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Dear Chump Lady, When do I tell him I’m dumping him?

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How_to_leave_a_cheaterDear Chump Lady,

I have been married for four years with two children (2 years and 5 months). I got the shock of my life while I was playing games with my daughter on his phone on a Sunday morning. I opened the texts and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

I brought it up without revealing the source and he said they were just friends, but the texts showed a deep emotional connection. I somehow felt relieved that it was not physical yet. But then he left home one day and was dodgy about where he had been, and I got that feeling. I later checked his messages only to find that this was also a physical affair. I still discussed it with him without revealing the source and he got so defensive.

He did drip feeding truth, but from that I deduced the affair began after I had my first daughter. He totally ignored me then and I even asked him what was wrong and he said he had a lot on his mind and had failed to adjust to the new setting with the baby. Long story short, he has continued the affair totally disregarding my concerns, and going on about life like I should just leave him alone and continue with things as they were. I am playing marriage police now and I  hate the person I have become. I have lost a lot of weight.

What I need your help with is the fact that he applied for a schorlaship and is leaving the country for two years. I agreed to make the necessary sacrifices and stay in my country with the children while he studies. In the wake of all this I feel so betrayed and he leaves the country in 3 weeks and will not sit down with me to discuss the issue. I wish there was more time. Part of me knows that he is leaving anyway so the right thing to do is end it now, I was going to stay with the kids alone anyway. However, Three weeks seems like a short time to make a big decision, but thanks to your site I am more encouraged. I was also thinking of telling him the night before he leaves because telling him now would make things awkward around the house. In your advice, what would be the best time to tell him? Now or just before he goes?

I hope to hear back from you soon.

Chumpy chump

Dear Chumpy,

Call a lawyer TODAY. You need to figure out the logistics of having this bastard served and get support lined up ASAP. That might mean an emergency support injunction. I don’t know. But what I don’t want to happen, is he leaves and he’s out of reach of the law because he’s overseas.

I know this probably feels very rushed to you. You’re still in D-Day shock, still trying to process who he really is and what it all means, but it is imperative to ACT in self defense now, and shelf your feelings for later.

And do you tell him? No, you do NOT.

Look at your history. When you confronted him about the “friend,” he minimized. When you confronted him about the physical affair, he got defensive and trickled truth-ed (otherwise known as lies of omission). And when you asked him to stop, he refused and has shown zero remorse.

That’s your answer. There’s no need to loop him in for consensus — he’s very clear in his actions what his affair means — he gets to fuck around at will and you must accept it. That’s either an acceptable relationship to you, or it’s not.

I’d say it’s not given your weight loss, grief, and hypervigilance. You have absolutely nothing to work with and no one can save a marriage single-handedly — especially from thousands of miles away.

If you think it’s hard to be the Marriage Police domestically, try internationally. This is not sustainable and I very much worry he’s setting you up for abandonment.

Get in front of this NOW.

If seeing a lawyer and having him served scuttles his great scholarship dreams? Well, fuck him. It’s a consequence. You have two BABIES to support. He doesn’t get to walk out of your life and play college co-ed. And if you’re supporting his ass? That shit has to stop.

Please don’t tell him you’re divorcing. You see a lawyer and you take their advice on disclosure. If you can safely serve him overseas AND protect yourself financially? Then IMO, that’s the best thing. Nothing like an ocean between you to help with no contact.

I’d pack that bastards’s suitcase and wave bon voyage. Goodbye fuckwit. Hello new life.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • Exactly! Do you think for a moment that if he decided to leave you that he would be concerned as to the timing?

      He wouldn’t care if it was on your birthday…or Valentine’s day…or Mother’s day…or Thanksgiving…or Christmas…or during your pregnancy…or right after the birth of his child.

      You don’t need to be the ‘bigger person’ here. All you need to be concerned with is taking CL’s advice and lawyer up RIGHT NOW.

      • Yes! Imagine if you had not found these text messages. You would be uninformed while he continues his escape plan. You need to get help to protect yourself and your two very young children. ASAP – absolutely!

        • And cut up and cancel any joint credit cards. Set up your own bank accounts. Consider transferring half of any life savings into those accounts. Take pictures of all the possessions when he isn’t around.

    • And gather all the evidence you can of the cheating in secret and take it to the lawyer! That’s your protection to prove the reasons for the divorce. I know it’s SO hard for you right now. I know you’re probably on the floor completely broken. TRUST ME, I KNOW the agony and confusion you’re feeling at this moment. But you will need that evidence later when he tries to turn around and make you out to be “crazy”. And he WILL do that, so get yourself emotionally ready for it. They play so dirty, just wait. You need to outsmart him to protect your babies. Do it for them. Praying for your inner Mama bear strength to be unleashed.

  • OMG these guys make me sick!! Im so sorry for you, I feel like punching him in the face. I think your situation and CL’s advice remind us all that things are actually brutal under the veneer of civil behaviour.

  • He is definitely setting you up for abandonment. Get yourself to a lawyer, pronto and start divorce proceedings. This is not the time to dwell on saving the marriage. He is done and you have to reconcile yourself to that fact. Grieve later.

    • Its so funny how I couldn’t imagine he would do that. But now its all clear. God knows where I would be if I hadnt found this site. Thanks! going to see the Lawyer right away

      • He is the typical cheater lazy coward and rather than have a difficult conversation he figures he’ll skip off into the sunset and not have to deal with the mess he created. Be grateful that you are getting rid of this weak loser, this is not a man you really want in your life nor your children’s. I wish you all the best!

      • Every time I read one of this stories, my situation comes flooding back to me, even though it’s been a while since the last D-day. After my first D-day, I lost 20 pounds in three weeks (along with my sanity and ability to function). I would have bet my life my husband of 30 years would never have done this, so when he got caught and said it was over- I believed him. Again and again and again. When you continue to believe in them and inevitably get fooled again, you lose a lot more than your sanity. You lose your dignity, your self-respect, your family and friends (because you withdraw from everyone out of embarrassment- even if they don’t know what happened). Chumpychump… since it is so early in the game for you, your mind will try to talk you out of taking the very “real” step of seeing a lawyer. FORGE AHEAD. Do it against your own will if you have to. There are so many of us here who can tell you that it WILL continue to happen if you let it. And when he gets served, he will make promises, he will tell you it’s over, he will tell you he has seen the error of his ways and he can’t live without you… blah, blah, blah. We have all been there. We have all believed that shit- right up until it happened again. They do not change- no one gets a character transplant along with the divorce papers. Save yourself the devastation, heartache and trouble of future D-Days… lawyer up and get out now. You are stronger than you think- you’ve got this.

        • Three weeks into our difficulties I told mine that I’d lost close to 20 pounds since the whole thing started. Her response: “Well, that makes sense to me — you’re not a big eater anyway. I eat when I’m stressed, so I’d gain weight.” Absolutely no clue as to why I was bringing it up — or she was purposely minimizing the effects it was having on me. Not sure to this day which it is.

          • It’s all about her. Therefore, clueless, minimizing to the point of making you disappear, and major narcissistic response.

          • UX

            I lost 41 pounds over a two month period. His reaction to my weight loss was, “See, this is good for you too.” They don’t care.

              • They don’t care. As Rumblekitty stated previously, if they cared about you, they wouldn’t have cheated in the first place.

            • Omg, that is so horrible, UX. I dropped about 15 pounds in a few weeks and I remember standing in the walk-in closet, getting my work pants on. I started crying, because they were pretty much falling off. I started crying and my now ex just laughed and said, “Just go up to the store and get new pants.” No concern whatsoever the devastation he was causing me. It was all a big joke I guess.

              • They don’t care. We should all have that tattooed on our arms. When I lamented that everyone had known for 8 years about my X’s affair, and he’d forced me to sit across friends at dinner parties who knew more about my marriage than I did, X remarked, “Get off this public humiliation kick.”

                They don’t care.

              • 15kg in the first three weeks. It fell off. Couldn’t keep water down. 20kg weight loss overall in two months. My friends asked me if I had cancer as well as a cheating partner! I looked great for a bit. Then exhausted. Waaaay too thin. I’m 165cm and have F cup boobs and a curvy bum. I weighed 54kgs. I was running a lot. But there was even excess skin. I was a little overweight previously due to working long hours (70-80 hour weeks, a commute, doing the books for our business, and 3 kids) and no time for regular cardio for about a year before D-day. All went back on nearly three years later when I ended up on antidepressants, no matter my exercise and nutrition regime. (also a wonderful first in my then 45 years of living a mostly joyful life) for suicidal tendencies. They didn’t work. I wasn’t depressed. Just grief stricken.

              • Mine said “You look like a Holocaust survivor. It’s not a good look.” just before i had to go to work. weeping in the car, putting icepacks on my face to hide the swollen eyes…

            • Mine said the same thing! He said, ” at least, you got the weigh lost off. One thing you can thank the affair for.” ?

              • Saddam told me that his affair had helped me, I’d lost weight and was getting out of the house (to see a therapist for Christ’s sake). I’d lost over 20 lbs in less than a month and was a total skeleton. Then he told me how he wasn’t able to be free like me, how he was so hurt and unable to cope. What an asshole.

              • That’s like saying ‘Sure I chopped your foot off, but think of how much you’re going to save on socks!.. I did you a favor.’

            • See this is good for you too?

              No man in his right mind would ever say that to his wife. Hey, I abused the hell out of you and you lost weight. I guess the abuse was good for you!

            • Mine said the same thing. Told me at least the infidelity diet worked. Assh**le…

              OP… Listen to CL. I jnow too you are still in shock nbut your going be in anyway way, go see a lawyer ASAP!!!!! Dont let him leave the country without you protecting yourself and your children…

        • Mine never noticed the 25lbs I dropped in 3 months. When I mentioned it he stared blankly at me. About a week later he started talking about how much weight he had lost because of this which at that point was a pound or two. So self absorbed!

          • Would have been funny if you said “You sure you lost weight?” … “did you actually weighed yourself or are you guessing?…” or something like that to drive the narc nuts… “might be all that hair you lost in the back of your head that’s making you lighter…” “You used to have a behind, I noticed it’s missing, perhaps that’s where the weight disappeared to?” .. “Drink a couple glasses of water you’ll put the weight back on instantly”…

          • My STBXW asked me if i was ‘Eating Properly’? Like i was a 5 year old child about a month after we split up. 6 months later I had returned to a healthier weight but still classed as normal for my age and height. I thanked her for helping me lose the 10 pounds of ‘Extra baggage’ I’d spent the last 20+ years struggling to shift.

            I now the fittest and healthiest I have ever been in my life. It wasn’t a ‘pick me dance’ as I was strong enough to leave her and divorce her, I did it for ‘Me’ initially, then kept going for the next person that comes into my life.

