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Dear Chump Lady, I stay to protect my son from the Other Woman

askedforunicornDear Chump Lady,

I have followed your site for four years. I never thought I’d be here. When I married my husband I accepted that he was a lot of things, but was at least “true blue.” At the first appearance of the dirty whore, and after 17 years together with my husband, I categorized my cheater as a “better sort of cheater.” You know, the kind of guy who was lost and “in a fog.” Midlife crisis. Of course, I was completely traumatized. Stepped out in front of cars. Wanted to disappear. Lost tons of weight. Thought it was my fault. The usual.

Over 4 years later (started in March 2012 when our only child was in kindergarten), I’m still here. In this marriage. Pissed at myself for staying, but, at the same time, glad that I’ve kept my son away from the sociopath my husband’s fucking. She follows me. She’s shown up (and hung around) at my work. Her husband has followed me — they have an open relationship. She’s changed careers to be in the same line of work as me, which had given her access to our personal information. She’s changed her hair to look like me. I’ve memorized licence plate numbers to make sure I’m not being followed and have adopted an anxiety-inducing level of hypervigilance. I’ve only confided in two people in four years to try and save face. I’m trying very hard to stay strong and above it all for our son’s sake. It feels like it’s more about fucking with me than her being with my husband.

It’s just so low class and I am humiliated. Who does this??? Who treats people this way??? When is this okay??? Four plus years is long enough for me to spot the patterns. The “work” trips to coincide with the timing of our Las Vegas (guilt) vacations. The “coincidental” drive-bys when we are out as a family. She drives by (or tailgates us) on weekends. Sometimes with her son in the car. How do I stop this? How do I protect my son? I’ve asked my husband to tell me the truth. He won’t. He’s way in over his head with this woman. His life and family are at stake, but he won’t come clean. Looking for your awesome perspective. I realize he’s a fucking coward, but how do I hand my son over to his sociopathic side dish every other week? I feel like if I can just hold on another couple of years, my son will be better equipped to handle himself.

Yours truly,

Classierthanthatshit

Dear Classy,

From where I sit you’ve changed your spackle from “affair fog” and “midlife crisis” to grade A “I must stay for the children!” spackle.

Reality check — you are trading the THEORETICAL harm this whackadoodle OW might do every other weekend, with his father there, to the ACTUAL HARM this situation is doing to your son right NOW.

Do you want a fourth-grader to think this how men should treat women? Consider what four years of hypervigiliance and a living with a mom who wants to walk out in front of traffic is doing to your child. You’re kidding yourself if you think he cannot sense your anxiety or the marital tension.

I do not doubt that the OW is a total wingnut. I too would be totally unnerved by anyone who stalked me or tried to be my doppleganger. I believe you that she’s a whole chocolate-covered DSM nut cluster.

She’s also not the problem here.

Oh, I’m not absolving her from her Single White Female crimes, Classy. She sucks. But her antics have distracted you from the real problem — that you persist in staying with a man who continues to cheat on you and devalues you. Who will not answer your questions. Who thinks he can buy you off with Vegas weekends for cake.

So instead of really asking yourself if this relationship with a flagrantly cheating husband is acceptable to you, you minimize what he is doing. Oh, he’s in over his head. He’s a coward. NO — he is making DELIBERATE choices to HURT YOU. And he is putting what HE wants (fucking around) OVER your welfare. He doesn’t care if you want to walk into traffic so long as HE gets CAKE and zero consequences.

THAT is your problem.

That’s a scary, awful problem to have so we need more powerful spackle and that spackle is — I only stay to protect my child from Ms. Crazy.

No, you stay because you’re afraid to start over. Because you’re afraid of letting her “win.” Because you’re afraid to lose your identity as Family Person Married to Mr. Coward. A new life is unimaginable to you, but if you allow yourself to go there, it begins with — I’d never want to share my child with Ms. Crazy.

How about — I’d never want to spend one more minute with a man who abuses me.

Because that’s what you’re doing — you’re staying in an abusive situation For Your Child. That’s not healthy for you or your son. What would be far healthier is watching his mother say to his father: “I am not tolerating this shit. I am taking my child and will be raising him in PEACE. And I will parent MY values.”

If this man only wants his child every other weekend, how much influence do you really think he has? If you step out of the Pick Me Thunderdome, the OW has no one to compete with. The constant presence she has in your family life is now reduced to every other weekend MAYBE with Mr. Coward.

Now consider — this woman is married. Frankly, it doesn’t sounds like she’s in an open relationship. (Who told you that?) Because casual sex partners, IMO, don’t become obsessed with the wife. I’d tell her husband what’s up and see if he knows about the “open marriage.” She has a child of her own to raise. I doubt she’s going to want to lavish attention upon yours.

How do I stop this? How do I protect my son?

By divorcing this fuckwit you’re married to. You protect yourself with self respect, and you protect your son too. There are dozens of chumps here who have survived an affair partner in their children’s lives, and you will too. But I promise, the new cheater-free life is worth that occasional pain.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Let me say that my heart aches for you and the fear you must live with. I have not had to deal with a stalking OW. What I have had to deal with is a child caught in the middle of this crap. Is it hard? Yes. Does it suck? Yes. But let me assure you your child is seeing and sensing more than you realize. All that stress, all that tension. It shows. No matter how much you smile past it and pretend it’s not there. It shows. It might take you weeks, months, or years to collect your documentation but you need to take the first step to getting out of what is clearly an abusive situation. I never thought my kid knew until after the divorce when he would say little things about how much happier I was and how I didn’t seem so stressed out all the time. They see, they feel, and since they love you they internalize that stress and feel it too.

    Another thing you want to try to grasp is that your husband does not love you. If he did this would not be happening to you. You are making excuses for him and giving him a pass while you focus your anger on the OW. He knows you are in a dangerous situation and what has he done to end that? You may feel like he is in over his head, but if he expends almost no energy protecting you and his child then you need to consider that he may be enjoying this. Yes, I said it, there’s a good chance he is enjoying the pain being inflicted upon you, watching and enjoying all of it.

    One of the things we talk about here from time to time is escalation. They push your boundaries and when you don’t fight back or put your foot down they push again, little by little, inch by inch, until you find yourself here. Collect your documents and document the things husband and other woman have done and are doing. It’s time to start planning your exit, but for your sake, don’t tell him. Don’t let on. Go covert and keep it that way.

  • I have so been here. Please run safely to the nearest exit. And remember the difference between us and them; when we fall into the “pit” of life’s unfairness WE WILL CRAWL OUT and gain a life! Praying for you and sending hugs of support.

  • Get a restraining order and start filing for harassment now against her. You might be able to block her from seeing your kiddo. My ex (a wingnut) married his 4th (a winggiernuttier wingnut). She was hitting my kids. I filed an OP and the kids haven’t had to deal with her AT ALL for 2 years. They are reintegrating this year.

    It is SO worth it to leave him. And he WILL be an ass. Don’t show emotion. They are emotional vampires.

  • Documentation, yes. Is it possible for you today these behaviors on video and save them somewhere only you and a trusted friend or lawyer can access them? Is it possible for you to contact a lawyer on the down low? Is it possible to keep a written log (Date, time, factual description of incident)?

    Is it maybe possible to name your child in a protective order?

    Does the school/daycare know who is and is not allowed to pick up your child?

    You need options and a stable foundation. This is a horrendous situation. I am so sorry you are living it. It’s too much to bear, and if it breaks you, via illness or otherwise, your son will end up around her much more than once a week.

    It is terrifying, but you can do it, you just need some clarity on the steps. Maybe a lawyer can help?

  • Classy….first, you don’t need to live like this and neither does your son. You both deserve better.

    I would go see an attorney. He/she can advise you on your options as far as dealing with the crazy OW and the custody of your son. I’m guessing your attorney will advise you to document all of the craziness, and this would go a long way towards getting a restraining order against her in the future. After you separate, and if your husband insists on still hanging out with her (which he undoubted will), then you’ll have a great argument on your side for primary custody when he is taking your son around her in violation of the order.

    It’s sad that you have to deal with this, and it’s sad to realize that we actually married people who are capable of this.

