Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Dear Chump Lady, I don’t trust women

golddiggerDear Chump Lady,

Today was the 30th day since my 2.5 year long divorce nightmare ended. And, tonight I’m feeling certain that I know a fundamental truth about women that I DO NOT want to believe. Tonight I am convinced that almost all women see men as a means to a shallow ends. Will he provide me enough, will he praise me enough, will he stay good looking enough, will he raise my social status enough, etc… and when he no longer does, will I still be young enough to find a replacement, when this man has served all the purposes I have for him now.

I know the fellow chump ladies would say, that is what their NPD would say of them. I know it is not just a female issue, there are sucky men out there. (Although, I don’t know them, while almost all my male friends have been put through hell by women like that).

I don’t want to be a bitter old man (I’m 50 now). I don’t want to be a misogynist. But, tonight, that feels like the real truth. That women see men not as mates, but as stepping stones, that mean no more than the dirt they wipe on them from their expensive high heeled shoes, as they walk all over the subservient, codependent men, on their way to their selfish version of happiness.

Please, CL, and the ladies of your blog, put me in my place, and tell me I am wrong. Before I become the bitter old misogynist I don’t want to be.


Dear Steve,

Excuse me, before I can answer your letter, I need to remove my Manolo Blahniks and stab some sniveling man with my heel. (I find that’s the best way to remove the dirt.) Ah, happiness! Next, I shall peruse the glossy holiday catalog that just arrived “Gold Digger — Upgrading Stylishly!” where I will page through pages of handsome profiles, (Biff Biffson, internet entrepreneur! Nils Hunkgren ski instructor! Walter Greedsnort, commodities trader!) and look at my husband askance to see if he measures up. Hmm. Lawyer. This is good. Hmmm. Wardrobe. Not so good. Maybe I could trade him in for a man who wears French cuff shirts.

But let’s get real, Steve. Is a man with gold cufflinks, a guy who will buy me all the Manolo Blahniks I deserve — is he going to be interested in squigdy, middle-aged me? Maybe, if he’s 70 or something, and not that discerning. But to get the quality chump — you know, the sort of guy who will let me bleed him dry — I need to up my game. So before I chuck my clueless husband, first I’ll soak him for a gym membership and some liposuction. Straighten my hair, botox my inner thighs, shellac my eyebrows, pluck my ears, and exfoliate my elbows. Once made over, I’m the kind of flaky sexpot Walter Greedsnort could never resist.

Oh so what if there are 1,700 facsimiles of me profiled in the glossy catalog men get “Bimbos Better Than Your Wife” (Mindy Muffet, shop girl! ZseZse Planck, masseuse! Bitsy Drake, artful accessory! Inoffensive and nice to look at! And she doubles as a houseplant!) That’s what you men want, isn’t it? A pretty face, big boobs, and willing orifices?

No? You’re not like that? You want more? You want a friend too? A spiritual connection? A person who will sit through a Cubs game with you and like it? Someone to grow old with? The kind of gal who makes an effort but doesn’t spend $120 each week on elbow exfoliation?

Yes we exist, Steve. Of course we exist. And nice men exist too. Men who are more than the sum of their wallets.

You’re just having a fit that’s common to chumps at times — the I Hate the Entire Gender, They’re All Like My Crappy Ex.

You know why you’re feeling that way? Because it’s easier than feeling like a chump.

Hey, if the game is rigged, if they’re ALL like that, well you were never vulnerable, you never have to examine your picker, this is just How It Is. It’s inevitable that you were going to get played, because true love and commitment don’t exist. It’s just a shell game. HA! Now you’re on to them — and you won’t get conned again. Everyone who “loves” is going to get suckered, but not you!

Sorry Steve. Love is risk. You know when people are most prone to superstition? When they feel like they have no control. They create little rituals, or belief systems to give them a sense of control, to predict their futures. Don’t step on cracks on the sidewalk and Bad Things Won’t Happen. Avoid Green People, they’re all crooks and muggers. Touch the light switch 7 times, and your mother won’t die.

All Women Suck is just your stupid superstition. It’s not true. Some women suck, absolutely. Some women are gems. It’s up to you to fix your picker and learn to discern better. Judge people on their character, look for signs of entitlement. Value reciprocity in your relationships over the perfectly shellacked eyebrow and botoxed thigh. Don’t be shallow, and don’t attract shallow.

Is this a perfect solution? It’s the best I’ve got for you. Because life isn’t risk free. All you can control in this world is yourself. If someone mistreats you, you deal with that. You protect yourself. You don’t go all chumpy. You had the misfortune of being cheated on, you learn from it.

But don’t wall off your heart, Steve. Don’t close it to the millions of people out there who are not duplicitous and shallow. Who love with their whole hearts. Whose squigdy middle-agedness might rock your world. You don’t know.

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite artists Alice Neel:

You should keep on painting no matter how difficult it is, because this is all part of experience, and the more experience you have, the better it is… unless it kills you, and then you know you have gone too far.

Keep painting, Steve.

This column ran previously.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Yeah, the temptation is real to write off the other gender. But CL is right: good women (and men) exist who genuinely value you for being you as opposed to just a means to something. I found one after my divorce. It was obvious the difference when I proposed. My cheating ex grabbed and only looked at the ring…my wife looked at me.

    • Holy Moly (edited in respect to you) Divorce Minister!!!! My x did the same. I had never even thought about it until now. Wow and thank you for that.

      • You know what’s funny? H bought an iPad for me for our anniversary. I said all I wanted was time with him and our family, not more stuff. He left me two months later. Sigh.

        • An iPad for your anniversary? Geez. How much more unromantic can you get. Did he always buy lame gifts like this, a toaster or a lawnmower? He sounds so boring and lame.

          • I got nice gifts from asswipe but it was because he cant give of himself. Too much trouble to buy a card write in it and decide where to take me for dinner. Way too much trouble. I never asked much all i ever wanted was to be loved and appreciated. But that was more than asswipe is able to give. Just throw money at it and everything will be great. Yep thats how pods think.

            • That was my ex to a T! He never had time to find a gift for anyone. Cash was his solution for every occasion-birthdays-deaths. He always said it’s the gift that will never be returned. I would buy thoughtful gifts for everyone, sign our names, and he would come behind me and dole out large sums of cash. Sometimes cash is an appropriate gift but I never understood why he did that and it frustrated the hell out of me. My kids became accustomed to amounts that I considered obscene for their age. He could have put it in their savings for college.
              My DS just had a milestone birthday and has had no contact with him for over a year. Still, he expected a card and the cash. He got crickets. After the third day looking for the mail, I told him that I feel since he elected no contact his dad is done. If he isn’t getting something from you, he’s not giving anything. I could be wrong because I have no idea how he thinks. However after 33 years, I feel I can predict his behavior to some degree. A simple card would have shown some interest but they don’t operate that way.

              • Mine gave me the same anniversary card 2 years in a row and didn’t even notice! Lol

              • Neverwouldhaveimagined–wow, what a thoughtful guy (eyeroll). Did he buy them in bulk? Good thing you left him or you probably would have received the same card in perpetuity.

              • I am 46 now, my 42nd birthday I got nothing. ‘They’ forgot. I kicked my then husband and my then 6 and 10 year old out of my bed to get me the attention I deserved. I threw away the ugly wooden parrot when DD nr1 hit me. My boys know they should never cheat or forget someone they love again. My then husband is my ex and has a girlfriend my boys don’t know, she’s number 8.

              • STBX bought everyone lousy gifts. My favorite … he bought a decoy duck for his mom for christmas. No one in that family hunts or cares about wildlife … everyone was baffled by his choice. But I know why he bought it … It was on display on a table right at the entrance to the store. He literally picked up the first item he saw and was done gift shopping in five minutes flat. Typical.

              • My STBX was the king of grand gestures. Expensive gifts I didn’t want or need which he was more interested in boasting to everyone about to make himself look like the generous thoughtful husband, rather than put any thought into the simple things that I liked and cost nothing. Spent hundreds of pounds on diamond earrings for our 12th anniversary in February even though he knew I hated flash jewellery and never wear it but he kept on insisting I put them on in front of other people. Found out weeks later the day after this grand anniversary “gift of love” he was off shagging his Howorker in the toilet of a local bar, and continued to do so regularly for next couple of months. After DD 1 while in the throws of wreconcilliation I called him out on it saying I wanted his time and his affection not material things. He nodded in agreement so I played the pick me dance while he continued to eat cake. Luckily DD 2 came only weeks later and I threw his arse out. Hadn’t discovered CL or CN then but so reassuring to know these fucktards all play by the same rule book and never change. It’s always all about them so kicking them to touch permanently is the only way to move on and be happy.

                His howorker likes expensive handbags and holidays so they are well matched although he might find he can’t afford such luxuries for her now he has two homes to pay for. Not sure how long she’ll stick around when she realises!!!

                So yes there are women (and men) who will use their chumps to get what they want until something better comes along – mine didn’t have a pot to piss in when we met and let me pay for everything – house, wedding, honeymoon, car. But there are loads of us who are not disordered narcissists and actually value people with good hearts more than any of the material things they can provide us with. Don’t let them win and ruin any future happiness that you deserve by making you bitter and untrusting. Just tune your fucktard radar a little more sharply!!!

              • My ex, on my last birthday before D day, when he ramped-up the lovebombing a bit, gave me a card that basically read: “Oh it’s your birthday again? You seem to get one of those every year. ” No sentiment printed or written. Just signed. Boy did that suck.

            • The knife sharpener. That was mine. I can laugh now. I’m not a chef nor curiously into making cuisine. I laugh because it FITS! The guy stabbing me in the back and having his special friends do it too gave me a knife sharpener!!!!

              • Coffee maker here. By the third year our kids laughed and said, “Oh look, it’s Mom’s annual Christmas coffee maker.” Not to mention the same book twice in a row, two different ones.

          • Thirty six years times fifteen dollar flowers every single anniversary. Never once made a plan. Never a birthday present, more flowers.

            I never expected more or complained. I had to pay for my dinner and drink while he got the most expensive plate on the menue and had five drinks.

            Do I care what’s in anyone’s wallet. No. It’s about appreciation and kindness.

            • OK, I gotta say something – what is with women and the obsession with gift giving? Do you see any men here complaining about the gifts their cheater x’s gave them? It’s a bit of a sore spot with me.

              • The only gift i ever wanted was his love and devotion. And maybe a card. I only mentioned gifts cause thats what he gave me instead of giving of himself. Three greatest gifts we got were the kids and he mostly complains about them. Gifts dont mean shit to me especially if they are just replacing attention he cant give. I know tons of women who feel the same and no matter how many times i told asswipe id rather have a card and some special us time than a gift he never got it.

              • Good observation I can only speak for myself, but I value the sentiment of the gift. I have notes from my sisters since high school. I still have handmade cards from my boys. And the diamond earrings I got from exh came after I told him about the ones I was supposed to get from my dad but were stolen from me by my mom.

                The new diamond earrings I bought myself represent my freedom. The freedom to be at a point in my life to give to myself what I want and need and not wait for anyone else to provide it.

                Gifts that have meaning are priceless, whatever their cost. Those flowers that he never brought home would have represented that he thought about me and made an effort to show it. My heart melts when I see men leaving the grocery store with a bunch of flowers. I can’t help but smile at them each and every time because there’s such a sweetness and easy simplicity in the gesture and I hope they will be enjoyed and remembered.

              • “Where a person spends their treasure is where their heart lies.” I basically handed every single check I ever earned right over to my wife. My reward was for her to leave me. This is obviously a reflection of the unhealthy relationship dynamic that existed between my wife and me, and is not in any way representative of men or women. I just wish it had all been different.

              • The only gift we can give is truly of ourselves thats the only one that really matters. Love honor integrity trust. My house is going to closing in a few weeks dday three years ago divorce dec 2015. Asswipe is buying the house his business is here. After dday i asked please now i know dont lie to me anymore give me that gift please. Please. he agreed. I asked if whore juice was ever in my house or any other of his bimbos he said no he wouldnt disrespect me like that. Swore on his kids lives he was telling the truth. While packing up my stuff i found pictures of whore juice and others naked in bondage outfits bruised and beaten pictures taken in my kitchen, my living room, my bed, my truck and my car. Ive spent the morning in tears. That motherfucker couldnt give me the one gift i asked for. The truth. He lied on his kids lives and disrespected me in my own home and my own bed. Felt the knife dig even deeper. Thirty years with the fucktard i gave him faithful honest loving service and that motherfucker fucked three woman in my own bed while i was working at my job and came home and handed him my paycheck for thirty years. I trusted this pod above all others and even when it no longer mattered still he lied. I begged to be told the truth and just more fucking lies. Ive printed out all the pictures and bondage dating sites he is on and when i move i will leave them on the counter for him to see when he takes back the house. Until then i have to reel it in and play the great actress because he can get violent and vindictive. I didnt hate him until today and im giving him the gift of silence and crickets when i leave. Oaktree he still wants to be family and best me he still wants sex with me. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. Good loving giving people expect little in return. Truth, honesty, caring, sharing. After today do i wish him dead, damn right i do.

              • Oh, wow. I’m so sorry you had to experience that. Not going Tasmanian Devil on the house is a true sign of mightiness. I know it’s in your own best interest not to, but I can imagine the urge to bust shit up is strong.

              • Thanks which way i thought i knew it all. I was going through the important papers drawer just pulling out my personal stuff when i found them. I couldnt believe he lied to my face again even after it no longer mattered. Violated the sanctity of my home and bed! What pieces of shit these women are. Must have been funny being dirty and sneaky getting one over on me. Asswipe even said its all over now km why would i lie? And continues to lie to this very day. I never wanted to hate him but now i have no choice even up to the very end he has to fuck me over. Its gonna take every ounce of my being to keep calm and pretend but i need to, to get what i want. Today i dont want to destroy his stuff id rather destroy him but i wont. I will simply walk away like nothing cause thats what asswipe is. Just nothing, nothing son, nothing father, nothing friend. Nothing.

              • Oaktree; I gotta agree. Mine would tell me to go get what I wanted (Usually less than $100.00) then I would get what I wanted myself and he paid for it. It was just fine with me. He didn’t like to shop, and I got something I needed or wanted.
                I think women see/feel the difference when someone is cheating, because the gift has gone from being thoughtful to generic.

          • What’s with iPads? Dr. Crazy gave me one for our first anniversary, 4 days after I’d gotten the anonymous text informing me about his various online dating profiles and was in shock.

            Dumped him. Kept the electronics.

              • Me too, for my birthday, after I had told him multiple times that I had no interest in an Ipad. I never used it and it’s just been collecting dust since then.

              • I too received an iPad (mini) for Christmas. Only gift he ever purchased during 2 decades. Weird. For anniversaries it was the same repetitive card that focused on his behaviour instead of stating any love for me. Oh, and red roses, even though I mentioned (for 20 years) that I didn’t like red, but preferred white. The gifts were not important. The fact that my preferences were disregarded for that length of time says it all. Like many others here, some time alone just talking & connecting was all I wanted.

            • All these gifts are practical gifts, none from the heart. What happened to romantic gifts, like jewerly or something thoughtful. It’s not the price that counts, but the gesture and thought behind it. These cheaters are idiots. Their hearts are not invested in the relationship and their gifts are a clear evidence of this.

              • Mine got me diamond earrings for one of our earlier Christmases together. I wore them all the time. Besides my wedding ring, it was really the only jewelry I wore. Years later I lost one of the earrings. I was heartbroken. I hinted at another pair for years. Nothing. Then i came right out and asked for him to buy me another pair or at least one to match the one I lost. He told me no. I had lost it and he didn’t want to buy me something I’d just lose again. The Christmas after the first dday, I got a new pair of diamond earrings. I took them off after the 2nd dday and sold them with all the other jewelry he gave me over the years. When I went to the Caribbean with my sister I bought a new pair of diamond earrings. They now symbolize my freedom and I wear them all the time.

              • Hope I’m not too late on the iPad gift! I get lost answering sometimes.
                The X bought me a new iPad for xmas (well, he actually won it at work) and it replaced my older one.
                I get it all set up and am fascinated with the new app ‘Find my iPad’. Figured it out and showed him how it worked if we ever lost it.
                Then, suddenly, he loved the new screen resolution on it and the new technology so he took it back. (It was sort of his since he won it for working hard, yanno) Although, my name was engraved on it.

                So, Mr Jolly Roger takes that iPad everywhere he goes, especially on those sudden ‘business’ trips all over the country.
                Living at her house between those trips.
                Oh yeah, I had a real ball following him around on that that thing, watching everywhere he went.
                They were too stupid to turn the ‘off’ button off and, since I originally set his name and password up on it and showed him, he didn’t even *think* about that. Suppose his Weiner got the best of him.

                What a fool. Hey buddy – thanks for the ‘gift’.
                (he threw the thing away when I told him I’d been following him the past year) He accused me of working for HSD – lol) Fucker. It was a good iPad.

              • Yep … Find my iphone app was also very informative. I learned that every day when he came home from work he would stop at the park right around the corner, get out and walk to the far corner, stand hidden in some trees next to a graveyard, and talk on the phone to his gay friend. Anyone wanna guess what he was doing while he was hiding behind that tree? I also saw how often he was stopping at the grocery store to buy beer for cash (he’s an alcoholic) and watched him stop by the park to dispose of the beer bottles after his evening tennis games.

              • Kellia,

                I’m curious how jewelry is more “romantic” than electronics? It’s purely “in your mind” what is considered romantic – it’s something marketing experts “sell” you on the concept. I, with much thought, purchased an external hard drive (electronic device) for a dear dear friend of mind – a female – that I was seeing – for Valentines Day. In retrospect I would consider her a soul mate, the most important person in my life. You could argue that was a horrible sucky gift, particularly for V-day!!! Because it wasn’t jewelry, because it wasn’t “romantic”. I get the concept. I admitted to her it was cheesy even before she received it, but I explained it was a realistic and useful gift. She had just received a new laptop, and was getting rid of an old one. She has mass, mass amounts of pictures of songs – things she was into and valued, which could now be backed up and saved off. I actually gave a lot of consideration to the gift, in detail. Flowers die quickly and are such short term value – while she appreciated when I got them for her, she acknowledged the short duration and didn’t agree with spending significant money on flowers. Granted, I will also agree that flowers are more romantic “in the mind”, but maybe value that you got something at all? Value a gift. Maybe not perfect. Maybe I could have done better? When was the last time all of you females complaining on the gifts received – when was the last time you sent flowers out of the blue to your man (new or established relationship)? Or that you got him something romantic? I’m not going to deny men are not the most romantic – I was far more romantic than she was. I got a pull-over sweater, 2 actually. Is that romantic? Is that more “romantic” than an iPad, or an external hard drive. I’d argue, not viciously or critically bitterly, that my two pullovers had zero more “romantic” value than an iPad or the external hard drive I purchased for her. It’s all a mind game – perception and perspective. All of us fall victim to criticize others, while thinking we are better. I’m that, I’ll fully admit it. I’m forcing myself to look at things far more openly than I ever have before. I get it, we hurt, we strike out. HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE though. Try to be objective. Try to see things at a broader spectrum.

                Her and I are no longer together. Sucks that it had to end. Too many complications. Too many differences in our personalities and life styles. I’m sure many of you women are thinking this guy is an ass, just because of my gender without even realizing it. Good for her she’s not with him! Blah Blah Blah. Obviously he wasn’t objective and open minded enough, right? I’ll fully admit that. But we had material differences in our values. That is very challenging to overcome – unless you just don’t give a d*&$.

                Now, realize I never once lied to her. I never hid anything from her (I asked to defer one thing while were exploring our relationship while I worked on it, but I was upfront on it and brought it up). I reconnected with her at a challenging part of my life and thought I had found a life partner (her term). So why didn’t it work out?

