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Dear Chump Lady, Why am I second guessing my decision to break up?

backDear Chump Lady,

Why am I second guessing my decision to break up with him?

Thank you for having this site….I don’t know how I could possibly go through what I’m going through without you and CN. This website is the first thing I read when I wake, and the last before I sleep. Since it’s been difficult for me to sleep these nights, I’ve pretty much read everything on your site.

Two years ago, I was a confident woman, loving the life I had. I wasn’t attached, traveled, ran my own business and managed to pay my mortgage and bills. I was satisfied — happy! — because I stopped trying to keep up with everybody materially and told myself I had enough and was lucky to be where I was at 48. A guy I was once intimate with came back into my life because he wanted me to help him with his business. Professionally, we did great things. A year into working together, he pursued me relentlessly. At first I resisted. I wanted to find someone that would commit. He kept after me and told me we could have a commitment. I caved. I fell in love. I really loved him and thought he felt the same.

Until I discovered racy texts to his neighbor on his iPad last November. Phrases like “I want to see you cum,” or “I can lay with you for a bit so you can feel better,” or, “when can I visit you at night?” went back and forth from the time we started our relationship to then. When I asked him about this woman, he denied everything until I told him the exact words I read. I took pictures of the texts to make sure I wasn’t making this shit up. He finally admitted he sent those texts. Our phone conversation went down before a client meeting. I was dizzy but pulled myself together, took a few minutes to focus and managed to get through that day. Then I broke down. Seriously. I was in pain, my whole body ached — especially my chest.

He asked me to stick it out, told me I was the one he was committed to and that the texts were just for “fun.” He said he’d stop communicating with this woman. He said there was no reason for me to be so insecure, that I was “better than that.” He seemed irate about having to explain himself. I faked myself out and believed he cared, used a lot of spackle despite glaring clues to his infidelity. My gut told me to not trust him, he lies frequently, not only to me but others. He doesn’t talk about our future or tell me he loves me; he flirts with other women in my presence and really doesn’t let anyone know we’re a couple. Our sex life was great but now it’s the pits…he goes limp probably because he’s getting it from somewhere else. I don’t like who I am when I’m with him…unsure, unattractive.

I finally broke up with him tonight, unexpectedly, as we drove home from dinner. I ran out of spackle. Ten months of pretending I’m okay with him is enough. Yet I feel like I’m making a mistake. I’m 50 now, and well, you know the fears of a single 50 year old woman. I am so opposite of what I was two years ago. I’m struggling. I’m so sad. I’m looking to CN to help me get through this.

Why am I second guessing myself despite my gut telling me to tell him to fuck off?


Dear Blooming,

Hobgoblins of fear, that’s why. Clearly logic isn’t holding the reins here. If it was you’d see the idiocy of texting his neighbor “I want to see you cum” followed by the reassurance that you’re the one he’s “committed” to.

Don’t feel bad. Very few people react to being chumped with total clarity and laser focus. Most of us cling to our cheaters trying to make sense of the self-serving nonsense that spews out of their lying mouths. Before we leave, we have to be certain that betrayal is a hanging offense. We’re not going to just chuck our entire investment and our deep commitment over a misunderstanding.

So instead of trusting the evidence and knowing our worth and what our deal breakers are, chumps spackle. There holding the spackle trowel are the hobgoblins of fear. You’ll die alone! No one will ever love a woman over 50! You’re worthless without him! His validation is the ONLY validation that matters! You’re a failure! Your inadequacies made him cheat! How could anyone love someone as flawed as you? HANG ON TO HIM! This is your LAST CHANCE!

Standing next to the hobgoblins are those unicorns of hope, prancing around all dreamy and dewy-eyed whispering, “You can FIX THIS!” and “I have a VISION of your future happiness! Why, these affairs will just make your relationship STRONGER!”

Way, way down the field is Logic. The hobgoblins have tied him to a tree and the unicorns stuffed an apple in his mouth to shut him up, but Logic has spat it out and persists. “THIS MAKES NO SENSE! ABORT MISSION!”

Logic’s shouts are faint and far away. The unicorns take a deep toke on the hopium pipe and pass it to you. “Pay no attention to that lunatic. He’s just bitter.” The hobgoblins chime in, “You don’t want to be one of those pathetic BITTER people do you? ALONE. BEREFT. PATHETIC.”

So why are you second guessing yourself? Hobgoblins and unicorns.

Let’s free Logic and take a look at your cheater’s bullshit.

He asked me to stick it out, told me I was the one he was committed to and that the texts were just for “fun.”

Do you want to be with someone who thinks it’s “fun” to disrespect you? Whose idea of commitment is booty-calling his neighbor? (And if you think that relationship stops and starts with texts, I have a unicorn to sell you.)

He said he’d stop communicating with this woman.

Because there are always OTHER women. Sure, he’ll stop! The problem isn’t this woman — the problem is HIM.

He said there was no reason for me to be so insecure, that I was “better than that.”

Gaslighting. You took a picture of that “reason” — he sexts other women. Any loving person would feel off balance and insecure to discover infidelity. If that shit doesn’t rock your world? You’re not that deep. It would be a superficial wound of a superficial person.

You’re better than that? Yes you are. You have a heart. You need to go find other people with hearts. He’s not your tribe.

He seemed irate about having to explain himself.

Well yes, of course. The rage, charm, self-pity channel flips of manipulation are exhausting.

I faked myself out and believed he cared, used a lot of spackle despite glaring clues to his infidelity. My gut told me to not trust him, he lies frequently, not only to me but others.

He lies frequently? To others? And you’re in BUSINESS with this person? Dear God woman, get a forensic accountant AND a shrink! Protect yourself!

He doesn’t talk about our future or tell me he loves me; he flirts with other women in my presence and really doesn’t let anyone know we’re a couple.

Wow. I can smell the Commitment from here.

Our sex life was great but now it’s the pits…he goes limp probably because he’s getting it from somewhere else.

You’ve seen behind the mask. They never sparkle again after that, unless they want something. You’re second-rate kibbles now. Except in whatever other way you’re of use to him.

I don’t like who I am when I’m with him…unsure, unattractive.

There’s your reason to dump him. How about liking who you are again? A woman certain of her worth! Nothing more attractive than that.

Blooming — you’re just grieving. The pain will pass. Stay no contact and protect your business and your heart from this creep. I promise you’ll go back to your awesome self after you detox from this relationship. Tell the hobgoblins to fuck off and the unicorns where to shove it. Logic is running the show now.


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.
  • Blooming, it seems like there were some things about this guy that you already were not comfortable with. You did the best thing for yourself when you broke up with him. Don’t let baseless fears drive you back to him. He has shown you what he is. You are on the right path without him.

  • “A woman certain of her worth! Nothing more attractive than that.”

    You put your sense of selfworth on the line for someone who convinced you that he was a good emotional risk. (That’s what chumps do — they jump in with both feet and with sincerity.) And you lost, as all of us here have.

    The devestation of this realization is the reason why you’re having these doubts. Chump Lady, as usual, says it better than I ever could. If if helps, consider yourself fortunate that you didn’t invest marital vows (and all that goes with them) into this loser.

    “A woman certain of her worth! Nothing more attractive than that.” For any real man, a woman who is truly confident in what she brings to the relationship table is the ultimate turn-on. Never forget that.

    • “For any real man, a woman who is truly confident in what she brings to the relationship table is the ultimate turn-on. Never forget that.”

      As a real man, I want to highlight, boldface font, underscore and spotlight that statement.

      That kind of natural confidence and beauty is insanely sexy.

      Please dump this creep and let him stay dumped.

      • I have to agree, from yet another man. Be choosy about the guy you replace this loser with. That guy will be one lucky SOB!!

      • “As a real man, I want to highlight, boldface font, underscore and spotlight that statement [that confident women are alluring and compelling].”

        UxWorld, sephage, Marked711, and SureChumpedALot, you’re all awesome for posting about this issue. When men take the initiative to call bullshit on cultural stereotypes, it’s revealing (insight from men that belies the stereotype), supportive, and, for this hetero feminist, very welcome solidarity. Thank you.

        • Shout-out to all the Chump Guys who chimed in to encourage the Chump Gals today, showing us what you are made of! As someone who has found an incredible Chump Guy of her own, let me say this: Gentlemen, every one of you will rock some lucky lady’s (or man’s, if that’s your thing) world!

            • You know you chump guys don’t know what you represent here. Or maybe you do. You are those men that some of us chump ladies grew up with: fathers, grandfathers , uncles, brothers, men who took family commitment seriously and valued family. In this chaos the men in my family have kept me grounded reminding that one idiot does not represent one group.

          • Thank you gentlemen, your presence on CN is critical to restore my belief that there are articulate, introspective, and high integrity men in this word!

      • And let me say this as a women of 65 who came into her full confidence as a woman after being betrayed in my early 60s; this is truth: “For any real man, a woman who is truly confident in what she brings to the relationship table is the ultimate turn-on. Never forget that.”

        It’s not just being attractive to those you might want to date. It’s also being a person who attracts quality friends, business associates, people seeking mentors, and even professional and personal opportunities. When I started my life re-design, using Pinterest, I spent a year collecting pins–articles, memes, photos and quotations about confidence because I saw that my confidence level left me vulnerable to disordered types, substance abusers, and users. I took developing confidence by facing challenges and learning to manage fear as one of the most important things I could do for myself.

        Being 50? That’s still young. There’s still nearly a quarter of a century to work, if you want to. There’s time to travel and meet people and develop new interests. A friend of mine had a brain tumor last year and is now teaching himself the guitar to develop new neural pathways. He’s a confident man–he knows he might not get all his functioning back, but he wants every bit he can get, and he trusts in his ability to live. And by that, I mean he trusts that he is an agent in his own life, able to choose how to respond to the challenges he faces.

        • LAJ, we can’t thank you enough for this post!! A masterpiece. By we, I mean my sister and I, both chumps. She is also battling cancer while navigating her divorce. We salute you for your eloquence and encouragement. A confidence booster.

  • Thank you for the humorous image of the hobgoblins and unicorns … I love the visual image of poor logic tied to a tree with an apple stuffed in his mouth! Even five months out from a desperately horrible and despicable situation, I still have moments of second guessing. Very, very brief moments but there is a part of me that will always wish that the past 30 years had been something other than what they actually were. Sigh. Then I straighten my shoulders, take a deep breath, and get on with living my life free of being lied to, cheated on, and treated like a useful drudge. To take back the good parts means to take back the horrendous parts. No thanks! Onward!!!

  • Two years into Blooming’s “relationship” and she is a shell of her former self. The reward for trying to make a “relationship” with a disordered fuckface whorefucking fucker.

        • This is kinda what I am waiting for my ex is now living with her rich gross old man. The same one she cheated on me with. I am wondering how long it can last…. really hoping it all blows up. but clearly I know nothing about the way the world really works so chances are they will live happily ever after in a series of giant houses and I will have to claw my way back to being made whole. O my ex’s Mr. sparkle dick also GAVE her a six figure job that she was not qualified for… Yeah life is rad.

          • Give it time. I watched this happen at work. Boss brought in his girlfriend and gave her a cushy job, they got married. She had to leave because she couldn’t actually do the job. She had to find another job which I know paid $20,000 a year less. Last year I found out he cheated on her. I laughed. It will happen to your ex too.

          • This sounds like my situation reversed. My STBX is the gross old man! I wanted everything to go wrong between them SO badly so I understand how you feel!

            Don’t worry. I now believe they deserve each other and frankly don’t care. She will lose her job eventually. He may also – he makes an obscene amount of money and rarely works. She’s a drunk and a criminal and will waste her youth on him. He’s shallow, self-centered, and pathological and will indulge her vices. They are doomed because they suck!

            If they truly make each other happy, they can be stuck with each other for the rest of their lives. They are way beneath me and my kids. Not my circus…

            I know I can get a better job (or a promotion), can control my expenses, and can make good investments. I can create wealth and create a new future for ME.

  • He always planned his future without me. Yet, months before DDay he was actively attempting to get into purchasing a two family home. He needed my signature for a morgage. I was in a vulnerable state. My mother just passed away. Something inside me said NO.

    That future would have been living with him for the rest of my life with his side fucks in place. He lived and loved the double life.

    When plan B failed DDay happened within a month. He said he couldn’t get anywhere with me. He sat in a dump instead sharing rent with a whore to use her instead.

    I dodged a huge bullet. The future is more of the same unless you say NO.

    I would have been stuck forever. It was my chance to get out and I took it.

    Get out. He’s a liar and a user. Secure your finances ASAP.

    • This reminds me of something that happened in the last year or so of our marriage. We were having dinner with friends and out of the blue he says that when the kids go to college (10+ years away), he’s going to split his time between New York and New Orleans. And I was completely stunned because he’d NEVER MENTIONED THAT TO ME.

      Later I was talking to him and the conversation went something like this:

      Me: “Were you serious about that plan?”
      Him: “Yes.”
      Me: “But we never talked about anything like that. Don’t you think we should discuss retirement plans together?”
      Him: “Well, this is what I want to do.”
      Me: “I’m not sure I want to live in those two places.”
      Him: “So I don’t get what I want!”

      Chumpy me then spent the next few days trying to explain to a grown man who’d been married nearly twenty years why it’s NOT OKAY to make retirement plans without your wife’s input.

      • Durtbag convinced me to sell my rental property because, in his words”i want another house to work onBecause my self esteem is so low”. You know, because he didn’t have many gigs and I was paying for our huge home, where his mom lived with us, a new car, his hair transplants, music gear, etc. Chumpy me, at the height of the abuse, agreed, contingent on the sale of the other home. Surprise surprise he had a house picked out the next day!
        I insisted on seeing it. It was my premarital money buying it. I heard him say to the realtor on the phone “my wife, who you haven’t met, would like to see the house tomorrow.” Huh?! So I went to see the house, after saying to him I felt like he had shopped for it with someone else (aka slut puppet, his music “partner”). He denied of course. I of course asked the realtor and lo and behold he had toured the house a week earlier with a young woman. Huh….. I was furious and called him and he pulled out all the narc tricks in the book. So I put an offer on the house contingent I the sale of the other house. Durt was Pissed about the contingency (as if I had a spare 200k in cash laying around) but there was no other way. The day the contingency expired, I told him I was not extending. I finally came to my senses and hat I didn’t owe him a house. Holy rage ensued. We had mc that night and he raged and abused me for 45 min, to the point the counselor called me and him the next day and apologized for not stopping it sooner.
        Yep. He was trying to set up a place for him, slut puppet and his mom. This is 6 months into our marriage. What a sweetheart. She sure ended up with a winner. (ps it took me another 6 months of torture and abuse to file).
        There are horrible monsters masquerading out there. Please know,Blooming, that you are not making a mistake. He is not confused. He is an ass who will hurt you without a thought about your feelings (or maybe even do it deliberately).