  • When I was where you are now (minus the stalking from the OW), my ex told me: “it feels so good to be loved my two women”. Because that’s what it is all about for these fuckwits: centrality and a power trip. For you this is ABUSE. And it will take time for you to disentangle yourself from it. But in the end it will be worth all the while. Since my divorce I have been DOING a ton of things I was only DREAMING about while I was married. And I was a complete and total mess, but the moment I decided to invest the energy I was directing towards my ex and his whore and all the drama back into myself things began to change.

    Please, please take CL’s advice and remove yourself and your kiddo from the equation. There is no benefit for either of you two in staying in this sick situation. My kids see their dad and his whore every other weekend, and although I was scared in the beginning of how things would turn out, both of them seem to be fine. Whore is on her best behavior, buying them shit and cooking them crappy food, but even so they don’t like her very much. My oldest son (he is 10 years old) said that he thinks his dad will divorce whore lady (he called her by her real name, but please bare with me:)) as well. The children they don’t talk about her in my presence. And I don’t trash talk their father or his whore in front of them either. Because kids are smart and intuitive you see, and they have eyes and ears and sound judgement. Better than many adults I would say.

    Point is: you can make it without your cheater husband, there’s a legion of people on these website who did just that. And we are all here for you to support you in your quest back to freedom and a healthy life.

    I for one am cheering for you and hope you will find your way out of this nightmare.

    (((Hugs)))

    • I am out 3 years since I filed! 2 years since I moved out! And 1.5 years since the judge signed the papers! My ex and his mistress stalked me when he was going through the DISCARD phase! My ex and his Ho-worker stalked me and turned my life up side down! We were married 36 years and he was leaving me for her… He was trying to get me to hand him over our paid off home and all our marital assists (36 years and quite a golden egg packet for ho-worker)who has been divorced 2 times the age of 40! He came right out and demanded a divorce without lawyers…he told my son he was gonna move his Ho in with me in the house that we lived in! I was 55 and he was 56! He told me he would take care of me and send me money! Did not discuss his pensions or 401 k! Denied money that had been disappearing for years and he was always disrespectful and abusive…put act on in front of kids, family and neighbors! Always was a womanizer! He became very good at going underground ! When they discard and you see the wretched truth…the ugly vile sociopath that HATES you and your kids! Mine even stole my kids college money! I lived in the magic kingdom and when he came after me and I went to a lawyer … He was in the process of leaving me as a bag lady! They will steal everything….WAKE UP… Get out before it is too late…. I’ve never been happier…No Contact as they try to use you again if they can!

  • Dear Classy,

    You know what they say, “hindsight is 20-20”. My kids were in middle school when DDay #1 happened. I spackled like crazy and pick-me danced until my feet bled. I let my kids go on believing that their dad was “true blue” too. It was a huge mistake. Four years later, right before my daughter left for college, DDay #2 happened. It didn’t matter that my kids were adults. They were blindsided by their dad’s betrayal and my son who idolized his dad still hasn’t gotten over it and doesn’t believe he ever will. I wish so much that I had been honest with my kids (and myself) on that first DDay and told them their dad was being dishonest and dishonorable and I wasn’t going to tolerate that for myself or for them.

    I know it’s hard to see the right path when you’re in the middle of it but I hope you will chose an authentic life for your and your son and kick that cheating SOB to the curb. I have a feeling that the psycho your husband is banging will disappear when shit gets real and she can’t get her kicks trying to make you miserable. She’ll be off looking for another chump to torture.

    • Not only that, but other things may not be as good for the OW once the triangulation stops. My ex was helping to financially support the OW. He really didn’t make that much money, but the support worked fine and dandy when my income was included in it. Once I left, the support dried up. The OW disappeared. He may act like he’s a helpless coward. Who says that’s the truth? Maybe he’s doing things to keep the OW invested…

  • Classy, I “stayed for my child” too. And I do think it is a legitimate reason up to a point. Staying gave my child two parents, more financial resources, and no chaos associated with packing up and leaving every other weekend. BUT. The real reasons I stayed were the ones that CL spelled out. Change is scary. My identity as a wife and part of a nuclear family were precious to me and totally known and understood. Finances were good. But mostly, he MIGHT decide to stop, become the person I wanted him to be, the person I thought he was when I married him. Or, he MIGHT become all that after I left him and I would miss out on all that awesomeness. It was really hard for me to finally get that he was not going to change. He had no motivation to do so because he liked the way things were and he was/is psychologically fucked up and couldn’t change if he wanted to do so. And I repeat, he didn’t want to do so. The only person who can change and make your life better is YOU. So many of your fears and worries won’t happen. Some will, but you will be able to handle it all better than you think. Don’t give him any more of your precious life. And to truly protect your child, get him out of that toxic environment. Good luck and hugs from one limbo chump to another.

    • +2. Everything Dixie Chump said. I too had good reasons to stay for the children, but deep down what Dixie said is exactly was going on: “But mostly, he MIGHT decide to stop, become the person I wanted him to be, the person I thought he was when I married him. Or, he MIGHT become all that after I left him and I would miss out on all that awesomeness. It was really hard for me to finally get that he was not going to change.”

      I wish I’d left years ago. He told me after the final D-Day that he used to wish I’d take the kids and leave (who says that???). I could have relocated with the kids to be near my family, in a place I want to live, that’s cheaper than where I live now, and he wouldn’t have stopped me. But the only thing that changed is when we finally did separate, he decided to be Disney Dad. Now I’m stuck where I am, telling myself that at least they’ve got their dad in their life instead of dealing with the pain of abandonment. Shit sandwiches either way.

      Talk to a lawyer and get a restraining order on the crazy OW. Getting out of that situation is the only way to truly protect your child.

      • +3 And consider the burden you lay on your son when he will become an adult and his scared depressed mom appears to be that way because of him. It’s what made me leave, I could not burden a soon to be man with the thought that because of him, I did not choose for myself

  • Classy

    “It feels like it’s more about fucking with me than her being with my husband.”

    Your husband set this up Classy. Indeed he enjoys your pain, knows your vulnerabilities and uses them to control YOU.

    “No, you stay because you’re afraid to start over. Because you’re afraid of letting her “win.” Because you’re afraid to lose your identity as Family Person Married to Mr. Coward. A new life is unimaginable to you, but if you allow yourself to go there, it begins with — I’d never want to share my child with Ms. Crazy.”

    Fear kept me stuck raising my children with a serial cheater for 36 years. My biggest fear was losing control over the way I wanted to raise them. I didn’t want my children with a string of classless whores.

    I found out later that my children WISHED I got a divorce as there was always chaos. He was always smiling as I spackled. They thought it was me because of the stress and anxiety I lived with daily. As adults they know the truth.

    Get yourself and child out of that situation. This is how you protect your child. Time spent with a sane parent is healthier than living in chaos daily.

    Don’t tell him. Consult with a lawyer, hire someone to prove they are stalking you. The sociopath is your husband. For years I believed he was incapable of orchestrating such evil until I realized HE was the puppet master. It’s common to focus on the OW. You have a master manipulator, your husband. Do NOT believe anything he says. Make a plan and share nothing with him. Get credit reports and look at all finances. Gather doccuments and withdraw savings before you file.

  • Dear Classy – I stayed for eight years post D-Day #1… for my son and my stepchildren… and guess what… HE LEFT ANYWAY!

    You are forgetting, whilst in your fog, that at any minute he could walk out to be with Ms. Crazy. He could be stacking away cash that you don’t know about. He could be planning to file divorce on you. (Not trying to increase your paranoia – but you don’t have control over other people… not your Cheater and certainly not the Stalker.)

    If you want to be there for your son. See an attorney. Start your own bank account. Close credit cards that are in both your names. Discuss filing a restraining order, changing the locks and kicking out your Ex with an attorney. Get a plan.

    The life you are living is no life. And, by staying, you’re raising a boy who will grow into a man thinking it is ok to treat woman the way his Dad is treating you.

    And, no more walking into traffic young lady – your son needs you.

    Now put your crown back on, dust off those fabulous high heels, and march yourself to an attorney today. YOU’VE GOT THIS. You have to – your son deserves better and so do you.

  • Cheaters are cowards, at least in the case of my ex. They don’t want to step up and divorce their spouse that they claim to be unhappy with and they don’t want to ‘break up’ with the AP or stop cheating.