                She lied about fundamental things. She lied by omission. She told me what I “wanted” to hear. She was like a chameleon – adapting to the environment to survive. Much of this was subconsciously on her part, but I would argue not all… We all know when we say something that isn’t true. Maybe not the implication of the impact.

                You might be thinking I was not accepting, maybe even close minded. I was, I’ll admit that. It’s also what is forcing me to reflect on life and my values.
                I’m judgmental. But without judgment and common societal beliefs towards a common good, our social system would degrade. People would take what ever they wanted from others. They would drive drunk and risk other’s safety. Not contribute to society with taxes. We judge our kids on their grades, their friends, their actions (think of lighting a firework with their face over the device) – we judge sometimes because we care, sometimes because of fear, sometimes out of a need for control
                I’m trying to be more cognizant and open minded.
                I hold myself to my standards, so while I’m judgmental, I’m not a hypocrite.

                However, if you reverse the situation, and it was me the male that lied, that lied by omission, that told her what SHE wanted to hear in order to strengthen the relationship, I’m betting many of the females on the site would be cheering her on for leaving (it was actually mutual).

                How about rather than complaining (you could call me bitter above – I have some of that, I’ll admit), we open our minds and hearts. It’s difficult, but it’s necessary.

                I’m with Oaktree – lots of women complaining on gifts.
                I get women like to be shown attention – they are driven by emotion far more than men imho. I’d say they “need” attention more than men. I’m all for the comments on “time” – they valued time more than gifts. I’ll also fully admit I gave monetary gifts – we had miles between us, so gifts showed some affection. I’m extremely stubborn and independent, but I as a male see gifts as a way to show appreciation, even to my immediate family. We emailed near daily – phone what not her thing. I would have preferred phone conversations. Inflection, tone are missing in emails. She had reasons for not wanting to be on the phone (I still discount them even today, granted they had some value, particularly one, but it was offset by her own comments that contradicted the objections to phone conversations).

                I’ve rambled here. It’s part of my discovery and healing… Much like I perceive for the females that are also venting.

                I’m not trying to bash even myself, but I see a lot of bashing of the men in the stories (due to the nature of the audience I’m sure). I understand, but I’m also curious how many of the commenters (men or women) reflected on their relationships and the failure, and what they might have that might have contributed to the failure? What might have you done differently that could have helped with a different outcome? Have you adjusted with your current relationship? I’ve become very introspective, and am trying to better myself, and as difficult as it is at times, be more open minded, within reason.
                I hope, with my new awareness, that I could find someone and be a fantastic partner (I’ve failed in areas in the past (AS I’M SURE ALL OTHERS HAVE AS WELL – even those compaining in this thread). However, just like many of the commenters on this thread, I don’t know I’m up for another shot. The downside is very risky, and painful. Cost (risk) vs (possible) benefit.

                “We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions”

                “People are quick to judge others faults, but never quick to point out their own” (or they fail to recognize they do the same things they are judging others on)

                “We are very good lawyers for our own mistakes, but very good judges for the mistakes of others.”

              • Hurt Soul – I’m extremely practical, so, therefore, love practical gifts and give the same. In my book, even flowers are suspect especially roses. They die in 2-3 days. If you are going to buy a flower, buy one that will last at least a week!

                The hard drive was a thoughtful gift IMO. As far as gifting to men – I used to surprise my ex with things all the time and very often put lots of thought into the gifts – they were not for any special occasion either. Women give gifts all the time – from something as small as picking up your favorite cookie while grocery shopping, to happily cooking a regular old dinner and doing the cleanup. That is a daily gift of love and those are VERY romantic 😉

                I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you. Keep your chin up and try, try again because there are lots of gals out there looking for a chump like you! Happy Thanksgiving.

          • I’m going through a divorce after 24 years o marriage. He filed and notified me via mail!! I have found things very unsettling in the last 3 years. He’s been hot/cold even throughout the divorce process. I found an e-mail from a hook up site with her profile number. Then found her under her business contacts with a different e-mail… they been in contact. I found some go phone entries on his kindle. The order of the pages told me he had to have an account in order to reach the last entry page. It went like thi: first page was general website, second page was ” activevate my device”, third page “my personal info”. I even took it to a store that sells those devices and they told me unless you have an account you can’t reach the last page. He started lying about small things. Btw–he even had a hotels reward membership. He has never admitted a single thing! I started keeping a journal just to make sure I wasn’t remembering things incorrectly. His demeanor towards me changed completely. I was hoping this was a middle life crisis and would pass. It’s been 3 months and we have both hired attorneys. We had many years together and a lot of good memories. Divorce should be granted any day now. We have no children and I’m foreign and have no family here. He stayed home last Thursday from work because he said he wanted to make sure he had considered everything. He moved into a spare bedroom the day he filedThen the rest of the weekend didn’t talk to me. This is routine. I will be moving out of state upon divorcing. I’m extremely depressed and find it difficult to even get out of bed. I feel like I’m having to start over at my age age , while he gets to be the distinguished stud with a very nice income. Living under the same roof is driving me nuts. Sometimes I’m angry, I cry daily and I can’t start on anything (except research) until the settlement comes through. I was a loyal wife. I’ e work for 20+ years, cleaned. cooked, ran errrands. Etc. I’m getting some anti-depressants to help. I thought I’d be further along by know. But–perhaps it’s just been under the same roof.

        • I got an iPad too for my anniversary but was told it was also for my birthday. Oh well, still using it. He also left two months later.

        • OMG me, too, I got an iPad for our anniversary last September. Less than 3 weeks later I told him he needed to decide if we were going to work on our marriage (that was before I discovered the “emotional’ affair) or if we were going to call it quits. While not the most romantic gift it was my lifeline – to this site and to other online divorce resources.

          • I’ve got you all beat, lol. My birthday, anniversary and Mother’s Day were all together. I’d always get the privilege of watching our boys play baseball that weekend. STBXH, as the coach, gave every mom a carnation. Those were my special events. His birthdays….I always went all out.

            In my last birthday/anniversary, knew about the affair. He finally wanted to do something nice for me (trying to keep the “marriage together” cause I was the love of his life dontcha know) I told him why bother, why don’t you go be with your girlfriend….and he did. Told me it was the best anniversary/birthday present EVER. On my birthday. Wtf.

            • OK, I’ll say it again – a couple dozen posts complaining about gifts, not one from a man (please correct me if I’m wrong). Do you all see it the same way I do? – there seems to be more of an expectation among women to be shown appreciation through gifts. I’m not sure most men would complain about that.

              Yes, I’m sensitive because my cheater x used that in her blameshifting excuses for leaving me – “i knew I should go when you didn’t get me what I wanted for my 50th.”

              I could go on about the difficulty of buying gifts that pleased her, or the difficulty of pleasing her in general, but I am curious if you all know of men that complain like that, and why or why not.

              • Bought him nice clothes wouldnt wear bought him colonge wouldnt wear bought him lots of stuff he didnt appreciate except for books. Whore juice buys him nice clothes wears them whore juice buys him colonge wears it. Wtf. I ended up buying off the list of tools. Yeah really fun but what he wanted. Most women are like me and for me its the little things in life make me smile. I enjoyed the gifts he gave me but i only wanted him to give of himself even just a little. I know women who base their mans love on gifts again gifts dont mean shit in the long run.

              • My STBX was very into receiving gifts from me and would start discussing what expensive sports equipment he wanted months in advance. He cared more about gifts than me. But I get your point and I think women just associate gifts with the thoughtfulness that did or did not go into them. Not to overgeneralize, but many men dont verbalize appreciation often, so we pay attention to the other indicators of our value. Or lack thereof.

              • Yeah, I’m just very sensitive about this. like you, Kar Marie, I bought my x gifts that she doesn’t give a damn about. She would tell me that I had done poorly, ot she would just simply never wear the jewelry or clothes I got her. And what I wanted most to give her was myself,and she did not seem to want that either. But now, of course, the Schmoopie is awesome, he gives her cool things. Fuck.

              • To answer the specific man complaining about gifts, my exh did. He started complaining about the time he started cheating. My last three gifts to him were the Sears Craftsman stainless steel workbench with three matching cabinets, lights, well basically everything that they displayed in the store for a garage (Christmas), a summer concert package of 10 concerts (Valentine’s Day), and the matching stools for the workbench (birthday). He was gone by Father’s Day. He only wanted the concert tickets in the settlement agreement. Guess who he took with the Valentine’s Day present I bought him.

              • Don’t get me wrong – I realize that men must (and do) have their own forms of entitlement that are vile, hurtful and unfair. I like to consider myself fairly sensitive to the injustices women live with in so many societies and certainly in ours. Of course there’s a lot more I can learn about that. It’s just this one area – gift giving – where I see men, who might actually be trying to do the right thing, being judged in ways that often seem superficial and materialistic. I can honestly say that if my wife gave me a gift, say some clothes that I didn’t actually want to wear a lot, or something I wouldn’t use much or that didn’t really match my personality, I would still smile and say thanks and move on. Now that I think about it, of course there were some things I got from her that weren’t great. It wouldn’t come up in later conversations, I wouldn’t remember it as a problem in our relationship.

              • It’s not about the thing gifted, really. For me this was someone who, because I thought I knew him, I went beyond fucking lazy and understood what he liked, his hobbies, his interests. I gifted things not of mega monetary value but based on things he liked because I VALUED him.

                This dude was so disconnected from his family that he had/has no freaking clue about the details of his own kids’ lives. Doesn’t know what music they like, their favorite colors, favorite authors, etc. After 20+yrs together I has assumed he knew me. Not everything gifted needs to be $$. He could have ‘gifted’ a hike at a state park.

                Point is ZERO thought was given to any people in his family. We are not people, only things. Things don’t have interests, opinions, thoughts or dreams. Which is why the objects gifted were simply to check a box. Like a task list.

                This is the same guy who did NOTHING to model anything for kids about Mother’s Day or even our anniversary (I planned that stuff). Not a card, not a salutation, NOTHING, because “I wasn’t his mother” and it was up to our kids to figure out what to do from birth to their present ages. I mean, c’mon, a bunch of toddlers aren’t going to drive to the store, let alone hand craft a Mother’s Day card without an adult modeling the behavior for them. Despite all that, I always made a big deal of Father’s Day and had the kids thinking of things to celebrate with him. He’s not my dad, but he is my children’s father. Since I was fired from being his partner, I am fired from that too. I do remind the kids to DO something for him-they are tweens and young adults now.

              • Oaktree, I see why you think women want gifts but I think what most of the posters wanted was to be thought of, to have some care taken about thinking what the wife might want. All the cases mentioned above were about gifts for birthdays or Christmases–times when gifts would normally be given. I think the key is that it feels better to get something inexpensive but thoughtful (a handpicked posey of pansies, if that is a person’s favorite flower).

                And yes, males do complain about gifts. My X was very critical of gifts, even when I tried to find something he would like. For example, after he lamented that he no longer had a velvet evening jacket he had worn in college, I bought material and a pattern to make him one. He scoffed at it, and did not appreciate that I was trying to do what pleased him. In fact, in 24 years, the only gift he seemed thrilled with was a set of Bose headphones (and I am normally considered a good gift giver).

              • Oak tree both genders have their own raw deal areas,neither worse than the other’s.
                Think male suicide rates,shorter life expectancy,combat and workplce fatalities,longer prison sentences for the same crime,disparity in child custody,less funding for prostate vs breast cancer research, conscription etc. These rival the challenges women face.

              • I guess I feel guilty and remorseful because I wish I could have been a better gift giver. A lot of our problems revolved around the fact that she was very controlling of our finances, which she mismanaged horribly. I ended up believing that there was nothing I could do, that I should always spend as little as possible. I mean we were ALWAYS in debt, most often because of decisions that she took, often against my desires and advice, other times without my knowledge. Was I a wimp? I guess so. I did make efforts to communicate and work with her about finances, and when she didn’t want to work with me on that, I also became resentful. Clearly, this issue was a major problem in our marriage.

                I hear you – the issue is about the THOUGHT and EFFORT that go into the gift. Could I have done better there? Of course, but it wasn’t so bad that she could justify cheating on me because of it. Because she did exactly that. But I do understand that a lot of men don’t make the effort they should to show how much they value and love their wives, or other people in their lives, for that matter. It’s awful.

                ANC, I respect your decision to make sure your cheater x gets something for Father’s Day. This past Mother’s Day, the first since she moved out in January, I reminded the kids, 19 and 13, of the date and said they should make a card or something like they normally would. I didn’t press the issue, maybe I should have.They were with me in the morning (my mom was visiting and we made pancakes),and then they went to lunch with their mom. 30 minutes or so after they came back that evening, my daughter came out of her room crying, saying her mother had angry texted her (yelled, she said) because they hadn’t made her anything. DD said “Mommy says I’m just like you, and don’t care about her.” So she grudgingly wrote up a card and took it over there. So yeah, I’m just a little sensitive about this issue – I know I could have done better, and also that she manipulated the issue awfully. I’m sorry if I come off as misogynous.

              • Oaktree,

                I took your question as simply your trigger because it’s mine too. Yes, I could have done better too, but if gift giving is a reason to cheat I would have been cheating before our first anniversary when he forgot my birthday. Yep, completely forgot. His excuse was he was focused on our upcoming anniversary.

                She cheated because she could and then picked your shortcomings as reasons knowing you would question yourself. They always know our weaknesses and how to go in for the kill. She wasn’t a good wife and she sounds like a horrible mother. Trust that she sucks.

              • Oh oaktree the problems seem to lie with your ex being a drama queen and disrespectful. As a mother of three myself how dare she make your baby girl cry and feel guilty. I never gave gifts expecting one back or ever expected a gift from anyone cause gifts are gifts. The greatest gifts to your ex are her children. My heart bleeds for your daughter she will learn how shallow and selfish her mom is. My kids are all grown i dont care if they gift me anything they are my gifts. I did mention for holidays if they text me greetings and do not call i will not answer. Texts for holidays are not accceptable to me from my kids. New tech age new day i get it but not from my kids. They have to call me. Right now my girl just graduated college last spring she got her diploma in the mail and immediately texted me a copy of it. I was thrilled she was a troubled teen and turned her life around but mentioned to me she was not texting her father a picture because she feels like he doesnt really care since he barely stays in contact with her whore juices kids became so much more important than his own dissappointing kids as he put it. Im sad for her she will not share this with her pod dad and if he knew i knew and he didnt then the explosion happens and the accusations fly. Its all just so sad. Not only did he destroy our marriage but well on the way to destroying the relationship with his kids. The best gift to give is to love and respect each other and the kids. For me gifts from the heart are the best cause you give of yourself asswipe couldnt and cant do that. Just throw money at it. Oaktree the best gift to give is of yourself and fuck anyone who doesnt appreciate that. Lots of pods in the world and they get better every day pretending to be human.

              • I don’t really put a lot of emphasis on gifts for one reason. To many people it is a control tactic and all for show. It falls under the category of “charm.”

                I have a few single friends on Facebook, and many of them are just “blown away” by gifts from guys they date. Hell, I’ve been guilty of this myself. These relationships usually end bad. So now, when I see excessive gift giving, especially early in a relationship, I start thinking “psychopath” and I’m very often right.

              • Oaktree–your X brings up your history of gift giving to blameshift her affair onto you. Why? Because they always find our weak spot/s, the one or two things we will feel guilty for being deficient in. Then they exploit those weak spots in order to have power over us.

                Think about this logically–you did not get your wife diamond earrings for her birthday and that caused her to have vagina to penis contact with another man? Huh? Hear how stupid that sounds when put into an actual cause-effect sentence?

                My X blamed the fact that our cupboards were too full, and that the playroom and study were too messy for him to go upstairs, as the reason he screwed multiple students and had adult dating site profiles. Huh? But when I remembered what he actually said once, it was, “You weren’t listening to me.” = “You weren’t doing everything I said, and because I could not control you to my satisfaction, I cheated.”

                It all boils down to having power over us. And the best way to have power over a conscientious person is to make them feel that they could have done better.

              • I think it’s about reciprocity. I was set up with all the thoughtfulness that you put into a new relationship I loved him and continued to listen to his wants and needs and try to provide those. He taught me to make my needs disappear, my wants became unimportant, and those markers throughout the year such as birthdays, which he knew were important to me, were treated callously. This played into me feeling worthless. When you repeatedly tell someone you didn’t have time to get them anything and leave the house early am and get home early am, what are you doing? A ten minute stop at Hallmark for a card? My kids and I would spend time putting thought into gifts that fit his hobbies or music taste etc for Fathers Day that would sit never listened to or nice bird feeders that were never put up. Same with Christmas. He was an empty vessel going the the motions trying to figure out how he should act. Watching others for cues. I’m ranting-Sorry. My first Mothers Day I received the statement of, “You are not MY mother so don’t ever expect anything from me.” She was 3 months old. He kept his word. Gifts are a tiny part of a relationship, but a reflection of how you are treated. Honestly, I would have been happy with a nice cup of coffee brought to me on the porch. Thoughtful does not have to be expensive.

              • Sheesh Arnold, it’s really a thing when you say there is no difference between genders on cheating and the proceed to say men have it worse, sorry your male privilege isn’t working out for you. Hugs to the kid

              • Thanks for all the thoughtful commentary and feedback, everyone. Tempest and Annie, I think you’re right – she knew that would be a great way to get to me, and I should know better than to let it, but you know, triggers…. Also, Tempest, isn’t almost comical now the things they used to justify cheating? Your cupboards were too full? Uh, ok, ha, wtf?

    • I completely understand about writing off the other gender. What prevents me is KNOWING some truely awesome men who are genuine; nothing like the “man behind the curtain” whom I married.

      I don’t even need to ‘have hope’ to eventually meet someone decent. They are there. I think it’s best to work through the relationship trauma first. It’s ok to be angry and mad at an entire gender for a while. But not every single person is out to get you. If you can’t ‘read’ who are the grifters yet, you need to continue to date yourself.

      • This. That’s about where I am right now – dating myself. And it feels good to rediscover who I am.

  • I sure hope so! It’s been 2 1/2 years since my ex cheated and left (I’m 51 now) and I admit I also feel a little apprehensive about going another round. I talk to several women I’ve reconnected with via Facebook I knew years ago and one in particular we talk all the time.. BUT…I’m gun shy. It was a 24 year relationship that she walked away from and maybe I’m just not ready? There are times it sounds intriguing and exciting but other times it sounds scary and crazy. I guess time will tell..

    • I don’t think I’d survive another round that didn’t work out. I feel like I’ve lost everything including years of my life and my self-respect… I’ll have to wait and see. I understand the alternative, but right now love is not worth the risk of intimate betrayal, massive loss, and profound sorrow.

          • 19 months from Dday and I’m on the fence. There are days that I want to feel that intimate love and emotional envolvement with a man, but I don’t want to go through the “getting to know you” phrase. Ugh! So dislike that stage of a relationship. And then there are days I say screw it, I’m content raising my teen daughter and enjoying our life and closeness with her. (She’s a GREAT teen- not like the typical teen either) but she wants me to ‘find’ someone to be happy with.

    • kbchump, if you were to pursue the woman on your mind most, would you and she be okay with going Very Slowly?

      I ask this second question because I can’t tell from your post if its answer is a factor in your discomfort: do you know why she left after 24 years? (Not trying to pry, just to understand whether or not her history contributes to your uncertainty.)

      • Yes the woman I’ve been talking to recently divorced for the second time..sounded amicable enough but I don’t know his side..I don’t think either one of us is in any rush. Her first marriage ended in disaster when her husband cheated with their babysitter..he ended up divorcing her and marrying the sitter. At our ages we all have these tales of woe I suppose, lol.
        As far as why my ex left there was a lot of stress financially and probably neglect on both our parts toward each other. While it hurt she left it’s what I learned months later that really did a number on me, with the cheating and with who (our daughters boyfriends father)…he was a mutual “friend” lol…still hurts a bit if I dwell on it.

