeling entitled to cheat, usually won’t stop at just one AP. I don’t fully understand the psychology of a serial cheater. Perhaps it’s the thrill of sneaking around. Being with someone new all the time. Who knows, the point is, it’s perfectly natural for the chump to seek out any glimmer of hope that the cheater truly feels remorse and desperately wants to keep your relationship intact, because let’s face it, even in the moment of being confronted with the reality of an affair, we still love the person we thought we knew. That love doesn’t die immediately after D-Day or sometimes several D-Days. It’s who we are. We are built differently than the cheaters. We believe in love. We believe in trust and loyalty and family and all of the things that the cheater gambles away with little thought to the consequences. It’s a harsh reality to find out someone you care for so deeply can push you aside so casually for someone with obvious lack of character or self-worth. It’s a devastating realization that you are held in such little regard by your loved one. I’m still reeling from that slap to the face.

    Hope is generally a good thing. In other circumstances. Hope in this situation, can be terribly damaging. It can keep you in limbo for months, even years as your life passes you by while your partner continues on their merry cheating way not giving one fig for your own health and well-being. I wish like hell I could tell you to cling to hope because that would mean I could do the same. I wish I could tell you that you can save your marriage all by yourself and have the happy future together you desperately want to cling to, as I certainly did. I wish there were more type one cheaters or better yet, no type cheaters because everyone lived to respect each other and believed in their commitments and were just overall, better people in general. That’s my hope. For a day when no one will ever have to go through this again. It’s a grandiose ideal, but hey, I’m a chump. What else would you expect? Stay strong Missed. You are not alone.

    • Well said, Done4Good! This — “It’s a harsh reality to find out someone you care for so deeply can push you aside so casually for someone with obvious lack of character or self-worth.” I told my ex that the OW at the time was a person of “low character.” Anyone who sees a married for secretive coffee dates (she was married too), flirts with a married man and then goes out with a married man until 1:30 in the morning for a drinks date is a person of LOW CHARACTER. A woman who is involved with a married man is a person of low character. BUT! They deserve each other as they both have THE SAME character. Good luck with that, cheater.

  • I gave better then I got. He didn’t deserve me. Took me a very, very long time to realize my worth. Newly divorced. Learning to love myself. Will find someone someday. But in the meantime – I have me and that’s the one thing HE lost and can never replace.

    • Me, too, Wendy. Newly divorced, too (ten days!!). I like you, gave better and more than I ever got. Yes, you will find someone some day. Maybe I will, too, but I’m enjoying my time “alone” and for the FIRST TIME in over 20 years, I’M NOT LONELY!!! I’m enjoying my kids, my dog, myself, my friends, Chump Nation, my job, etc. I KNOW he never deserved me. I KNOW IT deep down. I wasn’t the “perfect” wife, but who is? I can say from the bottom of my heart that I did my best. It wasn’t perfect, but it was my best at each stage of our marriage. Like you said, it’s his lose.

  • The only way the man will change is if you leave him. Right now, unfortunately, you are an unwillful enabler (no blame, but if you leave, you will go through a hard period and then a YIPPEE! I’m free that will make you wonder why you ever stayed). You will learn so much by detaching. Your journey will ultimately improve. Your control will improve. Your happiness will improve. Everything will make sense. You will have a chance at true love. It will come. While you are with such a huge fuckwit, true love stands no chance.
    Perhaps it is hard to leave right now because there are still a few stones ‘left unturned’… well, that day will come and you will be at a crossroads. Please prepare now to choose freedom from abuse. Your children’s children will thank you, and the world will be a more predictable, balanced place for them. Cause and effect will make more sense to them. They will value vulnerability and femininity. They will turn away from bad people instinctively.

    • (Playing catch-up with CL)
      Braveagain, I LOVE what you said here. Prepare now to choose freedom from abuse. That’s it, isn’t it? None of us dreamed of a life of being abused! Then when it happens, usually creeping in over time, we have a hard time believing that’s our life! I just hadn’t developed a clear picture of myself as a valuable person, and a cheater can expand on that to keep you down. Our friends could see it, though. They used to tell me- he shouldn’t talk to you/treat you that way.
      And also what you said, about the effect on our children, well, I can attest that even though it made my sons so sad that their father was a ‘clown’, they all have respect for me for leaving him. I know they saw the consequences of his nasty behavior, and that I protected myself. It’s quite the life lesson.

  • Missing, like many of the above chumps I sunk 40 years into my cheater- we knew each other since we were teenagers and were married 35 years. It turned out, he had been having an affair with a woman from high school for 8 years! I didn’t know about it until we were three years into it. He was being horribly mean to me and nothing i did was right. He blamed me and I blamed me. He came home four times in five years and then missed her so much that he went right back to her. The final time, last May, I caught him with a 7-11 prepaid phone just for her. Five times (maybe more), I have heard: “It’s the OW. I love her. I sold my business behind your back. She bought a house in FL and I am moving there to be with her.” I loved him so much that I CHOSE not to believe him. I truly believed it was a mid life crisis and he would realize my value and want to be with me. But as chump lady said, my stbx made thousands of choices- each time he cheated. He wasn’t really worried about me or his son. So, now he is with her. He stopped talking to me a year ago because, isn’t that what you do to the person who you said was the love of your life? He’s seen his son once in a year. I am sure that he is trying to get my son to feel sorry for him because that’s what he does with everyone- boo hoo, feel sorry for me, I have no morals. I’m not a bad guy, I just fell in love. The point is- I took him back five times and he ended up leaving anyway. And I finally wised up and sued for divorce. Guess what? He lied during the divorce action (surprise, surprise) and said he had no money (he has a cash business) and tried to take the house and my 401k. Again, exactly what you would do to a loyal and loving spouse? Not exactly. His birthday is tomorrow. This makes me think of all of my birthdays he ruined by ignoring them and treating me like crap. The thought of him enjoying the weekend with the pos OW is making me sick. Still I miss him. A whole lifetime together. I almost sent him an email telling me how much he hurt me. But then, of course, he knows that and he doesn’t care. Why would he care? He got everything he wanted and so did she. I do hope he cheats on her so that she knows what it’s like being gutted by the very person you loved so very much. I have heard that history repeats itself. I certainly hope so because I want them to get hit by the karma bus. Missing, don’t waste a moment more. You will invest more time into something that is already rotten and dead. And then he/it will leave anyway. You and I, and all the chumps on this site, we have to stop embracing the barbed wire monkeys (Chumplady’s book) so we have time and energy to pursue the real thing.