    When I discovered the cheating, I thought there was only one OW. When I confronted him, I remember him saying ‘it was close to being over with her anyway’ but I was so consumed with grief that the stupidity of that statement (what does that matter) and what it meant (more than one) didn’t register with me. When I found out later that he was a serial cheater, I found that he was connected to some of the local APs on social media. He and I weren’t connected on these sites because he always said that he set them up but couldn’t remember his password. I asked him to remove them and his response was ‘but they’ll know I did and it will hurt their feelings’. What a coward – he was more interested in hurting them than me.

    Classy, I think your situation is similar. Your husband is enjoying the attention from you and the OW. He doesn’t care that it hurts you because all he can think about is him. He’s not going to step up and do the right thing because he is a coward. A lying, cheating coward. And he won’t change – you’ve given him 4 additional years of your life to change and he hasn’t. The change has to come from you. Find strength within you to step up for yourself and your son. Like others here have said, consult an attorney ASAP. There is likely a way to keep the crazy OW away from your son (and you) when you seperate/divorce your husband. Let her have your husband – they deserve each other. Doesn’t sound like he’s much of a prize anyway.

  • Classy~
    I did not even read Chump Lady’s entire response to you because I needed to step up and say……..”You need to distance yourself from the crazy. Stop being part of this triangle. You CANNOT be the mother you should be and want to be for your son if you are constantly looking over your shoulder.” I know this because I lived this. Trust me, you AND your son will be far better off without the sperm donor. And as for the side dish fuck, she will be kept in line by dear ole dad. If she can’t control herself you document her wingnut behavior and go to court to keep her away while your son is with his dad.

    You can do this!!!! It is the right thing and the only thing to do at this point.

  • Went through these emotions with the crazy fuckwit my STBX was involved with. Then I spoke to his wife…. he was barely interested in his own kids, so can’t imagine he has any interest in building a bond with mine (especially the pre-teen, who will resent the shit out of him). Serial and long term cheaters (especially narcs) only give a shit about themselves. Spending time with you kid will only serve their image maintenance and they will tire of it very quickly. Not nice for your kids and a dickhead will come in and out of their life quite quickly, but not the disaster we all imagine and certainly better than staying with the dickhead you are already with…..

  • Sometimes if we stay for the kids they end up becoming either a doormat or a narcissist. For me it was easy-I followed cl’s advice and got out. I refuse to show my kids that cheating is acceptable. My teens are still adjusting to the two households. Their dad is manipulating them with his sad sausage mindfuck nonsense. I just stay nc and tell me kids that he is not my friend. I’m modeling behavior that does not accept abuse in any form. I always say that “children learn what they live”. My son has days where he talks to me like his abusive father talked to me -and I call him on it everytime. I tell him that kind of disrespect will never be acceptable to me. I pray that he gets it and doesn’t turn out like his father.

    • same here, strong woman. Like you, I got out because cheating and abuse is not acceptable to me. My daughter, although college age now, doesn’t like doesn’t like going between two households. When she actually says it, I remind her that her dad and I are divorced so we’ll never be in the same house again. She lives with me when she’s not at school and sees him once or twice a week but rarely spends the night with him. Recently when she complained, I suggested that she stay at her dad’s (a week, month, whatever) without coming over to see me. She absolutely refused – ha! that says volumes. He plays the sad sausage with her too and she falls for it. It just re-enforces that these fuckwits never change.

  • I stayed 10 years too long.

    And these guys enjoy your pain and suffering. I truly believe that mine felt I deserved it!

    As a result I hit rock bottom and started all over in a strange city with no friends and family, no income ( we had tranfered for his career ) and a bat shit crazy MOW who dressed like me, tried to parent my kids and wormed her way into all aspects of our lives anyway.

    As hard as it was to start over with nothing, it was worth it for the peace of mind. And my kids have a much happier Mother now 4 years later!!!

  • I get it. I really do. I hung in for eight months while my XW carried on her affair in my face. Enjoying all the perks of a husband and family and a boyfriend/single life on the side was working wonderfully for her and I’m sure if I hadn’t divorced her it would still be going on.

    Except I was dying inside. And that meant I was no good as a dad to my kids, then five and eight. But like you, there was no way I was going to share my kids with another man for half their childhood! It was a brutal dilemma. Finally my will to survive, as well as my dignity, tipped the scales and I divorced her. And yup, once XW realized I was going through with the divorce, she moved our kids in with the AP a few weeks after introducing them–a few months before divorce was finalized.

    And yes, it was horrible. All hell broke loose: my kids flipped out. Emotional chaos. I won’t go into the awful details. And yes it was hell “sharing” them with the man who played a role in the destruction of my family. Three years later it’s still hard.

    But: it’s gotten better. And I have gotten better. I am a better dad–the best I’ve ever been–now that I have my dignity back. My kids dislike the AP and he dislikes them. My XW is unhappy and misses me but is marrying the AP. Whatever. I’m almost at “meh.” My kids love me so much. Half of their time is with me in our little home and we are so very close. I do my dating on my own time when they are not here and I plan to keep it that way for a while. My kids have adjusted to the back-and-forth.

    I no longer feel like I am dying. I am free. Yes, it’s been so hard. But I got through it and my kids got through it. If I had not acted out of fear I would still be dying and my XW would still be happily abusing me and our children. My point is, you really have to choices. As the sage said, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” I’m not being blasé. It was sheer hell: the divorce, the non-existent “coparenting,” the pain of my children. But I did it. You hear me? I fucking did it. And you can too. You really can. Now do it.

    See you on the other side, when you can look back at your dying self in the past, shake your head at your then-deluded, fearful self, smile, and return to your good life with your beloved children.

    • Well said, David. I had a very similar situation to yours. One of the best things I did was get divorced as soon as possible. I actually think it was better that it happened when my kids were very young (8, 5, and 3). I didn’t put them through the trauma of watching us try to keep it together in an obviously unhealthy marriage. They didn’t watch me spackle or do the pick-me dance. They learned what their father did in an age-appropriate way and saw my response– I left the abuse and showed them that they should never tolerate that abuse either. I can’t imagine where we’d be right now if I had tried to stay with ex-cheater. One thing is for certain– my ex never would have changed and would have continued abusing me with his cheating.

      Classy, you will never gain a life until you leave that man. It isn’t easy, but it’s far happier than the alternative.

      • Moving on, you are mighty!!! Good for you, you are such a role model for your children. And your Ex didn’t stand a chance against you.

    • And another thing: while I still believe my XW would not have divorced me (for one thing, she sobbed at the fact that I did–moved in with the OM weeks after one of her absurd sobbing phone calls, the lying loon!), the possibility that she would be the one to file weighed heavily on me. It would be the final indignity. So it was very important that I be the one to file. I knew that—relevant or not, logical or not–it would be something I could take comfort in for the rest of my life: I divorced her; she did not divorce me. I will always and forever be “the petitioner.” I’m sure many here can relate. In any case, if this can help give you an extra push, I hope it does.

      • David, mine too. He was crying that he didn’t was a divorce but had no plans of moving back in with me AND HIS MOM (who I allowed to live rent free in the huge home I paid for) or dumping slut puppet with whom he was shacking up in some friends spare bedroom (45 years old or 21?). No, he wanted me to keep housing his mom, paying for the car he drove, insurance and financing his life with his slut. I am so happy I was the one to file because people know I divorced him. It was hard to do but I did it. Now, finally, I am divorced and as of two weeks ago, got the car back, his mom and his stuff out of the house (that was a battle of wills which I won). Now I am throwing a party and all of “his” former friends are coming. They are so sick of his crap.
        I understand the excuses and the gaslighting of yourself into believing you need to stay because of x. That is why I called myself hopiumrecovery. Hopium is a powerful drug and getting off of it is long and painful. You can do this and will be happier for it. You will no longer feel like the joy has been sucked out of your life.

        • Hopeium I wondered how u were doing! I remember his mom was insufferable as well! Glad you finally got yer out! Can’t believe he expected you not to divorce him.

        • Before XH moved out, he asked me if I would buy him a car and a phone, as I would be claiming both the car and phone we shared post D-Day. I told him I only had enough money to pay for a divorce and certainly would not be buying him a car and a phone to contact OW. I told him that his mother would probably buy him a car since he was moving in with her after D-Day, not with OW. He stuck his tongue out at me and said, “I’m getting my own car.” I said, “Then you can mess up the seat all you want and don’t have to worry about me saying anything about it.” (D-Day was precipitated by a new car seat messed up by sex.) His mother did not buy him the car that he was hoping for so he had no means to continue his affair with OW.