  • Steve – I have been feeling the same way about men! I look at them like they all have an agenda. They want sex – First. They want home-cooked meals and their genitals rubbed every time they arrive home from work. They want to be worshipped for the job they are doing, served a perfect martini and who isn’t much around the house to help with weekend chores. (no, it’s James Bond movie time), but – oh, the egos at their work place. I’m sure we were both lacking in the intimacy department after over 3 decades of his looking in the mirror and admiring himself. I really was just a pawn in his game of chess.
    How can I possibly believe any man out there would actually like me for who I am. And, not an accessory to his business acumen.

    • SheChump, after having been in a long sexless marriage where I did all the cooking, had unrubbed genitals, was the only one who worked, drank alone and had the kids all weekend every weekend, your Man-agenda above does sounds pretty sweet!!! 🙂

      • Buddy–I’ve been reading your story long enough to know that some high-quality woman will snap you up enthusiastically.

        Even the thought of a man who does 50% of the parenting, the cooking, and is actually grateful for a cold martini served as he enters the door….sigh.

        • I know, right. If I had someone who cooked for me, well, he could pretty much get whatever the hell he wanted. I have no idea how to make a martini, but I would damn well learn.

          As for trusting men, I shy away from trusting anyone, male or female too much. It must be earned first. It’s my foo and my line of work. But I do plan on dating. I want to go out and just have a good time and take it from there, like I do with friends now, only with butterflies in the stomach. Does it matter what’s in his wallet? Yes it does. I am 50 years old and have worked my entire life. I don’t need anyone to “take care” of me and I will not take care of someone else.

          I do however want someone who knows what hard work looks like and can afford to go places and do things with me. I will not date anyone who lives in their mother’s basement, is “in between” jobs, rides a bicycle to my house because he can’t afford a car or his driver’s license was revoked for his 5th DUI, wears his bathing suit because he didn’t find time between Call of Duty and Pokemon to do laundry, thinks walking to the refrigerator is exercise, or can’t be within 1000 feet of any school or playground because he’s on the sexual offender registry.

          So your wallet and lifestyle matters to me so that you may keep up with me, not sustain me. And I’d even buy the food, if you’ll just cook it.

            • The thing is, all those requests should be automatic – on the same list as “doesn’t kill people.” And yet, we have to be specific because of the kinds of people out there.

              • One would think that my list would be a no brainer, but it’s not. When I first started on CL I was curious about all of the Craig’s List references. I really had no idea what was in some of these ads. I laughed at the ad where this guy was looking for a long term relationship but has terminal lung cancer. At least he was honest about his disease, if not the long term relationship part. And for all the women who thought they could snag him and gain his inheritance, he was unemployed and living on the state’s dime. Then there’s the guy who was just getting his life back in order after fifteen years away from things (can you say prison) and wanted to meet that special person. But, and people should really be warned about this, do not click on any ad that includes pictures. One might think it will be a face picture. Nope. I really wanted to see some man holding his dick while in the bathroom. Oh, and if you can pull your eyes away from the dick, you might notice the pink towels hanging on the towel racks and multiple toothbrushes in the holder.

                No more Craig’s List for entertainment purposes for me. If I read another ad from a married man whose wife just doesn’t understand him and he’s looking for a discreet relationship I don’t think I would ever date again. Craig’s List is like a preview to who will be on the next list of the FBI’s Most Wanted.

              • annie – I’ve always wondered what Craig’s list is about. Some people say I can sell things there. I’m like – no way – that’s a SEX site!
                And, they look at me strange.
                Thanks for the glimpse – sort of, I had no idea what was there and afraid to look.
                I cannot believe people post dick picture there and think they’re going to get a response?
                Yeah sure, maybe from a gay guy or trans.
                Just UGH there is such a demand for a site so popular.

              • You can buy or sell almost every damn thing there. It’s very dangerous and for legal transactions most police stations have “safe transaction zones”. We have one that has a direct phone to us and a monitor, plus a bunch of cop cars and cops coming and going from the building.

                I see the reports of people that go to a hotel for a hook up and get jumped and robbed by her pimp. I knew of the ads but never read any of them until CN kept mentioning it. I can’t believe that people actually post some of the things that they post. One piece of advice, don’t open any picture. There are some things you just can’t unsee.

                Add another from Friday…

                I’d rather look at Craig’s List dick pics that see my exh naked again.

            • Annie – ‘I know, right. If I had someone who cooked for me, well, he could pretty much get whatever the hell he wanted’.

              I’m with you there, chickie! Dating a chef or sous chef would be a dream.
              I also would do all the shopping, cleaning up, and anything else he desired.

              I’m SO DONE cooking for the past 50 yrs!!! (I was queen chef of our family at age 10)

            • Annie ‘I’d rather look at Craig’s List dick pics that see my ext naked again.’

              OMG – rof – tell us how you really feel!

              • I seriously want to know what woman in her right mind would respond to such an ad!!!!

              • A prostitute would be the only one, either gender.
                If men don’t know it by now, women are NOT turned on by your penis photos (especially if there are pink towels behind you in the bathroom) or your videos of you jerking off.
                You just look like what you are – perverts.

                It doesn’t work that way assholes. Just ewwwwwwww

              • St Elsewhere – ‘Did I marry him for the money? Obviously not, because he did not have any.’

                I was a city girl and agreed to marry a poor farmer in the badlands of Montana.
                Money? Who cared – he could ride a combine better than anybody I knew.
                He was dirty and sexy when he was dirty after a hard days’ work, and that’s what I loved him for.

                But, we moved on, to the city… it certainly was never money altho we both became good business people in our own careers.
                I would have gone anywhere he wanted.
                I didn’t realize there were so many gold diggers out there in real life.

      • I treated stbx like a king and would do all of the above but I eventually stopped because it was not reciprocal and our marriage became sexless…but not due to me. He was saving himself for the porn, hookers and Craigslist girls. I would have done anything he asked if he would have been a little bit loving and had sex with me on a somewhat regular basis. It was so bad at one point that I had told him if he wanted me to do something that he needed to put out…..and he still wouldn’t……UGH so pathetic…..Smh-can’t believe that I put up with that for years…….I would get hit on by other men constantly but I couldn’t get my own husband to have sex with me.

        His version of love/marriage was to buy me the most expensive, lavish gifts so people thought we had a great marriage & that he was head over heels in love with me…….. All I had to do was put up with a cheater and a sexless marriage-no thanks. I’m sure there will be plenty of other women out there who would accept that, it’s just not for me.

        I’m in my 40’s and truth be told, I’m not looking for perfection or a sugar daddy in a man. All I really want is a kind, funny man who is honest, loyal, and will put out on a regular basis. If he cooks, cleans, and plays with kids-that’s a huge bonus!!!!

  • Steve, this is a dark path. Listen to Chump Lady!

    Becoming a bitter lady hater will only get you farther away from meeting someone nice! And it’s only been 30 days! Give yourself time, process your grief and anger. As cheesy as it sounds, find out who you are without anyone else, then open yourself up to dating again.

    (And if you want to really see what a dark sad path hating the whole other gender leads to, check out )

  • 24 years of marriage and almost 30 years total, 4 kids and left the year he turned 50 for a younger woman…by 15 years. How much of a cliché is that? It would be funny if it weren’t so fucking painful.
    I don’t trust men. I see too many of them with way younger women. But then I have to tell myself it’s like that new car phenomena: when you buy a white care (or any color) suddenly all you see are cars that color. I got dumped by a cheating, lying weasel of a fucktard and now all I see are fucktards.

    I know I’m wrong. I hope one day to believe it.

  • I’m not having luck. I will always have hope, but almost two years out and I’ve yet to rock or be rocked by anyone. They all do seem so shallow. I will have patience and keep painting (living my life). I will find her some day.

        • Just curious Marked, how are you meeting others? I am over six years out, but realized early on that I needed to grieve, and heal (and fix myself) and I am, just now, beginning to look at men again. I have trust issues though and don’t yet know what I’d do with one… ?Like many of us here, I married young and spent twenty eight years together. The affair blindsided me. As had the two years before Dday and the two years (divorcing) after. Marriage was pretty typical, a lot of it was good, until it wasn’t. I am pretty sure I will stumble across someone when I least expect it (it’s “numbers” when it comes to meeting someone who appeals). I just don’t have the energy to wade through it all yet.

          • Drew, I live in downtown Chicago, so I pretty much have to interact with lots of people daily. It’s just on a very impersonal level. I tried some dating web sites and shut that down because all the women seemed very shallow or nuts. I will always have hope, because I think I now know what to avoid. Good luck to you, just don’t give up hope. Life is better when shared with the right person. I’ll find her some day. 🙂

            • This may spark the idea of a chumps-only dating site. There seems to be a higher level of quality here, as well as the hard-earned ability to appreciate the simpler joys of a healthy relationship.

              Engagement rings? None offered. I bought both mine and his wedding bands. Birthday or anniversary gifts? None. Don’t make me laugh. How about just a kiss and a heart-felt good morning? How about sex? Or just being present for relationships? Yes, my requirements have been lowered because of decades of deprivation, but my standards have now been raised due to my picker being fixed. Kindness, intelligence, honesty– I don’t think looking for these qualities could be construed as using a man as a stepping stone.

              For years, I was the major breadwinner. I often had two jobs to his one. I did all the heavy lifting in parenting. I paid off his student loans. Then when I stayed home with our children? Suddenly I was of no account, completely replaceable.

              Right after D-day and the divorce, I did feel like Steve about the opposite gender and was convinced I’d never be interested in dating again. But after time and healing, I see that I would like to meet someone of integrity who understands reciprocity in relationships. Being in Meh and soaking in the bliss of a cheater-free life has restored my hope that there is still a man out there who will be thrilled to share his life with me. He probably would have to be a Chump himself to get it.

              My heart goes out to all the Chumps out there, male or female. Give yourself time, believe in your own worth, and raise your standards.

            • I bet most of us were with disordered assholes. Research the CLUSTER B disorders,the subtle and not so subtle signs. This helps weed out these assholes.

  • One day you may be ready to test the waters again dont rush yourself. I too am gunshy 25 years married thirty together and i am on the i dont want another man ever ride myself. I am starting over and rediscovering me. I want to breathe and be free, have things my way for a change. If someday i am ready to date ill try. I will never marry again thats a done deal. But maybe someday a close gentleman friend woyld be nice if it happens it happens if it doesnt thats ok too. I just want to be me. Theres plenty good mates out there. Do i wish asswipe happiness hell no but me after his shit. I deserve some happiness and so do you.

  • “Don’t be shallow, and don’t attract shallow.”

    Amen! This is exactly why I don’t worry a hell of a lot about how I look. It really is true, ” How you get them is how you lose them. ” If someone’s main attraction to you is the way you look, one day you will “slip” a little and someone else will look real good to them.

    And it’s so weird, now that I’ve gotten older, “good looking” people just don’t really seem that impressive, lol.

    • I’d agree. Good looking people at my age are mostly ‘augmenting’ their looks to stay young. THEY ARE FAKE. That tells me enough. Natural beauty is much more desirable to me.

    • My ex is an incredibly beautiful woman on the outside. Ugliest person I have ever known on the inside. The outside is meaningless if it is not matched on the inside.

      • CBL

        This is the biggest con of all. Looks are deceiving. We always need to focus on the actions. I was duped by the small acts of kindness that were intermittently dispersed.

        My bar wasn’t high enough. Right from the beginning I was being conditioned. He would say things like, “My family doesn’t think your good enough.”

        He told my granddaughter his mother didn’t like the OW. Let the games begin.

        It’s interesting how the use the same game with the next victim. He has a nack for splitting and spinning. Once I recognized this so many pieces fit. The torture was always deliberate.

        Why don’t we see it? Who would recognize such underhanded deviance? It’s well hidden until it’s not. And they decide when to let it surface. Sick fucks.

        • “My bar wasn’t high enough. Right from the beginning I was being conditioned. He would say things like, “My family doesn’t think your good enough.”

          What an asshole. And I’m sure he didn’t defend you to his family when they said this. One of my exes said this to me. He was a total wimp. He said his family thought he could do better than me, so I retorted: ” you’re right, that’s why I’m outta here!”. He couldn’t believe I would dump him for that. I sure as hell wasn’t going to marry into a fucked up family like that, where I’d have to prove my worth. So many undeserving women marry into great families, who kiss these women’s butts. And here I was a great person, and I was being told I’m not good enough. I thought to myself, F- you all. I don’t need this shit. My ex was in shock, but I was in even more shock that I he didn’t defend me to his family. That’s when I knew I was dealing with a coward and a wimp. Haven’t regretted dumping his ass once. Truth his, he wasn’t good enough for me. And 3 years after I dumped him, he contacted me saying how he still thought of me. I just pressed “delete” without a second thought. Asshole.

          • Even if his family had said they thought he could do better, why on earth would anyone repeat a vile, insulting remark? My cheating ex-fiancee (from many, many years ago) basically said the same thing to me, he said his friends thought he could do better. Why I did not dump him right then and there I’ll never know, took him getting another woman (girl really, she was only 19) pregnant for me to finally dump him. The kicker is I have done rather well in my lifetime and he is a train wreck. Of course he is a certified sociopath. Anyway, passing these supposed remarks along to you is to keep you in your place and be ever so grateful that he is actually with you. I think the best response to these vile remarks would be to turn the tables and say you know your family/friend is right and by the way as much as I have tried I cannot get past your (tattoos, bad teeth, substandard job, fat stomach, skinny legs, small shoulders, etc.) fill in the blank and hit them where it will bother the hell out of them.

            • “passing these supposed remarks along to you is to keep you in your place and be ever so grateful that he is actually with you.”

              You nailed it exactly KB22! His comments were training me to know my place and that was “beneath him” and his family. He was teaching me right off the bat where I stood in the pecking order, and that was last, after everyone else. I was being groomed to feel inferior. And growing up in a fucked up family, I sure as hell as knew this shit doesn’t get better, but worse. As a child I had no control over being crapped on by my parents, but as an adult, I sure as hell wasn’t going to throw myself into the lion’s mouth after seeing the signs. NFW.

              • I was in my thirties when I did finally marry (engaged twice previously) and my husband’s family was a bit dysfunctional (father a narc, mother a master manipulator, one brother a neat freak narc, think Sleeping with the Enemy) and from the get go they tried to make me feel inferior to my husband’s ex-wife, the mother of his children. While I actually get along and like the ex, she did cheat on my husband, an exit affair of sorts, and she tried to hide funds while divorcing. For about a year it just boggled my mind that they absolutely made no bones about preferring her not only over me, but my husband as well. The final straw was when his nut case brother and my husband’s ex-wife co-hosted “The (surname) Family Christmas party on Christmas eve. We never said a word, just didn’t show up and made other plans for Christmas day as well. Get this, the whole family was upset with us! My husband’s (now ex) sister-in-law gave us the dirt on what was said at Christmas dinner, raked me over the coals and talked about how jealous and insecure I was, etc. My husband (finally) exploded and let them all have it, reminding them that his x did cheat and try to screw him over and never once did his brother bother to ask him if he minded co-hosting a party with ex. I eventually let them all have it as well called them out on the manipulations and basic dysfunctional behavior. However that episode (there were many others) was the defining point that I realized, yes they all knew how much my husband’s ex hurt him, they just didn’t give a rat’s ass. Anyway they all walk around on eggshells when around me now. We also left the state and have a very strained long distance relationship. Ok rambled on quite enough but I think we have to call out or walk away from anyone that tries to make us feel not good about ourselves be it friends or family.

              • It always amazes me how some people grow up with FOO issues, recognize it, and shout never again!, while others, like me, think the way it was is the way it should be. When I was in my mid-30s and finally realized how fucked up my childhood had been it practically tore me apart. I did all of the stuff I was “supposed” to do: I went to therapy, I treated my partner with love and respect and made it clear that it had nothing to do with her. I readily acknowledged that my major depressive disorder made me not much fun to be around for that last year of working through my FOO stuff, but I had thought she loved me enough to stick by me. Nope.
                Today is two years since she left me. I feel completely mauled by life. I thought the family I pieced together as an adult was my reward for surviving the emotionally incestuous relationship I was forced into with my mother. I had struggled and made it. And then it was ripped away. I’m probably 80% over blaming myself for the loss of my partner and who I thought was my best friend, but I’m nowhere close to over the pain of losing what meant most to me in life. I admit that I’m wallowing in victimhood and the unfairness of it all. It’s some comfort to read that others understand the deep despair. My biggest accomplishment most days is not playing in traffic.
                I’m thrilled for those of you who have managed to move beyond this and redefined yourselves. I’m envious as well.

              • WhichWay — I’m so sorry. And IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. None of it. You did the best you could. You survived unbearable abuse. You GOT HELP. Know how many don’t? Millions. You kept at it. You’re still keeping at it. You’re exhausted, I know. Promise to stay away from traffic, and promise to keep posting here?

                What do you mean by what “meant most to you in life”?

                Please, for the love of God, don’t compare your situation or reaction to it with ANYONE else’s. I broke at 25, partly for the same reason you did. I got help, worked hard, got better.

                But I wasn’t married. And that matters.

                As for recognizing the abuse, the timing of my or anyone else’s response to it? IT DOESN’T MATTER. We all did the best we could.

                There’s nothing wrong with not being a prodigy about recognizing and rejecting abuse.

                You’re brave as hell. Stronger than you know. You can do this. LOTS of hugs.

              • ClaireS, thank you so much for your response. I certainly went through a period where I beat myself up for “letting” the abuse happen. And even at this late date it feels odd calling it abuse, as I know that none of it was intentional on my mother’s part – accepting that abuse can be unintentional is a difficult lesson.

                With my ex and her son I felt like finally, after 30 years alive, I had found my place in the world. I finally belonged somewhere, someone finally got me. The therapist I had at the time, who I’ve since left because she failed me in more ways than one, suggested that I was only able to confront my FOO issues when I did because for the first time in my life I felt safe. When my ex left it destroyed that place I felt I had in the world. I’ve been going to codependency meetings for the last two years and it’s helped some: the meetings are probably one of few reasons I’m still here. But I’m still an introvert with social anxiety and depression: my prospects for ever matching up with someone else are slim to none. So, I had what I had always wanted – a calm, happy (as much as was possible for me, and for her, I thought) family life where the members of the family actually liked each other, something that was vastly different than my experience as a child.
                I’m sorry that you experience something similar. Yes, I’m exhausted. I have been for a very long time. I know my ex didn’t owe me her love, but it’s frigging hard to accept that I’m not owed something after all this time. I have to remind myself of a favorite movie quote, this one from Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven: “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it”.

          • Kellia

            Little did I know the more I did for tbem the worse it became. What I finally figured out was that HE was always complaining about his family to me and complaining to his family about everything I did.

            For example, he complained to his mother about me spending money on private schools for my children.

            Then he would come home and tell me his mother was complaining about the money I was spending on private schools for my children.

            Years and years of this shit.

            You were smart to leave that family dynamic.

            • “What I finally figured out was that HE was always complaining about his family to me and complaining to his family about everything I did.”

              That’s just horrible Doingme. I can’t believe that he was badmouthing you behind your back and to his own family!! This makes me so angry! what a jackass!! I’m so very sorry you were married to such a scumbag. At least, you’re divorced now and don’t have to deal with this kind of mental damage and scarring. I’m surprised you didn’t go insane with this jerk. Big hugs to you!!

              • Doingme?KB22, I understand that whole story you told completely! I eventually turned it around on him and started telling my fam/friends all of the nasty things he was doing and he would say, “I hope you didn’t tell them xyz” and I said, I SURE DID! Even the part where you tell your family everything and then they bully me. Now you know how it feels to have your whole entire relationship replayed for you right in front of your eyes by people that are not in it! In yer face a-hole!