            PS That next person that is now in my life…she loves my guns! 😉

          • Same here, I lost a lot of weight after he left, slowly gained it back, but that’s another story. I also got re-connected to family and friends that because of The Evil One I had to cut ties with over the years we were together.

            During our ‘”wreck-conciliation”, nor to this day has he complimented me or given me credit for anything ive accomplished after he left. Instead he has tried to take credit for my accomplishments and goal achievements, asshole, he would say, “well, that’s something me leaving is positive”

            Throat-punch.

    • What great advice – like Chumpy I wouldn’t have thought of the legal implications, I just thought it would be handy to have him far away for healing. Good luck Chumpy, take care of yourself and your kids.

  • Thank you so much Chump Lady for the quick response. A feel a burden just lifted off my shoulder. It has become clear what I need to do. I still cant believe it has come to this, in such a short time. But yeah, I am gaining a life, I can already see it and its not so scary. I was about to waste wonderful years living a lie. I am going to see a lawyer right away!! God bless you

    • Hugs, to you Chumpy Chump. We all know the crazy-making swirl of shock, disbelief, devastation, and grief you’re in right now. But you are STRONG and you got this. Do what you need to do to see a lawyer and kick his sorry ass financially while you can. Protect yourself and your babies. Plenty of time to feel all the awful emotions later.

    • ChumpyChump–just a warning that the “gaining a new life” is going to feel awful for months. It will be easier if he’s out of the country than in the country, because the level of mindfuckery he dishes out will not be as intense, and you don’t need to deal with him in person. But many days are not going to feel good; think of the emotions like a wave you need to ride out, have a strong personal support system, and post in the forums on your worst days (top Right on this page; you’ll need to register and Private: General forums will get you the most support).

      Be sure your lawyer is kick-ass enough to get you emergency financial support; way too many chumps have been left destitute as their spouses withdraw money from existing bank accounts.

      • Your lawyer will probably advise you don’t broadcast or post about this online, even in forums. I recommend telephone support when you can do that instead.

        • Nobody will find her as long as she keeps the identifying details out of it and doesn’t link a public email to anything.

    • CC, you are doing the right thing. Believe me, he won’t get better. I stayed for 31 years and in the end he just walked out. I’m guessing he plans to leave once he’s away, so you might as well beat him to the punch. So sorry you are going through this nightmare.

  • Oh and one more thing, do not concern yourself about things being “awkward” for the next 3 weeks. Pretty sure that ship has sailed.

  • “Just friends.” “Deep emotional connection.” Cheating when wife is pregnant. Yeah, lots of triggers today. For anyone new to this blog, “just friends” is a cheaters code word for “more than friends or friends with benefits.” My now ex had a “deep emotional connection” with a ho-worker when I was pregnant (this was over 15 years ago.) His “deep emotional connection” went so far that when he got fired from his job (I no longer believe the story he told me — he got “let go” because they were restructuring the office — I have no doubt now he got fired because of his “friendship” with one of his ho-workers) he called his ho-worker the next day and was crying (yes, actual tears crying!) but wouldn’t talk to me about it because he “wanted to be strong for me.” Fuck off, cheater! God, I was such a stupid, chump! I should have left his sorry ass and I wouldn’t have wasted 15 more years with the cheating liar. Thank God, Chumpy Chump, that you are smart and you are getting out and you wrote to CL! RUN to the lawyer now! I’m sorry you are going through this, because it hurts and sucks. But we are here for you at CN!

    • That ,”deep Emotional connection ” is actually just the fact that the cheater can spout his loser bullshit to someone who buys into it, and encourages it, and doesn’t expect them to choose to take any action about the situation they are bitching about.

      For example, ex’s whore was a horrible mother. But she could bitch to him and he would reassure her she was a WONDERFUL mother. No mention of her actions of being a whore herself. Any one else would have said the truth, but the cheaters lie so the pussy buffet stays in business.

      • It will never make sense, don’t try to make sense of it.

        My wife that I was with since a teen, and always faithful to her, always treated her very well, too well.. always complimented her, always bought her things and took her places.. was a great father, always had a very good job and plenty of money.. bought her houses, cars she wanted..

        She’d rather talk to the guy in work about our faux “relationship issues”, and of course twist it and add some wrinkles to make her a sadder sausage than she really is.. and he paints a picture of his horrible girlfriend. Meanwhile, she tells me things are fine.

        The horrible cheating lying people who sneak around in the dark, tell each other how terrible and uninteresting these honest chumpy people are. It’s so freaking bizarre. I remember asking my wife,
        “since you knew you were full of shit, you must’ve known he was also full of shit, but you just both don’t care because you’re so horny for some strange that it’s not important that you’re both full of shit? Do you really want a guy that’d sleep with a married woman? Does he really want a womant that’d cheat on her husband for anything other than sex? Do you care? Why did he divorce his first wife? Bet whatever story you got was bullshit. That’s the guy you want around your children?.. a guy that would mess around with their mom behind their dads back? ”

        As for the ‘friend’ thing… I also remember saying “some friend, he helped you blow up your family, and you helped him screw over his girlfriend, what great a great friendship”

        As a chump, I know how I think.. and if someone is coming on to me, I’d try to protect my spouse.. protect the relationship I care about. I’d lose respect for the person, because they are not showing me any respect. Then I’d remove myself from the situation, because I don’t want to screw up my life, and I sure don’t want a disease from some easy person that’s not much effort to get into bed… I had no desire to date, or to disrespect my marriage. I’m not sure how people go there so easily.. it boggles the mind. Especially to do it for years.. and years.. and years….

        Done with my rant. That felt good. 🙂

        • {{{HUGS}}} Rant on, Raging! We gotta do that sometimes!

          That’s why we have The Nation…….Just do not try to untangle the skein! Ain’t happenin’, My Man!

          It so truly does boggle our minds!

          Does not compute / Will never compute! what these disordered bo-ho’s do…..

          Forge on, My Friends…….ForgeOn!!.

        • “She’d rather talk to the guy in work about our faux “relationship issues”, and of course twist it and add some wrinkles to make her a sadder sausage than she really is.. and he paints a picture of his horrible girlfriend. Meanwhile, she tells me things are fine.”

          Yep. This seems to be the favorite tactic of cheaters of both genders. Cheater Playbook Chapter One.

          Good for you for getting clear on her bullshit.

        • Raging, Thanks for articulating so well how they operate. They need to trash the marriage in order to justify what they are doing. They like the rush of “new” attention and try to justify pursuing that rush.

          I work in a male-dominated profession. Most married or committed people have boundaries. They don’t come in your office for “one on ones” or flirtation. Their “downtime” is with other men or with groups in the hall. If you approached them, they wouldn’t flirt or agree to a request to eat with them alone. The ones who do are practiced cheaters, looking for the vulnerable. Cheaters who say, “It was bigger than us both,” don’t acknowledge that many people encounter potential connections and don’t act upon them. Spouses can’t be everywhere, guarding their spouse who can’t otherwise control their impulses. Each spouse has to protect the marriage.

          • I agree, Janus. The one’s who are the cheaters are the one’s who are off, walking around work, looking for lots of one-on-ones and office flirtations. Years ago, after my ex started a new job, we went to a job summer party. One guy who was considered a “funny guy” came up to me and introduced himself. My ex was standing right next to me. The funny guy jokingly said to me, “Cheater (my now ex) spends most of his day walking around and talking to all the women at the company.” I was like haha/but not haha and I looked over at my husband and he had that stupid smirk on his face. Yeah, that was no joke! That’s what ex does at work. One time I met a “friend” that worked in a totally different department then my ex. A department that he would really have no reason to visit. But boy did she know so much about him and he knew so much about her and of course they were great friends!!

          • Sometimes i think its actually just play acting. Pretending to have problems so they can be rescued by this shoulder to cry on. You see when people have affairs in movies that they always say their spouse isn’t there for them, blah blah blah… so you’re an arsehole cheater looking to screw the Office Hoe, what comes to mind? Those books, movies, and tv shows where the cheater says their spouse isn’t there for them. I feel like there isn’t any self justification, that’s all lies. They do it cus they want to and cus they can and cus they can get away with it.

            • I got that exact quote “never there for me”.. of course I had a list of about 10,000 examples.. like the birth of our children.. It was a stretch to use it, but she tried even with no ammo to back it up…

              I wasn’t there for the important stuff like sneaking off to a broom closet in work.

    • Yep, this is why I now believe a lot of emotional affairs are physical affairs that haven’t been discovered yet. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, Martha!

      I recently found out that The Entitled One was a step away from a sexual harrassment lawsuit and that a close coworker was convinced that the reason he traveled so much to one city was not sales — as he claimed — but to visit a fuckbuddy.

      I was supposed to believe that all these women he spent time with, was attracted to, confided our marital problems to, exchanged deep emotional or sexualized texts with … that was all “just friends.” And apparently his male friends knew he was “really into” this one whore in particular, not that any of them bothered to tell me at the time.

      And that doesn’t even include the sex ads (when I was pregnant) or the hooker (when I was pregnant) or the “emotional affair” from years before I’d even heard the term “emotional affair.” Oh yeah, and the porn addiction.

      I must have had the biggest tub of spackle on the planet.

      • Steve Harvey states it well in his book that men don’t chit chat or spend time with other women if they’re not sexually interested in them or if anything sexual was going on with between them. He’s spot on with this.

        • I’m sorry that is bullshit Kellia. I have male friends who have no sexual interest in me whatsoever, also male coworkers who appreciate my skillz. Do not poison the well between the genders. Plenty of good men out there who can have a friendship with women and not fuck them. Your comment does a disservice to the male chumps on this site who understand boundaries and are decent human beings. Do not paint all men as hound dogs and assholes, they most certainly are not. Jedi hugs to you in recovering and to all the men who are also going through this horrific crap.

          • Wuf, I would love to agree with you on this, and mostly do, but have had multiple mixed results with male friends for a long time, especially after leaving X.

            My rule of thumb now is pretty much from that movie “Old Fashioned”. I’m not ever physically alone with a man who is not my husband.

            That means all of them, except direct family.

            I didn’t get that the previous comment was bashing guys; just, for some of us (and for whatever reason) the boundaries get blurred somehow.

              • I know what Steve Harvey is saying.. if a man is hovering over a woman, trying to friend zone her, he might be looking for more than friendship. If he doesn’t at first, too much time and he’ll start to get attached.

                A decent man will know to keep his distance (not hover) and not to be too ‘friendly’ to a woman that’s not his wife. He’ll keep it respectable, joke, have fun, but no going back to her place for lunch.. no lets go for coffee and talk about our bad relationships.. He’d keep up the boundaries and protect his marriage and self respect. He’ll also respect her husband without even knowing him, and expect that other men would do the same. He’d be wrong.