          He asked me post-divorce if I would buy him a truck. I thought, why a truck if beggars can’t be choosy? Why not a car if cars are typically cheater than trucks? He didn’t even have a job – what would he be hauling? Then it dawned on me why he wanted a truck. We had an old beat-up 20 year-old truck which was on its last legs prior to us trading it in for the new car we bought (the one he messed up having sex with OW when I was working). It dawned on me that he had been having the affair with OW prior to the purchase of the new car and most likely had sex with her in the bed of the truck and wanted me to buy him a truck so he could swoop in and pick her up at the big-box store where she works and take her somewhere in the boondocks so they could re-create the experience.

          When I nixed the request for the truck, he asked me then if he could borrow my car sometime so he could run errands for his mother. I said “no.” At a later date, he then asked if he could borrow my car sometime to take his mother for a ride. I said, “You messed up that car with another woman and caused our divorce and you think I’m going to let you drive that car? You just want to go see her. You’ll never use that car to see her again.”

      • David-

        That’s exactly how I feel. Being the defendant if Fuck Face ever did condescend to divorce me would have been one more indignity I could not suffer. I do struggle with the pain of knowing that the Slut could one day be around my little girls. More indignity and fear. What a great influence for them, as if this all isn’t bad enough.

    • David, I am in the thick of this right now. Just filed, trying to figure out how to share my kids with the AP and trying to stop the dying inside of me.

      Your post is nothing short of inspirational; thank you! I appreciate your confidence in me, and look forward to meeting you on the other side!

      • hopskipandchump: you’re welcome!

        There really is no “figuring out.” If you try, you’ll drive yourself crazy. The problem is we try to apply logic and tactics to an illogical, awful situation and they fall flat. The real challenge and only approach that works is to grit your teeth when the kids leave for the X and AP’s, accept you have no control over it, and keep busy while they are away. It’s not easy: it took almost two years for me to not feel panic and helpless rage when they were there. My son calling crying to be picked up because he “hates it” there made it hell. But they have adjusted. Time does its thing, even in such a painful situation as this. My XW and AP continue to badmouth me to the kids, tell them the details of our divorce settlement agreement (“I pay your dad every month”), and I just ignore. It’s a learned skill, no doubt. I know they love me. When they say “Mom and AP say blah blah about you” I simply say, “Well, AP doesn’t know me. You know me. And Mom can say what she wants. Do you believe them?” They say “No.” I say, “Ok, then.” And we hug. I can see the relief on their faces that I do not badmouth their Mom back and that I am not distressed. And we go on with our lives. They know I’m a good dad and that’s all that matters.

        You’ll get through it. I’m nothing special. I just acted (most of the time) with my head and not with my emotions, had faith in time, and slogged through it. You will too:-)

        • You say you are nothing special, David, but you are – and don’t forget it! I understand what you’re saying, though. We slog through, because there is no other way. Thanks for taking the time to jot down your advice for all of us to read; it really helps. Really! It’s special. 🙂

  • Classy, you say you have told only two people in order to “save face,” but all that means is you have a facade instead of a life that is whole, happy, and full of integrity. Do you really think the OW who is stalking you is keeping quiet about her affair? That seems unlikely. Chances are, over a 4-year period, your H and the OW have been seen together in places where they should not be. So to some degree, you have stuck your head in the sand and refused to look at the situation. It’s also possible that your child has seen or heard things about the affair; if he hasn’t figured it out, he will. I know. My parents had a marriage like yours and eventually I heard gossip. It was painful. And keeping it secret was corrosive to me and ultimately to the whole family.

    People stay with cheaters and alcoholics and other abusers for all kinds of reasons. But keeping up the facade costs you more than you are currently aware of, and if he eventually decides to leave you, you will be older, less resilient, and have fewer years to regain your happy life. Meanwhile, you are either having sex with a cheater (and thus exposed to everything he and his open-marriage OW hook up with) or you are going without. How is any of this good for you? Right for you? The life you want for yourself? For your child?

    Your H is a familiar type to me. He prefers his APs married, so they each have 2 delicious triangles going on. H, you and OW. H, OW, and herH. Nobody gets real intimacy but your H and OW get cake! And triangulation kibbles! And to keep their paychecks and kids! You get stalked, you get to live a lie, you get exposed to STDs or a sexless marriage. He chose the affair. You chose to let him keep the affair without consequences.

    You’ve already decided one thing. You want your life to be “classier than that shit.” Why not start envisioning a classy life? A nice home you can afford on your own. A healthy environment for you son. A chance to live a life where what you say and do are in alignment, a life where you live out your values every day rather than hide behind a nest of lies. A cheater-free life. A life without a triangle with another woman. Break out and tell your family, your friends, the plumber, your hairdresser. I told everyone who crossed my path about Jackass and I’m glad I did.

    • I agree with LAJ. It was only after I started telling people bits of truth and confiding more and more details that’s realized I was the crazy one for staying and dealing with the crazier one. I was protecting him while he was amusing me! Please find someone you can trust and will hit you with a metaphorical 2×4 about the realities of your life. Or just post on here. We are good at that.

  • Dear Classierthanthatshit–please take CL’s advice. So many of the things in your letter are worrying. And I am so sorry that you’ve been suffering through this nightmare for four years.

    One of the most alarming details for me is that fact that you’ve only confided in two people in four years. I completely understand why not. I remained quiet about my own situation for years as well. But it is almost impossible to find help when you don’t tell people you need it. Please look for a lawyer and a therapist. You need these professionals to help you understand your options. Don’t tell your spouse you are seeing these people. Keep your appointments secret.

    It will be hard on your child when you leave. But it won’t be easier when your child is older. The kinds of stress and pain might vary depending on a child’s age, but a person who is horrible and manipulative to a 6-yr-old will be equally capable of being horrible and manipulative to a 10 or 12-year-old. All you can do is be the sane parent–regardless of your child’s age.

    Wishing a better future.

    • Classy, I don’t have children so I can only try to imagine this part of your dilemma. I would hate that crazy skank to come near my child too. Reading other chumps posts, it seems that every one copes eventually. What worries me is that you have been keeping this situation secret. Sounds to me like you are ashamed of being abused. Don’t be. Talk to a lawyer, maybe get a PI to document what the sociopath sadist OW is doing, then get a protection order against her and divorce your abuser. This situation is killing you. You must save yourself to save your son. Change your will so your estate is administered by your family or your lawyer until your son is 18, just in case something happens to you before you are divorced. Don’t trust your abuser to have your son’s best interest at heart. I am sorry you are being tormented like this. End it and be the winner.

  • The OW tried this with me too. I confronted her and threatened to tell her boyfriend what she was doing. I threatened to take her to court and take any money she had (not much) for breaking up my marriage. You can do that in the state I live in. She has a history of going after married men. I, also, called the police on my husband and told them what was going on and had him removed from my home. The OW ran for the hills. Get a restraining order on both of them. They are in cohots and abusing you. Show them who is boss.

  • “Enjoying all the perks of a husband and family and a boyfriend/single life on the side was working wonderfully for her and I’m sure if I hadn’t divorced her it would still be going on.”

    This was the life I led and it did work wonderfully for him. It went on for my entire marriage. My therapist said if I stayed through the last discard it would have killed me. He pointed out that each time the level of abuse and cruelty increased. It took me over a year to believe every action, every lie, and sadistic statement he effortlessly delivered was purposeful and meant to maim.

    I’m finally living. Say yes to living Classy!

    • I think one of the hardest truths for chumps to realize is that the person they love did not just “make a mistake” but deliberately made decisions to hurt, belittle, shame, guilt, blame and destroy us and then walk away with little care for the path of destruction they’ve left behind. That truth of that became clear to me the day he came right out and asked me if I would be okay to just go along the way things were, staying married, me taking care of our daughter and him doing whatever the hell he felt like doing, which of course did not include staying faithful to our marriage. He really believed that I would find that arrangement appealing because it meant our marriage/family would remain intact. It made me see how disordered he really is.

  • Children learn most by modeling. Model self-respect–leave. Your son does not benefit from a hyper-vigilant mother, nor one who has to attend to danger and spackling over him. I am a much better mother away from a cheating, emotionally abusive jackass than I ever was with him. You will be, too.

    Line up your financials and see a lawyer. Then get the life you deserve. Huge hugs to you; this is painful.