              • Thank you Kellia! Loving the new normal.


                I stopped associating with his entire family years ago. The sickness in that family is beyond dysfunction. He made me believe I saved him from their selfish pettiness. He’s just like the rest.

                The best revenge ever is to never engage with the assholes. Hugs to you!

          • My ex said the same thing, specifically his mother and brother. It definitely set the tone, as I had a lot of work to do to be acceptable. And there was nothing inferior about me! He did that, and it diminished my sense of self worth.

            • I like this, but I’m going to add emphasis: “HE did that. . . ” Yep. And HE is a cruel good-for-nothing. If his family joined in (can’t tell if he just said it or if they and he said it), then they’re a whole pack of cruel good-for-nothings.

      • My ex is also very good looking, and French on top, just to add that extra veneer of sophistication and an adorable accent. But on the inside, he’s a petulant 3 year old, a really unpleasant one, and about as interesting as well. He’s pretty good at love-bombing, though! After Schmoopie dumped him, I hear it took less than a week on Match for him to get into a ‘serious relationship’.

    • My first thought after reading this is….where are you looking for and finding women? Then, I thought, what are you looking for in a woman? How to you assess a woman? I had a very good friend who was always looking for the Pamela Anderson to his Bill Gates. He was pretty shallow in what a woman must be. So for years, that’s what he got. None of us who know him quite figured out when he took that long look into himself and realized he wasn’t looking for happiness but we’re glad he eventually did. He is now happily married to a middle aged mother of two that he met in a bookstore. He asked her a question about a book she was examining because it was on his reading list and she gave a thoughtful intelligent answer. She turned out to be like a lot of my friends, a good person so turned off from dating that she took herself out of the dating pool. my point is stop looking in the places you’re supposed to look for dates. Go meet people in their natural settings doing the things they like. Go do the things you like without the ulterior motive of finding someone. You never know who you will find. I found an amazing man in my PTSD therapy group. He had given up on ever finding someone and I was not planning to date anyone I found in therapy. Seriously, how shallow was I? Yet, here I am, working with someone I adore to have an intentionally healthy relationship. Go ahead, chumps, someone beat for the weirdest place to find a significant other.

  • I am still going through the divorce process and attempting to understand how the man I loved actually loved another man for our entire 30 year marriage. Fear of dating again?! OMG yes!!! But as much as I have discovered true hate for this one man, I see good honorable men all around. And the guy chumps here are amazing fathers and human beings. Surely you have noticed the many kind, interesting, supportive females here? Perhaps at middle aged we are all a little jaded and bitter about learning certain truths in this life. Those rainbow farting unicorns are even more rare than we dared to imagine. But the steady plow horse, possibly lame, is a valuable and noble beast. Maybe what some women thought they wanted from a man has become more centered on character and grace as they aged. Particularly women who have themselves been chumped and discarded. I reject your thesis and hope that you will discover true measningful love someday soon. I wish that for all of us.

    • Such a good post!

      For Steve, my favorite part: “I see good honorable men all around. And the guy chumps here are amazing fathers and human beings. Surely you have noticed the many kind, interesting, supportive females here?”

  • Today a young woman asked me if I thought I’d ever date again. I’m in my mid-50’s, divorced six years, living alone with a cat (let’s hear it for the stereotype), my kids are on their own–no reason I couldn’t date–except that I don’t want to. I really like being the boss of me. I like making the dinner I want to eat, coming home from work late if I want, not keeping the house white-glove clean if I don’t want to, the house staying clean when I clean it, not answering for every item on the grocery store receipt and then hearing what a crappy steak I pick out, being chewed out for not being ready to leave on trips at the arbitrary time he chooses–never mind that I pack for the both of us, three kids, and kennel the dog without any assistance from the general. No, thank you. I am single and loving it. There is NOTHING in the manual that says I have to replace that unreliable old model with another one.

    I don’t hate all men and I don’t think they’re all narcissistic, porn-addicted, navel gazers–but enough of them are to make me very protective of my hard-fought peace. I’m flying solo and loving the view. So, I won’t say never, but I can certainly say–no time soon and it won’t be because I went looking for it.

    • “I won’t say never, but I can certainly say–no time soon and it won’t be because I went looking for it.”

      AMEN, Renee! I’m 52, was married 20+ years, and going on 6 years divorced. I’m in no rush to find a replacement either. (Raising my hand… adopted a cat who I now strongly suspect is a narc, but he’s a LOT easier to live with than a man-child!!!)

      When you find peace with yourself, you find that being single is quite nice. I am older and wiser… I trust in myself enough not to be quick to trust men I’ve just met. It takes a LONG time to REALLY get to know someone. I spend time asking questions, listening to, and observing people. I want to get a feel for what kind of person they are, how they treat others…

      (The best dating tip I have to offer: Don’t share a lot of personal info about yourself right out of the gate. That’s a surefire way to set yourself up for attracting another narc.)

      • Renee, I dreaded “fun trips” too. How can they be fun when someone sits on the couch looking angry because you are taking “too long” to pack? A simple thank you for all the back breaking work you are doing while I get to sit on my ass and do nothing would have sufficed. I forgot about how annoying that was.

        • I was relieved when my then-H had to leave before us to go on trips (because he was giving a talk somewhere). Otherwise, he was critical of how busy I was while packing & preparing (never helped with the kids’ packing), then would criticize me for having checked luggage, even for a 3-week trip. Not to mention the cold shoulder once we were on our way, to pay me back for having been stressed about preparing for the trips. Traveling is so much more fun now.

          • Oh gosh, Tempest, you’re giving me flashbacks about travelling with the narc ex! He just had to spoil things, and had ZERO appreciation for how much work I did to make trips go well with small children.

            Came back a couple of weeks ago from a big trip just with the kids – it was so EASY and fun! He’s an idiot for having thrown us away.

          • I had the same experience Tempest! I’m with KarenE! Traveling with the kid is pretty much a joy now. We have so much fun just the two of us! No one screaming at the gate agent trying to get an upgrade. No more pressure because I am packing for everyone while he sits there and complains I am taking so much time. No more whining about the cost even though we didn’t ask to go with him.

            • Gosh, yes. Did all the packing(except his, very OCD about his things and appearance), racing around getting everything done. Once we’d get there, more racing around to “see” everything. Me holding a purse, his camera case, his extra lenses, a diaper bag, a backpack with snacks and frozen water bottles, pushing a stroller and holding onto the oldest son’s hand (6 months pregnant with baby #3 and in danger of another pre term labor- advised to take it easy by the dr). All while he charged ahead snapping pictures of things. No pictures of the boys or I on those “vacations”. coming home just exhausted. All while he tells everybody what a great time we had!

            • Yes, traveling is easier and much more enjoyable. The kids and I have fun and relax. It was so stressful with him!!!

    • Here, here Renee! We all deserve a Peace of our choosing, with or without a mate. Congrats on finding your Peace at present, with the door always open to expand on it, if you choose.

    • Renee-me too. I love my freedom. No more walking on eggshells, no more stress, no more tension, no more negativity, no more raging, no more drunken stupors, no more drama, no more self inflicted major fucking problems, no more passive aggressive vengeance, no more me being responsible for every fucking thing. And to think I grieved over that relationship??? LOL. I feel more at peace everyday. I like doing exactly what I want to do. Or not do.

    • I also am not looking for any type of “replacement” relationship. After a very long term marriage, I am content to be alone. For the first time in my adult life, I am able to live the life I choose. My needs and wants always came last and, while my kids were young, that was as it should be. I had perfected the art of “compromise”. As I enter the last year of my fifties, the mere thought of remarriage makes me break out in hives-not because I am afraid of infidelity, but because I do not want surrender my freedom. I know my opinion may change as I continue to process all the things that I went through. For now, though, I am ok with myself.

      • This put a smile on my face making me remember my grandma who died this winter at the age of 99 1/2 with all her faculties and a great sense of humor. A week before she died a doctor asked her what she attributed her longevity and happiness to and her response was “I haven’t been married since the 70’s”. I get it grandma!!!!

      • Violet, NMSB, I feel the same way you both do during this time in my life.
        I am also mid fifties! I am almost two years out and doing things that me, myself and I enjoy! Mine relationship was long term as well.
        I have found that I am a little less knee jerky these days and the flinching is subsiding.
        I still “am” Me: good,decent, funny, smart, witty, goofy, compassionate and quite capable of a lot!
        I will not be stripped of me!
        I might have been chumped, bamboozled, used and discarded but I have and will continue to strive and survive.
        Relationship, not on my radar right now, but time will tell.
        I try to remember don’t ever say never.

        • Yes,the peace of living alone. Very much an improvement. I have a nice girlfriend I trust. Not sure either of us could live together.

    • Is there something about cheaters that they can’t pack their own shit for trips? Mine did this too. He would insist I pack and then be upset about the things I brought for him every time. One time, I got fed up with it and told him I wasn’t packing for him when we went to his brother’s house. He threw a fit and tossed half of the contents of his dresser into a black trash bag and, somehow, I was made to feel like shit about it by him and his brother when we got there. Not him for acting like a man-child. This was the first year of our marriage. I should have realized what a jerk I was dealing with then. But, noooo. I felt like I was being a lazy wife and all wives were supposed to do these type of things.

  • The women you are describing (who use men for their own purposes) sound like the woman my husband ran off with. She told him he would have to work hard to ‘keep her interested’. SHE told me that I didn’t manage him properly (I trusted him too much, gave him too much freedom) and that’s why he cheated! Now he’s working his butt off trying to please her and she treats him like garbage. He told me recently that it bothers him that she uses a phone app to meet other men for coffee (coffee? Her? Are you serious?). I actually laughed at how gullible he is.

    It was good to read this post as I have been feeling pretty discouraged. The women I know who keep their husbands on a short leash: who restrict their freedom, choose their husband’s friends, who ambitiously look for higher paid jobs for them, who criticise them, put them down in front of others, who withhold in the bedroom to punish their men, who plunge their families further into debt and spend money on frivolous things – these women are still married.

    I was not a perfect wife, but I made kindness, selflessness and faithfulness an important part of the way I conducted myself. I enjoyed my husband. I supported him and listened to him with his work. I did not try to control him. I looked after the children and cleaned the house without complaint. I was careful with money, knowing how hard he worked for it. I loved him. And in the times I didn’t feel like I loved him, I behaved as though I did. All this through 20 years of marriage. Feeling very disillusioned at this moment in my life, not just about men, but about a lot of things.

    • Leah,
      “she told me I didn’t mange him properly” How exactly do you manage a person?
      I can so relate to what you are saying. I didn’t keep my stbxh on a short leash or control him either. I had people tell me I gave my husband too much freedom. The truth I do not want a relationship where I can’t trust my partner to behave appropriate with freedom. We can not control other people and we will drive ourselves mad trying to. After 28years together my stbxh moved out two and a half months ago to live with OW (who is similar to what Steve described). Yep..she was going to make him all kinds of happy. Guess what he is a miserable man these days. She is making his life a living hell. Men and women with horrible character and indecent morals and values don’t ever win. We need to take our time to heal and grieve the relationship we once thought we had so we can open our hearts to receive true genuine love. There are decent honorable men and women out there but sometimes we have been so damaged we lose site of what we are worth and what we truly deserve. That’s why it is important for us to take time to heal. So we can realize it is their lost not ours.

    • Leah

      Interestingly enough the whore he rode keeps him on a short leash. There is something to be said about the desperation and neediness he interprets as attention and love.

      With me he had independence and the ability to develop his potential without interference. Instead he chose to spend his money getting cheap hotels with classless dimwits.

      In the end it’s all about instant gratification. I’ve listened to their phone messages and he is probably fulfilling some sleazy porn fantasy of fucking an ugly saggy tit aging pristitute that talks like a man. Go figure.

      From intelligence to brainless
      From attractive to ugly
      From a professional making good money to a slut who does drugs
      From a kind loving spontaneous wife to a bar slug who fucks anyone.

      Are all men like this? No. Trust the cheater sucks.

      • “There is something to be said about the desperation and neediness he interprets as attention and love.”

        That is certainly true. STBX’s bunny boiler is the complete opposite of me. She lacks morals, is a drug user, has low self esteem, and overall has a trashy persona. Even though she is no longer in the picture, he still insists she is a good person deep down. No, a good person doesn’t willfully cheat on her fiancee nor does she seek to destroy another’s family for her benefit. Amazing how someone can twist reality so that their own truth isn’t so ugly.

    • I was the same. Everything he ever wanted, he got and I figured he was working for it so he could have it. I know (and tried to live) the Bible verse that living on a corner of roof is better than living with a contentious woman. And he even said that I was easily pleased! Still wasn’t enough for him.

    • I agree, Leah. Steve is also describing the OW in my situation. I am very laid-back and gave my then-husband tons of freedom. He’s now married to the OW who appears to be very controlling of him. She made sure to pick a sucker who would marry her and let her boss him around (which my ex is the perfect candidate for since he’s so needy), and she jumped from being dependent in one marriage to another. She doesn’t have a college degree or a job. She sounds like the classic gold digger, and I think that many OW are.

      Anyone who has been cheated on should remember that the people who cheated on us are often the cheater partners in someone else’s marriage; the ex’s Owife blew up her own marriage and family. Cheaters are exactly how Steve describes, male or female, so what I think we can avoid is involving ourselves with any cheaters in the future. If someone you’re dating admits to cheating, just walk away. I think that very few cheaters are actually remorseful, bother to work on themselves, and change for the better. If you date a former cheater, you should expect more of the same. Those are the people to avoid.

  • I was where you are. It took me years to recover enough to even be interested in women again, and then I was certain that no woman could be trusted to actually want me and not my wallet. Yes, me self-esteem was decimated after the hell I went though.

    Then, seemingly out of nowhere when I was not really looking, that one in a million woman came along that I thought could not possibly exist. Of all the wonderful qualities that make her great, I think the best is that she is a fellow chump. Some dumb ass was actually stupid enough to hurt this special human being.

    My take? Find a fellow chump. Anybody that has been hurt as badly as we have would never dream of hurting another like that. Instead, we want a relationship for all the right reasons, and we will value it like it should be valued. Yes, all the other compatibility aspects still need to bet here, but if you find a chump, you have found yourself a winner.

    • High Five ChumpedbyLoser High Five!!!!

      This is my story too, wonderful, loving people (Men and women) do exist, and i suspect everyone posting on this site is one of those wonderful people.

    • CbL, Congrats on finding a good one! My experience has been that being a chump doesn’t automatically qualify someone as a good catch… I dated some men whose wives cheated on them and they were deeply hurt by it, BUT as I got to know them, they weren’t all really nice guys. Some have domineering personalities or are rigid in their world views… Not the kind of person I am looking for. You just really need to pay attention to finding out what kind of person they are and if they are compatible!!! I’m curious if other members of CN have had that experience when dating another chump?

  • Leah, those women put a high false value on themselves , and unfortunately a lot of men will believe it. At least for a while. Ex’s whore sure put a high value on herself, but guess what, it was all a fraud, just like the two of them.

  • The high value wears thin when she wakes up one day and realizes she wasn’t that special after all, just filler until the next. Seriously, if they cheat on their wife why wouldn’t they do the same to the easy lay with no integrity.

    And he wakes up one day and looks at the dingy apartment, has to go to the laundry mat, take her dog for a walk, has to entertain her son and hold a baby and the fantasy bubble pops. It’s vacation time again for her birthday and he hadn’t paid off last years trip.

    That greener grass is a shit show. It gets two thumbs down.

    We got the real prize, freedom.

    • “Seriously, if they cheat on their wife why wouldn’t they do the same to the easy lay with no integrity.”

      ^ My STBX is a testament to that line. There was a Player 4 in the game, another ho-worker who has a crush on him, which he used as a fuckbuddy to get the OW jealous. At first I was nauseous finding out, but now it seems almost laughable!!! STBW claims OW is ‘his destiny’ but his actions clearly shows that OW is just another pawn in his sick game! LOL…

      I am so glad to be on my way out of this madness…

    • Doingme, yep grandfather daddy traded down, real down. 30 yr younger and magically new baby arrived! Yep, Co howorker, part timer oh yeah!
      Petet Pan’s new world sporting scumbalina with stroller.
      I wonder how many times assclown will be asked, “oh are you the grandfather.”
      Sad story but a true story!
      Lucky girl! Lol

  • I couldn’t help but reading this post as “X-Human is suspicious of all Y-humans because I was hurt by a Y-human.” — Men, Women, narcissists, golddiggers, young, old, … whatever.

    Here’s a woman chump’s story, just to let you know not every woman is like those you’re worried about: When I was little, every day I saw my dad come home from his job and not do a damn thing. He had worked that day, and he brought home the money, so my mom did EVERYTHING else and had all the power. So I thought, “OK, if *I* am the wage-earner, then my husband will wait for ME at the end of each day wearing nothing by an apron and a smile, right?” — I joke, but you catch the meaning. *I* was the moneymaker in the family. And I still got chumped. Why & how is irrelevant and utterly uninteresting at this time in my life (2+ years post Dday).

    Here’s what else has happened: Tonight I had dinner with some married friends. There was a single guy there. He seemed nice. No sparks or anything, but if he wanted to go out, I would go (he lives far away, so logistics issues). I don’t think he makes any amount of money at his job. — And a couple weeks ago, an old college friend and his teenage son stayed at my house while visiting my Alaskan town. He was nice. I totally would have gone for him, but he has a girlfriend. — Neither of these guys is anything to look at, especially, and god knows they aren’t rich! But they’re intelligent, kind, funny, … adults. And so, to me, they’re attractive.

    I, OTOH, am kinda cute (also about 50), make good money, smart, funny, but, y’know? I’m 50. So I’m a bit saggy. My teeth are crooked. I have some wrinkles. If there ever is another guy, he’ll have to cope with that. Also, whoever wrote about all guys wanting sex? That wasn’t XH, that was me.

    So, my point is, be careful with the stereotypes. It seemed after the divorce, all I saw were guys gaping after much younger women (a la XH) and it sickened me. Now I see there are mature men who act appropriately. — You’ll find your woman, Steve. She won’t be a golddigger or a narcissist or a cheater. We aren’t all “like that” and you aren’t all “like that” either. We’re all just human — some good, some bad — gotta pick a good one, right? Good luck.

  • Steve’s pretty early out after fighting for divorce for 2.5 years. I’m sure he’ll change his mind about women, but really does need to take some time being alone for a while.

    Being alone is not bad at all – One poster here, can’t remember her name, explained it best. She’s enjoying her freedom. Eats when she wants, does what she wants, goes to bed when she wants.

    That’s pretty much what I’m doing! I travel with friends, eat out with friends and/or my girls and sometimes alone. I work hard and most days I just cook supper, watch a bit of TV and then head to bed. Too tired for much else. It is very peaceful right now.

    I was with my ex for 30 years – since I was 17, and I know for a fact that I was a good wife.

    There are women out there who don’t want much. I know all I wanted was a partner in life. Someone to love, help with the children and chores. Someone to confide in and just to be there for each other. But life isn’t easy and I most certainly didn’t get what I wanted.

    What I got was a selfish, self centered 5 year old, sex addict, alcoholic – who’d pitch a fit if you looked at him the wrong way. He’s a very angry man. Today his freedom is gone as he married on of his affair partners, a sugar momma who keeps him on a very tight leash. She has the money, so they travel all the time and she’s a big drinker too, so they have that in common. I’m pretty sure they are swingers which was always something he’d want to do that I just simply didn’t want any part of. That’s just not in my makeup.

    It sucks at this age (52) to be having to start all over. Nobody marries their partner with the thought that this will happen – but it does and a lot too!