    • Dear LostandFound,

      Will he cheat on her? Here’s a million bucks that he is already is or has the works in motion. Probably trolling CraigsList or Ashley Madison.
      Remember…he did not have a character transplant.
      Dollar to a doughnut…he throughs you up in HER face in arguments. I know it is easy to picture as smooth sailing paradise…but that is not who these people are. That is a fantasy, a mind trick.

      The Buddhist saying:


      He is still an asshat with her. Don’t be fooled that he has morphed into The Perfect Mate. The odds are one in a trillion.

      I can feel your pain through your words. I am sorry. I hope life brings you someone who is sane and calm and values you. I understand missing someone who was a monster. Google trauma bonding and read about it.

      Don’t send him that email. It is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. It will just make him feel smug.

      And what did OW get? Honestly? A greedy pathological liar and cheater? What a prize.

      Sending you positive and warm energy…through space and time….You are no longer lost…YOU ARE FOUND.

    • In most cases, I think cheaters have to devalue the spouse/partner in order to justify the cheating. They know it’s “wrong,” in the usual moral or ethical sense, but they don’t subscribe to morality and ethics because they are entitled to do what they want. But the point here is you have already been devalued by the cheater. That doesn’t mean you are not a wonderful, beautiful, kind, loving person; it means that in order to pursue cake, cheaters have to find fault with their partners and blame shift their poor decisions and character defects onto the partner. Their capacity to devalue in order to maintain their kibble and cake is another reason why staying with a cheater is such a no win proposition.

      • Devaluing typically says more about the person doing it than about the person being devalued. Cheaters lack character; they’re adept at the devalue.

  • A relationship like this, which is founded on secret rendezvous for YEARS, is in for a rude awakening. As soon as they are free to live together and experience reality, their twu wuv will crash and burn. MissedRedFlags needs to be ready when the A-hole comes back around claiming she is the love of his life and he now sees the light.

  • J, I have been out of the picture for more than a year and he has not come circling back. He is still with her but they are not yet living together full time. My thought is that it depends on how useful the OW is when the sparkles of twu luv fade.

    • Twu Luv….NOT. They are social predators. Someone else pointed it out well in this chain of posts.

      I believe they see people are RESOURCES: What they need, they go to a new source. It could just be fulfilling their sociopathic boredom. (Like a shark, they must keep moving because they have no inner life to sustain them). Better house? Cash? Credit? Kinky sex? Drugs? Car? Someone to take care of them? And once they deplete that resource, they are off the races to find more supply and kibbles.

      Soon, they will be snarling at each other over who ate the last Nutter Butter and that Twu Luv will be the obscene joke that it is.

      • Re: people as RESOURCES:

        X told me early on, that he assessed all people in terms of what they could do for him. “Sounds really opportunistic of you,” I told him, and although it wasn’t a likable trait, I thought maybe it was just savvy sales exec stuff. I didn’t quite notice the red flag waving there.

        He went through other people like Kleenex.

      • My ex paraphrased the lines from Annie Hall on me: “A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.”

  • Let’s just say the affair stopped and no dating/hookup accounts. Let’s say he was 100% perfect in redeeming himself and he learned and grew from it. He became a better man, a better friend and a better husband after his “mistake”. He is still fucktard.. oh I mean human and “He said that he felt our marriage was doomed and that I would eventually leave him” that statement he made is why it would be IMPOSSIBLE for him to fully invest in you. This all assuming everything else him and you is 100 percent PERFECT.

    Someone who cannot be trusted is not capable of trusting, thus they will NEVER fully invest in you BUT they will take YOUR full investment in them.

    It is called shitty. It is cruel, it is sooooooooo hurtful and painful to love someone who loves himself so little to love himself so much.

  • I don’t even like to use the word ‘hope’. I usually just think something like “Well, it would sure be nice if this or that happens”. Hoping is like wishing. Meaningless, really. But it can hurt you horribly all by itself, like when you hope a cheater will change.

    I have plans, I have desires. But hope? Nope. Fuck hope.

  • Dear Missed,

    I am not against reconcilation, in one myself.. but I will say this… one time you can maybe forgive. But the profiles and he goes BACK? Nope, game OVER.

    He sounds like a first class cake eater and like he has NO real remorse. You can’t work with that. And 3 years is a pretty damn long time for an affair. That’s WAY longer than most of them and that means there are feelings.

    Girl, you’ll be fighting that battle a LONG time and you need to think long and hard if it’s worth it. This bitch isn’t going away and clearly she has no self respect (ie 3 year relationship with married man who has two kids). Your kids are young, which means you are young. You deserve better. I would get out of the pick me dance immediately. At a minimum.. do not stay in a competition. No one can tell you what to do and no one has been in EXACTLY your shoes but someone who keeps lying over and over, chances are, he won’t change. Big Hugs. This sucks.