      • Yeah! My hopefully soon to be ex-husband and I put our farm up for sell. he encouraged me to take the dream of my lifetime trip, while he and the children raided our home, my closet and he told everyone, “She left me and I am going to make her pay for it. He was forced into retirement due to health issues and I because the target. Yes, he was and is a narcissistic sociopath. I have learn a lot since he left the farm a year ago and became a snowbird. He wants me to be on the streets with no money after 19 plus years of marriage. He is making the divorce everlasting and picks significant dates to send my temporary support along with calling timber men and the phone company to tell them the phone I am speaking to them on is out of order. Control freak even after leaving the farm and marriage. yes, to a limp man sexually.

    • Mine DID buy a fuckpad for himself. After he dumped Gradwhore, I guess he decided he’d just have tawdry flings through adult websites, but needed a place to do it. He looked at houses by himself, bought the damn house by himself, and told me after the fact with the explanation, “I wanted to surprise you because I knew you’d like a house downtown.”

      Sexual deception is not the only set of lies they tell.

      • “I’m taking a job in San Francisco (I’m DC based)but we don’t need to discuss this because I will be staying in commuter hotels” (fast forward 3 seconds) ” I have nowhere to keep my mayonnaise, I’m signing a lease on an apt. The furniture will cost about $5000. Will you get me a certified check for the security deposit?” Chumps me ordered the check

        • Shoot, you’re not the only one. My asshat emptied all our bank accounts to get an apartment in NYC for his contract job. Then got mugged and I had to cancel all credit cards. I was penniless for several days and almost lost my job using our company credit card to put gas in the car to get to work until the credit cards showed up. I had to BEG every month for his promised share of his big fat paycheck in New York. I was trying to keep the mortgage paid, go to work, run a farm and take care of our kiddo while he was literally fucking around in NYC…

          • Shithead claimed he had broken up with Susan before he took the job in SF. After he died, I found a souvenir from SF in his personal effects…his name written in Chinese (her native language).

            I was home with 3 struggling kids and a job caring for dying children. For the record…the first day I returned to work after Dday (no sleep, couldnt eat and my heart in torn shreds) and I had 3 deaths to care for that day. Me thinks he and God had a chat about that one.

            When we wreckonciled, he gave away the furniture and drove home 3000 miles with the household stuff he could fit in his scrotumobile which included bedding. I recently had the chance to purge that pile of bedding to the Goodwill pile…I think a few “FUCK!!!”s flew that day.

      • As nomar said yesterday, Tempest, sexual deception is not the only set of lies they tell. It seems impossible for a cheater to blow though someone’s life without financial consequences for the chump.

        Why would I ever get married, mingle finances, or even share a domicile with another person again?

        • I’m with you on the “never again” bit.

          But that house Hannibal put in his own name? 3 words: Community Property State. ; )

          • Me as well. I’m done and so much happier for it. Sometimes I feel sad that I reached this stage at 41 but I’ve been put through the wringer to may times by fucktards.

            • No co mingling except for the barest of mutual expenses. I won’t be offended if he feels the same. But what is that for love really? I don’t know.

        • I have a plan to win the lottery and build a super fancy girls only house. Where I live with pretty things and have girly adult beverage cocktail hour every evening. And it’s NO MEN ALLOWED! Just girls. Big pretty kitchen to cook and have fun and extra bedrooms in case ladies need to escape long or short term! Woo hoo! Freedom and comfort and things that make me happy and all fun all the time! Okay giant windfall! Where are you?! ?

          • Shelby – please quit thinking the lottery will make your life better having more money.
            It just doesn’t work that way and you know it.
            Buying any tickets in the hope you’ll win is just throwing precious money away.
            Sorry, don’t mean to preach but, you know why the casino’s are so fancy in Las Vegas, right?
            Same with ‘state’ lottery – it’s just another rather huge tax..

            The one thing I appreciated about the divorce is downsizing.
            I had far too much ‘stuff’.
            Used to throw huge dinner parties. None of those friends are my friends anymore. (all couples)
            My new place doesn’t even have a dining room table.
            I said, fagget all the entertaining with those Switz friends.

            I now use only use one burner on the stove, one pan or pot – cooking for one.
            Fine, love it.
            Another big roaster to cook for dogs, my biggest fun.

            It’s the simpler things I’m enjoying without him and the pressures of being a married woman, having to provide a meal for him nightly right at 4:30-5pm – the least time of day I wanted dinner. Today, I eat at 8pm, because I LIKE eating then.

            Sure, I may have lost 1/2 my ‘income’, ‘style of living’, ‘status in the social community’, and most of ‘the old friends’. But, that’s when I appeared to have money, that I had ‘that great life’.

            I will tell you that now I’m poorer, I’m much happier than I have been.
            I know who my real friends are.
            They no longer look at me for a status promotion or to be tied to somebody with money, to climb the social scale. That’s a bullshit life. I grew up without an indoor toilet as the youngest of 5 kids in an old farmhouse, and we had dinner every night thanks to a full time mom at home and a Dad who came home every night. To me? That’s far more important than winning any lottery.

            Reading all your comments, sweetie.
            Keep on writing out your feelings.

  • Blooming, you will read a lot of comments today. Some will be from women like me who had multiple D Days, tried for years to make that spackle work, and even now, when we look at our kids or have too many glasses of wine, still have a twinge of doubt.
    Some people will tell you that you are lucky: because you caught it early, you aren’t married, he hasn’t robbed you. It is hard to feel lucky when your heart is shattered.
    Some people – CN is chock full of them – will say exactly the right things that you know you need to hear. Things that will resonate with you as much as their truth hurts you. You will recognize them and know that they are exactly what you need, if not in this moment, then in the future.
    My advice is to gather the things that speak to you. Save them. Cut and paste, keep in photos or notes on your phone. And when you feel your doubt heavy upon you, reread them. Allow yourself to feel the truths that bring you anger and sadness.
    A friend of mine sent me a message during the low point of an attempt at reconciliation. I read it everyday for a long time. I still read it sometimes. It has more truth and love in it than me STBX ever showed me.
    Peace will come.
    Sending love and strength and peace out into the universe this morning, and hoping it finds you.

    • +1000. Louisvilleflower, beautiful post. Your elegant, compassionate, spare prose has more kindness in it — to borrow your telling comparison — than my (and I think every other chump’s) partner has ever shown me, his gaslit apology texts included. Your post makes my eyes fill with tears. Thank you.

    • Yes, a beautiful post.

      When we read about this type of cheater, from experience, many CL readers can predict where this will go and just how much worse it will get.

      But Blooming broke it off before these worse things could manifest, so good for her!

      For those readers who were unlucky to experience even more horrible things, that doesn’t minimize the authentic pain and hurt Blooming is going through, but it does confirm and affirm her decision to break up with this person.

      This situation screams for NC.

    • So many of you have helped me take off the rose-colored spackle glasses. This is a great post.. I keep revisiting your comments in times of doubt.

  • Blooming
    I am sorry that you were so badly betrayed. Trust your instincts which have guided you to save yourself by breaking up with this fuckwit. Your head knows that you need to get away from him if you are going to survive. Since you do not have children or income/assets together, he will move on to other victims if you block him from your life. You will need some time, distance and no contact before you feel stronger about your decision. I was really angry about being betrayed after 20 + years and I was just as angry with him for making me feel afraid. It took me awhile to identify that I was afraid (as well as grieving, hurt etc.) It is two years later and the fear left me some time ago. Be very kind to yourself and try to avoid beating yourself up for getting involved with him and staying involved with him. He was not “as advertised” and he played you for a chump. Smart girl to get those screen shots. Haul them out from time to time, as necessary, when you need reminding about why he is so unworthy of you. Surround yourself with trusted people who will support you.

    • Yes, getting the screen shots shows amazing presence of mind. Very smart. Very mighty. Try to talk your way out of those, cheater!

      • Agreed never….and it’s also because somewhere in her mind, she knew she was being, and would be, gaslighted by him when she confronted him. This was me. When I discovered cheater’s cheating, I knew I needed concrete proof or he would deny, call me crazy, and tell me I was trying to create drama in our lives so I would doubt myself. I didn’t know what gaslighting was at the time but I had enough presence of mind to make sure I had proof.

        • Yeah, me too. I didn’t know what gaslighting was either (even thou I watched the movie with my ex years ago!) until my neighbor told me he was gaslighting me. I had to look it up to know what she was talking about. And like you, I needed concrete evidence that he was up to no good. He gaslighted me for years, making me feel crazy for not trusting me gut and for twisting around the little evidence I would find. It wasn’t until I caught him red handed and he could no longer deny that he was out with another woman, that’s when the gig was up. The mask fell. I finally caught him and then I started telling everyone what was going on in our marriage. He didn’t like being exposed for the creep that he is, so that’s when it was time to divorce me and paint me as crazy to his ho-workers and family. Yeah, the wife is crazy and she drove me to cheat and pull away from her. Blah, blah, blah. All lies. Good riddance to these cheaters!

          • Where are we on the “gaslight, gaslighting, gaslit;” problem?

            Match Girl spent her days gaslighting me.
            Match Girl was able to gaslight me with ease. Match Girl gaslit me with ease.

            My spell-check just threw a rod over here.

            • Present tense, v.: gaslight

              Past tense, v.: gaslighted, gaslit*

              Present partciple: gaslighting

              Past participle: gaslighted, gaslit*

              Adjective: gaslit

              * Both are acceptable. To my ear, “gaslighted” as past tense verb (she gaslighted) AND as past participle (he should not have gaslighted) is clearer and punchier.


              Editor Geek hijacked Claire.

              • Dammit, echo, I knew that was coming. Verrrry funny. You probably speak five languages or something. Tough call. I’d rewrite in the passive voice: “Wackadoo had been gaslighting her for years.”

            • The gaslighting is horrific and will definitely leave you feeling crazy and disoriented. That is INTENTIONAL. NC is the only thing that can truly allow most of us to see what we don’t want to see. It sucks beyond royally sucking. Stupid fucking cheater fuckwits.

              • chumpedupchik & get out your seat and chump around – every time i read y’all’s names I start singing those songs in my head.

      • And those screenshots are Logic getting reading to fight back against the hobgoblins of fear and the unicorns of hope. Blooming’s Logic knew that the gaslighting would come and she would need proof.

  • Think about him as a mirage in the desert. You see water, you are so thirsty, so you run toward it only to find it still way ahead. You begin to question your own good sense. You KNEW that damn water was there and now you have to walk more and more with it just out of your reach.

    Since he lies so easily I would be suspicious of his business practices and check the books.

      • Blooming: DON’T accept any claims of sex addiction and sex addiction therapy. You’ll get a “professional” mindfu–ing like you’ve never had before. Only to end up back at this place…Reality.

  • Blooming, I’m sorry this guy messed up your great life and self image! You are so much better off moving on. The destruction and devestation cheaters inflict on others increases over time. You will recover from this.

    The grief, however, and fear can be overwhelming and seem insurmountable. You’ve read enough on here to know they are not. They are finite. It just doesn’t feel that way right now. NC helps Logic to free himself and become your main companion.

    You invested and loved deeply. It takes a lot of strength to walk away. Now that you’ve taken that trash to the curb, don’t bring it back in to the house. CN us here for you! Hold fast and stay mighty.

  • Blooming, texts are hard evidence. Don’t ever doubt them or what they mean. They mean EXACTLY what you think they mean, and sometimes much worse that that.

    I made that mistake. The ex would text her OM late at night, or even after dinner while I did the dishes. Frankly…any time she could get away from me, she was texting him. I never saw the worst of them, though she did confess to “extremely inappropriate” communications.

    And yet I fought for my marriage for another 5 months after I first approached her about the texts. I believed her lies that nothing physical had happened; that it was all in my head; that she had to text him for work reasons; that I was being too restrictive and I clearly just was insecure and didn’t want her “texting any male coworker at all, ever.”

    Gas lighting, manipulation, rage. The works.

    What a bunch of horse shit.

    I’m far away from that experience now, but the lesson I learned is that if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…

    Please do the same. You’ll save yourself further pain, and you’ll move on more quickly to whatever awesome next stage of life awaits you.

    • And keep those text photos! As your anger wanes (many months out, possibly a year or more), it is helpful to read the ‘evidence’ to remember that he sucks and is not the person you thought he was.

      • Agreed, Tenpest!

        I kept all evidence, plus every lying text and email that my wife sent me, until the divorce was final.

        Re-reading, with my clearer hindsight vision, how she flat-out lied to me and manipulated me months earlier, helped me to keep powering through that divorce process.

        Cheaters think their lies are erased after the fact, or will be forgotten (because they often forget the lies they’ve told, themselves). But people who value honesty and truth eventually see the lies for what they were, and see cheaters for who they are.

        • My STBX can’t even figure out what is the truth anymore! He has lied to himself so much he doesn’t even know what is real. It’s sad. I’m pretty sure he’s either having an early midlife crisis, had some sort of brain injury he can’t remember or he has a brain tumor. ??? Because he can’t even believe the situation he’s in himself and he knows how bad it is! Too bad it’s not so bad he can’t stop himself and fix his shit! He’s not a real unicorn but a jackass with an empty toilet paper tube duct taped to his forehead prancing around throwing rainbow colored glitter all over his pending new life with the whoremat! What a fucking joke!

      • For a long time, I read nearly every week Jackass’s message to me in response to a text reminding him that the storage unit for his stuff–that I paid for–would either need to be cleaned or transferred to his name. He sent back a brutally unkind message in return–on Valentine’s Day.

        It helped me trust that he sucked.

      • And if you have them on your phone, not backed up to a cloud (which I don’t recommend), EMAIL them to yourself. The download them to your hard drive and back up your computer or laptop. I nearly lost crucial screenshots, when, for the first time, my eight-month-old phone’s backup software went berserk.

        • Email them to 2 accounts, just to be safe. I took pictures of my X’s sexual harassment meeting notes on D-day. He then found my phone and deleted all pictures (not realizing I’d already sent them to myself). Should I hear X continues to be a sexual predator to students, the sexual harassment officer can see my photos of the 2nd affair he (the officer) didn’t know about.

          • Don’t forget the handy thumb-drives.
            I took pictures of all the assets X stole and she kept the thumb-drive for me.

    • JC,

      Let me finish your statement for you, “if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…” “it’s a disordered fuckface whorefucking fucker” (as beautifully said by Ex-orcist).

  • “He said there was no reason for me to be so insecure, that I was ‘better than that.’ ”

    Me thinks he has used this phrase before and had a lot of success with it, it is well crafted manipulative bullshit used in a way to trick someone to continue to eat shit sandwiches. If he were a great guy, one of the women he had used this on in the past would still be at his side, but they ran…as should you.

    “He seemed irate about having to explain himself.”

    That speaks volumes of his narc expectations. Run run run like your hair is on fire.

    • Yeah, the only time my ex would become irate or “rage” was when I confronted him about his double life that he always denied having. He’d become defensive and tell me that there was nothing going on behind my back. The fact that he was always cool as a cucumber and then acted totally out of character when confronted should have been a big red flag to me, but it wasn’t. I just believed the lies even though my gut kept telling me otherwise. Yep, them getting irate speaks volumes for their narc expectations and entitlement! I’m entitled to have as many “friends” as I want! You are not the boss of me! Even though we are married, I’m entitled to flirt and go out with as many women as I want! It’s a “part of my DNA!” Yes, my ex actually said to me it was in his DNA that he needed to have extremely close female “friends.” But then in another conversation he said he didn’t even realize they were females. “They are all sexless to me. I can’t tell whether my friends are male or females when I’m friends with them.” Yes, he actually said this to me. You can’t make this shit up, it’s so stupid! So, I said, “So you send flirtatious emails to your guy friends too since you can’t differentiate between male and female?” His response back to me. BLANK STARE. Assbrain!