    So at 52, I’m enjoying my peace. Would I like someone in my life? Maybe… but Maybe not. Relationships take work, and I’m just not ready yet to do it again. Yes, as CL says – love is a risk. You need to make your own decisions as to whether or not it’s worth it. Hopefully by the time you do, you’ll have centered yourself a bit so that you can look @ it objectively instead of emotionally. It’s all a business arrangement in the end.

    Good luck to everyone here in that aspect – no matter what you choose.

  • Hi Steve, woman chump here, and I get your lack of trust. What I wanted was so little, a friend, a partner, a helpmeet, someone who was steady and had my back whilst we worked together for the good of our family and the good of our kids, made friends and had some fun as well. I don’t think that is too much to ask, but it is what I wanted out of life.

    I simply cannot imagine having a relationship. I cannot imagine that a man exists who is interested in what I want, above. Especially now he is not genetically connected to my wonderful children. So because I cannot imagine it, it must not exist.

    • That is very philosophical, and very sad, and very understandable, Patsy. But I can tell you right now that there are men who want the same thing, so you should feel certain that we do, indeed, exist.

        • I am cynical too about it.
          I think it’s “possible” to find a good man, just not for me.

          After being chumped and seeing all of the “high-fiving” that goes on between men about cheating, I honestly think that most men operate simply as “Vagina Collection Agents” and somehow we are supposed to get that being married to us is a “big favor” to us, so if they “slip” into a vagina, we are supposed to shrug it off knowing that it’s such a pain to be a husband.

  • I was on the other side of the fence. I was, actually still am, financially dependent on my STBX. I don’t EVER want to be in this situation again. I have a job interview tomorrow, and then, once the divorce is final (hurry up already guy!), I’m going back to school and getting a degree in IT. I am NEVER EVER going to rely on a man and his income ever again. I want to be financially independent and able to take care of my kids and myself.

    • That’s the reason I got an education, because I knew I could always take care of myself if something happened. My mom would constantly complain to my father that the money he gave her for groceries was never enough.

      Also, when I was younger, I saw my aunt turn 36 yrs of age and somber into a major desperation crisis and married the next loser that came along. I always looked up to her, she drove a yellow sports car, had a great job, dressed beautifully, and along came her future husband, who had never held a steady job. He told he he’d take care of her. The instant she got married, she quit her job, gave ALL of her life savings to her husband, who took her money, and bought a 7/11 convenient store, which failed after 2 years. He dwindled all her money, they had to declare bankruptcy, and ended up on Welfare since then. It’s a disaster story. I never wanted to end up like my mom or my aunt, so I really made it a point to get an education, which I’m incredibly grateful that I can take care of myself. Best decision ever!

  • Hi Steve my fellow Chump. I found out last year that my wife of 24 years has a special someone. She told me after I found out that it involved going on Ashley Madison looking for a Fuckbuddy but finding love. She said she needed to follow her passions after years of denying them and that it was the “most difficult” thing she had ever done and required tremendous courage…..
    My point is that shortly after D-Day I began attending a “Survivors of affairs” group in my town. Sort of like Alcohol Anonymous for Chumps. The majority of the members are female. Oh my God the stories …. So many of them would bring a tear to a glass eye. After attending these meetings no one could possibly be sexist about the issue of betrayal.

  • I don’t hate or mistrust all women – on the contrary,I think maybe I need to do some serious self-improvements before any woman would be willing to share her life with me at this point. Something about the last relationship I was in wore me down a little.

    A big problem I have is that, somehow, my stbxw seems to have found that magic formula. The guy she left me for is, from what I know, not a total asshole (although the jury’s out – how could he do this?). He has an interesting job that he apparently does well. He plays guitar, and dotes on my stbxw just like any one of us would love to be loved. He’s good at sex – I know this because she told me. They went out for 5 years during her college years (25 years ago). When she was with me, like somebody else said, things were mostly good until they weren’t. I could see her keeping her shit together with him for the rest of her life. As much as I’d like for their relationship to crash and burn, I really don’t think it will. And here I am, thinking I’m going to be one of those people that just never reconnects with another living soul. Life ain’t fair and then you die, I guess.

    • If she did it to you she will do it to him once the newness and sparkles wear off. Does it happen 100 percent of the time no just 99 percent. My ex left me for the love of his life the woman he was meant to be with! While still trolling on bondage dating sites and hooking up. And still trying to come to me for sex. Uh no. Love of his life no. He hasnt a clue how to love just addicted to the thrills, the newness, the chase, til he tires of it and fucks up yet again. There will always be a woman who thinks shes the one hes been waiting for. He gives the appearance of a great guy but he is not. There are good guys out there maybe one day one will find me but im not going looking.

      • “My ex left me for the love of his life the woman he was meant to be with!”

        And we know how that turned out, she dumped him on his ass. These cheaters are so fickle, every next woman they meet is the love of their life. It’s like they’re teenagers without any brains.

        • Well said kellia true that. Whore juice is still playing him either to punish him or get him back. So happy soon i will be gone from here.

          • My ex had huge sadz when Schmoopie dumped him (for another man, of course). He made many lame attempts to get me back, and to get his kids backed (who he’d also pretty much abandoned after I kicked him out). Then Schmoopie wanted him back, back he went, until she dumped him again (for the same other man, again, if my intel is right). Then it took him one week to get a new ‘serious girlfriend’ from

            But now I’m ‘bitter and self-righteous’, because I wouldn’t take him back and still won’t buy into HIS explanations as to why all this happened. Also I’m responsible for the kids not wanting much to do with him.

            They live in cloud-cuckoo land, and will continue to do so. I hear it can be pretty nice there, except for the occasional run-ins with reality and consequences.

    • Oak tree, my mother-in-law left her 30 year marriage to live with her high school sweetheart. 20 years later he threw her out. So, it may not happen straight away but it will, probably, happen (and by that time you won’t care).

    • “The guy she left me for is, from what I know, not a total asshole (although the jury’s out – how could he do this?). ”

      If he’s knowingly dating a married woman, he’s a total asshole.

      The ability to smile at strangers, make pleasant smalltalk, and not poop on the carpet, does not compensate for the complete and utter lack of character required to do this.

      “NO adultery!” [better translation than “Thou shalt not – captures more of the tone and grammar of the Hebrew original] is in the top ten, not just in the Abrahamic religions, but in literally. every. single. ethical code humanity /ever/ wrote down. It is /literally/ the yardstick of civilization. Anyone who opts out of that is, among other things, definitely “a total asshole”.

      • I’ve often wondered if X and his something different, meant to be are living a shiny, happy, sparkly life with X being the perfect gentleman and with the perfect woman. Neither having faults, constantly smiling in approval at everything the other does.
        It’s a matter of time until the mask slowly comes off and X’s true colors are revealed.

        They’re fake, the effort they’re putting into proving how happy they are is sure to become tiresome.
        Any relationship they have is shallow. They’re lacking in integrity and character and care for no one other than themselves.

          • This is a common concern she some BPD or NPD hooks up with another: will they be great together? Well,no.These folks suck.
            But,try not to give a shit. You are better off with one out of your life.

      • Heat death,
        Thank you for writing that regarding adultery. It validates me when I feel like I am truly going to tip over into the badlands of crazy town and live there, after his cheating eviscerated me.

        I know I am a fool, but I wish my X had seen that, knew that…had some moral compass that would have made him see that peeking over the fence is just a type of greed.

        We could of had it all (I coulda been a contender!) but he just….believes that to be monogamous makes HIM a chump. It is this strange, selfish mindset that he is entitled to huge amounts of random pussy. (And that is the word HE uses). He truly believes this. He thinks that if he is not fucking around, he is missing out on something critical for happiness.

        He wanted to have me in a box (100% faithful, responsible, and sitting at home waiting for him) AND he wants to fuck skanks behind my back and then come to me and play house. I could tell…it made him feel like a stud to have all of this sick secrets and relationships. His “fun” broke me.

        In an appalling moment, he actually said, 1% remorseful: I guess I wanted my cake and to eat it, too.

        And there is was. And there is no where to go with that.

        One thing that trips me up (catastrophically) is how much fun we would have at times. Laughing, talking, amazing sex, doing a chore together was an ecstatic errand, for me. Boy, he was a good actor.

        Did not matter.

        Does not compute.

        • I know the type. Matter of fact, I live on an island where that mind set is the norm among men. I could never understand how the measure of a man is how many women he can lure into having sex with him at the expense of the respect of his family. Even his friends who pat him on the back are thinking what a fool he is. And I will say it again, if it was such a good thing to be proud of, if they really didn’t see the big deal, if they really thought we would not mind, if they thought that the problem was us and not them, then they’d commit their adultery in the open.

    • Oaktree

      Self improvement is the way forward. Fixing our picker comes later. I’m working on demanding respect, learning to say NO and putting myself first for a change. They do a number on us and getting into another relationship will be when I’m ready. Getting there slow but sure.

    • Oaktree
      “Life ain’t fair and then you die, I guess.”

      Life ain’t fair (because you were married to an emotionally abusive liar/cheater), and then you leave and you LIVE. I think you have done the leaving part, but not yet fully the living part.

      I think we all want them to be miserable because if they cheat and leave and they are happy, then obviously that means that there is something wrong with us. And that’s the reason they cheated. That clearly we deserved to be betrayed. But that just isn’t true. What she did to you was intentional and it was wrong. She is a shitty human being. It doesn’t matter if she will be deleriously happy with him until the day she dies. That is, it doesn’t matter (should not matter) to you, because with you she was abusive.

      Do reflect on and improve yourself, for you. I’m guessing that when you start liking and being happy with yourself, then you will feel like life might not be fair, but that it’s worth living. And you won’t care if your XW is happy, sad or dead, because you will be focused on you. And that type of inner knowledge and confidence in oneself is incredibly attractive because it is authentic. It will shine out of you.

  • I totally get how you feel, Steve, and I have been working on it for a very long time. I thought about not sharing that because I don’t want to bring the room.down and people are sharing some really wonderful hope and support here today. Still, life is messy and this is one of my messes.

    My particulars are different — I have a hard time trusting people in general — but the general idea is that life has shown me that honesty is rare. Intellectually, I, like you, realize I don’t want this fear to rule my life. Emotionally, I am always looking for lies.

    When people get married, I think how it’s only a matter of time before we find out who’s the cheater and who’s the chump.

    When a friend is dating and tells me something the other person said that sounds lame, like how they were three hours late because they fell asleep unexpectedly (yeah, I’m sure you were doing dishes and unexpectedly narcoleptically plopped into a heap on the floor, slept there for two hours, then couldn’t call because your phone fell uncontrollably asleep too, and all this made you have to shower at 4pm…) I assume the other person is telling some crap story to cover up the truth.

    I mostly, by and large, figure people want it all and will lie to make that happen. I am walking collateral damage. I fight the urge to think that way all the time.

    Yet I fight the urge because I think it’s important. I know I am like me, and I know a few other people who are like me (forthcoming honest, introspective, capable of deep intimacy, deeply loving and giving), so I know we are out there.

    I think the picker-fixing is huge. We can’t go forward letting things slide that shouldn’t, letting others subtly bully us into not asking the real questions and getting real answers, etc. We need to get really good at boundaries and hone the crap out of our BS meters, not to take everyone to task, but to become strong in the face of BS. That takes time.

    There will be women, later, after some healing, who will easily pass the boundary and BS meter test. They will also have good boundaries and BS meters and expect you to be able to do the same. Spend your energy becoming what you want to be and learning what you are willing and able to give. Expect more from people who want to get close to you. Take longer to get to know them and to reveal your depth. Become more willing to let go if stories don’t wash. Look for signs of shallow.

    You can do this. Mountains always look bigger from the bottom, but by carrying small stones, you can eventually move the whole thing .

    • Amiisfree, sadly I can relate. sigh… This experience taught me that I am a strong person, just have a few more lessons to learn along the way. Letting your head lead before your heart can be a very hard lesson for some chumps…. I think what you said was perfect….

      “We can’t go forward letting things slide that shouldn’t, letting others subtly bully us into not asking the real questions and getting real answers, etc. We need to get really good at boundaries and hone the crap out of our BS meters, not to take everyone to task, but to become strong in the face of BS. That takes time”

    • Beautifully written, Amiisfree. Thank you for the eloquent words. I’m keeping this to re-read as necessary.

    • I have learned not only through my experience, but listening to others mostly on CN for years (since inception or shortly thereafter) that Chumps are following a set of rules and motives that are no longer the ones the major populous is operating from or maybe even values anymore.
      Even though obviously cheating has always existed, it was predicated on finding willing women in most cases, who were usually at least a little concerned with how society/their circle looked at this.
      Now, there is all kinds of easy out there who care not the damage, their reputation, or anything but their gain – whether it be short term or long term.
      The values I was brought up with were integrity, honesty, good manners, the golden rule, etc. (i.e. good person) Excuse me for saying that today this seems to make you an easy mark to take advantage of, a sucker if you will. Part of it in this in this area are the people flooding into our country who are either desperate or just live by a different code of conduct. I know this is not politically correct, but it is the truth. Am I saying they are all this way? Of course not, but I have many friends who have lost their long term mate, parent to their children to people coming here from elsewhere.
      My spouse found out he was being played for cash for bills, attention and nights out. Then comes to find out she has a husband who doesn’t mind as long as she comes home with some benefit for the family. Like pimping out his own wife! This is what my mate gave up a decades long union and my trust for. Evidently, she knows just how to rope them in, suggesting what she would do with him if she had half a chance. He believed she was single.
      I never asked for much, and she “needed” him.

  • PS – I really think location plays a role in my chances for finding love again. I live in a small town in the the foothills of Appalachia (not from here originally). Most of the people here have different educational backgrounds and political views from my own. We don’t have the kind of groups Howard mentions (Survivors of Affairs) although we do have the church-based DivorceCare (anybody done that? Can you review?). If I could be in a slightly larger town, I would meet more people and have more chances to “get lucky” (it’s a numbers game, somebody said). But my stbxw and I both have jobs here, our son is 13, don’t think I’m moving anywhere soon.

    • I live isolated soon i wont. I tried divorce care too preachy for me im an athesist. Very nice people but welcoming. I do not deny anyone their beliefs or faith i know how comforting it is.

        • I did DivorceCare. I found the support of the fellow attendees more beneficial that the videos, which I found rather dated. I am glad I attended though, as some of the group members were chumps who had returned for the sole purpose of encouraging the newbies and for giving their perspectives after more years of navigating the leaving a cheater trauma. I will be forever grateful to those chumps.

          Besides, it was free and in the early days of the divorce process, money was tight. I knew each week I attended that there would be someone there who understood what I was going through.

          • I also did the full DivorceCare program. Despite the fact that I’m Jewish and the program is very Christian, I found it quite helpful. I simply ignored the really religious parts; as I recall, just about all of the videos ended with some sort of variation on the claim that it is absolutely impossible to recover from divorce without Jesus. I managed to do so, however. Outside of the religious stuff (which I am sure is quite helpful to devout Christians — I’m not knocking it, it just wasn’t my worldview), there was a lot of good info on dealing with finances, loneliness, kids, etc.

            As Finding Bliss said, the videos are okay, but the most helpful part by far was the hour or so spent talking with the other group members. Not all in my group had divorced because of adultery, but several had. It was so wonderful to have a place to go each week where I knew I was understood and accepted. Plus, it’s a free program, which was all my budget back then could afford.

            • Buddhist support materials on adultery are almost non existent. I don’t know why. I even wrote a Buddhist convent I stayed in about 4 years ago and they just directed me to standard writings about suffering.

              I just don’t have the level of enlightenment not to be attached to a man that I loved and had sex with, cuddled with and wanted to be with forever.

              Attachment=suffering. Desire= suffering. Suffering is the first law of life. (Simplified but essentially the process).

              Buddhist thought does not factor in all those messy feelings that make us human.

              It helps with things like career, or money accumulation, but heartbreak? Not so much.

              Painkillers work better. Heartbreak is a real medical condition. You have to be careful (you don’t want to get addicted or OD) but in times of ACUTE crisis, they really do help. (Opiates)

              The pain I have felt in the past 4 months…almost unbearable.

              • OMG, Sylivia is Sad, your post – awesome. I was really enjoying your discussion of the Buddhist shortcomings when it comes to dealing with infidelity, and LOL’ed when you jumped right to painkillers. Well done. And may your painkillers be of some help, I know they have been to me.

              • Errr…I think the painkiller (opiates) pun went right over my head.
                I don’t think those help this kind of pain, unfortunately. But, am sure you were spoofing.

              • That was a kind way of pointing out that it went over my head, too, SheChump. I cannot tell a lie, I did not catch it. But I’m sure there’s something to the actual benefit of opiates in this situation, at least I am proceeding under this assumption.

              • Oak tree, You did not miss a lie. I was being serious.

                They really do help! I was having chest pains, and I have very low blood pressure. Thanks to this….critter….blowing up my life, I honestly thought I was having a heart attack. I would press my hands to my chest and pray it would pass.

                I am not overweight (anymore, thanks to stomach problems, I sound like Woody Allen) and my Doc said he thinks the shock and adrenaline actually weakened my heart wall. I have stopped eating. I eat one peanut butter graham cracker and a class of milk. Later a banana. 22 lbs…gone.

                His cheating jeopardized my life. The pain killers help. I feel a weight on my chest, and a panic, like a WILD CRAZED panic when I realize what just happened to me.

                I know I cannot stay on them forever (slippery slope) but I was being 100% truthful.

                Do NOT listen to me if you have addiction problems. But, for me…it was a toss up between taking the prescription and either checking into a mental care ward or preparing for prison after hunting him down and exacting revenge.

                We are in acute pain (some are now mighty) and those opiates tamp down that pain. You do not feel like howling and wailing in Walgreens or have moments where you wonder: Is this all worth it?

                Cheating is serious business.

              • Sylvia, no I didn’t think you were lying! I meant I cannot tell a lie (like George Washington and the cherry tree). SheChump caught a pun that was unintentional, I guess: you were talking about Buddhism, and then said opiates were better, and this reminded SheChump (and only later, me) of Marx’s saying that “religion is the opiate of the masses.” Funny!

                And trust me, I have made solid use of painkillers throughout this ordeal. Lorazepam, although not an opiate, is my sleep aide now, and it has been a big, big help. I agree with you that this is serious pain, and requires serious treatment.

    • I agree (having lived in small communities) that it can be harder to meet suitable people. But being in a big location isn’t always more beneficial either. I live in the city that had the largest number of Ashley Madison accounts in the whole country (and it’s not a Largest 20 city, so per capita we’re talking high probability of encountering cheaters and cheater-wanna-bes). Yeah, me!

      • Interesting point, Tempest. I wonder if there’s usually more cheating per capita in bigger cities than in small towns…

        • Oaktree – ‘ But I’m sure there’s something to the actual benefit of opiates in this situation, at least I am proceeding under this assumption.’

          Just curious if you find opiates help you in a depressive, suicidal condition – more mental than physical?

          I’ll tell you why I spent 8 mos on very strong Opiates, and I get how they take care of extreme physical pain.
          I was looking after 2 many giant dogs after he left (4 Danes) and I fell off a 75′ cliff fixing a fence and got some serious injuries.
          I had 3 surgeries and on 85mg of Oxi a day for the pain. For 8 MONTHS!
          Fucking 4 D-days caused me all sorts of physical issues and I think mental and physical are very much related.

          I was worried sick I’d get dependent and eventually go to heroin or something ghastly for being on them that long, and they certainly DID NOT erase the pain of the adultery. Well, I was a lucky one.
          The day the pain finally quit and I was healed, I chucked the last of the bottle because I didn’t need it anymore.
          It made me pretty kookie but able to live normally, and for that, I appreciated the medication.