            • I have two male friends for over 45 years like my brothers better to me than my own brothers. Absolutly no sexual overtones. And their wives love me. So there are some guys probably many we can have a good friends. Asswipe chased them both off as he says girls and guys cant be friends cause of the sex thing and he had four female friends he didnt screw. The double standard. I had to continue my friendship with my brothers from another mother on the quiet. One said to him last year…. you asswipe fucked up i was her friend before you and we will be friends til we die you threw away the best thing that ever happened to you and im gonna do my best you never hurt her again! My brothers my buddies.

          • Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m referring to men who spend time solo with a female friend and then tell their wives, she’s
            “just a friend” (and vice versa for women who spend exclusive time with male friends). I don’t buy that. Because there is an emotional connection and bonding going on. If 2 people are a couple, then that opposite sex friend should be the couple’s friend, and not only the exclusive friend of the opposite sex spouse, where let’s say the husband will ditch his wife to spend one on one time with his female friend. This is not acceptable. And I do agree, people do have friends of the opposite sex, but it’s rarely exclusive time spent one on one at the expense of the other spouse. And from what I’ve seen, if that occurs, it’s usually a cheating scenario going on and the wife is picking up on the fishy situation, which is making her uncomfortable, and rightfully so because that’s how the affairs in their lives started.

            • I agree that any friend of one member of a couple has to be known to both, friends of the marriage so to speak. However, the initial comment seemed to be saying men are not capable of having opposite sex friendships without sexuality involved and I found that offensive. Plenty of women can’t do that either, it’s not gender specific, it’s about integrity and commitment no matter what gender you are.

              • I think the problem with opposite sex friends is that so many cheaters are using “friendship” as s cover for cheating. Mine sure as shit did. So the issue is determining whether people are really friends or cheaters.

                Friendship doesn’t involve any of the following;

                Secret meetings, texts, emails, phone calls

                Badmouthing spouses or partners

                Secret contact with any one you have ever dated

                Accusing spouse of jealousy of friend

                Any behavior that would look like dating to an observer

                Any behavior you would be uncomfortable other people seeing or hearing

                Just my thoughts.

              • Good point, the hovering friend thing can work both ways. I’ve had women try to hover in work.. I don’t need woman friends, especially single woman friends that want to flirt with me…. or didn’t that is, I could use one now probably.

      • BetterDays, that is just horrible! Yeah, “emotional affair.” I never heard of that term either. I actually first saw it on the Focus on the Family website. Quite a few years ago I went there looking for help. Deep down I knew something was wrong with all these women he’d get so close emotionally to. And then he’d make me feel bad for telling him it bothered me. He said I had “trust issues.” Well you know what? I dated someone for four years before I met my now ex-husband. And never once was I ever jealous! Not once! My ex did stuff to make me feel insecure and then blamed me for feeling insecure. Anyway, I saw “emotional affair” on the Focus on the Family website and it listed what it was and how dangerous it was to be in relationships like this, but I guess living dangerously is fun for cheaters.

        • Oh, God. So much this.

          X triangulated with everything and everyone and cited my jealousy and trust issues every single time. I knew there was something wrong with the whole business because I conducted my own doings in such a way that he always knew he could trust me. Because I was trustworthy.

          It wasn’t until about three years ago that I connected a porn angle with what he was doing to me, and realized clearly that his doing it — to me — and the pain it caused me, and the drama, was getting him off.

          I’m glad to hear your long dating experience with someone who didn’t purposely (or accidentally!) make you feel jealous. I had a brief experience of that after leaving H, and felt so AMAZED that there were men out there who conducted themselves and their relationship behaviors with integrity and honest to God respect for a woman.

          • LuckySeven, This what you wrote, “I knew there was something wrong with the whole business because I conducted my own doings in such a way that he always knew he could trust me. Because I was trustworthy.” Yeah, that was me, too. The ONE AND ONLY time in our marriage, that I wanted to meet up one-on-one with a married man I was upfront with him and asked him if he was okay with it. It was someone that I dated for two weeks in high school and he was someone that I was close to friend-wise in high school. We live 2,000 miles apart and we were both coming into our hometown for our HS reunion. He asked if we could meet up for a couple of hours the day after the reunion to talk, because it’s always hard to talk at loud events like a reunion. So I asked my then husband if he was okay with it and I felt comfortable asking him, because they previous 10+ years of our marriage, he was going out for lunches (and probably more!) with women “friends.” He said okay, but when the day came, he was soooooooo jealous. It was written all over his face and his voice showed it, too. And then when we got home, he said to me, “Well, if you wind up pregnant, we know it’s not mine (ex had a vasectomy.” ONE TIME and I ASKED and I was UPFRONT — I got accused to committing adultery! But I was supposed to be totally okay with all his female “friends.” It wasn’t supposed to bother me. I’m the one with the problem, not him. Yeah, right.

            LuckySeven, I’m so happy for you that you’ve had a good dating experience since your ex. I can’t even imagine what that feels like anymore. To have someone’s eyes only on you. My ex had a swiveling neck wherever we went. Always checking out to see if there was someone he knew where we went or just looking around at ?????

        • Martha, that’s my story too. My ex was always closer to his female coworkers than he was to me. I kept feeling like I was overly insecure, but after I got out of our relationship and started talking to friends about it, they said they’d have been upset too. It was so validating to hear that others would have considered the boundaries my ex crossed a violation too.

          • Yeah, me too, Lyn. I took the “not talking bad about your spouse” to the extreme and never told ANY ONE, not even my family about his female “friends.” They couldn’t believe what I put up with! Sometimes I can’t believe it either! But he convinced me early on in our relationship that is was “normal” and “everyone” does it. No, everyone doesn’t act this way and do this! I told my brother and he’s like, “Heck, no! I’d never do that!” Yes, it’s very validating talking to other people. It’s funny, but my ex’s best friend at work is a female of course. She cheated on her husband with a married man. My ex told her that marriage counseling was a “waste of time” (yeah, it is when you are liar and cheater.) He encouraged her divorce. He not only broke up his own family but help break-up two other families. But he’s a good Christian man. Thanks for writing, Lyn. I’m always thankful (well, thankful isn’t a good word because I hate to see that other people have been put through hell like me) to see that other people had my same experience and the woke-up and realized it was wrong. My ex actually told me it was “a part of his DNA” that he had to have close female friends. I did you not! Good riddance. I’m never putting up with that crap ever again!

            • “But he convinced me early on in our relationship that is was “normal” and “everyone” does it”. Oh my goodness I got this too. When I confronted him about his female “friends”, I said this isn’t right or normal. He responded with well we don’t have a normal relationship! I thought really??? And that he can talk to all these other female “friends” about things that he can’t talk to me about because they understand as I wasn’t involved in his work…

              • “And that he can talk to all these other female “friends” about things that he can’t talk to me about because they understand as I wasn’t involved in his work…”

                Goddammit, THIS TOO.

                To this *day*, I am triggered anytime my LinkedIn network updates include some young woman or another with skills pertinent to his department.

                I *hate* this excuse, that “they know so much more about what I do in this job”. Screw you. What really matters here? Your coworkers are going to be wiping your ass when you are 80? Holding your grandbabies? Really?

                I’ve been in corporate longer than X has, though we are same age. But this excuse has railroaded me right out of a certain area of business, and I feel a scathing hatred and rage anytime it crosses my desktop screen.

              • OMG, Martha, JABT, LuckySeven count me in both these clubs:

                “But he convinced me early on in our relationship that is was “normal” and “everyone” does it.”

                and

                “And that he can talk to all these other female “friends” about things that he can’t talk to me about because they understand as I wasn’t involved in his work…”

                Way back in the early days, I discovered he was racking up hundreds of dollars a month in phone sex. He totally blew it off (“All men use porn!”) and then the charges disappeared (most likely because internet porn was invented) and I ignored the niggling worries. Back then I was a naive 18-year-old but two more decades would pass with me believing his porn use was no big deal … until I discovered he was whacking off to porn during the work day and every single night, including after we’d had sex. I told him I thought that was excessive. “Do you?” he said calmly, and shut down any further attempts I made to discuss it. The final D-Day was a few months later.

                And the “friends.” When I look back at all the lies and half-truths and deflections I fell for… He had me convinced I was jealous, that the only reason I had a problem with it was because I was still naive and unsophisticated, that I was being ridiculous.

                And yeah, when I discovered these were way more than “friendships” to him, he told me how he could talk to these women in a way he couldn’t talk to me, that they made him feel special. He even relayed a conversation where he told one of his whores all about our marital problems and she told him, “It sounds like you haven’t found what you’re looking for yet.” He agreed that might be the problem.

                Man … I never knew what rage was until all this bullshit hit the fan.

        • “My ex did stuff to make me feel insecure and then blamed me for feeling insecure”

          They enjoy watching you squirm.. it makes them feel special. Then they can set the narrative too, that you were too controlling and you being afraid they’d cheat is what made them cheat.

          It’s not that you were getting clubbed over the head with red flags….

    • How well I remember the ex crying when I told him he had to drop one of his emotional affair partners (the only one I knew about at the time, but later I found out there were others) if he wanted to stay married. I asked him why he didn’t shed any tears at the thought of destroying our relationship, but he didn’t have an answer. It still hurts to think about.

      • My ex shed tears too. One woman who he’s been going out for their birthdays every year for the last 25+ years (and of course he never took me out for my birthday for the first 12 years of our marriage….) he actually clutched his heart when he said her name and said, “You are not making me give up XYZ too?!” You know, maybe I wouldn’t have minded all his “female friends” if he would have put some effort into our marriage and into me. But when you are living on crumbs of attention from your husband, well, those “female friends” start bothering a woman! I’m never putting up with that crap again.

        • My ex pouted and acted nasty towards me for months after his coworker moved from our neighborhood. It’s pretty disturbing to watch your husband pine after another woman, but of course when I asked he denied it. Hi coworker was married and had small children, so I was actually relieved when she moved away. I thought maybe that would put an end to it. Unfortunately it didn’t stop their weekend business trips.

          Every time one of these coworker “best friend” relationships would end, I would hope it would be the last one. There was always another one waiting in line.

        • I remember asking my now ex to go to the football one night. I love to watch the footy. He said why the hell would he want to go to the football, he hates football (we’d been married about 10 years by this stage). About half an hour later he gets a phone call from one of his female “friends”. Gets off the phone, says Im going to to go to the football with “friend”, see you a bit later. I was so angry. I just said to him, I just asked you to go and you said you hated football. He said no I just don’t want to have to take the kids and we can’t both go because of the kids. Then he gets home and says to me “I told “friend” about how you acted about me coming to the football and all she said was “what is her problem, she sounds nuts”.