      • That’s a real winner. I Can’t even tell if they’re males or females? Suuuuurrrre.
        Sounds just like something my cheater would say! Cause, you know, they’re more evolved than us!

      • Yeah, mine also “treats his female friends just like he does his male friends.” He doesn’t discriminate with the adolescent jokes.

      • Martha – “Yeah, the only time my ex would become irate or “rage” was when I confronted him about his double life that he always denied having.”

        Of course he’s going to rage about it. He is putting you in your place, and that is to shut up and not question his behavior. And by denying it, means he is telling you he didn’t do anything wrong, which means, he will do it again. Meaning cheat and deny it all over again. He was training you to not question him. And he got angry? Puleez, you should have gone nuclear because of his unacceptable behavior.

        • Kellia, I never realized he was training me. Wow. Thanks for the clarity about it. He has rewritten history and now says I had “trust issues” since we first got married. Untrue. I never brought up anything about his “female friends” until after my 40th birthday. The birthday that I thought he’d do something nice for me. Buy me some flowers or a nice present. I got nada! Well, I did get a card that he went out that day and bought. So, we were married for 12 years before I said anything about his female college “friend” that he made it a point to go out for lunch every year for their birthdays (they share the same birthday.) His birthday was special. His female college friends birthday was special. But my birthday was not. So, I started speaking up and telling him that it hurt me. And then I started to see the pattern that there were always lots of female “friends.” And then I started seeing evidence to flirting via emails. And then I really woke-up and realized that he lies a lot. And not just about women, but about a lot of stuff. Stuff that a normal person wouldn’t even lie about. And the last few years of our marriage, I started just giving up and not bringing things up, because he’s get defensive and it was like, “why bother.” So, yeah. You are right. He was training me to keep my mouth shut. Well, I’ve untrained myself. I’ve ripped into him so many times after D-Day. I’ve let it all out and he knows exactly what I think of him and he knows that I’m onto him and his double life and what a fake and phony he is.

          • “Well, I’ve untrained myself. I’ve ripped into him so many times after D-Day. I’ve let it all out and he knows exactly what I think of him and he knows that I’m onto him and his double life and what a fake and phony he is.”

            Good for you Martha!! That is great. The best thing you can do is speak up and state your opinion. And if he gets angry, so what. Let him get angry and just laugh at his face. Who cares what he thinks, so what. Like he cared about your feelings and thoughts all those years you were married.

            • Thanks, Kellia. 🙂 You’re right. He didn’t care one bit that he was hurting me. He said to our pastor and I, “I didn’t tell you that whole truth about my female friends, because I didn’t want to hurt you.” Believe it or not, but the pastor agreed with him. I hope the pastor gets cheated and lied to some day so he knows what this feels like and then maybe he wouldn’t side with the lying cheater! My ex didn’t tell me the whole truth, because he’s an entitled prick who thinks it’s okay to go out with women when he’s married. He wanted to do what he wanted to do and if he needed to lie in order to do it, he did! End of story!!

              • My X said the same crap: “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to hurt you.” But that’s just selfish if you really think about it. He wants to be a nice guy that everyone likes, someone who doesn’t hurt his wife. So if he lies, then he is that guy. I told my cheater that his math was all wrong. He hurt me WORSE by lying, and now he looks like an asshole for cheating, lying, and continuing the cycle because he thinks he’s entitled.

                If you don’t want to hurt someone, just don’t be an asshole. It’s really quite easy.

              • ” I hope the pastor gets cheated and lied to some day so he knows what this feels like and then maybe he wouldn’t side with the lying cheater!”

                If a pastor is defending this, he’s probably got secrets of his own

          • He got a gift of Chinese tea with rosebuds from Howorker “friend”…I told him the day one of his stinky Marine Corp buddies bought him tea and rosebuds, that would be the day it was an appropriate gift from the “friend”.

            Him virtually ignoring my 40th birthday was a huge red flag. His affair went into overdrive about that time.

            When I was turning 50, my then boyfriend (now husband) took me on a yacht cruise (with a chef) in the Aegean Sea with a side trip to shop in Istanbul.

            I am the poster child for “Life gets Better”

            • You give me hope, unicornomore! What an awesome new hubby you have!! 🙂 For my 20 anniversary of moving to NY, my ex did the most wonderful thing. He planned a secret get-away to NYC. Bought tickets to go see The Lion King. I was on cloud nine! I thought to myself, “he finally get it!” He wants to spend time with me. I felt so loved. Our sexual relations blossomed even more after that. But he truly didn’t get it. Not long term. Came back to a hubby who ignored me by working all the time. It was all a cruel joke. Sometimes it’s just so hard to accept it was all a big act.

              • This is exactly what kept me staying for so long. Those pockets of lovebombing to keep you believing that was the real him and allowed you to forgive the rotten things. It wasn’t until I set up boundaries of what was not acceptable and made him chose that the mask finally fell. What I see now in my STBX makes my skin crawl.

              • Martha – when I turned 50 the ex threw me the most fabulous surprise party. (prior to that, he never celebrated my b’day much – unlike his Halloween b’day when I always threw him a huge bash complete with homemade 4 layer GC cake – oh he loved his cake) He invited my entire family to come (from another country) – 50 of them, and a bunch of friends and I was so freaking surprised I almost fainted when I walked in the restaurant. That made up for many birthdays and he was a hero to all my family for planning it. Of course, I thought he was a hero too! It took him 1 full year to plan it and, since I worked next to him every day, I had a difficult time understanding how he could possibly pull that off without me knowing! We were together all the time. I read all his work emails as part of my job. Everybody had been instructed to never write him or call him about the plans. One sister and he planned it so, she must have done all that for him.
                My nagging thought at the end of the day, as I was scratching my head about his keeping his secret from me for so long, was how easy it would be for him to have an affair. I even told my sister that I’d probably never find out if he did. I felt horrible for thinking that!

                And, yup – that’s pretty much what happened. He was a genius for hiding big secrets. (including a lot of money)

              • Those moments where they act like decent parents and devoted partners…I call them “Sparkly Spurts” oh golly they look and feel good but they don’t last. I found a letter he wrote me for an anniversary it was so full of promises, but the worst of his betrayals happened AFTER it.

            • @unicornomore give me hope too.
              Her recovery gave me the confidence to move forward with PTSD guy. Glad I didn’t miss out on that. My first birthday post Narkles the Clown was lovely. Nothing like the Aegean Sea but compared to being forgotten and looked down on it was remarkable and brought me to tears. It gets better, soon much better. Even without PTSD guy, once I had a signed decree and mastered No Contact it improved by leaps and bounds.

          • Martha, they ALWAYS re-write history. Pick one of the following (or all of the following). Doesn’t mean their memory of history is correct, only that they have to justify their crappy behavior somehow. [Number UNO predictor of a cheater? Blameshifting.]

            a–“Marital problems made me pork my co-worker/kid’s tennis coach/neighbor/cousin.”
            b–“My unhappiness over your fault/s (fill in X and Y–e.g., trust issues) led to unhappiness that left me open to the sexual possibility of my co-worker/kid’s tennis coach/neighbor/cousin.”
            c-“You paid more attention to the kids/your job/presoaking the laundry/stamp collecting hobby/buffing the silver to a high polish than you did to me, which led me to be open to the sexual possibility of my co-worker/kid’s tennis coach/neighbor/cousin.”

            blah blah blah

            • Yep, Tempest. I’m “b”. He hadn’t been happy in ten years “but he just didn’t know it” until now. He was unhappy because I didn’t trust him 100%. It’s not my fault that I didn’t trust him 100%. He’s the one who sees women behind my back. He’s the one who had some type of affair when I was pregnant with our second child. He’s the one who wrote flirtatious emails and messages on Facebook to women. He’s the one who went to Canada at least 10 times and got 100% naked lap dances. He did all that! Not me! He doesn’t deserve to be trusted 100%. He never deserved to be trusted at all, but I trusted him a lot more than he deserved. I trusted him so much that I never thought twice when he had to go out for “work dinners.” I trusted him so much that I never questioned him or had an suspicion when he texted me around 11:00pm and apologized for it being so late, but that he felt he “needed to be here.” Needed to be here wasn’t at a work function, but out with his newly divorced slut for a drinks and spending time in the car until almost 1:30am. He should never be trusted BY ANYONE ever again, but his harem thinks he’s God’s gift to women, so he’ll make another woman a chump again.

          • Yes, it is a form of training, and I fell into exactly the same pattern! And in keeping with the playbook (once again I had to double-check that I wasn’t reading one of my own comments), my 40th birthday was also a major trigger that showed me in a big way how little value I truly was to him. Unfortunately, it took another 10 years to untrain myself, but now I’ve gone totally free-range on his ass!

            • Other Kat, boy we sure has the same timing (40th birthday devalue) and then another eight years for me (he cheated on me a few months after my 38th bday.) I never realized I was being trained not to ask questions by his reaction. I never liked fighting, so it was tough to bring stuff up. Lots of stuff I just swept under the rug. When I walked in on him masturbating before church. Yeah, super chump would get up early and get the kids going with breakfast and getting dressed, plus get myself ready. ExH just couldn’t resist the alone time in the bedroom with himself and is other brain. Didn’t matter that we had sex the night before. Gotta give into those urges instead of helping the wife with the kids. Jerk-off jerk!

              • Same time frame…was about 39 when shit started hitting fan, 40th bday devalue and 7 years of hell before he died. I was SO TRUSTING and never ever one to accuse or be suspicious…I believed every excuse like it was gospel truth. He probs cheated for YEARS.

          • “He was training me to keep my mouth shut. Well, I’ve untrained myself. I’ve ripped into him so many times after D-Day. I’ve let it all out and he knows exactly what I think of him”. Same happened to me Martha, 9 years of training to keep my mouth shut, bite my tongue to avoid triggering the anger, avoid him taking the rage out on the pets and livestock, avoid the sulking in the lazyboy, the nasty looks when I dared walked through the kitchen diner where he dozed for hours on the lazyboy and I couldn’t get on with the housework, his son couldn’t walk through from his bedroom to the lounge to play as he wanted. After DD when I started ripping into him, he made me out to be a screaming monster who had terrorised him all these years. What did I say that was so bad? “You think you’re a good guy? You’re not!!!” Projection anyone? I untrained myself and spoke out and told the family what he and the whore had been doing, but I am also being made to pay for it. He’s out to destroy my business, force me to sell, because I dared to speak the truth.

            Unicornnomore, OtherCat, for my 50th birthday, I said for months all I wanted was the second hand vanity I had bought 3 years prior finally fitted the bathroom to replace the cracked one that had been there for 6 years. Didn’t get it. All I got was a bottle of cream (as in fresh cream,,,) and NO card. He knew his entire family was going to stay with us for a family gathering in a few months and I wanted the house to look ok. So he waited until 3 weeks after the family left to fit the vanity, 7 months after my 50th birthday, and the day after he had spent Xmas Day with the ex wife and her family, supposedly for the sake of their son. How’s that for a fuck you! 5 days later he told me he wanted a menage a trois with his ex wife because I was asexual (bullshit by the way). When I refused he called me a bitch and not a team player. I am certain the affair had been going on the entire duration of our relationship now.

            • “5 days later he told me he wanted a menage a trois with his ex wife because I was asexual (bullshit by the way). When I refused he called me a bitch and not a team player.”

              That seriously needs to go in the Stupid Shit Cheaters Say Hall of Fame.

              “You won’t have a menage with me? See, you’re not a team player!”

              • “When I refused he called me a bitch and not a team player.”

                He is a cry baby. You should have told him you’re a total team player, in fact, you encourage him to get reamed up the ass by the entire local football team. Oh wait, he doesn’t want to do that, then he’s so not the team player, lol!

              • Not a team player, because you didn’t want to have sex with him and his ex-wife at the same time?!! Who the heck are these people?!!!!!

                LOL Tempest and AllOutofKibble. 🙂

              • The menage a trois he wanted was him having sex with his ‘ex’ while I stayed at home looking after the farm and their kid because I was asexual… And the MC we saw a few weeks later said sometimes ‘outsourcing a bit of sex’ can help a marriage. I also endured lectures from the whore’s grandma about how they just had to be friends. Now the traitor lives in the grandma’s house pretending he didn’t dump me for the ex, which is exactly what he did to his first wife. He was boarding at the grandma’s house and hooked up with the grand daughter while his wife was pregnant. He managed to hide all this until last year. Now I’ve pieced it all together, I must be destroyed.

              • Hooked up with the granddaughter?

                If anyone had any illusions that cheaters are ‘normal’ and just like a bit on the side, this and the “Sick Cheaters” post from 8/31/16 should obliterate that fantasy.

        • Kella!! OMG! Exactly what you wrote. They teach/train us not to question them. Mine was really good at the pre-emptive strikes, so I didn’t even think I needed to ask questions. Fucking cheating lying self-righteous asshole. And yes, we should’ve been pissed as all hell, but then the excuses and so-called lame ass “explanations” and the raging etc. They are horrible people

      • ‘Not a team player, because you didn’t want to have sex with him and his ex-wife at the same time?!!’

        This has to go in the crazy-hall-of-fame, if we have one here.

        • Menage a trois, not a threesome. Basically meant he wanted to have 2 women, one for sex and fun and me as scullery maid and baby sitter for their son, plus all the other stuff I did for his 3 sons with his first wife.
          Yep, and he’s a sad sausage cos I emasculated him by not keeping a nice garden which he could show off to the friends he’s never had, and I am the baddie in his mind and he is suing me for half of what I brought into the relationship and we were not married. Thanks NZ law! He also said I was trying to poison him! Says he gave the best years of his working life to our business. This is a guy who dropped out of a PhD that was 85% finished 3 years before we met. Clearly I have ruined his professional life too…

          • Wow, Kiwichump–you were so mean to your X! kept him from Great Things (like having a sex slave and a housekeeper at the same time). What a loon.

  • You did the right thing, Blooming. The fact that you are not your “best self” when you are with him speaks volumes about how bad he is for you. A good relationship will make grow and blossom. A bad relationship will make you shrivel up and die inside.

    My now ex-husband did something similar to what your ex-boyfriend did. He pursued me and convinced me to move 600+ miles away from my family. We had a long distance relationship and he wrote me tons and tons of romantic and loving letters (this was 25 years ago, so this was before emailing.) So I moved to be closer to him, because I believed all his lies. Why wouldn’t I? I thought he was the perfect man and he came from a good “Christian” home. So after being here less than a year, I found letters from a “friend” who went into the Army and was stationed in England. She wrote to him, “If you come visit me in England, we can spend the whole night together and have sex.” I was devastated when I read the letters. And of course he did go visit her in England, but he took the trip with a guy friend. So after I moved her for him, he was writing love letters to this woman in England! I was too embarrassed to tell him that I invaded his privacy and read the letters, so being the super chump that I am, I believed him when he said there was nothing going on with her. He said he loved me, blah, blah, blah. So that was the start of the lies and seeing women behind my back. These jerks don’t change. They just get worse and the figure out new ways of hiding their double lives.