          What works for you may not work for others. But I was sure glad I had those opiates during the physical pain. (it is a slippery slope, as they say)

          • Oak tree – you’re cracking me up tonight. “Interesting point, Tempest. I wonder if there’s usually more cheating per capita in bigger cities than in small towns…”

            Nope, I’d say the ratio is much much higher in small towns across America, anyway. Or seems like it. It’s probably a per capital stat. 10%? 30? 60%? Anybody have those stats?

            You remember an overwhelming popular movie with Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood – Bridges of Madison County? Seemed to resonate with so many people across the country, including me at the time. I could puke over it now. WHY in the fuck was that movie so popular, especially in the midwest where it’s covered in corn fields, and both right and left coasts?

            Sorry, I digress.

            • SheChump, I hope my post didn’t sound as if I was criticizing the use of painkillers. I’m certainly not. Weren’t you the one who caught the “religion is the opiate of the masses” thing? My own take on painkillers is that, yes, I take them. Not an actual opiate right now (Lorazepam), but I have had my share of all kinds, and I know they help. And, like you, I am lucky to not have a tendency to get addicted to these things. 🙂

              • oak tree – on no, I didn’t find you criticizing anything and hope I didn’t come across as criticizing either. When you need real pain pills, your doctor will give them to you, Opiates or otherwise. Lorazepam (Xanax) is not an opiate, obviously. It calms nerves and Valium used to be the drug of housewives in the 50’s-60’s until everybody got addicted. Then they must have changed the name. I bet if you polled over 1/2 this site has been on an anti-anxiety med of some sort when the mental pain began and started having physical symptoms like not eating, shaking out of control. I find Xanax is very helpful but I don’t want to stay on it too long. The mental anguish is what caused me to fall over a cliff and I was sure glad for the opiates!

            • And yeah, I heard all about that movie, but I never did watch it. Don’t think I ever will. Lady Chatterly’s Lover is kind of spoiled for me now, too.

  • “So before I chuck my clueless husband, first I’ll soak him for a gym membership and some liposuction. Straighten my hair, botox my inner thighs, shellac my eyebrows, pluck my ears, and exfoliate my elbows.”

    CL, if you would have just added “and get some breast implants,” then sadly you would have perfectly described my wife. But I’m not looking at things the same way Steve is. In fact, I’m becoming more optimistic as time goes on. As I see things, given the hell my wife has put me through, odds are that I cannot possibly do worse in finding another woman. Heck, I could swing a dead cat in a crowded room with a blindfold on and find a better person to be with at this point.

    • Blindside, I joked for a long time after my divorce that outside of marrying a serial killer or the like, there was absolutely nowhere I could go but up after my ex. I joked that I just needed the three S’s in a man: single, straight and sane. My ex didn’t qualify for any of those.

      I did meet a guy eventually, of course, and we are getting married in November. He is far from perfect, but so am I. He has baggage and some FOO issues, me too. But one of the most striking differences between him and my ex (okay, there are hundreds of differences, believe me) is that if I tell Nice Guy he said or did something that bothered me, he genuinely apologizes and then makes a big effort to never do that behavior again. My ex, on the other hand, would say something like, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” and NEVER change his behavior to avoid hurting me. In fact, he would sometimes tell me I was crazy to feel the way I did. It’s such a relief to be done with all that.

    • Blindside,
      But…you wanted a vain woman who would get breast implants, right? Or you would not have paid for them?

      You had free will. You easily could have so “no.” Men veto women’s purchases everyday.

      When you chose *chose* a woman who was so invested in artificial appearance, did you think you were getting a down to earth girl..salt of the earth?

      • The plastic surgeries came at the end of my marriage, which was 10+ years long. She was pretty before them and I don’t think she needed them, but that wasn’t her opinion. The excuse when she got them was that she had a poor body image and felt bad about her appearance, so I (like a chump) felt bad and helped her pay for them even though she was in the middle of her A when she got them.

        Yes I could have said no, there are all sorts of things she wanted that I could have said no about, but in the quest to make your spouse happy sometimes you go for things you wouldn’t normally do. Saying no to your wife about something she really wants is easier said than done.

        • No doubt, blindside. Keep your generosity, keep your sense of humor. (Pretty sure that by now you’ve figured out that you need to make sure you choose someone who is more like you, someone who deserves YOU.)

          Because when you do better than “no worse than the last” woman — and you will — she’ll deserve both the generosity and the humor. Those two qualities are in my top 5 non-negotiables in a partner.

          (And for Steve, in case the “generosity” requirement sounds like I’m a gold digger: I’m generous with everything, material and emotional, except my books, which saved me too many times to count, which bear my notorious margin scribbles and are really the only reliable history I have. My books, no one can borrow. However, I promptly buy a copy of whatever book is requested and give it to the would-be borrower.)

      • Sylvia: not everyone who gets implants is vain… There are parts of the country where the wear and tear from having children, etc. just isn’t accepted as a normal part of life. I’m very likely overly sensitive on this issue, as I know what it’s like to be married to someone who thinks your appearance is diminished by breastfeeding your children. Husband (yes, I’m still married to him… I read this site for balance) looks at my breasts and say “you poor thing,” because they are so destroyed. They do look pretty bad, so at some point, I will have implants done. If he ever cheats again, I would hope that I wouldn’t be automatically judged for fixing something like this.

        As I said, I’m probably overly sensitive. :-/

        • No, you’re not overly-sensitive Kudzugrl. I’m sure most of us here also know that a lot of us have mastectomies so reconstruction, although cosmetic only, provides some of us with a more normal looking bust. Just a slip on the fake-boobs comment that are more often implanted on 24 yr olds so they appear like Barbie.

    • My narcissist ex wanted me to get breast implants. I refused all of his begging and pleading! He didn’t seem to understand that I rather like my boobs just fine the way they are! I offered to make some surgical recommendations to improve his appearance, but he didn’t like that idea so much.

      All through our marriage he had raved over my legs. Loved my legs. Called himself a leg-man. Then suddenly he became a boob-man and mine obviously did not meet his new DD fantasy??!! In hindsight, I am sure it was all due to his disorder. I seriously doubt a boob job would have prevented him from cheating on me. He just wanted to improve the wife appliance…

      It never ceases to amaze me that some women make an exit run through through the plastic surgeon’s office before dropping the divorce bomb.

    • I can’t stop laughing at the imagery of you walking into some fancy cocktail party swinging a dead cat. Oh the horror. But you’re right. Your chances are much better.

      • WHY why why…..always a dead cat?!!! It sounds like somebody killed it for the occasion of spinning it around to make a point. OK, I’m laughing at being one of the cat-sensitive cat people but would you find swinging a dead dog around any less horrific? Or a dead chicken?
        I prefer a blown-up condom instead, if I may please have my way on this forum. 🙂 I’ve been here too many years and just want to change this old saying to imply anything but a dead cat.

        In fact, I like Elin Nordegren’s technique.
        Swinging a fancy golf club around until you knock a few heads around.

        OK, my attempt. I would rather I let my pack of Malinois’ go scout out that bar where you could hit a good person with a sniff.

        1) bad higiene? Dump
        2) bad teeth, bad breath? Dump
        3) bad crotch area, recent scratching? Dump
        4) drunk? Definite danger and Dump
        5) Pompous? (what you want, dog?) Dump
        6) Defensive and unfriendly to sniffy dog. Dump
        7) Dog-hater. Dump
        8) Extends to animal hater. Dump
        9) Talks to himself and not the dog. Dump
        10) Doesn’t scratch dog’s chin. Dump

        So, I’d be much more confident sending my alive dogs to pick a good person than swinging in a dead cat. Just for the record!

  • My first husband was an asshole. I thought I had a good picker and I didnt and that makes me squirm still. He hurt me monumentally and I gave him 26 + years of my life. I once said to a friend “I dont believe that men have the capacity to truly love” I was right in that 100% of the men (one up to that time) I had married were incapable of love.

    My nowhusband married the female version of my H1.0. She was a little nicer though and had the decency to exit their relationship before she started dating. She took their only child and left on her search for greener grass and a guy who (just like you said) would give her “more”. He had given her everything and it was never good enough.

    Me & H2 coped in polar opposite ways. I started dating 6 months after H1 died and H2 stayed very very single (dating only one woman very briefly) for 12 years. He would still be alone on his sofa (and I would be internet dating) were it not for my dads singular attempt at matchmaking. Dad called H2 and asked him to call me and maybe take me to dinner.

    I was boldly brave and hopeful (but willing to quickly dump any suitor who looked like a jerk)…H2 was tentative and gunshy (having decided that women “werent worth the trouble”).

    There were some really hard times when my unhealed emotional bruising came in contact with his long-calloused refusal to engage, but in the end, we (the chumped and the dumped) found that we made good companions and lovers and partners. Me realizing that I trusted him felt SO much bigger than when I realized that I loved him…love was easy, trust was hardfought and earned.

    Im enjoying being married to him but marriage comes with a lot of accomodating. As much as I was certain I wanted to marry again after H1 died, Im also certain that this is the love of my life and if I outlive him, I will get a dog and a cloth sofa (what is it with men HAVING to have leather sofas?).

    but relationships arent for everyone…I hope everybody here finds contentment – either alone or coupled or whatever.

    • Thanks for putting some of my feelings into words, unicornomore. I’ve been trying to figure out my slightly confused feelings with PTSD guy. We’re almost six months into our relationship and you’re right the love is pretty easy, the trust, that’s a daily struggle I have with myself. In my gut I trust him. It’s this wonderful serene feeling I have. My head is always looking for the red flags, the triggers, the possible problems. But we talk it out and work on it.

  • Once my ex-husband started cheating on me I knew what I did not want in a partner. He had a bunch of flaws that I failed to see or refused to see, trying to make him perfect in my eyes. I always thought that I could over look them because at least he wasn’t abusive, have drug/alcohol problems, be a gambler, a CHEATER! Well, all of that changed for me. He never spent time with me and our children, he was VERY selfish, controlled the money and obviously kept secrets. We HAD money! We HAD IT ALL……until he cheated.

    The money was great but I would much rather have a partner who wanted to spend some time with me and my children, a good family man with great values and morals, a hard working man who would love me for me, a companion to go thru life with, someone I could trust. None of this costs a dime! There are many woman out there who value these things. I can’t be the only one!!

    • Kimmy – I SO hear you. The money was so NOT important, I just wanted us to have more family time since he had it all and he was a pretty damn good husband until he met HER. A strong man, few bad habits and we were great friends. It was surreal when I also found out that he could ever deceive me that viciously. And, we had money that he wouldn’t part with, we had it all, and he threw it all away. I ‘m like, for what? All that history…I’m so sorry for you. I’ve never put money ahead of a passion for life like he did. He liked it better than family, is the bottom line for me.

      Btw – it’s nice to see you back on here, Kimmy.

  • For me, the hardest part is changing myself. That of course involves fixing my picker, but it’s also about noticing all the old habits and ways of thinking that make me a poor risk myself–co-dependence being primary but also all the old junk that keeps me safe from the risks of mutuality and reciprocity. Co-dependence is not just about propping up a dysfunctional partner–it’s a way to avoid intimacy by being in the “in control” position, by being with someone who does not pose the risk of stepping up and being an equal. And then there’s my natural introversion, which makes sitting on my porch alone more attractive than letting other people sit with me.

    So I worry more about keeping myself on the right road to learning how to be a loving partner. Once I understood what was going wrong, it never occurred to me to blame all men for my troubles. I just picked the wrong ones.

  • Interesting thoughts, but a couple of observations…..

    – my STBX started out a good person and over time she sank to new lows, including a long term affair , because of her insecurities and a gradual lowering of her morals. I suspect a lot of women in particular go into relationships expecting to be monogamous and then they fuck up. A lot, but not all. Some do the right thing and end a relationship instead of fucking around and others sort out their relationship instead of fucking around.

    – I met another girl – wash, rinse, repeat… she cheated on me (we were keen but only dating), I broke it off, but then bought her story (and accepted I could have treated her better) and took her back. She has now broken it off due to insane jealousy about a friend of hers who I ever so briefly kissed (no sex) one drunken night when we weren’t even together (so no cheating involved). Double standards seem to pervade cheaters (my STBX was also insanely jealous and saw threats everywhere, even though she was fucking another guy) and people like me who invite people like them into our lives need to fix pickers and probably also need some help getting out of relationships like this (I am really struggling to leave it be with the new girl – will I ever learn?).

    – I have met other girls on the dating scene. It’s a challenge finding someone who rocks and who you rock. In this phase of our lives, we all have baggage. But there are plenty of successful second marriages out there, so I don’t accept there is no one.

    – fix picker, enjoy dating for what it is (pot luck) and take your time to know yourself and know the other person. That’s my plan, once I extricate myself from my current wash cycle….

    • FSTL, aren’t you glad for CN. Keep coming back here for your new brainwashing…. We all know how hard it is to let go…

  • Steve said “and when he no longer does, will I still be young enough to find a replacement, when this man has served all the purposes I have for him now.”

    My experience isn’t that the codependent husband stops doing these things, its that the narcissistic wife, once she owns you, no longer has value for them (except for the money and time resources). This wife no longer wants the praises, the sexual advances, your emotional attention, and over time, the husband learns to no longer do them since they no longer work and only lead to neglect and rejection.

    So when a newer, fresher, richer challenge comes along who compliments and praises her and finds passion with her, she of course must sample the new flavor and then twist the story to say “you weren’t meeting my needs”

    But it was a fucked up dynamic all along. The husband had quickly learned to stop having needs, since he was punished for having needs, and the wife learned how to get all her needs met by this chumpy guy, but of course she lost interest and rendered him unable to meet her needs, so, given her sense of entitlement, had an affair instead.

    My guess is that Steve’s friends were also (harkening back to yesterday’s post) Nice Guy codependent guys who chose badly, who started strong, but were no match for the type of women they chose.

    So yeah, so much of this comes back to 1) standing up for your needs, that is, having self worth and 2) picking someone who respects you and your needs as you respect theirs.

    • Can’t speak for anybody else, but you describe my situation with remarkable accuracy, Buddy. Nailed it, actually.

      • I agree Buddy, and it works both ways for certain wives, as well. Just sayin’
        We may be two different specie of human, but this kind of mental abuse definitely comes from either gender.
        Once I got older, I got dumped. Plain and simple. By a LT husband.
        Such are the stats.

        • Yes, it works both ways. When I speak of woman and her and she and wife (gender) that is just because I was married to a woman. Entitlement, personality disorders, narcissism, cheating, self-absorption, etc are equal opportunity employers.

  • If the equivalent of me in the male form exists, I hope we meet. Only then would I feel absolutely unequivocally safe in a relationship. im sure he exists somewhere, but most definitely I have never met any man who even comes close. And I refuse to settle for another cluster fuck B piss hard on. If you got issues? Get the fuck away from me.

  • It’s interesting to get the male Chump perspective. I’m 54 years old and 9 months post divorce, 4 years post DDay #2. I’m a attorney who quit practicing law to be a SAHM for 20 years. My ex was the breadwinner and even though my staying home with the kids was a mutual decision, he never let me forget it for a minute while ignoring the financial contributions I made through part-time work and other sources and ignoring as well that I was raising his children and generally keeping his life on course. Post divorce I’m working full time at a law related job that I love, I applied for a mortgage, bought a house, moved to the new house and weathered every crisis, large and small, by myself. I have family and friends who love and support me but I did it all on my own and I like being independent. I don’t want or need a man to take care OF me; I want a man who will care ABOUT me.

    I tried the online dating scene for awhile. What I found was the men were usually looking for a younger, fitter, woman (in most cases, far younger and fitter than they themselves were). I also got a lot of “oh you’re smart” sorts of comments. Yep. I have a brain. I like to use it too. It didn’t help that I am a very low maintenance sort. I want someone to love me as I am, squidgy 54 year old body, gray hairs and all. I’m not interested in trying to be or look like anything other than who I am just to “catch” a man. I don’t want a husband or a stepping stone. I want a companion and a best friend who will be as supportive of me as I am of him. I want a man who will show me what it’s like to go to bed with someone who knows that emotional intimacy is inextricably tied to physical intimacy. I’ve never experienced that. My ex wouldn’t know emotional intimacy if it walked up and bitch slapped him across his face. Will I ever find such a man? I don’t know. But I don’t doubt that there are good men out there just because I haven’t found one who is interested in me.

    • I am having a hard time….processing the male chump stories. I am not doubting they happened, of course not. But….I have spent lots of time in the dating world.

      And I have not met these poor pitiful men who are wounded by predator women, snarling for Hermes Birkins and wads of cash. I have not met this married men who are thrashed within inches of their lives, (metaphorically) by these she devils.

      Where are these predatory females? Most women I know will trudge through YEARS of abuse, misery, cheating, rudeness, bad hygiene and outright hell…clinging to the hope that the man will “change.”

      In dating, I meet, over and over and over and over…men who resemble a rotten potato, have skin tags, bad breath, etc and want the woman to be a Ms. Universe clone. Most of these men ARE NOT wealthy but just have this entitlement…..I don’t know if it is porn or Western media…but they do NOT want a woman of their age or WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE.

      They want a Maserati and they are a Yugo.

      Anyone can come back and say whatever, but I have been in the trenches, on line, in real life, in many countries.

      And the story I see, over and over and over…is the married man who disrespects his wife by drooling over much younger girls, or the first new woman who throws him a glance, he is off to the races.

      Beth, your optimism is sweet, that you don’t doubt there are good men out there. But, I am telling you….I have done the leg work, and it is a bit bleak. A photo of a gray haired, squishy 50 something woman on the dating sites will not get much attention. (Not your photo). Just in general. Do you know why? Because the 50 somethings are looking in the 20-30 year old range.

      The incredible double standard and the delusions that men have about their appearance and desirability, and even likeability, with what they want in a mater (20-30 years younger, perfect body, no baggage) is revolting.

      • I think it all comes down to societal trends versus individual cases. The gender breakdown on this site would suggest that by and large it’s women who are abused, thrown away, and then on a search for answers. But there are men who don’t fit the mold. This used to confuse me about sociology, and not saying it confuses you, but what a percentage of society is likely do does not define what any one particular member of that society will do.

        I’m a man and about as far from alpha as one can get, I suppose. Rather than a sense of entitlement I question that anyone compatible will ever want me. And for the record, the ex that I’m torn up over is 2 years older than me and I was helping to raise her son from a previous marriage. In other words things that men supposedly don’t want to do.

        • I think you’re right about the numbers WWDSG. The higher percentage of chumps are female. I’m sure all the male chumps here are wonderful, caring men. I would love to meet one who lives in my area. A chump dating site would be wonderful but at the same time, I have this vision of female chumps getting into fist fights over the available male chumps “I saw him first!!” given our greater numbers. 🙂

      • Sylvia, maybe I should clarify – I believe there are good men out there, in the real world. In the online dating world? Not so much. Maybe all the good men in the real world are already coupled up? I don’t know. I believe in their existence. I have seen them (all married or in solid relationships) but I haven’t met one who is available. That is partially on me. I’m a solid introvert. I don’t get out much and I work in a largely female environment. So while I would like to find a male companion, unless one falls out of the sky and lands on me, it’s not likely to happen under my present circumstances.

        • I think good men are there but I perceive that the numbers are small.

          Normal, sane women dont throw their husbands away for no reason, so you have the odd “never marrieds”, widowers (4 widows for every one widower and Catholic women will fight for one of them since they can marry in the Church), and the rare-bird chumped/dumped whose wife actually went bat shit crazy who is mixed into the general population of cheaters who claim the wife went bat shit crazy (but he leaves out the part about the lies, cheating and abuse he inflicted).