          • The Entitled One told me all about which of his enabling friends and whores think I’m nuts. I might have cared if I didn’t think they were all assholes.

        • THIS: “I’m never putting up with that crap again.”

          NEVER AGAIN.

          After the final D-Day (when I still believed his “fantasy and flirtation” story), I agreed to wreckonciliation (round 1). I started making demands for what I considered appropriate boundaries. I still remember him lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling and looking trapped, saying, “I’m not going to unfriend her on Facebook!” In hindsight, I realize he bailed on wreckonciliation as soon as I made it clear I expected him to have NO contact with any of his whores and that I expected zero porn use.

    • He wasn’t being strong for you. He just knew the ho-worker would pretend to have more sympathy over the situation he got himself into.

  • Chump lady’s advice is spot on. My ex left to work in a different state & I waved goodbye & had him served there. Best thing ever. Much easier to do this with 20 hours between us.

    I’m so sorry you are going through this.

      • A man leaves only when he has secured another “pussy”.
        Sure, he’ll look around, because these types get bored so easily.
        In fact, she didn’t “get” him, he is lending himself for a while (that just answered my own question regarding my soon ex-husband!)
        He will continue to complain about her to the next 3rd, and about 3rd to the 4th and so on…
        He will never be happy, always chasing fantasies.

    • I agree. It’s very odd for a married man to be moving to another country for 2 years, while he has a wife and 2 very young children at home. It’s odd he’s leaving his family to live alone. Or he’ll pick up some hussy in the new country orhave a harem with various women in different locations.

    • I absolutely think the OW fits into this scenario somehow. He’s either taking her with him or ditching her. Either way–two years of living “single” while keeping the wife and kids at arm’s length.

  • Do the lawyer thing RIGHT AWAY. If he leaves the country it’ll be a nightmare. Let him find somewhere else (at his schmoopie’s house) to stay for the duration.

    Be strong; let him contact you only through your attorney. Maintain No Contact. He’s already said all he has to say, and it’s all been a lie.

  • Now is not the time to ‘think”… it is the time to ACT. Get to a lawyer, understand your rights, protect your children.

    THIS: If seeing a lawyer and having him served scuttles his great scholarship dreams? Well, fuck him. It’s a consequence. You have two BABIES to support. He doesn’t get to walk out of your life and play college co-ed. And if” you’re supporting his ass? That shit has to stop”\

    He doesn’t get to just trot off into the sunset… he isn’t a unicorn. He is a failure as a man, a father and a husband. Hold his scholarly ass accountable.

    Sending hugs… it won’t be easy roads these next three weeks… but the time is going to pass regardless, so why not have it pass with you taking back control of your life and your children.

    You can do this…. I know you can.

  • I didn’t tell ex anything he didn’t already know, I imagine. He knew I was angry, that I would and did freeze him out and that he fucked with the wrong girl when he fucked me over and it was officially on. I kicked him out and when he stayed gone, didn’t protest or didn’t even try to undo all the damage he’d done, I went down to the courthouse. They offer free consultation with various lawyers just to get a feel for whether you needed one (I did) and how to proceed. And while I was there, I started the filing process, all with my one year old in tow. It was quite possibly one of the worst and hardest days of my life, but also a relief as well.

    Since he’d gotten himself fired again, the process server ended up serving him at the OW’s house (former close family friend) in front of her and her kids. He had no idea it was coming since he hadn’t made any sort of decisive move on his own, and I refused to go through a mediator without lawyering up as well. I got a temporary support order a couple months out from filing, but that’s only because I was still looking for a lawyer so put it off a couple times.

    We don’t owe cheaters anything. It’s difficult enough many of us have their children whom we’ll have to raise on our own, and know that eventually they’ll have to share in the sad truth of why our marriage broke up. It is an endless shit sandwitch buffet for us so I feel no need to spare feelings, make it easier or consider how he’d be impacted because he didn’t think of the kids and I when he carried on with the slunt for years.

    Big hugs, do take it easy with yourself to keep healthy and strong for your baby and since you can’t do it, have a friend carry all his shit to the airport/curb, and think of his going away as the shittiest thing that’s happened, so from here on out there’s only one way to go and that’s up. Take comfort in your babies, your friends and ask for all the help you can get, but think of his leaving as a gift from the universe to make it easier to cut him out of your life in the future. Oh, and get his money.

  • Listen to tracy run dont walk to the lawyer. It hurts got it hurts. Protect yourself and your babies and run to that lawyer. We are all here for you.

  • Glad to hear you’re getting the lawyer thing started and loads of empathy to you.

    The thing I thought of when reading your letter is how he could destroy you financially if he knew your plans. Every state/country is different, but where I live, all debt is considered shared while married is both people’s responsibility unless there’s a clear legal (or legally acceptable) separation. The other person can destroy you just by taking out a loan and refusing to pay it if s/he’s willing to have a crappy credit repor. Probably good to pull your joint credit report ASAP so you can have them ready for the lawyer.

    Also, I am sure you’re nowhere near this, and I don’t mean anything untoward by bringing it up, but it is probably also critically important that you not appear to be dating or otherwise romantically connected to anyone. Your cheater sounds pretty diabolical and he knows you are on to him, so he may already be performing defensive maneuvers in secret. Don’t give him ammo.

    And if there’s any way you can reasonably tuck away a bit of a nested for yourself and get a box of your favorite photos and important papers to a trusted person, it could be smart. This isn’t a time to tell the world, but if you have one level headed friend who can stay cool and quiet and support you, or a way to use cash to get a small storage unit for the critical things, that could be wise. The lawyer may have more to say about this.

    Best of luck.

    • So many weird autocorrect typos, but the critical one is “nestegg” not “nested”. Sorry. 🙂

      • Before I found out about the affair I used to go out with my boss as just friends he is 20 years older then me. I look at him like a Dad,We used to go out in group outings with another co worker but really 1-2 by ourself. Told my husband where we where at all times, and invited him to come as well. I find out about the affair, file for divorce and now he is telling everybody and the family I had affair with my boss!!

        So please be careful… But narcissistis like to project things they do to other people!!!
        It took me a while to get over this gossip!

        • Wow33, i can empathise with you, my cheater told everyone I had an AP all along, who was an old friend from university … And we had a nice friendship that included dinners out with mutual friends etc.

          Only the supposed AP was openly gay, and cheater ex knew that. In fact he had AIDS and I was part of his palliative care team. When I told ex he was full of baloney about gay friend being an AP, he shrugged and said…hey maybe he swings both ways, how am I to know? Since my gay friend had already died by then, it took all the composure I had to not slug the bas***rd.

          • Slandering someone who has passed and cannot respond to accusations. And for what? To make his own wife look bad?! Deplorable.

        • Wow33- How juvenile to make accusations like that. In that case, you may have been having an affair with his father, your brother in law, his male cousins. I mean, why stop at your boss. If the accusations are as ridiculous, then why not extend them to every male person in his family. Moron.

  • CC,

    Were YOU going to be supporting him while he is “studying” abroad? Or is the Scholarship funding him?
    If the scholarship, then you can be certain that he will not be sending support for you or the children. I do hope that you have a source of income?

    The important things are: GET TO A LAWYER NOW…and close ALL credit cards that are jointly owned so that he cannot access them while away and throw you into deep debt. You may ALREADY be in deep debt and do not even know about it! Get HIS credit check ASAP to see if there are hidden loans/cards out!
    HUGS

    • THIS^^^^ I hate to say it, but this POS is guaranteed planning on ditching CC and his kids. He has NO intention of sending any sort of support money and once he’s out of the country and living off some scholarship, good luck in collecting. PLEASE, CC, you need an attorney to grab as much $$$$ as possible now, before your STBX skips the country. I hope you have family living nearby, they can help you during the coming tribulations.

  • Your time frame is short, so no doubt you need to speed up the process to like….today. Most of us took weeks/months/years. But in this case, CL is right – particularly if he is leaving the country. Otherwise, you may never get jurisdiction over him to end your marriage.

  • Does this guy even consider himself married? I mean he got married 4 years ago, created 2 children, and he is leaving the country for 2 years to study. WTF. Does anyone else think this is bizarre?? Single people act this way, but for someone who made marriage vows, brought 2 innocent people into this world, and for 2 solid years, will be living away from his family. This simply boggles my mind. And then he cheats on his wife when his kids are so young. What, there were no study programs locally? And if his studies would have required him to travel to another country, couldn’t he have waited to be done with it, and then get married and create children, rather than to abandon them because the prick still needs to study. Asshole.

    • Chumpy Chump

      When you file also request temprsry order stating this is YOUR residence while divorcing. This will protect you if he skips out and returns at a later date. Get a current print out and balance on all credit cards and spending history as of today. Apply for your own credit cards ASAP and take your name off all joint accounts. Whatever cash you can access get it before he gets served.
      Hugs to you! So much to do in a few weeks.

    • @Chumpy Chump—-you got this!

      @Kellia–your brain and mine are synched up today. I had the same reactions and questions about his entire ‘thought process’ (or lack thereof). He’s living in his own world with no regard for anyone but himself. Such a guy.

      I also question WHY these guys maintain the texts. What’s the logic in that? Of course, it’s the mental hard on they get from the ‘secrets’ being right under your nose. As for POP, he was a real secret vault, he deleted everything immediately. I guess that came from him being a serial cheater and had too many women in his past that ‘snooped’….One of the ONLY lessons he ever learned. Of course, this ‘lesson’ helped him cheat more successfully.

      • You know, it takes a certain type of sleezy character to maintain the texts and to operate behind the scenes, and keep your spouse in the dark, so you can further carry out your plan. Real men, I mean men, with integrity and courage and honor, would not do this. This guy is not a man, he’s a clown and a loser.

      • It’s funny, but I never knew that married husbands didn’t have their cell phones password protected. I was told by my now ex that everyone has their phones with a password on it. What did I know since I just got my first cell phone less than two years ago. And then there was his work laptop that he only used at home. That thing was nailed down tight. My daughter once knew the password (I think he gave it to her when we were on vacation and he brought the laptop to work on vacation of course.) Well, he then made up this total bs story after he changed the password and wouldn’t tell her what it was. He “got in trouble” with someone in the IT Dept for giving out the password and he could “never do that again.” What a bunch of crap. My ex “manages” the IT Dept or oversees it somehow. He’s in a higher position then them, but he got his hands spanked for giving out the password to his daughter. Yeah, that story is bs. He didn’t want his daughter to have access to his laptop so she wouldn’t see his history that he was viewing porn when he was “working.”

        • my iPhone is password protected because i use it at work. But my male friend knows the password. And his phone is always “transparent.”