  • It seems to me there are two open marriages happening, Yours and the OW’s. Her husband is okay with his wife tailing you and your husband and you are just as okay staying in this hideous arrangement. Please walk away for you and your child’s sake. Nothing good is coming from this. Get a TRO against her and let your husband fight you for custody. By the time everything is said and done your son will be older and the madness on its way out of your life.

  • Classy, I am so sorry. I do agree that you should get out, but I also think there are many things you have to put in place for yourself and your son first.
    I was one who did not leave. I was pathetic, so afraid of being a single mother and so afraid of having my kids be in a broken home. If only I had done things differently. My ex left me, and had already started the smear campaign. “She’s crazy, she’s bipolar, she’s cold as ice, I never loved her, I only stayed for the kids, I only married her because she was pregnant…” you get the picture. He’d been telling people this for years. And I was clueless and blindsided by his infidelity. I was married for 14 years and had three children.
    Do everything in your power to get full custody. Beg, borrow, and steal if you have to to get a killer attorney to fight this man, and get full custody. Your OW sounds a lot like the one I deal with, who is now the OWife, stalks me online, cyber bullies me endlessly, and so far I have lost 2 of my 3 kids to Parental Alienation. I was so stupid, I shared custody. Believe me when I tell you, young minds have a hard time seeing their “bad” parent for what he is, because sociopathic minds are extremely skilled at manipulating them. You can not control your husband, you can not control the OW, but you can fight like hell to make sure you have as much control of your son’s life as possible. Do that, get full custody.
    My life is happy now, I have wonderful husband, live in another state and my youngest son is with us. I am grateful. But being without 2 of my own children, having them hate me and refuse to speak to me, is very painful. I don’t wish that on anyone. If I had left, and arranged things right, things would have been different. Get your ducks in a row, set yourself up, get a support system behind you, hire an excellent attorney. Take all that dedication you have to your son that keeps you enduring this torture, and use it to fight like hell for him. I’ll be praying for you…xo

    • “My ex left me,”

      That’s the thing, the cheater ends up leaving anyway!! so what’s the point of trying to twist yourself in a pretzel to keep a sham marriage together, when the end result is for the cheater to bail on you. Then what the innocent spouse does is live with huge and incredible remorse they didn’t leave sooner and why they tolerated the cheater’s shitty behavior. The damage that is caused to the innocent spouse is exponentially worse if they stay, and how is this in any way being a better parent for a helpless child? When you’re so damaged from the abuse and abandoned, does that make you better parent, because in the end, the cheater will leave you out in the cold.

  • Your child is going to be 10 years old pretty soon. And in just a few years he will not care which parent he’s with because his focus will be on his friends. In the meantime you have given up a life for what? Your husband has left you. He really is gone. You have to understand he loves the crazy. The crazy woman, the crazy life, the crazy wife and all the crazy stuff that goes on all the time. It is his meat and potatoes. It is his life. It is not your life, it is his. Take your life back. Take it back. These two people are so disordered that if you put them in an office with a psychiatrist it would probably take days to figure out just who is the craziest. You are keeping your child in the middle of that. And he really is in the middle. You cannot hide the pain and agony you are in whether you think you can or not.
    Go have a long talk with her husband. If he is truly open in his marriage then there is nothing you can do. That serenity prayer really does work. This is when you need to accept that you cannot change other people you can only change yourself and your place of living. Leave. She wants him and your life. If they get together they are going to be so much fun, she says sarcastically. Two disordered people should be viewed from the opposite end of a telescope.
    Your husband is LETTING her do this. HE IS LETTING HER DO THIS TO YOU! He is letting her do this. He is enjoying this. He is letting her drive you crazy.

  • Classy,

    Everyone here is correct. Your cheater has no concern for you, your son, your physical safety or your emotional state of mind.

    I had to deal with a brief stint with OW #2 who ended up being bat shit crazy after STBX dumped her. I was pretty sure she was going to show up at my house one day, even though we had separated by that point, and pull some crazy Amy Fisher-style shit on me.

    You’re the sane, mature parent here. Take care of yourself and your child and don’t worry about what or who your fuckwit is doing. Your peace of mind and your son will thank you.

    Your cheater could walk out on you at any point and wouldn’t you rather take out the garbage yourself than have it dumped unceremoniously in your lap?

    All these cheaters have something in common. They know, deep down, that their chump is stronger than they are. It’s why they work so hard to maintain cake and react so abusively when they realize they are losing it.

    It’s tough to be alone. It’s difficult to give up on a future you thought you had with someone and try to start over. I sometimes still have trouble thinking past today and my future without the man I thought I was going to grow old with. But I have a child too. And it’s because of her that I eventually picked myself up and slogged through the pile of muck he left behind. Our children are young, but they still understand and appreciate who the stable, loving parents are. That is, you and me. Someday my ex will have to try to explain to our child why he thought his happiness was more important than hers. You and I will never have to prove that we love our children and that we put their happiness ahead of some stranger, an interloper of their family. Be strong. Be proud. Be cheater-free.

  • I have a feeling the OW husband does not realize everything that is going on with this situation. Is he going to allow your husband to move in with them once you kick him out? A nice little threesome? Two guys sharing one woman? You have the upper hand in this scenerio. This is going to explode in the OW and your husband’s face once you start getting control over the situation.

  • Throw his dumb ass out so he can deal with this whack job bitch 24/7. LOL. He no doubt knows she is nuts. Pretty sure he will scramble to stay in the marriage till the next crazy bitch offers up her nasty skank whoring vagina… Unless your classy self refuses to accept the abuse and disrespect your husband serves up. He isn’t worthy. Just take a look at his stupid whore and you will see what he is worthy of. Makes me sick the asshole has you fighting for him (essentially). Step out of the triangle first, let the chips fall where they may. Oh, by the way the fuckers lie. Don’t believe a word he says. Your husband is the threat here, now, and in the future. Your anger needs to shift in his direction. Just my humble opinion?

  • File a restraining order against the crazy bitch. Divorce your husband. You are probably the only thing holding their “relationship” together anyway. She enjoys having him cause she thinks you want him. But the imoortant thing is that the only people who have the right to be in any child’s life is his parents. Not HurlFriends. And the cheating parent is negotiable, too. Screw these losers.

    • I know! It’s funny how once the innocent spouse removes herself/himself from the equation, how the cheater’s courtship with the AP just falls apart, and they turn on each other real quick.

  • Classy, my ex tried the staying together for the sake of the kids bull too. It doesn’t work when one person is cheating. And everyone here is right, no matter how young they are, kids are smart little rats who pick up on your every emotion. Mine used to feel what I couldn’t express and sometimes I would just feel a small pair of arms wrap around me. When I asked them the reason for the hug, they would tell me that they thought I needed it. They were 4 and 6.

    My pick me dance lasted 5 months after which I confirmed that his affair never ended and in a rage kicked his ass out in the middle of the night….in January…in New York City. My divorce was made final last month and although I am picking up the pieces and starting over, it’s better than it was when he was there. Don’t short change your son that raising your son alone means he is from a broken home, I call my home a single parent home, there is nothing broken about it. My children needed one sane parent, and that’s what they have. Also, please remember this is an abusive situation. You husband is probably getting off on your pain. Also, what are you teaching your son, that this is an acceptable way to treat a woman?

    I know this is tough, but except for the loony toon ow, a lot of us have been in your shoes. Lawyer up and protect yourself and your son. Push for sole custody. And get a restraining order against the tramp. You will be ok!

  • Everyone here has given such good advice, I don’t have much to add. I can say that I saw my ex’s attraction to his coworker for years but kept thinking that since she was married and much younger than him, it was just a student crush on her professor. I stayed in our relationship to keep our family together and to provide my kids a stable home. My husband left me after our first child got married, after giving a beautiful, eloquent speech at the rehearsal dinner about the tradition of long marriages on both sides of our family. Later, I found out all my suspicions were true and I should have trusted my gut all along. However, the OW wasn’t stalking me so I can’t imagine the stress that must put you in. Your child will notice your anxiety and will pick up on your unhappiness, and your husband will most likely walk out on you anyway. This is no way to live. In fact, as you say, it’s killing you. It almost killed me too.