  • Missed,
    Our stories are very similar. I believed my husband WORDS instead of paying attention to his ATTENTIONS. He had been having a 5 year affair. I told him he had to totally end it in order for any type of reconciliation to work for us. He stated that he just could not end it but wanted me to understand and be patient while he sort things out. Absolutely Not! I have been with this man 28 years and he has screwed me in so many ways. 10 days ago he moved out to find his happiness and come to find out he was not moving alone he moved in to a new place with OW. This happen in a fairly short time frame which tells me they have been planning this move.
    The truth is that I should have left this man a long time ago (this was not his first act of infidelity). But, being the Chump that I am, I truly wanted to believe what he was telling me. I wanted my marriage, family and future dream to stay intact. However, his actions never matched up to his words. He said he loved me and I was the best thing in his life. But, he continued to cheat, to be dishonest, disrespectful and distant. That is not how you treat the best thing in your life. He said he would take a bullet for me but he was actually the one to pull the trigger.
    These past 10 days have been hell. I have cried more than I think I ever have. My stomach is in knots and my head is pounding constantly from headaches. Even with all that going on I know having him out of my presence and life is for the best. I have maintained NO CONTACT. Since he moved he has is leaving messages on my work phone saying He loves me and he made a mistake. This man is toxic and it only took a short distance of 10 days between us for me to figure that out. Does it hurt knowing he is with OW? Absolutely! I have decided to go through the pain of grieving the man and marriage I once had. When I start to miss him I think about what I am missing. I do not miss being lied to, disrespected, betrayed, abandoned, being cheated on and worrying if he is happy or not. This is not the kind of marriage I signed up for or deserve.
    Please put on your big girl panties on and leave this man. I can honestly say this from a place of current pain. You do not deserve this kind of treatment. You deserve to be respected, loved, honored and treated like the Queen you are. You should feel peace and security in your marriage. Don’t settle for nothing less. I read somewhere “Love is like a fart, if you have to force it, it’s sh*t.” I apologize for the long rant but this post just touched my heart. I wish you the best and sending huge ((Hugs)) your way.

    • Noelblessed–I’m sorry you’re suffering. It is very tough when the cheater refuses to honor no-contact and bombards you with sad sausage pity pleas and love-bombing.

      It’s okay to grieve your marriage (I’ve had some of that myself the past 10 days, and I’m 1.5 years out). There had to have been some good aspects or we wouldn’t have stayed, right? But much of what we grieve is either the mirage of our marriage, or what we filled in to the cracks. I know it helped me to carry around copies of my X’s sexual harassment notes and naugahyde remorse emails to read whenever I needed a “trust that he sucks” boost. Write down your STBX’s most egregious behaviors or statements. That is who he is, not the sniveling whiner impersonating a loving human being who is leaving you messages.

  • Your encouragement and support is what is holding me up! I have not called. I just keep saying…Do you want to feel more pain? Do you like being miserable? And I repeat, as mantra:


  • Missed Red Flags,

    Your husband claims he is carrying on an affair due to lack of forgiveness from you. He must do his part, which is abstaining from cheating. Going cold turkey from the OW, not winding down from her. His part also involves acknowledging your pain. He must also own his decision to cheat without blaming you. He must also be willing to do what makes you feel safe – accounting for his whereabouts, giving you computer passwords or whatever it takes to make you feel confident that he has ended it with the OW. If and when he does this, then you must determine whether it is genuine. Truly character disordered types do not change and will tell whatever lies necessary to keep you in the game. They will then go right back to cheating. What makes them tick is seeing what they can get away with. Once you know the truth, it is very difficult if not impossible to ever fully trust them again. With full-throttle reconciliation, I think you have to always be braced for the possibility of it happening again. You will also have to deal with the ghost of the OW in the bedroom.


      And with life so brief…why go through all that bullshit? I am just being honest.

      I do not want to be with a man I have to police or play Sherlock Holmes with IN ANY MANNER. They are big boys and girls. They know cheating is not allowed. They did it because they wanted to, and the consequences be damed.

      The only way I would jump through all those hoops would be for this situation: He is a billionaire, and I have full access to all of his money, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Viggo Mortensen and Ralph Fiennes from the English Patient , has the sense of humor of Gene Wilder, and the mind of Christopher Hitchens (RIP). He gave me his right kidney for a transplant, when I was about to die and he saved 100,000 stray dogs and cats from certain death. He listens to my mother for hours on the phone so I can read while also rubs my head. He developed a brain eating bacteria, that made him temporarily insane, and he cheated ONE TIME, and never had contact with the woman again. He writes daily poems of contrition and grovels on his knees for forgiveness, and gives me hour long foot rubs, while analyzing how despicable cheating on me was.

      If those conditions were met: I would consider staying with him. An absurd analogy? Maybe not.

      What is the alternative? Walking on eggshells, wondering every time his phone rings or a text chimes in (IS THAT HER??? IS IT OVER???) ….lie in bed with him and know his penis has been inside ANOTHER WOMAN? Many times. Kiss those lips that have been all over the body of some skank while you sat at home, sick to your stomach from missing him? Probably buying books off Amazon to save your marriage, or on this site, frantically looking for relief from the toothache in your heart while he gets his dick sucked in the Embassy Suites and orders room service, while you haven’t the appetite for a graham cracker because your heart has been ripped out? As they laugh, talk and yuck it up, and you wander alone, through your house, like a ghost, and pray that he calls?

      I don’t see the pay off. What is the pay off? What prize have you won?

      Life’s too brief. No judgment…NONE AT ALL…. I am being literal. I would think hard, deep and long before giving these RUTHLESS AND DISORDERED people another chance. I think it is asking for –

      *CERTAIN, SWIFT AND DEVASTATING PAIN AND MISERY*…headed your way like a freight train to allow them back in the door.

      When it comes to cheaters…I don’t think there is any good news in Mudville.

      • I think forgiveness under your imagined scenario is a very good example because it’s as unlikely as a cheater becoming faithful.

        • Annie,
          Isn’t that what is so blasted horrible about it? If Maggot had done ANYTHING ELSE…ANYTHING….

          “I beat up a dude in a bar and have a charge”
          “I like to eat glue paste and then roll naked in stickers of Barney”
          “I wrecked your car”

          It would have been maddening..but I could have stood it.

          Humiliating admission: I did not break up with him because of his drug use (FIENDISH DRUG USE). I would take breaks, change my number, have long talks about rehab centers where he would Yes Man me…but I would not have left him.

          It was the cheating. The cheating is the death rattle.

          For people who can get past it, may the forces of the Universe be with you. I cannot comprehend accepting such primitive betrayal.

          • I’m right there with you. He drank. He got drunk and didn’t come home on Valentine’s Day. It’s amazing all the shit we forgive. But cheating is a conscious decision to devalue me. I have value!

            • Hell, I like you and I have never even met you. NO kidding. Imagine what a great conversationalist you are. He could have had a cup of coffee with you this morning, breakfast and a wonderful day with a woman who LOVED HIM. I hope he and Maggot and all other Cluster B cheaters gnash their teeth in torment one day and weep. (I just went Old Testament on their ass).