        • I’m not a cheater, and I have my cell phone locked. There is way too much personal information on there, since I don’t have a personal computer and use the “smartphone” for everything. Email, facebook, photos, financial info. I just can’t risk it getting hacked by a stranger.

          I had my unlocked flip phone stolen once and it’s bad enough when the thief just had access to your call info, texts, and photos. I don’t know if I would give anyone else my password or not. I do know cheater ex had his flip phone locked specifically for the purpose of calling and texting the whore. But he was acting a shit so I’ll probably just look for crap behavior, not look at a phone ever again.

        • Martha, not trying to defend any cheaters, but I would never give my work computer password to anyone. Never have. It is strictly forbidden and we can be terminated immediately if we get caught. We also can get in really big trouble for using work computer for any thing not work related. Even looking at regular websites. The company has an outside company who monitors everyone in the entire company. These employers have gotten really strict about corporate security. I have a work laptop and I treat it like it’s toxic except for official business.

          • Thanks for clarifying everything with the passwords. Maybe he was telling the truth, but he lies so much about so many different topics, that it got to the point that I didn’t know when he was lying or telling the truth! Also, with the phone — I have mine password protected too, for the reasons stated above. But if my ex and I were still together, I’d give him my password just for the sake of transparency. That’s just me. A few years ago I caught on messaging someone on Facebook. He was flirting with her and telling her he was thinking about her when he was at work. Isn’t that special. So, he gave me the password to his Facebook and gmail. Within a week he changed his password on his gmail, so I couldn’t have access to it. I didn’t even say anything to him about changing his password. I just gave up and said to myself, “I’m not doing this anymore. I’m not policing him. If he wants to email women, he’ll figure out another way to do it.” And so he did.

        • Password protected or not. It’s when they start spending lots of time with it in the bathroom you know you’re in trouble.

          • Or up at 2 am texting customers and i come out of the bedroom at 2 to get a drink of water and hear hey what the fuck are you doing up in an angry voice. Seriously i was wrong for being thirsty. Cheater bastards. Answering customers texts at 2am.
            Uh huh. Kool. Bummer. Wow.

          • Oh, yes. The old bathroom trick! My ex used to take his BIBLE into the bathroom for 30 to 40 minutes. Or a book. Little did he know that I knew where the bookmark was in his Bible and book. That bookmark didn’t move one page, but I’m sure his phone got a good workout! I called cheater out on this behavior and the look on his face — Priceless! Yeah, I outsmarted Mr. Smarty pants. haha. 🙂

  • Great advice, CL. Nothing to add. My thought on what/ when to tell him. Nothing. Don’t tell, let him figure it out. Slimy fucking whoring loser.

    • I agree. Why tell him anything at all? He didn’t tell his own wife that he was porking another woman. He didn’t inform her he still intended to act single. He didn’t inform her of any of his intentions for that matter. As a poster said so well, we don’t owe cheaters anything. The only thing I would tell him is with my actions and that is by serving divorce papers.

  • Wow. All I can say is how truly I feel for you. As beautiful and wonderful as they are, it is not easy having two babies so close in age. To also have to deal with the betrayal and abandonment of a cheater is incredible. You seem like a very strong person. Certainly you must have lined up some support and have finances under control for you to even have contemplated much less agreed to take on care of two babies while he goes off to fulfill his educational destiny out of country. Thank goodness for that but I do hope there is enough time for your lawyer to nail his ass to ensure you are truly taken care of. Your “needs to be done TODAY list is long” but absolutely take him off any joint credit card and take half of any joint checking cash out and into your own account immediately. This guy clearly views himself as a single guy and he will obviously continue to act in his own best interest with no concern for you and your children. I wish you all the luck in the world and am so sorry.

  • Umm…with TWO little ones to support (you wont be getting anything from HIM), I’d take ALL of the money in accounts…if there is even anything left. Chances are HIGH that he already beat you to it since he planned this.

  • Aside from contacting a lawyer and taking care of your financials – you are also still reeling from the shock and impending departure so please don’t get falsely lured into being sweet talked or manipulated by your husband. Mine did this just before I got on a plane over 4.5 yrs ago – haven’t seen him since but he convinced me before I left that he was willing to change and kept me hanging on needlessly on the other side of the world whilst he finalised his plans.

    As much as you are saying you are done there will be still pangs of self doubt and panic moments so it’s important not to allow him to manipulate you especially in the short time frame you have. Don’t let him know what you are up to………remember he is no longer your friend, he does not care about you or the kids but CN has your back ?

    • THIS. What Digbert said! It’s hard to resist the pangs of longing and hard to resist being told what you want to hear (Cheater Playbook in the chapter on How to Gaslight When You Get Caught), but keep his ACTIONS front and center in your thoughts.

  • Chumpy Chump,
    Your cheater and situation sounds a lot like mine two years ago (around D-Day 1). I was better at dealing with the financial/legal issues then, while I was numb, than I am now, now that I’ve ‘defrosted.’ Good luck to you and your babies.

      • Thanks, LAJ. Hope you are doing well.

        I haven’t been on this site much lately as I am busy raising kids and ‘getting a (new) life’–new jobs, new apartment, triathlon training, and ‘new’ relationship with ex-boyfriend (not cheater) who seems to be crawling back with new, improved attitude and behavior four months after ditching me! (We’ll see whether I have a unicorn. Either way, I’ll be ok.) My life is not perfect, but it is beautiful in its imperfection.

        • RSW, is this the man who has had a series of 3 month relationships with women?

          In which case he is due for a change of girlfriend now anyway, so he may have dumped the last one and now has a vacancy. I’d be careful, if I were you. He doesn’t sound like a unicorn to me.

          I’m glad you’re doing better. Stay strong.

  • I would add, get yourself tested for STDs. Who knows how many women he’s been with. You don’t want to get any unpleasant surprises.

    I would also make copies of your tax forms, all of your assets basically. Stocks, bonds, IRA’s. Transfer half of your savings into your into to a separate account too.

    He’s slime. The good news is that he will be absent slime. He will be out of your hair for two years, and you won’t have to put up with having to share your babies with the OW through visitation with a cheating hubby. You won’t have to deal with the emotional abuse around that whole scenario.

    I’m sending you hugs and a pat on the back for being so mighty.

  • I’m so glad you’re seeing a lawyer! The good ones are hard to get into right away, but what you are going through now constitutes an emergency. You need legal assistance and you need it yesterday! Telling the law office that your husband is leaving the country in 3 weeks and you just found out that he’s been cheating on you will get you an appointment.

    If you don’t know a lawyer off-hand, you want to find one who’s experienced with high-conflict divorces (that your cheater plans to skip the country is a good indication that he’ll be high conflict, once cornered), and can get you some kind of emergency temporary financial support in place. This is going to cost money, so be aware that the savings account is going to be diminished.

    On the other hand, as others have said, he can destroy you financially by clearing out the money, running up the debts, and then skipping the country while you’re left holding the bag and trying to support two small children.

    Good luck and stay angry! Anger will see you through this!

    • I agree fully with the high conflict warning, although there is a slim and tender heartbreaking chance he could just surrender custody. It all depends on how much his intention is to screw you over; some departing spouses will give up everything, including the children. But from what I’ve seen that’s rare.

      Either way, it’s going to be a huge adjustment. I wish I’d had CL and CN when I went through this, so I’m really glad you do.

  • Chumpy Chump, it occurs to me that authorities in your state may have something to say about Cheaterpants leaving the country for two years and not supporting his kids. In my state, they consider a spouse’s earning history, not just the income produced at the time child support is determined. So, for example, a person who made a lot of money as a business owner can’t transfer the business and then get a low-income job. Who is supporting the family now? How much is your husband earning? Or are you the primary breadwinner (along with caring for 2 babies while he entertains himself with the OW). What was the plan for the two years he will be abroad? You say he “applied” for a scholarship, but do you know that it was awarded? And what it covers, if it exists? What contribution was he expected to make? I

    You seem focused on the logistics of breaking the news of separation and divorce to him. Make sure you and your lawyer are thinking ahead: you will need 18 years of support for the younger one plus college or technical education for both. If you work, you will have childcare needs. You also need to consider whether he will make requests for the kids to visit and how you will handle that. When you say “my country,” it makes me wonder if he is a citizen of a different country than yours. You may have come to terms with ending your marriage, but make sure you are thinking clearly about the longterm financial implications of his departure.

    Balance all of that with the custody advantages of him leaving the country. It would be hard for him to come back and file for 50-50 (if you are in the US) in order to avoid paying support. Like many other people here, I have a lot of questions about his basic human decency. I agree with Tessie: you are very mighty.

    • “When you say “my country,” it makes me wonder if he is a citizen of a different country than yours.”

      *THIS*

      If he’s got family in that other country, you get this legal action started IMMEDIATELY. Don’t waste a SECOND.

      And DON’T concern yourself with STD testing right now. This isn’t about you or about his sexual betrayal. This is about getting *your children* the right to an emotionally stable and well supported childhood. The STD testing can wait until after you have divorce and custody papers moving and served.

      Keep your focus fully on keeping your rights to your *kids*. Everything in this situation points to them, to *their* need.

        • and consider college tuition/costs as part of the divorce decree (or in an Agreement Incidental to Divorce)–the loser can help his children after age 18, too.

    • All of the advice here is spot on, in particular prioritizing your financial safety. LovedaJackass asks some very good questions about the scholarship and if it even exists. Please keep in mind as you move forward that serial cheating disordered narcissists are almost always disordered with finances. Just as they lie, cheat, and trickle-truth you about APs, so too will they lie, cheat, and trickle-truth you about money–as so many of us here can tell you.

      Prepare for and protect yourself against every financial deceit you thought he would never be capable of in the same way that you are now protecting yourself and your children from the fallout of the cheating you thought he’d never be capable of. If there’s one thing so many of us here have learned, it’s that disordered cheaters will do so much more than we ever imagined they’d be capable of, even after we are on to them.

      I’m sorry you find yourself here but you are very mighty for reaching out and taking proactive steps under very stressful circumstances.

  • Why doesnt he study in the country he lives in? Dont they have a university? Or study online? This is fishy

    • I know! And for all we know, her husband could go abroad for 2 years and start another family there. I mean he won’t marry the person, but he could be living with the OW, have kids with her, and the wife wouldn’t even know. He could have a double life for all we know. And if he’s cheating, he’s pretty much capable of anything.

  • Um, what the hell is so important that he needs to go live in another *country* to study it? What school is even that prestigious or specific? That sounds like total bullshit to me.

    And your quick legal action is not about preserving or enforcing any continued financial support from him.

    Understand this completely:

    Your fast and thorough legal action RIGHT NOW is about YOU retaining 100% legal *and physical* CUSTODY of your CHILDREN.