    And the limp dick. My now ex-husbands dick was limp after he decided in his mind that he was going to divorce me (I didn’t know yet). He said that it was “confusing” to him to make love to me and that’s why he didn’t want to. He needed to “think.” No. He had already moved on, but didn’t tell me yet.

    I just turned 50, too. I had the same thoughts as you. Will I be alone the rest of my life? Will anyone ever love me again? Yes, it is scary if I allow myself to think about those questions. What’s scarier to me now, is being with someone who disrespects me. Cheats on me. And lies to my face that they is nothing going on behind my back. The mental hell he put me thru for over 20 years is much than being alone. He made me feel crazy at times with all his mind games, gas lighting and lying. I really felt crazy at times when he’d lie and say he “never said that” or “that never happened” or when I read flirtatious emails to other women — “she’s just a friend and I wasn’t flirting.” The sadness and anger over all that. It makes me sad for myself that I put up with shit all those years.

    Blooming, be thankful you didn’t marry this guy and have children with him. You did the right thing and got out. Stay no contact like CL said. He’s a loser just like all the other guys and women cheaters all of us at CN talk about. And stay with us here at CN. You are doing the right thing by coming here every day. CL and CN help save my life and I will be forever grateful to all my online friends here. 🙂 It will get better, Blooming. I’m not perfect yet, but I’m way better than when I found CL early this year. Hugs to you. 🙂

    • BIG ((HUGS)) to you Martha. Your story is my story. It helps me to remind myself of how vulnerable I was when he picked me to love bomb. And yes I was naive – we all are until we encounter evil.

      BTW I have a big box of his letters & cards love bombing me, just putting it out to CN as to the most fun/satisfying way to destroy them. Burning just doesn’t seem satisfying enough! Any suggestions? Thanks you gorgeous people!

      • Martha – great post.

        ‘I just turned 50, too. I had the same thoughts as you.’

        I find many women here feel old at whatever decade you’ve become.
        I think if I had divorced at 30, I would have felt very old.
        40, certainly!
        50 – omg, it better never happen
        ….and, for the record….between 50 & 60 goes about that >SNAP< fast.

        I just turned 60 and I'm sure there is a lot of people turning 70 with the same experiences of being dumped.
        However, it was a little tough, but nothing like turning 40.
        At this age, we're grateful to be alive and in good health.

        Anyway, when you say 50, 40, 30….it is all in the head. Because, all your peer group are the same age!
        I don't feel 60 at all – just a number. But, fuck, it was one hell of a big number when you wake up single!!

        I like to surround myself with older folks so I feel younger ::Halo Head::. Like, way older, 80's who need help. Only women.
        Those old men are really dirty – at least the ones I've met if they make it to that age.

        • Yeah, I agree it’s just a number. I still feel like young me, but the body doesn’t all the time. lol. And I have also heard that old men are really dirty. Eeeeew. Like why don’t these guys ever stop being pervs??!!

      • GoodSexBeforeIDie, your box of love bomb papers?
        • put them through a shredder while hollering obscenities, take a vacation to New York, head for Bushwick in Brooklyn, ask a local deli owner, preferably Italian, where the pigeon keepers are. Some will have cages with grates on the bottom. Hand over your stash to be deposited where it belongs. With pigeon shit. Then head for Manhattan and treat yourself to an indulgent night on the town
        •Adhere them with wood glue onto a 2×4 (already cut into manageable pieces by the really cute guy at Home Depot), and ask AnnieGetYourGun to borrow her wood chipper while Tempest podcasts, WITH their editorial commentary, the whole thing.

      • GoodSexBeforeIDie, I like your name! lol 🙂 I just tossed the love bombing love letters (believe it or not, but one of the things my ex said to me during the love bombing/letter writing stage, “When we are old and gray we can take our letters out and read them to each other.” I thought that was so romantic and sweet. I thought he truly meant it.) anyhoo…..I tossed the letters into the recycling bin. So I have no good ideas. I did torch stuff from my wedding and reception on the grass in the backyard and that truly was beautiful! haha. Someone today mentioned that they sent the OW all the cards, letters and stuff and said to her, “I think these were meant for you.” Not sure if that is an option for you. Thank you for the hugs and big ((((HUGS)))) back to you!!

    • Why does it seem like our stories are so similar? I turned 50 this year. I moved from Arizona to New York 26 years ago for him. He lied about every damn thing. He had a limp dick and is a disordered fuckface whorefucking fucker too. It’s so damn eerie.

      • Annie Get Your Guns, maybe we were married to the same guy and we just haven’t figured that out yet! haha 🙂 I moved her 25 years ago, so you got me beat by one year! My ex didn’t have a limp dick until after he decided he wanted to divorce me, but hadn’t told me yet. He was fine up until then. He once even pretended to orgasm when we were “working on our marriage” and I went to the bathroom afterwards and there was no “evidence” of that happening for him, if you know what I mean. Mine is a “disordered fuckface whorefucking fucker too!” I have never said the F word so many time since D-Day. lol Do you think you’ll move back to Arizona? I love Arizona. Beautiful state. I might move back to WI if my kids end up out of NY state. I guess we’ll see where the kids go and then I’ll go from there and stalk them. haha

  • Good Morning Blooming,
    Do you know what jumped out at me from your letter in screaming headline type?

    ” A guy I was once intimate with came back into my life * because he wanted me to help him with his business.*”

    That put my hackles up. It fits the Cluster B/Narcisstic/Sociopath model. You served a purpose to him. This was not the love of the ages…..he sees you in the market, asks for your number, dating bliss ensues…kismet. He needed something from you. He realized two things a) he would get a lot more help if you are in love and b) You are an attractive desirable woman that he can have sex with….WIN/WIN.

    I am not being cynical. Based on my own life, my therapy, and reading voraciously, I think these Freaks are:


    They size up people and their situations in a calculating and cool manner. Then, without mercy…extract the resources they want. Kibble.

    No one can tangle with a Narc and find happiness. Even CL would not tangle with a Narc, and she could run circles around them intellectually. It is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Because, they don’t love back. Even if you built the Taj Mahal as a alter for your love, they would be planning your devalue and discard….at some point. You just speeded things up when you confronted him about his cheating and lying.

    I can’t improve on the brilliant response CL gave you. Just know that GRIEF has tripped me up as well. I would miss my X so much that it tricked me…reasoning that my yawning Grand Canyon of sadness MEANT something.

    It does mean something: You are human. You loved. We bond normally. He does not. It is a death. Grieve it as a real death. As Hootie and the Blowfish sang, “Let her cry”.

    Cry, wail, grieve, shake your fist at the sky, eat decadent treats, curl up in bed with a trashy novel…but do not contact him.

    No contact will get you there. You must be fanatical about No Contact, because you will not get better until his poisonous gas clear from your brain. It will lie to you, trick you and make you believe he is capable of being a decent human. He is not.

    Blooming, when I went hardcore No Contact ( no social media researching, no mooning over the past…. no woulda coulda shoulda) is when my recovery got solid under my feet. Not me walking around like a zombie, wishing this Mutant would email me.

    With 110% certainty, you have done the right thing by breaking up with him. 50 is young! And there are people out there who are not pods with no souls. People who love back. People who don’t sext with the neighbor and then shame YOU.

    Think of CL’s image…Logic is calling out to you, down in the field, to keep you on the path to freedom and sanity. Follow her voice. I am sending you good vibes and I hope your pain starts to ease.

      • I think that’s my cue!
        Soapbox please….

        No Contact,
        No Contact,
        No Contact,
        No Contact, is the path to the truth and the light.
        It is the release from the mindfuckery you have been immersed in. Stay No Contact and the toxic ooze of blame shifting, obfuscation and lies will seep out of your brain and you will see everything much, much more clearly! There is no reason for you to ever speak with this individual again. Ever. He showed you who he really is. Now you get to believe it. Does it hurt like hell? Yes it does. Can it be embarrassing to discuss with people? Only at first. Then you realize he is the fuckwit, not you and you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Will you wake up one morning happy to be free of him? Heavens yes! I promised! But first you must embrace No Contact. Your heart will catch up with your head.

    • “No contact will get you there. You must be fanatical about No Contact”

      The only way I was able to detox from my poisonous relationship was limiting contact with him. Because we’re co-parenting, I can’t go no contact, otherwise I would simply go dark completely and move far away from him. Of that I’m now certain.

      That analogy of the frog in the boiling water? That was me. It took years of him slowly upping the ante of his emotional abuse and him testing his limits with me. It wasn’t until after I broke off most of my contact with him that I was able to step back and understand that I had been emotionally abused for years. I consider myself a strong person, able to accomplish many things. I would have never believed myself to be a victim, much less a willing victim. Now I need to analyze what about myself allowed this to happen and make sure it never does again. 15 years is a long time to give to someone without a soul. Many others have given so much more.

      • Me too, Done4Good. I never in a million years realized I was in an emotionally destructive relationship. I did not realize I was being abused. I’m with you. I’m analyzing why I got involved with him in the first place and why I didn’t run for the hills the first time he showed me who he was. That’s all on me. I don’t want to make this same mistake again. I need to “fix” myself and fix my picker.

      • Man, between the poor frog in boiling water and the frog at the bottom of the river who died of a scorpion bite, it’s pretty shitty to be a frog.

        • Ian – cracking me up, as usual.
          I guess it’s much funner to be the scorpion or the crow, or whichever animal dropped his lunch down to the critter below.

          Chumps = Frogs? I think so. Some of us realize it far too late.

          I’m more of a scorpion these days the way I look at people.
          If they aren’t honest when they open their traps, I’d just like to bite them.
          And, for the record, I’ve verbally bit anybody who is a creep and proves it by opening their mouths – I didn’t used to do that before.
          Out of control that way.

        • …. not if you’re the frog waiting to be kissed by someone who knows what they’re doing, literally and figuratively, and you get to kiss her back, shorn of your froggy disguise.

    • EXCELLENT response to Blooming, Sylvia is Sad! You are spot on!! That line from her letter, ” A guy I was once intimate with came back into my life * because he wanted me to help him with his business.*” screamed at me, too. I’ve been reading and watching all I can about N’s and the personality disordered for almost two years. You totally nailed it about how they come around, because people serve a purpose to them.

      I believe my ex is a N and quite possibly a Sociopath. He’s a predator. He keeps track of FEMALE ex-coworkers birthdays. And when their birthday rolls around, he sends out the ever so innocent Happy Birthday email. Checking to see if a former source of supply is available to offer him some kibbles. Checking to see if they are available for a coffee date. Or a long lunch date. Well, lo and behold! He sent out his Happy Birthday to one of his sources of supply. I saw the email. Lots of flirtatious comments to her. Then he met her out for their secret coffee before work date that he’d been doing with her for nine years. And then he found out at their coffee date that she was getting a divorce. Yay for him! His supply was getting a divorce and now he can take the secret coffee date to the next level!! Yay!! Time to set up a late night drinks date and lie to the wife. Time to go out with the newly divorced supply!! Yay, him! Winning! And now he is off using another person for his never-ending need for admiration and for someone to tell him how great he is. Good riddance to the disordered cheaters!

      • Martha – ‘He keeps track of FEMALE ex-coworkers birthdays. ‘

        OMG, okay, I just fainted! Choked and fainted.
        The X used to have every female b’day in his day-planner – I’m not remembering very many men, other than an uncle.
        Many ladies he was selling to in different counties around the country and he’d call up and make them feel all special inside. Made sense.
        He never forgot to call one of them. I just always thought that was so nice of him and part of his marketing strategy. But, it wasn’t just work, it was every woman friend we shared together, as well.

        So – duh me. Just figuring that out….
        ………………………. Pig.

          • Don’t feel that way. I’ll be moving along when something will trigger a memory and I will have an epiphany. I’ll stop and usually shout, “Son of a bitch!” It can be quite embarrassing sometimes.

          • You are not stupid, Shechump!! Don’t say that about yourself. You trusted him. It somewhat makes sense what he was doing if he was into sales, but now after cheated on, everything looks different now. My red flags were flying after I saw the first gmail. I knew what he did was wrong even though he had a excuse (lie) for it. It wasn’t until I caught him the third time, I realized the pattern. This man had to work ever single fucking night until almost 11:00. He worked every Saturday until 6 or 7pm. He for years worked every Sunday, but stopped that maybe five or so years ago. Gosh, if he would have actually been working at work instead of sending out Happy Birthday emails to all the women he worked with and went to school with, maybe he wouldn’t have had to work at home each night. But what fun would that have been fun the fucktard! Also, when he first started working at his current job, we went to a work summer party. One of the guys in upper management like my ex came up to me and my ex This guy was a “funny guy.” His first comment to me was that my now ex “spent most of his day walking around the company/plant talking with all the women.” He said it jokingly. I was like “haha?” My ex got his usual half laugh half smug face. This guy was not joking! He was telling me the truth! If ex would have worked more at work, maybe he wouldn’t have had to work so much at home. But once again. What fun would that have been for the disordered predator who needs constant female attention and admiration. He is an empty, empty man.

        • I used to think it was great Cheese Fries had so many female friends (“He’s so in touch with his feminine side!”) but now, sad to say, that’s a potential red flag for me. He was such a “good friend” to listen to all these women’s relationship problems — but basically he was basking in the kibbles of them telling him what a wonderful guy he is … and he was laying the groundwork for turning those relationships into affairs. When I see him now at kids conferences and events — I admit I’m nosy enough to look over this shoulder — he’s always texting multiple women. And his FB page is full of women flirting with him and fawning all over what a great dad he is and what an awesome year this has been for him. Funny way to describe walking out on a twenty-two year marriage because you’re not having enough fun, but I’m sure they’ve fallen for his b.s. about how we’re just very different people and the marriage was dead for a long time.

          When you think about it, it’s amazing how many women fall for that shit.

          • BetterDays, my ex is the same way. Lots and lots of really close female friends over the years. I mean really close. I can only imagine the conversations he’s had with them. Yes, a lot of women fall for it. I’m sure on paper he looks like a great guy. He truly comes across as this really caring and “nice guy.” No doubt he painted a picture of our marriage being dead or whatever. As far as I knew, it wasn’t. I thought we had a pretty happy marriage. Not perfect, but I thought we had a pretty good thing going. It was all a sham. These women can have him! He did not treat me well at all. He only once shoved me and that was before we were ever engaged (a red flag that I failed to notice.) But he was emotionally abusive. I didn’t know it until I was out of it. All the signs were there, but I didn’t know it was abuse. He’ll move on to another chump who will take care of him as he’s incapable of being alone and taking care of himself. And he will treat her the same way. He’s been a liar and a cheater from the beginning. Ever before we got engaged, he was lying and cheating on me. This assholes do not change.