              Abandoning you on Valentines’ Day. Wow. Now that is one for the books. He is a flea from the Bubonic Plague.

              • He could have, but I don’t respond well to grunts or mumbles. It would drive him crazy that I would ask him to repeat himself. I know exactly what he said, but he would either grunt or mumble. “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch what you just said to me. Did you just ask me to pass the pee?”

                I would much rather have coffee with anyone from Chump Nation. People here are amazing, and I’ve wasted enough time on stupid.

      • Whoa, that was pretty raw…..and I like it! I tried wreckoncilition, but my heart was not in it. He did some half hearted efforts in an effort to manipulate me further. Something in my gut screamed no! He crossed that threshold and all vestiges of oxytocin evaporated.
        The shields fell from my eyes and he became physically unattractive. I couldn’t stand to be near him and became combative. His natural body oder became repulsive. For me detachment came along three parts. Physically he became this aging old man desperately trying to regain his lost youth. I no longer desired him sexually.
        Mentally he was stunted, I couldn’t imagine growing old with him. When I tried I only saw darkness and a deep empty void.
        Spirituality he described himself as a hedonist seeking to satisfy his soul with pleasure. That’s some sick fisheye shit.

        It took time to connect the pieces but I eventually did.
        Change is hard. A person has to ask someone greater than themselves AND want to change. God does not go were he is not wanted, even if one prays for their marriage to be saved. Light and darkness have nothing in common.

        • Happy Sunday Renewed,

          I am so glad he became repulsive to you. You saw him for what he TRULY was…not the illusion. That is going to be a wonderful day…when Maggot is really a Maggot to me. The oxytocin bonds us to them chemically. Your brain released you.

          I am holding on tight on Day 23 of NC. My kitchen is spotless, the dogs are like PLEASE STOP BRUSHING OUR HAIR and I am watching Game of Thrones….but I have not called his stink ass. Running from the darkness. Change is hard but I am acting and the feelings will follow.

          I found this in my journal: I DID NOT WRITE IT. I am not sure who did…but they get all the credit. This was from the first time I tried to go no contact.

          It is angry and raw, but it is the awful truth. (Again, I did not write this…no credit to me at all. I copied it from somewhere).

          “Fuck You for cheating on me. Fuck you for reducing it to the word cheating. As if this were a card game, and you sneaked a look at my hand. Who came up with the term cheating, anyway? A cheater, I imagine. Someone who thought liar was too harsh. Someone who thought devastator was too emotional. The same person who thought, oops, he’d gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Fuck you. This isn’t about slipping yourself an extra twenty dollars of Monopoly money. These are our lives. You went and broke our lives. You are so much worse than a cheater. You killed something. And you killed it when its back was turned.”

          • Sabine – that was an awesome paragraph at the end.
            I’ve never heard anybody put that so succinctly.
            Killed while my back was turned….yeah, that’s IT.

  • Here’s some real hope. Leaving the cheater can give you a chance to concentrate on a better life. Perhaps, you will find REAL best friends instead of being married to a “best friend” who is fucked up enough to lead a double life. There are people out there that actually bother to reciprocate in their friendships and romantic relationships. Wouldn’t it be so much better to be around people like that?

    I know, I was so sad. I thought I had married my best friend and here he is leading a double life. I thought it was because I sucked so much. After all, he said he had to do this because…[insert list of reasons why I suck]. I later realized that while I have shortcomings like every other human being, I also have many good points. I’m worth having as a friend. I’m worth being treated with respect. And, I do have better friends now. People who actually get that reciprocity is a part of friendships/relationships.

    • JannaG, I love your post. One of the outcomes of us having this devastating experience is the chance to reexamine ALL of our relationships. Are we surrounding ourselves with good people? Maybe some of our friendships can be examined, too, as we learn to expect reciprocity in our relationships. After this trauma, I am adjusting to being single again and really valuing certain friends more as I strive to spend less time with certain other friends.

  • Great Essay by CL and Great Comments by CN.

    For all those modern open-minded folks out there that think CL/CN is nothing but a bunch of bitter, vindictive losers who weren’t good enough, I’d like them to read this thoughtful essay and articulate, rational, honest, empowering collection of comments.


  • After 4 years of manipulation for cake and proclamations like “I have fallen” and “I was weak” (unbelievable, as he “chose” to seek an affair on Ashley Madison, Craigslist,etc) and requests to pray with him and to renew our vows (both had me dumbfounded), he has rewritten our history into a “loveless marriage” where all I ever did was control him. Fucktard. Wish I had found Chumplady sooner and divorced him sooner. He couldn’t be troubled with actually filing.

  • Yup – same story here. The ridiculous I made a mistake, when the whole time a completely vile double life was led – not a clue on my end. Con artist, everyone including me thought he was a great guy, husband, employee, father, kids volunteer coach – makes my skin crawl all the things I uncovered after the first tip. Barely divorced before he moved across town, remarried and replicated the life we had with current chump so he could image manage with an entirely new group of people. Only a matter of time until the house of cards comes down on the third marriage – Red Flags much? Incapable of change. Run fast and far and let a lawyer handle it all.

  • Divorce is terrifying, the thought of losing everything, destroyed family, broken children’s hearts, financial insecurity, loneliness, loss of the life you thought you had. You are trying to save your FAMILY which is the most important thing in the world to you and to you probably worth all the suffering you’ve been through so far.

    But your husband does not feel these same fears for your family, or love for your family. He is using your dedication and love for your family to extract the elixir he needs to make his dick feel good. Think about that. Think about what kind of monster chooses his penis over his family, his own children’s precious hearts and lives.

    That monster lives with you. He is hurting you and your family every day. He is not your family. He is evil and you need to protect your family from HIM and the pain and suffering he brings into your lives.

    Be Brave. You must. Fight Evil! It is the hardest thing you may ever have to do, but you must do it. It will hurt. But you will rise from the ashes, strong and free and wise.

    You cannot change him, he cannot be cured with counseling or medication or prayer or demonic exorcism. You cannot cure Evil.

    • Powerful and true….Nailed it. HE IS NOT YOUR FAMILY. That is the key and what is so hard to let go of, because someone who is familiar can feel like home.