    The second he establishes residency in another country, if he goes for custody of the kids, you are in for a hell you could never have imagined, FAR worse than finding out he’s been unfaithful and lying.

    Imagine life without your kids. That’s what you are going to do everything to prevent. Ok? Even joint custody is going to burn a hole in your heart, one that hurts every time the children are away. For years. Even if you were to manage a decently compatible coparenting relationship and he turned out to be a really solid dad on his parenting time, even if your kids turned out happy or benefitting from his parenting — and despite the many stories of shitty cheater parents here, some do turn out to be good for their children and more or less actually accountable to *them* for their lying and fuckups with the parent left behind — even if you managed to somewhat repair after divorce and at least could accept and acknowledge each other’s value as separate parents — it will still hurt every time the kids are with their dad on special days that are meant to be celebrated as family.

    I’m not saying he shouldn’t have rights to see and parent his own children. I’m saying that once the question of that involves international courts or jurisdictions, you’re in a mess of epic proportions. It will take over your life, mind, and finances, which will take SO MUCH AWAY from your CHILDREN, who are already losing their dad to his own selfishness. For the duration of divorce proceedings, the children often lose *both* of their parents, emotionally, as each parent is wrapped up in worry and anger and the complexities of ending. So get it moving NOW, before it crosses borders.

    The one bonus I can see here is that if he challenges custody and he arrives in the new country with that unfinished business in tow, it’s going to fuck up his two years of schooling.

    And yet this divorce and custody action is not about punishing him.

    Understand this:

    This divorce and custody action is to ensure that your children legally have at least ONE PARENT who is 100% fully committed to bearing responsibility and being accountable and present to provide for their physical, emotional, and psychological welfare.

    Dear Heavenly Father, please get this woman to strong, effective counsel, and get these children the safe and steady support they deserve; Amen.

  • I’m bottom-line thinker, I see one “root variable” of your sad situation = passports & visas & citizenship.
    If possible, I’d quietly find his passport & visas (and yours as well), and lock them away in a safe deposit box until you get *ALL* the legal & financial advice that you need – ASAP.

    Without a passport & other official documents, none of the rest of your cheater’s “escape responsibility” plans will go anywhere.

    Other posters above make excellent points re: block access to running up credit cards or suddenly taking on debt.

  • I just want to say thanks to the fellow Chump (can’t remember who it was right now) that suggested the Ted Talks’ video of Esther Perel on the topic of infidelity. I watched it yesterday and had chills as she explained the emotional backlash as a “death by a thousand cuts.”

    If I thought it would make any difference, I would send this video on to my ex to give him a taste of what my spiral downward into the pits of hell was like in those initial few months. Unfortunately that would be as pointless as me spraying whipped cream on a pile of shit and calling it dessert.

    • Aside from keeping NO CONTACT, don’t turn cheaters on to Esther Perel. While that one video might sound empathetic to chumps, she also argues that infidelity can be “exuberant” for the person conducting the affair, and she advocates that couples think about infidelity differently (not just as a trauma inflicted on the one). Her book is called “Mating in Captivity” as if someone hogtied and forced people into marriage against their will. She’s a fruit job.

      • Well, she did compare infidelity to cancer LOL. I was interested in how she described infidelity of yesteryear and what it means today. And yes, for some couples an affair can jolt the cheater into being a better partner but I think that is a rare, rare thing and definitely NOT what most of us chumps experience here.

        The experts I tend to avoid now are the ones that blame the chump and tell them how to be a better partner so that their cheater doesn’t have to go looking elsewhere for validation. I read so many of those terrible blogs that made me feel it was all my fault that he felt unwanted and unloved. Those are the fruit jobs. I wish like hell I would have found this blog sooner. Would have saved me two years of doing the pick me dance and eating shit sandwiches.

          • Yikes!

            “Your experience goes way beyond infidelity.”

            That statement goes right alongside with “was it really cheating if you two were separated at the time?” Yes, I had friends actually say that me. More than once.

            I mean, well, he did tell me over and over that the LAST THING he wanted to do was get involved with someone else and that OF COURSE he could be faithful while we lived apart and tried to figure things out and HOW DARE I think that he would do something like that when I’m spending every single minute I can with you and my child doing things that only intact families do like take vacations and appear to everyone else that all is well on the marital front. Geez, maybe I’m just confused about what infidelity really is. NOT!!! We were still married. We both promised to be faithful. I kept my promise. He did not. There is no gray area here.

            My response to those who made it sound like what he did was acceptable? “He lied, sneaked around and covered it up even when the evidence was plopped in his lap. That is not the behavior of someone justified in their actions.”

            Thanks Tempest for the enlightenment.

            • Yes, Done4. Mine too. The “seperation” was just because he needed space, the rules were no dating, just space taking. Ha! It was part of the plan all along to show the Slut Puppet and her mommy we were “done”, but keep his cake and financial support. He even moved into a rental property I owned and part of our marriage counseling was that I wouldn’t “spy” on him. I was deep into being abused and blamed and didn’t check up on him. I was a fool. He moved her in right away I now know.

              He would have kept up the charade indefinitely if he could. So if someone ever says to me, “it’s ok, you were seperated” I will call out BS.

              As for cc, you need to get him served ASAP to preserve jurisdiction and reserve your rights. It may be awkward but it is already a nightmare. I also agree to not tell him anything. Stupid me always told Durtbag what I was thinking and doing. I just couldn’t keep secrets from him because I didn’t think marriage was about secrets. Duh. To him, it was all about lying, cheating, manipulating and deceiving. He got off on it.

              It Feels better to take some control of your life back, even though it is incredibly painful and difficult. It is hard to not look to him for reassurance, but remember he did this to you willingly and deliberately and in a series of many choices where you and your feelings meant nothing to him. Nothing. You deserve better and so do your children.

              P.S. To some other comments, i don’t think there is truly such a thing as an emotional affair. Even if they aren’t doing it (which is highly unlikely), they are cheating on you. I used the EA term to minimize what Durtbag was doing in order to give my Spackle time to set so I could paint super high gloss paint over everything. He encouraged that thinking so he could get off on triangulation.

              He was f’ing her, sexting others, and cheating, but I couldn’t admit it to myself. I never caught them in the act so I tried to use that as a lifeline. It isn’t. It is an anchor weighing you down from swimming to a new and better, cheater free life.

              • Hopium recovery, I don’t buy the Emotional Affair bullshit either. If you are married and dating others , fucking or not, you are a cheater.

    • As was said quite a few times way at the top of the comments, “They don’t care.” We wished they cared, but they don’t. If they did care, they wouldn’t have done everything they did to us. My cheater only cares about himself and his image. One time I still lived with him, a was pretty much a crying, heap on the floor. Sobbing my eyes out and shaking uncontrollably. He walked in the bedroom on me, looked at me with his cold snake eyes and walked out. There’s something majorly wrong with a person if they can be so cold and uncaring. I didn’t know anything wrong to be cheated on and lied to, but somehow it was all my fault that I couldn’t trust him 100% and doggoneit! He deserves to be trusted 100% even though he’s the most untrustworthy person I’ve ever known.

      • Yup. I found an email between the ex and one of his APs in which he complained to her about all the crying I was doing when he was trying to sleep.

        • No way? Are you kidding me?! He caused your sorrow!! I’m so sorry he wrote that. You deserve a person who responds to your tears with compassion and kindness (and doesn’t make you weep).

          • Asswipe told me i used tears to make him feel bad or control him. Uh huh. Tears piss him off cause he has no feelings or empathy and cant cry. Asshole. He cant swim either but doesnt get pissed off about that. Jagoff!

            • My ex once told me that tears made him feel helpless, and because he didn’t know what to do the only thing he could think of to comfort me was to have sex with me. He said this on d-day #1. Fast-forward to a few weeks after he told me he’d lined up my replacement (10 years later) he held me (tenderly!) while I was sobbing in his arms. I happened to look up and caught his expression. I leaped off of him, exclaiming, “OMG you’re getting off on this.” He denied it of course. Too late, I’d seen him gloating.

              To the letter writer: I truly hope you’ve interviewed an attorney or three by now. There is much wisdom in this thread, so the only thing I have to add is about credit cards. My ex was an authorized user on my credit card. Even though I took him off the acct he was still able to use the card. In fact, he gave it to the last OW and she went shopping on-line on my dime. I protested this to the cc co and was told that because I had not physically retrieved his card, they had no way of knowing who was using it, and therefore I was still responsible.

              My advice to is not only take the cheater off of any authorized accts, but to cancel the card entirely and have them issue you a new one. It was an expensive lesson for me. Even if I had gotten the card from him it wouldn’t have made any difference; he knew the number.

              Good luck to you, and remember- it will be okay in the end. Just take action.

          • Not just cold; emotionally stunted. My child would say of this, it’s like something a fifth grade kid would do to prove he was cool.

            I wouldn’t think of this as cold. It’s probably equally immature of me, and hiding the hurt of it, but I would point at it as “stupid!!” and laugh. Because how stupid. Can you imagine hearing your new married boyfriend bitching about his wife crying over him? And not getting that his bitching like this is a huge red flag?

            It *is* cold, and I’m sorry he put more suffering on top of your already too-high burden of pain. But I’m not impressed with his coldness here. I’m laughing at his sheer stupidity. I’ve seen cheaters described here as having the emotional depth of a teaspoon (good on you, whoever coined that phrase), and that’s what this looks like to me. I always want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and think we all have pain that we protect in strange ways sometimes, but in this case, bitching to AP about the betrayed spouse’s crying, hey: that’s totally stupid, lol. Good job, cheater. Any AP with a lick of sense should be able to register that the emotional inadequacy is going to hit them next, when the time is right.

  • If your kids have passports, get them to a safe place so that he cannot find them. If later on he insists that you come to this other country with the kids for a “visit,” do not do this.

  • Did he apply for this overseas scholarship AFTER you confronted him about his affair? If so, yowza! He is absolutely abandoning you and the children, but you can be sure he is NOT abandoning the OW, who will either visit him in the other country or go there to live herself.

    Please, please talk to an attorney immediately WITHOUT letting the cheater know about it. He is getting his ducks in a row to ditch all responsibility to you and to your children. Don’t give him any more heads up than he already has.

  • I was over 7 months pregnant and 6,000 miles away from my STBXH on D-Day (and thus stayed away), trust me international, more so overseas, divorce is crazy complicated… FILE NOW. it will still take long. make him sign documents where he gives you ALL custody since he will be overseas and that this is hard for communicating regarding kids when fast decisions are needed etc.

    on the bright side, what has helped me so much is that there is an ocean between us, no contact couldnt go easier (but also sucks for getting a divorce settled fast). alos, your kids are so young and he sounds like a douche who wont bother much staying involved except for some cake from the kids once in a while, they will grow up and NOT bond with him. the sooner he leaves the better for your kids.