          My sweet husband #2 is a bit of a goof..if I had met him on a coffee date I likely wouldnt have wanted to see him again because I wouldnt have gotten his vibe. Knowing him from the past, however, gave me a clearer view of who he is. He is nice, my same age, financially set, has one very nice child, supports me in all my endeavors … D20 complains that he actually clips his phone to his belt. I can tolerate some dorkiness if it comes with the good stuff…I say that God sent me a kind man in a silly box.

          • Exactly why dating sites, and the dynamic that goes with them, are so risky. There are plenty of high-quality people who are not going to wow our socks off in speed dating. It takes getting to know the whole picture, starting to admire another person’s quirks, and not paying as much attention to the outside package.

      • OK Sylvia, so you have met some bad men, but I find your generalizations offensive. I don’t look like a potato, or want a younger woman. Maybe you ought to admit you haven’t seen it all.

        • Mr. Oaktree,

          I believe you don’t like look a potato. I am glad you don’t want a younger women. And, no, I have not met every man on the planet.

          But, I am telling you, it is a bleak bleak world out there, trying to date, in the pool of “available” men for women. Just the fact that you show insight and analyze these issues makes you very rare…a four leaf clover.

          You will have no problems dating.

          Once you start, you will see, there will be women beating your door down who are decent and kind and attractive. They will forgive a few flaws and not expect you to look like Bradley Cooper. They will not ask to see a bank statement before giving you the best they have.

          You will see.

          I cannot offer the same hope to the women. I wish I could.

          • Oh, Sylvia: “You will have no problems dating. Once you start, you will see, there will be women beating your door down who are decent and kind and attractive.”

            I don’t know whether to send you kisses for making my day, or curses for getting my hopes up! You don’t know the little town I live in! 🙂 But you did definitely bring a smile to my face. I wish you all the best in the search for a decent partner, we deserve that. And I’m sorry so many men are pigs.

            • Oak Tree~
              No, I am telling you! I am not a “Yes Man”. Even if you are in a small town (I am in the boondocks) if you get out there, you will have so many dates. With women who will swoon for someone who is sensitive and loyal and kind, as your writing reflects.

              I have regressed a bit, because one of my dogs was sick, but I went on some dates. And, “in the moment”….the pain is lessened. When you are making out with someone, it is fun. My mind was still sort of sliding back to Dum Dum, but it was a respite from the agony.

              Sadly, I am such a moron that I vent too much about my X (how stupid can I be?) but I have a problem. I am getting better. One man said to me: I wish you would invest as much energy in me as you do talking about that dumb ass.

              And that is when I knew I was not ready to date. It was not fair to subject this seemingly kind man to my mental illness over my X. I have to protect him from my being the Mayor of Crazytown.

              One tip: I ask lots of questions. My favorite one is, to the divorced men:

              So, was cheating ever an issue in your marriage?

              And when I get the …Errrr…..Uhhhhh….Well…we grew apart…Buh Bye.

              It may seem prying, but I have to know right off the bat. I would never survive that again. I can’t imagine feeling the level of passion and love I felt for Dum Dum for anyone, but you never know.

              But, just for giggles and grins, put up a dating profile and see what happens.

              The more fun you have, the more your X will be a distant, bad dream. You will be beating women off with a stick! (I started to make a really dirty joke but refrained).

              • Ha! I think it would have been pretty funny! I think I’m like you, not QUITE ready to date yet. But I hope to be soon.Thanks for your kind words, you have given me a much-needed boost of confidence.

  • I may just be one chump, but I think I can prove that we aren’t all the money hungry ho-bags you seem to be describing.

    I was recently pursued heavily by a slightly older (+10 years), significantly wealthier, and powerful male in my office place. I was pretty naive to what was really going on because I was going through a crazy-making kind of Divorce with my ex Narcissist. Said man tried to ‘love-bomb’ me with fancy gifts and constantly talked about all the fancy places he traveled to and how much his suits cost. The plain and simple truth was that I was never attracted to him, and all his focus on material things was a huge annoyance to me. I told him that I only thought of him as a friend and that was all it would ever be, and he turned into a bruised-ego-14-year-old-boy. He has been a jerk ever since. So while I could easily get him fired from his fancy job for sexual harassment in the workplace… I have taken the high road and moved on.

    It’s not about the money and status to most of us chumps. I’d argue that most women want: physical attraction, security, safety, monogamy, and feeling like their partner thinks they are special. Even still, I’m sure there are quite a few of us who have been so burned by “true love” that they decide if they can’t get love and monogamy they might as well get something out of the deal.

  • Yeah I have some issues here. I would describe it as more numb to women then anything else. I also usually bail when things get a little too serious. Finding a person with real depth has been a challenge but I am starting to find a few people that really are amazing. Look for the good person, not the perfect, beware perfect people they are always hiding something. I think I will also start a forum page on what happened when you ran into the OW/OM for the first time I have some funny stories there.

  • I sometimes think that men and women are just incompatible. In general, our priorities are very different. Most women marry wanting to have a very close bond with another person and men marry but still fight like hell for their freedom. I’m not saying one is better than the other, I’m just saying that when two people’s priorities and goals are so diametrically opposed it makes absolutely no sense for them to couple up.

    Women like this tend to end up feeling empty and wanting a closer connection with their spouse and men feel so strangled by the constant need for closeness from their wife that they feel like they are fighting for air. Again, I’m generalizing, but men and women think so differently it amazes me that couples stay married at all.

    I think women are force-fed a diet of finding a soulmate, of being rescued, of the possibility of there being one true love out there for them. Prince Charming is a huge expectation to meet and I, for one, have never seen any man riding a white horse with a glass slipper in his hand. Many young women expect this from men and you have to feel sorry for the man who could never meet those expectations. Then they’re stuck with a wife who is chronically disappointed.

    Men, on the other hand, expect their wives to remain girlfriends, even when the men stop trying to woo her. I think it confuses men that the cool chick they dated turns into a “wife”. A wife understands that after the wedding, real life beings to happen. They don’t have the time or energy to squeal with delight after the husband has told the same joke fifty times. There is laundry to be done, kids to bathe, a project a work that needs finishing. That “cool chick” has seen the husband in his boxers, sitting on the couch with his hand in his waistband, while she gets to hear and smell his bodily noises. It’s not cute. She’s not a frat brother. Wives get disgusted and husbands think she’s a prude. She’s not the cool chick anymore, that’s for sure.

    I just think the expectations each sex has of marriage are completely different and in the end, both wind up disappointed. I think happy, fulfilling marriages are very rare. Those who have them, like CL and her husband, are very fortunate people, indeed.

    • While I see your point about dynamics in normal relationships, it all goes out the window when you marry a disordered person. There is NO way to make that work. No way.

      I am very independent, did not expect a Prince on a white steed, stayed the fun & “cool chick” (though time did get taken up with children and life), wore lingerie up to the end, and still got serially cheated on.

      • You’re right, Tempest – with the disordered, you’re dead meat from the start. I was 33 when I get married so the “soulmate” stuff was out the window by then. I just think if people of both sexes went into marriage with the attitude of “How can I make YOUR life better?” instead of “What are you going to do for ME?” both parties would be happier.

        • I think this is the best thing I have read in this whole thread. I will make an effort to remember and act on this wisdom.

    • I think the traditional expectations need to go. Instead of all of these ridiculous fairytales where each partner “saves” the other in some way, how about two adults that can each function happily on their own form a committed partnership?

  • While it’s natural to make generalizations about the other sex after a huge trauma such as betrayal, it’s also a sign you’re not ready to date.

    Healing after divorce should involve making connections to other people that are not dating- or sexual in nature. Once you do that, you are bound to encounter warm, wonderful people of the other sex as friends and acquaintances. That should shift your schema about women (or men) from “conniving, manipulative gold-diggers” to a more reasonable and accurate view of women/men.

    • Tempest I completely agree with your comment. Over the past few years I have made 2 platonic friends with gentlemen who live in my apartment block. After a coffee and a chat I always come away thinking, “how did I end up with my ex, aka “the predator”. I know when I find myself generalising about men being all the same I stop myself because I am just being a bitter old hag.

  • Lots of good points here about the societal expectations of each and either gender. My ex’s AP was our sister in law, so the whole experience left me queasy about both genders. Selfish, entitled assholery is gender neutral.

    Just get the assholes outs of your life-it doesn’t matter what they are packing downstairs……

  • Dear Steve,

    I get it. I was chumped by a man who was my world. He literally made my heart flutter whenever he entered a room. This was a man who I would have walked barefoot for thousands of miles of blade-up box cutters and then soaked my feet in rubbing alcohol. He was my best friend. My first and only lover. I waited 32 years to marry a man I thought would protect me until my last dying breath. Instead he slowly and deliberately dissected my self-esteem, obliterated my significance to him and reassigned my place in his life to others as I felt my value to him being decreased in a revolving door of other women. Then one day, without even realizing or caring, he dealt the final, devastating blow that left nothing but an empty shell where my heart was supposed to live. As difficult as that was, I can safely say that I survived that full body trauma and have little regret because of my daughter. I suffered a fuckwit but I have my wonderful daughter because of him. She is now my world.

    Dating for me? Ha. I have seen what the future holds. I have no desire to be swiped, texted, IM’ed, sexted, or snap chatted. I say this as someone in their forties with seemingly many years left in the game (ugh). Someone once said, perhaps it was here on this very site, that technology has improved a great many things, but dating is not one of them. Apps like Tinder and Plenty of Fish are okay if what you are interested in is casual sex or hook-ups. And let me just speak to the younger segment of my gender for just a second. Pardon me for showing my granny panties here, but it seems to me that many of you in the twenty-something generation has zero self-respect and that makes me feel terrible for all of you, sincerely. I know that a lot of you think you need to have sex by the second date (some on the first date) but you’re only setting yourself up for a string of empty relationships and dwindling self-esteem, (not to mention you’re setting the bar really low for the rest of us.) Go, have casual sex if that’s your deal and rock on, but don’t call it dating, because…it’s not.

    Mobile apps aren’t for dating. I don’t call dating receiving a dick pic from someone minutes within getting a “hey, what’s up” text from someone you are only interested in trying to get to know (yep, that happened). The really terrible thing, and I mean this because it’s really troubling to me that young women don’t understand this, is that the future of dating and building real relationships is very grim. My STBX calls me old fashioned because I guess I won’t put out on the first date. But I prefer to think of myself as a dating dinosaur. I’m just waiting for the meteorite to come and wipe out the rest of us.

    So to answer your question Steve, in a roundabout way, there are fuckwits of both genders and dating today totally sucks. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more positive but as it stands today, I’ve had some terrible experiences with the opposite sex and my love life has left my with a Grinch-size heart. On the upside, my five-year makes an excellent Friday-night date. Someday there may be room for a third on our couch, but for now, I’m good.

    • “He was my best friend. My first and only lover. I waited 32 years to marry a man I thought would protect me until my last dying breath. Instead he slowly and deliberately dissected my self-esteem, obliterated my significance to him and reassigned my place in his life to others as I felt my value to him being decreased in a revolving door of other women.” Done4Good, this was me too. Married my best friend, first and only lover (still) and all of the rest of your description other than I was 27 when I got married, not 32. I’m with you as well on online dating. Tried it. Hated it. Won’t do it again. I hope, like mine has done, your Grinch sized heart will grow large again. You are clearly a woman who loves big and surely some worthy man out there will recognize that. I hope that for you and for myself as well.

    • Yes, the first time someone responded:

      “So when can I pound that azz. HMU”

      (Hit me up)

      it made me so very very happy that I love to read. Staying home with a stack of books…not so bad.

  • Steve, I truly understand your disillusionment trust me because I am leading the charge !! Unfortunately we chumps tend to think that all men and/or women are the same as the person we were married to and they simply are not. We are intelligent enough to know that but our broken and shredded hearts make us believe otherwise. Steve, when I was newly married to my one and only love I never wanted anything from my husband but his love, time and attention of which I received very little now looking back. I came from poverty and when I married my ex, we were happy and we bought a little speck home. When our 1st child was born, our daughter I used to walk around in cheap $10 indian cotton dresses and towelling scuffs (I am going back 38 years now) and I was a stay at home mum and I was just happy and content. I made sure that any money which was spent on clothes was for my husband and baby never myself because I honestly believed that I had to go without in order to show my ex how much my family meant to me and besides I had all I needed and wanted. Not all of us want material things. Many of us just want a companion who shows us that we are loved and cared for. In my case I struck out and whilst I will never be with anyone again, I understand why people have the need to have a significant other in their lives. My need has been crushed and I will see out this life on my own. Don’t give up Steve you will meet a lovely lady of that I am sure.

  • Steve – I hear ya.

    Just last night I was out with a married girlfriend. We were having gourmet pizza and a bottle of wine. At the bar, we watched 3 different couples where the age span between the man and the woman was about 10-12 years (men being the older).

    I remarked to my friend that I’ll likely never meet another man to love for the rest of my life because they all want these little petite packages that “shine”. (And, ironically, these 30 something women are dating their Dad’s for the reasons you acknowledge Steve.)

    So – where does that leave chumps like us? I mean, no one asks a widow/er… when are you getting back out here? Why aren’t you married again? Yet, for us chumps, it seems to be what everyone thinks will be the road back to wholeness and happiness.

    Truth be told, I was happy as a single person when I met Mr. Sparkles. But, I wanted a baby… and I wanted it the old-fashioned way… and up shows Mr. S. Fate… kismet… love? I thought so. But instead, it got me a NPD cheating fucktard for a husband (though my son is amazing.)

    I think what CL says is right… we chumps have to fix our pickers… and I would challenge, we may have to realize that water seeks its own level – we won’t meet the right person until we become the person we would want to meet.

    Hang in there. Your story is far from over.

    Rock on Chump Nation.

  • While there certainly are people (men and women) who have agendas, you certainly will be losing out if you fear that all women are that way based on your experience. You were used and discarded. I think men feel that women financially abuse them whereas women more often feel objectified by men. But both men and women chumps feel they have been neglected emotionally as well.

    After my divorce, I dated a really great guy for almost a year who also had been chumped and burned badly. Neither of us had designs to get remarried. We got along fantastically and had a lot of fun together — we spent time with each other’s families, we did things that didn’t cost a lot of money, we enjoyed each other’s company, we had shared interests. No problems. Then one day, out of the blue, he broke up with me… because he is deathly afraid of falling in love again. Afraid of having his heart broken again. I understood why he might feel that way, but I was crushed just the same. We were able to salvage a friendship in time, and he says he regrets breaking my heart. But I won’t date him again even though I know he is a good guy — he is kind and good-hearted. However, he has hardened his heart and won’t open himself to trusting anyone again. I want someone willing to trust me and love me back.

    Trust involves making yourself vulnerable. If you aren’t willing to do that, you won’t be able to give and receive love in its entirety, and you risk scaring away someone who truly values you as a person.

      • Get free of the wicked witch first and concentrate on yourself for a while. You have to get through the grieving process and let your wounds heal. It doesn’t sound as though your ability to love again has an expiration date! 🙂

  • Maree, don’t you think you should give yourself at least the same amount of hope as you give Steve? I mean, maybe just leave the door slightly ajar for that tiny chance you might meet a decent human? As you can see, they exist. Of course, if you really don’t want to, understood, but you never know…

  • I’m on the other side of the gender fence, but I can relate completely. I think my biggest reasons for the distrust are bitterness and self protection. I’m not ready to take any chances even though I really do wish for true, honest, faithful love in general. How do I live with a desire I’m too afraid to attempt to fulfill other than telling myself that every guy is just like my ex?

    In my logical mind, I know there are good men out there. But I know for a fact that I’m no good for any of them because I’m still broken. I see your cynical outlook on women as a means of protection until you’re actually ready to move on in a healthy way and not really a bad thing as long as you’re not visiting your feelings onto innocent women. I wouldn’t date a man right now for a million bucks because I know I’d make him miserable. I’m just not ready and that’s okay. If I have to think every man is a liar and a cheat living multiple lives behind my back and only driven by their dicks and will expose me to STDs just to get their cocks into wet holes, that’s what I’ll do to protect myself AND other men until I’m in a better place. This is my safe zone.

  • Steve, I understand your mindset, too. I mistrusted the Other Gender for awhile as well, and also mistrusted people in general. It was a phase of what I had to go through, for healing.

    There are good women. There are bad women. Find the good ones.

  • Now I’m curious, because so many here have posted that men are only looking for younger women…. how much of an age difference do you consider to be too much, or “much younger?”

    • GIO, in my ex’s case there is a 40 year difference and our daughter is 37 and our son 35. I would have thought 10 to 15 years but he was after girls that young in Australia and I can tell you now, he had Buckley’s of getting a girl that young here, so that is why he went over to SE Asia, but that is just my opinion.

      • Maree it never fails to disgust me that he is such a predator and your children’s actions are just as bad by supporting the loser. One of these days…

    • I think it depends on the age of the people. X was 12 years older than me, and we had a lot of common ground. But I was 27 when I started dating him (he was 39). Had he been 27, and me 15–creepy.

      • Growing up, I something called the “creepy rule” – it’s creepy to date anyone younger than 1/2 your age plus 7
        16 years old? date 15 to 17 year olds
        25 years old? date 19 to 36 year olds
        50 years old? date 32 to 86 year olds

        It get s bit weird on the upper end (really? 86-yuear old with a 50 year old??), but it makes a sort of sense at the younger ages.

    • Glad, I was one of those posters but IMO, it’s not the age difference that’s the problem so much as the indication that what the men were looking for is superficial. Having requirements of “young, thin, athletic, pretty” when you are middle aged and not in great shape yourself (from the pictures) indicated to me that an older, schlumpy woman who might just have more in common with said men than the young things they were looking for, need not apply. If two people have interests in common and genuinely care for one another, age shouldn’t be a barrier. Having said that, my ex was 9 months (months, not years) younger than me and you can believe he never let me forget the “age gap”. He especially loved the decade years when he could say he was, for example, in his thirties and married to a woman in her forties. He thought that was hilarious. That made me into a reverse age snob – I want a man who is my age or older. Plus I want someone who gets all my cultural references. A friend of mine from high school posted the SNL “more cowbell” skit on Facebook this morning. I’ve seen it a million times and laugh every time. I would be sad if I had to explain such iconic cultural masterpieces to my literal “boy” friend. 🙂

      • Ex’s whore was about 8 or 9 years younger then me, I figure. She certainly seemed to get a thrill out of that. But when you are both in your forties / fifties, what does a few years matter !????? It sure as hell doesn’t to me, and I told the bitch so.

      • Beth, the cowbell skit with Walken and Ferrell is possible one of the funniest skits…ever. I’m sorry…but I gotta craving…and it is more cowbell.

        Right…that is such a great point. Cultural references.

        My X was a mo mo mo moron. He did not understand Borat. (I know it is a bit cruel but it is so funny)

        I kept having to explain…no…he is just faking it. He is playing a character, playing it straight and most people are not in on it.

        He was nodding but he did NOT think it was funny, even the chicken in the subway. I don’t think he understood.

        When I really want to laugh, I also watch Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. He did not “get” the movie. He did not understand it is just being silly. Like Baxter, and Ron and Veronica…lost on him. This should have been my big clue that something was terribly wrong.

  • At first I didn’t think I’d ever date again, but eventually thought I’d at least try. Ended up in a relationship with another liar and cheater, but it cost me months of my life, not decades. At least I knew enough to finally listen to and trust my gut, GTFO, and understand the problem was him and not me.

    It stung badly, but I don’t want to give up. I’m going to take whatever I can learn from it, and move forward. One thing that relationship settled for me is I am happier paired than alone. I can do alone, and alone is better than being paired with toxicity and dysfunction, but I want better. I’ll risk some temporary heartache to gain longer term happiness.

  • I think men give themselves this problem:

    1. Approach a guy first and he thinks you’re easy.
    2. Offer to split the cost of the date and he thinks you’re a cheap date. Never mind that the guy will stump up for a woman who accepts nothing less…. and then he’ll say, “I don’t even like her all that much.”