  • ‘ You could never forgive me’ …….Look Fuckwitt, I ain’t Nationwide. My policy does not include ‘Affair Forgiveness’

    Dont recall reading that in the fine print Motherfucker.

  • Try to get cake from me and he gets the axe. He may have his cake, but not from me. Never from me. It’s guillotine time (Hammer Time tune).

  • The ” loveless marriage” and the “you will never control me again” are classics. What is that all about? Just image management I guess.
    Evil creeps is so true, just v v hard to get your head around. Distance really does help to see what rubbish they spout.

  • MRF – One of my therapists said of my long-term serial cheating EW, “She was a decision looking for a reason.” Your husband decided a long time ago that he was going to cheat, and began looking for excuses (in his mind) to do what he had decided to do. They don’t have to be good excuses (as if there could be), or rational. That’s why you end up shaking your head at them when you hear them give the reason(s), and go, “What? That was the reason?”

    Know this, it was not because of you or any purported shortcoming of yours. That’s just a device he’s using now to try to draw you into thinking you had some role in what he did (and did for a hell of a long time, by the way). It keeps him from having to accept responsibility for what he did. To do otherwise would require him to accept what a disordered monster he really is. Who wants that, especially if you are an entitled narcissist? He could never admit that to himself, so you MUST have had something to do with it.

    I’m from Texas, born and raised. I know horseshit when I see it. Trust me, what he’s telling you is just that. Don’t step in it (meaning accept ANY responsibility).

    You had no role in what he did, and don’t assign one ounce of that responsibility to yourself. That is not your burden to bear. He was never who you thought he was. Lawyer up, go no contact, get out, get the life you deserve – the one you always deserved.

  • Please read JannaG again and again and again. THAT is the truth.

    MRF, the final killing of the hope is to accept – truly, truly ACCEPT – that actually, you don’t matter that much to him. You are an appliance. A thing of use.
    To truly truly accept that actually, you have no connection. He is not connected to you. He is just limited that way: you are [shrugs] safe, and she is [shrugs] exciting. IT IS THAT SHALLOW.

    This is deeply painful to accept, but once you do, you can do what is absolutely vital for an addict (you) – no contact. File, and don’t see or speak to him.

    I was a completely and utterly terrified and destroyed person. He isn’t a bad person. But he (his way of being – this pussy then that pussy, looking for the next love) is NOT RIGHT FOR ME. His lack of emotion (other than self pity) and empathy hurts me. You actually have to get away from that to have a chance.

    Then Janna’s post kicks in. Life is so much better without being mentally and emotionally abused. There are people out there who like you for you. Who can listen, who say what they mean and mean what they say. It is not all bad to spend time by yourself, developing a relationship with yourself and your higher power, and learning authentic relationships with safe people, developing your own career.

    Its OK. My kids (older than yours) have got to see him for who he is without any of my input – and prefer my family life. They still love their Dad, but they can see he isn’t alright. The karma bus works in mysterious ways.

    • Absolutely great post! “this pussy then that pussy” actually gets really disgusting really fast if you think about it. And you HAVE to think about it. You deserve better.

  • Once again feeling ever so grateful to have had the walkway-spouse type of infidelity. Cake eaters are just the worst. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the deafening silence and the lack of second tries–that he wouldn’t “fight for us”–such a gift.
    What a public service CL provides, to fight against delusion.

    • Hello Miss Sunshine,
      Yes, I too had a walkaway spouse. Two weeks after D-Day he went on a pre-planned 6 week overseas work trip (the the OW was also attending) and was also visiting his Mum who lives in Europe and once that was up he never came home, never faced me, I never saw him again. He wrote me an email to say he was leaving me to be with the OW. My Mum and I packed up my house ourselves and left his belongings in the garage and I moved interstate once the lease was up.

      At the time I was destroyed. I lost 15 kilograms in 6 weeks (33 pounds) and could barely function. But day by day, I got through. I had a lot of therapy, support from my university and work and also a great family. That was 10 months ago and I have since started a new, better life.

      I now realise that it could have been worse, much worse – that he could demonstrated behaviours to keep both me and the OW going. I wanted him to come home at the time. Him not doing that was the best thing to have happened to me. That he could have prolonged cake and messed with my mind.

      At 34, I feel chewed up and spat out. I am grieving over if I will ever meet a suitable partner and try for children. I am grieving that I stayed with such a creepy dude for 6 years. Yes, I saw red flags, which I brought u to him and he always had an answer.

      I never imagined my ex was capable of such cruelty and mind-fuckery. It’s hard to process, but it’s important to face those things in a safe space so that our cheating exes don’t diminish our futures. Nothing about cheating is “accidental.” People who cheat hurt their spouses and families intentionally. Here’s to continuing to fight against delusion.

      Best of luck to you.

      • Hugs, NeverLookingBack.

        Take the time to grieve and process. Glad you’ve found this community. You already have come so far–enough that you see the gift in not having a cake eater in your life. Good for you!

        You’re a very young woman. You have a full life. You are intelligent and perceptive. Learn from this experience, and trust that you will open your heart again, this time wiser.

        We’re here for you. You really will be ok.

        My xH walked away into a seemingly happier life, leaving me to find one of my own. After a few months of me begging, pleading and insulting, I went dark, and he did, too. He never had any intention of coming back home, and it took me a while to figure out that nothing I could do would change that. The early days were quite painful and lonely. I gathered myself up, got help here, filled my time with raising teens, work, travel, and good friends. It is about 5 and a half years after D-day, and now I am in love with a man who is perfect to me. I am so grateful that I am not married to my xH any more. I now see the severance as a gift. Of course I wish he’d been a different person, but he’s not, and I am free and so much happier. Maybe he is, too and that’s fine with me. I don’t want to worry about the father of my children, ever. That’ll be OW’s job now, and I don’t envy her, really.

        But, really. You’re doing a great job just 10 months out!! I was not nearly as collected as you seem to be. Well done! Keep going! You got this.

      • So so sorry that you went through so much pain. I too lost weight but have put it back on. Part of me wishes I was skinny again. People say these experiences are like bereavement and I really think that’s true. It takes the average adult two years to go through that process so assuming that’s right it’s reasonable to think you will be 36 or so. That will seem old from your perspective but it seems young to me – certainly young enough to meet somebody else and have a baby.
        Wishing you all the very best 🙂

      • Neverlookingback,
        Does he ever contact you in anyway, or is he just completely MIA?
        His behavior is shocking and aberrant, grotesque.