  • Chumpy Chump

    If you are in a place that you really don’t want to stay, yet you agreed to while he went off to school, do NOT agree to stay in this location while he is gone. You must protect your right to relocate. (It is hard to know exactly how to advise you because it is unclear if you are in the US or somewhere else.) But if you are in a place where parenting plans may/do/can have clauses about where the children will reside, make sure you aren’t sentencing yourself to a location you don’t want to be in.

    Do not agree to any visitation plan that doesn’t require HIM to come to the kids whereever they are. Don’t agree to send them anywhere, etc.

    You are mighty.

  • In my multiple chump experiences, it was always very difficult to hold back when d-day came. However, if you can manage to stay quiet, you buy yourself time to line up your ducks…whether it be legal advice, or moves to safety, closing bank accounts, changing locks, etc., the bottom line is….information is power. I have learned that the eventual outcome is far more advantageous to the chump if they forego the chance to tell Cheater they are a monkey’s arse. Don’t worry, your actions will speak louder than words.

    As soon as Cheater knows you are aware of an affair, they go underground, or as in my case, they actually try to get “rid” of you. Never underestimate the evil lengths some of them will pursue. Mine tried first to poison me, then when confronted, to kill me with a kitchen knife. And this was a guy who had always seemed mild mannered to the point of being prissy.

    To me, the best way to leave a cheater is end up about 500 miles from them before they realise you’ve kicked them out. Then you don’t have to argue, yell, cry, listen to their BS, or risk physical harm. They will know soon enough what you think of them. No Contact sends the message loud and clear.

    Best revenge: ignoring the begging texts they send when hungry for kibbles.

    • Holy cow! I’m so glad you survived Marci. Thanks for warning others. I for one will not underestimate what a cheater will do to avoid consequences.

  • Just gobsmacked at the smart replies today. Consolidating here to make it easier to reference:

    See a good lawyer with understanding of divorce and custody across borders to get a bunch of things done before he leaves, especially filing for divorce, custody and support.
    Don’t tip your hand. Follow the lawyer’s advice.
    File for divorce, custody and support.
    Secure all your key documents, especially birth certificates, bank statements, taxes, investment documents, marriage certificate. You will need these.
    Take 50% of any savings NOW.
    Run a credit check. Look at all your financials. Take note of open credit cards and close them if need be.
    Monitor credit regularly to make sure STBX doesn’t open a line in your name.
    Get the lawyer started on severing your financial connection to the jackass (other than support).
    Look at the scholarship documents to find out what’s up with that. Maybe it’s just an excuse to leave and not pay support. Liars lie.
    Make sure you have full legal custody while he is overseas and the right to relocate. (Nix any issue of the kids traveling overseas while he is gone. You can always go back to court when he returns. This is actually vital because if something medical, say, happens with one of the kids, you don’t want to have to track him down to get permission to do what needs to be done.)
    Review your financial position and insist on support from this jackass.
    Make sure all visitation is spelled out and (while STBX is out of the country) probably supervised.
    Think ahead to what you want for your kids for the next 18-20 years.

    And a couple of others:
    Ask to see the documents pertaining to his living arrangements overseas. He should already have an address, etc.
    If you have the money, hire a private investigator to collect more information, including whether the OW is going to be cohabitating with STBX while he is at school. ‘Cause CN sees that as a distinct possibility.

    Add anything I forgot, fellow Chumps.

    • LovedAJackass, excellent idea (and lots of hard work!) to consolidate. I’m bookmarking.

      ChumpyChump, I am so sorry you got caught in the riptides of his selfishness, cruelty, and, as many have mentioned, utter indifference. You and your children deserve much, much better.

      Former attorney here (which is why I’m de-lurking), new**, and I want to add one thing to this very impressive list . . .

      My “one thing to add” is hard to write because I do not want you any further isolated. But my training tells me there is danger in my staying mum, so here goes. Please, please, do not say a word about any gathered info, new discoveries, and especially, any PLANS, to anyone except your lawyer or therapist. Not your mom, not your sister, not anyone. There’s too much at stake. I do not include feelings. Get all the love and “witnesses” you can on that front. But don’t tell them what you know, what you discover, or what you’re going to do unless you need their participation. The time crunch and other details that make up your particular predicament, mean, at least for right now: she or he who says the least, wins.

      Bravo to you for contacting an attorney. It’s a huge first step. Hang in there. I’m rooting for you. As are, I can see, a lot of good-hearted souls.

      [** I’ve been lurking for a couple of weeks, reading like a demon. Yep, mostly new chump. One day, in a fog of agonized incomprehension made worse by expert whackadoos, I started searching online. I acted on a tiny instinct: what I heard and read about my now-uncloaked marriage seemed hideously “off.” Since when was it okay to normalize calculated cruelty? Here, I find moments of solace and, very important to a mind made fragile by gaslighting, antidotes for crazy. I feel lucky and grateful. CL and posters, your generosity, effort, and care do so much good. Thank you. And now, embarrassed by having said much more than I have for weeks, I will take my leave.]

      • As an attorney, I understand the thought process in not telling anyone, but I disagree in reality. The harm to the psyche in keeping mum far outweighs the legal risk. If you have people you can trust, speaking to them about your plans will not harm your case and will help you process and deal with the horrible situation. If you are concerned about something crazy you might say that could be used against you, don’t put it in writing. Otherwise, gather your trusted people close and enlist their support. Do not tell the cheater or mutual friends of your plans, although if you are like me, you can’t keep these things inside.

        • When XH was secretly compiling the ugly black box of divorce, when I didn’t know anything, I still knew. One rainy afternoon I suddenly stilled at my desk at work, then phoned him at his office, and just said quietly, Hi. Are you… are you having me served with divorce papers today?

          He went dead silent and then said in a weird quavering voice, NO! Why would you ever think that! And I just said quietly, I don’t know. But something is weird.

          A few months later, one afternoon I went almost mindlessly — as if moved to it by some higher hand — into the bank and transferred our highest joint account into a separate fund in my own name. I don’t remember how we had set it up in the first place or how it was even possible for me to move that money without his permission, but that’s what I did. And when he called me that afternoon from work, I quietly told him that I had done so. He said nothing for a long minute and his total shock and unspoken rage were palpable. And for some reason I wasn’t scared or apologetic or angry. Just quiet and calm, though I wasn’t sure why.

          A few weeks later, he didn’t come home from work at all — and instead an inch-thick harrowing divorce and custody summons arrived at the gate. And all the money I had moved to preserve, was decimated by legal fees within a month and a half.

          Be so careful about keylogging software. My cellphone at the time seemed to have some kind of a trap, too — every call to or from one specific old (previously husband-approved) male friend on that phone was somehow curiously fraught with technical issues, and then when the divorce action came, that friend was named all over it, as my AP. I don’t know if it is possible to complicate phone activity, but, the weirdest things happened during the brewing divorce, and I ended up having to believe that anything was possible. Even the unimaginable.

          When your being goes quiet and calm, even if there are no thoughts driving it, LISTEN to that quiet. A lot of the most accurately self-protective actions I took in my divorce, I have to think were directed solely by Spirit. If something silent is driving you to make a certain strange action that feels somehow right and imperative, listen to that, and let it lead you.

          And no matter what is going on, no matter how scary it gets, know that you are going to come through it. I’m sorry you are having to do it, but when it is necessary, we don’t seem to have choice not to. Keep on the high road as much as you can, and just know, no matter what, that you’ll come through it.

          • I am about the furthest from a believer in any non-scientific explanations but I do now believe in my intuition. I repeatedly had the urge to flee The Evil Toddler. Even during seemingly good times, I would often be awake at night and think of leaving in that moment. I have never experienced anything like it. I have now lost everything (own home, money, friends) because of the depression, anxiety, etc., that took over while I was with him and continued for many years thereafter. As difficult as it is to extricate yourself and sever emotional ties, staying a second beyond the time you need to line up ducks is dangerous, imo.

      • Welcome, ClaireS. Sorry you are eligible to be an “experienced” member of Chump Nation. Keep posting–we need all the wisdom we can gather.

  • One thing I would like to add that might not have been mentioned–protect your data. My criminal, sociopathic, borderline, narcissistic, psychotic, abusive, cheating STBX used to hack my computer and read my text messages (although I was the law-abiding, faithful spouse). I started hiding my computer and frequently changing the passwords on my devices to protect myself from various types of white collar crimes as well as violent crimes committed by my husband. I also got a safe house, which the kids and I used. Ideally, you won’t need that!

    Get a physical custody order as soon as possible. In the early days of my separation, I worried about my husband kidnapping and possibly killing our kids (just to spite me). My STBX and I used to have tug-of-war over the kids until police, legally powerless to determine who would get the kids that day, week, etc., would appear. Life got easier after a physical custody order went into effect.

    CC, you sound very strong. I hope that your life gets significantly better soon.

      • One of the problems with keyloggers that are already installed on a shared computer is that they are undetectable. Changing passwords doesn’t help because the keystroke data is being sent directly to the hacker on his/her email. I know this because I used a keylogger to catch my last cheater. I still have all his passwords now almost four years later…he’s never changed them. Not that what he does particularly interests me.

        If I suspected there was a keylogger on my computer, I would get a specific antivirus programme that detcts and disables the malware. I am not wanting to advertise, since I have no interest in that, but the most effective,antivirus for this is a common programme whose name starts with K. The other antiviruses like N can be bypassed by this malware.

        The only other option would be to do all your correspondance on a new tablet device that you know is secure. Change your passwords once you know the old home computer is hacked, just stop using it! Wiping the hard drive doesn’t always kill the malware.

        • Well, there ya go. If there’s a problem, there’s a Chump who can solve it. I’ve never dealt with key loggers, but I know a woman whose significant other was an IT guy who read her journals, emails, letters, etc. and shared them with others. So be careful.