        • Wow! See, they are predators. My ex keeps track of his female friends in his calendar planner too. Not the male friends of course. After I caught him out on the drinks date, I read the emails he sent her. First one in over a year was the Happy Birthday email. Lots of flirty comments to her about her being 39 (she was 50). How she was the most fun person he knew!!! To which she replied, “You need to get more fun in your life!!” Lots more flirts back and forth. This was the third time I caught him emailing a former female co-worker a birthday email. He accidentally left his gmail open and when I got on the computer, there it was, staring me in the face. A Happy Birthday email to a former ho-worker. Him telling her, “I miss you so much!” What kind of fucking married man says that to a former ho-worker? A predator! A cheater! I confronted him about that one and of course he had his usual lie/story. “Martha, don’t you miss people that you used to work with?” Ummmm, yes and no. Not enough to email a former male co-worker on his birthday and tell him I “miss him so much!!” And then another time I caught him messaging someone he went to GRADE SCHOOL with on Facebook. He proceeded to flirt with her too and even went as far to say, “I was thinking about you at work today. There! I said it!!” Nice, hey? And then on her birthday, he messaged her and said he “always thought about her every year on her birthday.” Did you see he hadn’t seen her since grade school and he was about 40 when he wrote this to her? And I asked him about this happy birthday message and he had another story about how she had some special birthdate that was easy to remember. What a scum bag! Years and years of my birthday basically being overlooked, but he had plenty of time to remember and wish ho-workers and childhood friends Happy Birthday. After D-Day he said that wishing Happy Birthday to former ho-workers was “networking.” He even went so far as to say he did that for “everyone.” Not true! Just the females. I know this for a fact as he failed to email a Happy Birthday wish to his best man and one of his groomsmen on their birthdays. That is the truth. It’s all about the women and him putting out the feelers to see if they are still available to supply him some attention. He’s a creep. They are all creeps!

          • OMG Martha. I really did puke a little in my mouth after reading this.
            I can relate SO well.
            All my husband’s clients who were women (married or not) were infatuated with him.
            (yes, he WAS very good looking)
            He has a beautiful voice, and once you met him, his beautiful face would make many women blush.
            Paul Newman blue eyes and a very understanding ear to women with good listening and advice.
            Oh, how I admired him for his ‘skills’!

            But, that what his normal job was for over 35 yrs, and I knew these women clients liked him.
            He targeted women for business and taught them all a lot about how bonds work.
            He was a good teacher – I’ll give him that.
            They made him a lot of money and they admired him for his teaching.

            And, of course, the only traveling he would do is see ‘these clients’ of his on the other side of the country.
            (you can’t be an Idol in your own land)

            He wouldn’t take a plane ride anywhere with me unless it was work.
            But, he couldn’t go away to Hawaii or Mexico to celebrate our 35th anniversary.
            So, I just started driving a big ass truck and showed dogs without him.
            Fucking asshole. Now that I see what he was up to with all those client kibbles.

            I guess this post really triggered me and I’m really angry all over again.

    • Sylvia–This is what leaped out at me, too. This guy shows up because he wants to get involved in your business, and then he starts being intimate. The whole relationship sounds so manipulatve, and you nailed it as a “Transaction.”

      Blooming, your body–your entire psyche–has been trying to tell you that this man is no good. In two years, you’ve become the opposite of who you truly are. If this were the right man, you’d be blossoming. A good relationship makes both people better for it.

      But right now you’re going to hurt because of all those emotions and all those fears. The bad news is that it’s going to hurt like a mofo. The good news is that the pain is finite.

      If you start by healing yourself, the rest of your life will fall into place again.

      You weren’t married to the man. Good. Now, if it’s possible, disentangle him from your business. You may need a lawyer for this, but if he’s been lying to business contacts, then he’s such a liability that you can’t afford not to get rid of him.

      Then go No Contact. This is a godsend, and it gets easier as time goes by. My CheaterX blocked me from social media long before I filed for divorce (he didn’t want me to see that Schmoopie was posting on his Facebook page). Schmoopie had blocked me, but then unblocked me. I blocked her after the divorce, and unblocked her only when they got married. I blocked her again.

      Every once in a while, I think about unblocking her, but there’s no real reason to do so. That part of my life is in the past.

      In the meantime, I’m starting to get more done at work. I’m starting to regain some of the drive I lost while married to CheaterX. I also am beginning to relax. I have been seeking social situations so that I can start making friends.

      I think you’ll go through a similar journey. As you start to fill your life with activities you enjoy, you’ll start to feel your old self. Once you’re there, you’ll be ready to rejoin the dating pool, if that’s what you want.

    • So right, Sylvia is Sad. Everything is transactional for manipulators–how much are you worth to them, and how much effort will you be? That’s why they target chumps–worth a lot, not much effort.

      But for people honed in on ‘transaction,’ they sure do fail at cost/benefit analysis. Raise your hand if your cheater thought you’d never leave them.


      (not really me)

      • Hand raised here! My ex thought I’d never leave him, and then thought I’d let him come back later once he decided ‘s what he wanted.
        And now he’s PISSED that I didn’t want him any more. SO angry!
        When our kids started refusing to see him, he said it had never crossed his mind that they might do that one day – this despite the example of his two half-sisters, one of whom hasn’t spoken to their mutual father in a decade, and the other of whom hasn’t spoken to her father (ex’s long-time stepfather) in even longer.
        They believe everything will always go the way they want it to go, and find us very annoying when we don’t cooperate with that. Entitled, and STUPID.

        • Yes! The anger!!! That’s what surprises me the most in all this. I feel like shouting, “What the heck did I do? You’re the one who cheated for many, many years, lied, gaslighted, blame shifted, etc. All I did was say I’m done taking this abuse.” I think the anger is almost the most glaring sign of their entitlement. Not only should they be allowed to do whatever they want, but we should all be thankful to be included in their twisted sense of reality, and if we’re not, we become enemy number one. The injustice of that attitude is probably the hardest part of all this for me. I just can’t let myself try to untangle it all because I will get lost in all those knots.

        • Yes, entitled and stupid. He thought I’d just drop into line and listen to whatever he wanted to do with the divorce. Hell, no! He controlled my life and the life of our family with his precious job and ho-workers for 20 years. He lost all control over me when he rattled off the name of three women who he “gave up” for me during our marriage. In my mind and heart we were divorced at that very moment.

      • Yep. He didn’t want a divorce. He just needed indefinite time away from me while his mom lives with me, I paid for the car he drive, insurance and any other needs he might have. When I insisted on divorce by filing, serving, etc. he said he didn’t want a divorce but if I insisted he just needed me to pay off the car he drove ($29k) and give him enough cash to buy a house ($200k). All after one year of marriage in which he spent basically the entire time with slut puppet or abusing me. When I said that wasn’t happening, he offered that if I just gave him money to buy a house (for him and his mom, because he is NOT WIH SLUT PUPpET) he would make car payments to me. Uh, no. Ok, i should buy a house and he would pay me rent and the car payment. Hell no. He settled for $10k which was basically his attorney fees. It was $10k more than he would’ve gotten in court. (If marital debts are greater than marital assets, you have to split the debts, jerk). I was his meal ticket out of debt. Too bad it didn’t work out for him and I got the $20k back from the IRS that was taken out of my return after we married…..he didn’t know about injured spouse forms.

      • The X tried to push me out of the house and even found a house for me to move into in an ugly part of town to move me to.
        Yeah, I was shocked – I was just bluffing because he’d been so mean.
        He actually thought he could just move his fuck into the home we built from scratch and I’d just be out of the picture.
        So, no, I can’t raise my hand on this one, unfortunately.
        But, I did surprise him by pulling the plug one day and I do think it blindsided him since he had his future life all planned out with the whore in my house. It sure never worked that way for him. So, maybe I’ll raise my hand after all. I played all my cards right as I found C/L right away. I was one of the the lucky ones. And, I lived in the house another 2 yrs until it sold and he still lives in a trailer down by the river.

  • It is terribly painful to grieve hopes and dreams. My heart goes out to you. The illusion of who he seemed to be offering you is broken. You, naturally and reasonably, in your grief, are experiencing disbelief that this death of your hopes and dreams actually occurred.

    Yet, even when disbelief is strong in us after a person’s death, we would never take the body of the deceased to dinner. Staying with him would be similar to that. The illusion of his honest loyalty to you has perished. The evidence is irrefutable. It hurts. A lot.

    He tried to make the corpse look alive by suggesting that your ability to see what has happened is a shortcoming on. Your part. “You’re better than that.” But there is an elephant in this room, an no amount of clever marketing makes that untrue.

    I feel for you very deeply. Hang in there.

  • Why are you second guessing your decision to break up?

    Because you really wanted that relationship and you’re afraid that you might be wrong about him and that if you break up with him, you’ll be missing out on a great guy.

    “Maybe he’s telling the truth! Maybe it really was nothing! Maybe he’s learned his lesson and will never do it again but I’ll never know if I dump him. What if I’m wrong and I’ve left a great relationship?!?”

    It’s that hopium CL is always talking about. It’s your heart’s way of trying not to hurt so much or give up and feel the burn of realizing you’ve lost what turned out to be a fake image of love and potential. I think we’ve all felt at least some level of that kind of denial. It’s the normal reaction we feel to things that will hurt so much when we accept them. Just another attempt at pain avoidance and relief.

    • Well said. I spent 10 years down that rabbit hole. He never became a great guy and he’s up to his old online tricks despite the new twu luv.

      • I watched asswipe lose weight, tone up, manscape just ewww and dress better and wear colonge. Things i could never ever even encourage him to do so i knew something was up. However, after the relationship will whore juice was about a year old he slipped right back into his old ways. They never change unless they want to and his new tru wuv didnt get him off the cheating bondage sex dating sites it increased them. He added more accounts so tru wuv ah no. Only tru wuv he has is for his dick.

        • Manscaping — gross! My ex once asked me if he should do that and I was like “no!!” I caught my ex doing push-ups behind a closed door in the bathroom. Why do you need to hide exercising? Hmmmm. He said, “Martha, I’m doing it for you.” Yeah, right, cheater. Normal people don’t hide exercising. Normal people don’t do push-ups in a tiny bathroom.

          • For more manscaping and anus bleaching go to the forums and look for @shechump’s post. Pro tip: only cheaters are fanatical about body hair (ask me how I know).

            • Yeah, what is it with the cheaters and body hair. My X started shaving his chest hair, which I found off-putting (I had no desire to have sex with a pre-pubescent boy), and painful when there was stubble in between shaves.

              My pleas to stop shaving his chest fell on deaf ears. I guess Ashley Madison profiles require no chest hair?

              • Ian – ‘For more manscaping and anus bleaching go to the forums and look for @shechump’s post.’

                For the record, I did NOT ‘get’ anus bleaching from all that talk, naive 60 yr old. I thought you were talking about hair up the anus which I didn’t even know I had any. Then, one morning I was laying in bed and thought about what you were really talking about when it comes to ‘bleaching’. It’s NOT about bleaching hair after all! It’s about bleaching your natural skin color ‘down there’. To me, I was horrified because I didn’t know my skin looked that much darker there than it should be. I mean – what would give me reason to look back there? Maybe when I was 12. Bleaching sounds downright painful, abusive to your body, and down-right porn-filled!!

              • Bravo! But I like the Annie Song, too …. the one that ends with badaboom. Or something like that. Gotta admit, though, Kermit is irresistibly adorable.

  • ” well, you know the fears of a single 50 year old woman”

    You are afraid of being single. That’s a fear that everyone has at any age. And you have been single for your entire courtship with this guy, because he is not committed to this relationship. After all this time you’re with him, having sex with him, investing your heart, time and energy and he doesn’t say he loves you?! And rather than getting closer to you, he is behaving badly with your neighbor and has remained distant. You have been alone in this courtship the ENTIRE time. So you haven’t lost anything really.

    “He doesn’t talk about our future or tell me he loves me; he flirts with other women in my presence and really doesn’t let anyone know we’re a couple.”

    Wow, talk about screwing someone over. Why on earth would you put up with this shit? The guy is SO disrespectful towards you by flirting with other women in your presence and doesn’t even admit that you’re a couple. Losing something shitty isn’t really a loss at all, it’s a gain because you got rid of a losing investment that keeps draining your assets and keeps bleeding you dry. The point of getting into a relationship with someone is because they add value to your life, where they bring kindness, caring and love to your life. Your life improves because they are in it. This guy is offering you NOTHING, yet you want to be with him? Is this what we’re going for nowadays? Men who offer nothing and women want to be with them? How nice to be a man in this day and age… Best thing you did was break up with this useless piece of trash.

  • Just a thought but he sought you out and you are now joined in a business venture. How much heavy lifting does he do or is the success mainly due to you doing the heavy lifting?

  • Blooming its better to be dafe and secure and happy all by yourself than put up with constant bs. I loved asswipe with every ounce of my being for thirty years. I watched my life implode in a short time span and im still recovering three years later but recovering i am. Maybe down the road a great guy will come along maybe not in the meantime untangle yourself from this asshole and waste no more of your time. You will be happier not dealing with all the crap. Hes not worth you.

      • He wanted to give everything we worked for to his whore now she made plenty of money but spent every last cent spent two decades with bad credit. She couldnt be bothered fixing her credit so he figured hes give her my excellent credit and my house. On advice of lawyer i dug in my heels and said you want tjis house you buy it. I got it in the divorce. Three years later its coming to closing soon and i can go live my life. Yippee! So many obstacles got in tte way cause asswipe knew better than lawyers and way too cheap to pay for one. Ended up costing him thousands. Asshole. He knows everything. And the whore had two paralegal friends willing to handle the whole thing free of charge for them. No i would have used my own lawyer. Told him i put up my lawyer against your whores paralegals so see what happens. He backed down quick. Imagine that the whore wanted a say in the divorce. Fancy that. Told him i will meet with her and see how she wants to handle it. Not! Wish i had chump nation 30 years ago. But i have it now and soon no contact color km gone! He wants to stay great friends and visit date and fuck. With friends like that who needs enemies. Not gonna happen. What an asshole.

        • “He wants to stay great friends and visit date and fuck.” Wow. He sure thinks a lot of himself to think you’d want this. Gross. My ex said in the “divorce letter” to me that he hoped we could remain friends. Yeah, right. Why in the world would I want to be friends with a known cheater and liar? Someone who put his work and ho-workers before family for 20 years! I’m not friends with people like that. Sorry, asshole.

  • Blooming, you sound like a great lady who has temporarily – only temporarily – lost her mojo.

    No Contact, in business or in any other way, Chump Nation, and good books like Why Does He Do That? will help you get that mojo back.

    I am nearly 50 myself, and never married, but have been chumped. And life has never been better! I am happily single now after years of dreading singleness.

    I know now that I could re-partner easily, but right now I choose not to.

    Meanwhile, protect your business.

  • Blooming, you did what you’d have done two years ago if you had had a crystal ball into the future. Good for you! TRUST that. THAT’s you.

    I, too, wonder and agonize. When the doubt spreads like poison, and I feel like cyanide has paralyzed me, complete with choking on its frothy foam that gurgles up my throat, I tell myself, out loud if possible, a few short things.