        • There’s a subset of cheaters who really do just up and walk away. I read this book in the early days:

          You can also Google Walk Away Wives.

          They call it “ghosting,” in its worst form. It is very weird and aberrant, but it happens. Mine did it–not the ghosting, but the total discard and abandonment with no wavering. I’m thankful. Didn’t need the mind fucks. I would’ve fallen for it, for sure, would’ve hung on and slowly died. This way, the Band-Aid was ripped clean off, and I could begin healing. The silence and loneliness are smothering at first. But it’s better, really.

          • Gonna have to agree with you, Miss Sunshine.

            I haven’t seen the cheater STBXW in close to seven months. There were a couple of months of sporadic texts and emails. Less than an hour total of phone calls, and that’s it.

            As of February, it’s been all lawyers all the time. I read about the hoovering, and I wanted that. Now I am grateful I didn’t have to suffer that at least. One and done on the cheating.

            Now I hate her with a passion. Searing rage drives me. I would never in a million years forgive her or take her back.

            But the only – THE ONLY – way I got there was no-contact.

            No-contact; no-contact; no-contact!!!

            • Ian. I know the hate you have. I seriously hate my STBXW. I don’t care that she is blowing her AP… what pisses me most off ? Is that I’m bleeding money, she is using the kids as a meal ticket. And she has no intention of settling in the divorce.

              So my lawyer is going to court (which is probably going to rob us 50% of 15 years savings). But she doesn’t care (it’s not her money). She is fucking the kids college funds up , but she doesn’t care. I’m paying 2/3 of her rent , more for kids, and the car. She almost has no expenses (thanks to the courts hey).

              And that is what pisses me the most off. Wasting money and time, and she is blowing her AP, no care in the world because I’m paying for “the kids”.

              • Howdy, SDK.

                You are one of the “lucky” chump guys I was referring to the other day. You get the privilege of paying for your wife to blow a dude. Awesome!

                Sorry she’s such a whore.

                I think what you’re referring to about her “blowing him” is what I call the “mind movies” (no doubt I stole that). But yes, I don’t think about her nasty vertical smile any more. Or what she’s doing with it. I just hate her.

                Some people here get divorced quickly. Some not so quickly. But when it’s the cheater dragging her feet just to spite me, it’s hard not to hate.

                In spite of that, I am well on my way to gaining a life. And from your posts I can tell you are too.

                Have a mighty day, SDK.

            • Ian, not sure why I can’t reply to your reply. Always like your post

              >You get the privilege of paying for your wife to blow a dude.

              I know, I feel like such a “winner”. I want to scream.

              >Sorry she’s such a whore.

              Don’t be sorry at all.. its the truth!

              >But when it’s the cheater dragging her feet just to spite me, it’s hard not to hate.

              You know what, I didn’t hate her when we started divorce. I could be civil, friendly etc. Now with her dragging heels, wasting money and time… my hate went thru the roof. I despise her with a passion. She can fck the other guy I don’t care… but she is wasting [my] money.

              >And from your posts I can tell you are too.

              Thanks man. Yea.. life could be better (when she is done).

              I hope you can kick her to the curb and win all the way!!

  • Oh honey, you are not an idiot. You are a loving caring human being who just wants a normal loving relationship There is nothing wrong in that. He’s the idiot for not valuing you and for betraying and breaking the most sacred trust one person can have with another. He’s broken, not you. Please believe that he sucks.

  • Telling you that you are the “love of his life” after being caught cheating sounds like manipulation on his part in an effort to maintain cake. Prior to finding out about XH’s affair, he would say “You mean the world to me.” He would say it very fast and it sounded insincere. At one point, I made my voice sound like a parrot’s and said, “You mean the world to me. RAAK. RAAK. You mean the world to me.” I then told him that it really didn’t sound like he meant it. He said, “Okay, I won’t say it anymore.” And he didn’t.

    • I’m so falling over with this exchange with your X.
      It reminds me of me; something I would have said.

      When I would call him to report on the dogs’ winnings at a dog show far away…his answer was SO FRICKING PHONY!
      I could just tell.
      You don’t live with a guy for 36 yrs and not know it’s fake.

      I wish I would have squacked back at him too!

      Raak Raak – “Great!” when my girl won Best of Breed. RAAK
      SO, not like us to not scream and yell.

      Raak. I like that as a new motto.

  • Dear Missed,

    Even more painful for me than finding out that I was getting divorced…..was the day I went to the attorney and filed the paperwork to have him served. The pain I was in….the desperately wanting to believe that this was all a mistake…the feeling of being so miserable I wished I could crawl out of my skin.
    I wouldn’t wish that on anyone….not even my ex (on my good days 🙂

    You have to hire an attorney and file. There are advantages to filing first (even though you desperately don’t want too….I know).

    1. My attorney said that it is because imagine you both have to paint a picture. Whoever draws/files first, gets to set the landscape…

    2. You can somewhat control the timing of things.

    3. Ask for EVERYTHING at first. You can always negotiate down….but ask for it at first.

    He is going to be furious! (Mine was and he WANTED the divorce!!) That is no longer your problem.
    He didnt care about your feelings….DO NOT CARE ABOUT HIS!

    So sorry you are going through this. ((hugs))

    • One place i was lucky with asswipe i didnt have to worry about his feelings he never had any ever. Stoic as the days long. If he had feelings he would never hurt others deliberately or at least be honest. I always heard ….dont take this the wrong way…….but…

  • Aside from not acting like a chump, you need to find a life that doesn’t start with an internal dialogue about your asshold husband. Where’s your independence; what do you like to do aside from making a home for a deadbeat liar?