  • WOW!!! i am super sorry for you to be going thru this and only have such a short time to prepare.. .. i hope you are getting a bunch of good advice … you will need to get things in writting before he leaves…

    i dont know where you are, but in my state in the USA, i was able to fill out my own divorce papers. i went to the courthouse and got a package for 25.00. marriage with children. i filled it out. asked him to met me at the notary and we signed all the papers. i held on to them for a month but after i found out he had a gf. i filed the papers the next day (making him pay me the 200 to file). i was divorced in a month.

    a few things i learned… i asked for and got sole custody and zero visitation. in your case you might want to make sure it is stated no international or out of state visitations. i asked for and got 1000/month child support… only he doesnt pay it.. but he is court ordered to.. i asked for and received permission to change my kids name to my maiden name… i asked for and got everything… the house, the yard, the garage and everything in it… (he kept telling me he didnt want anything any ways)… .. make sure you put in writing that you have all medical, and everything else permissions to the childrens needs and do not fall for the 50/50 crap or the both parents need to sign or agree to anything… make sure it specifically states that you have sole custoday and all parenting decisions made for the children…

    if you could do something like this and at least get him to sign in front of a notary before he goes…

    plus… if i were you. (knowing now what i did not know then)… i would divorce him. then move my children and myself to a whole new life. dont tell him where you are going. or moving to. his decision to move out to a another country… so why do you need to tell him where you are moving… get far away from him. because i will bet my bottom dollar when he comes back he is going to go straight to you and cry about how much he missed you and his kids… … … DO. NOT. LET. HIM. COME. BACK…..

    keep copies of his passport, ss card and drivers license… just in case you need to search for him.

    hugs to you
    and good luck.

  • I have not read everything, though I’m sure everyone has given you good and thoughtful advice…

    A few things made it hard for me to go to the lawyer. I’m used to having a very general sense of what’s going to happen when I make an appointment of some type. I work in medicine, so doctor and dentists are no big deal to me. Someone coming to fix plumbing or electrical, I have a general understanding of these systems and I know what to expect. I am researcher by nature and tend to have a general plan in my head whenever facing a project. Seeing a lawyer was new experience to me. I had no idea what I needed to do or if I was asking the right questions, or what my metric was for a “good” lawyer vs a “bad” lawyer. I also felt really unprepared… like I was supposed to have a plan or something? Yeah, turns out that is their job. You tell them in clear, unvarnished terms what your situation is and they tell you what your options are. I actually met with 1 lawyer for a general overview/discussion about options, an accountant for some look at finances, and another lawyer for discussion of my best approach. You may not have that kind of time, but don’t feel frozen by saying “I wouldn’t even know where to begin with a lawyer”… turns out they know exactly where to begin and they have a form for that.

    I was also really worried that he would find out before I was “ready”. I mean I was careful, kept my cell phone under wraps, used an old email, had lots of stuff locked in my office 50 miles from my house… etc. the thing is with these types is they are so wrapped up in themselves that as long as you are not causing them any problems, they aren’t paying attention to you. We have talked about being the wife appliance. Well now is the time to use that to your advantage. Are his children cared for and his meals on the table. Is his laundry done and put away? He will give no notice to your occasional “Drink with the girls” or “meeting up with my sister”… he’s way too distracted thinking about all that foreign pussy he’s going to get when throws that wedding ring in the dresser at his new place and finds himself a new fuckbuddy.

  • What struck me is how small you had already made yourself for him- you agreed to let him go overseas for TWO YEARS with two children under three? No doubt for the same reason I let my ex husband go to a rock concert in Denmark ( we live in Australia) when I was seven months pregnant with our first child.They make you feel guilty and overly possessive for thinking it’s weird. then there’s that ” if you love something, set it free” crap swirling in your head.But, in fact people who are ENGAGED with their spouses DO NOT want to leave the country when they have a five month old.
    I feel so badly for you. But he is already gone, in spirit and emotion, so it doesn’t matter if he is physically present- you would still be doing all the hard work alone. I hope you have a support network, and family, and if not- move to them.I wish I was a millionaire and could conjure up a nanny for you
    Take this lying, irresponsible piece of shit for everything possible. I think hiding the passportsis an excellent idea . ” What do you mean you can’t find it, honey? I’m sure it was right there. How odd, I wonder where I put them. Must have been pregnancy brain.”

    • It took me awhile to realize that “controlling and jealous”, aka overly possessive.. is how the cheater makes you feel bad for recognizing the weak boundaries and disrespect and standing up for yourself.. or trying.

      When they cheat it’s just another ‘reason’ why you deserved it… you never let them fool around on the side without complaining about it, so you forced them to have to cheat by not allowing them to cheat.

      • Yes!!! They don’t allow you the right to defend yourself. So any “normal” reaction our parts to their behavior, is pegged as jealous, controlling, insecure, sensitive. So we’re the assholes for reacting normally to an outrageous situation. I see.

        • And the way you stomach falls to the floor when you realise you have to EXPLAIN to a grown man why that thing is hurtful, or dismissive. ” Well, honey, if you are on the other side of the world when I go into early labour, as the doctor has said I might, it could be tricky. But obviously your love for metal bands is more important than that. I will just stay home and vomit a lot for three weeks by myself”. Past self, I love you, but what were you thinking?

          • Oh, and sorry to keep ranting, but he bought me a pair of amber earrings as an apology gift, and miscalculated the exchange rate, so they were more expensive than he planned- which he brought up EVERY TIME I wore them to the point that I stopped wearing them. i don’t know where they are now.
            I made myself so, so small to try and make him happy, not knowing that he cannot be happy.he’s really unhappy now! life has been so awful to him, don’t you know!

            • That’s horrible, sorry that you had to suffer through being treated so small. To leave your pregnant wife for anything other than setting up you future (major job interview) for any amount of time is pathetic and just plain cruel. Nice of him to keep reminding you how those earrings that were supposed to cover up how selfish he is cost more than he expected.. nothing selfish about that at all. Might have been nice to just tell you they look good on you and not mention the cost.. (sigh)…

    • “What struck me is how small you had already made yourself for him- you agreed to let him go overseas for TWO YEARS with two children under three? No doubt for the same reason I let my ex husband go to a rock concert in Denmark ( we live in Australia) when I was seven months pregnant with our first child.”

      This, right here.

      • Cheater ex was so proud of his valiant attempts at “playing daddy”.

        I was at lunch with some girlfriends when my child was preschool age, and they asked me about ex as a father. I told them he was a Good Father, he paid half the daycare so I could work, and took our child to daycare every morning. (He was done for the day after that, free to visit whores on his way home although I don’t think he was at that time).

        I remember one of my friends looking really disgusted, and saying ” I don’t like him very much. “. I’ll never forget that. He really had me convinced how lucky I was… for him doing the bare minimum that he did.

  • Chumpy Chump, everyone here is supportive and cares for you and the well-being of your children. Visit the site often and post in the forums. I believe you will successfully do exactly what you need to in the next three weeks. You are mighty!

  • my ex went on an “essential” work trip when my first child was 10 days old, after a long and difficult birth.
    2 weeks in New Zealand with his boss. I know now that it was just a jolly and they were picking up women, playing cricket and generally having fun. His boss also now divorced.
    You are so right that we are made to feel jealous and petty for thinking they should be more supportive. Looking back that was all the evidence I needed to know my ex was lousy husband material!!

    Their ability to get what they want while making you feel un-reasonable for expecting better is amazing. I sometimes wish I had divorced him then, but then I would be missing my much loved 2 later children.

    Focus on your kids, and I would try and get as many of the assets as possible. As he is leaving the country I would be amazed if he pays any support regardless of what lawyers say. Lawyers say all sorts of things. Getting these idiots to actually pay is a whole other story.

    • Mine went on all kind of fun trips with final OWhore during my last trimester and when my baby was just born, including surfing, skydiving etc. LOL. I could follow it all on the Facebook page stupid OW made for her employer who sent her on travel for marketing (of course yoga/spiritual bullshit). I took screenshots so if my daughter someday wants to see what her father was up to around the time she was born…

      What a joke, their absurd fucking disgusting behavior I can look back at sure helps me get closer to Meh even though it is still far away, but it is on the map at least.

      I know refer to my STBXH as “The Idiot” cause he has the sadz now.

      • *now

        typo

        CL & CN you really did save my sanity, I cant imagine looking back at that awful time so “whatthefuckever”, as I do now most of the time, without you all.

      • Fuck him and his sadz.

        Ladies, this is why I get so pissed at these assholes. I have no children, no grandchildren. I never will have them.

        And these fucks toss their families, their kids, away like trash. Stupid, selfish, bastards.

        • Jim, your pointed concise comments are always a joy to read.

          I want the very best, most richly heart-fulfilling life for you. For myself also, and for everyone here, but somehow this morning, very much for you.

          • Me too. When I’m ready to date again I hope I meet someone with Jim’s honesty, integrity, and for telling it like it is.

      • ;D “has the sadz” made me laugh; thank u for dat!

        “I could follow it all on the Facebook page stupid OW made for her employer who sent her on travel for marketing (of course yoga/spiritual bullshit).”

        In my case it was MOW’s Instagram, same field and same subjects, very much yoga/travel, namaste. My daughter likes to say to that, namaGO. I watched the MOW’s Instagram for about a month until I realized it was stupid, she was nothing to me, it was stupid for me to be concerning myself with this stranger’s life when I definitely had a life of my own, and that my own at heart was way more interesting and more valuable to me.

        It’s too bad; I used to love and excel in yoga, travel, and photography, and would have been great in marketing, very presentable and engaging and all that. Except after the MOW business, now I am bitter about yoga/spiritual, jaded about travel and travel photography, and, though I try to stay even-minded about it, tend to think of all marketing people as lying cheating opportunistic whores. 🙁 VERY SORRY to any marketing people here!!! It bothers me that the cheater’s dealings have turned me against an entire career and network I could have really excelled in and enjoyed. I’m not sure how I will ever recover from that.

  • When they go overseas, they are done with life as you know it. At most, they may retain you as a back up plan and to avoid the consequences of divorce. I don’t know if you have any assets, but I would go get a Qualified Domestic Relations Order that they go to you. You are so wise to deal with this up front.

    • I am so sorry that this is happening to you.
      These are commonly called “the first four” or the “fantastic four”:

      1. Seek legal counsel. Usually free, get more than one opinion
      2. Secure finances
      3. Garner your support. Medical doctors/therapists – in real life and online. Tell them the total/ straight truth, so they can help you
      4. Start reading about detachment.

      • P.S. Wash up your “underoos” Wonder Woman panties. You are going to need some, but you got this….

  • Chumpy Chump:

    Document, document, document! If you have to, stay up after he’s gone to bed (all night if that’s what it takes) and forward each and every text message he and the OW have exchanged to your own cell phone. From there, email them to yourself; this will help your attorney to build a timeline. If you and your STBX share an email account, open a free Gmail or Yahoo account in your name only and send the evidence there. If that won’t work, send them to a willing friend’s account and collect it from her. DO THIS NOW BEFORE HE REALIZES HE SHOULD DELETE THE EVIDENCE.

    The 3 weeks you have left before your STBX leaves the country will go more quickly than you anticipate. So I agree with what others have said… Ask your divorced friends for recommendations; I did and when the same attorney’s name came up several times, I called him and he ended up being a great advocate.

    • Which country is he going to? There are bilateral agreements with the US. And many countries, at least here in the EU, don’t take skipping out on kids too kindly. Let me know and perhaps I have someone in my network that can help.

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