  • I’m sure he has told the OW that you are crazy and unstable, blah, blah, blah. Show them how right he is! I did. Let’s just say that they don’t play with me anymore. 🙂

  • If anyone would, I know how quickly and insidiously things can degenerate in a marital relationship—the ‘I’d never accept that’s,’ the ‘that’d never ever be okays’ falling one by one as Chumpy Me descended further and further into the darkness and crazy-making of my exhole and his now wife. When all blew up, my daughter even told me that
    SHE FELT GUILTY because she brought the two Schmoopies, her Dad and OW together by babysitting the OW’s daughters, (now her truly, not to be mean, but truly ugly stepsisters–I mean it, only a Mother could love these kids’ looks, and from behavior it doesn’t seem their own Mother does)
    Turns out, my so called friend was more distressed on hearing of this relationship than I was!!!!reason being, she’d been doing my ex for years and years and I literally had. no. clue. We vacationed together, celebrated holidays together, you name it, I was clueless. Or didn’t want to see.
    Get out! Get out! Before your child is a teen and while you still have some say in custody issues. Because if you are already being painted with a broad brush as ‘crazy’ and whatever else, your ex and his new wifey will gleefully work the family courts to obtain his custody—and no one will believe you when you say that he was a lying cheating SOB all along, all they’ll believe is the bad said about you. And that includes paid so called objective evaluators. I lost my only daughter to alienation for many years.
    She is now a young and very confused and guilty adult. The Father’s Day photos from ex show him and the wifey in their backyard, but gee, no kiddos? Well, mine and my new stepdaughters were with me, and hers were with their Father and had no desire to celebrate their so-called Daddy. I wouldn’t know that if my own daughter hadn’t shown me—after years of alienation we are now cautiously reconciling.
    PI’s, even financial PI’s are surprisingly not that expensive and worth every penny. Lawyer up, grab the evidence and get out while you can. I wish I had done it when my daughter was an infant and we moved to godforsaken nowhere for the sake of my ex’s academic job that he was so publicly fired from years later due to his multiple indiscretions with howorkers who reported to him. Or the subsequent job he somehow got that thankfully paid our daughter’s undergraduate tuition, albeit at a C- rate school, where he was fired once again–SSDD, while oh so happily married to the OW.
    Please, get your ducks in a row and save yourself and your child. I only wish I’d done so earlier.

  • Many others have already said why staying for your kids is really not in their best interest, so I’m just going to add a few other points:
    1. You have given your cheating husband years to manipulate and hide finances. That scares me, and it should scare you.
    2. You cannot control anyone else’s actions, not your husband, not the bunny-boiler OW. You can only control what YOU choose to do.
    3. If you toss your husband out on his ass and start divorce proceedings, it is highly likely your problem with the OW will be over, because it is highly likely their affair will end. If this has been going on years, then it’s clear that the excitement of the cheating, the drama and the illicitness of it all is what fuels the affair. Cut your husband loose, and all of that comes to a screeching halt.
    4. I understand wanting to protect your child from a nutjob, believe me. But it is up to your husband to protect his kids from the OW, in the unlikely event they stay together (if they don’t, there will be someone else, you can count on that.) All you can do is be the healthy, normal, DECENT parent. They will catch on to what their father is eventually, although it might not be until they are adults themselves (it took me that long to understand that my bio father was a cheater and a horrible person.)
    5. Document everything this crazy OW does. Take pictures. Keep a spreadsheet. Write it all down. And please, get into therapy and tell more than two other people what’s going on. You need support and a pitbull attorney.

  • Hey Classy,

    A lot of good advice here! I second that modelling for your kiddo is more important than trying to protect them from something you can’t protect them from.

    I am taking a clue from your name, Classy. My parents stayed together and spackled because WASPs where I lived just didn’t DO divorce-they were classy people, after all. Fucked me up to a fare-thee-well, up to and including my own toughing it out with a socipath for the Kiddo. Turns out, it was ClassiER to go grey rock, and then No Contact, and draw those boundaries. If all you stand to lose is the IMAGINARY life you think you have had with your cheater, it becomes a no-brainer. It hurts, it is not easy when you likely have c-PTSD, but it is the ONLY way your kid stands a chance.

    We get it. No, you do NOT want your kid near a woman who fucks married men, much less a stalker. Her being around is your husband’s choice, and as all Chumps here are saying, a divorce would likely mean ‘every other weekend’. Yep, you will freak out knowing your kid is in the OW space, but divorce makes provision for the kids, and that is a much stronger position to advocate for your child from than continuing to live with your ex-which is condoning a pretty crap situation. It also means that you can keep OW at arm’s length. Document, document, document.

    Easier said than done, but this is the truth-put down the hopium pipe, hon….

    Oh, and by the way-staying with your husband is actually HELPING this crackpot OW get off on fucking your husband. That is NOT. Classy. Make her HIS problem. It is what he chose, after all.

    hugs,
    Meh

  • There is such wisdom and support here, Classy – remember you can do hard things and we have your back. This community is incredible.
    I also just want to add that “chocolate-covered DSM nut cluster” is my new CL favorite description. 🙂

  • So many things to say. I stayed nine years while he continued to cheat with the OW and I danced, “Pick me! Pick me!”. My son is grown and out of the house, but I didn’t want him to know. I didn’t want him to lose his father, who obviously didn’t give much of a shit about his own son. What I got- misery, heartbreak, a shitty divorce where he ran away and didn’t pay anything- and he finally left anyway. When my son first found out a few years ago, he said please don’t talk to dad anymore, it hurts me when you talk to dad. But I didn’t listen and I stayed to the bitter end. Now the divorce is done, I have my house, I have my job, I have my friends and family. But most of all, I have my son’s respect. He says he is proud of me. I stood on my own. I finally stood up and stopped listening to lies and excuses and blame. I stopped taking crap. I was no longer being punched in the gut (emotionally) and fighting to get him from this other woman, who did finally “win” him. So she won. They won. But I am strong. I have walked through fire. And my son is proud of me. Don’t take any more shit. I am sure your son senses that something is not right. Show him what it means to be strong and to have values and to value yourself. I promise, you will be okay. You will be better for yourself and a better, happier mom. Remember, your husband invited this wack job into your marriage. She is an absolute piece of garbage but so is he. You are so much better than them. You hold your head up and leave them to drive each other crazy.

  • There is this Japanese saying (Not a great translation). Now that my barn has burnt down, I can better see the moon. I have this on the wall above my desk. Let your barn burn down so that you can better see the moon. It’s there but you can’t see it yet.

    • I used to have a lovely card with that saying and lovely abstract illustration; I kept it on my office door and it brought me comfort for a long time.

  • Okay Classy:
    I am stopping work to write you.

    Read all the advice, and especially focus on CL’s point about YOU snapping out it and allowing yourself to be treated like gutter trash. YOU know your husband could end this harassment in a second. But he won’t. He does not care. I know that stings, but it is true.

    But, you need help. You need to hire a private investigator and sic him on this OW and your subhuman husband.

    PI(s) are a different type of person. A cop will yawn and brush you off. A lawyer will not believe you, or will think, Wow! that’s fucked up and wonder when you will pay their retainer.

    But, if you go into your family lawyer WITH YOUR PI and a dossier full of evidence detailing this stalking and insane behavior, you are going to hit it out of the park. Crazy Woman will not be able to get a visit with the pigeons at the park

    PIs have gotten people cleared for murder. They have this certain…..bulldog determination coupled with a freakish intuition about things. Most get off on helping people who are being fucked with…they are like modern Sherlocks. Of course, you need the right one. Some females are terrifyingly awesome. Ones that have been chumped? Look out. She will make mince meat of this bitch and your satanic spouse.

    That is the good news. I don’t care where you get the money- get it. Hire a PI. THEY will know the best family law attorney who will go in there and start shredding these assholes up. The PI is your first step. You are being gaslighted on Hitchcock levels. You need a sane, ruthless hired gun IN YOUR CORNER. Most lawyers truly do not give a shit. You have to tee it up for them. Your PI will.

    Here is the bad news. You are ruining your son’s life. And yours. I have a friend whose daughter watched her parent’s affair dance and all its tension, and the little girl has IBS now…she shits her pants at school. This is a REAL tragedy. Children can be ruthless. So, now she is on steroids and is getting the moon pie face that steroids cause. Because of her parent’s crap?

    You have stood it 4 years, but don’t wait much longer. Start looking at apartments today! Get a lease today! Start moving little bits and bobs in there TODAY. Go to a thrift store if you can’t afford new things. It could be safe haven for you and your boy until you get in court.