    Dixie Chump, above, signed off with two phrases, starred, that I use:

    This doubt is HIS abuse talking. I’m not cruel. I’m bigger than cruel. Cruel doesn’t get to win. Not now, not ever. *No thanks.* No way. GO TO HELL. *Onward!*

    That’s the real me. When I feel pathetic, even a glimpse of the real me doesn’t magically erase this WTF agony, but if I force myself to focus on that glimpse, the doubt dissipates. And I can breathe. Hugs.

  • Yup I 2nd guessed it and 3rd guessed it and 4th guessed it and so on…..but even so I still remained in my marriage because I would tell myself…….. “well all marriages have infidelity at least once, at least now, she had her affairs and it is over with – Pheeewwwhhyouuuuu! I’m so glad I won’t have to experience that kind of deep pain again.”

    Boy what a chump I was! When it happened again 3 years later (my final dday), the pain was even deeper. It was deeper because in that 3 year time frame, I forgave her, I learned to trust her again, I bought her faux remorse, I truly believed from her actions that she loved me – we would say “I love you so much” to each other EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. It seemed so sincere and real. I would of NEVER expected a repeat of her shitty character. If I knew now what I didn’t know then…..

    • I had four ddays in 30 years with asswipe i too learned to trust him again each time. I should have left the first time no chumpy me thought he would change. Live and learn. Never going through this again. This girl remains single from now on. Big hug to you. I feel you.

      • I agree with you Kar – we should of all left after the 1st DDay.

        I was so mad at myself for buying into the wreckociliation hype as “affairs just happen” and they can be prevented if I do this or if I do that. Horseshit! I now know I can’t control what others do. We were all so surprised and vulnerable after the discovery and for those of us that had kids, it made it that much harder for me to leave.

        My now exwife was/is/and always will be a cheating harlequin. I don’t even look in my rear view mirror to see her anymore.

        • Yep exactly. Got screwed all if us. Lesson learned. The only thing i want to see in my rear view is vultures circling whats left of ex as rode kill. Guess im having a day.

          • There is really only one answer to shudda, cudda, wudda left them on the first D-day.
            I left after the 2nd and my answer was finding Chumplady site really early on.
            It saved me a lot of anguish and I was able to flatten his face as I walked out the door filing for divorce and getting a forensic accountant after him.
            The guy didn’t dare breath after that, without asking me for a gas mask….he was petrified what that guy would find out.
            Long story short – the sooner you find this site and strength and courage of everybody posting about their experience, the sooner you will be off that proverbial roller coaster, guaranteed.

            It’s very painful, this site, but also very cleansing.

  • Is this even a relationship at all? I mean, he reached out to you because he needed help with his business. So we really can’t assume it’s because he wanted to be with you, but could really have used you for his business. Second, he’s not even telling other people you are together. This is basic! In his mind, you are fuckbuddies. Based on the facts, you really didn’t have a relationship at all.

  • Blooming, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It’s hard to see now, but things WILL GET BETTER and you will not always feel this intense pain.

    I highly recommend the book “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind – and Keep – Love.” That book helped me understand how we become strongly attached to people and why it’s so hard to end even a destructive relationship.

    CL is spot on when she says: “Before we leave, we have to be certain that betrayal is a hanging offense. We’re not going to just chuck our entire investment and our deep commitment over a misunderstanding.”

    I wasted years muddling around because I had no proof Cheese Fries had done anything physical. For some reason, I thought I needed that proof to justify ending a marriage that had two young kids. But here are the things I knew about: he answered Craigslist sex ads when I was pregnant with our first child (“It was only fantasy! I’d never go through with it! Besides, no one responded.”), he hired a hooker when I was pregnant with our second (“I never went through with it. It was fantasy and why the hell were you snooping on my computer?”), he left me at home with a baby and toddler to go to industry parties with a coworker, he referred to two colleagues – each in a different city he traveled to frequently – as “the Future ex-Mrs. Cheese Fries.” Finally the last D-Day arrived and I discovered he’d taken a woman out on a date and lied to me about it (“We’re just friends! If I told you about it, you’d say I couldn’t go.”). That night I checked his texts to the that whore and to the two Future Ex-Mrs. Cheese Fries. He had emotional affairs going on with two of them, and he exchanged sexualized texts with the third, who I strongly suspect he was actually sleeping with. He took women he was sexually attracted to out to dinners and concerts and confided in them about our marital problems.

    I’m listing all this to show how far down the rabbit hole you can go when you don’t IDENTIFY YOUR DEAL-BREAKERS. So what if it wasn’t physical? I believe some of these were, but for the sake of argument let’s say he never got physical with any of these women despite some of these relationships going on for years. So what? He lied, he snuck around, he violated the sacred space between us, he betrayed my trust, he devastated me, and he shat on our marriage instead of working on it. Any single one of the things he did was justification for my divorcing his ass.

    Just like your boyfriend’s sexy texts to a neighbor are the only reason you need to kick his ass to the curb. It’s hard. It’s painful. That lovebombing you got from him in the beginning is addicting and getting over him will feel like the worst kind of withdrawal. But you have to do it to save yourself.

      • I’m not 100% sure I said that but it sounds very familiar from one of the rounds of screaming after d-day. Even if I didn’t say it it’s still true! The worst part is loving someone SO INTENSELY and then finding out they don’t even think of you as their wife anymore. Then who am I to you? A buddy? Would you introduce me to strangers as your friend? WTF?!

  • The real topic of your letter is dysfunction — picker dysfunction, relationship dysfunction, and erectile dysfunction.

    You fell for the Prince Charming play — a prince from your past rode up on his white horse and wowed you. Blame fairytales and romance novels and chic flicks. That stuff plays well in Hollywood, and seeps into our brain storage facility, but it is not likely to happen in the real world. Another person doesn’t rescue us from reality — another person can either enhance our reality or work to the detriment of our reality. You are the only one who can save yourself. To effectively do that you must use dear old Logic, and your brain. You are a smart woman — don’t fall for Prince Charming. He only exists in fairy tales. Work on yourself — fix that picker.

    Relationships are supposed to be mutually beneficial. He was sucking the life out of you. He used you for everything, you got robbed. You did not have a true relationship. It is hard to accept, but you were a Useful Mark, and he was a Con. There was never anything of true value in this for you, so be happy you survived and had the sense to get out.

    Erectile dysfunction can be the result of illness, medication, stress, age, health problems — but I have noticed in the research I have done personally and in the stories I have read from other Chumps that ED occurs A LOT in these Dysfunctional Cons. I spackled this issue — oh, he’s had too much to drink, oh, he’s tired, oh, he’s under too much stress at work, oh, he smokes. Oh, Oh, Oh. None of this seemed to matter if he was getting gratified by my hand, or my mouth. Just his ability to please me seemed impaired. Also — porn is used for gratification — but the thing about porn is it works like a mental drug. More and more of it, in increasingly outrageous and horrific variations, is needed to get off. I have also noticed that high porn use is a frequent symptom for the Cons. That limp member is symbolic of the lack of ability to provide real comfort and caring and the use of tender imagination and the true warmth and affection available to two people who care for each other. He is so empty inside he doesn’t even have the power to imagine a way to please you. It is very symbolic. Think about it — there are some seemingly good relationships between men who have been wounded, or in terrible accidents and their wives. These men don’t have the option — tragedy has caused their ED, but they have the capacity to love. They work it out. They try something else. These cons try new women — and no matter how much these women lie and tell them how wonderful they are — eventually the truth comes out. He has nothing to work with, literally. He is as limp as his sorry member, because he has nothing of value to hold himself up. You know you have been sexy in the past — it has nothing to do with you. You will feel sexy again. I am in my 60’s, and I still feel sexy. I still get compliments and I have offers for dates. Sometimes, I say yes. Life is not over simply because you are a woman over 50. Men age, too — and many of them are smart enough to want a woman near their own age. they realize they look ridiculous with youngsters.

    Don’t blame yourself!

    • Wow, Portia! Excellent post! You gave me lots of think about. Thank you.

      I have read the same about Prince Charming. I’m not sure if I read it her at CL, CN or somewhere else. But my ex was like a Prince Charming to me when we first met. Before we were officially dating and I still lived 600+ miles away from my now ex, I remember saying to my sister, “If I ever get married, it’s going to be with someone like Dan (not his real name.” He was just so wonderful! He said all the “right” things. He was so loving and so romantic. Being with him felt like magic. But then one day the magic just died. And it truly happened over night. One day he was my loving boyfriend and then the next day he was a mean, cold jerk to me. I had small glimpses of the love bombing stage over the years, but it was never like when we first met. If I ever meet a Prince Charming again, I’m running away as fast as I can. Prince Charming is a major red flag!!

      And why did I feel used all those years? Because I was being used. It was hard to accept the cold, hard facts that there are users out there and I happened to be married to one and his family for 20 years. Relationships should add value to your life.

      I’m convinced my ex is into porn, too. Twice I found “used” tissues by his den work desk. Once on the ground underneath the desk. I didn’t say anything about that one. The second one I found inside a drawer. He puts a used tissue in a drawer? Someone who is trying to hide something quickly. He denied everything. I don’t believe him. Years ago, he told me that it was “easier” to masturbate instead of taking the time to warm me up and make love to me. He didn’t have to say it, but I was “too much work.” I wasn’t worth the time it took get the juices flowing. Much easier for him to masturbate. And then another time he said to me, “Now that you lost a few pounds, I’ll have sex with you.” Mind you. I went from 130 to 120. I’ve never was overweight our entire marriage and 130 is not overweight for my height of 5′ 4″. What a lovely “man.”

  • ” he denied everything until I told him the exact words I read. I took pictures of the texts”……I did the exact same thing!
    CL right again! Use logic instead of unicorns.
    I NEVER thought I’d see as clear as I do now but I sure as hell do! (thanks to CL & CN)
    I see so clear through everyone’s bullshit that I almost feel like I’m a pessimist.
    I’ve had no relationship with anyone, not even dated, in 3 years. I’m instead healing and seeing through con artists. Sucks…..

    • I should add… doesn’t suck to heal or see through con artists. Instead, it sucks that con artists exist. I know….welcome to the world, IHH.

      • Yeah, me too, IHaveHate. It was a big walk-up call to realize that these people exist. I always to fast to trust. I am learning I need to be just the opposite. Don’t trust until someone proves themselves trustworthy. And I don’t think that’s pessimistic. I think that’s just plain being smart. I have always been really open and honest with people right away. I need to shut that down. I don’t need to be an open book right away. Learning, learning, learning. 🙂

        • I’ve told people that monsters do really exist, but they’re not under the bed, they’re in the bed laying next to you. I see these monsters everywhere. It does suck.

          • Yes, I agree, Marked711. My ex is a monster to me. What he did to me over the years and how he played with my mind and emotions when we were supposed to be working on our marriage — one morning he grabbed me, kissed me passionately and told me he loved me. Seven hours later we were sitting across from each other and he’s reading off this long letter that he wrote four days prior, telling me he wanted a divorce. Only a monster would do that to someone.

            • Sick shit. With mine we had just had sex. I went to clean up and he comes to me after and says by the way he’s found somewhere to move to. I replied okay and carried on what I was doing. They want your reaction to their outrageous shit. Give them none! It is a major disappointment for them, though they will be pissed and try some even more devious stunt. I told my stbx that he will play his games alone. He looked crest fallen.

              • That’s awful, Mandie101. You are one mighty woman for not having a reaction. Especially just after having sex. What a jerk!

            • I’ve basically been in both those situations. STBX got a yelling at and I believe the pick me dance even came out by name. Because he said he wanted to try again. To me that meant no contact with the whoremat because he wanted to pick us and fix him. But it meant he wanted cake to see if he was still “in love” with me while he planned to move out with her. “Pick me! Do more! Make me love you! Give me sex! I want more! Give me more sex! Make me pick you! Convince me to love you! Win your husband back! Dance! Dance! Dance! More! Harder!” I think that was how that went! ??? He is a cunt and a terrible person and the worst part is I still love him!

              • Shelby, weve all been there. Its hard very hard and your angry thats good. Hold on to that for a bit. Im still good and mad at asswipe but its controlled now i use it as a weapon against him to keep myself safe and sane. I still love that fucking asswipe who he used to be and what we used to be and i will never get over that guy and im not trying to but its over that world doesnt exist for me anymore and im getting past it. It takes time do for you, calm your inner self for you. Fuck those pod putos just fuck them. You are better than him and did nothing to deserve this treatment and neither did i. None if us here deserved that shit. Vent girl vent. One day you will start feeling better. Im three and a half years from dday one year divorced and they will get theirs. Karma is hitting asswipe again and again. Fuck him. One day you will just let it go, i will happen.

  • Thanks for sharing your story, BetterDays. It’s so validating to me. My story is not exactly like yours, but it’s so similar that it made me cry reading it. I don’t have proof either that my ex ever had a physical affair, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he did. But all the emotional affairs over the years. God, it was so devastating realizing I was married to a man who got so emotionally involved with women he worked with. I always felt like I was competing with someone. Who? I didn’t know. But I knew there were many of them over the years.

    “Finally the last D-Day arrived and I discovered he’d taken a woman out on a date and lied to me about it (“We’re just friends! If I told you about it, you’d say I couldn’t go.”). ” This was my D-Day too. He said the exact same thing, too. “We are just friends. I was looking for friendship.” Bull-crap. “I was just trying to be a good friend to her after her divorce.” Riiiiiight. No, he was looking for a newly divorced, vulnerable women so he could extract attention kibbles and maybe get into her pants if he was lucky.

    And then after he said he wanted a divorce — a few weeks later he said to my face, “I gave up Mary for you. I have up Lisa for you. I gave up Lexi for you.” Yeah, he “gave up” women for me while we were married. How nice of him, hey? These were at least three of his emotional affair friends that he gave up for me. Women who names I didn’t even recognize as ho-workers.

    And you said, “So what if it wasn’t physical? I believe some of these were, but for the sake of argument let’s say he never got physical with any of these women despite some of these relationships going on for years. So what? He lied, he snuck around, he violated the sacred space between us, he betrayed my trust, he devastated me, and he shat on our marriage instead of working on it. Any single one of the things he did was justification for my divorcing his ass.” Yep! I had good reason to divorce him years ago. But I couldn’t for some reason. Too afraid to leave I guess. Too afraid to break-up our family. A few years ago we were on a really nice family vacation. My ex totally abandoned the kids and I on an excursion. We were on an excursion with eight other people. He spent the entire day showing off for the attractive German girl. I can’t tell you how many time I looked at him that day and he was right next to her, shoulder to shoulder, talking and flirting. Even both of our kids said to me, “Why is dad not with us?”, so it wasn’t just me imagining it. That night I went off on him about the day and what he did. Of course he had a song and dance story. He was just “getting trip information” from her and everyone else on our excursion. Yeah, right. That night I couldn’t sleep and I walked the roads for hours, and I remember thinking I don’t want to be married to him anymore. I don’t want to be treated like this anymore. That was the first time I thought divorce. I had every right to divorce him for the way he treated me over the years. I don’t know why it’s so hard to leave someone who is treating you poorly and disrespecting you. What he brought to my life was pain, sadness and loneliness. 20+ years of feeling like I was the least important person in his life and I was. And I just kept trying harder and harder to win his love and his attention. I don’t know why I did it. I was so stupid.