    3. A woman who drives to her dates, oh dear, who cares about her safety…..

  • I’ll be honest. Such intimate betrayal causes a deep trauma that never really heals. You are never the same and often as it relates to intimate relationships, you are never the same in a positive way. The ensuing distrust and romantic cynicism is is hard to side-step. It is always in the back of your mind. You are waiting for the other shoe to drop. You now actually expect to be betrayed, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but some day. Sad…but yea.

    As a result of my experience, I no longer believe in the sincerity of love. I now see love as self-serving. Before I believed that peopl who claimed to love were being sincere like I was. With my view changed, I would not short-change anyone with my now jaded view of love by entering into a marriage. I do not want to intertwine my life with another to the extent that to untangle it is like a pain so unbearable that I’d rather die. I don’t ever EVER want to go through the agony that I endured during and after the end of the marriage.

    Like some have said, at most I’d seek companionship but I know that if the relationship ended I’d not care too much. And whereas with my stbx I would have stayed till the bitter end because that was my level of commitment, in future I can’t see myself sticking with anyone through thick and thin anymore.I know that I will never invest that level of trust into any man (or person) again. Not because I hate men (I’ve always quite enjoyed the company, opinions, and differences of the opposite sex. They are fun and entertaining.) but because as a result of this experience I am wounded and highly distrustful of people in general. I keep people at arms’ length. I assume that everyone has a selfish motive. I am determined never to go through this again with anyone. Maybe I am missing out but that is the chance I will take this time. I’m not much of a risk taker to begin with.

    When someone breaks into our home, we are paranoid for a while. Depending on the nature of the break-in, some of us may never feel safe in that space again. Just as these traitors are messed up, we end up alot of us very and permanently damaged. I for one don’t share the optimistic view that with time , etc we will all be healed because we are now at a place where we need more than love from new partners. We need hell alot of consistent acts of reassurance….like years. I liken myself to an abused animal in a shelter who doesn’t trust humans after being ill-treated by its owner. Someone may come along and adopt the dog but they will have a long road ahead of them in gaining that dog’s trust though they are not the one who hurt it. These things are not rational but they are. That is where I am at.

    I can relate to this chump’s ‘cynicism/distrust/bitterness/fear’. It is a sign of a sensitive soul. I hope that he has found some kindness in this life to re-awaken his faith. I am hopeful of the same for myself and others like myself.

    • I really feel your comment about not sticking through thick and thin. I feel like I did that – way longer than I should because my ExH – who is definitely a cheating asshole – also had crushing depression. I’m educated, I work in medicine, depression is an illness, so I stayed. If my partner had cancer I wouldn’t just bail. But it fucking sucked and I was miserable and I did it only out of a sense of obligation. I just don’t see myself summoning the strength to deal with any of it again. I’m sorry you have health problems… good luck. I’m sorry you have a shit-show custody arrangement with your wife… sucks for you, I’m out. Issues with your Dad that you are not able to discuss in a productive way – I’m out. I feel like the list of things that make me say “I’m out” is pretty long.

    • I agree in part…I learned that I was betrayed for most of my 26 yr marriage 3 months before I remarried. I was hurt so deeply I will forever have negative feelings about him and what he did to me,

      BUT I have already lost TOO MUCH of my life to him and his assholery …If I let him scare me away from love then he will have taken even more and I refused to let him ruin any more of my life.

      I now relish happiness – big and small. I had to laugh at myself the other day…newhusband moved some lovely hand knotted persian rugs into my house and then hired me a cleaning lady to tend the hard work to give me time to goof off…I came home from work and saw these lovely carpets on clean floors and it symbolized a lot of the good stuff (all the good things, not just material things) he brought to my life and I said out loud “I AM SO HAPPY!”

      • i like! I’m glad you gave love a chance again. Maybe if mine were dead and not still alive and in the periphery of my life I’d be further along.

        • I am very blessed that my very bad circumstances in the midst of his betrayal fully turned around and I have a great life


          I really do wish he could have lived to see me cut him out of my life and build a better life than I had with him. He treated me like I was a disposable nothing and I never broke away from him. I hope I would have found the strength if he had lived.

        • Mandie101, I have enjoyed reading your posts so much. Your abused animal analogy grabbed my attention, as well as the break in comparison.

          I keep telling people this same thing: There is something wrong with me. My brain has been traumatized. No one (except therapist at The Institute) understands that I am not being a female Woody Allen. I cannot think clearly. Yesterday, I superglued a stamp on a letter. The kind that are already sticky.

          Your post captured it. He broke something inside of me that feels unrepairable. On the dates I have been on, I become Sherlock Holmes within the first hour. I am ferreting out: DID YOU CHEAT?

          It is not attractive but I cannot stop. And, as Negative Nelly as it sounds, I don’t think I will ever recover from what my X did to me.

          I might could reach a state of detachment, but that scalding pain of betrayal, just as a 3rd degree burn, it changed the landscape of who I am.

          It is so odd to me, reading your posts and others….we are insightful, compassionate and highly literate people….how did we end up with such monsters for partners?

          • Sylvia is Sad–you write so eloquently about your pain, it both breaks my heart, and takes me back to the horrible early emotions after betrayal when the panic had lifted but the huge boulder positioned itself on my heart and lungs.

            Betrayal DOES change us; we are never the same afterwards. As Nomar once put it, we don’t get over the infidelity, we get past it. But it does feel as if we are irreparably damaged, life will never be the same, and our whole life trajectory is now influenced by a trip through the sewer. I do not believe we ever get back to “normal” but we do alter what is “normal.” And, in myriad ways, this is a good thing–once you emerge out of the dark depths, you will find yourself even more compassionate than you were before. You will be more observant, noticing people’s vulnerabilities but also their bullshit. And you will start laying down fenceposts to build boundaries to keep you healthy. You may find yourself compelled to act on injustices to others more firmly than in the past. It will not be sufficient to ignore issues that need addressing. This will make for a more beautiful you.

            The pain, and the incredulity of what happened to you will never disappear entirely (or at least not within 2 years based on my experience). I’ve talked with people 5 years from D-day, many years from having ended a relationship after infidelity, and they still have WTF??? moments. To quote David Byrne, “How did I get here?” Betrayals defy logic & compassion, and our logical, compassionate brains chafe at the discrepancy between events and our expectations.

            Rather than tell you it gets better (in the throes of despair, that assurance never helped me), I’ll illustrate it: About 3 months after D-day, my panic attacks had subsided, but a more general anxiety lingered, and the huge boulder descended on my heart & internal organs. Deep, dark rage at betrayal would obliterate the feeling of suffocation from the boulder, and I often likened the rage to a monkey who would sit on my shoulder—most of the time the monkey was spitting and clawing and throwing peanut shells, but sometimes it would just sit on my shoulder quietly. For at least another year and a half, small crises would floor me. I had no emotional reserves so that when the car broke down, or a computer crash meant I lost documents, it felled me. I would spend time in a crumpled heap (psychologically, sometimes physically) before I could muster the energy to deal with a problem. And even then, I could accomplish only one big task per day. Concentration was shot, my short-term memory (which had been excellent before) was negligible—I would put an object down somewhere and forget where 3 minutes later (no exaggeration). I am now at point B—two years out, my concentration is better (though not yet back fully), and I am dealing with yet more home improvement crises (headed to the $20,000 mark this year for plumbing repairs alone) but I am not crumpled. Inconvenienced? Yes. Pissed that the karma bus apparently missed that my X had a forwarding address? Yes. But I can cope, I can do two things in a day, and 50% of the time, I can remember where I hid the chocolate from my teenager.

            Unfortunately, there is no express lane from point A-prime (where you are) to point B, no psychological steroids to speed the healing. The thing that helped me most was not focusing on getting to point B (I never believed I could, even though more seasoned chumps assured me that I would), but riding the emotions as you would a wave. Eventually the pain becomes more shallow, and your feet touch the sandy bottom.

            • Tempest, If you knew, how kind, compassionate, helpful, insightful and on time your post was, you would know that the universe is going to bring you baskets of joy.

              Yes, Tempest. YES. I was trying to mow my yard and I went over some tall grass and it cut off. Old me would have gotten off, moved the grass, tinkered, finished mowing.

              I sat there for one second, got up, walked straight in the house, shut the door and left the lawn mower where it sat. That was 5 days ago, and it is still there. I gingerly move through life, a mouse peeking from a hole, afraid and beaten down.

              When I go the mailbox, my heart pounds with fear. What bad will be there? The phone rings (it will not be him I changed the number)…but who is calling? Why are they calling? What has happened now?

              I just cried before I knew your post was here because I cannot believe he does not miss me, that he did not love me. And then I cried when I read your post, because when someone gets it, it throws me a rope. You threw me a tugboat line.

              What amazes me is that I am barely making it, and he is partying like a frat boy. He does not care. He is already immersed in a full blown “relationship” and has other side pieces.

              I will just read your post many times. Today is a weak day. I would give anything that he would email me and apologize. This will never happen.

              Waiting for the sandy bottom. 😐

              • SadSylvia – ‘When I go the mailbox, my heart pounds with fear. What bad will be there? The phone rings (it will not be him I changed the number)…but who is calling? Why are they calling? What has happened now?’

                I SO know what you are going through, Sylvia. I think this topic may have been overlooked on C/N but it is a real issue during the discard phase.
                Everything you trusted is now fucking doomed. What can you believe? You can believe another axe is going to fall pretty quickly.
                You sit and wait for it.
                And, as my life was spiraling out of control, that is exactly what happened. Things just seemed to get worse, with friend relationships, dealing with life, trying to show some impossible sanity – I was out of my mind crazy with what bad was going to happen next.
                I, too, wouldn’t leave my house in case I encountered some stranger angry at me for some reason.
                Or another Switzerland friend cutting me off. His family, etc.
                I felt like I was showering in shit.

                Now, the big BUT – it does pass. I call it the Doomsday passing.
                As I gained trust in the word again and got my footing a little bit, things started looking brighter.
                (a new puppy helped)

                But, it is real anxiety and I was afraid of becoming agoraphobic and I have the opposite personality.

                It’s one of those: You can only live through it, not around, above or under it.

                Wishing you luck and understanding.

  • I haven’t read all the comments, but I have spent a some time thinking about this myself. Not for nothing, but with some careful planning, and knock on wood stable employment, my net worth will likely be close to seven figures by the time I’m 45. When my parents unfortunately pass on (which I pray is many many years away), I will likely inherit my portion of an estate that will take me well into seven figures. That does not include a stake in a large agricultural property (i.e land). How do I protect myself from people that see me as a meal ticket? I realize that we are not talking obscene amounts of money here – but if the average 45 year old has a net worth of around $85,000… we are talking top 10% or so. How do I live my life (which is thankfully simple and without a lot of fanfare), without a guy putting together the pieces and thinking that they can take advantage. I’m happy to pay for my own meals, my own vacations, and my own life, I’m not looking to take advantage… so how do I find someone in a similar financial situation?

    But yeah – the fear is real for us ladies as well. Add in people who are uncomfortable with women that earn more or have more education and it get challenging. We are out there – I can take care of myself financially. I want a real partner, who is not a work-a-holic, who has the time and energy and money to work hard, but play hard too. I take care of my business and just want someone to add to my life.

    • Ca Gal…I get it, I really do. Add to it that Im Catholic and Catholics cannot have prenups and still create valid Sacramental marriages. I got a large life insurance payout when H1 died and I really worried about the exact things you mention above. Would I be a mark for a user? How would I protect myself? Would I ever marry again even if that meant putting my finances in peril?

      There were about 2 months where I really despaired over it. I asked God to send me a good man who would 1) be kind 2) see value in a relationship 3) have a child but not a bunch of insane needy difficult children 4) be eligible to marry in the Catholic church and 5) not be a threat to my financial well being. My list seemed impossible.

      I thought the best I could do would be to find a good guy who I would eventually trust wouldnt be a weasel about my money. I was very surprised to learn that the man I fell for had more that me and he had a lifetime of financial prudence behind him. No all men are looking to be the BMOC with their wallet so that they can manipulate some adolescent bimbo…there are men who want a partner who equals them in career and resources – but as you have discerned, one must be VERY careful discerning in this situation.

      • This terrifies me a lot too. I live in a small town and built up a rather large fortune, so when we split, the whole town knew, once the house sold for what it did.
        It’s not an easy topic because people do treat you differently, both positively or negatively, depending on if you are ‘rich’ or not.
        I waay downsized into a very indistinct house and keep to myself until all this blows over and nobody remembers who I am.
        (altho, I do donate generously to our symphony and things like that – but always anyonmously)

        IF I ever decided to date again, I’m glad I’ve watch enough true crime to know about the predator charmers out there.
        And, I hope my past experience has made make me smart enough to trust those charmers.

      • It’s funny you mention prenups. A friend asked me if I would consider getting married again. After I laughed and said “fuck no”… I said “I am not fundamentally opposed to it, but honestly when the future spouse got a gander at the prenup he would have to sign, he would probably run away.” Not being religious at all, I am fine with this. I guess that where it comes back around to someone in the same position in their life. Like if he as assets to protect, and I have assets to protect, then of course we agree to a prenup. Otherwise – I have an excellent lawyer who can draw up the documents to make sure we can be in each other’s lives without having to involve the State of Wherever and all their rules.

        • CAGal – thanks for the reminder, not that I’l ever marry again. Why? But, look at Paul McCartney – without a prenup with the crazy wife…and so many others. NO, I would never go forward without protecting every fucking dime I earned, that’s for sure!

          • I am not sure if it is the economy, but you will find many men ARE interested in your finances. It is a stomach drop.

            They have made bad decisions, or are lazy, or have been cleaned out by divorces. They are sizing you up for resources.
            It is the most unromantic, least sexy thing on the planet.

            I have never understood men who want to be with someone much younger because the woman wants their money. Is this not really a sanitized version of prostitution?

            • Sylvia – ‘you will find many men ARE interested in your finances. It is a stomach drop.’

              Well, that’s just great and very encouraging! NOT.
              I guess I will always have that in the back of my mind if I ever start dating.
              The fact I retired early would be a sign I’m financially independent so that would be hard not to cover up, but I would definitely never reveal just how financially well off I am. I guess we would all like to have a curse like this so I can’t complain, but I’d much rather spend my money on dogs than a gold-digger. I’m sure they’re out there everywhere at my age. So many people never planned for their retirements.

        • My daughter (just turned 20 with a paid off volvo, college paid for and $60,000 in the bank she worked for and this is before she even starts her career) said she would be thrilled if a guy asked her to sign a prenup because it meant that he had something to protect.

          New husband never mentioned a prenup but he did think long and hard (and Im sure he watched very closely how I handle money) before he asked me to marry him. We each own houses that are paid for but neither of us put the others name on the deeds…my house was paid for with life insurance $ so it rightly belongs to my kids. We live in my house and my will says he can stay for 5 years after my death as long as he doesn’t move a woman into it. The rent he receives from his house pays for the extra costs on mine. We’re both pretty thrifty.

          When I first started dating again (and was somewhat insane from the intensity of my experiences) I probs gave away too many clues to the one guy I dated for a month+ but even though he was $truggling from a fresh divorce, he never made any overtures to take advantage. He was kind of a dick, but I look back on that and appreciate his decency on that front.

  • I think the answer to this question “Are all women/men low-quality dirtbags?” is obvious. Of course not. There are good people of every gender and persuasion.

    That said, I think it’s normal to go through a time of righteous anger, and to put relationships out of your mind. Work on getting yourself back on your feet emotionally, and get your ex out of your system. It takes some time to detox.

  • Hey Steve! Hey Hey Steve!

    In 2003, when I got married to my husband, he was earning a little more than peanuts, and I did not have a job. Both of us were virgins, and I was definitely more naive than him.

    Today both of us are financially independent, and I am far more cushy in my savings than him.

    Did I marry him for the money? Obviously not, because he did not have any.

    I miss the emotional connection. Whatever else I have lost to him fucking his whore, it is also the fact that the bond is gone. He has gone ahead and done to his hoe, whatever I might have done to him. No part of him left untouched.

    I can tell you that I do not need a man to keep me comfy, because I hundred percent rely on my qualifications and skills for the money.

    Would extra money feel bad? No.

    Will it hurt to marry a millionaire? No.

    But at 38, I perhaps feel 50 too. I feel like I gave away my best years to someone who just used and disposed it off.

    I can tell you, I am not the kind of woman you are talking off, and I am very cynical too.

  • The OW in my case one of those user type of women. She really took her X-husband down the road. She had him fund new breasts, tummy tuck and under arm job. He also paid for a college degree paper from some fly-by-night college out of Pakistan for her. She got him to pay to have her lousy books published and special covers for the books done. She just didn’t tell him she was boinking the man she had pose for the cover. She did all this then filed for divorce fled Tx and took the kids to Mich. She then filed fake child abuse charges on him so he couldn’t force her back to Tx with the kids. I laughed at the Ipad gifts. My X got the OW an Ipad for their first X-mas together. Any jewelry gifts my Husband purchased for me through the yrs were taken by him when I tossed him out. I imagine he’s doing the re-gifting thing with the OW with those items. The only gift my husband gave me worth anything was the gift of seeing him drive off into the sunset. I only wish the sun had been in his eyes and he’d driven off of a cliff.

  • I don’t know if anyone will see this, but I read to Hospice Patients. I love to read, and I LOVE to read out loud, and I don’t want people who have no one to be lonely as they face death. I read them everything from the Bible to romances to Non Fiction.

    Anyway, all of them, without fail, tell me to start dating immediately. (They love to analyze my problem). Not go crazy and act like a fool….but just have fun. Go bowling. Go to a movie. Stop being so sad and serious. Go out to eat. Stop moping around the house and just rejoin the living.

    They are facing death, and they have this urgency about me finding a new beau. When I ask them why, they say the only thing that matters at the end is love. Love and family.

    Now, they do not seem to have experiences with disordered person, where a successful relationship has about as much success as water not being wet, but they want me to “get out there.”

    They say, “don’t let him win”. I think they are right, but I just don’t have the energy or hope right now. I wish I did.

  • I’m so glad I just found this site. This is where I am now. Married 15+ years and with hindsight I was the only one ever in the marriage – that’s why it was such a heavy load. I think he cheated from day 1. The thing is, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been cheated on by their husbands. The most depressing find was a guy who made me believe that men could be decent by how wonderfully he treated his wife – a friend. Well I found him too when I was trawling all the dating websites looking for my STBX. I’m the only one who ended it and seem to have lost all my friends who have drawn the wagons up around their bastards as if I would immediately start hitting on them. So I need new female friends too. I’m determined not to let STBX be the last person I’ve had sex with for the last 2 decades really but find it hard not to hate men. I’m sure there are decent men out there & I just haven’t met any yet but the belief in decent men feels more like faith than anything else. Then on top of the fact that my picker is so broken I have to contend with the fact that I’m old (fourties going on a hundred), fat & no longer a looker so good luck to finding a man who would want me. Who on earth would I pick from? I’m working on my weight & fitness but it takes so long. I really resent having wasted my entire young adulthood on a cheating bastard.

    • I’m feeling that way too. I feel I always made him number one. I worked overtime while he advanced his degrees and careers, did all the cleaning, cooking, running errands. When he changed careers about 10 years ago he began a gradual change. He’s in finance and I find most of those people greedy and hedonistic. He send me an e-mail telling me he had filed for divorce. I have caught in in many lies and confronted him. I guess know he is a sophisticated, financially successful and distinguished man….I just get to start my new life (approaching 50). I also gained 25 pounds due to going through menopause(yeah) and my thyroid levels being off. I’m very sad. I’m planning on moving out of state and starting a new life. If he thinks all women are like me , he’s in for a huge shock

  • >