    Don’t want to leave your house? You will get half the value. Say you want it sold in your dissolution.

    It is a house of horrors anyway, as you are living with a sociopath. NEW START. NEW HOUSE. NEW LIFE.

    Clearly you need a therapist. Start with Saferelationshipsmagazine. I had counseling with them over the phone. They have free podcasts (blog radio) and it will help you see that you are tangling with a pathological personality.
    THEY CANNOT BE HELPED.

    Classy- Listen to me. My disordered drug addict X would take me so low….he would take me to the gutter, IF I LET HIM. You say…I want to be classier than this. He doesn’t. He does not care. He will let you crawl on the floor and beg for him, and lick dirt off his boots AND STILL WILL CHEAT ON YOU. He may leave you after you lick the dirt and go fuck another woman (there are usually more than one). HE…DOES…NOT…CARE.

    It is accepting that there is real evil, that you married it, and you had better snatch your son away from its rotten mouth or it will gobble you both up.

    I know you don’t know it, because I did not know it, so I am going to tell you this and hear me:
    YOU DO NOT DESERVE THIS SHITTY LIFE. You are capable of attachment and bonding and real emotion and that is why you are frozen in fear.

    HE IS NOT. He is fucking and flirting and planning and laughing. He does not bond like a normal person.

    Take a breath, and get on that computer and the phone and start making things happen.

    You are having things DONE TO YOU (being stalking being cheating on)
    NOW…START DOING THINGS FOR YOU AND YOUR SON. Take the reins and take control of this mess.

    You are Xena…the Warrior Princess! You are Ripley from Aliens!!! You are MIGHTY!!!

    • You are so right Sylvia. Lawyers and police can only work with what you give them. A good PI is worth every penny !!!!

  • Classy,

    I have experience interacting with Bunny Boilers and staying to protect the kids. My STBX had an affair with a former psychotherapist who I believe had to leave the profession because she got too many (two) DUIs! She was a habitual adulterer who engaged in affairs with willing married men, including mine. While the affair was going on (and I was in the dark), the OW told my husband to impregnate her and then get a vasectomy! At that time, my husband did all he could to please her, including setting up an appointment for a vasectomy and trying to determine online whether it was illegal to get a vasectomy without one’s wife’s knowledge. The OW descended upon me one day when the kids and I were at a venue (for a bring-your-family to work outing–ironic, I know) where both she and my husband were performing. I felt as though a vampire had flown out of nowhere and landed in front of me. She wanted to talk, so we held a 90-minute text conversation that evening. That conversation confirmed to me that she, like my husband, was a destructive ‘crazy’ person. (I feel sorry for her former clients.) When my husband filed for divorce a few months later and tried to get a restraining order against me to prevent me from getting within 100 feet of our young children, I was afraid that, when my STBX had physical custody of the kids, drunk-driving OW might put the kids in her car and drive them somewhere while she was drunk, endangering their lives as well as other people’s lives. Fortunately, STBX broke up with her (but not before having sex with a prostitute or two to get over her, on our anniversary, the day on which he called me from the state in which he was working to talk about our future together). Glad to no longer be emotionally involved in this Freak Fest!

    Although I did not file for divorce from my adulterous, disordered, abusive husband, I don’t think that I would have relinquished any more control/noticeably reduced my ability to protect my kids by filing for divorce and legally separating from my husband. Although I don’t have a crystal ball, I don’t think that your child will be worse off overall if you get divorced. You and your child, on the whole in the long-run might be BETTER off if you legally separate from your husband (who is, sadly, your husband in name only as he doesn’t behave like a decent husband).

  • Classierthanshit – I can tell you that there is probably nothing worse in life than being in a relationship with the cheater. It’s extreme rejection, where no matter what you do or say, every interaction is likely to make you feel rejected, unwanted and vile. And that is the opposite of how life should be. We should feel wanted, accepted, loved and full of vitality, and you don’t realize this until you find a partner who accepts you and actually *wants* to be with you. But every day you interact with a cheater, it’s like swimming in a cesspool of toxic waste, where little by little, a part of you dies a slow death. Until one day, you become a shell of a person and the cheater leaves you anyway. Interacting with a cheater is like signing up for a life of slow death. There is NOTHING good about it. We aren’t meant to be rejected over and over and on a daily basis, and your son will have no spirit because you will have none left in you to give him. Think about it, seriously.

  • Classy–

    If you are miserable, divorce your cheater. Your child will be happier, and your Cheater will have to find some other way to get his kibbles. The OW is a nutjob for sure, but keep documenting her behavior.

    I get that you won’t be able to divorce him tomorrow. Divorce is extremely expensive, especially when you’re dealing with the disordered. Line up your ducks. Build up a cash reserve, and file.

    You may feel you’re protecting your child from the creepy OW (and yes, she’s creepy), but the fact is that you’re also modeling your son’s idea of marriage. You do NOT want to model the message that 1) creepy APs are cool (ugh!), and that 2) it’s okay to cheat on your wife because there are no consequences.

    Check out how many Chumps have have childhood conditioning that blinded them to the red flags of an abusive/cheating relationship? How many of our Cheaters had cheaters for fathers/mothers?

    My own cheater had a cheater as a father. I was sure that my CheaterX was true-blue. He despised his father for abandoning his family (his father lived 2.5 hours away, and commuted back home on weekends). But you know what? His mother always told her sons to listen to and respect their father. Both sons ended up as cheaters. Both sons are entitled assholes, though their entitlement takes different forms of expression.

    But you know what? I always felt sorry for my now-deceased MiL. She learned of her husband’s cheating, but she was fundamentally a timid woman. She didn’t have a lot of education, and probably wondered how she’d support her two sons. Her husband was in the army, and she probably felt that she would outlive him and be able to collect that pension. Sad to say, she predeceased her cheater by 5 years. I kept thinking that she spent 20 years, waiting for her husband to die so she could be free, but fate had a different idea.

    Look at what you truly want. Others have said that you can document OW’s crazy behavior. That might help you win better custody. Talk to a real pitbull of a lawyer. Don’t tell your cheater when you do this. You just want to find out the process in your state and what you can expect. You also want to see custody options, learn what influences the court in your area, and–if you put your career on the back burner to raise your child–if you’re able to get some kind of temporary spousal support.

    You’ll make the decision you decide to make, but truthfully, you will be amazed at how much better life is without the cheater!

  • Classy,
    I am so sorry about what you are going through. My STBXH continued on with OW while I thought we were wreckonciling. It has been two months since he has left and moved in with OW. I thought I was going to die at first. I was crying for absolutely no reason, I couldn’t sleep and I wasn’t eating and lost weight. When my STBXH was in my home I was so clouded by his deceit, manipulation and lies I did not know if I was coming or going some days.
    I have gone no contact and have filed for divorce. In two months the clouds are starting to lift and I am starting to see things clearly. If you tell someone that so calls loves you that what they are doing is hurting you and they keep doing it THEY DO NOT CARE! I had to stop listening to my STBXH words and looking to his actions.
    My STBXH moved with OW just two months ago and already being manipulative by saying to my children and anyone who listen that he made a mistake and just wants to come back home. They truly do not change and they damage lives as if it is some sort of game, leaving us to pick up the damage pieces.
    I have also learned that when we hang in there too long in these situations and let a person continue to disrespect us beyond limits, all opportunity with a future with them is ruin anyway.
    Please take the advice given here today and gain you a life for you and your baby boy. ((Hugs))

    • Wow… This could have been my story.. except I took him back (shame). And guess what. . 3 months later he had to go away for ‘work’ and met up with the OW again, and left me AGAIN. He still mindfucks me though. Apparently what he REALLY wants is to be a ‘good’ person and make his his marriage work. He doesn’t get that he hasn’t been a ‘good’ person for a long time. He just can’t fully return to me while the OW is around and it is oh so hard for him to give her up (boohoo). It knew he didn’t love me, but it took me two years to realize that I DON’T WANT OR NEED SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T LOVE ME. I don’t care if she wins. I don’t care if she gets a better version of him. If they are the perfect match they obviously have the same shitty values and are compatible. I wasted two years. It’s all wasted time. Get out asap! You can do it. Life can only get better.