    • I did the pick me dance one year after DD#1 with OW #2. (with OW#1 I left only after 1 week after DD, but came back to the relationship two years later!!!)

      But, it is incredible how we chumps, just one day, realize we have to get out of the marriage. We know something we have to, all the time but that moment, that exact moment where you say “This is it” its magical, its wonderful. I had my “enough” moment two months ago, one Friday night after I left a sexy and beautiful message for Mr. Steroids in the mirror and he just gave me the blank stare after spending the evening with Snoopy. I moved upstairs (we had a music room on the 2nd floor), asked him to move many times, until one day my daughter begged him to leave me alone and he finally left. He left a month ago. Best day of my life!

      • Good for you for being so strong, Masha. I wasn’t ever that strong. My ex left me after I started talking to everyone about how crappy he treated me our entire marriage. He didn’t like being exposed for the creep that he is. He’s got too much at stake and too much too lose if he was ever totally found out by everyone. He went right into painting me “crazy” to his co-workers. Of course they’d believe him because he’s “such a nice guy!!” One thing you just wrote struck a nerve with me. After D-Day and was trying so hard doing the Pick Me Dance. I texted him something about my sexy Christmas outfit (negligee) fitting me great as I dropped 10 pounds because I couldn’t eat. His reply back to me was “lol.” My heart just sank. He laughed at me. He laughed at my outfit that just a couple years prior he was so excited to see. He’s an ass and so is your ex for just staring at you. No one deserves to be treated like that.

  • Being single is not a disease or a second class citizen status. My gosh, you are 50 and that isn’t a sin either! You sound to me like you are smart and well versed in business! Take that talent elsewhere! My advice, if you have any money tied up in his business you should arrange to get it back! There are plenty of other fish in the sea that are honest and trustworthy! Throw this stinky fish back!

  • Blooming, you wrote:

    Two years ago, I was a confident woman, loving the life I had. I wasn’t attached, traveled, ran my own business and managed to pay my mortgage and bills. I was satisfied — happy! — because I stopped trying to keep up with everybody materially and told myself I had enough and was lucky to be where I was at 48.

    You were a confident woman and he was a confidence man. His goal was to steal your life. He had no other intention but to make himself feel good. And once he put out the requisite amount of effort to land his mark (you) he moved on to the next con.

    But you’re lucky. You didn’t die. You didn’t marry him. You don’t have any kids with him. Hell, you got off easy you’ll likely hear from some of the other posters today. Don’t believe them. No matter your circumstances when you leave the relationship, the internal damage is massive.

    I could have written your paragraph I quoted above. Replace the age with 31, and it’s the same for me. Then I met Match Girl. MG is a mimic. She is adept at finding a vulnerable victim who has something she wants and then she takes anything she likes. When she’s done people are left wondering what the hell happened. She does it by mirroring back the best qualities in people. That’s why it’s so painful for me to detach from her. I’m more than a little narcissistic. I like a lot of thing about myself. When I was with MG I felt invincible. She knew exactly what to do and what to say to keep me on a high like no other. Her go to tactic was to mirror back who I am. She is empty. She has no energy or love to give. She has experiences and knowledge but no wisdom. I have known her long enough now to know that she can never be happy alone. She needs a host. She must have someone to suck the life out of. I am a perfect victim. I lead with my head and wear my heart on my sleeve. I love sex and she’s really good at fucking. And when she had sucked all the good out of me she grew bored. My body began to react and there was less for her to mirror back. I started to see through her ruse. She quickly became cloudy and shrouded. One day she just smashed the mirror without warning. To me it felt like the death of my soul. In fact it was that she had stolen a part of me. I can be whole again, but not by getting my heart back from her. I’ll have to regrow the part she took. And it’s painful. So painful.

    Blooming. I can tell you as a 45-ear-old guy that there are plenty of dudes your age out here who will date you when the time is right. There are more honest faithful men than not, but the assholes get the most press and they are infecting the others. Protect your heart and you’ll be happy again soon(ish).

    It’s not gonna be for a while, sweetheart. You’re pretty much fucked today – and tomorrow. But some day pretty soon you’ll feel a little bit better. Stick around, read all you can, and post here and in the forums. Welcome to the club nobody wants to join.

    • I’m not one to say any abuse is acceptable, whether it is one day or 30 years. I’ll be 46 in a few weeks and I’m just in the beginning stages of my divorce. It’s scary at this point of my life to be alone and starting over but what is even scarier is 20 more years of living in the shadows with this monster or even worse, teaching my young daughter that taking his abuse is acceptable. I guess I’m lucky that my supply ran out for him when it did because who knows how long I would have continued to allow him to drain the life out of me.

      • Yeah, me too, Done4Good. I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but I’m happy he left me. I never could have walked out on him and he knew that. He knew I’d never leave him no matter how horribly he devalued me. No matter how much he ignored me. He knew I’d stay. He’s given me the opportunity to have a good life. A life where I don’t feel like a slave anymore. A life where I might start to feel appreciated for what I bring to the world and a family. I honestly don’t know what more I could have done for this man to be a better wife. I gave him my all and it still wasn’t enough. I’m hopeful that some day I’ll find another love who loves me just as I am. Who will be faithful and honest. I have to believe that there are men out there that are like this and don’t just want to use women for sex, housework and meal making, etc. There just has to be good men out there. I have to believe it. But until that day comes, I’m working on me. I’m not pouring myself and my valuable time and energy into someone who just wants to use me like a tool. I appreciate myself when I do nice things for myself and for now, that’s gotta be enough!! 🙂

        • I feel the same way. It was stunning to be divorcing a few weeks before my 50th birthday after 26 years of marriage but the opportunity to completely reset my life on my own terms has been nothing short of miraculous. 2 years later I’m open to the idea of a new romantic relationship but with nothing on the horizon I’m enjoying my life just as it is.

          • Good for you, strad! My divorce was final a few weeks after my 50th, too. Married 20 years. I’m not ready to date at all, but I guess if the right guy showed up, I might change my mind. But I’m not actively looking. I’m just enjoying my new found freedom and crafting my life into the way I want it. Best of luck to you. 🙂

      • Done4Good & everyone else–there will come a day when you will feel a light heart, and realize that the perpetual criticism/cold-shoulder treatment/rages/ _____ (fill in the blank) that you tried to get used to living with (but never could), is not a part of your daily life.

        It is liberating, but can’t really happen until the divorce is final, and your main focus is on crafting that new life.

        • My fill in the blank is “being ignored.” It’s so wonderful not being in a lonely marriage. My divorce is final. So thankful that it’s over. Working on “getting a life” like Chump Lady told me to. 🙂 I bet she’d be really irked at me if I didn’t take her advice after she was so nice to answer my letter. I try to do what people tell me what to do as long as it’s good advice. Thanks, Tempest, for always writing to us here on the blog. I’m always happy to see your wit and wisdom.

    • Ian-
      If you thought sex was good with a dead eyed sociopathic skeleton….imagine making love with woman whose eyes shine up at you with love, adoration and not one dirty secret in her mind. Except all the naughty things she wants to do with and to you. And only you.
      THAT my friend….is the sex of the gods.?

    • Ian Dubito, thank you for this post, I hurt a little less because of it.

      You’ve helped me understand that he can’t be anything of substance without using others — he “needs a host.” Before this asshole came back into my life, I thought of myself as lovable. Healthy narcissism makes us confident and could be the reason why mirroring is a great hook for us chumps. As a passionate person, I pretty much go “all in” when it comes to partnerships, love, business, or otherwise; and that means trusting that both partners will get what they need through empathy, compromise, and open communication. But when crazy love replaces logic, things go haywire, sense of direction is lost, and love and respect is left to the imagination. I only imagined he loved and respected me, and this hurts. How could this be? Am I that dumb? It just felt so real.

      There’s so much wisdom about coping strategies among everyone here. I am proud to be a member of this club “no one wants to join.”


      • Blooming,

        You said: “I only imagined he loved and respected me, and this hurts. How could this be? Am I that dumb? It just felt so real.”

        Your response tears me up. I’m 10 months out from the day Match Girl admitted under duress that she had fucked some dude. I haven’t seen her since. It took me three months to go no-contact, but since we have no kids it’s been absolute. It’s been he hardest most painful thing I’ve had to live through. I’m still early in my divorce because MG is crazy. She didn’t show for a court date this week despite catching a contempt of court slap. Nevertheless, it’s so much better for me today.

        The first three months I felt gut-shot. It felt like someone was ripping my heart out through my chest. I couldn’t think, and when I slept for a few moments, I had nightmares. Anytime I was idle I had mind movies of her having sex with Match Stick. After four months I got pissed. Super pissed. All consuming rage. I recommend you find your anger. But most of all I recommend you be gentle with yourself. It’s gonna take as long as it takes. Find people you can trust, and throw yourself into the emotions of you need to. The only way out is through.

        The questions I pulled from your response above are THE questions. Yes, you loved him. Yes, he loved you in his own way. But more importantly, he did a great act of sexual violence against you. He broke the trust, and he risked your life. It was real for you, and that will become more and more apparent. Chump Lady taught me all I know about this. Her book addresses directly your four questions.

        As long as you don’t reach out to him you’ll begin to heal. So sorry you found yourself here. We are a Nation of people who don’t pussy foot around with infidelity. It’s a horrible life-threatening act and you are a victim. You’ll become a survivor, but you aren’t dumb. You were duped. He tricked you. It won’t happen again. You got this.

  • The year before the final D-day we took my son and his girlfriend on a vacation to Belize. There was little wifi signal so you had to stand at the dock to use the phone. But that was the point- it was a vacation away from civilization. I actually have photographs of him standing on the dock, staring at his phone with dismay. When I approached to ask why he was trying to use his farm, he screamed at me that it was for “business” and I should get off his back and leave him alone. Of course, now I know it was rage and panic about the possibility of being caught texting or calling the OW. And they were probably fighting because he went away with his family. That same trip, we were away on the birthday. And he got me no card, no present. He said it was because he was “too busy” getting ready for the trip (huh) that he didn’t have enough time and what was I making a big deal about. That made me really sad and I started to cry. My birthday and our anniversaries and Mother’s Day were always big issues, because he often “forgot” to do anything, even take me to dinner. He would say that I wanted expensive things so he would buy me nothing. Later on, when there was no pretense left, he said he felt it would have been “inappropriate” to celebrate my birthday. But apparently it was fine to celebrate Schmoopie’s birthday and Mother’s Day (I AM THE MOTHER OF HIS CHILD; SHE IS NOT!!!) because he charged gifts and flowers to her on my credit card. Gaslighting? Yes. Anything to make us feel small, inadequate, worthless. Anything to give them another day or month or year or two of cake. I wasted 35 years. Don’t you waste another minute.

    • What’s up with these creeps with birthdays, Mother’s Days and anniversaries? My ex didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day for me for first eight years I was a mother. Even though for Father’s Day every year I bought him presents and cards from me and the kids. I even went out of my way to do nice things for his parents for those holidays even though they weren’t my parents. My birthday was pretty much ignored year after year. He never took me out for dinner for any of my birthdays until after my 40th, when I spoke up and told him how much it hurt me. I never got a cake for any of those birthdays either. I was lucky to get a card. He never once took me out for dinner for our wedding annivesary. For our 20th, I made reservations for dinner and an over night stay at a really nice place. I noticed a “distance” about him. He’s usually raring to go for hours of sex, but he was “tired” and wanted to go to sleep after just one roll in the hay. Found out later, he already had contact with the slut and was already on the prowl for her since she was getting a divorce. So I wasn’t imagining there was a distance between us. He quickly checked out of our marriage emotionally once he found out ex ho-worker the slut who was seeing my husband behind my back for secret before work coffee dates was getting a divorce. Yep! Don’t waste another minute. These serial cheaters never change!!!

      • What is it with “you’re not MY mother”. My first husband did that every year and I always wondered why I didn’t get recognized for being the mother of his children. Hindsight – in his world everything was about him !!! Note to self – this is a big red flag. !!!

        I totally get your pain !!

        • Stuckinlimbo, I totally think it’s on purpose. It’s another way of devaluing us. There’s nothing else to me that makes sense. He saw and experienced me making a fuss for his birthdays, Father’s Day, etc. He *knew* what the right thing to do for me, but he refused to put in the effort until I spoke up for myself and told him that he was hurting me. Of course he realized how important someone’s birthday was to them, because he made sure to go out every year for a birthday luncheon with a female college friend who I’m sure he has some sort of crush on (he grabs at his heart when he talks about her – gag.) So they know. They know how to act and what to do, but it’s just another way to show you that they truly don’t care about you.

          • You are so right. Psst the anger now and just feel terribly sad that he never appreciated what he had. His loss. Can’t even begin to try and unwind that skein.

  • with this type, i wouldn’t be surprised if the OW doesn’t know he’s in a relationship

    i wouldn’t be surprised if there is an OW who thinks Blooming is the OW, not her.

    i wouldn’t be surprise if he’s a porn addict

    not that it matters, but he probably goes limp when he’s with the OW too.

    • “not that it matters, but he probably goes limp when he’s with the OW too.”

      LOL, this made me laugh. So this guy can’t get it up, doesn’t want to tell others he’s with Blooming, he doesn’t tell her he loves her. And he flirts with other women right in front of Blooming. So what does he actually bring to the table?? I have yet to read one thing he’s contributing. And Blooming is concerned with being single. Sounds to be me, she’s already single and always had been.

  • This is what I needed to hear today ! ExBF was a narc who stole my confidence away. Same scenario as Blooming to the use of the exact phrase that there was no reason for me to be insecure and I was better than that. He flirted constantly with other women in front of me and went so far as commenting how a particular woman probably didn’t look as attractive without her clothes on. (Why did the thought even cross his mind if he’s not checking her out ?).

    He also suffered from ED which I now think was a result of a porn addiction. He denied watching porn although I found it on his computer. That was apparently from his grown son using the computer as he told it and then I was the bad guy for not respecting his privacy !!

    I broke up with him and then (to my shame ) got back together again. Like Blooming didn’t want to break up over what might be my over reaction and a misunderstanding. What if I missed out on the best relationship ever?!!!

    Strangely enough about 2 months after we got back together I caught the flu. Everyone else around me who also caught the flu recovered in a couple of weeks. Mine lingered forever and I had no energy. I either wanted to sleep all the time or couldn’t sleep at all. I was a wreck!! I finally came to the realization that my body was trying to tell me something. I did not want to be in this relationship where I was supposed to find it acceptable that my BF (who was talking marriage) was always checking out other women and had a number of questionable female friends

    I finally had the guts to end it. And guess what – the mysterious “flu” disappeared. My body knew what my brain refused to acknowledge. I’m 4 months out from that relationship and still don’t have my confidence back but I’m working on it day by day!!