    • This is very true, but it is not easy to just stop “making a home for a deadbeat liar” after that being your main purpose in life for 3 decades. That sounds so pathetic and I am struggling with baby steps towards more independent life focus and purpose. In addition to the disbelief, rage, hurt, pain … many of us really have to craft a new self-image. I try to remember the girl I was 32 years ago … I am unrecognizable now compared to then. No going back of course, but remembering my original strengths, weaknesses, goals, and so forth is where I am starting mentally. I just keep telling myself this will all be very much for the best in a few years. One foot after the other …

      • Dixie, early on, I remembered too the goals and strengths and all of that. But what helps me most on a daily basis is remembering and reminding myself *what makes me HAPPY*.

        I strongly recommend remembering *everything* that makes you HAPPY. Keep that long list in mind and it will grow longer still.

        This morning I have been thinking a lot about how this is my first summer fully apart from the cheater, and how odd it is that the six years I spent with him feel now like they never happened at all. I don’t know how this “amnesia” has happened — probably partly EMDR and mostly NC — but I’m really grateful for it, and try to keep my list of happiness front and forward.

        Your decades with him were valuable. Nothing erases that, really, even no matter how anyone (they, or we ourselves) try to say it wasn’t meaningful. It all was. And it’s terrible that betrayal was a part of those years. But you have to know that you yourself are of highest value, and that what you did was good. There just is nothing we can do, about someone else’s poor choices or reasoning or broken promises.

        The promise here now is in you, and you’re golden. Cry oceans when you need to; it’s a cleansing and purification and release. But when you are spent, know that the promise now is all in you, and that you are golden. (((HUGS)))

        • Thanks, Lucky. I appreciate your kinds words and advice. I will start working on my Happy List! 🙂

      • I dated XH for 7 years and we would have been married for 30 years last year in December but the divorce was final last June. In trying to craft a new self-image, I vacillate between my teen-age self when I met him and my mid-50 self now. A year out from divorce, I have no interest in dating. In my job, I work with the public and have the opportunity to meet women, men and couples. When I meet men, I do not feel any type of interest, but rather a mixture of fright and revulsion. When I see senior couples, I feel sadness. I have read that bonding with others is often superficial at best after long-term narcissistic abuse and I seem to be experiencing that.


    I have no idea why, but for some reason dating fresh out of tangling with a narcissistic sociopath sends your brain SCREAMING to have contact with the very person who kicked your teeth out. I would strongly advise against it.

    Please no judgement! But in an effort to dull my pain, (I was a zombie, truly) I went out with a hot, silly younger man. One of my girlfriends dragged me to a bar, and one thing led to another.

    I am 44, he was 27 ( I know!) but I thought well….men have been doing it for centuries. I thought that tanned young flesh, silly and horny as hell would do the trick.

    It doesn’t. I was completely NOT interested in sex (my body still longs for Maggot…it is like slavery) and his familiar, wonderful expertise. (had better stop smoking THAT pipe.) Not a kid. Not someone who does not know me. (But did Maggot?)

    My point is…it does not work. Maybe it is too soon, maybe it works for people who have no souls, but it set me back. The young man was 100% single, earnest and sweet but it was agony.

    I don’t think we should sacrifice our lives to this shit sandwich for years (GOD NO!) but the sad reality is…we have suffered a brain trauma and it takes time for it to heal up.

    For others it may work. But for me….it sent my limbic system into overdrive…almost a panic to talk to Maggot. The longing to be in bed with him was….wild.

    Would we ever go crawling back to the diner that gave us food poisoning, begging for another rancid chicken pot pie? Would we phone the person who beat us up in an alley to steal our purse? NO…but it is the best evidence of the mind fuck we have been through. We want to see and be healed by the freak that hurt us.


    • Agree with this 100%. The damage we’ve sustained requires a long-term healing process, and I suspect we inflict further harm if we try the “get over by getting under” solution. All it does is jack up the chemistry that’s already jacked up by what we endured in the toxic partnership. Like, don’t pressure yourself to date or engage, not right now. It’s not necessary, even if people around you seem like they would feel more comfortable if you were only partnered again, or happy.

      Depending how far you are out from bomb drop, divorce, NC, any of that — this is a huge loss and a massive bereavement. Even if people around you don’t understand why. That was your heart that got ripped out, your body and intuition that got fooled, and your dreams and future that got torn away. It hurts and you have every right to grieve it as a widow, as long and as formally and as deeply as you need to.

      We run the real risk of picking another toxic partner or dynamic if we don’t take this time to process, grieve, rage, heal, and rebuild. No matter how old or young you are, you have time. We have time. It’s not necessary to partner up, even if that feels like it would solve the scares and hurts and real financial insecurity.

      It’s not the life anyone would have willingly chosen or planned. I’m sorry for all of us in it. But please be patient with your healing and know that it’s the very most important thing.

      I went the opposite way, when I saw a guy for a little while, some time after I went NC. I’m 47 and he was 60, older than anyone I had ever dated. He was good to me, but my heart wasn’t in it and he understood. My head is so screwed by X and my body still yearns only for his, and no other. Slavery is a great word for it. But NC has been very helpful in teasing apart that beloved body from all the relationship crime it committed.

      There is a guy at a local shop I frequent, who looks dead-on like X did in the first year of our relationship. That messes with my head and I am always bewildered when I see him. Then afterward, something kicks in and lets me know again, X was really bad. That other person is probably not bad. But now is definitely not the time for me to explore it.

      The sadness will ease up as you process more of your grief and disappointment and hurt, and slowly begin to absolutely love your own beautiful company. Keep examining and putting things away and crying when you need to. And the rest of us will keep listening and responding. I don’t think any of us are doomed to life alone or superficial. Good people will come along as we make room for them, in our own time. (((HUGS)))

        I know you’re right is many ways. It’s hard, it’s really is a journey to heal! It sucks!!! I pretty sure I’ll be better off waiting.(I say that but keep trying FAIL)..I can see glimmers of the new me coming out…..I’m a good guy and I was an awesome guy when I meet my wife 26 yrs ago…. Lost myself in all the lies of trusting her..

        Tuesday will come

        That was so well said and well done. I have been working on changing my brain chemistry through vigorous exercise to break the bonds of that slavery. Do you think I can? I HATE IT that I only want him. He was a lion in bed (ALL THAT EXPERIENCE…A MALE SLUT REALLY) and it was exciting. I hate to admit that.

        Is it just time I need?