      • Jannie,
        Seems we are married to the same man. My STBXH continues to states how he is a good person and doesn’t know why he looked at as a villain. He mentions all these good things he’s done for others but forget to mention the part where he f—- around on his wife for years.
        I have taken this man back FOUR times over the last 28 years. So put me in the “shame” category as well. He played the “I’m confused on who I want to be with” game on me this last time. So, I made the choice for him. This time I told myself no matter how bad it hurts getting him out of my life for good is the best thing for me. No contact has worked wonders on me not being manipulated by him anymore. I do not care if OW wins either because if he is the prize I gratefully will be the loser in this game. I have so much more peace in my heart and my home with him gone.

  • Classy-
    Please make a plan and get you and your lovely boy away from these 2 psycho’s. Just as everyone else has said-you are not protecting your son by staying in an unhealthy environment. Your son knows and feels that you are hurting. Children learn what they observe. Staying with a cheating fuckwit is molding what your son’s future relationships will be like and you do not want him to have a marriage like yours. I understand exactly where you are-I was a mess after Dday & thought if I could just focus on my son & stay until he is older than I can protect him. Well, it doesn’t work that way & I learned a few things along the way. Every fear that I had basically boiled down to the fact that I was devastated to lose 50% of my son’s life to a cheating, lying fuckwit and that I have no control over what or who happens when he is with his dad. I have to be the stable, sane parent no matter what. If chumps are lucky, their ex’s will not have much contact with the kids on a regular basis because that’s responsibility and they don’t want that. If you have a way to document scary behavior to ensure full custody, by all means do so. I found out the hard way that the courts in California grant 50/50 custody regardless of pretty much any situation. The judge couldn’t care less about the porn & hookers addiction & stbx hasn’t been arrested for being a john yet. Stbx was constantly threatening to take my son away from me but had no reasoning other than anger that he could come up. withe knew that he didn’t have a leg to stand on.

    I will leave you with a saying that has helped me along my road leaving the cheater and approaching the land of meh:
    “In order to want better for your SON, you have to want better for YOURSELF”

  • The best way to protect your son is to not be a narcissistic enabler. As you are a victim of narcissistic abuse, so is your son. You are an adult and can walk away on your own but your son is a child and must be taken out of the situation by you, the non-narcissistic parent. His present and future depends on you doing this sooner rather than later.

  • This whole situation screams abuse. Protect yourself and your child and leave your disordered spouse. He is cheating you (and your child)out of your one precious life and modeling the worst kinds of behavior. My advice is to speak with someone who deals with domestic violence first as the AP needs to be dealt with ASAP and a restraining order should be a priority, IMHO. Next, lawyer up. People who cheat are also fucking up finances. Yours, not theirs. A financial planner should be a part of your negotiations, cheaters are not honest people. Go No contact, and move out/away. Establish a residence away from fucktard, where you can visualize a better future. Anything is better than wasting moments or years with the disordered. You can never get that time back. You and your child deserve to be happy.

  • Document everything she’s been up to and maybe you can convince a court that she’s whack-a-doodle and shouldn’t be around your kids. But if not, it’s the ultimate shit sandwich, that she should be anywhere near your kids. I am living it. Know that it gets easier, and the kids won’t bond to her dispute your (and my) fears. And there’s a darn good chance that your STBX’s interest will wane once the relationship isn’t clandestine. I’m sorry. You will survive and your life will be so much better!

  • Classy,
    I did not see where you responded but I wanted to leave you with these thoughts.

    Until you go no contact, you will not be able to think clearly. That is why you have to leave, or make him leave. He may not, and it is so hard to get a bully out of your house. So, if you have to leave, so be it.

    When you are around someone who is abusing you, gas lighting you, you cannot see the situation with sanity. It is like trying to stay dry while someone is dunking you in a pool. A lot of people talk about being in a fog when all of this cheating is going on. It is true.

    Being abused on a daily basis by someone who claims to love you, that you are having sex with and that you live with produces brain trauma. You actually lose the ability to reason. That is why you wrote CL. You know you are not thinking clearly and you wanted her to shake you by the shoulders.

    But, no matter what people say, until you go Hard Core No Contact, your brain will frantically scramble for ways to justify staying, just as you have done. You even said he was ” a better class of cheater.” Is that like a better glass of genital warts? 🙂

    Also, prepare yourself for this. One of the biggest shocks of my adult life was discovering that after my cheater was caught….HE WAS CRUEL TO ME! If I loved someone, and was caught cheating, I would wash their feet and dry them with my hair…if I was truly sorry.

    But that is not how it works. After I caught my X cheating, he threatened to come to my work and blow my head off. Wasn’t that what I was supposed to be saying to him?

    So, whenever you do move forward (if you do) be prepared for your husband to get nasty. Again, it makes no sense. I kept saying to anyone who would listen: But he cheated on me! I thought I got to be angry and threaten and be a thug. No. Not with these cats.

    It is ALL ABOUT THEM, and their needs and their wants and their impulsive desires. They have no shame. Again- this floored me. I thought I would get dozens of roses and on the knees begging. Not a chance. In fact, his violence escalated and my life was in the most danger it ever was.

    Classy- if your husband loved your son, and he saw this bitch tailing you on a family outing, he would pull that car over and knock that woman’s teeth out. Don’t you see that your husband is failing to protect his own son? Forget about her. Your husband is not protecting his own son from a crazy person. I hope that motivates you.

    You cannot control your husband or your stalker. You can only do you and your boy. I promise you, that if you come to court with photographs of this woman stalking you on a family outing, a judge is going to be outraged.

    You said you stay to keep your son away from her. But any evidence of that type of mental instability will take of that problem, hence the PI.

    You are living with someone who does not care if he rips your heart out. He also does not care if he destroys your son’s peace of mind and healthy mental development. This is not love.

    I am sure not judging you, but I am not sure how you would lay beside a man each night that not only chose to cheat on you, but allows another woman, an intruder, to terrorize you and your boy.

    • Spot on Sylvia. I hope you are in a better place now or moving towards that. I know I am and it all began with going hard core No Contact.

      The nastiness and enhanced abuse techniques that followed my exes cheating, gas lighting and abuse were mind blowing to me as well. Also it was a very lonely place to be, because when I told people their disbelief would put me down: “but this is so unlikely of him, he seems such a nice guy, you are too emotional” they would say. Fucking horrible.

      That is why “No Contact” is vital for your sanity. No contact, no contact, no contact with the abusive narc, no contact with Switzerland friends, no contact with toxic family members, and clear thinking improves drastically. And then you start making decisions for your own benefit.

  • I agree 100%. You cannot see clearly if you don’t go no contact, especially if you are being abused. I’m not saying it’s easy, but no contact is needed to see the situation objectively.

    • I agree. So long as you keep getting hurt, you’ll be too busy recovering from the hurt, as opposed to healing. In order to heal, you need to be in a safe environment as much as possible, which the abuse does not facilitiate.

      • I know. Literally…when I went no contact, I could see him clearly. It was a horrifying picture of someone blatantly, flagrantly abusing me. But I was not able to process it….recognize that my life was in danger. The point Kellia made rang strong…you cannot heal when your brain is figuring out survival or untangling yarn balls of lies: who texted? Why are you 6 hours late?
        Excuse crude language….fuck that shit. Now that I am alone….my blood pressure actually went down. No more migraines. Their toxic lying shitty duplicitous presence is lethal.

  • OW suck for sure but husbands who choose to become involved with them suck louder – even when they are willing and able to end that involvement and kick OW into touch restoring any sort of trusting marriage is far from easy and often fails. Yours is not even doing that.
    Yes, if only she would disappear then things might just come good….execpt for all the other potential OW your husband might encounter.
    I found to my cost that sticking with this sort of set up is akin to pulling off a bandaid very slowly while it gets dirty and soggy and the wound it covers goes septic underneath.
    Of course we want to protect our children – we want to preserve a family unit – we want the nightmare to end. It rarely does though.
    CL is so right. I accepted many indignities and swallowed a lot of pain in the interests of holding on to an unsaveable marriage.
    How I wish that I had taken the advice of the lawyer I consulted when he first left. I was not ready to take action and she shook her head sadly and rolled her eyes like she had seen and heard it many times before and knew it was a game of hunt the unicorn.
    Seven years on I am in the divorce process and have coped much better than I ever thought I could. I go largely NC these days and am about 90% meh….I am a much stronger person out of it.
    You will know when you are ready.

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