    Better to be alone than spend time with someone who was literally sucking the life out of me !!!

    Thank you to CL and all at CN who share their stories and advice. I would not have realized what was happening without you !!

    • Since stbx left I’ve hardly been ill and when I am it is short lived. With him it seemed my immune system was always down

  • I never caught my ex red handed, but I found a mountain of circumstantial evidence…upon confronting her, her story and explanations simply never made sense to me. I threw her and my roommate out of my house at the time. She contacted me recently, still denying things and trying to play the victim. Thinking about it the other day almost 10 months out, I realized the following, which helps me accept my decisions:

    She is either a lying cheating whore, or, she needs to move to Hollywood and change careers as she’s done the best cheater impression that anybody’s ever seen. Either way my ass is gone.

    • “She is either a lying cheating whore, or, she needs to move to Hollywood and change careers as she’s done the best cheater impression that anybody’s ever seen. Either way my ass is gone.”

      That made me laugh, Truthfriend. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about getting my ex a fake Accademy Award and send it to his house. I completely believed his big act, that’s how great an actor he is! And he still has lots and lots of people who believe the person he presents to the world is the real him. No. He hides behind this “nice guy” mask. The mask of a great actor.

  • Yay, you, StuckinLimbo!!! Yay you for getting out before marriage and kids were involved. We all know you are in just as much pain as someone who was married to a cheater, but it really stinks to get a divorce. To untangle finances and figure out child custody and all that stuff. You are a smart lady for trusting your body!! You’ll get your confidence back. Keep taking good care of yourself and be proud of yourself that you listened to you gut/body. A lot of us didn’t listen to our gut and we are kicking ourselves for not trusting ourselves. Hugs to you.

  • Right there with you, Blooming. Loneliness and the fear of it has kept many-a-toxic-relationship together. Because nothing has filled that space yet. You lost your go-to person, your life witness, however crappy he might have been, and that takes some grief to get over, because your feelings for him were real. Just take comfort in all of us, in knowing it will pass and you won’t always feel this way. Fill your time with anything that promotes your health and wellness. Take baths, go to bed early, watch some Netflix, see caring friends, get your nails done, visit a city you’ve never been before, go on a healing retreat. Fill your calendar with things you look forward to doing. Go to therapy, join a therapy group, try medication for the depression if you need to (I did, a lifesaver as I lapsed into clinical depression/anxiety). Try a form of dance or exercise you always wanted to do. You will feel like doing none of these things, but the more days that pass and the more days you try stuff, eventually something in your head will click, and you’ll find yourself enjoying life again. You’ll meet someone else again, he’s not the only man in the world who will want you (tough to believe at first, I know). You’re not alone! Hugs and more hugs.

  • Hi Blooming, been there. More than once. My hobgoblins were mighty. Now I’m mighty. Just read Chump Lady’s reply and happened to look up and see on the car in front of me “Fear Ends Where Faith Begins”. Have faith that you are better than this situation. Have faith that you will recover. Have faith that there are good things in the world for you even if you can’t see them from here. Have faith that your attachment comes from you basic humanity and humans suffer when their attachments are severed.

    And have faith that I’m not driving while writing this to you lol

  • One of the biggest ways I failed myself (and I think I see a common thread with many here) is that I did not listen to my self-preservation instincts.

    CL said it perfectly with “So instead of trusting the evidence and knowing our worth and what our deal breakers are, chumps spackle. There holding the spackle trowel are the hobgoblins of fear. You’ll die alone! No one will ever love a woman over 50! You’re worthless without him! His validation is the ONLY validation that matters! You’re a failure! Your inadequacies made him cheat! How could anyone love someone as flawed as you? HANG ON TO HIM! This is your LAST CHANCE!”

    So Blooming, yes there is a smart, confident person in your brain showing you the way to the life boat and there is also an abused, frightened, extremely hurt person in there trying to hold on to the sinking ship. Please keep listening to the smart, confident person; grab the hand of the frightened hurt person; get into the life boat with us and row away.

    • One of the biggest things I learned through all of this is that I didn’t have any self-preservation instincts, thanks to a heck of a childhood. But I have them now!!!!! You can find happiness and greater self-love and a fabulous life even better than your life before your cheater. I’m just a couple years away from 50 and I don’t fear being alone. I like having someone but I like my alone time too (in those rare child free moments) I am using every ounce of energy to embrace the life I never knew could be and it is amazing, AMAZING I say!

  • Blooming, whenever you begin to doubt yourself, compare the 48-year old you (single, happy, confident) to the 50-year old you (heart torn apart by a serial cheater). Who would you rather be? If you stay, the future will simply mean more of the same. He will cheat again. If you leave? You will go through a lot of pain but it will be finite, and you will be whole again.

  • Blooming,
    I think it is because my heart is tender and I am so weepy today (my dog) but I have worried about your feelings as you process this sterling advice. I scanned and did not see if you had posted. If you are not reading, I hope this helps someone.

    When we or I say “he did not love” you, it sounds so hurtful. I have had people tell me this about my X. It would bring a range of emotions from devastation to rage.
    “They” did not know the moments we shared, the things he did for me, the money he spent on me! But, they were only being truthful.

    It is a guaranteed heartbreakm, these narcissistic people. I will leave it to others to determine if it is nature or nurture (Look for Tempest’s posts…She might be a psychologist or M.D., not sure but she explains it very well ) or how these Narcs came to be….

    but I truly do not believe they love…ANYONE. Their mother, their child, their partner, their pet. We are CARD BOARD CUT OUTS TO THEM, like a movie poster, that might be packed with goodies. They think: How can I get the goodies?

    It is not PERSONAL…it is no reflection on your desirability, your worth, your lovability. Please burn this on your brain!

    The best I can explain it to my mind: they are like a baby playing peek a boo. I think, when I was in front of my X, he felt some excitement, warmth, even tenderness. He could be wildly generous and had amazing listening skills. We had moments that felt like paradise found I bet you did too…hence the second guessing the break up pain.

    But when I was out of his sight….I was out of his mind. Other women were “darling”, and strange tail was on the menu. They do not attach. They do not bond. They are transactional. See…they want to feel loved and gooey and sexually turned on, too. So, in the moment…they can turn it on.

    It feels so wonderful to be focus of the intense, burning sunshine that is the charisma of a narcissist. It feels like love. Did your X make intense eye contact, in the beginning? I bet he did. (That is called the predatory stare).

    You can read up on this, but they are very good observers. And they mimic back what we desire. They are crafty that way. So, it can “feel” like you have found your person, your tribe. This was BY DESIGN. What feels like true love, was actually a calculation. Were there moments where he felt fondness, warmth, affection for you? I am sure of it. But it is not the way we, as normal people, experience it. It is like biting into a piece of strawberry pie, anticipating the cream and the ripe berries, and discovering it is styrofoam. It looked so delicious. But it was just paint.

    It is important that even though you feel devalued…YOU HAVE VALUE. Tremendous value. It is not any reflection of you that he does not love like a normal human. We might as well ask my cat Ernie to do calculus. He just can’t do it. Even if he wanted to do it. (Although the Dept. of Defense may want to look into using his litter box as a weapon of mass destruction).

    Please know that I intimately understand the searing ache of someone saying who YOU loved……. hearing….. “they did not love you.”

    I don’ t want you to feel worse than you already do. IT IS NOT YOU. Please remember this as you grieve the loss. Part of the grieving is accepting that… the relationship was doomed from the jump….they cannot be a sane, respectful honest partner in any situation, business, love or friendship.

    Is it intentional? I will leave it to better minds that mine. Tempest’s help would be great. But here is the takeaway: He-cannot-be-fixed.* It was not you.* It has nothing to with YOUR worth, or ours when we were cruelly discarded.

    They are like aliens. This is how you must frame it. Don’t lose sight of that when those panic attacks hit, and you want to reach for the phone.

    To everyone who gave me support and sympathy for the passing of my sweet Roxie, it was so kind, thoughtful and just….saintly. Everyday, the people on this site are absolute joys and paragons of true wisdom and compassion.

    I am in shock today. Her eyes haunt me. You see, only CN would understand this. When I would wail over my X Jason (don’t worry…he would never read the site….he thinks the Internet is “boring”)….my Roxie would come and lay her head on my tummy. My cross eyed Shih Tzu (yes…he is massively cross eyed and hilarious) would be in his toy box and my St. Bernard Mix would be snoozing or “grubbing”, but Roxie was a *witness to my pain*. You understand. She would not sleep until I did. My girl knew heartache and misery, from living on the road and in the woods. As I paced and howled, she watched me, and never left my side.

    I paid for the best and got it. Palliative care in the home Roxie was on her Serta orthopedic bed in my clean, quiet bedroom. I curled my body around her body (she is 90 lbs) and all my dogs, even my little cat Ernie piled around us. I told her Mommy would love her until the moon melted. She was snuggled down in her blanket, hydrated from the IVs and on pain meds…. snug as a bug in a rug. The vet was a kind, hippy, Earth mother vibe…very good for me. A sedative was given..waiting with words of love and hugging….and then the shot…and my beloved girl was gone.

    • Sylvia i am with you feel my hug. She is at peace at the bridge with two of mine. When i die i want to go to the rainbow bridge and stay with the fur babies. You are a great mommy!

      • Hi Sweet Kar Marie,
        The Rainbow Bridge poem kills me. Shock is good right now….and Valium.?
        I always hope for you that your house sells soon. Your X…I read everything you write…his interest in violence worries me for you. Keep smiling and backing out that door. He is grotesque.

        • Im booking out the door quick as i can after closing. I knew asswipe was kinky but not to the sick twisted way he really turned out to be. I never knew to what extent. I dont mind mild kink but to be tied up beaten black and blue with a whip or belt and to be degraded to a sex slave cum receptacle is not for me. Shudder! I made it clear long ago how far i would go and he seemed fine with it and never pushed me. So i thought we were ok. Til the mask came off then oh brother. Apparently there are plenty of women who enjoy this degradation. Im not one of them. 99 percent of me is not afraid of him but the fact he choked whore juice unconsious, thought he killed the bitch and then beat her afterwards scared me he only knew her a month. Of course she begged his forgiveness for making him do it. Wtf! She did something to hurt me and he snapped! Its that 1 percent that scares me. He cheated on me he cheated on her. He choked her would he choke me? I dont think so but if i pushed him like she did he might so i dont push, i laugh at him, ignore him and get mad at him. He stays in his place. Hes never laid a hand on me ever but…. i dont trust him. So i dont push. I dont play games in matters of life or love. Him and his whores do. He could never stand me being mad at him even now so he behaves himself. When he buys this house and it closes its getting there i will announce here to all and do my happy dance and i want you all to dance with me. I will leave him to his dementia and his sex slaves take my fur babies drive away and leave all drama and hurt here in this house loaded with bad juju go absolutely no contact and never have to worry about him hurting me in anyway ever again. This is what miss behave yesterday doesnt get the hurt she feeds on it and finds it in her words halarious. People like her and asswipe shouldnt be allowed to breathe.

    • Sorry to hear about your dog . Really feeling you. Had to out mine to sleep this summer. A kind vet and honourable end is the least we can give these loyal creatures. Now cheaters are another matter…

      • Mandie…I said to myself…this dog has more worth in her paw than my X had in his life. I do wish him harm. I do. I hope it passes. It is a heavy burden.
        Are you still married to your cheater? Or having to tangle with them?

    • “I told her Mommy would love her until the moon melted.” That’s one of the sweetest, saddest sentences I’ve read in forever. I’m quietly awed by the graceful wrinkle in spacetime which made it so that she was yours to love, and you, hers to love. And I’m glad she wasn’t in pain. I’m so sorry, Sylvia. {{{♡}}}

    • Sylvia is Sad, my heart goes out to you, I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved Roxie. I too am a lover of dogs (have 3 of them) and they are a constant source of comfort…so loving. Thanks for your post about narcissism/dysfunction…I’m halfway through “Why is it always about you?” which Chump Lady recommended on the resource page. I’m still so very sad but I don’t feel as alone.

      Hugs to you –

  • As I sit here in my parents’ camper I’ve named Mrs. Chancellor after the dowager queen on Young & The Restless, I’m making English Breakfast tea in a thrift store coffee pot and heating a pop tart in the microwave. Mrs. Chancellor has expensive jewelry but alas, no toaster.

    Blooming, I am here to tell you I have felt EXACTLY the same way you have in the past few days. I just left my cheater on Saturday (I think I’ll start calling him Deadfool after his favorite Marvel character, in an aspirational attempt to get to the point where he’s dead to me). My D-Day was April 27 and I smoked some serious hopium for the last few months. We’d only been together for about 8 months after a long phone courting, and I’d moved 750 miles from home to be with that loser.

    Much of what you describe mirrors our relationship. He never really said he loved me, didn’t make me feel important at all, but was always THERE somehow. So it really was kind of shocking when I found out about the OW. And the escorts. And the EA with many other women, mostly from work. I also found out that he never told his co-workers about me (we had a religious marriage, but not legal), and the OW was his subordinate, a woman he’d worked with for 14 years!

    In short, he faked remorse (kinda), played along with MC and a pretend trust-building process (I was just supposed to trust him!), but vacillated between anger, self-pity, and indifference. Every time I called him out on his bullshit and asked for my rights, he would say “I guess we should just part ways then, since I’m not giving you what you need.” And then he’d act like nothing happened two days later, as I was reeling from the realization that it was over, while he would slowly reel me back in with platitudes and superficial “fixes” like movie dates and fried chicken.

    Our last interactions were bitter and sad; I asked for some financial assistance to move back home and start over completely (again), and he acted like I abandoned him and forfeited any right to maintenance. I made sure to tell several key people about his actions in the religious circle we moved in, just to try to prevent this from happening to someone else. That really pissed him off. But you know what? I can start over again without him. I don’t need his stupid money if it means I have to grovel and beg for it every month (I found out he did the exact same thing to his ex-wife and made it impossible for her to get her money).

    I can get back to my old awesome self. YOU CAN TOO! I turned 38 yesterday. I’m no spring chicken. But I’m FREE. And every time I catch myself thinking, “Did I really give him a chance?” I can confidently say I gave him WAY too many. Onward and upward, my friends!

  • Chump Lady & Chump Nation,

    Thank you for all your comments. I’ve read and re-read them. As I go through them bleary-eyed from grief, I realize my second guessing my decision to break up is indeed FEAR. I need to trust myself more than I trust this asshole. 2 years ago, my logical self would have told me to tell him to go fuck himself. But feeling needed and falling in love seemed to give me purpose, moving the logic out of the way to make room for crazy.

    So many of you have gone through much worse and I look to you for guidance. Some of you told me that there really wasn’t a relationship, that I’m really not losing anything. Logic says, “yes, yes! you’re not losing anything!” and crazy is crying over a “mirage” of a partnership. The mind is a powerful thing. I know this pain is finite, but gosh it hurts so much right now. I’ve made an appointment to see a shrink and will surround myself with loving friends, family, and of course Chump Nation. My second guessing will lose to this spectacular Army of Chumps. As many of you said….”ONWARD!”

    Thank you! I love you guys!!


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