        Lucky…I do not want to waste anymore time on this clown. I want to be free! What do you think? I don’t want to be a celibate nun for his lying cheating ass!

        Chris 1731…

        Well…I may be an internet beat down for this…but I have found that for men…it is really different. (Flinching from blows). I terms of finding someone. If you just put that photo of you up, you are going to get hundreds of responses on online dating.

        I don’t mean your heart healing different! I know that is the horrible part.

        But there are a lot of women out there looking for a decent and honorable man.

        Millions of them!

    • Im still in process of my divorce from a narc. The idea of dating again is the most overwhelming thing ever. My therapist explained how I am essentially going through a chemical addiction withdrawal from my Narc. Now the problem is going to be trying to find someone sane and normal who I can connect with, without feeling that crazy ‘high’ that you get from a narc relationship. It’s a lot to process! So I am going to focus on the whole healing thing and figure I will start to know when the time is right to try to get out there and meet new people…

      • You’ll know when the time is right. Fortunately, if you give it a whirl and it turns out the time is *not* quite right, you’ll know that, too!

        I have to say, for me, the first “normal, sane” experience — while very kind and full of calm positive chemistry — felt somewhat boring. Something big was missing, not just the familiarity or years of loving, but rather that edgy not-sure-what-to-expect-here feeling I always had with X. And that was how I recognized that the time *wasn’t* quite right yet, for me. Because that edgy uncertainty, for the last year of relationship, made me continuously physically sick. Who would want to repeat anything like that!

        I do make the most of new interpersonal situations; I’m friendly and pleasant and maybe even warm. But I don’t invite anything beyond the existing moment. That in itself feels pretty healing, freeing. This healing time is for you, however you want to work it, and however long you want and need to.

  • I’ve been in wreckonciliation for the last five years, and all that really means is that I’ve willfully ignored any and all obvious signs that my idiot husband hasn’t changed. Something happened the other day, something so small in light of all the other things I’ve turned a blind eye to for the last few years. I watched him delete a text. That’s all, and I’m sure he would have had an easy answer if questioned. But something inside me just snapped, and I took a long hard look at what our life is right now. He’s gone EVERY night till dawn. Every. Single. Night. When I get up to get the kids on the bus is when he’s arriving and heading to bed. We haven’t even really slept in the same bed in… ? Is this really the life I’ve traded for, simply to have the kids have both parents in the same house? Do I really want to live like this, paying all the bills, cleaning, cooking for him, and waving goodbye as he goes out night after night? He thinks I’m completely ignorant, when in reality I simply have a stranglehold on my self respect. I just discovered this site a few days ago and it’s been a HUGE eye opener. Although I can’t seem to figure out how to get into the daily forums…

    • Chumpiest–if you click on Forums in the top R corner, it should prompt you to start an account; a password will be sent to your email.

      And no, you don’t want to live like that much longer; you deserve better. Line up your financial ducks, a good lawyer, and kick his partying ass to the curb.

      • It won’t actually GIVE me the new password. It sends the email, and tells me to follow the link, but there’s no actual password in my email. I don’t know if it’s because I’m on my kindle? I don’t want to use the computer because I’m not especially tech savvy and I don’t want him to somehow find out I’ve been on this website. And you’re right. I have a rent free paycheck coming up this week. I’m going straight to a private detective to see what the hell he’s doing with all his nights. Wandering around Wal-Mart, yeah right. I’m about ninety percent sure it has more to do with that coworker he has “such great chemistry with!” Who the hell tells their wife that? Does he WANT me to drive myself crazy wondering?

        • …that coworker he has “such great chemistry with!”

          That pissed me off more than anything. Mind you don’t react or you’ll land the “histrionic jealousy” label.

          The coworker problems were THE WORST, and NEVER stopped. I’m torn between saying I hope you find him out, and, I hope there isn’t anything to that coworker. That he is just yanking your chain and being a dick.

          I don’t know why they do this, really, but actually yes, I’m pretty sure they do want us to drive ourselves crazy with wondering. So, good that you find out the truth, whatever it is, and I just said a prayer for you, for your heart’s protection. This is all such bullshit.

          • I really and truly hope they catch him with his pants down. We’ve been together fourteen years. After the first year came the rumors and explanations. And the proof, and more explanations. And the telling me I was insane and it was all in my head. Six years ago I finally had undeniable evidence and kicked him to the curb. Then took him back because he was making the whole separation thing so difficult for me and especially the kids. I’ve spent the last five years burying my head in the sand and telling myself that when the kids are just a little older I can try again. But the thing is, living with him, it’s a complete mindfuck. Because I love him. Every once in a while, I feel like maybe it’s all okay now. And then more rumors crop up, or some nineteen year old coworker bakes him a pumpkin cheesecake. Or like the last several months, when he doesn’t even attempt to spend any of his nights at home. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of knowing, but then every once in while fooling myself. The kids are older now. I finally have a job that makes it possible to live in a single parent household. Hell, I’ve paid almost all the bills here for forever. I just want to rip the bandaid off and take a good hard look at the reality I’ve known about for years. And then I want to sit down and have a calm conversation with him about what nights he gets to keep the kids, and let him know he’ll likely have to move back in with his mother, because even though he works five days a week he hasn’t the first clue of how to spend his money on actual bills.

    • Dear Chumpiest,

      You have one brief moment on this earth. That is all we get.

      Don’t eat any more of his shit sandwich.

      You should be eating a Monte Christo Sandwich, on a Parisian sidewalk, with a glass of sparking water, and the mild sun shining on your shoulders, as you debate whether to go to the Louvre and go shopping or go back to your 5 star hotel for a delicious nap.

      To quote U2: You are living underground, eating from a can, you’ve been running away from what you don’t understand.

      He is showing who he is….day after day. Those days are your life that you can never get back.

      I have a brutal male friend who said to me, when I was debating emailing the cheating meth maggot:

      “Your “relationship” is an obscene joke. I pity you that you think that is love. You are wasting more of this precious gift of life on someone who does not value you enough to treat you with basic decency.”

      Did that sting? Yes. But it stuck and it got my attention like none of the caudling from my well intentioned girlfriends. Much like this CL.

      You know you would not want any of your children to accept such shit treatment.